“Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 NLT
This past summer Ellie spent weeks digging and carving to find all the pieces of the dinosaur. Each day she would take time to carve and dig to find more fossils. She was very dedicated to this project. Watching her made me question how dedicated I am to spending time with Jesus. Am I daily digging into my relationship with Him? Am I as dedicated to spending time with Jesus as I am to watching the newest episode of This Is Us? If I’m being honest, not as much as I would like. And I can’t blame it on lack of time because there is plenty of my time I waste on Pinterest and social media. I want to do better and I pray if you are like me you will be encouraged to spend more time in your relationship with Jesus too. So, what is it for you? What wasted time could you make more significant by turning yourself away from it and toward Jesus?
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT
Guess what?! This is real life right here. It doesn’t start off looking this way but ends up like this by the following morning. My favorite part of this picture is the donkey falling off the bed. 😂 Most days I feel like I’m the donkey falling off in life as a mother and wife. Right now diapers are everywhere clean and dirty. Life is unorganized and messy. Most photos I post there is a mess behind me. You read right, before I post a picture I make sure the back ground is clean but the truth is my house is chaotic! Life and exhaustion get in the way. However, as much as I hate the mess there is no where I’d rather be then right in the middle of it with my two babies and husband! We do lots of fun projects and science but we also watch a lot of TV. There were months during pregnancy when Ellie and I sat on the couch ALL DAY watching TV because I couldn’t function. We had to hire someone to help us get the house in order just so my mother in law could come and help me clean it before Jay arrived. I’m not proud of any of this but I won’t try and hide it either. It’s when we admit that we can’t do life alone that we can begin to move past our pride and accept the help offered. It’s just a season and I’m learning to be content in this season. No one has a picture perfect life. Remember that when you compare your life to the pictures you see on social media. We are all a perfect mess in need of Gods grace. Don’t ever forget that you are not alone in your struggles. To keep it short and simple: we all have moments when we feel we are like this toy donkey falling off the bed of life.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
Jessie’s parents came to stay with us before Jay’s arrival. During their stay they brought out a yellow and blue hand knitted blanket that was Jessie’s as a baby. This blanket will forever hold a special place in our hearts. It was handmade by Jessie’s great grandma 34 years ago. A blanket that once kept Jessie warm is now 34 years later keeping Jay warm too.
Jessie’s great grandma, Rufina Natividad Rayos poured her heart and love into this blanket for Jessie unaware that 34 years later he would be laying Jay in it. I wonder if she prayed over it? Did she cry happy tears while knitting it? Did she dream of all that he would become when handing it to his parents? Rufina is no longer with us. She doesn’t get to see this picture or read this post BUT her legacy of love lives on and will continue to live on through the passing down of this blanket.
There will be so many moments in life when we pour our hearts and love into something that we may never see the full impact of. It might seem pointless or silly to continue on. We might want to give up and quit when it gets hard or when we feel we don’t have the time or energy to finish. Remember, Jesus has birthed in each of us a purpose. There is a specific reason that we were put on this earth. If we don’t give up, He will complete what He has started even if we never see the full impact. The love poured into this blanket by Jessie’s great grandmother will always remind me to never give up no matter how big or small the task at hand is. Keep pressing on. Keep knitting. You might just be knitting an impact that lasts well after your life here on earth is complete!
Ellie finished her Helping Hands project! She came up with 12 ways that she can be helpful! We were suppose to come up with 31 but there is that thing called life that gets in the way. 😂😂 I am proud of the ways she thought to be helpful though….
1. I can make Jay laugh by making funny faces.
2. Hold the door open for others!
3. I helped put school supply bags on the cart to give to kids.
4. If a bully is being mean to a friend I can tell the friend to talk to Jesus. Jesus will make them feel better.
5. I helped build the garage shelf with dad.
6. I can help when I wait my turn for the slide.
7. I help mom get her puke bag.
8. I can give my clothes to friends when they don’t fit anymore.
9. I can help pass out the Jesus activity bags at church.
10. I help when I don’t cheat at games.
11. I help when I pick things up off the floor cause moms belly is too big.
12. I help when I share my toys with friends.
I think now is the perfect time that we can practice being more helpful. How can you be helpful to those around you?
A few Sunday ago, while in the car Ellie said, “Mom! I love you. You are my good daughter!”
Even though I’m not her daughter, her words helped my heart. I needed to hear that… ALOT! I realized in that moment how I have recently felt so defeated in my life and while I know it’s only the season it’s been hard emotionally. The anxiety and depression hit hard with this pregnancy and I’m just not use to feeling it all at once. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so excited for Jay. There is a joy as we wait for his arrival. However, according to the doctor it’s completely normal to experience anxiety and sadness during pregnancy as well. I definitely didn’t expect it. In the car on Sunday I felt God remind me that I’m still His good daughter. There is still good in me. I might feel defeated in this season but I’m still His and He looks at me and he can see all the good. If you are having a defeated season, know that God loves you and He still can see all the good there is in you.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zep 3:17 NLT
Did you know anger is a natural feeling that we all experience in our life? Growing up, I thought that anger was a bad feeling that we should never feel. However, even Jesus himself was angry. Jesus did not sin in his anger. He demonstrated self control. We can have self control when we are angry too. Our elementary friends learned that When angry we can choose to stop, pray and walk away. We did a very exciting experiment to show that when we don’t give our anger to Jesus it will eventually overflow out our hearts. I hope you enjoy the kids reaction as much as I did!!
The Pop Pop jar is very popular in our house. It is always over flowing with lollipops from Ellie’s Pop Pop. Each time we visit him he is waiting with another huge bag of lollipops. This recent bag contained 300. I thought about buying a larger jar but I actually like the message I hear when seeing the lollipops flow over the sides of the container.
Watching the jar overflow as we pour the lolipops in reminds me how my life has always overflowed with the goodness of God. Even in those times of uncertainty! Even when awful things were happening, there was still a blessing to talk about. I’ve spent many years feeling miserable and over the past ten years something changed and I just don’t want to live feeing emotionally miserable all the time when I don’t have to. I know! I know! There is so much turmoil in our world. I get it! It’s difficult to find the good in each day, but I promise it’s there. The overflowing lollipops reminds me of the scripture found in Psalms 23:5-6 (NLT)…
“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
If you are struggling during this season to find the good in everyday I want to challenge you to grab a pen and paper and begin writing down all the blessings around you. I took a year before Ellie was born and accepted the challenge of writing down 1000 blessings in my life. It was a true game changer for me.
Keep this is mind. Earth was never meant to be our home. We belong in heaven. Earth is far from perfect because of sin but God still wants to shower us with His love and blessings each day.
How is your life overflowing with Gods goodness?
The monkey bars!
Ellie loves the monkey bars. Her shoulders aren’t quite developed enough for her to make it across on her own yet so when we go to the park she always ask Jessie to help. When this first started at 18 months Jessie held her up and moved her across with her barley touching each bar. Now she will grasp on to each bar as he holds her legs ensuring she doesn’t fall. Soon, he will just stand beside her as she completes the monkey bars on her own. Then the sad day will come when she just swings across the monkey bars without ever looking up for help. Ellie’s never been afraid to ask for help. When she has a boo boo she will run to one of us to pray for it. When she can’t reach something high on a shelf she will ask for help to grab it. When she makes an accident she ask for help to clean it up. When a little friend fell down outside and was crying she immediately ran to us for help. She loves to do things on her own BUT she is never too proud to call out for help. She knows her limits. Why are we too proud to ask for help from God? We try to clean up our own accidents making them worse. We attempt to reach that next goal on our own falling short every time. We would rather struggle then admit that we need help. God wants to help us. God, the creator of heaven and earth wants to help you. When we are on the monkey bars, our shoulders giving out, blisters forming on our burning palms and the desire to press on growing weak, God wants to come beside you and help you continue crossing.
“My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!” Psalms 121:2 NLT
A few years ago I was feeding Ellie a quick dinner and trying to make it to church on time. I’ll be honest and admit that I was in a rush so praying for dinner slipped my mind. However, Ellie remembered. She grabbed my hand and said “we pray!” Her prayer was “Jesus bless amen.” She teaches me everyday. In that moment she taught me to never be too busy to stop and thank God for all the blessings in life!
“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8
Jessie is in the garage sweeping out water as it pours down rain! (Just keeping it from flooding)
Ellie has been learning about prayer. She continues to pray…. “Jesus please help our house to stop flooding. Stop the rain!” Then she goes in to listing 100 possessions of hers that could possibly flood and after listing each one she prays the prayer again asking Jesus to stop the rain. 😂😂😂 This went on for 5 cycles. Finally, I remind Ellie that she does not have to beg Jesus. He hears her. Then we taught her a new prayer…. “Jesus, please help the rain stop and my stuff not to flood. But if our house floods we trust you. Jesus you will always take care of me!” BTW: our house is completely fine. It’s not flooding. However, a 4 year old will see a little water in the garage and to her it’s a Noahs Ark flood! 😂😂😂😂 I often find myself praying just like Ellie. I’m praying based on my fear and not necessarily praying based on my trust in Jesus. Jesus will take care of me no matter what happens. Of course we want Jesus to stop every painful thing in our life but because of sin in our world bad things do happen. However, Jesus will take care of you! He will make it right! He will provide. He will show up. Even when the rain continues to pour and the water rises around us, Jesus will always calm the storm. In His time!
“Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:24NLT