The Joy of Family

Our family is comprised of more than just blood relatives.

Most of our children are related to only one of us {or neither of us} by blood, yet my heart birthed love for them as strong as the love knit in my womb.

God weaves together families in beautiful and unexpected patterns.

Sweet Pea had her first gymnastics class on Saturday.  It’s called Gyminy Crickets {how stinkin’ cute is that?} Every Saturday in March, she gets to tumble and play with her mama and daddy, while Mimi {that’s me} watches from the observation window.

My heart was so touched for her.  A generational curse was broken when God brought her mama to us and she is being raised in an entirely different environment than Shayla was.  She won’t know neglect and she won’t wonder who is going to take care of her from day to day.  She gets to be a little girl, wearing cute hot pink leggings {with a tutu attached!} and learning how to “dump, dump” {otherwise known as jump}.

We came home and my hubby stuck in a DVD from when Jared and Jason were little and they too were in gymnastics.  We sat and laughed at how small and funny they were.  It was a full circle moment.

Then our motley crew went to Walmart and played hide and seek in the aisles and divided into teams to conquer the grocery list.

My heart nearly burst with the joy of the everyday and the fact that God chose this life for me.

and the counting of gifts continues {excerpted from my Joy Dare/gratitude journal}

~  the promise of Psalm 68:6 and the privilege of living it out

~ one more week till we pick Jason up from basic training and have all the Smallwood’s under one roof again

~ friends, like family, that make tacos and bring laughter to dinner as well

~ teenagers that clean

~ lemon italian ice for a tummy upset

~ an impromptu family outing for free Auntie Anne’s pretzels

~ watching a heart turn towards God

~ a husband that leads

~ a heart reluctantly learning to follow

~ the blessings of obedience

What are you thankful for?



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  1. Kelli Hughes says:

    What a blessing you are to all of your children.  What an open, loving heart you must have. I bet you are going to have some fun and interesting times ahead!  Enjoy every minute!  Welcome to the SDG Sisterhood!

  2. Love it, sister – what a great analogy to compare with your little guys…And I love what you say about how she won’t know neglect and wonder who will care for her.  Generational sin has stopped.  Beautiful. Awesome to see you linking with SDG today!

  3. Kim Hall says:

    My heart swells with joy for you and your family. I love your list of things for which you are thankful, especially the ordinary, everyday things. I think we often can get so wrapped up in looking for the awesome and amazing, or in dwelling what we see as lacking, that we miss the countless joys occurring right under our noses.

    Thanks so much for sharing your joy, and bringing me a smile today. I found you at Soli Deo Gloria.

    I follow a wonderful gal who is a missionary in Dubai, and she keeps a great blog called Domestic Kingdom, Applying the Gospel to the Mundane. I think you might like it, and you can find it here:

  4. Anonymous says:

    that is the best name for a little gymnastics group, ever!!  Also, the way you love her, blood or no, is the greatest gift ever. 🙂

  5. thank you for stopping by!

  6. Glenda Childers says:

    Rejoicing with you that your sweat pea knows pink leotards rather than neglect.

    Welcome to the Soli Sisters. Glad you joined us.


  7. So sweet!  May God continue to richly bless your family.  Welcome to SDG. 🙂

  8.  My heart nearly burst with the joy of the everyday and the fact that God chose this life for me. 
    This=perfection.  Just joyous gratitude. Blessings to you!

  9. Renee Ann Smith says:

    God has done beautiful things in your family, Melissa! I enjoyed reading through your story. Thanks for visiting me at Doorkeeper! Blessings!

  10. my heart birthed love for them as strong as the love knit in my womb — I love this line. What a powerful description of what my friends and I call a burst of love!

    Welcome to SDG!

  11. We serve an absolutely amazing God! Thanks for commenting!

  12. Love how you capture the joy of everyday moments. Sounds like you have a beautiful family.

  13. Jen Ferguson says:

    Welcome to SDG!  I look forward to learning more about you.  I can say that I totally relate to you in having a husband that leads, but having to learn how to follow.

  14. I’m thankful for YOU and the way you’re bringing light to this child.  Welcome to SDG!

  15. Why does it take us so long to learn to follow when we so desire the leadership!  Thank you for your list today.  Hoping whoever has the upset tummy feels better!  Walking along with you before the face of God and counting multitudes and multitudes of gifts……

  16. Enjoyed your thankfulness list! Ahhh, the joys a child brings his mama! Enjoy every moment!

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