I shared on January 1st the word for my new year.
In order to be the light I must be transparent. Social media and the internet love to show you perfect lives but sometimes we glorify imperfection to a degree that makes our lack of effort okay. In order to produce fruit and harvest what God is trying to give we must be the light and put the effort in. This is my prayer today.
Pray with me.
Help me Lord to see your Son in every situation. Help me Lord to lift the veil daily to see Him standing at my right side, arms open and out, ready to guide and help. Help me Lord to be a light for the rest of my life, let's start with today. Use my broken, tired, weak vessel, make it beautiful, lively, and strong to serve. Let the words and love that pour out of me be with such gracious abundance that it falls on others. All from You. I don't want to simply splash Your love on others. I want to help drench them. Help me to start with my closest family and friends. They are closest to me, given to me, so let Your love pour out on them first. Let me, Lord, shine for you. Help me be a guiding light straight back to You in this dark world. Increase my wisdom to know how to lead and direct others to Your written Word. Help me to be bold when I tell others to pray, even if it's not what they want to hear as a solution for their problems. Let my conviction of the goodness of prayer and the relationship it brings with Your mighty power be more evident than ever. I give my all, my everything, to You. I am not short of struggles and pain. Set me up right daily as I come to You. Pour in me the light. Give me a peacefulness that only comes from you so that others may find peace and rest when near me. Let them experience You through the light. I realize that in all my asking for help that it is a direct reflection of my weakness. I realize that my weakness, my cracks, is where You shine through to others. Help me to seek You in all. I come to You in all I do through Your Son Jesus.
Yes, Lord, let it be done.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power than is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I remember those days.
Dried jelly stuck to the kitchen floor under the table.
High chair smeared with last nights dinner.
Smelly bibs stacking up in the laundry.
The diaper pail that is never empty.
I remember those days.
Tiny socks with no mates.
Baby powder all over the dresser.
The child that is sick that needs rocking.
Tiny outfits with tiny accessories.
A camera catching almost every moment.
I remember those days that you are experiencing.
Working a job and juggling car seats.
The way cereal never stays in the bowl.
Pop Tart mornings smeared in the hair.
Sick nights and stained carpets.
Missing appointments and forgetting to cook dinner.
Fights with your spouse over whose turn.
Some days seem to drag on when you're at home with your child. Some days you look up and wonder where yesterday went. You spend time making sure you have the right car seat, stroller, diaper bag. You give up on doing dishes at the end of the day. Ponytails and yoga pants are a daily norm. Unless you're dad and ball caps and sweats are the norm. Working moms are always in a hurry and time ticks faster at home.
I have been a work from home mom, a work away from home mom, and a stay at home mom.
I have missed moments and
I have whisked moments away.
I captured important moments with my lens and
I didn't take time to notice some.
Today I was packing away memories that were brought home from my Grandmothers empty house.
I gazed into the eyes of my children staring back in the photographs and paused.
Suddenly, I was choking.
I was trying so hard to swallow.
Tears streamed down my face, chin, neck, chest...
They splashed on the table cloth, the frames, and caught in the hollow of my neck.
When I was a little girl I prayed.
I believed with all my heart that God would allow me to have babies.
I wanted nothing more in this life than to be a mother.
He blessed me three times.
With three sons.
Their baby toys are mostly gone except for a few I saved.
Only a handful of outfits and blankets they wore and were wrapped in are boxed away.
The tiny beds are gone.
Older pictures are replaced by newer ones and they are off to school.
To the mom or dad with the toddler and the baby and the growing children...
Kiss their faces.
Smell their bellies.
Stroke their ears.
Record their laughs.
Capture the moments.
Save the hand prints.
Fold their tiny clothes slowly.
Say "no" to busy.
Say "yes" to snuggles.
Be okay with messy for awhile.
Yes, they cry.
Yes, they scream.
Yes, they destroy like a hurricane.
Yes, they are precious.
To the mom or dad with the children...
They are growing into themselves.
Speak life into them.
Tell them they have purpose.
Show them the little things are important.
They feel little...they are important.
Listen to their words.
Feel their breath in whispers.
Watch their eyelashes flutter in sleep.
Rescue their "lovies".
Kiss their wounds.
Let them cry it out sometimes.
Be thankful for their trails of dirt.
Yes, they are sleepless.
Yes, they are hungry.
Yes, they love you.
I was that mom who needed someone to show her the beauty from time to time.
I was that mom who didn't want to see there was beauty from time to time.
I was that mom that stayed busy
I am that mom who misses their smallness.
I miss their innocence.
My husband almost missed it all.
So, pick them up and dance.
The moments don't last, they don't stick around.
Time ticks on and we grow older.
They do too.
Here are a few (or many) scriptures I love for my tired self...I hope they lift you as well.
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13 “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
I Kings 8:56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
Isaiah 40:29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Psalm 68:35 “You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!”
Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
Colossians 1:29 “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Psalm 119:114 “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”
Philemon 1:20 “I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”
Psalm 18:31-32 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 46:10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Good grief! It's a phrase that I have heard used and used myself many, many times. It's almost never used in a positive way. Actually, I think this will be the first time I use it for good.
Grief by itself is very lonely and painful. It's empty and dark. There is no happiness there but...but, if you pair the word "grief" with "good" it can mean something so tender and precious it will steal your heart and knit together the open wound or tear in your life that has been caused by absence or loss that created that void to begin with.
Out of frustration we may throw our hands on our hips and call out "good grief" when the kids make a mess, the husband makes a mess, the dog makes a mess....you know where I'm going. "Good grief!" There IS another kind of grief. The good kind.
On Sunday morning I woke up when my husbands phone rang. It was early in the morning, not even daylight. I knew by the conversation that it had happened. That one of my dearest loved ones, one of my sweetest friends, one of my babies cherished love, had gone to be home with our Lord Father. In the dark hours of the morning my grandmother rested so completely that her sweet soul and mighty spirit were lifted away into the arms of the One who loves her most. I knew by the conversation I was hearing that my day was going to be much different than I had planned. I knew right then that grief was starting to lay over me like a heavy blanket. I didn't open my eyes, I just listened.
I knew before the phone rang something in my life would be different. Just before the phone rang I had been dreaming I was at my grandmothers house just next door and every one was there except her. The doors were wide open the window blinds had been rolled up, and everyone was moving about as I stood in the kitchen watching and feeling something empty. Her things were being divided up and the things I wanted most were being carted off but I didn't care. I just stood there listening to conversations and discussions, wishing with all my heart I was not a witness to this part of life.
It was a dream.
My grandmother had fulfilled every purpose God had for her and He called her home, ushered there by her angel. Good grief it hurts. Good grief there's so much pain. Good grief I miss her.
Yes good! Goodness! We were surrounded by so much grace and love that how could we not feel anything but good. We were loved on, hugged on, kissed on, and loved on some more. Good was all we could feel at times. We would stop...and think...and remember...and good was no longer a good word for how we felt. We all felt it.
So tonight as I was praying and leaning into God, pressing into Him, pouring out my heart, He leaned down and listened. My Jesus took me in His arms and said to me, it's okay. Grief is part of the healing, it's good. Grief is meant to be felt immediately. The pain is relentless in being noticed right away. So the grief stings, it bites, it wallows around, it plays hide and seek when you least want to, it speeds you up and stops you in your tracks. I'm also convinced it sits on your chest so you can't breathe...but when the tears come and you let go of the grief and let the tears flow, something happens. Release! We give that grief permission to be there but we take control tear by tear.
So as I remember why I'm grieving I learn to love the grief. The grief is good. It means I loved and was loved. It means that the tear in my life's canvas and emptiness can be knitted together. It means I must press into my Father God. It means I get to comfort my babies too. It is not all bad. It is good.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Missing you with all my heart my sweet Granny.
I don't know about all of you moms out there but sometimes I get aggravated by silly little things my boys obsess about, this morning it was a $15 "trapper keeper like" notebook my 11 year old had to have. He has it and is excited about it, he didn't want to put it in his book bag and so I shoved it in there for him after watching him for 5 minutes try to figure out what to do with it. But when I looked up at his face I could tell that bothered him that I didn't LOVE his notebook like he did. So, that bothered me. Perhaps it was because I called it a "stupid notebook". Ugh! As soon as I said it I knew...bad seed.
I have got to learn how to lift them up and strengthen their spirits when they are with me. Sometimes I feel like I fail at that because I stress about things that don't matter. I have thought about doing a devotion with them in the mornings but I think before I do that I have to get my heart right! I can not walk around pretending that it is. The last few weeks I have been picturing my heart as having all these black stains and I've asked for forgiveness but I think it's got to be more than that. I have got to be purified so that when the "well spring" comes bubbling up, it's good things that come out of my mouth. Lately, I have got myself saying things I regret...bad seed.
I noticed this morning that a particular Bible in our house was no longer collecting dust. My husband has been reading it and doing his studies before bed at night. Now that we have gotten rid of the TV in our bedroom he is looking for a better use of his time. He's leading me and I am neglecting to follow...bad seed.
So, I think that today all us mommies and future mommies should pray for them and pray for ourselves too. God has all the wisdom we can imagine, it's time we ask for more. He will purify me today because I'm going to let Him. I have about 6 hours of today to spend in conversation with Him. So while I'm purging my home of clutter today I will be confessing...good seed!
I found the below post today, unpublished. It was written in August of 2012. It made me cry like a baby. I'm so thankful I don't have to miss my babies anymore. I like my occasional hour or so of peace but I don't have to miss them anymore. Thank you Lord.
I have given you all fair warning that I have become obsessed with talking about running...so this is just fair warning again that I'm going to talk about it. LOL Actually, there were so many things on my mind this morning that I wished I'd had time to write them all day after I returned home from running.
Something about running starts to spark my mind. I think now that I am comfortable with my own pace, I am now able to let my thoughts just flow. I became quite emotional towards the end of my run, I was trying to hold back tears. And know not because I thought I was going to die after 5 miles.
I miss my babies...
I went back to work for the school year last Thursday and while I love my job so much that I send far too many hours devoted to it daily, I realized this morning that I am really going to miss my boys.
They are my babies.
They are all going to be in school this year together. This is the first and only year that they will all be at the same school. They will all ride the same bus together and big brother will be able to guide the little brothers. I am loving that part. The part that gets me all worked up is the part that they are all old enough to be in school. I no longer have to worry about breastfeeding, diapers, strollers, high chairs or pack and plays. No, I have to worry about homework, tennis shoes, clean undies,
straight teeth and super cool haircuts.
I am going to be gone before they get up in the mornings most likely and hopefully, home shortly after they get off this bus...God Willing!
I miss them already.
On the bright side, I have made the real choice to live a healthier life so that I may spend many more years with my babies...boys.
I have a new strength...
When the glory goes up, the blessings come down.
I believe that to be true.
I tend to amaze myself lately with the things I have been able to do physically.
In doing so, I always have to step back and think, now how am I able to do all I have done.
Some say it is will power and the human spirit.
I say, it is more than that. I know that I can not depend on myself for follow through.
I have to depend on God.
When I run, I find myself in awe of the things He is helping me to do. He lifts me up when I am down and pushes me on when I think I can not go further and the ways in which He does so are subtle and noticed only by me.
I do NOT serve a God of hate as some have said in recently media circles.
I serve a God who wants the best for me because of His amazing grace and love.
I have to be willing to go after some of His blessings and others I only have to accept them.
He puts me through trials to strengthen me!
I have the strength to run a 10k several times a week while still trying to lose weight. (being over 100 pounds too heavy)
My heart is stronger, my body is stronger but most of all my spirit is stronger.
It is like nothing I have ever known.
He gives me strength!
All this talk about needing to lose weight.
I really need to focus on what I need to gain some of.
Because I have lost weight and inches I think that maybe I have gained some youth. I feel more spark and energy. It is hard for me to believe I am considered in my mid-thirties. I feel renewed in so many ways.
One other gain is how happy I feel most days. Sure I have my tearful moments but my happiness feels youthful.
Then, there is my husband.
I love him!
My high school sweet heart.
I love him!
I am birth mom to my 3 boys, foster mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.