Our Story (A Reblog)

Hi, friends! I know this is unusual for my posting schedule ( do I really have one? 🤔) and style, but there are times God sets a person or a story or both in your path that is a bit different yet so relatable, you simply must break with the usual to see where He wants to take you.

Sarah Walton is such a person with such a story.

From the pain of chronic illness to the struggle of raising special needs to the pinch of major financial need- and maintaining faith in the Lord all the while, this story echoes with amazing familiarity in my heart.

Firstly, if you are not following her blog, Set Apart, I highly recommend it!

I leave every post so blessed by the honesty and Godly wisdom.

Secondly, she and her husband, Jeff, have a wonderful-sounding book coming out shortly. I eagerly await the opportunity to read it! Follow the link to find out more…

https://wp.me/p5exjO-1B7

I know my reach is fairly small potatoes to the world’s eye, but I trust the Lord will help take this where it needs to go.

Prayers and blessings, dear friends! If you feel so led, pass the word on…

Gratefully His

I have had many a lofty thought rolling around in this old brain lately.

Lots going on in this world to inspire a lot of pondering, to say the least.

Yet, I find the moment of putting pen to paper…oy, showing my age here- 😏

I should say, putting fingers to keys- everything I think ought to be said vanishes like a puff of wind.

Therefore, I will leave aside all more ambitious thoughts and adhere instead to what I feel He wants me to say as we gear up to a busy and bountiful week.

I just want to say how grateful I am to be His.

The idea the Lord of this vast universe takes note of a humble speck like me is absolutely…

Astonishing. Just, well, astonishing!

May I never cease to be in awe of this fact!

The grace He bestowed on us through Christ’s death and resurrection is absolutely the most beautiful truth in this life.

That He has allowed me to partake of it overwhelms my heart.

I am grateful for the people He’s planted next to me to share in that truth, the love He graciously pours out through them, the dear, growing, learning, amazing children He entrusts to my hand.

For blessed forgiveness, both the opportunity to extend it as well as to receive it.

For the incredible miracle that is simply redeeming the time.

For second chances.

And forthieth. 🙂

Because, boy, do I need them!

Furthermore, I am grateful for this welcoming place of fellowship and you wonderful folks who share in this pursuit of the written word with me…

As well as in pursuit of His word with me!

So, in this spirit of gratitude, I say thanks-for writing your terrific and terrifically challenging posts.

Thanks also for reading mine. ☺

May your Thanksgiving be joyful, surrounded by His love and goodness.

Prayers and blessings to you, dear friends!

True Love, Take Two

Ok. Thanks for bearing with me through technical difficulties. I can’t seem to go back and turn on comments for my post yesterday, so, I am reposting it for those that might wish to leave a comment. Blessings to you!

Rembrandt I’m not, but, this is a personal oil crayon doodling that seemed to suit. 🙂

So many things have been written or spoken on love.

I think of Shakespeare and his observations-both the tragic and the comic.

Gatsby’s everlasting vigil over the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

Or maybe some classics of film: Casablanca: “Here’s looking at you, kid.” or Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “I love you. You belong to me.”

In song: The Righteous Brothers’ soaring “Unchained Melody” or The Beatles’ beautifully simple “All You Need is Love”.

I will leave aside the more current views but to say where the wrestling with the definitions of love are old as time, they are certainly heading in more and more a bluntly defiant direction…

Yet, for all the aspirations therein, for all the carefully constructed phrases and sometimes astute, sometimes skewed examinations, we are but scratching the surface of love most times at best, mangling it at worst.

For, not a one can hold a candle to the words of He who is love.

Think of one of the most well-known verses in all of scripture:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God so loved the world. This world-a broken and bitter place, so riddled with sin and strife we’re drowning in it.

Somehow, He could look upon us and, instead of wiping us out as we fully deserved, offer His son as a sacrifice in our stead.

That’s true love. Unconditional. Irreproachable.

And His son, in complete keeping with His Father’s will, spoke this truth at every turn, teaching this essential principle:

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:3

And He was faithful to demonstrate that truth in life, death, and resurrection.

For us.

That’s true love. Not a morsel left back for His own concern. All in for our sake, unworthy and fickle though we may be.

And if we could only fathom but a bit of that kind of love.

The kind of love that’s strong enough not to leave each other to our own devices.

The kind that sees us sinking in our own filth and lifts us up from it.

Honestly. Tenderly. Unswervingly.

Wow. What a wonderful thing that would be.

All I know to do is to keep striving for it, greatly treasure it, and be ever in prayer He can bring my heart right in His spirit, and thereby become a means to share this true love with others…

Prayers and blessings to you all! May we each seek to value the true love only found in Christ- in all its depth and breadth.

Why I Don’t Talk Shop a Lot Anymore

I keep feeling like I should address this. Perhaps there are a few readers who knew me way back when wondering where some stories have gone. I could be overworrying as I tend to do, but, nevertheless…

My previous writing ventures were a lot about my children, a lot about autism, a lot about the inherent struggles.

With an emphasis on Christ to guide us through, of course.

I hesitate to say I was a mommy blogger, as that term conjures up some images of the overshare I honestly wince at.

Not saying all mommy bloggers do that. But, there are those whose children are treated more as anecdotes, complete with photo spreads better left to family only.

It’s particularly rampant in some special needs circles and something I’ve long decried.

So…safe to say, I was not really a typical “autism” mom ever. ☺️

But, still, a mom. Writing about being a mom.

Which is okay. I am a mom. It’s what I do. There is a time and place for sharing such.

And I know there’s a lot of people out there, particularly parents of those on the spectrum, some on it themselves, that need grace and comfort and solidarity on this ride we’re on.

I wonder sometimes if I’ve abandoned some of them in my jealously guarded privacy.

Yet, for me, as I watch all four of my children grow and mature, especially my two spectrum kids, the stories become something I wonder more if I ought to be sharing.

Because it’s their story. Not mine.

I am obviously linked intimately to it, as are my husband and my two typically functioning boys.

They teach me many, many lessons.

Daily.

But, not every stop on their journey need be my own, or appropriated to write about.

After all, I’m more a side character in their walks with the Lord, in this life.

I experience a lot with them, mind you.

But, each child’s faith and growth in life and in the Lord must be their own.

My job is to tell them what scripture says of salvation through Christ, demonstrate the Christian life through both the good and the hardship, and facilitate the atmosphere for them to thrive in.

And, of course, pray, pray, pray.

Beyond that, what happens next must be in their own hearts.

For there’s no grandfathering in to the body of Christ. Nor into being successful in life in general, for that matter.

The parenting thing is a huge responsibility, no doubt, but the decision to follow Jesus is ultimately individual.

As are many of the gains and setbacks they might go through.

Oh, yes, we strive together. There are teams in their corner.

But, the work? The actual day to day effort?

That’s their own progress, their own choice to share it. Or not.

So, I tend now to let it be their own, to stick away from certain topics this go around, place an emphasis more towards my own spiritual walk and the thoughts that crop up that won’t let me be.

Now, I don’t know if my conviction is overly zealous in this regard.

It could very well be. 🙂

Yet, I feel I must follow His call here.

And with a hearty sidelines cheer, let my children follow theirs. 🙂

Prayers and blessings to you, friends. May we each remember our role, both as parents and in the Christian life.

Share Your Passion

Deepest gratitude to Robert at Watching Daily at Wisdom’s Gates for the nomination. Awards are not something I pursue, but it is always lovely to be thought of and this is another one I honestly appreciate as worthwhile. ☺️

So…here we go:

Rules of the #ShareYourPassion Tag:

  • Repost the #ShareYourPassion logo (above) on your acceptance post.
  • Tag the blogger’s site that nominated you.
  • Share a bit about your passion(s): Hobbies outside of blogging that keep you busy in your free time. What would you like to accomplish with these things? How could you use your passion(s) to be a blessing to others and show them the love of God?
  • Nominate ten other bloggers and spread the joy!

Well…free time, first of all, varies a great deal day to day.

My first passion, naturally, is Christ, followed by my husband and children. This tends to keep me busy a lot.

And, of course, writing is a given.😊 Try as I might to run from it, it will not let me be!

I have learned over the years the way just sharing sheer testimony and doodles on Christian life can move people in their faith and remind them of the everlasting hope in Jesus.

And, speaking of doodles…I also love to draw and paint.

I have yet to fully pinpoint what God has in mind for my rather unusual style, but I try to remain open to His leading.

And to add to the creativity I tend to thrive in, I am a baker as well.

(Psst. This even somewhat inspired the first part of the really long title of my memoir a few years back:

Broken Cookies Taste Just as Sweet: The Amazing Grace of Motherhood, Marriage, and Miracles on The Spectrum. I think it’s still on Amazon for anyone interested. 😏)

Now, unlike my art, I have gotten to see how making cookies makes a difference for Christ, even if it doesn’t necessarily feel like traditional evangelism at times.

Feeding our youth group has filled both a basic need for food and the deeper need of knowing someone cares. From there, the door opens to share the love of God, which is one of my deepest passions of all.

Ok. Guess that about sums it up.

I could also get into my love of antiques, classic films and TV, swing and classic rock, but I don’t want to ramble too long.😊

I think I am getting to know a few more people this time, so let’s see about some nominating. Absolutely no pressure. If this is your type of thing and you feel inspired, go for it. If not, no biggie! Just know that each of you have blessed me through your posts and I felt like God was directing me to give you a shout out ☺️:

http://beyondsad.com/

http://setapart.net/

http://seekingdivineperspective.com/

http://bluecollartheologian.blog/

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/

http://140characterchristian.com/

https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/

http://mckenziesmusings.blog/

http://2manyfaces.home.blog/

People of His WORD

When It Feels Like No one is Listening

I have been in this place before.

Or, at least, places like it.

The halls are long and narrow.

The pictures austere compositions.

And the acoustics echo lonely heel clicks as I wander the cold square tiles.

I come to places like this when spirits sag, excessive words grow empty, or I honestly wonder what good l am actually doing.

Oh, but this isn’t necessarily the same as in the past.

It doesn’t feel like the usual precursor to a depressive episode.

Nor the drag of a lowering self-esteem.

Or even the melancholy I used to experience when I’d write my heart out and no one but the crickets were there to receive it.

No… rather, it is a deeper pondering of what I’m saying, whether it truly lines up with what God wants me to say, and how to proceed with it, especially when the listeners just don’t seem to be there.

I have to wonder if the Old Testament prophets had these moments.

Did they ever fear their messages were useless, or would be without an audience?

Not to mention did the thought of should there even be a desire for an audience ever enter in?

When does it become vanity, for example?

Well, I’m fairly sure they wanted someone to hear them in their lonely existence. I can’t imagine just how hard it was to deliver the messages they did to a largely hard-hearted nation.

I don’t exactly deal with that on the level they did, even with the state of our nation.

But, in order to share Jesus with others, I suppose I should hope someone is out there reading.

And to feel a camaraderie with my brothers and sisters in Christ here, there is nothing wrong with a desire for conversation through this avenue.

After all, He did call me back to blogging for the nth time in my stubborn little life.

It can’t be for nothing.

Can it?🤔

Yet, looking around here, I do have to ask God what this is all for?

I really do. I feel like one of those Old Testament prophets. Not that I could ever, ever presume to be on that level…

But, in that sense of feeling like I’m doing nothing more than shouting into a vacuum, I relate.

For the nth time in my blogging life, no less.

When will it not feel this way? Will it ever not feel this way?

Oh, not that I’m really torn up over it anymore. Too aware of how some of my own choices have affected my writing ventures for that.

But, Lord, really, isn’t it a waste of time, always asking me to write for…

Well, for next to no one?!

Nothing but my breathing in this skinny corridor answers for a moment.

And, then, comes the reminder right between the eyes:

Never. God says. There’s no waste where My glory is lifted high. No vacuums where higher purpose prevails.

And your purpose?

Like those who came before you, to take the words I’ve planted within you and give them back to Me.

Beyond that, what I do with them isn’t your concern.

Ah. That knocks the wind right out of me. I stop all the pacing down these eerily silent halls, arrested suddenly by the remembrance I am hardly alone in them.

Those seemingly austere pictures?

Portraits of those gone before, those who wrote what He directed without ever fully seeing the fruition of them.

And, more than that, He meets me there in the midst of it all, listening even when no one else seems to.

Sunshine Award Answers

I have been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award! Such a surprise and so nice to be thought of. ☺

A big thank you to Robert at Watching at Wisdom’s Gates! Your kindness is very appreciated.

https://roberlain.wordpress.com/

I know at the end of this I’m supposed to have eleven people in mind to nominate, but, where I am not necessarily new to blogging, I still feel fairly “young” at this go-around, so I am still getting to know most people. I can’t say as I know eleven people right now I feel I can comfortably nominate. ( That haven’t been nominated already. There are also a few who I feel probably don’t really do this sort of thing! ☺)

So, forgive me if I forgo that part. There is no offense meant.

I actually considered just skipping this post altogether to avoid doing so. Robert was gracious enough to say it was a no-obligation deal…but, frankly, I liked his questions and felt it could actually be beneficial to answer.

So, those somewhat elaborate explanations out of the way, on to the answers (and if I need to be drummed out of the blogging club for breaking the rules, well, we’ll deal with that later😉) …

1. What’s your favorite Bible verse at the moment?

I have several that have carried me through different points in my life, especially Phil. 4:13 and Jeremiah 29:11, but, right now, John 8:12 has been speaking to me:

“I am the Light of the World. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.”

Very helpful, especially on the dark days, to know His light is there to guide my path. ☺

2. Who’s family for you?

Well, foremost is God. Without Him, there is no family. But, as to the human side, we have a full house here. There’s my dear husband of 7 years (my second chance at love ❤), four kids (One girl, three boys. Older three are from my first marriage, youngest boy is a lovely bonus.) and two dogs.

3. Who are your closest friends?

Friends I’ve struggled to do well with, to be honest. It isn’t something that comes naturally. But, if I had to say I’m close to anyone, it’s my pastor’s wife. She is incredibly kind and easy to talk to. And I am meeting/getting to know again some lovely brothers and sisters in Christ here. ☺

4. What’s your favorite YouTube channel?

I’m more of a Youtube dipper than a channel devotee. If I have an oldie or worship song pop in my head, I do love to go there to look it up, though.

5. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hmmm…this is a tough one. I am a creature of sameness, so the thought of being elsewhere is not necessarily something I ponder often. Probably down in Oklahoma someplace, as that is where my parents moved to several years ago. It’d be nice to be nearer each other again.

6. What was the last song you listened to?

Not sure of the name, but it was my daughter singing snippets of a disco song from their school musical. 😊

7. What’s your favorite form of social media (apart from WordPress!) and why?

Well, I used to do it all. When you write a book it’s more or less expected. It became a madhouse of obligation! When I felt the need to step away for my spiritual health, I deleted all accounts. I haven’t readded any other than this one blog. I don’t know that that will change. I leave it to God’s direction. 🙂

8. What’s your local church like?

We are an old church, been here over a hundred years. There’s a mix of elderly people, young families, and those of us in the middle. Our pastor is very humble and kind, very much about getting into the Word and looking there for our direction. We also have a growing children’s/youth ministry.

9. Do you have a garden? If so, describe it 🙂

Hee hee. Oh, if you only knew what you asked! We moved to this really old house in this very small country (read no grocery store, one gas station) town. I have a nice big yard. Tried a garden that first summer out of that sense of “I should”. Couldn’t grow much but weird carrots to save my life. My oldest son, however, grew a big, beautiful, “accidental” watermelon (he planted seeds from a refrigerated melon and managed to get it to thrive.) in the front yard. So…if we want things to grow, it’s his job now. 😊

10. What’s the community you live in like?

Well, in addition to what I described above, our town is fairly tightknit. We know each other and help out how we can. Not to say we don’t have our troubles still. Troubles are everywhere, after all. But, we are blessed, by and large, with some very kind, faith-filled folks.

11. What would you like to study more?

Well, I am currently digging deeper into the minor prophets. It’s a part of the Bible I have read before, but it’s been a while and I would like to understand it better.

In addition to that, prophecy in general-particularly as it relates to the end times-is always heavy on my mind.

The clock is ticking and we who hold the truth of Christ must continue to share it while we can.

Well, that about sums it up.

Thank you again, Robert! God bless!