Monthly Archives: March 2014

Even the Little Things

Prayer

Yesterday was a rough day.

It started out with me waking up at 4:30 in the morning with a terrible headache.

I get a bad headache a couple of times a month usually, and they usually last a couple of days. Typically I can take 1 excedrine, or use a little peppermint oil and it goes away. I have tried all sorts of things for headaches over the years and found many options ineffective.

So when I woke yesterday I took 1 pill and went back to bed for an hour and thought when I got up it would be gone.

But it wasn’t and it was really bad. Another pill, some oil, some Ibuprophen…massaging my temples. Nothing was working.

I reached out to a group of friends that was going to be meeting over the lunch hour to pray for our God-sized Dream team. Each Tuesday several women gather over Google Hangout and pray for the team. It is such a gift to have people praying for you and there is power when they are gathered.

I asked for prayer for my headache. And then forgot that I had even made the prayer request.

Over lunch I noticed that the headache just stopped. I figured that the meds must have finally kicked in. But it was gone and honestly it didn’t return for the rest of the day.  This isn’t typical for me.  When I get a bad headache like this it will come back, it will last into the evening, it will be there in the morning when I wake up. For at least 2 days, sometimes 3.

Last night I got a boxer from my friend Christine and in it she reminded me that they prayed for my headache….at approximately 1:45 EST. I was having lunch at that exact time (CST)….

During the exact moments that my dear sisters were lifting me up in prayer I was finally feeling relief.

When Christine left that message I just had chills.

He hears our prayers. No they aren’t always answered in the time frame that we would hope…or even with the answer we are looking for. But sometimes we see an immediate answer….and yesterday was one of those times.

I am just so grateful.

Grateful that I have faithful friends that are willing to stand in the gap for me and lift me up in prayer.

Grateful that God loves me enough to hear and respond to even the little things like a bad headache.

I am not sure where you find yourself this morning….struggling with a bad headache, or maybe something even bigger.

I want you to hear just this one thing today – God hears your prayers, even the little things. He hears them. It is worth our time to keep lifting them up. And when we see answers – share it with others!

Give God the credit for how He loves us!

Last night I jumped on our FB group page to thank the women who prayed for being faithful. We need to be faithful in the praying, but also faithful in the praising of God when we see the answers come!

God, thank you. Thank you for hearing, for healing and for loving me so much. Even in the little things. I am awake this morning pain free and praising You and grateful for my faithful sisters who stand in the gap for me.

Do you have a prayer need that I can be praying about today? Please leave them in the comments and I will be lifting you up in prayer today!!

Joining my dear friend Holley in her #2014EncouragementChallenge. Sharing words of encouragement and hope each week! We’d love for you to join in on the fun!!

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Photo Credit: Zach Alexander

God’s Amazing World – Giveaway!

Book 1

I love books. And I especially love children’s books that are fun to look at and teach a good message.  I was given the opportunity to review “God’s Amazing World!” by Eileen Spinelli and Ideals Books.

My children look at the world differently that I do at times.

They can see the beauty that I take for granted, they find wonder in the bugs that are crawling in the grass and the birds that are in the air.  When I think of all the things that God created I am amazed. How often do I miss it though?!

But God, He thought of everything!

And what a story to share with your children. The way in which God created us, this world and everything in it. When we give our children God’s words, His stories, they keep them in their heart and remember them.

Just the other day I was talking to my 4 year old about Dominic having to work late and feeling bad that he was alone and Elijah said “He isn’t alone silly, he is never alone because he has God in his heart.” I had said that very thing to him weeks before when he said he was feeling lonely.

Our children are listening and remember what we say.  What a better way to give them truth than in a book about God’s Amazing World?!

Book 2

I love that because Gabriel is old enough to read on his own he can help read to his brother and sister. While they were listening, the minute I wanted to take a picture they wouldn’t sit on the couch, of course! 😉

Book 3

In God’s Amazing World! “Gracie and her cousin Bo explore the seven days of Creation, all without leaving the backyard!”

The pictures are beautiful and as they discover each new day and what God created special for that day, kids are not only learning about the Creation story, but also about seeing God’s hand in everything around them. Even in their own backyard!

Book 4

This book is a new favorite and we have read it over and over again!  I am very excited because Flyby Promotions has given me an extra copy to give away to one of my readers!! If you have children you will want to enter this!! Just leave a comment below and tell me what is your favorite children’s book?!  A winner will be chosen on Monday March 31st! #ShareAMoment

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“You Love Me Anyway”

3 Crosses

We are in the season of Lent…anticipating the Easter celebration that will come in a few weeks, the culmination of the Christ story, the fulfillment of God’s promises.

But are we living out that gift of life that was given to us on a daily basis?

We are studying Revelation in church right now and it is very interesting and scary stuff. Scary for those that will be left behind. We see in greater detail God’s wrath on a fallen world.

But still there is hope in the story.

God, in His loving mercy, sent His only Son as a way out. Payment for our sins. God wants all to know Him and accept this gift of grace.

But do we live in that grace?

I have been a believer for a long time. I have also had a very skewed view of what that means. I am a failure at being a good Christian most days.  I am not kind and loving with my family at times, I can talk about faith but don’t always live it out well, I am a hypocrite, 100%.

So who am I to stand here, writing about the grace and mercy of God?!

Those are lies that the enemy whispers to me often. Do you hear them as well?

Our pastor shared something at the end of his sermon on Sunday that really struck a chord in me and I just felt like I needed to share it here today. Maybe you find yourself in this very place as well….

As Christians we often hold ourselves to a kind of “to-do” list to keep us saved. Get up early for prayer time or Bible study, pray pray pray, go to church…etc.

All of these things are great. They keep us in communication with God, help build that personal relationship with Him that He so desires.

But it doesn’t keep us saved.

Christ’s shedding of blood on the cross is what was the ultimate payment, the covering we all need to remain in the presence of God for eternity.

I accepted this gift, and committed to walking in relationship with God but what happens on those days that I really need to sleep in and skip my quiet time? What about those times that I forget to pray for my husband and children? Or those times that I am selfish and ungrateful?

How could God possibly love a sinner like me?

And THAT is the point friends….

He doesn’t love us any less when we aren’t playing the Christian “part” to perfection!

God loved me so much (knowing EVERY sin that I would commit) that before I was even born He sacrificed His ONLY Son to die a painful and unimaginable death on a cross, so that the shedding of blood would be an eternal covering for me, if I would just accept the gift.

How powerful is that?!

It isn’t what I do, or blog about, or how often I get up and do a BIble study….He doesn’t love me for those reasons….and He doesn’t love me less in those times that I fail.

God loves unconditionally.

I can’t even fully grasp what that means because as a human, and a failure, I don’t know how to love unconditionally…I put conditions on my love all the time – even if I am not trying to do so….I think a hint of it is always there.

But God, in His great grace, pours out His love on us no matter what!

We should be walking in freedom friends!

Accepting this gift for what it is. A love offering from a God that cares more for us than we can even imagine. I am not going to loose His love when I fail…no, I already have His heart 100%. And so do you.

So start living in that redemption. It is your free gift to accept. And stop believing the lies that because you fail, that you have lost God’s favor. Your failures are the exact reason we have the cross.

A beautiful song the represents this is “You Love Me Anyway” by Sidewalk Prophets. Let the words fill your soul with hope today and walk in freedom because He loves you!

I am joining Holley for her #2014EncouragementChallenge. If you need some encouragement jump on over here and join the fun!

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Photo Credit: www.ForestWander.com

Looking for God in a Billboard Sign

billboard

In the early 90’s there was a movie called L.A. Story. Steve Martin played this man who was trying to find love and somehow had a “talking billboard” that helped guide him along the way.

I haven’t ever forgotten that movie, not because it was filled with amazing acting or special effects….no I can relate to wanting to have a message spelled out to me, in BIG letters, an unmistakable message from God.

Really how easy would that make life?!

Driving down the road in prayer time and asking God for direction….then you pass one of those large electronic billboards and your answer appears.

Talk about a burning bush kind of moment! How could I argue God’s direction if it were plastered on a billboard just for me?!

As I thought about that again tonight I realized that while that scenario might seem like it would be perfect….where does that put me in my relationship with God?

What happens to faith and trust when we are just looking for answers and being unwilling to move forward until we find them?

I am realizing that those times when I have faced the unknown, the times that I have to trust God’s love and provision for me and my family even when I can’t see or feel it right at that moment, are the times that I am closest to God.

It is those desperate moments, those intimate moments, those on my knees grateful and shaking my head in unbelief moments, that bring me to the feet of my Savior.

I can look back at all the times I cried out to God and said “Why won’t you just tell me already what Your plan is God?”….and while I didn’t get my answer plastered across a billboard, I found myself clinging to a glimmer of hope. Hope that He would make sense of it for me some day.

Time and time again God has taken the darkest most unredeemable moments of my life and transformed them. (<==== Click to Tweet)

If He had just flashed an answer that “it will be ok, don’t worry”….would I have missed the beauty that resulted?

I miss it all the time….His grace. I forget how much we have been through, how much we have changed and all the things we have to be grateful for.

There are still times of doubt. I am human and I have a huge problem with trust and fear. I have spent years waiting for the “other shoe to drop”.

Do you live in that place as well friend?

Just waiting for the next bad thing to happen, another disappointment or let down. Maybe it is a rejection letter, or another missed promotion. A job opportunity you were certain would be yours only to find that it was given to someone less qualified. You question the dreams you thought you would be chasing by now and wonder if maybe you are too old to dream big.

While an electronic billboard sign might be the easy way out…..I think that ultimately the journey to the discovery of all that God has planned for you would be so much less sweet.

When I start looking for who God is in His Word I start to find all the answers that I need. I start to see how parts of Naomi’s story, or Ruth’s are much like my own. I am encouraged by John and find myself relating to Thomas.

God used people, broken just like I am, to be an example for me today.

What if part of His plan for me is that someday, in the future, my words might be used to do the same for someone else?

Talk about God-sized dreaming!

So I carry on….we are called to be a light here, to share His good news with the world. I don’t do it perfectly and time and time again I find myself in doubt over His plan. But we must keep walking forward in faith.

The route may change, but it doesn’t mean that it is wrong. So today I am enjoying the journey and wow is it amazing!

I have the joy of linking up with my God-sized Dream sisters today…will you join us here?!

GSD Link Up Picture

Photo Credit: jbcurio

Making the Tough Decisions

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Elijah is our 3rd son and the only one of our kids to be born in the summer months.  Isaac and Gabriel were both fall babies and Karlena is my Christmas girl.

Elijah has been going to this wonderful preschool for the past year and 1/2. This year they had 2 full days and a 1/2 day of school. He LOVES school. He seems to be outgrowing the daycare setting and I felt like he really should go to kindergarten next year since he turns 5 in May.

Dominic also has a May birthday and he did go to school as a young 5 year old.  He was always the youngest and the smallest. He remembers not being able to get his Presidential Fitness Patch because he was too young, even though he had passed all of the tests. Not getting his driver’s license when all his friends were able to….

Dominic had pretty strong feelings about keeping him back a year, based on his experience.  I had pretty strong feelings about moving him forward, and if I am honest it was mostly because my sister’s daughter is the same age (they were born 10 days apart) and I know she will be moving forward this fall and I have been worried about the fact that they will celebrate the same birthday’s but at some point will recognize that they are in different grades.

I had e-mailed his teachers a few weeks ago asking them if they felt he was ready for kindergarten next year. And today we had conferences today at Elijah’s preschool.

Academically they think he would probably be just fine if he moved ahead. But being a boy, and an active one who really needs to be able to play and move around, they felt he might get frustrated in the super structured environment of kindergarten. Apparently they are getting down to some serious business there these days.  🙂

Both teachers have children of their own that went through similar circumstances. Both held one back and not another…and both recognized that later in their schooling careers the ones they didn’t hold back probably would have benefitted from it if they had.

Then we found out that there were going to be full time classes available M/W and T/Th, along with the fun Friday 1/2 day.  By signing him up for both he will be introduced to some new curriculum in the M/W class, where he will be one of the oldest kids, and then will do some repeat learning in the T/Th class with kids his same age.

I  hadn’t considered this as an option going into the meeting but as we talked about it I felt such a peace about it.

While it may always bother me a bit that my niece is in the grade above him…I am guessing based on who Elijah is, he won’t be bothered a bit! 🙂

Ultimately we needed to make the decision that is best for Elijah. This also means that he and Karlena will likely be only a year apart in school going forward since she is a December birthday!

Decisions like this are difficult and as parents we may make mistakes. I have learned that I need to be open to the opinions of others and willing to give up my selfish reasons for making a decision and choose what is best for my family.

Have you had to make a similar decision? I’d love to hear how you worked through it and what you learned!

The “Herd” That Surrounds Me

Water Buffalo

My dad has been to Africa several times for various mission trips. Several years ago he brought back the African buffalo figurine picture above. I was dusting our shelves at the office tonight and saw this and was reminded of this story.

During his last trip there he told us that he saw it and he thought of my husband. (Ok not in that way…stick with me here!) 🙂

At the time Dominic and I had been through some really tough years. TOUGH years that almost broke us….but as we started to walk in faith a little we found ourself surrounded by a group of friends that were a huge support and impact on us.

We spent time with these friends each week, found encouragement, learned how to laugh again and trust in others.

They were our “herd”…our tribe. And my dad was the first one to make the connection between the African buffalo’s behavior and that of our friend’s.

Apparently the African water buffalo displays some interesting behavior within their herd. If they are being chased by a predator, the herd will stick closely together and make it hard for the predator to pick off one member.

The weaker, smaller members are surrounded and kept in the middle and if a member of the herd issues a distress call, the other members will respond and try to rescue anyone who needs help.

They look out for one another, they support and protect each other and respond when there were times of distress.

Just like the tribe of friends that surrounded us in our times of need.

We wouldn’t be where we are today if we hadn’t had those remarkable people in our lives. I am ever grateful that God allowed us to experience that kind of friendship.

Today I have the gift of a new “herd”. (And girls I mean this in the nicest, most fashionable way) 😉

I have found myself surrounded by wonderful women of God who encourage me, pray for me and cheer me on.

When I have felt the attacks of the enemy, I know I can go immediately to my tribe. They support me and cover me with prayer and they never let the weakest of us fall outside of the protection of the circle.

I hope that if you are reading this, you too have felt the support of a tribe like this.

That figurine in our office will always be a reminder of this gift that God has given us throughout the years. While some of the people have changed, the blessings they have been to us are immeasurable.

My prayer this week is that you too will feel the comfort of your own herd, a tribe that is God-picked just for you.

Each week I am joining the lovely Holley Gerth in her 2014 Encouragement Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun hop on over here.

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I Lay Me Down

Worship“God-sized dreams will ultimately mean dying to yourself.” Holley Gerth

I am a selfish person by nature. Maybe we all are in some way, but I feel like it is really an area of sin in my life.

When I started this blog after being accepted to the God-sized Dream team, I had some big plans for me. Big exposure, possible income from writing, being a contributor on a blog/website….not bad things necessarily, but my heart was really focused on what was in it for me.

But in October, when I attended Allume, God really broke my heart and in a good way. I walked away with less information about how to grow this site, and a more of a desire to give back to others.

In Holley’s devotional she says this “Because our God-sized dreams aren’t really about us at all. They’re about the kingdom, God’s purposes in our generation, his refining work in our lives.”

It is a daily dying to my selfish nature and asking God to direct my path and my heart for His people.

There is a worship song by Chris Tomlin called “Lay Me Down” and when I was thinking about this idea, the chorus came to mind….

“I lay me down
Im not my own
I belong to you alone
Lay me down
Lay me down
Hand on my heart
This much is true
There’s no life apart from you
Lay me down
Lay me down
Oh oh oh
Lay me down
Lay me down”

I am not MY own…I am His.

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Abraham understands this idea of laying down his dreams doesn’t he? After waiting 100 years, God gives Abraham and Sarah a son, just as He had promised. Then we see that God asks Abraham to lay down that very thing that meant so much to him….

Genesis 22:1-2 “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

For many of us, this story of Abraham and Isaac is a familiar one. And once again as I was reading these passages, I was prompted to dig a little deeper and it revealed even more to me!

I was curious about the first verse “After these things God tested Abraham…..” I wasn’t sure “what things” it was referring to so I backed up a little in Genesis and discovered even more.

Farther back in the story we see that Sarah, who not getting pregnant on her own, orders Abraham to go and be with her maidservant. Hagar does get pregnant and has a son, Ishmael.

As a side note – can I just say that I love that God still keeps his promise to Sarah and she also gets pregnant – even though she tried to play God herself. At some point, as the children are growing, Sarah sees Ishmael laughing and she gets upset. Sarah orders Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out.

Genesis 21:12  “But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

Did you catch that?

“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named”

So now we find ourselves at that pivotal moment when Abraham is placing his beloved son on the altar which he has built and is getting ready to sacrifice him just as God has asked.

Being obedient and willing, but yet hopeful. 

God had promised Abraham that through Isaac his offspring shall be named.

God had been faithful in fulfilling His promises in Abraham’s past. Maybe not in the time frame he had anticipated, but Abraham trusted God regardless…even if it meant laying down his son on an altar. And how could Isaac have offspring if he were dead?

Abraham must of had faith that God would provide….he maybe didn’t know how He would provide, but he trusted that He would.

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So I look at my own journey to see if I have had a similar faith. And oh how I have failed miserably most of the time!

Recently there were a couple of things that I had committed to doing, wanted to do even, but I felt a very strong sense that I was supposed to go and ask for grace and step away for a season. It was hard but the “No” was so powerful I didn’t dare ignore it! 🙂

Sometimes what God is asking us to do goes against what we feel is best for us. Only because He knows the better that He has planned!

I have a friend who has lots of wonderful dreams and ambitions, and yet she has felt a pull lately to lay all of them down right now for rest. Rest is not what she wanted to hear at this time, but it IS what she heard…so she is being obedient and stepping back from her dream chasing for now.

I believe that this level of obedience comes from a constant turning over of all selfish things to God. Staying in prayer over those things we have the opportunity to participate in, and being open to laying them down if that is what God is asking us to do.

These journeys we are on won’t always be easy and I am not always certain about what path my dreaming will take me. But I can be sure about the One who is leading me.

Today I am linking up with my dreamer sisters over at God-sized Dreams….join us?!

GSD Link Up Picture

Photo Credit: kindonnelly

When Everyone Around You Seems to be Chasing Dreams…..

Cheerleader 1But you aren’t.

Have you been there?

Have you stood on the sidelines, secretly praying that your dreams would just happen already, and watching as it seems like everyone else around you is having their time.

It can hurt can’t it? At least it has for me.

I have struggled with jealousy for years. It started at a young age when a neighborhood friend always came to school in the newest Esprit and Guess fashions and I only had the knock-off brands.

It grew when I worked really hard to make the cheer leading team as a freshman and watched as my friends were chosen and I was not.

As a wife it worked its way out in the form of jealous comparison to others and their marriages. And as a mother, feeling as though my children didn’t sleep as well as, or potty train as quick as another mothers’.

In the online community it can present itself in jealously over a viral blog post or the number of subscribers that someone else has.

However it may look for you, at some point we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others and when seeing our deficiencies, become jealous.

Jealously steals joy. (<==== Click to Tweet)

It robs us of our ability to see the good in our own lives and makes it nearly impossible to celebrate freely with another’s success.

Join me over at God-sized Dreams to read the rest of the story!

Photo Credit: Beth Scupham 

Exodus Road – March Impact Opportunity #enditmovement

Exodus Road

 **WARNING: This post contains potential trigger warnings and discussion around sensitive topics specifically related to childhood sex slavery **

Did you know that there are approximately 27 MILLION men, women and children trapped as slaves in the world today?

Slavery as defined here:  “Slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.”

I will be honest with you…human trafficking is something that I have either ignored or pushed aside in the past….it wasn’t anything that I thought I could do something about and pretending it didn’t exist was just easier.

And then I was introduced to Exodus Roadan organization that was at Allume last fall.

I attended one of the breakout sessions where Laura Parker was speaking. My eyes were opened to the realities of child sex trafficking and I was horrified.

She, her husband and children were living in Southeast Asia doing humanitarian work when they discovered the enormous problem of the child sex-trade.  I imagine that I would be outraged, sickened even…but would I actually do anything about it?

Laura’s husband Matt decided that rescuing even one girl was important enough so armed with undercover equipment and with the aid of some locals, Matt would go into the dark underworld of child trafficking, posing as a “john” and work to rescue children one by one.

From her book “The Exodus Road”…..

“And Sarah shuffled towards the couch.

She was dressed in street clothes, disheveled hair. Her eyes never left the floor, and she fiddled with a napkin, tearing it into shreds.

I watched as men talked over her, laughed around her. Sarah had been sold by her mother in Burma, trafficked across Thailand and now into Malaysia, and had landed here – in a brothel, without money or passports, unable to speak the local language.

Two days earlier, they sold her virginity for $600.

She was 15 years old.”

I don’t know about you but when I read that, I want to cry. And the reality is that this is happening in our own backyards. Yes right here in the USA. I recently read a story about a warehouse in Nevada that held over 20 girls hostage as they were taken in vans to alternate locations and forced to have sex with up to 15 men in a days time.

It is sick and wrong, and I needed to stop putting my head in the sand and pretending that horrors like this aren’t happening!

So what now you might ask? How can you help?

First – pray! We as a body of Christ need to be in prayer for these innocent children. For their families who make the choice to sell them into slavery, for the perpretrator who profits from the innocence of a child. We need to be in prayer about all of it!

Second – Spread the word! Sex slavery of children isn’t fun to talk about. But I don’t feel like we can be silent. We need to spread the word, bring awareness to the world and collectively make efforts to see a change. For more information, please head to Exodus Road. Or check out the #Enditmovement. Both sites have stories, media tools etc. that can be used to help spread the word.

Third – Sponsor an Investigator. You have probably heard of sponsoring a child, but if you want to help Exodus Road keep undercover investigators in the field, making a difference one child at a time, consider a $35 monthly donation that helps cover the daily costs of keeping these men in the fields. We may not be able to do the rescue work ourselves, but we can support those who are brave and able enough to do so.

I know this isn’t a “fun” post to read, but the reality is that this is happening all around us and we can’t keep silent anymore. Will you join me in speaking out? #enditmovement

I have a copy of Laura’s book available to send to one of my readers. Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win. I will pick the winner on Monday.

**Congratulations Elaine! You are the winner of a copy of Exodus Road – I have sent you an email and will get your book out to you!**

Photo Credit : Exodus Road

The Little Things That Make All The Difference

Invitation

Sometimes we don’t realize the impact we can have with our words and actions.

Gabriel climbed in the van after school last Friday and wasn’t his usual happy self. There is a group of six boys that he hangs out with and apparently one of the boys was having a birthday party that night and Gabriel was the only boy not invited.

If the sound of this mama’s heart breaking could be heard outside of my chest, the noise would have filled the car.

Oh how I want to protect him from hurts like this.

And it reminded me of a similar story with a different ending several years ago.

Isaac, our oldest, was 7 and wanted to have his first birthday party.

He had a class with mostly boys that year and when I asked him who he wanted to invited he gave me a list. I recognized that he had invited almost all of the boys…but there were a few names left out.

We had a conversation and I told him that I really felt like he should invite ALL the boys.

He said that there were a few boys he didn’t really get along with and he didn’t really want to invite them….but I told him that if he didn’t like them, the feeling may be mutual and they likely wouldn’t show – so invite them anyways.

I felt strongly that I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Inviting all the boys would eliminate that possibility.

The invitations went out and I planned for a party.

10 out of the 14 boys came that Saturday afternoon.

It was loud, they spilled on my carpet and Dominic entertained them with dry ice. Stressful but fun, and totally worth it.

Parents started arriving to pick up their kids as the party ended and one mother approached me.

I didn’t know a lot of the parents but she came over to thank me for inviting her son.  She said that he had not ever been invited to a birthday party before. He was so excited to be included that he went to bed the night before wearing his best church clothes.

He didn’t want to chance missing out on the party.

I won’t ever forget that conversation. It choked me up then and still does today.

He and Isaac never became best friends….but for that day, in his best church clothes, he felt special and included.

THAT is what matters friends.

Doing the little things that make such a profound impact.

I don’t know why Gabriel wasn’t invited to that party. I told him that maybe the mom only had enough room for 5 kids total in their car…..would 1 more have been too much? 🙁

When I shared the story about Isaac’s party and how I felt it was so important to do our best to include everyone for that very reason, Gabriel understood and said he doesn’t ever want to make anyone feel left out.

I know that situations like this can’t be 100% avoided, but it reminds me that I need to be considerate of others and that my actions, my children’s actions, can make a difference.

Philippians2: 3-4  “3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

How have you made a difference recently? It may seem small, but I can promise even the little things can have a big impact!

Each week I am joining the lovely Holley Gerth in her 2014 Encouragement Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun hop on over here!!

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

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