Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back... to See Ahead

As I sat clearing out my camera's memory card, in order to make space for new pictures,
I couldn't help but notice this one taken last year right after Christmas

My daughter
My mother

three generations of women
traveling together
and headed to a single destination

three generations of women
in different stages of life
and riding with

different positions
different postures
different perspectives

My daughter, the youngest, sitting in back... looking down
Me in front...looking back, and
My mother, the older and (perhaps) wiser generation, right in the middle... looking straight ahead

Life has so many


and at some point we must consciously decide which outlook we will take

This year God has helped me learn to appreciate them all because

When I looked down...

at my surroundings
the kids
or in His Word

He taught me about becoming a Mary or a Martha
how to take a bow,
stay under His wing, and
what to do when Jesus sleeps

Then He allowed me to look ahead...

to learn how to navigate an obstacle course and bring my nest to the light

and finally in looking back...

He provided a light bulb moment, while reminding me of
the beauty and pain found in crunching leaves

I now see that He has been using these

different positions
different postures
different perspectives

to teach me the same exact lesson...
again and again!

A lesson in seeing Him no matter where I am in life


trusting that since

He is faithful
He is with me (and in me)

that in Him, I will win

every time...


So as I stand at the end of this stage

I am filled with gratitude and grace

finally willing
to embrace each phase

knowing that He will continue to

teach me
guide me
show me

the proper time to

look down...
look back...
look ahead...

(sharing this today)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Aftermath

It must have happened sometime between midnight and 3am...
My feet got cold so I moved in closer

When he felt me shivering he pulled me in, and asked "what's wrong?"


I mumbled, still half asleep

"Well here, put these on..."
he said pulling off his socks and handing them to me

and I

didn't realize
didn't remember

until later when I fully woke and wondered...

How did I end up in his socks?

And then the faded memory became clearer...

We've celebrated the birth of Christ and what
His presence
His present

really means...

how God unrobed
became a man and died
so that we might be clothed!

He said
"Here, put this on"
"Wear my garment"
"I'm here now, I'll hold you close and protect you from this cold world"

And then we wake to find that the entire family has also
been affected
been changed

and that a new perspective has been gained...

from the child who once stayed indoors

who now heads out to glory in a new day...

to the highly active, "never-sit-down" child 
who comes inside to find a quiet place to worship...

He's caused a change...
and maybe it happened sometime between midnight and 3am

because I woke this morning clothed...

and thanking God for
His presence
His presents

and the realization that this is more than just

Christmas aftermath

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Take a Bow

It was the day of the Christmas musical and the Kindergarten class was up first...

I smiled when I saw my four students had been grouped together and placed center stage

"She did that for me"...
I stated out loud

"She did that so I could get them all in one picture"

I knew that she remembered they had all been

my students...
my babies...

and now my students
were her students

And when they started to sing
I smiled
because I could see them all

and I thought that she had given the best gift by grouping them all together like that

I thought that she had made my day...

until God (not willing to be outdone)
gave more

when as they finished the first song selection, the one that I had called my "Cuddle Bug"
stopped and took a bow

The other three looked at him and smiled
then appeared to look out to us in the audience

as we sat grouped together too

his mother
my mother
with me in the middle

then after the second song... he bowed again
the third song... he bowed
the grand finale... he bowed

and gave us all a good laugh while providing yet another lesson in gratitude and grace

This is what the season is all about

bowing in humility
and appreciation

for the best gift that has already been given

And so since the work is complete

all there is left to do
is sing the song...

and take a bow

(not because we are so great, but because we are so grateful!)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Difference Between Him and Us

We ask...
"Who am I?"
and spend our lifetime figuring it out

He says...

"I am Who"
and spends our lifetime proving it

Merry Christmas
from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"APFLH" Children's Art Studio- Flavors of Fall (Painting)

Saturday mornings in the art studio with friends has become one of my weekend favorites!

Noticing... silence fill the room as young artists concentrate on their work
Seeing... the unique creations their little hands plan and produce
Witnessing... the look on parent faces upon viewing their child's finished art pieces

all reminds me to stop and cherish...

and the wonderful "Flavors of Fall"!

Water Color Art
Water Color Paint
Skinny Paint Brushes
(optional extras)
Colored pencils

(And of course my favorite new quote made an appearance)
Print Painting
Popcorn Kernels
Paper Leaf Cutouts
Construction Paper

And that completes our "Flavors of Fall" series which also included...
Join us in the New Year to create..."Dream Boards"!