Thursday, November 15, 2012
Today is an extraordinary day for me beautiful friends.
November 15th marks the five year anniversary of this blog.
Five years of writing and sharing and encouraging in whatever
way the Father has prompted me to.
Five years of meeting the most incredible bloggers and forming friendships
with amazing women. I have never in my life met so many inspiring, creative, talented
and truly brilliant women until I discovered the blog world.
You all have blessed me so much.
I want to thank you for the years you have encouraged me with the kindest and most beautiful words, emails, prayers and comments.
I have cherished this space here with you.
And today my heart is overflowing with gratitude.
I am so thankful that five years ago, I took a leap of faith and wrote a post about my faith
and my hope and desire to encourage others.
From day one, this space has been about Him.
It's not about me, although I am grateful He uses pieces of my story.
It's not about numbers, because I've never wanted that to be my reason to write.
It's not about the praises of man, because I long for His praise alone.
It's not about trying to be a big blogger, because I only want to be big in the eyes of my children.
This space has always been a place to share my heart as a mother and a platform to encourage and a way to minister the gospel and point others to Him.
I remember attending my one and only blogging conference a few years ago.
I was a nervous wreck. Didn't know a soul. Went by myself and spent much of the day
trying to figure out which track or group I belonged to. I was overwhelmed at how much I didn't know and how I was doing everything wrong if I wanted success.
I was also terribly starstruck. Everybody and their Mama was in attendance and I'm pretty sure I spent much of the day in awe over all of the pro bloggers there that day.
I also remember walking out of one ballroom and into another because I was so confused about
which category I was supposed to be following.
I'm still not sure I would know today.
I don't know that I fit into any category. But I know that I always fit with Him.
I left the conference completely overwhelmed by all that I didn't know and by what a big business this can be and most of all just feeling very small.
I am so grateful that I just kept writing even though I felt small then and still feel small today.
Because I would discover that words are my love language.
Words can bring life.
Words have power.
Words can change lives and heal hearts and speak light into darkness.
Words in the blog world can confirm to someone else miles and miles away the powerful truth that they are not alone, they are not the only one and it is not over.
What an opportunity.
I don't think much has changed here as far as stats and such. And I don't think any professional blogger would look here and see success of any kind.
But when love is your motivation and encouraging the hearts of others is your mission statement, I don't think you can ask for a greater platform.
I thank you for five very special years beautiful friends.
I count this space shared here with you one as one of my greatest blessings in life...
What a gift it all has been.
Love you so,
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 9:59 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I sorted and loaded and pressed all the right buttons.
Just 58 minutes later and it would all come out clean.
And just like all of those piles of laundry, I was wishing for my own life ~ sorted and freshly laundered.
Titled and sorted into piles and waiting for the spin cycle.
I needed a friendship pile. A family pile. A dream pile. A finances pile. A please let me do this over pile. A needs more grace pile. A please Lord help me pile. A mercy pile. A needs God's attention stat pile. A broken heart pile. A mommy do over pile. A wish I could change it pile. And a God I do not understand these things in my life pile.
All of it.
And one by one I've wanted to take my own spiritual spray-n-wash- called, I can fix it myself and I've wanted to load and pour and spritz and spray and push all the right buttons.
And then watch it spin.
58 minutes later.
It would all come out clean. Every, single thing.
Every wrong thing. Every hurt and heartache. Every offense and wound and every unmet need...
All of it.
I'll be the first to admit. I want life on spin.
When things go wrong in life, I want to press all the right buttons, open the door, smell the fragrance and see that I can get my life laundry clean.
So many times I think, If I can just get this load to the spin cycle in life...
It will all be okay.
And then He whispers.
Somewhere in the midst of the sorting of, I kid you not, twenty loads of laundry and the 58 minute wash cycle.
I've already washed it all clean daughter.
These loads you are hanging on to.
This heap of guilt and shame and condemnation.
This sorrow and suffering. This lack in the very pieces of your soul.
This mountain of a heartache the size of Texas.
I've already sorted and sprayed and washed and spun and dried and laundered and paid for....
All of it.
You are carrying loads that were never meant for you to carry.
Maybe you've forgotten., in all of your worrying with trying to sort it all yourself...
I've got this.
You need not worry or fear.
I am in control.
I will provide.
I will sort.
I will spin.
I will orchestrate things on your behalf.
I will bring things into divine order.
I will command a blessing and joy will come in the morning...
And when you feel the need to sort your life into piles called circumstances and situations and attempt to get it clean all on your own....
Look to me.
Cling to me.
And remember this...
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27
I've got this.
You can empty your baskets, and pick up My promises.
They are stacked in your favor. Every, single one.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 6:25 AM
Friday, November 9, 2012
There is a scripture that has been weighing heavy in my spirit, over and over again this last year.
It's the one that reads like this:
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name. - Hebrews 13:15
The sacrifice of praise has been my praise this past year and especially lately.
It's when we praise Him and thank Him and honor Him even in the midst....
In the midst of really painful things.
In the midst of hurtful words and hurtful people.
In the midst of those who rejoice in someone else's suffering.
In the midst of things we don't understand and when we can't see the light of dawn.
In the midst of friends who betray us and who say unkind things.
In the midst of unfortunate circumstances and situations.
In the midst of sorrow so great there are no words to define it properly.
Offer Him the highest praise beautiful friends...
Through your heartache and suffering and grief.
Praise Him in the midst of it all.
Because soon ..
Everything is going to turn in your favor.
Doors are going to open and open wide.
Beautiful friendships will unfold.
Divine connections are coming to your family.
Provision and prosperity and purpose are going to fall upon your household.
Healing will be your portion.
Soon your heart will sing and your spirit will soar as the Father reveals every good and
perfect gift He has in store for you.
He promises us that He will work all things together for our good and His glory.
Even those things we may not understand right now.
Soon, once the Father has His way and at the appointed time, He is going to work all things in your life and mine, for our good and for His glory.
And His word does not return to Him void.
So over the weekend while you are busy blessing your family, offer it up to Him.
Don't hold back...
Beautiful things are in store for you and your family.
Our job is to praise Him in the midst and to simply trust.....
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 7:50 PM
I once had a friend whom I would call every year on one specific day to say one specific thing.
"The cups changed today."
She knew what that meant. Don't you just love a girlfriend who knows you so well that you don't have to explain every little thing? Who just gets it? I love that about a friend and a razor sharp quick wit as well. Two of my favorite things in a girlfriend.
We would laugh and listen to one another and then she would say something along the lines of "Now don't do this to yourself again this year! "
The "cup changing" that I am referring to is the day every year that Starbucks changes their cups from white to red. It's one of the many changes that mark the start of the season. And it happened this week.
On Tuesday in fact.
It puts a pep in my step and a panic in my heart all at the same time. The store displays change. The music changes. The weather cools. Wardrobes change. Everything. It's coming. And nothing is going to stop it.
And I love Christmas. I love this time of year. I love the softness in hearts and the gift of forgiveness people will offer this time of year. I love the fragrance. The sights. The sounds. I love picking out and wrapping gifts. I love Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my children. My husband and I just sit and watch with our coffee and experience every, single thing through their eyes.
It is pure wonderment.
Most of all I love to celebrate Him.
And in all of the celebrating of Him and all of the merriment and all of the sentimental pieces of the season. There is a place in my heart that longs for what I've never had outside of that with my own children. There is a place in my heart that longs so deeply for Christmas with family. And not just any family but family who loves like Him and who loves us like He loves us. Family who loves unconditionally. Who gives. Loves. Forgives. Sows. Pours. Prays. And loves to decorate, cook, bake and trim the tree too if you must know.
I want a Holy Spirit filled Martha Stewart Christmas.
Every. Single. Year.
And every year when those cups change I am reminded that it is coming and again, for the umpteenth year, it's not going to happen. I can trust Him for it, and have in big ways in years past. Some years there has been a glimmer of hope and some big trying on our parts that just end in complete and total disaster.
And I vow to never, ever try again.
But then the cups change.
And my heart quickens. And my thoughts race. And I "what if" myself to death.
What if they will love us this year?
What if they want a relationship with their children and grandchildren?
What if they have allowed God to do heart surgery?
Maybe things are different. Maybe they will be different.
And I sip from my new red cup a holiday latte while four very small and very precious children hang on my coat tail and one adorable twenty year old chats to me over the cell phone and one very sweet, bouncing baby stirs inside my womb that ......
He has already given it to me.
And He has given me the opportunity to give it to them.
I can wish away the season every time I see a mother and daughter shopping together. Every time I see them having a Christmas lunch together. I can allow my heart "to go there" and magnify the fact that my children do not have grandparents every time a grandmother approaches me and asks all about my children- and Heaven knows, I am like a magnet to grandmothers. I love them.
I can allow that lump to stay in my throat every time I hear about friends' parents coming to stay with their children so that they can "get away" and have a little vacation as husband and wife for the hundreth time when my husband and I can't imagine getting away or having a break for even 3 or 4 hours- much less a trip of any sort. I'm pretty sure it's been 6 or 7 years .....I've lost count.
I can allow bitterness and resentment to overtake me when I see rows of family members and grandparents filling the seats at the opening night of The Nutcracker this year and my sweet Bella Grace tip toes onto the stage for the first time ever to be cheered on by her parents alone.
I can ask God to "guard my heart" again this year when I listen to friends go on and on about the incredible gifts and generosity poured out at Christmas by their parents.
I can allow my heart to go there.
I can allow the enemy to magnify my circumstances......
Or I can focus on the fact that we can be that kind of amazing parental love and support to our own children, now and in the years to come. These precious ones who fill our hearts with so much love and joy.
So this year, I have decided that I am not going to long for what has never been and I'm not going to mourn that we will spend another Thanksgiving and Christmas alone with our children.
That is big for me. I want the fairytale extended family.
I am chosing to just be thankful that we have each other and we have the five (almost six) babies and I am going to turn the music up a little louder, put more lights on the tree than ever before, cut the ribbon a little longer, bake even more cookies, forgive on another level, love more deeply, read more stories, wrap gifts even more beautifully, take even more pictures, send even more holiday cards and rock my precious babies even longer while I praise the One who has given me the desire of my heart that goes beyond what happens inside my heart every year when the cups change at Starbucks......
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 6:47 PM