Gratituesday: Still Here to Hug

I find it a challenge to write this post.

How can I put into words how overcome I am with gratitude for the simple fact that everything about my life at this point is carrying on with a great deal of normalcy?  Normal is good. Normal is safe. Normal is busy, and dirty, and silly, and perfect. Normal is what I usually take for granted.

I’ve never been more grateful that my kids are losing teeth and making up jokes that may or may not be funny.  How precious it is that we are still eating three (to seven) meals a day, tripping over dirty socks in the hallway, wasting time looking for our lost pencils, and trying to remember whose turn it is to clean out the dishwasher.

Nothing about watching my kids rinse their dishes or convert a decimal to a fraction is generally very breath taking.   I certainly don’t typically feel a surge of joy when I see a dirty sock lingering on the floor.

Yet, because all of life got turned upside down for so many families in Connecticut just a few days ago – all I can think of is how much I deeply appreciate my “normal”. And how life for those grieving and hurting families will never be “normal” again – until the time when, by God’s grace and through His amazing power to offer healing and hope, they will settle into a “new normal”.

So I will gladly take the moments of chaos when all of the boys are trying to talk to me at once and I really can’t hear a word any of them are saying. I’ll take hearing, “Mom, I’m hungry” thirty-eight times every afternoon. I’ll take the never ending leaves that get tracked into our house by our kids and their friends. I’ll take my couch that regularly gets shoved across the living room and lands in the middle of the floor so that a game of Nerf soccer can take place. And the “Oops, sorry Mom” I’ll hear when that Nerf soccer ball gets kicked too hard and knocks yet another ornament off the Christmas tree. I’ll take the unnoticed yogurt drippings all over the front of a sweatshirt that later becomes crusty.

And yes, I’ll even take the dirty socks in the hallway. (Although I will also take the opportunity to remind the owner of the sock to quickly take responsibility for said sock…)

As simple as it may sound, all I can think of is that I’m thankful that my kids are doing their school work, or building Lego’s, or rinsing their dishes, or coming in to tell me about their latest music project.

So thank you God for my “normal”. All is right in my world, simply because my husband and kids are still here to hug.

For all of you who are hurting and grieving, I pray that you will lean on our God who is stronger and bigger than any pain we can experience on this earth. He hurts with us, cares for us, and holds us. He is faithful.

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


  1. says

    Every morning when I drop my kids off at school I watch them wave at me as they walk away. My youngest always blows me a kiss. As I pull away I always thank God for my children. This morning I meant it even more. Like you, I too, am incredibly grateful.


  2. Jen says

    This is so true. I was trying to explain it to my husband earlier. In my younger days, I had a different husband, and a beautiful baby girl who was born with a catastrophic genetic syndrome. Her prognosis was 6 months to 2 years, and she died when she was seven. Logically, I always knew there would come a day that I wouldn’t have her. But she was so strong, and she always bounced back from every set back, that it was easy to forget… and deny.

    I always hoped to have more children, and I had to wait 11 years to have them. I now have a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful boys, aged 2 and almost 5. My point is that I have lost a child (she would be 22 years old), and it is painful beyond comprehension, even when you know it will come someday. What I absolutely cannot fathom is being blindsided like these families have been with such a random, unexpected, senseless event that took their babies from them. I look at my boys, and I cannot imagine their grief… yet I can on a certain level.

    I’m sorry, I’m rambling. It’s hard to explain. My heart breaks for all the families who lost a child or a loved one last Friday.


    Laura Reply:

    Thank you for sharing about the grief of losing your daughter. I appreciate so much that you can pray for these families with a deeper understanding.


  3. says

    Oh, I so know what you mean, Laura. I’ll take all of them with their imperfections, and be glad for it. My link up today is dedicated to one of the victims, Benjamin Wheeler. He was the six year old son of my sister’s best friend. He was standing in my kitchen a few months ago, and now he’s gone from this world. I can’t stop crying.


    Laura Reply:

    Bless you, Anne. :( I’m crying with you and for you, and praying for all of you who will miss Benjamin so much.


  4. Joy says

    Yes! Times like this cause us to number our days and hug our loved ones more!

    Sally Clarkson ( has a great post on helping our children process what they hear about this from the media and others. She talks about the need to guard their hearts from the evils of this world. Children are just not as emotionally ready to handle it all. God has given us the responsibility to gently lead them to an understanding of the battles of good and evil at a level that they can handle, always keeping a Biblical worldview and reminding them of God’s sovereignty and love and Satan’s ultimate destiny.


  5. Kimberlee says

    I am so there with you…


    Laura Reply:

    I was praying for you while I wrote this. Even before the Sandy Hook tragedy, I’ve been extra thankful for my kids lately because of your grief.


  6. says

    Over the weekend I was so sad (along with everyone else on the planet). Every time I felt relieved about my children’s presence, about “normal” as you put it, I felt some sort of guilt. But you are right. I AM grateful that my little ones (4 and 7) are here with me. I’m grateful Christmas break started 12/14. I am grateful to hear them bickering already, even as I pray for the grieving families in Newtown. Thank you for putting into words something I needed to read.


  7. Erica says

    This was nice to read. I am in Newtown and did have to take my children back to school today and besides going through the nightmare friday and the last few days it was just as hard to drive them back to school today. Two were ok with going, one not so much, she was scared as I.We have all been personally touched with the loss it is so hard. There are many police officers and councelers in every school though and even therepy dogs that we saw outside. It is very heavy here and there is so much pain for all but I know slowly day by day we will heal. It will never be the same but my hope is it will somehow make us all stronger. It saddens me that my childrens new normal in school is now going to school with the police officers, but at the same time it helps to know they are protected. I am so greatfull for my children, loving husband, and family and my town and for all the first responders and people that are here to help us heal. God bless us all and this entire country.


    dawn Reply:

    Erica, God Bless you and your town, I can not even imangine what you
    are going through. Please know that my family is praying for everyone
    in your area and we hope that you can find healing. I am no where near
    you and hated sending my son to school this week so I can not even beginn
    to realize how you felt or your dear children. Hugs and prayers from


    Laura Reply:

    Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experiences. I appreciate knowing more from you since you are right there living through the sadness in your community. God bless you – I will pray for you, especially that you are a comfort and can shine God’s hope to those around you.


  8. says

    I went to my 6 year old daughters school today to help the first graders decorate gingerbread houses. I couldn’t help but stop and look around the room at all the chaos, kids sneaking bit’s of candy, licking frosting off their fingers and all the noise and mess that went along with their projects. They weren’t afraid, no one was sneaking furtive glances into the office through the window, one teacher even brought her niece in to participate, there was no fear in that room today. And I took a deep breath and held that moment of joy in my aching heart.


  9. Angela says

    I too am finding myself so thankful for my “normal”. It hit me hard when I read the names and ages of the children. My daughter is 6 and in grade one. I gave her an extra hug the other night. I am so thankful that I still have my precious children and husband here to hug. My heart aches for those who don’t. My prayers go out to them. May they be able to find healing. I am also thankful for the teachers that I trust my children with each day. I say trust, because I truly do trust my children’s lives to them each day. They are heroes. If it wasn’t for a few of those heroes that day, more parents might have empty arms today. My prayers go out to their loved ones also.


  10. Faith says

    Thank you for the wonderful perspective Laura, and you are right about Jesus being so much bigger than any pain we can experience or go through. He IS always faithful and I am so thankful for that. I am praying for the families afftected as well, including the one’s who posted on here. Have a great week!


  11. says

    I’m thankful we are able to homeschool, but I know these things can happen any time and any place. The safest place we can be is in God’s hands!


  12. Jennifer says

    I really loved this post. In the chaos of having a little one who is in a demanding stage right now, when I get tired of comforting a cranky baby who is teething, when I get tired of cleaning up food off the floor and walls after dinner… I am so thankful that I still have him to hug at the end of the day.


  13. Maura says

    Well said, Laura! Simple, but real. I’ve seen so many of these types of “mommy blogger” post this week, but yours is the best!


  14. says

    Thank for your this post. I am not at that place of gratitude and normalcy in my life at this stage.l long for it. I know that I need to spend more time at the feet of my Lord and gain His perspective! By His grace, He sustains me.

    May God bless you as you abide in Him!


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