Tag Archives: blessings

My Girl Is 11.


“I will have this experience with me for the rest of the my life. I will always treasure that I got to play this role. I will miss Scout.” – Anna

These are the kind of deep statements I hear from her. Sandwiched between her witty comments, hilarious sense of humor, and laughter are deeply felt moments of honesty and emotion. There are days that I am sure I am talking to a 30 year old. She poses hard questions. She always has. Questions about poverty. About social injustice. When someone is mistreated, a righteous anger rises up in her, and she needs me to help her direct it.

She reasons well. If she asks for something, and we tell her no, she receives it graciously. She never pushes the envelope with her wish for material things. Ever. She doesn’t jump on bandwagons of negativity. Instead, she will refocus on what is right and good in her world.

At the risk of uncovering myself and one of my very weak moments this year, I would like to share a story of how Anna responded to my self-indulgent rant. We were leaving the house one day. I was very frustrated with Kris. I felt he would fly, come home, and spend all of his time working on the farm. I felt left with a home to care for by myself. I felt so many things went undone, and I was frustrated. Knowing better, I vented. To a 10 year old. More than that, I asked her, “Why don’t you tell your dad we need him to stop working on the farm so much and help out more around the house?”

“No. I won’t. It’s a lot of land. He has to work it hard. Far-Far (Kris’ dad) can’t do it all alone. He needs him. And, you need to allow dad to do what he feels he needs to do. If you are stressed, ask me. If you need more help, ask me. Ask ME. I will help you.”

I will never forget that conversation. I will never forget how she responded to me. She stood up for what she felt was right while still honoring me.

Anna Takle, you absolutely light up my world. You are so incredibly smart. And, your wisdom has astounded me. Your love of music, the piano, and broadway are so much fun. You continually make me proud when I watch you use your gifts.





You make me laugh harder than anyone.



You are the sweetest, most loving sister.


You have a tender appreciation for all life.


You are a living, breathing beautiful, example of God in the earth.

I love how you love life and the people in your life. I love how you crawl up in bed with me almost every single night, because you want to talk to me. I love how you love Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory. I love how you appreciate good tea. I love how you work tirelessly on the piano until you can finally play a piece perfectly. I love how you love your brothers. I love how you look at me and watch me. I love how you still get so excited and exclaim, “Daddy’s home!”

And, of all the roles you have played, my favorite one you play is simply being Anna Takle. I love who you are. I am forever thankful God chose me to be your mom. What a gift it is to call you my daughter. Thank you for being you and for continuing to allow God to grow inside of you.

Happy 11th Birthday, Anna Takle. I love you so very much.




Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, life, Motherhood

The NCML Project – Day One.

How did y’all do with the NCML Project yesterday?  I had already failed twice before my breakfast had digested. 

Me:  “Gah!  I hate pop-ups on the internet!”

Kris:  “Sooo, are you complaining?”


The morning progresses, and I talk to my mom on the phone.   I might complain a little, and I might say something like, “I might just quit (I ain’t tellin’ y’all this part.)  My momma later sends me this text:

“God said to not let the word ‘quit’ go through your head.  You are where He wants you.  And, you need to read my friend’s blog today at dustytakle.com.”

She also added, “I love you” at the end to try to lessen the sting, I’m sure.

Complaining is a really bad habit.  And, apparently, I complain A LOT.  We don’t think we are complaining.  But, a mere sigh of exasperation is a complaint, ya know?  This NCML Project isn’t going to be easy.  And, Kris Takle LOVES making me accountable for it.  But, I’m not quitting.  It takes 30 days to form a habit, right?  Is it still 30 days?  I don’t know.  Anyhoo, I’m going to keep it up until the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart is pleasing to my Creator.  Amen.

Another good way to overcome complaining?  To focus on the blessings and gifts in your life.  I mean, how could anyone complain when they get to witness moments like this on any given day?

A sweet, little, punkin boy (with his four-legged buddy) watching his daddy clean up a Little Tikes car that has stood the test of time. 

Let’s focus on our blessings today.  Maybe, that’ll help?

And, don’t worry, I’m not going to be titling every post The NCML Project Day Whatever.  That would be torture.  Not that you’d complain about it or anything.


Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, life, Spiritual Journey, Uncategorized

Heart Check: I Want That, Too!

I am a blessed girl.  I don’t struggle with envy.  I don’t covet my neighbors’ material goods.  Because, I really have this understanding of God’s goodness in my own life.

Or do I?

Pastor Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv shared this past weekend on how to be dissatisfied.  I am pretty satisfied most days.  But when he suggested that comparing what I have to people who have more is a step that leads to living a dissatisfied life? 

I had a heart check.

To be honest.  I mean really honest.

I have a nice home.  But, I can go to an even nicer home and think, “Wow!  I want one of these!”  Then, I go back to my “shack” and fail to recognize my blessings. 

Granted, I don’t live in a shack.  But, that’s the attitude that can penetrate my heart. 

I never resent God’s goodness and blessings in others’ lives.  At least, I’ve got that goin’ for me.  But when I want more, I ignore God’s goodness in my own life.  And, what is holy about that?

We left that Saturday service and I confessed my conviction to Kris.  An issue I didn’t even realize was there.  I then told him, “Babe, my love doesn’t cost a thing.”

“Really?” He said with a little sheepish grin. 

I laughed.  He lightened my mood.  However, the reality of my heart check remained. 


I am so much farther from “considering everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ…..”  I am so far from “considering them rubbish….” (Philippians 3:7-8)  So, I’m letting God deal with it. 

Do you ever compare what you have to people who have more?


Filed under God Stuff, gratitude, Virtue

That’s My Boat

The title is clearly lost if you don’t read in your best Forest Gump voice.  Here are a few more photos from the Takle Family Spring Break 2009.



Kris’ response to this shrimp boat was “I’ve got twelve Jenny’s.”  We were told by a tour guide that the shrimping industry will be obsolete in ten years due to the ease of today’s farm-raised shrimp.  Kind of sad, huh? 


This thingamabob does something with cargo ships.  Lifts the boxes?  I really paid attention.  Well, I did pay attention to the fact that it was shipped to Amelia Island from Singapore already assembled.  Okay.  It’s a boring picture, but you have to admit that it’s pretty impressive.  Yes?  Or, maybe when you are consumed with a 4 year old who only wants to wear purple now, you’re easily impressed.

Back at the grandparents’ house, Anna discovered her inner Audubon with a little bird watching.


And this one finally got his hair cut short.


Memories were made.  At one point, I looked at Kris on our getaway and just said, “We are so blessed.”  I’ve had my share of struggles.  But, scripture reminds us to rejoice in tribulation, because it produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.  And, hope does not disappoint.  Had I not endured a broken heart, there would be no Anna Takle. 

You see how good God is?



Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, Randomness

Go easy on the blueberries.

On Sunday, I made the ominous decision to eat healthier.  ‘Cause let’s face it.  These Valentine hearts and M&Ms aren’t going to jump off my hips all by themselves.  So, instead of digging through the candy jar in search of some sort of satisfaction that only sugar can bring, I chose to inhale an entire carton of blueberries.  Tart ones.  And, they were almost as satisfying as those Dove Chocolates I lifted from Anna’s Valentine sack she so carefully decorated. 

Fast forward to Monday where I was forced to make myself comfortable in the ladies’ room with a few magazines and games on my iPhone.  Needless to say, Kris won’t have to tell me again to leave a few blueberries for the rest of the family. 

Moving on.

I am blessed.

I go to a super awesome bible study with some super awesome gals.  {Read as though you are back in Junior High.}  Yesterday, we talked about what it means to be blessed.  Well, “blessed” comes from the Greek word “makarios” which means “more than happy.”  We all did that thing where you go around the room and share what “blessed” means to you.  To me, it means that I have a peace in good times and in bad.  Every situation that comes your way is not going to be a situation where you shout, “Wow, that was blessing, wasn’t’ it?”  But, when you have the peace of God despite your circumstances, then you can keep on keepin’ on.  Read me?  That’s a blessing. 

For example, I can have a really crappy day that may look something like this:

– Wake up, feel yuck about myself, and don’t feel good in anything I put on.

– Fashion wars with a 4 year old.  Emotional breakdown with a 6 year old.  Need I say more?

– Have a stupid argument with my husband.

– Money becomes even tighter.

Perhaps you can relate to one or all of the above.  It’s the little, sometimes big, things than can make for a crappy day.

BUT then, I remember.

– I have a body that is whole.  And, the last colonoscopy I had showed no signs of ulcerative colitis.  I am blessed to live in this body.

– I have two very unique children.  One makes my life so much dang fun.  I laugh often because of her.  The other is tender and gentle towards others.  His compassion inspires me to love people even more.

– I am married to a warrior who fights hard for this family.  He puts us first, and I am so emphatically in love with him.

– God has never forsaken me.  He is my Jehovah Jirah. 

You see?  I am blessed.  Even when things aren’t perfect.  I am more than happy.  Because, I have this peace of God that reminds me no matter what, everything is gonna be all right.

Oh, and the blueberry story?  Well, that was just a little free advice.  No need to thank me.

What does being blessed mean to you?


Filed under gratitude, Spiritual Journey

God Bless Barack Obama.

Perhaps, your candidate won.  Or, maybe he didn’t.  This is the not the post I had written for today.  But, I cannot in good conscience post anything else.

It’s 11:26 PM CST, 4 November 2008.  I am sitting up with the television on overflowing with so many different emotions. 

When I picked up John Henry from school today, I told him I needed to go vote.  He said, “John McCain already won!”  The school apparently held a mock election allowing him to circle his choice for president.   Upon hearing the talk of other Kindergarteners, he told me that “Barack Obama is a bad man.”  Later, he told me that another friend told him that “Barack Obama kills babies.”

You can imagine the necessary discussion with my six year old that ensued.  I assured him that Barack Obama was not a bad man.  And, that if elected president, we would pray for him and his family, always speaking blessings. 

So, John Henry sat down and wrote a letter to President Elect Barack Obama.  In that letter, he prayed for him.  “God bless Barack Obama and his family….,” he went on to read to me.  From that point on, he began pulling for Obama in the election.  And, although I was a McCain supporter, I supported my six year old’s choice. 

John Henry watched the polls with me.  He asked questions.  “Can I become president when I grow up?” 

“You can be anything you want.” I said, hearing my own mother’s voice.

“Or, I could be a cooker.  I’m a good cooker, too.”

“Yes, you are.”  I assured him.

What a day for the African-American race.  What a day for African-American mothers who can look at their sons and daughters and say with bold confidence, “You can be anything you want.”

I have read many responses to this country’s newly elected president.  Many are concerned for our country’s direction.  I don’t worry for one second about this great country.  We are a praying nation. 

Today is a day to unite as Americans.  To pray.  To bless  President Elect Barack Obama.  To speak life.  Let’s not forget the power of our words.  And, let’s not forget that God is on the throne. 

And, above all else, let’s teach our children to love one another – not matter what side of the aisle we’re on.

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.  Romans 13:8


Filed under Love, Motherhood, Randomness

I get letters.

In my inbox.  Who uses snail mail anymore?

My very good friend, Kate, e-mailed me last Friday about her sweet time she had with Jesus that morning.  Something she said really got to me.

“No matter how much I have in my life that I don’t want, I HAVE SO MUCH in my life THAT I DO WANT!  There are blessings all around me that I can overlook by searching for a certain blessing.”

How often I have those little aha moments (thanks, Oprah).  And, how often I let my search for other things (or my discontentment with present things) rob me of the blessings that are staring me square in the face. 

I tried to impart this message to my children Friday night. They sat at their cute little table eating their hotdogs, chips and grapes – an obvious dinner of champions.  I didn’t nuke these wieners in the microwave.  Nosireebob.  They were grilled, baby.  One would think that they would have appreciated the pig on their plate, but all they could say was “Mom, you forgot our drinks!” 

Such Friday night kitchen efforts, ahem, meant nothing to my precious gifts from God.  I forgot to serve them an ice cold beverage.

It’s hard to expect my little ones to grasp this kind of gratitude when I so easily forget my own blessings.  But, I’m learning. 

By the way, here are Kate and I circa 1989.

What?  You didn’t accent turquoise turtlenecks with purple cardigans?  We didn’t even have to try to look that cool.  It just came naturally.  With the help of hot rollers, of course.  I don’t think I’ve said the word hot roller since 1990.  Blessed be His name.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Let today be a day that we are thankful for we DO have.  Amen, Sister Kate?



Filed under gratitude