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Archive for August, 2011

Remember to Smile

There he is, the one who looks like me. The dark one in the bunch.
It’s his first time to join a team. I know this is hard for him, the boy who
doesn’t talk, the boy who doesn’t make eye contact. He is just like his momma.
Fearfully shy under certain circumstances.

He sits in the grass, fingers in mouth insecure of all the
eyes. He sits a little off afraid to get to close. I understand. He listens unengaged
and unreceptive for the most part. He does find the courage to utter his name
and maybe his age?

He runs with the pack, eyes on me worried about all the eyes
on him. I smile, encouragement to keep going. I know. He is struggling inside
but he is having fun and he is overcoming with small strides.

He only tells the coach woman “no” once with a violent head shake from side to side and looking at the ground, he doesn’t want to
be a silly crab crawling on all fours behind him getting to personal with the
ants. I don’t blame him. She extends grace and I thank her from with in.

This boy is but a child in a big world, a world of soccer
balls, coaches, team-mates and not to mention all the eyes on the sidelines.
Isn’t this how we all are, just a child in a big world? Full of things to kick
around, people telling us what to do, team-mates that are sometimes scary and
not understanding and not to mention… all the eyes. Always watching.

As I watched my son struggle on Soccer field 2 I saw myself struggling
in my own little soccer field of this world. It is hard. We are not alone
though. He is always by our side, smiling. Giving us the grace to keep going to
overcome the obstacles in this world. It is comforting for me when I feel the insecurity and the eyes.

Sitting on the sidelines also showed me how much my children need me. My sons and daughter need my affirmation, my approval, my smile. I fear I underestimate the influence of a smile on my children’s soul. I need them, I know they do. How often to we forget to just smile at our little ones? So busy tending to their souls with correction and discipline. I have heard that for every 1 correction we should give 10 praises, I believe it! Maybe you have forgotten how to smile. I understand. Maybe you have lost your smile. I feel you.

 Have you forgotten Him? That is the only place you will find it… so remember and find your smile in the gospel, the love of Christ.

Give them grace, dear mother. They need it just as much as we do. Fill the day with magic, smiles, and praise not just the other side of the coin.

just…

{SMILE}

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Motherhood is Application


Our children need for us to live out our faith, not just talk about it. Their faith is nurtured by it. Our faith is strengthened by it. How do we face the difficult moments of motherhood? How do we rejoice in these little trials?

We breathe… inhale grace…

and exhale grace.

We take in grace, and we give them grace. We need grace for the moment, or grace on the fly. We must breathe.

Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years, has written another post on faith in motherhood, I encourage you to take a moment and read the rest of her thoughts on Motherhood is Application. She has a way with bringing the difficult realities of motherhood and the basic truths of our faith together, a beautiful collision. Let me know what you think.

 

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The Great Exchange

There is a mother, a sister in Christ, today who is saying goodbye {again} to her precious baby boy. He has left this temporary world and gone before us all into the glorious presence of Christ. “Let the little children come to me” He says… but we don’t want them to go just yet. We want to hold them back for a little longer. We long to keep our heart in one piece, whole.

Today though, a piece of this mother’s heart has been taken in love by her heavenly Father. She has been broken in many ways, I have read. Her faith has been tested and has proven strong, resilient, and faithful, all by His magical grace. She is saying goodbye, not forever, just for a short time in the span of eternity and she knows this.

I have been so deeply encouraged by this woman’s faith in our God.  I can only imagine the pain she is experiencing in this earthly parting, but what I have seen in her is that He is enough. He fills the broken places in her heart, that piece that is now missing hurts but is not empty. Praise God.

He has taken a piece of her heart but He has given in return a piece of His heart, His Son. He has taken her beloved son, and given His beloved Son. A heart broken, a heart full. There is grief no doubt, but there is joy. Her faith is standing tall, her peace has not been taken. It is an exchange we all have, the gift of His Son. This is our hope, our promise, our joy. When we experience loss, death, tragedy remember His gift. He is our peace, our comfort in these times of mourning.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

My heart continues to grieve with this precious family but also rejoice with them as they keep their minds on Him.

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The Magical Kingdom

My life gets more magical every day… we live in a magical world, a magical kingdom. Not the Disney World version, the real thing. Is that how we live? In awe of His magic? of the miracles that surround us daily? Oh, do you not believe in magic? or miracles?

Oh, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. But… how could you not?

Do you believe in grace?

Grace itself is pretty much magic, miracle. Grace, is undeserved favor. Magical to the forgiven, to the redeemed. Breathing, a product of grace upon the living is a miracle, a gift. Every gift we are given by the Giver is grace brought down into our lives, undeserved favor.

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Love, unconditional. The love of a perfect and holy Father upon a sinner. Magical. His love for us. Miracle. When the unlovable, the sinners are loved, it is grace. It is beyond our understanding, forgiveness is beyond our feelings and pains inflicted. It is magical. The thief on the cross received magical grace, {something many are not willing to give to those thieves in their lives} the sinner made righteous in the blood of Christ not because of anything he did. Just love. Just grace.

Life is magical. It is a miracle. I don’t think anyone can realy argue with that{sanely}. It is mysterious, a mystery yet to be solved other than by an extraordinary power. Walk around in your day, and see the magical, oh sweet wife, mother, and homemaker. It is all around you, but you can miss it. Walk right past it, unaware of it’s presence. Grace has a habit of being quiet and humble.

I live ungrateful, in this magical kingdom. Forgetting His grace. His love. His miracles. I desire to live fully alive, consciously grateful. I am on a mission to walk intentionally in this kingdom in awe of His grace… filling my heart with it’s magic upon my soul. Will you Join me in this mission? I would love for you to come along with me… splash around in His grace, His glory. Face to the sun

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Today is our first unofficial day of homeschool. We sat down this morning and went over all of our new curriculum, ideas, calendar notebooks, chores, and expectations for this new year. It will be a short year in some ways. I spoke grace to them and tried to be enthusiastic and not to overwhelming with details they care nothing about.

It isn’t exactly what I had planned for the day, but it is what we are doing. I didn’t get to finish everything I wanted to for our first day (which was actually suppose to be last week). How could we start with out having a traditional first day of school, equipped with a our GIANT cookie and pictures? So tomorrow it is! Tomorrow we celebrate our first day of school, the right way!

Also, I am currently working on moving to a new, prayerfully permanent home. I am hopeful that it will be set up by the end of this month or sooner!

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All of Life is Sacred

“The true woman’s life is not segmented into sacred and secular. All of life is sacred because it is lived in His presence. The true woman is a true reflection of God’s glory.”

 ~ Susan Hunt, The True Woman

Don’t forget this holy vision in the midst of your daily duties… live a sacred life in His presence, be a reflection of glory, God’s glory to the little lightlings running around your home craving the rays of glory from the Light of Heaven.

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“Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing–and are filled”

Ann Voskamp

Is this how I enter out of unconsiousness, into the new grace–given light of each day… expecting nothing… and being joy-filled in return? Isn’t it magical how we can almost seem to not exist for a time, in the darkness of night and then be brought back to life and into rising light of day? It is magical in a sense, but grace always is…

What if we were truly suprised by joy everyday… expecting simply nothing. Walking in the footsteps of Humility…  tuning our hearts and minds to a humble joy, living fully everyday right where we are. Is that possible? I suppose that depends entirely up to you, up to me. What are my expectations? What, if I were honest… if we were honest… are our expectations of the Gift Giver Himself… expectations of His gifts to us?

I was reminded yesterday by a brother that grace is undeserved favor… and as N.D. Wilson says “are we going to be ungrateful“…well are we, am I? Every breath is grace undeserved. Is grace enough for me? Am I commited for it to be my only expectation? Nothing but grace, magical grace. Depends on my prespective of how small I am here. And am I willing to be small enough to be suprised by it… by joy undeserved…

“The humble live suprised. The humble live by joy.” Ann

I do not wish to be proud and opposed by Grace Himself… but overflowing with Grace Himself.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Counting makes the invisible visible, God himself. It is Him I am in search of, that my sould yearns to know more fully… may each number represent more of Him and less of me…

::Sunday afternoons long

::piano lessons

::crocheting lessons

::little girls, crayons, and tattoos?

::finding out that a group of seagulls are called a “scuabble”

::and then deciding that a group of little girls must be called a “giggle”

::when things just feel right some how

::a pool full of water, deep theological water

::peaceful mornings

::quiet stories before bed

::The Hobbit, a read alound with children cuddled up under covers

::discipline, a reminder of a loving Father

::a messy home

::chairs exploding in laughter

::the reality of heaven misplaced

::awaiting books

::a new start

::renewed zeal, my heart being more and more rooted in home

::organizing rooms, again

::a new clean room, toy clutter system (maybe)

::color

::clouds, real and the felt kind

::the sun, real and the tissue paper kind

::sewing clouds now hanging in our hallway, a truly magical experience

::new traditions

::long conversations with a “kindred spirit”

::embracing the mess of living art

::seeing things from a new perspective

::seeing things for the very first time that have been right in front of you all the time

::grace, magical invisible grace

::a new found love for fairytales and folklores

::time spent with good friends at a homeschool convention

::homeschooling

::finding it with in me to inspire my kids to love colors and coloring with paint and with life itself

::understanding the my children’s education is all in His hands

::knowing that this life is beautiful

::remembering that our battles with people are not wrestlings against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12)

::understanding more about myself and the inner struggles I battle

::the love of a kind, thoughtful husband

::Ann with an e

::and Ann with out an e

::a full day of hospitality

::men and their table talks over coffee

::eternal friendships

::chaos of mind and plans, trusting the Bridge Builder

::walking completely by faith

::marriage; the gospel lived out in one flesh

::the beautiful heavenly planning of the marriage of two very special people

::re-evaluating past covictions

::the joy of meal making for a sister in need

::praying for those who are in need of His healing and grace

May we wake in the glistening dew of each new day expecting nothing, becoming less, and being genuinely suprised by joy as we pursue God in the moments… counting into His presence with Ann

*ugh I have so many more pictures to share with you but wordpress will not allow it…

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