Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Growing Mama

You know that mom with the perfectly organized everything? A place for everything in her house? She alphabetizes her spices, and uses her grocery list. Her house is spotless, any time, day or night. She is always ready to entertain and show hospitality. Her kids are perfect. Such little peaches. She speaks to them gently and kindly. She delights in them. They adore her, and make her little gifts. They always tell her She's the best mom in the entire world. But she knows. She knows the mom with the crazy messy funhouse, where all of the neighborhood kids want to be. She substitutes her spices and wings it at the shopping center. Her house is lived in, day and night, ready for another game, another snack, another talk. She is happy to share her life with you, even over a messy sink of dirty dishes. Her kids are inspiring. Full of ideas, dreams, aspirations. They are strong headed and confronting leaders. She teaches them gently sometimes, she loves them fiercely always; but mostly she cheers for them to do better; love more, do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God. She finds joy in their Christlike progress and takes pleasure in their growing up, becoming, transforming into who HE made them to be! They don't see or know all she does for them. They don't take note or keep track. They just know she's there, and they count on it. She knows she doesn't look like the best mom in the entire world, but she's okay with that: Because she knows. There will be time to organze the pantry when the kids are all grown. Many children grow up with mis-matched socks and they turn out just fine. The Messes they make show the creativity waiting to be unleashed. This is a scientific laboratory. It will get messy! The relationships they make now with family, neighbors, and friends, will be the foundations on which they will build all of their relationships in life. Its a good time to practice doing it right! When our day is thrown off by a pressing need, we can trust that God has another plan and His plan is greater for us that day. We learn to walk with Jesus, from an early age, if we watch our mom walk with Jesus every day. And we see her change and Jesus transforms her to become more and more like Him. She knows her kids are blessed. Because they have front row tickets to watching Mama walk with Jesus, and grow into the woman that He has created her to be!

lovely and generous lives

I loved the devotion for May 16 by Oswald Chambers this week: The Habit of Recognizing God's Provision. " may be partakers of the divine nature..." 2 Peter 1:4 We are made "partakers of the divine nature," receiving and sharing God's own nature through His promises. Then we have to work that divine nature into our human nature by developing godly habits. The first habit to develop is the habit of recognizing God's provision for us. We say, however, "Oh, I can't afford it." One of the worst lies is wrapped up in that statement. We talk as if our heavenly Father has cut us off without a penny! We think it is a sign of true humility to say at the end of the day, "Well, I just barely got by today, but it was a severe struggle." And yet all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him. Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn't they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God's riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges--always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives. Before God becomes satisfied with us, He will take everything of our so-called wealth, until we learn that He is our Source; as the psalmist said, "All my springs are in You" (Psalm 87:7). If the majesty, grace, and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. "God is agle to make all grace abound toward you, that you...may have an abundance...." (2 Corinthians 9:8)--then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God's nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time. I think I love this devotion so much, because it sums up the desire of my heart. I want to be 'marked and identified with God's nature, so that His blessing will flow through me all the time!' Don't you? How do we do this? I believe that we begin with finding God as our Source. Our Source of joy. Our Source of Hope. Our Source of Peace. Our Source of Life. It just sounds right, doesn't it? He is our Source. He is our everything! He is the Spring that fills us up. He is the strength that gets us through. He is the Great I Am! When we find all that we need in Him, we have all that we need to give to others. He fills us to overflowing, and then we are ready and able to give and flow into others (out of the abundance that God has given to us!). I love this, because I think it is a wonderful picture of how God wants us to operate in our homes and in the body of Christ. He wants us to come to Him, and then be ready to share with others what He has shared with us! Isn't that just like Him? To give us something good, and give us enough so that we can share it? I think of the feeding of the 5,000. The loaves of bread and fish. The miracle of 'more than enough.' I think that is the offer He extends to us every day. Come, and Be filled. Then, Share. Simple enough. And Beautiful. It is a reflection of Him. His fullness, his goodness, his grace. More than enough! It is good to look at where we are and what we have to give. It's good to evaluate and see, "Are the majesty, grace, and power of God exhibited in me?" If it is our goal to please Him, we will desire to be like Him....And desire that when people look at us, they would see His majesty, grace and power in our lives! What a high and splended calling. Yes, my utmost for His highest.

Monday, August 6, 2012

a new school year

Its a new school year. The house is quiet. Plans are made. Schedules are set, Routines are laid out. Kids are sleeping. Waiting and wondering what tomorrow will hold. I hold their tomorrow, and God holds me. A magnificent job when I look at it that way. I hold their environment. I hold their lifestyle. I hold their discipline. I hold their opportunities to grow, learn, stand, fail. I hold them. And I hold them dearly, and I hold them loosely. Its got to be a miraculous dance combination of sticking close and letting go. The books have arrived. We have paper and supplies. The school room is clean, the bookshelves are clear (mostly). The curriculum is chosen. The children have been assessed. I have studied them and know them and am ready to challenge them to grow where they are week, and to flourish where they are strong. I want to encourage them in being who God MADE THEM TO BE. They each have their own bent. I am finding that bent and following it. Trusting God that He knows what He wants to do with my bent creatures. Oh, and I know He loves them even more than I do. I am thankful. He has entrusted to me some of his heavenly handiwork. I am the vessel this year that He is choosing to use to disciple these small people. It is my privilege and delight to spend time with them, learn with them, grow with them, and serve God and others with them. This journey of growing up disciples is part of the process in my journey in which God is growing up this disciple. Trusting that He will complete the good work He started in me (and in them). May Gods presence bless you with peace this fruitful day.......

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why do we honor Mother's day? Celebrate our Moms one day a year? Thank them, love them, hug them, give verbal affirmations. Remind them that you notice all of the little meaningful things they do for you? Honoring Mom on mothers day can be a special occasion to set aside time to think and reflect on our relationship with our moms. Today I was challenge to write about what I appreciate about my Mom. Trust me, I could list a thousand easy things. Where to start is the hardest part. I will go where I go naturally. Love. She started with love for me (even though I was an unhappy cholic-y baby who about caused her to lose all of her hair!) She continued to love me, when I made messes, bad choices or said mean words, (and when I tried to drag my new baby brother around by his neck), that too! She loved me when I bossed her around and told her how to do this or that the right way. She loved me when I wore her shoes and broke the heels, or tore her pantyhose. She even loved me when I wore her bright red lipstick to Kindergarten and lost an earring that was precious to her. She loved me when I was sick with ear infections and allergies, loved me to the doctor and back. She loved me through childhood illnesses, pre-teen 'tudes, and a life-threatening surgery to correct dramatic scoliosis curves. She loved me in a body cast, through gastritis illlnesses, and through the unsavory jr. high years. She was my friend when friends were hard to come by. She loved me by encouraging me to look at the bright side. She loved me by pointing out my strengths and blessings and all that I had to be thankful for. She loved me through cheer tryouts (when I had to sleep on squishy pink hair rollers), through zillions of social commitments through church and young life and school activities. She loved me by having snacks and fun things to do at our house, so it was the place where my friends and I wanted to hang out. She loved my while taking me to t-p the house of a "friend" from school. She loved me by being fun and having fun with us! She loved my by working hard, keeping the home, making yummy foods, getting us to church, helping with homework, tucking us in to bed. Waking up early to get us to before-school activities, planning ahead for us to have good days, weeks, summers, etc. She loved me by telling me the truth. Showing me how to be a good friend. Walking with Jesus and leaning on Him in good times and in bad times. Praying for us, with us. She studied her Bible, by herself and with ladies Bible studies. She stayed committed to my dad, showing him respect and modeling faithfulness. She worked hard. In and out of the home. She supported me through my first crushes, then first boyfriend, and was there to be my shoulder to cry on when I had my first broken heart. She let me go. She loved me and let me go off to college. She cried (but she didn't show me). She helped me adjust to being far from home, gave me a soft spot to come back to, then sent me off again, with all the hope she could share, to go into the world and continue to become the woman that God created me to be! She was praying for that calling, that vision and that dream, for me to be Who God would use for His Kingdom and Glory! She loved me through college work, flip-flop friendships, more crushes, a semester abroad to England, and meeting the love of my life. She supported my crazy intuition that I would marry this guy (after only being on one date with him), and she always encouraged me to be the godly wife that I want to be. She loved me by sewing me a pretty dress for our engagement pictures (just like she had made my prom dress), and she helped by making my engagement a special happy celebrating time. She blessed me on my wedding day, and was full of love when I returned from my honeymoon. She called and visited and was always available to help or answer a question (the same one I have asked a thousand times; How do you make hard-boiled eggs???). She was there for me when I miscarried our first baby. She was there when I went for the ultrasound for baby #2, finding out we were expecting a GIRL!!! She loved me through 3 pregnancies (that's hard) and births, and has been a loving grandmother to all 3 of my beautiful kids. She has loved me through seasons of busy little kids, ministry commitments, personal development, deciding to Homeschool, and vairious other hair-brained (but fun) ideas over the past 15 years. She loves me today by coming over and spending time with me. Enjoying each others company. Laughing, talking, eating, shopping, driving, watching baseball games or spending time with the family. She is the fruits of the spirit, walking on two legs. Mrs. love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, gentleness, goodness and self control. She shares God's love with me and my family and continues to seek Jesus and grow in her faith, even as she has gotten along in years. She makes life fun but laughing a lot and choosing to do fun things. She loves my by encouraging me to do my best at whatever God has called me to do right now. She builds me up to be the best Mom that I can be now in the season of life that I am in. She is an intricate part of my life and she loves me every day. I love you, MOM! Thank you for all the love you are to me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A New day

Got up early today to go for a walk before the sun came up. That's a first for me! I am hoping to start walking regularly and get into the routine of exercise. Its been a long time! I miss going to the gym, but I don't see how I could fit that into our already 'full' schedule. Just not enough time in the day. But I am thankful. The time limitation is a blessing, I am sure; otherwise, I would try to do too much! I am reading One Thousand Gifts, and was reminded last night that we have so many things to be thankful for! And, I was encouraged to enjoy each moment of time, and be 'all there,' so that the time is not wasted. So often, I know I am tempted to be thinking about the next thing rather than focusing on the thing at hand. I want to change that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Special Poem from early Pilgrim, Anne Bradstreet

Home | Biography | Poems | Quotes | Bibliography | Links

In Reference to her Children

I had eight birds hatcht in one nest,
Four Cocks were there, and Hens the rest.
I nurst them up with pain and care,
No cost nor labour did I spare
Till at the last they felt their wing,
Mounted the Trees and learned to sing.
Chief of the Brood then took his flight
To Regions far and left me quite.
My mournful chirps I after send
Till he return, or I do end.
Leave not thy nest, thy Dame and Sire,
Fly back and sing amidst this Quire.
My second bird did take her flight
And with her mate flew out of sight.
Southward they both their course did bend,
And Seasons twain they there did spend,
Till after blown by Southern gales
They Norward steer'd with filled sails.
A prettier bird was no where seen,
Along the Beach, among the treen.
I have a third of colour white
On whom I plac'd no small delight,
Coupled with mate loving and true,
Hath also bid her Dame adieu.
And where Aurora first appears,
She now hath percht to spend her years.
One to the Academy flew
To chat among that learned crew.
Ambition moves still in his breast
That he might chant above the rest,
Striving for more than to do well,
That nightingales he might excell.
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is 'mongst the shrubs and bushes flown
And as his wings increase in strength
On higher boughs he'll perch at length.
My other three still with me nest
Until they're grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there, they'll take their flight,
As is ordain'd, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch
And be surpris'd for want of watch
Whilst pecking corn and void of care
They fall un'wares in Fowler's snare;
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing
Some untoward boy at them do fling,
Or whilst allur'd with bell and glass
The net be spread and caught, alas;
Or lest by Lime-twigs they be foil'd;
Or by some greedy hawks be spoil'd.
O would, my young, ye saw my breast
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest.
Great was my pain when I you bred,
Great was my care when I you fed.
Long did I keep you soft and warm
And with my wings kept off all harm.
My cares are more, and fears, than ever,
My throbs such now as 'fore were never.
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want
Of perils you are ignorant.
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight,
Sore accidents on you may light.
O to your safety have an eye,
So happy may you live and die.
Mean while, my days in tunes I'll spend
Till my weak lays with me shall end.
In shady woods I'll sit and sing
And things that past, to mind I'll bring.
Once young and pleasant, as are you,
But former toys (no joys) adieu!
My age I will not once lament
But sing, my time so near is spent,
And from the top bough take my flight
Into a country beyond sight
Where old ones instantly grow young
And there with seraphims set song.
No seasons cold, nor storms they see
But spring lasts to eternity.
When each of you shall in your nest
Among your young ones take your rest,
In chirping languages oft them tell
You had a Dame that lov'd you well,
That did what could be done for young
And nurst you up till you were strong
And 'fore she once would let you fly
She shew'd you joy and misery,
Taught what was good, and what was ill,
What would save life, and what would kill.
Thus gone, amongst you I may live,
And dead, yet speak and counsel give.
Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu,
I happy am, if well with you.


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
The Anne Bradstreet poems appearing on this site are in the public domain.
Web site design and layout Copyright © 2002
Last modified: February 26, 2002

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I was reading this week about teenagers, since I will have some soon :), and I came across this interesting quote: "Low-control and low-acceptance parents produce teens with a variety of problems, including delinquency and chemical dependency. Parents who are high in control and low in acceptance (authoritarian parents) have children who are socially inadequate and lacking in confidence. Parents who are low in control and high in acceptance (indulgent parents) have teenagers with high impulsivity, low responsibility and low independence. Parents who are high in control and high in acceptance (strict but loving parents) have teenagers who are independent, socially responsible and confident. According to this research, the ideal family is one in which the message children receive from parents is: "We love you, but you must do as we say." ----from Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher.

I like the way the different parenting options or styles are described. And of course, I want to shoot for being in the category of "strict but loving parents.' For me, the issue comes down to authority. The kids need to know that they are not the boss. They need to know that mom and dad are in charge. I think each of them will try to have their own way and do their own thing if they are not 'checked' by their parents. There have to be rules. There have to be boundaries. The kids have to have responsibilities. The exact rules, boundaries and responsibilities will be different for every family, but they need to be taught consistently. For me, this has been the hardest thing about being a parent. Being consistent. I am not very good at it. But that's where God's grace comes in. I admit my weakness and fault, and move on, starting another day doing my best to be a 'good enough' parent. And, believing that God will fill in the gaps where I fall short. The parents' job is enormous emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. But we do not have to carry the load alone. I am thankful that I know that God is with me, helping me daily to do the things that I need to do. He is my strength. Daily I need to come to him and find direction and grace for my course. I know that my job is to train up my children to seek and desire Jesus. To love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. I strive (by the strength of the Holy Spirit) to teach them by example.

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:28-29