For all the sleepless nights,
hugs held tight,
and worrisome tears.
A Mother’s job is never easy. But it’s by far the best job in the world.
To all the great Mommy’s out there- thank you for who you are, for what you bring to the lives of your little ones, and for all you give so that another life can bloom.
Cheers to you.
(photo by evilpeacock)
Here’s a little “shout out” to my Mommy readers who have young children!
Ever wonder where the “me morning’s” went? You know, the morning’s that were spent getting yourself ready for the day, instead of being a conductor on the crazy train of frantic schedules?
Here’s a quick article from CNN that could help get your wheels spinning in better sync:
(photo by Alex Dram)
A visit to a Third World country, bringing the hope of the Gospel. Folding a pile of laundry, then putting it all away.
Praying for the sick and seeing miracle healings. Vaccuming the crumbs and goobies from the backseat of your car.
Most of us desire to live a life of action, of purpose, to reach great heights for Christ. But the reality of our days can seem rather mundane, and unimpactful at best. We feel a fire within us to rise up and do something worthwhile- yet our mornings and evenings are much the same. So how does God view our lives in relation to one who preaches afar or ministers to the sick and dying?
Unlike us at times, God does not have tunnel vision. He doesn’t look merely at the works of our hands, but rather at the position of our hearts as we do anything in life. We may have simple chores and simple tasks that require our attention, but when we fulfill them with an uplifted heart to Christ, and choose to live each moment for Him, He is well pleased. If we choose to arise each morning full of gratefulness- even for the small things in life- we bring glory to His name. Each time we decide not to give in to anger or to envy- and we choose the higher ground of His ways, we honour Him.
In reality, even the inglorious is glorious when our hearts are positioned towards righteousness. All of our “rubbish” can be righteousness, if we conduct everything with a heart of praise, with eyes fixed on our Maker. The testimony of our lives can be one of great worth, of great inspiration to those who look on, all because of how we have gone about our days, and accomplished all that is laid out before us.
So the next time I stand before a sink full of dirty dishes (which won’t be long from now, no doubt), I choose to position my heart to be thankful that those dishes mean that my family was fed, and that I have the privilege of setting a beautiful stage of praise and service in my home.
When you stand before the mundane, where will the position of your heart be?
(photo by various brennemans)
The book of Proverbs tells us that “a merry heart does good, like medicine…” (Prov.17:22)
Well that’s quite literally, correct!
Laughter really is the best medicine for us. The benefits extend beyond managing stress, to strengthening our immune systems and improving our overall stress health.
And although I’m a self-proclaimed “germ-o-phobe”, I am truly grateful that laughter is more contagious than the common cold!
Laughing encourages our bodies to relax. It improves our muscle tension, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes our health and well-being.
Have you taken a large dose of laughter today? For me, the best form of laughter is when I can take two steps back from the “big picture”, not over-analyze why something probably isn’t that funny, and giggle at the simplicities of life!
If you struggle with laughing easily, check to make sure you’re not taking yourself too seriously. That is one of the greatest hinderances to a life lived with laughter.
So enjoy your day, and remember to let that laugh loose!
(photo by sarahO)
I was on my way home after dropping my son at school. Traffic was moving steadily and I had my music going, boppin’ away and singing loudly.
But it wasn’t long before the consistent flow of traffic was brought to an ubrupted halt, and all cars ahead of me slammed on their breaks. I shared in their unexpected panic and strained ahead to see what was causing it all.
There was a car, about 7 cars ahead of me, who had stopped at the train tracks, in the middle of the traffic rush. They must have (in a moments time) scrambled to remember their driving lessons: do we stop at train tracks? Do we just slow down? What do we do? What do I do?! Or maybe this driver had never had lessons (would have been a good idea though).
For the record, cars do not stop at train tracks unless of course, a train is passing. School buses stop at all tracks, all of the time. But none of us were school buses on the road that day.
So the halting decision of that one driver affected so many of the drivers behind them. And had we not all been quick with our reflexes and swift on the brakes, there would have been terrible disaster.
The moment got me thinking though, what kind of decisions we can make in life that cause those following us to be taken off guard. Maybe we’re moving along steadily and then slam on our breaks and change directions. Or maybe we simply run out of gas (or “steam”, if you will), and change our pace to a slow crawl.
Those driving along with us in life- family and friends- are affected when we make halting decisions. Or when we change the game plan in mid-play and leave our teammates struggling to catch the ball.
What decisions have I made, have you made, that have left others misdirected, confused, or starting on a different path?
Sometimes a change is healthy- but sometimes decisions can be detrimental. It’s important for us to weigh in the balance and consider all those who’s lives are affected by our own. Doing this might just keep our hands on the wheel and moving steadily forward- even when a winding road to nowhere looks more appealing.
(photo by matthias_r)
My youngest son loves to collect stones. He’ll grab as many as his small fists can hold, bury them in his pockets, empty them in his car seat.
He plans to paint to them- to one day make them colourful and artistic.
We collect stones to, don’t we? But the stones we collect aren’t found on park grounds or walkways. They’re stones gathered over time, and with each hurt or disappointment we experience.
Our spouse may say hard words, and we pick up a stone. A friend may hurt us with an accusation, and we bury another. A family member lets us down and we again find another to store away.
We may not intentionally look for these stones, and we not be aware we’re even carrying them around. But over time and when we’re reminded, we return to that pile. We pick them up and throw them. At people, at life, at our circumstances.
And the truth is, these stones carry weight. They always carry weight. They burden us with their sharp edges and cutting intentions. They slow life down when we’re really meant to soar.
But there is freedom from this job as stone collector. There is hope of living without the weight of bitterness, resentment, anger, hurt. Christ will take this pile when we lay it at His feet. His plans for us are for good, and for far greater than we could ever muster on our own.
So rather than settling in to a life lived with head down, searching for the next stone to store, won’t you put them down with me and live fully? Free of the weight? Free of the burden? And release all past scars to the One who redeems?
There is freedom, friend. Yes, there is freedom!
(photo by Hugo-photography)
If negative feelings are raining down on you, write’em out and throw’em away for a sunnier outlook, suggests a new study out of Ohio State University.
It sounds silly, says study co-author Richard Petty, but it works because the act of writing helps turn emotions into concrete objects. Even positive thoughts become more tangible when you scribble them down and stash them in your pocket.
“By throwing away bad thoughts or protecting your good ones, you have greater influence on your unconscious mind,” he says.
Try it now! Write a few encouraging words down on a piece of paper and carry it with you in your purse or wallet- and watch those thoughts stay with you and give you an added “pep in your step!”
-excerpt from Chatelaine, May 2013
(photo by wickenden)
A long-awaited vacation. Dinner with friends. A party in our honour. When we have something to look forward to, it’s no sweat to crack a smile. The small details in life are kept as they are- small details. Life’s pressures seem a little less daunting, and we’re not as quick to grind our teeth at someone who’s habits usually twist us in knots.
Life can be great when there’s good things going on. But life has a hard way of reminding us that not every day is sunny from the inside out. We all ride the roller coaster, and we can find ourselves at times, gripping the safety bar in frustration. So what happens to our carefree smiles then? Are we able to keep our hearts happy when our days seem mundane or empty?
Uncircumstantial joy is invaluable. It’s a fullness in our spirit that does not rely on a particular situation or event. It remains strong within us, even when the world seems grim. I have found myself at times starting my morning by looking ahead for something to look forward to- to get excited about. But when I turn my eyes away from the ordinary, and remind myself of the strong, purposeful love of Christ, it makes those moments pale in comparison.
Uncircumstantial joy is a treasure held by the Christian- those who know and trust Christ, and those who commune with Him daily. He is the One Who’s love is so strong for us that it took Him to the cross. He is living joy. Ever present. Undying. Now what party invitation or great gift can compare to that?
Excitement and happiness are wonderful feelings of emotion that make life fun and enjoyable. But when I experience times in my life that are heavy and burdensome, it has been only Christ’s gentle hand touching my days that has covered my soul with hope. It fills me- not just with a simple joy- but with joy bubbling over. It has been so grand at times that it has even made me laugh.
You see, the joy only Christ provides sees us through a lifetime of ups and downs. It’s something that no counsellor or 12-step program can bring. Christ’s joy brings a brightness to our outlook, and this makes it easier to roll out of bed in the morning, and to sleep soundly at night. It is very real- making even bitter trials taste sweet.
Most things in life worth getting come through hard work. But this is a unique gift- something God pours over His child freely when they bask in His goodness- when they wholly trust and keep their eyes and hearts stayed on Him.
Oh how precious are the gifts that come straight from the throne of God…
“I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.” John 15:11
(photo by atomcity)