Monthly Archives: November 2013

Look At Me

Elijah

My kids can be a lot. A lot of words, a lot of action, a lot of noise.

And even as their parent, it can be too much to take in at times. You have been there right? Oh please tell me I am not alone in this! 🙂

I don’t get much quiet time in my day, typically my only time is really early in the mornings when I can do my Bible study.

This morning Elijah was up unusually early. He came down while I was in the shower and wanted breakfast. After breakfast he took a shower and then came to me to help him finish getting dressed.

He is wearing a shirt today with the number 36 on it.

So while I was dressing him I told him he had the number 36 on his shirt and he said “That’s a really BIG number”. “36 is a really, really big number”

Then he started to spread his arms out representing how big the number was.

At this point I was only half paying attention to him.

He probably got an “uh-hum” in there as well.

At some point he said “Do you see mom?!”

“Yep, I see”

And then he said something that snapped me out of my selfish, inattentive fog….

“No mom! Look at me with your eyes! You have to see with your eyes!”

He knows, even at four years old, he can recognize those times when I am not giving him my full attention.

And he wants to be seen – he wants to be heard.

Don’t we all?

It was a simple reminder this morning that I need to be more fully present. With my husband, my kids. I can give my “best” at the office to our clients, and then come home and not try as hard with my family.

Today I encourage you to be fully aware, stop and see and really listen, when you are interacting with your family. So that they know you can see them.  My family is my greatest blessing – I don’t want to take that for granted for even a moment!!

Operation Christmas Child – November Impact Opportunity!

OCC-Allume-Packing-Party

Several women of Allume packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child as their impact opportunity!!  I participated in a different group (I wished I could have worked with every group!!) But instead asked to partner with them again this year in spreading the word about OCC!

Starting this month, and each month going forward, I will be featuring a different organization here. I am calling this an impact opportunity, like they did at Allume.  This will be a chance for you to hear about different ways you might be able to join and help make an impact in the lives of others.

I shared recently that I really felt God calling me to give more and Allume really gave me the chance to discover several organizations I had not heard of before. Each one touched my heart and I am hoping to partner with each one to raise awareness for their cause!

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At Allume, Alex spoke to us on behalf of OCC.  Alex was an orphan in Rwanda years ago when he recieved his first Christmas Box. He has a powerful story and I encourage you to click on the link and watch the video.

Each year our family packs boxes for children as well.  We do 3 boy boxes and a girl box.  It has become a tradition in our family and they get excited about finding the gifts and school supplies for children just like them.

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I start shopping in mid August when all of the school supplies come out. This is a PERFECT time to pick up extra items for your shoeboxes because come November the prices go up and the availability goes down. So shop early!!

OCC also recommends that there be something soft in each of the boxes. A stuffed animal or something that the child can grab onto right away and find comfort from.

This year I found these cute stuffed fish for the boy boxes.

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We also fill all the empty spaces in with fun, non-meltable candy treats.

One of the cool things you can do is pay for the shipping costs for your boxes (only $7 each!!) and then you will get a tracking code specifically for your box so that you can get an email update telling you where your gifts were sent!

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I love that this is a fun, easy and affordable way to make an impact for a child who may not get any other Christmas presents this year.

There are several resources available if you have questions about participating: Click on the links below to read more!

How to pack a shoebox.

Order free materials to help promote this in your church or community.

More info on following your box!

Locate a drop off location in your area.

Do you and your family pack shoeboxes? What are some of your best gift ideas?? I love to hear about what you are doing to make your boxes extra special!

National Collection Week is November 18-25th. So if you haven’t started already – get packing!!

Art and Worship

Art

“You are an artist by design” Emily Freeman

On Saturday night at Allume we had our last dinner/speaker/worship time.  Emily Freeman was speaking about the artist in each of us.  She has written a new book called ” A Million Little Ways“.

She encouraged us to see the art in us – the beauty of the art that God created around us. It is everywhere. Can we see it?

She said “Art is moving toward what makes you come alive.”

For some of us that is writing, maybe singing or painting.

What makes you come alive?

Find that thing and pursue it!!

After dinner we went into a time of worship. And can I tell you it was the most moving experience I have ever been a part of.

The music was amazing and I could feel God’s presence in the room. We were celebrating Him!!

But then they also had these women come in that were painters. Each artist had been praying over what they might paint and then the canvases were given away in a random drawing. Mel actually won one and it is an amazing story – seriously I can’t wait until she posts it because it still gives me chills!!

As part of the decorations they had these little blank canvases and some water color paints and colored pencils.  They encouraged us to create art as we felt led.

And so in between standing up and singing and watching the artists create their pieces, I sat down and painted one of my own.

Let me tell you it was NOT easy painting with the tiny brushes we were given and the watercolors…but the music was inspiring and the picture at the top of my post is what I ended up with!

I couldn’t believe it!

It was such a cool experience to feel inspired and creative in that way! I am not sure that I can recreate that environment – but I want to try this painting thing again. I really enjoyed it!!

Yesterday my Elijah asked if I could just stay home with him and his brothers after school and not go back to work.  I asked why and he said he wanted to spend time alone with me. 🙁

When I asked him what he would want to do if we could spend some time together and he said “Paint”!

So this afternoon I stopped out at Walmart and picked up some small canvases, some brushes and a few paints and tomorrow we are going to do art together.

And I will probably crank up the music just a little while we are at it. 😉

What is something that makes you come alive? I encourage you to spend a little time this weekend discovering what that might be!

Five Minute Friday – Grace

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Linking up with Lisa Jo again -this week to participate in Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word is  Grace – ready, set go –

Karlena 2

Karlena you taught me so much about grace.

Today I remember you even more as we celebrate your 3rd “birthday” in Heaven.

This time of year is especially hard because of that and while I continue to praise God that you are healed and worshipping in His glory…..my heart continues to ache because you aren’t here.

Karlena had a spirit of grace.

Knowing that her life would take a very specific path, in what would be a short amount of time, she chose to live her life with faith and grace.

When friends turned away because they couldn’t deal with the changes that were happening to her, she loved them anyway. She understood how it might be difficult for some and she showed them grace in its purest form.

While I was angry for her and felt unforgiveness because I knew her heart was hurt – she modeled grace in a tangible way.

Karlena loved well.

To love well we often have to be willing to extend grace, and she did that. With her family, with her church friends, with me.

When I didn’t call often enough – she offered grace. I always felt like my call, my presence was so important to her, no matter the distance of time between them.

She knew God was calling her to live well and love generously because her life was short.

But all of our lives are short aren’t they?

What an example to spend your days being a picture of acceptance and grace towards God’s plan for your lives even when it hurt.

She challenged me to view life from her perspective. To be brave. To walk in the path that God has chosen for me in faith.

In 2008 I went to a Women of Faith conference with Karlena and the theme was Grace. I wrote this post in honor of her then. It seemed fitting to share today on the anniversary of her passing.

I love you friend. I can’t believe another year has passed but your memory and legacy is still alive and well here. Thank you for showing me how to live graceously.

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