one in a million

Thankful Monday

When I was in Jr. High, my dad moved out. Out of 5 children, my mom was still supporting 4 of us. We were at that age where everything cost money. A lot of money. School events, clubs, classes, and a way to transport us to all of these places. My mom worked hard to make it all happen. I took every babysitting job available and we were all very much aware that "times were tough." Somehow, though, I don't remember a single sad or neglected Christmas. My mother likely does, but the wonderful thing is that I don't.

A few weekends ago, we discussed this. Mom started telling me about all of the people who slipped her a few dollars here and there. Mysterious gifts left on the doorstep and the ability of a few neighbors to get past the gossiping and whispering of our situation, in order to share our burden.

I can't imagine how much harder that would have all been for my mother in today's economy. There are so many without jobs, the fear of losing jobs, and the terror of not being able to make ends meet.

In my own little family, our budget is small, but we still have the luxury of children who are young enough to be thrilled with used toys off of Craig's List and the best that only clearance sales can offer.

Processing the scope of need in our communities, nation and world is simply overwhelming. But, when I stop and focus on just one need this season; one person, one family who could use some cheer; I can make a difference.

I am sure you are guessing what direction tomorrow's challenge is going.

You all know the starfish story, even though there were millions drying out on the beach, how could throwing them back, one at a time even begin to help? As the child throws one more back to the ocean, "It made a difference to that one."

Today, Thankful Monday, I am so glad that someone did just that so many years ago for a mother with a houseful of teenagers.

And, even though I really didn't think so then, I am thankful that the car my siblings and I had the opportunity to drive started, (on days it didn't rain or snow, wasn't too hot, wasn't too cold), and only stunk part of the time.

This picture is really close to what it looked like, (minus the beach, the paint, the shine, a hubcap and plus almost 20 years). But the pretty sunset? Yes, yes, we had lots of those.

What are you thankful for today?


  1. I'm thankful that no one was hurt when a Christmas float collapsed in front of us.

    And, as always, I'm thankful that you post things that make me think and refocus.

    P.S. That looks just like the car I learned to drive in. (Except it is shinier and has hubcaps.)

  2. Wow! Girlfriend, you know how to make me cry! Right at the heart this week.

    I'm thankful for my little family and what little extra money we have this year. We are in the same boat with you. My kid will probably enjoy the boxes and paper more than the present on Christmas. I'm so grateful that my family is coming into town. I love being able to share my little ball of joy with other people.
    Thank you for this post.

  3. My husband's mom was a single mom in the exact same situation as your mom. She only got by on the generosity of strangers and friends.

    I'm thankful for health. One less thing to worry about, and right now, anything that makes life easier is needed!

  4. This may sound really stupid... unless you've been around my house the last week or so. I am thankful that I have had the luxury of being a brat. Im incredible stressed and have been letting it out on my husband. Im thankful that he knows me, how stressed I am and looks the other way loving me all the while.

  5. I too am thankful for those who lightened our burdens but also for the gift of time that heals and for daughters (and sons) who choose to keep the good memories and to find blessings and a bit of humor from life's challenges. Oh, and I am thankful we all made it through the Lebaron car years and still love each other!
    Love you forever,