League of Our Own

You know that thing you were made to do and you could hardly wait to get started? This is how I have felt about being a wife and mom my entire life. To be able to participate in something that has generational significance is amazing! What a mom does day in and out will matter long after we are gone. Much of the seeds we plant might not even be seen until heaven and I am ok with that.

85FD2142-79F6-43C5-907B-4BA2A266C2BBI am so thankful for my mom, sister, grandmothers, aunts, mother-in law, and the many other women who have sown into my story of motherhood. God has a way of giving us just the right people to help us on our journey. I am grateful for each and everyone. And I am sure you have your people in mind too that bring a smile to your face today. I pray we get to celebrate together soon, and if not here, than in heaven. In the meantime, we can be thankful to be used wherever God has us. Because as moms, we are in a league of our own!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

*My husband is a real estate agent with League, hence the matching t-shirts. I too like the definition of league found in ole Merriam-Webster. Our family strives to be united by a common goal; to live for His glory alone.

 

 

Call Her Blessed

”Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her; many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29

Before we celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to take a minute to write about my mom. I can not pick up the phone and call her anymore, but I can “arise and call her blessed.” I can still speak about the noble things she did and bring her honor. Just this morning I was telling one of my girls about how she went back to school, when I was young, and became a nurse. How can one go to school, raise two daughters, be a wife and keep up all things at home at the same time? Amazing.

A391221B-7D52-4C55-BD2E-08E0AD3FFDD2She was not only very smart, but she was unaware of her outside beauty. She had a quiet way about her, not drawing attention to herself. The funny thing was all eyes were constantly on her when we would be out together. She never seemed to be aware. She also made my dad walk a bit taller when she was on his arm. They were quite a pair.

My mom knew how to celebrate people well. In fact, she was known for her gifts and how beautiful they would be wrapped. She was a gift herself and there are many things I wish I would have taken time to unwrap with her. The good news is we will spend eternity together and that is the best gift of all. I am blessed because my mom trusted in Jesus when she was young and generations after her are following her example. She left the only legacy that really matters and I am thankful.

Tomorrow will always hold sadness, but each year gets easier. I will miss sharing with her all the sweet things my family does to celebrate me. I will miss just celebrating her and hoping she likes the gift I sent. She was pretty easy to buy for because we liked so much of the same things.

Instead of a gift, phone call and card, I will live a story that I can hardly wait to tell her about. I will tell my kids about the Jesus she knew. I will teach them the best way to make a bed and how to pick out makeup that just enhances, but is not overdone. I will see people who go unnoticed. I will be able to give good gifts because I know them, that was her secret. And maybe just maybe, one day I will grow up to be more like my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day…..

*There is a line in the song, The Other Side, by Lauren Alaina, that talks about living a story you cannot wait to tell about. Go listen!

 

Teachers

“The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21

This week has been declared ‘Teacher Appreciation Week” and it looked very different. Parents got creative and planned parades in front of teachers homes. It was fantastic! One parade we were in even had a firetruck and ambulance with their lights going. Kids were hanging out the windows and waving like crazy. Signs were made to communicate gratitude. The huggers had a really hard time though and many tears were shed.

4EAE796B-B11A-4386-A23E-4BEF21A69124Being a teacher is an enormous responsibility, but comes with an incredible opportunity. The words spoken by our teachers help shape our stories. We can all look back with appreciation for those standout teachers who encouraged who we were becoming. They know from experience what will build up and what will crush. Their self control is truly amazing!

Recently, my high school cheer coach/teacher and I were messaging back and forth. After all these years her words have influence. She believed in me then and saw past my insecurities, big hair and terrible toe-touches. She saw my well hidden heart. Only God gives eyes like that and the words to speak what they see. It truly is a gift and can be life giving, especially in those growing up years. My coach continues to use her gift.

So to every teacher, coach, administrator, school nurse, librarian, anyone who has the job of shaping children, YOU are appreciated!!! Thank you for all you do and we all look forward to seeing you again soon!

 

 

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus,

Today people are praying across our land and you hear each word. Many are asking for revival, for you to be acknowledged as God again. We have gotten ourselves into a mess because we have, in big and small ways, turned from you and your word. All of us are guilty. We are united in our guilt and need of humility.

CAFEDDB4-985F-421F-B40C-3BF29D0114A8With the threat of sickness and so much taken away, our eyes are being opened to how far we have gone away from you. We have settled for scrapes when you would have us feasting in your presence. In our church buildings, we have focused on the people inside more than those on the outside. We have invested in skinny jeans and smoke machines on our stages, as if these would lift you high. We have been entertained and lulled to sleep, but we are awakening.

Our need for revival is great. Bring us back, Lord, as a nation that desires your glory and not our own. Tune our hearts to hear your voice, inviting us to join in your story. Encourage us to help those you point out. Give us courage to speak up when it is needed; not to create division but for justice, unity and mercy. Bring us back to love as you have defined it. May we never be the same. I ask all these things in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Keep Hoping

”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

We do not have to run out of hope. It is ours because God is our never ending supply. If our hope is found in anything else, these quarantine days have revealed our source. No matter, today can be the day we shift to the giver of hope. We are not stuck in hopelessness when the God of the universe says we are his. How can that even be possible?

B155F3C4-1B3C-4764-9326-76968F30F849What can seem like a hard turnaround is childlike simple. When any of my children need something they cannot get for themselves, they ask. If an object is out of reach or an emotion too big, they come and ask for our help. We can be trusted, all they have to do is ask.

If you are in need of hope, joy and peace now is the time to ask God. Begin a conversation with Him and tell Him what seems out of your reach and where you are running low. Today you could be overflowing in hope. The choice is yours to make. And good news! No mask is required when you talk with Him.

 

Keep Burning Bright

”You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 18:28

These days of virus living march on and we can all be tempted to despair. Reports of death and positive results are plastered on the screen each night like the attendance board in a Baptist church. What is not always noted is the number of people who have recovered.

F58421A6-D3F5-4812-BF6A-0F6208548ACFNot mentioned are the number of families that have reconnected around the table, parents that are teaching more than academics and the amount of creativity being discovered. What appears to be a very dark time is in fact a time where light is needed. Maybe the world had to get even darker for us to notice.

For those who love, know and walk with God, this is your time to shine bright. Keep doing what you are doing and then some. Let Him be the oil in your lamp burning wherever He has placed you during this time. Draw your strength, joy and peace from the One who created light with just His voice. Do not give satan the time of day or your light will flicker low. Now is the not the time for the world is watching. Let’s light it up!

 

Wisdom Learned on a Walk

One of the challenges of having a big family is finding individual time. Each child feels love different, but every child needs time to be heard. One way this happens is by taking walks. With the younger ones they still hold my hand and it makes me smile. I know these days are fleeting because I have watched them fly away. The conversations are very one sided and only a few words come from me. This is their time and I have been heard enough.

B7DBDB3F-9DD4-49CD-B3B7-14E643747CE0One boy told me to walk slow so our time would last longer. He had a lot to say and so we slowed our feet. Another boy can talk and walk fast so we made record time. A little girl stops constantly to observe and our walks take twice as long. She does not waste words and always gets right to the point. I am seeing new sides of them that I would have missed without this time.

I asked the youngest today a few questions as we walked to see how she is handling this unknown time. I asked if she was worried and the response was no. A follow up question was needed as to how this was possible for her? She said, “I don’t even know what worry is.” Praise God! There is no need to place burdens on her small shoulders. Kids in general do not have the emotional, mental or spiritual skills to deal with the fear that is roaring today.

On another walk a sweet boy told me some of his plans for the future. There was so much thought behind them and he is quite a genius. He is not afraid to try new things and if he fails, that is ok because there is always something else to try. He too is not worried. One thing he did say that needs more attention is that he wonders if his thoughts are his or God’s. I am praying for discernment for this child. He also needs to know if the thought lines up with scripture, truth. If it does not, it is not from God. Committing scripture to memory is a wonderful tool to help.

I am thankful for these walks and the wisdom I am acquiring along the way. Kids have such simplicity and pureness about them because they have not been tarnished by what the world shouts as truth, which changes every other day. It takes time to listen and we have been given it. May we all take full advantage of our time and listen well. And maybe pick some pretty flowers along the way.

 

Unity

“When He came into the house….” Luke 8:51

We love music in our home, just not all the same kind. Some are a little bit country and others lean towards anything you can dance too. Most like worship music and some play one song over and over. One of the things the kids like to do when we are not home is too turn the music way up and move the furniture out of the way. A dance party takes place in our living room and they love it! There have been plenty of times we have walked in unnoticed and witnessed this event. I think it is great!

D612EEA0-6BAA-4AB3-8B3A-C756007CAF9BAnother family told us how they put music on while they clean and we have done the same ever since. When one particular song comes on, it is cleaning time. Music makes all the difference and our work seems to get done much faster. We unify as a family, have our own house party and the result is a home put back in order.

When I was reading this morning about the little girl who Jesus had come to heal, this particular verse caught my eye. “When He came into the house…” (Luke 8:51). When Jesus came into the house it was only a matter of time before healing would take place. Everything changed when He stepped through the door. He only allowed a few people to witness the actual miracle and they were the ones who were unified. The ones allowed to see the miracle were the ones who believed Jesus was who He said He was, disbelief was not allowed in the room.

I am finding what brings unity into our home is when we are all singing the same song while cleaning. It can also be found when we are sitting around the table reading about the very One who walked into the little girls home. Jesus has a way of bringing people together. When He shows up and we are after His glory and not our own, unity is the miracle. When judgement, fear, selfishness and pride are left at the door, unity becomes the song. This is only possible because of who lives inside of us. It is Him we bring with us everywhere we go.

What breaks my heart is when I do not reflect who is inside of me. When I do not listen or forget where my confidence comes from, I am a very poor refection of who has made His home in my heart. The music that spills out must sound like a really bad advertisement jingle. I am trying to sell myself and buy my worth. I am not humming along to the tune of Amazing Grace that was so costly for Jesus.

This slower pace has given me time to see plenty of areas that need His attention. Maybe it has you too. My heart is to sing with Blessed Assurance all of my days. He has written my story and I desire to praise Him with my entire life. His faithfulness is great and His mercies are new everyday. So I bow in repentance and allow Him to wash away the sin once again. Unity is restored and my heart, His home, is at peace again. Nothing makes a home more welcoming than Jesus. I bet the guest in the little girls home were not looking to see how clean the actual home was, but who walked in that day. I am going to keep that in mind.

Be on Guard

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Ephesians 6:10

 

The complete truth is hard to come by these days. People are masters at taking just the right string of words and arranging them into what sounds true. It is a dangerous skill to hold in ones hand and should be called out for what it is -manipulation. Subjects have been studied as to how they respond to any number of stimulus and the data recorded. Knowing this information is what shapes much of our news and advertisements. It really is quite a weapon and we need to live aware.

F5D8A363-9879-4A8E-A8A4-736337EC6163When enough experts display graphs and charts with a calculated conclusion, you can shoot an entire world with an arrow of crippling fear if presented just the right way. We are witnessing this today in the midst of a very real pandemic. I have honestly had it with seeing victims shot clean through with fear. Today I am singling out the virus, but my hatred of the weapon of fear goes much farther back.

What are we going to do today knowing we are being targeted? We unplug. We unplug from the source of fear, which is satan himself and the sources he is using. We focus our attention on the author of truth instead. We purposely feed our mind with His promises and live according to His instruction. Plug into His word and be shielded from the arrows of fear. The choice is ours to make.

Be on guard friends.

 

 

 

 

Crushing Acorns

Walking with my child today, who is closest to the ground, was time well spent. She made up a new game where she would stomp on acorns. If there were not enough in her path, she would venture off to collect more to stomp. With each one she crushed, I felt a bit of sadness. I recognize this might be odd, but it was because the acorn could have become a tree. If the acorn had been left intact, it would not have taken much for it to grow into a mighty oak one day.

85F79D94-4B45-49F7-8635-3B3141A16C63To grow, this little acorn would first split and a root would then have emerged, anchoring it to the soil. I do not know much at all about plants and trees, but I am learning. In fact, I met a very interesting lady today who is a horticulturist. She had a fascinating story and I cannot wait to visit her again. Her dream began when she was six years old with the seed of a story planted into her heart. In the few short minutes we spent at her side of the road business, I gained a new friend. I plan on taking my six year old to meet her and learn more about growing things.

One seed, one acorn is all it seems to take for good and bad to take root. May we each be mindful of what we are planting during these quarantine days; being mindful where we step as to not crush what could be. May we be ones that cultivate instead and watch even some new things grow.