Jul 31, 2015

If At First You Don't Succeed

::Go::

What rose in my heart when I saw Kate's word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday was;

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.


It made me think of parenting.

It made me think of how it came to be that I am the mother of 8 children who call me Mama.

It made me think of how the road to motherhood was paved by a call of God on my life to adopt.  I heard God calling me when I was only 13 and just newly saved by His marvelous grace.  How I had to step out in faith to follow Him into it.

Now I love adoption, let's be clear on that upfront.  It is a call of trust, not just for the money involved, but for all that will come, once that child becomes yours.

Parenting is hard.  It isn't anything that one has practice on before one becomes one.  Sure you can read books, sure you can look to your childhood (good and bad) and of course you can look around and see others who have gone before you in it.

BUT 

you will make mistakes. 

 You will need to try and try again at this thing called parenting.  It is not a one time and done kind of thing.  Each child is their own little person, made in the image of God.  They all have their own bends, gifts, talents and need I say troubles.  We are all sinners who fall short and need to humble ourselves and come again to you to be forgiven and set about right.


In the road of parenting, it doesn't matter if they are homemade or adopted, you will need to keep putting your hand to the plow and trying to till the soil of their hearts while you can.  Trying to reach the broken places, trying to show them the narrow road to walk as they follow the One who made them and has a unique plan for their lives.

  You will try to show them by your own life, by the words of your lips and the actions you take up daily; so as to point them like an arrow at the heart of Jesus.  

Some days it seems so easy, others not so much~ to the point of wondering how you might have entered into this madness you call life.  

But ultimately, we are not the source or the solution for our children, it is Jesus.  So when I empty myself and follow Him, letting Him shine through me, I find success at this thing called parenting.  But when I fail, when I doubt, when I get to the edge and want to jump...well, guess what?  I need to again fall on my knees or on my face and tell God that I need Him.  Tell Him that though I have tried, that still it seems in the natural to not be working.  Tell Him that I need a spirit boost and a soul tune-up.  I call out to Him knowing that my success comes from Him and Him alone.


Lord, you've called me.  Help me to continue to try to do all You have asked of me.  Help me to do it with the right heart.  Forgive me for wanting to quit and forgive me for when I fail so miserably at this motherhood-parenting thing.  I need Your help and I need Your Spirit to love them and to point them to Your heart. In Jesus' name I ask it.  amen.

 Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.

 
Galatians 6:9 
Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

  
 Proverbs 16:3 
Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed

::stop:: 

Jul 30, 2015

Encouragement for Today


Today in the grocery store I ran into a man who I went to church with as a child.  He was now older (as am I!)  and the only reason I recognized him was he asked me where a particular kind of macaroni and cheese was located.  I didn't so much as recognize his face, which had changed over time, but his voice made me say, "Are you Dave (I also used his last name)?"  

I think it startled him, as he asked me why I wanted to know.  I told him who I was, and we began to reminisce.

He was super positive and though he had been facing some pretty big life struggles the past few months, he continued to thank God for his blessings.  Sweet Dave and I prayed right there in the aisle fourteen.  He slipped his well worn hand into mine and we stormed heaven together for his wife, who had gone through brain surgery and suffered a stroke.

After we prayed his eyes began to twinkle even more.  He told me he had but one request before He went home to be with Jesus.  

I asked him what that one request was.  
Bless my soul,
  he said he wanted to read the Bible 100 times!

He said he got saved when he was 30 and had been reading it 2 times every year since then, or trying to.  He currently had read it 56 times!  I think my jaw dropped down and he told me he wasn't doing it just to do it, but that he loved God's Word and just couldn't get enough.  Sigh, me too, but I have only read it 8 or 9 times, and already have lost count.   

He encouraged me with his eye twinkle, he encouraged me by his devotion to the Lord and for His Word.  Dave also encouraged me, because he has a son that isn't walking with the Lord, but continues to believe that one day Mark will understand who this Jesus is and will say yes to Him too. Not out of fear, but because of understanding how greatly He loves him.

My soul needed to meet this dear man today.  Life has been hard this year and I have been feeling more negative than positive as of late.  The battles have piled up one upon another for me this year and boy have I been feeling it physically.

Thank you Father for sending me encouragement and helping me to change my perspective.


 

Jul 27, 2015

Lazy Summer Days



Another beautiful day.  Summer sure goes faster than winter I find. 

 Today is rather muggy, but the kids have been outside most of the day playing wiffle ball.  I have heard yelling, talking and laughter all afternoon.  It is now just post a simple dinner, they are back outside making the most of these lazy summer days.

Oh if only we could bottle it and save it up for the cold days to come.

Hope you are well and that your part of the world is finding spots of rest amongst the busyness of life.


Jul 20, 2015

Joy for Today


Simple joys:  a swing, a push from someone who loves you, dirty knees, laughter at unexpected moments...
 all these and so much more. 

 Choose joy today, no matter what comes your way, stop and pick joy to accompany you throughout today.



Jul 15, 2015

Pickling!


I have jumped on the fermenting bandwagon!  In my fridge you will find kefir, homemade ginger soda, pickles and sauerkraut!  I have been at it for several months now and the only complaint is that there seems to be a lot less space in our refrigerators for groceries.  We are all enjoying trying new foods (and drinks) ...LOVE THE KEFIR!


my beautiful crock I found at an antique store for $60!


The first batch of pickles in our new 6 gallon crock was the best so far.  Batch two was too salty and batch three which I tried to make from a Hungarian recipe I found online that used only salt was a miserable fail.  It seems that the only salt recipe made my cucumbers literally disintegrate after 3 days in the giant crock.  Thankfully I only lost about 12 cucumbers and my time.  

watermelon pickles (we didn't love these!)


I remember a trip to Maine when I was a wee lass and stopping to visit some friends.  They had a huge old farm house that was L shaped (it attached to the barn to help with the long cold Maine winters).  On the porch was an old well used crock and the ancient man my father was visiting reached in and handed us a half sour pickle.  He apologized that they weren't really ready yet, but in my 10 year old mind I thought it was the most wonderful pickle I ever ate.

So when I saw the fermenting bandwagon begin on Pinterest, I gladly jumped on gathering recipes and ideas to begin my own little adventure!

The old ways take patience and a little know-how, but the result it well worth the time and wait.  

I hope to master half-sour garlicky pickles soon. 
 My family is waiting patiently for the victory!
 


Jul 8, 2015

What Do You See?

:: Hope::

go

I woke up this particular morning in an old country cabin in the Northern Woods, the cabin happened to be mine. Joy rose out of my heart as I embraced this new day that God had given me.  As my eyes focused on the surroundings I was drawn to the only area of light seeping into the cabin this early summer morning.  Though I had seen this so many other mornings of my life, this morning what spoke to me wasn't the beautiful blue sky or the front yard and its beautiful landscape.  It was the cross that became my heart's focus.  

How many times in our life do we forget the cross?  How many times, whether in seasons of plenty or during the seasons of hardship, do we see the cross?  Our soul (our mind, will and emotions) often want to take control and lead us down soulish paths.  If only when we looked around us we saw or were reminded of the cross and what Jesus did for us there; things would be so different in our spiritual walk.

We could see so much more of Him in our days if our hearts would begin with the cross.  If we would check ourselves to see if we have added Him in to our day or if we enter the day knowing He is already here and waiting for us.  He longs for our company, He desires us to walk with Him through our every moment.

How thankful I am that because of that cross and because of God's great love for me, that I can look at life through His window.  My soul can be transformed and I can become who it was that He is longing for me to become.  

It is a process this life.  But perhaps it is easier than we think, maybe it is just what we think on and what it is that is always before us.  We need to remind ourselves, we need to follow Him. He doesn't want to follow us, but wants us to see things through His heart and with the view of the cross permeating everything that our eyes and days take in.


My hope is in you Lord.  

What about you, 
what does it look like from your soul and spirit?

stop



Jul 7, 2015

Good Clean Fun


A simple joy.  Good clean fun on a warm summer morning. 

 

 I find that simple things bring the greatest joy to my heart these days.  

How about you?

Jun 24, 2015

Oh How I love Wooden Things

Show and Tell


Somewhere over time I have found it in my heart to fall in love with wooden things.  My knees grow weak when I spot a wooden spoon.  I love them even more if they have age and need a new home to call their own.  I try to imagine what their old life looked like, some had been hand carved and are really just bare bones in their construction.  I think those ones are my favorite, rustic beauty!

My family teases me in my silly wood fetish.  They wonder how many spoons one woman could need.  How many old rolling pins should one try to acquire?  Still they all reach into the drawer or jar (given to me by my oldest son as a gift) to get the one that feels just right in their hand.

On a recent trip my oldest son also came home with a stick that had the perfect shape to be coaxed into a handmade spoon.  He works on it as the spirit moves him, slowly it is revealing what was hidden for so long; it's need to be a ladle/spoon!  She isn't ready to be revealed quite yet, but her day will dawn here in a post soon enough.

The gift of trees bring me joy.  Just a small thing really, but I think simple pleasures are often the best.



Jun 20, 2015

Love-In-Action (Parenting Help)



In the midst of life's storms; my heart turns to the One who can carry me, to the One who can guide my steps, to the One who holds all the hidden things and is able to bring them to the Light. 

 I will call on the name of the Lord in my times of trouble.  I will not fear, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I know God is with me.  Not only is He with me, but He is 100% for me!

 And as a mother, I can put my confidence and trust in the fact that He also holds the life of my children lovingly in his mighty hands.  Where He has called me; He indeed will enable me. {He is our best counsel and help}

He alone is our help in times of trouble.  When it all seems to be closing in around you, or on top of you, remember:  

'Things aren't always what they appear.' 

 Turn your heart and eyes to God and let Him show you and teach you in your day of trouble.

I hope this ministers to your heart too!

Jun 9, 2015

The Power of Words

 

Words

 

 

Words can hurt...

 

words can heal...

 

words can move mountains...

 

and words can drive us to our knees.

 

 

 

Recently words were said to me that sunk down deep and caused me pain.  It is true, words have the ability to speak life or death over our lives.  They brought me to tears, but also drove me to my knees (prayer).  
 
I took it to my Father and asked Him how He wanted me to take these words and use them.  

In the past it would have driven me into isolation, to avoid the pain and to put a safe distance between me and the hurler of unkind words.  Times before it drove me into deep sadness and years of battling rejection.  Wondering what was wrong with me.  The devil must have been doing quite the victory dance over the thoughts and reactions, that were caused by my difficulties with friendships.

This time a realization came to me The realization was this:  

If know one likes me (which is not truth, but used as an example), it is okay.  Because I like me,and from now until I take my last breath, I have to live with me. God is number one in my life, family is second and everything else falls in line after these two priorities. 

My mama taught me that we should be kind. 

  My Pastor has spoken for years that we should aim to be nice. 

  God says we should not give up gathering together, but should love one another 

I try to live this way, but boy sometimes it is really hard to love.
 

Challenging? 

 


 Absolutely, even on the best day, but really it is how we should live every day.

So I am taking the words spoken to me and letting them be sifted through my Father's fingers.  I am asking Him to reveal truth to me and to help me learn and grow from this.

As much as I am tempted to curl up into a ball and isolate, I am going to push myself back out and open myself up (versus shutting down shop and putting up the closed sign on my heart!)

I am going to choose to love. 

 I am going to choose to continue being me, and letting my Father shape me into all that He has for me. I am a work in progress. My hope is to progress, not regress or get stuck.

Words come to us and words leave us.  Words stick and words are hard to erase.  Stop and think what you are saying and ask yourself if someone said this to you, would it encourage you or help you?  If not, let's hold back our thoughts and not take the risk of causing hurt to someone.

Yes, speak the truth in love.  But the whole key is LOVE!



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