Sunday, November 27, 2011

cherish.

There are so many things that have happened in the past few months.  I am having a hard time wrapping my head and my heart around it all.  And that is what I usually try to do.  Figure it all out.  Try to write the perfect post.  Then beat myself down.  Oh, the cycle.


The above pictures are me at or around the same age as Lawson.  Five to Five and a half years old.  My mom handed me a bag of old pictures when I was visiting home the last time.  A few days after we returned to our home, I opened up the bad.  I was overcome with emotion.  Lawson looks so much like me.  But, the one thing that is different is that Lawson feels secure.  She feels treasured.  She knows she is cherished.

How do I know this?  Well, her daddy comes home every night excited to see her.  She lights up when she sees her daddy.  She runs to him (most of the time.  we are not the Beaver's.  i promise.)  Sometimes she squeals.  My mom told me that some of the hardest times for her to watch me was when my real father just wouldn't show to pick me up for his visitation.  I can't even imagine how my mom must have felt.  I ache over some of the smallest things with my own children.

Looking back, I don't remember those instances, but it does explain the lifelong struggle that has ensued because of it.  The thought that I can't do anything to make someone love me.  I will never be enough.  You will get to know me and want to leave.  And you will never want to come back.  Then when and if you do show back up, I owe you something.  And that something will never be enough to make you want to stay.

I spent my life building little ways to protect myself.  So ingrained I didn't even notice.  Until I reached the pit.  The place where my face couldn't fall any further past the ground.  The dirt and grime of struggling to protect myself.  Make everything just so.  So my family would not have to suffer like I did.  They would have what I did not.

While I was busy building all these little "protection mechanisms", I realized that I had absolutely no control over how my family would turn out.  And this made me mad.  It made me angry.  It made me tired.  It made me panic.  It made me scared.  It made me call out to God.  Because I didn't think I could go on.

I thought my family would be better off without me.  (I was not suicidal.  But, I did want to leave.  Not sure where I would have gone.)

Oh, how it pains me to even write that.  How could I feel like that when I love them more than the air I breathe.  How, Lord?  Why, Lord?  What are You doing to me, Lord?  You (The Lord) are going to leave too.  Maybe You are taking them from me.  This is punishment for my own wretchedness.  Awesome.  Great.

But, in His great mercy, He has chiseled and chiseled so many things off my soul.  He has taught me so much.  In looking at the above pictures, He has given me eyes to see His love for me in a very different way.  I can see Him in my husband.  I can see Him in my children.  I see His love for me in the way He has restored my family.  Redeemed and restored the things that were broken.  I see His goodness to me.  And I am thankful.  Especially when I look at the pictures below.  I get to see a little bit of what I would have been like as a child.  And He whispers in my ear, "Trust me, Allison.  Trust me.  I have you in the Palm of My Hand.  Your name is engraved there.  (Isaiah 49:16)  And I am not ever going to leave you or forsake you.  (Joshua 1:5)  My Promises are true.  I want you to have good things.  (Jeremiah 32:37-41, 2 Peter 1:4)  I will not bring you harm.  I will keep chiseling and you keep trusting, Me."




Monday, August 22, 2011

joy and doubt

"But the secret of joy is to keep seeking God where you doubt He is."
Ann Voskamp.

I opened her book like I do every so often.
Especially when I am seeking Him.
And I read the sentence above.
Over and Over I recited this in my head.

Where are the places I have doubted God?
I started listing them in my head.
All the way to the most current doubts.
And all of the doubts have led me to Him.
Not away from Him.
Even though I might not sense His presence,
keep seeking His Face.

I can't tell you how many drafts I have written and not posted.
I have felt pretty dry in the writing department.
Or maybe I have been running away a little.
Or maybe it was just soaking up time with the kids.
We have had such a wonderful summer.
We are blessed.

Continuing with giving thanks........

707.  precious time in the mountains with MB.
708.  that the mountain lion that MB's parents saw was not there when we were there.
709.  for the transition to a new school.
710.  for both of my children to like school.
711.  daily grace that i receive.
712.  clean clothes.
713.  clipping hydrangeas to dry.
714.  fun day at the lake with our friends.
715.  laughter.
716.  that mac likes baseball.
717.  the courage of a dear friend going back to work.  she has a true gift.  so proud of you:)
718.  for the cardinal with a messed up head who shows up just when i need to see him.
719.  drawing near to my children when they have upset me.
720.  compassion instead of harshness.
721.  leighton. 
 

1 Peter 5:6-14.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
 12By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.  
    Peace to all of you who are in Christ.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Light

So, my posts have been pretty deep lately. The last post was inspired after stripping all of the toys out of La's room. It has been coming. She now has just books in her room.

I also took all or her clothes and left her with 8 outfits and 2 dresses. You may ask why. Well, she is quite the fashionista. She takes biker shorts to another level. She changes outfits 20 times a day. Throws tantrums when she can't wear something.

We have already seen an improvement. I do not think I am going to put toys back in her room. She does still have toys in the porch. I am planning on doing some organizing tomorrow:).

These are a few things I al thankful for:

•my immersion blender.
•banana and peanut butter smoothie. Every. Single. Day.
•air condition. Especially in South Carolina heat.
•my parents safely arrived in Germany.
•becoming an aunt again.
•an amazing testimony I heard at church today.
•tide and downy. Mmmmmm.
•clean sheets.
•tacos al carbon. Here I come.
•friends.
•tootsie roll. The song. You know what I am talking about:). It helped me on my run this am in 100 degrees:)





















- Posted using BlogPress from
my iPhone

Sunday, July 10, 2011

stripped.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines stripped as:
 
a : to remove clothing, covering, or surface matter from  
b : to deprive of possessions  
c : to divest of honors, privileges, or functions

When I truly began to walk with the Lord 4 1/2 years ago, I was stripped.
I remember my mother telling me over the phone, 
"Baby, get down on your knees and pray.  He is the only One Who can help you."
I hung up the phone and got on my knees.
Burning tears streaming down my face.
I cried out to the Lord.

Ever since that day, the Lord has been wooing me to Himself.
I felt stripped.
My heart was changing.
I didn't quite understand what was going on.
But, now I see.
I had to be brought to my knees.
I had to know that He was the Only way.
Not my way.

I pretty much did anything to avoid suffering.  
Most of the time I would just stick these hurts in a box and put them on a shelf.
But, you see these boxes filled with broken pieces of my heart,
were falling down.
I was drowning in the sorrows of all my suffering.

It was only in the waves,
struggling to breath
is where I found
Him.

I couldn't manipulate my way out of the pain.
I was stripped.
To the core of my soul.

In His grace and His mercy,
He stripped me of my coverings and the surface matters,
to get to my heart.
To see my sin.
My wretched, wretched heart.
And change it from the inside out.
Ever since that day and until the day I meet Him face to face,
He chips a little more off that He doesn't want to be there.
But, every time I am stripped,
He restores.
He gives me hope.
He fills me with His Truth.
And from the stripping
my love for Him grows.
And grows.
And grows.

He picks me up when I fall.
He is tender.
He is full of compassion.
He wants what is best for me.
He loves me more than I can imagine.
And I trust Him.

701.  my brother in law, Davis, who is about to deploy to Afghanistan.  Two weeks after the birth of his first child.
702.  my sister, Susan, who is about to have her first baby and her husband leave for war.
703.  for the sacrifice others give for our freedom.
704.  that Jesus was the Sacrifice.  so we could have life.  freedom in Him.
705.  that I am a new creation.  the old is being stripped off.  layer.  by layer.
706.  and the new is growing toward the Light.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

picture me {im}perfectly.

you are not picture perfect,
your kids are not picture perfect,
your house is not picture perfect,
your crafts are not always picture perfect,

let's 
encourage, 
inspire and 
remind 
other women 
that none of us have it all together.  

Yesterday I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen.
It literally took my breath away.
I didn't even have time to take a picture.
I also got to see the sun set yesterday and it was beautiful as well.

The sunrise and the sunset were perfect.
Everything in between was not so perfect.
But, you know what?
He is.
Perfect.
He covers all my faults.
My sins.
My shortcomings.
My failures.

He has me in the Palm of His Hand.
His Perfect Hand.

682.  breathtaking sunrise.
683.  a run with my bff from childhood.
684.  fabulous long weekend with my family in Alabama.
685.  cousins playing.  laughing.  smiling.
686.  donkey noises.
687.  a haircut.....ahhhhh:)
688.  jasper's hair cut.
689.  desserts.
690.  my 8 year old sitting in my lap at the doctor's office.
691.  an unexpected wink from my boy.
692.  Lawson's hilariousness.
693.  my water bottle.  love it.
694.  pen pals.  old school.  style.
695.  anger that is dissipating.
696.  love that covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter:4:8
697.  sleeping in.
698.  bug collections.
699.  tattoos.
700.  clean clothes.  tide and downy.  fresh and clean.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

picture me {im}perfectly.focusing.

i love how the Lord works.
sometimes i wish it didn't take me so long to catch on.
summers have usually been hard on me.
this year the Lord has been so gracious.
i have truly enjoyed most of it so far.

my main problem is focus.
it hit me tonight like a ton of bricks.
i have a.d.d.
in a big way.
focusing has always been a problem.(since i was little.)
and it is SO frustrating.
my friend described it as a traffic jam.
um.yes.in.a.big.kind.of.way.

i left tonight to have some time by myself.
because i do not get much of this treasured time as of late.
i needed it.
major traffic jam.
it has been on yellow.light. for some time now.
RED.LIGHT.

i go to chick-fil-a.
library parking lot.
eat my sandwich.
drive off.
go to a park.
text with friend.
talk to friend.
dump truck. (love you, lo.)

breathe.
feel a whole lot better.
write a letter.
pull out the book.
skim over parts.
ahhhh.  like fresh air.
breathe.

"when laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, i think i'm due some appreciation.  so comes a storm of trouble and lightning strikes joy.  but when Christ is the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains.  passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all.  when the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone - the bone, they sing joy, and the work returns to its purest state: eucharisteo.  The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness."  Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts.

when i focus on myself.
i am robbing myself of joy.
by refocusing on why i do what i do.
focusing on Jesus.
is like a breath of fresh air.
rejuvenates me.
empty to fill.

and fill He does.
sweet reminders of His love for me.
He tenderly woos me back.
centered on Him.
it is all for Him.



                                                            picture me {im}perfectly
is a weekly project to reveal that we don't have it all together.

i will post a 
picture me {im}perfectly
blog post every wednesday 
where you will be able to link up to your blog
revealing that:

you are not picture perfect,
your kids are not picture perfect,
your house is not picture perfect,
your crafts are not always picture perfect,

let's 
encourage, 
inspire and 
remind 
other women 
that none of us have it all together. 

i just went to sweet, hill's blog and she featured me again this week.  thanks, girl.  i laughed out loud.  cause my last picture me {im}perfectly was pretty rough;)  but, we have to be real.  right?  :)  i also can't wait to post pictures of my organization of mac's room.

676.  swimming breast stroke with mac today.  he beat me.
677.  lawson doing a dive off the diving board.  she is five.  WHAT?
678.  two days until i am with my fam in bama. yea haw.
679.  a husband who greets me with a kiss and tells me i am beautiful.
680.  a husband who extends grace to me when i don't hear the compliments he gives me.
681.  Jesus.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

whew.

grace.

God's
Riches
At
Christ's
Expense.

i am so thankful that His mercies are new every
single
morning.

i had to be real with y'all.
a friend pointed out the post right before the last was so upbeat.
things are going well.
but, it does not mean that i don't have bad days.
yesterday was one of them.

today is a new day.
thank you, Lord.

669.  wearing cowboy boots with shorts for vbs.  it makes me feel young.  and fun.
670.  a husband who came home last night and said go.  i have got them
671.  dinner by myself at panera.
672.  letters written.
673.  target trip.  wandering the aisles by myself.  no cart.
674.  eucharisteo.
675.  "In Christ, there are bonds that are deeper than genes and blood." Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas.

If you have any prayer requests, feel free to email me at imperishableseeds@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

picture me {im}perfectly

 
i'm a yeller.
i admit it.
and i hate it.
i try so hard to speak kindly when i get upset.
it is SO much better than it use to be.

this is gonna be short and to the point.
vbs this week.
running late today.
children being disrespectful.
constant talking back.
stirring up trouble
=
one unhappy momma.
I just put them in their room for one hour of "quiet time."
rules= stay in room.no fighting.
both come out of their rooms.
all i hear is constant banter and screaming
back and forth.

I walk in there calmly.
line them on the bed 
spank them.
and then 
i yelled at them.

no pictures today.
just one girl
in need of 
Jesus.

"a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
Proverbs 15:1

please, Jesus help me know that my children and their behavior does not reflect who i am in You.  please forgive me for being harsh with them.  change my heart.  make me new.  help me as i go and talk to them.  let the love i feel for them come out in words that give life.
in Your name i pray.

Monday, June 20, 2011

653.

So, so many things to be thankful right now.
I almost can't contain myself.
Even though swim team is literally consuming most of time,
I am enjoying life.
Right.
Where.
I.
Am.
And it feels good.
I feel His graces surrounding me.
Encouraging me.
Slowing me.
Focusing me.
Breathing life into me.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you.
eucharisteo.

653.  bear hugs.  with people i love.
654.  fresh cut gladiolas from a special friend.
655.  letters.  (old school.  handwritten.  not email.)
656.  my children and their courage.
657.  jumping on trampoline with friends and laughing until crying.
658.  the game of things.  (if you don't have this game, you should.  especially if you like to laugh.)
659.  a husband who is an amazing father.
660.  braided pigtails.
661.  lunch with old friend.
662.  hearing a pastor's testimony.  it was amazing.  and moving.
663.  the thing that struck me the most from his testimony was something someone said to him one day. 
One day when he was really struggling.  The man said,
"You have kingdom value.  You have kingdom value."
664.  after four years of dropping my kids off at vbs, i am finally participating in leading worship.  and loving it.  even though i can't even hit a note.  and mess up frequently.  blast.  especially because the girl i am leading with is one of my besties.
665.  impromptu playdates.
666.  Jesus.
667.  the restoring of things that were broken.  and not being as scared of the broken.
668.  trusting Him. knowing He is establishing the way for me.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, June 11, 2011

the winner is.....


seeds.  
is the name of the

Janet, 
let me know if you want a painted cross or barrette's.  I am sure the barrette's would look precious in little Finn's hair;)

Ok, y'all be patient with me while I get this up and running.  I am so excited.  Seriously.  Pumped.
I would love to have suggestions and ideas.
Catchy phrases.

Let's start.
Yeah:)

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"that momma."


picture me {im}perfectly
is a weekly project to reveal that we don't have it all together.

from hill's blog:

i will post a 
picture me {im}perfectly
blog post every wednesday 
where you will be able to link up to your blog
revealing that:

you are not picture perfect,
your kids are not picture perfect,
your house is not picture perfect,
your crafts are not always picture perfect,

let's 
encourage, 
inspire and 
remind 
other women 
that none of us have it all together.  

Yeah Allison.
I just published my first picture me {im)perfectly yesterday.
And today is the actual day to participate:)
Yes.

Ok, so yesterday I take my kids to their first swim team practice.
Mac does fine.  I have already threatened to take the Wii away for the whole summer if he complains about it anymore.  So nada out of him.
But, La pulled out the hyperventilation number.
Lawson has been swimming by herself since one week before her third birthday.
Her coach said he had never seen a three year old with a butterfly kick like her.  
I drop her off on the steps and find a seat.
I look over and she is bawling crying.
Tears.
Chest moving up and down.
Oh.no.what.is.the.problem?

She tells me she does not want to do swim team.
Heaving.
Inside I am thinking, "I just ordered you a $50 swim team swimsuit.  Oh.yes.you.are."
But, I kept wavering in my parenting.
I couldn't decide what was the best way to handle the situation.

To make a long story short.  I ended up getting in the pool.  Told the swim coach to let her go.
She will swim.  Trust me.  Kinda thing.
I let her go and she acted like she was drowning.
I got her out of the pool.
She sat by me until Mac finished practice.

I was furious.
Livid.
I was "that momma."
You know what I am talking about.

I was so torn about what to do.
I was praying on the way home.
Lord, what do I do?
And all that kept coming to me was:
Love her.
Love her.
Draw near.

Leighton came home for lunch.
We talked and then had a talk with her.
I even took her back to the pool yesterday afternoon.
She was swimming like a fish.

So, this morning she starts again.
"I'm scared.  I don't want to do swim team."
I post something on Facebook and I got a lot of great advice.
One person recommended ice cream or something.
That was the ticket.
Fo.sure.

I told her if she didn't cry and she participated I would take her to Yumilicious.
My friend let me know she was doing fine.
I see her coach.  She tells me she did awesome.
Yeah Lawson.

We went to Yumilicious.
We ate down to the asphalt.
It was so good.
But, getting there tore this momma up inside.

You know why.
Because I see so much of myself in La.
It is like looking at myself in the mirror.
I am pretty sure my mom would tell you that I would do just about anything to get my way.
And most of the time it worked.
Manipulation Queen.
Right here.

One thing I have learned is the Lord continues to love me.
Guide me.
Draw near.
Comfort me.
Accept me.
All because of Christ.
Not me.
And He is Perfect.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Picture Me.

{im}perfectly 

is a weekly project to reveal that we don't have it all together.



I heart this girl.  
Hill.
First off, what a cool name?
I have wanted to do this picture me {im}perfectly for a long time.
She is an amazing wife and mother.
I love her honesty.
Her kiddos are presh.  presh.  presh.

Ok.  
Here goes.
I am a mess.
Most of the time.
Sometimes it is organized messy.
Sometimes it is downright ugly.
Sometimes it is pretty.

But, here is the truth.
I have found beauty in the mess and {im}perfection of my daily life.

Here is a picture of my son eating his dinner in the car.


Winner.  Winner.  Chicken.  Dinner.
Although it was not chicken.  It was a grill cheese.  Demonte Whole Green Beans and Strawberries.
And my son hates to have his picture taken.  Can you tell?  Oh, and is that applesauce?  That must be why the ants are attacking my child's car seat today.  Awesome.

Now.  Brace yourself.


The worst part is my children have been gone since Monday.  Today is Friday.  (now it is Tuesday.)
I just took this picture.
I did accomplish a lot while they were gone.  But, obviously not this tornado.  Caused by yours truly.
I am not even going to make an excuse.
(I painted his drawers and put it in the dining room.)



That is awful.  Ridiculous.  embarrassing.

It gets worse.  I feel I need to come clean.  Be honest.  Transparent. 


This is a stack of our budget stuff.
Things are about to change at our house.
So, please pray for me?

I think it is so important for us women to be real about our imperfections.  It draws us closer to the Lord. 
Last but not least.  The Giveaway will end Sunday evening at 10 pm.  (Ok, now the giveaway will end this next Sunday because my week is not slammed packed.)I will announce a winner on Monday.  So, friends  keep the names coming for the Prayer Blog. 

As you can tell I started to write this post and then did not complete it until today.
But, I am so thankful because last night I read one of the best blog posts I have ever read about being perfect.
I am "a perfect mess."
Thank you, Lord for loving me in my mess.


648.  a fun weekend with my sister and her family.
649.  slip and slide fun.
650.  fresh cut hydrandea's
651.  gardenias
652.  thankful that LOVE cover's over a multitude of sin.

1 Peter 4:8

English Standard Version (ESV)
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."





Tuesday, May 31, 2011

seeds.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything
 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.


Almost twenty years ago, I memorized Ecclesiastes 3 for my senior declamation at The Webb School.  I stood before my classmates and recited the whole chapter of Ecclesiastes 3.  Little did I know twenty years later this would be the verses I would come to this morning.

As I was running this morning and listening to my tunes, praying, casting my burdens on the Lord, it struck me: I am in a time of plenty.

How did I get here to this place of plenty?  Why does it look like this right now?  Will it be taken from me tomorrow?  How will I survive?  It is still kind of messy in the plenty.  Is that ok?  What am I going to do with the seeds?
 "This is my prayer in the harvestWhen favor and providence flowI know I'm filled to be emptied againThe seed I've received I will sow"Hillsong United. 
How will I react to the emptying?  I can't be scared of being emptied.  I just can't.  This is where His seeds are planted.  In the emptying.  And I have been empty.  He has been faithful to plant them carefully with His skillful Hand.  These seeds have taken root.  It takes watering these seeds to grow.  Sometimes they don't get watered.  I know what that looks like too.  But, He still takes the dry and moistens the soil and I continue to grow.  There are weeds of course.  And they are ugly.  But all the while, He continues to hold me in the Palm of His Hand.  Plucking the weeds and planting more seeds.  And filling me.  He brings the rain.  He brings the sunshine.  He brings the fertilizer.  He brings the lawn mower.  He brings the weed eater.  He brings the shears.  He also brings fences.  Actually, He is building a fortress around my heart.  Sewing up the holes that have been there a long, long time.  So, here I am.  How can I takes these seeds that He has given me and sow them?  Two things strike me:  Prayer and Praise.  I feel led to start a prayer blog.  A place where I can go to pray for people.  A place where I can go to put my specific prayers.  A place where I can put my praises.  A place where others can put their prayer requests.  A place where others can put their praises.  A place of refuge.  A place where you can be anonymous.  A place where you have a name.  It doesn't matter.      What do you think, my peeps?  How about a name?  Not so good with the name thingy.  So, please help me out with suggestions.  I am excited.  Pumped.  How about a giveaway?    The winner will get to choose.  A cross painting, done by yours truly or little rosette barrettes (or headband. or key chain.)  I will posts pics soon.  You won't be disappointed.  Well, maybe you will;)  So, please pass along.  Facebook.  Email.  Twitter.  Blog.  Whatevah  floats your boat:)  This will be a place where we can take our burdens and lay them at the foot of the Cross.  Over and Out.  Love y'all.   


Monday, May 16, 2011

636

636.  summer is almost here.
637.  only 2 1/2 days until i see this bestie.
638.  tomorrow my baby is going to be 5.  how in the world did this happen?
639.  her dance recital is tomorrow night.  i love to see her all dressed up and so excited to dance.
640.  sweet text from my hubby.
641.  a good long run this morning.
642.  nose kisses.
643.  clean sheets.
644.  fresh paint smell.
645.  a new back door.
646.  even though it is crazy busy, i am finding joy.  thank you, Jesus.  thank you.
647.  Christ.  because He is everything I need. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

629.

629.  precious girls picking strawberries.
630.  Lawson falling asleep with my picture.  Something I will treasure always.  Always.
631.  Someone leaving a sweet chalk message on my driveway.
632.  our pomegranate tree blooming.
634.  a precious Mother's Day Tea at Lawson's school.
635.  making crafts this afternoon with my precious friend, Shelley:)

Monday, May 9, 2011

620.

620.  The lady without a name.  She does have a name.
621.  A friend of mine (who I didn't even know reads my blog) told me she knew the lady I met in the Kroger parking lot.
622.  This is not a coincidence.  This is God.  And He is that Big.
623.  finishing this book
624.  Lawson.
625.  the sweetest Mother's Day.
626.  running a 10k in 1 hour.  at age 37.
627.  did I just say 37?
628.  happy for my friends who are graduating from graduate school.  actually accepted that wasn't the road the Lord had for me.  He taught me a lot during that one semester.  One being sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it is no.  But, thank you for following Me.  I will follow You, Lord.  In the yes and the no.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The lady without a name.

I was talking to a close friend on the phone the other day.  I pulled into Kroger with my coupons and list ready to go.  BTW, I dislike couponing.  I get out of the car. I see a lady parked right next to me.  I walk to the door of the grocery, get off the phone with my friend and realize I have not locked my doors.

I walk back to the car and see this lady is bawling as she loads her groceries.  I can't just walk back by her and not say anything.  I can't just walk away.

So, I walk up to her.  Put my hand on her arm and ask her if she is ok.  Obviously she wasn't.  But, I asked if there was anything I could do for her. 

She started to tell me she had just found out that her 37 year old son in law's cancer had just spread to his adrenal glands.  His cancer was all over now.  Then she told me they have a 2 year old son.  Then she proceeded to tell me her husband had died of cancer just last year.

I continued to listen.  I rubbed her arm.  I literally stood there and physically felt my own heart breaking. 

I am 37.  I have a husband who I love dearly.  Two children that I adore.  I love all three more than the air I breath.

As I am listening, I am thinking, "Oh, Lord, what do I say?"  All I can say is that I am so sorry.  I am so sorry.

Then my mouth opens and says, "I will pray for you.  For them.  The Lord is Good."

She immediately wiped her tears and said, "I don't believe that.  No."

Oh, sweet Jesus, why did I say that?  Why?  That is the worst possible thing I could say.

I then proceeded to ask her what her son in laws name.  What is your daughters name?  What is your grandson's name?

Everything became weird. 

But, I did know their names.

I told her again that I would be praying for them.  She thanked me for my humanness.  And I walked away.

As I approached the door to enter the grocery store, I started to weep.  To the point I just turned right around and walked back to my car.  Got in.  And drove down to the end of the parking lot.  Put the car in park.  And broke down. 

The reality hit me that there are so many people who don't know Jesus. 

I am not one to stand at the entrance of the Augusta National reading aloud from the Bible.  But, I love Jesus.
I have doubted the goodness of the Lord.  I have questioned Him.  I have had my fists in the air.  Asking why.  What good is this going to do?  Why are You doing this to me?  Haven't You done enough already.  Can You please quit inflicting pain on me?  Please.  Lord.  Where are You?

And I have discovered that He is right here.  Right now.  Right beside me.  Walking with me.  Drawing near to me.  Catching my tears in bottles.  Breathing for me when I felt like I could not.  Tenderly loving me.  Comforting me.  Encouraging me.  Lifting my chin(Psalm 3).  My Shield.  My Salvation.  Joy.  Strength.  Determination.  Grace.  Forgiveness.  Love.

Love.  He holds all things together.  He knows my heart.  He knows everything.  And He loves me enough to let His Only Son die for me, so that I can live.  Jesus.

Lord, please heal Will from this deadly disease called cancer.  Please be with his wife Ann Elizabeth and his son Finn.  Please Lord, draw this woman who I do not know to Yourself.  Tenderly love her through this suffering.  Wrap Your arms around them and help them breath.  And let Your breath give them Life.

In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen

Monday, May 2, 2011

609.

609.  a new trampoline.
610.  sweaty, stinky children.
611.  grateful that my family is safe after the devastating tornadoes in Alabama.
612.  thank you for the woman in the Kroger parking lot.  Please Lord, draw her to Yourself.
613.  for Mac's conscience.  
614.  for Lawson giving up her thumb.  i.  am.  so.  proud.  of.  her.
615.  that even in the hard stuff, You are teaching me to let go and give them to You.
616.  for an answered prayer.
617.  magnolia's that are about to bloom.
618.  Grace.  Grace.  Grace.
619.  these photos done by Brooke Turner.  she is awesome.




God, You are so good.  Thank you for all of the blessings You have given me.  Thank you for all the hard stuff too.  The hard things of life have drawn me closer to You.  The good things have been made sweeter because of You.  Thank You.

Monday, April 25, 2011

592

592.  A sweet and precious Easter!  Celebrating our Risen Lord:)
593.  hilarious comments from Lawson.
594.  picking strawberries.  no kiddos.  with this awesome friend.
595.  painting in a field (until it started to rain.)
596.  stepping out of my comfort zone.  
597.  Lawson stopped sucking her thumb.
598.  strawberry shortcake.
599.  big fluffy clouds.
600.  bright blue skies.
601.  Eating mexican with 2 precious college girls.  i.feel.old.
602.  surprise phone call from my brother.
603.  praying specifically for people.
604.  seeing and hearing about the Lord moving in mighty ways.
605.  He never ceases to amaze me.
606.  phone call with Lo.  miss the mess out of her.  but smiling when i think of her.
607.  my husband.  
608.  these wise words from my hubby when i was feeling insecure:
"There has only been One person who knew exactly who He was." 


 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Alive.

I have struggled with how to put into words what happened to me two weeks ago.
But, I took a chance and I followed God.
I felt Him telling me to go.
So I went.
Trusting.
Believing in His Promises.

No one knew except my sister, Amelia.
I went to my real father's farm in Tennessee.
The last time I was there, I went to take him to rehab.
I was desperate for him to be well.
But, he was sick.
And I wanted to save him.
He had a loaded gun.
He wanted to kill himself.

I have not been back since.
But, I have been visiting that place in my heart where the fear has gripped me for the past four and a half years.
I miss my dad.
I miss him terribly.
I have always missed him.
Always.

Especially when he was suppose to be there.
Whether it was to pick me up when I was four.
school play.
graduation.
my wedding.
So many special days he just didn't show up.

A longing in my soul for him to just love me.
To hold me.
To want to be with me.
Love.
Security.
Safety.

And the only place I have found all the things I have searched for my whole life,
is in the arms of Christ.

So, I drove to the farm.
The roads that I have loved for 20 years.
It was the most beautiful day.
I drove with the windows down.
Hair blowing in the wind.
Soaking up all of God's beauty.
Praising Him.

I drove down my dad's long driveway.
I took pictures.
My heart was beating out of my chest.
I pulled into the driveway.
And I reversed slowly.
Knowing that I would not see him, although I know he was there.

I drove off in peace though.
The Peace that can only come from The One I love.
I kept driving the roads.
Breathing and taking it all in.

I went to a hill I have always wanted to climb.
For 20 years I have dreamed about climbing this land.
I pulled in and stared up to where I have longed to run.
I parked the car.
Got my book, One Thousand Gifts, and stepped out.
Stepped out in faith that this is where He was leading me.
Confident in Him.
But, still not so sure.

A dog starts to bark.
I attempt to go back to the car.
But, I keep going.
Confident.
Sure of His love for me.
Because it is all around me.
Breathtaking.

I get to the top.
I turn around.
Look at the hill I have just climbed.
I take pictures.
Breathing in the wind that is coming from Him.

I open Ann's book.
It opens to page 178.
I read it.
Tears start to flow.
Beautiful tears.
Of joy.

These are the words I read.  And read aloud on this hill.

"All light seen is light from the past and light now old from the sun streams through the window, glints off the glass shards.  Broken glass ignites in light and there it is, the secret of joy's flame:  Humbly let go.  Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control...let go of my own way, let go of my fears.  Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy's fire.  Leave the hand open and be.  Be at peace.  Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks.  This is the fuel for joy's flame.  Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will.  And I can empty.  I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me.  I can empty because I am full of His love.  I can trust.
I can let go.
I hadn't know that joy meant dying.
What did I think hard eucharisteo and the table of the Last Supper meant?
But, dying to self demands that I might gratefully and humbly receive the better, the only things that a good God gives.  To be nothing in the flesh and Christ might be everything in the soul, to follow after Jesus who "humbled himself and became obedient to death..." (Philippians 2:8 NIV), to follow Christ to the table of eucharisteo, the table of surrender that gives thanks for what is given - this is joy!  True humility is self-smallness to the point of  "blessed self-forgetfulness" and what could bring more happiness than emptying of self-will and being wholly immersed in the will of God for this moment?  Joy - it's always obedience.
I know it deeper now: This eucharisteo is no game of Pollyanna but the hard edge of blade.
Only self can kill joy."
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts p. 178-179.

He is Good.
He died.
But, He is Risen.
He is Alive.

As we approach this Easter, I am taken aback to the glory of His resurrection.
His power.
His love.
His mercy.
His grace.

Humbled like never before.







"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; 
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; 
my flesh also dwells secure.

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:6-11 (ESV)

I love you, Daddy.  I miss the mess out of you.  I love you.
Missing you and loving you has been a gift from the Gift Giver.  No matter how painful the ache I feel for you.  He uses things in life to give us the better.  And that better is Him.  Only Him.