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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Precious Scars....

How can any scar be precious? Scars reveal that we endured pain, that life was hard.

In Japan, they have the most beautiful art form. It's called Kintsugi and it actually translates as "Golden Repair."

I've become slightly obsessed with this. Let me explain...

Kintsugi is the Japanese Art that teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but instead, to display so everyone can see.

So I'm sure I'm not the only one that has a pitcher with a super glued handle, tea cups that have been broken at the hands of little children, again and again. Yes, they have been put back together in one piece but I certainly would not pull these items out when company visits. Instead, I'd pull out the dishes that are chips, no super glued pieces, no hairline cracks from age.  Kind of like how I live life, how about you?

Track with me here....are you afraid of others seeing the "Real" you? You know, that side of you that gets angered easily, has no patience, is jealous of your friends' vacation....Anyone?!  We want to appear as close to perfect as we can. We don't want to show weakness, vulnerability, scars. We hide our true feelings, emotions, fears, doubts, worries, brokenness.

In Japan, when they break an item they highlight and enhance those breaks by using liquid gold or silver to bring the broken pieces back together. They believe this adds value to the item because every repaired piece is now an original! Just like us, the item now has a story to tell and the beauty of that object comes from the story.

Goodness! That so goes against society, doesn't it?

You mean, I shouldn't be embarrassed by my stretch marks, wrinkles or the scars that reside on my body and my soul from this journey called life?  Absolutely not! These are what make you unique, what makes your story all your own. 

How many times do we hide our brokenness because we are ashamed to be fully known?
When really, we are ALL broken.

When we learn to accept this brokenness in ourselves and others that's when the beauty shines out. Oftentimes, we wrongly assume that broken objects (things, people, hearts, dreams, etc.) are worthless when in reality they are the things with the most value.

"The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places." 
Ernest Hemingway

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

"But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us." 2nd Corinthians 4:7

Thursday, November 30, 2017

In the Middle of the Mess

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Sheila Walsh has been a favorite speaker and author of mine for years. At the Women of Faith events I attended she was the speaker I most wanted to hear from. She was always transparent and real. I "connected" with her and her stories. Every one of her books I've gleaned so much wisdom and encouragement from.....but this one....this one wrecked a good way! She shares her story of depression, suicide, brokenness. So many paragraphs found me shaking my head in agreement. My book is highlighted and there's writing in the margins. She meets us broken people right where we are and encourages us to look to Christ because He is there and He will strengthen us in our messes. It is a book that   I will refer back to often. I keep it right on my desk so I can grab it as needed but also to remind me that this broken life can and is beautiful! 

I was given a copy of this book to give an unbiased review. I was not compensated for my opinion.
Friday, October 13, 2017

Stay Safe.....

I love that I am often contacted about sharing things here on my blog. Someone from Fred Beans Ford reached out to me this week and asked if I would be willing to share an infographic on staying safe during Trick or Treating. I'm happy to share!

It's so cool that this company picks a different topic each month and does an infographic on it to raise awareness.  Thanks Steve and Fred Beans Ford for your dedication to helping the community!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Amongst the hard and the glorious.....

Me and my man. This was on the rare occasion we were able to get out for a night together. Oh how we treasure that time together! Moments we can laugh, talk, or just be silent without interruption from our children. It's so imperative for our marriage....especially with all the needs of our children that consume our waking moments. 

Life has been full of the hard and glorious. Isn't everyone's?! I'm so thankful for a God who is always present. Who loves me right where I am. Depending on the day, it may mean I'm smiling and singing or the day may entail me yelling more than talking with frustration boiling in my stomach. Transparency is good. Hard but good! 

Lately I feel like I am learning so much. It feels like I'm a sponge and I'm soaking it all in as quick as I can. Now for transformation from all this information! 

Onto the glorious......

This is my last baby. My precious Samuel. He truly has been that proverbial "cherry on top" for our family. He spends his day bringing JOY!! Oh how I love him!

As I've been gearing up for another year of homeschooling our children (this will be my 24th year!) I've really been contemplating the value in all my work gathering, implementing, reviewing, teaching, etc. Discouragement and doubts have been my constant companions.....sigh....mainly because the progress with my special needs ones is so very slow and can seem nonexistent compared with everyone else's children.  Then yesterday as I was working on the computer, Samuel happened to see a picture of a cross. He stopped me and began explaining about the nails in Jesus' shoulders (I know not accurate but close enough!) and feet. I then asked him if he knew why Jesus died on the cross. He said "because of bad things".  I had no idea he was able to understand any of this. After discerning he could grasp it I asked him if he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. He said yes and so I led my sweet boy to the feet of Jesus.  Hallelujah!

That's when my loving Father reminded me that I have a remarkable life! I have been the one to lead all 7 of my children to Christ! I've held them on my lap as they've asked Him into their hearts. I've taught all 7 of my children to read. I've taught them how to tie their shoes, how to swim, how to laugh (I love a good prank!) The reality is that there is so much glorious amongst the hard if we just look for it! Academics are important of course, but being a Child of God is the pinnacle of successful living in my book! 

I'm so eternally grateful that I get to be the one holding these babes, teaching them and eventually releasing them into the world. Being a momma is the highest honor and privilege and the greatest thing I will ever do!  

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

You Carried Me

Oh I am so sorry! I thought I had written a review for this several weeks ago. Apparently, I did write a review on several retail pages about it but forgot to here....

So, let me tell you about this book. I couldn't wait to read this book and I was not disappointed! Melissa writes this book in such an honest, vulnerable way that it engages you from the very first page!
As a pro-lifer for years this story just reconfirmed my beliefs and brought a whole new perspective of all the other people we often don't think of after an abortion: the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. As she writes you are part of her journey, learning the shocking truth of her birth, feeling the emotions, yearning for answers.
I especially loved Melissa's never-give-up attitude! In the face of so many obstacles she continued to take another step forward and that helped shape her future.
As a prolific reader, Melissa's writing was one I couldn't put down and I look forward to any of her future works.

I received a copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.

I also wanted to share a Brief video of Melissa Ohden  
Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review

A Spectacle of Glory: God's Light Shining through Me Every Day

This amazing little book holds so much wisdom! How can it not, after all it's written by Joni Eareckson Tada! For years, Joni Eareckson Tada has been a woman I highly respect and admire. I have read every book she has written and always learn so much through them. This devotional is no different. Joni has such a gift for writing and writes with an element that makes you feel she is talking directly to you. The very first devotional had me thinking, reflecting and sharing with others! If you want an added blessing to your day, make sure you buy this book. The devotions are short but get right to the heart of life and get your mind thinking and your heart growing! Love Joni and everything she has done!

I have been asked to honestly review this book in exchange for a free copy by Handlebar Publishing. 
Friday, November 11, 2016

Another GREAT resource...

As a special needs homeschool momma I need to cater my "classes" to best help my learners excel.
  I scour the internet often to locate just the right worksheets, crafts and resources that will allow me to do just that. 
One of the resources I have used many times is this one: Dads Worksheets
 This site covers math from Preschool - 12th grade. 
What I love best is the fact that there is always an explanation or help section to explain, step by step, for people like me who don't love math. 
It's been a real blessing!

However, if you aren't a homeschool parent please don't feel left out....
Dads Worksheets are also for:
*moms and dads who feel their kids need extra math practice
*teachers who need materials for their whole class
*kids who want to master their math facts

 Another blessing is that this site and ALL (last count was 10,319 worksheets!) are FREE!
 You read that right....FREE! 
What's not to love about that?! 
Go check them out