a new day

happy problems lead to a giveaway

i have happy problems.

as a family, we have happy problems.

delays from the bank have been frustrating us. but that only means that we are able to even consider building a home and moving right now, in a real estate environment that is no longer easy to negotiate.

we are concerned we're going to have to pay someone to buy our house because the market is so much lower than it was seven years ago. but that only means we may have less money in the end to buy a new table or a new bed for the new house.

we closed on our loan today and basically wiped out our savings to give the bank our down payment. but that only means that over the past few years we've been able to build up a savings account, when so many others are struggling just to make ends meet each month.

so much of the process of getting ready to move i've had to do on my own. but that only means marc is well employed in a stable job that he kicks butt at each and every day.

today harper found ants in our house. but that only means we have a house for ants to enter, unlike so many who have lost their home due to money or earthquakes or tsunamis or floods or tornadoes.

we were sad that henry's track meet was rained out for a second week in a row. but that only means we had two rainy saturdays to be home as a family, which is way better than being sad that storms ripped apart our family home.

we get to watch bulldozers begin to dig our home tomorrow. which is so much happier than watching a bulldozer turn under all the torn apart pieces of our lives, flattening it smooth to make way for rebuilding of the physical, while we question how we can ever rebuild the intangible.

we have happy problems.

no little irritation or delay or wrench in the works can compare to the strain and uncertainty and heartbreak that so many others are dealing with right now.

we were horrified when the earthquake in haiti destroyed so much. we were saddened by the earthquake in new zealand. the earthquake and tsunami in japan left us stunned, breathless with disbelief and horror. the tornadoes in the south a couple of weeks ago broke my heart. the tornado that went through north minneapolis on sunday was shocking. the tornadoes in missouri yesterday just seem cruel.

and i feel helpless, sitting here with my happy problems.

but from so many of these tragic events, the result is, many times, the grace of strangers.

an outpouring of love.

it's impossible to know god's plans for us when such a series of events start to stack up. we wonder why. we wonder when it will stop. we curse misfortune and tragedy instead of giving thanks for god's grace and will.

his love.

i've had this little pottery "love" vase for several months, just waiting for the right time to offer it as a giveaway.

this is that time.

i want to see the love you all have for those who are hurting right now.

leave me a comment on here, sharing a prayer or good thought of support and encouragement to those who are suffering. i will choose randomly from all entrants, and one of you will win this little piece of love. giveaway will close on friday, may 27, at 11:59 p.m.

and for every comment left, i will donate $1 to an organization working to bring relief to the south and missouri in the wake of these storms, up to $100.

i know there are a lot of people who read this little blog of mine and never say a word. right now, i'm asking you to say a small word of love and hope and have your name counted. let's see if 100 of you can come out.

and i will love each and every one of you for being a part of this. because in good times and bad, loving each other is all we can really do to begin the work of healing.

* for more information on where to donate to the storm victims, see the list here and here.

** the love vase is approx 3" high, handmade pottery. the artist is luke wright, a potter who owns mudlove pottery in winona lake, indiana, who faithfully sends a percentage of all his sales to help bring clean water to africa. he's also my cousin.



This is a beautiful tribute Michelle. My prayer is that God will reveal himself to people through all of this pain and terror. I know that it seems cruel, but if people are turned away from serving self and begin to serve the living God, it will be a worthwhile sacrifice. Praying for His power to be revealed. May God richly bless through these events

Valerie Bishop

What an uplifting post!! Thank you for helping me to think about the upside instead of the downside of things! You've helped me feel very blessed today! I'm sending up prayers for everyone that has been affected by the recent tragedy to find quick relief and help and that God may spare them from further pain and suffering!

Valerie at Home

Love your post and your idea. Our dance studio was supposed to be on a morning show tomorrow for a segment about sending shoeboxes of preschool supplies to the Alabama area, but we were bumped for an "American Idol tie-in". Just sad. Thanks for caring enough to do something.


Michele, this is so beautifully written! I feel just like you do about perspective. I've been trying not to stress about moving out of this house in 2 weeks - but not having a closing date yet on the one we're buying! And then I see people who lost their homes AND all their possessions. I pray that God will give them comfort and rest and remind each of us that there is always some way we can help. We are indeed so blessed!

sasha farina

i'm almost embarassed to say this.. but i cried. thank you for this beautiful post. *hugs*

Jen B.

What a beautiful post - with all the terrible things that have been happening all over the world lately, it's so important to not take the things we do have for granted. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone facing the aftermath of these horrible events.


Your writing is beautiful and reminds me to be thankful for all we have, thanks for sharing! My thoughts are certainly with all the victims and survivors of the unfortunate natural disasters :(


Wonderfully written, lovingly felt. Thank you for sharing your optimistic perspective, Michele. And for being so generous to those in need. This was a thoughtful way to give back. Kudos. It's a good time to count one's blessings, isn't it?

Keshet Shenkar

This is beautiful, Michelle. Thinking of Missouri today.

emily pitts

it all depends on how you frame it, doesn't it? my church has a humanitarian aid fund, i think it's time to donate to that. thanks for the push. :)

Heather Bienapfl

As always Michele, great post!! :)


Oh, what a precious needed post. Prayers have been going out. So many things we have, don't we? Thankfulness is the right perspective. I love that little's so sweet. Thank you for your post, Michelle.

Beth Ann

A beautiful post Michele. I pray constantly for all those hurting right now - whether it be from natural disasters or sickness or job loss. We all have problems in life but I also have happy ones most of the time. God Bless you my sweet friend. And thank you for expressing something that I feel in my heart as well.


Very lovely writing indeed! I am happy that I have a house that needs a complete makeover because that means that I have a house and a warm place to dwell :). Thanks for the reminders of all of our little blessings that we often take for granted.


A great post! My brother in law and his wife live in Joplin, MO. Their home and workplaces were destroyed by the first tornado. My heart is aching for them right now. I pray that they find peace in their hearts.


Great post. It's a great idea to keep everything in perspective -- something I've been struggling with lately.


I have a lot of family and friends in the tornado damaged areas, so I am happy to be a part of anything that will get help to them. This is a sweet post, Michelle. :)

Lisa Dickinson

love your words (and the heartfelt emotions behind them!). thanks for the gentle nudge to refocus and give thanks for what we do have. :)

Hollie S.

I love your outlook. Many of us forget that we have happier problems compared to those less fortunate. Thanks for the reminder. :)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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