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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.
We spend countless hours here; such a peaceful way to end our days.
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.
I said no to the school work, laundry and house cleaning that needed to be done. I said no to worrying about the mess that would be made. And I said yes to Christmas toes painted all by herself. I said yes to living intentionally with our five year old.
Sometimes, the most powerful way to show love is when we let our normal routine be interrupted and inconvenienced.
I have shared in the past about saying yes more to our children. Taking time to really hear their requests, before automatically saying no. Taking time to let our children feel important. Taking time to see them filled with joy. Taking time; even when it’s not convenient. I never feel my children are an inconvenience; in fact, they are one of life's greatest treasures. Yet, there have been times that I have been quick to say no, not now. I have not stopped. I have not given them all of me. I want to be more intentional in saying yes when I can.
Last week, our pastor talked about how God’s plans for us can seem like an interruption. They can seem inconvenient. They can seem impossible. As I thought of this, I realized there have been too many times that I haven’t interrupted my own schedule, my own plans, and my own life, to show His love to others outside of my home. I haven’t inconvenienced myself to stop and talk, to lend a hand, or to give an ear. I have been quick to judge and slow to forgive. Sadly, there have been too many times in my life that I was "me-centered". I didn't live this way intentionally; I simply let my own world, my own daily responsibilities and desires consume me.
As I look at this picture of freshly painted Christmas toes, I realize deeply that I want to extend this same offering of love to those outside my home. I need to do this. I can’t NOT do this. I think the power of love can be the greatest gift we can give one another; to our children or the shut in living next door, to our best friend or the person that has hurt us. Love is powerful.
How will I let God interrupt me today to show His love and grace? This is the question I want to ask myself daily.This is my challenge.