Nov 25 2011

When real life happens during the holidays!

(This post is from my Learning to Live a Surrendered Life archive before it became Unwrapping His Grace.)

It hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already over!  The past two days have flown by!  Even though we had lots of good times…we dealt with real-life challenges through it all…

Our days were filled with…

Creating…our boys made hand print Turkey Thanksgiving Cards for their grandparents, aunts and uncle, and Will and I!

Michael intently at work…gluing everything in sight!

Josh really got into it working right up until five minutes before we were ready to leave for my in-laws!


Diabetic Friendly Apple Crisp was my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at my in-law! (It tasted great even though I forgot to put the brown sugar/splenda blend in the topping!)

Lots of eating…

Michael LOVES fresh-baked rolls!!! (He tends to fill up on them so he is too full to eat anything else! Ah well…maybe next year!)

Even our pickiest eater cleared his dinner plate…after adding katsup to his mashed potatoes…gotta love him!  He was so proud of cleaning his plate…this was the first time in five years he finished all of his dinner on Thanksgiving!  (My in-laws are great cooks by the way…he is just VERY picky! )

Lots of fun with cousins… 

The Pershing cousins are so great with both of our boys.  Josh and Michael are the youngest in the family and this crew of teens and pre-teens patiently played board game after board game with them, watched Spy Kids together, but I think their favorite “game” was spin the little ones in the top of the bowl seat (I can never remember what those chairs are called! LOL) on the floor.  Michael (and Josh on his turn) collapsed in giggles as did everyone watching…except for the dogs who were sure they were trying to hurt Michael and barked and barked at them!

The adults all enjoyed spending the afternoon visiting and getting caught up with one another’s lives.

We headed home early evening and spent the rest of the evening enjoying hot soup, leftover apple crisp and our favorite Peanuts Thanksgiving movies!

Friday, we got a slow start to the day…relaxing and taking it slow.  Late morning, the boys helped me to clean the house as we prepare to get out our Christmas tree and Christmas decorations.

While the kids and I were cleaning house, Will discovered that his new website had locked up and completely crashed.  He spent a chunk of the day working with tech support on the phone trying to fix the problems only to find out he will have to completely start over.  I often talk about how my husband inspires me in my own walk with God and learning to live out grace in every day challenges.  This is one of those times.  He faced it patiently…quietly…with grace and never gave up.

Later in the day, we discovered that “Learning to Live a Surrendered Life” crashed too.  My initial reaction was to get scared and I ran up to Will’s office to tell him what happened and begging him for help and direction.  He calmly looked into it and after a few minutes on the phone with tech support…they were able to resolve the problem for this blog…we are back up and running!  Sadly, Will’s blog didn’t have the same success with overcoming the crash.

Here is what inspires me about Will.  Will thought about it, calmly worked with tech support, took a break to go for a walk with us, his family, around town, prayed about it, we talked about it together…and decided to take it as an opportunity to make a fresh start with the new direction that God seemed to be taking his writing and his ministry.  He never gave up!  He calmly made lemonade out of the lemons that could have sent him into a depression as he works hard to manage his bi-polar disorder every day.  I learn SO much from how he handles the challenges that face him and our family each day!

Taking Will’s lead…I adjusted the rest of our family’s plans for the day so that he could spend the time he needed working on his new website…which is now called “Grace Walker”!!!  Don’t you love it!?

The boys took everything in stride as we moved putting up our Christmas/Jesse tree and Christmas decorations until tomorrow.  Instead, the boys had a blast watching Christmas movies and playing together.  We took a quick trip to town to pick up a few things at Aldi’s including more coffee for my amazingly patient husband!  We got home just in time for the movie on the Hallmark Channel that they boys had been looking forward to all day about a dog named “Jingle”!

Will even took time out to enjoy chili and the Christmas movie with us before we shuttled the boys off to bed for the night.

Our lives are real.  Everything doesn’t always go according to plan.  Sometimes it is messy.  I don’t always respond.  Sometimes I get scared and have to remind myself of the amazing Grace of God there with us.  But the peace and confidence we have in Christ and the encouragement we give each other helps us make it through some of the worst challenges.

My husband is now excited about the new direction for his website.  He is intently working away on this new beginning with his piping hot cup of coffee and glass of water close by.  We had a much slower pace to our day which left us more relaxed than we would have been if we had attempted to put up our tree in the midst of the challenges.  Now the boys are looking forward to spending Saturday “transforming” our house from Autumn to an Advent and Christmas feel.  And we are all a lot less stressed because of going with the flow and facing the challenges with grace instead of completely panicking and letting the bumps in the road ruin our weekend.

I am so grateful that we are never alone in the challenges of life…whether the challenges are big or small…He is always with us guiding us…walking with us…and carrying us when necessary…and for that I give thanks!

Question:  What do you do to help yourself stay calm when challenges change your holiday plans?

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Learning to live with His Grace,

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

Be sure to pour yourself a cup of tea or hot cocoa and join us the rest of this week for…


Sunday…Advent at our House (It is the first Sunday of Advent!)

And don’t forget “The ‘Yes’ that changed everything” Bible Study starts on November 29th!

If you missed this week’s posts because you were celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, here’s the links so you can catch up!

Sunday…”Sundays in His Word…Psalm 95″

Monday…“Diabetic friendly Devil’s food holiday cupcakes”

Wednesday…“A Journey in Grace…a lesson in Thanksgiving”

Thursday…“Happy Thanksgiving!”


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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

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  • http://www.everyday-sacred.blogspot.com Theresa

    Flexibility is something I learned early on with Scott's job. When he is home and off the road from driving we really have no expectations for how our days will go. Sometimes I am needed to help him by driving up to an hour away to pick him up from the mechanic shop or sometimes we just need time away as a couple – pushing schooling back a little. Often we'll do Saturday school and have days off when he is home so that we can be with daddy. <3

    I loved seeing the pictures of the kids. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

    My recent post Giving Thanks