“The Message – 4Him

Firstly, let me thank you, dear friends, for the prayers and support after I shared my struggles here last time we met.

There are things yet to sort through and only time will tell how my situation will progress, but I am seeing breakthroughs and finding avenues to express my concerns while keeping in mind the desire to minister.

Ok. So…onto what my title refers to. Here comes yet another group that anchored me in my teens and twenties…

Safe to say, if you haven’t figured it out already, I have always listened to a LOT of music-each with its own flavor. ๐Ÿ™‚

4Him captured my attention from the first time a cassette tape of “The Basics of Life” was played for me by a high school acquaintance. I just had to have my own copy, along with everything they produced thereafter.

The authenticity and passion combined with these four beautiful voices inspired my hunger for more of Christ. Every tune seemed to point the way and I eagerly followed.

I can well recall being up to wee hours devouring one book of my Bible after another while their music played in the background.

Sometimes, I could even be caught singing along. ๐Ÿ˜

I still remember a time my dad was home from the road one night and embarrassed me to no end knocking on my door to tell me how neat it was to hear me singing along with those guys. Maybe it was also a kind hint I might dial down on volume, but, at any rate, I think it was the compliment that threw me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, it’s a nice memory, to be sure.

I think it just felt like a very private session between me and God exposed for a minute there. My relationship with my folks was beginning to mend by then, but was still often uncertain, almost awkward.

Anyway…we did wind up having a brief but good chat about where my faith was heading. And I turned back to my music further bolstered ( and turned down the volume a touch.๐Ÿ˜‰).

And so, I continued on. Grew up. Sort of….

And, over the years, through the numerous hills I climbed and valleys I found myself in, there were my many 4Him cassettes and CDs to hold onto, usually put in and cranked over the uglier noises in my world to stir my heart on (Maybe that accounted for my fixation with the volume…๐Ÿ˜).

Now…when it comes to choice of song to best represent my love of 4Him to you, I am once again in such a quandary.

So many of their songs speak so much to me.

In the end, I went with what convicts my heart most at present.

For, in the end, whatever I am dealing with now and whatever comes down the pike later on, my heart is to live a message.

One of faith.

One of truth.

To make my life stand as this group’s name testifies to…

For Him.

Listen, be stirred, be inspired to live such a message.

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! โค

Christmas My Favorite Things Tag

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a tag. What a great idea this one is! Such a joy to concentrate on a few of the things that mean so much to me this time of year!

Many thanks to dear Bethany at Flowers on the Dashboard!

The rules are as follows:

Share the original post, which I see comes from another dear blogging friend, Matt at Jesus Luvs All:

Christmas My Favorite Things Tag

Then:

Use any Christmas theme picture:

Perhaps one of the best moments of any Christmas moment. The reminder from the wise little Linus of what Christmas is all about.

Share your favorite things for each category.

Tag whoever you wish.

So…ok. First up:

Food:Ah, food, glorious food! I have so many loves in this area! Being a baker, cookies, brownies, and breads of all sorts are high on my list. Fudge is also a major love of mine. Add cashews and I am even happier! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Decorations:

Ours are not elaborate, by any means. But, there is great sentimental value. I’d call them a happy mishmash of things collected and made from childhood on.

This is one of my favorite areas. Our beloved Nutcracker collection.:

My oldest boy fell in love with the Nutcracker ballet when he went to a production for a Kindergarten field trip and we started collecting.

It has long been his job to arrange them, but, being in college this year, he passed the mantle to my youngest. This is what he came up with. He added several friends, as you can see. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Song:

Ah, another beloved area! So many…”O, Holy Night” comes to mind, as well as “O, Come, O Come Emmanuel”. And when they start up “Hark, the Herald, Angels Sing” at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I never fail to shed happy tears. ๐Ÿ™‚

When to open presents:

Oof. Believe it or not, a mildly sore point. Let me explain.

When I was growing up, I seem to recall the whole idea of surprises faded away rather quickly in favor of taking my brother and me to the store to pick out our own things early on in the season. My mom maintained she never knew what to get us and saw no sense in us waiting.

I guess it had its merits-very few icky sweaters to unwrap and try to give a convincing smile for. Lots of things I knew I’d use and got to enjoy right away.

Yet, there was also that deflating feeling on Christmas day of waking up to nothing to open and no thrill of someone else knowing just what I wanted, or at least making the attempt to know. A killjoy in many ways indeed.

So…ahem.Enough of that. This is supposed to be a lighthearted post.

Suffice to say, surprises for my kids are really important to me. And I admit, I still look forward to one or two myself. ๐Ÿ™‚We stick to traditional buying for one another in secret, wrapping them up, and opening one on Christmas Eve, the rest on Christmas Day. Such a joyous thing!

People to visit:

Well, of course, this year, much has changed. But, then, I have weathered a few changes in my day. There was my single mother days of playing Santa to my little sprouts on my own. We usually hung out quietly with my mom and dad. They were still in Kansas then, in an apartment about 40 steps from ours, in fact. Beautiful, peaceful years of forging new joys beyond the times of hurt.

Then, there was the year of inviting a new member to our little group when I remarried and discovering he came from a family of cousins upon cousins, aunts and uncles galore. Over eight years later, I still don’t know the half of them. Now, we typically do Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas with (at least a chunk of) my husband’s large family. It was quite a jolt those first few years and still a somewhat daunting task for a very shy, retiring sort like me.

But, this year, it’s back to a more intimate gathering of just our little family. A bit of a melancholy due to the reasons this day and age presents us and a pang at missing members. And, yet, there is that joy of sharing together as a family that remains and the loveliness of peace in the quieter atmosphere. It reminds me of the stillness I imagine there must have been that night the world awaited the birth of a Savior. ๐Ÿ™‚ Which leads me perfectly into…

Celebrating Jesus:

Ah,the pinnacle of this whole season! This whole life! Without His momentous arrival, there would be no joy, no light, no peace.

We have a Christmas Eve service every year with the younger Sunday School groups presenting a play to share the great joy of His birth and the miracle of salvation through His death and resurrection. I rejoice that through a lot of innovation mixed with the necessary caution, the way has been paved for a version of this tradition to go on. It is one of my supreme joys in this season to watch our young share the Good News.

We also sit down and read the Christmas story from Luke as a family before tucking in for the night. I love the reminder of what all this celebrating is about. May we ever remember. ๐Ÿ˜Š

And to all this, I can think of one category I simply must add, as this is an area I look forward to each year:

Movies:

Well, obviously, I have a fondness for Charlie Brown Christmas, but the movie that ties is “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

No movie so captures the struggle we can have in this life with feeling a failure or the shock and the joy of knowing the unexpected impact we can have. It reminds me yearly of the intense value He sees in us, in spite of us. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ok…so…nominations:

Linda Lee at A Blog About Healing From PTSD

Alan at Fuel for the Race

Mandy at Blue Collar Theologian

And, really, anyone that reads and feels so inspired!

Thanks for reading my sizable spiel here and Merry, Blessed Christmas, my friends!

Following Jesus

Hello, there, friends. Impromptu home school has completed, I officially have a high school graduate, and we all remain well and busy. Finally got Zoom to work (sort of) and managed a few Brady Bunchish youth group meetings. Yay!

Last week, our small church was finally able to meet in person with some of the necessary adjustments.

I had the thrill of my two musical kiddos back to doing Praise Team just in time for Mother’s Day.โค

So…some changes are smoothing out…yet writing, my dear companion, has remained somewhat elusive.

Time continues to weigh in and snatch the quiet hours from my hand.

And then…today…

This morning, I had still been ruminating on what God would have me to share next and in what form. I was feeling kind of in a funk about it, to be frank.

And, then, the second Sunday our congregation was back together, the man we as a family have looked up to for spiritual encouragement and truth for the past six years stood at the pulpit today and decided it for me, with the hand of God firmly nudging the whole situation, naturally.

With all the humble honesty we have come to know and appreciate, our beloved pastor announced that after a month or more of resistance, he went to the emergency room to deal with ongoing pain struggles he had kept between himself and his wife.

After tests, it was discovered he has stage 4 cancer, affecting his prostate, bladder, lymph nodes, and already beginning to steal into his bones.

It was devastating news for us, to be sure, but nothing compared to what we imagine he is currently grappling with.

Of course, he requested prayer for both himself and his wife, one of the kindest women I have ever known and a constant help to my children.

If you feel so led, please feel free to add them to your prayer lists. Their names are Don and Deb.

But, that is not the bulk of what I want to share, really, as important as that is.

Instead, I want to draw on what he did following the announcement.

He proceeded with his sermon from the gospel of Mark, specifically about the calling of Simon Peter and Andrew.

About following Jesus.

From heart-stopping news to the Good News.

I could go on and on about how in awe I am at the bravery that took to keep stepping, keep sharing, keep pastoring today.

No one would’ve faulted him stepping away for this Sunday, if not longer.

Many have had to face that surrender and are certainly not lesser for it!

Yet…there he was today, pressing on.

However, I cannot help but be mindful of the humbleness and the striving to just share Jesus that fuels the soul of this man.

It spurs me on to the heart of the matter.

For, what could be expounded on in rich detail and complex emotion can also be summed up in the key phrase he shared with us today.

The same Jesus shared all those years ago with two rough fishermen from Galilee.

The same our Lord shares with us today:

“Come, follow Me.”

I am sure it wasn’t a simple decision to do that today, as many days are not, but we as a congregation got a great example of what that can look like.

No one has any idea yet where this journey will take Don, Deb, and our church. We all know evidence points to an arduous trek.

But, it also points to one not made alone.

Not when you are following Jesus.

Prayers and blessings, dear friends! Thanks for reading a small piece on a very dear person in my family’s world. I hope this finds you all well!

Still King

Hi, there, dear friends! On this Palm Sunday, I felt the urge to carve out at least a little time on here forย  one of my dearest loves-poetry.

I admit I haven’t been able to tinker around with it near as much as I’d like lately. But, it’s okay. It’s necessary. And life on the homeschool front does have its joys! Really does!

Yet, the fact is, life looks so…different right now. So simple yet somehow more complex-on a whole different plane.

We are all well in my household, praise God. Still, there is much upheaval, much uncertainty-that which I know most all of us are facing in one way or another.

But, now more than ever,ย  my heart mustย declare-ย this truth remains. Jesus is still Jesus…

 

 

Still King

Walls rise between.

Isolation becomes the theme.

At a time when we most crave the comfort

Of another human soul,

Sickness steals the effort;

Hands must still, relinquish all the control…

Oh, uncertainty!

That which lurks unrestfully in the morning breeze…

So easy it would be

To simply sink into this haunting anxiety,

Or numb ourselves to hopeless apathy.

As the news scrolls

The seemingly unending tolls

Where lies our heartsong?

Is it lost in the desperate, teeming throngs?

Where is that which in our utter weakness

Can make us ever strong?

Oh, not in ourselves by any means,

Despite the empty promises to which we cling…

No…those sort of actions are none but a smoke screen…

Here’s the realย thing.

Jesus is for once, for only, and still ย The King ofย Kings!

Not a wall can hold the truth

Of hosannas loudly echoing-

“Save us now! ” we cry.

And when we believe that He can,

This humble, this righteous King-

That He hasย 

For all time,

That is where we will find comfort

That can ever withstand.

And strength where distance exists not

As He holds us each in His capable hand….

 

Know that today and always, dear friends! Blessings and prayers to you! Appreciate the read! ๐Ÿ™‚โค

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Before and After Tag

Thanks to Robert for the thoughtful tag. I so appreciate your blog. It is full of wisdom that blesses me daily!

Photo courtesy of the Canva App.

Now, the idea here is to discuss befores and afters through a series of questions.

For me, that means before the Lord redeemed my critically wounded soul and after that transformative work. I love the way the above photo communicates that! ๐Ÿ˜Š

So, on to the questions…

1. Who was family for you growing up?

Well, that is actually a weightier question to begin with than one would think! At least, for an (overly) introspective sort like me!๐Ÿ˜

So, I had a mom, dad, and one older brother, but, in between dealing with childhood abuse via my mother and a father that was rarely present, I would call my brother the most consistent form of family then. He was my safe place. My maternal grandmother also figures highly in there, though our visits were mostly during holidays. Those were among the happiest times of my younger years. Oh, and I shouldn’t neglect to note the occasional cats ( this was in the days I was blissfully unaware my constant sneezing and itchiness meant I was allergic! ๐Ÿ˜) and two funny little cockaboogle dogs ( My granny’s made-up term for Cocker Spaniel/Beagle/Poodle mixes ๐Ÿ™‚).

2. Who is family for you now?

Now, my family is my second chance at love, my husband of 8 years come March, our four kids, three of whom he adopted upon marrying me, the fourth my bonus boy from our union. And two rescue dogs, a Dachshund/Mini Lab mix and a Dutch Shepherd ( as best as we can estimate) . Also, much, much family added via my husband’s massive group of relatives, only some of which I have met. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ And, lest I forget, the family of God at large, many of whom I enjoy through fellowship in church and here on WP. โ˜บ

3. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, spent a few grade school years in southern Texas in various rental homes as my dad’s work prospects shifted. Then, after moving to Kansas at age 9, I stayed more put, only living in two different residences, the second of which was a crackerbox rental dubbed “the hot house” for its distinct lack of cooling capabilities. ๐Ÿ˜

4. Where do you live now?

I am now out of the city in a tiny township still in Kansas in a hundred years+ house we are in a perpetual process of renovating. It’s quite a lot nicer than its dilapidated beginnings, though.๐Ÿ˜

5. What did you want to be when you were older?

I dreamed of a few things, such as acting and various types of art, but writing has been the most constant ever since I figured out how to string phrases. I use to lean heavily towards fiction until I realized my truth was stranger. ๐Ÿ˜

6. What do you do now?

I taught preschool for a lot of years. Life and physical pain intervened, however. So, now, I stay home, fend for my kiddos, which takes up quite a bit of time, especially with two on the autism spectrum, and do lots of secretarial stuff for my husband’s repair/remodeling business. Oh, and I had a memoir published a few years ago. It was less than a roaring success in a worldly sense, but it has been a witness to those God intends. In that way, I guess you could say it’s a dream fulfilled.

7. Whatโ€™s your earliest memory?

Hmm… probably playing in the mud out behind our house with my brother when I was around 2. I remember it was a warm and peaceful day, a rare commodity even then. ๐Ÿ™‚

8. Whatโ€™s one of your most recent memories?

Sitting here sorting out phrases to type while my youngest and his school buddies play superheroes on this very snowy snow day. ๐Ÿ™‚

9. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Most people would say my book, but, eh, that’s too pat a response. I’d say it’s making it through all the struggles set before me with sanity intact. But, truly, that’s owed to the Lord who carried me and carries me still.

10. What is your biggest hope in this life?

That I will see my children live for Christ and fulfill all He has instilled in them.

So, that’s it. Thanks again, Robert! Good questions!

So, on to tagging. You know, I am never sure on this point, so I think I will leave it open to any reading this that are game to try. Just answer the above questions, remember to use the image in your post, and give me a tag so I know it’s out there to read! Blessings and prayers to you, friends!

And P.S. I break out in hives when it comes to selling. ๐Ÿ˜ But, I do occasionally find myself being asked more about this book I allude to off and on. So, for any who want the fuller scoop on pieces of my testimony, here’s a link:

Of Time Swiftly Spent

I am beginning my year-end pensiveness a little early. Bear with me as I ramble a bit…๐Ÿ˜

Spring was barely budding only a few months ago.

Then, summer came with freedom and bare feet.

Before we could turn around, fall crackled and cooled the nights.

And, now, winter is settling in with its frosty mornings and heavy-coated evenings.

Already?

It couldn’t have been that long ago already, could it?

We were just finishing up first grade field day- and fretting on the possibility of sunburn on my sweet little freckle-faced boy.

Our summer vacation plans were just shifting like sand with the unwelcome intrusion of a blown gasket head…and, yet, being used of God for major hotel room togetherness and unexpected witnesses ( Don’t ask. Not just now, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Someday, this adventure needs a whole post of its own.).

Fresh pencils and crayons were just being procured and packed!

We were just nervously embarking on a whole new way of schooling/ interning with our senior. Oy. I have a senior.

That thought alone makes me reach for chocolate.๐Ÿ˜

Shoot. On that note, October’s candy is still being finished! ๐Ÿ˜€

November’s musical was just coming to life on stage after months of teasers wafting up the stairs from basement practice sessions.

Now, it’s all just smiles and glories behind us.

A long chilly nap is firmly planting itself in our midst.

Yet, many things are yet to come on the calendar.

The one that says “2020”. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Time slides away so quickly! One need only observe a row of yearly family experiences to see it is so.

I find myself asking how can it be?

And there steals in a wistfulness to hold on.

Especially as we prepare to really, actually launch our oldest into the world in a few oh-so- short months and the other three cluster rather closely behind, vying for their turn.

All in time. All too soon in time.

It makes me ask the serious question, What are we doing with our time?

That which the Lord graciously affords us. That which once spent can never return.

Ok. Yes, Lord. I will go back to the story of the vacation that never was. It does bear unique weight here. And it pays to heed Your prompting…๐Ÿ˜

So… suffice to say, rarely was there a more frustrating situation.

We were supposed to go see edifying, faith-encouraging things-The Ark, The Creation Museum, historical sites.

What we saw mostly was a hotel room a state away from where we’d hoped to be, the free breakfast bar, (make your own waffles are admittedly cool. ๐Ÿ˜Š) and the few sites that were in walking distance or a cheap Uber ride away.

We wound up waiting that entire week of our vacation-the little time and finances we could afford- for the family van to be fixed. By the time it was done, it was time to be on the road for home again.

The family purse agreed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yet, where time in a worldly view appeared robbed or misspent, in a heavenly view, it was infinitely valuable.

For, we were just coming off some particularly tough moments even prior to leaving, to be honest.

But, there in close quarters, intimate family conversation happened, needed words were said.

Laughter bubbled up despite our disappointment, a fascinating place or two was discovered.

Prayers and scripture flowed from our place of need.

But, best of all, was chance after chance to relate not merely our circumstances but also the Reason for our hope-from nearly every Uber driver to hotel staff to the awesome tow truck driver and amazing mechanic that went above and beyond to help us.

We saw grace both smile on us and pass to others and time, as always in the hands of He who keeps it, was beautifully redeemed.

As it always is, when given over to Him.

As I know it will prove to be again and again as the seasons-oh, so swiftly!- pass.

He’s got us through it all, from freckle-faced sunburns to blown gasket heads to tuning up for the big launch.

And all that comes before, after, and in-between…

Thanks for joining me on my reflective ramble here, friends! May we each think carefully on how we are using our time. Each moment is precious-and some that may seem misspent can turn out to have unexpected purpose! Blessings and prayers to you!

Iron Sharpens Iron at the Family Table

Coming back following holidays left my mind tired yet full. This thought rose above others tonight…

Sometimes, it’s difficult to be with family after a long absence.

Well, duh, Captain Obvious. ๐Ÿ™„

It’s also difficult to leave them when time draws nigh.

Also pretty much a well duh statement. ๐Ÿ˜

There are the numerous delights and countless challenges alike to our spirits in coming together after extended months apart.

You’re no longer a child and your tendency is to attempt earnestly to prove it, all to varying degrees of success.

For, there is also the something of being in their midst that pulls you back to that place of littleness compared to the elders in your life.

In my particular case, there’s a lot of shadows to that former existence, some areas stepped into tentatively, others not at all.

Apprehension can seize my soul if I don’t take care to surrender it to His hand.

Now, forgiveness has been flowing in abundance among us for decades now, and, yet, must still rise up to be met again in entering into one another’s presence.

Past is not swept under any rugs, by any means, but, in looking back, love softens the edges of the pain.

Hearts don’t necessarily forget all the twinges, but they do connect afresh through the knowledge Christ makes all things new.

Including each other.

And, then, we get to share that newness of being. What a wonder that is!

Thoughts fly back and forth across the table. Struggles are examined in a different light, growth is noted, wisdom imparted.

Each moment, both the tender and the hard, threads itself to the ever-changing tapestry of our existence, tethering us tighter together.

Iron sharpening iron sounds sort of scary at first glance, but, how it shows itself in our lives can be incredible.

Home can be a great place to see this at work, for you get to surprise each other with what God’s given us to bring to the table.

You get to witness the learning you each have done and become that safe place to reach across said table with it.

It may not exactly feel like light family fun at times, yet these times the Lord affords us to deepen our walks, both with Him and with one another, are vital.

Hence, the observation at the beginning.

Difficult to be there, difficult to leave…

But, this truth I hold fast to to keep me going:

God grants us fond memories to soothe the bittersweet and carry us through to the next day we meet.

In Him, we are never truly apart.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a blessed one, dear friends. May we ever seek those iron sharpening situations, whether by family, by friends, or both.

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- ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. โ˜บ

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

Prayers and blessings to you, dear friends!

Things

Possessions have somewhat an odd history in my family.

I grew up witnessing an avid, almost compulsive search for certain items, repeated again and again, regardless of lack of funds.

There was a rather manic sense of the never enough, as well as an extraordinary amount of reverence for some objects from select people.

The church of the “name it and claim it” we attended was not particularly helpful in this matter, to say the least.

Oh, and heaven forbid anything should ever happen to these things, even accidentally.

Also, heaven forbid you didn’t show the proper level of admiration for them, unless and until the purging cycle would begin.

Then, your insights might briefly be welcome…

Even though they were not even your things most times, but, rather, something you were just watching someone else have, love, discard of, and often regret the loss of down the road.

Frankly, the whole process frustrated me intensely at times.

Oh, not out of jealousy, mind you.

I had my physical needs met and then some.

I also received many a “guilt gift” after the worst altercations at home.

But, that is another matter altogether…

All this to say that, along with my ever developing faith, these baffling ways have influenced much of my current views on the subject of things.

Which is that things are just that.

Things.

Some are wonderful, some you might even consider beloved.

Gifts from others should indeed be appreciated, particularly when knowing the heart behind them.

But, in the end, not a single possession can we take with us, save our salvation in Christ.

Therefore, nothing should ever be elevated above that.

It’s an ongoing problem, of course, but I do think specifically of this:

Shortly, we shall see in our country the yearly avarice escalate as it tragically always does at this time.

People will sacrifice family to camp out for the “best” deals.

They will scramble, claw, and scratch for the latest greatest whatever.

Or, they are, in fact, home, but not present as they scour the internet for their elusive prizes.

Either way, they will max out credit cards, fling away savings, and drain accounts in the pursuit of what?

To impress someone with their extravagance?

To keep up with some arbitrary standard?

To prove something to somebody somewhere?

To try and buy what can never be bought?

For, if I’ve figured out one truth, it’s this:

Joy cannot be found in any store.

It doesn’t exist in finding that one particular, physical object you have always longed for.

Because, as I could clearly see over my growing up years, the feelings were always so fleeting.

Hence, the dissatisfaction would begin to nag once more like a tickling throat, the throwing aside the old would commence, and the hunt for more would begin again like a desperate search for refuge.

A refuge refusing to be found…

Because it’s not there in the temporal, physical realm!

Not a bit of this stuff can ever be our rescue.

Not one iota will count towards what we are building for eternity.

Some will build with hay, straw, wood, stubble.

Others with precious jewels and gold.

( See 1 Corinthians 3:12)

In the end, we will answer for what we’ve prized, what we’ve built as believers.

And, it will be our living for Him that counts, rather than living for the sake of things.

I pray I can keep this in my heart this season and always.

May we each be able to do so, friends.

Blessings to you!

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. โ˜บ๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yet, I feel I must follow His call here.

And with a hearty sidelines cheer, let my children follow theirs. ๐Ÿ™‚

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