Things I wish for my son…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today our oldest son turned 24. It’s almost time for him to leave and cleave. In just over a month, he will be married and moving out. He will be supporting a wife, leading a home, starting a family… I wrote this six years ago as he prepared to go away to college. I echo the sentiments today. Like most mothers, I made mistakes. I am so much more imperfect than so many who’ve gone before me. My weaknesses and failures are ever before me. Still, I know that I pour my heart and soul into my children daily. I have given all I’ve had to give…all I knew how to give…all I could do, I have done. These words from my heart are for him…this is my hope for him, more than a wish, a prayer.

Things I wish for my child as he becomes an adult… more »

First comes love…

imageIn the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.

― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In the summer of 1991 a young couple began to seek God together. They went shopping for a church that taught the bible. They found one that looked promising, filled out a visitor’s card, checked the box interested in a study, and began weekly studies with a young evangelist. During this time of study they began to see the truth ― about God’s word and about the lives they had been living. During this time the young woman found out that she was expecting. They knew what they needed to do. They made the decision to become disciples of Jesus Christ. They had their sins washed away. They began to turn their lives around. They decided to get married, assuring everyone that they most definitely wanted to spend their lives together. The young evangelist who had taught them and baptized them agreed to marry them. Their families supported them. The church rallied behind them. They were graciously welcomed. They were embraced. They were loved.

The young couple met life’s obstacles with optimism and joy for the journey ahead. That journey repeatedly proved God’s grace. The young man became an evangelist. The young couple moved around the country to preach. They raised a family with God as the solid foundation in their lives. They loved their family and sought to do God’s will and to teach others to do the same. The sins of the past were but lingering ghosts. Life was beautiful―’mingling toil with peace and love.’ The young couple never forgot where they came from and how God had blessed them on their journey.

You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.

―Mary Tyler Moore

Many years pass. Another young couple struggles. They are planning to marry. They aren’t making the best choices. They go to their parents just a few months before the wedding to tell them that the young woman is expecting. The parents know that far more important than how others might respond is how they will respond. Pain, shame, embarrassment, anger, worry, irritation―these are the worldly responses to a difficult situation. The parents know that there is need for admonishment and there is a need for grace. This is about three souls.

The parents know that they will forgive. They will guide. They will encourage. They will do whatever it takes to help the young couple make good choices―knowing that the foundation they build their lives upon will make all the difference in the world. They will embrace them and support them in whatever way they can. The parents remember where they came from and how greatly they were influenced by the love and acceptance shown to them. They know that, without the love and support they were freely offered, they might not be where they are today. They will pray and hope and wait. They will plant seeds and water them. They will not grow weary. They will lean on God and His family.

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.

―Lina Sandell.

Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.”

― Alexandre Dumas

You can be amazing…

image

Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary–it’s an act of infinite optimism.
~ Gilda Radner

Some might say my mother was ‘just a housewife’ … She was a faithful, supportive wife and mother for over 63 years. She supported my father through decades of service in the Army and the Sheriff’s Department. She loved, nurtured and guided five children through various interests and stages. She studied, she gardened, she served, she cared for family. She was never idle, always learning and ever encouraging.

image

She was never unfulfilled, discontent or weak minded. She built her life on her faith and lived accordingly.

image

There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. ~ Jill Churchill

She never sought to raise modern women who abandoned the roles of wife and mother entirely, neither did she seek to raise automatons who thought small and lived within the confines of a preconceived ideal. She was an example of submission and service, yet she stood firm by her convictions and ideals. She encouraged me to reach for the stars. She believed in me. She wanted the best for me. She always sees the best in me. more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment

A line of gold thread

Sally - me and daddy

During the summer of 1969, a middle age man held his new born baby day in and day out knowing that he was leaving for Vietnam and understanding the very real possibility that he’d never see that baby grow up. He held that baby when she slept and cooed at her when she was awake. When she was six weeks old, he left for his tour of duty.

Thankfully, that father returned to his family safely. Even more wonderful than that, he was there to watch his five children grow up! That man has held my heart for the past 46 years! His love and devotion to his family have been a constant source of security in my life. I can honestly say, from my earliest memories, that I felt truly cherished. I have never once doubted that, no matter what happened, my daddy would take care of me.

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment

One wrong bite…

Sally - julia and me

Sally - a mother's love

As I searched for quotes about protecting children from harm, I found a shocking number of absolutely hate-filled comments directed toward nut allergic children and their parents. The quote that I found most fitting after reading news articles and interviews was this:

The ugliest thing that I have ever seen is a human being without compassion. ~h. milne p.

I once wrote a blog post about protecting our children called: Better a thousand times careful than once dead. As I was pondering titles I couldn’t help but think that one was also fitting for this!

While all children need protection from maniacs (‘nuts’ if you will), there are many children who need the same diligent protection from certain kinds of ‘nuts.’ I am only qualified to write this as a mom of a child who suffers from an anaphylactic allergy. I am writing specifically about anaphylactic allergies and how our family and loved ones have handled this issue. Parents of children with deadly allergies are called a whole lot of ugly things! The general consensus of the masses is that we are bent on ruining everyone’s childhood, banning all the nuts, and demanding that the entire world revolve around our nut allergic child. We really ought to just remove them from society and ‘raise them in a bubble.’ How dare we insist on education and caution? more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment

At the scent of water

Sally - weed florida

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Disclaimer: Though I have nearly 23 years of experience raising plants and children, I am neither an expert on child rearing, nor a botanist. It is my job to plant, water and nurture but ultimately I put my trust in God because only He gives increase!

1 Corinthians 3:77 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

With as many plants as I’ve tried to grow over the years – experiencing great success and frustrating disappointment – I cannot help but ponder the similarities between my efforts with my plants and my efforts with my children. more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment

I know just what’s wrong with your baby

Sally - modern art

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Last fall I was blessed with the opportunity to teach (and learn!) at a ladies’ retreat in Pennsylvania. One of my favorite times was spending a few hours with the whole group of women—divided up into younger woman and older women. A lovely friend and I were on the borderline of the suggested age between young and old (we are both mid-forties), so we opted to sit with the younger group before the entire group spoke together (not without a bit of teasing!). I learned so much about my role as an older woman by listening to these young women: hearing what was helpful, hearing what was hurtful, hearing what was needed, hearing what they desired most. One thing I know, just having been a young woman once doesn’t mean that I understand all the feelings other women face, we are all individuals and we can’t always know what others need unless we communicate openly. I can guess, I can teach, but unless I am asked or observe a clear need, I don’t always know what others need. No matter the situation, careful speech is critical. This should be a given.  If you haven’t ever done a detailed study on the power of words, please consider reading through this blog post: Sweet to the soul and healthy to the bones.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

I know just what’s wrong with your baby was a comment spoken to a young mom, struggling to overcome some issues with her newborn. This young mom shared this in tears while trying to articulate why hearing it was so discouraging to her and how it could have been handled differently. She understood that the motive was to help, but also acknowledged that the comment wasn’t helpful. While that idea sparked my blog post, many things I’ve seen and heard since have prompted me to finally take the plunge. Present blog included, there is no shortage of advice on just about any topic you want to study. For every opinion and conclusion drawn on one blog, one might find another vehemently disagreeing and promoting an entirely different perspective. No matter how successful you deem your parenting, someone disagrees with you and sees you as a supreme failure. On the other hand, no matter how badly you may be parenting, you will find validation aplenty! Everyone has an opinion and is free to share it. Everyone else is free to rake them across the coals for holding it and sharing it. more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment

Owning our actions as women of God

Sally - Adversity for Action Blog

If you’ve heard me teach or read my blog regularly, you may be familiar with my love of disclaimers. They are so handy, aren’t they? I always hope they’ll avoid someone taking one thing I’m teaching and failing to understand the greater context. I have that overwhelming desire to be understood and an absolute abhorrence of being misunderstood! I know that women tend to be overwhelmed by different topics and I don’t want my thoughts to leave anyone overwhelmed or unequipped or feeling inadequate. I want us to be empowered to be women of ACTION and even more!

What do unbelievers think of us – how are we representing the God we profess to serve? What do our actions say about us in the 21st century? There was a time when godly women made quite an impact on those around them! Consider what Libanius, a pagan writer in the fourth century, had to say about the women of God in his time, “What women those Christians have!”

Before we consider ACTION, keep in mind that I am not advocating ACTION without REST!! No matter your situation, rest can improve physical health, emotional well-being and most certainly – your attitude! Rest is absolutely critical. If you are interested in my thoughts on rest, go read my blog post entitled: Seeking Rejuvenation, Energy, Serenity and Tranquility.

  • You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world. ~ Author unknown

With that caveat, let’s look at ACTION. more »

A tribute to an older woman: remembering Sara

Sally - Julia Picture 2Twelve years ago, a rather free-spirited-homeschooling-hippie-preacher’s-wife moved into a totally new culture. She met a true southern woman—perhaps this description illustrates it: Flip flops meet ladies’ suits. In spite of their different lifestyles they found an affinity. They were both outspoken. They both loved to talk. They both loved their friends and families. They both loved Christ. This was more than enough!

As I remember my precious friend,  I realize that so much of what I loved about her was related to her actions and how they impacted me and those I love. As I interact with those around me, I hope I can always remember the things I learned from Sara’s example. She was dignified, but she was real and open. She was a southern lady, but she never made me feel out of place with my not-so-southern ways. She loved her family and her friends and she loved us. She encouraged us and supported us and built us up with her words and deeds. more »

Refresh my heart

Sally - Be Still Sad Heart

1 Corinthians 16:17–18 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb

Encourage. Edify. Inspire. Refresh. Support. Uplift. Most human beings, whether they acknowledge it or not, are affected by various forms of encouragement. Several scientific studies have been done over the past few years that show how encouragement actually affects brain chemistry. For those who don’t give much weight to scientific studies (unless they happen to prove a personal conviction), in the very least, it’s generally agreed that discouragement is discouraging! Only a select few (and I’ve never met any) are absolutely unaffected by encouragement or discouragement.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I have tried to encourage others and I have sought encouragement. I have been a babe in Christ craving encouragement and I have been a Christian of decades craving encouragement. I have been edified in my attempts to encourage and my attempts to seek encouragement and I have been rejected at my attempts to do both. I have repeatedly seen both the strong and the weak craving encouragement. One thing I know: encouragement is desperately needed by humans of all ages and stages! more »

Category: Musings  Leave a Comment
  • Jonathan & Sally

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 88 other subscribers

  • Calendar

    September 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Jul    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930