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Friday, May 1, 2015

Dear Mom of Littles Who's Ready To Give Up


Mother's Day is right around the corner and I've gotten together with a group of bloggers to bring you a giveaway and blog hop that we are hoping will bless your socks off!
We not only hope to bless several moms with some pretty awesome giveaway prizes, but we also hope to bless many more moms through the Letters to Moms Blog Hop (that you can find at the end of this post), where each participating blogger is writing a 'Dear Mom' letter. These letters will be anything from a letter to our own moms, a letter to ourselves, a letter to a mother figure, or a generalized letter to a group of moms, such as weary moms, hopeless moms, expecting moms, single moms....... Maybe one of these letters will speak to you!

So please, hop around to the many other bloggers below, and of course enter to win the giveaway too - there will be 4 winners with the total prize value over $1000!
 
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Dear Mom Who's Ready to Give Up,

I recognize you. In fact, I know you very well: The slumped shoulders, the weary sigh, the posture that says you can't possibly do it for another moment. "It" being carry it all. 

This mothering business is tough work. On our best days, we are pushed, pulled, prodded, poked, asked, and demanded of more than feels humanly possible. On our worst days, every moment that ticks by feels like an eternity, like we won't make it through. 

Those days that start wrong and end even worse seem to be more frequent. Those teachable moments slip through our fingers as we snap when we don't want to, don't listen when we should, and feel like we've failed. Again.

The laundry piles up. The dinner burns on the stove. The calendar is too full.

Emotions rise. Frustration peaks. The tears fall. 

We wonder if we're cut out for this. Are we really the best for our children? Are we ruining them?

And just as we're about to give up, give in, throw in the towel...that moment. 

It's in the middle of the messy house, dirty dishes, missed deadlines, and burned dinner that we see clearly. 

When we're down to the last drop of strength and resolve. When we believe we've failed this time. 

We look at our child and see the unadulterated love in his eyes. We watch her eyes light up at the sight of us as they raise their arms in the air and call out, "Hold me!"

Finally, it all makes sense. We realize it's not the spotless house, the folded laundry, the gourmet dinner, the impeccable timeliness or anything else that really counts. 

It's them: our children. 

They look past the fluff and see us. They stare right into our souls and love us for who we are, not what we do. 

And we remember that the Lord made us the mom of these precious treasures. He entrusted us with these jewels and our time with them is short.

God gently reminds us that we aren't perfect, only He is. He whispers in our ear that He loves us and He is enough. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. 

As we reach down and allow those little arms to wrap around our necks, all that other stuff that seemed so important now suddenly pales in comparison. You see, in their eyes--at least for now--we are perfect. 

So we lay down our expectations, our self-diagnosed failures and we simply focus on them. 

Please hear me, mama. Raise your chin, square your shoulders, and look me in the eye. 

YOU...you are important. No...scratch that. You are irreplaceable. In his eyes, you are the sun and the moon, In her mind, you are her hero. 

His greatest joy is your presence. Her greatest fear is that you won't be there. 

You will stumble and fall and screw up aplenty--to be sure--but you'll get back up and brush yourself off. 

Because, mom...you don't give up. You can't give up. There's too much at stake. And that little guy is holding out his arms, waiting for you



And now for the giveaway!

Mother's Day Giveaway Pin Blank

The prizes will be as follows -

Prize 1 - Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer 
Prize 2 - Slow Cooker 
Prize 3 - Keurig Coffee Maker 
Prize 4 - ALL 3 of the prizes above
Each winner will also win a digital copy of I'd Rather Be Your Mommy by Stacy Farrell

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Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Slide the City Pittsburgh

April 16, 2015 –Pittsburgh will get a slippery makeover when the Slide the City Tour brings the 1,000 foot slip and slide to South Park June 6th, 2015. Turning hills into water-sliding thrills is the goal of the event, which was created in an effort to get people outside, having fun, and connecting with their community.
Slide The City Pittsburgh: Saturday June 6th, 2015
Location: South Park – Allegheny County
Registration Opens: April 22nd, 2015 10am Eastern Time
To Register: Go to http://www.slidethecity.com/events/pittsburgh/
Participants in Slide the City will ride inflatables down a 1,000-ft. slip and slide. This one-of-a-kind experience will help people “slide into summer.” The first event of its kind, Slide the City has seen massive growth since it started in 2014. This original concept went viral when the video was released, and this year promises to be bigger, better, and wetter. “This will be one of the highlights of your year,” said Slide The City Founder, T.R. Gourley “Get ready for the slide of your life!”
Pittsburgh has shown great enthusiasm for the event with over 17,000 people signing up to be notified once registration was opened and hundreds more joining the waitlist daily.
Each rider can purchase a one ride pass, three ride pass, or all-day pass. With over 150 events in the US and Canada, and more than 20 international locations beginning with Japan and Australia as early as March, water slide enthusiasts are sure to find a Slide the City event nearby.
All are welcome to slide into fun. Visit www.slidethecity.com for more information about Slide the City dates and locations or checkout what fans have to share on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slidethecity.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Time To Wake Up

 
About eight days after Jesus had said this, he took Peter, John, and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, 'Master, it is good for us to be here.'" Luke 9:28-33a
Can you see it?? I love this passage of scripture! Oh, to be one of the three men who got to see Moses and Elijah and be with Jesus as they "discussed Jesus's departure." Do you wonder what they talked about? Were they encouraging the Lord, knowing what He was about to face?

The section beginning in verse 32 really grabs my attention:
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw Jesus's glory..."
Have you been there? I have.

The past two years I feel like I've been waking up from a long slumber. I've been "very sleepy." But, as He has relentlessly pursued me, my eyes have begun to open. Streams of light are starting to peek through the slits of my eye lids.

And I am seeing His glory.

And, let me tell you, saying, "it is good to be here" is the understatement of the millennium!

The second half of verse 33 is Peter finishing his thoughts to Jesus...
Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. (He did not know what he was saying),"
I believe that in his exuberance and grogginess, Peter was so excited and so READY that he presumptuously suggested the altars.

I love that God's Word contains these little bits of insight. How many times I've run at the mouth to glorify things that were never meant to be on par with Jesus.
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud saying, 'This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.'" Luke 9:33b-35
My pastor recently explained that the meaning for the word "listen" in verse 35 means "listen to obey."

The Lord was telling these men not only to hear Jesus out (and shutty their mouths with their foolish ideas), but to obey what He said.

Here I stand, guilty as charged, when it comes to listening and running off half-cocked with my brilliant ideas.

The Lord has had to gently remind me more than once to listen...and then obey.

Interestingly, James (a different James) 1:22 mirrors this same concept:

Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." 
So what was so terrible about Peter's suggestion to build altars? After all, the Old Testament is filled with stories of altars being built to the Lord. Commentary suggests that the Lord interrupted Peter because Peter was focusing on the wrong thing. He was in awe (understandably) at what he'd just witnessed (plus, half asleep), and was probably looking to prolong the experience a little longer. He wasn't focusing on the right thing: Jesus and the enormous sacrifice He was about to make.

How many have been there?

I'm raising my hand.

Sometimes, I am so moved by the Lord, so knocked over by Jesus that I jump up and dash off to do something. In my zeal, like Peter, I miss the point. I totally skip over the crux of the matter...Jesus.

In my crazed desire to commemorate or pay homage to Jesus, I miss what He's actually saying and the very important fact that it's all about Him--not me.

My ideas may be good--and even well-intentioned, but if I'm not listening fully--and obeying--it's not pleasing to God.

Have you been there? Are you there now? Are you so ready to do something, but maybe you're not listening fully? Not obeying?

Or are you still asleep?

If you're still asleep, friend, let me gently nudge you awake.

There is absolutely nothing like having your eyes wide open and being awake before the Lord.

If you're starting to see light stream through sleepy eyes, may I suggest that you sit and listen? Chances are, your excitement and the vigor may supersede your reason in that moment.

And if you're listening? Follow through with obedience.

That is sometimes the hardest of all.

Doing when it's all our idea and seems right and good to us (like Peter's altar idea) is great, but obeying when it's scary, unknown, or outside of our comfort zone is another thing.

Here's to all the Sleeping Beauties out there...may the Lord awaken you with Sonlight streaming through your window.

And may you listen and obey.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Conflama

I'm there. 

In that place I find myself often. Feeling like few "get" me. Wanting desperately to be "gotten." Wanting to be able to spill all my jumbled thoughts out on the table and categorically, systematically go through each, one-by-one, and make sense of the tangled mess. 

I'm at that place where words fail to encapsulate all the emotions and colors flowing through my mind--and words rarely fail me. 

I'm at a juncture in my faith and in my life where I feel I'm being called to go deeper, higher, farther. 

I feel like I've been given a small, smudged corner of the map and told to "walk that way" and then....nothing more until the next directive. In the mean time, I'm walking blindfolded, clutching this tattered piece of map for all I'm worth, and waiting, waiting...

And clinging. 

Clinging to the hope and faith I have in God. Believing Him when He says that He has a plan, that I'm not just wandering aimlessly without purpose. That He understands, even when I or others don't. 

And I'm trusting. 

Trusting that He is directing my paths. That He does have my best interest at heart. 

I'm limping along, bruised and wounded by life's battles, nursing scars, and not sure I can survive the war. Weak and dehydrated from the back-and-forth that happens in life. Exhausted from the beautiful and maddening differences found in each one of us; those things that can bring us together can also drive us so far apart. 

And asking myself if I really mean it when I say I'll follow Him. 

Will I?

Will I choose a tattered, living, breathing map to a destination I know, but a path I'm unsure of over a clear-cut path to misery?

Where He points will I go? Where He leads, will I follow? 

Will I leave those who won't follow, even if they ask me to stay? Even when it makes no sense to them--or to me?

Will I ignore the disbelief and incredulity of others in order to please Him?

Sometimes it feels like it costs me too much even though the price has already been paid. 

And do I really believe what I say I do?

The more I learn, the more I know. 

And the more I know, the greater the realization that there's a line in the sand.

It's impossible to be a part-time follower once the Truth is revealed.

So here I stand, holding this piece of map. One foot in front of the other. 

Ready. 

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