Sunday, March 18, 2012

About A Friend

I have a friend whom I love dearly.  We haven’t known each other for that long, but it feels like we have been sisters forever.  When we first met, I knew immediately that we connected on a deep level and that I loved her as a sister.

The reason I am writing about my friend is that I don’t think she knows how amazing she is.  Actually, I KNOW she does not know how amazing she is.  It tears me up inside to think of this because she is clueless to how special she is.  The enemy has her convinced she is a mess and no good.  I have tried to tell her it is not true, that she might look messy, but deep down she is amazing.  She won’t hear of it.  So I pray,  only God can really convince us we are special and amazing.

When I do try to speak truth about her, she so quickly dismisses it.  Seeing as how she won’t listen to me and shuts me down when I try and tell her, I am going to write.  At least I’ll feel better.

I can’t hardly type it without the tears flowing, that’s how much I love her and how amazing she really is, ya’ll.

She has lived a painful life.  The deep kind of heart pain.  Recently, the deep, festering wounds were ripped open raw by a betrayal.  She has done all she knows to survive all these years, and it has been hard and painful.

Because of the circumstances in life and the ripple effect, she doesn’t see the gifts and strengths that the Lord has given her.

She doesn’t see just how incredibly strong and resilient she is.  She doesn’t see how deeply she loves her children.  She thinks she is an awful mama.  Trust me, I know her children well.  It takes a good mama with a tender heart to raise children like that!

She gives and gives and gives, all day, every day.  I watch her sacrifice so her children can do the things they do.  I’m not sure I have that much ‘give’ in me, if I am being honest.

While our lives are so, so busy, she would drop everything to meet a need I had.  When we talk, she so listens, understands and always tries to help me.  She is such a good friend; she truly cares.  You know what it’s like when someone really listens as if they are hearing your every heartbeat, right?  Well, that’s her.

Her eyes have a sadness about them, but they are open windows to her heart.  When I share my heart, she leans in and with her beautiful eyes takes in all I am saying.

Her children ADORE her.  That alone says a lot, I think. 

When I look at her I see beauty.  She sees frump and wrinkles. I see strength and warmth and love and acceptance and understanding.  True beauty.

I am not sure why it hurts my heart so much, to know the way she thinks.  I wonder if it is because I see so much of myself in her thoughts.  I am angry, so angry at the enemy for lying to her all these years.  I just want to grab her by the shoulders and say, ‘YOU ARE AMAZING!’.  I want to tell her to stop listening to the lies and start believing the TRUTH about how God sees her.  I want to rip off those stupid glasses that make her see the yuck and give her some glasses that let her see the Truth!

Here’s the sad thing, though, I would imagine that many of these same things could be said about you.  Oh, that we could all see ourselves through His eyes!  If we could imagine Him cupping our little faces and saying, “I love you, My child.  You are precious in My sight.”  How it must grieve His heart to have us down here hating so much about ourselves, our lives.

Lord Jesus, heal your daughters’ hearts.  Open our eyes to the Truth of how much You love us.  Shatter the lies, break the shackles in our minds.

Isaiah 61

1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

4And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

7For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them

Friday, March 16, 2012

Have You Ever Wondered?

I have sensed the Lord’s voice several times in my heart lately. I think I have heard Him encouraging me to look around and see.  See that, just maybe, this life I am living IS the beautiful, although messy, life I have always dreamed of.

I have spent so long trying to be a certain way.  Be a certain type of mama, wife and home maker.  Not sure where I got my pictures of what that should really look like, but always striving to be something that I am not right now.

I have been slowly seeing that I am who He created me to be and I actually like me!  As I have stopped trying to “BE” and accepted who I am, life has gotten a lot more enjoyable.

The enemy can blind us into chasing after this ‘perfection’ that we don’t enjoy right where we are right now.  I asked Brian a couple of weeks ago, ‘what if I just stopped ‘looking’ for something else and just enjoyed what I had?’  Seems like a no-brainer, I know.  But think about it.

What if you stopped thinking about all the flaws and weaknesses in yourself and just started thanking God for the strengths that you do have?

What about not looking at all the areas in your parenting that are amiss and just trust God to work those out.  You might actually start enjoying being a mama again instead of always feeling like you are ‘such a bad mama’.

What if you stopped looking at all the areas your husband doesn’t measure up to the other men at church, or the men who give the homeschool conference teachings, and just started enjoying him as he is?

I have been stopped in my tracks lately as I look around here.  A friend stopped over the other day and saw my husband working on a piece of furniture, me working along side him.  The little children were all running around outside, in the sunshine, chasing chickens back into the coop.  The older ones were in the house doing school.  I paused,  This is exactly what I have dreamt of.

I don’t know if I am explaining it well, but what if what we have is really what we have always wanted??  If we could take off the perfection glasses and the critical spirit and begin to be thankful for right where we are we might find we are pretty blessed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sometimes “School” Looks Different

We find ourselves in a very unusual season of life right now.  Adult children with children, in college and working. Homeschooling six children.  Grand parenting two children.  Husband unemployed.  Mama (and whole family) working many hours in a newer home based business.

Wow, as I type that, I wonder, ‘what is so unusual?’  This is actually what we have dreamed of . . . hmmm.

Anyway, ‘school’ looks differently right now.  Oh, we still work at the 3 R’s, but currently our curriculum is real life stuff!  Here are some pictures of a few “lessons” from yesterday.

Victoria, 16, made most of the dinner, English Muffins and took the time to clean up the kitchen and photograph all the pretties she saw.  All this while Mama and Papa were out on a business errand.


Decorating the table for dinner, a thing she has learned well!


Staging things for advertising photos for our business.


Preschool: what could be more educational than a bucket of water and some toys?


Math in the morning is always easier to swallow when you are outside in the sun with your kitty near by.


Just a sampling of the ‘schoolin’ that is going on around here.

Don’t fret, Mama, they are learning.  Follow HIM and He will prepare your children for what HE has for them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Correction in “Where I Am From”

I re-read my last post and saw what could be a huge misunderstanding!!  Because I was following the prompts to the poem the sentences were obvious run-ons and if read incorrectly, give the wrong message.

Here is how it is written:

I’m from Christmas at grandma’s and grudges and bitterness and unkind words from a mother who couldn’t take it anymore and a dad who was very sad.

It insinuates that the ‘unkind words’ came from my mother who couldn’t take it anymore.

Here is the correction:

I’m from Christmas at grandma’s and grudges and bitterness and unkind words. (PERIOD) (NEW SENTENCE)I am from a mother who couldn’t take it anymore and a dad who was very sad.

What I was talking about is that my mother couldn’t take her life as it was anymore and my parents were subsequently divorced.  Therefore, my dad was very sad, because in his eyes, she left for no apparent reason.

Does this make sense?  I hope so.  My heart sunk when I read it in the original form.  While my parents were divorced and we lived with my dad, God has gloriously restored my relationship with my mom. 

As an adult married woman, I now see so much clearer why she left and realize it takes two to begin a marriage and two to end a marriage.  I love and appreciate both my parents and the love they have for me and I know that they have loved as best as they could!

I hope this clears a few things up Winking smile  Thank you for grace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Where I Am From

I am from the little ranch house, by the woods and apple orchards and the little cabin across the street.

I am from the house with the big picture windows and the enchanting weeping willow in the backyard. From the ‘girl’s’ bedroom close enough to hear grandma’s singing as I drifted off to sleep.

I am from peonies and poppies and snowball trees that grandma grew. From the raspberry bushes and rhubarb plants and bowls full of sugar for dipping.

I am from towering oak trees that fill the yard with piles of leaves whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I’m from Christmas at grandma’s and grudges and bitterness and unkind words. I am from a mother who couldn’t take it anymore and a dad who was very sad.

I’m from eating a lot and living for self and from talking loud, begging to be heard.

I’m from never measuring up and ‘be a big girl’ and twinkle, twinkle little star.

I’m from birthday cakes and ice cream at every birthday.

I am from Michigan and Poland and Italy, kielbasa and raviolis.

From a broken family that still reels to find love and searches in food, drink and the pleasures of this world, that can never forgive and let that love in.

From boxes of old photos of smiles and pretty clothes and of a little girl who spun and twirled in her Easter best.

I am from swimming all day and running through the woods. From riding bikes and snitching apples.

From the smell of grandma’s perfume and the steps that led to secret treasures.

From raspberry pie and racing to the canned tomato juice. I am from playing with cousins and crack the whip, tag, red rover and kick ball.

I am from the seed of Abraham, a daughter, now, to the King of kings who heals and restores and gives new life.

I am from brokenness but brought out of that darkness, into His marvelous light. I still dance and twirl, but now for my Father who delights in His little girl.

Where are you from? I’d love to hear. If you do this, drop me a line so I can read it?

I first read this over at Ann’s place. She has the link for the template that I used. I had the children do this too, what a treasure. I will post theirs soon.