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Bee and Dimples both asked for nice boots for Christmas, and Bee specifically asked to pick out her own.  I wrote about this on her birthday, A Truly Happy Birthday, when we realized that knowing her gifts in advance makes her feel calmer and happier.

Last weekend we headed to the mall.  We looked for boots in a few stores and at Ross we hit the jackpot, not for boots, but for winter coats. Dimples already had a new coat, and the other girls had fairly cheerfully been wearing hand-me-downs, but they were looking a little shabby.  We got coats for all three girls at a great price and left the store with two large shopping bags – this is an important detail.

We continued our pursuit of boots and eventually found them for both girls; then Sunshine decided she might like boots too.  Our friend, Emily, got something as well, so we left that store with two more large shopping bags.

As we walked through the mall, Bee sighed and said, “This is just like in the movies – Oh, I’m so happy.”   I said, “Do you mean walking through the mall carrying lots of bags?” and she answered, “Yes, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of.”

We laughed, and I hugged her to my side…and yet, I keep thinking about this.  Deprivation and dreams can combine to create hopes that are difficult to fulfill.  I am happy that Friday was a sweet and good memory for Bee, in fact, I’m thrilled that she enjoyed it so much.  It was fun for all of us, but it also feels heavy because the need seems so great.

I have no revelations or amazing words of wisdom; I’m just pondering.  I know that only Jesus can fill the greatest need of every heart. Feel free to ponder along with me – and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Have you “Liked” my One Thankful Mom Facebook page? If not, I would be grateful if you would click on the link in the right sidebar, or use the link to my page and “Like” it there.  If you would share it, that would be even more wonderful.  When you are on my page, click on the gear icon on the right side just below the large photo of Hannah and Ladybug, then click on “share”. One of the things the publisher wants to know is about blog and social media statistics – numbers matter.

Question: Does your child have a dream that seems nearly impossible to fill?  Do you?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends.


  1. Katrina (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    This made me cry because I wonder how much in my own life am I influenced by what I see in the media and am not satisfied or am longing for something that isn't "real life". I need to keep reminding myself that only Jesus will fill what I feel like I'm missing. How naive was I when I got married thinking that things I experienced would be like what I saw in the movies or that life would be as easy as it is on TV? I can only imagine how much harder it would be coming from a different country where life in America is glorified. Sometimes I wish for the life of carefree shopping at the mall and buying "stuff" without having to worry about money or anything else, driving the nice car, and living in a house in the nice neighborhood with a big back yard for the kids to play in. But then He reminds me that He has me just where I need to be and as much as I would quickly trade that sometimes I wouldn't be happy there because I wouldn't be living the life He has for me or learning the things He wants to teach me. Just my ponderings :-)

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Thank you for commenting, Katrina. I wasn't sure that anyone would quite "get" what I was trying to say. We can only be truly satisfied in Christ -and yet we struggle with longings that may or may not every be fulfilled. I appreciate you pondering with me.

  2. Denise (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    I totally get what you were trying to say. For my kiddos it was adoption and family. What they thought it "looked like". I still hear the words "this isn't what a real family does" often. I struggle to combat it. The media and the dream of a family has morphed into some idyllic place where no one actually lives. Real families have conflict and they need grace. In real families mistakes are made…more grace needed. I am reminded daily of the "real family" I have with Christ and trying to convey that message to my boys.

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Thank you, Denise! I understand this very well. There is a false "perfect family", "perfect home" that just doesn't exist.

  3. Emily (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    I was looking forward to reading your thoughts on this. It really was just like that- so poignant and genuine as she said it. I'm convicted as I read this of the unrealistic dreams I have, that a) can't really happen at least how I picture and b) wouldn't fulfill me if they did.

    miss you guys.

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Emily, I'm glad you were there with us and can help me think it through. We miss you too.

  4. Mentor Mom (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    Great things to ponder . . .

    Oh the expectations that our 3 Ghanaian children had when we brought them home. They had watched American movies every. single. night. at the orphanage, so their perspective of America was so, so skewed. We brought them home to a family that already had 10 children. We brought them home to bedrooms shared with 2 or 3 siblings. We brought them home to hand-me-downs and shared toys and bikes. This was not their dream, and the oldest brother (age 12) had serious problems with his expectations not being met.

    One of the things that we determined to do before bringing our children home was to not take them to the mall (or any department store) for quite some time (many months). We did not want them bombarded with all of the "I need" expectations. We believe that was one of the smartest decisions we made. (Whereas, we know adoptive families who took their children straight to the toy department their first week home to "buy anything you want".)

    We talk a LOT about contentment and thankfulness around our house, not only with our adopted kids but our bio. kids, as well. Real life at our house is NOTHING like the movies, and we need to learn to be thankful for all that the LORD has given us, rather than disappointed in all that we do not have.

    On the flip side . . . glad that Bee got to feel like she was "in the movies". Cute! And, good that she even feels comfortable sharing this with you (my girls might think it, but not share it).

    Hope your day is BLESSED!

    mama of 12

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Curse those American movies! I totally agree with avoiding malls and stores in the first months home. Good to hear from you, Laurel.

  5. Tricia (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    Our youngest often thinks that next thing she can buy is gonna satisfy – this is ebbs and flows, but it is tough to watch her put her hopes in the material. Hoping someday she gets that it doesn't fill the heart but for a short time. God is working on her…..

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      My problem is that my child doesn't want to buy it – she wants me to buy it in the hope that it will satisfy her heart. God is probably working on both of us. Thanks for commenting, Tricia.

  6. RussAnita Olson (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    oh yes… this is so true. Our son, who came home at 7, struggles with this. We loving say between my hubby and I that the honeymoon ended for him and reality was much different than he expected. He expected those parents who visited, whose only responsibility was to entertain, play, and generally try and get him to like them, to be his parents still after being home almost 3 years. And that was our fault. It's a struggle to figure out what expectations we can and should meet, which ones are truly pipe dreams, and which are the huge holes left from loss that we need help with. And it seems when he have those wonderful moments, when he smiles, and it seems we've fulfilled the job description in a situation, make the next time we fall short all the worse. We so desperately need Jesus daily.

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Amen, Anita. I have to remember that this is not about me, and my worth as a mother cannot rest in whether or not I meet the hope/dream of the moment. I can only do my best to love.

  7. Kris Long (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    Oh Lisa, reading this was so good for me. I have such a passionate resistance to this side of America. Pop Culture, retail shopping and media in general are such a lure to the hearts of my Ethiopian children and therefore have become great enemies of mine. I can tell them through words and stories all day long that "Only Jesus can satisfy" but I am afraid these hurt and longing children will surely have to discover that the hard way. You have a beautiful way of sharing experiences that demonstrate such grace in the lives of your children. I can learn a thing or two about that. Thank you ~

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      Kris, it is so good to hear from you. Thank you for commenting – I think you understand what I'm feeling.

  8. Elizabeth (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    I know exactly what you mean. We talk to our son a lot about how putting your happiness in things – bags from the store, boxes from amazon, etc – gives those things power over you. He's only 8, so we talk about how it's silly to let plastic toys decide whether or not you get to be happy. It's a hard conversation but we have it a lot.

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

      With teen girls it's different "stuff", but it's the same idea. Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth.

  9. Traci (Reply) on Wednesday 28, 2012

    Just last weekend I didn't respond so well when our newest sweetheart (nearly 14 and home since March) wrote her VERY extravagant gift list on the white board – full of expectations. Even though I didn't respond to it outright – my husband took care of that due to my frustration – I became angry and felt bitter. That anger and bitterness manifested itself in our relationships this past week. Thank God for all that I've learned and for the time & guidance that my husband gave me to get through it. We must never forget where our kiddos have come from and what drives them. Thankful that Scott handled it well and that I was able to see this post to help me put into perspective what is going on with her.

    Expectations. I think we'll talk about that with all of the kiddos this weekend.