Tag Archives: Christian mom

You are AWESOME!

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Before he said a word , we knew.   The night hadn’t gone as well as he had hoped.    He walked in the front door just looking a bit down.  Not as much “pep in his step” as I’d come to expect after a performance.   My first thoughts were that he’d forgotten lines or the lighting or sound was bad.  Had he tripped on stage or done something else embarrassing?    So instead of assuming, we just asked…

“How was the show tonight, buddy?”

His response was one word…”Meh”.  Now that  word wasn’t a word when I was his age but it’s a word that , I guess, texting, Twitter or Facebook has made acceptable to use when things are just “so-so”.

So our next question was “What made it so “meh”?”

And his response was one that sorta took me by surprise.   “The audience was just dead!”    I don’t think there were zombies in the audience!  Though this group of young actors might have had more fun with that!   This audience was just totally unresponsive.  No laughter when lines were funny.   No clapping when clapping was due.   This particular audience just gave absolutely no encouragement at all.

A little encouragement given at the right time can change so much.       Just 24 hours earlier, this cast , having performed the same show, had a great encouraging audience.  Laughter and clapping abounded and this group of actors knew they were doing something well.

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“Now go out and encourage your men.  I swear by the Lord that  if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that come on you from your youth until now.”…2 Samuel 19:7

This verse says a lot about the importance of encouragement.    In this moment, if encouragement was not given to the men, it was highly probable that the men would be gone before the day was over.    This would NOT be a good thing. In fact, losing these men because they didn’t go offer encouragement would be one of the very worse things that had ever happened to them.

Thankfully for me, the lack of encouragement on this night did not cause the cast of this play to throw in the towel and say “Just forget it!”    I was planning on seeing the show the next day!    And now my plan was to also include an extra dose of laughter and clapping!   You know what, though?   I didn’t need to pull out the big guns.  The show was fabulous!   Though small, the audience I sat in was very encouraging;  laughing, clapping and whistling in all the right places!    My momma heart was very grateful  for that .  Imagine my disappointment  if they had canceled the Sunday show due to lack of encouragement the previous night!!

So who do you know who could use a little dose of encouragement provided by YOU?  Look around.    See the cashier at the grocery store who just looks frazzled.    Tell her thank you for getting you through the checkout line so quickly.  If she wasn’t so fast, remind her how much God loves her.  Brag on your waitress to her manager then leave her a big tip.   I bet her feet hurt!   That child who is struggling to learn all the letters in her name…praise her for the letters she writes well.    The teenager who feels worthless…tell him how worthy he truly is.

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I’ve seen it time and time again.  When I encourage one thing a person is doing well, they start doing that one thing even better. But something else happens as a result of that encouragement .  Suddenly they feel more confident in their ability to do whatever comes next.    It’s a sweet thing to watch unfold!

If you are in need of some encouragement yourself right now,  here’s one little encouraging word.    God “don’t make no junk”!  You are perfectly wonderful and fabulous and well loved by your Creator.   You can do ALL things because Jesus is by your side….He is your strength.    You are worthy and able!!    I could go on but I said I had one word and well, I gave you 37!

So I’ll close , not with yet another encouraging word, but an encouraging song.     Encouragement is vital in our lives.  The very best Encourager I know is waiting to wrap His arms around you and lift you up and tell you He loves you…always!

But There’s No Snow!

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He was 3 ½ and finally at that age where he understood what Christmas was all about. Or at least that’s what I thought! When I woke him up that Christmas morning…..yes, I’ve actually had to wake up kids on Christmas morning….he took one look out the window and decided I had completely pulled his leg.

“Mommy, it’s not Christmas! There’s no snow!”

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He actually then attempted to crawl back into bed! Yep….not making that up. My 3 ½ year old child had to be coerced into traversing the stairs down into the living room where Christmas had exploded all over the place. His first “sign” of Christmas had failed. He had no reason to believe Santa had actually shown up because, well, how in creation would Santa’s sleigh traverse the dry, dead grass that covered our yard and everyone elses. He simply needed to see to believe.

Faith had yet to give him vision.

Four hundred years had passed. No word from God. No burning bushes. No parting seas. No visits from angelic strangers. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. This world was God-silent for 400 years. Y’all…that’s a L O N G time!! It’s many, many lifetimes. Many generations. I’ve gone through periods of my life where I felt God was ignoring me or wasn’t there…..but it was a period of a few months. Not years. I always managed to crawl my way back to Him only to find He really never left my side. During that 400 year period so many years ago, God was just silent. I can only imagine how the people during that time felt. And I don’t imagine it was pretty. How many let their faith completely fall because there was no evidence of God’s presence ? How many worshiped other things since God was not around? How many lead lives desperate for something more, something Bigger than them?

Faith needed to give them vision.

And I have to wonder, how did anyone manage to hang on to the faith of their predecessors with so many years of God silence? It would be so much easier to slip into the ways of the world and totally forget the things of faith.

But then it happened to a family who had somehow managed to not let too much of their world sneak in and damage their hearts. A family who had managed to hang on to their faith and find favor with God…

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“The time came quiet…

All the glory had been left in heaven.

And the face of God turns one last time in the waters of the womb, and the membrane breaks and the amniotic fluid leaks and the skin of God slips naked and small into holy hands He made.

The birth of God – who can find words?” ……(from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp)

The years of God silence were broken by the cries of a baby. And our faith was given vision once again. Through a baby who would be King. A baby who would save. A baby whose life would show the world for the rest of eternity how to love…how to hope.

On this Christmas, know that whether there is snow on the ground or not, whether there are copious amounts of gifts under the tree for you or just one, whether you are surrounded by family or it’s just you, the only true sign of Christmas is all around us.

Emmanuel…God with us. God around us, waiting with open arms to lavish his love on you not only this Christmas but every…single…day!

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The Waiting Game

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“Men trust God by risking rejection. Women trust God by waiting.”
― Carolyn McCulley

Waiting.

I’ve been doing lots of that lately. And as I sat down to start writing about “waiting”, I did a little Google search to find stats on how much time we spend waiting in a lifetime. Didn’t find anything I liked there. But I did stumble across this quote. I have no idea who Carolyn McCulley is but I’ve learned she’s an author. I know nothing about her except that she penned this quote…this quote that struck me as so true at this particular time in my life.

Because you see, I’m waiting for something life changing to happen in my life right now. But you’ll have to wait to find out what that is! Because there are so many things in my life I’ve spent time waiting on that I need to ponder for a sec…

That first kiss…

The perfect man…

Love….

My turn to play….

The perfect job…

My turn to move forward in traffic…

My turn to be right….

Achieving a goal…

Being content…

Understanding and embracing all God created me to be and who I am in Him…

In all these things, I’ve waited. Oh I didn’t like the waiting in the moment. We want what we want NOW, don’t we? But eventually, all these things were achieved through the waiting. I’ve prayed for things in my life to happen and sometimes they do….God gives me a big old YES!! Thank You Lord! I’ve prayed for things to happen in my life and they don’t because God put the big “NO WAY” stamp on it. Thank You Lord……yes, I mean that!  (At least in retrospect! ) And I’ve prayed for things to happen that I’m still waiting on…

Waiting seems to last forever, doesn’t it?

My current period of waiting has lasted about 40 weeks and 3 days. Or in “pregnant time”, about 110 years! God put a big old YES on our prayers for another grand child and He put another big old YES on our prayers for a little girl to finally, once again grace our family. It’s been over 20 years since our family last welcomed a baby girl. This BeBe is sorta excited to add some pink things to my life!

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About 3 weeks ago, we began the “Oh she’ll be here any day now” dance. See, big brother came late in his 37th week so we all just assumed that lil sis would follow suit. But God has firmly put His “Let’s WAIT” stamp on Sis. Try as she may, my darling first born has been nothing but unsuccessful in every and all attempts at naturally inducing labor.

An essential oil known to speed up contractions all but stopped them…..see God is in control.

Walking did nothing but make her tired….because God is in control.

That famous Eggplant Parmesan that nearly guarantees the onset of labor in 48 hours was nothing but tasty…..because God hasn’t said it’s time yet.  (Click on that little blue link for the recipe if you want.  This is good whether you’re pregnant or not!)

The full, eclipsed, blood moon was nothing but a spectacular sight …because God said, “Not today”.

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So we’ve waited. And our trust in God has grown because try as we may, nothing in our bag of “stupid human tricks” will ever trump the all out power of God. When everything we do fails, all that’s left is trusting Him. And He’s trustworthy.

So in the waiting, I’ve looked for and have been doused with blessings…

Extra days with my grandson as the “only”…

More play time….

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The sound of my unborn granddaughters beating heart and the hiccups she got before the monitors came off….

Sweet time with my daughters….

Time to see healing continue and strength to get bigger…

A haircut in a taxi cab…..

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This list could go on. Yes, in the waiting I see God. And when I see Him…when I see evidence of His hand in my life…my trust in Him grows.

Waiting’s not so bad after all….

Oh No! There’s a “Serial Killer” on the Loose!

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She went to bed every night crying for her daddy. She was only 2 and honestly had spent very little time with him in her first years of life. But something inside this little girl knew she needed her daddy and she loved him fiercely.

What was I to do? Her daddy and I were separated and our divorce was looming in front of us. He now lived in another state 1000 miles from the comforts of the home we had established together. My family, my friends and my life were rooted in this west Texas college town. How could I make a change this big? This drastic? How could I do what he asked and pack up our children and go to where he was? This divorce was his idea, not mine. His move to the other side of the country was his idea, not mine. None of this was my idea, dadgumit!!

Why should I do things his way?

I would’ve been perfectly comfortable staying in our quaint 3 bedroom home close to my family. I could’ve continued on in my job. I could’ve finished school and gotten that degree. I’d have stayed in my church and continued playing in the bell choir. The school the girls would start in a few short years was within walking distance of our home…it was a good school. My friends didn’t want me to move. My family certainly didn’t want me to move. There was a MALL less than half a mile from my front door! Good grief!!

Why should I do things his way?

My way made so much more sense. If he wanted to live 1000 miles away from us that was his business. I’d stay where I was, with my children, my job, my life. I’d survive, find new love, get married again. I’d stay put … in Texas … surrounded by loved ones, Whataburger and Blue Bell ice cream! Priorities, you know! I mean, who in their right mind would leave all the comforts of home to move to a strange city where the only person you’d know was your very soon to be ex-husband? Why, in the midst of such great trial in my life, would I even consider leaving my support system of awesome people? How would I ever take care of my two preschool age children by myself as a single mom in a town I knew nothing about? I didn’t like to make phone calls…( I still don’t for that matter!) I wasn’t crazy about having to start over on my own …completely on my own!

I would not do things his way!!

Nope…no way Jose!

There was one problem, however, in being insistent on getting my way in this. There was a precious 2 year old crying in her room for her daddy. I was broken. I knew I didn’t want to leave. I worried what staying would do to my children. So one night in a fit of desperation, I stayed up all night crying out to God. This was new for me, a first…this crying out, screaming at God thing. I mean, would He throw lightening bolts from heaven down on my house because I admitted my extreme anger at Him? Would He send a swarm of large flying insects to devour us all because I had the audacity to question Him? I had done nothing wrong! I didn’t deserve this! How could He be letting this happen? It was all so ridiculous and unreal to me.

Worn completely out emotionally and physically , I remember laying on the couch barely able to see out of my puffy cried out eyes. I lay there completely numb when suddenly I heard my answer. I can’t say it was an audible answer but I felt it so strongly in the depths of my soul that it might as well have been someone standing over me gently whispering one word …

“GO”!

What? Go? Really? Go? You’ve got to be kidding me, right?? That is NOT the answer I need to hear !! Surely I heard wrong!

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I sat up and walked over to the kitchen table where a workbook I had brought home from a Sunday school class I had visited the previous weekend was sitting. It’s been 24 years since that night and  I so wish I could remember the exact verses I read from that workbook. I could sit now and give a pretty educated guess. But I don’t want to do that. I do remember, though, feeling God was speaking to me through them. It was so very clear to me that He was telling me it would be OK. That He would go with me. He would never leave me, He would never forsake me. But I needed to trust Him and GO.

Why should I do things His way?

Then He told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat – I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?…” Luke 8:23-25 (The Message)

Someone was about to die and it was me. Little did I know that there was a “serial killer” on the loose and I would be the victim over and over and over…

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… Stay tuned for part two of this three part blog challenge…