He❤️rt Lessons

This is my son Warren’s first year in public school and he’s loving it! In fact the other day I casually asked him if he wanted to be in public school or homeschooled again and he informed me that no way was he doing school at home again… “sorry mom,” he said, “but I can actually understand math now!” …well okay then son!

This past week they had to make Valentine boxes. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it for the sake of this post but I wasn’t that organized and it’s at school now, so no picture at the moment. He made a shoebox to look like a Pokeball (Pokémon) by painting it with red, white, and black. It turned out nice and was super simple. I bought him a large bag of individually packaged Skittles candies with Valentine cards to attach and pass out for their class party.

The evening that he made out the Valentine cards he happened to have his homeschooled sister help with the job. I didn’t think anything of it and heard the two of them spouting out his classmate’s names along with teacher’s names as they wrote them out.

After I had put kiddos to bed that night, I gathered up Warren’s Valentine box and cards and quickly noticed that on the from line where his name should go, it instead read ‘From: Somebody.’ I rifled through the cards and to my dismay observed that each card had been signed in the same way…

From: Somebody

Oh boy, I thought!!! He’s made an ex-homeschooler, rookie-Cupid mistake!! I headed straight to my groggy boy’s bedside.

“Warren, um why did you write from ‘Somebody’ on each of the Valentine cards? I should’ve explained it better that your name should’ve been signed on the ‘from line.’ Now your classmates or teachers won’t know the card was from you,” I gently declared.

“Mom it doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun and I’m not worried if they know it’s from me or not.”

I paused for a few thoughtful seconds, “you know that actually reminds me of a verse in the Bible that talks about not letting others know specifically of your good deeds toward them because we don’t need to be looking for attention when we give.”

“See mom I helped you think of that,” he replied with pure satisfaction and was soon fast asleep.

Matthew 6:2-4 says, “When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Candy isn’t a necessity, although it is a special, sweet treat every now and then. The above verses obviously aren’t referring to kids celebrating Valentine’s Day with a class party but these verses echo the scene and heart of my son. He wasn’t concerned about receiving recognition, praise, or thank you’s from his cheerful giving; he simply wanted to have fun — without the desire to draw attention to himself in the midst.

Oh how often I tend to be the opposite! I love to give gifts but quite honestly I (selfishly) love the reaction from the receiver as well! Like I want to know that I was able to bless that person!

Giving is a beautiful thing…but if it’s done with the slightest bit of selfish intention it’s not in the best interests of the receiving end. This awareness causes me to take those verses from Matthew 6 into deeper consideration.

I think a majority of my giving goes toward tithing — but if I wasn’t getting to sign my name on my check would I be as excited to turn it into the offering plate on Sunday morning? If the elders, deacons, or church staff didn’t see my name attached to my share of giving would I be okay with that? And I think the harsh reality, as I ponder that idea, is a big no — I wouldn’t be as content with tithing.

Too often I get caught up in the “I’m doing the right thing by giving” rather than being content with being an unknown “somebody” kind of giver.

1 Samuel 16:7b reminds me that, “people look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”…Such an important perspective in this.

So as I reflect on this scenario with my son and those Valentine cards from “somebody”, I want it to serve as a heartfelt reminder of the words in Matthew 6 and 1 Samuel 16 — remembering that giving (whether it’s through random acts of kindness, tithing, or gifting) should never include honor and glory for ourselves and it truly shows off best when done in secret for only God to see and for His purpose. Our giving (as Christians) should fully point to God who gave us the best gift through Christ — with unconditional love as His primary motive!

Patience Required

I was introduced to someone this past year and as necessary have needed to maintain communication and a relationship (with this person) due to responsibility.

This relationship has absolutely tore me to pieces as we haven’t connected too well.

There have been times I feel like I’m walking on egg shells—not knowing if the next thing I say is going to offend or build positive character…wondering if my quirky demeanor was understood or rejected…if the quietness of this person is caused by something I’ve done or if it’s just a normal characteristic of theirs. Continue reading “Patience Required”

A Lasting Season of Joy

This past month, in my fourth and fifth grade Sunday school class, I’ve been working through a lesson on the topic of joy with the kids. They’ve shared about circumstances that seem unfair and yet they can pinpoint how joy can be found in that situation nevertheless.

For example when a friend breaks a promise, doesn’t keep their word, and let’s us down we can choose to find joy in the fact that God always keeps His promises. He’s the author of the Living Word. And He will never let us down; Psalm 54:4 reminds us that ‘God is our helper and the upholder of our lives.’ People are imperfect and fallible, but when we consider our relationships we can find joy in the truth that God is always trustworthy and capable with us. Continue reading “A Lasting Season of Joy”

Quiet Time Necessity

Sometimes when I substitute teach, my job assignment stretches beyond the classroom.

Recently I ended up in the school’s lunchroom to supervise bubbly elementary students. An extended squirming hand raised high let’s the adults know when attention is needed—usually indicating milk cartons are being stubborn and extra help is needed in opening them, maybe a kiddo wants permission to pass on their veggies, or he or she is ready to dump their tray once they’ve finished eating.

While I helped a few weeks ago, a hand went up and I walked over.

A little girl, probably second grade, looked up at me with sad eyes and I knew we weren’t dealing with regular lunch issues. I knelt down beside her and asked what was wrong. With tears welled in the corners of her eyes she spoke through pouty lips, “I want to sit alone right now.”

“Well why? What’s going on?” I asked with concern. Continue reading “Quiet Time Necessity”

Autumn Updates 2019

Whew! It’s been a while!

After that last (deep-thought) post I wrote I’ve honestly just had to take a break and continue to work on myself—my mental health, my heart—and I can honestly say I feel sooooo amazingly good. I’m in a good place right now—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ll share more on this in a future post but right now I just want to share (with y’all) some other fun updates happening in our household currently.

Nate and I had our 15 year anniversary/fall party last month and had over sixty of our family and friends show up! It was a ton of fun! We probably should’ve had it catered because I felt like Nathan and I were so busy with food prep, etc. that it was hard to visit with everyone. I had a lot of people tell me in the days following that they had such a good time and that fellowship happened — regardless of how unorganized I felt like it was; I guess I was the only one who noticed.❤️

Continue reading “Autumn Updates 2019”

Furry Pinball and Faith

My girls spent the past week at church camp with my mom…in return I watched my (special needs) brother for her…and her crazy, wiry, ball-of-fire dog.

**don’t let his cute looks deceive you**

My brother was the easy part, but the dog (Beardsley) exhausted his stay after the first five minutes when he marched into my home like he owned the place and wanted to mark his territory. That was Friday evening.

Saturday he barked most of the day.

Sunday, before church, my husband and son went on a high speed chase after him on foot for 45 minutes; he’d slipped out the door and thinks this kind of thing is a game. In reality the only one enjoying their self is the dog.

Early Monday morning we put Beardsley out to potty and within minutes the neighbor pounded on our door like the police to dramatically inform us the dog was obnoxiously barking…thank you Captain Obvious. Continue reading “Furry Pinball and Faith”

Oh This Ladder! (Poetry)

If you read my post last week you know that I acquired a ladder that my dad used to use for his construction business—it’s not just any ordinary ladder—it’s rustic and wooden, and has a lot of wear and tear.

This was super exciting for me because my dad has been gone for nearly twenty years…meanwhile this ladder has just been hanging out in his retired garage…BUT I salvaged it! Continue reading “Oh This Ladder! (Poetry)”