Tag Archives: Blessed

What They See

This rainy day got me thinking of… Umbrellas!!!

One of my son’s first words was umbrella. Yup, umbrella! It was his third word.

I remember thinking, or hoping “Mama” would come next after “Dad.” However, Elmo came second and then… umbrella 🧐

I was stumped. I barely used that word. In fact, I barely used umbrellas! Had my son even seen a real umbrella? At that time, I was unknowingly battling with PTSD after my son’s anaphylactic reaction and learning of his MANY food allergies. So if I’m being honest, I avoided going anywhere really at that time.

Therefore, it was was sooooo bizarre to me that he would learn, and say such a word so early on. Umbrella!?!?

Recently, almost six years later, I was sharing this with my son and we were laughing at the randomness and silliness of it. We thought maybe it was because we love the beach and he learned it from beach umbrellas.

Then, I thought about it more…

What we see is what we learn. What we turn our eyes to and fill our days with becomes what our minds learn, whether we like it or not, where it’s true or not. It is why it is so important for us to spend time filling our minds with the hope and truth of God‘s word. It is why reading the Bible transforms and renews us. It is why we must fill and teach our children this too.

Now, how does this relate to umbrellas and TJ learning it as his 3rd word?

Well, in our old house, we had cave crickets, what we called jumpy bugs. Once a week one would get into his toy box in the basement. At the time not being a fan of insects, I would take an umbrella from the closet and trap them that way. That way I didn’t need to touch it or risk touching it.

As I laughed at the process back then, I had no idea that my son, barely only 1, was watching too. He was watching enough to even learn the word!

Kids learn what we show them. They learn what we feed their minds with. They learn what they see. However, we learn that way too.

We must feed our minds with God’s truth…and the rest will follow.

“The Art of a Messy House” series is one way to do this, starting with book 1, “How to Be Kind.”

Amazon Book Link

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Against the Winds

I’ve never been a big Science person. Sure, I find some of the information and discoveries to be amazing; however, reading, writing, math and even art have always been more of my thing. But now I have a son who has a mind fascinated by science and engineering. So these concepts that I once found little interest in, I now find myself wanting to learn.

One concept that I read and learned more about this past year was the fact that planes take off against the wind.

My reading was inspired by Henry Ford’s quote, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Most people, including myself believe, it has to do with resistance. However, after some reading, it has to do with this being the way it requires less acceleration to get to a certain speed.

Basically it is the way to higher altitude using less time and less speed.

For many of us though, and figuratively speaking it may seem like a paradox. Taking off against the wind seems to be counterproductive.

But this brings us back to the biblical concept of leaning on God against the trials,

against the challenges,

against the changes,

against the discomfort…

against the winds.

“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”(Matthew 14:24, 27 NIV)

God wants us all to do this. He doesn’t expect us to have the strength ourselves. He doesn’t expect us to have the momentum and power to take off alone. He wants us to lean in and allow Him to do His thing.

So today, no matter what we are up against, let’s praise God for it. Let’s be thankful knowing that he is using those very challenges, those very winds… for beauty… for strength even if we can’t see or feel it yet. For suffering is a moment compared to what eternity holds.

“Lean on me against the winds of each day. For true strength is built in this way.”

Therefore, today …

I am thankful for the winds.

🤍 For more imperfectly perfect posts, follow me ➡️ @theartofamessyhouse

Pandemic Puzzles

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

The past year has changed a lot! And yet one thing that remains through all seasons is the importance of self care.

If you are anything like me, the year has shifted and made us reevaluate a lot including this area. It has encouraged me to try out new activities like #walking, forcing the #runner in me to slow down.

But it has also added back some old favorites such as …

PUZZLES!!!!

We did puzzles and puzzles and more puzzles. And even if we lost a piece or two along the way, they were a great outlet.

Self care is not selfish. It is necessary. We are not created to be robots. Without caring for our own health, our bodies and spirits grow weak. Our hearts can harden too. We cannot serve others if our cup is empty. Start by filling your cup today with God’s word. Then, add in other activities that take care of you…. like a walk or a puzzle.

What kind of self care did you lean into this past year? What do you plan to continue into this new year? Better yet, what will you do for yourself today? ❤️

Building Bridges

A few days ago I searched and found an old picture of the Golden Gate Bridge to show my son after he completed building a lego of it. It had been over 7 years since that pre-kid trip to San Francisco. (And probably just as long since I looked at those images.)

Then tonight while putting my daughter to sleep, I thought about that image. I thought about bridges and everything going on.

I thought about how bridges represent connection. I thought about how they represent unity between places and people. I thought about how … while bridges are all around us connecting location to location,

there are other #bridges too.

They are the bridges we build in our lives with our actions and #words .

They are bridges we build by speaking up and using what we have right now … to do what is right.

They are bridges that bring #hope.

Whether we like it or even know it, we are always building something. But it’s not always a bridge; sometimes it is a wall.

In order to build bridges, we must tear down the walls. We must halt the construction of those things that divide.

So tonight even if I do not spend hours building #Legos like my son, I pray and continue to pray I am building bridges and not walls. I pray and continue to pray for a country and world where more and more people do that too.

“Like an expert builder I built the foundation of that house. I used the gift that God gave me to do this. Others are building on that foundation. But everyone should be careful how he builds. The foundation has already been built. No one can build any other foundation. The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:10-11‬ ‭ICB)‬‬

#unity #bridges #usewhatyouhave #connections ##kids #motherhood #momlife #parenting #scripture #sanfrancisco #beforekids #timeless #lessons #praying #building #bekindalways #speakup #kindness #love #kindnessislove #everydayfaith #howtobekind #suchatimeasthis #jesus #theartofamessyhouse

Invest in Rest

For those who know me, I am not one to rest. In fact, it is a challenge for me to sit still. But resting is one thing I am investing in this year.

Resting isn’t being lazy. It is not a waste of time.

Rest is a gift.

In fact, we are all called to rest. It is part of self care. It is part of caring for the physical body. (I learned that the hard way with my recent knee injury.) But it is also part of caring for the body mentally.

It is even asked of us in the Bible.

“Remember to keep the Sabbath as a holy day. You may work and get everything done during six days each week. But the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God.”(Exodus‬ ‭20:8 ICB‬‬)

But I don’t know about you, but that’s where the questions arise. How will I ever get it all done in six days when I can’t even figure out how to do it all in seven?

God doesn’t expect us to understand it fully. He doesn’t expect us to figure it out. He just calls us to trust Him to hold true to His promises.

With that being said, He promises us that He can do abundantly more through us with our six days than we could ever do alone in seven.

So yesterday I started, I rested. Or I tried… but it’s a start! 😉

Do you take one day a week to rest? If not, join me in investing in this principle this new year.

refresh #renew #rest #dayofrest #trust #god #selfcare

speakup #everydayfaith #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

(My top 9 pics were totally cut off but I decided to let it go… to let it be… and to embrace the #beauty in the #imperfections instead !

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

Leaving Me Behind

My hope once jumped at the chance
to find such purpose
a way out of the old dance.
So you said wait here
Don’t grumble
For what I hold is more than just one glance.
For all the delays
And all the missed boats that sailed away
I trust you Lord
I trust my purpose in You
I pray, I pray, I pray.
For my hope is in you
I praise, I hope, I pray.

I recently read a powerful story in another devotional that a beautiful friend sent. It was about someone who had been disappointed that as they were leaving Slovakia to come to the United States, they were stopped in France. Her great great grandmother had been coughing and they were afraid of her possibly having tuberculosis. So because of their delay, they missed their ship, the ship that held their hope. They had to have so disappointed in the delay and deflating hope of that boat changing their lives. That was until they learned of that boat’s sad fate.

That boat was the Titanic.

Often we put our hope in things that are not God. In doing that, our trust goes into material things or boats that we really know nothing about. Our promise is in the Lord. Therefore our hope is in the Lord. God is using delays like the story above to save our lives, to protect us, to guide us to the paths he wants us on. God is our hope. Therefore if we put our hope in him, we can trust the delays and even the missed “ships” as blessings.

Why am I reaching for the things that are not my meant to be? Why am I reaching and trying to jump onto boats I have no business being on? God knows where he wants me to be. Therefore, I know and trust that he also knows the best and safest way to get there even if it includes some delays and road bumps along the way.

““But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭39:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection:
Am I still holding my hope on any missed ships today? If so, I pray to put my full hope and trust in the Lord.

Prayer:
Dear God,
You are my hope. Forgive me when I try to jump on boats that I have no business on. Forgive me when I put my hope on material things. Empower me. Use me. I pray that my gifts are used for your purpose and for your glory. Show me the way. Despite the delays, open up my eyes with the Holy Spirit and guide me on the path you want me on. Help me make the connections you want me to make and bring your good news and promises to the world. And may I never be quiet of how glorious you are through it all. In Jesus’ name. Amen

#theartofamessyhouse

Book 1 of the children’s series is out now all over including on Amazon:How to Be Kind

My First Book is Out!!!!

Ever since I was little, writing was something I did. Writing was how I made sense of the world. Writing was something that came from my heart.

Now, it’s time to start sharing.❤️

So first up is… How to Be Kind.

It is the first book of the children part of my series “The Art of a Messy House.” It is a book, and soon series, filled with imperfectly perfect stories for families connecting simple life lessons with God’s word.

And it is now available on Amazon!!! (#someonepinchme #godissogood #everydayfaith #kindnessislove #godstiming #snowday #blessing #theartofamessyhouse)

How to Be Kind: An imperfectly perfect story for families connecting a simple life lesson with God’s word. (The Art of a Messy House)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1736218204/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_ce02FbRCJ9GM0

6 Years Ago & Grateful

This past weekend TJ had a moment of frustration about his allergies. It was the first time in 6.5 years of his life that he had spoken up and said that sometimes he gets frustrated. He is currently still allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. He went on to explain that he knows dairy is in a lot of foods. So he vented and we listened. Then we came up with a game plan for what new recipes we could try that were safe and yummy for all of us. That made him happy and so excited.

It was both heartbreaking and precious. But we also agreed we needed to continue to pray and believe that one day he would outgrow more, if not ALL of them. And trust me… we believe!

The next day as I was scrolling on my social media page, I saw a memory of TJ from 6 years ago. Those cozy, adorable pajamas were ones I could never forget. Instantly, I was brought back to that late afternoon. It was the last picture I had taken right before his first allergic and anaphylactic reaction…

6 years ago…

I remember it like it was yesterday …

It was a snowy, December evening when I gave him that tiny spoonful of yogurt for the first time.

I remember the highest level of fear I have ever felt. I remember the terrifying ride in the ambulance that had no epi-pen jr. in it. I remember holding an oxygen mask over his face, praying that he would continue to cry because… crying meant he was still breathing!

But I also remember 45 minutes later and being so thankful to have gotten there in time.

I remember the doctors in the emergency room being so comforting …

I also remember the triumph…

I also remember watching TJ’s resilience that those 21 food allergies could not erase. I remember his smile…

I remember his smile when he saw us standing there.

Back then I used to say, “I’ll be happy when …”

… all the allergies are gone …

Or

… when I have more money…

Or

… when I get to go to Disney World with my kids…

But then I see their smiles…

Then I saw his smile…

And I read God’s word more and more and I realized joy is not something we wait for.

Joy is a gift from the Lord.

So I celebrate the allergy count dropping from 21 food allergies to 3. I celebrate the here and the now because God is here and now. And He is always working!

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So I am grateful. I am joyful. I am hopeful.

Right here and right now.