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Learn To Love Your Story – #BEaNOTICER

February 17, 2014

I stood in my kitchen laughing with one of my kids picking hard macaroni out of the melted cheese in the crockpot. Apparently, noodles like to be boiled beforehand.

About the time I posted an Instagram picture of the dinner fiasco, I heard another daughter upstairs yelling for towels.

It took a minute for it to register why she was panicked. Then I saw the water leaking through my kitchen ceiling. Toilet water.

I ran. No, I flew upstairs yelling, “Turn that silver knob thing behind the toilet. Quick! Turn it so the water will shut off!”

Later that night, our couch-turned-dancing-springboard decided it would no longer tolerate overly energetic snow bound teens. RIP dear couch.

I’d laughed about the noodles. I’d dealt with the toilet water. I’d gotten quite miffed with the couch situation.

Another day.

Another page in what makes this life… my life… a story.

Not so much like the stories of books and big screens.

Those stories are a little more shiny and sexy and seemingly perfect.

Those moms don’t have cellulite probably because they don’t eat mac and cheese. The kitchen ceilings don’t have stains because… well because their kids don’t use too much two-ply toilet paper. And the couches don’t sag beyond repair.

But I love my story. I love my story most of all.

Why? How?

Because I pre-decided today that I would.

I decided I would look at it all through the lens of noticing the rich evidence of life through each mess and mishap.

Did I do it all perfectly? Nope, not at all.

But even if we choose to be noticers with thankful hearts just once today, we’ll start to look at our stories in a different way.

A more beautiful way.

While carrying the wet towels downstairs, I saw this and smiled…

Learn to love your story… be a noticed

I whispered, “Notice. Be a noticer. See all the fun represented here and thank God for these moments.”

Noticers see the lovely before them and learn to love their story.

This week, I’m writing several #BEaNOTICER posts. Today’s focus is to be a noticer in the midst of the messy and mundane. What might happen if you pre-determine to look through the lens of lovely today? Leave me a comment below sharing something you notice.

And if you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag…#BEaNOTICER.

Love your story most of all.

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75 Comments
  1. Mona

    My son always has a mess and I’ve learned to embrace. Once a week he actually cleans it which consists mostly of laundry. It reminds me that he is a growing teenager and he is a miracle story. When my daughter blows through as she did this weekend her laundry overflows all over the house as she needs it clean to go back to college. Just subtle reminders that it won’t be long before they both are coming and going rather than always there.

    Reply
    • Nico Smith

      I love helping others with problems they may be having I ♥ my wonderful husband because he doesn’t let anything stand in the way of helping others fix technology problems. Bl…indness doesn’t keep him from doing the things he can to help others when they are in need.
      Not “I ♥ my incredible husband. He’s always trying to help people fix any technology too long ago, we tried to take our leopard gecko, Courtney Out for a little bit. Unfortunately, he seemed a bit upset for some strange reason, which we’re uncertain of. Maybe it’s because he didn’t appreciate being woken p by our activity director, Misty so well into the time when he’s usually sleeping, as most nocturnal animals do during the day.
      Now that there are no other people in our room, other than us, Cortney (the leopard gecko) is now allowing my incredible husband pet him even though he seems to be a bit nervous for some reason. The more we interact with him, the more he is getting used to being handled.
      Oddly we’ve had him for just over two months, and God has obviously given us a high yellow little guy. You can tell that he’s all yellow in color, other than some orange places on his tail. He’s so incredibly handsome, even when you see him for the very first time. He has a spunky little personality, though, as he won’t let just anyone handle or feed him. He’ll do this just for us- even in front of us.
      .” Notice. Be a noticer. See all the fun represented here and thank God for these moments. Noticers see the lovely before them and learn to love their story.~Lysa TerKeurst
      I ♥ this quote I know each of us has a wonderful story that God has already written in our lives, and each story is really unique. None of or stories are all the same whatsoever. Because each of us is different, our stories may vary. Ultimately, our life story is already written on our hearts by God.
      It’s now dinner time. We couldn’t get the leopard gecko to eat. Obviously he knows when it’s not yet feeding time. What a smart animal! I can’t believe a t just how smart our little guy is. He loves being handled by the right person, knows who likes or doesn’t like him, and he can even tell what time of day it is- as far as when it’s time to eat his food.

      Reply
  2. Sharon

    I really needed that this morning. I certainty was not a noticer this morning but raised my voice when my daughter couldn’t find ger gymnastics suit with a competition in 30 minutes. Then my youngest was crying because I told him to take a shower. My oldest had a mess on her dresser although told me yesterday she had cleaned her room. Wow what a morning. I should have noticed that they made their bed. Cleaned up after themselves in the kitchen and that they are just great kids. Your blog really brought me back to the reality of just loving my kids for who they are and noticing their positive attributes and doings and not focusing on what they did wrong. Thanks Lysa.

    Reply
    • Cindy Fox

      Thank you, Sharon. This is such a good reminder. I pray to be better able to just love my 17 year old daughter for who she is – she is beautiful, talented, bright and so much more. 🙂 I pray for help to quit focusing on the negative so much – too much. God continue to bless you richly!

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    What a beautiful reminder to notice our surroundings. My children are 23, 22. And 19. The piles are different now and less often as they are in college and own their own. So I treasure those piles of beach towels now when they are home for summer , the mound of flip flops and even the gritty sand by the back door. It passes all too fast!

    Reply
    • Kristie

      Thanks for that little reminder. My kids are 11, 9, and 4…..so the piles of toys and outfits that they change 100 times wear on the nerves of an OCD mom….I have to keep reminding myself that this is temporary….and in all honesty the 11,9 and 4 year old are already growing too fast before my eyes. I struggle and I am convicted daily about where I put my priorities….some days I am more concerned with the cleanliness of the house….rather than enjoying my babies…thanks again and God Bless

      Reply
  4. stefanie

    Most mornings at my house with two young boys are full of noise, fighting and not getting done what needs to be done. I usually feel my blood pressure rising as the chaos hightens. Today I heard them laughing and playing – yes loudly – but I smiled because they were joyful sounds. I know that these moments even though hard in the moment will be gone all too soon. Thank you Lysa for you insight and wisdom!

    Reply
  5. Cathy Haubenstricker

    For years i had a tiny, grubby handprint on the ceiling of my kitchen – it was about 2″ across. It was from a time when my son sat on his Daddy’s shoulders and reached up and touched the ceiling. :^) I wasn’t happy about the mark that day, but in the years to come, it always made me smile when I looked at it.

    My boy just moved out and began his first full-time job. I always wished it were possible to cut that handprint off of the drywall and save the memory of that happy moment.

    Reply
  6. Lynnette Nicholas

    I love this post! I believe that our perception shapes everything that we experience. I believe that everything in life speaks, and that it is up to us to discern. We are enjoyed in the Word to “choose life or death..”. In every thing, we have a choice to color the situation with beauty and goodness, or see the negative and mundane. When we pre-determine to see the good in all things, we have already won! This is definitely my kind of language! Love it!

    Today, I will choose to see the beauty in my “now”. I will revel in today, and I will choose not to worry about tomorrow…

    Reply
  7. Mary E. Feie

    Wow, do I get this! Just last week I was pondering on how/why/where to find the beauty in life and how many can say that I am not living in reality. Hmm…this is what I wrote and put into Valentine’s Day cards…
    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, said a pondering philosopher long ago,
    Proposing that to chose beauty over reality,“Love” sees not with the lens of the mind
    But through the window of the heart.

    Reply
  8. Cathy Staurovsky

    Dear Lysa,
    Absolutely love you’re blog and all your posts. You are absolutely right on this story today. Going back a few years when my husband and I had two dogs. We had gone out an we blocked off areas all except the living room. Well……. we came home and found that had pulled some of the stuffing out of the center cushion, which by the way is attached to the whole couch, not a separate cushion. I was furious and yelled at them both then apologized and picked up the mess and let it go. A few days later we went out again and this time when we got home they destroyed that whole section. There was stuffing everywhere. It looked like God had made it snow inside our living room. All I could do was laugh and love those animals and realize that God was in control of my emotions whether they were up or down. We also realized that God was telling us to gate them off from the living room, duh good idea Lord thank you. The mess was only the reality of realizing how blessed we were to give these dogs a home in the first place. Animals give us unconditional love just like the Lord does. We need to realize His precious love and sometimes He does it through animals or other means. Have a blessed day my sisters. Love and God bless you all, Cathy S

    Reply
  9. wanda

    This last year has been one filled with gigantic change. My mother passed away, husband switched jobs, sold our house (the one we raised 3 kids in), quit my job, moved away and ALL 3 KIDS MOVED OUT for college!
    ALSO, since moving….it has been a literal snowmageddon! No way to meet neighbors and such…so LONELY has become my new norm.
    HOWEVER…..
    I am noticing. That the sweet little poodle our daughter had to have in 6th grade has become my lifeline. Though she is old, she is loyal & loving. She has kept me constant company and the best part? She has no plans of heading off to college or moving without me. 🙂
    I believe God knew…..this dog would be important to me (and not just my children’s growing up years).

    Reply
  10. Cindy Fox

    Greetings! If I choose to look through the lense of lovely, I just might receive peace, joy, better thinking about the issues I face, and so much more. I choose to look through lovely and see past the disrespect and hurtful attitudes of my teenage daughter to the love God has for her, the beautiful young lady she truly is, the heart she does have for God, but may be “hidden” at times, and all she can be in God. I do love her very much and being her mom has taught me so much about unconditional love – for her and the unconditional love of my heavenly Father for me and others.

    Reply
  11. Amber S

    This weekend was not the perfect Valentine’s weekend. Since we were dealing with snow and ice all week my husband and I did not even have any time to even get a card for each other. Due to daycare and school being closed we had already used all of our babysitters for the week so we loaded up with the kids and headed out to eat anyway. That night when my husband and I went to bed he apologized for such a lowsy Valentine’s. At that moment I realized it was the best Valentine’s ever I got to spend it with the ones I love most. I am blessed with two wonderful kids who made us homemade Valentine’s and a husband to lay beside me every night. That is so much more than so many have and I am trully blessed!!

    Reply
  12. Deb

    God’s word for me this year is cherish. My first thought was ‘I know I’m cherished’ but God has something more in mind – similar to your ‘noticer’, He wants me to be ‘in the moment’ & see what/how He’s working & cherish those times – to be thankful for the love of family & friends, the words of encouragement, listen to criticism & grow, rejoice in the affirmation someone recently spoke over us & the impact our investment of time has made on his life, the recent birth of a great-niece – look & you’ll see the many good gifts God has given. I am so thankful & excited to see all that God has in store!

    Reply
  13. Susan

    Such a blessing to read this today! I have been ‘purposing’ in my heart to do this as well especially for all the things that try to frustrate me during the day. I turn that initial thought into a GOOD thought and find what I can praise God for thru it. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Sara K

    We’re getting dumped with snow this morning and we had appointments to get to — and the car is parked outside because husband has a project (from November) in the garage that is not yet cleaned up — could feel a little annoyance beginning to brew under the surface — but chose to be thankful that we got prepared earlier than usual so we didn’t have to rush. And I’m thankful for my boys’ enthusiasm for the fluffy white stuff! As soon as we got home from said appointments, they immediately put on their snow gear to go out and play! God wants thankfulness from us! — to be a noticer, as you said! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Melissa Reno

    This morning I noticed all the laundry I had to do, the beds that needed to be stripped and re-made, the lunches I had to pack, and about 100 little household chores that needed to be completed before 3:30…and then I thanked God for my happy home, my beautiful family, warm beds, clothes to wear, food to eat, and the health and strength He gives me to do those things that need to be done!

    Reply
  16. Pam

    After I went through chemo and was getting my hair back, I had a friend who reminded me often to be thankful. When I had a bad hair day, she would remind me that now I had hair AND that I no longer had cancer. She reminded me that dirty dishes meant that we had food to eat and that clothes to wash meant that we had clothes to wear and that a mess in the house meant that I had children to love. It made a difference in how I looked at the not-so-fun aspects of my life. I still remember that I have hair, food to eat, clothes to wear, and children to love. Thank you God for reminders of what we have even through things that aren’t so pleasant.

    Reply
  17. Dee

    Excellent post…I am headed into my day here in CA and look forward to seeing what I notice!

    Reply
  18. Carrie

    Most mornings I get up, exercise, and go about my day. It’s been freezing outside lately and today it was warm for the first time in weeks. It was just beautiful. After my run I decided to enjoy my breakfast on my front doorstep. We don’t have a backdoor lol. I’ve forgotten that sometimes the little things are the biggest things in your day. Thanks for reminding me to be a noticer. Oh and I just can’t get this song out of my head, it’s called Mighty Warrior by Elevation Worship. This song brings me so much joy I just had to share it 🙂 Have a great day, ladies.

    Reply
  19. Kathy

    As I pick up the livingroom after this morning’s “hurricane” playtime… I notice my almost one year old seems to love books and puzzles most!

    Reply
  20. Latosha

    I enjoyed reading today’s blogpost and to everyone who shared what they have noticed as well. My hubby and I are emptynesters and it’s much easier to notice the things that got me upset are the things that I miss now. Even on yesterday when we got home from church and my hubby tracked mud on the clean carpets, I was furious, but then again, he had vacuumed every room the day before. Yesterday, while he was cleaning the mud stained carpet in our front room, I was talking to him from another room and wondered why he wasn’t responding. He pulled ear plugs from his ears and smiled at me. (LOL) Thank you, Ladies. Blessings!

    Reply
  21. Beth Pittman

    OK. You asked for it. We have three cats and I hate cleaning the litter box but it’s a chore that must be done. In fact, it was one of the chores I had just completed before sitting down to read this post. You asked us to find the lovely in the messy. Well, I started thinking about the litter box. How do I find lovely in that? And then it occurred to me that our three year old grandson loves playing with and chasing our cats around the house. It brings him so much joy and we are teaching him how to be gentle with God’s animals in the process. I guess if you can find lovely in cat litter, you can find lovely in just about anything! Haha! Thank you so much for prompting me to look at life through a different lens!

    Reply
  22. Pam

    Thank you for challenging me to see beauty in my story, even when all I tend to see is the messy. Beauty is there. I just need to train my eyes to see it : ) Walked up to my boys’ rooms this morning, and I realized how my eyes so quickly focused on what was not up-to-par. I need to praise them more for what they do rather than fuss over what they don’t. Thanks again, Lysa. God is using you to make a difference.

    Reply
  23. robin

    Hey, Lysa!
    Thanks for the sweet reminder!
    When getting ready to pay my bills today, I reached in my purse for the checkbook and found the receipt my 26 year old single mother of three handed me at the register yesterday. It was for Sunday dinner she insisted on treating us to with part of her tax refund. We were celebrating our youngest grandson’s first birthday. She handed it me because her hands were full of her 29 pound one year old son. Then I found our oldest grandson’s Valentines card here. (He usually forgets the card!). Then there was a cake crumb on the floor somehow missed by the after party vacuuming…all evidences of life and love! Yesterday neither my husband or I were feeling very well, so we may not have appreciated it as much as we should have…thanks for the reminder! Thanks, Lord, for my family, the gift of life, love, and celebrations!

    Reply
  24. Julie H.

    You are such a blessing. In the midst of the greatest struggle of faith and just plain life, you bring a smile to my heart and help me to slow down. I admit, I am struggling greatly to hang on to ounce of faith I have left and I looked for someone to reach out to last night in my desperation. Pray? Yea, I could have, but I didn’t feel like I was worthy or that my words would be very pleasing to God and for goodness sake, he wouldn’t hear me after how ugly I have been this weekend. Then, Lysa….your blog’s come straight to my email, PRAISE GOD!!! I am not sure that this “noticing” thing is going to push me through this slump I am in but it is the beginning and can’t hurt where I am now. Thank you for reminding me to be a noticer and not a consumer (cause that is what I like to let things do…consume me!) 🙂

    Reply
    • Gloria

      I am 75% through Unglued and eager to continue. I also purchased the participant guide to review since I facilitate a women’s small group at our church. Will get DVD if decide to use the study. Question 1: we read, shared and thoroughly enjoyed The Noticer (Andy)…I just finished The Noticer Returns. As I was reading Unglued… perspective, perspective, perspective… connected me to The Noticer. I guess you are a fan too? Question 2: Are there any studies parallel Unglued for MEN? Have a blessed day.

      Reply
  25. Becca

    Of late, I have simply been overwhelmed by my life, my story. It’s been crazy and it’s about to get crazier. But you’re right: this is my story, the one God gave me. I need to focus on being a better noticer. I am looking forward to the rest of this series.

    Reply
  26. Melissa

    Today, I noticed a beautiful blue bird sitting on the fence out back. God does give us such glorious sights to behold. His creations are limitless ! 🙂

    Reply
  27. Loribthatsme

    Waking up this morning at 5:25, I went in to wake up our daughter, the last remaining child at home. Turning to leave her room, I glanced across the hall and the night light illuminated some dirty socks and a hoodie on the bathroom floor. Now, my first impression would usually be “How many times do I have to get after you about picking up your dirty stuff and putting it into the hamper!?!” But this morning, I had this cozy thought that just said, “Leave it be” and I was thankful for this one, sometimes a little messy, but oh so sweet girl still at home waking from her cozy bed! That is how my story started today! 🙂

    Reply
  28. Katie

    Wonderful post today! And really is something I am trying to do and remember each day. To be a noticer! To stop caring so much for the messes and undone piles of laundry that continue to grow constantly no matter how much I do!
    But this very morning I had one of those mommy moments to notice and remember this is what it is all about.
    As my 15yr old, 9 year old and myself fight for the mirror as we are running late…..
    My 9yr old is waiting for mom to “bump” her hair like sissys….. So as I turn around to do, her big sister puts down her curling iron and as I watch she so easy styles her little sisters hair just right! With kindness!
    It may seem small but to see them care for each other warms mommys heart!

    Reply
  29. Kathy C

    Every day I trip over my son’s shoes by the back door. Sometimes there are 2 pairs, the last few days there are 3, and sometimes there are 4 (good black shoes from jazz band, black shoes for work, everyday shoes, running shoes). Today, instead of nagging at him to put them away, I am a noticer. Because he is a senior in high school…..and very soon, I will not have any boys’ shoes to trip over.

    Reply
  30. Michele

    Im sorry but I had to laugh and laugh for that is my life pretty much everyday……Our LORD has shown me long ago the very same thing you were talking about…..I have to admit I did get very agitated everyday for years and years…..I’ve finally (because of being very stubborn) finally realized that Our LORD is right again….I’ve accepted my loved ones for who they are, laughed at the “unforeseen happenings” continued to see LOVE through my so called rose colored glasses…..So instead JESUS changing the hearts of my family because they were the problem lolol, HE changed my heart and I thank HIM because although the kids and my husband are much much better at putting their things away and cleaning up I am much happier and so are they because im not angry anymore…..I gave it to HIM and HE showed me more of HIMSELF in LOVE…..

    Reply
  31. phyllis

    Thank you for this anointed wisdom! I live in the eastern side of the United States which has been pummeled for what seems like months with snow, ice, more snow and bitter cold temperatures. BUT! The snow glistening and sparkling in the moonlight this morning took my breath away – it was magical! And the birds still sing their joyous praise! I thank the Lord Jesus for these moments!

    Reply
  32. Debi

    In my second year as an empty nester, what I most notice when I’m home is the quiet. But after 59 years of never living alone, this season has its joys also. The best part is looking forward to summer and Christmas holidays, when the kids will be home. 🙂
    This is to thank you for your wonderful blogs and for your effort and vulnerability to help your readers look outside ourselves and, hopefully, up to Jesus!

    Reply
  33. Leslie

    On yet another snowy day, I noticed a group of small black birds in flight, against the milky white grey of the morning, with flecks of tiny snow falling. And I thanked God for the beauty…..

    Reply
  34. Nancy Silvers

    Love this Lysa! We heat with wood and live in the country. Fragments of wood, pieces of bark, wood dust, dog hair and outdoor dirt are daily items I notice 🙂 Every day when I’m sweeping up the mess from the wood by the fireplace I thank God for the wood that provides our heat. My house used to be perfectly neat but I was the only one in it. A husband that is a blue collar worker, that works hard both at work and home, and two fluffy cuddly 105 lb dogs create a lot of sweeping and even more smiles. I wouldn’t have it any other way 😉

    Reply
  35. Jennifer Stohr

    Your post came at just the right time today! Here in North Central Illinois we are again getting blasted with ice and snow. This morning as I let my puppy onto her chain I noticed how magical the snowflakes are and was thankful for another day at home. As I look at the mess of kids bedding on my bedroom floor next to my cedar chest I noticed how my sweet 8.5 year old son and almost 7 year old daughter still have a need to be near their step dad and I while they sleep. I see how much they love us, and cherish this time.

    Reply
  36. Lynda

    Love your post!! My youngest daughter is a “lander”; wherever she lands, she leaves her stuff behind. She is getting married in November & I know I will really miss seeing all of her “piles” of stuff throughout the house. So, I choose to smile when I see it & not get irritated at the mess.

    Reply
  37. Amy

    Lysa, I am always so inspired after reading your devotionals! You seem to touch me every time! God is clearly in your words and I love how “real” you are!

    Thanks for the reminder to notice our surroundings… and my front door looks just like that!

    Reply
  38. Annie B

    When I smile more… The world seems beautiful. And I’m happier, people smile back and all feels well with my soul, because I chose to see the world through joyful eyes and not a narrowed perspective.

    Reply
  39. Keisha

    My 11 year old daughter is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia so somedays it’s difficult to love my story. Since her diagnosis in May I have noticed and have had no choice but to notice the more simple things in life. Through our trying journey God has opened my eyes to so much that I was blind to before. I remember how devistated I was for her when she lost her hair from the chemotherapy treatments and now laying beside her in the hospital bed I realize that I’m gonna miss this bald head when her comes back. She is the most beautiful bald headed little girl I’ve ever seen~she’s never lost the sparkle in her eyes and she has more strength in her pinkie finger than I could ever muster up! To sit and stare at her oh the joy that fills within my being! I have never loved her more than I do in this moment and rubbing this beautiful bald head is a great stress reliever. This journey we are on is tough but God has opened my eyes to the joy all around me in the midst of it all. To Find joy in your daughters leukemia battle~that’s a gift a blessing from God!

    Reply
  40. Cat B

    The boot in the center…standing, tall and upright WITHOUT A MATCH (duplicate)!!!!!! Reminds me that I don’t necessarily need to fit in with the crowd, or others who “look” like me! I am an invaluable one and only–equipped for a specific plan & purpose for which I alone am created for!!!! I am meant to stand apart for His glory. Embrace it.

    Reply
  41. Wendy

    Yesterday our truck broke down 1 hour from home-towed it home. This morning our car would not start and the battery would not even turn over. This afternoon we found out that our spare bathroom show has been spewing water behind the shower for well we aren’t sure for how long-the wall was soaked all the way through. What I noticed is how well my husband and I handled it all-I noticed that we smiled at each other alot more in the past 2 days than we have lately. I noticed that we talked about rejoicing in the Lord constantly today.

    Reply
  42. Kim

    This post made such a difference in how I start and ended my day, I noticed all the small things my husband does for me, all day long, and thanked GOD for allowing me to share our lives together.

    Reply
  43. Bethany

    Being a newlywed and married to a total neat freak (lol), I seem to be on the other end of the spectrum. Instead if being the one telling people to clean up, I’m the one getting told to clean up. It seems constant and I get mad, but I need to learn that he is the best hub and ever and despite him telling me to clean up, he is patient. I also need to listen carefully when he does tell me he’s proud of me, because deep down that’s all he wants. I know it’s kind of a weird perspective, I’m definitely not the dirtiest person ever, but I need to stop and appreciate his cleanliness!
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  44. Bethany

    Being a newlywed and married to a total neat freak (lol), I seem to be on the other end of the spectrum. Instead if being the one telling people to clean up, I’m the one getting told to clean up. It seems constant and I get mad, but I need to learn that he is the best hub and ever and despite him telling me to clean up, he is patient. I also need to listen carefully when he does tell me he’s proud of me, because deep down that’s all he wants. I know it’s kind of a weird perspective, I’m definitely not the dirtiest person ever, but I need to stop and appreciate his cleanliness!

    Reply
  45. Elissa Roberts

    I so needed this today. The jelly-smeared fingerprints, dog fur-balls and explosion of dress up clothes were threatening to steal my joy, but this is the perspective I needed. Thank you!

    Reply
  46. Grace

    My youngest daughter and her two children live with us and needless to say things can get messy quick. But while looking around at the clutter of toys and baby paraphenalia I happened to look down at my 6 month old granddaughter sitting in her bouncer,and smiling up at me with the prettiest blue eyes and love on her face. Yes, the house could look better but then I might miss her sweet smiles or the time I spend with her 6 year old brother reading to him while he plays in the bubbles in the tub. My house may be cluttered and need dusting but my heart is filled with love for my family and gratitude to a wonderful heavenly Father for His blessings, goodness and love.

    Reply
  47. Michelle

    As a mom to four young elementary-aged children, I see it as either we can enjoy life or endure it. There are certainly many moments that I endure, but I choose to enjoy life as a whole. And, for those (too thin!) celebrity moms who seemingly have it all together– they don’t. It’s just a facade to keep their public image. I’m convinced that no matter your circumstances, your bank account, or the behavior of your children, life can be enjoyed or endured, and everyone has challenges.

    Reply
  48. patti

    I decided to view my husbands desk in a different light.Everytime I walked upstairs or went by the office all I saw was a mess . well if the paperwork wasn’t there neither would he be. we are caregivers for handicapped people and the bookwork shows his faithfulness to our job.ive decided to praise God instead of crabbing, thank you soooo much.

    Reply
  49. Jennifer Dougan

    (Sigh) This is a good reminder for me today, Lysa. Thank you. I have just been trying to talk myself out of a crabby (-for-no-good-reason-) mood this afternoon, and was hugging my kids and apologizing. I love my life, and need my attitudes to reflect that.

    God is patient and forgiving with us, huh? Have a fabulous week, and a speedy toilet-repair.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    Reply
  50. Erin

    I needed this! I’m never a noticer. As a matter fact, I spent most days in an utter mental meltdown over stupid things like snow boots blocking the door, too many coats on the coat hook, dirty dishes and a seemingly endless list of non-sense. I really need to sit back and be a noticer instead of letting these things cause every day turn into a lifetime of misery.

    My walk with God has been unstable the last couple years. I need to get that back on track and I know all the other things will fall into place.

    Reply
  51. Adrienne

    Yes! I do this and it so helps my attitude. Every time I see something that my husband did that used to annoy me to no end (leaving kleenex in his pants pockets so there are little bits of kleenex all over everything after drying, leaving his socks balled up under the sheets in the bed, leaving the dresser drawers open) I try to say a prayer of thanks to God for his life. These are the things I would miss if he wasn’t here with me!

    Reply
  52. Lisa

    I’m trying to be better about putting aside whatever I’m doing whenever my 4-year-old daughter asks to sit in my lap. Sometimes that’s easier than other times but I know pretty soon she’s going to stop asking so I want to say yes whenever I can and cherish this time with her.

    Reply
  53. Wendy Peplinski

    Oh wow! How I’ve just had 6 days with both kids home and I was going nuts at day 5 because of all the bickering and yelling between the two. They are 6&5. Trying hard to enjoy this time and do things with them but its so hard to keep up with the day in day out clutter/cleaning. I try the end the day on a happy note instead of the tired rundown crabby one! Thank you for your article! I’m not alone in the beautiful mess of motherhood!

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  54. Jamie

    On my way home from exercising this morning, I had an anxiety attack (that something horrendous happened to my kids), I almost had to pull over to sob…I knew in my heart they were fine…they would be just fine when I walked in the door. Prior to leaving that morning I asked them to unload the dishwasher, and if they didn’t there would be consequences when I got home. Those thoughts were also running through my mind on my way home…and in the midst of the awful thoughts…I knew that if I walked in and the dishwasher wasn’t unloaded…it would be okay. There would still be consequences as I promised, but I wouldn’t yell and I wouldn’t explode. When I did get home, the dishwasher was left open, and empty (they did it – yay). I saw laundry baskets of folded clothes, and a backpack and shoes…and I thought, I’ll take it. I’ll take all of it over the awful thoughts that had previously played out in my head. I actually wondered…did God allow that momentary anxiety – as strong and as awful as it was – to allow me to see the beauty and blessing of them and all their stuff…I think so…then I hugged them – twice.

    Reply
  55. Diana

    Each day, I always come to have a specific time with only God and I. This evening, I came and just before taking a simple 15 min nap..I wasn’t being diligent as I felt I should. I was debating over what tasks to begin, and my goodness admittedly I was praying “Holy Spirit, keep me awake please…” I then, just confessed to the Lord how I am having trouble focusing. I really felt it could’ve been more, Here, I am realizing that God completely understood me. Maybe even giggling at how our study date went..Lol.

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  56. Michelle

    I came home from vacation to a garage ceiling with several spots dripping water due to all of the snow & ice here in NE Indiana. I noticed it was in my garage & not my newly remodeled home. Thank you GOD for that!

    Reply
  57. Elizabeth

    Thank you for your piece about being a noticer. When digging out my driveway and walk in front of my front window, I got down to dirt/leaves and tossed some of the leaves on the snow. It didn’t look as pretty, I thought, after the leaves were on top. Well, the next day, I had a lot of bird visitors who needed to get under that snow for worms, bugs, dirt, water, and they were quite happy that I had taken the snow off. At another part of the house where the leaves were piled up, the birds took off the top leaves (tossing them on the sidewalk) to get to their food. Remember in the Bible that Jesus says that God cares for the birds and that we are worth more than birds. Thanks be to God. Have a great day, everyone.
    Elizabeth

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  58. val

    I have been hospitalized for more than a week with a “collision” between autoimmune illness and a virus. At first I felt terrified that I was going to die. Soon the caring nursing staff had me calmed down and somewhat comfortable. Some were believers and others weren’t, but I was able to detect God’s caring concern for me through them all – especially ones who anticipated what I needed before I even knew it. Instead of being discouraged, I could look through “the lens of the lovely.”

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Val,
      I am praying that you will feel better very soon. I am so glad that God gave you good nursing care at the hospital. I am praying Psalm 23 for you.
      Blessings,
      Elizabeth

      Reply
  59. Bethany Stanko

    Love love love this post this morning!!!! Thank you for sharing. Some times life just goes so fast…too fast and I too have been praying for The Lord to help me see the good in all things….to be a “noticer” as you mention it. I am thankful for the hurried days of people and things that surround me….I am blessed. Thank you <3

    Reply
    • Chris mastrocola

      Bethany, it does go fast. After reading the fantastic article I was about to yell at my three boys 18,16, and 14 to stop wrestling in my Living room. They always break something. Then I started giggling because my oldest is leaving for college in 5 months and these moments will soon be gone for all of us. It goes fast!! God has opened the floodgates for me in blessings and I will trust Him on this!

      Reply
  60. Lynn Kaufman

    Hey Lysa!
    What a morning. First day back to school since a week ago, last Thursday. A scheduled 4-day weekend became 5 when we got yet another winter storm on Mon night and yet another “snow day” off. So, Moms KNOW that this first morning back is gonna be tough. Tough to get yourself rolling. Tough to get kiddos out of bed; force them to eat some breakfast; go brush your teeth; get dressed; you need to go out now; don’t wanna be late for the bus.

    But God gave us all a surprise this morning. As we sat eating breakfast, and me making lunches, a small visitor scurried out from under the entertainment stand and hid behind the leg of another piece of furniture. Upon being “found-out”, he proceeded to high-tail it to the safety of the dishwasher where he remains even now as I write to you.

    I know he’s still there. Oftentimes I use my kitchen island counter as an office. The laptop gets gets first priority followed by other essentials: my calender, forms, checkbook, etc… Lots of action here as I can stand and type and feel less guilty about not sitting so much.

    AND this morning I have a perfect view of the kitchen floor.

    Did I mention that we sectioned off the kitchen? Since the counters form a “U” shape, there’s really only 1 side that needs to be blocked in. We use an old window screen and stiff floor mat that stand upright and get secured with household objects like the garbage can, a stool, etc… And VOILA! An instant pet pen! Quite big, actually. Plenty of room for the little guy to exercise. And we’ve provided him some food.

    You’re probably thinking, “why does this sound so structured and matter-of-fact for them?” BECAUSE IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE! Several times actually. Once was a guest’s pet hamster than ate it’s way out of it’s carrier. (I told them that I didn’t think the Kid’s Meal cardboard box was a good idea…) So, we are now prepared and know how to handle this situation. Remember the food we’ve provided? It’s in the form of a mouse-trap sitting by the dishwasher set just right for our visitor-Mr. or Mrs. Mouse. Did you know they like peanut butter? And gummi bears? And Sarris Chocolate covered pretzels? Don’t ask me how I know these things. I told it’s happened several times before.

    Well, they’ve been hunkering down for about 3hrs by now. Who knows what’ll happen? Maybe when I finally leave the house he’ll come out and scurry up the cupboards to the counters. Or climb up the screen. (They have amazing suction cups for feet!) But, it’s certainly a hiccup in my day. But if Jr Asparagus can sing than “God is bigger than the Boogie Man”, then I can claim that God is bigger than the mouse in my house! Maybe he’ll eat all the crumbs on my kitchen floor and I won’t have to sweep today!

    Reply
  61. Jenny

    We are downsizing and I’m completely panicked about how much stuff we have got to get rid of. Thankful that our two teens still at home are okay with the new house. Really struggling to be thankful for all the “things” we’ve been blessed with that need to be sold or given away.

    Reply
  62. Marta Ryburn

    I attend a psychosocial program during the week. I encourage my peers by helping them to notice the positive things they are doing, have done, and the progress they have made. I do however, tend to find this difficult to do for myself. I think I would benefit greatly from the items you are giving away. I did an online study group with your book “Made to Crave” and I love the insight you provide with the things you share.

    Reply
  63. jodee

    I notice that my life flies by and I notice very little. I am going to be a noticer!

    Reply
  64. Tammy

    Eversince I started my life changing journey from coming of methadone and becoming a better mum and wife and seeing myself as a for former addict WO still needs to use some medication but that doesn’t make me a failure all the way back doing the unglued study till now when I’ve just had another major breakthrough, I have remembered Lysa,s quote “switch ur attitude to graditude” and its been life changing. I’ve also had to apply it through the thick and thin.

    Lysa,s book and study unglued is the first book and study and course (even TAfFE) I have completed starting reading and completinged working thru since primary school.
    Thru GOD and other group members support it has changed my life.
    I’m now doing MAde to Crave and am seeing a testimony in the making and can’t wait to have time to share with u all what’s happening. Even this wk a culmination of long term prayers being answered.
    Never forget his benefits and ask ourselves wld good does God want to show me thru this problem. All glory to him and Thk U Lysa TerKeurst from Tammy

    Reply
  65. Debbie Shell

    In the mist of being overwhelmed today, not to mention hormones playing games, I was able to smile & give a small laugh at a text my, almost 70 year old, dad sent me. I smiled bigger & thanked God for sending the right person with the right words to make me smile & laugh….that was the 1st step of overcoming the “overwhelmness” I was feeling. I am learning to Be a Noticer, thanks to God working on me & my submission to Him. (Thank you Ms. Lysa for sharing….I have been reading Unglued Devotion & enjoy knowing “I am not the only one” 🙂

    Reply
  66. Paige

    Oh I love this! I have been doing a similar thing where after noticing how fast time is flying and how quickly my boys are growing, to make sure each day I am enjoying my children. Not that they are in good moods all the time or we don’t have challenging moments but that somewhere today, I enjoyed my boys. Whether it be a hug or a crazy dance on the way to the bathtub, or the fact that my oldest always leaves his pants with one leg inside out. Every time. I think I may document with a quick phone pic, some of your boots moments. That’s just awesome.

    Reply
  67. Janee White

    God’s timing is always perfect. He knew I would need this post last week, when my life packed in boxes and totes. He knew I would need to see the beauty of His Work in the move that happened a few days later. He knew I would need to #BeANoticer for the next several days of cramming 2 households into one. He knew… But I didn’t. I was too busy whining about the mess; crying over chaos; giving up when I felt like I couldn’t take anymore. God’s timing is always perfect – mine on the other hand, is not. God bless you for this – for giving me a new perspective on what was/is a beautiful gift from God. Now I can look at the mess still in front of me with eyes that will notice the resounding “Yes” that God gave to several of my prayers.

    Reply
  68. Lorraine

    Just read all the great posts and must say they are inspiring! I am a noticer.. But for all the Wrong reasons… I notice when people let me down… Or treat me like I’m invisible … Or judge or criticise me …. Or make wrong assumptions… And it hurts…. Especially when it’s done by those who know and love me the Most…. However God is taking me on a journey…. I have just purchased the book and the participants guide of unglued this weekend (didn’t get the DVD! As money wouldn’t stretch that far unfortunately – am I going to struggle without it?) and in my group… Me & the Holy Spirit, are going to work very closely together to conquer this battle…. So when I do notice things…. I see the beautiful things you see…. As I have some beautiful and special people in my life… I’m just too exhausted, from the many battles, sometimes to enjoy them as much as I should be x

    Reply
    • Yvonne

      Lorraine – I’m glad you’re praying to refocus you attention to the good things in your life. And I just want to share with you that I understand that it’s exhausting and you feel as if you’re drowning — but take heart – I suffer/ed from deep depression. I’m still being treated for it – however, I PRAISE THE LORD, that His word is true – even when I walk through the shadow of death – He’s right there. I would pray Lorraine that you do not be too hard on yourself. Change takes time – Our God is Patient and Kind – the fact that you are trying brings a smile to His face. Be encouraged my sister!

      Reply
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