Monday, September 26, 2011

Alpha and Omega

Days go by so fast, then weeks, then months, and then all of a sudden years.

We line our days up in our minds and think we've got it all planned out.


We make adjustments when needed.  Nothing big.  Just the minor details.


Sometimes we have to pick-up a load for someone else.  Maybe a bit inconvenient, but life still goes on.


We jump around from day to day.  From task to task.  From place to place.


Sometimes we only have the energy for turtle-speed.


Other times we fly right on through the day.  Through life.


We celebrate those special days.


We enjoy one another and our time together.


And life continues to go by.   Day by day.

And then God puts something new in our everyday.

And He says STOP.  Be still.  Be patient.  Listen.


We turn around to make sure we haven't missed something.


 Because we really don't like the word STOP.   And we sure don't like to wait.  And we really really don't like bumps in our smooth roads.


And we forget that He is the Alpha and Omega.  The beginning and the end.

It’s not that He’s seen the beginning and the end. He is the Beginning and the End.

We fear the unknown.

He knows it. He’s intimately involved in it. He planned it. He wrote it.


Don't be afraid of the future. Of change. Of the unknown. God has already been there. He’s there now. He’s preparing it for me. For you. And He’s here. Preparing me and you for it. He’s leading me to that place. To His good end.

"I avoid looking forward of backward, and try to keep looking upward."
----Charlotte Bronte

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep dancing

She said it over and over.

"Keep dancing."

Monday was like most all Mondays.  Busy with laundry, cooking, cleaning, paying those joyous bills, the blessed Wal-Mart trip, just those mundane things we all do.  I call it catch-up day.  No matter how much I try to keep-up during the weekend, on Monday morning it looks like all we've done was partied like rock-stars without a care in the world!  In addition to the everyday stuff, John Luke had his first soccer game.   The Sav-a-Life Banquet was also that night, and I had previously gotten tickets.  Throughout the day, I debated on whether I should just skip out on the banquet just because of the busyness of the day, {and we all know I don't handle too much busyness very well. And not much can be too much for me.}   I decided to go on.   

I'm SO GLAD I did!  What a blessing! 

 Emily was the speaker. 

Emily Colson, is the daughter of Chuck Colson, a popular and widely known author, speaker, and radio commentator, and former presidential aide to Richard Nixon. He has now founded the international ministry Prison Fellowship.

Emily is an artist and author, but most importantly she is a mother to Max. 
She wrote the book Dancing with Max. It is the true story of how she persevered and triumphed over life's toughest obstacles. After her husband walked out on her when Max was very young, she became a single mother stuggling to hold onto anything. She learned how to cope with life alone and raise a child who is autistic. She learned what it really meant to "get up and live", to break free of the barriers that threatened to constrict their life.

That night at the banquet, she reminded me that EVERY person is of great worth in God's eyes.  No matter the ability.  No matter the strength.  No matter the "quality".  No matter the view from others' eyes.  No matter the worth on the world's scales .  We are all a gift.

She told us of a time when she was struggling to know whether Max understood anything she was trying to teach him.  Whether he could grasp the meaning of Jesus' death on the cross and what it meant for us.  Finally someone told her, "The Holy Spirit speaks his language."  Wow! I loved that!!! I love that even when we can't explain it, and they can't "get" it, the Holy Spirit breaks all language barriers!

She writes in her book, "In those dark days of separation, divorce, and Max's diagnosis, I knew my faith in God had become real --- although I can't point to an exact moment when that happened.  It was as if trusting in God placed me in the only possible life-sustaining atmosphere, a spotlight that followed me through the darkenss in which I could move and live and breathe and see. As Paul, the pastor of our church, once said, "Our faith in God doesn't remove us from the challenges of this world, but it will equip us to cope with the challenges of this world."

Emily made a friend.  A true friend.  The kind of friend that listens to your every word.  The kind that wakes in the middle of the night to hear your desperate call.  The one that hurts deep in her soul when you hurt.  The kind that speaks in love words of encouragement, comfort, truth.  The kind that passes no judgements.  The kind that prays for you, with you.  Emily's friend was named Patti.  Max called her Peppermint Patti.  She reminded Emily that she had a gift.  His name was Max.

Emily writes, " Thereafter Patti was on speed dial when I needed an understanding friend, my throat often hoarse with emotion, as I told her of my fights and frustration with the school system or the parties Max didn't get invited to or any of our other daily disasters. Pattie knew the Bible front to back and was always pulling up a Scripture to encourage me, even when I was really looking for a verse about locusts and plagues descending upon the enemy.  Most friends would hear my tales of woe and express their empathy by jumping into the frenzy....but that wasn't Patti.  She would listen quietly, pensively, letting out that familiar gentle sigh, telling me she heard my words deep within her soul.  And when I was finished, she would say only one thing: "They don't see the gift, Emily.  They don't know Max is a gift."

Emily lost her dear friend to a miserable battle with cancer. She remembers back on those days throughout her illness.  Patti would say to Emily,  "Breathe out me, breathe in Jesus. Less of me, more of Him."

I am reading  Dancing With Max , and it is awesome! It is not a fairytale with a magical ending.  It's a real life story of grace and second chances.

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free

Emily's father once told her, "It's not what happens to you in this life that matters, Emily.  It's how you handle it that determines your character."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do Everything!

Does it matter at all?  All those "little" things we do?  The ones we may do over and over and over and over.......

The things that seem to go unnoticed.  Unappreciated. 

Does it really matter?

God says it does.  And He sees it all the same.

He says to do it all "to the glory of the ONE who made you, 'cause He made you to do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face."

And my favorite line::: "to tell the story of grace with every move that you make."

As I told all my woes of motherhood, and complained about "life" to my sweet Bible Study friends, they told me about this song.  So I ran home and found glad I did.  It's been blasting through the speakers to remind me to "do every little thing to the glory of the ONE who made me!"  Thanks girls!

*Don't forget to turn the playlist off at the bottom of this page.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Minute Friday:::Joy

I'm joining with The Gypsy Mama and others for Five Minute Friday.

Here's the rules:::

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

The topic today is JOY.

Here goes::::

It seems we so often think that as Christians we should always experience joy. Never hardships. Never sadness. Never disappointment. Never heartache.

But actually God sees it completely opposite than we do.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."---James 1:2-4

Soon after marriage, I was awakened by the cold hard truth that the man I married was not perfect.  And even more astonishing was that neither was the girl he married.  I was under the assumption that since I was so in love with him and thought he was the hunkiest thing I'd ever seen, {and still do}, that he would also fulfill my every need. That was not the case.  And as time went on, I learned he was not supposed to.

Only God can offer that kind of love.  That kind of comfort.  That kind of JOY.

And now as even more time has passed, I've realized that not only is he not responsible for providing that JOY, neither is anything or anyone else on this earth.

I pray that God will help me to grasp the realness of this life.  That it is but a vapor.  And eternity is forever. That's hard to describe in words because my finite mind cannot comprehend.

But as we face those trials, may we keep in our hearts and minds that we are here for only a short while.  And that our soul purpose is to honor Christ.

Allow Him to fill those empty hearts and hurting wounds with His JOY.

Jesus brings JOY.

JOY is the unhideable, unquenchable, unchangeable, unthinkable, outrageous response of the grateful saved.

If you are one those grateful saved,  REJOICE!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tye-Dyed Kindness

Kindness is good.  Real good.

Especially on "those days".  The ones that linger on for a lifetime.

The ones that leave you with a few strands of hair left hanging on by a thread.


" And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."    Ephesians 4:32

It was our family verse growing up and it is now carrying on the tradition as family verse in this house.

It is complete. There's not too much and there's nothing left out. It covers all things.

So....what better idea than to make a kindness banner to remind us of those be-ye-kind-one-to-another moments.

Mama and Daddy included.

Here's how to do it:::

Gather up a few coffee filters and my most favorite kinds of markers....washables.


Find your favorite spot to hang out and color away.  There's no wrong way just use lots of different colors.





Some may like to explain just exactly what that is in their picture....


Don't laugh....we're all talented in different areas :)


Then string up some twine and hang those masterpieces.....



Run get the water bottle/bed-head-hair-fixer thingy and spray like you mean business......


Let those beautiful, runny creations blow in the wind til' they're dry.......



When they are good and "tye-dyed", gather them all up and make yourself a banner.....


And when sweet little loves are kind to one another, write it on a filter and hang it for all to see.....


Or when you come home from a long day (and your totally exhausted) and you find your sweet little husband remembered what it meant to "be ye kind one to another" and you find this......


So yes sir, he gets a place on that banner too!


I literally pray that above all things in my children's life, that God will give them a kind, tender heart toward others and to Him. That they will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to His will.

The truth is, I need this tye-dye kindness banner to remind me to "be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you", as much as anyone!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

In real life.....

I love to read blogs that make me feel like I'm sitting there "talking" to someone I've known for years.
And my most favorite posts are those that let you in on the "real life" of that person.  You know.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  It makes me know that I'm not the only one in the world that does that, or feels that way, or has kids that do that. I think that's one of the many reasons I have fallen so in love with blogging.

So today I will do my version of "In real life".  Of course this was supposed to be done on Friday and only take 5 minutes, thus the name 5 Minute Friday, but as usual I'm running late. So here's my version on Saturday. And if you would like to see some others that are probably much more interesting, go here and here.

In real life....
  • I am a Martha all the way. But very much desire to be able to at least sometimes be a Mary.
  • I am a hermit.  Love to be home. With nothing on the agenda.
  • It doesn't take much busyness on the schedule to overwhelm me. As I said, I like to be home.
  • I don't like to cook. I do it only because my family must eat.
  • I struggle with who I am and who I want to be in Jesus. 
  • I do not always think before I speak.
  • I start arguements and don't say I'm sorry.
  • I need relationships with my husband and children.  Not to be just husband/wife and Mama, but to have a relationship.
  • I love to hug and cuddle.
  • I have insecurities about my parenting ablities.
  • I must have sleep.
  • Music inspires me greatly.  It brings about tons of emotions all at once.
  • I cry easliy. Especially about my children.
  • I am passionate about my marriage, children, and home.
  • The "Mama Bear" in me comes out quickly.
  • I eat ice like a piranha.
  • I am totally an Acts of Service and Quality Time  lover.
  • I spend too much time blogging.
  • I spray cleaning products in my house just to smell them.
  • I struggle every single day with blanket victory. {Getting up before my household}.
  • I do not eat healthy or exercise.
  • I want to be more giving.
  • I need lots of grace {from God and others}, but I am not good at being a grace-giver.
  • This took much longer than 5 minutes.
Happy Saturday!   And War Eagle!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pass the instructions, please!?

Parenting::: it's much like putting a puzzle together. Only you have just a few challenges.

:::The border pieces have all been removed. I know it's easier to start a jigsaw puzzle by putting the edge pieces together to form a border.  That gives you an early sense of accomplishment before you move on to the difficult stuff.  Sorry.  You'll have to decide the boundaries of this puzzle for yourself.
:::Somebody threw a couple of handfuls of pieces from a different puzzle into the box. They may look like they belong in this one, but they don't. They won't fit no matter how hard you try. And because you don't know which ones they are, you could waste a lot of time before you find out.
---Tim Kimmel

Are you ready to start putting the puzzle together?

I say just give me some medication! Because not only did I get all the puzzle pieces mixed up, and lose the border pieces I've also lost the cover to the box!


And to say I can achieve confident that even possible?


What does a confident parent look like?
I'm so far from figuring it out...... but one thing for sure is I am on this rollercoaster for the long haul.

I have two precious, not perfect, but precious loves that are counting on me!


*Karol Ladd says,  "A positive mom is a praying mom."


I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know:  God answers prayer.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the guise I thought.
I leave my prayer to Him alone
Whose will is wiser than my own.
---Eliza M. Hickok

*Content parents provide their children with a much needed freedom.


 "Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy."
----Ben Franklin

"He is richest who is content with the least."
-----Charles H. Spurgeon

I am reminded often that God made these children "precious in His sight."  And that should be enough for me.

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
-----Victor Hugo

I know one thing for sure.....I must pray.


Really hard. And thank God for His grace.

Chill out.

And dance rather than march.