A Heart and Home Make-Over

This last month, I have been redecorating and reorganizing my house. It all started when I replaced my plain eight-year-old shower curtain with a more colorful one! Woohoo


Before long, I noticed how much the shower curtain brightened the bathroom and my mood. I hadn’t planned on revamping my entire house, but soon that’s what happened!

new shower curtain

One day, my neighbor came over and helped me assemble a little side table I had bought. We discussed where to put it and came up with several options. Two hours flew by as our kids played and we rearranged my upstairs!

We moved two chairs in the living room, and noticed the (old) side table didn’t really “fit” in my new plan. So, I sold the entire matching set, including the coffee table from my basement. As I removed furniture no longer serving its purpose, I grew more excited.

I began to see my house differently, as I sensed God filling me with creativity.

Ultimately, I also sold with my dining room table with eight chairs—most were stored in closets around the house—and replaced it with a smaller set. I parted with my patio table and ten chairs—way too many for us—and received a bistro table and two chairs as a birthday gift.

My house looks so trim now!


Yes, this last month has been a refreshing experience for me! I have sold or given away many items, and returned things borrowed from friends.

Still, most of the changes have been ‘in-house.’

For example, I hung up pictures and wall décor, which instantly made my house more inviting. I moved tables, chairs and bookcases, opening up a ton of space.

I cleaned and reorganized my office and gained mental clarity as a result! I am so pleased to see the immediate changes in my environment. I’m amazed at how lighthearted I feel!


And then, to top it all off, I decided to re-stain my deck! It had been done two summers ago, but was looking worn. With the boost of energy I gained from my inside home makeover, I felt empowered to tackle the outside too.

Two years ago, Lydia was far too young to get much accomplished on my own. I often needed help with inside and outside house maintenance.

Even simple tasks felt like a chore when combined with grief and an active toddler.

Back then, six or seven men from church spent several hours one Saturday staining the deck, laying mulch, and organizing the garage. What a blessing that was! This time, however, I decided to attempt it on my own.

Earlier in the month, a friend helped pressure-washed the deck. Another friend gave me a few tips and walked me through the process. (I’m sure they would have helped more if I truly needed it.) But I was eager to finish it before cooler weather comes.

My goal was to have the deck completed by Labor Day, and I did it a week earlier than planned! I’m proud of myself for accomplishing a time-consuming task like this. What’s more, Lydia played all afternoon with the neighbors, helping me focus! (Many thanks!)

sitting area

My house definitely feels more like home now. Everywhere I look, I see something that makes me smile. What a difference a few updates can make!

Indeed, small changes can yield growth mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Of course, before we can move forward in life, we have to let go of what is in the past. It can be a lengthy process…and that’s okay.

I’m curious how this will set the stage for new memories as we step into the fall. I’m also interested what the impact will be as we move toward the holidays. Last year was more difficult emotionally than I thought it would be…

green picture

Yet regardless of what the coming seasons hold, I trust God’s wisdom in prompting me to make these updates. He knows exactly what I need in order to keep moving forward.  I’m grateful He provides creative inspiration and direction along with peace and joy.

He renews us day by day, and has good things in store. He’s watches over us, provides for us, and is always there to encourage us with His grace!


Heavenly Father, You are so good to me! Thank You for the grace and resources to make changes long-overdue. Help me keep moving forward with courage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Questions: Have you made any home improvements lately? How did it affect your outlook? Are there other life changes you can make?

Finding Grace #25

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!


Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

  • Compared to last week, this week was rather low key. For many local kids, school is back in session. Yet, I feel like we are in limbo because Lydia’s preschool does not start for a couple more weeks. I’m thankful for a little more time with her, but I am also eager to start the change in our schedule.

  • Over the last week, I have been trying to get ahead and anticipate what we will need in the coming weeks. As such, I have been catching up on a million little tasks, like hanging pictures, organizing my office (still a work in progress), washing windows, and cleaning out the fridge. Not super exciting, but necessary—especially since these little things often get neglected for the bigger (daily) chores.
  •  Lydia has been diligently practicing riding her bike without training wheels , and I am happy to report she’s now able to ride on her own! It may sound funny, but it feels like a big milestone. There were many times when we both wanted to give up, but praise God we stuck it out!
  • Yes, things are slowly changing. We will soon be in a new season of the year… and life. It is exciting but will also stretch us. I am thankful for God’s love and grace through it all!


These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?

Full Circle: A Gift from Around the World

Last Thursday, Lydia and I went to a memorial car-and-bike show! This is the fourth year Dave’s employer, Caterpillar, has held it in his name. Yet, this year seemed extra special.

Lydia looked forward to the car show all morning. “Is it time to go yet?” she kept asking. She dressed herself, and proudly wore her light pink CAT sweatshirt. “I’m ready!”

Lydia_2016 car show

Each year has been a little different, though I always come away in awe at how much love and effort is put into the show. This year was distinct because Lydia is now old enough to learn a little more about Dave and remember where he worked.

For the first couple of car shows, Dave’s 1965 Chevelle was present. With God’s help (and a cool story), I sold it last year. Lydia doesn’t (really) remember Dave, but I am so thankful she remembers his car!

As usual, we ate lunch at the car show, and saw a few familiar faces. We visited with Dave’s coworkers and caught up with old friends.

Then, we went on a tour of the facility. I have been on several CAT tours over the years, but this was the first time Lydia was able to follow along and ask questions.

Every so often, I would pause to clarify anything she was unsure about. I pointed out different projects Dave had worked on and equipment he helped set up. Dave loved working for Caterpillar and I am still so proud of all he accomplished there.


We passed several pictures of employees being recognized for achievements. One section held three pictures—a memorial wall. Dave’s photo was first.

Lydia asked, “Why is my Daddy’s picture up there?”

I don’t always know how to answer her questions, so with tears in my eyes, all I could manage was, “Because they loved him so much.”

I was honored to see Dave’s picture, but in that moment I felt the deep loss. Not just for myself, but for Lydia…and all the potential one life can hold. We moved on, and I was thankful for the safety glasses (hopefully) hiding my mixed emotions.

Later, we met a man whom I vaguely recognized. Perhaps I met him on a previous tour, but he jumped up to say hello when we were introduced. He also greeted Lydia and answered a few questions about his machine before we left. Soon, we were on our way to another area.

Minutes later, we observed another machine at work. I noticed the man (from before) had followed us and was waiting patiently to talk with us. As we finished watching, he held out a small, brightly decorated drum.

Lydia_Drum from Singapore

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s a drum from Singapore,” he said. “One of the ladies there…hmmm… what’s her name?”

“Jennifer?” I suggested.

“Yes, that’s it!” He replied, with a curious look on his face. “Jennifer gave it to me.” His voice grew soft, “And lately, I have been looking for someone to give it to…”

He nodded toward Lydia, and gave me the drum. “I would like her to have it.” Astonished, I thanked the man for the drum and then told him about when I met Jennifer.

“Jennifer was part of the Singapore group that visited several years ago, to learn how to run their new CAT facility. Dave helped them with the set up.”

I went on, “When I was pregnant with Lydia, they came to see everything firsthand. Dave made hotel reservations, rented a mini-van, and drove them all around town!”

“I met Jennifer and her coworkers (most had English first names) at a team building event out in the country. The whole group excitedly took pictures of tractors, corn, and cows! Dave stopped along the way so they could document their trip. We had a lot of fun!”

Drum from Singapore

When Dave died, the Singapore employees sent condolences, cards, and a (monetary) collection. They said how much they enjoyed working with Dave and appreciated his help. I couldn’t believe their generosity and compassion…it was amazing.

Back then, I was touched to receive such kindness from so far away.

On Thursday, receiving the beautiful drum was certainly unexpected. But, for me, it was a poignant reminder of love sent around the world. It was just what I needed in that moment. Only God could bring it full circle all these years later!

Dave was always thinking of how to help others. The drum also serves as a memento of how even small, thoughtful acts can impact so many people.

Lydia does not understand all of this just yet, but to me, the whole day—tour and drum included—was a huge blessing. Now whenever I have a sad moment, I am going to look at that pretty drum and remember that God sees us and knows exactly what we need.

He cares about every aspect of each person’s life and provides encouragement when we need it most. Yes, God uses each little detail to piece together a beautiful story of grace!

Praise God!


God, thanks for Your grace. Thank You for loving me so much. Help me turn to You in the difficult moments! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions: Have you had a ‘God moment’ lately? What did you learn?

Finding Grace #24

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

orange dahlia

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

  • This was a full, but exciting, week! In addition to our normal routine, each day had something fun to look forward to. Lydia was pretty excited about her dentist appointment on Monday. 🙂 Then, on Tuesday, I worked with a client, at her office instead of mine. So, it was nice to have a change of scenery that day.

  • Wednesday brought the delivery of my new dining room table and chairs. Perhaps I will post later about this, but it made me feel really special. The table is so pretty and I was thankful for God’s help finding a good deal on it!
  •  On Thursday, we attended a special car show—put on by Dave’s employer to honor his memory. This is the 4th year of the car show, but Lydia was more aware of it all this year. Perhaps this will be another post as well, but it was amazing to see God’s grace all over again. I was reminded of how beloved Dave was and it was great to catch up with his old friends and coworkers.
  • Yesterday (Friday) was also very good. We met my friend, Amy, and her kids for bowling. Amy is also a widow, like me, so we have much in common. We discussed some big decisions and I was so glad to help her process them. While neither of us would have chosen to be in our circumstances, it is helpful having someone who understands how it feels!
  • And then today, I enjoyed texting back-and-forth with my friend, Kim, while watching the women’s triathlon on the Olympics. Kim is an Ironman Triathlete. Not me…though I did manage a little online shopping and paperwork… 😉 But it was fun to cheer on Gwen Jorgenson as she won the gold! Her husband’s family is from Fargo, so that is a cool connection!

Watching the Olympics is pretty much the same as working out, right?!


These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?

Growing Pains and Preschool Perspectives

As we quickly move through August, I am keenly aware of the changes coming in just a few short weeks. While my work schedule has been flexible these last few years, soon we will have to live with a little more structure each day.

Yes, Lydia is going to preschool!

This will be the biggest change we’ve had in quite awhile. We are both excited for the transition, but undoubtedly, there will be a learning curve.

Lydia needed only a few items on her school list, but I made a big deal about purchasing them. “Mom, I can’t believe you let me pick out this purple binder! Thank you so much!”

I’m excited to see how she learns, grows, and changes this fall.

Ironically, Ive been both frustrated and so very proud of Lydia within the last week…sometimes in the same afternoon!

Redhawks game

On Monday, we went to her much anticipated dentist appointment. Lydia had SO been looking forward to it for weeks, and has been diligently brushing and trying to floss her teeth so the dentist is proud of her. Pretty adorable.

This, however, was in direct contrast to a few nights before when I sent her straight to bed with no snack. Sobbing, she told me that she didn’t get to brush her teeth…

“But mom, I don’t want to get any CALORIES!!”

Of course, she meant CAVITIES, but I stifled a laugh and let her brush her teeth anyway. 🙂

The dentist appointment went well, and I was pleased with her behavior. She picked out a new toothbrush, new toothpaste, a toy, a sticker… and more floss. Of course!

I thought we’d go to a couple of stores to return some items. Lydia did alright until she saw the cinnamon rolls at the mall. Within a few minutes she had a meltdown and fell asleep in the car. I thought she might be getting sick… Nope. Just cranky!

Or maybe it is ‘growing pains’…

Lydia might going through another growth spurt. She seems extra hungry, cranky and tired lately. In fact, I was surprised to discover this week she has already grown three inches since her birthday last fall!

dentist_Aug 2016

Yes, my little girl is growing up. I’m proud of her for being brave while trying new things. I’m pleased when she requests green peas and devours eggplant lasagna. I’m thrilled when she says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ without being reminded.

But I am also cognizant of how difficult growing up can be. Because she is tall for her age, she looks older. So often, people expect her to act a certain way. Generally, she behaves well, but she does have the occasional preschool meltdown. She’s normal!

I love Lydia’s observant nature, her willingness to help, and her joyous laughter. She loves playing with her friends outside. However, Lydia is fairly social and doesn’t always remember that each family has different rules or goals…and bedtimes. (Nor does she realize why I want her to keep practicing riding her bike without training wheels!)

It's hard being a mom when you have kids.

Lydia thinks that being a mom equates to being an adult. So often she will say, “When I am a mom, I will get to…” versus saying “When I grow up, I will…”

Perhaps that’s because she’s aware of ‘mom privileges’ like staying up later…using the phone and computer…and getting the last bite of dessert! (ahem)

One day, I was trying to get Lydia ready and myself too. We were running late and I was hurrying the process. Perceptively, she blurted out, “It’s HARD being a mom when you have kids!” I laughed and it lightened my load at the time.

Even in the difficult moments, I am so grateful for Lydia.

In many ways, she helped pull me forward after Dave died. I guess I didn’t have much choice. Being so little, she still needed me to do everything for her!

Now she is getting older and is capable of doing most of those things on her own.

I’ve learned so much about God’s love for me by watching Lydia process life. I regularly pray for wisdom in raising her. I also pray for her precious little heart.

As she continues to grow, so do I. And sometimes, I have growing pains too! But praise God, I don’t have to do this parenting thing without His help.

“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young” (Isaiah 40:11, NLT).

Over time, we have learned to communicate our frustrations and talk through our difficult moments. It is a blessing when Lydia acknowledges her bad attitude, asks for forgiveness, and prays for God’s help to do better. Clearly, I have had to do the same!

It IS hard being a parent. Especially when kids are involved! 😉 But it can be really good too. And even in the tough times, there is much to be grateful for.


God, thanks for Your grace and patience! Please continue to lead us along the right path. Give me wisdom as I raise this dear child you have given me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Questions: What are some lessons you have learned from being a parent (or aunt/uncle)? Do you pray for your children?

Finding Grace #23

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

pink sedum plant

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

  • This week was loaded with God’s goodness and grace! Earlier in the week, as I worked on Wednesday’s post, I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness over the years. It took me awhile to craft just what I wanted to say…my heart was bursting with gratitude for all that the Lord has done for me!

  • I took full advantage of my birthday week, which also coincided with the Olympics. I stayed up late each night watching swimming, gymnastics and other activities. I slept in late most of the mornings too. It felt like a mini vacation!
  •  Over the last few weeks or so, I’ve been selling some old house items and replacing them as I go. I sold my dining room table and chairs a couple weeks ago, but hadn’t found anything I liked until this week. We have been using a smaller table in the meanwhile. I probably looked at a dozen different stores (online and in-person). On Wednesday, I looked at an online sale and then went to the store to see a table in-person. The table was not on sale in-store, but they honored the online price anyway! I was glad to save money and was thankful God worked on my behalf.
  • Also on Wednesday, my neighbor and her mom were dividing a sedum plant and shared two of the sections with me. I was able to fill in a couple gaps in my flower bed. With a little help, I was able to envision a couple changes for this fall to make the flower bed look better. I was thankful for their generosity!
  • Yesterday (Friday) was my birthday and it was a wonderful day. Lydia actually acknowledged my birthday, instead of forgetting it or thinking it was HER special day. 🙂 We talked with several friends and family; had lunch with a friend; opened a few gifts that were sent in the mail; and enjoyed a local minor league baseball game. It was so much fun seeing Lydia’s excitement during the game! She followed along and enjoyed cheering. She had her first cotton candy experience and loved the fireworks at the end.
  • I also received many birthday wishes, cards, texts, emails this week. This was in addition to kind comments on social media and my blog this week. It is always so cool to see how many people we still have encouraging and supporting us, both near and far. Thank you!


These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?

A Note to My 29 Year-Old Self

This week I am celebrating! Not only is it my birthday week, it’s also the one year mark of making my blog public. Can you believe it?! I feel it is still a work in progress, but I am so grateful for you all. Thanks for sticking with me! 🙂

birthday candles

Dave often celebrated my birthday week. That’s because one year, he forgot the exact date and decided to give me gifts every day! He was pretty smooth like that.

These days, celebrating my birthday, like many other things, is different without him.

Typically, I’ll eat lunch with a friend, talk with lots of friends and family, and get a massage. This year, I am also taking Lydia to a local (minor league) baseball game. She’s been asking to go all summer, and the fireworks at the end might be a special perk!

Around my birthday, I like to look back on the last year and set some goals for the next. For whatever reason, this week I also considered all that has happened since moving to Fargo six years ago this month. It’s bittersweet.

Grace mug_Eph 2-8

I have noticed many major life events have occurred since my 29th birthday. In short:

I was twenty-nine when Lydia was born. While Dave and I were thrilled to be parents, the sleeplessness threw us for a loop! Five months later, we were just starting to sleep well when Dave was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. After 364 days of fighting cancer with Dave, I became a widow and single mom at the age of thirty.

Hence, the last few years have been a continual adjustment (and readjustment). So much has changed. But far be it from me to complain!

chocolate cupcake

Have you ever wished you could tell your former self how something works out? Hindsight brings clarity! I can’t explain it all in a simple blog post, but God has been so good to us.

Someday I’ll have all the words… but not today. So for now, with much gratitude, here’s a note I wrote to my 29 year-old self!

Hello, dear Self,

I know you cannot comprehend all that the next few years entail. You can’t possibly fathom the pain and struggles that lie ahead. But God does—and He’s got this.

You don’t realize this now, but fear has been a constant presence lurking in the back of your mind. It limits your decisions at times.

Yet God knows this—and He’s going to free you from all your fears. What’s more, as He destroys old mindsets, you will learn to walk in Victory. The whole process will certainly be scary, but He will lead you through. Trust Him!

Sometimes, this journey will make you question everything you believe about God. But He is big enough to handle your doubts and fears, your anger and resentment.

He’s got this.

There will be moments you can barely breathe. You won’t know how you’re going to make it. When you think you cannot take anymore, you’re right. But take it to Jesus. He is your hope and firm anchor. Let Him carry the burden for you. He cares for you deeply and knows exactly what you need.

When you feel like giving up or running away, stand firm. The battle belongs to the Lord. He is your shield, your protector, and your defense. He’s got you covered!

When everything falls apart, you will see God holding together what remains. He is your rock and your salvation! Everything that really matters is secure in Him.

Yes, dear Self, life gets rough up ahead. It can feel quite heavy at times. But don’t worry. God’s got this! In fact, there is much good along the way.

New goals and dreams, new purposes and plans. Long-awaited answers to prayer.

God will use these experiences to show you just how much He loves you. He will prove His love and power are stronger than any difficult thing you will (ever) face.

 And yes, He’s absolutely got this!

It won’t be easy, but in time, you will see the pattern of grace. From this side of it all, it actually IS amazing. When the dust settles, you will be grateful. And despite all odds, you will still wake up with wonder at this life you get to live. What a gift!

What felt like defeat, was really training grounds for a new path. Where there was doubt, trust will deepen. In place of despair, hope will rise. In the midst of pain, you will find peace and beauty. You will flourish!

Praise God—He’s got this!

So do not be afraid, dear Self. You are always loved, never alone. God will not falter. His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is more than enough.

Keep your head held high, because the best is yet to come. God is working all this for good, even when you don’t see how. It will be beyond your wildest imagination!

Seek God’s grace and goodness each day. Rejoice in the Lord’s unfailing love and faithfulness! Most of all, hold on tight to Jesus.

Cling to Him for He is your strength and your life.

And you know what? He’s got this!!


Your 30-something Self


Gracious God, thank You for bringing me through with Victory. I celebrate your loving kindness—You are so good to me! Bless this next year and help me live for you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions: Have you ever written yourself a note like this? What words of wisdom would you write?

Finding Grace #22

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

flowers in the woods

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

  • This was a really fun week. Lydia had Busy Beaver camp all week (at the Y). She went with a friend and had so much fun learning about science. As a result, my work schedule was altered in order to pick up the girls. It seems God had it all planned out though, because I had some unexpected free time on two of those days I normally work. I had a great meeting with a friend and was able to finish off an important project as a result.

  • Later in the week, my mother-in-law came to visit. We went window shopping, enjoyed several new restaurants, and went to a new little zoo outside of Detroit Lakes, MN. We took Lydia to a park to enjoy the fabulous weather and took a family friend to dinner. We had a great time with her!
  • My mother-in-law is so helpful with Lydia and she often has good ideas. I will need to re-stain my deck in a few weeks, but I had forgotten how the process worked. It can be challenging to make house decisions on my own, when previously Dave was so knowledgeable. This time, my mother-in law helped me sort through the plethora of options at the store. Thankfully, I remembered the original colors! A few years ago, some men from church volunteered to help me stain the deck, organize the garage, and lay down mulch. By God’s grace, the fact that I can do it myself this year is a testament to just how far I have come!
  • I have been making some upgrades to my home lately. For the most part, I have simply been switching furniture around and hanging pictures. But, in a few cases, I have sold items and bought replacements. So, this week, my mother-in-law also helped me pick out a cute little bistro table for my deck. Since Lydia and I don’t need a large table with tons of chairs, I wanted something a little smaller. I already found the one I wanted, but couldn’t decide which color on my own! 🙂
  • The entire bistro table and two chairs came in one box. The directions were written in spotty English and it took at least 30 minutes to understand how to put it all together. Enter God’s grace! It would have been very frustrating to do it all on my own, but my mother-in-law was very helpful! She held chair legs in place and together we figured it all out!
  • Finally, this week, my mother-in-law suggested Lydia learn to ride sans training wheels. With her at our house, there was more motivation! Next year, Lydia will probably be too big for her current bike, and this one is closer to the ground should she fall. Considering my mother-in-law helped Dave (Lydia’s Daddy) so many years ago, I am sure she took special delight in helping Lydia!


These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?

Tires, Target, and Thankfulness

Last week was an expensive week in the car repair department. Before you think I am complaining, let me explain why I am so grateful!

On our most recent road trip back to Fargo, a warning light came on during a thunderstorm. It said my tire pressure was low, but I did not have a flat tire. We were still over two hours from home. I checked all my tires each time we stopped; they looked fine.

I’ve had plenty of flats on other cars over the years, and am pretty good at changing tires! Thanks, Dad! But changing tires far from home and with a child is different.

pile of tires

After we returned home from our trip, I noticed a nail in the rear driver-side tire. Great. This was the third time in less than one year that I have run over a nail. But by God’s grace, I’ve never had a flat tire on this car! Soon, I had made an appointment to fix my tire.

Back in May, I was getting an oil change and was told that I would need new tires by this fall. I was surprised because I didn’t think they would wear down that quickly. We’ve taken several road trips over the last few years, but I didn’t expect to need new tires so soon. But yes, apparently putting over 35,000 miles on your car will do that!

That day I received a quote for new tires, but thought I would wait. It was a lot of money!

Before this most recent appointment, however, I reviewed the quote for new tires. As I researched tire options, I realized the cost was average for tires and the labor seemed very fair. Still not convinced that I really needed new tires, I did the penny trick. This is where you see how much of Lincoln’s head is seen, which translates to how much tread is left. Guess what. ALL of Lincoln’s head was showing!

Yep, I had not noticed it before, but my tire tread was almost bare!

Psalm 25_4

While I certainly needed to get the one tire fixed, I knew I’d probably be back in a couple months anyway. I asked several questions and asked about all the options. In the end, I decided to buy four new tires and avoid the time crunch later.

I wasn’t planning this expenditure for July, but value my time and the safety of my family. And, even though it was a good chunk of money, I was grateful Dave had always set aside money for car repairs. So, it was already in the budget!

I discovered Target was only about a block away, so Lydia and I walked there. I needed to buy a small gift for a friend that day. I was glad to take care of that while we waited because it saved me ‘daycare time’ later on.

Then, we walked back to the shop, thankful for the exercise. My car was almost done. It was getting an alignment, which I learned was very needed. Two tires were pulling off-kilter, but I had grown used to it. I didn’t realize how far off it had been!

After the technician explained to me all they had done, I was grateful to get it fixed! As I drove off, I felt like I had a new car. It drove so smoothly and quietly!

wheel on car

You likely have had different challenges lately! But we can all appreciate God’s protection and wisdom to make good decisions. We can have peace when making decisions knowing He covers us with His grace.


Heavenly Father, thanks for taking such good care of me! Thanks for showing me the right path to take. Give me wisdom for life’s decisions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Question: Have you had an unexpected expense that turned out to be a blessing?