Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dusty Heart

This was originally published on Veteran's Day of 2010. 
Sharing again in honor of my Daddy and the hero's we honor today.

I found it in a cardboard box long long ago on some childhood exploration.
A small black box, very unadorned.

I opened it up and looked inside.
And there settled in white silk was a ribbon and a heart.
Shiny and purple there it gleamed with the face of a man looking out at me.

I gasped in delight and was so excited.
To my little girl eyes it looked just like jewelry.
So off to Momma I ran.
Can I wear this?, I eagerly inquired?

Oh no she said with a look in her eyes I did not recognize.
For that belongs to Daddy 

Where did it come from I wanted to know.

Go and ask she replied, 
So he can tell you his story.

To his lap I ran
Tell me Daddy, Where did your pretty heart come from?

Silence followed for quite awhile and then he said
Now listen honey, I fought in a jungle far away so you could always be free.
I got hurt and so they gave this to me.

Oh Daddy you're so brave, my little girl heart swelled.

Daddy, I asked, Can we take your pretty heart out and put on display for all to see?

Little One, he said, Let's keep it tucked away
There were others who gave their lives in that jungle, they gave so much more than me and promise me you'll never forget all that was sacrificed for you. 

You're my hero I said.

I'm no hero, I was just a boy doing what I was asked to do: was his sobering reply.

But, my little girl heart somehow knew My daddy was a hero even if he let his purple heart grow dusty.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's the End of the World.

With all the end of the world hoopla, here's my two cents.
The Bible clearly states that only God knows the hour and day. So, evertime someone declares THEY KNOW WHEN, you can rest assured that will NOT be the day Jesus comes to take us home.

One day, when He deems it time, He will look over at Jesus and tell him it's time.
Time to call the believers home.

So what do we do when those rise up and say they KNOW when and where.
We remember all teaching that goes directly against Scripture is WRONG.

And we were remember, Jesus did promise to return and we pray to that end.

Then we make every moment count.
Live each as if Christ's return was today.
Because, you never know, it just might be.
Monday, May 23, 2011

Life Lessons and other weekend wonders

My big boy played in a soccer tourney this weekend.
A soccer tournament that we were the champions of last year.
On our home fields.
This year. . .well this year the tournament was filled with 'life lessons'. For those of you unfamiliar with sports speak, that means we lost. Lost every game in fact.
It was heart breaking. For them, for us.
And it was H.O.T. which doesn't help when your tired and losing. It might not have been so bad when if we were winning.
By Sunday afternoon the parents on the sidelines were all comparing what we'd told our boys the night before, when their hearts were broken and they didn't want to take the field again the next day.
There were some serious life lessons being tossed about.

In the end I was so proud of our boy, who'd been so devastated the night before, but came back and played hard and did his best.  He also was building up his teammates.
Life lessons are hard to learn and rarely do you get to learn them when everything is going your way.
In the end they played hard and we were proud of them (and our great coach!).

After the last game, we headed to the GParents house where we sat in the shade on the glider, ate pizza and had a water balloon fight.
Nothing like the G-rents to put life back into perspective and add some fun after a tough two days.

Soothing the agony of defeat by squirting his brother and sister -it's the little things in life

You're welcome for the cuteness.

Little Brothers are the best playmates.

A weekend full of friends and hard lessons learned.
You can't quite just because it's hard.
You can't quite just because you're not winning.
God gave you your own set of abilities and not everyone has the same you can't always wish you had someone else's, you've got to use yours.
Leave everything you've got to give on the field. When time's up, it's up.
Play hard until the end. You can rest when it's over.
Build each other up, don't tear each other down. You'll only hurt yourself when  you do.

Oh, and Grandma's can make everything better.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Un's and Over's

The past few days have left me feeling (for lots of different and various reasons )
Overwhelmed, under-qualified, over worked and under appreciated. Under valued and Over wrought.

I got my eye's off focus of the One who saved me, called me and restores me each and every day. Sometimes moment by moment.
When I lose that focus, I start fluttering about unable to do much because I'm focused on on everything and everyone else.

Do you ever feel that way- Overwhelmed with the tasks or calling you've been given and under-qualified to perform them even if you weren't overwhelmed?

We've got to give our Un's and Over's to him.

I love this verse from 2 Timothy 1:9," Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began."

Turn our Un's and Overs into Re's.  Refocus and Remember.
Refocus -turn our (MY) eyes off of my self and my circumstances and onto Christ.
Remember-remember it's not mine, He called and purposed me, through grace before time began.
That takes a lot of pressure off of a girl.
It's in His hands all I have to do is obey and follow. He's worked the rest out exactly as He purposed it to be.
Monday, May 16, 2011

I am stuck on Bandaid

This is my guest post from yesterday.
I'll be blogger on Sundays during May over at Hillbilly Handiworks.

Spring has sprung. And with it has come playing outside for as long has possible, bike rides, tree climbing and scooter races. And those bring the inevitable and constant scrapped knee, bloody elbow and the like.
We've got our bandaids and antibiotic cream ready to go. And of course a kiss from mom, everyone knows a booboo can't get better without a kiss!
With all the bandaging up I've been doing lately it's gotten me to thinking about our wounds we carry around.
The problem as adults is we tend to leave our wounds gapping open and unattended.
No, I'm not talking about physical wounds, but those wounds of the spirit and soul that are just as deep and  painful.
Maybe a rotten childhood, or dreams we let get dashed, never measuring up, rejection of a spouse, lost job, death of a loved one, a friends betrayal,  life is hard and the list could go on and on.
 Let's face it we've all got wounds that need attention. Some of them are deeper than others and take longer to heal, but we've all got them.
And just like a physical wound if we don't allow them to be treated they'll become infected and can destroy us.

Both my knees have scars where I received stitches as a child. I can look at those scars and tell exactly what I was doing all those years ago when I got the injuries that required the stitches. But, even though I can remember what caused the scars and I have them permanently on my body, I can no longer feel the pain of them. Why?  Because time and treatment allowed them to be healed. Can  you imagine what would have happened if my parents hadn't taked me to get the stitches? More than likely the wounds would have become infected and led to more and bigger issues that would have needed taken care of.

The wounds to our Spirit are no different. We've got to let them heal.
Isaiah 53:5 says:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
And in 1 Peter 2:24 who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed.

We've got to stop walking around with our gaping wounds ready to show and tell anyone who'll listen, except the one who can actually heal them.
Healing comes through Christ.
Take your wounds to Him today and let Him bandage you up. Let Him pour medicine over  your soul-yes, it might sting a little, but the healing will be so much easier if you let Him!

Let your wounds become scars. 
Scars that you can look at and tell where you've been and what you've been through and who brought your healing.
He's waiting for you today, ready to bandage your wounds up, it'll take some time but because of His healing your wounds can become scars if you'll let them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Check it out

I'm guest blogging today over at Hillbilly Handiworks.
Tonya is a gifted crafter and friend from highschool.
We reconnected on facebook and she very graciously asked me to be a guest blogger on her site.
So go check it out.

Thanks and happy Sunday!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer Words

School is winding down-Hooray! 
Soon my two boys will be home all day, and those days will be filled with swimming, playing outside, friends, popsicles, Vacation Bible School, camping trips and just being together as a family.
More than likely it'll probably  also be filled with it's share of disagreements as well.
For the past few summers we've picked a word to define what we would like our summer to be summed up like.
With the change of schedule and all the siblings together  all day, it just seems to help when things start becoming chaotic or everyone is getting on each others nerves to be able to say " are YOU being_______?"  It usually calms things down quickly.
This year I'm going to add another element. I'll be adding a 'chart' of sorts to catch each of the children as they are  doing something (anything) that sums up our word  for the summer.
I think it'll be great to point out the GOOD things they are doing instead of just when things are going wrong. They won't know when I'm watching or what will count, but I'll be looking each day to point something out that they've done well in reguard to our word. Everyone needs to know at least ONE thing they've done well for the day. And at the end of the summer prizes will be presented.
So, at dinner the other evening, as a family we discussed and picked Kindness as our word.
Our theme verse will be Eph. 4:32 which says: And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Everyone will be able to quote it by the end of summer, if they can't already)
Let's face it the world can be a cold, cranky and downright mean place. We want kindness, toward others and our family members to be a hallmark of our home.
It won't always be easy, but it will always be worthwhile to practice Kindness.
I also love that this verse assumes we'll need to forgive each other.  We're going to get hurt, but then we're going to forgive and move on, just like God does with us because of Christ.
And, BTW, it'll be good for Momma to have to practice a little Kindness as well during the Dog Days of Summer when everyone is getting on each others nerves! Maybe I need a chart and a prize too!!
What about you? What do you do as a family to help combat the summer time personality clashes  at your house?
I would love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Thousand Wishes

One thousand wishes that what she sees when she steps outside and sees the dandelion puffs scattered across the yard.
I look at them and see weeds and work.
She sees wishes.


The little things that make a difference.

Instead of looking at the difficult things that make up my days perhaps if I looked at them as opportunities to serve, to learn, to be stretched and grow then maybe I wouldn't dread them so much.

Wishes instead of weeds. That's what I want to see today.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maybe Next Year

I remember feeling like that the day after Mother's Day, many times.
Maybe next year.

It was always such a hard day for me to get through, often because we would have Baby Dedication at church. In fact, I remember one year needing to get up and leave the sanctuary and barely making it before I began sobbing.

Hard days. Long years.

I don't reflect on that time of my life every Mother's Day, but for some reason it kept coming to mind yesterday.

(Which is odd because we spent the day at Silver Dollar City in Branson Mo -not exactly a place for quiet introspection.)

Waiting is hard. Waiting when you think the One who you're waiting for has stopped listening.

What I kept coming back too was this thought, God wasn't in a hurry just because I was.  He could see the timeline of my life and knew exactly when He would say Yes.
Now looking back, I see the it was the perfect time to  grant a Yes to our prayers of becoming parents.
But the waiting can only be described as painful.

One thing I've learned over all those years and since though is that "God never wastes a Hurt".
And even now as I am waiting again, this time for different things (No more babies please-because God doesn't just answer-He answers more than you could ever imagine!) I can know that I haven't been forgotten-and neither have you!
God's Divine timeline is happening and He is in control.
Maybe next year, maybe waiting longer.

Perhaps you're waiting for something too. Maybe it's a baby and you're still feeling the sting of yesterday's celebrations, or it's a marriage to be restored, a friend to come along, forgiveness to be granted,  a job to come your way, or a sickness to be  healed.

Whatever it is, He is listening and He does hear, even when it feels like we've been waiting for such a long time. God will not hurry just because we want Him too, but He will show up and show off- BIG- at exactly the perfect time!
Just hold on.
Friday, May 6, 2011

Things I learned from the Monkeys. .. AKA My Kiddos

Becoming a Mom was a long and hard journey for me.
Seems it was preparing me for Motherhood-which is also a long hard journey.
But the payoff, well the payoff is pretty amazing.

The lessons I learn from my kids and from parenting each of my EXTREMELY different kids is vast and wide.  I have a friend who said to me once , "Of all the ways God could use to teach me, I'm so glad he chose to use my kids to do it." . And I couldn't agree more.
So, I could list numerous things I've learned from being a mother, but instead I thought I would sum up what I've learned from parenting each child with one word.

C my first born, or as we like to call him, our practice child  -without C my FAITH  would have remained lifeless and really only present in conversation not practice.

C brought  up the very real question - Do I believe what God says or not? Do I just believe in God or do I believe God.  Trust me, there is HUGE difference!
Walking through the valley of the shadow with C has been one of the hardest most life changing experiences a person could have. 
And now watching him enter his teenage years, well I can't totally say I'm comfortable with that because you know-HELLO TEENAGER-but I know God is control and my faith rest in the One who created my sweet boy!

I just told him he had a Justin Beiber look going on and yet he still took a picture with me . .

Next comes J.
Oh sweet baby J, without him I would never have to be brave.
J has taught me a COURAGE I would never know without the privilege of being this guys mom.
J is a stick of dynamite and the person in our family who isn't afraid of much.
Whether is climbing a 20 foot tree in our backyard or jumping from the top of the stairs, to riding his bike faster than I can imagine, this boy is teaching me, life isn't always about staying safe.
My courage has been stretched farther than I could have ever imagined and I'm a better woman, wife, mother, friend for it!
(He's also taught me even tough guys love their Momma's and bedtime stories and snuggles )


Then came the Princess. The surprise of a lifetime. And what a sweet sweet surprise she was.
Without the privilege of being this little girls mom, I don't think I would ever have learned pure and true
DELIGHT   !  Whether it's a dandelion or a puppy or going to the library or having one of her brothers read her a story, the Princess sees the joy, wonder and delight in each and everything.  She's given me fresh eyes as I look at the world around me.
If everyone could share her sense of sheer joy, delight and wonder, their perspective would change too.
With the privilege of being the Princess's mom has come the warming up and chipping away at the hardness of my heart, that I hadn't even realize had happened.

As I reflect on Mother's Day and think of my own amazing mom, I also look at my babies and say "Thank You Lord!
Thank for entrusting  these precious people to me! I realize you didn't give them to me just so I could teach them but so that I could learn from them as well."
What an amazing gift.

Happy Mother's Day!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things I learned from my Mother

I'm posting about Mother's Day early.
For a couple of reasons:
We are heading out of town this weekend so I won't be able to blog on Sunday.
And, well it's my blog and I can if I want . :)

I've been thinking about things my Mother has taught me over the years and frankly it's way to much to put into one blog post so I'll just highlight somethings.

1) My Mom taught me that no matter what kind of family you were born into, what kind of circumstances you find yourself  in-you can overcome.
My Grandmother was a hard working, loving single mother. Those were some hard times my Mom and her siblings endured. But, my momma overcame with Grace -because of Grace she would say!

2) Hard work will pay off.
I don't know anyone who works as hard as my Momma. Not just at her day job, but in every aspect of her life.
From her garden, to sewing projects to helping with the kids. She can work circles around me.

3) Life takes a healthy dose of forgiveness.

4) A Cookie really can make things better sometimes. (Also a new pair of shoes)

5) Manners are an essential part of life.

6) Jesus wants to hear us pray and you can and should tell him anything.

7) People are going to let you down. You've to move on and keep your eyes on Jesus. Also see #3

8) It's fun to stay up late on Fridays and eat popcorn and watch silly movies.

9) Stories at bedtime are so much better with different voices for each character.

10) Saturday mornings are the best time to have pancakes.

11) Your Bible is meant to be used. Marked in, worn down.

12) Oatmeal Scottchies taste so much better if  you use orange extract instead of vanilla.

13) Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Stand by your man. You never talk  negatively about him in public.

14) Party planning is an art.

15) Life is meant to be celebrated.

16) Being tenderhearted doesn't mean you're weak.

17) Loving your family also means serving them.

18) Sometimes you NEED a pedicure.

19) Use the gifts God has given you.

20) Clean your mess up now, it'll only be worse the longer it sits there.

Thanks Mom!  I could write a long time about all the things in life I've learned from you.

What about you? What did you learn from your mom?
Monday, May 2, 2011


Sticky syrup fingers.
Soccer balls in the yard.
Bicycles in the drive way.
Homework that needs checking.
Laundry piled a mile high.
Dog Barking.
Making up.
Bubble baths.
Reading stories.
Music floating through the house.
Sick kids.
Working Man.
Dinner time around the table.
Big Brown Eyes.
Hugs that squeeze so tight.
Sloppy Kisses.
This is the stuff of Life.

Randomness and Other Stuff

I've got sick kiddos and I stayed up way to late watching New Yorkers flood Time Square and Ground Zero at the news of UBL's death.
Those are my excuse for my randomness today.
But, here are some highlights, some thoughts and such . . .

1) My oldest boys soccer team played two games this weekend. One was upper 70's and sunny the other was upper 40's and overcast. Seriously, wish Kansas could pick a season already.

2) His team WON yesterday against a team we refer to as 'The Giant Team'. The are a grade older than our boys, but seriously that has got to be some hormone injected milk and beef they must be feeding those kids.
It felt good to win! (and win big I might add -we dominated !)

3) I'm an obnoxious soccer mom.

4) The wedding. Yes, I watched. And OH MY STARS, the dress. Gorgeous. Elegant, classy, tasteful.
Loved it.

5) My 2nd born is sporting a 102 fever today and is currently under a sheet and blanket with his back away from Tom and Jerry. Nothing good is coming from this.  It's freaky when he's not spunky and not asking for food every 10 minutes.

5) I've got some friends going through some seriously dark life valleys.
Man life is hard and can wear a person down. Praying this morning, we need you Jesus, please don't wait to much longer to bring us all home.

6) So Bin Landen's dead.  I'm still processing how I'm supposed to feel about that.
As an American, I am so proud of the men and women who fight for us everyday and risk everything just so we can be free. As a Christian, do I rejoice in some one else's death?
Justice has been served, that's all I know. I do not rejoice in that, I just say thank you Lord for your ways are higher than mine.

7) I helped C finish a science poster  he turned in today about an element on the periodic table.
And, as he was leaving for school, I realized if he didn't get an A I was going to be annoyed -not for him but for me.

8) My kids only have 2 weeks of school left. Um, helloooo, where did this school year go??

9) Sweet Home Alabama, we're praying for you!

10) I don't really have a 10, but it seemed the list needed a 10. . So have a great day and thank you for reading!
I want you to know, I pray for each reader and I am so grateful for each one of you.
I pray for peace in the storms of life, sunshine to break through the clouds and love of Jesus to surround you.

I'm off to pass out more ibuprofen.