As a teenager, I often babysat for my little sister, Tish. On one of those babysitting occasions, when Tish was about three, she came out of the kitchen eating what looked like a sandwich. When I asked what she was eating, Tish said, “A bwead-and-bwutter sandwich without any bwutter.”

We still laugh about that answer. I particularly love the optimism inherent in her assertion that she was eating a bread-and-butter sandwich, even though the butter was missing! A great life lesson. So often I tend to focus on what I lack rather than on what I already have.

  • Lord, my daffodils are lovely, but did you notice that the deer ate all the tulips?
  • Yes, we had a good time at the picnic, but the black flies were terrible.
  • In summer: These 90-degree days are way too hot! I could use some cooler weather.
  • In winter: I can’t believe we have this much snow! What happened to the sun?

Last week, I lost my beautiful mother. For years, she fought valiantly against white matter dementia, and, even though the disease took away so many of her abilities and gifts, she retained her beautiful and radiant smile.

Annette McHaney's photo.

Life doesn’t have to be whole and perfect for us to give thanks and to live in joy. One of my mother’s life verses is from the book of First Thessalonians: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18 (King James Version) With God’s help, in memory of my mother, it is now also one of mine.

(Photograph of Patricia McHaney, Copyright, 2015, Tina Solomonson. Used by permission of Tina Solomonson.)


Sue Harrison

BIO: Novelist Sue Harrison is best known for her Alaska trilogies. Her novels, national and international bestsellers, have been published in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. Her novel Mother Earth Father Sky was named by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults. Sue lives with her husband in Michigan, but has family here in Nebraska and love Nebraska's rich history. She is currently writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. Catch up with Sue on her website and blog – .