Gift of Theft

Jan 16, 2012

Last Tuesday our home was broken into…yet I was given so much more than they stole.

The night before “the event” I was at my Momheart meeting. My heart was heavy that night. Tears & frustrations poured out to my mentor in her kitchen. “Why was it so hard to parent my 4-year-old right now? I’ve been trying everything and he is so challenging”. She gave me comfort and wisdom.

We discussed the last chapter of Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”. Focusing on God being a gift-giver, who desires to love us intimately. But I was just not in the mood. I realized I viewed God as needing me to earn His love. Love freely given? Undeserved? How could that be? Especially imagining Him loving me in this depressed, anti-social, funk.

On Tuesday, while all the boys were at school I came home to eat lunch after running some errands. After eating my lunch, I wrote a quick post for the blog, then made peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses on them for an after-school treat for the boys. 

Realizing I was going to be late for carpool pickup I left my new Macbook laptop on the kitchen counter. I turned on the alarm. Locked the door and headed for the boys’ school.

30 minutes later someone broke into our home.

They took the laptop on the counter. Went upstairs and opened the drawer of my bedside table, pulled out a bin of maternity clothes from under my bed, went through the drawers in my area of the bathroom, stole my costume jewelry and a jewelry box, went through our closet. Stole a pillowcase to carry out all the loot.

I’ve had a week to process what happened. I have had countless conversations with friends and family. I’ve received wonderful words of comfort & encouragement. I have also been asked multiple times, “Do you feel violated? Are you scared?”

It’s caused me to stop and think, why don’t I feel fear? Why don’t I feel violated?

I replay my comments to others about “the event”:

  • I am so grateful we were not home.
  • I am grateful it wasn’t a day where we would normally be home for naps at that exact time, with my 6-year-old often downstairs playing by that backdoor that was broken into.
  • I am so grateful they didn’t take any of my husband or particularly the boys’ things.
  • I am grateful that my camera, only 2 ft away from my laptop on the same kitchen counter, was not stolen.
  • I am grateful that all the pictures on the stolen laptop are still on my camera…since I haven’t taken the time to delete them yet.
  • I am grateful that the laptop they stole had Scripture as the screen saver and folders labeled “God Centered Mom” & “Do Not Depart”.
  • I am extremely grateful that my wedding rings (that I’m not currently wearing in my extreme pregnant state) were just moved and hidden 2 days prior to the break-in (hiding them from the toddler & preschooler) and therefore were not stolen!!
  • I am grateful that my current favorite pieces of costume jewelry were not taken.
  • I am grateful for a working alarm & responsive police.
  • I am so grateful for a husband who came home from work immediately to clean everything up and fix the door.

There it is…without realizing it I had created a gratitude list. With each conversation I had been counting my gifts.

This is why fear had no place. It had been pushed out by gratitude.

Ann Voskamp wrote in her book, “We can only experience one emotion at a time.”

Not only had the theft given me a heart of gratitude that pushed out fear…that gratitude had pushed out the parenting frustrations I had been feeling. I saw my life with new eyes. It also pushed aside the depression that had been hovering, as I was reminded of the importance of friendships & how blessed I am.

This past week I realized they may have broken in our home & taken some of my things, but God’s power is greater. Nothing can separate us from His love.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose…

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

Romans 8:28, 31, 35, 38-39

Linking up with:

A Holy Experience: Multitude on Mondays



  1. 29lincolnavenue

    Heather this post is so encouraging. Grateful right along with you.

    May God bless and keep you!

  2. Stephanie Rische

    Wow, Heather, what an awful experience. But I so admire you for being able to be thankful even in the midst of it.

  3. Ashley

    Heather, you are precious! Praise God for the things that He can teach us only through trials and for His protection over you and your family during the break-in. I can visibly see Him sharpening you and am encouraged as we grow together. Continue to cling to Him!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      wow thanks for your encouragement friend. thankful to have you in my life!

  4. Amy K.

    It is so good to see God working in your heart to help you process such a terrible event. So glad no one was hurt.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you amy! we are most grateful that we are all safe.

  5. Natalie at Mommy on Fire

    Oh, sweet, sweet friend. I am SO very sorry this happened to you but SO very thankful as well for all you listed. Praise be to God – though it’s an inconvenience they are, in the end, just things.

    Thankful you are all OK.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      yes, most definitely just things. Made me realize that my definition of valuable is not the same as a thief’s.

  6. Stefanie Brown

    What an incredible event! It’s more incredible that, in the midst of the devastating, you’ve been able to see “gifts and graces”. That is exactly who you are, my friend!
    So thankful you and your precious family are safe.

  7. Christina {Chrissy} Berry

    I’m so sorry this happened to your family, but I’m so inspired by your amazing outlook about it. I’m thankful you and your family are safe, and hopeful that the thief will see the screen saver scripture and be moved in some way.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      amen!! may God be glorified in this!

  8. Michelle

    You’re lovely.

  9. ali @ an ordinary mom

    Perspective really is everything sometimes, isn’t it?

    Thankful along with you!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I know that you have been learning so much about this through your (much more trying) trials. Praying still for Ian!

  10. Jennie

    love you sweet friend…have been praying for you this week..for peace and you have it! god is so good….hugs!!

  11. savedbygrace

    My dear sister Heather.

    I can relate to you. We too were rob, years ago.
    allow me to share. 🙂

    It was pass 2am in the morning. I was working on an important project on my computer.
    My wife is 9 months pregnant and is due for birth with our first baby.

    I slept 3:30am. turn off the computer. went to bed.

    4:00am, for some reason I just woke up and went straight to the living room.

    to my surprise, the computer was gone. some appliances at home were gone.
    the worst part. our money, savings for my wife’s hospital delivery was gone.

    now, the worst of the worst the company i worked for FIRED me after a week.

    to make the long story short.

    the money we lost, got back to us multiplied, more than what we initially had.
    I had a job much better than I what had. I was earning 100 times more than what i was earning!

    and I was thankful because had i woke up during the robbery, either I kill the thieves or they kill us. Thank Jesus I never woke up during the robbery.

    It was not God’s will for Us to be robbed.
    God never desired for Us to experience the bad things of this world.

    but when things like that happens… God’s grace super abounds

    “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28

    even our weaknesses, are advantage to us.

    all things work for good to those who love him.

    – to those who love him, is not a command.. Its a description of his children.

    thank you for sharing this post. It brings back good memories of Jesus’s love for me, my wife and children

    grace and peace

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Wow! thanks for sharing your story! To God be the glory!

  12. Sherri

    I am SO thankful that you all were ok. God is good and your attitude is beautiful! I am so sorry that happened to you and so grateful that it occurred while you were away at a time that you are always there. What an amazing blessing, just so sorry you lost what you did.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks sis! Loving my new bracelet (and my yummy peppermint mocha creamer). Thanks for loving us well.

  13. curry willix

    Okay, just Cool. I followed link posted by mutual “friend” on Facebook. I too am reading ONE THOUSAND GIFTS and have been encouraged to experience the eucharisteo. Working it’s way into my thoughts, my heart and my flesh…when life happens, I am able to give thanks and experience God too. Thanks for sharing your story and your choice in the midst of it. I kept thinking about the verse of Satan coming to steal, kill and destroy…and your experience was tangible yet our God walked with you through the resurrection life of Jesus to bless, have eternal life and have it abundantly – joy filled. Rejoicing in times of suffering is such a mystery. What a victorious thing has touched your life. I appreciate how God allowed me to be encouraged by you today. GRATITUDE! 🙂

    my best…curry willix

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you curry for stopping by! so thankful that you are being blessed by “one thousand gifts.” It is a treasure and so enlightening. Definitely a perspective-changing book. God Bless!

  14. Cherie

    Heather, I just love your attitude through this ordeal. You rock!


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