Tag Archives: children

Mondays.

Every Monday for the last four Mondays an email assignment has popped up in my email. Those assignments have allowed me to not only share about some pretty amazing people but to become part of an amazing group. There were incentives to participating in Compassion International‘s Blog Month but that is not why I contributed. I wrote because of the challenge. I write still because I cannot stop.

We sponsor a child, from Haiti. 

Without writing for Compassion International over the last month I wouldn’t have the knowledge and understanding I do now. I also wouldn’t have taken the steps to get to know other bloggers who do what I do. There are bloggers out there who I may have very little in common with, save two things:

We all love Jesus.

We all sponsor a child, some more than one.

Sponsor.

That is a fun word. My boys thought it meant they were getting a brother, something akin to adoption. And, they did. Although, our sponsored child is not coming to live with us he is still very much a part of our family. Every day we pray for each other and for our kiddo and if by chance I forget {we are still pretty new at this} the boys will stop me and say, “Mommy don’t forget the boy we’re helping raise and teach about Jesus! You know, the one who lives in Haiti!”  {Typically they call him by name but I am still uncertain how much, if any, information I am at liberty to divulge via the internet.}

Our goal for blog month {September} was to get 3,108 children sponsored. When it was all said and done our total was 3,159 children sponsored. We not only met but exceeded our goal. What an amazing opportunity! We have this chance to speak life, love, and Jesus to these little people!

For the last month, I have greeted Mondays with expectancy, awaiting the newest challenge each week. Now that those assignments are complete, and our goal has been met, I am not finished. I have found a new way to begin my week by taking some time to think about, pray for, and write about my sponsored child.

Mondays have a new meaning.

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Dear God.

Sponsoring a child is a huge decision, almost as big as having a new baby or getting married. How will I know if we pick the right one? What if something happens and we can’t continue our sponsorship? What then? This is a giant step and my brain is telling me no but my heart is screaming yes. I know it’s the right thing.

The boys are excited about helping out another child. They’ve been trying grasp what it’s like to not have education or food or water or shoes. All of those things we take for granted. They’ve already asked about sending him (they’re certain You will lead us to sponsor a boy!) toys to play with. And maybe some books.

The big thing is that I want to be able to show him (or her) You and to show Your love. I get stuck because I know I snap at my boys sometimes. I almost feel as though I’m not a good enough role model – not yet. I hope we’re always growing in Your word and showing your love for others. God, I don’t know what You have planned but we are taking this next step. Jumping in feet first and trusting You to keep us above water.

Most importantly, Heavenly Father, please protect the child, whomever he or she may be. Wrap your loving arms around him or her and never let go.


A Thankful Heart | Day 7.

I know I’ve said family already but for today I want to focus on my children:

Eman & ZigZag

There are no words to express all of the emotions that go along with Mommyhood. It’s a whole new world that is constantly changing. If you have more than one child, the milestones reached with the oldest are not necessarily how things will happen when the youngest reaches those same milestones. It is amazing to me how incredibly dissimilar yet alike my boys are. They both have fairly happy dispositions most of the time. Yet, even when they’re happy there’s such a difference of expression from one to the other.

I have learned more about myself in the last seven {and a half!} years than I’ve probably learned in the last thirty combined. New ways of teaching, giving, receiving. There just aren’t words enough to express how much I love these little dudes and how drastically they’ve changed my life {for the better!}.

ZigZag will make up little songs that say, “I love you Mommy” in them.

Eman will come up as though he has something very serious to say and then wink at me before giving me the biggest hug.

To quote the movie Something’s Gotta Give “They make me want to be a better person”.

I just love them!


Mother’s Day.

My mom keeps asking me what I want for Mother’s Day & I keep throwing out random things (ie. Hillsong United tickets, etc) but in truth, I have nearly everything I could ever need or want. My family (kids, parents, siblings) is happy and healthy. I’ve gotten to spend some real time with my boys as well as take some time to relax. And a Heavenly Father who knows my dreams and desires. What more could a girl ask for?!

So, how did I spend it?

Well, first I woke up to a very warm 5 year old – ZigZag has been running high fevers all weekend – who was also complaining of a tummy ache and starting dry heaves, so I gave him his meds and we snuggled up in the big recliner and dozed while E-man watched cartoons until about 1130 (we did not go to church).

Then we ran to Reasor’s and got Grandma’s Mother’s Day cards and some other random things we were out of.

And then we visited a family we have become good friends with over the last year and helped set up their pool.

When we got home, we spent some time outside with Grandma and Pappaw then did our bedtime routine. Both boys are officially asleep – have been about an hour now.

Overall, it was very quiet and restful. And, just for the record, yes, I did keep an extra close on ZigZag while we they were splashing in the water.

So, what does Mother’s Day mean?

For us mom’s, there is no greater joy than knowing we have brought a life into this world, that God has entrusted us to raise His children. There’s a whole lot of responsibility that goes with that. We wear many hats.

Healer – boo-boo kisser

Chauffeur – driving to/from school, sports, doctor visits, playdates, and many other places

Organizer – really, who else do you know who can be on the phone, making lunch/breakfast, answering questions about where things are, and rattle off dates from memory about special events all at once?!

Financial Guru – most mom’s I know are the one’s who keep track of just how much $$ comes in and goes out each month, as well as can state the balance of accounts at a moments notice

Master Crafts(wo)man – from scrapbooking to sewing to bow-making to tutu making, mom’s can do just about everything

Environmental Conservationist – making sure things are cleaned up around the house, flowers are planted and healthy, and being as “green” as possible – yes, I do realize this does not apply to every household but it does to many of my friends.

Event Planner – from birthdays to holidays and school events, mom’s are usually the ones behind the plans; everything from food to prizes & goody bags to who has what allergies.

Most importantly, mom’s are the ones who allow their hearts to walk around outside their own bodies, who love their children unconditionally, and who move Earth when it comes to their children.


A Playset Raising.

Back in the pioneer days if a family needed a barn, house, or other necessary building built they’d have all of their friends, family, and neighbors travel out, camp out on the homestead in their wagons and work each day on building whatever was needed until it was finished. We did something similar recently.

Several weeks ago my dad bought this massive playset for my boys. You know the kind, made of wood with a rock wall, slide, swings, a too tall tower, etc. And then we had weeks of seemingly non-stop snow and below zero temperatures. So, building this was postponed until the weather was in a better mood.

It came in 4 boxes that remained stacked on our back porch through many weeks of snow and below freezing temperatures. Finally it was warm enough to build it completely. We thought it would be fairly easy. In theory, each of the 4 boxes was a complete section to be joined with each of the other 3 boxes once they were all together. Not so.

Each box was full of wood. So much wood. And all of it was numbered so we began by sorting the wood into matching piles based on whichever numbers were stamped on them.

Then we started reading the directions. Or rather, my dad read the directions and the rest of us did as we were told. Ha! I want that job next time! Our progress went something like this:

Putting the roof on was … interesting. We laid the whole thing over on its side in order to reach the roof area and to attach those boards. Made it a teeny bit easier to do than trying to stand on tippy-toes at the top of a ladder drill in hand. Once the first roof (yes, first – there were two) was all on we stood it up and called it a day.

On to day two. We started with the second roof – again by laying it down and drilling the roof boards on. One plus to laying it down: made it much easier to undo and redo the boards that slipped a bit out of line. And then came the picnic table. Yes, this thing has a built in picnic table. We were somewhere in the middle of securing the boards that would soon hold the benches when the wind picked up (somewhere around 60-80 mph I’m guessing) and the whole thing started lifting up! So what did I do? I sat on it. Okay, I wasn’t the only one who put my weight on it as there was no way we were letting this thing blow over and potentially destroy all our hard work. Oh, and for the record, the finished project is much more weighted and stronger as well as anchored into the ground really well so it won’t be blowing away any time soon.

Finally, it was time to add the “fun” stuff. You know, the swings, slide, rock wall, and a few small ladders to move between the three levels. Yes, in case you hadn’t see that in the pictures, there are three levels to this thing. The top one is roughly the same height as out attic floor. Aye-yi-yi! That’s tall! Fortunately, I know just how sturdy all of those pieces of wood enclosing the top level almost completely are as I’m the one who secured them all.

The finished product is so much more fun to play on than it was to build. Building it required reading many pages of instructions and sometimes disagreeing with how things went together; meant hitting myself in the head with the drill a few times and scraping my hand on concrete; waking up for a few days with sore muscles in places I’d forgotten there are muscles. It also meant seeing some of the biggest smiles on the boys faces.

Now we just need the weather to cooperate for more than five minutes so we can all go out and enjoy it!

Some thoughts I had while building this:

* Why can’t children come with a manual?! It would be so much easier to raise them if we knew what to say or do and when. Then I smacked myself and said, “that’s exactly what the Bible is”.

* I also thought about how God takes us and molds us to be who we are supposed to be for Him. If something doesn’t line up right, He works on us until we relent to His way and get things lined up again. I consider each learning experience to be the equivalent of each bolt and screw in the playset. Each one holds us to the memory of how God helped us in a particular situation just like each bolt and screw holds that playset together. Individually it seems as though there are just random pieces lying about but when put together they form a masterpiece that only the Master can create.


True to Me.

This is potentially going to sound selfish but I want to talk about me. Keep reading and hear me out. I promise I am not as self-centered as it sounds.

There are things I want to do with my life. Desires I truly believe god has placed in my heart. What I’ve discovered in recent months is that I’ve become discouraged over not being able to fulfill those desires. Herein lies the problem. It’s not my job to fulfill those desires. It’s God’s. I get to listen to Him and follow His plan and in return my heart is happy.

So, what are those desires?

  • To write.
  • To photograph life.
  • To travel.
  • Music.
  • To help orphans.
  • Leadership.
  • To be true to me – the person God created me to be.
  • To raise my children by the standards of the image I have in my head – too difficult to really put into words. Suffice it to say, so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not of this world.
  • To love deeply the life God has given me to live.
  • To trust.
  • To again be living the life I once knew – in the present and not the past.

There are other desires I will not mention here. And I can see how all of these, and others, will potentially intersect in the decently near future. I am excited! And a little bit scared.


Shallow. Hollow. Empty.

Those words describe how I’m feeling at the moment. There are lots and lots and lots of thoughts running around in my head at the moment. Most of them asking, in some form or another, “What have I done with my life?!” And it’s not in a good way necessarily. Maybe the thoughts are more accurately asking, “How has my life influenced other people?”

Does my life influence others to live for God?

Does my life and my actions encourage others in a Godly and uplifting way?

Am I edifying?

I read a blog tonight written by a woman I consider a good friend, minus the fact we’re a bazillion miles apart and only had a few months of hanging out to get to  know each other. She is amazing. And her post tonight was incredibly thought-provoking, as it usually is.

It made me wonder what kind of person I have allowed myself to become. I sit here at the moment ready to have a blank slate and start over completely in order to allow God to mold me into the person I’m supposed to be. Because I truly don’t believe I’m there.

I’ve spent the last few minutes going through my twitter account and looking at who I’m following – all 2000 of them – and trying to remember why I chose to follow that person. I noticed there are quite a few baseball or other sports related people and teams I follow and I’m truly not a huge sports fan unless it’s football, or a team my own children are on. There’s no reason for me to follow most of them. I will be doing some revamping to my twitter account in the near future.

And don’t get me started on Facebook. In recent weeks I have gone through my friends list to remove people I don’t want influencing me any longer – there are still quite a few to go. But, that doesn’t mean I’m on Facebook any less. This has got to change. If I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent on Facebook this year alone I’d probably have several hundred thousand dollars to my name. How sad is that?!

I’ve noticed recently how often I’ve said, “I can’t” or “We can’t”. That is so NOT how I believe but I’ve let it in and now that’s what’s coming out. It’s never been more true that what you allow into your life, heart, and soul is what comes out. I am incredibly picky of what i allow my children to watch because I know this. As a mom and as a Christian I know that my children will repeat whatever they hear. And, they repeat things I don’t always hear so that I end up questioning them on where they heard it. But, if I know how important it is for my children to have their games, movies, books, etc filtered why don’t I filter my own life anymore? When did if become okay that the world is so screwed up and to not actually do anything to try and change it? When has it ever been okay to look the other way when things go wrong? To write things off as, “that’s just how the world functions”?

When did my life become about me? It’s not about me. It’s never supposed to have been about me. Okay, don’t get me wrong on this. It is about me in the sense I have a family to raise and to provide for but aside from that it’s about Jesus. Why have I not seen this before now? Why haven’t I allowed myself to step out of my life long enough to see someone else’s life?

When did I become such a shallow, cynical person? I do know that in my chosen career field I need to be able to weed out the ‘seekers’ from those who truly need the help offered to them or the resources available. And I do remember an instance where a patient turned out to be an old ‘friend’ from high school. A good guy, who also turned out to be a ‘seeker’ and was just there to get something rather than being truly hurt/injured, etc. I can pretty much pinpoint that incident as my “going cynical” moment but I was headed that way before then.

How do I change this? How do I get back to being that person I once knew? The person who knew how to love deeply and passionately, who didn’t take, “no” for an answer?

When did I start believing that my reality is my reality? Did that make sense? I’m a single mom. So what?! So are 60-75% of single women out there. When did I start letting that influence God’s ability in my life?

For the last year, since I started a blog over here on WordPress really, I’ve been trying to document living a life of passion. That’s been my theme. My mantra. Even the name of my photography studio. A Life of Passion. Somewhere along the way I lost that. Or maybe I never had it to begin with and it’s just wishful thinking on my part. But, as of this moment, I am determined to take over my life again and get things back where they should be. Starting with Jesus.


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