Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Rise and Fall of the GENTLEman

At a highschool volleyball game, I recently struggled into the building with bags on one shoulder and my very heavy 20month old son on my hip. No one opened the door for me, though very capable young men were there to do it. Then as I stepped foot into the hall way, there was water on the floor where the band members were having a water fight. I was in flip-flops and the second my cute little flops met the dirty water on the floor, my feet slipped out from under me. I landed on top of my son. Praise God we were okay. It was definitely not my most graceful moment. None of the boys came to help me up. They just stopped for a moment and stared then went on with their games. One little girl shyly helped this embarrassed, upset, scared mom off the floor. She gathered the contents of my bags and helped me up. I was so saddened my the lack of concern these young boys had for me and my child. Where is the GENTLEman?

In my grief over the rise and fall of the GENTLEman, I remembered a scenario of just the opposite. On my way into McDonald's with my flock of little chicks and all their stuff, a young highschool boy waited for me to get to the door. He opened the door and smiled very graciously to me. I almost cried that he was so considerate and attentive to this momma who definitely needed help dragging my crew to the much anticipated play date. I found him with all his friends and told him how proud his mother would have been.

The following poem was written after much pondering. How could I impact the raising of my children to be considerate, compassionate and compelled to assist one in need.

The rise and fall of a GENTLEman
Often lies in the woman's hand.
As a little boy, this "little man"
Was taught by his mother to extend his hand.
In his heart he knew this was right
To be gentle even though he was strong with might.
As he grew, so did his heart to serve
In him a desire to be needed by a "little her".
This "GENTLEman" in the making
Offered to open the door,
To pullout a seat,
But this "little her" was determined
I don't need your help like women before.
In this simple rejection
The "GENTLEman" was defeated.
"Little her" is it worth, "I can do it myself"?
To have a generation of GENTLEmen left in the sand
Of "No thanks I'd rather stand".
So, mother of a "little man" and
Mother of a "little her"
Teach them the gift to serve
And the blessing of being served.
There once was a teacher
You may have heard.
He went out of His way
His followers thought it absurd!
There was a "little her" who sat at a well
The life she was living was sinful hell.
He told her of living water and offered her a drink
Her thirst so unforgettable,
This drink was it a welcomed truth or just a fable?
This "little her" could have said, "No thanks, I enjoy the alone"
But instead she said, "I will drink and take this message home."
A life changed, greatly impacted
By a GENTLEman who acted.
A simple gesture of opening a door
Or choosing the lesser seat on the floor
Tells a "little her" that she is precious and adored
Not by just a stranger but by the LORD!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is in a name??

My love language is "words of encouragement". In my file cabinet I have a folder labeled ENCOURAGEMENT. It is stuffed full of letters I've collected over the years sent by many of you. When I am feeling down or discouraged, I will open that folder up and instant sunshine fills my life again.

As a mother, I am constantly looking for ways to encourage my children. Discouragement is POWERFUL, especially in the life of a child. At the beginning of Second grade, Masie's teacher gave an assignment for the parents, "What is in a name?". The parents had to write a letter to the child as to why they chose the child's name and what the name means. My goal in this post is to ENCOURAGE you to do the same. Masie has re-read this letter many times and I am confident she will come back to it in years to come. Begin building an "ENCOURAGEMENT" file for each of your children. Collect notes from teachers, friends or document experiences where you have seen your child stand out. Regardless if you have children or not, I dare you to on purpose look for a child/teenager doing something right. Send them a note, give them a pat on the back or whisper in their ear "extraordinary actions make extraordinary people". Let's not just complain about "kids today" but lets find ways to celebrate them.


Dear Mason Kate,

When we chose your name, Mommy and Daddy knew nothing about you. The color of your hair, the sound of your voice or your personality were all mysteries to us. One fall chilly evening, around a fire pit in our backyard, over steaming cups of coffee, daddy shared his favorite name: Mason Kate. Once he spoke those words, an excitement began to build in my heart. I knew that in a few short months I would meet the one and only Mason Kate.

Did you know that Mason means=works with stone? Little did we know that you would be an avid collector of stones, crystals and fossils. I might even say you are a tiny bit obsessed with stones:) I believe your name also represents the ROCK solid foundation of God's Word. I believe that you, Mason, will work with the stones of God's truth. You will be part of building God's church with these stones every where you go...even as a child.

God is going to use you build strength and truth into the lives of people but you must hide God's Word in your heart. This is the key to a ROCK solid foundation that will guide every decision you will make. You will bring God's sweet presence into the lives of many who's hearts are stone cold and resistant to a relationship with God. You, Mason, must guard your heart from bitterness, jealousy and rage. These things harden our hearts towards God. These things will poison a heart and the earlier they are welcomed into your hearts home the bigger the barrier between you and God. As you have seen dad toss stones from our garden's soil, you to must toss the ugly stones from your life. Make this a habit now while you are young.

Your middle name, Kate, means PURE. "Blessed are the PURE in heart for they will see God". My prayer for you is that in your childhood, your thoughts and actions would remain pure, which will GREATLY impact your ability for purity in adulthood. As your parents, we will do anything we can to help guard the precious gift of purity you have. We will be careful of what you see, hear and's our job. May you always know how much God loves you. He is always quick to forgive and answer us when we call out to Him. We are promised a way out when led into temptation.

Mason Kate, we are ALWAYS for you.


Your one, only, handpicked by God parents!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Katelyn Mae-It's her Birthday

Katelyn Mae is FOUR today

How blessed we are that

God sent her our way

September 12th, 2006

Not a drop of rain was in the weather mix

Drought was upon our land,

Rich soil turned to sand

On September 12th in a birthing room,

a little girl was born at almost noon.

With her delicate features, tears ran down my face

Out the window rain drops began to fall at tremendous pace.

God whispered a promise :

As rain refreshed the earth in drought

This child will refresh our lives, restore our souls

Sweet Katelyn Mae has fulfilled this without a doubt.

It is a curious thing to watch a child grow up.

From nursing and cooing

To snotty noses and ah ah chooing

Learning to crawl, to toddle a bit

I watch my four year old cartwheel and skip.

What glorious plans are in store

For our Katelyn Mae -even at four.

Is it possible to keep her at my knee

To tickle and giggle and curl her up next to me.

I know that one day she will be grown

A wife, children, a home of her own.

However, until that season

I will take the time to play, instruct and reason

Sing loudly, instruct gently and pray with out ceasing.

Lord, today on Katelyn's first day of four

Use me to introduce your Love like never before.

Prepare Katelyn's heart to make You her home.

Keep my feet home more often,

Let not these childhood moments be stolen or forgotten.

If and when the day gets dark

Let me remember the promise you brought

When Katelyn Mae was born

Restoration, refreshment,

Gentle words whisperd,

Her heart for reconciliation is not the norm.

Use her Lord as a lover of peace

May she impact all she meets with mercy

Even if it's in Greece!

Use her to fulfill your promise of refreshment

For the plans for Katelyn Mae are heaven sent.

Happy Birthday Kitten Kat Katie!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HIS sheep am i

Below is an excerpt from my quiet time this morning. It is an earnest cry of my heart to be found faithful.

The Good Shepherd:

Shouldn't Shepherds feed their sheep?

Destruction is certain for those who feed themselves but let their flocks go hungry.
The Good Shepherd, searches for the lost, tends to the sick, broken and bound. Ezekiel 34

FORGIVE me Lord for feeding myself, for getting fat and full
For sitting so comfortable.

YOU are The Good Shepherd and i am your sheep.
I can delight in your promises.
Your ways are not hard to keep.
Show me Lord your heart for your flock.
Teach me to fight and protect them from
The enemy who scoffs and mocks.

YOU are The Good Shepherd - Your sheep am i.
YOU searched for me when i was lost and alone.
YOU mended my heart and brought me into Your home.
YOU are The Good Shepherd who knows my name.
YOU will teach me your ways so i may shepherd the same.

Who are the sheep YOU are bringing to me?

Find me faithful to teach them to sing.
Find me faithful to teach them Holy toil.
Find me faithful to show them how to cultivate rich soil.

YOU are The Good Shepherd.
YOU are my King.
The sound of your voice I know
All i am, to YOU i bring.

Hope for restoration sounds too good to be true.
May I not grow weary in bringing this flock back to YOU.
YOU will lead me.
YOU will be my guide.
For i am Your sheep
Who walks by The Good Shepherd's side.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From The Heart Of A Child

As Ryan tucked the girls in tonight, he prayed a simple prayer over our 3 yr old, Katelyn. He asked God to protect her from the dangers in this world. Masie responded, "Dad, do you know what the most dangerous thing in the world is? It is following the path made by sinners".

Chew on that one for a while!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching Up!

Well, Summer is in full swing at our house. School is out. As a mother with outside commitments, the change in schedule has had its challenges. Ryan and I tag team the kiddos- when he's home I work, when I work he's home. Thank goodness this is only for a short season. It's hard to have a good solid relationship when you see each other in passing. The great thing about Ryan is that he knows I can't function successfully without time with him. This morning before work our day started with coffee on the front porch just as the sun was starting to rise. Not a bad start to a Friday.

Our daughter, Katelyn learned how to swim without floaties last week. It is amazing that it only took a few short lessons with Ryan before she got the hang of it. It was so clear to me the influence this man has in the lives of our children. I am so glad that he taught her to swim. It built such huge trust between Katelyn and Ryan. She learned that when daddy says, "I've got you", he really does. Her confidence and smile just beam from her like the rays of sunshine we've been blessed with.

Masie was baptised this month. Ryan and I waited about a year after she "believed the free gift of grace and forgiveness" was for her. There are two things that indicated to us an authentic personal relationship with Jesus - the first was unprompted repentance. Not just, "Don't come out of the room until you tell me you are sorry". I have been so blessed when my 7 yr old on her own approaches me with a repentant heart over a sin she has committed against me or another. I can't imagine how precious this is in the sight of the Lord. The other sign of her own walk with God, is her willingness to obey His voice. Many times, Masie has acted on "promptings"...speaking a blessing to someone, coloring a picture for a co-worker of mine going through a tough time, passing along a scripture, spending her toothfairy money on gumballs for everyone but herself. We have witnessed amazing growth, maturity and love in this child's life. It was with great pride and honor that Ryan baptised her with many others at our church picnic.

Our son Gunner, is 18 months old now. Time goes so quickly. This lil dude has amazing blue eyes and it is a good thing! He would get a lot more spankings if those eyes didn't pierce your soul every time you looked into them. He is a very mechanical child, not interested AT ALL in anything resembling a toy. He wants ballpoint pens to disassemble, remote controls to remove the batteries, water spickits to turn on and off, dog water bowls to stand in, tractor rides with Poppy, TV to turn on and off, toilets to flush who knows what, cabinets to hide his shoes in...anything but TOYS. He is funny, full of personality, a total flirt and has stolen our hearts. How is it that he knows how to be tough? How did he learn so quickly that pulling Katelyn's hair is a quick way to annoy and harm his sister? How does he know when to raid the doll house and throw all the doll furniture out of its tiny home? Gunner has made our life very interesting, tons of fun and a little exhausting to keep up with.

Recently, I got news of being accepted to attend a "Writers and Speakers" conference in Colorado. I am so excited to see how God uses this conference to give me vision for my future, encouragement for the day and strength for great improvements. Sally Clarkson will be leading it in her home. There will be 30 other women attending the conference. I've been praying for the person that I get to room with. Leaving your children for any length of time can be tough - even exhausting just working out the logistics. I know God has a plan and that His fingerprints can be found in the details (just look around). I am looking to prepare for the conference by cleaning house spiritually. Taking inventory so to speak of unconfessed sin, unproductive habits, and what is God saying to me through His Word. I am looking forward to sharing this with you in the next few weeks.

Summer always has a way of flying by. May we not let time pass too quickly through our busy hands. Take time to play, to take a nap, to finish a project, to read a book. My goal for tomorrow is that I would be intentional at least once to ask each child, "want to play".


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day: America's Most Expensive Vacation

As I was looking for a picture to describe my prayers for our Nation this one captured it the best...reunion.

There have been several "AWE" moments in my life time where it becomes very apparent to me how costly freedom is. The first was September 11th. I will never forget where I was when I heard the news. My country under attack. Do you remember how it felt to feel so completely vulnerable? So unsure of the future? I remember laying in bed that night wondering what if something terrible happened to our country while I slept. How different Sept. 12 was going to be. A fear pierced tender places in my soul that I didn't even know existed.

The day after 9-11, my cousin signed up to defend and protect his country. Growing up, I remember playing war with him, all his childhood camo gear, his "hide outs" from the enemy (me). He told me, "All I ever wanted to be was a soldier". He served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. He has earned 2 purple hearts. His future is forever changed because he rose to the occasion. I went to sleep 9-11 wondering if I would wake to another attack and he went to sleep preparing to attack. Do you remember 9-11? For his sake I wish you would.

Several years ago, I came across an article in Texas Monthly featuring a friend from high school. He was a paratrooper. I'd never heard of that branch of service before. They are the guys that jump from airplanes in the middle of the night and rescue our soldiers, his brothers. In his article, he reflected on the places his boots had taken him and how serene it was when his service time was up. How strange it must have been to pack those boots away. How does one return? How does one man or woman survive war even if they come away without a scrape? Reading that article, moved me. It moved me from being a safe, self absorbed and oblivious stay at home mom to being ever conscious of the gift freedom is.

Several "AWE" moments of freedom I have encountered have to do with the wives here at home. On Mother's Day, a few years ago, I was having breakfast at Jim's with my family. Sitting at a table not too far from us was a young mom of three little girls. They were all dressed lovely and eating so nicely together. My husband picked up the tap for her breakfast. She came to us in tears. Her husband had been deployed and she was here in San Antonio alone. There was no one to pat her on the back. No one to observe her daily sacrifices on the behalf of her husband, children and her country. There is a cost for freedom.

Laying in bed one night, I was reflecting on this cost. I was deeply moved over the war. How many days went by with out even acknowledging that our country was even at war? I was overwhelmed and deeply grieved at the thought of the soldiers returning home with war so intimately ingrained in them. Their return home from seeing and experiencing the gruesome, heart breaking victories and defeats. Was it possible to sit down at the dinner table and freely converse? Was it possible for them to sleep in their own beds and not feel like aliens in their own country? How do these soldiers return to work, pay their mortgage and deal with the everyday? I remember begging God for miracles. Not just that God would save physically but that He would restore them spiritually.

For my cousin, high school friend, soldiers now and soldiers then-

They have all paid dearly for a holiday we celebrate only yearly.

Our politians may take a vacation

But tonight I shed tears for our nation.

Mothers who's sons have not returned

Children who's father they yearn.

Heal us Lord. Ignite passion in our land.

We beg you Lord, for without You our Nation will not stand.

Thanks we give You. Let Freedom Ring.

It will be a miracle for a Soldier's return without war's sting.

It is for Freedom, the Soldier's have stood up and fought.

Forgive us of our selfishness when we have thanked their families not.

Let us extend our hand, offer to babysit at least.

Only You can slay this war's beast.

With a sling and stone You've brought giants down.

Keep our enemies far don't let our Nation drown.

We call out to You in our time of need.

Let our leaders run to You at brake neck speed.

Allow us as a country, one household to another

Stand in the gap - strengthen our brothers.

May we stand firm as citizens of the best Nation united.


Show us how to mark out a strait path.

Let us grow Godly and divert Your wrath.

One Nation under God...the simplicity is true

Our Nation doesn't have a prayer if we don't walk with You.

This Memorial Day, in honor of Soldiers lost

We close our eyes tonight, safely do we sleep at Freedom's cost.

No payment here on earth can say thank you enough

But let us unite as the going gets tough.

Wasted their lives - let this never be

For it was for freedom-for you and for me.

May the Lord be close to the broken hearted and faithful to deliver those crushed in spirit. To the wives here in America holding down the fort - I say thank you. May you have peace that surpasses all understanding, may your burden be miraculously light and may time pass quickly. To the parents of soldiers past and present - I hope I never know the weight each of you carry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

God Bless America!