Monday, September 17, 2012

Thoughtful Words

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." ~ Proverbs 12:25

I am one who is highly affected by words. Words can direct me down a lonely, frightening path OR they can lift me up to heights unimaginable. Sometimes the words aren't necessarily even spoken either. Sometimes words can make their way out of a person simply by their actions. Again, both in negative and positive ways.

Our pastor spoke at church yesterday about our tongues. Our tongues are small, yet they are so powerful. One slip of the tongue can lead to disaster that can take a forever length of time to mend. Just the same, one encouraging word goes a very long distance too. Do I encourage often enough? I want to. Do I single the important people in my life out and every now and then SAY something (notice how I didn't say DO something) that lifts them up to unimaginable places? I really want to.

Since I sometimes feel the victim in being the one who isn't lifted up, I desire to be the one who is always doing this for others. It's hard, I have to admit. Life is crazy fast. A lot of days I feel like I'm just on a merry-go-round that doesn't stop. It spins, and I spin with it. I want to take the time to hop off and take a break from the spinning. I need to focus in on people. People that I love dearly. People that I pass in hallways. People that need encouragement!

"Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say." ~ Ecclesiastes 10:20

Isn't it so easy for us to let our words turn sour? I know I catch myself complaining and even in that moment when I catch myself, I wonder, "Why?" Don't I know by now that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? I think the same thing can be said about our hearts. It takes more emotion out of us to get caught in the negative than it does to bask in the positive. My words on the inside need to be thought out too. When words on the inside are thought out carefully, then they will come out of us in a much more pleasing way. Pleasing to those that hear us, but mostly pleasing to the Lord.

At this present time I feel like I'm a part of "Thoughtful Words Boot Camp". I am learning. I am learning to put others before me. I am learning that the will of God is something not to be fought with, but something to carefully and thoughtfully accept and live out. I need to focus more on living it out through my words. I need to use thoughtful words with others to lift them. I need to be careful about the words that I choose to allow inside of my own head and heart. Whether they come from someone else, or from myself... Do they belong? If not, then let them go.

"... A kind word cheers him up." I pray that I am always the giver of cheer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Letter

My Dear Sons...

Your infancy has been on my mind with the recent event of your sweet little cousin entering the world last week. If you have wondered why I have been caught staring at you for long periods of time, then this letter should explain everything. I can never say enough times how quickly you have grown! Your little fingers were wrapped around mine, and now my little fingers get lost in the palms of your big hands. Your eyes used to look to me for answers on this big world we live in, and now I find myself looking to you for answers that are new to me. Time has continued it's grand march, and it has taken you right along with it.

I hear all the time what beautiful creatures you are. Not just on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside. The compliments come from many and sometimes are only heard by a few. My heart swells each time though... No matter how many others are there to hear about how you stand out. You are young men now with hearts so big. People see that. People notice. I want you to know that. Your dad and I have told you, but I want you to really know. Your kind and generous spirits speak volumes to a world that needs more like you. I stare at you and sometimes just marvel at you. How did this happen? How did you grow up to be the kind that stand out the way you so obviously do?

It would be almost easy for me to take a lot of the credit. All of the days sitting around the wood stove talking about how Jesus cares about our character the most. "Anyone can be a rocket scientist, but not everyone can be well liked and respected for the person they are," I would say as your ears listened intently. At the time I wasn't sure you even understood what I was talking about. You were pretty young... This was pretty grown up stuff. You listened though. That's plain to see. It would probably be just as easy for your dad to take a lot of credit too. He has been only the best role model a dad can be. He is a hard worker and he ADORES his family. He has exemplified putting his family first and being there for you in all kinds of ways. He has coached you on soccer fields and baseball fields. He has taught you how to shoot a gun and how to hold a door open for a lady. He has made sure that you knew how to respect and admire those older and wiser. Yes... It could be that your dad and I have everything to do with what beautiful young men you are. But no, not really...

As I've looked back on the pages of your baby books and journals over the last week, I notice a common thread. The three of you have been covered in very specific prayers since the day we knew about your tiny life growing within me. We prayed about your physical growth and well being, of course. However, the bulk of the prayers were about your faith and character. We prayed that first and foremost you would be God loving boys who would grow to be God loving men. We knew that if you loved the Lord and if you feared Him in the way that we are supposed to fear Him, that you would be exceptional people.

Remembering back a few years, I think of times when I would go to my bedside and literally be on my knees over specific issues regarding each of you. I would dig out these journals of mine and pray those same exact prayers that I prayed while I was pregnant with you. Today, I do much the same. The journals are in a box somewhere. Someday we will feel settled enough again to un-pack everything. I don't need the journals to pray. All I need is a small space of quiet and a few minutes. God has listened all of these years.... This I know. He is the one who gets the glory for who you are and who you are still becoming.

I am well aware that the days of being knelt over my bedside while praying over your lives are not over. There will still be many. I want you to know though, that I will never stop making that my priority. Your spiritual wellness will always come first. For if you are well in Spirit, then every other part of you will be well also. No matter how many other things may creep into my days and try to steal me away from you, I will always be praying on your behalf. I have always considered that to be number one in importance as your mother. It will remain as such until my dying day.

So if you catch me staring, you know why. I am not staring at the dirt that you may have stuck to the side of your cheek. I am not wanting to lecture you on the clever schemes that you may be up to. I am not gazing at the boy-ish grin that you have so perfected. I am simply staring at you in amazement... Amazed at the glory of God that shines through you so vividly. A million times would not be enough to tell you how proud I am of each of you.

So that's what has been on my mind lately. I see little 'E' and I still see YOU... All wrapped up in your little "burrito bundles" ready to take on the world. You're a bit larger now, and burrito bundles are far behind us, but the world is still in front of you and ready to be changed by who you are. Continue being true. Keep being all that God has made of you, and never be fearful of where He may be taking you next. You will always have me praying you through every twist and turn.

I love you so much...


Thursday, September 6, 2012


It is now time to FINALLY announce that....


The sweetest nephew in the world came into our lives Tuesday night this week. He is completely adorable and he has captured yet another pocket of my heart that I never knew existed. As I sit here typing these words on my keyboard, I miss him TERRIBLY. He's only a few minutes down the road, but it seems like he's on another planet!

I was there for his birth and what a miraculous treat that was! Witnessing birth from another perspective (other than that of being the mommy who is delivering) is something to behold. I witnessed my incredible sister labor for several hours without the aid of any medicine to take the pain away. I witnessed her amazing strength and stamina as she pushed this little life into the world. I witnessed my brother in law's heart being strong and stretched at the same time. This man is the definition of selflessness and help in a time of need. He was quite a sight. I am SO proud of both of them!

Then I witnessed this little baby boy come into our lives all at once.... Different capacities of course, but he has definitely changed ALL of our lives forever. Little E... Your Auntie Mimi (that's me) loves you so very much. I can't wait to share life together. I can't wait to be your Auntie. I have waited for you and wanted you for so long... And now you are here. We will have an incredible amount of fun together!

I am a happy woman. I am finally an Auntie. Another boy to love, adore, kiss and spoil (yes E, I plan on doing plenty of that). Life is good...

Oh, but God? HE IS GRAND!