Day 4: Counting Blessings & Revealing Messes

I’m back! I took off for a few days while we worked on drying the basement after the recent flood on Thursday. Stick with me because I plan to catch up as quickly as I can.

Before diving completely back into the series, I feel compelled to share a little more of the experience. As I spent countless hours moving water-logged boxes and sucking water out with a shop vac, my mind often turned to prayer. They were random, not well thought out, and at times repetitious, but they were frequent and heart-felt. I also started counting my blessings, as the old hymn puts it:

  • It wasn’t sewage water; it was clear groundwater.
  • It could have been higher/deeper.
  • The box of pictures left carelessly on the floor (by me) could have been two feet to the side where it would have been ruined.
  • Nothing of consequence was destroyed.
  • The friends with the shop vac and dehumidifier might have missed my Facebook post.
  • Another friend sent out emergency messages and got people to help us within 10 hours.
  • Twelve other people showed up to help move wet furniture and boxes upon boxes of books to higher ground.
  • At least six of those twelve stayed for several hours to help clean up as much water as they could using a total of four shop vacs.
  • My husband’s past experience cleaning carpets helped him know what needed to be done, resulting in renting four air movers and two dehumidifiers to move and dry the air as much as possible.
  • Two more friends who showed up on Saturday morning to continue to wet vac.
  • Ten people came over on Monday night to rip out the padding from under the carpet and wash the walls with a disinfecting cleanser.
  • Friends volunteering to bring us meals over the next week to relieve some of the burden.
  • Finally tonight, feeling like the immediate crisis is over after a carpet cleaning company came in and did a thorough extraction, applying an industrial strength antimicrobial to kill bacteria and stop the growth of mold or mildew.

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to see the positive side of things for the most part (not that this has been easy). So what does all this have to do with kingdom crushing?


I had to laugh last night as the group was cleaning the walls. There really wasn’t much left to hide in my house. My messes, those closed-door areas of the house that are unsuitable for guests to see, were all exposed. All the furniture and furnishings that were in the basement have been crammed into every corner of the upstairs. Note these two different angles looking into my dining room – yikes, right?

So, if we’re talking about me treating my house like a kingdom, that’s been/being crushed. And what’s crazy is that I have so much enjoyed having so many people in and out of the house these past 5 days. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t even get six people seated on chairs in the living room or that my decorations weren’t pin worthy (most of the decorations were shoved in a box in the dining room anyway). At one point, I thought I should try to find some food to serve them, but then realized that wasn’t what they were here for or expecting.

Judging by the differences between my husband and myself, I suspect this post will resonate more with the women reading it than any men. Kingdom crushing can be the freeing of expectations, even the ones we put on ourselves to present a perfect house. Don’t let it be a flood that drives that lesson home to you.

Continue reading with Day 5: Sit in the hard places.
If you missed Day 3, you can catch up here.

View the whole series here

What I’m Grateful for Today

Thus far, 2013 is turning out to be a great! year! Here’s a quick recap of a few things I’m grateful for this week. Seriously, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

  • Sparkling sunshine on snow-covered grass.
  • Chapter Ten of Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis. I can’t wait to share more about this book with you! However, my designated day on the blog tour is the 16th, so we’ll all just have to hold our collective breath until then.
  • The best kind of blizzard – one swirled with chocolate.
  • Simply, grace.
  • My husband’s smell – cuz he smells good!


Avoiding a Case of the Mondays

First Monday of the new year! Hurray! Hoping to avoid getting a case of the Mondays this year…

…I’m linking up with Ann Voskamp and the 1000 gifts community.

The building momentum has been so interesting to watch:

An autumn conversation with a beloved sister. How can we live lives of gratitude. A mention of a book.

Secret journals begun.

A dinner table tradition of a dad pulling out a blessings book and each child and parent calling out an addition to their blessings.

A Christmas present spreads the call to count our gifts.

Familial conversations continue the reminders of all that God has given us.

A teary-eyed husband shares his own new journal and first entry to his wife.

One word for 2013.

A gentle reminder from a friend.

So, to start off my list, I can’t help but think of the holiday we just shared:

A special present

It’s Sander’s Fudge!

I’m so grateful that we could spend Christmas with Mom, my sister and her family, and my brother and his girlfriend.

We enjoyed a special gift of Sander’s Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge, hand-delivered from Michigan.

I keep reminding myself how lovely it was to spend a week in the warmer climate of Florida.

How lovely the Christmas lights looked when covered with a (thankfully light) layer of snow.

Surprises from Tom to welcome me home.

I keep thinking back on how delightful it is to share Christmas with a child (or in my case, three). Their enjoyment of every present, the older ones’ excitement to have their gifts opened by others, and the joy of experiencing the simple delights of the season anew.

The littlest one, not yet three, clapped in wonder when they made it snow (in Florida!) at a Christmas light show. And this precious moment, captured after placing Baby Jesus before Mary and Joseph on Christmas Day…

Worship the Christ Child

…may we, with awe, worship Christ throughout this year and look for the gifts that God gives us everyday.


I’m not just fine; I’m great!

It’s One Word 365 time again! As an alternative to resolutions that quickly fall by the wayside, Alece and the One Word 365 community challenge us to select a word to focus on for the next year.


Do you ever feel like there’s always something that’s not going well? That’s how my life often seems.

I always pick the wrong line at the store.

It’s my theater seat that’s broken or uncomfortable.

Sure, someone gave me a gift, but it was too big, the wrong color, or not my style.

My neck/back/stomach/foot hurts.

And how am I? Oh, fine. That sneaky four letter word.


For 2013, I resolve to change that answer.

OneWord2013 (400x278)


Day 6: When You Are Tired

Dog tired

Dog tired (Photo credit: TheGiantVermin)

Whew! We made it to the end of the week. I don’t know what your week has been like, but here’s part of a tweet I posted Friday to give you a glimpse into mine:

I feel like this week has knocked the stuffing right out of me. #scarecrowsyndrome.

Do you ever get that way? Just sort of wiped out by your day, week, or whatever? (more…)

How to (not) be miserable

Last fall, I celebrated the big 4-0.

Years ago, for a friend’s 40th, her husband got all her girlfriends together for a surprise slumber party while he & their boys went elsewhere for the night. I loved the idea and ever since have said I wanted a big party for my 40th birthday. So with much help from Pinterest, I managed to pull off a lovely turquoise, yellow & grey candlelit evening party. Twenty five of my friends and coworkers came to help me celebrate my birthday in style. My husband even surprised me by flying my sister (aka best friend) up from Florida to celebrate with me! (more…)

An Attitude of Gratitude

What are you thankful for?

We flew home yesterday, having missed the midwest blizzards due to our well-timed vacation in Florida. Imagine our surprise and joy to turn onto our street and discover that, instead of having to shovel our driveway before we could pull our car in, the driveway was clear of all 17.7 inches! A group of wonderful people from Karis Community Church came and shoveled our driveway for us!

This has put me in a spirit of gratitude, so tonight I simply want to focus on God’s provision in my life (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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