Category Archives: What If

I’d Have You Over, But…

Have you ever really felt like you needed to invite a friend or acquaintance over to your house for tea or coffee, but didn’t because the house wasn’t “right?”

Yeah, me too.

A lot.

Photo courtesy of Deibel Photography

You see, I’m not what you would normally consider a “homemaker.” However, I’m redefining my definition of that word. You see, I’m learning there’s a lot more to cultivating a warm, loving home than just sparkling floors and crumb-free counter tops!

Join me over at Intentional by Grace as I talk about leaving the pretense behind and getting on with loving folks! Come share about the times you’ve thrown caution – and dust rags – to the wind and allowed someone in to see the “real” you.

If you’re popping over from Intentional by Grace, I want to say thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll make yourself at home and stay awhile. Let me know you were here so I can say hello!

Put Your Hands in the Air

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but raising kids is hard. Whether you have family around or not; a huge church or just a couple of like-minded folks; whether you have one kiddo or ten. It’s heart wrenching, twenty-four-seven, soul-aching-full-of-love hard work.

And like most things that are hard, the rewards are almost incalculable.

Photo by winjohn

When that hard work includes shepherding young hearts to follow hard after Christ, and trying to set an example of how to do that when you yourself are a flawed human being, sometimes we get…tired. We need help.

Join me today at The Better Mom as I share one of my most favorite images found in Scripture, and where I extend a request to you for help – and an invitation as well. I can’t wait to see you over there and hear your story!

If you’re joining us today from The Better Mom, I just want to extend a warm welcome to you. I’m so delighted you popped over today. I hope you’ll join our little community here as we share this journey of life together. Let me know you came by so I can give you a virtual hug, a cuppa tea and get to know you a wee bit better.

Where You See Me

Curled in a ball under the duvet.

Eyes clenched tight. So tight the tears pooling inside can’t escape.

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I rock and clench and hum and pretend.

Pretend that the whole world is here inside this coccoon of warmth I’ve made for myself here is my bed. In the dark.

Muted sounds muffle their way through the layers of protection. This armor of fluff and fuzz.

I do my best to pretend they aren’t there. Or they are the waves of some far off shore upon which I wish to be. Alone. Secluded. In my fluffy cocoon.

Open your eyes, He whispers.

Hmm-mm. My head shaking violently side to side. Nope.

Look. He urges again.

No. The word so faint only He and I can hear it.

Why, sweet girl? He strokes my head.

Because if I look I’ll see.

And if I see I’ll feel.

And if I feel I’ll care.

And if I care I must act.

And? He encourages…

And…it’s too much. To much hurt. Too much despair Too much of everything. How will I know where to begin? What to say? Who to help?

Do you see here, where I am? He asks, tenderly.

Yes.

Start there. Right where You see Me waiting.

Five Minute Friday

Every Friday I join up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday, where we write for 5 minutes, unedited. This week’s prompt is LOOK.

I’ve also linked up with Hope for Hurting Hearts, Time Warp Wife, Life: Unmasked

The Focus Effect

START

manduka mat

Photo by Tiffany Assman

Arms tremble, muscles burn as I lower my torso to the mat and slowly, shakily press back up.

The foam fitness mat upon which countless others have sweated blurs before my eyes as the familiar sting of tears invades the privacy of a moment meant only for myself and my breath.

I continue on in this mindless pattern; lowering, pressing up, burning, repeat.

Ah, c’mon lads! Where’s your head?! Get it the game and move to the next circuit, so!!

The angry lilt in the trainer’s voice jolts me back to reality and I begin to ponder his question as the sweat continues to pour.

Where’s your head?

Where’s your head?

Where’s your head?

This moment; this day my head is a million places other than in this gym, on this mat.

It’s at home with a sick little girl. With friends with a terminally ill child. With the hurting family member. The job lost. The car crashed. The marriage on the rocks. So many of those I love are hurting so immensely and today it is just. too. much.

(stop)

As I round the circuits in this fog of worry and doubt I fight to reign in the physical. To beat it into submission to perform. But it won’t. It is weak. Weary. Protesting.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the side effects of worry! It’s a powerful drug, capable of rendering even the strongest weak. In every sense of the word. It tears down the mind. Littering it with trash and garbage and other people’s unwanted baggage.

It shreds the soul making the iron-clad promises of a loving God seem full of holes like a crochet quilt that lets more cold air in than it keeps out. It makes truth seem false.

And it weakens the body. Strength that was there yesterday is eerily absent today. All energy reserved for fighting the losing battle of what if and should have and if only and why and why not.

Focus.

Where I choose to place it makes all the difference in the world. But more importantly, and more immediately, makes all the difference in my life.

(I ask for your grace as I over-extended the time constraint this week. If you’ve been around here very long, you know that writing is therapy. And release. And often times enlightenment. So thank you for allowing me the privilege of processing here.)

I love Fridays when I get a chance to link up with LisaJo and hundreds of others from around the world for the crazy free-write that is Five Minute Friday!

I’m also linking this post up with Womanhood With Purpose, The Better Mom, Growing Home

What If Wednesday – Week #2

Good Wednesday to you all! I hope the past week has found you blessed and walking through life with eyes wide open, seeing where He is working.

My What If’s this week:
I don’t have a whole lot to write about this week. I took more treats to the teachers (I’m aiming for every other Monday). But my heart is still wrestling with the idea of What If-ing my family. Ok, not struggling with the idea of it, but struggling with the doing of it. For some reason my sense of entitlement, need for recognition, and my sense of fairness/justice is so much “sharper” within my own home. I extend grace far more easily to the outside world, and with far less expectation of reciprocation, than I do my own flesh and blood. So, as I enter into this next week, I will continue to commit to act upon the opportunities to demonstrate real Love to them through my words, actions and – dare I say – attitude. (yikes!)

How did you week go? How can we encourage you? How can we celebrate with you?

My dream for this space is that it would a conversation – a dialogue. I know it takes time to build rapport with one another, trust, relationship. But let’s build!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seeing examples of What Ifs all over the place! And not only do I enjoy, and find encouragement, from reading about how other people have stepped out in What If, but I also love to hear stories of people who have been What Iffed.

When I read this post by Amanda at Life.Edited., I was in tears. My heart was jumping up and down screaming, “YES!!” Amanda was What Iffed hard core. And it inspires me. In those moments of “will I? won’t I?”, “should I? shouldn’t I?” I think of stories like Amanda’s and it encourages me to take action. It lessens the fear, just a tad enough, to remind me that if the thought strikes me, it is most likely needed.

Then I read this post by Sonny Lemmons in a guest post he wrote for Tarama Out Loud. I didn’t expect to find a What If at the end. I don’t know if he intended it to be a “What If” type story, but I saw that moment at the end and once again was reminded that people need What If’s!!

I hope these stories encourage you to continue to look, pray, and act as we work to Love like Him in order to bring His peace to a hurting people.

Speaking of encouragement, pop back over to last week’s post and read what Spring had to say in the comments about her What If’s. Let’s encourage her as she takes a huge step of faith into a scary What If!

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and willingness to act upon that tugging in your heart to really let go and Love.

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