We’ve been doing a little unpacking around here. Those Eighteen Boxes {you know, the15 boxes, two bikes and a guitar} finally made it here to the Carolinas, eight months to the day after they were closed up and sent off to sit patiently on the docks in Cape Town, waiting their turn to squeeze into a container, board a big big big big ship (as we explained it to the Bear) sail the seas, decant, detox, retruck…whatever the steps were on this side that got them here from New York.

It has been a stranger experience than I expected. I’ve been reunited with this…


{Remember when my last Bible’s Genesis made an Exodus and Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a new one?}

{In case you’re wondering, I travel with a sweet little yellow 4 x 6 picture-sized Bible because this big one is too big for international adventures — for the sake of the Hubs’ back!}

And the Bear has been reunited with this…


though he looks much bigger with it now.

And I put Blakey in these just-arrived pajamas that were once the Bear’s a few nights ago and my heart hurt so bad!


Blakey is filling these out several months sooner than Bear Bear did…but the Bear had a lot more hair going for him…somehow I suppose it all balances out.

Even after giving so many things away before we left, I am almost appalled at how many articles of clothing there are in my closet. And I haven’t even finished unpacking.

I may have liked it better when the choice of what to wear was much simpler.

But the strangeness of this experience has come from finding myself celebrating these things that were ours all along. I’ve been pulling out all this clothing that was once the Bear’s, now the right size for Blake, and I’ve almost been in tears over it.


{My favorite beach pic of the Bear ever…and now this little shirt is on his brother, and TIGHT!}

So I see it in a way I never have before: we are ridiculously blessed. Though there is indeed so much more to life than clothing or the remaining plates from our wedding china or my cookbooks and garlic peeler and the Bear’s first bike, still these things are rightly seen as gifts from a gracious God who has provided for us with exceeding abundance.

And perhaps it took this separation and reunion to really see it.

Have you ever thought about all the things we probably have to be thankful for that we never take notice of?

As the Pentateuch — the first five chapters of the Bible — came to a close, the Law and instruction for the people of Israel, preparing to enter the Promised Land was given. Along with those consistent reminders to Remember God’s Goodness in the great and mighty acts he performed on Israel’s behalf, Moses also pointed out the simple provisions of God, more reasons to trust Him, to listen to His leading, to obey His word, and trust that blessing would follow.

Moses pointed out:

“For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out.” {Deut. 29:5}

I wonder if they ever thought about the fact that their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out. Did the Israelites even notice that their clothes were not getting thread-bare, their sandals not losing tread? {Would I?} Or did they get up in the morning and say, “Well I guess it’s this outfit again…” {I think I’d fall into this category…}

It’s an easy thing, getting so distracted by what you don’t have that you forget to be grateful for all that you do have.

And I suppose sometimes, as Sherlock Holmes once put it to Watson, “You see, but you do not observe.”

My fresh attempts at observing the gifts of the present and giving thanks are breathing new life into my every day. We could never possibly say thank You enough to the God who has gloriously planned our enjoyment of His glory for all eternity. But for our own hearts, perhaps we ought to try.