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Monday, April 30, 2012


... you have given me so much. I remember a childhood full of happy memories in that little house on Clarke Blvd. I remember bookshelves full of stories, and days spent swinging and sliding in the yard. I remember you bandaging skinned knees, drying salty tears, and kissing away the hurt when I fell down. I remember walking to the corner store and buying candy that costs twice as much now as it did then. I remember catching fireflies and lizards and making mud pies and experimenting with an Easy-Bake Oven.  I remember every school play you attended, every honor roll certificate you kept, every Girl Scout meeting you led. I remember trips to the lake and to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream to the park to play. I remember seeing you take in stray animals and give them a home, I remember you being friends with all kinds of people, of all shapes, sizes, skin-colors and genders, and I learned how to love well and fully. I remember being happy and feeling loved and thinking that life was perfect. I learned that it wasn't...

 I remember being heart-broken when you and daddy divorced, when I knew we were leaving that little house and never going back. I also remember how much grace you gave me in the years to follow, the hard years, when I rebelled against you and told you I hated you. I never hated you.  I remember how hard you worked to take care of us, to give me the things that I wanted that you really couldn't afford. I remember us living in a one-bedroom apartment, and not having a car for awhile. I remember wondering how you did it all, how you worked so hard and paid the bills and paid for pep squad and clothes with labels and prom dresses and class rings and how you put up with me. I look back at those days and I am thankful, thankful that you loved this lost little girl through the hard places and taught her to be strong. You taught me to be strong because you were strong. Again, I remember you drying salty tears and kissing away the hurt, even though this time, you were bandaging my broken heart. I remember you holding me when I cried over the latest break-up, over something a mean girl said, over something we'd fought about. Boy, did we fight. I look back now and I realize we fought because you fought for me. You looked at me and still saw the little girl who lived in that house on Clarke Blvd. You never forgot who I was or who you'd taught me to be, even when I'd forgotten.

I remember being 19 and pregnant and scared, ashamed because I was sure I'd disappointed you. You just loved me through it, and when I was determined to do it on my own, helped me move into my own little one-bedroom apartment, and cried with me on the phone every night for a month because I was homesick, even though I was only a few miles south of home. You were by my side when I brought that boy into this world, when I brought him home, when my heart broke over his father... you were always by my side. I remember being 26 and repeating the cycle... I thought I'd finally found "the one" and when I found myself alone again, you were there. There for another pregnancy, another c-section, another homecoming. This time, a beautiful little girl. I remember feeling like I'd let you down, because I couldn't manage to do things the right way... I had no husband, I had two children, I had bills to pay and mouths to feed and could never seem to get it right, and yet again, you loved me through the struggle. You loved me through broken relationships, single-motherhood, and irresponsibility. You never gave up on me, you never let me down.

Now I am 32, finally happy, secure, free... The lost little girl, finally found. Found by a savior who I believe held us in His arms through all of our struggles, found by a man who adores me and who I truly believe will never walk away... I have two beautiful children and 4 beautiful step-children and the family I always wanted. I wake up every morning and realize how blessed I am and try hard to be better than I was the day before, and I think of you and how much you've given me and can only hope that my children will one day be able to say the same thing about me. I am so blessed to call you mama...

I love you bigger than the sky.

(Linking up to Mother Letters today... click on over and read more about this beautiful collection of thoughts and stories about motherhood.)

It's a good morning!

I wake up to this song every morning when my alarm goes off. You can't possibly wake up on the wrong side of the bed when this is the first thing you hear! I hope you all have a happy Monday and a good morning! :) 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I have the blahhhs...

Today,  I feel ugly.  Me, a beautiful, cherished, daughter of the King. Ugly. I don't feel beautiful today. Rather than bright and bold and happy, like the color red, I've felt more than a little gray lately.

I look at pictures taken yesterday and all I see are the lines around my eyes, the 30-40 pounds I need to lose, the double chin I try so desperately to hide as I smile. I know that, physically, I am not the girl my soon-to-be husband first laid eyes on. Last night, as I complained about my expanding waistline, he told me I am still the same person on the inside, still beautiful. Although I know he didn't mean it the way I took it, all I heard was "bigger, but still beautiful." We've had this conversation many times, and every time he tells me the same thing: "You could weigh 500 pounds and I'd still love you." Really? Would I still love me? And if I couldn't even love me, how could he? This afternoon, I looked at photos from yesterday, a picture of two friends and I in our (in)RL t-shirts, my extra pounds and inches glaring at me. Tonight, at the dinner table, my son told me I had a lazy eye. (Do I really have a lazy eye?) My soul, sliced by the sharp words of a 12-year old, was left wounded and bleeding. He apologized immediately, but the damage was already done. I sat sobbing, disgusted with myself for being so... imperfect. Flawed. Less than. Ugly. There's that word again... The enemy was having a field day with my thoughts, waging spiritual warfare on my heart and soul.

Have you ever felt ugly? Even though you know that God looks down upon you and rejoices at the beauty of His creation? How did it make you feel? How did you overcome those feelings?

Asking for grace, and for prayer... that I will have the discipline to lose the weight and inches. That I will honor the body my creator gave me by taking better care of it. That I will absolutely ROCK that wedding dress in September. I don't know what I'll do about that lazy eye. I guess I'll just pray it doesn't show up in my wedding photos...

Thank you in advance, because I know that as soon as I hit the submit button and publish this post, someone, somewhere, will be lifting me in prayer... and if there is some way I can pray for you today, please leave a comment here. I would love to pray for you, sisters.


I feel so blessed to have these beautiful, amazing, ladies in my life. (in)RL was a beautiful experience. We didn't get to watch/listen to the webcasts yesterday because it was just too loud in the cafe we met in, but we had a lovely time just visiting. We are planning our own little (in)RL once the dvd comes out next month... a day at my house, in our jammies, watching the webcasts, digging deeper with the study guides, crafting, and enjoying yummy snacks... and I can't wait.

Today, I caught up on what I wasn't able to watch yesterday. This is what most of my Sunday looked like... (Hi, Amber!)

I really needed to hear beautiful words today, and I did in these webcasts. I am so thankful for (in)RL, and for the people over at incourage. I really don't want this weekend to end, but I know that I have the dvd's to look forward to. A day full of feet on the coffee table, sweet tea in mason jars, cupcakes, laughter, tears, and creating pretty things for everyone to take home when the day is done. A day of REAL LIFE. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Taking it all in...

God's Heart for You by Holley for April 7: God says. "I'll be right here telling you all you need to know every day, every step of the way. I love to hear your voice... and I love when you listen to Mine."

The house is quiet. I sit, warm cup of coffee in hand, listening to Natalie Grant. The air outside is cool and crisp, I know this because it woke me up at 7:30 this morning when I took the puppy out. The sun is shining, there is breath in my lungs, the Lord has blessed me with another beautiful day to enjoy His creation. I think back on the week and realize I haven't talked to him much this week... mostly just listened. Watched. Waited. Sunday, the pastor spoke of palm leaves turning to fists and joyous cries turning to angry shouts and innocent blood shed out of love for us. My children took their first Lord's Supper, and I felt tears in my eyes as I saw the knowing in theirs. My 12-year old son watched "The Passion of the Christ" for the very first time, and as I cried he declared he just didn't understand why we ever celebrated the Easter bunny when Jesus went through all of that torture to save us from our sins.  A butterfly landed on my shoulder this week, I think it was Wednesday, while another fluttered around me. I knew at that moment that I was fully in His presence, because only He could be responsible for something so delightful. The next morning, the kids and I saw two butterflies again, in the same spot in our driveway.... we decided they were our angels, checking in on us, or maybe just His way of telling us "I am with you." I delighted at seeing my beautiful ring sparkling in the sunlight, a symbol on my finger of the love I never thought I'd find, let alone deserved. Friday I spent the day marveling at how very handsome and grown up my son is, and wondered where my little boy had gone... but felt so very thankful that I've had the opportunity to witness the transition from little boy to young man, because life is so precious and fleeting, and some mamas don't get to see their babies grow up. Now it is Saturday, and the house is quiet, and I'm thankful I've had a few moments to think back on the week and well, be thankful. I've felt more aware this week, more aware of redemption and grace and beauty and Him. Just taking it all in and feeling so thankful...