Years ago when I was a new mom, I used to psych myself for a day of endless pampering on Mother’s Day, where I was the center of the day.  Then if bits of it still included less-pleasant moments, such as messy spills or squabbling kids, I ended up disappointed. These days I am much more laid-back in my expectations and consequently enjoy the day a lot more. And really, yesterday was completely wonderful.


Lovely thing #1: our 15 year old daughter was confirmed into adult membership at our church. Confirmation is a rite of passage in the Lutheran church. A young person goes through two years of Bible/catechism study and then stands before the church and publicly declares his or her faith by answering a series of questions based on truths taught in the Bible. Our 15 year old has been home from Ethiopia almost 4 years, and worked so hard to memorize and learn everything required. She got confirmed in the same class with her very best friends. They of course were nervous, but all were so sincere in sharing their faith. It was just a very moving testimony to the goodness of God to see our girl up there declaring her beliefs. We were proud. I know her first mom would have been so very proud of her too.

Lovely thing #2: ALL our children came to church and worshipped with us, including Amanda and Ben, and Erika and Israel. I am peaceful and comfortable with the fact that our married girls worship elsewhere now. Amanda and Ben home-church with several families including his parents, and Erika and Israel will be attending a large Christian church in our area where Israel is active. But, oh, it is sweet to have them all in church with us now and then. I treasured every minute of it yesterday.

Lovely thing #3: Hugs, handmade cards, facebook messages, hair pretties, sweet-smelling candles, and fudge from kids. Breakfast omelet from my hubby. I felt very loved.

Lovely thing #4: Dinner and movie night at our house. We had tons of yummy Ethiopian food, most made the day before by my 15yo daughter and me, so there wasn’t too much to do Sunday afternoon. All the kids were there, and my mom and dad were able to come as well.  We ate together, played some games, and watched a movie. Sweet.

Lovely thing #5:  It was a joy to see Erika and Israel together now that Erika is done with school.  They’re so happy to be together and it just puts a smile on my face to see their newlywed happiness. It is an equal joy to see Amanda and Ben together.  It blesses my soul in a deep and wonderful way to see our girls so treasured by their husbands. The growth of our family adds such richness to my life.


All that rambling to say, I had a wonderful Mother’s Day, where I felt so conscious of my many blessings.  Hope you had a day of similar loveliness.


Book winners:

#76- Kirsten: Adopt Without Debt

#55- Amy: No Biking in the House Without a Helmet


  1. So glad you had a happy mother’s day. I wanted to thank you for the tip about the great deal on your book at Amazon. Mine arrived Saturday, and I can’t wait to get started.

    One question after your mention of the Ethiopian feast. Have you done a post before that mentions your favorite Ethiopian dishes to make? I’m sure you have a repertoire, but would love to know which ones you like best and/or ones you’d recommend for novices.

  2. How is it even remotely POSSIBLE that she left Ethiopia almost four years ago? My goodness, time flies. And both girls look gorgeous, happy, loved, and Lutheran. 😉 Like their mom, and like me! 🙂

  3. All choked up. 🙂 Sigh. The next season of our lives is so close on the horizon that it almost takes my breath away. What a BLESSING to hear about the joyful moments and a reminder that there are so many new memories to come!!! (even as we close out a chapter)

  4. What a great Mother’s Day! Thanks for sharing the pictures, congrats to your daughter on her big day!

  5. I sat in church yesterday thinking to myself what a blessing it must be to your heart to have all your children present. How lovely and wonderful!

    And as for 15 year old…my eyes shed tears at her precious heart. I know how hard she worked. I love her to pieces!

  6. Sounds like nice mothers day by most here, good for us.
    This year spent the day cleaning my sons apartment (newborn grandson in hospital), putting mulch around house (will look nice for graduation), and playing with grandson who has been living with us for last two weeks and kids still at home. All in all—it was a great day. And in the end, the best part of it is, kids are healthy at this moment in time (excluding newest grandson) and adult children are contributing to the community in which they live. I am content.

    TIP ON A BOOK: THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONNECT by susan mauchart–if this book doesn’t wake you up to the dependency of our technology; nothing will.

  7. What a beautiful family photo. Didn’t your daughter have really long hair that is now not even shoulder length? What a cut!

    • Yes, she just got it cut on Saturday. Isn’t it cute?

      • I had to smile at the haircut. I am remembering back 10 years ago when I was first married. I had long hair the day I married. A couple months later I cut it short. Someone commented to me that it seemed like a cruel joke on men – they marry their long-haired beauties and then their wives promptly cut their hair short. LOL! My husband didn’t care. Now my hair is getting long again. He likes it any which way. Your daughter’s new style is beautiful on her.

        • No worries here either– he actually likes short hair just as well as long– she’d just been keeping it long for the wedding pictures… 🙂

  8. What a beautiful family!

  9. Krystal says:

    I could have written those first two sentences myself. It is something I have had to work on. It seems I would do it for a lot of events (vacation, date night, holidays) and then get let down hard when life was just as it always is. The good and the bad.

    In general I have been working on counting my blessings and seeing the harder stuff in a new light. It makes these special days more special and the every day more valued.

  10. Good for you to have all the younguns with you on Mother’s Day 🙂

    It sure doesn’t seem like almost 4 years since the Ethiopia trip — your blog is our little reality show.

    I love your family photo — everybody looks like fine.

    I bought a PEOPLE magazine for the fold-out photo of the Royal Family of Britain on Will and Kate’s wedding day.
    Tradition carries on in a wonderful way…

  11. Mary! You look amazing! I need to take up running, if the tendon I injured a year and a half ago would ever heal all the way.

    Your whole family is gorgeous.