Adventure!



It seems hard to be adventurous when we are told to stay home… So we took to the road and grabbed some lunch. We live in such a beautiful area! I am thankful for the rain that makes it all so green. Have you ever noticed all the different shades of green? God could have chosen just one color but He made so many!⁣

Have you also noticed how the trees bloom? Even as life has slowed it seems to have happened overnight. There is so much beauty all around us. The budding, coming to life, rebirth is happening all around us right now. ⁣

Birds sing such happy tunes. It is like surround sound song birds and chirps in my backyard. I could sit back there for hours. I need to figure out how to set up a writing station with power outside as well as get a hammock for writing breaks and naps… Or just to lay outside reading. This is truly one of my dreams come true. It may be one part of my adventure… The part where the entire world slows down for a moment. ⁣

Until life and freedoms restored, I will bask in the miracles happening around me. This is only part of the adventure!

Pure Enjoyment

Enjoying the adventures in our backyard together!

I have to admit that I have enjoyed the past month (even though it feels like two or three) in more ways than I have struggled with the changes it has brought. I have enjoyed the new and creative ways we have come together as a family. In many ways it has increased the love and connection that schedules and the busy often can decrease.

I have learned the value in boredom. Kids can return back to their imaginations more than before much like life used to be before phones, tablets and other electronics. Being a kid in the grass and roasting s’mores. Magical lands once again return to life. This was my favorite part of my childhood and I have to admit that I have returned a bit myself during the longer days and have written adventures again.

It is also okay to not have plans. Return to rest and learn what it means to relax together. Love grows in these moments if it is allowed to, even if there is tension with the unknown. Perhaps once life returns post covid19 we can keep these moments? I want the deeper connections to stay and magical lands to continue to grow.

What have you enjoyed during this time?

Focus


What is your focus on today? During these days of slowing down and coming close in your homes we have time, finally, to get “unbusy”… We have been forced to halt and stop what has become our normal.



I love the unbusy… I love the slow. For me it means we get to focus on relationship better. I see so much hope for families and spouses reconnecting during this time.


At the same time I know that a lot is up in the air, and many are scared about many things. When the unknown hits, when tragedy hits the world or your own small world it can be so easy to focus on what we’ve lost versus what we’ve gained. It can be easy to focus on the chaos of fear.


But today I say, focus on hope. Focus on every hour kissing the faces of your kids, hug your spouse extra long… Go out of your way today to love those around you bigger and better than the day before. If you know cleaning the toilet would make someone happy and feel loved then clean that toilet. If it means making coffee and sitting down just to be close and that is what fills someone’s love cup, then get to it!


In the time where things keep getting banned, sickness takes over and grief of your normal sets in– turn to hope. Hope helps you see the many opportunities before you now.

Focus on what is good. Philippians 4:8

What My Dog Taught Me

This is a picture of my dog while I am gone. To some it may look like a dog who is in deep sleep. What this is, is a dog incredibly sad that I am gone. He almost looks a bit defeated.

I have been thinking about my sweet dog and this picture the rest of this week. He has separation anxiety because he believes the lie that when I leave, I will not come back. He lets that lie defeat him. I am also told that while I am gone he is mopey and sad. When I return he is renewed and exudes a joy that he is unable to contain.

We are not much different (forgive me for comparing us to a dog but the reminders from him are good to note).

This is what our souls look like when we don’t make time to be with the Lord. We get depleted. Ever so slowly we are exhausted by life circumstances and our souls become heavy laden. We want to give up. Sometimes we give in to the surrounding darkness. This is what happens when we believe lies about ourselves and about our circumstances.

If we could only remember the truths about our King. He will never leave us or forsake us. He has won our victory. He is always present. He loves us with an everlasting love. He waits for us to let him into our lives. Our growth and our joy is our choice because he will never force his way on anyone.

I encourage you to spend more time in prayer. Read more of the Bible. Get to know who God is. In his presence lies are destroyed, faith grows and hope rises.

There is no better way to live.

“God, thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for giving me strength to love through the storms. Thank you for helping me remain steadfast no matter how much my heart may break. Thank you for the gift of joy. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I cannot and will not live life without you. I choose you. Thank you for choosing me first.”

A Piece Of Heaven

Five years ago my Mom breathed her last breath here on Earth to make her journey home to Heaven. Those who have walked a similar journey understand the longing for that person. Some days Heaven feels far.

Many have followed the journey the past five years and I am grateful for you. Today, I am opening myself up a bit. I miss my Mom dearly but I have hope and joy. Please read my raw processing of the fifth year anniversary of her passing:

All I want is to experience a piece of Heaven with you today. I see you, you’re young and radiant. I thought you were beautiful as I grew up but today you radiate the light from the son and you’re breathtaking. You even smell good. I never saw you so healthy and your hair so thick. Aunt Shorty is smiling as she stands by your side. Michael is in your arms and your other grandkids are running around your legs giggling. My oldest sibling cannot wait to meet the rest of us as I see them waiting with excitement for our homecoming. The joy is indescribable!

Just a piece of Heaven.

To my Dad who saw your slow death from the beginning and battled on your behalf, will a piece of you come visit him in his dreams tonight? Just a piece of Heaven, a glance of your eye and your smile that radiates such love. Just a bit of your presence to touch the ache and bring a little more peace than before.

Just a piece of Heaven and I can tell you face to face how so many of your prayers for me have been answered. The horors of your childhood, a piece somehow did not elude me and it tore your heart to pieces. If only you could see me today and know I’m free, healed and whole. I know now that you prayed dreams and hopes would somehow be restored and the joyful spark would return to my eyes. Just a piece of Heaven is all I ask today, so that we could laugh a bit more over coffee. I could give you a hug and you could see the dreams that are unfolding in my life.

Just a piece of heaven, it is all I ask for my siblings who miss you too. You could be with all of your grandkids, some of whom you could kiss for the first time. Swingset swinging, going down slides, dancing, and laughing together even for a moment.

Just a piece of Heaven, it is all I ask.

Just a piece of Heaven for everyone.

Mom, I love you!

Mother’s Day…

Sigh.

This day is full of many emotions.

When we were children we never knew what our Mommas were feeling or going through. But the truth is that they often were grieving or struggling in some way. Sure, many years were great when this day came but so many brave souls overcame a day feeling less than, forgotten or were without someone they loved.

For those who have lost their Mom and/or sweet children of your own, rest in the fact that God loves them even to this day, more than you. I say this phrase as a blessing to you.

Today after church I was able to take a deep breathe in the car ride home. As I allowed myself to soak in all the love, hugs, and notes I had received, I saw an image of my Mom holding my son in her arms in heaven. How perfect they looked!

I realized in that moment how well taken care of both of them are. I know this but to “see” it and to see my Mom loving and holding my boy so close was exactly what my Momma heart needed. This would have (should have) been my first Mother’s day with a baby in my arms.

Despite the hint of sadness from loss, my heart is so full. I am one blessed woman. I am loved. I am lacking nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

The same goes for you. You are blessed. You are loved. You lack nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

Honorable, virtuous, strong woman, shed a tear if you need but arise and lift up your head for you are victorious!

Boxes and Bows

When did our lives become so busy and self-consuming?

The other day a longing came over me for the pure joy over simple things.

Everyday we miss extravagant happenings and miracles. Because of technology, our blessed country full of provisions and our selfish culture, we lose sight of beautiful things everyday. We can get caught up in our crazy world that we forget to live with a grateful heart.

Have you ever given a present to a child only to have them be more excited over the box or bow? We act disappointed when the gift is rejected over a free box or five cent bow.

It is time to get excited again over boxes and bows.

When was the last time that you noticed the little kid on your street laughing? Have you noticed the color of the sky on your way home? Did you realize that your spouse looked at you like you were the only one in the room? Did you notice the view from your house that you see everyday yet finally stopped to breathe in the beauty of it all?

Life is beautiful. The simple things are astounding. The simple things are miraculous because no matter what may be going on those simple things remind us of the goodness of God. Your circumstances will never change the goodness of God. He never changes. He is faithful, loving and mighty.

Breathe in the crisp night air amidst the sparkling sky. Laugh at the cheesy joke. Hold your spouse’s hand and memorize the way they look at you. Slowly sip that hot cup of coffee. No matter what may be going on in your life, these simple things are your boxes and bows.

God is waiting for you. He is amidst the simple things.

Better Than The Lilies

There is a statement I keep saying this year, “He clothes me better than the lilies.”

This is a significant statement about how I trust the Lord. He has always provided for our needs plus some.

It has been our priority to take care of our daughter first. We pay hundreds a month for her care (even though she rarely sees half of it) and then we make sure she has all she needs in our care. With her constant growth spurts this means that any new clothes for us come not out of our own pockets but as a blessing from others.

I have been blown away in the last month and at scattered times throughout the past year! I practically have a new wardrobe. You may not know but I’ve kept things even as things faded, stunk (sorry armpits), and tore (I still have items from before college). I now can get rid of these because of generous ladies who have shown great love for me. They keep giving me very nice clothes (brands I could not shop for).

I truly believe this great outpouring is because I (my husband too) have gone without for years to ensure our daughter has had clothes to wear. There were moments when we could not even afford to purchase her clothes and the Lord always provided with hand me downs from other families. He has always taken care of us.

We have celebrated this year because we’ve enjoyed shopping for clothes for her. It has given us great joy to be able to do so after many years of struggling. I have not cared that all the clothes money goes to her. She comes first.

Becauseof this I have come to understand how proud God is for how we love our girl. He clothes me better than the lilies because he loves me. Every time I wear a new-to-me item of clothing I feel so much love. I know whose I am. It is a reminder that if God cares enough to clothe me like royalty that all the other impossible and difficult things will come to pass in time.

Hallelujah!

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.

Memories

Memories are complex. The other night I was thinking of my Mom. I remembered when she was pregnant with my brother and how sick she was. It was almost as if I experienced being a little girl again who wanted my Mom to feel better again. Being a child I thought that by sharing my favorite doll and laying the doll on her belly would make her better. My favorite doll always made me happy and helped my tears go away. Such a precious memory right? My Mom in her exhaustion did such a good job to encourage me even when I was full of energy and I did not make rest easy for her.

I am now the same age as my Mom when she had my brother. For some reason it is a very significant age for me. I wish I could visit Heaven and ask her all the questions going through my mind these days. I have a brother or sister in Heaven that I have never met and I know my Mom would understand every thought and feeling.

There are days I wish I had my sister to chat with. I miss us three girls all together. I had always dreamt that my Mom, sister and I would talk girl talk and about kids with cups full of hot coffee. Those days will never be.

I am blessed with others who understand but no one can replace my Mom.

Love you Mom!