Tag Archives: Reflections

BROKEN TO LIFE

The rays blind my eyes
and still I see your face
trying to slow me down
and restore my pace.

The heat of the days
as the sun reveals each thing
needing to be repaired
in order for love, to truly sing.

And even through the darkness
or the sun of my broken parts
the moon beats the light
into such broken hearts.

So wherever I am
whatever part of day
or even of the night
though I am broken
God wants to fix
He wants to restore
through defensive walls and ways
He wants us not to fight.
He wants us to invest in His word
and also His love
He wants to shine His light.

For what is now broken
can always be
broken into life.

REFLECTION:

When something in our house like a washer or refrigerator is broken, we look to fix it. And when it is thought to be unfixable or unrepairable, we invest in a new one. The same goes with ideas. Sometimes, our ways become broken because we are broken. We are imperfect people with imperfect ways. But that doesn’t mean, we should allow guilt, shame or fear to keep us there. Instead, God loves us each so dearly and deeply no matter what. He wants to grow and teach us to become more and more like him. He wants to do that through these broken areas and ways. And he makes it all possible through him. Therefore, let us reflect on what is broken today and turn to Him, the only one with all the true answers, to guide us how to fix it. And if he says it is not fixable in this way, just maybe he is calling us to turn to Him to invest in a new way. Not everything that is broken needs to be fixed. Instead, sometimes, it is leading us to invest in new ways, new options, new ideas that help to truly break us free.

Whatever is it God is doing, it often cannot be figured out. We cannot put our God and His plans into a box. It’s too big and beyond our understanding to do that. Instead, we must press in and pray for Him to reveal what in our lives is broken and needs to be invested in.

No money in the world can compare to what happens when we invest in love.

Nothing in the world compare to what beauty is grown and even restored when we invest in love like Jesus.

SCRIPTURE:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Instruct and teach the people all that I’ve taught you. And don’t be intimidated by those who are older than you; simply be the example they need to see by being faithful and true in all that you do. Speak the truth and live a life of purity and authentic love as you remain strong in your faith. So until I come, be diligent in devouring the Word of God, be faithful in prayer, and in teaching the believers.”
‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
‭‭- 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear God,

You do not fit in a box. We cannot put your love or any of your will in a box either. Forgive us when we do that. Help us to see within though. Reveal how we can grow our broken parts to be more like you. And reveal to us also when we need to invest in new ways that are more aligned with You. God you are so good and whatever you are in the midst of, is so good too. So I pray today you refresh us and make us afresh and anew. So that whatever we do, you shine through and that we become vessels of integrity, truth and love. I pray that despite whatever you show us and are changing within us we find peace in you and in the everlasting love you have for us despite our flaws, sins and broken ways. Thank you for loving each of us the same and help us to humble ourselves enough to grow and learn and see what you are showing us. Help us to go where you are taking us, invested in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

We all are broken and need repair. God is the only one who can truly bring that. Let us pray that He reveals what needs to be repaired or even replaced within our lives today. And when He does, let’s pray that we continue to invest His word and love into these new ways and restored parts.

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why Wait?

In even these days alone,

where handshakes and hugs are all pushed aside

forbidden protection behind locked doors

there is a God who provides.

There is something greater,

We can all embrace.

for we all have gifts,

no matter what we face.

We are all made for a purpose,

no matter what giants come our way.

We all have the ability to make a difference,

no matter where we must stay.

For we are all made for more

so we must silence the questions

and doubts that ask, “What for?”

We all have the chance to use this

to make someone’s day or even our own,

for in the quiet times of chaos,

if we rest with Jesus,

out of discomfort,

strength is grown.

 

So while we may be at a pause,

and while the unknown tries to spin us round,

why wait for tomorrow

when today is where life is found.

 

Therefore, think about it.  What have you been gifted? No matter what you do not have right now; you have even more.  No matter how unsettling it may feel; use this time to find peace in God. Use this time to draw nearer to Him and ask that He shows you how to use your incredible gifts.  He has always called us to rest in Him and now is the perfect time.

The time is not perfect.  Our situations are not perfect. But, it doesn’t need to be perfect.  It cannot be perfect. Nothing in life is perfect.  In fact, our imperfections are what make us beautiful.  They are what make us real. They are what make us capable.

So think outside of the box and use your gifts right here, and right now.  Use them to create and spread love at a time when the world needs every shade of hope,

every avenue of love,

every color of the rainbow.

Why wait?

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#bettertogether #thinkoutsidethebox #itsnotperfect #usingwhatwehave #alwayswantedpinkrainbows #spreadlove #godisgreater #pray #everythingwillbeokay #spreadtheword #makearainbow #righthererightnow

 

Equipped with Gifts
Luke 9-10:42, ‭Psalms‬ ‭37:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬, ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
but they do not come from the world,
still in the craziness of life
the true essence of our lives can become lost,
for though few are needed,
God’s will has a plan for us all
it is free, ready and prepared
but when we waste our skills, time and focus on selfish ways
there is a cost.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
for we are each God’s handiwork
we are each created in Christ to do such work
that is beautiful, selfless and good
God’s will has a plan for each of us
it is free, ready and beautiful
this work He prepared in advance
for us to do
that is the principle
that now must be understood.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
we must trust in the Lord and do good
dwell in the land where He has called
and enjoy safe pasture each day
for God’s will has a plan for each of us
it is free, ready and laid out
so we must go to Him to lead us
He is the truth
He is the light
He is the way.

Ready are our gifts
prepared are our calls
for humble our hearts
and silence our ways
to see and hear like Jesus all of our days.
So let’s discover and uncover our gifts
let’s grow and flourish them in His word
let’s not try to be who we are not
instead let’s be who God calls us to be
let’s use those incredible gifts to do our part,
and to see and act on what He needs us to see.

And even if it is not how we expected
even if it is not how we planned
in love and truth we must live
using our gifts to serve
giving all we have to give.
For every moment can be a new start
where we first
take delight in the Lord
for that is where He will give you
the desires of your heart.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
let’s use them to be who God wants us to be
let’s use them do what God wants us to do
He honors obedience
and so use those gifts and do not wait
for fully equipped are each one of you.

 

 

Use What You Have (Luke 9)

In the chaos the day, in the haunting of the night

what is being lost

God needs you now

so use what you have,

it is free of any cost.

 

Bring what you have, bring the gifts,

bring them all

for He will multiply

do not question

just listen to the heart

for that is where He speaks truth

louder than any lie.

 

What can we do, what can we say

it is a troubled time

each night, and each day

and yet He tells us all,

“You give them something to eat.”

with only what we have

God uses our little to do

great thing after great thing

so be the one who listens

and let it be your gifts that you bring.

 

In the chaos the day, in the haunting of the night

we cannot risk what can be lost

God needs us now

to use what we have,

for if we don’t,

life, lives and love all can be the cost.

So shine the truth, shine your light

through your gifts

no matter where you are at

shine, shine, shine

use it all

so that through the darkness

the great news of Jesus shines bright.

 

 

Be Who You Needed

In many ways, this quote has become my motivation this year. I could spend hours, if not days, talking about what I lacked and needed growing up. The struggles that almost took my life time and time again as a child, adolescent and young adult. I could point fingers and place blame on person after person for why I was the way I was, why I hated myself for so many years despite having so much to be thankful for.

But forgiveness allowed me to stop the useless finger pointing and take on the new challenge, applying to every part of my life.

“Be who you needed when you were younger.”

And it has truly changed the way I breath, the way I live, the way I love.

So who did you need? What did you need? What do you still need? Turn to the Word, pray for the strength and then do this very thing. Become who you needed. Become who you need. Become who the world needs. For there is beauty in becoming who you need … in becoming who you are meant to be … amongst the mess.

Little Big Shots – Husband Style

With how busy our weeks get, we try to find time to have a family movie each weekend.  Last weekend, as we watched Pocahontas, this conversation happened…

_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (14)

JOHN SMITH: “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” (From Pocahontas by Walt Disney)

MY HUSBAND turns to me: “They have chiseled jaws.”

ME: “I was thinking…how romantic that line was.”

 

Husbands say the darndest things…

 

_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (16).png

 

Some Days Just Stink

Every January people ring in the New Year with high hopes of it being the break-through year of dreams taking off and miracles happening. And this past January 1st was just the same. I believed the great blessings that this year would bring as soon as the clock struck midnight. While I had tried to stay awake, I had only made it to 11:41 pm.

Hmmm… maybe my lack of endurance had been to blame for what soon happened…

Anyways, I woke up that first day with anything but a restored attitude. Instead, every ounce of my body struggled to get out of bed as I woke up with a massive headache. We had been with our friends and their kids the night before so maybe the two drinks I had gave me a headache? How could I be hung over? Wow, maybe my age was really catching up to me.

Still, I pressed on as parents do… cooking and straightening up, packing and prepping for the upcoming school week after being off for winter break. It was brutal. I told myself I would watch my former student and his Kentucky football team in the Citrus Bowl as I wrote and prepared this blog. However, I found myself freezing under covers watching the game with a heating pad along my spine and my eyes fighting to stay awake.

Soon enough, when the aches began, the thermometer told me different story, a 101 fever! Great! It was the first day of the year …the first day for a restored attitude …

and I could not work out because I felt so terrible…

I could not write (I always started mornings off by praying and writing)…

I could not spend time with my kids…

could not have a romantic evening with my husband…

I could not even eat…

I was not productive…

I just laid around and waited for bedtime.

The virus passed quickly as usual since I had worked hard in building up my immune system after having the kids. Now, I was back at school still not feeling like myself, but functioning and sweating actually more than I would like to admit. I was trying not to feel discouraged. We had so much to look forward to…

My husband had a potential new job offer much closer to home…

My daughter was finally getting to try straight cow’s milk with our allergist the following week …

TJ’s annual blood work for allergy levels would be back soon and for the past two years they had dropped significantly for eggs and dairy…

So much to look forward to! So much to praise God for… just around the corner…

If we could just get to the corner, everything would be okay…

Then the next week came and my husband Timmy took our daughter to try cow’s milk with her doctor. I had it planned out; since I was working until late we would go to church the following day to go to the alter and praise God for the outgrown allergy, a tradition we had done for all of the other food challenges TJ and Madison had passed and allergies they had outgrown. I mean she already ate chicken francaise, Hersey kisses, pizza, baked products, a bunch of items with cow’s milk in it, there was no doubt in our minds that she wouldn’t pass…

until that exact thing happened.

She didn’t pass….

…after just one drop, her mouth got red and itchy. We would have to try again in August…

Then, TJ’s annual results got back and they had stayed pretty much the same. The same!?! I believed… we believed they would drop drastically again…

To make matters worse, Timmy still had no news on the job offer that was given over a month ago.   They had been negotiating back and forth … until finally it fell through …

Jen, breath, it’s all just around the corner.  Just not yet….

 

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And then I read TJ’s report card: “He has a kind heart. Sometimes, he gets frustrated because his friends don’t understand him. I love his art work!”

WHAT!?!?!? Great sandwiching of the comments … but why was this the first time I was hearing about this. Sure, we noticed certain sounds were lacking like tr and k but he was our first, we had no idea what was typical and what wasn’t. As a special education teacher, I tried my hardest to not overanalyze and diagnose my own children.  Maybe, I was wrong…maybe I should have asked…

Guilt and frustration were having a field day…

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So I lost it. 2019, what were you trying to do to me? It had only been a week, but bad news after bad news plus the pile up of responsibilities on my plate at school, built up for a meltdown.

I started to think …
What a “great” year this is going to be?
Now what… will this year bring?
Can we restart?

And even something I totally had wrong:

What had I done wrong?

Then, as I stopped myself to pray. These words spoke to my heart…

“Be present and stay patient in prayer.”

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

It was the time to start declaring the year was going to be one of blessings.  It was not time to be fooled by a bad day, week, month or season. It was certainly not the time to stand around and wait to enjoy “the right now.”

The whole time when I was waiting for the perfect news to praise God and to declare how blessed we were, I had it all wrong.

It’s not about waiting for the thunder to pass …

it’s not about waiting for the good news…

it’s not about waiting for the prayer to be answered ….

the allergy to be cured … the money to come…

It’s about seeing the beauty of the storm itself.

It’s about accepting that some days, some weeks, some seasons just stink, and

that. is. okay.

But what is not okay is believing that those days and storms will always be. Instead, it was believing and knowing that they all have their purpose. That they do transform us into who we are called to be… into our best selves … and for that we can genuinely smile through it, knowing storms do eventually run out of rain.

So get those rain boots on and walk proudly through those puddles. Find laughter through all seasons. Embrace the storm as you learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. 

 

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To 2019… even though we got off on the wrong foot, every day is new chance to start over and for that … we are just getting started!

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm...” – Mark 4:39

Tbt – Holding On for “Deer” Life

Today, we throw it back to last December and early January right after TJ’s anaphylactic reaction.   Here is one of my first blog posts. It gives a perfect account of what was going on during that time…


DECEMBER 26, 2014-JANUARY 8, 2015

Quite frankly, I was in a major funk these days.   I was putting all my energy into still being my happy self in front of my son; however, I was an absolute mess when he was not around.   A lot happened during these two weeks…

  1. We took my son to have allergy testing through blood work.   We saw an excellent guy who was able to get a lot of blood.   When these results came back, it was confirmed that now my son was allergic to OAT and BARLEY in addition to the skin tested allergens of WHEAT, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, DAIRY, and EGGS. Therefore, I cut out the few items that I was eating that contained oat and barley.

  2. I also realized that my favorite non-dairy creamer for my coffee was not dairy free so I cut it out. I cried…

  3. I then realized that I should not be eating tootsie roll lollipops everyday like I had been doing when I pumped. (It was my treat twice a day…I never liked chocolate much before being pregnant.) However, it contains milk so I cut these out too and yes, I cried again…It sounds silly what I was crying about.   I think I just kept feeling like more and more food that I enjoyed were being taken away. And even worse, I felt like I had been hurting my son for so many months and had no clue.  (While no one can confirm this, I truly hope and pray that I helped him during those 7.5 months of breastfeeding before my elimination diet started.

  4. I met with Nutritionist #1.   She basically told me that I may have celiacs disease which I definitely do not. However, I kindly took all of her materials and thanked her for her advice. She did tell me that I could eat goat cheese so I stopped and bought some on the way home.  However, my son’s allergist soon told me that was NOT the case. As I threw out the goat cheese, I cried again…

  5. I met with an orthopedic for a severe pain in my left thumb/wrist.   I had read about what I thought I had, “Mommy Thumb.” Sure enough, the doctor confirmed this and told me that I needed a cortisone shot in the area. A few days after the shot, the pain went away for three weeks.   But, then came back even worse.

  6. I found a lump on my right breast.   I freaked out. I went to my gynecologists’ office twice about it and called four times.   Yes, I do sound crazy and I am sure that they thought I was too. At the first visit, I was told it was a torn muscle. Then, a day later as the pain got worse, the doctor told me that it was a clogged milk duct and called in a medication for me if it got infected.   However, I never went to get it.  Lots of massaging, pumping, and nursing did the job.

    During these two weeks,  I was definitely depressed.  I truly thought that everything was falling apart, that I had messed up everything, and that there was nothing that I could do to fix it.  I had an intense sense of impending doom.   Since I have experienced a couple times in my life where I suffered from depression and anxiety, I knew that this was what it was.   However, I needed to stop it.  I had to for my son.   I had to take care of myself for him.   I just couldn’t figure out how to do this. One day I caught myself obsessing over how much I was eating, measuring and remeasuring my food.   While I had never stopped counting calories and measuring food, I had not limited myself in close to 20 years.   I recognized some of these behaviors that I was doing as the start of an eating problem again. Yet, I could not stop.   My life seemed to be out of my control and this was one thing that I could control.  I was losing a couple more pounds with this elimination diet.  I probably needed to add more daily calories because of the way that my body was metabolizing this rather healthy elimination diet.  In fact, I was having dizzy spells too.

    Because of a lingering cold, I went to my actual doctor and had blood work done to make sure that I was not deficient in any areas.   I was falling apart quicker than I could catch myself. Yet, I felt like I was doing something right. Even if I was failing at everything else,   I made my son smile on…


Looking back to that early entry, it is evident how overwhelming anxiety and stress can be.   I do believe that following my son’s initial allergic reaction, I suffered some post traumatic stress. I remember feeling like I was not fit to be a mother and feeling beyond guilty as to why I ever thought I was.  However, I continued to pray for strength because I could not do this alone.

It was through those prayers that I was reminded one morning of why I initially even decided that I was ready to be a mom…

Before my son, I loved my life of spending time with my husband, my job and tutoring until late, traveling to gorgeous beaches when we wanted, Saturday afternoon wine tastings, dinners out, hanging out with friends, and other events that revolved around wine. I felt that I wasn’t ready to be a mom… yet knew I wanted kids.   Therefore, after 3.5 years of being married, I prayed that God would send me a sign that it was time.   I was so scared to take that leap on my own especially since I had seen and heard how relationships became got a lot more difficult after kids. I was afraid of this…I was afraid of change.

After several months of no signs and not feeling any differently, while driving to my last tutoring session of the evening, I started to think about what it would be like to have a child.   In that exact moment, I saw a beautiful deer crossing the road right in front me.  Stopping to let her go, I then noticed that two tiny fawns trotted right along her side.

FAWN

While I had seen plenty of deer in my life, this was by far one of the most remarkable moments because of its perfect timing. It was then that I knew I was more than ready to take this leap into motherhood. It was in that exact moment I knew I had forever changed.

God’s work in my life always astonishes me.  During that morning of praying for strength, he reminded me of that very deer and her fawns. It was then that I knew everything was going to be more than okay and that maybe it was not about holding on for dear life.   Instead, maybe I needed to let go and trust that God’s grace would be there opening my eyes to see wings I never knew existed. 

WINGS

To conclude but only for now, as I was packing up my belongings at school this past Tuesday, I noticed that my window was open.   As I walked over to close it, I noticed a giant leaf sitting on the sill.   Just when I was going to push this outside, I noticed that I was mistaken.   It was a large praying mantis.  In all of my life, I have only seen one of these beautifully unique creatures and that was during my childhood. While I do not yet know the meaning of this, I once again believe it symbolizes that something amazing is up ahead for us.

prayign mantis

With all of this, my smiles have been turned to genuine as I continue to join my son in smiling on…

tj cartoon TBT


Do believe in signs? If so, was there ever a time when one of these signs transformed you?


“If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life but it wasn’t mine…”

– “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave

Source: http://www.klove.com/music/artists/big-daddy-weave/songs/my-story-lyrics.aspx

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you ajoobacats  for my nomination. If you haven’t checked out her awesome blog, I definitely recommend it.


THE RULES:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Facts About Myself

I am obsessed with running. While I use to play games like Candy Crush on my phone as I ran, now I blog on my morning treadmill runs.

My dream …I mean plan… is to be a published author one day.

I am empathetic to a fault…if that’s possible.

My dream job would be to be a singer/song writer and be able to inspire endless amounts of people throughout the world. But there’s one problem with that, I can’t sing! However, being a Special Education teacher is pretty awesome too. Plus, it helps that I have found that being TJ’s mom and my hubby’s wife are the most rewarding roles ever!

I am actually a decent drawer…but I can’t draw mouths. (Ask my husband…it’s pretty bad.)

My faith and God are the only reasons why I am still alive.

I truly believe that impossible is not a word. Anything in life is possible if you work your butt off and believe.


15 Bloggers I Nominate Should They Decide To Accept: (Sorry I keep nominating some of you…I just really think you are awesome.)

http://nickysdaywithautism.com/

http://happyfamilyblog.com/

http://thejoyoffive.com/

https://educatingbriansworld.wordpress.com/

https://jenniferpeck23.wordpress.com/

http://superinspiredmoments.com/

http://www.theguiltfreeguide.co.uk/

https://theloveofacaptain.wordpress.com/

https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://dearlilyjune.wordpress.com/

https://sonyca.wordpress.com/

http://cathylynnbrooks.com/