A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Moments All Wrapped Up In Pink Sponge

It all started when Butterfly girl asked for curls like her doll, Laney. Then I remembered instantly how two little girls use to get curly hair by morning light. Heads wrapped up tight in pink sponge.

Mama would roll each one with patience and love.  Once in a while we would go up on the hill to spend the night, and strangely enough Grandma and her daughters knew how to roll with that same kind of patience.......that same kind of love. Sometimes you just gotta give in.......give into the goofyness of it all. To feel pretty, to be girly. Isn't that how we were made?
 Because inside every young girl, is a young woman slowly blooming to become the beautiful flower God meant for her to be. Big sister curls little sister and from the other room I can hear....."Stop moving!" "Ouch stop pulling!" and then giggly laughter because they realize how silly this looks.

It's strange to me how the simple things like this are what we cherish the most. Little moments all wrapped up in pink sponge.
And I'll always remember these faces. They are the faces of four little girls, two from my past and two from my present.
And as simple and goofy as this may seem to you, I pray that my girls learn to roll with that same kind of patience....that same kind of love.
Oh that they will have many more wonderful moments all wrapped up in pink sponge.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Touch of Heaven Here

"Mama quick, can I borrow your camera?" There is the most beautiful bird outside. I've never seen one quite like it before! It has red on it's wings, the brightest red you have ever seen!"

I never thought twice about it.....I gave her my camera and she flew out the door. When she came back in to show me this mysterious bird, I smiled in amazement.  In all the 16 years my man has planted us here and made our home this is the first one I've seen.

You see I often get homesick for the place I'll always call home. The place where my roots started to grow. And when I saw this Red winged black bird I knew he was a gift.......a gift to me, from Him. I know it's crazy it's only a bird. But he came from that familiar place I know all too well. A touch of home. A gift like this creates a warm, cozy, by the woodstove fire, kind of feeling for me. A feeling that I can't get here.

 Please don't misunderstand me, I love the beautiful home my Man has built for us. The roots we planted here are still growing....... They say home is where your heart is. And I have often wondered if my heart could possibly be in two places.
 I have a feeling there is a touch of heaven here. If you just look around you , He sends little gifts from home all the time, but it's not this home your heart longs for. It's the one your heart was meant for. You see, just like this red winged black bird is passing through on it's way up home, so too are we just passing through here and our soul longs for Heaven. And I just know you have never seen a place quite like it.
And some day my soul is going to soar and when it does.......I'll no longer be homesick.

Pictures were taken by my Sunshine Girl!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Life is capturing moments and making those moments memories. To freeze them in a frame and remember. To capture the sun in just the right spot. To remember where we started, To look ahead to where we are going.
And some times some moments cause us to want to look back, but experience tells us to just move on....And other moments don't last long enough.....
I find at times I can't grab the moments quick enough. They speed out of control, one running right into the other and I snap quick before it gets away. Some of the best moments to be captured are the ones when they aren't aware. To remember how they actually are/were is to capture them uninhibited just living life in the moment.

As these precious memories accumulate over the years I look back and see how He had a hand in it all, every minute, every waking hour. He has always been right there Creating the moment to be CAPTURED!

And I find I am Lovingly Captured By His Amazing Grace Moments............

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Makes A Good Legacy?

How important is one's legacy? What is it that we should leave behind? In this bustling world it's easy to forget about the trail you are leaving behind you as you walk this life.

I see a Mama who is in the winter of her time. Her children they have fallen apart....They can't seem to get it right. They fight and quarrel around her fragile heart. Consumed by their hatred toward one another. It has blinded them to the point where they can't see the tears their dear Mama is crying. They can't see her heart breaking piece by piece, bit by bit. They don't realize how close it is to the shattering point.

I can't help but wonder.....I can't help but question the legacy that is being created. What happens when a legacy is created by hate and selfishness? What happens when the next generation is looking upon the shattered pieces?

I question their hearts and why they can't seem to put all of this a side. Let their Mama live the last of her moments in peace.......in happiness. For if they truly loved her, they would pull together at such a time as this and show their children, (her grandchildren) what it means to be a loving, forgiving family. One that can go through the hardness of life, then join together in unity and make the soft memorable moments. Those moments that make you smile. Those moments that all too soon become memories. The ones that grow you and make you strong. The ones that help mold you. And you are better because of them.

I pray and I pray for hard hearts to be softened.......No one wants to end this life in regrets. No one in their right mind wants to go out saying I was right and they were wrong.......Hate is not a legacy, selfishness is not a legacy, Pride is not a legacy.......Being right is not a legacy.

Loving, Living, Forgiving, Humble, Gracious, Honest, Faithful, Unselfish, Kind, these are what make a good legacy, a Great legacy....One that helps mend shattered hearts down your lineage line.

I pray for a miracle because that's what it's gonna take to put this family back together again. And He is in the business of making and creating miracles.

Lord this family needs you NOW!!!!!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates

This is where Great Legacies come from, they come from the Lord.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's All Grace

In the spring all seems to be bursting forth life, young life. All is made new. Brown turns to green and blushing peach.

 I get a phone call from my daddy, "I just wanted you to know Grandma is in the hospital. She had a minor heart attack last night." My thoughts go racing and I don't tell him what I'm thinking.......She is 88, it's been 17 years since she had felt the pain and the crushing weight in her chest. I remember feeling fear and that fear caused us to hit our knees in prayer.
And I question how you can feel spring when your living your winter?   The surgery 17 years ago had mended her broken heart. I remember her revealing the stitches in her leg where they had taken one vein to replace another. I remember looking at her chest and how sore, red and raised from the swelling.
Nearly losing her had caused concern and I wondered if she knew.....If she knew about the God-man that walked the earth all those years ago.  I wrote her a love letter explaining and asking if she knew Him, the man with the nail scarred hands. The one that loved her so much (the only one) that He gave his life for her. I remember tearing up as I wrote each and every word, because I couldn't imagine not ever being able to see her again.
I never expected her to write........Because some things are just too personal and sometimes to even breath His name Yahweh, it makes people silent and they don't want to speak about such things. Makes them uncomfortable that somehow they could put trust in a man named Jesus.

My Grandmother....she sent me a birthday card and in the birthday card she wrote.......
"I received your letter and I wanted you to know that the Lord was the one who carried me through my heart problem."

And why is it so strange to talk about? Why the awkwardness?

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33

It's all grace. It's nothing you can do. It's everything He has done for you. This King of Kings that came down off His throne, spotless, sinless to take the place of you and I. He knew this aching, bleeding world needed a Savior and He loves us too much to just let go ............He loved us with arms stretched wide open, nailed to a tree. His heart left brutally bare and bleeding........and it's my sin that nailed Him there, it's our sin nature that hammered each and every nail. But it's the blood of redemption and it's the crimson red drops that will wash you pure white if you ask him to.

Life in heaven is not free, it was paid with price. You don't get there by doing good deeds. It is given as a gift. In return you need Faith that He came and did what He said He was going to do.  He doesn't force anyone to this safe, saving place. You can't force love. But you can choose love...........You can choose to feel Spring even in your winter.

What's the catch? You leave the old and embrace the new FORGIVEN You. And when it's your time to be called home you will be living your SPRING always.......

Monday, March 21, 2011

To Bow Down and Pray

If we never reached out, stayed in our own little world pretending there are no hurts, fears, illness' outside these four walls............ what does that say to an aching soul, to an aching world? Sometimes all it takes is to ask if you can pray for them.  To let them know someone would actually take the time and spend it on bended knee............... for them. Seems like such a small gesture but, Oh BELOVED how powerful the prayer. To actually have access to the One, The all Powerful one, The Mighty physician, The Gentle healer, The Gracious Gift Giver.
When I asked to pray for you yesterday I really didn't expect a response. Or was it that I was hoping that there would be no response. Oh don't get me wrong I want to pray, I have every intention of praying. And I am. It's just that sometimes I find I stay in my own little world protected by these four walls from other people's hurt and pain. Sometimes it seems I have enough to pray for with my kind of large family and all..........Did I really just say that? May I never resign my self from this aching, bleeding world. I also ache and bleed just like you my beloved and I was reminded of that when I was given the chance to pray for a friend. I would of never known of the hurt, I would of never known the concern she has in her heart.......I would of never known unless I asked.

Did I ever tell you that this sin soaked Mama is always learning........still. And sometimes it's things she already knows in her mind but she blocks them from ever reaching her heart. It's her safety mechanism that kicks in and tells her not to get involved because you may feel........you may feel their hurt. Your heart may bleed for them............................

My friend I feel..........I feel your hurt and it causes me to bow down and pray. And somehow even though I ache for you, I feel safe bowing before His throne............

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Prayer

This Sunday I pray you and I find rest and peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray you and I soak in His word and listen.......hear what He wants us to keep in our hearts. This Sunday lets rest in His Grace, Saving Love. There is no other, none can compare to the love that is found in CHRIST.

Know that I will be praying for you............I may not know your name or the hurts and concerns you may have but, He does. And I will be faithful in prayer to you. If you would like me to pray specifically for you, just ever so carefully slip me a message and you can count on me my friend, to be your prayer warrior.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

John 14:27

Resting In Him,

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Bye For Now"

It's been one of those days...... head all foggy, thoughts running wild. I can't seem to hold one organized thought if I tried. and these are the times I feel I need to hide away until I get it right. I'm grasping for moments as they fleet right past. I grab hold and try and remember. Somehow I know I won't....Remember I mean.

I was talking to my Daddy the other day, I just have this field trip I'm on, But Dad I love you.................."I love you too, Bye for now."

 I'm in the car this afternoon on my way home from the grocery store and it dawned on me. We've been waiting to hear the news......I've been waiting and even though I felt inside that He was gonna be ok........I still needed to hear it from him. It's been a year since the cancer took his brother. The feelings are still raw, for everyone.

and it's these moments that all to quickly come and just as quickly get away from me.

 Hey Dad!  "Hey you were suppose to call me 2 days ago" And he laughs that laugh I've always known.....The one that is etched in my memory, and will be long after he rises to meet the son. How did the test go? "It went well, I'm gonna be ok."  It's what I felt all along, it's what I knew to be true. How could it be any other way.........This man I call my Daddy, how can life "be" with out this man?
Dad some time when you come down I'll have to take you to the Carriage Museum, you'd really enjoy it. We both share a love for History.  And Dad you need to eat better, I've gotta go, I have groceries to unload and the baby is tired.
And these are the moments I grab and hold tight to. The ones I try and write down because some how they get lost in this crazy, busy life. As I'm grabbing memories that come racing by I wonder......When did the years go racing out of control?  Am I living for today? Am I drinking in this life as if it were my last cup of water?

"It's getting harder and harder for me to make that trip down there." I try and block the words, words that hurt to hear. In my mind I keep him young. In my mind I'm still his little girl. And I go about my days as if the days don't ever turn into years........The distance keeps me in my own little world, and I can't help but think that it's a way of protecting myself from the reality of it all.

Hmmm the reality of it all, is that although life here is but a whisper........Eternal life is eternal, Everlasting, Forever. And my Daddy He drinks from the well, the well of everlasting life. I need to let him grow old, because holding him back is not doing him or I any good.

It's strange how tapping my unorganized thoughts down some how organizes them...........

Daddy I love you!  "I love you too Sweetheart, bye for now." Some day those words will have a more deeper meaning........but until then I'll go on Living For Today.

John 3:16

"Mama, Make Sure you Cheer me on Real Loud! Ok?"

Little man asks "Are you coming to my game tonight Mama?"  sure am! I replied. "Mama make sure you cheer me on real loud ok?"
And this little man, the one that says "I always want to be your baby", was cheered on when he hit the ball  a little past first. He was cheered on when he made it to second. He was cheered on when he swung and missed the ball....... My baby was cheered on and on and on.

Don't we all need a cheering section even when we miss the ball..........We need "cheering on" the most, when we miss the ball.

When someone is losing the game of life, won't you "Cheer them on"? We all need some encouragement at some point in this game, don't we?

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Mark 12:31

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Choose to be a Blessing

My days are full..........
Full of wonders, dirty dishes, baby chicks, and school papers stacked high.........

Full of puffed cereal pieces, spilled milk, and a never ending pile of laundry we call Mt. Neverest
Full of kids running through the back door slamming, Piles of books and toys scatterd through out evey room.....

Full of the smells of supper cooking, My man yelling from the bedroom "I'm out of socks!" Little one crying because they can't seem to leave her alone. crafts unfinished, pictures not printed, baby books left undone.....

My life is full of all the best things this life could offer. And I'm so very thankful for it all! Every mess, every tear, every gain and even the loss. Every moment turned upside down Every smile, every bear hug, every muddy foot print on my freshly mopped floor, every dirty bathroom (and there are 5 of them)

Yes my life is so very full and I wouldn't trade it for the world............This life it was meant for me, it was given to me........Each and every day is how we choose to make it, how we choose to perceive it. If we choose to be thankful.........or not. Each day is up to us.......it's up to us to be the blessing to someone else. I choose to be my family's BLESSING. And in turn my days are full...........Full of BLESSINGS

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beautiful Love

It's their first time at a salon. I use to be a hairdresser so I always cut their hair at home. I've even painted their nails a time or two.
And some are surprised that I've never taken them before. I guess it's because I never wanted to put too much emphasis on outer Beauty. I am more concerned about their Beauty that comes from within.

I remember  along time ago now, a girl struggling to grow up.......Struggling to be Beautiful like her piers. Wanting to wear Lee jeans and Brown clogs. But Mama and Daddy couldn't afford them. I remember her finding it so very hard to fit in, her in her corduroys and long sleeved blouses buttoned up to the neck. For some reason it made them laugh, it made them chatter back and forth about how strange, how different her clothes and the chubby girl that filled them. Words can cut deep and leave wounds festering.

And they had a name for this girl........ It still causes her to cringe when she remembers the very first time she heard it, but she has been forgiven and so too she shall forgive......And she has.  Time went on and this girl, she found that the only way she could fit in was to give up who she really was. To go against her parents and rebel........rebel hard. She took the hurt and she buried it, then in turn she hurt the ones that loved her the most. She strayed and became like one of them. One of the crowd. One of the many. she blended in. You couldn't tell her apart from the rest any more.
I want them to know that beauty is not skin deep. True Beauty is internal. It's found in your heart. And if you love and care for someone other than yourself, that beauty begins to over flow. Like a green stem,  within it's center comes bursting forth  the most beautiful flower.  I want them to know that God made them just right. Just the way they are suppose to be.  No amount of makeup, designer clothes or nail polish can hide what is true......What is lovely.......Just as it can not hide what is not pure, what is not kind, What is not right in God's eyes.
I've told them before how they are to take care of their temple and that it's ok to want to look good and feel pretty as long as they are doing it in a way that pleases their Heavenly Father And their Earthly Father. I see how confident my girls are at such a young age..........If I could go back in time and tell that young girl that use to struggle so hard to fit in, I would tell her that there is a love like you have never known, one that makes you whole and complete. That you don't need to search any more, you don't need to fit in any more. Because you belong to Him and He thinks your BEAUTIFUL inside and out!

That young girl she is all grown up now........She has made many mistakes along the way and she is still learning. This sin soaked Mama is still learning about Her Father's BEAUTIFUL LOVE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting Back On Track

I've seen the way life runs out of control, and all too often I know the reason for the runaway train.....In my mind's eye there are times I only see what lies on the surface. Like the smear on a window it's there because someone keeps putting their hand on it......Why bother wiping it off? It's just going to be smeared again. In my heart of hearts I know it's not just the surface that needs a deep cleaning......

This Mama, she always seems to learn the hard way, the long and complicated way. I once heard that the Mama sets the tone for the rest of the family. I'm here to say, oh how true that is......I haven't been what He wants me to be. I've let things slide....... From the outside, can you tell? Can you see my smears? Sometimes we think it's the easy way if we forget about being consistent, but in all reality not being consistent is consistently setting yourself up for the ride on that runaway train. And pretty soon she's gonna derail.

I never claimed to get it right every time. I never once said I was perfect. But every day I try and find ways to be more like Him. I'm wanting desperately to be more like Him.  And I'm finding that serving takes on a whole new meaning when you are mindfully serving the one that served you........Being consciously aware of the one that gave it all for you. So I will go on cleaning that smear for the 100th time today if that's what it takes. To show them how much I love, how much I love My Savior. How much I love that I was chosen to be their Mama.

Books come in a big brown box. I open them like it's Christmas......I love to read. Sunshine asks " What's that book Mama?"   Oh it's just a book that talks about  becoming a better Mama.  "You don't need that book, your a wonderful Mama!"............and I breathe in deep and swallow love.  Did I tell you I need my Sunshine, that I can't live with out her......

But if she were to be honest she would tell you that she wishes her Mama were more organized. If they were all honest they would say she needs to be more consistent. I know they would tell you I need to hug more often than I do. And Butterfly girl would tell you that I too often say that I'm too busy and not right now.

Like the old farm house window that use to let the light shine through for so many years......He sees right through me. He knows my heart. My heart is aching to be all the things He wants me to be, all the things they need me to be. Slowly I'm getting back on track. He's consistently showing me.

Instead of letting them fend for themselves every morning for breakfast.......I've been making breakfast and we sit down together. The hugs are growing more abundantly. A new schedule is in the making....One that is more flexible. And yes I'm working on consistency. Following through.

Today my plan was to work on the new schedule and organize what has gotten out of control.......But as I was catching up, feeling good about the dishwasher humming, supper in the oven, washing machine sloshing. My day erupts and I derail. I walk into my laundry room to find 2 gallons of laundry detergent all over my floor. Long story short, I never got to the task I had planned. Have you ever tried cleaning heavy thick soap off the floor? You can't add water or the mess will multiply. And all the while I'm murmuring to myself 'Lord you want me to be thankful for even this?' It took me a good hour and a half to clean up that mess. But do you know what I found in the mess? I found me talking to Him the whole time.  And that's what He wants even in my worst moments he wants my attention. Putting your mind on him, puts you on the right track. And helps you keep your meek and quiet spirit.

The mess was cleaned up and oh does the laundry room smell sooo good!

Learning to be thankful in the not so nice moments.....Learning to keep on track even when you've been derailed. Learning to keep my mind on Him when life .............just happens.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Finding What Works Among The Mess

In the kitchen among the plastic and what looks like a mess, I find her. It's where she goes when her Mama is cooking, preparing dinner for the ones that come barreling through the door right around 6. And it's her place, it's where she plays.  It's where they all played, in the Tupperware cupboard. Sometimes you find what works among the mess.

It keeps her busy, close by while I'm busy. She doesn't know about the mess or that it's just one more that I'll have to clean up at the end of my day. I've become pretty good at cleaning up messes. she is worth it to me. They are all worth the mess to me.
And that's where He found me, among the mess. Among the dirt and the grime of this world. He found that this lost broken soul, She could could be fixed. He found I was workable in all my mess. And even though there were so many times I thought I wasn't worth it, He pulled me out , picked me up, dusted me off and told me I am........I am worth it. I was worth the effort, worth the price he paid. Because I am his. I belong to Him........I am The King's child. So He made me presentable, so that when I go home, I will go with out one stain. there will be no blemishes. no dirty corners or crevasses to be cleaned. Nothing hiding behind the door of my heart.......
I love because He first Loved me. In all my mess, He still loved me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My vintage Heart In a Contemporary World

In my home I have vintage memories of people in my past. Each one, they have a story to tell. A glimpse into their every day life. Life was simple and yet so hard all at the same time. I find myself wanting to go back there. To the simpler times when family meant something and children were thought to be a blessing and not a curse.......

Back to a time when Love meant letting the man lead the home. Where love and respect went hand in hand. Where women enjoyed being wives and Mamas and believed it was their ministry and not their duty. And on walls hung a sweet little verse that read "In this home we shall serve the Lord"..................

I want my children to know that somewhere this kind of love still exsists. These vintage families they still survive this contemporary world. My heart and soul is a vintage one, that wants to carry on the vintage tradition of  serving and loving our Lord, homemaking, gardening, canning........This glimpse of the past, this one that they see through pictures and things placed around our home will not be just a memory, but a life that they live. One that they will carry on into their home, this Vintage Love.

And when all is said and done and their age has crept in and colored their hair a shining silver, this vintage love, the one that carried them through life will live on long past their time here. My prayer is that God and His holy, breathing, living word carries through the veins and the branches of this ever growing vine.

Please don't read me wrong, I still enjoy the conviences of this every day modern world, but I cling to His word and how He tells me to live. To make a marriage work, to make a family work you have to know the order..........

TRIANGLE LOVE: God-Husband-Wife

Draw a diagram with God at the Top of a Triangle, the Husband and Wife at the bottom

If you notice the more you and your spouse get closer to the Lord, the closer you become to eachother.....And where there is a strong marriage there is a strong Family. A VINTAGE FAMILY.

When I say vintage you may assume that it means "old" but it doesn't! This is the definition as Mr. Webster wrote it in 1828:

VINTAGE: The Produce of the vine for the season. The vintage for the season is  abundant.

By the way I started this post out also thinking that vintage meant old and then something told me to look it up in the dictionary. I had already wrote "My prayer is that God and His holy, breathing, living word carries through the veins and the branches of this ever growing vine." I love it when God writes through me. :)