If God had a Score Card

Jennifer Burby and her family in front of the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina.

Jason and me in front of the Biltmore mansion in Asheville, North Carolina. Getting young children to look at the camera is a golden delight, let me tell ya!

For the last six years since we’ve been married, my husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our home. This has included various venues from our wee little rental on Davis Islands after we first got married to the “big kid” home we bought five years ago in a quaint little ‘hood in Tampa.

Hosting Thanksgiving is exhausting.

Especially because I don’t cook.

So what I mean to say is watching my mother cook a Thanksgiving feast is exhausting.


To change things up this year, my husband wanted to spend Thanksgiving out of town and in the mountains. But this wasn’t just any Thanksgiving. My Dad’s 60th birthday also happened to fall on Thanksgiving day. So we called my sister and my brother in law, got them on board, and rallied our family to rent a home in Maggie Valley. The small city is nestled in the mountains of North Carolina roughly three hours north of Atlanta (depending on your speed) and 35 miles west of Asheville.

Maggie Valley was the perfect Thanksgiving destination because my Dad’s sister, Aunt Lynda, and some of my cousins and their extended families have cabins in the area, and they were also planning on spending Thanksgiving in the mountains.

Hot diggity.

It would be an epic Thanksgiving birthday soiree.

Instead of flying to North Carolina, my husband and I drove from Tampa with our two young daughters and an SUV full of junque. Essential junque, that is.

Goldfish crackers. Coloring books. Two packages of diapers. Feather down pillows. Blankets. A stroller. A large Vera Bradley duffel bag (hello- college!) filled exclusively with my cosmetics and hair taming equipment. Twelve pairs of shoes. Ten pairs of jeans. Boogie Wipes. Stuffed Animals. A DVD player. Except ours was broken, so we settled for my husband’s 20-pound old school laptop.

Fitting even another raisin in the car would have been challenging.

We were the Beverly Hillbillies Griswolds.

Articulating the nightmare associated with traveling 10 hours with an eighteen month old and three year old is another blog post in itself.

Use your imaginations.

The Champagne Supernova: if God had a Score Card: http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/12/if-god-had-a-score-card/

Our cabin in the woods. If I keep telling myself I like to hike, maybe it will eventually be true.

When we arrived at the cabin at 4 p.m. the day after we left Tampa, we were greeted with three large packages on the front porch. The first contained a bottle of wine (my favorite!) and the second was filled with children’s toys such as crafts, coloring books and crayons, magnets, playing cards, Christmas movies, and a Barbie sing-a-long CD. The third package was The Grand Imperial Poobah. It included gourmet popcorn, a soy candle, Skinny Girl margarita mix, whiskey, maple syrup, pancake mix, assorted teas, hot cocoa, matches, nice-smelling hand soap, and stationery.

Man, I thought. These home owners went above and beyond welcoming us into their home. They didn’t have to do this. It’s incredible!

Suddenly, the cheapskate in me hoped the owners wouldn’t take the cost of these goodies out of the security deposit.

Then I opened a card that was attached to the wine bottle.

The care packages weren’t from the owners. They were from Aunt Lynda.

This was so typical of her. Always giving with a generous heart. Giving out of love and the sheer desire of pleasing others without expecting anything in return.

How many times has someone done something like this for her? It doesn’t matter because Aunt Lynda doesn’t keep a score card.

A couple weeks ago when I was sitting in the nail salon, I overheard a woman say she wasn’t attending a girlfriend’s bridal shower because that friend didn’t go to hers. Two years ago.

I also observed a work colleague get angry with another colleague who didn’t cover a court hearing for her after she did her a favor.

Neighbor A got fed up with Neighbor B for not bringing her dinner when she had a baby, after Neighbor A was the one who organized Neighbor B’s meal train when Neighbor B had her baby last year.

Guilty over here as well.

Hate to admit, but there’s been times when I have- or haven’t- done something for another person because I’ve been held hostage by my mental score card of what that person did or didn’t do for me.

It’s ridiculous, immature, and emotionally taxing. Nonetheless, I’ve occasionally tried to justify myself.

Then I got to thinking.

What if God had a score card?

What if He kept track of all the gifts and blessings He’s given to me, as well as all of the gratitude He received in return?

What would happen if God made his blessing contingent upon my good deeds?

I would be screwed.

Thank God (pun intended) He doesn’t keep a score card.

Look. I’m not trying to say we should set ourselves on fire to make other people happy. I’m also not saying we should let other people take advantage of us. What I am saying is that we should do kind things for others because we want to do them, and not because that person did or didn’t do something for us in the past.

On the other hand, if we choose not to do something for someone, it should be because we genuinely don’t want to do it. It shouldn’t be because that person didn’t do something for us, and we know this because our stupid score cards told us so.

As 2015 closes, can we make an effort to burn those ridiculous score cards?

Special shout out to Aunt Lynda for her kindness. She will never know how appreciated and special she is in my life.

Another special shout out to anyone who has traveled, or plans on traveling, with little ones around the holidays. May the force be with all of you.

And wine. Lots of wine.


The Champagne Supernova: if God had a Score Card: http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/12/if-god-had-a-score-card/

Me and some of my cousins on Thanksgiving Day. The girl gene is coming on strong!

The Champagne Supernova: if God had a Score Card: http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/12/if-god-had-a-score-card/

When you’re three, what is better than riding the ponies outside the grocery store? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

The Champagne Supernova: if God had a Score Card: http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/12/if-god-had-a-score-card/

Hey, they aren’t arguing. I’ll take it.

The Champagne Supernova: if God had a Score Card: http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/12/if-god-had-a-score-card/


    21 Comments on If God had a Score Card

    1. Lindsey
      January 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm (6 years ago)

      Great post and so perfectly written. Grace changes everything doesn’t it? If only we would live life giving just a small amount of the grace God has shown to us it could change the world.

    2. Jackie
      December 5, 2015 at 8:50 am (7 years ago)

      Spot.on! Cheers to burning score cards!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm (7 years ago)

        Agreed and Amen. Thanks, Jackie!

    3. Sara
      December 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm (7 years ago)

      We did 12 hours in traffic with a 4 year old, a 19 month old and a 115 lb bloodhound… In a pickup truck. I feel your pain (and may be permanently emotionally scarred). Great post and timely. I think the same can be applied to gifting as we near the holidays!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm (7 years ago)

        Bless your SOUL for that travel experience. Think of it as another jewel on your crown in heaven. And good point about applying the “no score cards” rule to Christmas gifts. Like mama always says, “it’s the thought that counts!”

    4. Ali A
      December 3, 2015 at 11:04 am (7 years ago)

      I think about this a lot because I try to do whatever it is I want in life for that sole reason: because I want to. Supporting a friend/family member and their business ventures/hobbies, attending events, calling or texting someone to say hi. But, yeah. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hesitate to do some of this stuff when I realize it’s not reciprocated. Like why should I keep commenting or sharing your blog posts when you don’t share mine? Or why should I text you AGAIN to try and make plans when you never do the same? I’m conflicted because there is a part of me that thinks relationships are a 2-way street, but yeah…I agree. It’s spiteful not to do something for that reason. Great post, as always!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks Allison, and your points also reflect my own struggles. Here’s what I’ve come up with. I think that everything EVENTUALLY is reciprocated and “comes around,” even if it’s not in the same exact form as when it began. The chick who’s never shown an interest in my blog might pick my kids up from school when I’m in a bind at work. The girl who always declines my personal invitations might send my husband a huge referral for his business. The relative who only calls me when he needs something might refer a bunch of readers to my blog. I think it really does come around eventually, and sometimes even indirectly. But I do see your point and, trust me, I’d be lying if I said there’s been times when I’ve been petty and have tailored my inauthentic actions toward how someone else has treated me in the past. I just don’t like the way doing that makes me feel. If I’m going to do something (or not do something), I am going to make a conscious effort to make it be because it’s what I truly do or don’t want to do.

    5. Lauren
      December 3, 2015 at 10:42 am (7 years ago)

      I love this post! I always tell my friends to ditch the score cards in their marriages.. but you bring up such a good point to stop keeping score in ALL aspects of our lives. It really gets us no where.

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm (7 years ago)

        SCORE CARDS IN MARRIAGES: such a good point. Ugh, it’s so hard not to have them in marriages, but only leads to resentment. Thanks for stopping by and cheers, Lauren! xo

    6. Emily
      December 3, 2015 at 8:28 am (7 years ago)

      Great post, especially for this time of year!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks, my lady!

    7. candy
      December 3, 2015 at 7:44 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you for these words, beautiful pictures and a great reminder.

    8. Michelle
      December 3, 2015 at 7:30 am (7 years ago)

      First, the Biltmore…beautiful isn’t it? Been there and love Asheville all around. Your cabin looked gorgeous and so peaceful. Ditto on every point made here. Not just this time of year but all through the year. Your aunt is an excellent example of one giving without expectation.

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm (7 years ago)

        Giving without expectation is SO HARD, especially when you start to feel like you’re in a one-sided relationship. While I don’t want to get taken advantage of, I do think that everything does eventually “come around,” even if it’s in a different form than what was received. Cheers- love Asheville and the Biltmore as well.

    9. Emily
      December 3, 2015 at 7:02 am (7 years ago)

      Excellent reminder!! Needed this!

    10. Melissa
      December 2, 2015 at 10:38 pm (7 years ago)

      This was a GREAT post! I have been to Asheville once and would like to take my family- we make the trip to St. Petersburg Florida about once a month so I understand the road trip nightmare! Oi! Ha. I want to go to that cabin, it looks perfect! And your family is so pretttttty! The whole group!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm (7 years ago)

        You are so sweet- thanks Melissa! Have a wonderful holiday.

    11. Deena
      December 2, 2015 at 10:13 pm (7 years ago)

      GREAT post!!! What a fabulous goal for the new year! Total score keeper over here!! Love all these great pics too!! Cheers to Aunt Lynda!!!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm (7 years ago)

        Dude, I’m guilty as well. It’s SO HARD to not have a score card, but all those tallies do is make me miserable.

    12. Diane
      December 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm (7 years ago)

      Jen – I love love this post!! Such a good reminder to let go of the past and pay it forward ??

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks my dear. Agreed.