Counting The Savior’s Fingers And Toes

I have been thinking about Mary and baby Jesus recently. How did it feel to hold him close knowing who he was? As I began pondering these things the birth of Jesus started to come alive in different ways. Other things came to my mind as well.

Since God chose Mary and Joseph to be parents to Jesus, then he has fully equipped you to parent your kids whether they are biological or not. You are needed. You are known.

Remember the babe in a manger. Look at his family. Even he grew up in a blended family. It was not perfect. They were not rich. They loved God and each other. Obedience ran deep in their veins and trust was rooted in their hearts.

Below is a quick story that came from one of my days of pondering, wondering and imagining one of the greatest days in history for all mankind.

As you read, may the birth of Christ become more real to you today.

The dingy, musky air filled with scents of hay and sheep surrounded them. A fire crackled as a pot of water warmed over for Jesus and Mary.

Mary lay back exhausted and uncomfortable. She was trying to get Jesus to latch on for his first meal while Joseph gathered food, and tended to the fire. He would check on her every now and then. She would catch him staring at them in awe.

Jesus cooed and Mary nuzzled her nose into his neck and inhaled the scent of him. She counted his fingers and toes twice over. His eyes had a brightness to them and seemed to have a hue of every color. This was the Savior her people had been waiting their entire lives for.

Her heart could hardly take in that she was chosen to be his Mommy. How does one raise the son of God? She and Joseph did not have much and she bit back tears as she realized their lives were not fit for a king. It humbled her that she was considered worthy for such a task. And now here he was, in her arms, tiny, handsome and needing her. The Savior of the world needed her.

As Joseph finished gathering rags he brought over the warmed water and took care of his family. He could hardly believe that he was to raise the Messiah. He looked perfect in every way. Mary was more beautiful to him than she ever was. There were no words for this moment. Immediately their souls had intertwined and been brought together in a way that no one else in history would ever know.

Only a Savior could do that.

Roar of Justice

My little family of 3 is worth trudging through the mud for!

Due to our current dynamics (other blended families can relate) we often face ongoing challenges that require a good lifestyle of forgiveness, self-control, patience, joy, peace, kindness, goodness & love. Oh wait, you mean all families should require that too? Uh… Yeah!

Exclusion and slander have become just a normal thing we face on a regular basis (sadly by multiple people). The unfortunate part about this is that our daughter is the one that pays for it. I want to write a book about all of the ways that kids are getting damaged by selfish, deceitful adults who exclude, lie and slander those whose intentions are pure… So stayed tuned for several years about how selfish adults actions affect the next generation & ways to reverse the damage (insert wink emoji here for added light hearted effect which won’t work anyways).

I have reached a point where just pretending to put a smile on my face around these people is not good enough anymore. If you know anything about me I have always struggled when things are not complete, are not reconciled & when injustices continue to occur. I have also come to the realization that I have at times unknowingly partnered with the thief by just sitting back and allowing a heavy cloak of the wrong identity to be placed on me that was never mine. Consider this post a step to break free from the ongoing bondage I unknowingly partnered with.

Is my family worth it? Yes!

Will I continue to attempt to ensure that my family will be included and given time together that they deserve? Yes, just with a different attempt & with those that are in our lives to lift us up. I have every right to protect and guard those I love especially my own husband and daughter.

Here is to victory after victory!

Here is to triumph after triumph!

Hear the roar of justice! He is coming.

Winter is about to end.

Legacy: kindness?

Something heavy on my heart are the power of words. With my job, too often I see kids walk through our doors beat up from the words and actions of adults in their life. Kids come in with heads hung low or hiding deep wounds made by someone’s tongue.

Choose your words wisely. Your words can either help someone or hinder them. The same can be said about yourself.

The words one hears; the words spoken over someone, to someone, and about someone all become a part of the individual who is being spoken to. If these words are damaging, unfortunately it becomes a part of them.

Parents and family members, if you are trash talking another person that is related to your children, keep in mind that you are hurting your children. Your temporary pleasure of acting out in anger is not worth the abuse on your children’s heart and soul.

Be kind.

Speak kindly.

Choose to love. Stop the words of hate from exiting your mouth.

Be better.

Do better.

You were made to live in a way that helps and blesses others, especially your children, who are here to carry the legacy you leave behind.

What will your legacy be?

The Step Or Bonus

You are important.

You matter.

As a Stepmom Mother’s day is a strange day. It is filled with tension and love. By Monday I feel like I can take a deep breath and finally relax after Sunday is complete.

If you are a fellow Stepmom you know that some may acknowledge your role while others will not. Some of you desperately need and want to be accepted if it is a simple, “Thank you”.

This year Mother’s day is difficult for other reasons for me. Some reasons I will not share in this post but will reserve for another time.

I do not need a day like Mother’s day. I am blessed knowing that I am important and valued by those that matter most to me. I am often celebrated multiple times a year. I am blessed!

But the day does lead to other struggles and I would be happy to skip the day all together.

It will be the 3rd year without my Mom here. Even though the Lord has removed the deep grief I used to live with, the day is filled with a twinge of sadness. I am so blessed to have others in my life who love me like a daughter and I know that my Mom would be happy for these beautiful ones who cherish me so.

The day also brings an awkwardness as my daughter struggles. My desire is for her to love and cherish her Mom. As she grapples and struggles through her situation it is difficult to see her be put into situations that she never should have to be put in. She is a model of bravery and courage as she battles to love everyone even at the expense of her heart from one side.

Finally as Mother’s day approaches I grieve my baby. I should have been 30 weeks pregnant.

It was going to be a celebration of this beautiful miracle. Life should have been moving and growing within me as my family of 3 anticipated the arrival of number 4 this summer.

Despite the struggles I have new hope, and have found joy in letting go. I look forward to what is to come this year. In fact, the more I spend time allowing Jesus to heal my mind, body & soul, the more I laugh at what the enemy has attempted to destroy. It is payback year and the dues must be paid. Justice and victory are coming.

For those of you struggling with similar things I encourage you to know that God hears every hearts cry. He sees every tear that falls. He is for you and your family whether you are acknowledged for loving and caring for your kids or not. Whether you are a Foster Mom, Stepmom (bonus Mom), Adoptive Mom, or Grandma who has taken on the role of Mom- you are seen, known, and valued. Your kids need you. The enemy will try to tell you otherwise and others will jump on that bandwagon but it will never change the truth.

You are important.

You are valued.

You matter.

Keep loving no matter who tries to stop you.

No Grey

Black or white. Truth or lies. There is no grey area regarding our words.

Have you ever been nervous to be in someone’s presence who you knew had been told awful lies about you?

This alone can make one feel instantly unsafe.

It is horrible when slanderous words are used to steal your true identity or the identity of ones you love. Gossip and slander can steal the opportunity away for a genuine connection with others. Relationships, and entire family units can be torn apart just by one person sowing lies about individuals character and life. It is sad. It breaks hearts.

Until repentance occurs and time reveals that the lies have stopped, things will never be remotely similar to what they once were. With children the lies they may believe could take a lifetime to work through.

What we say is very powerful. Death and life is in the tongue. We either uplift or tear down. There is no grey area.

Choose your words wisely.

Choose love.

Choose truth.

Do It Again

2018 is on the horizon and I have many things on my mind. I have spent 2017 forgiving many, loving fiercely and surrendering my soul to my mighty God. There are many questions I have and many prayers I’m waiting for the Lord to answer. 

He has done great things for my heart, my soul & for my family. He has delivered me from pain & healed my body. He has set me free.

My biggest question going into 2018 is, “Will you do it again?” 

Every day for the past week and a half I have asked God this question. I have wept and I have spent hours into the night interceding for my family. There is so much on my heart that I cannot give up hope believing will happen. 

I have spent my time watching the boxing scene in Rocky where he did not win that battle but he put up one good fight & remained standing. This is 2017. 

2018 will be the year I see God do it again. I will go back in that boxing ring and win! It will be my year full of laughter & joy. 

I have listened to this song every day for the past week and a half. It has been my anthem. God is good. He is faithful. ⬇

“Do It Again” Elevation Worship

Speechless 

Is there a word that better describes grateful, thankful, or blessed? Joy? 

The past month has renewed hope within me for the impossible. I cannot describe it. I could not tell you when it happened. One day I woke up & all of a sudden what seemed impossible no longer looked or felt impossible. Childlike faith & joy was  restored. It was not like I lost it but the pain that God delivered me from has now enabled joy to invade every part that was ever damaged.

Words are not adequate. Giving my life will never convey how grateful I am for all that God has done for me and my family. 

Just this past week alone I have found myself wanting to shout praises to God! Simple things like being greeted from our cat at home have made me say “thank you”. Or the time she fell out of our window this past week & bounced off the side table onto the floor because she fell asleep there (she didn’t get hurt and I laughed a lot). 

What really gets me is when I see my daughter smile at me & tell me unsolicited, “I really love you Kara”. I love hugs from my husband & waking up knowing he is excited that I’m the first person he sees. 

I am grateful for voxers & phone calls with friends who have lasted the test of time & distance. I love that others have adopted me & love me without an expectation of what my response may be. Love has literally consumed my heart that it often feels as if it will burst.

Grateful? Thankful? Those words do not cut it. Those words merely express a tiny piece of what is in my soul. 

I am living in freedom! 

Joy is life.

Now I know what it means to laugh my way through trials. Do you want to know why?

Because my God is going to do the impossible! There is no way the enemy can win.