Making your Home sing Monday--In Love with God

Come join me for some good ole' Making Your Home Sing Monday fun over at Momstheword!

Today, more than anything, I want to make my home sing by making my heart sing for the love of my life.  I just want to love my God with everything I am.  I get so preoccupied with other "things" so easily and my heart needs to fall in love all over again with the God that is always sweeping me off my feet.
This photo of My Sweetness is one of my favorites.  The sun is forming a halo around her head and she's staring in joyful captivation at the rays of light streaming through her fingertips.  Such a common thing, the light of the sun.  But not through the eyes of a little child who is mesmerized by new discoveries.

I want my relationship with God to look like that photograph.

I want to be captivated by his Glory.  I don't ever want my God's greatness, his faithfulness, his everlasting kindness to become something I take for granted.

I want to explore the secrets of God.  To know the depths of his love and the breadth of his grace.  To hear his heartbeat, feel his sorrow, be caught up in his joy.  Like a little child pausing in wonder to behold the sun lacing through her fingers, I want to notice those everyday miracles God graces my life with.  I want to delight in the warmth of his rays, to continually be in awe of the brilliancy of his face.  

Tell me your secrets, God.  Come bend low and whisper in my ear.  

And we'll watch the sun dance together.

And we'll make this home sing.



This is a picture I took of my dearest friend/neighbor holding a globe.  Really?  You didn't know that was a globe?!  Let's just say I'm talented at stating the obvious.  Anyway, the story behind it is that she is soon leaving for Australia to work in a YWAM birthing center for a year.  One whole year of missing my dear Orissa...sigh.  How exciting it will be to hear her God-stories, though!    How awesome it will be to pray for her as she brings life in more ways than one into this aching world!

Along those lines, my sister-in-law is also leaving in a week for the mission field.  She will be attending a missions school in India for six weeks.  I can't wait to hear about what God is doing in India as well!  Both of them are setting up a blog and I know I'll be on them every day.

I can't wait to hear exciting news from the mission field, but do you want to know the real truth?  The real truth is that I want to be the one going.  I have always desired to be a foreign missionary.  When I was five years old my favorite story was about a missionary named Amy Carmichael.  I admire that woman so greatly.  I always wanted to follow that calling.  I just knew I was supposed to be a missionary.

I do know that where I live is a huge, hurting mission field in itself and I am called to be a missionary wherever I am,  but at the same time I just can't explain away my passion for the nations.  Sometimes the longing to be on a foreign field becomes so great I start becoming discontent with where I am.  My conversations with God begin to sound like this, 

"God, why are we still here?  When are you going to give us clear direction on where to go?  You know we aren't going to take this step without you.  We're just waiting on you, God."

And then his response,
"And I'm just waiting for you to be content with where you are."

Oh boy.  I was afraid he'd say that.  Being content is not very easy for me.  I can be joyful, but to be content?  That would mean I would have to stop striving and wishing and wanting and longing for what I don't have and even for what I'm not.  

"Okay, God, what are you saying to me?  I'm listening."

"What you do for me doesn't define who you are, I define who you are."

"Oh, wow. Thank you for helping me understand this, Lord.  Help me remember it."

I'm always desperately wanting to DO something for God and somehow that DOING begins to DEFINE me.  Don't get me wrong, doing good works is important, faith without works is dead.  But it's when we begin to define ourselves by what we are doing FOR God, instead of what HE has already done and WHO HE IS within us that we begin to lose sight of the simple message of Christ.

I'm studying what Paul wrote here:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4: 12-13
So what's the secret to being content?  It is the knowledge that I can do everything through him.  Only through Jesus.  It is IN him that I find contentment.  He is my I AM.

**To read more of this conversation I had with God, you can click here.


the EYEs have it...

AHOY there!

Thank ye all SO kindly fer yer prayers concerning me pirate...uhh...I mean me corneal ulcerative condition!

God is Good, Maties!  God IS GOOD!

Me eye's a healin' quite nicely. ^_*

Yesterday I didn't dare go outside because the light was excruciating and I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face!  But this morning felt promising.  I ventured outside for my doctor's appointment, looking very silly I might add, but definitely improved from yesterday!  I had to wear my sunglasses over my glasses and my the sunglasses are just a bit small for that to work as nicely as one would want so they stuck out 3 inches from my face in an uneven slant!

I still think an eyepatch would have been so much more fashionable.

But the good ole doc didn't agree.  And he knows best.  Yes sir.  No arguments from this patient.

**Thank you, dear friends, for all your prayers and your adorable comments!
And THANK YOU, my Jesus, for answering them all with your healing touch!


Friday Photo Flashback....1947

Today is...
I'm linking up with Alicia @ More Than Words for Friday Photo Flashback.  Go check out her blog to see some more fun photos!

I'm going way, wayyyy back on this one...

I love this picture of my Grandpa sweeping my Grandma off her feet.  And that car.  Oh Gramps, that was one sweet ride!

My Grandparent's were married for 63 years.  Yep.  That's right.  Sixty-three blissfully wedded years!  Their marriage has always been an inspiration to me.

Someone once said that if you want a great marriage than you should ask advice from a couple who has one.  My Grandparent's had a great marriage.  And I want a track record like theirs!  Throughout my life, I have observed some of the things that made their marriage rock solid.

1}  They shared a love for Jesus.

2}  They prayed together every night.

 I remember laying awake and listening to my Grandparents help each other kneel beside the bed and their voices lifting each of us up in prayer.
It was the most beautiful sound in the world.  They even prayed as one.

3}  They respected each other in their words and in their actions.

My Grandma lovingly met all my Grandpa's needs.  She enjoyed taking care of him!  She didn't nag, she didn't boss, she served him in love.   And he always bragged about the beautiful gal he was lucky enough to find and marry.  He LOVED to talk about my Grandma!

4}  They knew how to laugh.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

5}  For them, the honeymoon was never over!

They kept that flame lit and they guarded it possessively! 


because we're friends...please pray

Oh dear, I feel like a pirate.

All I need is that infamous eye patch.

And it seems I may get my wish!

My eye is throbbing and swollen shut and my doctor has declared that I have a  corneal ulcer.

Yikes!  A what!?

At first I thought he said a coronary ulcer.  Umm, am I ever glad I heard that wrong!

Although they can be serious, I'm thankful it's  not my heart.  ^_^

I tried to joke with him about that and he gave me a stern look and said, "You don't want to lose your eye, do you?  This is a potentially blinding condition."

Umm, no sir, I do not.

Yes sir, I will be a good girl and squirt a drop of vigomax (a very expensive drop I might add) in my peep every fifteen minutes.

And I will pray.  A lot.

And I will ask dear friends to pray, too.

Healing in Jesus' Name!

What? Worry Wart? Where?

Worry is kind of like an old smelly wet sponge.

I don't know where I came up with that.
I just think both of them stink.
And you just gotta toss 'em.

But I've been holding onto mine today.
A little too long.
I'm ready to let it go

Faith is like a little child.

It is free of every care.
It throws it's arms in the air
And leaps and twirls with abandon
like Lil Man...

right into the waiting arms of our Father.

Because faith knows he hears our prayers.
And he answers every one.
I opened my Bible for the third time today, desperately needing my Jesus to speak to me.  This verse leapt out at me,
"As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands."  Psalm 119:143

And what is the Lord's command concerning worry? It is this:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4: 5-7
Thank you, my dear Jesus, thank you.


dandelion toes and a few of my favorite things...

I will always have the best of memories of my Grandparent's house. 
I spent many a summer helping them pick vegetables from their little valley garden.  Snapping beans and shelling peas with my Grandpa to the tune of the backyard swing.  Shucking enough corn to feed half the town of Locust Grove.  (And feed the town they always did!)  I remember my Grandma trying to teach me how to can the cucumbers, okra, green beans, and tomatoes.  It was hot, sweaty work bending over steaming pots and scalding jars.  I wasn't the greatest student, I might add, and now I'm bemoaning my silliness.  Mmmm, what I wouldn't give now to learn the secret to my Grandmas famous dill pickles.  She canned her very last jar a year ago and it's in my fridge, making me drool.

I wanted to cherish every memory.

Laying in the cool clover, picking dandelions and whirling them between my toes, listening to the shrill serenade of a million locusts in the formosa trees.

I felt like a little girl all over again.  And some things never change.  My favorite things haven't.

I will always love the worn blue leather of my Grandpa's favorite Bible.

My Grandma's vintage linens with delicate roses  (which it seems my little girl loves, too!)
My Grandma's pearls and her beef brisket.

The fabric in the quilt my Great Grandmother Dovey Palestine Mckenzie made my Grandfather in 1929.

The irises my Grandpa planted along the blackberry fence.

Cool crisp cucumber pickles and the best tomato juice this side of heaven.

I always wondered what God's favorite color was.  I even asked him one time, but I guess he thought it was more than obvious.  It's a toss up, I suppose.  The colors he used the most to paint our world are the blue of the sky and the green of the grass.  I'm glad he chose the colors he did...

because they're my favorite.
And they're the color of my favorite memories. 


Home Sweet Home

There's no place like home sweet home.
And all three of my munchkins agree!

Me and the kids spent the last week at my Grandparents for my Grandpa's funeral.  It was a l-o-n-g 10 whole hours of a trip.  My honey of a husband drove us all the way there and then hopped a plane back.  It was good to see family.  My dad hadn't seen my kids for almost a year, so I'm just grateful that we all got to be together.

My Grandpa's funeral was everything he would have wanted it to be.  It was simple and so beautiful.  His favorite songs were played and I balled like a baby through the slide show.  His funeral glorified his Jesus, just as his life did.  He had always wanted me to sing "Beulah Land" for his funeral, but I really couldn't keep it together enough to sing.  I read him my letter instead and I asked the one thing I knew my Grandpa would have wanted to ask...

"Do you know where you will go when you die?"

Because you can know.  My Grandpa did.  He breathed his last breath while the song "The Hills of Heaven are Calling Me" played on his recorder.  He went home to be with his closest Friend, his beloved King.  Jesus was his everything. 

There is a small bible tucked in the console of my Grandpa's car.  One of the pages is folded in, and this one verse is outlined with his pen,
"...if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Romans 10: 9
Jesus promises heaven to all who confess with their mouth that he is Lord and believe in him--the Son of God.

As I was writing this, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, 

"What are you confessing with your mouth today?

Are you confessing "Jesus is Lord" over your children?
Are you confessing "Jesus is Lord" over your marriage?
Are you confessing "Jesus is Lord" over your everyday doings?"

Oh, Jesus, help me to proclaim you as Lord over every area of my life!  Thank you for giving me the promise of heaven.  Thank you for giving us all the certainty that

We can know where our eternal home will be.

And there's no place like home sweet home...


On Exemplify...

Have you heard of the online magazine, Exemplify?  

If you haven't, you need to go check it out because it will refresh your spirit!  I really love this magazine.  It's just overflowing with the Word of God.  I've been so blessed by the devotions and the Bible studies, the testimonies and the true stories...


My blog is being featured there today!

That is just pure kindness.

Visit HERE and be blessed!


My Grandpa: A Man After God's Own Heart

*** This morning, my Grandfather Herb passed away.  I can't tell you how conflicting my emotions are right now... I am overwhelmed with loss and at the same time I am overjoyed that he is with his Saviour.  My Grandfather's life was so rich, so full, so abundant in Christ Jesus, that our family cannot help but grieve that he has left us.  We will miss his quiet strength and his unfaltering devotion to his Lord.  His was a life of servanthood.***
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"  Matthew 24:21
My Dearest Grandpa,

My heart aches that I could not be by your side when you breathed your last breath.  I know that all of heaven was in that room.  My heart aches that I could not whisper my love to you and hold your strong hand.  I hope you heard my voice on the phone, I hope you felt my love through the Holy Spirit.  I hope you know how much your life has been a beacon for mine.

Grandpa, when I think of what a true man of God looks like, I think of you.  Always.  My earliest memories of you (and almost all of my memories!) involve the Word of God.  You would sit in your chair for hours and just read and meditate on your precious Bible.  Your face would light up and you would call us to your knee to tell us of the truths you were reading in God's Word.  Your soft eyes would take on an earnest light and you would ask us, "Joye, Jody, do you know if you're going to heaven?  Do you know that Jesus is the only way?  You can know right now...I would love to pray for you."  You were so kind, so compassionate, so full of the love of Jesus.  I never remember hearing you speak a harsh word!  You always maintained a quiet strength, a peaceful spirit!  That is a testimony in and of itself.

And the joy of the Lord, oh my dear Grandpa, you had it!  No matter how much pain you were in, you always had a sense of humor that could force even the Grinch to crack a smile.  You were always playing practical jokes on us and we loved it!  You had a passion for life that was wrapped up in the Gospel of Christ.  You never tired of sharing Jesus in EVERYTHING you did.

I cannot think of a single hobby that you had.  The thing you loved the most to do was read the Living Word of God!  I wish I could tell you what an impact that has made on my life.  I wish I could tell you how much I desire to follow in your footsteps, to forsake everything for the cross of Jesus!  You never sought after money or possessions.  Your life was lived solely for the Kingdom and I saw how God provided for you so faithfully!!  You lacked no good thing!  

I know that you are rejoicing in the presence of your Saviour--oh how you have longed for this day!  I can almost see the radiant joy on your face, I can almost hear the words of our Master and King saying to you as he pulls you into his embrace, "Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Well done!"

All my Love and all my gratitude for calling you 'Grandpa',
your granddaughter

***I will be attending my Grandpa's funeral this week, so I won't be blogging.  My love and prayers go out to all of you, though, and I look forward to catching up with you next week!***


Learning to Love...

Don't you like my shoes?  Ok, so this post is not all about loving shoes!  But I just had to add them because they turned out so lovely...^_^

I am learning to be more graceful...towards myself.

Maybe it's because I'm a first-born,  or maybe it's because I'm a (teensy) bit of  a perfectionist, but I have always been very hard on myself.  I get so impatient with my constant shortcomings,  my glaring flaws, my failures and my guffaws.   The hardest verse in the Bible for me to apply to my life (and it happens to be a commandment) has been "Love your neighbor as yourself."  (Matthew 22: 39).  Loving others the way God wants me to requires me to love myself the way he wants me to.  I can't give grace and mercy to others if I can't give it to myself.

God began showing me this several years ago when My Honey and I first got married.  It was difficult for me to receive his love because I was so critical of myself and couldn't understand how anyone could look beyond my faults and love me.  At the same time, while I thought I was loving him, I was being critical and judgmental of him as well.  I was holding him to the same impossibly high standards that I have always held myself to.  Of course, nothing is wrong with having high standards, but high standards without grace becomes burdensome. 

I remember the night God began to speak to me about loving myself.  I was having such a hard time understanding how in the world to do that without becoming prideful because I knew that God detests pride.  The whole term "loving myself" just didn't sound right to me.  I was desperate for a revelation.  And then God spoke to me.  He led me to the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13...
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (vs. 4-7)
He began to show me that the very definition of love is that "it does not boast, it is not proud!"  If I learn to truly love myself the way the Bible describes love, then it is not prideful at all.  Of course, we must always guard ourselves against the sin of pride because it can creep up on us when we least expect it, but loving ourselves the way God intended us to will help us learn to say no to pride and pity alike.

God then instructed me to do something that has been changing me from the inside out ever since.  He had me re-write 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 as a letter describing what loving myself would look like:

"I am patient with myself.  I treat myself kindly.  I do not envy, I do not boast.  I am not proud.  I am not rude or self-seeking, I am not easily angered by my faults and I keep no record of my wrongs.  I do not delight in evil, but I rejoice with the truth.  I always protect, always trust, always hope (that I'll walk closer with my Jesus), always persevere."

That wasn't the end.  After I let the truth of love begin to settle deep in my soul, God showed me that I could now love others as myself.

Again, I re-wrote the Love Chapter to read for others:

"I am patient with other's shortcoming's.  I am kind to others.  I do not envy others, I do not boast to them.  I am not proud.  I am not rude or self-seeking, others do not easily anger me and I keep no record of the wrongs they commit against me and my family.  I do not delight in evil, but I rejoice with them in the truth.  I always protect others, always trust, always hope, always persevere in my love for them."

Thank you, my Jesus,
for considering me worth dying for and worth living for.  Thank you for teaching me how to love like you do.  Help me to walk in your love every day of my life.


The Mulberry Tree Jam

All around the mulberry tree
This mommy chased her wee ones...

Did you know that mulberries grow on trees?!  Unfortunately, I now know this.  One of the only trees in our yard with branches directly over our heads pelts us with mulberries all day long!  The lawn is an inch deep (really, I never exaggerate)  in mullberries.  

We're not playing here, folks, we're jammin'!

porch jammin'...

diapee jammin'...

baby "nose" best jammin'...

"can you tell what I've been eatin'?" jammin'....

We're jammin'...   Jammin' the day away....  We're jammin...

Jammin' till mamma gets an axe and chops down that stinkin' mulberry tree that stains all our clothes, our knees, our toes, our hands, our shoes, our noses, and even her floor!

The end.


You Are the Key to God's Heart

"Mommy," two pudgy little hands squished my cheeks between them, "I just looove you."  His earnest eyes sought mine, "I love you as high as the sky."  

"And I love you to the moon and back!"  I said, choking on my heart and blinking back my tears.

"I love you all--" a little arm reached for the ceiling, "the way to the sun."

"Well, I love you all the way to heaven!"  I threw my arms out as wide as they could go and then tickled that little boy who owns my heart until we were both out of breath.  

Hearing those words from my child never gets old.  He grabs my heart with his genuine affection.  He steals it.  And I am more than happy to let him have it!

At a recent women's event, my pastor shared a similar story that has lingered with my soul.  She was snuggling in the cold with one of her young sons when he spread himself over her and said, "Mommy, I want to be your cover." 

"In that moment", she said, "it was like he just crawled up inside my heart."

The message of the evening was to love God in such a way that we "crawl up inside his heart."  Can you just see it?  Can you just feel the heart of God towards you?  You hold the key to his heart.  You ARE the key to his heart! 

Is that hard for you to grasp?  I know it's hard for me sometimes.  Yet it was God who created the fierceness of a mother's love, so why do we struggle accepting His all-consuming love for us?  If my son can absolutely overwhelm my heart with his love, then just think what our love for our Saviour, our King, our Daddy does to HIS heart!  

I want to crawl up inside the heart of God.  

I have felt His love.  Oh, how I have felt his love!  And now I want Him to feel mine.

This song says it all-- everything I long to convey to the Love of My Life. 

"I want to play the strings of your heart, God...
Come play the strings of mine."

Starring: Moms In HomeBiz

Here she is!  Roll out the red carpet!  Our leading lady...the mom-trepreneur!
Who's our A-List Mommy?  She's Sweet Stephanie from The Hanes Family!

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her precious 10 month old, Valerie.  She's expecting another wee one in the fall and she still finds the time to manage her Etsy store: Sew Inspired By Baby!
I love mommy businesses because it takes guts to be a stay at home mom in the first place and it takes even more guts to start a business from home.  Besides that, who better to buy from than a mother? ^_^  So, every other week, I'll be hosting "Moms in HomeBiz" and I can't tell you how excited I am to introduce our newest debutante, Stephanie!

Stephanie's adorable little business will cover your babies' bums and your "uh-humms" in style.  She makes the cutest little cloth diapers, hip nursing covers, and even fleece ribbon blankies.      
Let's chat with her, shall we?

TJJ:  So, Stephanie, what made you decide to start your own business?

Stephanie:  I started sewing when I was pregnant with my daughter, though my mom has tried to teach me several times over the years. I never really cared to learn until I realized it was a great way to save money as a stay at home mom. My first project was to make curtains for the nursery. When my daughter was 2 months old we started cloth diapering her and a friend of mine gave me lots of information on how to make my own. I made my first cloth diapers for my cousin’s new baby and fell in love with sewing. I LOVED that I could see a vision for a project and follow it through to completion…and the end result was so rewarding! When I posted pictures of some of the things I was making on my blog, a few people mentioned that I should make and sell them. I didn’t take it seriously until my husband got excited about it too and encouraged me to give it a try. 

TJJ:  What was the first thing you made when you were learning to sew?

Stephanie: The first thing I EVER made on a sewing machine (that I remember) was a travel pillow bag for my dad. That took a LOT of help from my mom though.  

TJJ:  What advice would you give to a mom who is contemplating switching to cloth diapers?

Stephanie:  My advice to a mom who’s contemplating switching to cloth diapers is to do your research and make sure your husband is on board with you. I don’t think I would have even given it a try if my husband hadn’t been all for it too. Then, stick to your decision. I got some negative comments when I told people I was going to cloth diaper, but my mom reminded me it was my decision and I needed to stick up for it. Also, don’t feel bad if you realize you don’t like it. I figured if I hated it the prefolds made great burp cloths too! 

TJJ: When do you find time to sew??!

Stephanie:  I try to sew a little bit whenever I have a little free time – like when my daughter is happily playing on the floor or when she’s napping. Sometimes on the weekends, my husband will watch her while I sew. Sewing is such a creative outlet for me that I try to make time for it when I can, but I also realize that I may have to stop in the middle of a project and I’m okay with that…my number one priority right now is being a mom, which I wouldn’t trade for any other job in the world!  

TJJ:  Out of all your products which one are you the most proud of making?

Stephanie: I am the most proud of the Peek-a-boo Nursing Cover I sell in my Etsy shop. I really wanted a nursing cover when my daughter was born, but could never justify spending lots of money on one. When I started to do more sewing, I realized I could make one easily for myself. When I opened up my Etsy shop, I knew I wanted to sell my nursing covers so other moms could benefit from a less expensive (and CUTER) nursing cover. (Note: Right now I don’t have a listing for one, but I will be working on adding another one this week as well as a custom listing.)

TJJ:  I have to say that I really love your nursing cover, too!  I've gotta get one!  What about your daughter? Which product is her favorite?

Stephanie:  My daughter LOVES her Fleece Ribbon Blankie. I made it after noticing she loved to play with tags on any of her stuffed animals. At first, she loved to chew on the tags, but now she uses the blankie as a comfort on long car rides.

TJJ:  Thanks, Stephanie for giving us a peek into your life in homebiz!

To visit Stephanie's Etsy shop click here and to visit her blog click here.



Bargain Decorating Files--Frame It Fabulous

I know I've mentioned this before, but my Mother-in-love's thumbs are so green they're glowing.  She has such a beautiful garden and I couldn't help but snap some pictures of her blossoming blooms.  She inspires me.  She really does.

I wanted to give her something special for Mother's Day, so I decided to frame the pictures I took of her flowers.  I looked everywhere for white frames and I just couldn't find anything even remotely close to my budget, so I decided to get crafty.

Bargain Tip #10:  Paint your own frames.
I found some very plain, very boring, but very affordable frames....
And Lil Man and I gave them three coats of white paint  (well, Lil Man painted one frame once and then got bored and moved on to other more exciting things...like painting his swing set...)  Then Sweetness helped me sand the frames to give them a distressed look...
I had mats cut to fit the square photos...
And now I'm thinking about making more for my own house!


Making Your Home Sing Monday--Taking It Easy

Making your home sing Mondays
I just love what momstheword posted about Making Our Homes Sing.  As moms, we try to do it all, but sometimes it just isn't possible.  This is hard for me sometimes.  There are days (weeks) that I feel like I don't accomplish anything!  I'm busy all day and it feels like all I do is clean, clean, clean...but the house still looks messy.  I'm TRYING not to let this bother me as much as it usually does.  I would love for my house to be an organized, neat and tidy little haven for my family and for any unexpected visitors that drop by.  We live in town and this happens a lot--and I love for it to happen!! (what mom doesn't get excited about talking to another adult during her day??)  It's just that I wish I wasn't so worried about the stains on the rug I had been meaning to clean while visiting with them.  I wish I wasn't so preoccupied with picking up after my children all day and just plopped down and played in the mess with them.  I never regret it when I do!

I have to learn to let go of less important things (like dirty dishes) sometimes and enjoy the more important things (like hugs and sloppy kisses) all the time.  The dishes aren't going anywhere--they'll still be around when I'm 80, but children grow up and often move out.  Oh, how my heart aches to type that.  I never knew how fast time flew until I became a mother!  I will slow down this week and I'll be okay with some things left undone.  Because I  want to fill my little ones with songs of love and songs of joy.  Because my little ones spell love: t-i-m-e. 
I caught the sweetest moment on camera the other day!  Sweetness and Prince Charming love to play with each other while they eat. It's so cute to hear them giggling and jabbering away to one another.  Lately, they've been holding hands.  Ahhhhh...I know!  Doesn't it make your heart squeeze?

P.S.  I made a gift for my mother-in-law for mother's day and I can't wait to post pictures tomorrow!

Motherhood--God's Idea!

Listen, Lord,
a mother’s praying
low and quiet:
listen, please.
Listen what her tears
are saying,
see her heart
upon its knees;
lift the load
from her bowed shoulders
till she sees
and understands,
You, Who hold
the worlds together,
hold her problems
in Your hands.
-Ruth Bell Graham

There is so much my heart wants to say about motherhood.  So much.  There is nothing like carrying life within us.  There is nothing like the life our children give to us in return.  There is a beauty in motherhood, a glorious, sacrificial gift that God decided to bless woman with.  Yes, we were the first to bring death into our world (remember Eve).  But God, in his graciousness, made us life givers!  Ours was a great sin, but God gave us even greater mercy.  The amazing mercy of motherhood.

It is so wonderful to know that motherhood is an incredible GIFT from Him.  There is no greater joy than to be fulfilling the calling of God upon my life.  This is my purpose, it is what I was created for--to be a mother who loves her God, who loves her family, and who loves her world.   To be a mother who raises her children to love their God and to love their families.  To be a mother who loves.

I posted a poem from Ruth Graham because I am always so inspired by the way she embraced her role as a mother.  She walked out her Kingdom Calling with grace and fortitude.  The path of motherhood is not an easy one, it is one that is tread with the heart, and often the heart gets tread on.  Motherhood is one of God's chosen descriptions of sacrificial love.

After reading her poem, I felt God begin to whisper His answer to it's prayer.  Here is the poem he gave in response:

I hear each prayer,
See every task
performed in love,
in selfless acts.
It is you I have
entrusted life to.
Life to carry, hold
and see through.
Know that you are
blessed my daughter,
for it is you I have
called to be
a mother.

Happy Mother's Day to you!

May the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts and minds and may you abandon yourself to this great calling!


For You, Motherest

My Motherest,
(note to readers:  motherest=mother+dearest, a term I made up when I was 11)

I know that you will read this as soon as you can find a computer and as soon as you can leave Grandma and Grandpa's side for just a minute.  You are one of the most selfless people I know and you are caring for them as faithfully as you do everyone you meet.  Because you are that kind of mother.

I only wish you were closer to me...I miss you.  But don't cry!  (or the ladies in the library will stare at you again ^_^)  We'll plan a trip to see each other soon!  But for now, I love to call you on the phone.  The sound of your voice is like sunshine on the dreariest of days.  You always know just what to say.  You always believe in me.  Always encourage me.  Always love me.  Because you are that kind of mother.

I love the way you laugh so hard sometimes that you can't stop.  I love the way you wear your heart on your sleeve and give it away without a second glance.  I love the way you make everyone fall in love with your genuine spirit  (especially the old cranky types).  And I just love your absolute transparency.  Because you are that kind of mother.

But more than anything else in the world, Motherest, I am so thankful that you showed me Jesus.  This is the greatest gift you have ever given me--the LOVE of my life, the Saviour of my soul.  You taught me how to love Jesus.  And I weep with gratitude whenever I think about it.  I thank my God every day because you are that kind of mother.

And I pray I will be that kind of mother, too.

Happy Mother's Day My Darling Mother!

I love you.
your daughter

My New L00k!

I love my husband.
LOVE him.

For my Mother's Day gift he let me get a blog makeover.
This is unbelievably the best gift in the world.  (wouldn't you agree?)
He knows it is.
Because he knows me.
And he loves me.

I will go fishing with him any day.
And carry the crickets.
I will let him watch How It's Made  (the most boring show on television) for our date movie.
I will stand for hours in the hot sun to hear his favorite bands play.
I will even let him leave his bicycle in the living room.
Because I love him.

Okay, I'm absolutely giddy over my new blog design.  At first I was determined to design my blog myself but for some reason, the hours between one and two in the morning just aren't that productive for me.  So, I caved.  And I'm so glad I did!  I love it and I'm just thrilled that Danielle over at The Design Girl caught my dream and made it a reality.  She is amazing. Truly.


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