Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lead me, Guide me, Walk beside me. . .

I am so tired but sometimes a lesson comes your way that you just feel like you need to share or at least write down. Tonight is one of those nights.

For the last 4 days I have been fighting with Victoria over cleaning her room. She has begged and begged me to come in her room with her but it wasn't until tonight, with help from my Heavenly Father, that I finally HEARD what she was asking. I kept telling her "No, I'm not going to pick up your room. It is not my mess and it is your responisibility." I tried telling her that I have constantly reminded her daily to remember to put things away before getting more things out so that she is not faced with such a task later, but yet here we are again. . . .

Tonight I sought my Heavenly Father's guidance in this situation as I hate fighting over it all day every day as it brings such a sad spirit into our home. And like I said earlier, I finally HEARD what she was asking. She never asked me to clean her room. She simply asked me to be there with her and tell her what to do next because it was 'just too much". She was just overwhelmed and needed someone who loved her to be with her through it all and keep her on track. Oh how my heart hurt when I realized that I missed a wonderful teaching moment, but instead she taught me.

How many times in our lives do we do things over and over again that we know we shouldn't?? Even with being constantly reminded by our Heavenly Father as to the mess that it would create? Then when we are faced with those messes how wonderful it is to know that our Heavenly Father is there by our side, helping us put one foot in front of the other and knowing what to do next? Simply helping us not feel so alone and overwhelmed? He never cleans our messes for us, but he does help us along the way and for that I am thankful.

Tomorrow I know what I will be doing. I will be sharing this lesson with my dear sweet daughter. . .as we conquer her mess. . .together. . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You can TOADally do it!

It's amazing how much we can learn about life from our children. While eating lunch yesterday I kept hearing this loud "RIBBIT! THUMP! RIBBIT! THUMP!" It was getting closer and closer, and that's when I saw it. My little prince had turned into a frog. Squatted on the floor, hands on the ground between his knees, followed by a protruted tougne, a loud "RIBBIT!" and ending with a huge THUMP back into starting position.

"Josh, are you a frog?" I asked while giggling

"Yep! Im a frog! There's a fly in here mama. I want to catch that fly. Frogs catch flies cause frogs eat bugs. So I'm a frog! RIBBIT!" HOP - THUMP!

He knew what he wanted, and he knew who and what he had to become to obtain the desire of his heart. We could all learn from that. If there is something we truley want we have to have the willingness, desire, and go get'm attitude to make whatever changes need to be made in our lives in order to obtain it. Maybe it's time for mama to transform into a frog and catch some of those flies I've had my eye on. . .RIBBIT!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Dash by Linda Ellis

Thank you Jessica Brown Stanford for sending me this BEAUTIFUL video and poem! It is everything I was wanting to express and touched my heart!


An irreplaceable you . . .

This morning a weird memory was brought to mind. In the 8th grade my English teacher asked us to write our eulogy. It was a morbid assignment but made us think about how we wanted to be remembered after our time on this earth is done. I began to think about my own legacy this morning. What legacy am I leaving? If I were to be called home today what is it that will be remembered? What gift have I left behind? Will I have created a lasting beauty somewhere that will last for generations to come? When people look at my headstone and see 1978-my dying year, the only years they will remember is represented by that tiny little dash. What am I creating out of that dash?

In Matthew chapter 25 we are taught the parable of the talents. They who went out and used the talents that were entrusted to them doubled their reward. But he who out of fear hid his talent had it removed from him and he was left in misery and agony. Right after those verses we read:

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:34-40)

As we look around we can see so many who hunger for the love of a friend, who thirst for knowledge of who they are and why there are here, who want to be accepted and embraced and no longer a stranger from the rest. We see those who stand naked without the armor that protects us when we are filled with the knowledge that we are a child of God. Many who are spiritually and emotionally sick from the constant battle that comes with the trials and adversity we each face, and those who have been imprisoned by Satan thru sin and immorality. We each have been given unique talents that can feed those who hunger, that can quench someone’s thirst, that can heal the sick and imprisoned. Talents that can make someone no longer feel like an outcast. Talents that can change our world and the world of others in a way that only we can. But we must not let fear allow us to bury our talents away. We must not allow ourselves to think that our talents are less beautiful and therefore not as significant. We must stop allowing the fear of being hurt and exposing what is in our mind and hearts to stand in the way of creating a love and a beauty that was not there before. Not only does it bring a healing to those around us, but we then find that in the process it turn healed us.

Are we the person we were meant to be? Are we hiding our light under a bushel or allowing it to be a guiding force to those who are lost? Are we allowing fear to blind us from the potential offered to us? Do not allow Satan to make you feel insignificant. Free the beauty within you and create a legacy that will empower and inspire for years to come.

If you find that you are one that has buried your talent. Someone who has gone down the wrong path and has started a legacy that you do not wish to leave behind, do not let your hearts be troubled. It is never too late to begin your own “Happily ever after”. Just because you are walking down a path does not mean you need to continue that journey. There is still time to unearth the talents you have buried within you. Who you are now is not who you have to remain being. Start! Start now! Be the man or woman you want your kids to become. Be the kind of friend you want by your side. Allow yourself to love and be loved. Free yourself from the prison of fear that YOU have created. Your legacy is yours and yours alone. What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want your dash to be remembered as? No matter what the beginning of our story reads the end is still unwritten. The pen is still in our hands. The power and means to created the ending we desire is still before us. . .dream it. . .believe it. . .hope for it. . .love unconditionally and make it happen! “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Nelson Mandela

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our True Identity

All we are cracked up to be. . .

I have been working on my entry for this weeks post for days, but as I sat down this morning to complete it, I felt the need to speak of something else. A few months ago I was asked to speak in church. I was asked to pray about my topic rather than just being assigned one, and after much thought and prayer the topic became clear, and I feel the need to address here again today.

I read a short story called “The Cracked Pot”. The story goes as follows:

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his mater’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of it’s accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered him some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half of its load, and so again apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us have our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table and bring a beauty into this world that only we can bring. How boring would an orchestra be if there was only one instrument playing? It would not be complete without the fluttering of the flutes, or the graceful violin, or any of the other unique and beautifully important sounds that each and every instrument has to contribute. Each playing it’s own part in unison with others, and together they create a masterpiece that was not there before. A song that brings peace to a troubled heart, a melody that helps to replace anger with love and forgiveness, a tune that can bring hope where there was none before. We may not be able to change the world, but as we allow our Father in Heaven to lead and guide us we can change our world and even the world of others around us in small but very significant ways.

A few months ago my dear daughter did something to which my response to her was “Victoria, you are just awesome!” Her reply came without hesitation; “Ya, I know!” We need more “Ya, I know” ‘s in our lives and less, “No I’m nots” and “Ya but not as awesome as so and sos”. We are awesome. We are the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Created by Him and in His image. This knowledge alone proves what awesome and powerful beings each and every one of us truly is. In Romans we read:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.” (chapter 8 verses 16-17)

Our Father in Heaven gave our brother and Savior the power and strength he needed to fulfill his mission in life. So will He do for us. What parent will strengthen one child and not the other? What parent will fight side by side with one and leave the other child to fight alone? None, including our Heavenly Father. He knows our weaknesses and can show us how to turn them into strengths and teach us how we can use our cracks in a way where we can still bring beauty to our Master’s table while on the road back home to Him. But we must come to Him. In turning to the scriptures again we are counseled: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and abraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) The tools and power for us to create our own unique sonata are there for the taking, we just need to knock.

Christ was no stranger to pain, betrayal, mocking, lies and deceit, thirst, hunger, temptation, loss, and the feeling of being completely and utterly alone. He too withstood the painful blows of others hurtful words and lack of belief in him and the powers which he possessed. He too had to endure the repetitive naggings of Satan, tempting him to turn away from all that he was sent forth to do and his continuous attempts at trying to get him doubt who he was and in the power that stood behind him. Satan’s goal in our day is still the same. He constantly fills our minds with doubts. Forcing us to compare ourselves with the world around us, thinking that our imperfections make us unworthy of the blessings that our Father in Heaven so freely gives us. He tries hard to make us believe that if God truly loved us that He would simply just take it all away and magically make things right. As Christ kept his focus on his Father in Heaven and His will, as he continued to trust that God would bestow upon him the power to endure all things, Christ was able to overcome all and now finally rests from the weight of the world in the kingdom which our Father has prepared for us.

That wonderful gift is there for everyone. As we focus our lives and our hearts on the will of our Father, as we trust in Him to give us the power to overcome all adversity, and show us how to use both our strengths and our weaknesses for good, and as we continue to endure or rebuild, He will be there. He will continue to love us unconditionally, and strengthen us without question, just as any loving parent does. He will never give up on us, and we must not give up on us either. We are worth fighting for, and as has Christ proved, worth dieing for. Then one day, when our mission in life has been fulfilled, we can find peace and rest in our Father’s loving arms knowing that we never gave up, knowing that we accomplished all that we were sent forth to do, and knowing that we in fact are AWESOME, Cracks and all. . .

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~John Chapter 14:26-27

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God