Stable Force – Motherhood


Spring has arrived and it came in with quite a lot of busyness!  Our family grew by a couple more humans via my daughter and son-in-law.  Our youngest turned nine.  NINE!  I can hardly wrap my head around that one folks!

As I’ve spent a few days in March cuddling newborns it takes me back to each one of my own daughter’s births.  All three had a unique arrival into the world, only two from my womb, but all just as precious.   I’ve also been reminded of the absence of my own mother.  She would have unwrapped the swaddled babies and inspected their tiny toes counting each one first thing!  She would have given advice from her own days of  being a mother to an infant.  I find myself doing that with my daughter  too, only I’m trying really hard to just step back.  Allow her to experience what she has before her, in her own way.

Mom and Daughter

I’m quite a bit more emotional than my daughter the new mother. Writing is a way for me to commemorate an experience all while locking it in, (for I know the days will come I’ll forget).  So, here goes.

I’m writing today because last night the simple act of dressing a newly bathed baby made my chest fill with warmth and pride burst from me.  And I wasn’t even the one doing it!  My daughter was.  Witnessing our children doing things in life always has some sort of effect on us, doesn’t it?  Whether it is a musical concert, sharing at playtime, a fit in the store, dropping a toy for the 100th time, or having them display their own parenting skills.

All these little nuggets in life bring forth different emotions and each have their place in our lives.  I think, in my own opinion, being a stable force in my child’s life is essential to a relationship.  Raising my children has not been always sweet moments with bragging rights attached.

There’s been times I’ve wanted to hide under a rock, scream from the street corner, and throw my own kind of fit! My hope if my daughters were asked they would say that Mom was there, even when she was mad at me or vice versa.

I hope I have raised my children with a good combination of love and discipline.  If I haven’t, then I think I failed as a parent.

(Disclaimer: I am not a parenting guru nor think that I am!)

MOther Daughter Wedding

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Farming Grace Daily

When I became a mother at 17 I knew nothing, although my mindset was different!  My first child was a practice run so to speak. 🙂  Then the second one came along and she was completely opposite of the first one.  By the third it’d been so many years I almost felt lost and quite unsure again (at first).

But as I sit here today I realize that the gold nuggets of this life as a mother are not always wrapped in beautiful boxes with big bows or grand gestures.  Sometimes, it’s just the act of saying no, using a somewhat firm voice, cuddles, or talking it out later. Or that the third piece of candy is fine or getting a C on a paper isn’t the worst thing in the world.

That stable force is built on combinations of strength, discipline, tenderness, and care. My wish for my own three daughters is that they are able to display this in their own motherhood experiences.  That the example they were given was worthy.  I love you girls!

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Julie

Mirror Reflections & What to Remember


When I see my reflection in the bathroom mirror I often wonder about the features of my face that I have. Normally, it takes me on a journey in my mind where I end up  recalling images of my own parents..

I see many physical traits  that came from my father.  The dark brown hair, the eyes, and definitely the nose!   I look less like my mother but I have other attributes that I inherited from her.  They come into play when I use my brain and interact with others or work physically hard.

The reflection in the mirror also gives me ample view of my flaws.  I see them as flaws where others may not even notice them.  We all deal with the image in mirror, don’t we?

The current bible study I attend, “Mirror, Mirror” by Susan Senechal, stated the following.  “we’re seeing our reflections as in a fun house mirror – warped and distorted.”

As I read those words I felt a bit of a weight off my shoulders, then as the following was shared I felt even more of a release.

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That release is actually more like feeling loved.  Loved in a manner that is hard to wrap my head around because of the sins of this world.  But in the Word I can find the truth that reminds me that Christ loves me and died for my flaws and sins.

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Although I have only read one session of this particular bible study I find it to be helpful and a learning experience.  Not just because I’ve been reminded that I’m beautiful and a creation from God.  I have also been able to learn more about Jacob, Esau, Levi/Matthew, and hit several books of the bible while bonding with other Sisters in Christ.

I wasn’t paid to tell you about this bible study or about God.  I just felt moved to share what I experienced.  If you find yourself needing to be reminded of the love given from Christ you can find your copy of the bible study here, here, and even here.  Oh and by the way, they sell bibles at all those places too if you are in need of one!

I hope the reflection in the mirror that you see is one that reminds you of the love you have from Christ.

Feel free to download the Mirror Message for the week!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

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Reminders & Love


I know from personal experience that you can not make someone love you. There have been a few people in my life I have attempted to make do this. It doesn’t work, believe me.  The pain it causes you isn’t worth it.

There is only one that truly loves you.  You can not earn His love – EVER. You can not buy it, you can not complete good deeds to get it, you can’t beg or plead for it.  If you have read my blog for very long I’m sure you know who I am writing about.

God.

You may not think you need to hear this today but do me a favor and read to the end of the post.  If you read to the end of the post and you didn’t need to hear this or couldn’t relate, let me know.

When He sees you, He loves you.

He doesn’t see the brokenness, the hurt you delve out, the layers of flab, the yucky hair, or puffy eyes.  He sees the creation He made through the cross of Jesus Christ.  Do you know who Jesus Christ is?  The Son of God that came to die for our sins.  (Just in case you didn’t know that tidbit).  It’s true and you know what else is true?

You are beautiful.  You are precious.  You are His.  You are Loved.

Recently I have needed this reminder.  Obviously, that is what has sparked this post.  I have looked in the mirror and see so many things that aren’t what this world calls beautiful.  I have felt loneliness and disappointment in myself, all while trying to carry on as usual.  I have felt overwhelmed and pushed too far. I have felt many not so flattering physical traits and struggled to keep my thoughts at bay.

I figured if I was needing the reminder, chances are someone else was too.  So if you do, I have something for you.  Save the photo below to your computer desktop, phone home screen, print it and hang it near you or carry it with you.  Read it daily, read it often, just read it.

 

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Facebook cover photo

 

Reminders - Love
Printable

Sometimes, the reminders are given just in the nick of time.  Sometimes standing with your eyes closed, the breeze gently moving your hair, and the sun upon your face helps too. Or the tears that are falling across your cheeks,  in the silence of the night, while in prayer.  Where does my comfort come from?  My comfort comes from the Lord.

Just take a moment to soak in the goodness of God today.

JUST DO IT.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

The Story of Two and The Handwritten Letter


A long time ago there was a man.  A man of quiet like tendencies, loving the land all the while, but a missing part there was within his life.  He dreamed of taking a wife, a partner, a person to share with. Someone to help lessen that loneliness within.

He prayed for that someone.

Circumstances arose and come one day, after much waiting, he met a woman.  A woman who was as opposite as one could be from him yet he intrigued he was.  Simple gestures, simple words, his calm ways, all would overcome the heart of this woman. Her life filled with much more than simplicity, she became enamored by his presence with each passing day.

The hiccups in the relationship were present but their closeness grew after each time spent together.  Guiding the path wasn’t really these two, the Father of all was in control.  He took them down a path of questions, uncertainty, kindness, and pure sweetness.

A day came and the man received a handwritten letter in the mail.  After a long day working, he sat down to read it.  As he read this particular letter something came to him.  Something that would change his life, her life, and the way they thought the world would go for them.

He felt a rush in his chest and a change in his feelings and the following came to him.

He loved her. 

He truly was in love with this woman. Never feeling this before, he found himself happier than he could ever remember. No matter the things that cause strife, just knowing he loved her was enough.

As he shares this very personal reflection with her later, she finds herself full of glee!  For she knows this admission was not an easy one for this gentleman.  For many years she requests he tell the story over and over to her.  So she can feel the delight and never forget the gift that was given to her by him.

The love of a simple man.  The love of  someone who brought calmness, clarity, simplicity, and God further into her life.  The path they took had bumps and potholes and smoothness wrapped up with laughter and love.  They desire to have years together, they have hope, and they find grace in each day.

Their story isn’t over.  Still continuing, without  knowing what lies ahead, only that their love endures forever.

The Handwritten Letter Story
This story is husband approved by the way! 🙂

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Daily Embrace


It’s like the big comfy chair you can fall into after a long day or the worn out softened by so much wear sweatshirt.  The first drink of your favorite warm beverage or nibble of your tastiest chocolate morsel.

That’s what the daily embrace of our Savior’s love is like.

It’s the feeling of calm in the storm of difficult moments and the embrace of another just holding you for there’s no words to be said.  The hand that holds our shaking one and the whisper of sweet nothings on a darkened mood.

That’s what the daily embrace of our Savior’s love is like.

The giggles of youngsters and sweet singing of toddlers of God’s glory or children’s moments that get sidetracked.  The times when you hear babies crying in worship or the littlest ones jabbering during the sermon.

That’s what the daily embrace of our Savior’s love is like.

In the midst of a bible study when you recall the story before it’s spoken just by hearing the book and chapter.  The open heart of another in group sharing the deepest things with those present and trusting us with all they have.  Prayers at the end heads bowed and hearts lifting in unison.

That’s what the daily embrace of our Savior’s love is like.

The steps to the alter, bowing to the One True God, partaking of his body and blood.  Feeling the love, grace, and mercy of what He has given so freely and rejoicing while stepping away for the forgiveness is mine.

That’s what the daily embrace of our Savior’s love is like.

So many more moments I could go on, but for now I will close.  Close your eyes,  and accept the embrace of the gift of our Savior on this day.

Grace is  a gift,

Julie

 

In the Arms Of


2014 ended with me in the arms of my husband and 2015 began in the same manner.  Those arms have fit tightly around me for almost 12 years.  In that time span those arms have held me for various reasons, some joyous some not so much.  There have been times those arms have had to stop me from hurting myself or others, given me the security to calm my nerves, and expressed love as only should be between a husband and wife.

In all these embracing moments one thing has been extended to me.  God’s Love.  My spouse would not be capable of expressing God’s love if he did not believe in God himself.  He extends to me (and others) much love and grace on a daily basis, and I know as his wife there are days I do not deserved my husband’s grace, love, or patience due to my own sinful nature.

But God has provided my husband with the Gospel and Law to take him through this life.  HE has also provided me (and you) with it.  It encompasses us to travel these roads of life and make decisions with help.  To conquer fears and guide others as He would need us to.  Rejoicing in moments to glorify Him.

Whomever is extending love to you today, I pray it is with a full heart of Jesus.   May the arms that surround you be ones that bring you comfort, love, or peace.

Grace is a  gift,

Julie

 

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