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 knows no limit to its endurance, no failing of its hope.
This morning I went for a walk in the neighborhood. It was blustery and cold. Since it was also trash day, some lovely aromas greeted me and some extra barriers were in my path, including a couple large boxes hinting strongly about who got a big screen TV just in time for Superbowl weekend.
My spirit was downcast as I was missing my girlfriends who have been my winter walking buddies for years. Four pairs of running shoes sound more confident than mine alone. I trudged uphill against the wind, listening to their vox messages and holding them close from afar.
My heart was heavy as I prayed about a 3-week-old struggling in NICU, a friend wrestling with relationship hurts, another friend with a parent in the hospital, and one of my parents making a big life transition. I pressed on and rounded the corner.
Piled high on top of a trashcan was a bag of leaves with a note attached: “Just to say: Thank you!”
It warmed my heart and lightened my spirit to see someone reaching out to a hard-working stranger. Not a typical “love note,” but one with heartfelt sentiment just the same.
As I continued my walk, I thought about how this kind gesture may brighten the day of the intended worker, yet also each person passing by on the way to work or school today.
Sometimes we don’t know what to say or do to help someone who is hurting or struggling. If we are able to reach out just a little — even a small gesture with a simple message, Love Wins. Every time.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Love one another.
Love won another…
February is the Month of Love. And with Valentine’s Day right in the middle, romantic notions abound. Love is ” in the air” and commercialism has capitalized on this holiday so strongly that it’s hard for V-Day to live up to the high expectations we’ve placed on it. Many are doomed to fail before they even try! Society does enough to deflate the self-esteem and worth…
Let me share a different slant on this Monumental Month of the Heart: God is Love.
What if we miss it each year completely? I’m a bit older than 29, (ha), and this is just now a new thought to me!! So I took the word LOVE, and wrote it out on several sticky notes. Each day I write an adjective/verb underneath the word Love, and then let the Lord begin to reveal His heart on these words in relation to His Love. I think you should try it with us. Let’s turn February into a way to purpose LOVE in to all and everyone each day. I want to make every day of this month a tribute to God’s Love; I want to see new ways to show Love; I want to hear, taste, see, and be Love, the way we were created to be.
Next week, we will share a few of our LOVE NOTES that we have been collecting. Our hope is that you will discover many more because our God is Love.
Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with Love, following Christ’s example. Ephesians 5:1-2
One of the many joys we have both learned as Boy Moms, is to embrace the sheer pleasure of destruction in our sons’ worlds. I truly believe that a few of our kids only humor us with our Christmas tradition of Gingerbread-making because they know the day will come at the end of the Holiday Break when we will bring them all together again for: Demolition Day!
Yes, we are “those moms” that give our sons Nerf guns and hammers and on the count of 3… let them wreak havoc on our cookie creation. The whole thing is usually reduced to rubble in seconds while the two of us try to capture the fleeting moment for a scrapbook, dodging bits of gingerbread and candy flying past us!
This is how we look at it: children are constantly told to “be still, be quiet, don’t touch this or that, stop running…” It must be so difficult to contain all that frenetic energy bundled up in these growing bodies, AND obey all the adults that want them to stop acting rambunctious! Of course we can’t have children completely run amok (!!) but there should be some balance in their behavior training.
There are times we can create appropriate moments to run, yell, jump, wrestle, and touch everything in sight. So that’s what this day is about for our Gingerbread Warriors. They anticipate this day greatly, and we all dive in to the fun of it. So when we say “be still,” they can, because they trust us to tell them when it is time to “run with abandon!”
Enjoy the “play”; these moments are treasures tucked into your children’s hearts. They will become more important to you than all those moments they were quiet.
“Open my heart, Lord, to the gifts of this day!”
We celebrate many anniversary events in our lives. Often what is unspoken are our anniversaries of loss. We all have them, yet we typically don’t collectively mark the occasion. Sometimes the emotional attachments are so poignant and intense it seems too difficult. Yet if we share just a bit, even a funny story…perhaps our grief feels a little lighter and our loved one is tucked into our heart memory just a little more snugly.
Today we take a moment to remember our mother-in-law, Kitty. It’s been six years — a speck of time in the grand scheme of things yet so long in a family’s history.
Rather than dwell on all that she’s missed, we remember her spirit at family events. She was ALL IN. She loved the chaos of little boys running all over, digging in sandpiles and leaving their handprints all over her windows. She relished those grubby little bodies crawling into her lap and reading with her. She instilled a love of reading into all of her grandboys. I have fond memories of our firstborn backing up with an armload of books, landing topsy-turvy upon her and being caught with love. She’d exclaim, “Whew!” and they were off, diving into reading adventures together.
She loved well. We strive to pass on her legacy well.
We pray and hope that each of you are able to reflect and share special moments of your loved ones with those around you. Relive a funny story together. Look through old vacation albums or family reunion pictures. Remembrance is an honor and weaves a deeper texture to your family tapestry.
“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion” — remember that moment in Steel Magnolias? It’s such a great example of the tenacity of the human spirit.
When we come together, we are stronger.
(…and surely that increases the odds someone has Kleenex!)
“a time to weep and a time to laugh…” Ecclesiastes 3:4
As soon as Thanksgiving is tucked away and Holiday decorations are bursting out of our attics ready for display, we set up a Hot Cocoa Station in our homes that our families always enjoys year after year. The beauty of this little spot is that we tend to leave it up past Christmas and New Year’s and let it linger until the winter weather begins to warm up. As a mom, it frees me up from all the prep of making cups and cups of chocolate. And as a kid, it enables them to make something without assistance. (I will step in with younger ones and help with hot water prep). We sometimes throw in some hot apple cider and tea options too. It is fun to have friends and family come over and feel able to” help themselves” to a warm beverage!
Another trick we find MOST handy in both of our kitchens is a Drink Station. Our families have been using this tool for several years now. When you have multiple kids in your home, the last thing you want during “germ” seasons is for them to drink after one another!! And inevitably, as much as I used to try to catch them before their lips hit a cup that was not theirs…the germs had already been shared. YUCK!
Sooooooo, if you feel me on this one, then you might want to set up one of these in your kitchen:A long tray works perfectly for defining the space. We have been using this drink station in both of our homes for several years now. It has been great for cutting down all those loads of dishes. I was constantly collecting cups from all over the place and decided enough was enough! By defining the spot in your kitchen, all cups are corralled, and I wash them every day or so now because I know whose they are. This is a simple but very effective way to manage your family’s beverages.
Lately, my boys have been using these mason jars that have a number on them. I found them on a clearance rack and assigned each boy a number (birth order is easy to remember), and they look at it as some form of “secret code”! Win! Win! For All!!
You can be as creative/practical as you want on your drink station. You match it to the style of your kitchen and make it personal for your family. Hope this helps the traffic of cups in your kitchen!
“My cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5