Three Acorns

Nov 27, 2013Family Uncaged, Write!


I ran a few miles recently and picked up these “acorns.” They’re huge, folks. More like small plums in size. But they captured me with their whimsy. I could see fairies living inside them, like little imp-sized thatched cottages. (Click to tweet.)

I placed these fairy houses under my monitor where I work as a reminder to be thankful. To choose three things daily that I would clap about, savor, reminisce.

With tomorrow being thanksgiving, I’m filled to the brim with thankfulness. I could name 100 things/people/events that I’m thankful for. But today, I’ll share three.


The first two are in this photograph: my daughter Julia and my mom.

Both have endured difficult years and somehow emerged resilient, examples of women with grit and kindness.

Many of you know Julia’s story from last year. How she battled an unknown illness, missed her first semester of her freshman year, and pulled her way out of whatever it was to return to school. This summer she had the guts to ask for a year of homeschooling (online school). She made her case, and is now doing really well. The flexible schedule allowed her to return to France, a place that brought her much pain and angst because of her school experience.

How brave can a fifteen-year-old be? On the last day of their trip, she and my husband walked the route she walked to school. They stood in front of that school and prayed. Tears came. Pain released. And Julia bravely said goodbye to that chapter in her life.

Julia, you are one of the bravest people I know.

I am thankful for my mom. She has endured the deepest kind of heartache this year with such grace and wherewithal it makes me cry. She lost her husband to cancer. And theirs was a beautiful kind of love–of friendship that comes from years of love. Mark died in June, grieving us all. At his memorial service many spoke of Mark’s kindness, his obvious love for my mom, the way he walked through life as a gentle servant. Even typing this makes me cry.

He loved my mom well and left a giant hole.

Today is my mom’s birthday. She is young; we are twenty years apart. She’s too young to have to grieve such a loss. And yet I see such strength in her, and in the aftermath of tragedy, a genuine desire to live her life on this earth with compassion and generosity.

Mom, I love you and I’m so so so thankful for you. Happy birthday!IMG_2488

I’m thankful for the writing journey. It has been the means God has used to deeply refine me, keep me humble, and heal me. Every single book I’ve written, I’ve experienced profound healing. And every setback in this crazy publishing business has honed me toward wisdom.

I am learning I am not what I produce. (Click to tweet).

I am learning that slow and steady wins the race.

I am learning to be faithful in small things, unnoticed.

I am learning it’s not about my fame, but the fame of Jesus. (Click to tweet).

I am learning that I equate work with worth, and that needs to change.

I am learning that God is sovereign, and His journey is good, even when it doesn’t meld with my expectations.

I am learning that it’s better to trust God for direction than to make my way in the world, following all the “correct” publishing business rules.

This writing journey has hurt me, helped me, refined me, and cowered me. But God has used it to grow me. (Click to tweet). It’s been my sanctification journey.

I am thankful for far more than three people/things. I’m sure you are too. But distilling it down to three has been a good exercise for me. We will count our blessings tomorrow at the Thanksgiving table, but why not make it a habit of finding three things a day to be grateful for?

What are your three acorns today?