This time of year I’m always intrigued by the tulips in my front flowerbed that pop up and open with seemingly little effort or notice to the cold. In Nebraska we have temperatures that dip below freezing in the evenings, sometimes until May. There’s a reason I typically don’t plant any flowers or garden goods until around Mother’s Day weekend and that’s why!!
…But those tulips, which showed up a few weeks ago, are hardy little showstoppers and never seem bothered by the cold. They’re a perennial flower (meaning they come back on their own each year) and always, without fail, they make an early entrance, almost with a wink and twinkle to their petals, as if to say, “welcome Spring.” And then just as quickly as they appear, the petals gently but persistently drop off one by one, leaving only their tall, green leaves to admire over the Summer months—just in time for the salvia and mums to continue their gradual growth journey which last until Autumn.
For myself there’s much to be learned from the tulip, in all of its charm and bravery.
I’m taught that beauty can blossom even in the coldest of times. When my feelings long to utter cries of despair I can rise up against them, drawing strength from the Lord…I don’t need to wait around for more comfortable circumstances or a more favorable environment, much like the tulip doesn’t wait around for the temperatures to warm up and the sun to shine without clouds blocking its view. The tulip plant, instead, obediently listens to God’s cue and at just the right time it burst through the chilled ground, forward and up. What a powerful way to display God’s work of art.
Colossians 2:6-7 (see above) reminds us we have the opportunity and choice to grow—even in hard times. We don’t need to sulk or become dormant, regardless of how cold our world gets. Rather we can lean into God’s goodness, relying on His direction. We place our hope and trust within His flourishing garden of mercy and grace and experience growth.
Within my own personal, mental battle there have been many times where I’ve felt like simply wilting away. But the truth is, wilting doesn’t come that easily…a flower or plant must be overlooked and ignored for a period of time before the wilting process begins. And for us as God’s people that’s just not how God plans our days.
Despite our lowliest times, when we feel forgotten, He shows up and whispers to our heart—through the reminder of a comforting Bible verse, a call from a friend, a word of encouragement from a family member, the whimsical fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, the light shining through our windows at the dawn of a new day. He is in all the details, working it all for good and for His glory.
I was recently reminded how important it is to push forward and do the fun things even if my feelings were telling me otherwise. A few months ago I was at a time where all I wanted to do was say no to everyone and everything, but instead I made the choice to disregard the negative and to say yes. To say yes to a couple of 4-H pigs. Yes you read that right! Pigs are a first for us, a completely new experience on our little acreage but had I answered out of satan’s efforts I would’ve missed the blessing that has followed. And boy has it been entertaining, educational, and downright amazing.
Though I’m still in the ups and downs of anxiety and depression I’ve just said yes again…yes to another new adventure…yes to a trio of Nigerian Dwarf goats and I can already feel the anticipation of God’s favor growing as we prepare to bring them home next month.
Sometimes, when we know something is good, harmless, and right…the best thing we can do is say “yes”…even if our emotions long to urge us in the opposite direction.
Feelings (or emotions) aren’t always reliable, and when they’re negative we must counter them with truth and positivity. Every. Single. Time.
Just like it may not be in the most desirable interest of the tulip to push through the sometimes still freezing ground, it does so anyway at the will of God, and there is so much beauty wrapped up within its little colorful body as a result. If we want to be a people following in God’s steps may we be encouraged to do likewise.
My oldest daughter, Paige, is now mid-season in her second year of girl’s high school wrestling. Last year, watching wrestling, this mama was a real hot mess; I had no idea the amount of throwing around, twisting unnaturally, and bending forcefully that would be involved in this sport. You could say I was very much a nervous rookie wrestling mom, smacking madly on my Doublemint gum before any flavor could even hit my tastebuds!
This year, however, I’m a little more relaxed having sat through almost another completed season. Although, recently, my mother-in-law wondered why the gymnasium bleacher we were sitting on (while Paige wrestled on the mat in front of us) was shaking rapidly, only for her and I to both realize it was from my leg bouncing up and down uncontrollably. Okay so maybe I’ll never be 100% chill while Paige is in a match, and that’s okay!
It really has been a fun year so far watching these girls wrestle. They’ve learned quickly, as girl’s high school wrestling was only sanctioned into Nebraska just last year. For most of the young ladies wrestling, this is a completely new-to-them sport.
Paige’s technique, skill, and knowledge have improved so much. She has a lot more control out on the mat than she did last year. Sometimes she pins her opponent and sometimes she doesn’t, but regardless she wrestles hard.
I’ve noticed, though, that once her opponent gets Paige on her back it’s typically game over for Paige and she ends up getting pinned almost immediately. There’s a strategy Paige could use to her advantage to help keep her from getting pinned and it’s called “bridging”. Paige won’t do this, ever. Shhhh, don’t let her opponents know this.
Bridging involves lifting the pelvis off the ground so that the body weight is supported on the shoulders (or head) and the rest of the weight is supported on the feet at the other end of the body.
When I asked Paige ‘how come she never uses this move,’ she said ‘it’s because it terrifies her and she’s afraid she’ll get her neck broke.’
Well okay then, no argument from this mom. I get it and I’m in complete agreement. I would never dismiss her concerns and ask that she give it a try just for a chance at a win. Never. So we’ve indisputably settled and you won’t get a bridge out of Paige…reasonably so. On the other hand, there are other ways out for Paige to utilize and get out from under her opponent before a pin would happen and I’m certain as she gains more muscle and experience she’ll opt for those instead.
In learning of Paige’s issue with bridging during a wrestling match I could have argued the matter and urged her to try it regardless of her concerns. But instead she felt comfortable enough to share her biggest fear in wrestling, she opened up, and was met with limitless understanding and no frustration.
As I think about this, I’m reminded of the way our Sweet Heavenly Coach meets us on our mental or spiritual wrestling mat with mercy and grace over our struggles and insecurities. I think of the way that His understanding opens the door to mercy, and grace kindly follows— simultaneously pardoning any potential grudge-holding.
Wonderful and encouraging mercy and grace.
It’s what helps us want to continue onward.
When we take notice of our shortcomings, communicate our concerns to God, and seek forgiveness, God gives to us boundless mercy and grace. Our posture should be one of gratitude, and the desire to embrace this type of kindness while extending it to others.
Who needs a “bridge” anyway when we have the Lord, and the fullness of His mercy and grace, to walk upon the waters alongside us, leading us to the ultimate victory…
I’m gonna waste no time and get straight to raw transparency here…I’ve been in a season of life that feels like perpetual nagging in my heart and mind—downward spiraling thoughts of inadequacy, brokenness, and just flat-out self-depreciation. And it’s been tough, so tough.
I’d love to blame Covid, from a week of being cooped up in my room, away from family over the Thanksgiving break, allowing my thoughts to trail…but I’m certain the overwhelming distress would’ve caught up to me at some point regardless of Covid-isolation…Satan and a fallen world are the real culprits.
In this struggle, however, God has lead me to and blessed me with the kindest, most patient, sense-talking therapist one could ever imagine; and (as a result) even though I’m still surrounded by deep waters I can feel God’s strong presence keeping me afloat.
I’m probably 30 years past-due on counseling sessions so the content of discussion with my therapist is wide and harsh. I’m thankful for my husband and mom to debrief with afterwards.
The encouragement is sincere and passionate and for that I am grateful. Though the shoreline is a far distance off yet, my hope is fixed on an anchor of faith.
Friend, maybe you too are facing waves of difficulty in some way, but I pray you’d join me—embracing the calming, reassuring reminders of ‘God-for-us.’ I’ve compiled 22 affirmations of God’s faithfulness backed by scripture, with the intention that the solidity of these words would become more than just simple phrases and all about rich, heartfelt truth and comfort.
Read into them, pray through them, allow every single word to embody you…I’ll be doing the same.
GOD LOVES ME.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16
God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
We love because God first loved us. —1 John 4:19
GOD HAS SAVED ME.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18
For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. —Romans 10:13
GOD FREES ME FROM FEAR.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1:7
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13
GOD PROVIDES ME WITH SAFETY.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all. —Psalm 34:19
The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:7-8
GOD HEALS ME.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. —Psalm 147:3
GOD IS MY HELPER.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2
So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? —Hebrews 13:6
GOD CARES ABOUT ME.
Give all your worries and your cares to God, for He cares about you. —1 Peter 5:7
GOD EQUIPS ME.
All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17
GOD POINTS ME TO TRUST IN HIM.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6
When I am afraid I put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. —Psalm 84:12
GOD DESIRES FOR ME TO REST IN HIM.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
Be still and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10a
GOD STRENGTHENS ME.
For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. —Philippians 4:13
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s scheme. —Ephesians 6:10-11
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. —Psalm 29:11
GOD COMFORTS ME.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. —Psalm 23:4
GOD FILLS ME WITH JOY AND HOPE.
You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. —Psalm 16:11
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. —Isaiah 40:31
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11
GOD LEADS ME.
In their heart humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. —Proverbs 16:9
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. —Psalm 119:105
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. —Psalm 23:2
GOD IS WITH ME.
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9
The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” —Exodus 33:14
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. —Isaiah 41:10
GOD BLESSES ME.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. —2 Corinthians 9:8
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. —Psalm 84:5
GOD FORGIVES AND REDEEMS ME.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9
As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:12
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. —Ephesians 1:7-8a
GOD HAS MADE ME NEW.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. —2 Corinthians 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18-19
GOD GIVES ME PEACE.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23
GOD HAS CHOSEN ME.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. —Deuteronomy 14:2
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. —Ephesians 1:4
GOD DIRECTS ME TO LOVE OTHERS.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. —John 13:34
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
GOD WANTS ME TO LOVE MYSELF.
I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. —Psalm 139:14
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. —Proverbs 19:8
For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church. —Ephesians 5:29
Just a little forewarning, this one’s a bit downcast, the first part of it anyway.
July 8th, 2021.
When I wrote my post last week, I thought the next one I’d be sharing would be me telling about my crazy, spontaneous Texas purchases (which I plan to do tomorrow) but feelings spur and I can’t skip sharing my heart through a blog post today.
Twenty years ago, to the day, my dad passed away—July 8th, 2001.
I’ve shared that story and thoughts through past posts.
For those who don’t know, my dad ran a bit on the wild side through his teen years and most of his adult life. He provided well for our family, adored my mom and us kids but he struggled cutting loose from longtime addictions with alcohol and marijuana.
Finally (in his mid thirties) my dad broke away from the toxicity and traded it for church attendance and an old time hobby of dirt bike racing. Races usually happened on Sundays so church was typically bypassed in the summer months.
My dad had almost two years of racing in (along with no alcohol or drugs) when tragedy hit.
He was racing (October 10th, 1999) at a motocross event and miscalculated a double jump that left him a quadriplegic and ventilator dependent. Nearly two years went by with him living in rehab facilities.
Over the Fourth of July in 2001 we brought my dad home for a visit not knowing it’d be his last. He had an amazing time visiting family and friends, almost as if it were a set up…
I was seventeen at the time and although I called myself a Christian, my life choices were far from a Jesus-like example. I partied like it was a vital necessity to my self-absorbed teenage life. And during my dad’s unbeknownst last visit there was no exception from my obnoxious traits. I just wasn’t present and I couldn’t see past my vain greed.
On Sunday, July 8th 2001, (with my mom and youngest brother along) I was to drive my dad back to Lincoln, NE where he lived for temporary rehab.
Too naïve to recognize how tired I was I fell asleep behind the wheel. I still have flashbacks of my dad yelling my name, “Alicia, Alicia” as he tried to get my attention, that was the last thing I heard him say. My dad didn’t make it—a blessing in disguise I’ve always thought. My mom and brother suffered severe injuries. I was fine but the mental toll still wreaks havoc at times.
There are so many other details and events wrapped up in all of that, it’d honestly take a book to share all of it.
I look back at that time and boy I wish I could’ve shook sense into that teenage girl I used to be. We don’t physically get those opportunities though but that’s where mercy and grace step in.
Tragedies that we are completely unprepared for happen in life and we’re left with a choice—to sulk in misery or surrender to Jesus with confident hope.
When we choose the latter of the two we’re met with peace, comfort, and direction.
It took me a long time to learn that I would need to fully give my life to God in order to feel true contentment.
Yesterday I began a demo project in my home which I’ll share in a future post and the song Broken Vessels by Hillsong came on as I was reflecting on thoughts of my dad and prying up old ceramic tile from our dining area…
My dad was a carpenter and a darn accomplished one at that, I share the same love. Wearing my ridiculous looking safety glasses tears slipped from beneath them as the words from the song echoed in the background…
All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
Oh, I once was lost
But now I am found
Was blind but now I see
Those words have never been truer and more life captivating to me than now. I feel the power in them and the love of Jesus stronger than ever. I indeed once was a broken vessel, without a shadow of a doubt, but God has collected, mended, and filled this vessel with an abundance of beautiful hope and for that I am ever grateful.
I miss my dad as much today as I did twenty years ago but my choices and my mind are so much more clearer and healthier now that I’ve gained Jesus as He helps me navigate.
Sweet friend I don’t know whatever your struggle may be but turn your eyes and heart to the Father and allow Him to soften the rough areas. He will guide and provide. Precious healing is found in the midst…
‘Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.’ —2 Timothy 2:21ESV
Alrighty here’s my ‘positive post’ as promised. Sorry I kind of went on a rant for a moment in that last post but I felt I needed to explain…I actually read through that yesterday and had to go through and delete about a half a dozen “and” words!
Moving along…be ready for lots of pics.
For the past few weeks the husband and I have been at work in the kitchen…no Paula Deen dishes getting whipped up here though…
Instead, what was supposed to be just a few hours of putting up shiplap for backsplash on a Saturday morning turned into a two week long project of sanded cabinets topped with a few coats of fresh paint, which then led to the idea of new wall color and custom floating shelves, topped with a make over on our kitchen door that exits to the garage.
Here was our kitchen before:I decided I was sick of the distressed look so that’s what sparked the decision to paint cabinets at the last minute after the shiplap was put up.
So here was the first step with the shiplap backsplash:For the shiplap we used plywood that Nate cut into 4 inch strips. We painted it, nailed it up with the nail gun and then touched up any nail spots. My excitement lasted for￼ not even a half a second before I decided cabinets were getting painted and all the other hoo-ha.
For the paint on the cabinets I bought a pricey specialty chalk paint from an area seller which was worth every penny spent. It’s called Frenchic Al Fresco, originating from France and I might as well just say it: it’s like a drop of Heaven landed right in the paint can. This stuff glides on smooth as butter, leaving zero streaks or clumps. It also doesn’t require a sealer and can be used outdoors as well.
I’ve messed with other chalk paints but they’ve really been to no avail. This stuff will always be my new go-to every time I paint a piece of furniture.￼
The floating shelves came about as a result of me wanting to allow a little more natural light to spill into our kitchen, so we removed a few cabinets and replaced with an open shelf concept:
This was the final look after shiplap, cabinets, wall color, and shelves were done. But there was one thing still bothering me…
That darn garage door…such an eyesore…so I got ahold of a tattoo artist (from the area) who’s shop has been closed over the past few months with the virus mess. She’s actually been supplementing income by using her talent to paint customer’s windows, outdoor concrete walls, and sidewalks so I figured why not add a garage door to her art gallery showcase. Click that link to see the local gazette write up featuring Ginny, she’s such an amazing gal. We had an awesome time visiting, plus I took her on a tour of our “impostering farm” afterwards which she absolutely loved.
I’m kind of a nut for wildflowers and they go with the whole farmhouse thing so the flowers are a combination of some of my favorites — sunflowers, poppies, and daises.
K so this is the FOR REAL FINAL look now:
Next up will be that kitchen table project!!…right Nate!?😊
***Without the cost of the door we spent under $200 for this entire kitchen makeover. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or need tipsif you’re considering tackling your own DIY kitchen remodel.***
Bare with me, here comes my devotional thought…
I keep standing in my kitchen thinking I can’t even believe this is mine, like I’m “wowed” by the fact that this Pinterest inspired style has taken up residency in my own house…and here it is — at the core truth it’s honestly just a trivial, little earthly thing…nothing fancy…nothing flashy…at all…but I love it!! And in the midst of my awe I’m reminded how God feels about each one of us. He graciously proclaims His love over us even though we hold onto physical and emotional scars and wounds that beg to lie and tell us we’re unlovable, even though our mouths disregard the warnings of James 3, and even though we mess up repeatedly. Right?
Just like my kitchen, no one is really that fancy or flashy because of our natural sin nature, we’re all prone to it. And if a person struggles with that fact, they should consider that even in a “state-of-the-art kitchen” or just a “plain ordinary one,” grease still splatters and cookie-crumbs fall to the floor when either type of kitchen is serving its purpose…
Check out our hope in Ephesians 2:4-5, and soak up these words with me:
“But because of His great love for us, God, who was rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”
Two words, mercy and grace.
Mess ups, failures, flaws and all…God shows us a better way of life through Christ and He believes that, despite our shortcomings, we are worth more than we could ever fathom. How many of us would willingly give up our own Son on an old wooden cross for another’s life?
Because of you, because of me. Because of His love for us.
Rather than gushing over my freshly remodeled kitchen…when I stand within its white walls and pleasant charm I want it to serve as a reminder and be whisked by the fact that God loves me exceedingly and abundantly, even though I’m nothing fancy or flashy — I’m good enough for Him!
Thanks for reading today, have an amazing week!!❤️
This isn’t the post I intended on writing this week…but when God prompts I’ve learned to respond so here we go…
I’ve been driving my husband’s ginormous truck for the past week now, my grocery getter is out of commission for the time being.
Before I get to the point of this post let me tell you a few of the issues I have with this truck: first off, Nate has it all jacked up, so for a mama who never quite made it to five foot it’s not really ideal. Secondly the other day when I subbed for P.E. class I had driven the truck to work and it just so happens there’s a sticker placed perfectly in the center of the back glass of an AR rifle. My husband is an avid hunter, sorry PETA….anyway when I pulled up to the school I thought about how this sticker may be offensive, therefore I was slightly paranoid for the next few hours that the school principal might show up in the gym and interrogate me, thankfully nothing ever came of it.
…Now this next part I’m dishing out for free, for your entertainment and pleasure…on Wednesday I stopped at the bank and decided it’d be best for me to run inside rather than attempt the drive-thru for fear of wiping out the building (or the truck). As I was getting ready to leave the lobby, our banker greeted me and casually asked, “Can I watch you get back into that truck?” ….ummm great grief, are you kidding me?!! Thanks for making it even more awkward lady!!… Continue reading “Drive It Like You Own It”
I was running late, which is more normal for me than not, unfortunately. The kids had stayed the night at my mom’s and my girls and I were supposed to be involved in a running event that was taking place sooner than I cared to acknowledge.
It happened to be the Fourth of July and my attitude was on the edge of rupturing and popping with the best of any ear-piercing firecrackers.
When I’m running late I just get bent out of shape, and anyone around me reaps the negative results. This was one of those times—one where I felt ready to burst and far from control of anything reasonably manageable.
I rushed into my mom’s house to grab my daughters so we could quickly make it to the park where the race was to begin in ten minutes. My sass-tude finally caved and wildly flared when I walked in to everyone still sleeping!
Like a string of black-cats that had just been lit, I set fire with my words! “Why in the world are y’all still sleeping?!! We have to be there in ten minutes!! If you’re coming with me then get up and get going!! Hurry up!!!”
Surrounding our front patio are a variety of colorful flowers—and oftentimes, nestled snug within, are gobs of weeds…it depends on how busy I get with life as to how well my flowerbed fares. In fact the weeds had become such a distraction (recently) that any pleasure and beauty of the flowers could be easily overlooked. Thankfully the other morning I finally made time to get out there and pull those pesty weeds!
With every pull and tug the area began to shape up nicely. The irises stood taller in their purple splendor, the salvia seemed fuller with its many leaves being able to spread out, and the roses now look as if they’re bursting with the anticipation of revealing their soft, velvety petals before too long. And my favorite, mums, now have room to expand as they work on growing bigger so they can fully impress me come Autumn when their flowers finally bloom.
Mother’s Day has just passed and although I enjoyed my day, this past week has challenged me to consider that perhaps I expect too much from my kids.
It’s good to want to see my children make right choices, to want them to try harder in school, and to do well in life, and love Jesus like crazy. But sometimes my expectations reach beyond what really matters and other times I fail to adequately communicate what I expect and just assume they already know.
Within the past few weeks my oldest daughter has misplaced the new jacket her dad and I recently bought her, and I’ve been annoyed by this; not just a little annoyed either. I’ve managed to get my daughter annoyed now also with my constant nagging, “did you leave it at school?” I’ll ask her one day, and then the next day, “maybe it got left at church?!”…“how about in the vehicle?!”
More than likely at this point, my poor girl (mentally) eats, sleeps, and drinks this jacket because of all my harping.
Chalk up another “mom-fail.”
Can I make matters worse?…Yes!!! Because let me not forget to mention that I’m ridiculously frugal and the jacket was an Old Navy clearance and cost only $5.97. I know you’re reading this and probably thinking ‘then just go buy a new one’ and I would…maybe, but we live a few hours away from the store, so whining about it seems like the logical and mature adult-way to handle this situation…
Now if there wasn’t a lesson to be learned in this I wouldn’t waste my time writing about it of course….sooooo guess who recently lost their water bottle? (the water bottle they’re obsessed with—the one they take everywhere—the water bottle that if two fills of it are drank each day, her daily water-drinking goal is met…)
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write due to a combination of super busy and miserably sick, and learning a new phone system!!!! (I’m still not even sure this will show correctly to my ‘email followers’; if you’re interested you may need to click into the link and read it from the blog’s website).
In the midst of all of the crazy, some really cool things have been happening…
I began guitar lessons a few weeks ago, something I have wanted to do for years now. I’m hoping one day I’ll hear my husband say, “good job honey!”…instead of, “it sounds like you’re strangling a cat.” He’s right though!! I’ll be strumming along nice and lovely…and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, “rrrreerrr”…not music to my ears or anyone else’s to say the least, but I have a fantastic guitar instructor and therefore I’m hopeful this will all get “harmonized” in due time.
Also I took a spiritual gifts test recently with the rest of my co-youth group leaders and discovered that my top strong points are exhortation (encouragement), serving, and hospitality. This has helped me know myself just a little more!
ENCOURAGEMENT seems fitting since I’ve referred to myself as my kids’ biggest cheerleader, including my husband’s. I’ve even poured that encouragement out on my classroom kids as I sub and my youth kids as I help lead them—kids and adults alike need rooted on!!
SERVING comes in as I get involved in mission trips, community service projects, and local outreach programs.
And HOSPITALITY has shown up as our family has held youth group events at our home, hosted the most amazing foreign exchange student, and entertained numerous guests between large birthday parties and dinner dates.
**side note: there’s a huge difference between spiritual gifts and talents! In quick summary, God gives both; a talent can be possessed by anyone as the result of genetics and/or training, whereas a spiritual gift is the result of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in a believer. Romans 12:6-8, 1st Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-13
Next, since garage sale season is among us, I browsed a few the other day. I was set out for mason jars to use for canning purposes and found NOT a single one; however, nearing the end of my search I came across what resembled more of a “garbage sale” than a garage sale and I spotted this little gem: Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Out Satan!”