It Is What It Is

itis

I know this statement meets with mixed reviews.  Some will say it’s a cop out- a way to be rude without being rude.  Some will say it’s giving up.  Some will say it’s lazy.

But I say this…there is something holy in accepting where you are.

I’m in a place of acceptance about fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia steals hours from me.  Days from me.  Experiences from me.  Fibromyalgia is forcing me to change who I am. It’s forcing me to reshape my day to day life.

It is what it is.

There are things I’ve found that help. Yoga, walks, good rest.  Essential Oils.

But sometimes…I just have pain.

Pain that makes no sense.  Pain that debilitates.  Pain that forces me to triage the needs and wants of my family, of myself and pick and choose those things that are truly important.

I’m realizing the truth here.

I have to let fibromyalgia be heard because it is what it is. It’s going to steal time from me, whether I make space for it or not.  But if I make space for it…there is so much less stress and striving.

I’m learning.

If I shrink my world down…If I carve out margin…If I just schedule time for rest and stillness…then fibro doesn’t win.

Turns out, there are just hours that I need to spend in the chair of healing, Bible open, paints nearby, markers, pens and pencils and crayons…I spend these hours in the Word or with my eyes closed.  These have been holy hours.

So…I’m not losing out on life.  I’m gaining Him.  It is what it is. And I could turn it into hours that I cry for what I can’t do.  I could turn into hours that I feel guilty and ashamed for all that I can’t accomplish.  I could turn it into hours where I’m filled with resentment and self pity and grief.  And yes, sometimes all of that and more….

But I count it as gain when I spend these hours like Mary at the feet of Jesus.  Choosing the better thing.  It will not be taken from me.

These hours spent with the One who made me and who holds my health in His hands are sacred.  They are a gift.

It is what it is.

Two Weeks Later

Two weeks ago, I woke up and my water broke.

Two weeks ago, I didn’t have any idea how much my life was going to change.

Two weeks ago, I didn’t know what I was about to face.

Yesterday, a friend said she had the epiphany while driving to the hospital to see me, “I could have just as easily been driving to your funeral.”

Sometime when we sat beside our teeny, tiny daughter’s bedside this past week John said, “I just didn’t know how I’d be able to show her who you were.”

Many times, doctors and nurses that I don’t remember have stopped and said with hushed voices and a squeeze of the hand, “I am so glad to see you today.”

And over and over again, many times an hour, I say an awestruck thank you to God for hearing the prayers of His people and calling me back from the brink of death.

This two weeks has been a crash course in the beauty of the body of Christ and the majesty of God Himself.  These two weeks have shown me miracles.  Miracles of provision, miracles of service and love towards us, medical miracles and miracles of answered prayer.

It started with miracles of provision.  As I waited in the hospital for something to change, my sister was organizing and mobilizing the people of God.  People I know, people I don’t know, people I can’t wait to get to know have fed my family, cared for my home and yard, taken care of my little girls, purchased needs for our home, Christmas gifts, a recliner for me to recuperate in.  God opened up the floodgates of heaven and rained down provision, it just streamed through the hands of His people.  We sat in humble amazement as the people of God loved on us.  Our hearts swelled.  Our cup ran over and over and over.

And then I began to hemorrhage again on Sunday after this post and a long visit from my dad and my husband and my kids.  It was scary and went from scary to really scary pretty quickly and it stayed really scary.  I remember almost nothing from Sunday night at 10pm  until 1:00 on Monday.  I opened my eyes to a clock that said 1:00 and I could see that it was daytime outside and I knew that just wasn’t right.  I’d gone into surgery at 10pm.  It should be 1:00am…what had happened in the night?  I had one flash of memory- tons of voices talking, pain in my mid section, feeling paralyzed and terribly afraid but that was my only memory.  And it was brief.  I lay there, intubated, trying to figure out what had happened.

When I finally got the tube out (shudder…that was rough)…John and Bethany filled in the gaps for me.  I was prayed away from the brink of death, friends.  John said it did not start to turn around until he and the rest of my family began calling on people to pray and pray with authority.  I had been losing blood faster than they could replace it.  I was up to 24 units- the body holds 8.

I had a procedure done in radiology that was a last ditch-this might work procedure that did begin to work.  As the people prayed, my bleeding slowed.  As the people prayed, I began to come back.

I listened to John and Bethany talk about how close I’d come to leaving this world and was humbled anew.  Miracles of medicine and medical know how.  That my doctors never gave up.  Miracles of a praying people.  Miracles of a praying people who spoke, sang and shouted life over me.

And as all of that went on and the battle for me was raging…a little girl noisily entered the world and defied all expectations.  Nora Elizabeth Jean, world changer did well from the moment she was born screaming and flailing.

This tiny two pound, 14 ounce long miracle girl burst into the world and amazed us all.

She has done so well since the very beginning.  And now she is six days old and she has a long road ahead of her but I can see her strength and I know that she will continue to grow and grow stronger.

At first, after my surgery and my experiences, I was really unwell.  I would fall asleep in mid sentence, I had pain, I was exhausted.  It took until day three to have the stamina and the strength to come and meet my sweet little warrior princess.  But that day came and I was deeply amazed by her.  For one thing, she is indescribably tiny.  For another, she is fearfully and wonderfully made.  For a third…she is my prize for surviving all of this and I love her big.

It’s as though all the strength of all the women she is named after (and there are about 20 people she is named for with Elizabeth and Jean) have come together in Nora.  She is strong, feisty, tough…a fighter.

Her daddy and I are so grateful for her big presence and her tiny, well formed body.  She has a purpose and a destiny and she is beginning life with an amazing testimony.

The second time I went to see her, I still felt such awe…but also overwhelming love and gratefulness and I wept as I held her for a good ten minutes.  Tears just fell as I held her warm little body close.  Thank you, Jesus for saving us.  For letting me hold this precious daughter.  For letting us have each other.

 

Our lives have changed in two weeks.

We are humbled and loved deeply.  We are thankful and our hearts overflow.  We are aware of the power of God’s people, of the power in His Hand.

Two weeks ago, my water broke…today, I’m going home.  I’m recovering.  I’m going to be okay.  We have the day Nora comes home to look ahead to.  We have days in between where we can just sing praises and shout our thanksgiving and love each other.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousnessfor his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Judge Not

Yesterday I had a mini epiphany.

We all know that we have no business judging each other, right?  We’ve read that in the Bible, we’ve quoted it to each other, to ourselves, maybe even with a wagging finger to our judgey loved ones.

We know why we shouldn’t judge.

We shouldn’t judge because we’re all sinners.  We’re all on our own journey.

And we don’t have the right to decide who is worthy of His grace and who isn’t.

And I actually do get that.  I have plenty of planks in my own eye that need to be tended to.  I believe strongly that there’s much more power in love and encouragement than in judgement and discord.

All week this week, I have struggled.  Remember the day that Discouragement came knocking?  Well, she got creative this week.  And I think it’s because Poor Me and Selfishness were already sitting around my dining room table, commiserating over coffee.

You know how sneaky Poor Me is and you know how manipulative she is.

I’m pretty sure that one or the two of them let Discouragement in the back door.

And she sidled up beside me and whispered discontent in my ear until, before I knew it, the house was filled with these malicious, malignant bedfellows that are really not friends to me.

But oh, how quickly they convince me that they are.

Discouragement told me that I would never be able to get the support for Peter and the Good Samaritan Orphan Homes that they need.

Discouragement told me that I would likely never finish the book I’ve begun…because everyone knows I never finish anything.

Discouragement told me that my back was just going to continue to ache and continue to trouble me.

Discouragment told me that I’d never be the mother I’m supposed to be.

And for a while I argued with her, because I didn’t want to feel discouraged.

But then she upped the ante.  “You’re not going to be able to raise the money for the orphan homes…you’re not like World Vision, you don’t know enough.  You’re not missions minded, like so many other Christians.  And anyway, you’re always going to struggle financially.  You don’t have the sort of blessings that this friend has…”  and she named names.  And she called me out to judge my circumstances against those of my friends.  I shook my head in dismay but began to wonder why I don’t have the same blessings as this dear friend or as that one.

“You’re not going to finish your book.  You’re not like…”  And then she named names.  She listed bloggers who are changing the world with their words, bloggers who are writing books, who are using their influence for so much good.  She shook her head and said, “Not you.”  I thought about this.  I thought about the other bloggers that I know and love and read every day.  I felt small and insignificant.

“And you can forget about physical healing…”  She began to list my sins and she began to list the good and godly people I know who’ve received full and total healing.  “You aren’t like them, you know.”  And I felt so unworthy.

“And how can you be the mother you want to be?  For one thing, you’re way too old to have very many more kids.  And look at how you parent…you get impatient, you lose your temper…You’re not like…”  and then she listed mother after mother that I know.  Wonderful mothers with one child or six children or nine children or more or less and mothers who are patient and soft spoken.  Mothers who always know where the library books are and what day the field trip is.  Mothers who feed their kids freshly baked bread and healthy, organic foods…mothers I aspire to be like.  Suddenly I felt like I’d never be good enough.

Before I knew it, my whole living room was filled.  Jealousy, Discontent, Self Hatred, Envy, Unworthiness, Restlessness, and Comparison filled the room with their noise.  Their voices, so loud…I could barely hear the Shepherd anymore.

Poor Me and Selfishness folded their arms and smiled at Discouragement.  The three of them had accomplished their goal.  I was a mess.

I kind of just curled up into a ball in the middle of the floor and let these bad friends assault me with their words.  I took them in and I let Discouragement win.  She is so relentless.  So stubborn.  So loud.

And then I did hear the Shepherd.  “Judge Not.”  He said.

“Really, ”  I replied.  “Really?  You’re exhorting me now when I’m a mess?  A puddle of me on the floor?  I need grace right now.”

“Judge not.”  He said again.  Firm but serene.  Like He is…the Eye of a storm.

And then I could hear myself correcting daughters in this house and what they always say is, “But she…”  wanting to point the finger at another sister.  They always do that, always want to blame another sister.

And I always say, “You need to be looking at yourself, not at your sister.”

And then the Shepherd said that to me, “You need to be looking at yourself, not at your sister.”

Because how true.  Looking at my sisters in Him, I am measuring my successes and failures against theirs and how can I know what work took place in their hearts and lives to get them to that point?  How can I know what fires they’ve walked through?  How can I judge my life against someone else’s?

I can’t, really.  And, I shouldn’t.

I picked myself up off of the floor and started kicking these awful friends out.  I told Selfishness that Love is not self serving and she slunk guiltily out the door.  I told Poor Me that I am blessed and loved by the King of Glory and she rolled her eyes and flounced out dramatically.  I told Jealousy that the King is enthralled by my beauty and she turned from me, walked away.  I told Envy how blessed I am and that Love gives and doesn’t take.  She nodded and departed, knowing I was right.  I told Unworthiness to go, go, go because Jesus Himself suffered and died that I might be free.  That I am made in His image and I swear she went up in flames right then and there.  I told Restlessness that I am content in my circumstances and she waved good bye.  I told Comparison that I am created in His own image and how could that be any better?  She conceded my point, got her things and off she went.

And then it was time to have a talk with Discouragement.  I realized then that I was not alone, that Obedience and Faith had joined me while I was sending off all of the others.  That their friend Hope has arrived as well.  We four stand with arms linked and we said to Discouragement that she must go and stay gone…because we are in this together.

I looked at my own life again.

I can do this.

I can be a missions supporter.  I can help Peter and the Good Samaritan orphans and the good ladies.  I will not grow weary in doing good.  

I can be a writer.  I will finish my book.  I will blog every day and if the only people who ever read it are my mom and my mother in law and my sister and me…that’s okay too.  He has asked me to write…write, I will.

I can be healed.  He is in the business of miracles and I am qualified for one because He loves me.

I can be the mother I want to be because this is the job I was created for.  And maybe it won’t look like I dreamed it would back when I first began to long for a large family, but I will do the work God has given me.  I will do my best.  I won’t measure myself against others.

I won’t judge.  I won’t even judge me.

 

Be Still

Early morning and I am the only soul awake.

It’s uncharacteristically quiet in a house that usually vibrates with voices, movement, music and life.

I breathe deep.

I feel Him stirring my heart to pray.

But when I close my eyes and open my hands to receive, no words come at all.

I wait.

I am still.

And that’s when I realize that’s the purpose this morning.  To sit and be still in Him.

It’s so hard for me to open up my heart and my hands and to just be still and quiet.  A small part of me always wonders…”Is the offering I bring going to be enough for Him?”

But it is, because what He wants is me.

My sacrifice of praise this morning is to just be still in His presence.

Psalm 131

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

131 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 131 Listen!

I have calmed and quieted my soul.

I have been still in the Presence of the One who holds it all together.  I do not do enough of this. No, I’m the one running hysterical into the throne room, throwing herself at His feet and begging for this, that or the other thing.  Or, I’m the one with the short bullet line prayers- where are my keys?  Help this person with this.  Heal so and so. I love you and I’m thankful and I’ll spend more time with you later.

How much more would my life change if I took these moments to just BE with Him?  To not try and solve My World’s problems, to not just beg for miracles and provision, to not just put Him off for times that are convenient for me.  How much more would my life change? He renews me as I sit in silence.  He sharpens me.  He fills my heart with His goodness.

These moments go by so quickly and little ones are stirring…big girls are rising…the phone rings, the dog barks.

The moment of stillness passes so quickly but its residue lingers.

Talking About Gratitude, Again

40.  Sunlight through the window
51. Cold diet Pepsi
52. Claire’s pride at putting on a hat all by herself
71. Sister giggles
107. Paw saying, “I sure am glad that Wayne and Teeny had a daughter named Chris.”
110. Talking baby names with my sister
115. Finding plastic animals in odd places
154. Lila and the “communication” juice
166. The joy of writing and sharing my words
179. Watching Aubrey in her play
182. That salty air smell
193. Humble words from one daughter
194. Hopeful words from another daughter
225. David’s giggles when I kiss his cheeks
230. Kind words from unexpected places
234. Paw’s face when she saw Chase today
248. Green beans cooked in butter and brown sugar
250. Laughing with all of these crazy daughter women
252. Feeling that sense of belonging
262. My bedroom fans
273. Watching the smoke from the fire lift up during worship outside at our family Bible study
282. Paw’s dove pin
288. The song, “My Soul Sings”

This is just a sampling.  Some of them are so close to my heart that I just can’t type them out for the world to see, they’re between Jesus and me.  Some things I’m thankful for two or three times as I turn the pages and I laugh at my redundancy.  Lots of things are food related!  Many of them are about being a mom.  About Bible study nights, about our home and our family.  But these are all things that:

1.  I may have missed if I hadn’t been looking for them.
2. I can now remember by reading back over them.

I may have missed the way the words of that song touched my heart.  I may have missed the way the sunlight came through the window to kiss my hand as I washed the dishes.  I may have missed the beauty in Creation that God made for me.  I may have forgotten to say thank you for the beauty and the joy and the glory He has made…just for my pleasure.  He delights in me and He gives me good, good gifts.

He gives them whether I say thank you or not.

And I may have forgotten the words Paw said to me back in January…before she was too sick to speak anymore.  I may have forgotten the way her face lit up when Chase arrived.  I may have forgotten the funny things that happen when you’re the mother of many and they are all so different and glorious…all their notes joining together in beautiful, harmonious chaos.  I may have forgotten about the night that Deanna, Julia, Aubrey and I stood at the landing and talked about life for who knows how long…but it’s written down now.  I can read back over my gifts and feel them all again…feel my gratitude again.

I can relive His love for me, over and over.

And I think about how it was before and how I tried to control my disappointments.  I went looking for what was going to go wrong so that maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much when it happened.  I expected the worst, I called myself a realist.  I told Him and I told me that I would ask for no other blessing…that His Presence and His Gift of Salvation were enough to sustain.  And yes, they are.  He is with me and He is faithful to the end.

But He also is a Good Father and He gives Good Gifts.

There’s no doubt that horrible, awful things happen.  There’s no doubt that in the world we will have trouble.  Doesn’t the Word say so? John 16:33  “In this world, you will have trouble…”

But, beloved ones, there is also no doubt that “I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

There is goodness to be seen.  I have a spiral notebook that is filling UP with goodness.  And imagine if I had been faithful to record every day!  Sometimes days have gone by and I’ve forgotten to write things down so I know that I must be missing 100 gifts, at least.

Psalm 16

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Strong Love

And here are more of my joys…

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The Sacrifice of Praise

I think we know in our heads and even in some places of our hearts that God knows best.

But that doesn’t stop us from trying to tell Him what to do.  I often get His plan “figured out” and then I try to make it happen.  Yes, you read right.   I try to make it happen.

This is, of course, fruitless.

I think of Abraham and Sarah and how they tried to make God’s promises come to pass.

It began with this- a Holy visitation and a word from the Lord.  “I will make you a father of many nations.  I will give you and Sarah a son.”

And the two of them wanted that son a lot…Sarah grew impatient and decided they would need a surrogate.  She supplied her servant Hagar to her husband in order to get this son.  But it wasn’t a good thing…and it wasn’t really what Sarah wanted because this is not what God had in mind.

Genesis 21:12 says, “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”
The New Living translation says, “…This happened just at the time God said it would.”

God’s timing.  He sets the times and none of our striving can change that.  It’ll happen at the time God said it would.

Last night, I made oven baked chicken with a ritz cracker crust.  It was really good but man, it was spicy.  I couldn’t figure out what was making it so spicy.  Paprika, salt, pepper, thyme, onion powder.  Why were we all on fire?

John suggested, “Maybe you mixed up the paprika and the cayenne?”  And sure enough I had.  We all agreed that it was better this way and it made me think about God.

Sometimes we think we’ve figured out His plan. Sometimes we think we know best but the truth is…

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans for a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

And only He knows when and how and all of that.  And it’s like the chicken.  Sometimes the unexpected is the most flavorful.  Sometimes we can’t imagine what His best really is, we can only see our best.  And how can we even know what the best is?  God can see the end of the story and we can’t.

I’m in a season of surrender.  I’m in a season of placing all that I try to control and manage and worry about on the altar.  To make my life a sacrifice of praise.  It’s a choice I must go back to day in and day out.  Laying down my plans for my family, my plans for my future, my dreams (this one hurts) for all of us on the altar and giving all to Him.

I want my heart to beat with His.  I want my steps to be in sync with His.  I want to walk the paths He has for me.  It’s scary to lay it all down and surrender my own will.  It’s hard.  But I don’t want to miss His best for me.  Thirty nine years in this life has taught me one thing- I am nothing without Him.  And His best is what I want.  There is joy in the laying it down.  There’s something about emptying ourselves out and letting Him fill us back up.  There’s something powerful in surrender.

He never holds His best back from us.  He gives it with no strings attached and with open hands.  But we have to be willing to release control and take it.

 

This is the Day that the Lord Hath Made

When a loved one passes away…people often say or post, “Rest in peace.”

And often images of heaven are peaceful ones…babbling brooks, warm breezes, angels playing harp music, soft fluffy clouds and long, comfortable robes.

But today, my Paw died.  And today, she is with Jesus and so today…I don’t know how peaceful heaven is.  I’m thinking that today, in heaven, there’s a party.  That today, all of those faithful ones from the book of Hebrews are welcoming in one of their own.  Because my Paw lived faithful.

Today is the day that tambourines jingle and feet fly and laughter rings out across heaven.  Today is the day that Paw is no longer bound to her wheelchair or, as she has been lately, to her bed.  Today is the day she can run, she can twirl, she can jump and she can dance, dance, dance without getting tired.

Today Paw will hold hands with Jesus and look into the face of God and the joy that floods my heart when I think about that moment is such a comfort.  An elixir to the grief that this morning brings…knowing our world doesn’t have Paw in it anymore.

Paw used to sing to us on the back porch.  “Oh Jolly Playmate”…I can hear it in my heart even now.  She used to sing as she washed the dishes…”This is the Day”….

This is the day
This is the day that the Lord hath made
That the Lord hath made
We will rejoice
We will rejoice
And be glad in it
And be glad in it
This is the day that Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord hath made

This is the day that He called His daughter home.  That He called her to her reward.  And while we will so much miss the wisdom, the love, the joy that our Paw was in our lives…she is home.  This is a day that we rejoice in.

My sister prayed last night that Paw would feel all the love of all of her people at one time and that she would be blessed and rest in that.  The love that she is feeling today is that much love times 100.

We will mourn.  We will weep and we will feel sorrow…but we rejoice as well.  Paw is home.  Paw is loved.  Paw is dancing and leaping and singing and shouting.

And all of heaven with her.

No One is Youer than YOU!

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 4:4-6”

I stand at the sink, washing dishes and thinking about things.

I have a lot to think about…my Paw, my kids, my husband, my friends, my family…Caroline begging for attention from the laundry room, laundry begging for attention too.

But I am thinking about my blog and how much I love words and how much I love that God is using my love for words to refine me and to be near to me.  I’m in such a season of refining.

I say to Him, “I’ve always beat myself up because I’m not really a student- I read the Bible but don’t get far studying it…I love to read fiction, not books for learning more about You.  I suck at carving out a quiet time.”  Instead, my day is comprised of thirty second quiet times as I go along.  A prayer here, a thanks there, a tear here, songs sung here.  I want to be like my husband who loves to study and read the word. Or like my old friend Joseph who gets up at 5:00am just so that he’ll have two hours of time with the Lord…every morning.

“That’s how I get through the day.  I can’t be a good person without that time.”  he once told me.

But that’s not me.  I am scatterbrained and easily distracted and I learn by seeing and feeling more than by reading and studying.

“Thank you,” I say, “For drawing near to me in writing and singing.”

And He says, “It’s how I made you.”

I could stand to develop more discipline in the area of study…but God is also okay with me being me.  He made me this way…relational and creative and a little bit flaky.  He is using what I have to change me and to make me more like Him.

Yesterday, I had some of the kids at the dentist’s office and the hygienist was asking me questions about the kids and their teeth and when this one’s teeth came in and about cross bites and cavities…and I didn’t always know the answer.  I couldn’t remember those small details.  I have five…and I’ve had one of them for nineteen years and a lot has happened in nineteen years.  I can’t always remember when teeth came in or how this one’s teeth looked at five or that one’s teeth looked at five.

But God remembers each little thing about us.  He remembers my little idiosyncrasies and giftings and talents and He plans out my life so that they can be used, that they can be placed on a lamp stand to serve the body.

My husband is a teacher and, in his heart, a preacher.  I am sad that he’s not able to exercise the gift of preaching right now but his answer is always this, “God made me this, He won’t forget I need to use it.”  And he doesn’t fret over it…He is confident that God will use his gifts and talents.

God is a Good Father.

Today, get out a piece of paper or open a sticky note on your computer or ask Siri to start a list for you.  Please list five good things about you.  Five good things that make you You.  There is only one you.  Fearfully and wonderfully made and the apple of Your Father’s eye.  And when you’re done making that list, would you share it here?  It would be beautiful to see the gifts of my readers!

Scratching the Surface of How To Love Well

God has given me five answers on how to love well and I want to share them with you.

1. Honor

The importance of honor was made real to me over the summer when we went to the Wave Leadership conference in Virginia Beach. I have since listened to Kevin Gerald’s podcasts on honor.  My heart was stirred and even torn a little as I thought about the ways I honor and dishonor.
You can click here to hear for yourself. Kevin Gerald

2. Forgiveness

I have learned a lot about forgiveness as I’ve moved through the stages of grief in the wake of my divorce. I’ve learned that forgiveness is more about the one who’s been wronged than the one who has hurt us. Forgiveness is key to letting go of bitterness and living life whole and full.

3. Selflessness

This one is big. We must put others ahead of ourselves. It’s the epitome of honor and love. When we serve the ones He loves, we are serving Him.

4. Thankfulness
Have I mentioned “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and the joy dare? I’ll mention it again…just in case. This book and this dare have changed my inner voice. They’ve changed my heart, my mind and my spirit. I have gained so much from reading this book and learning to live thankful…God has used these tools mightily.

5. Believing God
Oh, my friends and readers, this is The One. We have to believe Him when He says who He is, what He can do, how He loves us and what His plans are. He is believable…and it is key.

So, I’m mulling over these five things. There is so much there that I am almost overwhelmed. I think I could write 365 blog posts about each piece of the puzzle.