The Saving Mom Parents


Winds of Change

Posted in LIFE by The Saving Mom on August 15, 2011
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Dear Ones-
I realized that time is just speeding by and my life is growing and changing in such abundantly wonderful ways and I need to change with it.  In light of that I’ve found that this blog location doesn’t really fit me the way it did when I first started blogging.  I’m settling into a new home here on WordPress and I would love it if you would come find me and hear all about why I’m making the change. Minding My Miracles
See you soon.
-Jessica

Something beautiful…someone beautiful

Dear Ones -

If you grew up in a Christian environment in the 80’s and 90’s like I did you know a lot of simple little songs or hymns that are overflowing with heartfelt meaning.  My kids actually have a lot of tapes (yes, actual cassette tapes) with a good portion of these songs  on them.  I actually find this to be a blessing because I get to hear all this music and get reminded of my childhood.  And every once in a while one of those songs jumps out at me and says “why don’t you add me to your repertoire?”

Today I heard the song “Something Beautiful, Something Good.”  I know I needed to hear this song today.  I have really been struggling the last little while.  My cousin is very sick and yesterday I was told that very soon she will be joining Jesus in a face to face way.  To be honest my heart is breaking.  Perhaps you remember the videos from last year of Cousin B.  and my mom riding office chairs down the street at our garage sale.  So vibrant, so full of life.  She truly is someone beautiful.  It is never easy to lose someone from your life and often the prospect fills you with confusion.  I know I have confusion as to why it seems God is about to take her home.  I know she will be out of pain and for that I would rejoice.  Why won’t He take the pain away here and now?  I don’t know.  I don’t have answers for this stuff.  I know this is the kind of stuff Ann Voscamp refers to as “the hard eucharisteo”.

So, today when I heard this song and was reminded that He understands all my confusion and He is here with me I was comforted.  He is the one who holds the answers to all my questions.  He is the one who takes the pain and turns it into something beautiful.  I am reminded that He is the fixer of broken-ness.  I don’t have answers today. I may not ever have answers on this one.  But I know I can trust Him.  His love truly holds us all.

My Dear Beth -
I know that you may not read this, but I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. I love the sense of exploration you always live with. I love your beautiful smile that lights up a whole room. I love that you have always been so generous with all that you are. I love the way you question everything. You encouraged me to be the same. You encouraged me to look into raw eating and experiment with flavors and tastes. I can’t believe that I like chocolate avocado pudding. You’ve encouraged me to find more words to explain what I believe. You’ve encouraged me to listen more to others about what they believe. I am a more open person because of you. Thank you so much for your love. I still pray for a miracle and am trusting God that His miracle will bring you true peace. I love you.
Jess

Something Beautiful, Something Good (click title for youtube link)

Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokeness and strife
But he made something beautiful of my life

If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.

~Jessica

 

 

 

As You Wish…..

Posted in LIFE by The Saving Mom on August 2, 2011
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Dear Ones -

Today marks the 10 year point.  10 years since my bare feet floated down the red cement hurrying to join my life to his.  10 years since the hot summer day when I promised to love and cherish and was given this promise in return.

How do I sum up 10 years in one little blog post?  How do I tell him that I am more in love now than I was that day he gave me this ring I wear?  How do I express how grateful I am for his love, compassion, patience and faithfulness?  How do I tell him that even though I thought he was everything I dreamed for he is sooo much more than that?

Maybe I should tell you why he is so special.  Long before I ever even thought of him he used to sweep out the cafeteria at school so I didn’t have to on my clean-up day.  When I first fell in love with him it was because I saw him worship his Creator.  That was the number one thing on my list.  A man who would be totally committed to His God.  A man who would love me out of his understanding of the love of God.

    

He is the type of guy that rubs my feet after he’s had a really long day.  Even after he works hard he’ll come home and carry laundry all around the house so I don’t have to tote heavy baskets up and down stairs.  And now he’s got a new hook to keep me around…it’s the way he parents.  He loves his kids so much.  He loves to play with them all the rough and tumble things boys need that mom just does not want to do.  Of course, he also wants to teach them all those little boy things like using a magnifying glass to start a leaf on fire.  He longs for them to be free to experiment and discover all the amazing things God has created for them.  I guess I’ll just have to keep a close eye on what those boys are up to.

When we got married we didn’t realize how perfectly suited for each other we were.  We both felt that God had picked the other one out for us, but we didn’t realize the extent of what that could mean.  We had no idea that we’d be sci-fiers together.  We didn’t know that our dream together, would be to have our own sustainable farm.  We didn’t know how much we’d enjoy road-tripping together.  We thought life was good, but we didn’t know it would develop into GREAT.

Lately we’ve been watching The Cosby Show on Netflix.  Even though our parents are very different from each other in some episodes we see my parents and in some episodes we see his.  Last night the episode we watched we realized that we saw ourselves.  Now that was a good laugh.  It’s funny how the longer you’ve been married the more you can become like an old married couple.  And we are…an old married couple…an old happily married couple.  We really do delight in spending time with each other.  We really do want to be together almost all of the time, even after all this time.  He is my best friend and I am his.  Everyday just gets better and better.  This is not saying every moment is perfect, but they all work together for our good.  We learn, we grow, we delight in each other.

There is no one I would rather spend my moments with.  There is no one I would rather share my stories and secrets, successes and failures with.  This man of mine is pretty special and I never want to let him go.  I wish that I had the words to describe how special he really is.  I can only pray this prayer.

I thank You Lord for giving me a man better than I dreamed for.  I thank You Lord for connecting me to a person who I could grow with into all You dreamed us to be.  I thank You Lord for making this match that truly desires to honor You with all that we are.  I thank You Lord for teaching us that life isn’t all about rose petals and candles, but that sometimes it can be.  Lord, life is so good.  We are so blessed.  Thank You God.  Thanks a million.

Babe, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.  In fact, now that I know I would actually run down the aisle to get to you.  I promise again to love, honor, cherish and submit to you…and this time I sort of actually know what all that means.  I am so eager to see what God will bring us in the next ten years.  I am looking forward to the ups, the downs and everything in between just so long as we’re together.  For I have discovered, that life (with you) is the greatest adventure of all.

Oh, and Jordan…EeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeEe

It’s too hot for…

Posted in General by The Saving Mom on July 25, 2011
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Dear Ones -

Maybe I’m just a big wuss, but it is simply too hot for me to write.  Perhaps it’s because I feel a bit trapped in my house right now (lots of projects and some other things).  Whatever the reason, I have three posts started that I just can’t seem to currently finish.  I will at some point…

If only there were some air-conditioning in my house…ugg.  I’m not actually complaining; just coming up with excuses.  haha  My 10 year anniversary is coming up in a week and there will definitely be a post about the last 10 years of marriage.  In the meantime, I would like to encourage you spend some time with the Shepherd (Psalm 23).  In Him, the heat is nothing for He brings us to still waters and causes us to lie down and rest.  Ahhhhh, He is so good!

~Jessica

Arms wide open

Dear Ones -

Sometimes I think everyone should have a child just so they can grow as a person.  I know that mine teach me so much.  Each one has their own unique personality.  Each ones looks at life a little differently.  They challenge me to see through their eyes.  And in doing so, I become more than I ever was before.

Yummy teaches me moment by moment to ask the why questions in life.  He is teaching me to never take a simple “no” when persistence can pay off into a yes.  He is also teaching me when to stand firm on the hard “no’s” in life and that sometimes it’s okay to just say “yes” right away.  Squeaky is enjoying teaching me how important the yes’es are in life too.  I often think that for him the word “no” means “yes”…(except when you ask him if he needs some sort of punishment for his behavior -then “no” definitely means “no”).

In the midst of teaching me all about the yes there is another lesson that they’ve been teaching me that coincides with it and that is – run into life with arms wide open.  My kids live on an excitement high of what’s coming next.  They can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.  They will jump off high heights, arms flung wide waiting for Mommy or Daddy to catch them.  They will run to the door to see who might be coming to see them or where they can head off to next.

In 2000 Scott Staph put out a song called “With Arms Wide Open”.  I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about Creed, but no matter what you have to admit that the words to this song are beautiful.  He talks about the wonder of finding out that he was going to be a dad and how he was going to welcome his child with arms wide open.  He also said he hoped that his child would welcome all of life that same way.  That idea has stuck with me and I have often longed to welcome life that way.  I must admit it’s a very hard thing for a realist to do.

As I’ve started thinking about this lesson my new teachers are teaching me I went to the Word to see what my Ultimate Teacher wanted me to see…

Psalm 5:11 (But You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration. You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight.)

1 Corinthians 16:23 (Our Master Jesus has His arms wide open for you.)

WOW…could there be a better example?  The way He welcomes us.  God’s arms are wide open for me.  God’s arms are wide open for you!  We are not only invited into His arms, but He eagerly desires that we come into them.

And then Jude reminds us how we freely we can live.  Jude 1:20 (But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!)

It does seem like this is easier for kids.  They haven’t been battered about by the circumstances of life.  They haven’t been knocked around by other people.  They have yet to experience a life tragedy.  And yet, seeing them jump into our arms having no fear that we might miss catching them…there is something I long for in that.  I long to be so free that fear doesn’t hold me back…that disappointment in myself and others doesn’t hold me back.

I am so glad I am starting to see through my children the joy that can be had through living a life with arms wide open.  To be able to laugh and giggle without motive.  To be able to express love without restraint and with no need for reciprocation, but just to show love.  To welcome all that comes my way regardless of the possible outcomes.  To know that my Father has the very best for me and that in times of trouble I can always run into His arms.

I wish with all my heart that you might find this secret too.  I wish that you might find a way to welcome life with your arms wide open.  I wish that you find the freedom to run into the wide open arms of your Father that wait just for you…ALWAYS.

~Jessica

  

Soaking this in today…

Posted in LIFE,Spiritual Relationship by The Saving Mom on July 10, 2011
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Dear Ones -

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

(The Message)  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

(King James Version) Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(Amplified Version) Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

(New International Version) Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(New Living Translation Version) Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Here are just a few versions of these words of encouragement.  Take out your own version and look them up for yourself.  Today might not be the perfect day.  You may have gotten some bad news.  You might not be feeling your best.  Or everything may be going well.  You may have woken up with a song on your lips.  No matter what I encourage you to take a moment and allow yourself to tune in to this challenge and go for it.  I  will be and I would love to hear about your journey too.

~Jessica

Is this for real?

Posted in LIFE by The Saving Mom on July 8, 2011
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Dear Ones -

Sometimes our country feels so split.  We argue about politics, religion, abortion, family, human rights, how to eat, how to raise or not-raise children and anything else that jumps into our day-to-day.  We get so caught up on policies and ideas and principles that we forget about people.

We are split because we are always judging.  We judge the way others think.  We judge the way they respond to circumstances.  We judge that there is no way others could be right, because that might make us wrong.  We become so critical in our thinking that we forget to see the beauty in others.  And, we forget to see the hurt.  We miss that someone else might be defensive about abortion because when they were 15 they had one and have felt guilty and belittled ever since.  We close our eyes to the fact that someone might speak harshly to their children because their parents beat them and this is the best they can do in order to not beat theirs.

We self-righteously put on airs around those who go to a different kind of church than us or worse yet, no church at all.  I mean, after all, they must not really be getting into heaven if they believe differently than us.  We are so blind to the fact that most people HAVE to put on some sort of armor just to make it through the day and don’t know any other way to protect themselves.  We live in a world where only what we do is the right action and what others do generally is just a paltry comparison.  And then we dare to call ourselves free.

Oh yeah, we’re free.  Free to judge.  Free to condemn.  Free to look down.  Free to fake compassion.  Free to climb onto our own personal pedestals.  Free to imprison ourselves in a cage of our own making.  There is so, so much more.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to give all that up and be truly free?  Have you ever wondered where you could go and who you could be if you were not restricted by the “freedom” you impose on yourself?  Do you ever think – there has to be another way?

The answer is “yes – there is another way.”

Galatians 5:13-14
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.

~Jessica

It’s just a job…

I’m writing today’s post in the mood of being encouraging.  Let’s see how it comes out.

Recently, hubs and I were watching a show and one of the characters reminded another to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a job.  I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase.  In fact, you may have even said it.  I’m sure I have.

As you know, I am a stay-at-home mom.  This means my “job” is 24/7 and it really isn’t just a job.  It’s work, pure and simple, but rewarding work.  Sometimes I feel like I’m riding an emotional roller-coaster throughout the day.  My boys can go from sweet and loving to very challenging in a heartbeat.  I’m sure this is true for all parents (and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait.)  The other truth is that it can also go the other way from pull your hair out to cuddles and kisses in a heartbeat.  Children can be unpredictable and that is one of the amazing things about them.

My” job” somehow requires me to be so much more than I ever thought I could be.  It pushes and pulls me in all sorts of directions.  I am challenged to rise to new heights all the time.  And there are certainly times I fall to lower lows than I ever thought I could.  The other thing about my “job” is that it is much more than looking after children.  It involves managing a household -meaning grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, keeping a budget and a whole other assortment of mundane little tasks.  Plus, during all of this I try to instill in my children a sense of awe for their Creator, recognition that they are well-loved, a desire to grow in wisdom and knowledge and an overall sense of peace and well-being.

What I do is more than a job.  It is a calling.  It is what I was made for.  Every time I recognize this I get a little more strength to make it through the rough moments.  Breaking up my routine for fun and laughter helps me remember that even the little things can be big things.  When I spend time focusing on Who enabled me to do this job I see that I am more than able and am not limited.  There is no list of to-dos that is too-great for me.  I am blessed, fortunate, happy and to be envied.

The thing is that some of you do work -just a job.  Some of you love what you do.  Some of you hate what you do.  Either way, it is a source of financial income for your household and you do it to provide for your family and maintain a lifestyle.  I use to work one of these types of jobs.  I’ve worked in food, retail (home-goods and clothing), office work and for a church.  Some of these jobs I loved or loved for a while and some of them I did just because I needed to work.  In some I had purpose.  In some, I just wanted to run for the hills.  But, the real part of life is your family.  Big or small the people are what matters.  Investing in the people in your life is what makes life real.  And when we put income ahead of people we miss out.  When the goal is to have all the “toys”, we find we don’t have time to play with them.  And eventually we find that this “job” is consuming us.  When we are home all we can think about is that project, or assignment or customer from earlier in the day.  Even if it’s a good thing, if it is stealing from your family time and focus, then I ask you to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

That’s all good and well you might say to me, but I am too invested in this job.  It’s already consuming me and at this point in my life I have no way out.  I would like to contend that you do have a way out.  Instead of saying “Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just a job.” try saying something similar as you start your day “As you begin your day remember that it’s just a job.”  Remembering as you fall into bed completely exhausted at the end of the night having been completely consumed (at least in your mind) with your job is too late.  Starting your day remembering it may just help you be focused on what really matters in life.  It might give you some extra energy to finish up at “the office” so you can be free when you get home.  When you are at work, then be at work.  And when you are with your family, then BE with your family.  All I can say is that if you are feeling overwhelmed with the things in life that aren’t the important thing then maybe a little mind change might be just what you need for a fresh day.  Maybe saying those few little words at the right time of day might make all the difference.  I hope so.  It certainly can’t hurt, can it?

~Jessica

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