Friday, November 18, 2011
Go for it!
Growing, it's painful. Stretching and learning and realizing that sometimes these things are not easy to do. Stepping outside of that comfort zone. My mom will be (is supposed to be) moving in with us soon. It's not that I don't want her here, I worry that we'll hinder her ability to "grandma" to the kiddos. And she'll feel something like the sore thumb. A change like divorce followed by the realization that you can't live on your own has got to be one of those times when the growing pains really hurt.
I remember when I learned the hard way that we don't plan our family size or timing. That was a grow-ing time for me. I grew in understanding and love, developed a stance on compassion and loss through miscarriage that I had no idea was such a common and real thing.
Go and grow. Through life, through the pain, in the love and strength of Our Father.
He will water us and feed us so long as we turn to Him. He will ease those pains, those growing pains when it all seems overwhelming and impossible.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Yup, sounds like the best advice yet.
Thanx, Happy Friday!!
Monday, October 31, 2011
We can't do it all. We can't be everything to everyone. The only one who could gave up His life. Sacrificing it all, so that we can be all that we are.
Make your sacrifices wisely. Keep in mind that what you do is a reflection of Him because He is a part of all of us. Do everything that you do with thought and effort to glorify your Father.
Sacrifices are everywhere, in many things, throughout your days. Do you recognize them for what they are?
Imagine, a crown of thorns, ugly words, being denied three times by your own disciple and yet shedding your blood for those that hate you.
What are you willing to give up so that your Father might live on through you? Any of it or even all of it? Will you answer the call?
Sunday, October 30, 2011
A post over at incourage.me is the inspiration for this post. Tonia Booker shared this http://www.incourage.me/2011/10/whos-your-daddy.html post. Then she asked for others to share their experiences.
So, what's my story of My Daddy's love for me? I find myself constantly amazed at His unconditional love. I know that that's what a father does, he loves you not in spite of your imperfections but because they make you, you. That's just it, I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be. I forget to clean up after my every little mess. I don't keep up with the laundry. I burn supper and show up late more often than not.
The most beautiful gifts He's ever given me are my children. My husband and I didn't manage to keep rein of our sinful passion before marriage. God doesn't make mistakes but He is great at surprises. Our first born arrived in October 2000 three and half months after our June wedding day. What an amazing blessing!! Jayden was my first hint at the great things My Daddy had in store for me. When we thought we were ready for baby number two God taught us another small lesson. It was something along the lines of patience, but mainly just to trust in Him. Our second baby dances safely in the presence of Our Father. Lost to miscarriage in "February 2003 I learned a bit of what losing a child is like. Amazingly we were blessed quickly after that and babe number three was due early January 2004. I got to become a stay-at-home mom in the fall of 2003 enjoying time with Jayden while preparing for a new baby. Jayden came early so I sorta expected that the next time around. The only thing I said was that I didn't want a 'Christmas baby'. I didn't want to miss out on the festivities of such a wonderful family focused day. Then I learned that children will often do the opposite of what you want them to and got my first hint at My Dad's sense of humor. Andrew made his arrival in the wee morning hours of Christmas 2003. A Daddy's gifts are amazing and beautiful. I just didn't realize how absolutely good He is at them. We still thought we were in control of our plans as we made plans to expand our family again. Again the blessing of babes and loss came our way. One in early summer 2005 and one in spring 2006. I was so sad but I knew that God had a greater plan for me. Broken and healing I was learning to turn to My Daddy and His all knowing love to handle my days. Daddies love their children, through the good times and bad, happy and sad, loving them through it all. Once upon a time I went through my days amazed at the families with kiddos aged so closely together. I was always thankful my blessings were spread apart. Then I was blessed with twins. Mack and Madi came in March of 2008 bringing with them lessons and experiences that only a Daddy knows I need. After their amazing arrival and adjustment as a family of six from four we (still) thought we were in control of family planning. Oh, Dad must have loved laughing at us. He knows that some learn their lessons quickly and others need reminder upon reminder that we're not in control of this earthly life. When asked if we're done having kids I've learned to say 'only if God thinks so' because, yes I finally learned. Huh?!?! See we have this amusing little comic relief blessing that came in the form of a ornery little boy in May of 2009. A quick 14 months after M&M.
Wow, My Daddy loves me!! In less than ten years I had experienced more than I ever dreamed. Blessings that included gifts of squalling babes, the pain of loss, the love of connections through all of this. Oh, yes, my Daddy loves me. He spoils me daily when I but take the time to look around and see all that He's done for me. I know I wouldn't know the value in having my babies without feeling the pain of the loss of my babies. I wouldn't know how to recognize all the beauty in my days without having seen the sadness that comes in them too.
Oh, Daddy, how you love me, even me to give me so much. I couldn't ask for more than what I already have, but I'm learning that you have so much in store for me and I shall simply prepare myself.
Daddy, I love you! Thanx, so much, for loving me!!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Philippians 4:13 NLT - For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
I only need to remember these words to get me through my day. There is a song sung by Matthew West that includes this verse and words that will lift me up no matter how I feel in that moment.
Strength is not something I can capture, not really. It's not something I can grab onto and hold in storage for when I need it. It's not something I can stock up on at the store. It truly is only something I can get from My Father. Turning to Him in my weakest moments and getting the strength to get through from Him. Capturing strength is really just capturing my connection to Him.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Ah, yes, me time. Thank you Lord for reminding me that the best way to take care of my family is to take care of me! Sometimes I need a kick in the tush for a reminder, I'll always appreciate it though!!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
What is relevant? It's a big word that I don't use very much in my little world of children, chaos and family issues. I don't have time for big words that I have to explain. I don't have time for a phone that doesn't want to upload blog posts for the last two days. They were good, even if I must say so only myself. Maybe eventually they'll load, maybe not. It is the 28th of October so I've been here attempting to capture words for 28 days and have been surprisingly successful. There have been failures and glitches leaving me with days and words unspoken and uncaptured. Grammar check that!
Anyway, what is relevant? Does this matter right here, right now? Yeah, I guess these short quick sentences capture my day, maybe even my week and give me something. Something to look back on someday when I wonder what in the world I was doing, thinking and being 'at that time'.
It's all relevant, really.
Have a blessedly beautiful weekend!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
A delightful time of year. Piles of leaves heaped for jumping into. Trips to fall festivals and pumpkin patches for hay rack rides and making family memories. The scent of burning leaves drifts through the air and the lure of gathering around bonfires is strong.
Take a drive across the county or state and see the rainbow of fall colors. Leaves in every shade of gold, orange, red and brown. Walk the hiking trails listening to the crunch of leaves beneath your feet and keep watch for foraging animals such as deer. Animals out and about preparing for the winter ahead. From summer and a time of fun in the sun to fall and it's crisp days of warm afternoons and cool evenings. A change of seasons, so enjoyable!
Fall brings with it the excitement of hunting. Gathering as a group to track pheasant or deer and bring home meat for the freezer. A time to leave behind the office or factory job and spend it on a bit of recreation that feeds the soul as well as the stomach.
Ah, wonderful fall!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Harvest is all around us. Bean fields are smooth and barren, the stalks of standing corn shrink in number daily. The ground is getting tilled, the gardens have been cleared of their bounty. It's a wonderful time of year. I try to remember that this time of 'harvest' is not something that happens only a few weeks a year.
Galatians 6:9 NIV - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Physically there is one harvest a year of some specific crops. A bountiful harvest that is payment for work and effort of sowing and taking care over that responsibility which God has given us.
Sometimes I need a reminder that the sowing needs to be done daily by harvesting God's good words captured in the Bible. In turn I shall sow the good news of His love to my children, family, friends and anyone that I meet.
Ah, capturing harvest. Seeing the good news of His love all around me. Counting my blessings, so grateful that the harvest of life is bountiful.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Sunday, October 23, 2011
A short and sweet one here tonight.
Nothing like love between a boy (yes, he's in pink jammies) and his kitty! I love when my animals curl up in my lap or lay on my back as I sprawl in bed. Nothing was as cute as this though. My animal companions are my best friends, the ones there for me through thick and thin. The love an animal shows me is of the purest and truest love. Similar to that love our father shows us. DOG is GOD in reverse. DOG, a man's best friend showing devotion and unconditional love just as GOD does. A dog needs us to feed him, care for him and be his leader while God asks us to let Him feed us and care for us, leading us through all of our days.
I couldn't ask for more. God is so great!!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
A failure to post as part of my 31 days series. I've missed a few, I've participated most days but I know of at least three that I've missed. A failure all the same. Does that mean I should quit, give up and walk away? Nah! It means that I pick up where I left off and go forward anyway.
Here's what I did yesterday instead of taking time to write. Laundry, clean-up, a batch of deer sticks, dishes, vacuum, laundry, painted a sunset on a billboard (partial picture above), cleaned up mess from the painting, picked up a 'new to us' TV from an uncle, dropped kids off at grandma's for the night, a meeting for the school bazaar, distribute flyers for said bazaar, back home, laundry, showered and dressed, supper out with DH, and off to the home of friends for cards, games, lots of laughter and plenty of memories.
So, no I didn't write, I failed at a chance to capture words but I guess, well, life happens. I'm back today. Feeling inspired enough to possibly post twice, depending on how the afternoon goes and that is enough for me! To be here.
Try, try again. I don't have to be perfect because God loves me in all my beautiful imperfection. Falling down, getting up, skipping steps, forgetting to follow through, waking up late and whatever other flaws that might show their wear and tear today. His grace is sufficient for me, even me.
AMEN to that!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Friday, October 21, 2011
Beyond, the here and now. Beyond this moment of life. There is a whole world and life upon life happening out there. This is what I have a part in, an effect on, the place where I have an opportunity to do something. I do what I can here because beyond our comfortable little circle of home is life that we will encounter and things that will be out of our control.
I do what I can here to prepare myself and my family for that world beyond our here and now, so that we can handle that which is thrown at us. Teaching them and myself to lean on the Lord in all ways for all things because that just might be the only constant we have from here to there.
Remembering He is here with us at home and also with us beyond these familiar routines.
Psalm 147:5 NLT - How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is BEYOND comprehension!
Oh, what comforting words are those!!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Proverbs 17:22 NLT - A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Have you ever been drawn to the cheerful person in the group? The one with an easy smile, sweet inspiration in her stories or an uplifting air about him. They come in many forms. A young child, your best girlfriend, your dear husband, the adorable older lady next door, your lovable great aunt or a courageous grandfather.
It is also quite true that when there is someone broken around that drains us of our own energy we will withdraw from them. I know I set limitation on the relationships with the people around me that I can only 'take so much' of.
What I never realized until reading this verse is that there might be occasions where I'm the cheerful spirit that people are coming to for light in their dark, help with their loads and a shoulder to lean on. I have several relationships that I'm willing to be there for daily, and yet there are those that I tend to keep my distance from.
I want to be that cheerful spirit willing to be there, willing to connect and support, willing to love and be the medicine that others are sometimes looking for.
What a beautiful verse! Exactly the encouragement that I needed in this time of change in my life.
Capture cheer - a new item on my to-do list!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
What is comfort to you? A warm blanket, a cup of coffee, how about a hand to hold? Comfort comes in many forms and can mean a great many things to different people.
It is fall and here that means cooler weather, warm sweatshirts, fleece blankies, hot chocolate, oatmeal and ideally for me a crackling fire. Sometimes I get that comfort I need in a quick hug, a long overdue conversation or even a good book.
There is one place I can turn to for comfort no matter the day, time or event. My Father's arms. God is there for me in all of this. He always has a shoulder to lean on, a hand to help me up and a ear for listening. I haven't always known this comfort was available. I was not taught at a young age to take my cares to Him. I have walked many long lonely days in my time.
I'm not granted easy, carefree days for the rest of my life, but I am guaranteed that I never have to go them alone again. I don't have to wonder "Why?" because I know that He is working out all things for the greater good and the bigger picture.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Yeah, I can take comfort in that. I can set out in whatever I do with a knowledge that it will all work out and come together. It may not work out according to my plan, come together as I initially expect but 'Thy will be done' is all is really need to remember anyway.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV - And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
After living with this verse in the forefront of my mind for years I'm just figuring out that it is more or less my life verse. The MYM - ITA fall challenge included this as one of the verses to study, and so I did, last week. I wear three rings on my left hand, the first says FAITH, the second says HOPE and the third is my engagement/wedding set from my husband, the one that reminds me of LOVE in all various forms whenever I look at it.
This verse rolls through my head at least once a day reminding me what my family and friends need from me. Reminding me of how to treat others and live a Christ centered life, doing all that I do in my best effort to glorify Him.
Going faithfully, sharing hope and doing it all with love - for Him and all He has done for and given me.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Monday, October 17, 2011
A quiet moment of peace this morning. Capturing this moment that I've been hoping to get all summer. This grand old barn has been standing majestically as a landmark on this spot here for years. His days are numbered, his shadow changed this spring as he was stripped down to this unique silhouette, his boards harvested to give life to new works of beauty. He was once a grand barn a shelter to hundreds of animals, storage for their feed, a landmark to find a friend's home and the core of a farmstead.
Since he will soon be gone I'm happy to capture this picture of beauty for all that he was and even still is. A blessing from the Lord, a barn, yes a beautiful gift captured in a beautiful moment of good-bye.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Around here that's what I try to dedicate my Sundays to. The one day a week that I can turn my focus toward that which really matters.
Our Father - God, Creator and Lord!
My family - husband, children, parents, grandparents and all the extended ones too!
Time spent in fellowship worshiping Him. Time spent enjoying good meals. Time spent in prayer. Time spent laughing. Time spent praising Him. Time spent connecting. Time spent counting blessings.
Time spent in the presence of God and family, yes the best time of all!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Friday, October 14, 2011
Capturing Catch, hmm this will be interesting!
Catch - I think of fishing and the haul that you take on a good day and the quiet you'll get the next.
I may not go fishing daily, I'm lucky to go yearly these days but I'm coming go realize that I have an ultimate catch of some kind every day.
A catch of memories while watching my crew grow up daily. A catch of laughter as we have a tickle war. A catch of gratitude as we each count the beauty of our day around the supper table. A catch of connection as we clean up from a meal and share chatter. A catch of love as I sit here and reflect on just how full my house is.
Yup - the ultimate catch of my lifetime - God and Family. Don't need anything else!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Thursday, October 13, 2011
What does this have to do with rest? Plenty. I am preparing my home that already shelters the chaos of seven to include a grandmother that tends to indulge my kiddos every whim if she can. Sitting on the vouch tonight capturing these words and pondering the possibilities of the coming weeks is rest enough for my weary soul. I have come to the conclusion that this is my way of serving my mom right now. I would say that this time here next to my husband, babes sprawled across my lap is a bit of beautiful rest for me. Rest after sorting a storage room, thumbing through old pictures, flinging garbage and stumbling onto sweet treasures forgotten.
Rest that is a gift from God that I get to enjoy here and now.
Matthew 11:28 NIV. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Ah, the gift of rest, I will take it however I can get it. Capturing moments here while my burden is lifted by the One willing to carry it for me.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It only took me a month, but I did it! I got the letter to my grandparents written. Not a handwritten one, but an solid update on the seven of us including a few pictures. So often these days we depend on technology for our connections, a quick phone call, drop a few lines into an email, a status update in facebook, a few words twittered and text talk. When did you last write a letter or drop a 'just because' card into the mail for a friend. Even Christmas greetings are generally reduced to a mass printed picture postcard and form letter.
Take time to capture connections today. That's where the real memories come from. It's those letters you can pull out years later and reread, reflecting on days gone by. Take time to go on walks with your husband, child or friend. Go out for lunch having laughter for dessert. Get away for a weekend of connection, a fay or two to reconnect with someone special. We all need these soul deep, heart strong bonds.
The most important connection like that to make is the one with Our Father. Taking time to read His words in the Bible, praying and talking to Him as a regular part of your day. Connecting with Him so that you can hear His words, feel His love as He walks with you and see the light He is shining upon your path.
Go, capture those precious connections!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sometimes it's hard to be in the 'here and now' but it is worth the effort to try. The 'now' moments only last seconds, at most minutes each day. The moments of cuddling on the couch with three kiddos on my lap. Conversations with growing boys about life and living. End of the day prayers, a circle of hands held tight.
Capturing Now in my days is what reminds me to be thankful as these are the things I'm thankful for.
Even these words are enough to remind me to capture the before bedtime giggles. Brother and sister 'snapping' their fingers and sharing hugs, kisses and love. Two little people enjoying simple entertainment and each other.
Endless blessings and beautiful moments of life right here, right now.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It's the little moments that make a day great and a life spectacular.
While at the lawnmower races today there were large spans of time that we waited patiently for the next heat race to be ready. A great many people can wait patiently during these times but a pair of three year olds and a two year old tend to not be so patient. They started a rousing game of keep away. It went from us chuckling at them running circles around our cluster of lawn chairs trying to get 'the hat' to involving five kids, two adults, five hats, tackling, tickling and lots of laughing. I do believe we were entertaining the whole crowd, well at least a portion of it. ;0)
Those are the golden moments! The priceless ones that I enjoy capturing and reflecting on days later.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Friday, October 7, 2011
Oh so sweet it is to take this time.
Gypsy Mama and her five minutes Fridays tied together with 31 Days.
Ordinary is the every day, laundry washing, drying, folding and stacking. Inhaling the sweet fresh air of clothes off the line. The sanity saving routines that mean we don't settle in for the unwinding of the day until after the dishes are done.
The ordinary of creating new morning routines that include waking early, spending time with My Father, reading His words and starting the day long conversation with Him. Learning how to work in a bit of healthy movement and eating a breakfast worth my time too.
My favorite ordinary is the simple prayers when we connect hands and whisper prayers. It's also the quiet counting of gifts each day, reflecting on all to be thankful for.
Hugs and kisses, sticky fingers, dirty chocolate milk glasses, toys sprawled across the house and yard.
The simple reminders of a beautifully blessed life.
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Okay, so this is kinda difficult to capture words on every single day. I barely have time to get laundry folded much less write. Still I've done better than I thought I would. :0)
Today I'm content to capture some peace while I'm here. My little girl has some problem teeth and to best handle fixing all those cavities we have opted for a surgical type procedure. That way they can use general anesthetic to send her to sleepy land and fix all of these issues at one time.
It's not a huge procedure, but just the same it is. We are so blessed to have kiddos that are healthy and we haven't had much need for a huge health procedure of any kind. The best part of all of this is seeing God's hands over the past week. I have issues with dentists, get nervous for my kiddos when they go to the dentist and yet this is so easy to handle today. We discovered her problem teeth nine days ago, visiting with the pediatric dentist, getting a physical and having this procedure set up and handled in just over a week is amazing. I know God knew that I would've been a nervous wreck if I'd had to wait the customary 3-4 weeks for an opening for her procedure. So He gifted me with a crazy week that I was too busy to worry.
Sitting in the admitting area the two of us just relaxed and prayed. I prayed for peace for Madi that she wouldn't be scared and that everything goes smoothly and swiftly. The dentist and anesthesiologist were beautiful women with the very utmost thought of Madi and her comfort today. I thank Him for blessing us with this experience.
I sit and pray and think of the people surrounding Madi and that they all feel the amazing love of Our Father today.
Ah, capturing peace, what a wonderful experience!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A day late, but I do have words captured for Monday’s post.
Eleven years ago I was given an amazing gift. A son. A two weeks early, already keeping us on our toes, little boy. I was in some form of labor for probably two days before I was sent to OB after our last Pre-Birth Class. I had NO IDEA. Clueless about labor, yup that’s me. Friday night was a group of us driving three plus hours so that we could host a paintball tournament for a group of college students. All through Saturday I was uncomfortable, but it was a LONG day, so I figured I was tired. The trip home was horrible. I kept a pillow in my lap because the seat belt was making every bit of miserable worse. Monday I went to work. I remember being SO annoyed because all of my co-workers kept asking me if I was okay. I kept saying “I’m fine” and “No, I don’t need to go to the doctor, that will be in a couple of days”, little did I know what really was going on.
The last eleven years have been crazy amazing. I succeed and fail in a great many ways on pretty well every day. I wish I was better at this than I was, but I know that with God by my side that everything will turn out just fine. I’m doing the best I can, in the best way that I know how.
LuvNHugz – SupportNPrayerz
DV - NMV
Do you ever have that moment that you wish you could freeze? That time of day, day of the year that you wish you could bottle up and re-live over and over? Time, a simple little thing that shouldn’t be so hard to handle, but sometimes it’s the biggest struggle of my day.
Not enough minutes in the day to get everything done. The to-do list is always so long. So leave the to-do list on the counter and go take a me-time-out. Go jump on the trampoline with the kiddos. Go sit in a lawn chair in the sunshine on a beautiful Indian Summer day. Help your little one into the swing and push, push, push and soak up the happy giggles. Sit at the Hospice House while a loved one waits to enter the gates of heaven. Pray for a friend that is undergoing a surgical procedure today. Take the time to do these things because this is what glorifies Our Father.
Take time to capture these moments in your heart. Capture these times because each second is gone in the blink of an eye. Every second holds the possibility to change your life drastically.
Take time to live. Live out loud, live in love. Love for God. LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz DV-NMV
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Okay, since linking up to them rarely works for me, here is what I can do.
Here you will find Jess's welcome post and links to everyone else participating.
Day two of Capturing Words.
It’s simple really, I want to take more time for me. Do I have time to take a walk, relaxing bath or go out on a daily, ha – weekly, basis? Nope. I’m getting better. Getting up in the morning focusing on My Father, spending time with the words in His book and conversing with Him. Getting up before the rest of my house wakes is going a long way to finding time for me.
My hope with committing to 31 Days of Capturing Words is that I will find a few moments each day to capture those moments in life that are fleeting, but that by writing them down are words of remembrance that will be here forever.
Even this, now, these quick sentences I type are now here for me to look back on. Reflecting on my time as a MYM AC and the gals in my group that are enjoying this experience with me. Looking back and recalling those two crazy weeks when we realized how horrible Madi’s teeth were and not only did she have cavities, but need a surgical procedure to properly fix and handle those issues.
It takes time, and effort with the process that I have to use to do this, but it’s ALL worth it. The capturing of my faithstepsnfootprints. Oh, so worth it!
LuvNHugz – SupportNPrayerz
DV - NMV
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Taking two minutes or twenty to capture my words. Several others are doing similar things, their 31Days of their choice and I will attempt to link up with them at some point. Promise. That will take a real computer and internet connection, so no guarantee that it will be early in this process.
This isn't much but it's my start and I will be back, you all can be my accountability friends.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
It’s been a while – a LONG while since I’ve sat and written a post. I consistently want to, I just don’t make the time to.
Today is different - my heart is hurting - Gitz is going. Going home.
Gypsy Mama was hosting her five minute Friday, as usual and is asking us to capture those minutes while thinking on joy. Just as Gitz would wish for us to choose joy, I’m going to take my Friday five, even if it is a Saturday morning.
Joy, it’s in the simplest moments of life. It’s in the beauty of raindrops slipping down the glass. It’s in the pure love of a grief stricken minute when you’re remembering all your favorite things about a person. It’s the pure laughter of a child and their slobbery kisses. Joy is a feeling and in turn it’s something we can feel regularly or rarely. So often feelings are choices and it’s easy to get to the bad feelings and the why me points of life. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to choose the joy in each moment. Sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do. The thing to remember is that God is good ALWAYS. Not just sometimes, not just when we deserve good and beautiful things, but always are His plans good. It’s hard to remember that we don’t know the big picture and that we don’t need to understand the hows and whys of life. We gotta leave all that hard work to Him.
Thanx Gitz – for everything!! God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him - Choose Joy. Beautiful words that will have to find space on my wall now too. I thank Him for you, Sara, all your beautiful ways and precious life, for showing me what joy there is in choosing Him.
LuvNHugz – SupportNPrayerz
DV - NMV
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Looking up the word privilege in the dictionary will tell you that it means a special right or advantage granted or available to only a select person or group. Huh, I’ve never really thought about it before but that is what life is, the privilege of time. I was given this amazing gift by the Lord, this privilege of time that is gifted only to me, a life full of moments, experiences and memories that is unique to me. Each day is full of these gifts. I have not always recognized them as gifts it has taken me years of trial and error, stumbling into this wisdom.
I am starting to see my life for what it is, a specific privilege of time. Time spent growing up with young parents while they spent early years together becoming adults. Being the oldest grandchild on one branch of the family tree while dancing in the middle on the other side. Becoming a big sister after eight years of solitary child blessings. Moving and growing, as my parents stretched their wings and set out on their own adventures taking us to a new home away from home. Time spent working in high school at a job that most gals wouldn’t. Hours spent repeating the same thing as what you did the day before while working in the factory. Saying countless hellos over the customer service lines that taught me that the affect of the full moon does matter. Finally meeting someone that God showed me I couldn’t live without. Our oldest was born ten months after our first date. Yup, I’ll admit that because God works in wonderful ways! The privilege of time is that I was married to my sweet heart six and a half months after our first date and while we thought our first year together was craziness it hasn’t slowed down yet. Some of my sweetest privileges of time were carrying the babes that God blessed us with. There are five here that I got to feel grow and kick for months and watch every day. There are three dancing in heaven because I was only blessed to know them for a few weeks.
Those are the some of the significant privileges, the memories in time that I reflect on often. We recently finished VBS here in our little country church. I am repeatedly blessed to have a part in blessing these children with God’s message in their life. This year I felt especially blessed. I had the privilege of spending time with Miss Stella. She is a beautiful little girl that has the unique privilege of SMA. As with the rest of us walking through life on earth her days are numbered. What is special is that many count them as another day to be blessed with her presence. I was beyond excited to know that I was going to get to spend a few short mornings with her. I could never thank her family and God enough for giving me those hours. I’m usually slow to step outside of my comfort zone, but for this week I was more than happy to jump out and help her dance to the music. I write with tears in my eyes remembering the simple joy of making her fingerprint flower picture frame and singing the grow, grow, grow song with her. I have held this family in my heart from afar for four years. I now have been blessed with the amazing privilege of time spent with her, watching her smile, reading the thoughts in her eyes and sharing love with her.
There is so much more that I don’t reflect upon often enough. It is all of these small moments that I’m truly learning to see as the privileges of time. The time spent getting groceries, sorting laundry, washing dishes, listening to children (whatever mood they’re in), sweeping the floor (again), it’s all the things I do every day that are the privileges of the time that God has given me.
I enjoy taking the time to write, another privilege of time. A post such as this can take me a few days as I spin my thoughts in a few quiet seconds here and there. I just posted one that I spent a week on and then wound up not getting posted for nearly another week. I also posted a link to a song. It’s an amazing song the words really spoke to my heart and even though it was just the first time I’d heard it, I couldn’t help but find a way to share it. Someone took time to write the song, another took time to record it, someone else chose to play it and I was privileged to hear it. So as I smile and think to intertwine the two posts together, please take time to “Do Everything” to glorify Him. It is the most important thing to do while experiencing the privilege of time.
So as I sign off let me thank you for giving me the privilege of your time as you pause to read this. Blessings!!
DV - NMV
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Where do we go from here? Is it moving on or starting over when one of life’s harsh realities has completely rocked your world? Rebuilding your home after a fire, flood or tornado, what do you do first? Starting again as a single individual instead of a half of a married couple after a divorce, where to turn. Stepping out on life’s path after a loved one is gone, where do I go from here?
Sometimes the days are endless and the moments of trial are more like mountains than molehills. Sometimes the digging deep isn’t even close to enough to get you through. Sometimes the rainstorms in life are washing us away from everything we found solid in life. Even if we built our house on the rock we feel like we’re sinking into the sand.
I’ve said this before that 2011 was going to be a year that would be difficult to bear. I started this blog so that I might be able to journal my journey through life. I’m not being a pessimistic Peggy here, I’m just voicing what my gut has been telling me and what I’ve been feeling led to prepare for. I am usually very happy to find the sunshine and rainbows dancing through the rain clouds and will happily stomp through the mud puddles giggling and laughing.
This has been a rough week and as I took a moment to really think about all that’s going on around me this is what I realized. A beautiful 18 year old lost her life last Wednesday, a school friend lost his life on Saturday, my “little sister’s” old roommate took her own life yesterday. That’s enough to shatter my heart because I know their “stories”. I also keep in mind my BF’s MIL that’s battling cancer having been given “two months”, my distant cousin that’s been battling cancer for years that is still visiting with doctors about what to try next. The ones living through the hard moments of life, the ones wondering what tomorrow will bring, pain or relief. I’m not just thinking about these things, but also the student struggling in school because for some it’s just really hard to get this reading, writing and concentration figured out. I even love hard on the child born with the life altering disabilities that prevent her from ever taking a step on her own two feet. The wreck that takes away his freedom, leaving him dependent upon a wheelchair to get from here to there for the rest of his days.
They’re everywhere we look the pain, suffering, aching hearts and sad faces. It’s hard not to see it, it’s also hard to look deep into it and look for the beauty and grace that God gives us in these lives. Where do we go when our plans are crumpled in the storms of life leaving us to only imagine how we can start again? Coming out of the blurry daze and confusion that comes from having the rug pulled right from beneath your feet.
Seems that the only thing I can think to do is turn to Him. The One who has arms open wide, ready and willing to be our rock. He is a good God, a God that only wants the best and beautiful for us. It’s hard to believe that on those days when the rain is falling all around you and your comfort zone is washed away with the raging rapids of change. He is my rock, the comfort zone that never moves, He is the shelter from life’s storms and raging seas. Through Him all things work together for the greater good, the greatest purpose. It is through those moments that I need to remember to glorify Him in all of it. He knows the plans He has for me. He loves me unconditionally even though I am me. We see all the little pieces of these lives on earth, and He sees the whole picture. Ahhh, I think I’ll take comfort in that, and “going on” with Him by my side.
LuvNHugz - DV-NMV
Friday, July 8, 2011
Oh, where do I start?
There's a quick million to be thankful for but here's my top picks.
A husband, I'm not walking this road of life alone, making the hard decisions and steps without a partner. I have love for those that do.
My children, all five of the crazy, chaos, messy, cuddly, cute, trouble making, loving, individuals that God has given me.
My extended family (this includes my friends as I draw no lines) whether you are by blood or by choice I am so blessed to have you in my life.
My home, a shelter from the storms, a haven of the peace that I make it.
Last but certainly not least my faith. For without that I would not see the beauty that surrounds me every day. I would not have the peaceful comfort in my truest Father that loves me even though I am me. I would not have the simple strength to get through each of the heavy hearted gloomy days that are waiting in my path.
Oh so much to be grateful for...
Oh and I know my time is done but I must say thank YOU. If no one reads this or you find time to read it, thanx for encouraging me, you may not realize it, but you do. ;0)
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I wrote this last week and am just getting the opportunity to share it.
An amazing concept to think about, two opposite concepts, ideas, features, feelings that are working together to create the circumstances we have to deal with. It surrounds us every day in so many ways. Day versus night, good versus evil, simple versus complex, contradictions surround us everywhere, look around you.
On the 24th we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. On that day I remember it being beautiful and joyful, full of laughter and smiles. I also remember that it started out rainy and gloomy leaving us to wonder just how nice it was going to be that afternoon. I had no idea the path that I was taking my first steps down on that day. Ups and downs, gains and losses, birth and death, the past 11 years have been amazing and I am so blessed to have them. The ironic thing about this week that has led me to thinking of the contrast of these contradictions in life is that as of the 29th my parents’ 32-year marriage is over. The divorce decree was written up and signed this morning. Celebrations and mourning, sometimes they go hand in hand.
I just read recently words that said something along the lines of this. Sometimes it is in our greatest trials that God’s best plans come together. Those are not the exact words, it was better phrased and I wish I could remember the words, they were a perfect reminder for me. It is when we are down and dirty that we can see the hand reaching down to lift us up to help us dust off and the light shines brightest through the darkness.
Living He loved me, dying He saved me, because He loved us He made the greatest sacrifice ever by giving us His Son. The tightrope I have been walking this last year was not easy to stay balanced on. For several years I have watched my parents’ marriage crumble around their addictions, pride, attitudes and fall that their feet. Meanwhile I’m trying to build a solid marriage for the babies that I carry and bring into the world. I’m stumbling along in a new found faith that these two people had planted into my world years ago when I was around seven years old. They didn’t know how to nurture me and teach me about it so for several years it was just ‘there’. Once I married and we started our routines church and fellowship became regular parts of our week. Our children now attend the Christian school and I see them learning these words and being guided to God’s teachings and it propels me to want to learn the same things. A wonderful woman I met just over three years ago also shows me the beauty of His love and leads me to do and learn more.
A sweet fresh from high school graduate has just lost her earthly life to rise to the glory of watching us from Heaven. The losses of tornadoes and other natural disasters are what pull together a community and show the beauty of helping each other. An aching empty womb of a woman and a scared pregnant teen, each asking and wondering but not knowing what’s next. The stark reality that life doesn’t come along as we want it, but as the Lord plans it is awe inspiring to me. My days do not always follow my plan, but I can sit in the evening and reflect in the beauty of God’s surprises that flow through my day. The sweet tears of innocence, the beautiful smiles of happiness, bittersweet memories, the ache of a heart full of love, they’re full of contradiction.
Jesus died so that we might fully live. An extraordinary God uses the ordinary of everyday to rain His love upon us. A simple babe, born in a manger is the One that led a glorious life and suffered just like I, so that He could carry my sin in His death and then rise to the throne and sit at the right hand of our Father.
Contradiction, the black and white, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, it’s a struggle of holding on and letting go. The kiss of benediction in a life well lived is seeing it, believing in the beauty of it and being thankful for it, for without it where would we be?
Monday, July 4, 2011
Several days late because my blogger apparently for android was unhappy for the last while...
Since I haven't gotten regular at writing anything else, I'm using this five minute "challenge" of sorts as a start place.
Gypsy Mama prompts us with WONDER today, so here goes.
Wonder, this always makes me think on the things awe inspiring in my life. The stuff my life is made of. I wonder at how God is so absolutely amazing and has chosen me for all these special blessings. J, A, M, M, Q. Eleven years of chaos with DH. Sometimes I wonder why me, and then I realize that its simply because that is how He wants it to be. He has all these amazing and awesome plans that I will happily dance in wonder each day and ask, why not me, instead. In His plans and in His time all things great and beautiful through us for His glory.
Time. Thanx for reminding me to count my blessings!!
Friday, June 17, 2011
For me, home isn't just a place, it's so much more than that.
Home is whenever I'm greeted by a welcoming bear hug from the ones that love me most.
Home is wherever my husbands and kiddos are.
Home can be my pop-up camper for a week in Colorado.
Going home can be visiting my grandparents for the weekend hours from my actual "home address".
Home is where I can be 100% authentic and not have to worry about others' impressions of me.
Home is the people that I surround myself with that love me during my ugly cries.
Home is the moments of true blue, bared soul conversations where we hold no reservation in talking about what life throws us.
Home by definition is a simple word, but in reality it is sooooo much more than that.
Home is where my heart lives and as I think about that, my heart lives in hundreds of places and sees many things.
Home is where I walk in faith, stepping through the daily life to leave footprints on my way Home to Jesus.
Time - ooohhh, that's a good one! Makes me think about what I really want my home to be!!
DV - NMV
Saturday, June 4, 2011
What it, well all of it, the building of habits that include exercise and devotions, the faith and hope that I try to hold on to in the midst of chaos. The faithsteps filled walk that I try to take every day. The “keeping my cool” when the kids are going crazy in the Eyeglass World store. Angie Smith (yup, Love You!!) posted this week on perspective after she had posted about the Gymboree experience. I felt for the momma at Gymboree, I was just “there” on Wednesday.
Waiting and waiting at the EW while I had my eyes checked and picked out new glasses was just TOO MUCH for my crew.
The older ones have questions and wander to look at things, the little ones follow and are amazed by all the “pretty glasses” within their reach. My plan was to go in, be checked, pick out glasses and get outta there to the rest of my to do list. Did that happen? Nope! My appt was for 2:00, I arrived the appropriate 15 minutes early – new client, probably would have some extra paperwork, you know what I’m talking about. The doc walked back in and took the lady waiting for her appt, apparently scheduled ahead of me, in at about 2:00. Umm, not a great start here people. During my waiting I picked out the four pairs of glasses that were appealing to me, setting them in a basket to the side so it was one less thing to do later. Finally the other client is finished and I go in to the exam room. Kiddos, fairly cooperatively, plant themselves on the floor and watch me read all the letters on the wall. A few fruit snacks and several minutes later we’re finished with that. I don’t really have a clue what time it is, I’m trying to keep the crew calm, get my glasses ordered and out the door. In the meantime the wonderful lady helping me automatically racks up a $450 bill and I have no idea what’s going on. I repeat that I only need glasses, no contacts at least three times amidst saying things like “what’s the deal, you’re never like this” to the kids – yup, sure did. I go chase kids down and ask them “not to touch the glasses, please” for about the millionth time. She’s still trying to sell me on sunglasses and the expensive lenses that are so much thinner than the regular plastic ones (by a drastic 20%, mind you) and when I say I don’t want to spend more than $200 she flusters and re-does the same math that keeps adding up to $300-$350. Finally, I sadly send the kids to the car because I can easier clean that disaster up than I can the store. I mean if the sales-lady won’t listen to me, what can I expect of my kids - haha. Amusingly, without the distraction of my kids the lady finally listens when I say, I want the two pairs of basic glasses for $78 nothing special about them. The comment that really upset me was when she said, “I guess as a mom you have to make sacrifices sometimes”. My reply? “Yep, I guess so.” That stung, because it’s just sunglasses, oh and lenses that could’ve been a fraction of a millimeter thinner if I’d only been willing to spend a couple hundred more dollars. What really frustrated me is that as I’m buckling seatbelts, growling at kids that weren’t cooperating, I check the time and realize that it is after 4:00 and the things I had planned on doing were going out the window right along side the patience and good moods of all of us and NONE of that was my kids’ fault, though they took the brunt of my bad attitude about it.
I fully acknowledge that my kids are NOT perfect, but guess what, neither am I!! I also realize that I know what they can handle and I full well will take them out into the real world of grocery stores, malls, doctor’s appointments and anywhere else because they know what I expect of them. I have walked into the grocery store and turned around and walked right back out going home without the milk because they started the temper tantrum for the car cart, you know the one, I do not use that thing. Just this morning Jayden was up by 6:30 because he knew that he wasn’t going on the tractor ride today if his chores weren’t done first. Amazingly, said chores will usually take hours but today were done in about 45 minutes. Bravo buddy!!
I will gladly wear the badge of mom if it includes these moments. I’m learning every day that life is full of the unexpected. The kids will have their moments, I will have mine, dearest hubby will have his. Not every day smells of fresh flowers and has us dancing carefree across the meadows. Wait, I don’t think I’ve even had one day like that now that I think about it. Who does?
The inspiring Faith Barista posted on encouragement on Thursday, she encourages me regularly, as do many others without even knowing it. I hope to encourage at least one person every day. It doesn’t always happen, but I will keep trying to put my best foot forward. I will do my best to do the best for God that I can. That’s all I can do. I will stumble and ask for His forgiveness, I will cry and lean on Him for strength and I will laugh and thank Him for all the blessings He has given me. So yes, sometimes I’m that mom with the screaming kids and sometimes I’m the mom across the store being amazed by another mom’s actions.
Either way it is all in the perspective that I can view the situation from. Let the perspective always shine light on the Lord. Letting Him reach out and teach me in all of the ways of my days. Why is it so hard? Quite likely because I make it that way, when I’m not paying attention, speaking and acting clearly I confuse those around me. Not intentionally, but when things start to awry the perspective gets skewed and instead of encouraging words rolling around in my head I feel the insecurity of life creep in.
Thank you for encouraging me! You don’t even know it. Thank you for making me feel better after I have those crazy – Did you see what she did??? – type of moments. It is with your help that I am walking closer to God and breathing a little easier today. Yup, thanks to God for giving me you!!
LuvNHugz ~ SupportNPrayerz
Friday, June 3, 2011
And Gypsy Mama prompts me again with: Every Day
Hmm, this is a little breath, that I take and write at least once a day. Every day my smart phone automatically switches it to Him. What a great reminder! I love that little reminder that reaches out to me whenever I’m breathing in and thinking about what’s next that He is the first thing to reference while I’m doing it. Every day I have a list, you know the kind, who, what, where, when and how kind of stuff. Today’s includes finishing mowing the yard, burning trash, working in the garden, school cleaning for a while and a baseball game. Those are just the ‘big’ things. My list never includes the beauty of the moments like when big, big brother gets up and walks around the house (72 degree house) wrapped in a blanket that little, big brother grabs himself a blankie coming to me asking to be wrapped up. Hence the picture of two boys smiling shyly as I love the moment and try to capture it forever.
Every day. The every days of life are filled with so much! I’m striving to make sure mine are filled with love, faith, encouragement, peace and so much more. I want my days to be beautiful. I want my children to have days filled with love. Every day? Yep, we have those, but more important is today!
And as a dear friend would say – and scene! Wow, this whole not editing it is HARD!!! I type on auto and edit almost before I have it typed. Hmm, or Him?
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Monday, May 30, 2011
I don't know where I'm going. I don't know hat God has planned for me. I know it's big. Not big for Him per se, but it'll be huge for us. I'll keep repeating my prayer for strength and endurance because that is what my heart keeps asking for. I know not why, nor what or when, no clue how and so the only peace that carries me is knowing who. Me and Him.
In all reality He knows the plan and He'll give me the rest of those answers when the time is right. So I'll get back to my Philippeans Bible study that reminds me that I (yes, even me) can do all things (all things? I guess if He says so) through HIM who give me strength. Oh, okay Lord, I'll give you my burdens, because my life isn't for me, it's for you and if you'll get me through it, then who am I to question any of it?
I don't know where I'm going, don't know how I'll get there, but I've decided that's okay. Open my heart, head and ears to what you're telling me. Let me see the light you've got shining upon my path. Taking these faithsteps every day so that you might do your great things through me.
LuvNHugz - SuppotNPrayerz
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Her parents are doing the absolutely best job that they can in raising their children. They are helping raise their grandchildren and doing a great job at everything they can. It is just one of those situations that at some point along the line the circle has to be broken and someone needs to steps outside of the comfort zone of the life they're in and make a change and creat a new and wonderful life.
I don't know where I come into all of this, I just feel like I'm not listening to God so now He's thumping me over the head. I brought it up to my husband last night and we possibly will offer for her to come help me kind of in a nanny type of way a week or two, possibly a month (or whatever God gives us) this summer.
I have heard that she is believed to be pregnant, expecting in December and I mainly want her to know that she has options. She can still finish school, become a wonderful single mom, share her blessing with someone else or whatever. I just want to be there for her. I want her to know that the only place she needs to look for that unconditional, unwavering love is to God. He always has His arms wide open for her. I don't want her to end up like my parents (not going there today either) or another 16/17(?) year old mom ending up with multiple babies, dead beat daddies, waiting for her check in the mail.
Please lift her (and us) up in prayer. Let me open my ears to what God wants me to do. Let her heart (and her family's hearts) be open to the possibilities. Pray that God's will be done - THAT is what matters!
LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
DV - NMV
Friday, May 20, 2011
Okay, Thanx to Gypsy Mama and Gitz, I'm inspired to take my Friday five and see where it goes.
It's a beautiful thing. I was reminded last weekend at WOF that much of our time is spent wanting. You know, when we have spring we want the warm days of summer and playing in the water. When we have summer we want the cool crisp of fall when we run in t-shirts during the day and don sweatshirts in the evening. Then we're anxious for fall to be done because we look forward to the holidays and the fresh winter wonderlands. We once again tire of the cold and snow and beg for spring to thaw us out.
It is such madness! A madness I wouldn't trade for anything, I love the marching on through time. The way that we are reminded each year of planting and sowing, new life and death.
Oh, time's up.
DV - NMV
Thursday, May 19, 2011
My life is a beautiful puzzle! Puzzles fascinate me because you have all of these little pictures that when you put them together creates this fantastic portrait. My life is like that. I can look back through all of my days and each moment is this perfect little picture telling about what my life has been. Connecting pictures together starts to show the portrait of a year or a story of a friendship, experience or even about who I am as a daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother.
I’ve spent much of the past week looking at my puzzle. Someday I will write the story of me down, just to have it. Today is not that day. Today I want to write about some other pieces of my life that God has designed and cut out. I attended my first Women of Faith conference this past weekend. I have considered going for several years, but I don’t go to things like that alone, nor was I ready for such an experience in years past. It was amazing! Anyway, on to my puzzle. As I reflect upon my weekend and in turn my life I realize that it is a beautiful portrait. I’m amazed that I can look back and see exactly how God has lead me in every moment, even if I didn’t see it right then.
Just take the last three years. I was introduced to Julie Wiemann and a BeautiControl SPA that my dear friend Glenda didn’t want to go to alone. What neither of us realized that night is that it would be a night to forever alter my life, key piece of the puzzle here. I only just realized how key of a piece it was recently. I was pregnant with my duo and thought it would be great fun to have Julie come to my house to pamper me, and my friends. About a year and a half later Julie gifted me an amazing opportunity to join her team. Another invaluable section of my puzzle was started that day. Julie has held my hand in sharing this wonderful experience with women (PS-I don’t do “girly”, so it is quite funny) and has become a faith-mama to me. This experience isn’t about doing the SPAs and making money, those are the bonuses. Joining the BC family has been one of the greatest blessings in my life! I look back today and see faith, love, comfort, grace and peace dancing across the backgrounds of my pieces, these things weren’t there before.
Let me explain. My puzzle pieces didn’t always fit together. They didn’t necessarily even look nice together some days. I have been attending church every week for at least six years, helping with VBS, nursery, sending my kiddos to the Christian School and attempting to do my part as much as I can. I have felt like I was missing out on so much, I didn’t know what, I just felt kind of hollow some days. Julie and BC came into my life and started filling up that hollowness. I felt love whenever I walked through the door of Julie’s home. I was around people that walked in faith and really showed me that you can let God take control. I have met people that I don’t know how, if or when I would have met them otherwise. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone to put these pieces together as God wants me to because with Him I can do anything. The pieces that have been made in the last two years have not all been pretty. My parents are divorcing and there is a lot of anger and drama broiling around us still making some of those dark and haunting pieces. The beautiful part is that God has brought me all these amazing people and experiences that help me through this. I have a best friend, Carma, I can call in an instant for support. Julie, an amazing lady, that I know is also just a phone call away and will lift me up in prayer whenever I need it.
It is so much more than just these two women or even any of the others in my life. It’s the guidance by God that has led me here. He knows all my pieces He knows that it takes the dark ugly ones to make the bright and beautiful ones to stand out. He knows that on some days these pieces don’t fit together but someday they will. He guides me to that place of peace where I can spread all the pieces out and see what beauty there is in the puzzle of my life. A puzzle that is missing pieces, looks like a jumbled mess with no direction but will some day come together all complete, only because He has designed it to be that way. What more can I ask for? I will keep taking these faithsteps along the path He is lighting before me. That is the only place I need to be, He’ll take care of the details, He’ll open new doors, He’ll provide the shoulders I need to lean on and the hands I shall hold in prayer. They’re all the pieces in my puzzle, He’ll provide it all, I just gotta keep watching, waiting and walking. The footprints I leave behind are the pieces that show me where I’ve been, showing me the beauty in my puzzled life.
DV - NMV
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Yes, Lord, lead me. I attended my first Women if Faith conference this weekend and am amazed at the love that filled that building. 7,000 women coming together to praise Him. Coming together not just to learn new things but to be reminded of what we can have every day.
I was blessed to be there with three fabulous ladies - Carma, Nancy and Nicole. I take the time now to thank them for holding my hand through this, hugging me tight and laughing while the tears fell. I dream of bringing more of my faith sisters with me next time, but for today I thank you, God, for giving me these three. It was as simple as looking through the program Friday morning to see the names Selah and Angie Smith on the itinerary. I was excited to see the other names listed, but I connected to these two names specifically and as the weekend went on and I was part of this amazing one time experience I was reminded (again, yes, sometimes it takes a while) that He knows what He is doing. He holds me in His grasp leading me right where He wants me to go.
So, lead me, Lord. As I stumble along in my steps of faith, leaving the footprints along my path, lead me. It is all within my reach, all within my grasp, all because You love me, yes me. I just need to ask to receive, remembering that through it all you have the plan anyway, always knowing what I need even before I do.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person's heart,
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Ah, I get it. I found this verse early in the week, (possibly from Ann - Thanx!) I was not familiar with these words, though I should be. This is one of the concepts that God has been teaching me over the last 12 years. I might make plans but God's plans, purpose and quite seriously, His sense of humor prevail regardless of what I do. It is something I walk away from this weekend taking great comfort in. In knowing that He has got it covered. I love when my wonderful husband can do that in the heart of the moment when I don't know what to do, so the comfort I have in knowing that God is doing that for me every moment of every day brings me an immeasurable peace.
I am so blessed, so very blessed. AMEN
LuvNHugz ~ SupportNPrayerz
On the "whys" of life sometimes. I know that it's all under control and the Lord's plan is working out just as it's supposed to. I just can't help but hear the why or why not questions roll around in my head.
I'm not talking about the whiny 'Why me?' questions, I'm thinking more why do things happen the way they do?
I started writing this about the same time the foundation was shaking in my grandparents' life. My grandma Betty suffered a stroke Friday afternoon. With God's grace she drove herself to the clinic for a check-up quite possibly in the midst of this event. Since she was alone we don't really know the details, but what we do know is that what was wrong was recognized and they sent her to the hospital and called my grandpa Joe and he said to send her on to Rochester, so the life flight crew did their job. It is the moments of life like those that I am rocked by the tragedies that life can bring us, but also amazed at the way that God works.
He truly does have the details under control. I don't need to worry about what to do, when to do it, where to go. He has me where He wants me, will direct me where I need to be. I shall rest secure in the knowledge that He has under control, so I don't need to.
Part 2: I started this post on April 29. Adding to it over the rest of that weekend. One week - yes, one week - later Betty was sent home from Rochester. On one Friday she is a stroke victim that we have no idea what to expect with. A week later she is home, doing great, a little humbled for the experience but no worse for the wear. How awesome is our God?? He amazes me every day!!
Thanx for being amazing and supporting me too!!
DV - NMV
Saturday, April 23, 2011
It's also the pieces of pain, life gone awry that give us the memories of what was, is and the possibilities of what is to come. These tough moments build our strength. The times of a lost babe and the possibility of her life, the times of struggle and feeling alone when God is answering pleading prayers with silence.
I wouldn't change any of it. Why should I be so fortunate to have an easy, smooth flying life when even Christ didn't. He knew the aching hurts of taunts, the pain of pierced skin, the weakness of blood draining from his body. He endured all of this and died on the cross for me, so that I can willingly accept the unconditional love of the Lord. I didn't earn it, there is nothing that I can do for Him to earn my place in heaven. He just loved me (us) so much that He sacrificed it all for me.
Today I will take the pieces of life lived and the bits of memory made carefully, knowing that many years ago the ones that loved Christ sealed his dead body in a tomb on this day and said good-bye to the Christ that they followed. Today I will follow Him in a different way, always loving Him because I know what happened the day after they sealed His tomb.
DV - NMV
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It's Holy Week. I can't say that I've ever really given it acknowledgement like I am this year. It's so easy to run around playing catch up (and still losing ground) that Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is just another week. Getting caught up in the fun of Easter Egg Hunts and gathering the goodies and candies of the season that the real important reason is glazed right over. Not intentionally, I know what He did for me, but it's sometimes easy to forget to thank Him for it. He gave us His all so that we can walk with Him in our imperfections. He loves me in spite of the fact that I forget to center on Him every moment of my day, in spite of the fact that we are NOT the picture perfect family, and even though I am sinful. Christ died to pay the price of my woeful, pitiful and sometimes ugly ways. He loves me so much that He sent His son to pay the price of my failures. WOW!!
He is all that I need, all that I need to live my life. My family, my car, my house, the stuff I have. I don't need any of it, I enjoy it, will use it, love it, care for it for as long as He entrusts it to me and I will do my best to show Him how grateful I am for all of it.
Thanx to Holley because I can find comfort in the rain too. Her words encourage me, reminding me that God is my umbrella of shelter from the downpour, He is the galoshes (aka poop boots) I might don to keep my feet securely on the path and the He's the sun peeking through the clouds when it's starting to clear.
Storms of life make the travels eventful, memorable and beautiful. Let the rain pour down and storms rage on as eventually the calm will return and the sun will come out. Whatever way my day goes, He is in control and that's all I'll ever need to know.
DV - NMV
Friday, April 15, 2011
Jump over and see what it is, as for me, here I go.
I think it's perspective or maybe it's just a feeling. I know that distance is a very real, measurable, right there in your face kind of thing, but sometimes it's just a feeling.
People can be in the same room and be in different worlds. Others can be separated by oceans, thousands of miles, really, and seems like they're still standing face to face. The greatest thing about today is that with all of our great technology we can be miles apart yet still be able to see each other and talk daily.
It's a very real thing, but I do feel it is can be a feeling. I feel it when I'm two feet from my son asking for his help and he's so distracted that he doesn't even hear me. I can also feel the connection to my favorite people with only simple words written and shared. Ah, distance, so many things that it can be, but for me it's just a factor of life.
Unedited, I let it stand. What about you?
DV - NMV
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I was out on Saturday with friends. Oh, my word, what a night - I won't soon forget it!! Somewhere in the middle of all of this one of my sweet friends pulled me over, wrapped me in a tight hug and told me how much she loved me. She told me that I am an amazing mom. As I sit here and begin to cry again, those words stir a lot of emotion in me. We talked about how we rarely ever see each other but even through that, our friendships are priceless and so absolutely important and vital in life. I looked around in that moment as everyone watched me cry and I couldn't tell them why. I can now, I was surrounded by most of the important people in my life. Not everyone that holds that status in my heart was there, but of those that were I could look at each of them and see the beauty of why they're in my life.
I feel that way about several of my friends. One whom I've met only just over a year ago, we connect and can be candid and support each other with just a few words. Others whom I've met because they married dear man-friends (aka adopted brothers) of mine. I can remember when one of those 'men' had asked for yet another jump start to the dead battery on his truck that he had left the lights on (at least once a week when he was driving home from his girlfriend's in the early morning hours) when he got home. He said he had something exciting to show me, leading me to his gun case (yup, redneck) he showed me that he'd bought a ring and was planning a special evening during which he'd ask for her hand. I was thrilled, over the moon. I didn't know her real well yet, but he loved her and she'd put up with him and his redneckness plenty long, so that was enough to deem her a sister in my heart, and I'm thrilled that she's part of my 'family'. There are so many stories to share. I could write pages upon pages about the people in my life. The ones that live so far away that I see them twice a year, chat on the phone occasionally and love everyday. Whether you're stuck in/on the muddy/ice yard after an attempted book club night, playing card games, making redneck slip 'n slides in your back yard or attempting to tee pee someones house while I scare the bejeepers out of you, camping or sitting around the bonfire, the memories are priceless and precious.
Thank You Lord!!
I love my family!! My husband and kiddos are all that I need every day. I know this. I know that I am right where He wants me to be. I don't need to be anywhere, doing anything, being anything else. A wife, mom to five (plus three in heaven), daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend - this is who I am. My friends are my family too. I learned a long time ago that I needed them very much because my actual family is what it is. God gave me them and God gave me my friends, He is AWESOME!
I reference Gitz's blog a little farther down, specifically her recent post - Really? Because her words are true. I've been walking around with these words in my heart and her post pushed me over the edge to share it with you. Her story is beautiful. It's not easy, it's surely not what she had planned for her 'ideal life', but it's hers. God has her right where He wants her, me where He wants me and you right smack in the middle of the plans He has for you too. His love is shining through her to me and hopefully on to you. We can't control what happens today, tomorrow or ever, I need not control it anyway, because He is. So, let me take this moment to tell you - I Love You!!
Thank you Lord, for loving me in all my crazy, defective, weird ways. Thank you Lord for giving me so much in life, the easy, the hard, the beautiful and the ugly. You truly know that some days are hard when it comes to life and yet, You ALWAYS have my back and the shoulder to lean on when I need the strength for the right now moment that I'm in. Thank you Lord, now let me be the blessing, let the love you give me overflow to those around me.
I love my life, yup I do, and I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! Thank you, my dear sweet friend, for always being there for me!!
DV - NMV
God dwells within you, as you.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I have finally finished the book. I didn't see all the videos, I hope to...eventually. This book has touched me so deeply, so real, so thoroughly that I can only say THANK YOU LORD, that I didn't miss out on this one!
Life is amazing, right here, right now. It's not about yesterday, nor is it about tomorrow. It's not about 'someday when...' or 'if only'. Life is God's Love. God's Love is right here, right now, in the laundry scattered down the stairs, a load in the washer, one in the dryer, blankets on the clothes line and baskets brimming. He has so overwhelmingly blessed me that I'm blind to the beauty of it. Thank you Lord for Ann, thank you for her strength to put these words together, for those that helped her put it all together that she could share them with us and open our eyes to the beauty of your love. Thank you Lord for my 'friends' through the book club, the ones I may never meet, the ones I may never talk to on the phone, but that my heart felt your love through.
Thank You Lord!!!!!
I have found the truest light for my path and strength for my soul. Your love for me is all that I will ever need to endure all that life will throw at me. You have blessed me so completely that my cup runneth over and I drink from the saucer of joyful abundance. You love me unconditionally, knowing all of my faults, crimes and misdeeds and you loved me enough to make the utmost sacrifice. What an amazing comfort and peace that gives me.
Right here, right now, I need nothing else, you anticipate my every need and will never leave me wanting. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the blessing!! My utmost for You...in all that I do.
DV - NMV
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Life is about perspective. I've always known that, felt it, believed it and tried to see it that way. I still had blinders on. I still grew so frustrated while I was waiting to be filled by the things and people around me. I wasn't keeping Christ centered. The vertical view, where all that I'm doing is done FOR Him, to glorify Him, to acknowledge His wonder, beauty, power and awesomeness.
pg. 184 Grace is alive, living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies…water that has no life. …open the hand to receive all His shimmering river of gifts…
Empty to fill? Yup!! Wow!! I don't need to depend on anything or anyone, anywhere. I just need to focus on Him. Praying with my hands cupped to catch His gifts and grace, eyes wide open to see the beauty around me. He will provide everything I need. Rest, strength, calm, direction, shelter...if I need it He knows it. He knows exactly what I have going on, He is by my side every day in every way. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. All of it. I can serve Him every day by taking in the blessings He has given me and taking care of them. The small details, the big details, the hard stuff, the easy stuff. My life is in the details. His love is in the details. Break off and give, share, serve. Nothing is mine to keep, it is mine to give. He has given me gifts, so that I might give them on to others.
Like a river flowing deep and wide is the love of God. Dam it up and it loses it's beauty and power, let it flow and pulse and there is always more from it began. He loves me so that I might love you and so I do. Unconditionally, endlessly and faithfully...
DV - NMV
Friday, April 8, 2011
At http://thegypsymama.com/ she has beautiful concept of Five Minute Friday, so since I haven't posted on a while here's my to jump back in. I would include the link/button from her site but I am NOT that technically savvy especially when working from my fancy schmancy smartphone.
What should I be doing? Setting the table and schlepping the chicken enchiladas to the table...instead I've assigned myself a Take Five moment to blabber on to the few of you that may take time to read this. I have cleared 300 on my list of gifts and am quite happy to share that detail. I have not finished the book or written my last two posts for those chapters, but I am enjoying things so much easier. The rain, the chaos, the laundry piles and dishes stacks, the plans that change, it seems like they all have a bit more of a beautiful aura to them.
Five is up so let me share my favorite verse this week.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Happy Friday Y'all!!
DV - NMV
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Thoughts, words, comments, that what it is lately. Ramblings jumping from one topic to the next. From one concern to another random joy moment. I have yet to finish my OTG book. I already lent it out. Go figure, now I feel like I'm suffering from withdrawals. Withdrawals from the peace that Ann and the Bloom group members' words bring to me.
I love not feeling so very alone anymore. I realize now that I was. I live in a full house surrounded by friends, family and the rest of my world but I was lost. Overwhelmed by all these gifts from God and not even seeing them as such. I was seeing them as obstacles to come through. I was attempting to be grateful for all these gifts but instead of feeling God's warm loving light radiating from them I was standing in the shadows they cast.
I was also missing this. I haven't been taking my time with Him to reflect and capture my thoughts either. My list will begin to grow again, my focus is once again recentered on the one thing truly important. Living a life to glorify God.
This way when I share my words I won't feel slighted when someone loses the article or clicks on past my link. I do this for Him, I want this for me so that I do what I do for Him. Encouraging words, a supporting presence, comforting touches, I do them for Him because He loves me unconditionally and does the same for those around me. Let me have a servant heart that I might show others that same unconditional love.
DV ~ NMV
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Entitled...oh how easy it is to feel so. Without thought my entitled attitude shines through in even the smallest moments of my day. It adds validation to my 'poor martyr me' feelings. I am amazed to look back through my days, weeks, months and see it for what it was. That is humbling, knowing that I brought a lot of anguish and hurt feelings upon myself. It is interesting to watch my actions with my children and see them for what they are and how I'm teaching them the same bad habits without even realizing what's happening.
Only self can kill joy...humbly let go of having 'my way' and let God do things His way. He does after all have my best interests at heart being a good God giving of endless gifts in love. These words from Ann's heart to mine are enough to wake me up, yet again, from the dark corners where my mind was sleeping and missing out on all the gifts I'm surrounded by. Thanx, Ann!!!
'Thy will be done', oh what beautiful words. Deo Volente - the Latin phrase for 'God's will be done' I learned this and it is a sentiment that I include it in many things that I write. I pray quite often for God's will instead of health, safe travels, rest or whatever it may be. For He knows even the number of hairs on my head, and anything that should happen to me not without the will of my Father. Same as that of my children and dearest friends. What wonderful comfort I can take in that. Let me use that knowledge to find the smallest of joys in a blessing filled life.
Praying with my eyes wide open, hands cupped and open for Him to fill. Not just my cup runneth over but the saucer is flooded and running over as well. No to expectations, no to entitlement, no to being alone. Yes to God, yes to what was, what is and what is to come. Yes to eucharisteo, yes, yes, yes... I can do ALL things through Him that strengthens me, because He is a good God providing all that I have. A great God that I will bend low to praise and raise up my hands in prayers to.
DV - NMV