When Mother’s Day isn’t all Roses

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope and pray this weekend is special for each one of you.

Mother’s Day is a beautiful idea at a lovely time of year– it’s nice to set aside some time to recognize Moms. But we probably all realize that, for many reasons, Mother’s Day can bring with it more emotions than just overflowing joy.

I asked the Lord what I should share with you for this occasion. He pointed me to two songs by dear Abigail— I have told you about her before. She has embraced motherhood in such a beautiful way it can just be felt in her songs.IMG_0010First, a song for the Momma who is just surviving day by day, and feels that her humble efforts are never enough. For the one who feels fairly doubtful about accepting thanks on Mother’s Day, because at times she’s pretty sure she is messing the whole thing up. For the one who feels so inadequate for this task of raising arrows for the King of kings. For the one who is giving all of what little she has to offer to the Master. One pot of oil is all I’ve got Lord, and I’m pouring it out for You. Please make it into something so much more.”IMG_0080

One Pot of Oil
by Abigail Miller
(2 Kings 4:1-7)

She stood before the rows of empty vessels,
One little pot of oil was in her hand.
And though she may have never seen a miracle
She willingly obeyed the Lord’s command.

She bent and poured the oil into each vessel.
It flowed out in a full and steady stream,
And did not cease until they said, “There’s not a vessel more.”
And then she saw that what she’d had
Was more than what it seemed.

Pour out your life, freely now,
See what the Master can do.
Though it seems unbelievable,
He can use me, He can use you.
Though all you have seems weak and poor,
He sets before you an open door.
One pot of oil becomes so much more
When you pour it out to the Lord.

Each day I face my rows of empty vessels
I’m conscious of the weakness of my hands.
And though I know I can’t perform a miracle,
By His grace I follow His command.

Lord, pour Your Life through me into each vessel,
Each one that You would place within my care.
And let me not cease giving ’til there’s not a vessel more.
Father, let my life be poured out, may it ever be my prayer

Pour out your life, freely now,
See what the Master can do.
Though it seems unbelievable,
He can use me, He can use you.
Though all you have seems weak and poor,
He sets before you an open door.
One pot of oil becomes so much more
When you pour it out to the Lord.

Won’t you pour it out to the Lord?

(listen to this song here)IMG_0089

Second, a song for the one whose heart is sad on Mother’s Day. For the one who longed for motherhood but it never became a reality. For the dear one who is missing her own Momma today and wishing she could see her and hear her voice. For the one who poured out her life for her precious children, but in turn has had her heart broken by a wayward one. For the one who just can’t believe how fast the motherhood years have flown, and would love to go back and have some more days like the ones I described above. Here is a song that I hope will encourage you today. Our heavenly Father knows and understands._MG_2507

He Knows
by Abigail Miller

He knows the way the river flows
On its path down to the sea.
He knows the way of mountains
In their silent majesty.
He knows the way of sparrows
In their flight so swift and free.
And with all His wisdom, power and love,
He knows both you and me.

For the eyes of God in every place
Are watching all we do.
And before you chose each step today,
He was there, and He knew.
He knew the times your joy would flow
And when your heart would break.
He is never far from where you are
And He knows the way you take.

So if you’ve ever wondered
At the path God led you down.
When it seems He can’t be watching,
Or His presence can’t be found.
Remember how He loves you,
How He sees each sparrow fall.
Like a shepherd He will gently lead
And His sheep will know His call.

For the eyes of God in every place
Are watching all we do.
And before you chose each step today
He was there, and He knew.
He knew the times your joy would flow
And when your heart would break.
He is never far from where you are,
And He knows the way you take.

And when days of time lie far behind;
When in heaven we will dwell.
We will see the path He led us on and say,
“He does all things well.”
He knew the times your joy would flow
And when your heart would break.
He is never far from where you are,
And He knows the way you take.

(listen to this song here)IMG_0046

Nixxing the Flix

In a moment of frustration and indignation, I scribbled a note and taped it to the front of the TV. “Do not watch anything else on this TV until further notice.” I scribbled a similar note and taped it to the front of the iPad.

The crew realized that Mom was upset, and they were right, I was. The note stayed there. The TV stayed off. And I began to really think some things through. The crew may have thought that Mom would calm down, the note would come down, and things would go back to normal. If so, they were wrong. I had reached a point of reckoning. To quote Anne of Green Gables, “Iron had entered into my soul.”

You may be wondering what had happened to trigger this Note-Posting Event. Let me explain. Continue reading “Nixxing the Flix”

The Children

Children are a precious gift– to families, extended families, churches, communities, nations, and the world. {James 1:17}

The Children
by Edgar A. Guest

The children bring us laughter, and the children bring us tears;
They string our joys, like jewels bright, upon the thread of years;
They bring the bitterest cares we know, their mothers’ sharpest pain,
Then smile our world to loveliness, like sunshine after rain. Continue reading “The Children”

Mom, You are Priceless (seeing yourself through the eyes of your child)

{I shared these words back in 2011, when speaking at an event for a gathering of mothers. I hope these words encourage you today. We had a break in the cold weather recently and Katelyn took these pictures of the girls in the pine needles and sunlight. Neither of these girls were yet born when I first shared these words.}

All of us here today have at least one thing in common, and that is that we are mothers.  We have been privileged to bring at least one life in to the world, and the well-being of that little person has been completely committed to our care.  It’s a miracle and an awesome privilege.

I am expecting my fifth child in just a few months.  It’s a boy, which makes four boys with one girl right in the middle.  I am thankful to God for blessing me with these children, and for ALL that He has taught me through it.  I do not stand here today as a mother who “has it all together.”  I am not a super-mom. Continue reading “Mom, You are Priceless (seeing yourself through the eyes of your child)”

On the way into Bethlehem

We parked. The whole family piled out of the van, donned coats and hats, and began to wade through a sea of vehicles. Strains of Jewish music floated over the fence from across the road. Who knew that the local “Bethlehem Village,” hosted by several area churches, drew such a crowd? 

With two littles in the double stroller, we moved quickly before they could start deciding they didn’t like being in the stroller after all. A parking attendant called out, “There’s a place to cross the road about half way down.” Continue reading “On the way into Bethlehem”

It’s OK to live a cluttered life (there are many things worse).

I have just emerged from the basement, where I am making a valiant effort to de-clutter.  I almost drowned in a sea of game pieces, puzzle pieces, stuffed animals, dress-up clothes, wooden blocks, trains, dolls, legos, and everything in between. I have lived to tell the tale, but the clutter is not conquered. I would say I made a dent in it.

Minimalism. We see it talked about all over the place. And hey, I get it. Materialism has taken over America. Americans seem to live to get more things, and then need time to take care of those things, and then need time to get rid of things, Continue reading “It’s OK to live a cluttered life (there are many things worse).”

If Mama Ain’t Thankful

She stood there smiling at me, in the basement of the church where we both were visiting. It was a genuine smile, a relaxed smile, not a forced “I have to smile at you because I’m the evangelist’s wife” smile. She had three or four small children in tow, and they were climbing on everything in sight, as were mine. Continue reading “If Mama Ain’t Thankful”

How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)

An adorable little freeloader enters your world. First, he creates mounds of laundry and dirty diapers. Not long after, dirty dishes begin to multiply. Then suddenly, the entire kitchen floor becomes sticky and grimy in 1.9 seconds of your back being turned. Books and knick knacks litter the floor, because your little freeloader has also become a little ten-month-old tornado. Continue reading “How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)”