Weekend Wonder

Catching Lightning


Weekend Wonder

I’m often driving somewhere when I look up at the sky and wish I had my camera in hand. This usually happens when driving the kids to school in the morning. How many times I’ve said, “Oh! Look at that sky! Don’t you wish we could keep heading east and watch this sunrise from the beach?” My kids usually respond with, “Mom, you say that every morning!”

But Sunday was different. Sunday was evening. I was headed to my car again, but I was stopped in my tracks by this sky. The storm clouds billowing up. Lightning rolling around inside the swell.

This Sunday show was a gift. There was no downpour, no window-rattling-thunder, just beauty and light. The storm was close but distant. This time I  went back and grabbed my camera and tripod and my son came along.

“Bye! We’re going to go catch lightning!”, he called out as we headed out the door.

The two of us walked west onto an empty golf course under the night sky. We  watched this mircale light show for twenty minutes…

and we tried to catch the lightning.

    Stop and notice God’s miracles.
 Do you know how God controls the clouds
    and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang in the sky?
    They are the miracles of God, who knows everything.

-Job 37:14-16 (icb)




1000 Gifts, Books, Children's Books, Picture Books, TBT, TBTPictureBooks, Thrift Shop

A Cure For Complaining



The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch

copyright 1980 by Carol Chapman

illustrations by Arnold Lobel

published by E.P. Dutton New York


This little tale makes me quite happy. I love the soft color palate and texture in the illustrations and I love the language in this tale -words and phrases like,

 Meshka, Yiddish, Kvetch, kosher pickles, oy vey, and Wall of Jericho


This is a picture book, but it’s a good read for anyone of any age. My daughter and I read it together, I read it aloud to my son, and then again to my husband. Just maybe, I needed this tale of Meshka when I found this little treasure at the thrift store.

“…Meshka, who was considered by all to be the village kvetch. Now kvetch is a Yiddish word for complainer, and that’s just what Meshka did. Complain.”

She complains to everyone she can. She complains about her tiny house, her life, and her children until all her complaints start to come true. The rabbi comes by and sees her in her troubles and quickly diagnoses her problem,

“I’m afraid you have the Kvetch’s Itch.

…it causes everything the kvetch complains about to come true.”

Meshka is a complete mess. How can she be cured? The rabbi helps her, but I love that he tells her she can’t be cured.

Isn’t that really the case for all of us? Can we ever be cured of complaining?

I’ve read so many negative things online that I’ve made a promise to myself never to post complaints on social media. I try to share what inspires me, stories I find fascinating, simple encouragement, or  the beauty I see in nature. Even with my best intentions I fail.

So what does the rabbi recommend?

“if you praise the good in your life, these problems you mention will cease.”

Since Meshka has never praised anything in her life, her first attempts at praising good things are hilarious. The rabbi gives her a few pointers and eventually she gets the hang of it.

“And from that day on, whenever Meshka would start to complain and say, “Oy vey”– she quickly said instead, “Things are good and I am happy.”

Meshka’s tale reminds me of one of my favorite books, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. Life is messy and hard at times, but Ann reminds the reader joy is found when we look for the blessings in our lives and give thanks. Ann, like the rabbi, offers up a remedy for life. She calls it a Joy Dare. It’s a dare to count and list three blessings a day for a year. 1,000 gifts.

“Joy is a function of gratitude — and gratitude is a function of perspective. So take these prompts to help you see and change perspective — give thanks — and live all His joy!” -Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare

I’ll praise the good with you today, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Our problems may not cease, but our perspective will.



1000 Gifts

Joy Dare {gifts 70-93}

Thinking about this Joy Dare, taking down and photographing these 1,000 things I’m thankful for, I think it’s the time I take to stop and look back at my gifts that make me happy. These little things I’ve collected in photographs from my week make me smile and give thanks again.


A gift turned, a gift folded, a gift hung

70. Opening the door to Grandma and Grandpa’s house

71. A warm and folded yummy tortilla chip on a date with my sweetie at La Bamba’s

72. Clean clothes


Three gifts red

73. Wondering about red gifts and finding these two little flowers in an unexpected place

74. hanging russelia

75. hibiscus


Three gifts eaten

76. Chicken tortilla soup

77. Chocolate Cake

78. Cupcakes


Three gifts that made you laugh

79. She popped the lenses out of her sunglasses and wore them like this all day!

80. I went to Barnes and Noble with my kids and got them a treat to share. I asked what they’d like to drink and she said Red Bull. I started laughing, people stared.

81. A paddle ball challenge with my son



A gift salty, a gift sweet, a gift just right

82. Peanuts

83. Dark chocolate

84. Coffee


Three gifts found in His word

85. Ephesians 2:10

86. Psalm 139

87. 2 Peter 3:8,9

















Three gifts found in women today

88. My children’s sweet librarian – She has a way to uplift and encourage everyone, no matter your age or what kind of day you’re having. She gives sweet hugs, reminds everyone to smile, and she stops to pray for others, right there by her desk or maybe in the non-fiction section over by the windows.

89. Nikki – being the hands and feet of Christ

90. Evelyn – a mom in prayer


Three gifts spoken

91. You look beautiful today. Do I tell you that enough?

92. I Love You!

93. Six years old. Princesses and Ballerinas say Happy Birthday!



1000 Gifts

Joy Dare Gifts 34-69

Thank you God for these gifts

These are my gifts, my sweet blessings posted from Ann’s Joy Dare.

I’ve missed joining in on Mondays so far…

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to post 21 photos of gifts each week. The last post was a collage of my gifts, but I really like seeing each photo in whole. Today I’m only posting some from the last couple of weeks. I’m curious to see how others are joining in and posting photos.

Three Gifts Found



34. Sticks

Oh, how God Provides. Even in the little details. No woods or forest to play in and find branches, only manicured condo lawns. I was wondering where the nearest craft store was. Wondering how much little branches might cost. Instead I went to my children’s favorite tree, the one over by the tennis coursts. I found the branches. I was excited to finally be able to make our branches for our Easter Devotional from Ann’s Trail to the Tree. I was humbled when I read to the kids that night Day 2 a Ram in the Thicket 

the prayer:

We fearlessly fear you, our Jehovah Jireh, for being our Provider, the One Who sees to “it” – everything.

-Ann Voskamp

Yes, everything. Even sticks. I imagine his care is over my heart to teach my kids about Him.

35. Where the mocking bird sings

36. From the fisherman

A Gift Bent, A Gift Broken, A Gift Beautiful

37. Palms bending in March winds

38. Broken ballerina

39. Sunlight through pink hibiscus




Three Gifts In The Kitchen

40. Sharing a peach with my girl

41. Catch of the Day bowls for guessing games for picky eaters

42. Eggshell cross from Pre-K


Three Gifts Loud

43. Practicing

44. Playing

45. Kids arguing


Three Gifts Carved

46. Olive wood cross from Israel

47. Lion for our son from Liberia

48. Giraffe for our daughter from Liberia


Three Gifts In Christ

49. My Husband

50. My Kids. I’m always learning more about my own relationship to God through them.

51. My Salvation


Three Gifts Read

52. One Thousand Gifts

53. A note from Kindergarten

54. Reading Surprises According to Humphrey together at bedtime


A Gift In Water, In Wind, In White

55. Washing it all away

56. A dandelion day

57. White clovers for bees



Three Gifts Round

58. Pink flowers in bloom

59. Hibiscus opening

60. Home


Three Gifts Found In Silence

61. Time for working on a dream

62. Enjoying a warm cup of coffee

63. Time for daydreaming

Three Gifts Given Away

64. One Thousand Gifts

65. A letter to our Compassion Girl

66. A note in a lunch box

Three Hard Eucharisteos

67. Thinking of my brother before his car accident

68. Waiting for promises

69. My son’s injury

I had just photographed this door for the first time a couple days before. This round handle. Our home. I didn’t know it would have my little guy’s blood on it.

He came upstairs with his friend and knocked. I thought they were being silly. When he came in his hands were covering the back of his head and before I saw his shirt and hands I heard him say, “Mommy! I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!”

My sweet boy had fallen off a skateboard and hit his head. I don’t handle injury and blood well. I close my eyes when they get a shot at the doctor, but this was beyond that. I was scared. My little girl crying for her brother, but God helped calm me and sent a sweet neighbor to help.

My husband made it home to take our boy to urgent care. He ended up with two staples to his little head.

We talked afterwards and I asked him if he was apologizing for scaring me and he said, “No mom. I wasn’t saying sorry for scaring you. I was sorry for disobeying.”

He went on a friend’s skateboard without a helmet and without my permission.

I think the hard Eucharisteo was his.

I’m thankful he’s okay and God kept him safe.