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Card-Making Station

 

 

bday card

A hand-written note is considered “old school” to most of this generation. Our children are not writing nearly as much as we did in our youth. But I am not that old yet, and I was brought up to write a thank you note when someone gifted me something. So I think we, as adults, have fallen into the ease of our new-found social media tools. Of course it’s easier to click a button and not have to write, address, stamp and mail something. This freedom is quite useful for a whole host of things… and when I had 3 children under the age of 4, and was completely sleep-deprived, I must now apologize for never writing anything. For those who love me, please forgive my season of exhaustion.

As summer was in full swing this past year, two of my boys were at camp, and I was puzzled at receiving their letters that were addressed as such:

letter

Oh, how I had gone wrong in giving up the art of a handwritten letter!! I had not passed this skill on to my children. Furthermore, they believed it was unnecessary to send a note of thanks to someone.

IN FACT: IT NEVER CROSSED THEIR MINDS! (Because I had never modeled it in their lifetime).

I, then and there,  purposed to right/write(!) my wrong; and so began our mobile Card-Making Station My sis-in-law has had this nifty set-up for years now in a desk, and I have watched and learned. I took mine from stationary to travel speed; so here they both are:

folders

stickers

 

 

 

 

simple really.

 

 

calendar

card station

 

 

A desk with a file drawer.

Categorized and filled with paper, stickers, envelopes, and more…

A calendar of special days.

A place to write, in a tucked in corner of the living room.

 

And here’s the traveling version:

card basket

A basket with a handle, file folders, a pouch of stickers, handful of envelopes, scrap papers and blank notes, stamps, scissors and tape, and some colorful pens.

After a birthday, holiday, etc… it is now easy for any of us to grab the card basket and find a cozy nook to stop and write thanks to someone. This practiced art slows us down, it grounds us, and we dwell on the thankfulness of our blessings. I sometimes have a child seek out this basket so that he can make a card for someone, (this warms my heart every time).

folders in basket

I relish the skill of penmanship instilled in my kids. I delight in keeping their handwriting triumphs tucked in my memory box; to see how they spell things makes me smile. And I love seeing the desire to seek out another and thank them by giving back with a grateful heart.

Whether you put together a basket, or set up a desk area, find someone special in your life today and write them a note. We all have something to be thankful for in our lives.

 

I thank my God always when I remember you…”

Philemon 1:4

Love

valentine sign“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.” I Corinthians 13:13

During this season of valentine flutter, remember that God loves you. He created you to be the unique person you are. He created those around you to be unique individuals as well. Sometimes we may grate on each others’ nerves, but we strive to Love Anyway.

block heart

Circumstances may not be what we would like in our relationships. Our journeys may be a little bumpy at times. We can make the first gesture of Love: an act, a word, a touch, a simple note… Start small and keep your eyes open for those chances to Love Big.

glitter love
Time pressure is real and we may struggle to communicate our love to others because Impatience and Hurry get in the way. Slowing down to share a sweet moment matters. Remember, LOVE WINS. Every time.

boy with donut

As parents, we pour into our children’s lives day in and day out. Sometimes we have to pause, take our partner’s hand, and focus on one another to recognize what we cherish between us. A little love note today is just a bonus.

it only takes a moment

Wherever you may be, you can love strong.

Whoever you are with, you can love well.

Whatever you may face, you can love hopefully.

 

There’s a lot of chaos and clutter in the world, but today we can focus simply on LOVE.

the greatest of these is love

Love Silent and Strong

The two words,  Silent and Strong, are not normally paired with one another. Take a look at what can happen when they are…

life heart

There are many ways to love silent and strong.  A parent standing at arm’s length watching a child spread their wings in youth, loves in this way. Silence gives the child room to grow and problem-solve; but silent prayers lay strong foundations for paths explored.

Loving silent and strong is also when a parent stands at their child’s bedside as they sleep, and their heart spills over with a love that cannot be described with words, and you thank the Lord in prayer for the gift of this magnitude. The strong prayers for their future and all that you both dream of are laid in those silent moments.

family heart

heart

 

In many ways, all parents love silent and strong throughout their children’s lives; there are always prayers for safety, health, happiness…

 

 

In my lifetime, I have watched a few remarkable people who love silent and strong for others outside their family.  They are mostly quiet by nature; very unassuming and not your attention-seekers. They are intentional in all that they do, and they do not shy away from solitude.

These are some powerful prayer warriors that love from a distance.

Unfailing and constant in their love.

They are watchful and ever anticipating.

They agonize, and other times rejoice for us; all in solitude and silence.

Mighty battles are fought for others on their knees; they are strong, and their prayers strengthen us.

I am in awe of such devotion and love for others. To have someone love silent and strong for you and me, is a true treasure worth eternal value. And to love silent and strong for another is a journey of love that I believe the Lord intended for every one of us.

love post it

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The love of God provides a safe harbor for those whose lives are anchored in Him. Joshua 24:15

Love bumps

snow pile on momAs a mom to all boys, I’m used to Love Bumps…squeezes, shoulder taps, pokes, and more recently lifts over their shoulders as they have grown in stature. Boys show affectionate in all kind of bumpy ways. I’ve developed some good reflexes and tolerance for these unique gestures of affection.

 

This week I noticed I have some physical “evidence” of Love Bumps from my head to my feet. Literally.

I helped my mom move and got a busted lip from a floor lamp landing on my face. Ouch! I’ve been sporting a bruised and scratched lip all week, but really it’s just another type of Love Bump received by helping out a loved one.

I’ve got a few Love Bumps and Scratches from doing various household chores for my family, loving them through dishwashing, meal preparation and putting away endless groceries that come in nefarious packages that leave multiple paper cuts when you finally succeed in opening them.

A couple of purplish bruises on my shins are fading from some recent mother-son basketball shootouts that got a little rambunctious.

boys wrestling

I stepped out of the shower this morning and found a greenish bruise on my foot — another Love Bump, which I figured out was from a heavy lid my hubby dropped and bounced off my foot last night when he was unloading the dishwasher for me, a colorful echo of him showing love through action.

These outward signs of Love Bumps are a reminder of the ways we love others by lending a helping hand. Some of our other Love Bumps are less visible; we may be bruised in spirit. We may be weary prayer warriors lifting up the same prayers over and over, trusting for a positive shift in a situation or healing in a tense relationship.

If we are in the nitty gritty of life with each other, we are going to sustain Love Bumps from time to time. These incidents give us a shared story and a connection that we may not otherwise have.

So, march on and steady yourself for your next Love Bump.

(Watch out for those trickster lamps though!)

“Dear children, let us not LOVE with words or speech

but with ACTIONS and in TRUTH.” I John 3:18

 

Love anyway

Our morning news is often full of heartbreaking stories and hurt from around the world.

Love license plate

Love anyway.

 

In our own homes siblings sometimes disagree and exchange unkind words.

brothers hanging out

Love anyway.

We hurried moms have rough edges that sometimes poke others harshly.

Mommy and Me race

Love anyway.

Circumstances change and our days are interrupted by bad news.

heart in the snow

Love anyway.

 

People will disappoint us–and, yes, we will let others down, too.

puppy loveLove anyway.

 



“…and we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28



Whatever you may face today, LOVE ANYWAY. 

Love Hopeful

love banner

 

HOPEFUL

My heart was hopeful all weekend for a phone call from someone I had reached out to after a communication breakdown. My hope diminished as the silence grew; they never did return the call. As sad as I am about any damage done, I will still love hopeful for this friend. I don’t discard the shattered hope. I pick it up and glue it back together.

I was hopeful once to have a daughter one day, but the Lord had designs for 4 sons in my life. As hope sunk on that dream, I loved hopeful and watched God’s perfect plan unfold. I now have 4 priceless sons, plus a few treasured college girls that have stepped into my life and become like daughters to my husband and me.

Every day I find myself hoping for one thing or another. They don’t all work out, but the human heart still continues to love hopeful. And when the hope becomes a reality–oh!–what rejoicing!

When my hope is weakening, I just love this verse about receiving a fresh batch of it each day with the Lord’s mercy:

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin again fresh each morning. I say to myself, ” The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:21-24

The audacity of Hope.

Hope is resilient; gently bold and daring. A game changer through life.

Love Hopeful

mailbox

 Love knows no limit to its endurance, no failing of its hope.