My Heart's Home

May 27, 2011

Never Give Up

Filed under: Encouragement,Faith,Healing — My Heart's Home @ 8:55 pm

                                                                                                                   “Never, never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill

Years ago I gave up. I stopped believing. Not in God, but in myself. My dream. All because I allowed someone to bulldoze my confidence. Subsequently, I lost faith in myself…my talent…my gift…my calling.

To write.

Now that dream is alive and well, despite setbacks, roadblocks, detours and a few flat tires along the way. My career careened off course all because I believed a voice that told me, “I couldn’t…I wouldn’t…I shouldn’t…”

I wish I could erase the lies I believed from someone who didn’t believe in me. Someone who had an agenda, ulterior motive, vengeful spirit. Someone who used feathers from my clipped wings to help them fly. Someone who would rather watch others trip over their own two feet instead of hailing them victor when the race is won.

Through this experience I learned to regret. I regret giving someone permission to distort my dream, weigh my worthiness, pummel my passion. It wasn’t the first time someone looked at me through a distorted lens and blurred my vision. Why did I let them drown my confidence like a rose petal in battery acid? Because I believed they knew better? Because my well of doubt already ran deep? Because they were older and wiser?

Older maybe, but not wiser.

Wisdom doesn’t automatically grow with age, only wrinkles and gray hairs do.

Why didn’t the encouraging voices drown out the ones that were drowning me? Why didn’t their sweet melody out weigh that discouraging dissonance? Why did I accept the lies all tied up with their ugly bow and discard the truth like a soiled diaper? I don’t know. Maybe it was just easier to believe and wrap my mind and heart around lies because they were all too familiar. When you live without the light of day for so long, your vision learns to adjust to the dark.

Sometimes I’m tempted to regret, but I have confidence God works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

          So I can’t. I won’t. I shan’t.

REGRET THE PAST.

Because the plant of bitterness is watered with regret. With “should haves, would haves, could haves.” Instead, I will choose today to start anew. To believe the truth. Leave lies behind like paper dolls I’ve outgrown and don’t play with anymore.

Never, never, never, never again will I give up…

MY dream, which is God’s ultimate will and plan for my life.

This ‘dream’ might not come in the wrapping paper I choose, but it is always the perfect gift in the end. I will never exchange it for another. I will never demand a refund.

God’s word says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4) This doesn’t mean we come to Him with our shopping list of requests like He’s ol’ Kris Kringle. But when we align our heart with His and surrender totally to His will, our dreams take a shape only His hands can mold. “Yet You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 His perfect plan mysteriously unfolds in us as we allow the Master Potter to shape our lives. But first we must let go of everything that is holding us back.

 No holds barred. 

I believe today: for every naysayer who says you can’t, there will always be someone in your corner who says you can. And He has so many blessings He’s just waiting to pour out to those who seek Him with their whole heart.

“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

He wants nothing more than to see you cross that finish line victorious! It’s your choice whose voice you will listen to, believe and trust. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

He has a plan for our lives. Along this road called life, we all experience setbacks, detours, roadblocks and flat tires. Fortunately, God allows U-Turns and it’s never too late to get back on the right path and let Him steer us in the right direction.

“I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress. Abiding love surrounds those who trust in the Lord. So rejoice in Him, all those who are His, and shout for joy, all those who try to obey Him.” Psalms 32:8, 10-11)

With God there is no expiration date on our dreams.

“God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn; He will never go back on His promises.” Romans 11:29

So today I choose to believe:

I CAN, I WILL, I SHALL…

Overcome. The. Past.

For God’s TRUTH tells me:

“If God is for me who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31)

“But He was pierced of my rebellion, crushed for my sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. By His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

 “For God hath not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“In all my ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct my paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

“Delight myself in the Lord and He will give me the desires of my heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Now I am learning to accept His truth like a precious gift and discard the lies like garbage. I KNOW I will cross that sweet finish line of victory, because I will never doubt again: Someone believes in me.

And I promise to help those limping along the sidelines cross their finish lines, too, by being encouraging, supportive and a believer of dreams.

For dreams can only come true if one truly believes…in the One who never gives up believing in us.

I believe.

Do YOU?

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH AN INSPIRING VIDEO CLIP:

Never Give Up

Click this link to read an inspiring story about a best-selling novelist: Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

“In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last, because many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 20:16

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1





Advertisements

May 21, 2011

Bitter Pills

Filed under: Freedom,Grace,Healing,Parenting — My Heart's Home @ 1:18 pm

I recognize her gray hair and cringe. We share the neighborhood. She walks shoulders hunched clasping toddler’s hand. They cross pavement. She is silent, but her voice is familiar. Her rages penetrate walls and echo down quiet streets. Too often.

School buses arrive to transport students home. I park as the two draw closer. I pray for courage to approach, if led, but hope I’m not. I close car door as they walk in front. I am brave. “Do you remember me?” I smile and rub the toddler’s shiny ebony bangs. She grins and nods. I tell her, “You’re so sweet.”

The grandma mutters, “No she’s not.”

Her words hit me like a rubber band. Did I hear correctly? “What?” I ask, staring at the lady’s wrinkled face. “No she’s not,” she snaps matter of fact, confirming my hearing’s intact. Gobsmacked, I keep smiling and rub the toddler’s bangs again, “Oh, yes you are. You’re sweet, aren’t you?” Grandma speaks as if sharing a secret, her pupils shift to the right corner sockets, “Looks can be deceiving.” I want to cover the girl’s ears.

No child’s heart deserves poisonous darts.

I focus on the one who has no voice, “You’ve always been nice to me, haven’t you?” She nods then her head hangs low like her bangs. I hope she clings to my affirmative words like a buoy when that tight grasp is released. The grandma retorts, “You don’t have to live with her.” I look straight in her squinted eyes and say as lovingly as possible, “That’s MEAN!” She continues without blinking, “She can be SPITEFUL.” (Without pointing fingers I know who the spiteful one is.)

Her lips stiffen. My skin crawls.

This bitter pill is hard to swallow.

“But she eats stuff like that up whenever anyone says it.” I sense the urge to inquire about Susie Sunshine’s childhood, but refrain. Her actions speak louder than words.

I extend grace. “Must be a handful taking care of all these kids, huh?” There are four others under her ominous cloud whose wings are being clipped. “Yes, and then they want their mommy who’s at work all day.” She continues avoiding eye contact. “You love your grandma, huh?” The child nods and smiles. Grandma watches, then scowls. “No, she doesn’t. Her brothers don’t either, but that’s OK.”

 I focus again on the one who’s never heard, who’s been silent for too long. 

I see my reflection.

I enter the school and wait for my son’s kindergarten class to be excused. He runs toward me, “Mommy, look what I did today?” He hands me a crayoned picture I can’t wait to hang on fridge. I smile and give him the biggest hug. We spend the afternoon playing games, giggling and eating ice cream.

As sun descends, I swoop up my son and his favorite froggy. I place them gently on our bed. “You can sleep with us tonight.” He grins and shouts ‘Wahoo!’ Bouncing to his feet, he throws arms around mommy’s neck and kisses cheek hard.

We rest on shared pillow as moonlight cascades.

I cherish these moments. Before I know it the sun will rise and he’ll sprout wings leaving mama bird’s nest…

To soar beyond. 

With my unconditional love always within reach.

I pray all children learn to soar, despite life’s bitter pills.

The view is so much better from above.

“No other success in life—not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or writing a book, or anything else—comes up to the success of the man or woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up and call them blessed.” President Theodore Roosevelt.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

“Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

“Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18

“These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck.” Matthew 18:6

“Provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

May 13, 2011

Colour My World

Filed under: Healing,joy,Thankfulness — My Heart's Home @ 2:37 pm

Today’s the anticipated day. It’s taken 21 and the kids in my son’s class are so excited. After folders stack and backpacks hang, the eager beavers make a beeline for the incubator. Thirty-six peeps are piping.

I love Spring—the season of renewal and rebirth. If you live in a four-seasoned state, it’s time to rejuvenate and refresh your spirit from a long, weary winter.  Time to put your best foot forward and show off those French manicured tootsies, twinkling toe rings and flower-frosted flip-flops that’s aw-dun hibernatin’. Spring is in the air! Abysmal grays, browns and whites turn to Technicolor. Pansies, petunias and peonies spring up from soil softened by seasonal showers. Walking my son to school takes twice as long. The crocus, tulips and lilies–all designed to distract–demand my undivided attention. The lilacs catch me off guard. I do an about face and stick my nose where it belongs. Their scent sends my spirit soaring faster than nose-diving spinsters during a bridal bouquet toss.

Soon sunscreen will replace schoolbooks, popsicles replace pencils and happy dances replace homework. My son will beckon my undivided attention like a gardenia-garnished garden. Fortunately, I’m prepared. I’ve stocked up on puzzles, craft supplies and chapter books to entertain when we’re not at the pool, park or panting in the humidity. He’ll also attend summer camp twice a week, so I can catch up on my artwork and writing jobs while he enjoys bus-toting excursions with his peers.

As a list maker and goal setter I’ve also written my summer To-Do’s. However, they aren’t your usual tasks like pull weeds, organize garage or paint deck. Yes, those need to be scratched off. But what tops my summertime list is to add more color to my life:

Plant marigolds, daisies and daffodils.

Paint my toenails key lime.

Poke a pinwheel in my yard.

Buy a sunflower to display in vase.

Pour red hummingbird juice into feeders.

Wear lemon, tangerine and watermelon-toned tank tops.

Make strawberry bread and homemade ice cream.

Blow Crayola colored bubbles with my son.

photo

Create artwork full of vibrant violet, brilliant blue and calming crimson.

I want a rainbow-filled summer this year.

Winter has passed; it’s been gray for far too long.


———————————————————————————–

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” psalm 126:5-6

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“The Joy of the Lord is My Strength” – Nehemiah 8:10

May 6, 2011

Mother of Pearls

Filed under: Encouragement,Grace,Parenting — My Heart's Home @ 1:44 pm

Nacre pronounced /ˈneɪkər/[1] or “NAY-kər”, also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent.
Let’s be honest, mothering is a thankless job. There are no promotions, no holiday bonuses, no end-of-the-week paychecks, no raises, no Going the Extra Mile awards, no sick days, no vacations and no leave of absences. There is no thunderous applause at the end of the day for a performance well done. We wipe noses, tears and butts day after day, month after month, year after year. We comfort, cook, clean, cater, chaperone, chauffeur, calm, chase, cleanse, challenge, cajole, compliment, congratulate and once a year get a card on that mother of all days.

If our kids don’t forget.

Hyperbole, perhaps, but similar to Bad Hair days motherhood can dish up some harried bad days! We’ve all been there: Leggos lodged between toes, Cheerios scattered on floors and chocolate pudding smeared on doors. Tempers, tongues and tears can’t be tamed. We ride the ups and downs of child rearing (and potty training) like a never-ending seesaw. Sometimes we need a Time Out. But overall motherhood is the best job in the world and we wouldn’t switch titles with anyone! The hugs, the kisses, the smiles, the laughter, the joy our children bring to our lives is priceless. We wouldn’t trade these bountiful benefits for all the world’s accolades and applause! (Do I hear an amen?)

I’ve only been a mommy for six years, but I’ll never forget the day that title was bestowed on me: April 2, 2005. As I held my newborn in my arms I promised to take good care of him, protect and unconditionally love him for the rest of his life.

And I meant every word.

That doesn’t mean he never irritates the heck out of me. Sometimes he does.

That doesn’t mean I don’t lose my patience with him. Sometimes I do.

That doesn’t mean he’s perfect. He’s not.

Neither am I.

Show me a perfect parent and I’ll show you the Holy Grail. Not happening. Like mothers everywhere, I will make mistakes, fail and wish I had a gazillion do over make-up days accrued on my timecard. But I don’t. That’s why grace and forgiveness are so vital to our relationship. I must be an example of God’s unfailing love and be willing to ask his forgiveness when I fall short.
I must treat him with respect and dignity, as I would want to be treated. I must be willing to let him grow into the individual God created him and not try to stuff him into some preconceived mold. I mustn’t clip his wings, so he’s fearful to fly. I must become his greatest fan, cheerleader and advocate, so when life’s blows try to knock the wind out of him, he’ll know—beyond a shadow of a doubt—someone stands in his corner, offers him a refreshing drink and won’t let him fall. A little voice inside will whisper silencing all others, “Stand steadfast with your slingshot, son, and slay Goliath!”

If I want my precious boy to sprout wings soaring confidently into the unknown one day, I cannot do this alone. I must seek wisdom, discernment and guidance from my Heavenly Father daily. I need God’s strength, grace and mercy. Some mornings I can barely open my eyes, let alone my Bible, so I’m grateful God covers me with His merciful blanket and doesn’t expect perfectionism. I just do the best I can leaning on His strength. Parenting is a huge responsibility. My most important job on earth will be:

To point my son to the One who will forever wrap him in His loving arms, long after he’s outgrown mine.

And I don’t want to be caught sleeping on the job.

My child is bound to get under my skin and irritate the heck out of me like a nasty splinter. And sometimes I’ll crawl beneath his flesh and poke and prod like nobody’s business. Living within close proximity year after year it’s inevitable we’ll grate on each other’s nerves.

As his mother I must remember my character is being shaped, molded and refined just as I am trying to shape, mold and refine his character. I need to model Christ at all times, so he will grow to reflect and mirror Christ to his family one day. This can only be accomplished on my knees in humility and reverence before my Maker and by reading and obeying His Word.

Otherwise, as an imperfect person living in a fallen world, I am bound to make a mess out of motherhood.

So next time your little one (or big one) gets under your skin (or you get under theirs), remember you are both pearls in the making:

Unlike gems that are mined from the earth, pearls are formed from living organisms.
And no pearl is ever formed without a little irritant.

May we all display shimmering iridescence, luster and a soft inner glow so we become unlike any other gem on earth.

And our children have the freedom to grow likewise.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18


Blog at WordPress.com.