monday gifts


Thankful for…

flowers. muffins. guacamole. front steps. strong yummy coffee.


the best street in Omaha. :)
basil growers and basil chats and the pesto that is to come!
perfectly worn-in t-shirts.
friends who remember things about me I had already forgotten.


funny little souls to babysit.
fruit snacks and dinosaurs and legos and footie pajamas.


I am so loved. I am so secure. Your faithfulness is always.


time around the table, face to face. it seems I’ll never get my fill of long conversations.


stores and gas stations and fast food and email and phones and hot water and the library and ice cream and electricity. (Can you tell, I just lived a book about civilization after an apocalypse type situation??)  


this prayer. (Thanks, Deidra.)


Sometimes I re-think keeping on with this, counting gifts and sharing some of them. Maybe I’m glossing over my struggles or living with blinders on to the heartbreaking things going on in the world around me? Maybe I take too many pictures of flowers and am too grateful for coffee, isn’t that kindof silly?

I do know that this habit changes me into a person more likely to bring good to my corners of the world. It smooths worry from my anxious, often overly empathetic heart. My eyes open wider and I am humbled by grace. It’s a start.

Maybe we could be a people known not by our disgust and judgmentalism, but by our gratitude and our joy because gratitude starts movements. You can’t be moved by grace — and not become a revolutionary. –Ann Voskamp 

mother’s day

Mother’s Day isn’t a day for me. It’s a day for moms. A day to honor my mom and say thank you. I totally get that and I think it’s a good thing! mothersday

On Mother’s Day this year, I found myself making breakfast for 7 guests, 2 of them under the age of three. I’ve known some of that group since I was 8 years old, and they’ve known me and seen me grow up. I read books aloud and searched for the paci and answered to “Aunt Frances.” I really enjoy seeing my friends become these awesome moms.

Later I had a big meal surrounded by family- not “my” family- including 4 of my very best friends. Then, I had another meal with my mom and other family, including my aunt who is one of my go-to people and always has my back. There was laughter and hugs and so much food.

During the day I received an email from my dad, saying he had visited one of the older ladies from church, she used to be my AWANA leader. He wanted to pass on that she asked about me, and that she prays for me every day. I know she isn’t the only one. There are my grandmothers and aunts and dear church ladies and the moms of my friends and teachers and coaches and family friends, who pray for me and continue to influence me. There are the authors who have taught me about grace, living life, leaving a legacy.




I’m thankful.

Yesterday I was reminded that I have been mothered by many wonderful women; only some of them are related to me. And, that children come into my life in many different ways, all the time, needing love. I want to have my heart open and just be available. jamaiica


monday gifts

Thankful for…

daffodil time!

various fun things like my ongoing fishing feud with my brother and looking at old artwork and writings from our younger years with my cousins.
college, when I had time to write and illustrate letters, but not actually mail them.
the intense experience of crafting while watching an action spy movie. The world is about to explode and here we are gluing paper circles. “Craft, Kathy! Craft like you’ve never crafted before!”

dad stories. Not all dads are equal on this one, I think. My own Dad set a very high standard. “Ok, one more skunk story,” said Valerie’s dad (unfortunately for her family, I adopted them long ago), and we listened eagerly. Snake stories, hunting stories, horse riding stories, injury stories, car stories, stories of getting in and out of scrapes, I love them all.

You are my refuge of strength till the end.

hands that can do work. Sunshine. Encouragement. Trader Joe’s coffee. Birds.

monday gifts


Thankful for…

old quilts & young hearts.

quiet moments in the middle of the crazy ones.


my brothers, and our particular way of coping with things: being ridiculous. They are God’s gifts to me for sure! What would I do without them??


the faithful friends who helped with the move. Brought trailers, lifted heavy things, made food, and showed us tons of hospitality.


[more] safe travels.

smelly old dog to keep me company while I cleaned.


puppy therapy with friends.


first birthdays, first houses, first graham crackers with blue frosting.


that Jesus never leaves me alone, He’s with me whatever I’m going through.

monday gifts


Thankful for…

yet another safe drive across Nebraska.

fun times digging up old memories with my fam.

the fact that I am a paper hoarder. A hoarder of paper. It is not good.

Starbucks and peanut M&M’s.

Burger King & laughing to the pain with my brothers.

when doing laundry becomes unavoidable.


friends and family who basically encourage me to be a mooch.

friends & couches & blankets & Poirot.

brothers who take selfies like none other. :)

that God placed me in a family of really odd, crazy, hilarious people. I don’t know if I could have handled a normal upbringing.


opportunities for great joy, aka troubles. I am not loving every moment.

all the people who have shown me patience over the years, when I was/am immature and/or self-important and/or “smart” and/or using confusing/excessive punctuation.

sunsets to follow west, tumbleweeds to follow east.


monday gifts


Thankful for…

sunsets in January.

coffee, beautiful coffee.


near-perfect Saturdays.

babies wearing adult-sized gloves. It’s hilarious.

how satisfying it is to chuck big sticks into partially-frozen creeks.



family to take care of me when I’m sick.

Grace for the Good Girl. I am going to read it again soon. The way I keep coming back to it in my mind and in conversations over the past few years, tells me 1) it was extremely impactful in my life and 2) maybe I have more to learn.

schemes and inspiration.

how hard it is that R doesn’t really know who I am anymore when I visit. My head says, you know this was coming. My heart says, it’s harder to accept it when you love them and their BIG, fun, fancy, outrageous and loving personality.. which is fading away.


this counting gifts habit and how it keeps changing me.

monday gifts


Thankful for…

brunch with the women of my church. The huge pile of boots & shoes by the door made me smile.


when I make up funny games for the enjoyment of all. Or at least, I enjoy them and think I am funny! :)

old men drinking coffee and arguing about politics and football early in the morning at restaurants. They are like a security blanket. Society will still be OK as long as you can find packs of these men in towns across the country.


my butter stockpile.

anything involving friends + food.

candles and new books.


good conversations.

when I wish I was done learning something, but apparently I’m not.

work & rest.

monday gifts


Thankful for…

safe travels to & from Jamaica. (P.S. going to Jamaica via Venango, Nebraska- where I met up with two of my traveling companions- is very strange.) 


each opportunity to spend time with students. It is so fun to do Bible Quizzing with them.

my poor brain, confused as to my whereabouts, the weather, etc. On the plane home I had the thought, “It’s taking us a long time to get to the school… oh wait, I’m not in the van… I’m in an airplane heading home.”  

breakfasts at The Pelican.


my buddy Mr. Francis. We were so excited to see each other!


when you have joy but also, your heart is breaking at the same time.

when things do not turn out how we want.

mornings everywhere.

pineapple juice.

all the wonderful people who send me and pray for me and help me along the way.

including Miss Velma, a truly one-of-a-kind woman, who died last week.


silly faces & big smiles with our girl Kayla!

her daddy, the best van driver in Jamaica. And one of the wisest, most caring people I know. I’m proud to call him my friend.


Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens!
-Psalm 113:2-4 ESV

monday gifts


Thankful for…

brunch for twelve (consumed by five).

making felt flowers, playing with the baby, and talking I mean, watching Husker football games.





how my life has been shaped by giving.

green tea.

when it is just a very minor car accident.. when it is your family involved you think of what it could have been.

carpet tack strips to tear up.



silly old texts with my brother. He thinks he’s funny. Fortunately I have plenty of Lassie comebacks ready and waiting.


when I come home with a bag of leftover rotisserie chicken, socks, a sweater for Goodwill, and (another) handmade floral decoration. Life of a caregiver!