Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bits 'n Pieces

So many pieces.  Life is made up of bits 'n pieces, made up of days, minutes, moments, seconds, those are the pieces that are my life.  Bits of laughter, moments that I shake my head in wonder.  I had that Thursday with my middle child, I was getting a snack consisting of cheese sticks out of the fridge for the trio of pipsqueaks noting aloud to them, and myself, that I was grabbing the "last three".  Mr Mack takes a moment to astound me by smacking his forehead and exclaiming "oh, coconuts".  I know I stood there dumbfounded for a moment and requested for a repeat because I really wasn't sure what he'd said.  After the repeat performance I burst up laughing, leading the four of us in a good round of belly laughter.
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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rain On Me

That's the title of the book I want to find.  It's a devotional written by Holley Gerth.  She's been sharing some of the book on the book club page.  I'm loving it.  I shouldn't be surprised, I LOVE her blog, seriously, I look forward to the email bringing me her words every day.
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.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Five Minutes - On Distance

Shout out to gypsymama and gitz - if I could figure out how to add the button, I'd have done that.  Apparently, soo not smarter than what I'm working with in regards to that.
Jump over and see what it is, as for me, here I go.

On Distance:
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?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I LOVE My Life!!

I'm sitting here to share with you that I love you.  I've been walking around for several days thinking about how much I'm blessed and how much I love my life.  I am sharing this with a few of my dear friends because they inspire me.  I've had this blog up and running for a little while now, using it as a tool to capture my life moments, keeping it rather private.  Reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp has given me much to reflect on and clarified many things in my life.  I recommend it to anyone, everyone, it will open your eyes to the world around you.
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!!

God dwells within you, as you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OTG - 11

I'm done.  I'm sad, happy, empty, full, anxious, relaxed...LOVED.
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 all that I do.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OTG - 10

Wowsa, it's taken me a while to wrap my head around this 10th chapter.  I've finally had the chance to also see the video and all I can say is that this book has changed so much for me, and I'm not even done yet.  Ann's writing is real, solid, true and it cuts to the core of life and what happens everyday and me of the need to be thankful for every single detail.

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...


Friday, April 8, 2011

Takin' Five...

At 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.

Anyway, ready-set-go...
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!!