A joyful wife/mom/grandmom hoping to inspire you to live with purpose.
My family is the best part of my life, and I love our adventures together. I’m happily married to Mike, and we have a son, daughter, and son-in-law. Babysitting my two sweet granddaughters, Senna and Adina, is one of the joys of my life right now. I also am a nurse who works in an intensive care unit. Life is light and shadows. We walk in both. The great thing is that we can know the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Thankfully, my mom introduced me to Him when I was very young. It is a joy walking through life with Him as Lord and Savior. I hope to share some of that joy with you through my blog, Sarah Bebes Blog.
Adina (my three-year-old granddaughter) and I were swimming in my backyard about a week ago. Yes, it’s winter, and no, we don’t have a swimming pool. However, she has a wonderful imagination, and so we have terrific adventures together. I do think we must be great entertainment for our neighbors, as when we were waving our arms, splashing through our imaginary pool.
Recently I’ve been involved in a Bible study going through the book of Joshua. At one point the leader was talking about how the Israelites were meant not to simply enter the promised land, but to enjoy it. That made me stop and think about being sure to enjoy life, and making time for fun. Life is so brief! I want to come to the end of mine with way more smile lines than frown lines.
Today Adina and I were floating together on an iceberg with our feet dangling in the icy water. Of course, we were wearing special shoes that kept our toes nice and warm. What will you do for fun today?
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Kaylee had been the one with the power. Toys, balls, treats, anything she wanted she simply took. That was until the day Zoey had to wear the cone, otherwise known as an Elizabethan collar. You see, we have two puppies. Kaylee is 11 months old, and Zoey is 6 months old.
Whereas Kaylee tends to be a bit fearful, Zoey is fearless. You may have read my earlier blog about Kaylee’s experience with the cone. Now it was Zoey’s turn, and she wore the cone like it was a special honor. She quickly discovered that it gave her power over her big sister. Since Kaylee was afraid of the cone, now Zoey started taking away the toys, balls, and anything else she wanted. She’d march right up to Kaylee and nudge her with the cone and take what she wanted.
I also had to reinforce our free-standing dog gate, since Zoey discovered that she could use the cone as a battering ram to move it out of the way! When it snowed, Zoey had a blast using the cone as a snow plow to gather, then eat snow. All in all, wearing that cone has been a fun adventure for her.
This gave me a different perspective on cones and limitations. Are they limitations or opportunities for new adventures? As G.K. Chesterton said, “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” What inconveniences have you turned into adventures lately?
By the way, Zoey is done wearing the cone, and the power is now more balanced between our two puppies. The adventures continue!
Turn your inconveniences into adventures.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2
It started about half a century ago, with a young mother, a glass Aunt Jemima syrup bottle, and an idea. The mother was my own, and her idea was a new Christmas tradition celebrating that Jesus is the Light of the world. She washed out the syrup bottle and placed a tall candle in it. Each day of December the candle light was there reminding us that we were celebrating Jesus’ birth, that He is the light of the world, and that He loves us. Over the years, it got more and more beautiful, as the colorful wax drippings covered the glass.
My mom had a way of making Christmas so very special. In the midst of all the busy preparations there were always smiles, singing, and laughter. Actually, she had a way of making life special, with her quick laughter and joyful heart. She knew how to savor each moment. This will be the seventh year that she is celebrating Christmas with Jesus in heaven. I can’t even imagine how amazing and wonderful that must be. It makes my heart rejoice for her, even though as I write this, a tear is dripping down my cheek.
What traditions do you have as you celebrate this special season? I’d love to hear about them. After Mike and I got married and eventually moved into our own place, we started our own Christmas candle. As I light it each day, I think, “Happy birthday, Jesus, and thank you, Mom!”
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12
The ease with which she laughed. The way she loved playing in the snow. Her constant encouragement and faith. The way she loved everybody, no exceptions. The sparkle in her eyes. The way she utterly and completely enjoyed life. These are just a few of the things I am thankful for about my mom. Yesterday as I was peeling apples, memories of her came flooding over me. That seems to happen particularly on baking days. I suppose it’s because we did a lot of baking together, and those were always happy, laughter-filled days.
Now baking days are still happy and laughter-filled. I am so thankful for my sweet daughter, Amy, and her little girls. Yesterday we baked three apple pies and three pumpkin pies together, using my mom’s recipes. In other words, we made more happy memories together. What a treat to see the joy in my granddaughters’ eyes as we mixed the pie crust dough together. How funny to watch them sneakily pop some apple slices into their mouths. I’m already looking forward to cookie baking day!
I have very much to be thankful for
each day. One tradition my family has is hanging a sheet of paper on our refrigerator
each November 1st with “I’m thankful for…” written across the top.
It isn’t long before it’s filled with little and big things written down by
everyone. I highly recommend it, because it’s a great way to cultivate a grateful
heart. As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you thankful for? Please feel free
“Give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It was a surprise, so Mike insisted that I put on a blindfold. Then he started the truck, and 0ff we went. To where, I had no idea. Of course, I tried to figure out this secret location by noting the turns and such, but soon I was hopelessly confused. When we arrived, Mike stopped the truck, had me wait (still blindfolded) and then he gently led me out of the truck and walked with me, holding me steady. Now I could take the blindfold off. My eyes opened to see a picnic table right next to a beautiful pasture with cows grazing alongside a creek and a pond, an incredibly peaceful spot. On the table there was a cheery, red tablecloth, and sitting on top of it were delicious looking hoagies, potato chips from the Herrs Factory right down the road, and ice-cold drinks. Aaaaaaaaahhhh. It was just the break I needed.
That’s my Mike. He reminds me to have
fun, to stop and take a breather, to slow down and enjoy little things, like a
picnic with some cows. I’m so glad for Mike. He adds life to life! Are you
allowing joy in your life? Are doing something or some things that you really
One thing that I really enjoy is writing and taking pictures. I put together a little book for my granddaughters called “God is with Me When…”. It includes pictures of them having a variety of fun. My hope is that they will always know God is present with them and wants them to enjoy life. I’ve included the PDF file so you may have a look, if you like. I hope it will inspire you to invite more joy into your life. Feel free to share what brings you joy.
Clear away all the weeds, brush, and
My husband, Mike, was cleaning up the
area just behind the fence in our backyard. This was not an easy feat. It
required walking through tall weeds to get to there, then maintaining balance
on about a 1 ½ foot wide space on top of a retaining wall, while using an ax
and a saw to destroy thorny bushes and weeds that were invading our yard
through our back fence.
I love how he prioritizes things. He
has a clear perspective on what is important and what is most important. He
also has good balance, literally and figuratively. He has always been the one
to get me to take breaks and make time for fun stuff. He adds life to life! He
knows what it means to live for what lasts. Do you? When was the last time that
you took time to have a catch with a football or dance in your kitchen or stop
and watch the sunset or…well, you get the idea!
Thankfully, Mike achieved all three
of his goals. Now we can play tag in our backyard with our granddaughters
without running into branches filled with thorns, which is exactly what we plan
“So we fix our eyes not on what is
seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen
is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
To be quite honest, my first reaction was to defend myself. I even told people who weren’t involved, simply so I could justify my actions. My second and later and better reaction was to examine the situation and see if there was any truth in the criticism I had received. There was. I actually stopped and considered what I could have or perhaps should have done differently. I learned from it. I am constantly learning, and I want to remain teachable. However, as Russ Taff sings, “I long to learn, but I’m so slow at being taught.”
This is just a small glimpse into one
of many failures, bad choices, bad reactions, etc. Thankfully, none of it
changes God’s love for me. I think of how much I love my granddaughters even
when they pout, fight, get mad, or don’t listen. God’s love is like that.
Nothing changes it. Nothing.
Here’s a little poem/action rhyme I
often share with my sweet granddaughters. Perhaps you will want to share it
with the little ones in your life or just read it to remind yourself of God’s
I love you when you’re standing up and when you’re sitting down.
I love you when you’re being still and when you’re moving ‘round.
I love you when you’re right side up
and when you’re upside down.
I love you when you’re laughing and
even when you frown.
I love you – all the time!
(Author unknown, please feel free to identify
the author if you are able to)
“This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I
I felt a raindrop on my forehead,
then one on my cheek, then one on my arm. It was definitely raining…inside our
tent. We had really been looking forward to this camping trip with our two
granddaughters, ages 3 and 7, so my initial thought was “Ugh! You’ve got to be
kidding me!” We had camped many times using this tent, and it’s never had a single
drop of rain leak through. Now there were drips everywhere.
After pausing a moment or three,
though, I realized how grateful I was that the rain started as soon as we were
getting tucked in, and not in the middle of the night. Also, we had beautiful
weather earlier and went on a hike, had a campfire, and cooked s’mores. I
couldn’t let one little raindrop (or hundreds) steal the joy of all the
wonderful memories already made.
Lately my husband, Mike, and I have
been cultivating the habit of celebrating the small stuff. It’s so easy to let
the bad or sad or challenging stuff take center stage, but we are reminding
each other of the many little victories, joys, and blessings we see every day.
After debating our options, we ended up covering our sleeping bags with a tarp and heading to a hotel for the night. The next day we discovered we had made the right choice. The inside of our tent was pretty soaked. We left it there and enjoyed a gorgeous day of hiking the Double Run Trail, swimming and playing in the Loyalsock Creek, and grabbing a delicious meal at the Forksville General Store and Restaurant (aka Big Mike’s https://www.forksvillestore.com/). We also got to enjoy another campfire! As we celebrated the small stuff, we came to realize that it was actually big stuff. What small stuff can you celebrate today?
“The Lord is righteous in all his
ways and loving toward all he has made.” Psalm 145:17
We’re not talking ice cream here.
That would be better, especially in these 80-90 degree days of summer here in
Oxford, Pennsylvania. No, we are talking about the other cone. The dreaded “Elizabethan
collar” type of cone that dogs must wear after having surgery.
Yes, it was time, and we got our sweet little puppy, Kaylee, spayed. When we got her home, we put the cone on to keep her from licking or biting her incision. Much to our surprise, she would not move at all. We’ve had dogs before, and it always took them a little while to get used to walking around wearing the cone. They’d bump into the wall a few times but would pretty quickly figure out how to maneuver. Not our Kaylee. She simply sat and stayed. We tried all sorts of suggestions to get her used to it, to no avail.
Sometimes I think God puts a cone on us at times. He wants to protect us, heal us, and help us grow, but we are inclined to interfere with that process. At least I am. Do you ever feel that way? For example, there was a long season in which I wanted to move out of working in the intensive care unit. I was tired of it all – the challenges, the ethical dilemmas, the stress, everything. I prayed; I begged; I applied for other jobs. God said stay. I felt like Kaylee with her cone. Looking back now, I see that it was for my own good. I am actually thankful and glad. In case you’re curious, I still work in the intensive care unit. The challenges there haven’t really changed, but God continues changing me through those challenges.
After a few days of having to take Kaylee’s cone off to walk her and get her to go to the bathroom, our son, Dan, found a different type of cone that she actually became more accustomed to. She even sits and stays still for me to place it. Her incision is healing and we now have only 2-4 more days before we can leave it off. One of the first things I plan to do when she’s free is take her to the park then stop for an ice cream cone (for me) on the way back.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the
time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
She fell asleep in the midst of
chewing her apple slice. I had buckled her into her car seat, then gave her an
apple slice to snack on as we drove to our picnic spot. Minutes later I looked
in the rearview mirror to see her eyes closed and her little hand still
grasping the rest of her apple slice. After I checked to be sure she had
swallowed the bite in her mouth, I drove on, letting her sleep. Next I pulled
into the parking area of the picnic park and continued to allow her to nap.
It had been a very busy week,
especially for a 3-year-old. Mike and I had the great joy of having our
granddaughters, Senna (7) and Adina (3), spend the whole week at our house. It
was also Vacation Bible School week at our church, Calvary Chapel Delaware
County http://ccdelco.com/. Hence, every day was full of fun and
One thing all of you parents and
grandparents know is that kids don’t always realize what is best for them. Sometimes
they don’t even want it! They need our leadership, guidance, and loving care.
They need us to recognize when they are ready for a rest break, when they need
to drink more water, when they need a snack, and on and on.
I’ve realized that I don’t always
know what is best for me or what I need either. However, God does. He promises
to provide for us, guide us, and always be with us. He cares about us and for
us. I am so thankful to be His child.
Honestly, it made me feel really good
when Adina got a little nap in the car and woke up feeling refreshed. We got
out of the car and had our picnic, then played together for quite a while
before we needed to go pick up Senna. I imagine it makes God feel good when we
allow Him to care for us, too. I encourage you (and me) to go to Him with our
needs and trust Him to do what’s best for us. He will. What will you trust Him
“Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from
me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls.” Matthew 11:28-29