Rediscovering my “why”…

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If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I have a big place in my heart for Compassion International, and the work they are doing around the world to offer sponsorships for children in need.  I am happy to blog for Compassion and share its mission with others because I think it’s important.  It’s been awhile though, since I’ve mentioned anything about Compassion.  Lately, it’s been easy to go through the motions a little as I follow through with the sponsorships our family has – writing letters, praying, and sending financial gifts – just as part of our normal routine.  Why?  Because it’s something good and important to do, right? And because the kids are oh so cute, of course.

That is, until I went to see the movie “Lion” this past weekend.  Wow wow wow.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you must get yourself to a theater soon and experience this remarkable  movie that was based on a true story.  Just be sure to bring a full box of tissues along.  Because this story is so sad… but so hope filled too.  I won’t give away much, but the challenges and poverty that the main character has to overcome, and the way these hardships follow him throughout life until he is forced to face them and find some answers – well, it’s amazing.  It was so very eye opening to the needs of children around the world today, and the reality of hope seeming so hard to find when you don’t even know where your next meal will come from or where you will sleep that night.

To be honest, I’ve had a few days lately where I just want to throw a pity party because my life is not often going how I planned for it to go.  It is amazing how quickly I can go from a “praise God” moment to a “woe is me” moment when I stop focusing on what really matters and get hung up in my own story instead of remembering that this is God’s story, and HE should be the one getting all the glory.  But when the reality hits me once again of the poverty and need many people are currently facing, I realize how trivial my little problems are.  And I remember all of the blessings I’ve been given by His grace alone and not through anything I did to deserve them.  It helps me get my eyes off myself and focus on giving His love to others as a result of His giving His love so lavishly to me.

This is why I probably need our sponsored Compassion children in my life even more than they may need me in theirs.  Because their story really has nothing to do with me.  God will find a way to provide for them, I wholeheartedly believe.  But the sovereign way that He has chosen me to play a part in showing them His love in tangible ways is such a beautiful gift.  And when I choose to say “yes” to His work in action, He reminds me how great He is and how small I really am.  It’s quite humbling.  And it becomes my constant and better “why” as I move through my own moments and days.

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So, why do I partner with and promote Compassion?  Because I believe I have been given the opportunity to encourage the precious children we sponsor that their Heavenly Father sees and loves them.  To remind them that He has a plan for them, no matter how hard life might seem right now.  And to invest in their present and future so that they see His love in tangible ways, and hopefully choose to follow Him. The cause of Compassion International is a beautiful thing that is impacting thousands around the world even today.  If you want to learn more about how Compassion International is changing the world one child and future at a time, check out the following video below.

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The Beauty of Silence…

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’ve come to the realization that I think I’ve got a “frenemy.”  Maybe you too would be honest enough to admit that you have one of those in your life?  Both a friend and an enemy… the oxymoron of complicated relationships.  My frenemy, however, is not a person – but a spacial awareness in life that I find myself facing regularly and trying to battle through.  And that, my friends, is silence.

Silence is this awkward thing that not many of us seem to have much of these days.  This world is loud and clamors for our attention at every moment of every day.  From the constant invitations to connect that are coming to us all day long through our phones and social media, to the faster paced lifestyle that our grandparents never could have imagined, our calendars are full and so are our moments.  I’ve come to think it’s no wonder that when silence does present us with an invitation to sit with us for a while, it’s so easy to ignore it or push it away entirely.   It takes discipline, and I admire those people I’ve met who have developed that in this area.

I’m so guilty of pushing away the silence now more than ever.  Not only are my days currently full of work and parenting solo, but the little people in my home don’t really allow for me to have that much time to think quietly.  From the time their feet hit the ground in the morning, there are constant demands, giggles, and commentaries about their lives.  And when their feet get back into their beds at night, my mind is often so ready for some adult conversation, that a show or some time on social media is way more inviting to me than being quietly alone with my thoughts.  Furthermore, when you’ve been through grief and loss, thoughts may pop up at times that aren’t welcome where silence abounds, making that silence even a bit scary.

But recently, I started realizing what a disservice I was doing myself if I didn’t intentionally make time for quiet moments throughout my day.  I cannot be intentional about the way I live out my days if I don’t have time to think through the decisions I will make for those days.  I cannot move forward if I cannot have time to process the past.  I cannot reach my goals and dreams if I don’t have any time to think about why and when I want to accomplish them.  And most importantly, I cannot have enough time to spend with my Savior if I don’t allow silence to be a regular part of my day, where I can stop talking and just listen for His still small voice that isn’t often heard in the noise.

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Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”   

And so, I’m choosing to embrace the silence – even when it hurts, when it makes me feel isolated, and when it would be so much easier to keep drowning out.  Because if God is the friend of silence, then I need to make silence my friend too.

And after all, isn’t a friend way more fun to have along than a frenemy?

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Why honesty {to ourselves} is the best policy…

I think sometimes, the hardest person to be honest with is myself.  Anyone with me? I would consider myself a pretty honest person.   I guess you could say I’ve been blessed with a pretty strong conscience that sends flares off to the rest of me if something’s not right.  I desire peace with the people around me at almost any cost, which isn’t always a good thing for my own well being.  But it does … {…Read More}

When Crickets Chirp…

If you are one of the few precious people who read this blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet for awhile.  Like… pretty much since before Christmas.  Way too long.  Maybe you’ve heard the crickets chirping here. 🙂 Sure, I’ve done a few product reviews and those are always fun, but I really haven’t taken the time to express my own thoughts in awhile.  To be honest, I haven’t really known what to say.  … {…Read More}

And so it begins…

It’s been a good summer… but a long one. I love my littles dearly, but summer now means I have to be intentional about having adult conversations. I think the combination of the heat, the length, and just a lot of overall hard going on all around us – well, it’s had me quiet and a bit discouraged.  This world can do that, I’ve learned, and I think that’s ok.  Those hardships help us to … {…Read More}

Germinating.

Sometimes, the Farmer chooses to plant seeds a little deeper in the ground.  It takes work for them to pop through the ground and breathe in the deep refreshing air and sunlight with newly formed and growing leaves.  It takes time to see any results.  It’s really dark down there, under that rich soil.  But the soil is full of nutrients that the seed needs in order to grow.  The Farmer also knows that the … {…Read More}

I am not enough.

I am sure you’ve heard the saying that “it takes a village.” I’d be the first one to raise my hand in agreement. But I’d also be quick to go a step further and assure you that it also takes an Almighty God directing that village. At least that is how it’s looked pretty clearly in my life lately. And I don’t know if I could function a full day without that truth. I am … {…Read More}

I choose to dance.

It’s late and I never write this late, so perhaps none of this will make any sense – but that’s ok, because I write more for myself anyway, and it’s been too long since I stopped and shared my thoughts.  My kids have been on spring break this week, so any daytime writing time just hasn’t been a possibility.  I think the words just keep piling up in my head and heart until they just … {…Read More}

Just breathe.

One of the things I’ve begun to do to help me through this grieving process is running. Yes, I know some would call me crazy – but believe me, I needed it. Something that keeps me healthy, gives “me time” with worship music coming through my headphones while my children are well cared for, helps me feel better about myself, helps cut down on stress, and gives me goals in otherwise now pretty mundane days … {…Read More}

I’m back.

Hope… everyone seems to be grasping for it these days, desperately searching for it through life’s unanswered questions and hardships. We look to a lot of things to meet needs and fill the ache and the holes in our souls, coming up empty again only a little while later. It’s been over six months since my beloved B went to be with Jesus, and I’ve done plenty of my own aching and searching. And every … {…Read More}