Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Candy or Drawings Anyone?

Creative Mind meets
Entrepreneur meetsHeart for Missions
Love these Girls!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where do you hold your Cup?

Motherhood is an incredibly complicated endeavor. It has made us into remarkable women. But somehow, in the scramble of details and production, we begin to expect that impressive accomplishment will fill our souls. When it doesn’t we turn to the people who are closest to us and desperately charge them with the assignment. Little by little, over the years, we can unwittingly turn our eyes from our Savior to ourselves, our circumstances, and our families.

Where do you hold your cup? Do you expect that your husband will fill your soul? Do you hear yourself say, "My children are my life”? Have you been waiting to start living until you can get your house organized the carpets replaced, and enough things to make you feel happy? Will one more promotion at work finally fill you up? Have you imposed huge expectations on everyone in your life, waiting for them to fill your cup?

Here is the truth that will set you free. None of those things, none of the people in your life, not even your awesome husband and your cute children, will ever fill the cup of your soul. Remember, you were made for God. Jesus is the only answer for your empty soul. This one great truth as built a spiritual fire in my life and my children from years of therapy. I am telling you, when it finally clicks, when you finally live in the fullness of Christ alone, your life will radically change.

When you aren’t depending on your husband to fill you up, then he can make mistakes and you are still okay. He can say the wrong thing, and you can forgive him quickly. He can struggle and question his direction, and you don’t fall into despair. He can be your partner and your friend, because he does not have to be your Savior.

When you are living in the fullness of Christ, your children are being sloshed with His grace and tenderness. You can set standards, maintain discipline, and raise them by the mercy of Jesus. They don’t’ have to play the sports you wanted to play or choose your career path. They can follow eh calling of their hearts. They can disappoint you and bear the scars of your pride and your pain. They can grow up to be vibrant, indepent-thinking, loving adults because they did not have to be your Savior.

These are the days when I know for sure that the Lord is present and near. I can sense His indwelling and peace, and yet I still ache for more. I have confidently learned to whisper to myself in those moments, “This is my heart longing for home” Sometimes I cry, yearning for what is to come, and sometimes I smile, finding great comfort in remembering that I was made for the glory of heaven. Our season of motherhood can be radically transformed if we will bring the empty cup of our souls and hold it out to the life-giving water of Jesus. He isn’t just all that we have; He is more than enough.

(This entire blog entry was taken from the book "Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul" by Angela Thomas. It is the book we are studying in Mothers Felloship this Fall. The chapter that had this excerpt in it really resignated with me...thought it might with you too. :) )

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Girls of Grace Share Hope

Had the fabulous *Girls of Grace* group over this week. This is a group of gals that continues to inspire me, encourage me, and spur me on to good works for the Lord (Hebrews 10:24).

This year's *Girls of Grace* theme is I Peter 3:15 (see below). Each girl is asked to share with the group why she has the hope that she has. It has been fascinating to hear how God has worked so creatively & mightily in each of our lives!
To take the time to look back over our lives and see His Hand in each stage and season is so awesome! To dig deep and realize where those nuggets are that truly gave us the hope that we have. When did we feel God the most...the least? When did we finally, truly surrender to Him? Or, are we still trying to get to that point? Why in the world do we believe what we believe?
I want to encourage you to take the time to meditate on this very question yourself. It's not just a suggestion, it's actually a commandment in God's Word. We are to be ready at any moment to share with others why we have hope. Anyone can argue the Bible, but no one can argue your story. Your personal story could be the very nugget to help someone else make that life-changing decision.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
I Peter 3:15

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A *Sooner* or Later Boomer

I recently told my hubby that I would really like to try to make an OU Football Game at some point this year...never imagining that the day would come so quickly!
A MOST generous and loving friend of ours gifted us with 4 tickets to today's OU/Florida State game! Our older two kiddo's were excited to get to join us!! The whole experience was so emotional for me because well...I'm almost embarrassed to say...I have not been to an OU football game in 16 years!
How is that possible you might say? Well, because I wasn't crazy about the sport in college (and keep in mind we weren't that good back then), so I would give away my student tickets and find something more entertaining to do with my time.
And, as an adult...well, I just kept having babies...nursing babies...caring for babies. There was just no time to give up an entire day to go do such a thing!
Well, today was the day! After 13 1/2 years of being away from the town of Norman, it was a powerful trip down Memory Lane. I had innumerable emotions & thoughts flooding my mind!
I also had NO IDEA what Amazing Fans OU alumni are! I had never seen such energy and dedication in my life!! The tailgating, the clothing, the chanting, the cheering. I have to say, it was a little moving. I have never gotten that into the whole OU Fan(-atic) thing, but it was a bit contagious. :)
I couldn't help but think how delighted God would be to have people cheer for Him the way they cheered for a group of young guys in helmets holding a brown leather ball. Oooh, how we could affect the world with that kind of energy for our faith!
The game was super fun, but I was looking even more forward to showing Will & Abby where Greg and I lived during our time at OU.
So we took a walk down Elm Street...our first stop, the Sigma Chi House. Still praising God that my H.S. Sweetheart decided to transfer to OU from KU his sophomore year. Without that decision, I don't think I would be writing this blog post today.
This Fraternity touched Greg in some incredible ways...including his faith.
Then, just a couple more houses down, we arrived to my house. The Pi Beta Phi house. Oh my gosh...I cannot tell you how bizarre it was to take my 9 year old daughter into a house that I spent my last 3 years of college living in!
I couldn't resist the urge to "ANGEL" her for our party pic! :)
I took Abby on a tour and showed her the dining room, living room, and hallways and hallways of bedrooms. We then came across the wooden plaques from the years that I was there. This was the one from my senior year. The year her Daddy of the BEST years of my life!
We couldn't depart without making a stop at one of my most favorite college joints...THE MONT. I think I definitely spent more nights there than any other place! Oooh, the swirls and queso...unbelievably good! Sadly, this mid-thirty Momma of 4 was unable to partake in such indulgences...just not in the diet anymore. :(
Again, I was impressed by all the crimson & cream wear.
What a day! A last minute, spur of the moment, adventure that we'll always cherish!
I just can't believe we could be there moving Will into the dorms in just 7 short years! (No offense dedicated Sooners, but I'm crossing my fingers he goes for ORU or TU! I need my babies near me!!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Are you a Supermom Wannabe?

Did you wake up one day to realize you are right smack in the season of parenthood? Right in the middle of the craziest, most labor-intensive, exhilarating thing you have ever done?! Are you like me, and every other Mom I've met, and want to do a good job? Or shall I say PERFECT job?

I want to be the best mom ever to whip up a gourmet dinner, throw the best 1st grade class party ever, fold the laundry, visit ailing relatives, be the reliable carpool driver, volunteer at church, make my own birthday party invitations while scrapbooking our last vacation, the list goes on and on...

Some days we can begin thinking that we are SuperMom: able to do all things on our own strength, able to leap every obstacle in a single bound, able to love and give until we are completely empty.
The harsh truth about Supermom wannabes is they fail. They do not fail for lack of trying. They fail because they have misinterpreted the calling. The calling of motherhood is NOT to be Supermom. The calling of motherhood is to be a WOMAN OF GOD TO OUR CHILDREN.

A lot of us operate from some unwritten list of requirements for great mothering:

Love God. Check.

Love your family. Check.

Manage your home. Check.

Care for your soul. Huh?

Most of us haven't really thought about it lately, but the ache in our heart that will not go away is our soul crying out for attention. I know it sounds impossible. I know that our life is incredibly busy. But it is imperative that we stop and find Jesus in all of this.

That thought of waking up in about 20 or 30 years and realizing what I have missed. I don't mean missing a baseball game or a school play. I mean completely missing the whole purpose of belonging to Jesus.

There is precious counsel and comfort that comes from intimacy with the Father. I need that now. There is great, great joy that comes from fellowship with my Savior. I need that now. I know that if my soul is full of the presence of Christ, and I am walking by His magnificent strength, then I have more to give to my family. I am a better mother when I am reading God's love letter to me, praying with consistency and power, and pursuing my passions and gifts.

As a woman of God, I must care for the condition of my soul. As a mother, I must set my eyes on the Author and Perfecter of my faith, committing above all things, even the precious gifts of my husband and children, that my Jesus will come FIRST. I must do whatever it takes to maintain the wellness of my soul - pursuing God with passion.

His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), strengthening me for every task and frustration, teaching my how to celebrate life, and care for my soul. And from that healthy place of grace and intimate fellowship with Jesus, I can and will be the mother that God has intended.

May we one day be able to present the beautiful gifts of our children, complete in Christ, to the heavenly Father. To do this, we must care and nuture our own souls. We must personally grow more in love with our Savior so that we can love them from the fullness of Christ.

One thing I know is true: "We cannot impart what we do not possess." If I am not crazy in love with Jesus, and totally devoted to the Father, how can I expect that my children will ever be?"
So, whether it is through meditation and quiet time...
or running alongside Jesus as He molds and shapes you...
or climbing mountains & screaming at the top of your lungs...
Whatever path you choose to seek first the kindgom of God and His righteousness is up to you. But rest assured, as you seek Him first, He will pour into you everything you need to be the mother He has called you to be.

"The Spirit of God has made you; the breath of the Almighty gives you life." Job 33:4

For those of you looking for a place to belong. A place to connect with other mothers. A place to share praises...and those many, many prayers,
Mothers Fellowship may be just the place for you. The beloved women's Bible Study starts this Tuesday, September 7th in the Asbury United Methodist Church Parlor at 71st & Mingo from 9:45-11:15 a.m. Free childcare provided.

We will be studying the book "Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul" by Angela Thomas (excerpts from the book have been used in this post). It is a fabulous group of Mothers of all ages who have come together to study God's Word, pray with one another, fellowship and pursue the nurturing of souls. Come join the 28th year of Mothers Fellowship as we seek God and all that He has for us!