Tag Archives: passion

Compassion.

I made an executive decision.

Instead of showering my children with presents for Christmas we are going to step outside the box. Don’t get me wrong. We will still celebrate Christmas but this year I’m striving to make the meaning of Christmas hit home for my boys, something more than presents under a tree.

We are adding to our family.

This is a HUGE deal.

Many of you may not know that I am a blogger for Compassion International. Now, I will fess up and say I have not blogged consistently over the last year. There are many reasons and excuses I could come up with, all true, but none more true than I just didn’t take the time. I am hoping to change that this month.

You see, this month is being deemed as BLOG MONTH for those at Compassion International. It is a month where I, along with my fellow bloggers, will be encouraging our readers to sponsor a child. Each week will have a new topic related to sponsoring, an act that is life changing. I have noticed, however, it has become increasingly difficult to encourage something I do not participate in myself. We do not currently sponsor a child. 

That is changing.

We will be sitting down over the next couple of weeks, as a family, in order to choose a child we can sponsor and watch grow as my own children grow. As soon as we have chosen a child to sponsor I will post about him or her here – as much as I can anyway. Hopefully one day we will get to meet this, as of yet, unknown child. I wish we could help them all.

This is where YOU come in.

With all of the natural disasters that have hit around the world there is a much greater need than ever before. If you have the desire to help a region but are not sure how please consider being a sponsor. Sponsoring is easy. It only takes a few minutes to get set up and I can promise you it is one of the most meaningful decisions you will ever make.

I’ve heard it said many times over:

You may not be able to change the world

but you can change the world for one person.

That is exactly what sponsoring is; changing a child’s world.

FOREVER.

Like I said, it’s a HUGE deal.

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One Word.

2011 has been an interesting year.

We had some devastatingly crazy weather {possibly an understatement}.

I made some major changes to my degree plan and long term goals.

We hit some serious {sometimes painful} growth spurts

Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.

I am a Compassion Blogger, in theory. I signed up to be one roughly a year ago. I’ve managed to blog an assignment here and there but I haven’t been as committed to it as I should be. That is changing in 2012. This last week I was reading a mass email sent to all Compassion Bloggers. In the email our coordinator suggested rather than making goals or resolutions for the coming year that we seek God as for the one word her would have us focus on. This idea was originally mentioned to her by her boss a few years ago and it stuck.

Pray.

Seek God.

One Word.

What is the one word that encompasses what God wants you to get in 2012?

I did what was suggested and it seems I was given a letter rather than a word.

My focuses for 2012:

Patience

Priorities

Purge

Passion

 


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!


A Thankful Heart.

I determined a while ago that I would post on what I am thankful for. It layer dawned on me that I could do that daily during the month of November. Then I discovered National Blog Posting Month and knew I wanted to accept the challenge of blogging daily, something I’ve not done in ages.

I started to tell you all of the normal things; I’m thankful for my family, friends, home, etc. and it isn’t that I’m not so very grateful I have those people and things in my life it’s that there’s something more pressing on my heart as I write this.

Today has been a day full of tragedy to an unimaginable extent for people I am acquainted with in one form or another. Everything from homes and material possessions up in flames to not knowing if a child’s voice will ever be heard to the loss of one lived so deeply. Today has been an emotional day on many accounts and while not directly affected there has been a sharp reminder that the life I live is not my own but His.

Today I am most thankful for life.

Life that can and will be lived to the fullest. Life that allows me the opportunity to hug and hold my children. Life that is full of laughter and joy even during the hardest times.

Even beyond that I am thankful for the life, willingly placed upon a cross so long ago, given in my place so that I might have life eternal.


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.


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.


Ten Day Challenge. Day 4.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day  4 –

Seven things that cross my mind:

1. Children. Mine. Other peoples. Orphans. How I can be a better mom and how to instill a love and passion in my own children for the children of the world? For those who don’t have Mommy’s and Daddy’s, Sister’s and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles. Those who don’t have Jesus and don’t have anyone to tell them how much He loves them.

2. Worship music. There is nothing greater than being in complete abandon to the One, our Saviour, who gave His all so we wouldn’t have to. I almost always have worship music playing and if it’s not playing I’m singing.

3. Prayer. I need to be doing more of this – especially in these days. In English and in the Holy Spirit. More for my kids and my family and friends. More for my church and other Christians in the world who are being persecuted. More for the US and our government – especially because I don’t agree with the majority of things happening right now politically. For direction and wisdom. For strength. I also need to keep encouraging my boys in prayer and making sure they know how to pray. I’ve not been great at this lately.

4. Photography. My thoughts run more to how I can improve this exponentially because it is something I so enjoy doing. Even more than that, how can I use this to tell the story of other people’s lives? To bring to attention those who’ve been forgotten, and those who people choose to ignore.

5. Writing. That dream I’ve had for ages and want to do something about. November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I very much wanted to participate but knowing I couldn’t give it my full attention – not like I would want to anyway – I didn’t write one word. I fully believe that the dreams and desires we have are from God and so it’s hard for me sometimes when I think how God gave me a gift and a desire that I’m not using.

6. Focus. I’m not focused. I’m constantly multi-tasking a million things at once. Things at work. Things at home. Things with the boys. Even now, as I’m typing this I’m also editing pictures and carrying on several conversations. I would love to be able to focus on just one thing at a time so I can make sure it’s done with the quality it deserves. I enjoy getting things done quickly and multi-tasking allows that but there are so many times when I need just a little bit more time to get things done. I’m not a fan of short deadlines.

7. School. This ties into #6 somewhat because the thing I would like to focus most on right now – aside from my boys obviously – is getting back into school and finishing my degree. There are so many factors and variables involved here that at the moment I’m praying for direction and waiting on God’s timing.


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