One of those days

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Ever have a day when you feel like you’re the only one trying and everyone else is standing around watching?

Well, I can think of a few times I’ve felt at least like one of the few who were giving an effort.

Yet, it is a twisted view of reality.

As I stood watching Bell jump and then as I stood watching her run.

I was far from just watching.

My heart beats and my throat tightens when I watch our children competing or performing in some way.

I truly want them to do their best, no matter the outcome.

Yet, I am rarely sure if I’ve been able to transfer my passion to my child.

Does she understand how much I want her to be able to give it her all?

Do they know how much I love them and how little I care about the actual event?

Do they truly understand I’m proud of who they are not what they do or accomplish?

Honestly, I’m not sure.

Yet, with all of my desire to support and encourage my kids I’m forced to look farther.

How many people has God sent who feel the same way about my children as I do?

How many people in my own life are supporting and encouraging me?

No matter how much I might feel I’m the only one trying, it isn’t truth.

The truth is there are people all around supporting and encouraging.

The truth is: God is working continually to provide, train, encourage, and hone each one of us.

He’s not just watching from the sidelines, He’s in the center of it all, working our mistakes, our sins, and our troubles into opportunities.

Yes, when we refuse to listen to the “coach” we don’t preform as well, but He’s still speaking.

He’s still working.

He’s my leader,
my comfort,
my coach,
MY SAVIOR!

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Grief

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Like this leaf, in which the chlorophyll has decayed some days just seem to be missing a key element.

I know it is because of the circumstances.

My work day began with mews of my grandmother’s death.

This was compounded by a student having a really poor day.

When I returned home I felt more exhausted than usual, probably due to the emotional drain.

I love those kids at school and it hurts me to see them making poor choices.

I love my grandmother and although her health was fragile, which I was well aware, I’m sad.

Many good things happened yesterday and I was very thankful.

Sis and our wonderful son-in-law came by fora visit.

Earlier another friend of the family had dropped by for a visit.

Yet, I still struggled to find joy in my day due to my grief.

But I know it was there.

Even in loss there is comfort.

Even in trials there is guidance.

Especially in pain there is purpose.

The things that went well out weigh the things which didn’t.

I was able to get a card and candy bar as a birthday gift thanks to the Lord reminding me and the help of the girls.

Thanks to the willingness of Sis Bell found the gown she’s to wear to prom in a beautiful dress her sister owns.

Thanks to my husband’s job he and I will be traveling on a much needed weekend together. He’s being sent on a training, but I get to tag along and we can spend the evenings together.

Most of all, thanks be to God.

As I walk through each day I can clearly see God working.

I can rest in His arms knowing He will carry me through.

How great and awesome is He!

A memory

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This was so fun!

All our girls getting their ears pierced.

I did surprise them.

By crying.

It was fairly comical.

Bell was up and had just gotten one ear done when suddenly my eyes filled with tears.

Her reaction was to get wide-eyed and very stiff.

The lady doing the piercing thought she was in pain, but before she could say anything Bell blurted out, “Mom! Don’t cry!

I had to chuckle.

She couldn’t understand that I was stepping back in time 10 years to when she got her ears pierced the first time.

She was so cute and very brave.

She didn’t cry or tear-up in the slightest.

Now I was watching her again and it hit me.

My girls are all grown-up.

Yes, the younger 2 will be at home for a bit longer, but they are little girls no longer.

-gulp-

Anne hugged me and tried to make me feel better.

Sis grinned and reminded me I was already emotional since we were doing this on her 20th birthday.

As soon as they were finished I insisted on a picture.

They gladly consented.

Now, each time I see their lovely earrings I think of the fun outing.

I’m so blessed by God.

Our daughters are all people I’m thrilled to be in contact with.

They are unique and a blessing.

I truly can’t imagine life without them.

So as I learn to enjoy these last times of my daughters altogether, I am trying to make them count.

As we all grow older our lives will change and we will spend less time together.

I want the times I have left to be valuable.

Not focused on what we are doing, but truly pouring into who we are becoming in Christ.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You so much for our girls. It is difficult for me not to worry about the future. I find myself trying to plan things that are unrealistic just to ensure their peace and comfort. I know this world is not a peaceful or comfortable place much of the time, so please help me to instead focus on honing their character. Please walk with them in a personal way, so no matter their path they will trust and follow You. Again, thank You for our beautiful daughters! “

Lessons

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Weird hun!

Jase is studying Botany right now so when my Mom found this she made sure I was able to get a picture.

Yet, this winter I’ve been learning the lessons far more than I’ve taught.

These past months have stretched me, pulled me, broken me, and refined me.

Each trial would bring questions.

Many of which I didn’t have the answers to.

“What are we going to do?”

“I have no idea. Let’s pray.”

“How are we going to make it work?”

“I’ve no idea, but I’m praying about it.”

“This isn’t going well and I’m really tired of it.”

“ME TOO! Uhg. Can we stop and pray?”

And although we were seeking the Lord, His answers seemed absent.

It felt like I was continually going to Him and hearing only one thing.

Trust Me.

“Lord, I’m trying to but I have no idea what to do next! Please help!”

Trust Me.

Not what I was wanting.

I wanted: Do this… or The answer is…

Instead the Lord has spent a lot of time showing me myself.

I’m opinionated.

I’m stubborn.

I’m selfish.

Yuk.

“Okay Lord, I am. Please fix me. Please teach me how to be flexible.”

So He did.

He sent a test.

The night before we were to have a party at our house for our daughter’s birthday our water quit, completely.

After I cried.

(I had spent part of one entire day just decorating and the rest cleaning.)

I prayed.

I knew God was asking me to let go of my plans and my ideals.

I phoned my Mom the next morning and then drove to her house to set it up instead.

We had a lovely party and no body cared that it had been moved.

This morning was another test.

I got up very tired and went to prayer because I had a,long list of things I wanted to do today.

It’s Easter and I wanted to make it very special.

As I prayed for strength and ability to work the Lord spoke to my heart.

Why are you trying to do everything?

“I want this to be a special day. I want to help the kids remember what Easter is.”

Gulp.

None of my plans would actually make any impact on our children other than that fact that I would be stressed out and tired trying to get it all done.

I had to let it go.

And it’s been a wonderful day.

We began and ended it with people we care about.

What better way to remember the love of Jesus Christ than to follow through on loving others.

What is a better way to teach my children about Jesus, food and fancy dress or by loving them and spending time with them?

So,

I’m opinionated.

I’m stubborn.

I’m learning.

Dear Jesus,

Please continue to show me the truth about myself and the way I should go. Help me to be willing to trust You in everything. Help me to listen to You about everything. Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for Your sacrifice. May my life be a reflection of Your great mercy and love.

Translation please!

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I came home to these,

on my dining room table,

next to my lunch.

I wasn’t too surprised.

Our son received a bug science kit for his birthday and we’ve been graced with a sliverfish, several flies, and a cat flea to observe in the cool plastic holders.

I just wasn’t expecting them on the table next to my lunch.

I didn’t even mention that some people would find it rather inhibiting to their appetite.

I didn’t need a translation or explanation.

I understood why it was sitting next to my food.

Our boy wanted me to see it first thing and I normally eat lunch right after work.

A memory surfaced while eating with the flies.

When Jase was four or five we lived in a two story house.

I was upstairs working on the computer and Jase brought me something.

“Look Momma, he’s my friend!  He likes me!”

I looked over to see a honeybee crawling around on his fingers.

“Oh! Well…” (don’t panic and upset either of them!) “I think he would like it some much more outside in the sunshine!  Why don’t you take him outside!”

And he eventually was convinced the bee would like the outdoors.

Or the other time when he was 3 and came running in to show me something.

He was so excited about it he couldn’t get his words out more than,  “Look! Look!”

How he managed the next set of events I really can’t say.

What I can tell you is as he tried to climb up into my lap to show me the freshly dug worm he was so excited he dropped it…down the front of my shirt.

Ick.

When he lost his prize he then was very upset about it being damaged and instantly wanted to retrieve it.

I was able to extract the worm without damaging it and made certain he took it back outside.

I remember thinking only mothers of small boys would be able to get how I felt at that moment.

And there have been so many more moments with our son.

We had one yesterday.

We watched I Am Potential.

If you’ve not seen it, it’s worth watching.

When it was over our son looked at me and said,  “Why has God made me so different? Why is everything so hard and people don’t understand me?”

I was able to remind him of Patrick Henry.

He says the same thing in the movie.

“Why did God make me so different? ”

Then I reminded our son of how God has used Patrick Henry to share encouragement and the truth of Who God is with many many people.

“Do you think God has a plan for my life too?”

I had to work at keeping my voice soft and not allowing too much emotion.

“Absolutely buddy. Absolutely!  We just don’t know what it is yet.”

Those were words which struck deep.

His voice became stronger and he held his head up.

He began to explain why the movie and other movies like Wonder were an encouragement to him.

They were people who were different from others, people who were often misunderstood.

“I know what that feels like, Mom.”

“I know how that hurts.”

I grabbed my phone and we watched some videos of David Ring and Nick Vuijcic.

What a joy to watch our son realize that no matter how the world sees him, he’s valuable in the eyes of God.

It’s a truth each of us needs to remember.

Each and every person is valued.

I am and so are you.

How I react to life needs to be from the view point of each person’s worth to my Lord Jesus, including my own.

Dear Father,

Thank You for this wonderful reminder and a chance to teach our son his value. Please help him to fully understand how much You love him. Help him to learn what You have planned for him. Show him Yourself. Please continue to teach me how to be his translator. Help me to know how to help him. Again, thank You for Your never ending loving-kindness, mercy, and truth. I love You, Jesus. ♡

Simple rest

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It was a beautiful sight.

Snow makes things so lovely.

I was happy for the beauty and the break in routine.

School was canceled for the day.

We still worked at home on school, but it was nice not to have to go anywhere.

I find I’m weary.

I’m worn out with sorrow and pain and illness.

Yet, the snow is a wonderful reminder of rest.

Many animals sleep all through the harshest weather.

Although I’m not planning on hibernation, sounds fun though, I can trust God to bring the rest I need just as the animals trust there will be a Spring.

Just this morning a dear friend was texting me encouragement in the Bible to rest in trusting God.

It was very timely as I had to remind myself and one of our children of the exact same thing later in the day when we were both facing hurt and disappointment.

My daughter smiled softly and said, “God keeps telling me to just trust Him. That’s all He says over and over.”

I had to nod my head as I’ve heard the same thing.

So, as I learn to lean back in His plan and His will, I’m looking for the opportunity to rest.

I am tired of saying, “Oh, I’m just tired today.”

The truth is deeper.

I should be saying, “Oh, I’m struggling with a few things, but Jesus is teaching me more about trust.”

I know there will come a beautiful Spring.

I know rest is around the next bend.

I know the Lord Jesus is faithful.

Simple rest = simply trusting.

Blind

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I love this picture.

And as you can tell our son isn’t blind.

He does struggle with understanding and often times life gives him circumstances where he can’t see how to respond.

So, although he’s not physically blind, at times he seems to be blind to how to proceed.

And I get that.

I’ve felt like that on more than one occasion.

I’ve been sharing how God has been walking me through some circumstances which are changing and growing me.

And a few nights back, I had another moment with the Lord Jesus.

I was watching a documentary.

(Monumental with Kirk Cameron, it’s terrific!)

A large portion of it is about the Pilgrims.

As you may already know I’m a huge fan of the Pilgrims and love history in general.

Yet, I needed to see some of the places and hear of their struggles to be reminded of what they truly were willing to sacrifice.

It is easy to be blind to the sacrifices of others.

I live a comfortable, free adulthood all because many, many others were willing to sacrifice.

My husband’s family has had at least one person in every major American war.

His father served in Vetnam.

My own father served our country in the Korean War.

My mother’s mother is a direct decedent from a man who fought in the Revolutionary War.

How easy it is to allow everyday circumstances to blind me to all the blessings I take for granted.

So how to fix blindness?

Well, glasses or surgery can be options for physical blindness.

What about the blindness of the heart?

In my case, it was a lack of thankfulness.

In my daily pursuits, I’d let go of the remembrance of others’ sacrifices.

The movie helped me to see and remember the great costs of those who came before me.

In the Bible God instituted the Passover and the building of a large group of boulders to help the Israelites to remember.

Around my house I have crosses, and paintings of Jesus to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice.

Yet, I find I want to do more.

I want to be diligent to remember all God has done for me.

I want to be thankful for all the people He has brought along the years who have blessed me.

I want to have 20-20 vision when it comes to the reality if just how blessed I truly am.

Dear Jesus,

Please help me to never forget how great You are. Help me to focus on the blessings which each day are ever apparent. Thank You again for the manifold blessing of salvation!