Jim & Lisa with Grandchildren
Jim & Lisa with Grandchildren + 2 more pics below!

I have been able to smell and taste for the last month—things I haven’t been able to do for the past 20 years! (Fast approaching the need for a dreaded fourth sinus surgery to remove nasal polyps, I finally agreed to follow the advice of my daughter Rachel—who is completing a nutritional therapy program—to delete all wheat, dairy and sweets from my diet. That, and a lot of prayer, worked!) I feel like the little rat on the movie Ratatouille with an exquisite sense of smell that has fireworks of bright color going off all around him every time he smells something. When I hug a friend at church, I can now smell her perfume. I love all the scents in the candle aisle at TJ Maxx. When I open my bedroom door in the morning, the wonderful smells of coffee and breakfast cooking delight me. My food tastes delicious! I keep apologizing to my kids for making “wonderful smell” comments all day long, but I can’t help it. To smell is exhilarating!

I can now relate a little bit to the blind, deaf, and lame people Jesus healed in the Bible. No wonder the lame man went about walking, leaping, and praising God—he had been lame since birth. Can you imagine the wonder of receiving your sight if you had never experienced it before? The whole world would be amazing to you.

It’s funny, though, how we can easily take for granted the blessings we are used to experiencing. Jim has done extensive reading on the Holocaust. A story from one of his books described women in a Nazi concentration camp. As they lay talking on their crowded wooden bunks, emaciated from hunger, and battling sickness, lice, and fleas, they dreamt of being back in their homes with their families, being able to do simple things like wash dishes or dust once again. What had once been mundane became a wished-for dream now that it was denied.

Different medical crises have left me incapacitated for weeks at a time in my adult life. Once, when I had finally gained enough strength to resume some of my household duties, I felt overwhelming joy and thankfulness that I had recovered enough to vacuum my house again. A job that used to feel like a dreaded chore had become a treasured privilege. I now understood some of what those women felt in that concentration camp.

What does all this have to do with us as mothers? In the routine of life, our day-to-day responsibilities as mothers and homemakers can easily be viewed as drudgery. Instead of being thankful, we begin to view our calling as a prison sentence from which we would like to escape. Maybe we need to reign in our negative thoughts and cultivate an attitude of thankfulness for the great calling God has given us. Every job, no matter how important, has menial tasks assigned to it. That is where vision is so important. With God’s vision for our calling, we can see the dishes, diapers, sleep-interrupted nights, and mounds of laundry as part of the God-important job of being “keepers of the home”—a world-changing position of influence.

It helps to realize that there are many women in the world who would love to live the life we are living. Some are waiting for husbands. Others are believing for the gift of children and family. And, compared to women living in the past (or in some impoverished countries of the world today) we are living in the lap of luxury. With our modern conveniences and appliances, we each have the equivalent of several servants or maids had by women of the past. We have so much for which to be thankful.

In this special season, choose thankfulness. Your life will be so much better!

Many blessings to you! Lisa

PS: One thing for which I am thankful is the gift of our grandchildren, featured here. This picture was taken in August 2015 during our son’s wedding weekend. Missing from this photo, but pictured below, are our two youngest grandchildren: Goldie Engelhardt (left) and Evelyn (Evie) Sonneland (right).



One thought on “Thankful

  1. I too feel this way Lisa! Not having a kitchen or home has make me missing the mundane tasks I took for granted like doing the dishes or making a meal. I would tire of these tasks but its been 4.5 months of living in a tent and now a hotel room as we try to find ‘home’ albeit temporarily in Albuquerque. I yearn to vacuum! Mop floors! Scrub a toilet! Oh my!! I yearn most for a routine that resonates a normal American life. I’ve repented for ever taking for granted my sweet home life. However, I know there are so many that wish to have a glimpse of my ‘jet-set’ life. My life is simplistic and as basic as an American might be. I try not to wish this away too soon but, well….

    Thank you for putting into words I’ve been feeling lately!

    Love and miss you Lisa. I love my VFF family so very much. I NEVER took that for granted.


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