My boys dearly love their rubber boots. Jasper tromps around in his cow boots with the little rubber tails coming out of the back. Tymen finally mastered walking in his boots this summer after a little while of tipping over in them as he slogged around.

Whenever it is time to go anywhere, they go racing for the front closet and get their favorite footwear. Jasper can put his on, Tymen wanders the house with his in hand, looking for help.

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My boys are usually three and a half hour afternoon nappers (which is evidence of God's grace in my life). However, yesterday they were both awake by a few minutes before three, so instead of leaving them to finish naptime in their beds while Ben worked from home, I put them in the double stroller and cruised on over to Ruby's school to pick her up. We got our girl and walked home, chitchatting about her day and when we got to the front of the house I lifted the boys out so I could bring the stroller through the front door....and Tymen's boot was gone.

I looked down the street. Nothing. Gave the kids snack and hopped in the van. I drove back to school, looking along the sidewalks. Nothing. Through the school grounds. Nothing. The school lost and found. Nothing.

The poor guy. It was just a boot but he was so sad. Last night he was wandering the house with his lone boot in his arms, calling, "Boo! Boo!" until I finally put the lonely boot on a shelf to stop the torture.

Today we went out and the boys went running for their boots and Tymen was quite distressed to have to wear his little running shoes.

Later, while the boys were napping, I headed off to get Ruby to school. I had my travel mug of coffee in hand and was quickly marching down the sidewalk, head down, thinking of a dozen things. I was on a long two block stretch of sidewalk that runs beside landscaping which consists of dense bushes, trees and vines and had the thought, "I wonder if someone threw that boot in there..." I turned my head and right there, under a bush, back by the fence...was a little fire engine boot.

And it totally made my day. I knew it was the Lord prompting me in my fog to look to the side. And I knew that He did that because he cares about little things like small boys who really, really love their fire engine boots.

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The Bible says that God has the hairs on our heads numbered, and that His tender mercies are over all His works. I had kind of been forgetting that lately and getting caught up in thinking about the news and issues and things that are beyond my control. I love the Lord and that He cares for us like this. Those are not just little red boots now, they are a reminder to this mom that I have a Father who cares for my family and today I am grateful for His tender mercies.