The Whole Lot of Us

It's been one of those weeks.  It started out on the powder-white sands of Destin, Florida - almost Utopia.  And now I'm home, studying like a madwoman for the biggest exam of my life, stressing over how many more days I'll be gainfully employed, and just this afternoon - back from the dentist with not one, but TWO cavities.  If that's not bad news, I don't know what is.  (Okay, there are actually a lot worse things.  That might be slightly dramatic.)

I find myself repeating Matthew 6:34 over and over again, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own", though the words don't seem to be sinking in.  Maybe my heart isn't listening to what my brain is saying.

In an in-between moment, I stopped to look at the pictures we took last weekend at the beach, and I was elated to stumble upon one I didn't remember taking.

For obvious reasons.

A woman on the boat with us told me to sit down and join the rest of my family so she could take our picture.  I tried to protest, but she insisted.  And now, we're blessed with a rare but treasured picture of all of us together.  (Even if Sarah is hitting Ben in the head.  I guess toddlers do these things.)

And the simple offer that brought about this piece of family history incited a smile this morning, in the midst of one of the more stressful seasons of my life.  I needed that little smile more than words can say.

Now I just need to remember the recipe for peace-
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~Philippians 4:6
And to the woman who took our picture, thank you.  You were a blessing in more ways than one to me this week.

My simple pleasure this week is a tie - between the kind insistence of a stranger and the treasure she captured with a snapshot of our entire family.

I promise next week, I won't be quite so stressed out.  Or maybe two weeks.  Or maybe October 29th around 5pm exactly.

Until then...read more Simple Pleasures with Dayle at A Collection of This & That.


Dayle said...

Jennie, I love how you write in such an honest way. And even though your world is a bit chaotic right now, you still find the time (or make the time) to reflect on the good things in life. That's a wonderful trait.

Always a pleasure having you at the party.

Aneesa said...

I somehow managed to have two cavities my last visit to the dentist, too. Never had one before in my life....
Missed ya'll on Sunday :)

Minivan Mommy said...

Great picture! It's so hard to get a good one with three kids, trust me I've tried!

Kay K said...

Oh The beaches ....would love to be there ...nice family pictures

Sharon Kirby said...

Jennie -
You know what else is so cool about that photo of your adorable family all together??? The banner in the background - "PRAISE BE TO GOD!" (Was that planned, or just Providence?!)

Those two Scripture verses from Matthew and Philippians should be etched on my forehead! Liked how you put it: "Recipe for peace!"

Yup! Mix up a bowl of "don't worry about tomorrow" - Add in several cups of prayer - sprinkle in thanksgiving - and then present the "whole batch of cookies" to the LORD!!


Sorry about the cavities - and you'll do fine on the test, I just know you will - call it a mother's intuition!!


It's Just Dottie said...

I have very few photos of me with the children when they were small because like you I was always taking the pictures. That women was very wise and she did give you a lifetime treasure.

Evelyn S. said...

I like what looks like late afternoon sun in that photo, too! Great family photo....a toddler hitting a sibling is so real!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Bless your heart! I am so sorry you are having a stressful week. I, too, am a worrier in need of that verse. What a sweet lady to insist on taking y'all's picture together. What a treasure!!

Sherri said...

You are just so adorable, do you know that??! Hang in there my friend, and good luck. I love the family picture, we certainly don't have as many of the four of us as I wish we did. One of us is always behind the camera!

Sending a hug or two...

Denise said...

What a treasure to get everyone in the picture. When I look back at family photos it seems like someone is always left out. I also noticed the Praise be to God behind you in the picture. Isn't that exactly how you feel about getting this shot! Snaps to God.

Sorry you're so stressed. I just know you'll do well on your test. I will continue to pray for you.

Jennie said...

Actually, I should post the pre-cropped picture. The woman who shot the photo took special care to frame in the eagle holding the banner which reads, "Praise be to God". It was, might I say, the focal point of the photo. We were just a fortunate side-effect. Ha!

We chose this boat the first time by accident, but have gone out with it almost every time we go to the beach because they are demonstratively Christian as evidenced by the things the captain has told us and by the clear message printed on the front of the ship (that you see in this picture).

What's cool about the woman who took the photo is that she and the woman she was with were clearly not American, and yet absolutely *loved* the picture of the eagle and the message it was carrying. I love that she loved it. And it makes the picture even that much more special.

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