Thursday, October 16, 2014

Purpose

Purpose.
Reason for being.
Intention.

Do you ever have days when you wonder if you have any of those?

I've gotta be honest: I do.


And then, my husband puts his arms around me.

My younger sister invites me to meet her for lunch.

My preteen daughter sneaks out of her bed late at night and asks if we can talk.

A friend texts me and asks if I can pick up her kid from school.

My son says, "Mom! Watch!" for the thousandth time.

One of the kiddos on Sunday morning asks a question totally unrelated to the Bible story I am teaching.


And, like sunlight on a cloudy day, I can see it. Purpose. Something for me to do. Something that says, "This is who you are." I am needed. I am welcomed. I am loved.

Some days are just harder than others. But I have seen, and I am learning that:

When I feel invisible, my Father says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.." Jeremiah 1:5.

When I feel overwhelmed, my Savior draws me, "Come to Me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29.

When I feel adrift, The Spirit reminds me, "For [you] are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that [you] should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.

Perhaps you are some like me. If so, I pray you can find a bit of encouragement here.
You are especially created.
You are deeply loved.
You are a beautiful example of amazing grace.

Do this: Put your hand on your chest.
Feel that?
Thump-bump, thump-bump, thump-bump...

Purpose.



This post is part of a link-up for Hearts At Home. You can find more great bloggers writing on the same topic over on Jill's blog.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Facebook Asked; I Answered...

Facebook asks me, "What's on your mind?"
Well, right now, it's Santa Claus.

Yes, even though we are a few months away (seriously, people, we are only 4 months away from Christmas!) I had a friend who asked how to handle the "Mom, is Santa real?" question, and I thought I would share my response with everyone, just since it is an ongoing conversation.

I understand why people say 'believe to receive.' I do. So please don't take this as anti- that. It's just what we have done because we believe it is best for our family...

First off, we ask them, 'What do You think?' And then we proceed with the convo based on what they say. We don't necessarily come right out and tell our kids Santa isn't real... But then again we never tell them he is real in the first place.
When they start asking questions and they say they don't think or aren't sure that he is real, we talk about the real Saint Nicholas and how he loved Jesus and how he served those around him. And then we talk about Christmas traditions and how the idea of Santa Claus came to be.

The bottom line for us is that we (all of us) spend so much time teaching our kids not to lie, but then we are expected to spend some of what can be considered the funnest moments of their young lives lying to them. That is a double-standard, whether we are willing to admit it or not. So, we decided to not lie.


One thing we battle are the comments that it takes the "magic" out of Christmas when our kids don't believe in Santa. My response to that is
#1 For us, Christmas is not about Santa. It's about Jesus. So that is a non-issue.
#2 None of our kids believe in Santa, and it truly does not change the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve and getting up Christmas morning. In fact, I think knowing that Santa is pretend and the freedom in which we can get up on Christmas morning and celebrate Jesus and Family far outweighs anything we thought we had with Santa growing up; as well as any sugar-coated gumdrop dreams we may have walked into Parenthood with.

The other thing we might possibly meet up with is "What if your kid tells another kid that Santa isn't real?" On the one hand, I would want to say, "you're the one lying to your kid, so how can you be mad at me for telling my kid the truth?" I know that sounds harsh, I know, but it is just that - truth. We (corporately) don't tell our children that Cinderella is real. Or that Ninja Turtles are really real. We joyfully tell the make-believe stores and when applicable, the morals of them. So why do we feel so protective of telling our children that Santa is real?

On the other hand, I do understand why it feels "threatening." People want to hold on to the magic and mystery of it all.


So, yes, there is a real chance my kid could tell your kid there is no Santa. Now, whether or not that causes your child to question the validly of the Man in the Red Suit is not set in stone. But it is possible. And quite honestly, while I would feel a little bit sorry because none of us would intend for that to happen, (I do have a tender heart, people!) we will not be sorry that our kids know the truth. They asked, we talked, they know. That's just where we stand on it.

Even though we DO tell our kids they aren't supposed to say Santa is not real one because some kids do believe he is, (which, Sidenote: leads to the question, "Why do their parents tell them he is real?" How do you explain why a parent lies to their child? Can you see what a spot that puts us in? It makes us the "bad guys who don't tell their kids about Santa." But I really don't mind, because like I said, we are doing what we think is best for our family, and so my goal is to always be extremely gracious in my responses.)

But one time Zack (who was 4 at the time) did say (in the car, with carpool kids in tow) "Santa's not really real." And one of the girls argued with him. I stopped the conversation and she said, "Mrs. Jamie, why is Zack saying Santa is not real?" I told her, "Well, Zack is four, and he says a LOT of things." And that was the end of it. I didn't spoil it for her. But I didn't invalidate my kid's right to his own voice, either. And to us, that is the right thing to do.


Also, while I'm thinking about it, this might serve as a helpful reminder that when you see our children around Christmastime, it might be simpler if you ask, "What did you get for Christmas?" instead of "What did Santa bring you?" Especially if there are other children within earshot. Because, while we do tell our kids to be gracious when people ask them this, and just answer the question, you know as well as I do that you can't exactly control the things that comes out of a kid's mouth. And if they happen to say they got Nothing from Santa, it might raise questions from small-ish bystanders. Forewarned is Forearmed, you know. ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Necessity of an Enemy


This book is not one to just sit down and read all the way through. (Which is how I started reading it.) The nuggets of truth and encouragement within each chapter are conveniently broken down into bite-sized pieces. Quick enough, in fact, that I'd say you could leave it in a place where it's convenient to grab when you've literally got just a minute or two to dive into something. Although it's not really a "devotional" book, it could be used alongside your daily Bible reading as support for your Walk. Sometimes it was amazing how much I could relate to a situation, and then other times, well, not so much. Still, this book is a great reminder that in the battles of this life, we have to face some tough things. We will wade through them, struggle in the midst of them, And have the ability to overcome them by the power of the Lord - and in that power alone. It's amazing to see what we can see when we start looking at our struggles and the issues of this life that seem so looming, as something the Lord uses to strengthen and grow us instead of as inconveniences - or even as negatives. Good things really can come from them, if we will only let the Spirit speak to our hearts and if we are willing to let Him use everything, everything, that comes into our lives for our growth and His glory. This life is not really about us. It is about Christ; who we are in Him. And when we're facing our giants, we'll do well to remember that.  
Check it out Here

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. Love to read? Have a blog? Join me at www.bloggingforbooks.org

Friday, January 4, 2013

This Year's Journey starts with iBloom

If you were to describe the journey you think you might go on over the next year, would you explain it as ...
Typical?
Adventurous?
Simple?
Exciting?

What about...
Stretching?
Extraordinary?
Ordained?
Purposeful?

Today I'd like to extend a challenge to y'all that has been extended to me. I received a preview copy of iChoose2 Love My Life: a one-year journey toward living a life you love. (You can check it out here.) And I can tell it is definitely going to be a valuable tool on my journey this year! This book was written by a team of authors from iBloom - whose goal is to inspire, encourage, and empower women. This book offers weekly guidance, motivation, and insight to making small changes in our lives that will help our potential bloom and grow ... helping us truly love this life we live!

Addressing each part of day-to-day life - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - in fresh yet simple ways, this book offers me a chance to see myself honestly, as I am. If I will use this book as an aid to walking on my journey this year, I have no doubt I will be refreshed, renewed, and rewarded.God has already pointed out things to me from my review of the book, that I am eagerly anticipating what He's going to do in my life this year ... today ... in the next hour. I've realized I haven't lived my life like that - excited to see what blessings, and challenges, lie ahead of me. I've kinda been walking through life doing the good I know, instead of expecting God to stretch and grow me even minute-by-minute.

How about you? Would you care to join me? You can get your copy of this nifty little book which has 52 sections - one for each week of the next year - from the iBloom website. If you do purchase it, give me a shout. I have a closed (meaning, no one can see what's there except members) Facebook group already in place where we have talked before about being women of prayer and purpose. If you're not already there, we'd love for you to join us. I hope this will help spur us on to bring the Lord the glory He deserves in our lives!

One other thing before we part today - I mentioned iBloom a minute ago, and I wanted to let you know a little more about them. It's a great little "community" of women where you can find support, encouragement, life and business coaching, and a whole lot of fun! Explore their website, where you can sign up for daily inspiration that comes right to your email inbox. Also, check out their Facebook page where you can join in the "party" on the 3rd Tuesday of each month! And finally, you don't want to miss the online New Year's Party they are hosting. Just click the picture below to find out all the details!
I have been so encouraged by the women and activities over at iBloom, and I think you will be too! Hope to see you there!

Expecting more from the Lord than ever before,
Jamie

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today's Choice

We would all say we know that every day brings us choices. But do we act like it?
Let me expound that: Do we see the morning as the beginning of an opportunity to choose how our day goes - or do we stumble out of bed and grope our way through the next sixteen hours or so, moving in whatever direction things seem to push us? Are we living intentionally or recklessly? What we think our purpose is for this moment either gets us going and keeps us focused, or causes us to be complacent and lazy. Are you there; at the point where you realize you are not living your days as though you have a choice? Today I'm taking my choices out from whatever ignored corner I've stuck them in. I'm choosing to focus on my purpose, make decisions that support that purpose, and keeping my eye on the goal.
Now, I know days can bring unexpected things - good and bad - and it could happen at any second. There's no preparing for those things. But, I am certain that even if the next hour were to bring the most unimaginable joys or dreaded things into my life,  I would be ready.
Maybe you're wondering how I can be so certain of my purpose; so sure that I could face whatever may come. Well, it's because I believe God is Who He says He is, and I believe He can do anything - even bring Glory to the midst of a mess. And so, on this first day of 2013, I have come to the throne of my Creator and asked Him for the focus it will take for me to live out His purpose for me.
Care to join me? Take a minute right now and call on His name. He will hear you. When someone calls your name, don't you turn your attention toward them? Our Heavenly Father does the same. He knows you already: He knows your struggles, your passions, your sins, your joys. He formed you and created you for a special purpose - one that only you can fulfill. And He's such a "gentleman" - He will never force us into living life as He designed it, but will wait until we are ready and willing to embrace it. He has already chosen you. Will  you choose Him?