Your mama is a fairly simple girl, however she does have lots of dreams. Most of her dreams are relatively common dreams. They may not even be considered worthy dreams to some. However, they are hers. She holds them tightly and she often prays that God will show His favor on her.
Today you made one of them come true. Did you think you had the power to make your mama’s dreams come true? You do, darling. You really do.
This afternoon in the sunlight and warm April air, you said something that set your mama’s heart on fire. Your sweet little voice gently broke the silence during our traveling time when you said “mama, do you know what the most wonderful memory is from my childhood this far?”
Your mama thought for certain you would speak of trips or things or delightful holiday gatherings. Instead you melted your mama’s heart with these very words: “you read to me. you read so many books to me and I loved that. I still love it. I love when you read to me and I love that you read to me.”
As the tears covered your mama’s eyes, she softly whispered to God in the quiet of her heart “Oh Father, there could not possibly be more joy in my heart at this very moment. This is the sweetest gift and one that I hoped would be showered on me.”
The idea that you, Liv, at 11 years old can appreciate and articulate something that has meant so much to your mama is truly a dream come true.
These are the kinds of dreams that inhabit your mama’s heart. It’s a mama heart ……….. and a mama heart dreams these dreams with longing and hoping that could fill up entire oceans. Today you poured gladness and happiness into your mama’s heart that filled it to overflowing.
I love you, darling.
You are a gem at seventeen. I want you to know how loved you are and how special you are. Thanks for letting Papa and I take you and your sweet friends to Milwaukee for the weekend. And thanks for a great photoshoot.
We love you so.
Oh Lord, what have you done?
You have gifted me with many things. With many people. Oh Lord these, however, You have woven into me. You have taken me, made me Yours and then granted me that which I could barely dream. The things I would whisper to You when I was younger, You heard and you gave. When I got older, I got louder, “Father, please give me more!” Lord, just when I thought You would – they left my womb. I cried with You and I yelled at You and You sat there with me and loved me. You knew, Father, that these three were all I needed here on earth. The tears fall now at the wonder of it and partly because I still whisper to You that the painful things are not simple to understand. I trust You, however, and I adore these three – You chose these three for me! Help me to pour into them all that I thought I had left for more. You are the Author of all and this story, this story, it is beautiful.
Oh friends, the way this child is; they way God has made her and grown her is remarkable. My inclination is to list every lovely adjective I can conjure up to describe her to you. I will not. Suffice it to say that I think she’s remarkable in every way. Understand that she is so drastically and beautifully different than I was when I was 16 and for that I could not be more grateful. She walks closely with Jesus and that has made all of the difference – there are very few things of which I am so certain.
Recently the Lord has brought me very low. Very, very low. And while Mak & I are extraordinarily close, I do not share specifics with her when I’m hurting. I never want to cloud her mind and therefore, she sees me crying but truly doesn’t ask questions. She hugs me. And then, my friends, then she sends me messages like this (she sent this today when we were apart from one another):
Though I don’t know the specifics, I know these last few days have been quite stinky for you. And I love you, so I want to encourage you. You know what? God sees you. And He is so deeply in love with you. Even when other people don’t act like Him and aren’t good at showing you how valuable you are, you’re still valuable. What you have to say is important and you are an awesome display of God’s creativity. Please don’t let the behavior of other people make you feel less than. Don’t let those lies speak deeply to you. Because I want you to walk around feeling free and worthwhile, because you really are. And God has given you that gift. He sees you. I see you. And we both know how precious and how much of a good idea you are. ”after your season of suffering, God in all his grace will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” 1 Peter 5:10. ”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Don’t hesitate to run to Him, mama, He’s already there and His hand is already holding you. I’m so sorry that things haven’t been great. Because that’s not cool. I just wanted to let you know that I see you as so important and so valuable. Keep trusting and running. I love you. And God loves you a lot.
People! This child is 16 years old and she can lift me up and set me on firm ground when I feel like I’m sinking. Could there be a more blessed mama?
It is insanely crazy that somehow God changes our hearts so dramatically when he enters our lives that we can actually be thankful for trials. That’s where I am today.
I haven’t faced many trials and the ones I’ve faced may not even be considered trials as compared to others of which I’ve heard. Nonetheless, to my tender heart my hurts are my trials.
It seems to me that when we enter into trials, tears come very quickly. Maybe it’s just me – but maybe not. I cry pretty easily when my heart hurts; when I know I’ve disappointed someone; when I can’t properly communicate with someone. I also get pretty angry when I think I’m unjustly accused. I suppose I’m no different than anyone else in that regard.
However, I’ve learned to say “Lord, what are you teaching me through this?” I’ve learned to ask, “Lord, help me to see like you see; help me to see myself clearly.” I’ve also learned to be very gentle with myself. I have a tendency to believe every bad thing anyone says about me. I know for certain that I’m not alone there.
The beautiful thing about trials is that they always bring me to my knees. They always make me press into God. And they always – ALWAYS – make me realize that I need no one nor anything other than Him. He is there for me. Jesus has my back. Even though I’m quite the sinner and I don’t deserve Him, He is compassionate to me. He loves me. He helps me to know when to apologize and He helps me to discern when I need not. You see, I believe in truth. I believe in standing firm with Jesus in love and gentleness – and often alone. Alone is not fun. Sometimes, however, it is necessary.
Today I’m grateful for trials because when I am low, then I am close to Him. Closer still each moment.
She turns 11 today.
She’s spunky and happy and full of life. This home would be quiet without her.
She is blond, turning brunette. She is joyful, growing more serious by the day. She is a reader, eating up good things to ponder. She is athletic, charging around a field or court like she’s the bomb diggity. She’s a sister, lavishing encouragement and unfailing love. She’s a daughter, smiling love right into my heart. She’s a granddaughter, passing out hugs and kisses completely uninhibited. She’s a niece, shouting I love you with every story. She’s a friend, helping some see Him clearly.
She’s something. That’s who she is. Something amazing and wonderful. And a gift – through tears I tell you I do not deserve. Another gift my poor heart loves so much but does not deserve for one moment.
She’s our girl. Ours. God’s really. But He’s let us have her for a time.
And for that I’m grateful. To the depths of the sea, I am grateful.
Every Sunday we are entrusted with children to teach. It’s a serious responsibility.
“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” ~James 3:1
I love it still. And I love the children I teach. I try hard to bring glory to His name. I give them truth. I warn them that others will try to tell them that the truth is not true. I encourage them to follow hard after Jesus. I steep the Bible into them. I tell them He is clearly seen. Look!
I get to do all of that with my husband.
And for those things I am grateful. Over the moon grateful.
It has been my friend since I was small. I loved her when my parents played Carly Simon & John Denver. And the Bee Gees. Barry Manilow. She made me happy. She filled me with joy.
I grew into Springsteen. And Waylon Jennings. Loretta Lynn. George Strait.
And then I met Him. And when I worship Him, my body seems to be taken over by the music that carries my worship. My stomach wells up into my throat and my eyes flood tears of great joy. I never knew how I loved it until I worshipped the only One who deserves worship.
I still love honky tonk. But the worship music. It’s different.
And then the children who came from my body began playing and singing and worshipping. And for that, I have no words. Well, maybe I have a few.
When they began making music, the joy overwhelmed me. The notes float through our home carrying joy and happiness through our days and nights.
Oh, the music. The depth of joy it brings may not be measurable in any way I could understand.
I can see and I’m thankful.
Yes, I’m grateful for my actual eyes – that they work properly and that I can see my family and read and take in this world. However, seeing is deeper than that.
God is clearly seen. He has made Himself known to me. He shows up everyday in unsuspecting places and I see Him. Seeing Him has made my life richer. Seeing Him has made my life have meaning and purpose.
Because I see Him, I live. My eyes once were veiled from Him. Covered.
In His mercy & grace, He removed the covering from my eyes. When Jesus did that for me, He breathed new life into my body. He gave me a new heart…..one that is alive; beating and reminding me with its cadence of life that He is alive. He is truth. He is now visible to my unveiled eyes and it brought me to my knees.
I waste a lot of time. I try not to. But I do. Sometimes on the computer. Sometimes on the telephone. Sometimes in front of the television.
I recently decided that if I want to be the woman God made me to be, I am going to have to give some things up. I’m going to have to stop wasting time.
I’ve decided to stop wasting enough time so that I can read through the Bible in 90 days. Doing that will take dedication and reading about 15 chapters per day. I can do that. And if you want to, so can you!
There is a group of wonderful people joining me. We are going to stop wasting time together. If you would like to join us, please click on this linky link and see where we are reading each week: https://www.facebook.com/groups/177700599093851/