Today was a no good, horrible, very bad day around here. It started bad, got worse, and then went down hill.

The kids were cranky.

The mom was cranky.

The dad was cranky.

If we had pets, I bet they'd have been cranky too.

It was awful.

I was so happy to put the kids in bed tonight I could have cried.

Yet, in the midst of the terrible day, who shows up to meet me? God does.

My hubby and I stole a few moments to talk about all the little things piling up to turn me into a crazy person and in that conversation, God just confirmed so many things, through him, in my heart. It was truly beautiful really.

I am trying to build little monuments to remember my blessings as we trudge through some economic stuff, and as I trudge through some emotional stuff.

I have been watching my kids lately, with different eyes as they go off to school 2 days a week. After having them full time for the last 4 years, I see new things about them as they head out in to the great big world...without me.

I am struck by the confidence and maturity I see in my eldest.

It was not too long ago that he couldn't look most adults in the eye and answered all questions from just about anyone with one word answers.

I am grateful for the chance to have been able to pour into him and help him to find his voice, his talents, his faith...and to now see those things lived out.

I am, perhaps, the only mother to an eighth grader whose son leans in to hug and kiss her good-bye each day, on the steps of his classroom. He's not interested in being "cool". He's interested in being Noah.

For all his stubbornness at home, he steadfastly refuses to be someone other than himself out in public.

And who he is, is pretty awesome.

There is Phoebe, who doesn't quite have that grip on staying herself, but whom I know so well, that I can see it in how she is walking, if the day has been one where she has had to fight her insecurities with every step. I know the lies that play in her head enough to recite them...and I know when she needs to be loved on and reminded of the woman God has created her to be.

I love the days where she triumphs and the quirky, kind, amazingly generous and adventurous girl bounds through the door with a smile that bubbles up from her toes.

What do I say about Jack? There has never been a child more fascinated with the puzzle that is life. I see his mind absorbing so much each day, and I am so excited that I still get to be such a huge part of that. That his smile is one that fills each room he enters and that his curiosity is constantly expanding.

So, on days when it's really hard, I am going to look on these words and rejoice that all the hard days before have resulted in these children, and our beautiful relationships...and I am going to anxiously await the bigger and more abundant blessings to come.
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