Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~New Year, New _________~ January 1, 2014

I haven’t flipped my lid, I left a blank in the title of this post intentionally BECAUSE the new year holds something different for each and every one of us!

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Welcome to day #1 of 2014!

I have a friend who posted a challenge of sorts on facebook yesterday and I’ve asked her permission to share with you.  It’s funny, I say friend but we’ve actually never met!  We have a mutual friend who thought we could benefit from the encouragement that the other offers…both of us through the wild and wonderful world that is the blogosphere.  Just another reason why I love the internet…it allows believers to “meet” and grow together that may not have otherwise ever been able to connect…so cool but totally unrelated so back on topic!

Jennifer and her family have chosen 3 things for the new year:

  1. Family Motto
  2. One Word
  3. Life Verse

My mind was blown.  What an awesome concept!  My family and I are totally onboard.  So we sat down together and decided what our family motto was going to be for the entire year.

We actually settled on two so I will share the one our 5 year old suggested: I will use kind words.  How sweet is that?  And it is definitely something we could all benefit from in the coming year.

Next up is the one word challenge, which is personal to each individual.  My choice: Reckless  I want to live with complete abandon, sold out for Jesus.  I want to relinquish my need for control and follow whole heartedly where the Lord leads.

The life verse, much like the one word, is up to the individual.  Based on the challenges I faced in 2013 and the changes I hope to see in 2014, my life verse for the year will be: “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”  Proverbs 4:25-26new yearI encourage you all to take this challenge with me.  And if you do, and you don’t mind to share, please do so in the comments.  I would love to hear from you all.

As for the blank in the title, some ideas to fill that in:  You, Direction, Attitude, Motivation, Perspective, Vision…the list could go on.  I’m going with New Year, New Outlook.

Thank you, to Jennifer Miller for sharing this idea on social media and giving me and others a jumpstart on deciding to make the new year one full of positive changes.  If you would like to read more from Jennifer, you can do so at http://www.parentingsteps.org/

 

~Joyeux Noel!~ December 25, 2013

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Twas the night before Christmas & all through this house

Not a creature did stir, except for my spouse.

Who wrestled with wood and flat ironed sheets

To construct pop out tents for his little girls treats.

All thanks to me, his dear, darling wife,

Who can’t even wield a dull butter knife,

Sprung said request on this man of mine:

“What’s the big deal, you’ve got plenty of time!”

So during the night while the rest of us snored

My dear, sweet hubby worked until four!

Working his magic with no time to spare

On the gift that “store bought” can’t even compare

While he may have secretly wished to have strangled

Miracle of all miracles…here I sit unmangled

All thanks to Emma & Bella who shrieked with glee

“Thanks so much Daddy, for the gift you MADE for me!”

DSC01782

The finished product!

 

~Holiday Blues~ November 19, 2013

Ever have one of those days where all you want to do is cry?  You may be crying for a very specific reason or, like I sometimes do, for reasons that you can’t quite explain.

Welcome to my Tuesday, and if I’m to be completely honest, it’s how I spent Sunday and Monday too.  I haven’t been able to get a grip, and do you want to know why?

Guilt.

How the world makes me feel.

How the world makes me feel.

What has me feeling guilty?  My kids Christmas list.  More specifically, my boys list.  Like most boys their age, every request they have made is a pricey one.  They are no longer content with legos, nerf guns & balls of various sizes.  Now the list consists of a laptop, cell phones & a huge trampoline for the yard.  It’s not that our kids are ungrateful for what we give them, it’s more about their hobbies and interests changing drastically that causes the rise in price of gifts.  Naturally we can’t buy all of these things so they will have to settle for the items at the bottom of their list.  And they will be content with that.  Christmas morning they will give us a sweet, understanding smile and express gratitude for what they have…and that makes me cry even more!

Here is the problem, I have let my guilt of not being able to give extravagant gifts steal my joy.  This time of year is my absolute favorite.  I look forward to Thanksgiving more than any other holiday.  But this year I’ve lost sight of what the holiday is about because I’ve been so consumed by the very opposite.  I have gotten sucked into the trap of materialism and the commercialization of the holidays.  So I decided to sit and list all the reasons I have to be thankful…and it’s too long to share.  Next up, I decided to list all that we can and do give our kids and weighed it against what we cannot provide.  And you know which list was longer?  Of course you do.

Does all of this stop the flow of tears?  Not yet, but it will.  I can’t help but desire to give my family more.  I do suffer with guilt because I don’t add to our family income.  I can hear the words of my sweet friends who reassure me that I am giving my family something of greater value by just being a wife & mommy, but still I struggle.

I share these very personal feelings with you all because I know I am not the only one who battles these emotions, especially this time of year.

Are you the parent who wants to spoil their kids just this once?

Or maybe it’s your spouse that you long to lavish with the beautiful jewelry she deserves for all the love she pours out year round.

Perhaps your parents are the ones you wish to repay for all the years that they have given selflessly to you and you’d love to surprise them for a change.

It could be that all of the above apply to you and then some.

May I ask that we pray for one another today?  Can we take a moment to call on the Lord on behalf of others who are in the same position?

Lord, I ask that you be with me and those like me today who are struggling with feelings of inadequacy due to what we are unable to give.  Shift our focus to all that we have to be thankful for.  Show us ways in which we can express to our loved ones just how much they mean to us without feeling guilt over lack of material things.  Remind us, Lord, what these upcoming holidays are about: gratitude, family and most importantly, You.  Let us not be so consumed with what the world pushes us towards that we miss what you are calling us to.  And when the overwhelming emotions come, comfort us as only you can by speaking straight to our hearts. 

 

~Halloween Doesn’t Have to be Scary!~ October 31, 2013

halloweenI’m  not familiar with the customs in the rest of the world, but today, in the good ole US of A…it is Halloween.

I have to admit, this is my least favorite “holiday.”  (I can hear your fingers flying across the keys as you fire off your hate mail, just hear me out.)  First off, I am the biggest chicken you will ever meet.  I don’t do haunted houses, scary costumes or bloody make-up and I certainly don’t watch scary movies.  No.  It creeps me out and gives me nightmares for days.  Yes I am a grown woman and I know the difference in real and make believe but I see little reason to intentionally put myself in the path of a zombie, Freddy Crougar or Michael Meyers….not happening people.  Secondly, name one other time when we would allow our children to take candy from strangers?!  I can recall numerous conversations as a child with my mom preaching at me to do the exact opposite.  A stranger offers you candy, run away!  (hahaha)

However, seeing as how I have 5 children to answer to, naturally they would all like to participate in the same festivities as their friends.  So how does this freak-out mom handle this day?  The oldest daughter will be dressed in coordinating costumes with her 2 best friends and hitting the safest neighborhood in town.  The rest of us will all be at a family members house, munching on themed snacks and throwing goodies in the bags of eager little trick-or-treaters.  No blood, no gore.

For those of you participating in the night’s activities, at whatever capacity, how about you don’t let the darkness win?  Whatever you believe about the origin of Halloween, whether it be pagan or not, shine the light of Jesus.  God can even take something created for evil and use it for good.  I’ve seen Him do it, time and time again.

I pray you all have a safe and enjoyable evening.  And please, oh please, if you are dressed as any of the above characters do not sneak up on me, I will not be held accountable for my reactions!

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  

-Plato