This house ...

You might call it ugly. Unattractive, but to us it's where the laughter, the talks and the love takes place. The training of the next generation. Husband and wife lovingly loving. It's our home. Once we called it "beautiful," but then my husband hired someone who really wasn't worthy of the work. The door-to-door salesman understands how hard it is to provide for family on commissions. Some day's, he knows, you make zero. Nothing. So when he met a guy who said he would transform our home—a guy who was out of work, down on his luck, he hired him wanting to help him out. Well, our tile got pulled up before we had new tile to put down. The door with the oval glass that I loved so much got taken down and replaced. The glass screen that I'd wanted for so long is put in incorrectly. The painting of the walls...fireplace was started on, but was never completed. So were the cabinets. The draw that should be beside our new dishwasher is gone. The dishwasher spills water when it's turned on and the faucet on the sink leaks. And now the counters are peeling. Just enough to make a girl like me cry, right? You would think so, but this girl has learned a thing or two about beauty and gratitude. God has bestowed on this girl a book by Ann Voskamp,"One thousand gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are." I'm holding on to this book for dear life. It is my Lifesaver. God knows exactly what to give us, when to give it and how. I've learned about penning the gifts I see and I'm loving it. I didn't think I could live fully right here in this place and give thanks for it, but the impossible is becoming possible even within heart. My heart leaps for joy...unimaginable joy when I think about the secret God has bestowed on me. He's given me the "key" the secret to living a life of contentment and joy...peaceful life. In this life that is uniquely mine, I'm beginning to find gifts in abundance all around me.

Use to be I would complain, complain, and complain. I was embarrassed by this house. But it is my home a place where I should feel pride so I do what I can and most importantly I'm changing my attitude thus the attitude and of children. They are like sponges, aren't they. They soak up the lessons. They watch and they listen. Then they imitate. The Jesus they see starts with seeing Him in me and their dad. Looking through the new lenses of my life seeing from a different perspective, from the perspective of gratitude, I see a new beauty, right here in this house. There is love in this house. There is joy and the counting of gifts together in this place and the growing in grace and God right here, in this place.

In this house, yes, this one, the one we left behind—wanting to get away from...we don't have five bedrooms, a theater room, pool and other bells and whistles. No God had us leave there by means of a fire, and come back here to the seemingly barren.

This was a hard lesson, one I'm still learning. In life there is loss. I can't lie and say it was easy. It hasn't been, but it is rewarding...the learning—the learning from growing pains. This is a leaning into the ugly... and giving thanks. "All is grace." And this place, this place is a grace place.

This house is where we meet for family prayer. Say, "I love you." Make, sing, laugh, school, learn, share in meals, conversation, life, dreams and disappointments. This ugly is where love is made daily. In this ugly we see each other again. Before we had to call kids on cell phones and had even started not seeing them often, in the beauty of the big home. The home that made us feel good about ourselves. In this house we're just a rocks throw away from one another.

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~ John Milton

Author Bio Angela is a Christian woman who has been married for 20 years to her high school sweetheart, she's a homeschool mother of 7 and blogger who is learning to "live fully right where she is," she's a seeker. She seeks daily His gifts, gives gratitude and tries her hardest to learn. But more than anything she is learning how to take her ordinary life, her daily activities and make them her holy experience. She's learning that "All is grace," and that as Ann Voskamp says in her new book, "One thousand gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are," the miracle always proceeds thanksgiving. And that regardless of what we face,"Everything if given to God can become our gateway to joy." Elisabeth Elliot

Keep in mind ~ "The difference is Christ in me not a different set of circumstances." Elisabeth Elliot

You can follow Angela on the web at