Popular Posts

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five Minute Friday-New

Today I join up with the Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday:

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:



New beginnings.. how I thank God for my own!

For new hearts forged in the fires of trial and emerging beautiful, golden creations of the Father. For new minds, clothed with strength from on High, emerging from the melting pot of a gracious God.

New beginnings.. how I pray for them for my husband's brother and his wife. That God will work the wonderful miracle that He has for us.. now for them.

That they too will have new hearts and new minds, to work towards a new life together. May He weave a chrysalis around them, protecting them from the enemy while He does His work in them.

Only God can create the  new beauty that emerges from the chrysalis. New, wet little wings spread to dry in His Light. We are  new creations... spreading our wings to fly towards Him.. up to the Light.

May He bless every New thing that He creates.. may He help us to cope with every New situation He brings us to. May we have new outlooks on our trials.. see things through his eyes and not our own.

May we have new strength each day.. embracing all God's  promises, renewed with each new dawn.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Update on Prayer Request

Hello my dear friends

I just wanted to give you a quick update.  I have been asking you to pray for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as they have been planning to end their marriage. Well, today was D-Day when they planned to tell the children and I don't know all the details but I do know that their children were devastated. Their second-born child immediately began to pray...doesn't that give you goosebumps! This boy is 11 years old and his first response was prayer! He could teach a lot of people a lesson!

Since I don't know all the details I can only assume that this, along with the tears of the other children AND all of your prayers must have started chipping away at stone hearts because they have agreed to try again. Praise the Lord!!

Thank you, thank you so much for all your prayers! Please keep them up, we aren't out of the woods yet, but I wanted to share this testimony with you. Our God is great and prayers are heard!

Thank you again!

Thankful for My Husband

Another week rolls by and here we are at Thankful Thursday again! This week I’m grateful for all the ways that God has blessed me in my marriage.

Its something that we can take for granted at times. We get comfortable with our spouses and our lives together and forget to give thanks for the many ways in which our husbands are blessings to us.  Have we told our husbands lately how we appreciate them?

With all that’s been going on in our family, I find myself reflecting more and more on this and thanking God that He relentlessly knocked on the doors of our hearts. As our days together continue to unfold, revealing the patterns that God has intricately woven to create one brilliant work from the threads of two separate lives, I feel so blessed.

I am blessed because my husband, at long last, is my best friend and I am his. He is my brother… I can talk to him for hours about stuff I wouldn’t share with anyone else (and we fight like cat and dog sometimes) He is my father…he works so hard to provide for me.. I feel safe in his arms and I can turn to him with my problems (and he can kiss it better too). He is my boyfriend… he makes me all giggly and I still blush when he teases me (and his kiss still gives me butterflies).

The bottom line…he’s the one I want to be with, the other half of the whole and… he completes me (yeah I said it!) He is.. THE MAN! The one God created for me to spend my life with... his destiny and mine are woven together by an Almighty and Loving Father.. to whom I give all my thanks and praise.

A hand to hold…in good times and bad.
Kisses to make up after a fight.
That Beauty can still calm the Beast. ;-) 
Love shining in his eyes.
Arms holding me tight.
A broad shoulder to cry on.
Walks on the beach.
Soft, warm sand and water like warm silk.
Balmy breezes and brilliant blue sky.
Watching the sun go down on a wonderful day.
Whispered prayers, holding hands all alone on the sand.
Big beautiful moon shining through trees.
For all God has wrought to make us new creations.
And for all He will do to make us even better.

My friends, tell your husbands today how much you appreciate them. Whisper a prayer of thanks to a benevolent Father who lavishes us with His blessings and please remember to whisper a little prayer for those who are struggling in their marriages, or those who are lonely, widowed or divorced. Whisper a little prayer for Nicholas and Joanna.

Thank you for your prayers ..you all shine so brightly for Jesus!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Legend of the Phoenix

Do you know the legend of the Phoenix?  According to legend, at the moment of death, this mythical bird becomes engulfed in a ball of fire and is reduced to ashes. From the ashes rises a new egg or young bird. Though a pagan legend... this is so symbolic of rebirth on many levels.  I pondered this today as I reflected on the past weekend and prayed and dealt with my own little demons. Let me explain.

My family and I had a little mini-vacation at the beach this past weekend, sharing a house with my husband's siblings and their families. We got back late on Monday night.. burnt different shades of red and brown.. some of us with 'shades tan', exhausted, a bit dehydrated and our hearts strangely full, yet burdened.

It was a time for lots of sun and sand, picking up shells and watching the others have fun on the beach.  We watched our youngest and third daughters frolicking in the water for hours.. these two have always been 'water babies'. We laughed at the four year old's attempts to 'body surf' as she tried to imitate her older cousins.

Several people were missing, including a few of the older cousins who had to work.  My two daughters on opposite ends of the globe practically.. a gaping hole in our family, quite impossible to ignore. Even while we were laughing and enjoying God's beautiful creations, we were missing the 1/3 of us to share it with.

Notably absent, like a missing puzzle piece, was my sister-in-law Jo-Anna. Her absence was a loud reminder of how deceptive and fleeting this little reprieve from daily life really is. How on the surface life seems normal and you can be playing cricket and football and roughhousing in the sea today and tomorrow your life comes crashing around you with simple words. Words that mean the end of life as you know it.. perhaps forever? 

As I shared a few walks along the beach with my husband and we also shared what was in our hearts, the thing that seemed to weigh the heaviest was the situation with his brother and sister-in-law. Oh, how heavy that tugged at our hearts. We both knew and understood that we can do nothing but pray. We looked at their children having a good time, turning almost chocolate brown under the sun and our hearts were bleeding for them.

Partly my sorrow was in the knowledge that God can fix this.. will they let him? We have tried.. even there on the beach my husband tried to talk to his brother. It seems that the door is closed.. shut firmly.. even in the face of the Lord Himself?

Oh but we all know that God can open doors once sealed so firmly.. He can unlock secrets hidden behind walls of stone... and so we pray.

Oh, but for your grace God.. this could be us! Oh but for your love and the pruning and purifying.. we could both be walking different paths right now! And that knowledge floors me, wrings me dry.. leaves me in awe of your mighty works in us.

Even as I praised Him for His beautiful gifts... the warm sand, the sparkling water that was like a sauna, the breezes, the gorgeous full moon that seemed to last forever. Even as I thanked Him for the hand holding mine and the renewal and growth of our marriage and our love.. I wept inside for the little sliver of fear that threatened to spiral up inside.. what if? 

What if I were less obedient, what if I did not find my strength in Him, what if the doors had remained closed and the stone wall unchipped? What if love had died forever, what if ears remained deaf and eyes blind and hearts closed? What if pain wrapped around like a shroud and death remained?

The He whispered, "Be still. I have made all things new for you, do not let fear overset you.  Death and Resurrection... death is painful..it is hard to watch death.. but let it be. It must be so before rebirth...as well you know!  I knock on doors relentlessly.. some day they will open to me. Even now, spirits are restless because they try to ignore my voice. Pray and wait.. my timing is always perfect. Let it go..leave it in My hands, but do not cease to pray. Even should no one else believe.. hold fast to your faith. 

And so, my friends,  I ask you to continue to pray for Nicholas and Jo-Anna. Today is the day they are telling their children that they plan to end their marriage. Your prayers gave us an extension of a week, time indeed for the Lord to work on hearts and I thank you sincerely for your efforts.

 Pray for God's will to be done.. perhaps is IS His will for complete death of this marriage so that it will rise from the ashes a beautiful new creation... just like the phoenix of legend.  We never know His purpose or understand His ways.. but we do know that there is hope.. always hope in Him.

Finding Heaven

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have SO much to be thankful to God for this past week! He  is still in the miracle business.. that's for sure!  I believe I shared with you that my daughter had been broken-hearted to go back to university.. I was pretty broken-hearted to have to send her and bottled up my own feelings to give her encouragement and support and to tell her she has to complete what she started.. at least until or unless it truly is too much for her.

Well,  believe it or not her flight was cancelled.. not once, but twice! The first time was early on Saturday morning, they rescheduled us for Wednesday afternoon. I thanked God for the extra time and she was over the moon. I vowed to spend this time speaking life into her situation and praying to God for strength for her as well as for us, her parents.

Her mood darkened yesterday as the time drew near to leave. Her father came home half day to take us up to the airport and just as we were getting ready to leave, he said that a text message had come through saying that the flight was delayed for a few hours. She was overjoyed... a spark came back into her eyes. She even agreed to go with me to visit Jesus in the Chapel. I felt that the extra time was God-given for me to fulfill a promise I'd made to Him to bring her before Him, so we went. We could only spend 30 minutes but I felt that I had received Word for her.

We got back home and I went upstairs to get the two younger girls. I heard my husband laughing out loud and when I came to investigate, he said "The flight's been cancelled."  We were totally incredulous at this point! She started laughing too and the wheels in my mind just started to turn on high speed... "Lord, what does this mean.. twice? Are you trying to tell us something here?" My husband was thinking the same thing.

 Especially after reading this article* that was sent to us by a dear priest, we are honestly praying for discernment. We are taking the next few precious days to pray together and try to see what God's will is in this situation. Meanwhile, my daughter says if they cancel or delay the flight again.. that's it! She says nobody has to tell her something three times for her to get the message. So, dear friends, I'm kindly asking you to pray for us as well, that God will give us the answers we seek in this.

Meanwhile I'm counting my blessings:

A mysterious rattle in the car just disappeared (it will get checked soon).
Prayers of  friends.
Prayers of people I have never even met before.
That my second-born daughter could go to Spain for World Youth Day.
Watching her walk through the doors to the departure area.
Knowing this is but the first step to her new adventures as a young adult.
Tears as we part, seeing the sisterly love flowing.
The smell of freshly washed clothes.
Sun drying clothes.. me saving on the dryer and electricity bill.
Baking my own bread... the smell of  it just filling the house.
Flight cancellations!
Praying with my daughter.
Time in front of Jesus.
Finally hearing from my daughter in Spain.. she's great by the way.

Lord, thank you most of all that you never abandon us, you never stop pursuing us and, even in the trials, we can see your grace and your love.

*If anyone has any thoughts they'd like to share, please do! You can e-mail me lo.supersunshine@gmail.com

God bless and lets all shine brightly for Jesus!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Look Through His Eyes

I had yet another visit to the dentist yesterday. (Take note friends... this is what 12 years of NOT visiting the dentist has done!)

As I lay on the chair waiting and waiting for the novocaine to take effect, this song came on.  Am I the only one who gets teary eyed looking at children's movies? I'm a real push-over.. have been since my childhood and the days of Lassie and Flipper. I cried when I took them to see Lion King and virtually every movie that carried poignant messages of faith, hope, love and endurance.

Well, this time when the tears came it was because the words struck deep and resonated within me. (I see a pattern here... its not the first time God has used music.. and secular music at that.. to minister to me.) I want to share with you what God placed in my heart.

There are things in life you learn, all in time you'll see. Out there somewhere, its all waiting... if you keep believing

He whispers:  Life is constantly throwing things your way.. learning experiences, some so hard they could break you,  you'll be alright...if you keep the faith.

There will be times in this  journey.. all you see is darkness. Somewhere out there daylight finds you.. if you keep believing.

He whispers: The darkness of evil, temptation and the trials of daily life will give way to the brightness of hope and salvation.. if you keep the faith.

All the things you can change.. there's a meaning in everything.

He whispers: There's a purpose to everything that I allow to happen to you... a purpose to every place I bring you to.  You have the power to change the world around you, the power to affect those whose lives you touch.

You will find all you need.. there's so much to understand.

He whispers: You may never understand my ways or my purpose, but I will supply all your needs. I will empower you to do whatever I ask of you.

Don't run, don't hide.. it will be alright. Trust me, you'll see... I'll be there watching over you!

He whispers: Take courage, trust in Me. I have never abandoned you and I will always be right here.. watching over you!

Take a look through my eyes.. there's a better place somewhere out there. Just take a look through my eyes, everything changes...you'll be amazed what you'll find.

He whispers: If you could only see through My eyes.. the eyes of My Spirit.. you would see things in a different light. Amazing things! You will see the hope in situations. You will see the beauty in brokenness, the joy in the sorrows, the lessons to be learnt from the trials. You will see ME in all of life, you will know My presence, feel My hand upon you, experience My Peace. You would find courage, gain strength, be obedient in all things and love as I want you to love, forgive as I want you to forgive.
Open your eyes, my daughter and see ME NOW!

My friends, I pray that we can all open our eyes and see, no longer through our own, but through His and we will see HIM in all things!

Linking up with:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Garlic Cheese Bread

Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for a favourite bread in my household. (I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures.. my family gobbled them up before I could get one) ;-)

I decided to make my own bread again, after the prices of bread went up and everyone in my family felt that it just simply isn’t worth paying those prices for bread that isn’t even of a good quality.

Frankly, I only stopped because of time constraints and how hectic life became. There is just nothing like the smell of fresh bread out of the oven! I’m sure you all agree on that one… plus there is something therapeutic in the kneading of dough... especially in the quiet early morning hours.

In a most timely fashion, the Browneyed baker put out her most favourite bread recipes. They look SO good. You can check them out here.

Now on to my recipe:

Garlic Cheese Bread


2 ½ cups milk
3 Tbs margarine or butter
1 Tbs instant yeast
2 tsp salt* (if you are watching your salt intake, omit this as cheese has plenty already)
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs garlic powder
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 ¼ cups flour (approx.)


Heat milk until lukewarm and butter or margarine is melted. Pour into a large bowl and add sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve. Stir in grated cheese, garlic powder, salt and 3 cups of the flour, stirring well.

Gradually add remainder of flour, kneading until smooth. Place in a well-greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk away from drafts ( I put mine in a cupboard).

Punch down dough and leave for a little while until almost doubled again, then turn onto lightly floured board and divide into two* and shape into loaves. (This will give you two large hand molded loaves).

Bake in preheated oven at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes (time will vary according to your own oven… mine gets super hot really quickly)

Variation: You can add sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary or basil to this recipe to get a deliciously different flavour... the possibilities are endless!

*This recipe actually gives me three 9x5 loaves, 2 larger loaves that I braid at times for a different look or smaller, thinner ones that I turn into garlic bread.  I hope you have fun baking this…I guarantee it will not stay in the kitchen for long!

 Linking up today with:

Growing Home

Monday, August 8, 2011

Courage.. It is I!

A few friends of mine link up to Graceful for the purpose of sharing what they learn at Church on Sundays or just sharing what they are learning spiritually.

I decided to link up for the first time this week because of the wonderful sermon I heard this weekend. It was a message I thought we could all benefit from hearing and so I'm going to share it with you.

The gospel this week was from Matthew 14:22-23.  I don't remember all of Father George's words exactly but I'll try to recreate his homily.

After ministering to a large crowd, Jesus was tired and stayed behind to rest and to pray , He sent His disciples ahead of Him and they set out in the boat on the lake. The water became treacherous as the winds became fierce and Jesus recognized that His friends were in trouble, so He walked out on the water to meet them. Jesus never took His eyes off of His disciples.. He knew exactly what was happening to them. He never takes His eyes off of us.. He always knows what is happening to us too.

                                         Christ Walking on the Waters by Julius Klever, high resolution image

As Jesus approached on the water, the disciples cried out in fear. Their minds could not accept that anything other than a ghost could walk on water, so that is what they presumed Jesus' presence to be. Jesus cried out . "Courage, it is I!" These words are the same words Jesus tells us everyday when we are facing difficulties.

The disciples were in danger of drowning.. we are also in danger of drowning in our trials.. debt, illness, marital problems, financial instability. Sometimes we fear being shipwrecked and lost in the constant storms of life. Yet Jesus is telling us "Courage, it is I!"  He is telling us to keep our eyes on Him and not on our situations. He is telling us that He sees and knows our fears and our struggles and that He is with us always.

ALWAYS... even when we sin God does not turn His eyes away from us. What an awesome thing to know! When Father said these words I felt my heart tremble at the awesome truth of it.

When Peter heard the Lord's voice, he said "Lord if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water." Peter knew in His heart that Jesus would make this possible, so when the Lord said "Come", he got out of the boat and began to walk. When the realization hit him of where he was and what danger he was in, he totally lost his courage and his faith wavered and he began to sink.

Sometimes, we step out of our boats, we step out on the limb because our faith tells us that we can do all things in Christ, but then we make a fatal error. We look down.. we look down at how desperate or impossible our situations may be and our faith wavers, we wobble on that branch or start sinking in the water.

Peter cried out.. "Lord, save me!" and immediately Jesus grabbed his hand and held him saying, "Man of little faith, why did you doubt?" Jesus acknowledged that Peter had faith, but that this faith needed to grow and be made strong. Strong enough to believe in that which may be impossible, but is made possible through God.

Jesus Christ saving in water a person lost faith prayed for help lord saved beautiful Christian religious picture download free ship sink cried stretched hand save me

In our own situations which may often seem hopeless.. do we cry out  "Lord save me!"?  Do we lift our eyes up to Him and grab for His hand? Sometimes we fail to recognize His hand, we sink, we fall because we allow our problems and obstacles to become bigger than our faith, to blind us to the power that God extends to us when He extends His hand.

I have found in my own experiences that it is the trials that have honed my faith, sharpened and expanded it. It is an ongoing process.. one that will never be finished until the day I, hopefully, meet my Maker.

Father George shared a story of faith and courage with us to illustrate his point. I will share my own with you. Nine years ago my husband lost his job. He was given  renumeration that was the equivalent of about 6 months' salary. Our children were in a private school with extensive fees and we had (still have) a mortgage to pay and credit card debt. The months stretched on and we were as frugal as we could be but no job was forthcoming.

We continued to pray, trusting in God and the covenant He had formed with us. We believed that He would take care of us, no matter what. As it came down to the eighth month and the last of the money would be finished, our relatives became increasingly anxious for us, but we believed that God would take us down to the end and somehow the door He had in mind for us would open. It was HARD keeping this faith, believe me, but somehow  His Grace kept us calm and trusting.

Within that last month, a letter came in the mail. You have to understand that this is VERY unusual. Job interviews  are usually set up via telephone. This letter was requesting my husband to attend an interview. Down to the last wire, the Lord had come through for us! My husband got this job, and we were able to maintain the lifestyle we had had before.

God rewards our faithfulness and our faith. I truly loved Father's sermon this weekend and I wanted to share this joyful message with you. God is bigger than our problems! God is with us ALWAYS! He is the only thing that we can truly and completely depend upon.

The storms of life may rock our little boats, but if we keep our eyes on Him and have courage, we will see that His hand is always outstretched, always there for us to grab on to.

the lord on high mighter than the noise of many waters than the mighty waves of the sea psalm 93:4 yeah sexy christian Jesus wallpapers Christ download free gallery on the sea verse desktop background hot snaps

Sunday, August 7, 2011


My daughter has a little wrist-band with this acronym P.U.S.H. Many of you may know what it stands for:

Pray Until Something Happens

My friends.. this is an urgent prayer request. My husband and I just discovered that his brother and sister-in-law are about to end their marriage. This marriage suffered a serious trial 8 years ago and though they have done counselling etc. it has obviously never been healed. We, therefore, go to the throne of Grace.. to the only one who CAN heal.

I want to ask you please to join us in praying for Nicholas and Joanna. A marriage of 16 years is in jeopardy, three children's hearts are going to be broken. God can do anything.. this we know and believe with all our hearts. We don't believe that He would wish ANY marriage that was blessed at an altar to be destroyed.

We will pray, however, for His will to be done in this as in all situations.

Please help us to P.U.S.H dear friends.. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.

God bless!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Whole

Linking up with the Gypsy Mama today. Here's what she has to say:

I love words.
I love how you weave words together.
Your story matters. It impacts my story.
So let your words and your story breathe today. Take five minutes and just write without criticizing your words, yourself or your story. Just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
  1. Write your words without editing them.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to come and share their unedited stories too.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and compliment the person who shared right before you.
Easy peasy. OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:



Whole.. I'm only whole when He breathes on me.. when I sit and soak Him up.

I need Him as I need air to breathe.. He gives me strength to keep on doing this climb.. this hard, never-ending climb to the perfection He calls me to.

I am whole... when I can be what He calls me to be.. despite the obstacles of  what is woven into my skin..my own insecurities and fears and doubts. I am whole because I have Him as my security blanket, my safety net.

I am whole... when I can reach beyond the things I can see... to see the things He wants me to see.. not with my  eyes but with my heart.

I am whole... when I give what He asks me to give..all of myself.. poured out as a libation.. an offering on His behalf.

I am whole... when I can love as He calls me to love.. with everything.. my heart broken and offered on the altar of forgiveness and patience and grace.. yet healed by His loving touch.

I am whole.. because He makes me so.. no matter what I try to write for myself.. His hand holds the pen of my life.. He writes my future, rewrites my past and gives me the script for the present.

I am whole.. because I am His child.. He holds my hand as I walk through the brokenness that life causes me to experience.. he mends all the cracks and makes me whole again.


Hop on over to The Gypsy Mama's place and have some fun reading and/or linking up your own 5 minute post. It is so liberating to just write whatever comes to mind and know you'll be forgiven any errors!

Hope you all have a blessed and happy weekend with your loved ones. Shine on shine strong for Jesus!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time Flies.. Blessings Rain Down

Here I am.. counting down days.. days until my eldest goes back to college.. days until  my second born flies off to Spain.. days until the bills are due.

These days I have a love-hate relationship with the clock. Time just seems to be spinning out of control.. I look at my youngest and realize in just a few weeks she'll be in school, wearing a uniform and getting homework. I just can't wrap my mind around that!

I look at her all long-legged, lanky growing bigger, even as she spins and leaps and does her 'ballet' and 'gymnastics' moves for us.  Even as she wraps up her dollies in anything she can find and puts them in the drawers of her dresser to sleep and sprinkles powder everywhere! I know the innocence wont last and I'm counting down the days.. my heart both full of pride and joy in her and sadness at what is to come.

(Has anyone noticed I deliberately did not mention how I cannot wrap my mind around saying goodbye to my eldest two? I'm sure you get it!)

I am so thankful for these days.. with all my girls at home together. You should see my husband's face when he walks in the door and gets all these girls screaming "Daddy!" I think he's just as happy with my youngest jumping on him joyfully as with the older ones' teasing and chatter.

Counting down the days and counting down the blessings:

The sound of rain falling on the roof.
Thunder and lightning and chilly darkness.
Watching birds flock to eat fruit off of the roof of my shed in the back.
Squeals and giggles.. belly laughs and all!
Road trips together.. a husband who takes a whole day off just to take a drive with his girls.
A LONG weekend.. four days together and endless to do.
Going to the movies and shopping ... girl trip!
My mother's 74th birthday celebration.. time spent with my own siblings.
My in-laws' 53rd anniversary...chats with his parents.
A 'show' put on by my youngest.. laughing until I cry.
A 14 year old playing dress up with her little sister.. priceless!
Playing card games for candy... laughing late into the night.
Precious moments spent in heart to hearts.
A sweet text message from hubby.
Going to church with all four daughters.. a miracle and my greatest blessing this week!

Thank God for grace and for His provision.. I treasure all these blessings in my heart and I'm so grateful for a place to share them with others.

May you all be richly blessed by God and may your blessings spill over so you can shine brightly for Jesus!

Linking up with the lovely ladies at:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Love Is.. Part 2

Love is... #4

Love is... loving the rainy days as much as the sunny ones.

Love is... for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, in richness or in poverty.

Love is...sharing the joys and caring in the sorrows... embracing the whole.

Love is... swallowing your pride in big whole chunks.. choking back the 'self'.

Love is...laying yourself bare, faults and all, child-like and trusting and hoping for grace.

Love is... taking a risk, breathless with wonder at how vulnerable you are.

Love is.. bending and doing this little dance of give and take..maybe giving more and taking less.

Love is.. taking another's burden upon yourself, even if yours is heavy enough.

Love is... persevering, tenacious.. holding on by a thread, hoping the other threads get caught up before it can break.

Love is.. the breaking of hearts that mend into purer vessels with greater capacity to love and to give.

Love is...pouring out yourself.. all of yourself, running rivulets of  sacrificial love into the streams of others.

Love is... giving grace, forgiveness, loving what seems to be unlovable.

Love is...when another's life becomes more important than your own.

Love is... laying down your own hopes and dreams so theirs can be fulfilled.

Love is...a gift.. straight from the Father's Hands.

Love is...emulating He who did all these things... for us... the broken, imperfect, ungrateful.

Today I want to celebrate what love truly is:

 My friend Kristin who has a heart for the homeless and, not only is part of a blanket ministry, but is working on telling their stories to the world.

My friend Tami.. sitting at her daughter's hospital bedside, pouring out her love, praying  and willing her to be well. Setting aside her own physical challenges to give to her loved one.

Women with a heart for adopting the orphaned or unwanted.

An outpouring of love and support from the Christian Community to a young mother.

Women who grieve reaching out to comfort each other.

A blogger friend  taking a moment to reach out to the elderly.

Young couples who have to separate so he can do his duty to his country.

Showing kindness and compassion to another young mom. This same person has an exceptional heart for missionary work.

To all these women, ordinary moms who serve an extra-ordinary God who gives them the grace to be exceptional and to all of you my blogger friends..each unique in her own way.. I wish you a day filled with love, laughter and peace.

Shine brightly for Jesus!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Black Hole of Cyberspace

Media Monday is back again.. welcome to the month of August! Does anyone else feel like time is on power-boost?  Today is my mother's birthday and reading Courtney's post brought a smile to my face. As she recounted her grandmother's accounts of how chickens used to be delivered .. I recalled my own grandmother who raised chickens and my mother's own experiences.

Let's just say that she was the one chasing down the chicken in the backyard for her brother to do the dirty work. She also had the lovely tasks of  cleaning up the coops and climbing under the house to clean droppings or fetch runaway hens or stray cats (houses used to be built on pillars back then).

Well, on to the meat of this post... how does media affect our homemaking. First-off, let me say that without a doubt the things I've learned from others here have really changed the way I look at my homemaking and it could be both positive and negative.

Blogs such as Women Living Well,  Time Warp Wife,  Raising Homemakers and Joyful Mothering  have really set the bar higher for me and I've challenged myself to do things differently.  Its been great to learn new things and get tips from other mothers. On the negative side... sometimes I can feel a little intimidated when I see how well some people appear to be managing their homes compared with myself.  Its easy enough to click on other blogs and see beautiful pictures and read about how other mothers are so well-organized.  Its easy to get sucked into the myth that their lives are perfect and mine is not.

There is also the very real challenge of being distracted from our chores by the media...Courtney was very honest here. I also tend to read about things while not doing them. Recently I signed on for three different challenges.. hoping to motivate myself to become more organized and productive, lose weight and increase my biblical knowledge.  I think you can guess what happened.. I ended up reading about everyone else's progress and having nothing much change from my end.

I've come to realize that the internet is like this black hole that can suck you in.. there's always some link to click on.. you tell yourself that you'll only read a couple of blogs and then get on to your chores. The next thing you know its almost lunch time and you've still got laundry in the washer and dishes in the sink and you start pulling your hair out to get it all done.. anyone can relate?

All in all though.. I love being part of the blogging world. I love reading other women's ideas and seeing beautiful pictures. I love getting new recipes and seeing a different perspective on things. You ladies inspire me to do better and quite a lot of you share your own struggles too.. so I know I'm not alone in my challenges.

Now, its really tempting to keep reading from my blog feed, but  I'd better go get started on my mother's birthday cake!  Speaking of which I saw a great recipe on  browneyedbaker  that I want to try out...sigh.. I'll 'see' you all later.