The Power of Ordinary Celebrations

The Power of Ordinary Celebrations

February 2, 2016

“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

Sally Clarkson

Funny the way some childhood memories are etched in pinpoint clarity against the Impressionist background of our years. There’s one memory whose significance I never question; its setting was a blustery Sunday evening in the midst of a very dreary March. I know exactly why it remains so deeply etched in my thoughts, for in a dark, windy moment, I (Sarah) glimpsed the power of ordinary celebration — workaday beauty — to invade and redeem a moment of possible despair.

To set the scene: a small, brick house in Texas, my mom wrapped in a sweater at the open front door, waving to my dad as his car, headlights eerie in the light rain, pulled away from us into the night. My three younger siblings pressed against her, waving too. I stood slightly behind, reserved in my new on-the-cusp-of-adulthood self-consciousness, quiet because of the dread that unexpectedly filled my heart.

I was just old enough to perceive this was a difficult moment for my mom. On this, the fourth Sunday of its kind, she was waving goodbye to my dad as he left again for five days of work at a distance too far to cover each evening. We wouldn’t see him again until Friday.

The keeping, feeding and entertaining of four children was in her lone hands — as was the housework, the driving to lessons, the making of meals. Beyond this was the fact of my baby sister’s nocturnal asthma and the newly diagnosed health condition that caused Mom to become intensely dizzy at the most inopportune of moments.

I was freshly aware of the fact that life can be very hard, not in dramatic ways, but in small, daily realities. The ripening of adulthood had stolen the blessed innocence that is the gift of childhood. I was aware of myself as confronting something, responsible for grappling with it in a way I never had been before. I had no idea what to do.

From behind, I surveyed my mother’s shoulders, saw the momentary sag as my sister asked to be carried with sweet, clutching little hands. I couldn’t see Mom’s face, but I waited, sure that when she turned I would behold a set of tired eyes or a resigned face that would mean a hushed evening, an early bedtime and maybe a strained week to come.

I heard the sigh as my mother firmly closed the front door. She turned. “I think we need a party tonight. Cookies, burgers and a movie. We can pile on my bed and have an indoor picnic.”

I think I smiled, but I was too startled for it to be much more than a wondering half-smile at first. My mom certainly smiled, patting each of my brothers on the head. The boys cheered. Three-year-old Joy clapped her little hands. And the moment of farewell — that wistful, slightly frightening moment of watching my dad depart — was transformed by one sentence into a moment of possibility.

As everyone moved toward the kitchen, my mom put her hand on my arm. “It’s going to be a good week, Sarah. Don’t worry. Would you make the cookies?”

The rest of the evening passed in what can only be described as merriment. There was plenty of sibling squabbling and jostling for the prized seat next to my mom. But there were also our favorite cheeseburgers, fresh oatmeal crispies and lemonade in the gem-toned plastic sippy cups whose battered presence was constant throughout my childhood. There was an old Haley Mills movie and a raucous amount of shouted laughter with a bedtime a little too late after an evening enjoyed to the hilt.

And there was a next morning — still rainy, still gray, still March at its worst, but all of us with filled hearts from the celebration the night before.

In looking back at that memory, it remains with me because that moment profoundly shaped the way I encounter the difficult ordinary of life in a fallen world.

Nearly 20 years later, I am deeply aware of the gift my mother gave me when the face she turned to a moment of real despair was one of hope.

In her choice that night, she modeled what it means to look at life in a fallen world, every day, and meet it with a creative joy born of the Holy Spirit.

Sweet Father, help me see in each day the possibility of bringing Your joy into every moment that Your presence can be reflected daily through my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:11b, ” … I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (NASB)

RELATED RESOURCES:
In our deepest hearts, we want home to be a place where our spirits are filled. A life-giving haven of warmth, rest and joy that will encourage everyone who enters it; a welcoming respite in an isolating culture. Join beloved authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson to discover the path to The Lifegiving Home — from a mother who’s known for creating one and her daughter who was raised in it.

Learn more about Sally and Sarah, and The Lifegiving Home by clicking here.

Enter to WIN a copy of The Lifegiving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson. In celebration of this book, Sally’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, February 8.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What choices do you make to bring joy into the challenging moments of your life?

What heart attitude gets in the way of choosing to celebrate life in your home?

Sally ClarksonClick here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF

© 2016 by Sarah Clarkson. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale Momentum for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Comments

  1. Maria Hamilton says:

    This article truly blessed me. I definitely needed to read it and will try to remember as i take care of my precious boys each day.
    I moved from Texas to Arizona and dont have alot of help here. My husband ranches and always has something to do. However, encouragement like this article helps keep me going. We will find ways to have fun
    even when it is just us at home by ourselves. We will celebrate this precious time God has given us and aim to bring Him glory!

    • I descended from farmers. I love hail stories–how first the hail was used to make ice cream. Only after the party did they go out to check the crop damage.

      Maria, may you glory in your stories of the land.

  2. Truly a blessing to be reminded our homes should be joy-filled.

  3. Only another loving mother of a home where daddy works hard and the boys are beautiful intelligent human beings could describe the processes in a mothers heart so well. Thank you for sharing. It will change many ordinary day moments in my house.

  4. Such a timely, encouraging story. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I sometimes forget that my job as a mom isn’t just to set boundaries, and say, “no.” It’s also my responsibility to encourage them to see God’s wonder, joy and hope in every day. Thank you for the reminder!

  6. Courteney B. says:

    Although I’m not a mom, this is still encouraging. It reminds me to look at the joy in every situation. Even those moments where I want to give up! At that time I need to put a little praise music on, encourage my heart, and begin to place joy in the rest of my day!

  7. What a great reminder of how we have the opportunity as moms to turn disappointing situations in to times of joy and memory making with our children.

  8. Casey Toney says:

    yes…very much…please enter me

  9. Loved this – mamas are so strong!

  10. Mary Young says:

    Beautiful reflection of a mother’s wisdom and gift of love in a much needed time. Just beautiful.<3

  11. Thank you for this. I will remember it in those difficult days.

  12. I’m a mother of 4 children & in the last 12 months my husband & I made the decision to move to another State. Many husband because of work commitments only manages to be home every 2-3 wks. I have found this incredibly challenging but Today’s devotional has taught me that I hold the key to what sort of day we’re all going to have. My attitude will pave the way for my children to follow. I would really love a copy of the book.

  13. What a wonderful reminder to make the most of every moment. I really try to always look on the right side but too often find myself sighing instead.

  14. Bobbi Maidic says:

    Being a new Christian, I have never read anything that was Christian Wise. Please send me the book.

    May God Bless You, Bobbi!!

  15. Christina says:

    A friend forwarded this to me. It ministered to me deeply. In the last year I have taken custody of my niece and nephew. Adding to my 2 children (5 & 9) 2 teenagers has been…well, challenging doesn’t really sum it up but comes close. Often days I am sure there is not enough of me to go around. This article renewed me with its encouraging theme-abiding joy. My children need to see joy and see in my eyes hope. I want to convey how truly blessed I feel to have 4 children who feel loved and wanted and safe in my presence. Thank you for sharing.

  16. I can completely relate to this situation. My husband’s was sent to work out of town every week for 3 months, leaving me with a 3 yr old, a 15 month old and pregnant. It wasn’t what we wanted,and I had a bad attitude plenty of times, but God got us through every time. And I learned my attitude at the mood for when he was gone. You have to find the joy in everything, or your life will be hard and miserable. Thank you for sharing your reorient, and for the reminder to trust God and find joy

  17. I can completely relate to this situation. My husband’s was sent to work out of town every week for 3 months, leaving me with a 3 yr old, a 15 month old and pregnant. It wasn’t what we wanted,and I had a bad attitude plenty of times, but God got us through every time. And I learned my attitude srt the mood for when he was gone. You have to find the joy in everything, or your life will be hard and miserable. Thank you for sharing your experience, and for the reminder to trust God and find joy

  18. Thank you for these words! They were just the encouragement I needed, at exactly the right time. 😊

  19. Perfect timing for me to read this

  20. What an awesome reminder & something I am working on. Our children glean so much from our daily behaviors & reactions to daily situations. Would absolutely love a copy of the book!!

  21. Thank you so much for this reminder. It brought back the memory of my ninth birthday. The day before had been Mother’s Day, but instead of celebration it was spent in shocked quiet. My 43 year old uncle had unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack during the night.
    The morning of my birthday I awoke knowing my party had been cancelled and very sad for my two cousins who would never see their dad again. But as I walked into the kitchen that morning, my parents and siblings sang Happy Birthday and my older brother gave me the doll he had made for me. That turned a sad time into one of joy. I know I had a belated party with my friends later, but that memory has faded, all that remains is the surprised joy of knowing I hadn’t been forgotten during a time of crisis. It’s something I really needed to remember right now.

  22. I was so refreshed by reading your message this morning. I cannot wipe the smile off my face as I sit here. I would be delighted to receive a complimentary copy of your book. Thank you for sharing with me. Kind regards & joy to you! Heather ShmHly

  23. What a wonderful memory! And what a great lesson on how we can choose to create a celebration out of a challenging, even dreadful time.

    I could so see me falling into the dread, but I want to learn how to see the celebration.

  24. Inspiring and encouraging article. It touched a really deep cord in my heart. I choose to face life and the moments of despair it brings with creative joy and hope born of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me. God bless you richly.

  25. Katie Douglas says:

    Ah. I love this! Thank you so much for this encouraging word!!!

  26. A much needed reminder of a daily attitude of hope. What will my daughter’s lasting childhood memories be of me and our family? What am I teaching her in my daily walk?

  27. I long to be able to have this kind of outlook and attitude in the midst of the worst days and since day before yesterday, I”ve been in the worst loneliness and despair I know, with the fear of losing all whom I love dearly and no hope of restoration. The situation is my own blunder, which I’m crying to God to heal, forgive and restore. Thank you for giving me hope and making me realize how to celebrate in the midst of dread. I pray I can find something to celebrate today in spite of the negativity constantly surrounding and plaguing me. Jesus be my strength and joy.

  28. I can still hear my momma saying to me growing up…let no one or anything steal your joy!

  29. Autumn H. says:

    “The beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” personified. Thank you for sharing this sweet experience and giving us the reminder to choose joy… even when it’s hard (ESPECIALLY when it’s hard).

  30. What a wonderful memory!!!I just moved into a very small apartment and would like this book!God bless and thank you for sharing and encouraging me!

  31. Being a stay at home mom has been hard for me and I am slowly learning that sometimes you just have to act happy whether you feel like it or not – usually before too long it won’t be an act anymore. And pray – a lot. I can see my children struggling when I am. I want them to remember childhood with a smile and to see Jesus in me. That will only happen if I remain in Him and choose to be glad in each new day.

  32. Beautiful and inspiring words from two beautiful women! Look forward to reading your book.

  33. Needed to hear this morning. I do want a joy filed home and need to remember to face tough situations with Hope instead of dread. Thank you.

  34. Thank you for sharing!

  35. I had a hard childhood but often go back to the happy moments. This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it. We can choose to rejoice or be sad. Thank you for reminding me that God is in every moment of everyday. That in itself is reason to celebrate and find joy in the midst of our circumstances!

  36. Thank you for encouraging words.

  37. Thank you. As always, God’s timing is amazing. I needed this encouragement this morning after the day that was yesterday and the night that followed that was even worse. I long for our home to be a joy filled place.

  38. I loved the devotional today. I needed a gentle reminder to find joy in every day. Thank you.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    Sometimes I forget to find joy in the Rocky times. I must remember to praise him even in the storm and when things don’t go as I plan. Thank you for this reminder!

  40. Rhoda Vaughn says:

    What a wonderful reminder to be joyful in the face of life’s difficult days! May God bless you.

  41. Truly inspiring. My mum had to fill in the role of both mum n dad when my dad’s job failed and he had to restart. He would be home once a month or sometimes even longer. But she never complained. She took care of my three siblings and I with such joy. Fed, clothed, paid fees, bills, etc and always encouraged us to trust God. Looking back I’m grateful for the little things God’s grace took us through and an amazing mum who always looked happy in the midst of it all.

  42. Janine Sabin says:

    Choosing JOY! So preciously beautiFULL. Thank you. I would LOVE the book.

  43. Joy and contentment from our Lord is the only way we are able to continue on through difficult seasons. Thank you for the reminder of “celebrations”. The kids are older (teens) and we have gotten away from impromptu celebrations. These create the best memories and open so many doors for conversation.

  44. Thank you! I needed to read this today! After my husband working off and only being home every other Saturday night for the past eight months, we have purchased an RV to keep our family together. What a transition it is to leave everything (and everyone) I know to venture into the unknown. This devotion today is a reminder to make it a fun adventure for our children. In trying to unpack and settle in, I’d lost sight of what’s truly important.

  45. Wonderful reminder, now I just have to figure out how to accomplish the fun stuff!!!! I am a recently divorced mom of 2 and it’s been a tough few years for us all. They have been through way too much in their young lives. Thanks for the great read and resources.

  46. Jennifer M. says:

    I feel inspired after reading this post today. I want to be a momma like that!

  47. Lynn Bolser says:

    Thanks for sharing a beautiful , inspiring story

  48. This was such a great reminder. I believe this is very applicable to my work environment. As a leader in an elementary school, our sweet little need to see ordinary celebrations.

  49. Lisa Foster says:

    This reminds me so much of my mom. Wish I could do a better job of creating this in my home.

  50. I have so many happy memories of my own sweet mother who raised us with joy, oftentimes in very difficult, dark days.

  51. Elisa Foret says:

    This is a beautiful story that has brought a smile into my face. I have a wayward son & I have been down but this story gives me much hope. Thanks for sharing it.

  52. My new friend, Beth, and I met for coffee last week. She’s 15 years younger with children my grandkids age. Last week she told me about Sarah &Sally Clarkson and now I’ve been blessed to read something of their lives. This story tugs on my heart on how to allow joy to seep into dark days and let hope send shadows away. Thank you!

  53. “Her children will rise up and call her blessed!” What a beautiful tribute and gift to your mother and what a blessing for you to have been raised by her also. My mother was called home last year and we miss her so much! She is still very much with us because of the life she lived and the love she shared. In the last years of her life, our roles had changed. I considered it an honor to “do” for her as she spent her whole life “doing” for us. As we went through her things, I considered it a honor to do this one last “service” for her. It also helped me to say my final good-bye. I know she is experiencing things we can only imagine. I also find that as those we love go on ahead, I feel a little less connected here and a little more connected to Heaven.

  54. Thank you for sharing this precious nugget of truth. My husband farms, hunts various wild game, and has a “regular” job too. This year his “regular” job has changed and become more time consuming. I am thankful for his hard work in providing for me and our 3 kids. However, my attitude struggles with the day-to-day “grind” of life. I have been so blessed by your thoughts today!!!

  55. Marylin ramirez says:

    good morning… I decided to get up and read devotionals and found this one…I can’t tell you what memories it brought me back of my moms strengthen although we didn’t grow up with God…sad to say there were a lot of sad memories but a LOVE came over me with your
    story for her… she will be 95 this August…and all I want to do is return the best of myself to her…I’m a mother of 4 grown boys and it has not been easy…I just hope they remember the good times over the negative ones… I was truly encouraged with your story of truth and love… Thank you for sharing and reminding me of my strengthens.

  56. Thank you for this devotional. Each day is a gift from God that should be celebrated. Doesn’t matter if a woman has a little nest, big nest, empty nest because the children have grown or no nest, we should rejoice. Our purpose here is to glorify God in all we do and find our joy in Him. I appreciate this encouragement.

  57. Loved this story and outlook on life!

  58. What a sweet story. Thank you for that reminder of the joy we have in Christ and how we can live that everyday.

  59. Thank you! I needed this encouragement.

  60. cindy huber says:

    Beautiful…..JOY in the small things. The memories came flooding back…..crying is a good thing. I have new hope to continue on in difficult situations. Thank you!

  61. Thank you for this opportunity. After 2 of my children have recently left “the Nest” circumstances and life have happened to bring 1 of them back. My almost “empty nest” is now overflowing again with a lovely daughter-in-love and a precious grandbaby. I ask my Father above where is my ministry now and who needs me and I believe it is here in our home. Thank you for the reminder !

  62. What an encouraging word as my husband left for the week in his new job-I want to be that mom who lets the Holy Spirit have control rather than the flesh! Thank you!

  63. Bobbi Ri'chard says:

    This truly is a reminder of how I should approach most things that happen in life. Not with a sense of dread,but rather how can I make the most of ANY and all situations that come my way. Thank You

  64. Shelley Eaton says:

    Thank you!! I needed that encouragement and reminder this morning.

  65. Such an encouraging word that I needed! Thank you!

  66. As a mom, widowed for many years, now with grown girls out of the house, and one living with her family far away, it can get feeling very “empty” in the house. But I am thankful that I can still experience joy the majority of the time. The Lord got us through some really tough days when the girls were little, and we certainly had some great times together, in spite of all the missing “stuff”. One has to keep her heart and mind focused on God to experience joy in spite of sorrow.

  67. Christina says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for a reminder to size the moment. Life is so fleeting. Let’s party!

  68. Such a needed reminder for me! Sometimes I feel like I trudge through the ordinary moments weighed down by all the responsibilities of the household and child raising rather than seeing and choosing joy in the mundane moments. Thank you for your words of encouragement! I can’t wait to read this book!

  69. After 42 years of employment, I have suddenly and unexpectedly found myself unemployed. As I have continuously asked myself why and not understanding what I did or what really happened to cause this, reading this devotion helps me to be reminded that I need to make the best of everyday and enjoy family time that is given to us to cherish! Memories last a lifetime and I am thankful everyday for the ones I have.

  70. As my family go through a very difficult time with my mother being sick! We have a make a trip to take care of her and will be leaving the children with a friend. You have inspired me to leave them with a sense of joy and not sadness simply by how my spirit is towards them before we leave for the trip to see my mom

  71. What a beautiful story. Sometimes it can be the simplest things that can touch a heart. This is something we all need to remember. We don’t need to change the world, but if we can touch one heart…

  72. Thank you! This is just what I needed to hear this morning! Very difficult things here on this home front this morning and I am so aware that the way I face them will affect the rest of the family and the day.
    Giving thanks and doing the next thing, as Elizabeth Elliot would say. And what a Great God , Mighty in Power do we have to turn to! And that is worth all the Ordinary Celebrations! Thank you.

  73. Loved this today! I’m reading Joyce Meyer’s book called Eat The Cookie…Buy The Shoes that talks about enjoying your life and celebrating it, so this devotion dovetailed perfectly with what I’ve been reading! Thank you for the reminder! Joy is a choice!

  74. Angela Raphael says:

    I would love a copy of the book, thank you.

  75. Pamela Sparks says:

    I was freshly aware of the fact that life can be very hard, not in dramatic ways, but in small, daily realities. The ripening of adulthood had stolen the blessed innocence that is the gift of childhood. I was aware of myself as confronting something, responsible for grappling with it in a way I never had been before. I had no idea what to do. This statement captures me exactly at age 6 when I arrived home to see my father in a car, my mom and 3 younger other siblings around her knees. My fingers barely at the top of the window saying goodbye to a Father I never saw again until I was 37 years old. Unfortunately, I do not have the memories of it being okay – only that I had stepped into being the big sister, caretaker, and my mom’s best friend rather than a daughter. Childhood HAD passed in that moment. Looking back, there were the moments that sustained 5 children under the ages of 7, and a mom with polio issues and cancer. We had love in our home, and it was wide open to many other kids in church/neighborhood that found a place of belonging, as a result. Thank you for your post/blog!

  76. Mary Nason says:

    A beautiful story to remind us all that joy and love are the way we are supposed to live.

  77. My husband and his ex wife are currently going through a custody battle over their kids. We are all new christians and this has been trying to our faith. My husband has been withdrawn and his children are anxious. I would love to learn how to offset some of that anxiety! I want my husband and his kids to feel loved and accepted in our home. This article helped give me a glimmer of hope as i keep my eyes on the Lord in times of trouble.

  78. This article is a blessing to all moms. I have two grown sons who are just beginning their professional life and finishing college. They have grown up to be amazing young men. This book looks to be an amazing resource to help them understand building an amazing home with their future wife some day. They have been blessed with a happy home but I believe there is even more form them to understand in today’s world. Thank you for sharing!

  79. This was such a sweet message. I can just picture that indoor picnic with everyone snuggled together. Though my children are grown, I am now keeping three of my four grandchildren while their parents work. It is fun, but also a lot of work with homework and taking them to after school activities along with keeping a toddler! Just have to remember, that we set the tone in the home! We can bring the joy to the party!

  80. What a sweet reminder, and one I really needed, of the importance of choosing joy. Thank you.

  81. Thank you for this reminder. My husband is leaving tomorrow for a business trip, and I’ll be home with the kids for a week. This devotion spoke directly to me this morning.

  82. Laurel Wycoff says:

    My mom has been a wonderful example to me. My mom has been a faithful, loving, giving person, continuing to care for my dad, who is bedridden with Parkinson’s disease, while battling breast cancer for the second time. I hope my children will see me as a strong, Christian woman when they are older. I hope to be the example to them that my mom is to all of us.

  83. What a beautiful story and reminder of how to approach the crazy and overwhelming moments in my life. I would love a copy of the book.

  84. Donna Sanders says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I want my daughters to remember a joy-filled home!

  85. This is a great reminder of the home and attitude that my mother reflected as well. I have tried to model my home with that kind of love for my own children. I don’t think I ever thanked her for that, but I will now.

  86. Thank you for today’s devotion. As a single mom with two sons this is a wonderful reminder to not fear in hard times and be content knowing that He has a plan for you that is already made out.

  87. Please enter me to win. Too often my husband fall into bed early and drained from everyday life.

  88. There have been many changes lately and this is a great reminder to me not to get so stressed about them but celebrate in the midst of them. Thank-you.

  89. A good reminder of how important my behavior is such an example to my children. Lord, help me to choose right response and model your love for them! So many times I let frustration win out with a sharp word or look, help me to do all things as if for you, Lord.

  90. Lisa Smith says:

    What a sweet reminder of what our homes should be like! I’d love to win a copy of the Clarkson ladies’ newest book.

  91. This is a beautiful story of God’s love and Our Hope. It is too true that as overwhelmed Moms and caregivers we so easily slip into negative thinking and fear. Thank you both. I am happy to be near my daughter and her young family and would love to add your book as yet another way I strive to support her marriage and family life. Diane

  92. This was such a helpful word today for those of us in the thick of it. With a toddler and a surprise baby on the way, along with an out of work husband, it is often difficult to find joy in the little day-to-day moments. Thank you for the beautiful reminder this morning that it is our choice. And God gives us joy if we want to see it.

  93. What an encouragement to turn those days around by breathing joy and love into it!

  94. Stephanie says:

    Wow, what a great reminder to not let circumstances hinder the Holy Spirit in our homes! Would love a copy of the book.

  95. I really needed this today…I struggle with the every day life things…I need to be more laid back and spontaneous with my family…thank you!!!

  96. So needed this today! I am a new mom since I adopted my foster child, and knowing I need to cherish each moment, good, bad, ugly!! I have the power, with the help of the strength of the Lord, to use each of those moments, to turn sad questions into opportunities of seeing Gods grace and provision! It’s exhausting at times, so thank you for this picture you painted today which gives me a fresh burst of energy for the moments today will bring.

  97. Love this! Came at a much needed time in our lives.

  98. What a beautiful devotional! So full of encouragement! Thank you for the reminder to treat every day as the special gift that it is.

  99. This is exactly what I want for my home. All too often the demands or hardships of work come home with us and are sometimes terribly difficult to leave at work. I don’t want to waste one second of this beautiful life I’ve been given with by sweet girls and amazing husband on anything less than God’s absolute best for us and our home. So inspiring and uplifting to know it can be done even in the most difficult and exhausting of circumstances. Thank you for this beautiful example!

  100. Beautiful! What a loving and fun home!

  101. Thank you for the gentle reminder that God is always with us. As the wife of a Navy career man I have felt so hopeless and burdened with caring for our five children. Deployments can be a time of growing stronger and we certainly strive to make each day special with God in control.

  102. Heather Cunningham says:

    I absolutely loved this! After watching War Room for the first time last night and then waking up to read this, my soul is set on a desperate search for a way to get started on using the tools that have been given to me for my prayer life! thank you!

  103. I heard the statement when I was a teenager that
    “Moms set the attitude of the home”. I didn’t think that was fair but I look back now being a mom for 27 years and there is a lot of truth in that statement.

  104. I can not count the Times I have stood at that doorway just as Sally did. The slump as the reality of “singleness” (if only for a week or two) sets in. Thank you for the vivid picture of what hope must look like from the perspective of my 3 children (as well as despair). So absorbed with self on those moments, I have failed to think of what that ” doorway message” conveys into their hearts.at God Bless and encourage you as you continue to minister and provide “light bulb moments😊” to weary moms!

  105. What an encouraging reminder and one that I needed to hear today. I become weary and tired as a stay at home mom of 3 little ones and much too often I resort to a bad attitude. My prayer is to overflow with joy so that my home WILL be a haven and refuge from this fallen world. Thank you.

  106. I would love to won a copy of this inspiring book. Focus on the life-giving, not the mundane chores that weigh you down.. Lynda

  107. I so want to create a life-giving home, with special memories like the one Sarah shared.

  108. Incredible, encouraging message. It is always a choice! Thank you for this!

  109. Shelly Vickers says:

    What an inspiring devotional! If only we could all remember to find joy even in the tough times and share it with others.

  110. Thank you for sharing such a personal but awesome memory.

  111. A worn and tired stay at home mom of 4, who could use some encouragement.

  112. Debbie W. says:

    This morning’s message brought a smile to my face. I’ve struggled to learn to be content in all circumstances but I’m learning. Would enjoy the opportunity to read your book.

  113. Reading this reminded me that children notice so much more than we think and they have a different perspective. When our boys were young, I would ask them what was your best day in the last 3 or 4 months. They always surprised me with their answers. It wasn’t something big like vacation or birthday party but something small, going on a picnic, going for ice cream on the way home from school.
    Small things,unplanned activites made the best memories.

  114. I’m in the exact situation-four children and a husband who just left for three weeks (which he does more frequently than I’d like). This devotional was just what I needed this morning,and I know I’d benefit from the book, too.

  115. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind, particularly in the cold, dreary days of winter attending to the needs of small children. Thank you for this reminder of what matters most.

  116. Oh wow how this devotion blessed me today! Lord help me be the mom that turns ordinary, not so good moments into blessings for my kids!

  117. Donna Morris says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. It was very heart warming.

  118. What a beautiful and encouraging story! Thank you.

  119. Life is about choices. We can choose joy or despair. We can choose to smile and trust God or hide and in the darkness. Always, choices…

  120. Love this ….a good reminder as to how I need to find a way to make difficult circumstances into something special despite my feelings! With His help I can do this! Amen!

  121. Thank you so much for the encouragement this morning!

  122. Thank you for such an encouraging story.

  123. Grace is at the foundation, of which I need to give (& receive) more!

  124. Enjoyed reading this post. It blessed my heart, & reminded me of how special I want to make memories for those around me-with joy even in the midst of the gray.

  125. This truly is where my heart longs to be again!! At one time I was creative through all of life’s issues, but somehow I’m struggling with how to do that again. My twins are turning 14, and now more than ever I want to teach them joy in the storms! ! Thank you for this timely book!

  126. My husband and I have really began working on our parenting and home! I teach kindergarten and honestly my kids at school get the best of my positive attitude. About a week ago I had an moment where one of my students came in afraid I was going to be mad bc she forgot her folder! I explained that I never get mad over little things and it was going to be okay! She preceded to tell me how her mom would get mad and that is why she is crying! It hit me that I am that at at home after a long dY at work. I really need to have the same attitude at home and make the most of ordinary life! That day I came across the book I will always love your by peony Lewis. We read it to our girls that night and started to live life to the fullest at our house and have the same attitude As kids will make mistakes and we have to grow and teach them not get upset about everything little thing just because we are tired! For the pAst week our girls are soooooo much more helpful! Our house is a happy loving home like it used to be before we got in the business of 3 kids! I’m sharing to hopefully help someone else to remember the verse today. This is the day The Lord has mAde;be glad in it. Psalm 118:24. Enjoy your moments with your family no matter what you are going thru! If I begin to go back in my runt and get upset bc I am exhausted then I pray to god for strength and energy and remind myself this maybe my last day with them! We are not promised tomorrow and not even the next minute!

  127. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I will hold back my tears and hold on to God’s joy. Please everyone pray for me. I received some devastating news yesterday and I don’t know at this moment how we are going to make it through. We need so much and have so little. Just pray please. Thank you all.

  128. Susan wolverton says:

    What a beautiful example; it makes my heart sing!!!

  129. Jessica Wallace says:

    My sweet husband left for a four day trip this morning- there could not have been a more applicable story and devotion to give me reminder of joy in the Spirit, even when circumstances are trying at best. This Momma’s (of three) heart is so thankful!

  130. Thank you for sharing your story. Your mother is inspiring.

  131. Longing for a “Lifegiving home”

  132. Thank you for posting such a poignant memory. Yesterday, after a two day drive with 3 dogs, 2 cats, our daughters and I arrived back in my home state where we are purchasing land near my parents. My husband is not able to join us for an undetermined amount of time and I am now solely responsible for everything (most of which he took care of). Additionally,I started my new job yesterday. There is so much on my plate that I will not bore you with, but suffice to say, I feel like the mama in the posting today. I want to cry but I must make the best of it. I am able to do what I never thought I could. My faith in God’s plan for me is unshakeable. I know that He is doing what is best for me right now and I will honor that by doing my absolute best. Your posting spoke to me in ways you cannot imagine. Thank you again. We are all blessed. Have a beautiful, God-filled day.

  133. Lisa Whittington says:

    Thanks for reminding me to “be content in whatever situation I am in “

  134. We are struggling with sickness and financial worry. Yesterday was our son’s 11th birthday. Per his request, we ordered his favorite pizza, had cupcakes and watched a movie (on a school night!) We also surprised him with a simple gift. He said it was the best birthday ever. I want to be able to rise above the daily worries and create a life-giving home. Your book would be a blessing.

  135. I’m sharing the devotion with my daughter in law. My son is working hiurs upon hours daly with only a few evening hours to spend with the family. He’s also had to travel for weeks for work. I pray daily for their family to get through this time in their lives; to keep their focus on Jesus. I’d love your book to share with my family. You are a blessing!

  136. This devotion brought tears to my eyes. i have been struggling with hurt and betrayal… but today i will let go Again// today we laugh today we party!!!

  137. My husband travels and this hit a cord with me. My children notice when mom is stressed or overwhelmed and it is time to give them joy in its place. I give this to God who gives joy. Thank you

  138. This devotional really spoke to me. My husband works many hours, and while he isn’t often gone over night, there are many weeks when he doesn’t get to see (or help me with) the kids. He leaves before light, comes home after bedtime. This devotional reminds me to celebrate these moments and turn them into good, and to be happy.

  139. Wonderful way to start the morning. Thank you!

  140. This is a wonderful, timely devotional for me! My husband works long hours and then comes home to long nights and weekends of completing school work. It’s definitely a challenging season for us all, and I need to look for ways to bring more joy into our home.

  141. My husband went home to Heaven in December. This story encourages me to find ways to display the joy of the Lord everyday for my 15 year old son and the 38 employees who loved working for my husband. I trust Father God’s plan – even in the diffcult moments. It is challenging for sure, but Father has proven Faithful and kind and so protective that all I can do is be thankful that my husband is home – an answered prayer – just not the way I expected, and that His word is true.

  142. I enjoyed this memory very much! Thanks for sharing. I remember as a young mom and long days with my husband working so late…the atmosphere in our home depended on how I handled that imperfect season. Thank you for offering the book give away…it sounds great!

  143. Jenny Lynne Stroup says:

    What a touching story. I love the reminder to celebrate the ordinary! Thank you!

  144. Jessica williams says:

    I am a stay at home mom of three boys and try to make moments joy filled but most of the time exhaustion wins. I love this devotion today, it is very encouraging. I would love to learn more from her book.

  145. This was truly a beautiful example of living out God’s word. It made me think of my current struggle with my 16 year old son. He’s going through a difficult phase of being grouchy and disobedient. I have been struggling with dealing with him. His grades are bad and he’s very disrespectful to me. My oldest son was nothing like this at his age so this is all new to me. I’ve tried taking him to counseling and many punishments with no improvement. I pray about it some but need to more. However, this devotional has given me a new hope. A way to look at my problem from a different angle. I have felt so defeated as a parent but maybe if I tackle each day with this hope and the spirit of our home is joy maybe he will want some of that joy. Thank you Priverbs 31 for sharing this truth of God’s love.

  146. I’m crying as I write this, these memories remind me so much of growing up as a child and watching my my mom tough it out in similar circumstances. My mom was our emotional rock because my dad couldn’t be and she would take similar situations and fill it it with simple joy and love. Thank you for sharing your memories. This has helped me realize loving gestures can be so simple and meaningful! Praise God for the love, grace and mercy he pours into us each day! Let’s go be a blessing to someone today! 💖

  147. What a lovely memory and such a strong momma!

  148. What a wonderful reminder of how life can be.

  149. This truly touched my heart

  150. Beth Harris says:

    My husband worked retail for many years, usually gone weekends and evenings. The hardest time was late afternoon when we were all tired and cranky and I was ready for adult company. One rainy winter afternoon I decided to have a beach party. I put up a beach umbrella and towel on the living room floor. Some music, dancing and fruit smoothies made for a festive time and helped pass the dreary day.

  151. This devotion blessed me today! Thank you so much! I am going to pray that I will do my best in this area. I have a 2-year-old surprise little girl – gift from God – who challenges me daily. I was sending my youngest off to college when we discovered we would start our parenting journey all over again. She has been a blessing in so many ways, but I have to admit that I’m tired, and I long for the carefree days of my friends whose children are grown! I want to make certain that she grows up with a mom who makes life fun and gives her the happiest childhood, which she deserves!

  152. Thank you for sharing those moments with us. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Blessings.

  153. A very encouraging devotion and beautifully written. Life is hard here at my home sometimes, so I needed to hear this. Philippians 4:11 is a verse to really hold on to. I think I need to post that everywhere in my house! Thank you for sharing!

  154. Thank you for this devotion! This book is exactly what I’ve been looking for to find joy in the ordinary in my home. With 2 little boys, 3 and 6 I want them to remember our life here with fond memories, so we have to get out of our box that is our rigid daily schedule!

  155. BeauATiFULL! Thank you for the ‘feel like you are in the moment’ story of home. Your story, Sarah, resonates for me from my childhood and from what I want to give those who come to my home.
    I am grateful
    Shelley

  156. What a blessing it would be to receive this book!! Our homes are our sanctuary, our place of rest & comfort.. Our safe haven. I too spend weeks taking care of our home, boys & aging mother as my husband is normally working out of town… It can be tiring at times….

  157. Beautiful reminder that our attitudes and actions can set the tone in the home!

  158. A beautiful testimony that has helped me remember it is what we make of the moments in our lives that matters. Staying rooted in Christ helps me to better stay in tune to what is important. So many time I let a busy schedule interfere with my time with Him and many moments areissed because of this. As a new first time grand mom, I pray I can make each moment spent with my grandchildren memorable for them.

  159. I loved this article! I have three boys and have such a desire to create an environment that reflects the joy of the Lord. Looking forward to reading this book!

  160. For so many years, I wasn’t shown how to have joy or even how to exude happiness. As an adult and young mom, this is one thing I’m realizing about myself that I hope that my son doesn’t experience. Even in times that are joyful, it’s difficult for me to express it. I’ve been asking God to allow me to not only see the joy, but allow myself to experience it as well!

  161. Susan Morris says:

    I loved reading this sweet devotional! Truly reminded me of always having a home full of joy, hope and little surprises along the way. My youngest child is away at college, so we are now empty nesters. I am filled with excitement when he comes home during breaks … Always sweet tea in the refrigerator and his favorite cookies on the counter! God bless you!

  162. This is an inspiring story!

  163. Beth Brown says:

    What a great reminder that as a mom, and now a grandma, my attitude sets the tone for my family. We have house guests who have been with us for an extended time, and I admit that I have not always rejoiced in the day the Lord has given. I am thankful for this devotional today and pray the Lord will remind me often to choose His amazing grace for each moment, no matter how difficult it can be emotionally.

  164. How “right on time” (always) Our Father is w/what we need & your story was exactly the reminder I needed this morning! Thank you for reminding me it’s not only about the daily chores, carpooling, ripping & running & the “no, not now’s!” But how important my example of joy & contentment are as well!! Thank you! God Bless You!

  165. What a touching story! I do jail ministry with the women in our county jail. This goes so perfect with my lesson this Sunday on “The Power of Hope” which includes talking about having joy in our sufferings in this fallen world. I am going to use this story to end my lesson. Isn’t it wonderful how God brings you just the right thing at the right time. I would like to thank all of you in the Proverbs 31 Ministry. You are truly servants of our God, our Savior.

  166. Elizabeth says:

    Oh how I needed this message today! Thanks!

  167. So good. Thank you for sharing. Often we get wrapped up in the every day.

  168. Carol leblanc says:

    This is a wonderful post. It reminds me of my mother who never said anything bad about anyone and told us to do the same. It totally affected the way I try to live today and now I hear my daughter’s tell their children to do the same

  169. Alexandra says:

    Hi ladies, I am truly blessed and excited about finding this blog. I am a newly remarried mother of 5 (2 of mine from a previous marriage & 2 stepchildren), and a brand new baby girl (4mo). I find it challenging to remain positive facing the struggles of the blended family as well as dealing with circumstances beyond our control. My children’s father was killed last year and it’s been very hard coping with the loss as well as trying to be a good mother, step-mother & wife. I am seeking encouragement & help while training my children in the way they should go :). I also live in Arizona 👍😀. Bottom line is. I really need encouragement & guidance on how to be a virtuous woman & maintain a Christian home while working full time & trying to keep up with everything. I feel like the success of my family depends on it. I remain hopeful.

  170. Marsha Tennant says:

    This book is much needed. The magic of the ordinary.

  171. I love this! Thank you for the encouragement!

  172. Christine says:

    This is exactly how I want my own family, and anyone who visits us, to feel in our home. I would love to read this book and learn more about how to create this kind of feeling for my husband and my daughters each and every day.

  173. I loved today’s devotion and the personal story. i can’t wait to read the book! I would love to win a copy and share with our daughter!!

  174. Thank you for sharing your story. I am going thru a time currently where I seem to gravitate to looking at things from the negative. This devotional has encouraged me to take my current situation and make it a positive one from all views. Father, grant within me and all of Your children a new ability to make life more positive in all aspects… even the negative ones. In Jesus name, Amen!

  175. Theresa McIlwain says:

    To Sarah:
    Thank you for such a quietly inspiring beginning to my workday, on a cloudy, dreary, and storm-filled day. An awesome reminder of the light we are called to be.
    To Proverbs 31:
    Your daily devotions are such an incredible blessing in my life and my walk. Thank you for sharing this ministry, and for all the hard work, dedication, and prayers that go into all you do for Christian women. It is nearly impossible for me to convey the impact these devotions have had on my life and my walk. I am so thankful that God impressed upon you to share this ministry. God Bless!

  176. Thank you for your message. As one who is task oriented, I need to be reminded to embrace joy in what is around me, especially my children.

  177. Kara Dalmacio says:

    My days feel like one giant to-do list with no time for anything else. If I don’t get all the items done today, it’ll make for a difficult day tomorrow. This book sounds like something that I need. I would love to make our life enjoyable instead of living in survival mode each day.

  178. How I wish I gave this to my children! In my life as a child and a mother it never even crossed my mind that a house can be a “home” As my Husband (he is the best EVER) says I am only at home because I do not have the money to be somewhere else! Somehow nothing clicked to make that change in in my mind, it started as a child and at 64 it is still going.

  179. Although motherhood is far off, your mother is who I strive to be for my own kids and my life. Everyday, we have a choice. We can choose to be bitter and angry to the blame of our struggles, or we can be happy and encouraging–the type of person this devotional is written about! Today, I choose to see the good. Thank you for this awesome morning encouragement!

  180. what a great post today. I am a stay at home mom and my husband works lots of hours, some days I get so overwhelmed that I long for bed time, I need to just remind myself to just enjoy each day

  181. The enemy comes to kill,steal and destroy, but Jesus comes to give life! Let no one one steal your joy which comesfrom Jesus! Thanks for this post.

  182. I would love to win this book! I am going through a difficult time right now, knowing God has a new plan, trying to let Him keep my troubles and not keep taking them back. This story made me realize that I can find joy in such simple things. I will start making more of an effort to find little things like this to keep my joy. Thank you for this story!

  183. StlGatorGirl says:

    I really enjoyed this message. I’m a working mom of two small, beautiful children, whose husband also travels periodically. I want every moment to count, leaving lasting memories. Sometimes I get so caught up in the overwhelming to-do list, I miss opportunities to enjoy the moments. I would love to read the book too!

  184. I had days like these and not all of them were turned around. Such freedom in trusting God. Thanks so much.

  185. This devotional really spoke to me. It made me think of the statement “Hospitality begins at home”. Hospitality means “friendly reception or warm and generous service”. If I truly believe that “Today is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it”, then I can and should find ways to practice hospitality to my most beloved. Interestingly enough, the root word of “hospitality” is “hospital”. What a wonderful picture of how our homes can provide healing from the world outside and the hope and strength to step out again.

  186. God bless you for sharing. Busy mom of four here, who can completely relate. Lately I’m so worn, when I should be offering my kiddos these joyous times, instead of hushed evenings. Would love to receive your book.

  187. This truly touched my heart this morning. As I have a husband that travels everyday for work and I face each day alone. I know my God is with me, but am I putting on that face of joy for my girls everyday? As we homeschool, run to practices, cook and clean and just keep up with life may I remember my hope!

  188. Patty Matlock says:

    Made me think of my mom and how hard she tried to overcome a tumultuous family atmosphere growing up.

  189. Whitney Williams says:

    I would absolutely love a copy of this book!!! Thank you so much for the message and encouragement of looking to Jesus during the tiring days when children are little and there is little help to be found. God sustains and equips us with hope and love to give to these little ones if only we ask.

  190. Adetutu Oluwole-Rotimi says:

    I really appreciate today’s devotion. It is God-sent and a great confirmation of things to come for me. When things get hard, I need to approach it with joy.

  191. Deitra Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I hosted a daughter and desserts event this past weekend and one of the questions that was asked to the guest was what traditions or memories you have made or are making with your daughters that can be passed down and shared for generations to come. Love your memory. God bless you.

  192. Thank you for sharing your story…. its a reminder how much influence that we can have on our children not just in the moment but for their lifetime. God Bless You!!

  193. I love the way your stories touch me. I am a grandmother who often remembers thing from my childhood . It reminds me that every day we have the possibility of making one of those sweet memories. Your posts are so very personal–always reminds me of the power of my choices . God gives us the ability to choose joy and I am reminded of that by these devotionals!!

  194. Tracy Bentley says:

    This was the most inspiring thing I have read in a very long time! What a difference an attitude makes! God bless for sharing this story!

  195. thank you for this today…So needed to be reminded of this…as a single mom of 4, and losing my dad 3 months ago ordinary life can be beyond difficult…tonight we celebrate just having each other and our Heavenly father!! <3

  196. Thank you for this. It spoke to my heart and was the exact message I needed. I’m in the trenches as a mom, and this is my present calling-to press on with this joy. Trying hard, and will look for this book! Thank you!!!

  197. What a wonderful testimony of family and faith! It reminds me of my childhood and the warm and happy memories that surrounded me while growing up. I now strive to make our home a place that my children love to be and will look back on with warm and loving memories. I would love to read your book! Thanks for the devotion!

  198. Tonya Burg says:

    What a great devotion. I’m sure it’s an even grander book! I would love love love to gleen ideas from such a wonderful book. Thank you!

  199. This devotional struck a deep cord with me. I grew up in a home with a mother who struggled with depression so we had lots of not so good days,but on the days that my mom was having a good day, it was a time to celebrate. My childhood shaped me in such a way that I determined I would do my very best to provide a happy, lighthearted atmosphere in my home one day. I’m so thankful for the blessings that God has given me!

  200. Would love a copy of this book for inspiration and ideas

  201. Love this today. I am pregnant with my 4th boy. It has been a difficult pregnancy due to a few complications. Everyday that goes by is a blessing because he has stayed put one more day. I am only 22 weeks. I have had a hard time bringing joy and happiness into my home because of worrying I am going to lose him. My family has suffered due to my quiet, sad attitude. I am going to start today fresh and new and bless my boys and husband with joy in our home!

  202. This devotional tugged at my heart! God is so good and often prompts Moms & (Dads) to do something out of the norm to bring smiles and laughter in stressful situations. I still remember the candlelight dinners in the middle of the week in an old farmhouse I grew up in. Both my Mom & Dad encouraged my sisters and me by doing this. Something special – still so very memorable, so simple, but extraordinary. Farmers typically don’t do candles!

  203. I feel that many days my home is a dreary place filled with schedules and things that need to get done. I’d love to read this book and breathe new life into my home.

  204. I want my home to be a safe haven for my family. One that they can find comfort, rest, and above all unconditional love. I want them to remember joy. However, that’s probably not what they’ll remember. Life certainly hasn’t turned out the way I dreamed. And there’s so many things that I need and want to get done, and I think, “When I get this behind me, THEN I can relax and I’ll be more joyous.” But the reality is there is always something else pressing. I wish I wasn’t so uptight and would enjoy life.

  205. Lillian De Jesus says:

    Hello,

    This is so lovely! I haven’t read my Proverbs31 emails in so long. I realize how much I missed these special anecdotes on life and how we can see the light in dark moments.

    Thank you,
    Lillian

  206. What a great story & reminder of how mommas
    can be such a wonderful reflection of Jesus, bringing out the best in us,
    Celebrating life’s lil things & joy abundant, regardless of the circumstances they are facing.

  207. This is an encouragement to me today. I fight my nature as the “no mom”, working hard on answering yes unless there is a serious reason I can’t. This year for me is all about slowing down, enjoying and creating moments filled with love and joy. Thanks for a good reminder today.

  208. This is a wonderful devotion and a lesson that I need to take to heart. Thank you so much! I would love to win your book. Have a joy filled day.

  209. Thank you so much for reminding me to CHOOSE JOY in the midst of life’s responsibilites, daily chores and packed agendas. I forget so often that Jesus has created me to enjoy the life He planned for me and I often get burried in my busyness. Great reminder…I’ll have a party tonight!! Whohoo :)

  210. Would love to give this book to someone special who has a house but it’s not a home. There’s no love there. A very sad way to live.

  211. Such a great reminder of the impact our Joy and Home has on young children.

  212. Lynette Hughes says:

    What a beautiful reminder. We, as mothers do tend to set the tone in our homes. I am now a grandmother and my girls have their own families. I will he sharing this precious lesson with them. Thank you.

  213. Life can be really hard at times. This is a reminder that our reactions can make a big difference. With each new day we try again. Thank you!

  214. Jamie Neidlinger says:

    Wives of traveling husbands unite! Thank you Clarkson sisters for this uplifting reminder!!!

  215. Loved this devotion today! I’m struggling with finding happiness in these messy, wild toddler years, and this reminded me I’m focusing way too much on what’s bad and hard – and showed me I could lighten up and have more fun! Thank you!

  216. I read this as my family faces some difficult circumstances! I pray that my attitude and responses will truly be life giving for my family as we lean on Jesus!!

  217. What wonderful encouragement, and a reminder that we as moms have the ability to set the emotional tone in our home. I loved the Mission of Motherhood and would love to read this book as well!

  218. What a great memory. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway

  219. Roberta Eck says:

    What a great reminder that everything we do and how we react leaves an impression on someone.

  220. This was a timely reminder for me who struggles in this domain. Life giving is life changing. I pray for clarity, wisdom, patience, motivation, stamina and the Holy Spirit to guide me toward the life path honoring God and encouraging my children.

  221. Paula Rodriguez says:

    This sounds like a great book!

  222. I use to hate challenging moments….they seemed to bring out the worst in me. God showed me how those challenging moments were to be used, embraced and stretch me to bring Him glory…In the moments or times of challenge I have learned to pray first before I speak or react, I have learned to stand silent before the Lord and allow those challenging circumstances to fall around me. I have leaned to meditate on His Word while standing still, to keep my eyes and mind on HIM and not the moments…..talk about being stretched…..OUCH. I confess I’m not perfect at it….but I am learning that those challenging moments are to shine glory on HIM and that has helped me. When I fail and I have failed, I ask for a repeat….I beg for another chance “I can do this Lord, with Your Help, I can do this….and He always brings another one. He is such a great teacher and example of how to overcome challenges big ones and small ones…Father God, keep challenging me repeat as often as needed, stretch my faith until I bring You the Glory….In Jesus Name Alone, Amen

  223. Thanks for the reminder of the daily joy that should be in my home. As a home school mom of four the joy often gets lost in the attitudes and education of my kids. I needed this.

  224. Erin Masters says:

    Unfortunately when my husband works every evening of the week, i don’t think I do such a good job of creating joy in our home. I would love to win this book!

  225. Rachel Curtis says:

    I admit that I struggle alot with choosing joy over life’s daily grind. My selfish, very prideful and critical controlling spirit fights within me to create a tense environment between my kids and spouse in the home. I would love a free, fresh perspective and am very ashamed and saddened by this heart struggle.

  226. This was a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. God does give us a hope and a future. I would really enjoy having your book.

  227. Linda Pollitz says:

    Life giving message that touched my heart and I’m sure others.Praise God for the work you both are doing in encouraging families everywhere

  228. Beautiful story, what an encouragement and reminder and how we show Jesus an difficult, trying times!

  229. Pam Craig says:

    Love that! So true that a moms words can change the tone for the the day or the week! Thank you for that reminder!

  230. Marilyn Haynes says:

    As my mom was slowly dying from cancer, she continued to share and give to our family, friends, church and community. Before blogs existed–she was a blogger writing down her thoughts, her prayers, her answered prayers, making handwritten copies of letters and thank you notes she was sending to people. She is gone from this earth now, but as we are dissolving boxes, drawers and files, we are finding gems and treasures of her personally recorded relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the last scriptures she taped to her makeup mirror in the bathroom was this: “See, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Is 43:19 I feel she left that one purposely for us to hold on to. She taught us peace and hope and I miss her! Thanks, and I would love a copy of your new book.

  231. What s beautiful story and a great example to follow. Our attitude makes a great deal of difference in our family. Life is to be celebrated

  232. Deborah Woodward says:

    Sarah, thank you so much for your article. It reminded me of my own dear Mother and how she could turn the worst day into a good one and poor circumstances were just marched thru and joy found in the in-between. It is also evident of the fact that most of the time the Mom denotes the tone for the family.
    Thank you again! May God continue to bless you as you use the gift of sharing thru your writings.

  233. I am currently the momma who is looking back on those days with fond memories. . . of movie nights by the fire, snow days (we live in northwestern PA), and laughter, MUSIC and silly dancing. These are all precious times that we now look back on and treasure forever. One day, I will be a grammy and want these moments of joy to become a part of my children’s homes as well. I am excited to make this book a part of my home library to pass on when that time comes. Thank you so much for sharing this life changing moment today.

  234. Etta Meares says:

    Beautiful story sounds so much like the home I grew up in. I thank God everyday that I had Christian parents.

  235. I’ve always wanted to be one known for my hospitality, not in a prideful way- but in a way that people know I will try my best to show them love and therefore, Jesus♡
    This book sounds like great insight.

  236. Lindsey Parker says:

    Thank you for this very timely reminder of choosing joy in the everyday moments!

  237. This really hit home and blessed me. It didn’t hit home in that I could relate it to my own childhood and mother but in that a learning experience/growth experience God just brought me through. There’s recently been some discomfort in a relationship that I have with someone I consider my “spiritual” mother. Being a new Christian and sometimes forgetting to take every thought captive for Christ I was taking some things she was telling me as being hurtful and not loving and being done out of concern. But I know that’s not true, that is not her character. We have gotten past the issue that Satan used to cause the dissension in our relationship and I’m thankful for that. I see my special friend as that mother in the story, and I thank God for godly moms that set those examples.

  238. Thank you Lord for Indescribable JOY! Thank you for sharing your precious story! Your Mom was very sweet and wise! I have 5 children and I have tried to teach them this way of thinking and looking at life. I would love to read your book!! God bless you! 💕 😊

  239. Michelle Brookshire says:

    Thank you for this uplifting and heartwarming story.

  240. Rene Fillingame says:

    So thankful for this piece of encouragement! Thank you for reminding me to keep on celebrating during all days & seasons of my life!

  241. Ashley S. says:

    I feel like I get stuck in the daily grind and go through the motions. I would enjoy reading your book!

  242. Trying to praise God in this storm of the past 5 months. My husbands infidelity after 23 years of marriage has torn my world to pieces. Trying to trust in Gods timing. I am slowly seeing Him painting beauty out of our ashes. I am grateful because we have a God who is battling for me, all the while I am on my knees praying. He indeed punishes those he loves. I am starting to become who He created me to be and I can truly say, I am blessed.

  243. Thank YOU for this beautiful devotional! I love the ordinary celebration idea! I am going to try in each difficult moment to be thankful and find a way to celebrate life. I know it will not always be easy but thank YOU for giving me hope that if God can bring us through it, He can bring us to it! I can have joy in every circumstance!

  244. Liz Feldman says:

    What a fantastic article! If the book is anything like that, I would LOVE to receive it. I got married a year and a half ago, and I’ve wrestled with how to best manage our new home together. Guidance from these wise women, wrapped in such beautiful writing, would certainly be a blessing to my soul.

  245. Thank you for as needed reminder!

  246. Thank you for a needed reminder!

  247. Thank you for such an encouraging word today. Blessings!!

  248. Thank you so much for this morning – what an amazing blessing and encouragement. And a timely reminder to always look ahead with hope – that’s a huge impact we can make for Jesus on those around us.

  249. Thank you for this. As a Pastor’s wife, teacher, and mom of two littles it is so easy to get lost in the details of every day. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder to celebrate and enjoy our moments.

  250. Thank you for sharing this reminder today…

  251. Would love a copy of this book–desperately need a change in my home.

  252. As I was reading this, I had 2 pictures in my mind. My dad worked on the railroad all his life and when he left for work he would be gone for at least 30 hours (he would take a train of coal from Albion, PA to Pittsburgh, PA).
    Also, my first husband worked on the same railroad. He would be gone the same long hours or he would be sent to an area near Pittsburgh to work for the week, so he would be gone all week. I learned as a child that my mom could take care of the house and the 6 of us kids. As an adult, I had to make sure my children were taken care of and it was up to me. I’m not sure of the ‘party’ night but there were times for us to bond and for my children to continue their school and activities as though nothing different had happened.

  253. This message is so timely. I have been so discouraged at my own lack of joy and fun as I raise and homeschool my 8 kiddos. I don’t like who I’ve become and I don’t want them to remember me as a cranky grouch. What a great reminder to choose joy and life. To make the most of this fallen world.

  254. This is so beautifully written. What a blessed gift of words you have. I felt as though I was standing in your childhood shoes. You brought tears to my eyes and conviction to my heart. Conviction to try harder to be a role model for my family and seek “merriment in the moments”. Bless you…

  255. I am truly trying to consciously be in dialogue with God throughout my day…giving thanks, asking for guidance, attempting to shed anxiety through comfort in His Word. Your words cause me to reflect on the little things that often get overlooked but should cause me joy and that God gives us the strength during all trials, big and small. Thank you. Blessings…

  256. Wonderful message. Thanks

  257. It’s just like Jesus to build into our lives using the everyday, ordinary moments to make the most impact. Forgive us, Lord, for overlooking these priceless opportunities to truly know the abundant life. Thank you for sharing!!

  258. Thank you for your encouragement. If love to read your book.

  259. What a wonderfully uplifting memory of how we can live out our Christian lives. This is something I struggle with almost daily. In fact, I am looking for my one word for the year that encompasses this. I am quick to let my disappointment and/or discouragement show. Trusting God to help me turn my “frown upside down”! Thank you.

  260. Jeri Garcia says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Last night, my prayer with my daughters was that we slow down and take the time to truly enjoy one another and each moment we are given together as a family. My mother and myself have a genetic disease, Huntingtons Chorea. As a caregiver to my mother, some days are much longer and harder than others. I am so blessed by your mother’s insight and want to master that in my daily life! Oh what joy can do for a tired heart!

  261. I have so many good memories of growing up! Thank you for sharing! Though as a child I didn’t like Saturday mornings of baking & dusting the house, it was time spent doing things with my Mom. Now that she’s gone I have many sweet memories to cherish. She not only took us to the blueberry patch to pick but she stayed and worked in the coop on the belts sorting the blueberries. I still don’t like hot dishes/casseroles, but those summers of blueb erry picking are good memories with a hot dish on the table for dinner those nights! :)

  262. Connie Gibson says:

    A beautiful story!!!

  263. Such a beautiful reminder of how to model joy in all circumstances so our children make this their way as adults! I love doing things like this but sometimes I let my exhaustion or need for space stop me. Thanks for reminding me what it means to my 4 children!

  264. I am fully aware of how I always cling to the negative. It is time for a change in my life!

  265. Peggy Hall says:

    What a great story! Loved it!

  266. Thank you for sharing your story about experiencing joy in ordinary moments amidst extraordinary circumstances. Attitude definitely matters! In our fallen world where trials & difficulties are the norm it is especially inspiring to hear about people who respond with love, joy & grace under pressure. Sarah, your Mom demonstrated such selflessness in that moment. She could’ve given in to her own fears & anxieties, but she chose to demonstrate hope & joy for her children. God blessed her with that gift & through her He also blessed you. In turn, you have blessed & encouraged many others. By trusting God & resting in Him we can all experience joy during ordinary moments under extraordinary circumstances. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” – Psalm 91:1

  267. I needed this today. I need it everyday. We moved from Texas to Indiana and my husband started his own company. Then we had our surprise little girl. I homeschool our three boys and take care of our little girl who has had a rough start to life. Between physical therapy and homeschool I’m exhausted. I need to remember joy. It just feels like a distant memory some days. Thank you for sharing this.

  268. What a beautiful reminder that we must choose to think on the positive, capture our thoughts, and surrender to the joy we have in Christ. Today’s society is filled with drama, busyness, and despair. I want to bring calming joy to my own family. I have been focused on the “woe is me” part of my situation and not on the joy I have in Christ. Thank you.

  269. Thank you for an uplifting message. It reminds me that each new day is a fresh start.

  270. Jamie Adam says:

    What a timely message. God is good! I woke up feeling very overwhelmed today and now I sit here in tears. Not overwhelmed tears, but hopeful! Thank you for sharing & blessing so many!

  271. Kendra Parlane says:

    Loved this story. I needed the reminder. A little bit of fun in each day, a lot of fun fit into some hard times helps the situation. The book I’m sure has lots more ideas.

  272. Carole Denlinger says:

    Beautifully written, and a poignant reminder that God indeed does use ordinary experiences in teaching us of himself and imbedding those memories in our hearts. Thank you.

  273. Beth scarbrough says:

    Oh how I need to bring joy home with me! What a wonderful blessing this was for me to read this morning putting a smile on my heart and a great idea for my dinner plans tonight thank you thank you so needed by this worn out mama!!!!

  274. I love the attitude of “turning lemons to lemonade” expressed in today’s devotional. I would love to have the book so I could read more!

  275. I love this! I can appreciate creativity with the kids and breaking out of the ordinary – regularly. Thanks so much for this picture of a home where activity, children, and fun are enjoyed by all while facing day-to-day life that demands diligence, perseverance, and strength from our Heavenly Father.

  276. That was a truly touching story. Praise God for mothers!!! What an amazing example of compassion and caring for others. Wonderful idea of a simple dinner turned into a party to set the mood for the entire week to come.

  277. After raising my children I have been struggling with the empty nest. Realizing that I still need to find joy in my day. Learning to celebrate the mundane.

  278. As I have struggled with chronic illness since childhood, being content in all circumstances is something the Lord has really taught me. Although I struggle many times, it’s what I’m always striving for.

  279. What a sweet story. It made me smile and remember times when my Daughter was young that I did similar things after a hard Friday at work! Instead of bringing home worry and frustration from work I chose to bring joy wrapped up in bagel bites and mozzarella cheese sticks! We would eat them in bed while watching TGIF!

  280. Geralyn Miller says:

    When I am headed to the hospital…..again, I bring my goodie bag packed with the most recent issue of Reader’s Digest and a few other magazines. I pack playing cards, adult coloring books & colored pencils, etc. I even brought my gel nail kit & light and actually did my nails in my hospital room.
    I also brineed my Samsung Tablets my 3 daughters gave me for Mother’s Day. I have my devotionals and my Bible on it. I stay in touch with people thru Facebook and with God thru His Word and talking to Him………listening to Him. I thank you for Your Spirit and Your Love. I thank You Father God for Jesus. It is through His Wonderful Name that I come to You. It is through His Precious Blood that I am able to. Thank You Jesus!

  281. “In a world full of ordinary be the extra…” Your mom truly demonstrated this and through Jesus, our beautiful Savior, we can show grace and beauty through His blessing of the holy spirit. As a mom of two children 16 months apart and a elementary teacher, I need sun on cloudy days. I’d love a copy of this book.

  282. Thank you for this lesson in how to address each and every day!
    God bless you for your willingness to share it!

  283. Great story! Would love a copy of the book!

  284. Remembering that joy is a choice is so hard for me. So this was a great reminder, particularly in the ordinary struggles of life.

  285. A lovely devotion this morning that I will be Sharing with my friends whose husbands travel often.

  286. The story about the dreary Sunday night in March tells the story about the mother and grandmother I want to be. I want to bring sunshine into my family’s life when ordinary life hits hard.

  287. This story is one of encouragement. My husband works away from home & returns on weekends when possible. I often feel sadness & doubt & impatience waiting on his arrival. This story inspired me & showed me how to turn sadness into an opportunity to create a positive happy experience with my family. It has lifted my spirit & brought joy & hope into our lives where hope has faded. This is a blessing! Thank you!

  288. The Bible says to be joyful in everything so I look for the things I have and begin giving God thanks and praise for what He’s given me. When I do that I feel more joyful. I’d love to have a copy of this book.

  289. Jennifer Freeman says:

    I’m a homeschool mom to three children. Home is where we spend the majority of our time. I want my home to be a safe haven, a place of loving and learning. This book sounds very encouraging.

  290. Lisa Rader says:

    I really needed to read this today. We can truly set the mood of our home and our family by our reaction and response to every situation no matter what is happening around us. I have always been a positive person until family circumstances turned that around last year and I was hurting so much I felt despair much of last year but I know God has his hand on my life and my family and am blessed beyond measure and thankful for this reminder today and would really like a copy of that book….I don’t read many books but this looks like it would be helpful to anyone reading it! Thank you so much for posting !!!!

  291. Bailey Kysar says:

    I so enjoy Sally Clarkson and her wisdom about being a mother that ministers to her family. As a new mom I am still learning how to do this in my home. My attitude and heart set the scene for my home. I pray that I can minister well to my family by incorporating some of Sally’s ideas that demonstrate intentionality and love.

  292. I needed that. To remember to have joy and hope in the middle of the daily busyness of homeschooling four children. To remember to have some fun along the way too.

  293. This reminds me of my mom when I grew up. A family of 6 children. Our dad passed away at 39 and my mom carried on each day. Finding time to entertain us at night with games, talent shows and watching movies.

  294. This story spoke to me at this point in my life. As a single mother, I fear that my exhaustion and frustration are taken out on my daughter; I fear that I am not giving her the happy, memorable childhood that she deserves. Today’s story helps me remember that it doesn’t take much to make a happy memory – something I need to strive doing more of. Thank you!!

  295. This is so true and enlightening. We, as mothers, have the opportunity to lead the way our family enjoys each day ~ either under a cloud or revealing the joy available in every day. This also shapes the way those in our lives see things as they grow, in a positive or negative light. Thank you!

  296. I so enjoyed this article and want to keep in mind that sometimes small celebrations of the ordinary are better remembered and cherished than the extravagant displays. Would love to read the book.

  297. Thank you Sarah and Sally for this beautiful reminder of the power of my attitude and choices as a Mom. I read Desperate a few months ago, and it touched my heart and inspired me to transform my approach to life. I find myself enjoying my marriage and mothering journey more as a result. I already have Life Giving Home on my wishlist. Thank you!

  298. Crystal Menard says:

    What a beautiful story! I too have memories like this forever etched in my heart and it has helped to shape who I am today! I cherish these memories even more because my mother went to her heavenly home 5 years ago on the 18th of this month. She was the true example of being a light in our fallen world and did everything she could to add Sparkles to our days. She allowed God’s joy to overcome the many hard times we had in our family!! I thank God for her legacy that lives on in my life with my children and pray that I will leave this same impression of joy and grace on their lives!!!

  299. I’d love a copy of this book! Thanks for your ministry!

  300. Words of blessing to this stay-at-home mom!

  301. Beautiful! I’d love to read more!

  302. Thank you for this joyful reminder. We are in some desperate times. Thank you for some encouragement.

  303. This message was God speaking to me this morning. I was up all night worrying about my son and his life with Type 1 Diabetes and my daughter’s recent diagnosis of PCOS. I woke up and my son’s blood sugar was too high and now he’s beside me on the couch feeling sick and can’t go to school. Satan was hoping to steal all joy today. Now I’m choosing to fight him! Thank you!

  304. Thanks. I enjoyed today’s encouragement.

  305. With 5 sons, i need this!

  306. What a beautiful devotion to begin the day with! It’s so reminded me of times of celebration I shared with my children growing up. Thank you for reminding me to celebrate every day.

  307. Thank you so much for the Encouragement for Today. I am struggleing each day to just get through it since my husband of 27 years passed away last April from non smoking type of lung cancer. We knew God could heal him but that was not in God’s plan so I have been trying each day to say to myself This is the Day the Lord has given but it is really hard to keep doing it. There is no celebrations in my life now but I keep trying to put one foot in front of the other but not sure if the sorrow and missing him will ever get any better. Going on 10 months now and the tears just keep falling. Can’t think of any thing to celebrate these days.

    • I was just scrolling thru these comments and came upon yours. I’m no good w/ words, but our God knows our heart as I lift you up. I pray you feel His comfort and joy. Keep your heart open to Him.
      10 months is a short time compared to the 27 years you shared. I’m sure you have plenty of joyous memories. There can be healing in your tears.

      .

  308. Lgillespie says:

    I would love this book as an encouragement while my husband is deployed. I’d love to turn fatigue into fun!

  309. Thank you for the reminder.

  310. Kristy Smith says:

    I truly enjoyed your devotion today and the perspective you offered. Thank you for reminding me that we have a choice in how we face the “drizzly, uncertain” days. The mood around us doesn’t control the joy within us.

  311. Thank you for this devotional! I could feel what you wrote and love it!

  312. This is a very precious story. Thank you!

  313. Phyllis M. says:

    What a special story. I love finding extraordinary in the ordinary!! When I was a single mom, I remember trying to do similar fun things, whether it was putting on music and dancing around the living room together, or pulling out the foldout couch and having “girls night.” We’d have popcorn and stay up late watching movies with a fire going, falling asleep securely and comfortably together. Even in the midst of some dire and overwhelming times, the memories carved out will remain priceless!

  314. We recently moved into a new house, new neighborhood, new everything after 9 years in the same house. This has been hard on my 15 yr. Old, and last night she told me that even though we have been here for 5 months she feels as if she is a stranger visiting someone else. And that she keeps saying this is not my home. I was heart broken and have been praying and searching for a way to help her through this difficult time. Thank you for giving me inspired direction. I realize that in the midst of this hectic life I have forgotten to “smell the roses” and then share the wonderful intoxicating beauty of them with her. I got to go I have a “party” on my living floor to plan we haven’t had an indoor pic-Nov in a very long time. :)

  315. A perfect reminder before starting a beautiful homeschooling day with our girls. Thank you, Clarkson family, for pouring into this generation, to grow God’s kingdom for eternity!

  316. As a military spouse raising two boys, my husband frequently was deployed leaving us alone for unknown periods of time. I always followed this advice and enjoyed the moments together. Today, retired and now just my husband and I, I find myself missing those moments together, sharing, sometimes tears, but mostly happy moments together! It is more of a challenge today for me as I cannot control things now like I did then to bring joy. I can only control myself…..but sometimes it’s lonely there. I enjoy these readings each morning, thank you!

  317. Thank you Lord for loving me so much that you speak to me through my emailed devotion!! Thank you Sally and Sarah for capturing this moment from your past in words. My husband travels and I am often home during the week with my three kids 7, 4, and 5mo. I had a particularly challenging evening last night juggling homework, dinner, and a fussy baby. By the time I laid my head down, I felt like a failure as a parent. I was so blessed by opening my email and discovering this jewel of a story this morning!! Thank you!

  318. My daughter is expecting her first child this spring. What a gift for her to be inspired to create a life giving home for her new family.
    Thank you for this!

  319. Michelle H. says:

    It’s amazing how powerful a mom can be. She made a simple choice to choose joy and look at what it did for her daughter. We forget how powerful we are! I’m going to have to order this book for both my daughter and daughter-in-law. They are both expecting our first grandbabies in July this year. What great way to start out motherhood with some wisdom like this!

  320. What a beautiful reminder to seize the moments.

  321. For several years, I have joined the movement from the My One Word book written by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. You choose one word that you believe the Holy Spirit is guiding you to focus on. You only choose one word to pray and reflect on for the entire year, and you find a scripture that matches your one word. For this year, I believe my word for 2016 is JOY. When I read this wonderful story, it reminded me of the scripture, the joy of the lord is my strength. It gives another perspective on the word joy-what it means to have the joy of the Lord in times of great trial.
    Thank you Lord for connecting us to you and with one another through your living Word. Your word brings encouragement and confirmation for us to grow to be more like you.

    • Ps 30:5b Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
      This is the quote on a coffee mug my prayer sister from many years ago gave to me. I had been focused on joy (rather than happiness) that year. All the best as you focus on the joy of the Lord this year.

  322. This reminded me of time when I was a little girl, 12 years old, and my daddy took a job 4 hours away from our home. I remember crying when he left us on Sunday evening and waiting anxiously for his return on Friday evening. We lived like this for 6 months, till school was out, then we moved to another state and have been here ever since. I remember my mom doing special things with my brother and I through the week while daddy was away. At the time my mom’s dad was also dealing with lung cancer. My mom, being the only child, had not only to take care of her 2 young children, but also her father. Never did I ever hear her complain. Once we moved she still drove back to where we moved from to help take care of her father. It’s these memories that allow me to realize what a strong mother I really had.

  323. This was beautiful and something that I will hold in my heart forever. Thank you for the wonderful example of hope and the lovely written expression of it.

  324. A feeling of failure and disappointment usually prevent me from life-giving i am going to change by the Grace of God

  325. Amber Onyan says:

    As a single mom I am often battling feeling of busyness snd defeat with wanting to make my home a good memory box, place of spiritual growth, and a safe place…a place they want and enjoy being. Your book would benefit me! I loved this devotional!

  326. Lisa Burger says:

    I would love to win the book, what a great testament to God’s grace and work in our lives!

  327. I needed this! My husband is on day 9 of working away from home.

  328. Thank you for the timely devotion. I am about to stay with my teenage granddaughters for 7-10 days as their dad undergoes cancer removal surgery. This devotion filled me with Hope, Giving and Loving ideas for the girls during my stay. Their dad’s pet scan for the surgery did not detect cancer after 1st round of chemo but still must have tumor removed. Whereas we could focus on only seriousness, I now understand we can shift it to celebration and happiness.

  329. If it wasn’t for celebration of any day or holiday my family would only know work. I now see all those extra hours of making special my girls try to fulfill those special times with family and friends as they become young adults. They also know disappointment when a friend or sister doesn’t recognize their extra spirit. But their is a reason for everything.

  330. I would love to read this book… right now this was a much needed message!

  331. Andrea Simer says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement today!

  332. I have felt like I’ve been in such a rut lately – and this sweet story reminded me that my children need me to set the tone in our home. My 10 year old son sees the strain on my face, and wants to see a smile instead. My 4 year old little girl needs her mama to show her the happiness in everyday. Thank you for the reminder!

  333. Content, satisfied, joyful in the moment. This devotion made my eyes water, as there is so much power in providing hope in our everyday moments which extend from a heart secure in God. I am a nurse, and while piling all the patients in one room to watch a movie is not recommended ;), praying that they would see my joy in the Lord during difficult days. Ps 28:7 “…my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices…”. Thank you for this reminder today!

  334. As God’s timing is alway perfect, this was certainly the perfect devotional for today! I awoke to the news that schools are closed for a snow day. My 4 boys will be home all day. I needed your fresh out look on my day. One of joyous celebration for a day together instead of dread. I believe that if I change my attitude towards today, then that will make all the difference.

  335. Sonya Lofton says:

    Thank you for your devotional today. I really needed that! Life gets so busy and overwhelming at times. It’s amazing (not really) how God always sends the right message at the right time through just the right avenue! Thank you for sharing your heart. God is faithful!

  336. Such a sweet sweet story to turning the mundane into something so beautiful! Would be blessed with a copy of Sally’s new book!

  337. Thank you for your insight. It’s helpful to be inspired to help turn mourning into joy. I have previously enjoyed the 1000 thanks devotion and have started discussing three specific daily joys with my daughter each evening before she goes to bed. It’s very helpful to end the day reflecting on how fortunate we are to be blessed in our lives. Perhaps I will now more actively seek to facilitate joy in our home.

  338. Thank you for reminding us to create celebrations in the everyday struggles- to show our kids how to chose joy!

  339. Karissa C says:

    I’m going to write that question down and post where I can see it everyday this week; “what heart problem is getting in the way of finding joy?”. Much needed this morning as I’ve been struggling with finding joy in the daily moments and being content in my circumstances. Thank you for your story.

  340. Whoa. This was for me. Thank you. I live in the new england area, have four kids seven and under and my husband is a pastor. I am originally from Florida. You can imagine how this weather is not to my liking or comfort and four kids – well, you know how that goes. I’m tired. I’m alone a lot with them. This devotion taught me a really good lesson. I think we’ll make cookies today.

  341. Thank you for this sweet reminder. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and choose joy in every circumstance.

  342. Amanda Stoner says:

    Thank you for this message, so encouraging! A beautiful reminder that love always hopes!
    I actually prayed that verse from Psalm 118 this morning when I woke up! And I sang it over my boys before they went to school :)

  343. Kathy johnson says:

    Thank you for the encouraging devotion and the reminder to find joy in all our circumstances! Would love to read your new book!

  344. This story reminds me of the days when my Dad worked out of town also. As a child I had no idea how hard it must have been on Mom with 4 kids, 3 boys and me. My two older brothers were a handful, while my younger brother and I just tried to dtay out of the way. When I married my husband worked long hours and I raised our two kids pretty much on my own for the first few years. What a reminder that we need to be the heart of the home, no matter the circumstances. I would love to read the book.

  345. Terri Jones says:

    This was a very touching story. I am afraid as I have raised my 2 daughters I was not this mother at times. But now having grown daughters and 4 grand babies, and some maturity under my belt. I want to point my daughters in exactly the direction of this mother and daughter in this story. Very uplifting for me this morning, coming at the exact right time for me. God is good all the time!

  346. Alicia Christenbury says:

    Thank you for the reinforcement of my New Year’s resolution to not complain. Your tale is a blessing!

  347. Thank you for this uplifting article!

  348. Becky McCullison says:

    I used to be so much better at daily celebrations when my kids were little. Thank you for this reminder that teenagers and adults need them too! I would love to read this book.

  349. Sally Babineaux says:

    Hello! I would love a copy. I love your names! My legal name is Sarah- but I have always went by Sally to most of the world. Only my close family calls me Sarah.

  350. I’ve been a stay-at-home for over 23 years and one of the scriptures I’ve held on to was to be content in all circumstances. Thanks for sharing a beautiful life lesson. God bless.

  351. I love choosing joy! What a wonderful reminder!

  352. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a great reminder that we can choose how we approach each day and each moment. That with the right attitude, we can make the not-so-great better. And that how we approach the difficult things in life teaches our children valuable lessons.

  353. Jenn Raabe says:

    An encouraging reminder to choose joy and how our response as a mom can guide our family dynamics and experiences. I’d LOVE to read more.

  354. Amy James says:

    There has been a common theme in everything I have heard and read this morning. I’m so thankful I have a savior who speaks softly to me through others. No matter what the circumstances of life may bring me today, may I be thankful.

  355. Wow! What a powerful memory to write so articulately and with such detail! You blessed my socks off! I am so inspired to pray for God to bring this creative joy into my home. Thanks for sharing.

  356. Joni Cragoe says:

    Today’s devotion really hit home. I don’t think I was the type of mother to often turn mourning into something positive; however, this is something I want to strive to do as a grandmother to my three young children. Thank you for sharing your experience with us – I look forward to digging deeper with The Lifegiving Home book. Thank you.

  357. This article really brought a smile to my face, and reminded me to enjoy every moment in life.

  358. Oh how I wish this could be my reaction to a difficult situation!! Praying for a joyful perspective in all circumstances!!

  359. Loved this today! Always looking for creative ways to entertain my two children. Looking at different perspectives through this thing called Life- it’s hard to keep those fun times rolling in such a dark and scary world. I would love to have this book. Good luck to all commenters ❤️

  360. Also, praying for a joyful perspective.

  361. So grateful for the reminder that every day is precious, and how we tackle every day challenges can be reflected in how our children respond to the inevitable ‘hard times.’ Awesome lesson; one I intend to take to heart and apply in my home TODAY.

  362. Beth Thomas says:

    Yes! Would love for my family and friends to see my home as a welcome, joy filled, safe-haven from the gray world around us! I want memories like this for my children. Thank you for sharing.

  363. Valerie Zaryczny says:

    Thank you for the inspiring story. I would love to read your book!

  364. Sarah Bryson says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book.

  365. I needed this encouragement to “look at life in a fallen world, every day, and meet it with a creative joy born of the Holy Spirit”. What a beautiful interpretation of Philippians 4:11b. I am praying that God can teach me to continue to be hopeful as I watch my beautiful 17-year-old daughter who once had so much joy now battle depression daily.

  366. sarah tellez says:

    This really touched my heart.. Life has not been easy, a lot of it in the past was self inflicted due to my addiction.. I put my four girls through a lot, they witnessed abuse, many times we went with no electricity, gas and sometimes even water.. then the state got involved and child welfare took my girls.. I thank God for that day…. I sought the Lord, I got clean, He helped me get my life together and my girls back.. But it has not been easy.. That has taken a toll on my daughters, there is a lot of hurt, brokenness, anger and resentment toward me and the situations they’ve been through as a result of my actions.. My two oldest girls went through other types of abuse I was unaware of until recently.. My oldest daughter had a child at 16, my second oldest just recently tried to take her own life.. my husband who is in prison is fighting battles of his own that I am trying to pray him thru, we have had financial hard times and I am physically, mentally and emotionally tired.. but through all of this I have learned how much God loves us, loves me..I am strengthened by His word and He has gone out of his way to surround me with an amazing church family from whom I’ve been able to draw strength and be encouraged..I have found it to be something I’ve had to hold on to in being content in all circumstances because I know that it may be cloudy and rainy now but that rainbow is right around the corner

  367. This really blessed me and inspired me to do the same for my children as well as myself! Thank you so much!

  368. Heather Spoelman says:

    Wow. How did you know my life story? Boy I would be so blessed to win & learn from a book so close to my reality. Thank you for sharing.

  369. Thank you for this reminder today! I want to have fun with my children but all too often I let the day to day happenings get in the way and bring me down.

  370. As a brand new step-mother, trying to learn to navigate every other weekend with two step children, this is a blessed reminder. It can be hard and tiring and makes me question my ability to care for any other children should we be blessed with any. BUT I have to choose to celebrate with them and my husband. This is where the Lord has planted me. Instead of thinking of all the things we need to do, I need to stop and celebrate life.

  371. Jill Bybee says:

    This is a fabulous memory/story. It reminds me of moments of my childhood and of my life with my young daughter. Once when she was about 12, I took a wrong turn onto a highway and got us several miles in the wrong direction, knowing I had a little extra money with me that day, and seeing the sign up ahead for the city zoo, I spontaneously asked her, “you wanna go to the zoo?!” The pure excitement and surprise on her face was priceless and she still talks about it to this day! Now, as she’s closer to adulthood than I ever imagined could happen so quick, I pray I taught her well, created enough great simple moments, and can make the best of the time I have left with her! Thank you for your inspiration to so many! 😊💕🙏🏼

  372. Michelle Reed says:

    I love this blog. It really shows how we need to look at seemingly bad things with a different perspective. I dread housecleaning because I have many health problems that make it very difficult. When I do decide to do some dishes, I need to look at it with an attitude of “ok, now I have clean dishes to eat off of. What a blessing.”

  373. Such an inspiring message and a great reminder that moms, (with God’s help) have the power to bring joy to their family daily. Thank you for sharing!

  374. Julita K R says:

    Thank you. This reminded me of when my husband traveled every week. I had 3 little people to love and keep alive and well. It reminded me if the hard times. It reminded me, that I prayed, that we survived and was I strengthed, my God life grew. I believe in celebrating. My girls and I throw a party for any and every reason. It was the inspiration for my etsy shop to help others easily throw a party at any time. My youngest is named Joy and we try to keep it in our home as well. Loved this!!

  375. Can’t wait to read the book

  376. I was so blessed by this message. It reminded me of my mom, who has gone home to be with God. She had a gift of making frightening or sad childhood moments turn around and turn in to an event or adventure. We moved a few times but she made it very clear that home was where our family was. Even though my children are almost grown I need to remember to make small moments count.

  377. This is such an encouragement. Life is so busy for most people these days, and sometimes it’s so hard to have hope instead of getting bogged down in all of the busyness! Thank you. <3

  378. This devotional put a smile on my face and reminded me of how my choices in handling life can and do affect others. I have learned to choose to count my blessings instead of looking at my problems or what I don’t have. This keeps me from souring and going into a pity party. I really like the idea of making my home a place that is life giving and a haven of warmth. I did not grow up in a home like that, but I know that I can build a home like that for my children and grandchildren.

    I would appreciate a copy of your book to give to my daughter-in-law. She text me last weekend to tell me about the movie night that she was having with my grandchildren. My son is in the military and deployed right now so the devotional reminded me of things that she does with my grandchildren and how difficult it is when my son is away.

  379. Debbie Herbst says:

    Great reminder. Our kids are off at college so I apprecite this reminder about attitude. I want my home to always be lifegiving, regardless of who is there. My husband deserves joy and attention, again regardless of who is there. Thank you

  380. Sylvia S. says:

    Loneliness gets in the way of experiencing Gods joy. Finding Gods blessings in each day helps find the joy in Christ.

  381. Thank you so much for this morning’s devotional. We all can choose joy, even when life isn’t going just the way we want it to.

  382. What a beautiful devotional. Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging story of strength and courage in the midst of a difficult time. God bless you richly.

  383. This really spoke to me today. How many times when things aren’t just the way I want them do I mope around and act grumpy? What a poor example for my children. The mom in this story is a shining example of being content in the moment of life’s difficulties and turning that around and making the best of it. We should all strive to be that way, more so as moms being an example to our children. I want to teach my children to magnify the positives and diminish the negatives.

  384. What a beautiful memory you have shared! Thank you for the reminder to choose joy in the midst of difficult circumstances.

    I have been reading Sally’s works ever since I began homeschooling my children in 1999. Her and Clay’s “Educating the Wholehearted Child”, truly, changed my life. Her “mom” books have been encouraging, inspiring reads, just as I know this one will be. I would be thrilled to receive a copy.

  385. My three children and I have watched many times as work and moves separated their Dad from us. What a reminder that our children are watching how we respond to life! I’m learning to be content in whatever my circumstances! Thank you for this devotion!

  386. Sue Athenas says:

    What a wonderful memory!! What a beautiful mother!!!

  387. Deana Griffin says:

    Wow I needed that today! I would love to win a copy of the book to read!

  388. Joanne DiGiovanni Lakin says:

    Perfect timing! Thank you. It was a grace filled conviction for me. Once again my husband is heading out on a trip this week and selfishly I stand at the door resenting his departure. My attitude in the past has not been hopeful or joy filled as my three kids watch me close the door. I have been hard and harsh and dragged thru my days when if I asked Jesus into it and put my selfish ways behind me my children would experience hope not dread. Thank you. When my husband leaves this week I will definitely recall this devotion….hamburger parties sounds great and it will be a memory I want my little ones to remember

  389. Trish Romer says:

    I absolutely needed to read this devotion today! Thank you so much for inspiring me. As a mother of 2 young adults (19 & 21) and 2 younger children (9 and 11) I struggle so much with bringing joy and positive energy to all of us. I would love to read the practical ideas in this book!

  390. A great reminder of how we should not allow our circumstance to define how we should live. Thanks for this reminder!

  391. Stacy Fortenberry says:

    This devotional was sooo refreshing! Hit the spot in my heart that needs to be softened and loving. Just loved it!
    Love the read the book!!!
    Blessings,
    Stacy

  392. God bless you in your ministry! Thank you for the blessing of this devotional…

  393. That was a special, much needed message today. I get so caught up in routine and letting daily routine get me down, what a special memory she had and a way for me to inspire a renewed hope to my family to brighten their start to the weekly routine. Thanks for the special “hope” in a less than hopeful world

  394. Such a wonderfully encouraging post! So many times we forget that though the days are less than we are called to be content in them.

  395. Donna Craig says:

    I love when my children, now adults, share stories and remember whens that tell of what I thought were ordinary days, or little things I have long since tucked away in my mind.

  396. Jan Mayheu says:

    A wonderful reminder to appreciate each moment.

  397. I would love nothing more than to be like this mother and be able to find that joy and give it to my children when we are surrounded, in fact, drowning, in such overwhelming hardship. I feel that they too have suffered from having the innocence of their childhood stolen much too early by the struggles they’ve both witnessed my husband and I face financially, physically, and emotionally, as well as having had to face their own physical and emotional turmoil this past year. Our life had been turned upside down, and as much as I know I need to keep my focus on Christ and not the circumstances, it’s just so hard to not let the worry and stress of everyday living steal my joy. I hate that this trickles over to my precious children… I know this is all an attack from the enemy himself, but I feel so trapped and don’t know how to make my home a joyful place again. Please pray for us…for joy, for peace, for healing, for God’s provision. Thank you! I hope to be able to read this book sometime soon!

  398. Oh my goodness, did I need this today! My heart attitude that gets in the way of choosing to celebrate is exhaustion (mental and physical). I’m a working mother of 2 (a 2 year-old and 4 year-old), and I feel like I spend every minute that I am at home working much harder than I do at work. I feel like, in the evenings, all I ever tell my kids is “just a minute, Mommy’s busy” or “I can’t play right now, I have to finish cleaning up the kitchen,” etc. etc. Just last night, I prayed, “lord, I’m just exhausted. I know I need to cherish these precious moments because they are so fleeting (and I do cherish them), but right now I just feel like I have nothing left to give, and I’m coming up short.” Besides opening my eyes to changes I need to make, this story gives me hope, as do the stories of so many other courageous women. I will get past this little speed bump of difficulty. My kids won’t be so little and needy forever, and I will miss this when they do get older. I would love a copy of your book. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  399. Oh my how this devotion spoke to me today. I am definitely not a “fun mom” as I get wrapped up in working FT, taking care of aging parents and 2 teenagers. Don’t often find joy in the everyday! Would love to win the book and see what practical suggestions it might have.

  400. Lana Parks says:

    I would love to win a copy of your beautiful book.

  401. Oh how I needed this today. I had great expectations for a snow day home with my four kids. But once they were all up, the fighting and complaining and arguing began and I just wanted to run away. I’m going out to reclaim today and to make it a day filled with joy, fun, and special memories. Thank you.

  402. Oh, how I have struggled with this lately. I was raised in a home where everyone felt welcomed like family, bellies were always full, and no one left with an empty spirit. I want that same feeling in my home for my children, spouse, friends, and family. Yet, with the struggles in my marital relationship, that feeling has been lacking. I hope to start seeing that joy and spirit return. Lord, please help me see that joy and feel those spirits with the undeniable love that only you can provide.

  403. Ordinary life happens 90% of the time and it can get discouraging especially when the weather is not cooperating to our plans or something goes awry. Thank you for sharing such a simple, creative way of getting out of our ruts. The Master Creator and our faithful God has so many wonderful ideas, if we only ask. :) Loved your story!! Thank you for writing a book on this topic.

  404. I needed this reminder to strive to have joy in any circumstance and that finding that joy can make a difference to everyone around me. Thank you!

  405. Thank you for sharing encouraging words through a personal story. It spoke deeply to my heart this am. God is good to gIve us reminders through others. I am a stay at home mom with 5 little ones growing up fast and I want to be a good example of God’s provision through examples of faith. I needed the reminder to live with joy and lead by example. I realized that I was a bit down after finding out my husband would be gone a few days this month. I will need to bring back hats and glasses dress up to some of our dinners. And reading others comments I am humbled by those that have dad gone longer and for those of you who have spouses serving and gone for months. Thank you all for sharing.

  406. How amazing to not leave the burden on the children who don’t have the power to change it. I love that she was able to renew all their spirits by making a party which brought joy and comfort. What a simple but God honoring thing! Love this!

  407. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old. I was the third child, with 2 older brothers; one 10 years older and one 6 years older. Both boys went on with their football and baseball days, while I lived a life ensconced in the days of farm life. Mammy and Grandpa Dave taught me the joy of small things, God’s creatures, picking eggs, working the garden, harvesting honey, tuning apples to cider….all things beautiful…from God’s hands. They taught me to make beauty out of ashes and I reach for their wisdom to do the same for our grandchildren.

  408. My morning got off to a horrible start and all I have seen since is too much negative. This was just the reminder I needed this morning to change my day. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. God is so good

  409. Yes. Just yes.

  410. Beth Nichols says:

    Great encouragement for me to set a better tone at home! Especially with homeschool and when my hubby works late! Thank you for sharing:)

  411. Thank you so much for writing this devotional. What an inspiration for all us moms to let God use our homes to encourage our families and to teach our childen how to have hope when circumstances don’t look hopeful.

  412. What a great reminder that it is our attitudes that shape our experiences, not the other way around! Would love to read more!

  413. Joy is be chosen over happiness which is our circumstances. Joy means “Jesus,other’s, yourself”. We are to keep our focus on Jesus to have an attitude of joy. Being joyful at home with our family makes a world of difference. I liked the party – picnic in bed which brought joy to your family and to take their minds off the fact that their dad was out of town working etc..

  414. Wow. My husband leaves quite often for stretches at a time. I wonder if the silly things I plan that first evening when I don’t feel like it means much if a difference to anybody but me.
    Maybe they do. Thanks for the conviction:)

  415. I really needed this devotion today. I’ve been struggling with a job that seems overwhelming. This devotion inspired me to seek God to empower me to see it differently and find cause, and method, for celebration daily.

  416. Lovely post and reminder. As a military family we can relate to long absences and multiple moves, new places, new days where we have to choose to “Adapt and Overcome”. Of late it has been harder to choose joy, just plain tiredness often gets in the way, being to busy to stop and see the glory in the everyday.

  417. I’m about to go into a meeting with my boss that could well end in my resignation. but the Peace of the Lord is upon me and I will accept whatever comes. This lesson helps me reflect on the many, many blessings God has given me in my life all along the way. Thru dark valleys and high mountaintops. He is with me and always will be. Praise our Loving, Faithful, Lord!

  418. I SO needed to hear this today! Thank you for sharing! Recently sold our family home and moved out of state, living with one of my daughters and her family. Trying to move forward after (in the past 5 years) losing my husband, my mother & my oldest daughter….. However,…..I need to plant joy and let my light shine. I’ve lost my passion and my intent somewhere along the line. My confidence is grossly sagging, overwhelming to my heart as I know God is for me. I miss “home” yet know home is not here either!……thank you for sharing your sweet memory! I love it!

  419. A most beautiful story. God has made this simple verse, we all know so well, my daily verse since the fall of 2015. It makes a world of difference when you recite it AND BELIEVE it every day:)

  420. I loved this post! It makes me hopeful for my future as a wife and mom too. My husband and I have been married about a year and a half now and do not have children yet, but it is something I have always been so excited about! And hopefully, Lord willing, that time will come soon :) I think this book would be more great inspiration for me to learn how to be a homemaker who honors Jesus and her family, not just a homemaker who wants everything to be perfect. It’s all about how you love the people inside the four walls!

  421. I was so encouraged by your message today. I really needed it. I want to rejoice and be happy in my Lord even on the darkest days. Thank you.

  422. What a great reminder of how important the condition of my heart is on the home.

  423. Thank you for this timely reminder. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle as well as the negativity of this world. We have so much to be thankful for!

  424. Miranda B. says:

    What a good reminder to celebrate even when everything isn’t just how we would have it in our mind~Remembering his plan is always greater.

  425. What a beautiful story and excellent reminder on how we effect our kids! World love to read the book!

  426. Powerful reminder that we can choose joy! Would love to read their book.

  427. Oh my . . . as Mom’s and Grandmom’s may we be able to hear the sweet whisper from the Holy Spirit as to what plan of action He would have us to take. More importantly, that we would choose a plan of hope that will be etched in our little ones’ hearts forever. Thank you so much for sharing that story.

  428. This story touched me deeply today. My mother has been in heaven for 5 years and I miss her guidance every day. What a lovely story to read today!!

  429. As a military wife, I face a lot of times where the care of my children falls primarily on me for extended periods of time. This really resonated. I definitely don’t have this attitude the majority of the time when I am facing a time where my husband is away. I so long to have this attitude

  430. Thank you! I needed to be reminded that even in the gray winter days and even when things aren’t like we wish they were, Joy needs to shine through and lasting memories need to be made……so watch out grandsons …I feel a party coming on😄

  431. Wow, what an inspiring story…..I certainly need to follow this amazing example….very blessed from this story

  432. Patt Jackson says:

    Aww…the blessing in plain ole ordinary real Celebrations…at home. How refreshing to read and feel. This article challenged And encouraged me to face everyday, including not so good moments, with God’s Spirit of Love, patience and hope. Thank you!!!

  433. This message was one that I truly needed today. My youngest daughter and I have been going through an extremely tough time over the last year and recently I have been short with her when I shouldn’t be. This message convicted me and spoke to me of new ways that I can respond to her; in order to show here there truly can be hope in our daily situations through Christ. I love your website – it refreshes me daily and I appreciate the work through Christ that you are doing.

  434. This would be a great book for me, I have a new baby a week and half old, along with three other kiddos. I can easily get down and take it out on the kids, this book would help me great them how I truly desire to and they deserve to be treated.

  435. Desta Houston says:

    I enjoyed these encouraging words today. It is helping me start my day off with praise to God for His many blessings and love.

  436. I would absolutely love to win a copy of this book! I need tips on how to help create that atmosphere in our home!!

  437. Tammy Williams says:

    This book sounds just like what I need right now!

  438. KarriLynn Keith says:

    Heart was so touched by that I cannot even tell you. Remind me so much of my home life. When things were rough my little heart longing for love and tenderness and compassion, unfortunately it only received harshness judgment in pain. I long to bring more precious experiences to my new relationship and family do we can celebrate even in the must difficult times. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to reflect love song hope into those around us.

  439. Delores McPherson says:

    Thank you for this sweet reminder that my home should always show the joy of our Savior. My children are grown but we often have one grandson that comes and stays with us. His home life is unsettled to say the least (Mom and Dad are divorced and both remarried. There are step brothers and sisters in both families and he often gets set aside). When he comes to our house he finds the stability and attention that he is searching for but lately I have been tired and the joy of Jesus is lacking. This devotion and the book (should I win it) will help to remind me that my Joy is in Jesus not my circumstances and I have the opportunity to show that joy to my grandson. Thank you again for this timely message. May God bless you and your ministry.

  440. Yes, that is a great way to encourage yourself and your children in that circumstance.
    Our family did that when Daddy had to be away for an extended time. It is hard, but
    that is a great way to react instead of the sullen reaction you could have had.

  441. Thank you very much for this! This is where I am today! Once again God has met me right here! Thank you!

  442. Dawn Warner says:

    My husband and I were just married in July. He has 3 children, ages 20, 16, and 15 years… from a previous marriage. From that marriage, he was widowed while the children were very young. The fire that took his previous wife’s life, left him and the children in a very difficult way- to say the least. At the time, he wasn’t walking as closely with the LORD as he is today, and so he got married very soon after the children’s mothers death. Long story short, the LORD brought him to the church that I fellowshipped at and it was over 10 years before we became husband and wife. Our marriage, while VERY wonderfully blessed, has at times been difficult…especially with the two teenagers which still reside within our family home. You see, I was raised very lovingly by my mother and was very close to my family. My step-children however have never really experienced that reality (of having a mom) and are thus it seems more emotionally distant (resistant?) and uninterested (uncapable at this point?) of healthy choices and relationships within a family. I know this transition has been a huge transition for all of us ( I lived in a studio by myself until the age of 44 and they were raised by a loving and hardworking father, but by all means were pretty much raised latch-key at the same time). Your article has encouraged me to live beyond what I see and feel and I hope to, by the HOLY SPIRIT”S leading, to make and set the tone for our home to be one of joy, love, and peace. LORD bless~

  443. I want so badly to be THIS mom! Dear Lord, please help me to see the celebration in EVERY day that I enjoy with my children.

  444. Kim Matheson says:

    I grew up in Keene, New Hampshire. When I was in grade school, my father got a job working for the phone company–“Ma Bell” we called it. It was a good job, but it required weeks of training. In Canada. And not all at once. He would sometimes be in Montreal for a couple of weeks, come home for a month, then go back to Quebec etc. Over the course of one summer he was gone more than he was home. During one of his training trips my Mom’s sister and her three kids came for a week’s visit from Long Island. That made for a total of 7 kids with 2 adults in a two bedroom house–not a recipe for “peace and harmony” by any stretch of the imagination! And, of course, that was the week when everything that could go wrong, did. The fridge went on the fritz, the hot water heater sprung a leak, our car started acting up (spark plugs) and we kids decided to take up sides against one another–cousin vs. cousin. This all took place during the hottest, most humid week in July, when even under “normal” family circumstances it would be trying, at best, for any parent. Looking back now, over forty years later, I have the greatest appreciation for my Mom and Aunt. How they managed to hold everything together, make do with very limited resources, keep us kids from killing each other AND make some of the best childhood memories for us through it all is a testament to their love for all of us. My Aunt didn’t know the Lord at that time, but my Mom did and was able to show her big sister what He looks like during that whole experience. Thankfully, now my Aunt knows Him too and part of what drew her to Him was the memory of how my Mom handled a less-than-perfect week with grace, love and more than a little creative imagination. These two ladies are certainly Super Hero Moms in my book!

  445. While I can’t go back and redo my chidren’s memories (would love to have been more creative), what a perfect reminder to encourage us through each stage of our life. I can share this with my daughter who will be married this summer.

  446. Jeanette Beck says:

    I was so blessed when I read your devotion. I feel quilty at times when I feel sad but I turn to God to help me through that time. I wrote down one of the bible verses on an index card to read everyday that you had in devotion today. I lost my mom in January a year ago and I have really struggled with this. I would love to read this book.
    Jeanette

  447. God knew exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story and the Joy that God placed inside of you. I pray that I can exhibit the Joy of the Lord in the same way in my family. May God bless!

  448. Today’s word from Sarah was wonderful. Her memory of what Sally did gives me a hope and a desire to do the same for my daughter and husband. There are times (few) where God will hit me with something creative to do but it’s not really about the creativity, it’s about the love, joy, and hope that the creativity expresses and pores out onto those that are experiencing it. How we all need that in the mundane or difficult times in our lives. Today there is something to celebrate, what is it?

  449. My husband just left for a week. With an approaching blizzard and a child with health problems, this article was a blessing. Thank you

  450. Thank you for this post. I am in a period of homeschool burnout of 6 little ones. Needing to find joy and beauty.

  451. Choose joy….. it is a choice. Love this.

  452. Jodi Smith says:

    This devotion truly touched my heart today! I feel like too often I let my kids see my frustrations. I would love to own this book.

  453. So beautiful and inspiring!

  454. When my 3 kids were young my husband traveled Monday through Friday most weeks for many years. We used to say I was the COO (Chief Operating Officer) & he was the CEO. With all my kids in sports & involved in church activities, I tried to bring some relaxation & fun into our weeks. And on our weekends with dad home it was family time. I couldn’t have done it without a lot of prayer. God is faithful. Now as a grandmother I hope to be an encouragement to the moms of my grandchildren.

  455. I needed this so much!! Wish I had read it about a year ago! Thank you for being a blessing to me today, and I hope I will be more of a blessing to my family as a result!

  456. Loved this devotion- I’ve been trying to celebrate the little things in life instead of only waiting for the big things to celebrate. What a great reminder! Thank you!

  457. Ardis Rivera says:

    I can relate to this because my dad was only home on the weekends due to the distance of his job. I was the youngest and for many years, it was just Mom and me during the week. I appreciated the fact that she learned to change parts on tractors since we couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it and we also couldn’t wait for the weekend many times. Now I realize that it couldn’t have been easy for her. And I realize that more than ever in the year since she died. Working with pastors now in Mexico, I see lots of women that have to step up to do things that they don’t feel comfortable doing because the husbands are spending their money on beer and not on helping the family. With God’s help, we are setting up a non-profit to help these people, not only economically but also spiritually. And I hope that we can name it after my mother.

  458. I love this article. It reminds me that family is a beautiful place to be with those who love you for who you are. Family also gives us the strengths, encouragements, constructive critiques and most of all the love for each other. My husband and I, used to argued a lot when we were a lot younger and the kids were still young. Back then, our egos had always won over the common sense despite of our knowledge that we shouldn’t do argue in front of our children. However, the more we hear God’s words we are shaped more and more to love each other more and to follow what God wants us to do to build a strong and healthy family. We are still learning everyday but we know it’s not with our strengths but with His grace and mercy that we can have a wonderful family that God desires for us.

  459. Holly Carlson says:

    This devotion explains exactly the kind of wife and mother I want to be. I am definitely going to read this book. Hope I win it!

    • Karen Lewis says:

      After working all day as a school teacher, I come home to my 4 teenagers, not a joy filled house, and my husband. I want to be a good wife and mom and I want our home to be a sanctuary. Most of the time, we swish through each day, struggle with cooking a healthy meal, have on the road Bible study and prayer time with the kids, and fall into bed each day weary, tired, and not full of hope and joy. I do not believe this is how God intended for me to live each day. Sincerely, Not so full of joy these days

  460. jamminjenny says:

    Your writing is divinely inspired…bringing each reader into a precious moment of a deliberate choice for joy in the face of despair. Thank you for warming my heart today!

  461. Love you Sally you have given us so many reasons to celebrate our families and life in your books and podcast speaking. I hope my kids will look back with sweet memories of all I tried to pour into them through difficulties and trials. Thank you.

  462. Thank you. I needed to hear this today. I know the Lord but have been having the blahs. I don’t have young kids anymore but two teens. I can still model this to them.

  463. As a new wife, this devotion hit home for me as my husband and I are going through a job transition and move. We have been married almost three months. Our home environment can be stressful at times due to being newly married and adjusting to the change of leaving what we call home. We keep the Lord at the front of marriage always and we know we are doing what the Lord has for us. We desire to have a home filled with hope even in the dark times of our marriage and when the struggle of being a young married couple becomes alot to handle. Thank you for sharing this wonderful devotion today! It blessed my heart and will inturn bless my marriage.

  464. Jennifer Mayfield says:

    As my 3 children and I embark on week 4 of my husband being away for work, this post could not have been more profound. Extended travel has become a “way of life” for us, but just because we now know how to make it work does not mean that it gets any easier with each trip. Your post came at the time where I cave and begin to feel sorry for myself. The lack of rest is now settling into my body, my thoughts, my actions and unfortunately the way I speak to my children. They certainly benefit from lots of hot dogs, pizza and easy dinners during these times, but there is the constant pressure from me about “teamwork” and “stepping up” while daddy is gone. I can’t count how many times I’ve dropped the “why do I have to do everything?” line on them just in the last three days. And then I remind myself of the real heroes in the military, and the endurance of those amazing wives! Considering what Jesus endured for me makes me realize that what we are experiencing is small stuff. Even smaller than our emotions, the guilt, the heartstrings constantly being tugged on, is that tiny thing called clutter in my house, which seems to be growing in size by the instant! Thank you so much for your perspective today. It is a humbling yet wonderful feeling to be gently put in my place, especially knowing that it is precisely the place that God intended for me.

  465. Alana Morgan says:

    Such a terrific outlook your Mother had and bravo to you for keeping that memory stored and alive! Thank you for sharing with us and for the opportunity to win your book! Blessed Tuesday to you and yours!

  466. Thank you for your encouraging words. A good reminder that even when faced with challenging life circumstances, we have a choice to do good and let God’s light shine.

  467. My home lately feels like it was built on sinking sand. My husband and I have had our ups and downs with marriage and raising children but we have always been to come together, regroup, and pray. We are going through a season of anger and independence with our oldest son and it seems like we are not regrouping and praying effectively. My heart is hurting for him and I not sure how to help him. Having our house built upon the ROCK sounds so peaceful and relieving right now.

  468. I am held back from celebration because too often I strive for the perfect. If we can’t do the wonderful thing i had in my head, all is ruined, but it doesn’t have to be. I look forward to reading this book and creating simple opportunities for joyfulness each day.

  469. What a touching story and what a great mom — you are blessed. I took a look at the book description and snips — oh my! What fun and what a wonderful inspiration.

  470. When I was a young Mom, shopping with 2 little ones, I found myself having a very challenging moment in the dairy aisle. I know, how much trouble can one get into there??? None- the-less a wise stranger smiled kindly & said words I never forgot & have repeated often, “Some days nothing is easy…!”

  471. Jenni Albert says:

    Would love w chance to read their book! Thanks!

  472. Lori Gardenhour says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words Sarah and Sally. I am looking at it from a different prospective as I am now taking care of my aging mother in my home. You have to make each day count and make a memory.

  473. How encouraging!!

  474. I wasn’t ready to confront my almost subconcious constant focus to keep a perfectly ordered house this morning, but I’m thankful I am. This morning’s messages helped me to understand that my priorities are sorely “outa-whack” and that I am actually the cause of the majority of my stress! Argh…painful conclusion to come to. But, as I reflected, I’M choosing to spend too much time fighting in a battle against crumbedd counters, a pile of unfolded laundry, and bathroom sinks laced with crystal blue toothpaste. I will never truly win this battle and why do I need to? I am neglecting the most important tasks that need to be conquered and missing out on a more peaceful home and precious time with my husband and 2 young boys. It has been easier for me to gravitate towards more mindless tasks and to blame circumstances and other people for my frustration with lack of progress in the more important areas of my life. I want the change to begin in me. Today is a new day and my heart is ready for a fresh attitude, outlook, and focus!!!
    Addie
    P.S. I’m not giving up on housework, just going to try to give it it’s right time😊

  475. This was such a sweet reminder to find the joy in every circumstance! Boy do I need that painted on my mirror as a reminder every morning. Thank you for sharing. My fingers are crossed to win a copy of the book!

  476. Becky Foutz says:

    This article brought tears to my eyes, because it reminded me so much of my own mother and how she was always upbeat and trusting God through my growing up years. She is 90 years old now, but her brown eyes still sparkle at the thought of any sort of celebration! Thank God for good mothers.

  477. This is my constant prayer to have Gods love flow through me onto my kids & to enjoy them as God does. I get worn out, tired, of the everyday motherly duties, that I’m missing out on awesome quality time with my kids. It doesn’t help that I like it more quiet than rambunctious behavior. This book is an answer to my prayers. Thank you for today’s Devo!!
    This is the day to rejoice & be glad in it!!

  478. Great reminder to find joy in the everyday and point it out to our kids! I had a creative mom like this, and love surprising my own kids …. choosing joy is really a spiritual discipline worth honing that can get the family through tough times, help us bond, and pass on a legacy of faith!

  479. I really believe this book would be a wonderful blessing for our family. Our family consists of my daughter with her 4 children and myself with the 2 grandchildren I’ve adopted. There always seems to be some sot of conflict going on with the children and I believe this book would help us to put a new spin on it. Thank you for sharing your indites. God bless

  480. i definitely need to read this book. I am a mom of two, a boy 17 and a girl 10. I have a husband who is able to make it home every night but he works really long hours six days a week. I also suffer from depression which in return means I feel like I failed my kids because they have had to see me so down. I recently decided to give my life to Christ. I want to be a woman of God and live my life for him. I want to be a better mother for my kids and help them grow to love Jesus too. It all starts with me and I think this book would help me.

  481. Katie Patrick says:

    Sounds like just the book I need. After teaching all day and coming home to three little ones it would be nice to get some more positive perspective on how to make our home more cheery and inspiring. :)

  482. What a heart warming story. One to learn from and live by. Thank you!

  483. So amazing to have the Holy Spirit really minister to you and send you exactly what you need. This is exactly what I needed in my current season of balancing ministry and the joys of being a wife and a mom. Would be blessed to have a book to learn more about those that have done it before me and possibly share it with other women that need this same thing. Thank you for the work you are doing!

  484. Tiffany Beckett says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It touched my heart and gave me fresh eyes.

  485. Thanks for this today. In an extremely stressful season where life can easily suck the life out of our home, I’ve been SO wanting it to be joyful. Our youngest child is a senior and will be leaving in August – I want his memories of his last months at home to be sweet, not stressful or unhappy. We can’t help what’s happening in life, but we CAN help what life in our home feels like. Thanks for this encouragement!

  486. I really enjoyed today’s devotion, hit home with me. Thinking of how I can make a difficult , long day still joyful and create lifelong positive memories in my home. Thank you !

  487. Wish I had had a mother like that!

  488. I always try to remain positive and optimistic about everything. I would love to have this book to help me focus on this more and make it easier.

  489. What a fantastic article, I desperately needed to hear this today and am so thankful that this ministry exists! Thank you for all that you do! What a daily encouragement!

  490. Thank you for this inspiring story.

  491. Danielle Huerta says:

    Thank you for these devotions…they redirect me in thr best possible way!

  492. What a beautiful devotional – thank you! I know we all need to take time to be thankful for the day we are given. It’s all about our attitude.

  493. Too easy to get caught up in our circumstances of the moment so we tend to forget that we have the promise that we’ll never be forgotten or forsaken. This devotional is a wonderful reminder to not forget. Bless you!!

  494. KIMBERLY BROWN says:

    Uprooted and Disconnected. We’ve recently moved from our home to “temporarily” stay with my mom because of mold. As a wife and mother of four(two of which are homeschooled) I have been sooo out of sorts. This daily encouragement really reminded me that “home” is on the inside and that I get to pray when I feel
    like I’m sinking in the lovely chaos of my
    blessed life. Thank you Jesus!

  495. Thank you for sharing your story, its all in our attitudes how we deal with life. This was a nice reminder to seek Jesus first and let his love flow through our lives so that we can touch others as he touches our hearts. God Bless those in need of his joy!

  496. What a gift this devotion was today. Brings me to tears, while reminding me that I can always make the day better for my children, and for myself, regardless of whether or not Daddy is working late again (or any other calamity). I need to remember to celebrate when it seems the most difficult…there’s always so many things to be thankful for.

  497. Remembering to find joy in my home. Thank you for the encouraging words.

  498. My Dad was a truck drive so I know how it feels to see them pull away for days and in my case weeks at a time. It truly is a blessing to know that Dad missed me as much as I did him. My Mom was hope giving, hard working, farm woman, and still is! She was a wonderful role model.

  499. I have recently gone back to work after the birth of our second child. My husband works hard, but often late. Lately, I feel that I look at my two beautiful girls as ‘chores’ and their care as something to check of my ‘to do’list.
    Then I fall into bed not remembering what I did that day. Thank you for the reminder of the wonderful message in Psalm 118:24. I miss the days when I looked forward to my time with my family and the fun we had. I think tonight is a great time to start celebrating the truth in that verse. Thank you!

  500. Thankful this day for the joy of being a homemaker. I feel this has always been my calling; to practice hospitality, creating a warm, inviting, comfortable place for family and friends to gather, eat, and celebrate life’s small pleasures.

  501. What a sweet, gentle reinforcement of what God showed me just last night about how I haven’t done a very good job of choosing joy in the midst of my trials and challenges. I have struggled through a difficult relationship for years and have managed to remain honoring and selfless (according to my children), but I haven’t done very well in the joy department. May God grant me the grace to change that:)

  502. My prayer today is that I too can teach my children to embrace hope even in tough times. I don’t get this right most days but continue to pray that God would fill me with Hope from Him that will overflow in my home.

  503. What a beautiful memory. It made my spirit smile. :) Can’t wait to read the book.

  504. What a great reminder! Thank you!

  505. Thank you, I know that when things are tough we are supposed to praise God but sometimes we need reminding to put it in to practice as well as the encouragement. I have been blessed by your story and the amazing strength your mum showed by turning it into a joyful occasion. Praise God as He is able to use these experiences for His glory and to remind us that the joy of the Lord is our strengh.

  506. I have to make a conscious effort every day to be positive because I was influenced by a mom who saw the negative in life instead of the positive, and I don’t want that for my children.

  507. What a beautiful reminder of the opportunity we each have to spread joy!

  508. Thanks for this encouragement…a smile is always a good start to change an attitude…then sending up a prayer for help goes a long way too!

  509. Michel Hodges says:

    The psalm verse at the beginning of this article is a special one for me. When I was in nursing school and faced with a long day of classes followed by clinicals I would hum this verse to remind me that no matter what the day brought I would rejoice because God had already blessed me so much and this day was full of wonderful possibilties.

  510. This story brought me to tears. I am so guilty of taking our life’s tough times on my boys, offering up harsh words, or insults. I am so ashamed of myself. That was the case last night and early this morning. All I can do is cry. This story showed me that there is another way. And I don’t always act out in anger but yesterday and today I really blew it. Thanks for this story maybe some day soon it will be my story too.

  511. I needed to read this one today. Thank you for this encouragement to find joy in every circumstance – especially for the sake of my children, who are following after the example they see in me every day!

  512. Thank your for sharing this sweet story and important lesson. :)

  513. Loved your message. Please enter me. Thank you!

  514. Oh how I know this scene well. My husband is an over the road truck driver and we play out the goodbye scene each week. Thank you for the encouragement to make moments of joy out of times of sorrow.

  515. The book sounds like it would help me. This story was ours last week. I started out the week joyful and kept it for 4 days but then sickness overwhelmed me and I broke the last 2 days before my husband could return and give me some much needed rest. I can’t do it alone but I don’t have to. I have the Holy Spirit As my helper but I so often forget to call upon His name.

  516. Oh how I wish our home would have been filled with this kind of love when I was young. I long to make my house a joyful, fun, home for my family, but I often feel unequipped. This challenges me. Thank you for this. I hope to read this book!

  517. I have already started reading The Lifegiving Home. It is wonderful, a breath of fresh air, the perfect encouragement to revitalize my home!

  518. What a wonderful memory! I would love to win a copy of Sally and Sarah’s new book.

  519. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I, too, have beautiful memories of my childhood and my parents that I cherish. Your book will be encouraging and inspiring to all who read it. Yes, please enter me to win a copy. Thank you.

  520. Oh, how we all need this story. To know that we are the conductors of the symphonies of our family’s lives, and we have a choice at which tempo we shall all proceed! Thank you, sweet Sarah. And thanks, Proverbs 31 for sharing this lovely post!

  521. What a wonderful story and just what I needed today. If we can’t find joy in the ordinary where an it be found. Thank you both so much.

  522. Rachel Alexander says:

    What a great reminder that God is always in control! Thanks so much.

  523. This was so encouraging! I’d love to win a free copy of the book. We’re about to have our first child and need all the godly advice we can get on how to create a loving, peaceful and fun home for our children. This book seems like it would provide that advice in a creative and encouraging way. Thank you for blessing us with your wise words.

  524. Christina says:

    Obviously Iamnot the only one touched by this devo. I am excited to read your book as I have 4 young children and am sick as well. My hubby is amazing, but has crazy hours that leaves me exhausted. Your story moved me to rethink how I react to each situation. Thank you for that. I have no doubt it will impact not only myself but my children’s childhood.

  525. I’m a mother of 3 beautiful daughters, we are from Mexico and live in Canada, I don’t have any family here, it’s just my husband, my daughters and myself. We own 2 restaurants and have very busy lives, but I always try to be there for my daughters, I know that this first years of their lives are very important and I want to set a good example of love and joy.

  526. I pray that my home is life giving

  527. This was such a needed reminder that even through the daily struggles of life as a now single mom, I can choose to create joy as often as possible. When I am in the midst of battling discipline issues alone or feeling the weight of one thousand bills and tempted to just get dragged down by all of it, I am going to strive to remember to create moments for my children!!

  528. LOVED READING THIS DURING A SEASON WHEN MY JOY SEEMS GONE. I FEEL PULLED IN TOO MANY DIRECTIONS AND UNABLE TO SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD THE WAY THAT I SHOULD.

  529. Love this!!! Such a great reminder! I truly want my family, my home, our hearts to be filled with JOY each and every day!!! :)

  530. I would love to have a copy of your book. I have not been very good at celebrating every day with my two wonderful children, and I want this resource to be able to accomplish this! Thank you for writing the book! I am sure to read it, soon!

  531. I am in a desperate place & long for my home to be more life giving & more peaceful!

  532. Denise Dumford says:

    Timing is everything! Thank you Father for knowing when to send the perfect message!
    What a blessing this book would be!!!

  533. Many young women today don’t see the importance of just being a loving mom and spending time with their children.

  534. This is inspirational to me. To create a moment in the midst of mommy life full of diapers and dishes. To celebrate your children. I hope to get my hands on this book :-)

  535. Love the honesty. Would greatly appreciate reading this book with my daughter and grandchild. Thank you for opening my eyes today!

  536. Doris Burd says:

    I choose to wake up every morning and the first few moments I give to praising The Lord for His blessings and just worship Him. That sets the tone for my day. I find if I don’t set aside any time in the morning to do this I feel off. Doing this helps me make choices throughout the day to have joy in difficult moments!!! Praising God through Pain!

  537. Suzette Ruffa says:

    What a beautiful devotion!! As a single Mom to 15 year old twins it can be hard to make home more than a stopping off place. We do have (most) dinner meals together as a family and always praise the hand of God that provided us such a comfortable life! Thanks for a chance to win this book; I would love to make our home more homey on a daily basis!

  538. Reading this opens my eyes so much. My husband is gone at least 5 days out of the week, and I am home with my school aged kids. I work full time, handle all of the duties of the household, and shuttle kids back and forth to school and activities. I know that I need to improve on more happy moments, because I let my stress and discouragement show through entirely too much, and it impacts my children. Lord, please let more of you show through to my family.

  539. Thank you! Beautiful! As I sometimes struggle to pay bills or watch my husband walk out the door for another shift, I hope to keep this in the back of my mind to take advantage of the situation that my children are under my feet and enjoy them as well as create a memory.

  540. Kathy Van Heukelom says:

    What an encouraging story! Thank you.

  541. Thank you for this beautiful and needed word today.. Blessings!

  542. I would love to win the book! Our family could definitely benefit from a life giving home. My husband and I have worked too much for the last several years but I finally left my full time job to work part time from home. What a new life it has given to my family. But now, with the extra time to contemplate, I see the brokeness that comes from years of unintenionally running through life too busy for the good stuff!!!!

  543. Ingrid Gregory says:

    I needed this devotion today. It reminded me that we must choose to have God’s love and joy to enter in our hearts filling us with His hope and promise of His plans for us and not allow discouragement to settle in our minds. Thank you and may the Lord continue to pour His glorious riches and blessings on you and your family.

  544. Rebekah Cheung says:

    Timely words. Just what I needed at just the right moment.

  545. Barbara Hull says:

    This article is a gift for me and my children today. We are leaving an abusive family situation and I have crossed the threshold into single motherhood. The tone I set for my children each day shows them that in life’s darkest moments, there can be light, laughter, and good memories made together as a new family unit. Thank you Sally and Sarah for keeping the light alive in me as I forge ahead on my own. Our home will be blessed with this book.

  546. What a beautiful story! Thank you, I need to remember this

  547. I remember the time when I was in the situation of your mom where my husband would fly weekly to work. I’m truly blessed by today’s devotional. Thanks for sharing.

  548. This story made the tears just stream down my face. It reminded me both of times when I chose to create joy from a difficult circumstance and when I chose the opposite and the results of those actions. My three children are all in college now and each day when I enter the house from work, the quiet is so tough for me. Today as I was searching for a devotion when I arrived home I found this one. Reading this story reminds me of the importance of creating those special moments each time my children return home which will in-turn remind them of all the special moments that God blessed us with as they were growing up. It puts a smile on my face to be reminded that it is always time to create joy in the lives of those around you. What a blessing!

  549. I’ve struggled a lot with a heart attitude that focuses too much on what I don’t have and not nearly enough on the many blessings in my life. God’s brought me a long way toward being able to be content, thankful and joyful in any circumstance, but it’s so easy to fall back into old thought patterns.

  550. How uplifting! Wonderful life giving encouragement…makes me want to party!

  551. What a good reminder that if we concentrate on the struggle that is where we are headed. Would love to win on of Sally’s books.

  552. 1 Corinthians 2:9

  553. A great reminder to me as I celebrate my son, and only childs, heavenly birthday. He was 18. Today he is 23 and serves Jesus. Thank you for making a hard day much softer. Sincerely, Gayle

  554. What a beautiful reminder of our power as mothers to influence a tough situation. Thank you for sharing!

  555. I really appreciated this devotional today. I work a demanding full-time job, although it is out of the home. I’m blessed because working from home allows me extra flexibility to be more involved with my children and their school/daycare activities. But it is also a challenge because I sometimes find myself trying to be AS involved as the stay at home moms that live in our neighborhood. I end up stressed and feeling like I’m failing at both work and as a mom (and my poor husband is always getting pushed to the bottom of my list). This message helped remind me that I can take little moments with my kids (and husband too) and make them extra special, which can have just as much impact as being with them constantly or volunteering at every school activity. Thank you for helping things into perspective.

  556. You speak wise truths! “Being content” is the ultimate “bottom line” to hope and real joy for each one of us.
    I will try to remember these words each day!
    Blessings!

  557. This reminds me to celebrate in all things, big or small no matter the circumstance. Our children watch our response and emotions to all situations. I want my kids to remember me as a mother who celebrates, who is optimistic and responds with faith even when the circumstance may not be all peachy. Thank you for writing this, for reminding me to be a positive example and to CELEBRATE!! I would love the chance to win your book and be inspired by more of your words daily.

  558. What an absolutely inspiring story. Thank you.

  559. thank you so much for sharing this story, I strive to be a mom like the example your mother set :) as a single mom I surely know how special those time of pure joy and celebration with the “kiddos” (as I call them) can really mean and making memories like the one you cherish in their hearts and minds that they can call upon for the rest of their lives… I hope I can leave a legacy as beautiful as the one your mother has left behind. God’s peace and blessings to you and your family.

  560. Thank you for sharing this story and for the reminder. Blessings

  561. Bobbi Lynn Miller says:

    Sally,
    What a beautiful blessing and inspiration you are to me . Thank you for sharing with us tired Mamas.
    And encouraging us to make life’s little moments count.

  562. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it with us, your readers. I would love a copy of the book! God bless you and your family!

  563. Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. As I sat and read it, with tear filled eyes, I truly realized that all of us who believe, have that same power inside of us, through the Holy spirit. Even in our darkest moments of despair, we still have the beautiful hope that comes from our amazing Father (:

  564. This is an amazing article for me. My husband traveled a lot and was away for weeks on business. The kids and I would always take him to the airport throughout the period of time he was away I would cook meals that we called “the foods Dad doesn’t care for” ( Brussel sprouts, spinach, cooked cabbage, chicken & dumplings). We still talk about those special meals today with their children. His presence was with us nightly as we gathered at the dinner table as we each talked of the wonder we had as to why he didn’t share the like of our “favorite foods”. We missed him but our meals time conversation kept him a part of our daily life and enabled us to continue forward as normal!

  565. Please enter me. Hope I win and good luck to everyone. I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s such a simply reminder to always have and to pray for the His spirit in us. The spirit of hope, love, grace and to have faith in Him in every situation both bad and good. And to be grateful everyday that we have Him. Thank you again.

  566. Elaine Segstro says:

    What a beautiful heartfelt story! I pray that my home may be filled with joy and love and precious memories!

  567. Leslie Burcham says:

    Because sometimes I forget to take time for myself to reflect and breathe.

  568. Such a wonderful story! Made me wonder what stories my boys treasure.

  569. What a beautiful remembrance of your dear mother. With a dear daughter and husband, who just had our first grandchild this month… I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them in raising their daughter. Thank you for the giveaway. It will be a blessing to the winners I am sure!

  570. Heather Miller says:

    I struggle with hospitality! I would so love to be “that girl” that has a joy everyone wants to be around and a welcoming home for everyone I meet! Perhaps it’s not my gift, but I would love to improve in this area.

  571. Pooja Noel says:

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory! I have been struggling with being a good homemaker, having been married 2 years ago, crumbling under the pressure of everything that needs to be done around the house, and I keep falling short of the perfection I have imagined in my mind. In the bargain,I haven’t really been enjoying the day to day moments. Your story moved me to tears because deep down inside I’m craving for a house filled with warmth and joy and the goodness of God. Thank you!

  572. Sonja Ahuja says:

    I thank you for this wonderful devotion today. Many days I am in need of a attitude shift to change my gloomy outlook to a joy-filled one. I appreciate the reminder that I am a child of God, one who can help make the days of others brighter.

  573. I love the memories of others, I’m trying to make new memories with my granddaughters every week. Today it was fun to have lunch with my daughter and granddaughters. They wanted to know about their mom’s birth because they have a new sister coming into the world soon. Before you knew it we were looking through a baby book of names, reflecting on what our names meant.
    It was fun to be reminded how important each one of us are to God and to each other.

  574. Laine Dore says:

    Thank you for the reminder to make the every day (and sometimes hard times) joy-filled! Especially being a stay at home mom. :)

  575. Thank you, Lord for this encouragement for dark times. You are our light. Our eternal hope.

  576. Sue Hammons says:

    “I think we need a party” certainly resounded with me! Sunday, I threw myself a retirement party — One year after I retired! The first year was difficult. I decided it was time to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” and have a party. It was great fun!

  577. I love this! I struggle with creating this atmosphere in my home. My husband isn’t a believer and trying to raise my boys to give their hearts to Jesus and to help myself and them to feel like they belong even when Satan works through their father and places doubt in our minds.

  578. Thanks for sharing this. I would love this give away as I struggle with hospitality and admire those who have this gift.

  579. I love hospitality and keeping things simple is what I like. I would love to learn better how to share and maximize moments with others!

  580. Christianne McCall says:

    What choices do you make to bring joy into the challenging moments of your life? I have to certainly remind myself to do this! I find it WAY too easy to fall into a negative pattern!
    What heart attitude gets in the way of choosing to celebrate life in your home? I always feel like I’m not good enough or I don’t measure up.

  581. To answer the reflective questions … I choose to smile and try not to compare my situation to others. Thank you for this wonderful, timely devotion and humble reminder of mindful living as a believer!

  582. Thank you. Your uplifting words help me each day. I read them on Facebook and you have a beautiful way of encouragement.

  583. Tiffany Long says:

    Oh my, what a great example of being content! I am struggling with this in my own life right now. Would love to win a copy of this book to learn more!

  584. Loving JESUS says:

    Hi Sarah and Sally,

    I read your book, Desperate, and I absolutely loved it. It resonated with me even at this stage with elementary school age, preteen, and teen kids. The Lifegiving Hone rounds like an amazing book too.

    I think my most cherished times with my kids are those spontaneous moments as well, where I choose to rejoice in the day that God has given us and fellowship with our kids. Yesterday, we randomly went and had free yogurt on National Yogurt Day, just because it was fun and I wanted to be intentional and engage my kids about their day while having a fun outing. I was exhausted as we have a premie in the house as well and sleep is pretty much nonexistent, but I wanted to be present and bring life and fun fellowship to their day. I pray that each day God would help me to be an intentional parent, as my husband and I hope to live a life of love. :) Thank you so much for this devotion and for your gracious Lifegiving perspective. Many blessings to your ministry.

  585. I am looking forward to reading your book. I try to approach life looking for the joy but sometimes perfectionism keeps me from truely living a life of hospitality.

  586. Sue Thompson says:

    Beautiful reminder! Refreshing to my soul!!

  587. Nancy M in NJ says:

    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.

  588. This post really blessed me as well as convicted me in a good way. I’ve been going through a difficult time that has definitely been a strain on my family and me. What a difference a little joy – a change in direction – can make!

  589. Pamela Gammill says:

    What a beautiful story! You had a strong and wise mama. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  590. Ashley Crim says:

    Thank you

  591. These kind of memories are my favorite! Loved snow days as a kid and the memories we made.

  592. My husband is in the National Guard, so once a month he will be gone for the weekend, which is not as bad as when he’s gone for a few weeks. When he does have guard duty, I try to plan something fun for our five and soon to be three year old to do. Something as simple as letting them have pop tarts (not a staple in our house) will do, renting a movie, or a picnic at the park.
    “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 is one of my favorite verses. It is the verse I call to mind on the mornings when I just don’t want to get out of bed. Thank God for one more day.

  593. This article is just what I needed. It gave me such sweet memories of my mom and mammaw. Even in the face of difficult circumstances they made us feel special and made so many wonderful memories for us.

  594. Tammy Benoy says:

    I really enjoyed this article and think this book would be a great read

  595. I am desperate to find extraordinary in the ordinary days of my life.

  596. Kimberly Thomason says:

    What choices do you make to bring joy into the challenging moments of your life? I try to always look on the bright side which can be extremely hard. But even after the bad event has passed and we moved on I remind them of what we thought it meant, how it bothered or worried us and how good the outcome was. If it wasn’t a good outcome I tried to still find a bright spot.
    What heart attitude gets in the way of choosing to celebrate life in your home? Feeling like I just don’t meet the need or that nothing I do is good enough, comparing myself with others.

  597. Thank you for reminding of the importance of little moments. Our attitudes make all the difference for our kids and we have so many opportunities to create great memories.

  598. What a beautiful story of life and choices! Thanks for sharing. My husband divorced me two years ago February 27th. I was extremely depressed and cried a lot, but now I’ve been able to see that life can go on without him because my joy is in the Lord and not in my husband doing what I want. I’ve chosen to do things with my children. I’ve chosen to be happy! This article reinforced that idea of choosing the up instead of focusing on the down. Thanks for sharing!

  599. yes. If only I could remember this more often…

  600. What a beautiful reminder. My husband is out of town this week and this message was perfect to hear as the ordinary does take over.

  601. Kim Noyles says:

    For me, its a matter of thinking about what I’m going to say before I say it. It helps me to keep my personal perspective from exploding onto other people. And I found that bringing joy to people isn’t always with words either.

  602. Thank you for the encouragement.

  603. I don’t have children at home anymore they live far away. I have not had anybody come through my door in a long time. And no communication with church members. Went to none existent after my mom got hospitalized. I feel like I’ve been completely shunned.

  604. All I can say is I’m so glad that God blessed you with this insight from such a young age:)

  605. Just what I needed to hear when my husband is about to leave again (this time for only a couple of days). Maybe we’ll just have a party tomorrow 😉

  606. Loved this beautiful example, and as a mom and wife it served as a much-needed reminder. Thank you so much! Would love to read the book!

  607. I’ve enjoyed your books for years. Thank you for this. What a blessing!

  608. Thank you! What a wonderful memory and devotion!

  609. this is what we all wanted from our homes, a place of peace and rest. In today’s busy world, it is hard to achieve, we have to work at it. It can happen, but we have to make it happen.

  610. Oh my Father, Your mercy again. Thank You for gently convicting me of a poor attitude in the midst of a blessed life. I need to read this book.

  611. What a beautiful memory. Sometimes as mothers, we forget that it is the little things that can make a huge impact on our little ones. Special memories that they will carry into adulthood and share with their children.

  612. stacy potter says:

    Moms rule!

  613. Lisa Ritchings says:

    🙏💗I want to be a steward of Joy in my home. I want the Lords Joy and comfort to flood our home, hearts, and lives. I have been on a silent mission to have a Lifegiving home. I would most definitely appreciate a copy of this book.

  614. i ADORE Sally and would be so blessed to win this book

  615. I would love to give this as a gift to someone.

  616. Just what I needed today. No joke, my kids were fighting at breakfast and I truly started singing “This is the day” trying to ease the bickering. I was shocked when I read the verse for todays devotion. It is a great message and just what I needed to hear, work in progress.

  617. Yay! I can’t wait to read it!

  618. Thank you for these words. Absolutely inspiring and so beautifully written. Would you mind if I shared this with several other similar links on my blog in the near future?

  619. Such a timely, much-needed devotional during these ordinary days! Would love to read the book!

  620. This is so encouraging and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book! Motherhood can be so overwhelming at times and the reminder to choose joy in those everyday moments is something that I think we all can use.

  621. What a great reminder! I needed this today!

  622. Oh, how I needed this today. I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with challenging behavior of my children. Instead of pouring out God’s love, I’ve been spewing frustration. I need to remember that our children are affected by daddy working 2 jobs jist as much as I am. I need to celebrate the small things everyday with my children and live God’s Word. Thank you for this devotional!

  623. Nearly every night, I lay down and hope to do “it” better tomorrow….I lose my cool, I tread water, I just exist. Everyone is clean and fed and hugged, but that fullness of love and joy in my heart often lacks. I want my daughters to feel that, but I just can’t seem to figure out how to get there!

  624. Kirsten Fox says:

    I also needed this today. It’s been a stretching year and sometimes it’s all the little things that weigh you down. This was beautiful; exactly what I needed.

  625. What gifted writers you AND your daughter are! I have been blessed by other books you have written and am really looking forward to this one! Thank you for the reminder that “ordinary” days can become extraordinary memories when we are intentional about joy in our homes.

  626. I would love to win a copy of this amazing book! Thank you so much for the chance!

  627. I would love to read this book!

  628. Erin Weberg says:

    This speaks directly to the area of my own life that the Lord has been refining recently. I would love a copy of the full book!

  629. This is so my prayer today, to realize as I raise my girls, homeschooling and all, that we can celebrate each moment and not just survive it. I have been Breast Cancer free for 3 years and I think instead of enjoying and celebrating life I have just endured it for 3 years almost scared to breathe for fear of going back to where I came from. I need Him to help me restore the joy in my family.

  630. Wow, what I great reminder how our everyday stresses can affect our families!

  631. Great reminder! Would love this book.

  632. Julie Hassert says:

    Love this! Will strive to do the same for my girls when my husband is traveling!

  633. This was exactly what I needed to read today. As a new mom, and business owner some days are tough and I’m in a week of doing everything myself due to my husbands very long hours at work, so thank you for the reminder to always find the joys in life.

  634. Beautifully written and very inspiring. This book has been added to my must read list! As a stay-at-home mom of two girls, I’ve always dreamed of our home being our perfect refuge. Sometimes it is & sometimes I just can’t seem to live up to Martha Stewart & Pintrest. Time to refocus, reprioritize & get to work!

  635. Carolyn Rogers says:

    Thank you. An ah-hah I needed. I kept re-reading the prayer at the end of your devotional. I’m a glass-half full person but I don’t have to conjure up joy by my bootstraps – I just need to ask the Father for His presence and joy. Thank you for a wonderful devotional, story and insight.

  636. One of my daughters also suffers from nocturnal asthma. The sleepless nights in themselves can be enough to keep me from hearing the creative voice of the Holy Spirit. I love this encouraging portion and pray to experience these kinds of celebrations despite the “realities” of my world.

  637. Sara Lamberto says:

    I want a life giving home, but my selfishness gets in the way. Things go better when I pray, but I guess I need to really think about the attributes of a life giving home and what that looks like for our family.

  638. Jenny Fuller says:

    Feeling inspired to change my responses by this one story. Lord please help me respond with life-giving words to my children!

  639. Grace Crapitto says:

    I would love to win and read this book. I have 6 grandchildren that live close by. I would love to learn how to conjure up these wonderful Christ filled moments in their lives when they are in my home. What a treasure to give them God filled memories they will never forget.

  640. What a beautiful post. I so admire Sally Clarkson. Would love to win the book and put into practice more of her advice.

  641. What a blessing and gift to know how to turn a sad situation into a celebration!

  642. Sarah Baimbridge says:

    What an amazing blessing to be reminded to choose joy and to share that joy in our homes! Facing struggles in my current chapter in life, raising twin 3 year olds with a husband back in school and working full time at night. Would love to read this book to help bless my family!!!!

  643. Master Gunnery Sergeant Jackson says:

    That rare and special gift given to every mother from GOD:
    Even now at the ripe old age of 68, when a child gets hurt in play time, only mother can kiss away a Boo-Boo.
    Oh! how I miss mom.

  644. Abbey Barnes says:

    This lesson was an inspiration. A reminder to find joy in every day no matter the situation. Love the verse from Phillipians.

  645. Resentment has gotten in the way for me. I would love to get past it.

  646. Cathy Gill says:

    My Mom loves devotionals. Once she starts reading one devotional, she finds it hard to put the book down. She’s 87 years young and she’ll read until her eyes get tired. God bless her. I’m blessed to have a wonderful Mom. She lives by this portion of scripture, Philippians 4:11b, ” … I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” She’s a wonderful example of what it is to be a Christian woman by her actions, lots of love and laughter.. I’ve read the devotional and I’m sure she would enjoy it and the rest.I would love to receive this devotional book as a surprise gift for my Mom.

  647. A wonderful read!So precious and priceless mothers love!

    God bless

  648. Courtney Napier says:

    As a mother of 3 small children whose husband is a pastor, I can totally relate to this article! I am constantly reminded to be joyful in all circumstances and to pray for God to allow me to show the fruits of the Spirit to these little ones under my care. I would love to read the Clarksons’ new book and am grateful that they shared this devotional!

  649. Teresa Nelson says:

    Thank you for this post. It is a great reminder.

  650. Wow, what a great reminder. Sometimes my most trying moments are in front of my sweet family right in my home.

  651. I strongly desire to have a life-giving home, but often feel I fail at it. I was encouraged by reading this and also by recently reading The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy, a book that made the hospitality of a Hungarian family during WWI come alive in a way that made me want to imitate the family’s life-giving love, accepting Russian POWs, German refugee children, village troublesome children and all! I pray that my home becomes more like that!

  652. What a beautiful reminder that when we focus on bringing joy to others instead of ourselves we too experience the joy of being Christ like!

  653. Thank you for sharing! What a true picture of a Proverbs 31 woman!

  654. Thank you for this powerful reminder of how much influence we have as mothers. What a privilege to bring the joy of the Lord into our homes – in the big and small moments.

  655. A beautiful story shared. It tells of how we can choose God’s ways in our everyday lives, to touch the hearts of those He has given us to care for. It helps the young moms, the single women, the grammy’s, to give hope and joy to all that we touch in our everyday struggles. thank you

  656. Awww, loved this, a reminder of what I want my home like,warm,joyful,loving,restful,and cozy. Would love to read this book when my finances are good, it’s on my book list.

  657. Adrienne Slinkman says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  658. Wow! I was so inspired by his excerpt. While my boys are ‘mostly grown’, they are still joke some and I have been increasingly aware of thei need to connect and be strengthens by their ‘roots’ even as the begin to spread their wings’. I did not come from a life giving hime but mu greatest desire is to always be one!

  659. Thank you for sharing. Having 4 children, 2 of which are young adults, I still desire to provide a haven at home, a place for them (& friends) to feel joy, peace, love & laughter. A place where they are encouraged, hope-filled, and know they are loved and treasured.
    The title alone, The Life Giving Home, is an inspiration and heart warming.

  660. Jane Bethel says:

    It’s been a difficult road since my daughter lost her husband to suicide almost two years ago. She has 4 young children in her charge. I’ve worried a lot about her and the kids. Sometimes I feel helpful and other times I feel helpless. This story opened my eyes to the realization that my daughter is holding similar parties with her children and to see the positive family memories she is creating for my grandchildren. I needed this reminder that life can still be good through life’s unpleasant experiences. Thank you.

  661. Lonette H says:

    What a wonderful story! As mothers, we help to shape our children in anyway. They watch wvery move and reaction we make. Your mom could’ve made it a depressive, whoa is me week, but chose to have a party. Tbat is amazing! These are the moments that shape our children in a positive way. This was definitely a making lemonade out of lemons moment. This devotional came at the right time for me. Thanks for sharing.

  662. Wendy G. Bronson says:

    That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Life really is about those ordinary moments. We strive to have our house be one that is welcoming and full of comfort. Sounds like a great book. May God bless you both.

  663. Wow, I needed this example today. After being home with a sick child and husband all last week, I needed to hear ways to turn what can make you feel gloom and doom, into joy and fun! We have a choice and it is always best to choose joy!! Thank you for sharing!

  664. I am the wife of an offshore worker so I know all too well the difficulties of raising kids half the time alone. I hope I was encouraging for the most part. This will help me to be more mindful of it. Thank you. And please enter me.

  665. Lauren Jolly says:

    I would love to read this book and learn how to make my home a life-giving haven for all who enter it’s doors and grow closer to God in the process. Sweet reminder of how a mother is always shaping her children’s memory!

  666. Powerful!! such a great reminder of the choice we have each moment and the impact that choice has on others.
    Thank you for sharing! I would love to read this book!!

  667. Great!!! I need this! I would love to win this book.

  668. What a beautiful memory to share. Mothers are usually the one in a family that set an example and the tone of the day in a home. Your story brought back many happy memories! Thank you for sharing your story and a prayer we shoul all pray each day.

  669. Sarah Noll says:

    I struggle with this and my kids and husband deserve better. Too often I let the weight of the world hold me back from experiencing the present wonder.

  670. My husband and I are just now starting a family! I love the idea of cultivating an environment where our kids feel known and loved and accepted and experience God in the midst of it all. We have ideas in our minds of what we want but I’d love this book to help us execute them and create new ideas of cultivating a God centered environment.

  671. Linda Hoekwater says:

    In a world that sucks so much life out of us, I want my home to be a wellspring of life!

  672. Oh I would love this book! I struggle with the impatience in trying to get 3 young kids out the door each morning. The oldest is capable but often lost in imagination, and the younger 2 need my physical help to get coats on, shoes on, bags gathered, etc.
    I pray for the energy to make celebrations instead of burdens. I pray they’ll remember childhood of love rather than frustration.

  673. What a precious Gem! Love this article, God spoke to me through it in the perfect moment. May God bless you sisters Clarckson!

  674. Carrie Smith says:

    Thank you for this article! It is beautiful. I have been feeling a little down lately thanks to the rain here in the Pacific Northwest and the fact that I feel like I’m not doing the stay-at-home mom thing very well. What a great reminder to find joy in the little things and simply to find joy because this is the day that the Lord has made!

  675. What a lovely blessing this devotion was to me!! Oh the sweet memories I spent in familiar moments with my mom and siblings. I am a mom myself and I hope I have done the same for my son’s leaving sweet memories such as today’s devotion upon their hearts.

    Today I choose Joy!!
    Thank you for sharing!
    In His Great Love
    Denise

  676. I really enjoyed reading this.

  677. What a lovely story to read first in the morning. It makes me want to make sure I make the best memories for my children when I can :)

  678. THIS WAS A TRULY UPLIFTING STORY. IT HELPED ME TO PUT THINGS IN PROSPECTIVE.

  679. Where’s a REALLY LIKE button on here when you need one?!? This TRULY spoke to my heart about putting things into perspective. My family is in full-time ministry and there are days when my girl misses her Daddy due to seasonal activities at our church. This opened my eyes to what I could do to make things better during those times. THANK YOU!!!

  680. Wow! What a great reminder. I have been speaking with my husband about this same thing for the last few months about wanting our home to be a place that our children as well as others enjoy being. I have struggled with the fact of knowing that creating that relies a lot on me as their mom and not feeling adequate enough in fulfilling that part of my role. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I have a sign in my home thst says, “We tend to seek happiness when actually happiness is a choice.” Your post encourages me to bring thst sign to life in my home. May you all have a joyful day today!

  681. When pondering the memories of my own childhood as well as that of my children, the treasured ones include the simplest memories of fried chicken, “cat-head biscuits” and sausage or tomato gravy as well as climbing the huge oak tree in the front yard to gaze over God’s creation. As important as I thought it might be at the time, I cannot seem to recall how clean the house was that day.

  682. Just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

  683. Margaret B says:

    To live in the moment has become my new motto. Celebrating even the smallest things, filed away in my memory to be relived again in the future.

  684. Patricia Knapp says:

    I enjoy the thoughts and scripture to inspire me daily.
    Thank you for all you dedication.

  685. This looks like just the book I need to read at this point in my life

  686. Joylynn Pilapil says:

    This sounds like something that would comfort, heal and inspire my heart and life right now. I’ve been struggling in life. :'(

  687. Beautiful hope!

  688. Meghan DelGiorno says:

    What an important reminder that as moms (and wives) we set the stage for joy or fear in our families.

  689. Dawnielle says:

    Thank you for the devotional. I could use reading about a lifegiving home. Where hope is chosen instead of despair and sin.

  690. Encouraging and timely post!

  691. Beautiful! Just what I needed today. Thank you.

  692. Great article that reminded me of my mom. I would love to win this book to give to my daughter-in-law whose husband (my son) is often gone due to his job.

  693. What a wonderful and practical example! Would love to read more.

    thanks

  694. This devotional was a blessing to me. I would love to read your book. I hope my kids will have fond memories of me changing a tiring, stressful moment into fun, relaxing and love.

  695. Thank you for sharing this story!

  696. This book would mean the world. We are adopting and bringing home 2 school age girls from Ethiopia tomorrow, bringing or kids count to 3, and having a resource to help me guide my home making into a peaceful serving home would be awesome! My husband often travels and there will be many moments I can create memories of joy or stress, posing it is Christ filled joy!

  697. The Lord reminds us in the gentlest of ways that our attitude drives our daily lives and that of those around us. Thank you for reminding me to have a positive attitude toward life, even when it is difficult.

  698. Kathryn M says:

    the more I spend time with God daily the more I know that he can help us through. Keep his smile in our heart and it will show on our face and be a blessing to those around us.

  699. Lisa Roberson says:

    I would love to have this book for myself or my daughter in love. We both experience husbands who are gone for work during the week and only home on the weekends. I have done this for years and there were times when I wasn’t able to have the positive attitude to display in front of my children, one of whom is still home. Other times I did my best to celebrate having each other. My daughter in love ~is in a small town, away from her family and us. She is doing her best to make connections at her church while raising our granddaughter and being pregnant. This book would be such a wonderful resource and encouragement for her to have.

  700. Deanna williams says:

    Such a great reminder to allow his presence to penetrate through us in our mothering. It can be so hard somedays but through him we can find rest and strength!

  701. How wonderful that we are given such a glimpse of how to celebrate the ordinary of life and to rejoice in the wonders of our heavenly Father. It is so important to greet each day with a song in our hearts and filled with God’s Spirit to bring a special shine to an otherwise ordinary day. I want to remember what this mother gave to her children…hope and joy in living in the security of God’s love. Thanks for such wonderful encouraging words.

  702. Carrie Minor says:

    What a great reminder that we as parents,especially moms, set the tone for our households.

  703. Amanda Plesscher says:

    Thank you for these encouraging words. Would love to read this book!!

  704. Thank you for the encouragement!

  705. Amy Blumenherst says:

    A reading of inspiration when I was needing to grow my heart for my family.
    Thank you for this lovely example that has encouraged me to look for the next opportunity to see a moment of discouragement as the blessing our Lord provides! I pray for his grace and for these constant reminders to give him thanks for all things.
    Because of him,
    Amy

  706. Wonderful reminder that we model joy as parents.

  707. Wonderful article. Thank you so much. Needed that reminder. Am I the only one that can’t seem get the “click here” to leave a comment in order to be in the drawing for the free book? I click it and it just opens up another page of this same page right here????

  708. What a powerful reminder that our perspective can make or break a situation! I’m now encouraged to take a moment in my dark times to change my default settings and choose joy. Thank you for such a timely word.

  709. TrinaLynn Blair says:

    What a beautiful heat warming memory thank you for sharing it is a great blessing. Many blessings sent your way always abd forever.

  710. Wow! Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration! I definitely needed it! I read my own story in the lines! My husband travels for work, close to 70% of the time, we have 3 kids, 2 of whigh suffer from asthma and are frequently ill! I myself have asthma and lupus! Due to the financial burdens of having 3 chronically ill people in the family, we were just forced to move a couple hours drive from my entire support system, to an area that we could better afford, and even that hasn’t improved things yet! I feel tired and overwhelmed, and on Sunday my husband will be leaving for about 3 months. I struggle everyday to choose joy! I want my children’s memories to be filled with joy no matter what the circumstances. Thank you for encouraging me to keep pushing towards that goal!

  711. Rane' Davis says:

    ThanK you, I so needed this prayer. My husband past away on Christmas Eve and I struggle daily to be a light for Christ to my three children. This is my new prayer…Sweet Father, help me see in each day the possibility of bringing Your joy into every moment that Your presence can be reflected daily through my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  712. Funmi Agunsoye says:

    It has always been my prayer that God will use my house as a place of refuge, a place you can come to and be refreshed from life troubles and I am still praying this prayer. Thanks for reminding us about this!

  713. I so needed this today. I feel so overwhelmed. I used to be so much better at this but the devil steals my joy constantly and I find myself overcome with the aggravation of life. Life is a gift and my kids life are a gift. I definitely need to step it up and make these moments count. I think my kids mouths would hit the floor if I turned a blah moment into a celebration! God is so amazing in His timing. This devotion was very timely and so needed. I’m going to reread it a few times and soak it in. Thank you Jesus!

  714. Thank you for your encouraging story. I should reprioritize my heart attitudes to be those more hopeful and not so daunting about the same routine each night. Thank you for this reminder.

  715. Thank you for this blog. I’ve been trying to find a daily devotion specifically for women and moms, as I am a mom of two fairly young children. And often times, I feel so defeated, as daily responsibilities take over the day. I came across your article after I had just finished reading the February 4th devotional on the I believe website. The title got me curious. After reading the article, it was just the encouragement I needed… Thank you.

  716. Cindy Toner says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words.

  717. Allison G. says:

    Great post. Wonderful reminder. Our children are always watching and sometimes the days we think are just ordinary are really the moments that will leave impressions in their memories for years to come. Encouraging to make those moments good ones.

  718. Misty Barrett says:

    I love your writing and words!!! I have shared these stories with a number of friends and we all agree. God has blessed you with an incredible gift of beinging life and faith together!! Thank you!

  719. Jacqueline says:

    What a beautiful way to impact her children!! And all of us who are inspired by this. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  720. Shelly Green says:

    What a wonderful, uplifting story! I grew up with a mom who made each day special for us, even thought she doesn’t always see it that way. Everyday life can be hard and filled with frustrations, things that are out of our control. I try to make evenings at home good ones, regardless of the outcome of the earlier part of the day. Supper cooked, a special dessert made sometimes, reflections & prayers with my fiancée or daughter, followed by an uplifting movie or game night. It’s not always easy, and may not happen every night, but there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Sometimes those uplifting moments are shared outside the home, when we see someone in need. Thank you so much for sharing!

  721. Thanks for the uplifting that I needed so much. Wonderful example to follow to make family and God happy at the same time.

  722. What a precious reminder of the influence we have as mothers! I’m inspired by this story to be more conscientious of reflecting the peace of Jesus and demonstrate my faith and trust in His loving care. I look forward to reading “The Life Giving Home.” Even though I’ve been a homemaker for over 30 years, I’m sure I’ll discover some gems I can put into action. ~ Thank you, Sarah & Sally!

  723. Any situation can be looked at through different lenses! A powerful reminder that life is what you make it. Keep up the great job!

  724. This is a beautiful piece of inspiration! It is nice to read something that lets you know, you are not alone. This world creates struggles that we must all face. God is the only strength we need…..thank you for sharing. I also enjoyed reading some of the comments left by the other ladies. So many of us share the same struggles and joys.

  725. Such a good reminder, thank you!!

  726. Mary Hilding says:

    Such an encouraging story. Thank u for sharing.

  727. This was such a joy to read and a heart stopper. I had to stop reading for a moment and release the frustrations of my week and remember that everything including my cares are accounted for. That my yolk-if I chose to wear it-is light. That I need to be grateful not bitter, hopeful not fearful and …..to be content in whatever circumstances .
    Thank you!

  728. Life can be a challenge. When it becomes overbearing, stop and take inventory of how blessed you really are; family, good health, job, and the list goes on and on. Remember to when God brings you to ‘IT’, hang on in there with Him, for He’ll see you through it. There is a calm in chaos…remember how Jesus calm the sea when the disciples were afraid. He will do just what He says.

  729. Anne Neemann says:

    Everyday, I wake up wanting to be that kind of mom and to raise a daughter with those kind of memories and every night I go to bed remembering how I failed. I even if I am not gifted this book, I am going to purchase it for sure. Thank you Sarah and Sally.

  730. Sobrina Stahnke says:

    Me, me, me! I would like to win the book The Live Giving Home! (I promise to share it with another lovely reader when I am done)

  731. Would love to read this

  732. Being a widow, raising grandchildren, and having to work full time I would love to read a book about bringing celebration into a very busy daily life. Thank you for sharing your uplifting words.

  733. Thank you for this devotion! I will try to remember to be joyful and ” party” no matter the circumstances.

  734. I tend to be so serious… I need to CELEBRATE more! even little special acts to bring joy and hope to others.
    thank you…

  735. Laura Murillo says:

    This reading encouraged me to face a situation of being separated from my husband. The whole circumstance is, sometimes frightening, the daily tasks, my new job as a teacher, my university in wich i’m coursing last semester to graduate, the thesis project and the continuous heartache that sometimes becomes headache… everything feels sometimes asfixiating. Even all those things, when i take a time with my children to pray, to watch a movie, to sleep with them while i’m moaning, gives me strenght. They remind me the good will of God who gave them to me as a precious gift. Their occurrences make me laugh in a moment that there are all the elements to just sit and cry. Some of those moments I sing, others, i talk to them. This reading reminded me to do so more often, to pray and play and sing and share with them in the darkness moments.
    Really, thank you

  736. Hoy los precios en lo que al satélite se refiere son cada vez más ajustados en España donde siempre hemos tenido cuotas por encima de otros países europeos (en referencia a precios de ADSL) como Francia, Reino Unido, Estonia Alemania. Pero ya les decíamos, que quede claro que la banda ancha no compartida por satélite nada tiene que ver con el ADSL, es más eficaz y permite servicios bidireccionales. El problema del Internet por Satelite, es el precio, en paises latinoamericanos, es muy dificil poder pagar este servicio. Me gustaria que se contactara alguie conmigo para informarme de servicios y costos de internet satelital en mi area.

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