Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wear Love

What is it about love that makes us weak in the knees? What is it about love that makes our hearts sing ? Why does God put such emphasis on love? Why does He expect us to love our neighbor? To love one another? Why does He specifically tell us to "put on love" as if it were a piece of clothing. He refers to wearing things many times in the scriptures. Even, He tells us to wear wisdom like a crown. I am reminded of the verses that say to "put on love" and to "love the unlovely" today on a day where everyone seems to have chosen the wrong garment to wear.  I think they must have gotten dressed in the dark or perhaps they just put on their angry capris and their selfish sweater-set by mistake that day. The longer I live the more I understand why our Heavenly Father put such emphasis on love.
I always like to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but some consistently choose to wear the wrong things. In today's society there is so much emphasis put on what to wear and how to wear it. How to look beautiful and how to look young. I see so many striving for this glorious external appearance while in the meantime their insides need a complete overhaul. Some have such a spiritual stench that it is hard to be in the same room with them. They can talk circles around me when it comes to their fifty degrees from every fine institution known to man- but they intend to talk just to hear themselves speak, never connecting with their listener, missing the opportunity to hear the desires and needs of another, and they are really too filled with pride and arrogance to be much of a friend to anyone. 
It is in these difficult moments that I am gently reminded to check my own clothing. What am I wearing today? Did I put on my love coat? Did I remember my hip humility jeans or my fancy forgiveness wrap dress? More often than not I need to do a better job of getting dressed in the mornings. I need to do a better job of loving the unlovely- of overlooking the unmet needs and unhealed hurts of others- when Jesus is the only one who can heal them from the inside out. A deeper level of compassion, mercy and grace with the friend who has declined lunch with me only to call back later and say that she will see me at the restaurant because she ended up being invited by someone else. The friends who cancel coming for dinner yet again, after I have cleaned, cooked and prepared myself, my home and my large family for their arrival. The friend who just never shows up or calls because she got a better offer.  A well planned outfit for those who invite me to an event and then when I get there act like I am invisible. A better outfit for those who only call because they want something. Tomorrow I will wear patience and wisdom so that I am prepared for the friend who continues to make hurtful comments about my family or the fact that we are "having another baby"-  and for the other friend who makes negative comments about my weight, my pregnancy, my home, my family and so on. I will choose self-control when I am laughed at and made fun of by friends -when I confide in them that I am writing several books and have hopes of getting published. I will wear forgiveness the day after that, so that bitterness and resentment will not become my "this years must haves" when another celebration or momentous occasion goes by, and there is no family anywhere to be found. I refuse to believe that bitter is "the new black" when our family goes through yet another setback, another disappointment or another tragedy and there isn't so much as a morsel of support other than "it will be alright". I will overlook the selfish comments, the harsh words, the rejection that can send one reeling, the stinging criticism and hurtful gossip and tomorrow morning when it is time to get dressed again~I will pass over the hangers filled with my old choices and worldly options and pull out my well worn Galatians 5:22's. If you don't have them- you have got to get them. Timeless and classic. This year and next years must have. It is a perfect fit every time. One size fits all. Created by the greatest designer ever known........
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control."- Galatians 5:22

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Vessel of Joy!

Happy Birthday my sweet Prince Bennett! I can hardly believe that you are turning three years old today. You stole our hearts from the second you were born and have made your place in our family in joy and in laughter. You are the best of me Bennett. You are the best of me and the best of your Father. You are every bit your Mommy and every bit your Daddy. I see glimpses of myself in you~ in your moments of gentleness and sensitivity and then I see glimpses of Daddy in you in your curious, adventurous nature. You are so meant to be here and so belong to this family. You made our family whole the day you were born and our hearts have never been the same. You love life.  You love people. You are a walking, living breathing vessel of joy made manifest here on earth. What did we do to deserve such love? I can remember holding you in my arms that glorious day three years ago ~feeling so humbled and so honored that God would trust me with a son. A baby boy, to love and adore. I didn't know a thing about boys. No father. No uncles. No cousins. No brothers. I couldn't believe that He would trust me with such a huge responsibility. To grow a boy into a man - a real, God fearing, loving, kind, respectful man seemed like something that I wasn't qualified to do.  But with each day, as I love you more and more~ I am up for the challenge. I see that I am your guide. I am your teacher. I have been given the incredible gift of being your first example of the love of Christ.  Your first demonstration of love. You have made it so easy for me. You exude love! I am so honored to be your Mother and to call you my son. You are so full of life and enthusiasm. You are 100 percent all boy. From your hilarious antics that make me laugh so hard I cry~ to your gentle and sweet spirit that makes me cry so hard I laugh.  I am overjoyed that you are mine ~that you are a part of me ~that you belong to Him and that He entrusted you to me. I celebrate you and honor you and rejoice on this~ the day you were born. You are so loved my sweet, precious son.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daddy's Boy

Yesterday we went in for a twenty week ultrasound and I was so relieved to hear a good report. The tech used words like "textbook", "perfect", "beautiful" which made my heart fill full to overflowing with abundant joy! We were ever so thankful and at the end she confirmed that it is definitely a boy! During the ultrasound there was a very special moment when my husband was leaning back in his chair with both arms behind his head. At the same moment the tech showed us on the screen that our newest baby boy was in the exact same position in the womb. Both arms behind his head- just like Daddy. It was a very special and proud moment for both of us and I was just so thankful that he could be there to share it with me. She gave us lots and lots of pictures and one of my most cherished ones is of both tiny feet . So precious. We are at the half way point now and things seem to be going well. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my prince.

A Day to Celebrate!

This past Sunday we celebrated my sweet Prince Bennett turning three! We had a wonderful party at My Gym with many of his little friends from school! I've never been to such a terrific party! They did such a great job of making my little guy feel so special! At one point during the party the host had everyone chanting his name and another party host brought him out in a little red wagon to the Rocky theme song! He flew across the party room on a zip line, jumped in balls, swung from a trapeze and rode a battery operated train around on a real track. I was beside myself, as was Bennett! It was worth every penny and was really just the best birthday party he has ever had. I felt so blessed to watch him just enjoy every minute of it and to be able to celebrate with all of his little friends! Here are a few of the party pictures!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Spiritual Symphony

We've just returned from our trip to Texas and I am trying my best to get caught up on everything. With four children, it takes a little while to say the least. As I sit and reflect on the situation at hand right now, our trip down and just all that is going on - I have found myself having to trust Him deeper than ever before. I have found myself saying "I trust you Lord" and then in the next breath saying "What if this doesn't work out Lord? What are we going to do then?, What if our house doesn't sell? What if we can't find a place to live there? Where is my oldest going to go to college Lord? " The list just goes on and on. I am a Mother. I am a worrier by nature. I have been parenting for 18 years and I don't think the worry factor will ever go away completely for me personally. I also trust Him and have to make a conscious effort daily to let go of all that is troubling me and keeping me awake at night and just let Him work all things together for my good and for His glory.
We flew to Texas for the kids spring break in hopes of miracles happening I guess. In hopes of finding the perfect house, on the perfect street, next to the perfect neighbors- where all the happy people live! Or something pretty close to that! What I did get was three trips to the walk-in clinic, two black eyes on the same eye for my little guy, double ear infections with two of the kids, three very sick little ones and 160.00 worth of antibiotics at the local Kroger pharmacy. Somewhere in between my 5 year old tee-teeing on herself on the plane(due to a hold up in the bathroom) and my son blacking the same eye again a couple of days later- the emotional part of me just couldn't take it anymore. How Lord? Was all I could think, speak or imagine. To do what needs to be done. For everything to happen that needs to happen. It's official. We need a miracle. Actually, we need about ten.
I can pray. I can fast. I can praise Him. But if I do not trust- then it is all pointless. This is a spiritual symphony and there is only one conductor. I can't conduct. I don't know how. I don't have the tools, resources or the experience. I realize today as I sit and type this that He hasn't called me to conduct. He hasn't called me to orchestrate. He has called me to believe, to have faith and to trust Him in times of great adversity and in times of great blessing. My job is to lay it all down at His feet, to make a divine exchange. To put down, my own sheet music- what I want and how I think it should all be played out and pick up His. His are blank for the most part. I can read it in my minds' eye even now. Here is how it reads. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Today was a very special day indeed! Bella Grace was treated to a day in the city by some very special friends of ours for her birthday present. We saw the new Broadway hit The Little Mermaid and then went to Dylan's Candy Bar for some goodies and then off to Serendipity for an early dinner. It was over the moon. I can't imagine being five years old and having this experience. It was such a beautiful day filled with many surprises! I had the girls wear their matching mermaid costumes and the two of them caused quite a scene in the middle of Manhattan! What a blessing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Our Steps Are Ordered

Thank you Lord that Your ways are not our ways and that Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Thank you Father that You say in Your word that our steps are ordered. Oh Father pour out Your strength on the days that we want our steps our way, pour out Your helper, your sweet Holy Spirit to softly speak and to gently nudge us back onto the right path. Oh Father that You would re-direct us when we want to go our own way. When things become too complicated and life seems so unfair- it is there in that moment that we need You most.  Please surround us with Your mercy and Your grace and speak to us with great clarity that we would know that we know that it is You speaking. Your word says that the sheep know the Shepherd's voice. Oh Father, guide, lead and direct us. Help our hearts not to harden in times of great adversity. Help us to know You in a deeper way, to call on You and to cling to You and You alone in times that we are weary. We thank You that You are the one true Father. So unlike the unloving earthly Fathers so many of us have experienced. Your love is true. It is pure. It is unconditional. It is eternal. You are always there. Always leading. Always guiding. Always ordering our steps. Thank you Father that you are the beginning and the end. You are the creator of all things. I thank you that even right now, at this very moment you are creating and ordering our steps. You are making every crooked path straight. You are working all things together for our good and Your glory . Oh be glorified Father in my life and in the lives of all who are reading now. Be glorified and highly lifted up. 
- "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall,
he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand."- Psalm 37:23-24

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Texas Ya'll

I am a southerner through and through. I lived in the south my entire life and then came to the northeast practically in my wedding dress almost 8 years ago. Needless to say when the opportunity came about for our growing family to make our way back down south- we jumped at it! I love and miss the incredible food, the generous-spirited people, the warm hospitality, and the fact that just about everyone reveres our wonderful Lord and raises their children to do the same, and the list just goes on and on. I am excited but nervous all at the same time, as I am dreading being the "new girl" all over again. We are trying to sell our house here, find a house there, a new church home, a college for my oldest, a kindergarten for my 5 year old, a preschool for my three year old, a pediatrician for all of them and an ob/gyn for myself as the newest family member is due around the end of August! I am feeling a little overwhelmed these days but I am just trying to "keep the faith" as folks say. Does anyone know anything about Texas? We are moving to the Dallas area. I've only visited there and it seems wonderful. I would be so grateful for any tips, ideas, suggestions or just any information you can send my way about moving in general with a family this size. Big Daddy thinks it would be "fun" to drive from the NY area all the way to Texas in an SUV with three little kids and a very pregnant wife. I just love how adventurous he is, but I have to say, that would probably send me over the edge! I would also be grateful for any prayers you could send our way as well!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Daily Delight

I'm somewhat new to the world of blogging and was blown away by the new things I've experienced. I have truly enjoyed every minute of it. I have learned about incredible women and their families. Admired their creativity . Enjoyed whatever great finds they were kind enough to share with other bloggers and prayed many prayers for people that I may not ever have the privilege of meeting, once I read their stories, trials and breakthroughs through the land of blogging. I have also felt like a child on Christmas morning, seeing that I squeal with delight any time someone takes the time to respond or post a comment! But nothing could have prepared me for the breathtaking beauty, God given creativity and anointed Motherhood of one truly talented blogger. If you haven't already experienced Lori at A Journey To Our Daughter- brace yourself. She has what some may describe as simply an unbelievable gift. She is every bit as humble as she is talented. If you don't believe me, check out her Easter Memories Post. It is absolute beauty. She is also believing God for a very special adoption and is handling the entire situation with more grace than anyone I have ever known. Lori was the first person to ever respond to me and to leave a comment on my blog and I haven't been the same since. She is full of goodness, kindness, gentleness and has an ability to bless others with the sweetest of words. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the daily delight of A Journey To Our Daughter. It is pure bliss.