Sunday, March 19, 2017

Forgiveness

"Life with God is not immunity from difficulties,
but Peace in difficulties."  --  C.S. Lewis

Where would we be without the strength and comfort of God?  I honestly don't understand how the non-believers make it through life.  Our life can be hard at times:  kids, parents, relationships, financial, health...the list can go on and on.  And if this life is all that there is, why keep going?

I did not grow up in church or in a family that prayed or even talked about God.  Did they believe in God? I am not sure.  I had friends that went to church but I never had a relationship with God myself.  For me, there was a very distinct line in my life: before God and after.  I grew up with abuse in my home.  There was always the big elephant in the middle of the room that no one dared mention.  I couldn't even tell my friends. There was little hope and I didn't understand why this happened to me.  Why is this my life?

I had to get to the bottom of my pit before I was ready. The anger I had built up.  The emptiness I felt.  The feeling of being all alone against the world as a teenager -- it was devastating.   That's where God found me.  Broken and empty.  God didn't swoop in and change my circumstances, but He gave me hope.  With God, I was able to let go of the anger and forgive even the unforgivable.  I was able to mend relationships with my family and go on from there.

I am able to see what life would be like if I had not let God heal my heart.  My brother has built walls, holds grudges, and holds on to his anger.  What has that given him?  He is missing out on being an uncle to three great kids.  He wouldn't even know Joey if he passed him on the street and we live in the same town!!  He was never there the 2 years that God gave me with my Dad before he passed away of cancer.  He never attended any doctor appointments.  He never called my dad to grab lunch.  My Dad's funeral was the last time I actually saw him. My brother doesn't have a relationship with any of his family.

Family is too precious.  I've drove many miles to watch my niece and nephew play baseball and soccer.  Baked many cookies, cheesecakes and chocolate cakes for them as well.  I would never give up my role as their favorite aunt.  :)  My adult nieces will sit by me...sometimes on me...hold my hand and catch up.  My nephew is married and hopefully be bringing a baby in family in the next couple years.  Love them!!  I can't imagine being like my brother and not having those relationships.  It makes me sad for him.  People are irreplaceable.


So is God.  That empty feeling inside your heart cannot be filled with stuff. Nor can it be filled with any person in your life. It's amazing the way God made you.  That place is reserved especially for Him. 


"Dear children, keep away
 from anything that 
might take God's 
place in your hearts."
1 John 5:21

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mean Girls

As your kids grow up, you realize that somethings stay the same.  There will always be those certain jocks that seem to have it all.  There's those cheerleaders that will do anything to have others like them.  The weird ones that you kinda' ignore because you don't really know what to make of them. The kids that seem only to have the color black in their closet and try to sound very deep but end up sounding stupid.  (okay, maybe that was only in the 90's!)  And, of course, there are the mean girls.  I am not saying that guys cannot be mean, but girls - they can take it to another level.

 As a mom with boys and a girl, I am thankful that I only have to go through this once! You guys that have multiple girls, God must have knew you could handle it! :)  The momma bear in me comes out and I am not very nice. The first mean girl for Faith was in elementary school and was actually a school counselors daughter.  Ironic, huh?  Too bad the mother's empathy did not get taught to her children.

Junior high there is another one, of course.  I am sure that her mom has no idea as well.  Which is sad.  If my kids ever do anything like this, I would like to know.  It will be taken care of.  My boys are bigger than me now and 18 and older, but it would still be taken care of.  My daughter's social life would be ending.   There is no reason to treat others disrespectfully.  I know this girl is very insecure and this is her way of making herself feel better.  She has to put my daughter down to build herself up.  Jealousy comes in many forms and this is one of them.  At first, it really hurt Faith.  She cried many tears over this "friend."  Faith tried to change herself so this girl would accept her.  She tried to do the rules this "friend" made up.  Yeah, Faith jumped through many hoops trying to save this friendship until she realized that no matter what she did - it would still not be good enough.  That was a good day.  She just walked away.  I know that it still bother's her but I don't believe it hurts her anymore.  I know that in time, others will be able to see what kind of person she really is and decide it's not worth it too.

Instead, we are focusing of the real friends in her life.  The ones that will be there through the ups and down that are coming in high school.  The friends that want what's best for each other.  That are happy when you succeed.  That will give you a hard time when you need it.   That will be there when you need to talk.  The friendships we all need in life.  The blessings God gives us to help us make it.

"Blowing out someone else's candle, doesn't make yours shine any brighter."

"People who are not happy with themselves, cannot possibly be happy with you."




Monday, February 20, 2017

Sonic Run

Having three kids gives you PLENTY of opportunity to see how you've screwed up.  Especially as they have gotten older.  You just pray that your mess ups, have not truly messed them up.  That one day as an adult, my son is not laying on a couch spilling crap to a therapist about how messed up his childhood was.

As dysfunctional as my childhood was, I am the "normal" one of my siblings.  It  took my getting to my breaking point at 19 or 20 years old and God meeting me where I was.  But that is another story.....  This time I want to talk about my friend down the street growing up.

I had a friend down the street named Janice.  She was old enough to be my mom, but she truly was a friend. We made runs to Sonic for a Cherry Limeade and onion rings just to sit in her car and talk.  She made time for me even though I was stupid kid with way too many issues.  Yeah, she had plenty of issues of her own, but maybe that is what helped us bond.  Janice's friendship was there through the twists and turns of adolescents when I needed someone stable to love me and listen. As an adult, I realize how special and needed that friendship was to me.

My two oldest are boys and you basically have to pry any information out of them growing up.  I unfortunately didn't really get to know any of their friends.  I only remember having one of Joey's friends go hiking with us once.  Even now, I still don't know who Joey considers to be good friends.  Luke is thankfully close friends with some one we have known their family forever.  My boys are basically adults and I just pray for God to watch over them and make good choices.  Just looking back, wish I did things a little differently.

Faith has been a change from the secret society of boys.  She tells me most (not stupid enough to think I know it all!!) of what is going on in her life. I started having band nights once a month
with a group of her friends.  Yeah, I am sure that she probably wishes that I just would drop her off, but it has given me an opportunity to get to know her friends.  (It has also given me a chance to know her boyfriend as well.  I am happy to say that my girl has good taste.)  I've built relationships with the girls.  They have my number and have texted me before.  I've texted them as well.  It has given me that chance to be that adult friend for some one else.  Some one that can love on them, listen, give advice, but is not mom.  I know as long as I try those relationships will grow with time.  We all need a cheerleader in the background.  I'm fine with being that person.  Who knows what they will be facing in the text few years of their life?  High school is around the corner and there is both good and bad during those three years.  I want to be that person willing to make that Sonic run or if it's really bad, grab a tub of chocolate ice cream and sit at the park with two spoons.  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Faith, 14 - Luke, 17 - Joey, 19
I cannot believe it's been two years since my last post.  But then again, in some ways I can.  Life tends to get away from us.  One day leads to another.  Soon enough a week has past.  Which turns into a month...then a year.

I turn around and my kids are grown.  Last year was Joey's graduation.  I was dehydrated before graduation day even got here!  The last football game when the band played.  The last band concert.  Senior assembly.  It was one thing after another tugging on this Momma's heartstrings.  Now he is going to the community college full time and working part time.  He trying to reach his goal realizing that after high school isn't near as much as fun as you imagine.

This year is Luke's graduation.  After all these years of IEP meetings, meeting with teachers, going above to administration downtown - basically being a pain in several people's butt -- it is coming to an end.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Because after 12 years of fighting, Luke is loving his senior year and has straight A's.  He has options for his future thanks to his high school and a teacher that believes in him. This Momma will crying those ugly tears very soon this year.

Then, comes my baby girl.  It doesn't matter how old she is - she will always be my baby girl.  Faith is now a Freshman and will be starting high school this fall.  She made the varsity soccer team and she plays the trumpet.  Her life right now is basically homework, soccer, band, a nice boyfriend, and a few good friends.  I am just praying that she learns to balance the stress she puts on herself to make straight A's.  Her stress level can be high at times but with her supportive friends, she is doing well.

Well, that is a start.  Letting you know where the kids are right now. I am looking forward to writing again.  It's a part of me that I have missed.  In a time where everything is face paced - it is good to slow down for a moment.  God can reveal things in everyday moments - we just have to notice.


                        "Those who are the happiest, never did have everything.
                        But rather, they are thankful for everything they do have."

Friday, February 20, 2015

God dwells within Me

You know who you can watch a movie and well, it was okay.  For example, the first time I watched Rat Race, I could barely get through it.  I thought it was terrible.  Now, with two teenage sons, I watched it with them and I hate to admit: it's funny.  I really laughed hard a few times.  That is what happened yesterday with Eat, Pray, Love.  Honestly, I still don't think it's one of my favorites or anything.  But it had a couple quotes that stuck with long after the movie.  So, I had to stick the movie in and fast forward to find the quotes I wanted. 

That is one of the quotes.  Isn't it true?  In the times in our lives, when we reach the bottom of the pit...When we are left with nothing...God can mold us, God can use us, He can transform us.  He can take our lives and show His glory!  He can turn our lives into what we were meant to be.  Ruin can be a beautiful thing.

But, this is my favorite quote from the movie.  The reason I put the movie back in and hit the forward button until I found it.    "God dwells within you.  As you......God dwells within me. As me."   Read it again and let that sink in.  I know, right?  Deep stuff!  In the Bible, it says that our body is the temple which the Holy Spirit resides.  (1 Corinthians 6:19)  And God created us in His own image.  (Genesis 1:27)  But did you really think about God created you with all your imperfections and the Creator of all things dwells within you -- as you.  Not as a perfect person.  Not because we act like we are supposed to.  God knows our hearts.  He knows when we judge others, whether we speak those judgements or not.  He knows when hold anger against another.  He knows it.  He sees it clearly.  Yet, God dwells within me..as me.  The imperfect woman I am.  I just never heard it put so simple.  And sometimes Simple is better.
My strengths... My weakness... My faults...My dreams...My imperfections...My passions...My everything.  God dwells within me...as me.  How wonderful is that?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Day Contest!

What is it snow days that makes me so happy?

It's not just because it's a day off.  If I needed one that badly, I could just take one of my personal days. I think it is because it's different.  The world kind of stops for a moment.  I don't have to get up and head some where.  I  get a day AT HOME with my kids.  I love it!

It's 9 am and I am still in my pajamas.  Which doesn't happen any day of the week!  Saturdays and Sundays are too busy for that.  A pot of soup will soon be on my stove.  I sit under blanket with my laptop open with fur babies resting beside me.  Life is good.  And I just take a moment to say Thank You Lord for truly a day of rest.

Yes, I will finish my laundry up today.  And dishes will get dirty and washed.  A precious little girl's birthday present will get finished today.  But today will also include some home made spinach dip while we play board games.  A glass of hot chocolate in the afternoon.  If we have enough snow, it will even include some snow ice cream.  Just moments that don't happen everyday.  They seem to only happen with the snow keeping us inside.

It's no wonder why I love snow days so much.  It means family, together at home. And since I'm in such a good mood... how about a Snow Day Celebration?  It has been a long time since I've done any drawings.  How about a breakfast basket?  Scones, muffins, banana bread...that kinda thing.  :)  Just leave your name in the comments and you'll be entered to twin.  Must be able to meet me in NWA to pick up basket.  Good Luck everyone! 

Jen


Saturday, February 14, 2015

About Perspective...

It's all about perspective...

I'm learning that lately.  Your perspective can change your attitude for the better or worse.  It can make your day longer than it needs to be.  For example, I hate going grocery shopping.  Seriously, I've even waited until we even ate most of our canned good.  Fridge was empty besides condiments.  Yeah, it was bad!  Dinners were let me say... creative! :D  Yet, God can change my perspective.  After a tight week here and there, I leave the grocery store thanking God for the food He has provided. Amazing difference, isn't it? 

Even my home is still not finished after 2 years.  Yes, I'd love to get new floors or have my bathrooms completely finished.  (our home is a fixer upper!)  Yet, I thank God every night for the gift of a home for my family.  I know what it is like to be in between places to live.  I know what it is like to move your family and while moving in, they reality company tell you that you can't move in.  (and you already gave up your lease on the other place)  So, I honestly don't take my home for granted.  I thank God every night for a home to raise my children in.  It is all about perspective.

It gets harder when cancer is involved though.  I really hate that word.  Let me tell you this love story.  It is Valentine's Day after all.  Susie and Randy were high school sweethearts.  Their families even went to the same church.  His father was a pastor.  Then life happens...They both ended up married to others with kids.  But the story does not end there!  They found each other once again!  Both no longer married.  And true love which never died was still there.  Their love for each other was evident for everyone to see.  Cancer came and took Randy just a day ago.  My heart aches for Susie.  He was only 52.  Selfishly I do wish this story had another ending.  But, I know that the only way God could heal Randy was to take him Home.  Their faith is strong.  If your perspective was of the world, the pain would be too much to go on.  To finally have your love with you, just to lose him too soon.  Yet, with God in the picture, our perspective changes to one of celebration and hope.  He is healed and whole once again and I will join him again! Amazing what God can do, isn't it?

I would really like to say my perspective is like this all the time.  But...it's not.  I'll still complain because the bathroom isn't done yet or kids won't help with the laundry without being told to do it NOW (not in a minute).  But, I have curved a few of my perspectives towards those of gratitude.  I am trying this year to keep my perspective toward Christ.  Thankfulness is a wonderful thing.


What perspectives need an adjustment in your life?