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around the house
I share these words from Emily P. Freeman, because I believe that there is at least one person that needs to hear them.
"You were born to make art. But that's not all..you were born to live art. It's time to live as though we believe we have something to offer."
We were born to create. Each of us has this desire deep within our soul. We all create differently. Our mediums vary; yet none is more beautiful than the other. Some create art in the kitchen, while others live their art on the sports field. Some create with a brush or pen, while others use their voice. The ways in which we create are endless. What makes you feel alive?
Somewhere along the way, in this media driven world, people have become paralyzed. So many are frozen; afraid to start or afraid to keep going. Self-doubt has crept in. Comparison has a sick way of killing our joy and we forget that we each have a gift to give this world. Silence the noise and remember these words.
There is a place for every one of us. Nothing or no one is off limits. Find your canvas and go create.
“Don’t wait until tomorrow. Pick yourself today. You already have everything you need. Embrace the art alive within you, and believe in the little ways God wants to release his art into the world through you.”
Two sisters who are cut from the same cloth, woven together with such similar threads; yet each one beautifully unique. One is loud and one is quieter. One is a rule follower and one a rule breaker. One is reserved, while one is more outspoken. One is independent and one still seeks guidance.
Both loved abundantly and equally.
I've learned numerous lessons being their mother. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is not to compare. Honestly, this can be very hard at times. Like wanting your more reserved child, to step out and be a leader. Or asking your more boisterous child to be still and quiet. So often we have expectations of our children. Sometimes these expectations are based on what we see other children doing; how they are performing or behaving. It is so important, as parents, to remember that each child is completely unique. One may be capable and strong in areas that another may never be.
God gives us each our own individual strengths. We should each strive to learn how to utilize these gifts for His glory. I love the differences I see in each of our children. They remind me that He carefully created each of us in such a special way. It is fascinating to look at each person and see the beauty in their individuality. I want our children to know that I love each of them and that I want them to be nothing other than who they were created to be.
For Christmas our youngest daughter got a butterfly garden and a certificate to get live caterpillars in the mail. You can imagine her excitement when they finally arrived a few weeks ago. For days we watched them and often wondered if they were even alive. Then, all of the sudden, the transformation slowly began to take place. We watched them grow and then we watched as the chrysalides were formed. It was such an amazing sight. We waited patiently until one by one each butterfly emerged. It was truly something beautiful to see this full transformation complete. We were all fascinated; even at 39 years old, I was in awe.
Yesterday, the time came to release our 5 beauties. None of us wanted to let them go, but we knew it was time. They were ready to fly and explore the world around us.
As I thought about this experience, it made me think about my own experience as a mother to our three children. It’s can be so hard to give our children wings to fly. It’s hard to let them go; knowing they will make their own mistakes, and even get hurt. But, when we do, we give them the chance to see the world and its beauty. Likewise, the world gets the chance to see the beauty inside each of them.
We will continue to ask God to help us provide the foundation our children need to grow, but then it is our turn to trust Him and trust them to fly. I believe this is one of the greatest ways we can show them our love.
I really don’t listen to pop music. The truth be told, I couldn't name three songs on the mainstream radio right now. A couple of weeks ago my husband spent the weekend at a conference in Atlanta for college students called Passion. Somehow during the course of the weekend, he was introduced to the song Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. When he first mentioned the song, I didn't pay much attention. But then as it was played and replayed in our home, I found myself singing along. And then I found myself dancing with our kids to this song.
There’s something really awesome about the message Taylor shares in this song. In a recent interview she says, “The message in Shake It Off is a problem we all deal with on a daily basis. We don’t live just in a celebrity takedown culture, we live in a takedown culture,” she explained about the insanely catchy track. “People will find anything about you and twist it to where it’s weird or wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you — you have to have more fun than they do.”
I have spent many years as a people pleaser. I dislike confrontation. I enjoy peace and comradery . I try to love all people and embrace that we are all different. It hurts when people don’t take the time to know below the surface and make judgments based on their own assumptions. Sadly, I have spent way too many hours of my life worrying too much about other’s opinions and I don't want our children to have these same wasted hours. I want them to love others fully, but realize that others will not always love them back.
It’s a new year and I keep coming back to these three words. Shake It Off. Perhaps, they are three words you need to sing as well.
As Ann Voskamp once said, “People will always have opinions about you. But you live for God because He’s the only one who has intimate knowledge of you.”
If I could capture the way love feels, this image would be it. Our eyes and hands connected. Her smile that forever reminds me that grace abounds. I’ve often thought how the love I feel for our children is the closest I will ever know to the love of Christ. This girl of ours is strong willed. She challenges me throughout each day. Yet, she will never push too far, she will never lose my love. I will never give up on her. We will always come right back here to this beautiful spot, where grace abounds, where love never fails.
Today, I read these words from Paul David Tripp. “He never mocks your weaknesses or throws your sin in your face. He never gets tired of you or gives up on His relationship with you. His love isn't conditional and his grace is never temporary. He doesn't ask you to earn what you can never deserve, and He never makes you feel guilty for needing His good gifts.”
I am always amazed and always humbled. This incredible overwhelming love I feel for our children; it is only a small portion of the love He has for me. It’s amazing. It really is.
A week with nothing on our schedule was just what we all needed. It seems like no matter what we do to slow down, the weeks leading into Christmas are always so busy. I have savored the time we have spent at home this past week; just being together.
As we look ahead in 2015, I can't help but look back on the past year. I am so grateful for God's provision. There have been joys and challenges alike, but He is always faithful. He is always here. There is always light to be found in Him.
I was raking and cleaning around our shed last week when all of the sudden I came across this memory of yesterday. I was instantly taken back to three years ago when our son played with these cars all over our home.
Slowly, they each went away; almost as if they never existed, but they were such a big part of him and our home for years. He loved these little cars so much.
Yes, childhood is fleeting. This memory was yet another reminder to savor each day and phase with our children. There is no doubt, some days feel mundane, yet in the blink of an eye, this time will be gone.
I love seeing the boy our son is becoming, now eight years old; yet there is a part of me that would love to go back to those days that passed so quickly. I'd love to get on the ground together and make those cars come to life again. I'd love to have the chance to linger a little bit more.