What I found in the family photo drawer

Ruthie Rearing 17 Comments

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It’s time for “Five Minute Friday” over on Katemotaung’s blog!  Set the timer, write for five minutes, and post!  Today’s word prompt: 


What I found in the family photo drawer


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I have a drawer at home full of old family photos.

I’ve never been good at putting them in books and taking care of details like that.

And scrapbooking?  LOATHE ENTIRELY.

I just have a pile of pics from many different time periods.

And when I rifle through them, I never know what I’m going to find.


What I Found Today

Today I found this old letter from my husband to me.  He wrote it during a family vacation at the beach, back in 2001.

I have no idea where he FOUND a pen and paper to write it on the beach.  This is what it says,


As I sit here watching you guys on the beach, I realize just how wonderful you truly are.  They (the kids) love you and all that you do.  I love you too.  You always pay such close attention to all the details.  God knew that you were the right gift for me and would make a wonderful mother.  Thank you so much for all you do for all of us.  Especially me.

Love, Jimmy













My Husband

My husband, Jim, is a people-oriented person.  He puts me to shame sometimes with all his hugs and the way he reaches out to the kids and our grandson.

I, on the other hand, am task oriented.  I tend to focus on my lists and stuff that needs to be done.

And ignore the people for which I’m doing it.

I’ve always struggled with this.

But finding this letter encouraged my heart today.




Dear mamas out there today, trying to get your lists done:

I feel you.  Somebody’s gotta do the stuff.  Somebody’s GOT to pay attention to detail.

You know you’re that somebody.

I won’t even tell you that the stuff is not important, because it is, and also –

It’s important to your sanity to get it done!

Been there.  Felt that.  Even just this morning.

So take breaks.  Work in 25-minute segments (I know, there will be interruptions, even then)

and after those 25 minutes, spend time with the kids or the hubs or your mother, or whomever it is that needs you.


Let Them Know You Care

It doesn’t have to be a long period.

They just need to know you care.

I’ve been hashing it out on this dumb computer all week.

The frustration level was out the wazoo.

I may have even said bad words under my breath.


But it all boils down to this:

If you’re not paying attention to your people

It’s all in vain.

And so, I took breaks, even though I needed to work.

Indeed, my people were happier for it and my work was better for it because my thinking had cleared while I was taking that break.


Mom, you are doing the best you can.

Give yourself some grace.

Because God did that too.

He’s the “Uncaused Cause

And if you want to know more about that and need a little more encouragement

Because you’re drowning in a sea of everything.


A Great Word:

I journaled about my bad day yesterday, you can read it here.

“But He gives more grace”  James 4:6

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”  John 1:16

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain.”  I Corinthians 15:10


{Good morning, girlfriend!  Please take a moment to sign up for email if you would like to receive these kinds of posts of encouragement in the future!  Also, you can contact me here if you have something you would like for me to pray with you about!  And have a GRACE- filled day, my friend.}


Linking up with:

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Comments 17

  1. Your letter to your husband is wonderful. What a find. It sounds like you are a good match. Thanks for the supportive post about finding time to connect amidst the “to do” lists.

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      He and I are polar opposites, so that’s what makes our marriage work! We take the good with the bad and roll with it. Thanks for stopping by, Gabriele! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love these words: “If youโ€™re not paying attention to your people
    Itโ€™s all in vain.” Amen and amen. I feel this too A LOT. I think you’ve hit on the guilt, the tension between wanting to doing your art and loving your people. But you’re right, people should never be second. Figuring out how they work together to make each other better is another art completely. Short spurts & breaks = brilliant. Visiting from #fmfparty. Thank you!

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      Yeah, so easy to focus on “the list”. Every mom feels this way, I think. But I do want my people to know I love them most of all. Thanks for stopping by, Christina!

  3. Ruthie, what a sweet letter from your husband. I’m sorry you loathe scrapbooking. I love it especially now that I can do it online. Maybe someday I could help you create some books. Thanks for the important reminder to spend time with those we kove. I’m in the #16 spot this week.

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      Hahaha, I’ve always vowed never to take it up and do you know why? Because I begin projects and NEVER finish them!! HOWEVER, if it were online, well that’s a different story. You may just win me over on that one, thanks for the offer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh Sweet sweet Ruthie!!
    You’re way too hard on yourself. Forgive me that when I hear you say you are grumpy or that you’ve had a bad day, it makes me smile and chuckle. Your profile picture is so radiant that I cannot possibly take you seriously as a grumpy bear. I’m laughing even now (though not unkindly).
    Thank you for the reminder that the lists are in vain if we ignore the people. I’m reading “Breaking Up With Perfect” and she is addressing the lists already…you would enjoy it too!
    I mentioned you in my post…I’m bringing up the caboose at #62 today.

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      Tammy, that pic was taken a couple years ago when I was in a good mood. Don’t let it fool you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m glad you got a laugh out of it. Breaking up with perfect sounds like something I should def read! Thanks for the tip – I’m coming to check you out, sister! Love you too!

  5. Gigi, I heard the ground rumble this week – are you sure those bad words were under your breath! Jimmy’s letter? How very wonderful. Frame it. BTW, I love scrapbooking. Did it for years but now it has gone to the side but I do miss it. Love the new site and am going to go read about your bad day. YSFAM xoxo

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      That very well could have been me. I was a seething volcano at one point. And oh no. Scrapbooking may be a deal breaker. However, Tara has offered to help me love it, and in my old age, I’m actually open to the thought of doing it online…

  6. Ruthie, I feel like we’re from the same mold. You and me… the task-oriented. I’m with you. Great suggestions. I wish I would have had them when our kids were younger. But I can still make changes now, as our youngest is still living at home (for the time being). Bless you for these words. I so needed them today. I’m continuing to pray for you and your beautiful family. Love the photos in your post too! You’re a blessing.

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      I do too, Julie! We have a lot in common! And my last one is perched just on the edge of the nest. Still attending college in town, but next year, she’ll be gone too. Of course, right now my house is full, as you know. And so I have to keep reminding myself to take breaks and be with them. It’s a delicate balance. Especially with the heavy load of setting up the blog. But God has carried me through!
      Thanks so much for your kind, supportive words!

  7. Ruthie, I love that you found this letter. And the pictures in this post? Absolutely priceless! I confess to really enjoying scrapbooking! I just don’t have time to do it.

    That letter is gift. How fun that God let you find it when you did. ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks for the wise words for us mama’s with kids still at home. I try to do my writing/tasking mostly during the day when the kids are at school. But, I can’t always manage it. God keeps reminding me my kids are only this age once. And as my oldest began junior high this week, that truth became even more crystal clear. I’m trying to be fully in each moment with my kiddos.

    Loved your post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      Hi Jeanne! Yes, even with the kids at school, you find your day filling up with errands and extra “mom” tasks that still must be done. So balancing it out during the evening is a hard thing.
      And yes, you’re right – they’re only young once. You will absolutely NOT believe it when they start leaving the nest. I’m telling you. I didn’t believe it either, but wow. Just wow.
      Thank you for always having a kind word to share with me!

  8. What a sweetheart of a husband! I can feel your pain of feeling as if you’re the only one that will move and shake and get things done. It took me a long time to figure out that I needed to pay close attention to my people and their needs, too. It’s all about the balance, for sure!

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