Mother’s Day Can Be Tough

Motherhood can be so tough sometimes. We constantly feel like we will ever measure up. We don’t have enough time to do all the things we should do, all the things we want to do, all the things we must do. We make mistakes. We carry guilt. We live with regrets.

We compare our lives with the next mom, and we believe we should be better, or we believe we are better; either way it leaves us feeling empty and so much less than. We want more. We want less. We strive to be better, different or just simply unique in this life in which we long to succeed.

Then, Mother’s Day rolls around. All the cards, all the words, all the commercials, the candy, the gifts. Do we deserve all that? Do we want all that? Do even we need all that? For one day out of the year we should be treated like a queen; yet, too often the ashes of our past and our pain cloud the skyline of love and generosity.

Too often, those who have experienced the loss of those tender heartbeats, those tiny hands and feet and those little coos, they are burdened with more tears, more grief, more torn and shattered dreams. Many times, those who have never heard, have yet to see and may never embrace, will see those precious notes of laughter like liquid gold captured in such fleeting moments, be wisped away like sand through their fingertips. They are left on these days feeling so much lower, so broken and bruised, tattered and marred.

Where is the hope? Where is the life? Where is the new birth that is promised with the dawn? Will it ever come? Was it ever meant to be? Is it ever for me? Is it ever for you?

Some will never take comfort in a Higher being. Some will never seek out the faith I have found, but I stand here as a living testimony to His grace, His power, and His promises come true. The ashes will be turned to beauty. The mourning will be turned to gladness and joy. The despair will be turned to praise like the morning sun. One that envelopes and consumes your very being and soul.

How does it come? I do not know. How does it transpire? I cannot comprehend. When does He bring it to pass? I cannot tell. The only answer I have is to confirm the Why? Because He loves you. He loves me, and through that love, all things are possible. ❤

Happy Mother’s Day!

5/14/2017

Advertisements

Where Are They Going?

It’s our job, as mothers, to train them to be men, to live strong and free in this wild world. It’s our duty to equip them with the tools they need to be a man, a husband, a worker and a leader. 

We work hard to teach, give advice and impart wisdom for those short 18 years we have them within our home. It’s not easy. It’s not without failures. It’s not without mistakes. 

Yet, when we allow God to guide, and we allow Him to love through our tender hearts, they will follow the right path. Even if they stray, His Word will always call them back to the right Way. His love will always whisper within their souls…no matter where their little feet may trod…

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Double Digits

Reblogging this today in lieu of his birthday week. I so love this little man who is that little anymore! ❤️

the grizzle grist mill

This week, we celebrate my sweet baby boy turning 10! It is so hard to believe. It feels as if it was just yesterday when he was a baby.

He is my sensitive, caring, very observant child. He loves to play, and he loves to cuddle. He is tenderhearted; yet, fierce in competition and intense in convictions. He has a love for life and adventure like his Daddy, and he has a calm, quiet nature like his Momma. He smiles easily and loves to just be at home.

He is eager to please and sensitive to others’ feelings. He has a strong but compassionate nature, and he has a love for God that has only come from Him above. At night, I will often find him, in his bed, having fallen asleep reading The Word. He’s always been very intrigued by what the Bivle has to say, and I simply…

View original post 63 more words

Your Words

 

psalm-19-14

kellyarcidiacono.com

Your words matter. Your words count. What you say can wound or heal those around you. Choose your words wisely.

Years ago, our nine year old son came home from school sad. He felt like he had a bad day. Now, this child has always been more sensitive to those around him, to his environment, words said and actions done. He’s my rough-and-tumble, tenderhearted boy. He likes things to be peaceful and stable, fun and joyful, and this day hadn’t been quite like any of that.

He told me about his teacher snapping at him, how kids had laughed at him, and how the lunch lady had harassed him. As the story played out, I realized the teacher had “jokingly snapped” at him when he told the other kids to be quiet in line, causing the kids to chuckle around him, and the lunch lady had “jokingly harassed” him when he spilled a little of his spaghetti from his plate, saying, “Your mom needs to teach you how to do this.”

Now, to you and me, as adults and people who have experienced pain, criticism and strife, what he went through may not be that big of a deal. I could tell, by the information he had given, that his teacher hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings; she probably didn’t even think twice about it. There was no part of bullying or harrassment meant in her statement.

Don’t we all do that from time to time? We will quip our answers “short and sweet” to those around us, never assuming that it might impact them differently than we intended. Yet, the sharp remarks he received from those two adults at lunchtime, combined with the snickering of children around him, had cast a cloud on his usual joyful demeanor and caused him to feel like his whole day was just horrible.

proverbs-18-21

mybible.com

As he grows, he will learn how to handle jokes, sarcasm and harassment. His tender heart may not always remain as tender, but I can assure you, this day reminded me that we should all be more cautious with, not only what we say, but also the attitude and tone in which we say it. There are times for sharpness, and there are definitely times for rebuke.

Don’t mistake my comments here to be an agreement with the recent cultural push for a kinder, meeker society where we can give no rebuttal to anyone without a cry against “tolerance.” When there is evil and wrongdoings present, it angers me to hear those trying to settle down a conflict when the only persons they’re trying to calm down is the very one confronting the sin or wrong being done! It seems this nation is working hard to excuse certain beliefs, actions or opposing viewpoints simply because they’re “new and culturally accepted.” These actions and attitudes are not what I’m talking about here.

I am referring to the words we use with those closest to us and the tones and attitudes we portray behind these words. It is so easy to be in the middle of having a bad day, be approached by a child and respond to them by snapping their little head off. It’s so common to be stressed out, right at the time of a deadline and just “blow a gasket,” simply, because your spouse asked where a clean pair of socks are. It’s such a ‘knee-jerk reaction” to be worried and concerned over a situation and respond to your ‘aggravating’ teen in an overemotional manner instead of stopping to realize they weren’t trying to get on your nerves; they’re just being a teenager. I know. I’ve been there, and I wonder if you have been, too…

proverbs-12-18

deebrestin.com

The heart of a child, a teen, and even our spouse are at stake when we allow our emotions to rule over our words and actions. We should not only have the mind of Christ, but we must have His mouth as well! Let our words always be tempered by His grace, love and Truth.

psalms_19-14

kingjamesbibleonline.org

 

Hold On Tightly

I want to be so close to God that His nature is mine. I want to walk so close to Him that our steps combine, and I find myself tripping over His. I want to be so in tune to His voice that I hear nothing but what He longs for me to hear.

Yet, I find myself time and again, wandering on this path He has set. I find myself distracted from where He is, and I end up tripping over my own fleshly desires and appetites. I get clouded in my vision and become reduced to a straining-to-hear-even-a-whisper MESS of carnal reasoning and wisdom-like-faith filled with nothingness.

Why do we slip so easily? How is it that we entered this race so passionately, only to realize we may not endure till the end? I have found it is so similar to a child’s journey through life. As a babe, he clings desperately to his mother in exteme demand for his every need and desire. As a toddler, she learns to toddle along, still needing help but ever learning strength and resilience on her own. As a teen, he pushes back, needing space and independence to find his voice in this world. Finally finding adulthood, flying to depths beyond and, often times, wishing that we could one day return to the comfort and security of a mother’s arms.

Maybe, that is why Christ said, “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...” (Matt. 18:2-4) Maybe, we work so hard to become “all grown up” that we forget to hold tightly to His hand. Just maybe, if we held tighter to His hand, we would find our steps are sustained by His grace rather than our own strength. Maybe, we would find this journey of life just a little more endurable, not because we have easier days of circumstance, but because we lean so heavily into His presence that He carries us through those moments rather than us trying to walk through them alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

Where Are You Leading Them?

millstoneLet us never lead a little one to stumble. I have found that this Scripture can be interpreted in so many different scenarios. Literally, it can mean leading small children away in their faith (or in other things, for that matter). It can, also, mean distracting new converts from their new commitment to God’s calling, and it can even be mature Christians being directed down the wrong path by prideful, egotistical or ambitious fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

As Christians, we must be so careful not to lead “little ones” astray from the Word of God and from what He has in store for their lives. The Bible says it is better for a millstone to be wrapped around your neck and you thrown into the depths of the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble! In case, you don’t know what a millstone is, it was one of the large circular stones used to grind grain in grist mills years ago.

milllstone2

markcommentary.blogspot.com

When we are called into leadership, when we are called into teaching capacities, and even when we are placed in situations by God to help someone learn more about Him, our number one goal should be to lead them closer to Him not away from Him! We can only do this as we seek His face and listen for His answers to their questions and wonderings.

Whether we are a parent, a mentor, a teacher, or simply a friend, we should never take lightly a position of influence in someone else’s life. We should boldly walk in the authority He gives us but never because of our own wisdom, strength or abilities. We should approach it with buckets full of humility and grace, lest we get filled with pride and lead one of His precious ones away from what He has in store for them.

Let us be ever prayerful and ever mindful when it concerns someone who is impacted by our words and deeds. Let us always be humble and full of grace, and never let us take lightly the positions of leadership and influence He gives us in someone else’s life.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42

 

His Delight

Over my lifetime, I’ve heard so many people talk about how God is our Father…that He’s really like our “Daddy.” He’s the one who delights in us. He’s the one who thinks we are precious; we are the apple of His eye; we are simply like a treasured child in His sight. He loves us that much.
I am precious in my Daddy’s sight
This analogy is great… unless you never had a Dad who delighted in who you were as a child. This is a wonderful illustration for those of understanding; however, for those of us who grew up without a dad present, without a father who showered us with hugs and smiles, without a Daddy who daily convinced us of His love, this picture of a loving Father just doesn’t quite make sense. It doesn’t quite bring the measure of comfort and peace that those who propagate it may wish to convey.
So, how do we translate this kind of love to those with whom a father’s love is foreign? How do we paint a picture of “Daddy’s little girl” or “Dad’s little buddy” to that one whose own father was abusive, neglective or even absent all together? How in the world do we portray this image of a wonderfully, loving father who enjoys seeing His children happy and full of life? The only way I have found to communicate it is by learning about it myself and sharing my life experiences with those whom I encounter.
…He delights in me…
Sometimes, it’s revealed to me by a surprise, tangible blessing like what happened last year on two different occassions: I was on a mad-dash Easter dress hunt the night before Easter. At the very  last minute, I decided I was just going to drop by a store and see if I could find something new. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I had a little prayer conversation with God. I said, “It sure would be nice if I could just walk right in and just a cute pink jacket to go with my pants. I know, I don’t have to have it, and I’m okay with not. I can always wear that old suit I have. I just don’t feel comfortable in it, but it’s really ok, not a big deal.” I went in, looked at one rack, went to next, and there it was. Right size. Right fit. Perfect. Two weeks later, we were at a ladies retreat, and they had a white jacket on display that I just loved! I thought it was so cute. At the end of the retreat, I mentioned this to the lady who owned it, and she handed it right to me. She said, “You enjoy it!”
…I am His precious child…
Sometimes, His delight is shown to me by what others share with me. A widowed friend of mine told me one day, “I am spoiled. I asked Him to help me see Him, and He has. I see the little things He does all around me, the little blessings He does for me everyday, and I feel treasured by my Father. I am cherished by Him.” Another friend was recovering from major surgery. Someone brought her a quilt the very day she returned home, and the person didn’t even know she had had surgery. The quilt was made with scriptures on every square. She said she felt blanketed in The Word while she recovered, and it was a reminder her of God’s love for her. She said, “It was as if in that moment, I could feel Him saying “I love you, you’re my precious child.”
…I am the apple of His eye…
Sometimes, I am simply reassured of His delight in His love for me in nontangible ways…a prayer unanswered, a wound healed, a moment of protection, a feeling of peace through the storm, or a simple reminder of His faithfulness even when I am not. He loves us, and He delights in us, His children. No matter what type of earthly father you may have had during this lifetime, you can be certain that your Heavenly Father loves you more than you could ever imagine! You ARE the apple of His eye. You are His delight!
 
deut32.10apple.eye

flickr.com

 “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”
Deuteronomuy32:10-12

Mom’s Job

We, as moms, have so many jobs, so many responsibilities to fulfill. These change often, too, depending on the age of our children, the different seasons of life, and the various needs of our family. What my roll was, as a mom with our boys, 10 years ago looks somewhat different than today; yet, I have found a few “mom jobs” to remain constant over the years. If these go missing, chaos seems to presume.

  Speak Life – It is our responsibility to speak life into our home and our children. We need to encourage, admonish, admire and lead by example. Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…” When we speak life to them, it is the beginning of their seeing Christ. It causes them to see a better way than where their fleshly desires would entice them. When we speak life, it guides them in truth. Solomon, the wisest man in Scripture, had a mother who spoke life into him. You can see that in Proverbs 31, when she admonishes him about drinking and shares with him what kind of “good woman” he should seek. Speaking life is not condoning sin or emphasizing failures. It is giving them God’s best in their moment in order for growth, strength and transformation to occur.

  Provide Liberty (freedom) – It is incumbent upon us to give our children the freedom to grow into the man or woman they are meant to be. We begin this from a very early age. We hold their hand to teach them to walk, and then, we let go so they can. We hold onto the back of the bike so they can get steady, and then, we let go and watch them bike around the block on their own. We help them in so many ways, at the beginning holding on to make sure they’ve got it, and then, we watch them as they learn to do things on their own. We must do this with their dreams as well! It is our job to help them to dream and to one day fly to higher heights, and we must give them the freedom to do so! When we hold on to tightly, or we hold them back because of fear, competition or even jealousy, we cripple them and cause their way to be harder than it needs to be. They may still reach their dreams, but oh, the hardships and battles they have to face along the way!

  Give Love – It is our calling to love those God puts in our care. We were made as nurturing creatures. We were created as networking beings, to reach out, to connect. We have been developed to care, to cry, to comfort and to cover our loved ones with our love and prayers. If we are not reaching our arms up in prayer and out in love, we will wreak havoc on all those around us. That’s why it’s so important for us, as women but especially as mothers, to release anger, bitterness, strife and unforgiveness. If we hold onto these things, we don’t just simply “cover it up and hope it goes away,” as we often want to believe we can. It breeds in our home and eventually manifests in all areas of our lives, as well as, in the lives of our children. We must love. We must care. We must reach out. Hannah brought a new coat to little Samuel every year at the time of the feast offerings. There is a whole book in the Bible devoted to the story of Ruth and how she not only loved her husband but how she loved her mother-in-law. Esther changed the heart of a king by her love for her God, her husband and her people.

It is said, “The mother is the heart of the home.” I tend to agree with this statement, but I want to make it a little more specific. I believe she can be the heartbeat of the home. With her attentiveness, her effort and her consistent focus on Christ, she can not only keep a hand on the pulse of the home, but she can also become the heartbeat of that home. If she is stable, loving, courageous, bold, prayerful, gentle and kind, her home has a better chance of being the same. If she is imbalanced, hateful, fearful, lacking in prayer, grouchy and just plain mean, her home will most likely emulate the same attitude and personality.

Men weren’t created to do these things the way a woman was! They have their own purpose and their own calling within the home, but it is different than a woman’s. We have a purpose, and we must fulfill it, or everyone loses!

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”   Proverbs 31:28-31

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

A letter to My Pregnant Self…

If I could go back to when I was pregnant with JGrizz, I would tell myself a few things to be remembered…

Decide, now, you will not sleep for the first three months, and then, when you get that first 30 minute nap, it will be absolutely glorious!

Everything you need to know won’t always be found in a book, given by your doctor, or even spoken by your mother. Sometimes, you’ll just have to follow your instincts.

There will be a time, your instincts will be proven wrong. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure, and this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It means you’re human. It means you’re normal.

The house can’t always be kept clean. Toys seem to come alive in the night and find their way back to the living room before you awake. Learn to organize on a very small scale…very small…like one toy in one basket…at any given time.

One boy can have the volume of a surround sound system on level 55. Two boys can create a front row rock concert experience at 7:00 am. and, again, at 11:30pm.

When your three year old little boy refuses to come down from the Chic-Fil-A slide, it really does not mean you’re a terrible mom…Really.

That day when you have to literally step over your two and a half year old who is pitching a fit on sidewalk, in the front of the church, it does not mean you have failed at parenting. It means you are being brave and strong.

Enjoy those little scribbles and backward letters and upside down numbers … even when you find them on the bedroom wall. For one day, your child will be getting ready to apply for colleges far away from home.

Cherish those moments your two year old rides his Little Tykes motorized Harley in the backyard, for one day, way too soon, he will be talking about his soon coming birthday when he can get his license or driver’s permit.

There will be days when you just drink that cup of coffee and simply survive…and have one more cup of coffee to just make it till your early bedtime.


Find an outlet for your stress. Make time for you…even if it takes scheduling that night out on the calendar, and daddy has to keep the baby. He can do it. He loves that baby, too.

Make time for you and daddy, too. Dating your man IS important. If you and he don’t love each other, your child may not get to see what a great marriage is all about.

Most of all, make time for God, and this doesn’t have to be hours on end spent in the Upper Room. There will be seasons, especially when those babies are little, when devotions will come in snatches of time…it might be a Scripture today that brings peace to your weary mind, a Bible story tomorrow read from a children’s book that brings strength to your heart, and your favorite pastor’s sermon on Sunday morning which brings conviction and healing to your wounded soul.

God’s not about the rules, regulations and perfection. He wants a relationship. He wants to hear your thoughts. He wants to consume your heart. He loves you, and He wants to help you be the best mom you can be. He wants you to know He loves you and that YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Let me say it again, YOU ARE ENOUGH. This being a mom bit is CRAZY hard, but it is so very worth it!! … Be real. Be you. Find God in the chaos and hang on…Hang onto Him with all you’ve got, and you’ll make it.

“You just be you, and God will take care of the rest.” – Bones, Moms’ Night Out

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

The Best Gift

The best gift you can give your child is the gift of hope. I’m not talking about the hope that comes from having a great job or more money. I’m not talking about hope that comes from being more or having more.

I’m talking about a hope that cannot be bought with a salary or influence or even wishful thinking. This hope to which I refer is not one made of human hands or even human aspirations. It’s a hope beyond your wildest imaginations.

This hope is truly a gift, because not only can it not be bought, but it also cannot be worked for or earned in any way, shape, or form. To obtain it, we can’t ever become a better person or act better; yet, because of it, we do become a better person, and it does cause us to act better.

This hope doesn’t make the world perfect, but it does make it closer to perfection. It doesn’t make us sinless, but it does make us sin less. It is a perfect hope, one without sin or blemish, mistake or failure.

This hope is Jesus Christ, His redeeming love, and salvation for us. This hope is wrapped up in heaven and our reconciliation to that wonderful world beyond. This is the hope of which I speak. This is the very best gift you can give your child.

For without hope, a man will surely perish. Without hope, a woman will grow bitter and full of malice and dread. Without hope, a child will be consumed with fear and confusion and rage.

True hope can only come from God, for His Hope brings peace and healing. His Hope brings strength. His Hope brings restoration and reconciliation.

True hope brings love into the home and runs depression, chaos and confusion right out of your mind. Hope gives a purpose and brings a calling. Hope will never fail you.

Don’t delay. Don’t hesitate. When you have this hope, your best days are ahead of you. Seize that hope for your child’s better future. Hope for brighter days, and hope to make the most of the night, wherever you are. Hope for a better future, an eternal hope. This is the best life gift to give your child.

Find it, and give it today.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12