Go and Do: A Challenge of Love

    We’ve all lost someone we love. Whether it was a pet, friend, or family member, every one of us has lost. The pain is indescribable, usually. I had a loss recently that left me riddled with guilt and feeling like I’d taken someone for granted. I wanted to take back everything that happened and do one thing: love more. My friend is gone, and I just wish I could have shown more love. More grace. More attention. More and more love. In my fruitless wishes about this, God spoke to my heart. I felt Him nudging me. Love more now. I get so wrapped up in what we’re doing in our own tiny lives, that I forget there are real, hurting people all around me. My neighbors. And I have the opportunity to love them more now, before it’s too late. I have every opportunity to show them the love of Jesus now. Jesus had something to say about that. But, before I remind you of it, I need to address one thing. People these days do not showcase their hurt and pain. We don’t have people sitting by the city gate with leprosy, missing arms, blindness, or lesions. Today, we have people with hearts filled with pain and brokenness. Depressed. Lonely. Feeling like they’re never enough. Abused. Abandoned. And they don’t sit at the city gate; they sit in our living rooms, chatting about kids, work, and local happenings. They camouflage their pain out of fear – afraid of being judged and ridiculed. Those are the people who need us to love more. To show them that...

Why I Quit Pinterest

 Scads of women are addicted to it. I have been drawn into its magnetic force as well. It is a powerful thing. Pinterest. It is so much fun to browse through the pages and pages and pages of Pinterest, letting your imagination go wild with ideas and dreams. I can easily go into creativity overload if I’m not careful. Pinterest is wonderful for inspiring, generating ideas, and making me giggle. However, there is a dark side of Pinterest. At the root, Pinterest can bring jealousy, discontentment, greed, and covetousness. I said enough. So, I quit. I quit looking at the beautiful pictures of homes on Pinterest. I quit looking at other moms through the computer screen and allowing jealousy to sit in my heart. Rather, I saw them as Christ sees them: a mother who may be struggling just like me. I quit wishing my home was different. I work hard to keep it clean and tidy. I work hard to do laundry for six people. I work hard to wash dishes and cook meals. I work hard to make my home a place of safety and happiness. I quit comparing my life and what I have with the skewed image of Pinterest (or magazines). I quit reading blogs that were dragging me down. They may have had humor, but there was enough negativity about motherhood that I couldn’t partake in that anymore. I don’t have room for negativity.  And please don’t think that I have just turned my back on the joy and limitless resources that Pinterest offers. I love it for helping me plan birthday parties and come...

The 17-year Cicada

My kids love cicadas. LOVE THEM. They were screaming with GLEE when they discovered the 17-year-cicada in the woods yesterday. Have you seen them? They are pretty cool.   They have been hibernating underground for 17 years. So, you can literally see hundreds of holes where they have emerged. Do you wonder if they go into hibernation and question, “Why are we doing this?” Probably not. I think they trust their instincts. After 17 years in hibernation, they emerge, shed their shells (that litter the woods), and go to work eating sap. God’s creation is pretty cool. Despite our crazy rain, the kids and I have been getting out and enjoying nature. The kids are glad for new rainboots, which I have put off buying in the past. Because I don’t like to buy things we don’t need or won’t use. With the daily rain lately, I figured it was time for rainboots. And my kids are breaking them in well. Have you seen the cicadas yet? I found this article that will explain more about the...

Did I Just Ignore God?

We’ve had a lot of rain in our area of Kansas lately. A LOT. I know better than to complain. We need the moisture. So, we’re happy with rain. Hey, it’s not snow! (Sorry, Colorado!) With all the rain, we’ve learned how to take advantage of any time that it’s NOT raining and get outside. Even with dark clouds that threaten to drop moisture, we jump at the chance to get outside. We were taking advantage of one such moment this week. We were itching to get outside that morning. So, even with dark clouds, we ran out: bat, glove, and ball in hand. We were going to play baseball! My girls grabbed their bikes and started their circle on the driveway, waiting their turn to bat. My 5 year-old son and I stepped onto the (very soft) yard to play some ball. Not long after we started, we started to feel some moisture. It wasn’t big drops of rain, but there was a drizzle. No big deal. We kept playing. In a few moments, it started to sprinkle. Okay, still no big deal. We kept playing. Suddenly, like someone flipped a switch, it started to rain. Not just rain. DOWNPOUR. The little kids started to squeal with glee as we ran for the garage. We watched the rain fall, dropping into the seemingly-permanent puddle in our driveway. We got caught in the rain. We ignored the signs of the downpour. We didn’t want it to rain. We wanted to play. But, rain came, as the clouds had promised. I didn’t exactly pay attention to what God was telling...

God Pulled Me Through

Four beautiful children, ages 7, 5, 4, and 2. One 9-year-old small dog, who slept inside. One outside lazy cat, who occasionally earned his keep by catching a mouse. One hamster, whom my husband called “The Mouse,” slept all day and ran on his wheel all night. A tired Daddy & exhausted Mama who made it all work. That described my family one month ago. Then, suddenly it all changed. Our cat disappeared. I grew up with cats. I know that tomcats tend to leave. Not all, but it happens. We’d missed Charlie a day at a time, but when he was gone for five days straight, we figured he was just gone. He didn’t leave a note, so we have no idea. Maybe he didn’t like his accommodations in the garage. Maybe he turned all cat and just said, “I’m done with you, humans.” We’ll never know. Then our hamster stopped moving. My son and I had just changed the bedding of the cage a day or two before. But for some reason, he just quit. Maybe he didn’t like his vegetables we fed him. This is not a good lesson for teaching kids to eat well. Then, the biggest tragedy: our dog was hit by a truck. He shouldn’t have been outside. I was looking for him, not knowing he’d snuck out when one of the kids opened the door. I have shed so many tears over the loss of my dog. My kids have as well. I miss him so much, because he was with us all the time. (I’m a stay at home mom, so...

Falling Down the Stairs

It was ridiculous, really. A mom would say, “I told you not to do that.” A mom would have said prior, “You are going to get hurt if you attempt to take that huge thing down the stairs.” But I would hear none of the motherly warnings in my mind. I was going to be efficient! So… I fell down the last half of my stairs.   Unfortunately, I was not alone and only moderately embarrassed. Nope. I had to fall down after my four kids, their three friends, and my good friend were downstairs — waiting on me. And not just any friend. This is my friend who always has it all together. She’s graceful. She’s efficient. She’s frugal. She’s stylish! I adore her. I figured that I was headed downstairs anyway (at the request of the kids to show the moms something), so I grabbed a large tote full of shoes and clothes that needed to go into storage in the basement. I was going down anyway, so I might as well make the most of my trip. Efficient Mom! (I could hear the applause.) Halfway down, my foot slipped on a step, and I fell hard. Shoes went flying out of the top of the tote.  My rear hurt quite a bit. My pride hurt the most. I could have cried. From the pain. From embarrassment. I didn’t dare cry in front of my friend, my four kids, and her three kids. No way. I sucked it up. I evaluated my pain and declared, “That’s going to hurt more tomorrow.” I was right. It hurt way more the next...

When You Have a Bad Swing

Here’s the Scene: Baseball Tournament Third game of the day. Last inning of the game. We were down by one run, with a runner on base. Two outs. Two strikes. My 7-year-old was battling at the plate. I cheered for him: “Come on, Bud!” (clap, clap) “You know what to do,” I whispered, as I usually do. I watched as he spun the bat around, preparing for the pitch to come his way. He set. He was ready.   In my life, I don’t always feel overly prepared for the battles at the plate. Often, I feel blindsided by them. I feel like I’m swinging my bat around, just messing around. All of a sudden, a pitch comes, and I’m wildly unprepared. I drop my hands, wait too long, swing like crazy, and I’m left with either a strike or a foul ball. As my husband would say, “That’s a terrible swing. You have a lot of work to do.” My husband knows baseball. If he says you’re doing it wrong, then you probably are. There’s no reason to take offense to what he says. He just knows he can help you make it better, if you listen to him. Did you get that last part? IF YOU LISTEN. The definition for listen is: “1.give one’s attention to a sound // 2.take notice of and act on what someone says.” Listening isn’t just to hear what someone said. Listening involves ACTING on what they said! When I tell my kids to listen, I don’t want them just to hear me. I want them to do something as well! 2 Chronicles...

To The Stressed Mama

To the Stressed Mama: Give That Worry to Someone Who Doesn’t Sleep   I see you there. You’re taking a break from your chaos of dishes, laundry, and children to browse the internet. You stumbled here. I’m so glad you did, because I want to tell you something important. You’re doing great. Breathe. Now, breathe for real, because I know you didn’t just then. Breathe. In. Out. Something else I want to tell you that is super important: God’s got this. God’s got you. God’s got your kids. God’s got your finances. God’s got your spouse (not necessarily by the throat).  God’s got it all. In His hands. Always working. Always planning. Always loving. That’s How He rolls. I’ll tell you how I know: Because God doesn’t sleep. Shocking, right? But, the Bible states clearly that He doesn’t sleep. Psalm 121: 1-5 says,  “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.”   I could probably get more work done if I didn’t require sleep. (My kids must think I don’t need sleep, since they wake me at all hours of the night – every night.) But, I require sleep. If I don’t have it, I am a big pile of grumpiness. God created the entire world and everything in it (to the...

The Second Snake

The Second Snake My younger son is five. He isn’t afraid to pick up anything. Anything. His older brother knows that little brother will pick up and touch anything, so we often hear, “Hey, dude! Come and pick this up!” I recently ushered my kids out the door into the garage to play. I opened the garage door so they could start pulling out bikes and toys. I went inside to brush my teeth and get some shoes on so I could join them. In the middle of brushing my teeth, my older son came inside yelling about how I had to come outside. “Right now, Mom.” His voice told me he was serious. He talked on: “There’s a snake, Mom. In the garage!” I went on high-alert. In the garage. A snake. Great. I brushed my teeth quickly, put on shoes that covered my toes (very important when a snake is nearby, I learned from experience). I prepared myself mentally. I was going to have to catch another snake. I went through in my head what needed to be done. My heart rate increased. My mind was racing about the steps I was going to take next. All of that was dissolved the moment I opened the door to the garage. My five year old stood at the door, holding his arm up, with a snake dangling from his hand. The mix of emotion was bizarre. Pride mixed with fear mixed with relief. I was proud of him for doing such a crazy, scary thing. He was never scared. He knew how to handle snakes because he listened...

Never Want to Miss a Thing

Never Want to Miss a Thing Baseball season has begun. That means, spring is really here, and summer is right around the corner! That means this mama’s hard work of pitching, throwing, and catching many many many balls with my kids will pay off on the field. I love helping my kids practice and improve. My oldest son had his first baseball game of the season last night. It was a beautiful day in Kansas — cloudy but warm. It was a fun game, with my son playing catcher and third base. He even hit a home run! It was a great start to his season! A friend of mine has a son just a year older than mine. He had his opening game last night as well (and played great). His brother was sick, so his mom stayed home with the sick one, while his dad was at the game. His mom was bummed to miss seeing her son play, which is understandable. She’s been a dedicated baseball mom for many years! She doesn’t want to miss anything her kids are involved in. I was praying for her this morning, and God brought something to my attention: God doesn’t want to miss anything either. I literally had to pause what I was doing to think about that. God is a Father. He takes joy in seeing us practice, learn, and grow. When we hurt, He hurts with us. When we rejoice, He’s there, cheering us on. Through the good and the bad, God the Father doesn’t want to miss any of it.  Psalm 139 says, “1 You have searched...

Busy mother of four. Wife to one. Creative. Insightful. Lover of music, sunsets, and laughter.

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This week, I'm linking up with some cool friends. Check it out and connect with some really amazing bloggers out there. They have great things to say and wonderful encouragement! Linking up: purposefulfaith.com   Thought-provoking-Thursday Dance With Jesus