a whole bunch of happy

This is a good morning. A good, good morning. And last night was a good night, and yesterday was a good day. It’s amazing how tough times make you really appreciate the good ones.

So I stopped nagging and started trusting, and holy cow. SUCH A DIFFERENCE.

Can I share a silly example of God’s amazing provision? See, there’s something really, really cool about not having regular paychecks and having to trust God for financial provision pretty much every second. You get to see and experience things that would never happen if you were financially set. I’m not kidding. We experienced it at camp when we made $15,000 and had 2 kids. We experienced it on our Zoo Trip and every time Gabe has been self-employed. Like now.

So Saturday. Livi and I went on a little date. Thrift store, library, Target. For $36 at the thrift store, we got 5 bathing suits, 5 pairs of pants/capris, 3 pairs of shorts, and 5 t-shirts. But no (training) bras (and Livi needed some). Off to Target where she tries on a million. No luck. Until I “happened” to reach back to the back of a rack and pulled out 2 two-packs of a different kind. Instead of $7.99 for 2, they were marked down to $2.38 for 2. She tried them on. They fit. 4 bras for $4.72. Cheaper than the thrift store. And not even previously worn. All God.

Before that, I had told her I’d treat her to a (shared) frappuccino from Starbucks, because I had a $5 gift card from my sis. I ordered the biggest one, and she told me my total was $2.59. What?? Turns out that May 4-13 from 3-5pm is 1/2 off frappuccinos. We get Starbucks about 3 times a year. What are the odds that I’d save my gift card for 4 months and go on May 5 at 3:30pm and ask for a frappuccino? We got 2 gigantic ones. And our new total was $5.09. And I didn’t have 9 cents. So she took the tax off. And I still have 59 cents on the gift card. All God.

So last night. Remember Wes, the awesome guy who designs my e-book covers? A few weeks ago, he asked me if I’d come down to his church and speak to the womenfolk about s-e-x. Their pastor is doing a series on the topic, and they wanted to give the girls a chance to meet separately from the guys (the guys are meeting Thursday to talk about p-o-r-n).

So yesterday afternoon I drove 90 minutes south and spent a few hours with 30 awesome women, giving my little sex talk. They were INCREDIBLE. They made me feel right at home, laughed at all the right places, and were super encouraging. We met at someone’s house out on their beautiful deck (I think it was my first time to do a talk outside). At one point, I was sharing something kind of emotional. A couple of women had tears in their eyes, but several appeared to be laughing. (??) To each her own, I thought. I found out afterward that a cat had snuck up behind me and lapped up water from my cup while I wasn’t looking. Yum.

So, I made new friends (not the cat) and had a blast. And Kristyn and Sara (well, Sara “nudged” Kristyn to tell me) shared a vision they have of bringing JEN HATMAKER to Circleville, Ohio (google it) for this really awesome women’s event next spring or fall and asked me if I’d come speak at it too.


Except EEK. Who in their right mind wants to speak at the same event as Jen Hatmaker?? NOT ME. But I’m dying to meet her in real life and will do everything in my power to get her here.


While I was traipsing around in the southern Ohio countryside, Gabe was being an awesome dad, taking the girls to Taco Bell for Dorito tacos, playing soccer with them in the backyard, and then letting them stay up until I got home (10:15) while he worked on a website with our friend Kary (they hung out in the living room).

The girls did “Homeschool Interviews” while I was gone, asking each other questions like:

Why do you want to be homeschooled?
Do you like science experiments or math?
What subjects make you feel comfortable?
What are you excited for the most?
How do you like to end your school day?

They are so cute. I love my little family.

And I have about 5 minutes to get to Reading Buddies and haven’t even showered. Thankfully, our sweet little buddy doesn’t really get the concept of time (or days) and is thrilled whenever we show up.

So, tell me:

1. What are you happy about today?

2. Wanna come hear Jen Hatmaker (and ahem, me) speak in Ohio sometime in the next year or so?

17 thoughts on “a whole bunch of happy

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » how low can you go?

  2. Krysten

    1. This week, I am so happy that I have a wonderful Jesus-family, and that even when any of them leave this world, I know they are more alive than ever and I’ll get to see them again.
    2. I might have just died and gone to heaven myself…. Circleville is about 20 minutes from me and you can bet your booty I’d be at that event!!

  3. Jen Hanson

    I’m happy that I can see the difference that prayer and personal time with God has made in my marriage, life and perspective towards our future as a family.

  4. Kim

    I am happy today because my son (who is autistic) and I had a lovely chat while we were doing some outside work. He opened up and shared some dreams.

    Definitely a God thing.

  5. Sarah

    I am HAPPY that my daughter gave her life to Christ recently, and I had the honor of praying with her to do so. Seriously one of the biggest highlights of my life!!

  6. Sarah Hubbell aka MainlineMom

    I’m so happy for you. I am happy to be done my adoption physical and being stuck like a pin cushion today with blood draws and TB tests and THREE ouchie immunizations for travel to Haiti. I’m sure you’ve had all them to go to Cambodia too. Anyway I like having something to DO to move this process forward.

    I gotta tell ya, Jen Hatmaker came and spoke at a church near me a few months ago. I knew about it, planned to go, but at the last minute had family life interfere. I’m kicking myself now over it. Fortunately Jen lives close enough that I’m sure we’ll get together someday. We even use the same adoption agency.

    Now come on down to Katy, TX! I would love love love for you to give you sex talk to my friends 🙂

  7. Rachelle

    I am happy that God is sovereign. And that I can trust him with the smallest details of my life. Everyday something amazing happens!

    I want to come to Ohio and now mentally planning how I could coordinate a trip between Clyde’s big dream of visitng the creation museum and me seeing Jen and you give talks! Hmmm.

  8. Missy June

    I’m so glad you’re feeling some happy! Joy is the over-arching effect of life well lived, but there are some sweet days we are just more aways and feel the happiness.

    Today I’m happy because my firstborn had a totally fun birthday yesterday. Life is so different from how I pictured it the day he arrived and I began his party feeilng so blue! But realizing that my children are joyful, safe and blessed richly chased away the images of what ‘could have been.’ I even took photos of the children with Daddy’s girlfriend!

    How’s that for a modern family?

  9. Tiffany

    I am seriously so happy to have met you guys- even if for a short time! Jesus rocks and blesses us with so many fun things- fitting bras and frappachinos!!! (YES) We’re praying for you and so honored to call you friends.

  10. Mindy May

    1. I have never been happier than I am right now. I just married a wonderful man two weeks ago and I am pregnant with a little girl due in September.
    2. I would love to come to Ohio to see you and Jen speak!!

  11. janelle

    What am I happy about….
    a. you are a HAPPY FAMILY – Gabe, Marla, Livi, Ava, Nina..
    b.. Jeremiah 17: 7
    ” BUT…BUT…blessed is the man who TRUSTS in the LORD…. he is a tree planted by the water
    its’ leaves are always green.
    he does not need to fear when the heat comes
    never, never , never will he fail to BEAR FRUIT.

    I am THANKFUL…HE lives in me…I live in HIM…and it is HE, HE who has my family
    it is HE who has AFRICA
    it is HE who has the Concert…BUBBA’s BASH… amen

  12. Teresa Henry

    I am so incredibly happy that God doesn’t give up on me when I feel like giving up on everything. Especially when you say over and over again in one day that you are done…God never let me be done this week.

    I would fly to Ohio from Washington just to see you and Jen speak! Really I would! 🙂

  13. Marcy

    So great!! I love that when life has thrown a lot of crap at us, it feels so amazing to have the crap-less days. Ahhhh (relief). I love the cat incident. LOL!

    I opened my very unused prayer journal (making use of it now) to write down answered prayer and discovered four specific answers to prayer yesterday. Some of them were miracle type big ones.

    I am happy that the sun is shining and it’s finally spring here in the Great White North. HAPPY!!!

  14. Dee

    I am happy that of the four “things” on my husbands back only three were bad and they were basal cell, not melanoma! I am happy that by being frugal all our lives I can pretty much give when the need comes up and spend when the need comes up…happy for four children who love Jesus!

  15. Emily

    1. Happy about so many wonderful things. That God is constantly changing and challenging me to shape me into the woman, wife, mother, boss, friend, sister and on and on, that He has called me to be : ) Happy the weather is so nice! Happy to have met with so many incredibel women last night and hear Marla speak!
    2. Absolutely! The two of you will be so dynamic!

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