My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Applaud the Hard Things

Somewhere along the way I have adopted the phrase, "We can do hard things."  When the girls come upon a task that seems daunting, I remind them, too, "We can do hard things."

This morning, baby girl was asked to clean up all the baby doll stuff.  She took one look at all the clothes, toys, and babies on the floor and decided, then declared, "I can't; there's too much."  To which I replied, "Yes, you can!  You can do hard things.  Just do a little at a time and it will get easier and easier."  I then went to the laundry room.  When I emerged, there was baby girl sitting at the kitchen table, working a puzzle.  I looked in the living room floor, expecting to see lingering baby items.  Instead, I only saw three books.

"Wow!  You did a hard thing!"

She just kept working the puzzle.  But I wanted her to recognize and celebrate her victory.  So, I prodded on.

"You didn't think you could pick up all the baby stuff, but you did!  Give me fives!!!"

Then she smiled, looked up at me, and slapped my hand over and over.

And I realized that I need to applaud the hard things in my life too.  It doesn't take much to stop me in my tracks these days.  An overflowing kitchen sink, a full laundry room, a full schedule...any of these can seem like I have a mountain to climb before bedtime.  So, next time a mountain of clothes or dishes or errands is under my feet, I am going to stop and celebrate the God who gives me strength to climb mountains, be that large or small.

"They go from strength to strength, til each appears before God in Zion."  Psalm 84:7.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Because We're All Wounded

The truth is I've had a rough couple of days.  It started Saturday when I heard that another lady had lost her battle with ALS.  And even though I knew she had won a great victory over death that day through the blood of Christ, I wept for her family and--for the first time--my family and me.

Then I went to church on Sunday.  And as much as I tried to keep my focus on God, I was distracted by my wounds.  And the wounds of those around me.  And I wanted to just interrupt the order of songs and offerings and speaking to beg my sisters and brothers to their knees.  I wanted us all to embrace each other with our pain and our gaping wounds and not be afraid to have another's blood and dirt touch the nice, clean garments that covered up our own blood and dirt.  I wanted us to minister to each other's wounds before we went on with the great matter of worship.  Because isn't the what Jesus would do for us?  Clean us up so we could worship Him?  I mean, isn't it because He cleans us up that we want to worship Him?  And when our wounds are acknowledged and then bandaged by a servant of Christ, we want to sing a song of thanksgiving to the One Who sent His bondservant to our aid, the One Who Is our Healer and Encourager.

Then my man leaves for a week and my house is up-side-down and I have meetings and soccer games and fall parties to help with.  And I'm grumpy and I'm tired.  And I'm still mourning the loss of my brother and the loss of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have sought another hospital for their wounds.  And I'm still wounded.

And I don't want to write because I don't want to be honest and I don't want people to know the junk I carry around inside me.  But then, who is going to be the first one to open their nice clean garments and expose their wound and cry for help?  God is the Great Physician, yes.  But He sends his PA's to partner with him in pain management and healing.  And we're all wounded.  And there is help all around us in the church.

And yet we cover up the gash and put on clean coverings and walk around, hurting and broken and too ashamed to admit we are bleeding in the dark, secret places.

Because everyone else looks so clean.

And sometimes the best gift we can give to our visibly clean but deeply wounded sister is our whole broken selves.

"Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."  Galatians 6:2


Ann Voskamp has become passionate about seeing the broken church healed and prepared for the return of Christ.  Read HER THOUGHTS HERE and the thoughts of one of her contributing writers HERE in "Why it's okay to really need each other."

Because if we can't admit our struggles, how can anyone ever trust us with theirs?

And it goes beyond the church.  Those who are searching for a Savior will be much more interested in ours if they hear about how much He has saved us and how He is saving us still.

We have just got to be real.


Attitude of Gratitude:

#281.  A beautiful time at the pumpkin patch with my beautiful 3-year old princess
#282.  Distance and time, because they make the heart grow fonder
#283.  Toys all over my floor, because they remind me that we are richly blessed
#284.  Crunchy, fallen leaves and mums (285) and pumpkins (286) and warm sunshine (287) and left-over potato soup (288) and a late harvest of peppers (289) and trading goods with my brothers and sisters like the early church (290; Acts 2:44-45)