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Friday, March 30, 2012

To be the gift.


I spent most of my life being a taker…living in the world of not enough. 
Each gift was viewed through a critical eye…always wanting more. 
I could tell you why I thought I had to grab for everything…
why I feared I would not get what I thought I needed…
but that is in the past…
God can heal the need to be the taker…redeeming the never enough. 
One way God has done this for me is in counting His gifts to me.
Counting all the ways He loves me…
transforming my ungrateful heart to one that flows with gratitude. 
In this transforming process…
He has given me a desire to be a giver…not a taker...
To give more than I receive…
to bring a gift…to be the gift.

Join in the fun at Gypsy Mama’s

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Ripple at a Time.


Our family birth order is unique…there is 13 years between our oldest daughter and youngest daughter.  So the youngest has watched the older transition into adult life. 
(I am so thankful and blessed for the example she is providing her younger sister.)
Now that my oldest is a mom…
my youngest and I have had some sweet conversations about motherhood. 
These are conversations I wish I could have had with my oldest…
but my perspective now is different than it was 13 years ago.
I have always held motherhood in high reqard …
but now, from where I stand…I see its treasure with more clarity.

I remember as a young mom being in church and people asking me…
What’s your calling? What are your gifts for the body? 
I wrestled my self-worth against these questions.  
I wondered…
Isn’t being a mother a calling? Doesn’t being a mom effect the kingdom?
Now young moms have a new place to measure their self-worth.
The blog world.
 Now they measure their self-worth by how much impact they hold in the blog world…
What are the numbers?  How many followers? To whom are you connected?

I explained to my youngest how moms question their usefulness…
They question how they contribute to the family…if they don’t bring financial help. 
How do they contribute to society...
when they are home wiping noses, changing diapers, and kissing boo-boos?

I believe with all my heart…moms are the most influential people in the world.

Read these words of our President Theodore Roosevelt:
  No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties as well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism.


“When all is said and done, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. … The mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as more important position than any man in it. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist.”



In this age of instant everything…
microwaves…Facebook status….YouTube…twitter...etsy and blogging…
making the big splash has come the norm.
So much of mothering is about the small ripples…but we want the big splashes. 
I guess with age…I have come to view life more simply…
I see life like the ripples of water…
Life moving from the center outward…
One ripple at a time.

The first ripple in society….our family
The very center is the marriage…
A marriage that reflects our relationship with Christ…
Parents who reflect God’s love to our children….
The next ripple…our children…
Children being raised with a strong foundation of love…love for Christ….
love for each other….when we raise strong, healthy children….
each one ripples out to touch this hurting world. 
Their lives continue to ripple out into society…then their marriages…their children…
the rippling continues.
What we do now affects generations to come.
 If we fail in our homes are we really successful anywhere?
Motherhood is the very embodiment of sacrifice.
Days filled with the insignificant, endless, unnoticed sacrifices. 
Days of carrying unpretentious crosses…
ones that require us moment by moment to bow…
to the giving of ourselves to others. 
Giving with no immediate feedback…no instant results…no recognition nor prestige.

I know at times we all question…Does what I do really matter?…
Am I making a difference?
Yes…what you are doing matters most…we are world changers…one child at a time.


Join me today @Ann's and  Journey Towards Epiphany.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hammering to 3000


“God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors. And I’ve an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God’s back in the rearview mirror.” Ann Voskamp.


There are times in our lives when God tills up the soil…
Removes rocks and debris…
Uproots the weeds choking out the life of the seed
During this plowing season...
We sometimes can't see past …
The heart ache…the loss…the confusion…the loneliness…the questions…
all these things that become the plow…
Digging deep within our souls…
“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?”Ann Voskamp

And just like a farmer…God plants seeds with a purpose…
Each planting season, He plants seeds that will bear His fruit…
A harvest of His Truth planted deep within the soil of our hearts…
And each harvest season in our lives yields different fruit…
“Something always comes to fill the empty places.” Ann Voskamp

I feel like this harvest season has yielded a bumper crop…
The fruit over flowing from my heart…
Thankfulness…gratitude…joy…
“Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.” Ann Voskamp

I have been counting just a little over a year…
And I have reached 3000…
3000 gifts…all the ways He loves me…
A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” Ann Voskamp

with each pound of the pen…
I hammered out discontentment…
Each number hammered in thankfulness…
Life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time. Little nails and a steady hammer can rebuild a life-eucharisteo precedes the miracle.” Ann Voskamp

My blind eyes were opened…
Opened to see all God’s beauty around me…
My senses awakened...
Awakened to take in gifts…
Gifts I missed for far too long…
“The remedy is in the retina.” Ann Voskamp

Counting makes room for God’s Spirit…
Love…joy…
Joy…this missing fruit…
Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.” Ann Voskamp

Oh, how I could go on…maybe quote the whole book…
The words on these pages fell like seeds into my heart…
A heart plowed up....
A heart that was hungry…
I hunger for filling in a world that is starved.” Ann Voskamp

A heart prepared by LOVE…to receive all the gifts He has.

If you are in a season of being plowed…
Hold on to His Love...
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians” 6:9
In due season…

Join me as I continue to count with this amazing community of peoplewith one voice we are hammering…pounding out our thanksgiving…lifting high our praises…
                                        Also hop over to Jen’s…you will be blessed.


~3000~3014

~God’s transforming power
~longsuffering Love
~Love conquering all
~A Holy Experience
~Ann Voskamp
~counting
~safe travels
~sweet times of fellowship
~seeing Ellie for 8 straight days
~hours in a car with Amy…easy conversations
~a daughter who is a friend
~springtime
~dogwoods blooming  

~new life  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Counting as I go...


Counting as I go…
Leaving for a week of basketball games…



Celebrating the closing of this chapter in my son’s life…
One door closing…only to start walking through the next one…
Through the joys and sorrows…
I will still be on the hunt…
Keeping my senses open to all around me…
Ready to count the gifts…both the hidden and the obvious…
And the counting will keep my eyes on Him…
Remembering what is truly important…
Letting go of the temporal …holding on things eternal…

Join me at Ann’s and Jen’s... and have a blessed week my friends.

To my wordpress friends…ugh…I don’t know if it is just me…but can’t leave comments on your blogs. I have tried all I know to do(this is pretty limited)…if anyone has any help…I would appreciate wise words here.

~growing pains
 ~sunshine
~birds singing
~God’s nearness
~memorizing with scripture typer…maybe this will help my old brainJ
~opportunities
~having to ask myself the hard questions
~moments when God comes to help me parent
~safe trip for Mark and the 2 kids
~making the trip with my daughter and Ellie
~Amy coming for the week to see her siblings play basketball
~a week with Ellie!!!!!!
~adjoing rooms

~2973~2983~

Days and days with all this adorableness:)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brave Actions Will Follow.


I don’t know how Lisa Jo comes up with the words for 5 minute Fridays…
But maybe God whispers in her ear…
Brave…
This is the very question I am asking myself….
Do I have a heart that can do the brave thing?
The courageous thing…
And for me this takes form in getting outside my comfort zone…
Because when push comes to shove…
I would always choose what is safe…
But thanks be to God…I have learned to try not to choose for myself….
When I look a back over the years….
I have done taken some “brave” steps…
Walk with a courageousness that is not my own…
Even though I have walked bravely in the past…
This doesn’t make me brave now…

Life is always challenging us…
And when it does…
Will I allow God to come into this space?
Because is taking the step the most important thing?
Or is it how our hearts are changed in the process…
The places that are exposed…
Places that would otherwise not been seen while living in the comfort zone…
Seeing the fears that crouch in the corners…
Fears that keep me from risking…
Pride that can disguise itself as false humility…
And stirrings that still can’t find words…

It takes courage to not shrink back from the challenge…
It takes a brave heart to boldly look at the fears…
To ask the hard questions of ourselves…
Looking into the unknown…
And sometimes that is all God asks…
Just to be willing to take an honest look…
Ask honest questions of ourselves…
And if we will do this…
Brave actions will always follow.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” Deut. 31:6

Please join me at Gypsy Mama and if you never have taken the challenge…been brave enough to try…I encourage you to do it today.