Practical Idea for Memorial Day & The Gift of Being Face to Face

fullsizeoutput_7c34How can we go beyond the surface for Memorial Day? How can we reach those who have lost loved ones? How can we help their loved ones’ legacies live on?

  1. Write letters to their families.
  2. Pray for their families.
  3. Talk about them with our kids.

My friend, Tyler, died while serving in Iraq. When I think of his family, my heart aches for them. I want his family to know I have talked to my kids about Tyler, who he was, and his kindness and bravery. I want his family to know that we are so grateful for him and that his legacy lives on.

I asked our kids, “What can we do to show Tyler’s family we are grateful for him?” My daughter said, “Send them cards!”

So we all made them cards. It was difficult at first and it took us a while because they wondered what to write. I explained that he was a kind and brave friend of mine who died in the war serving our country. We have freedom because of him and all the people who serve and served our country.

I guided them with ideas that might encourage his family, but I also told them to write from their hearts in their own words. There is something special about a kids’ words as they are raw and honest.

If you are one of the families who lost a loved one serving our country – thank you. I pray today that the Lord would comfort you, and that you would know our gratefulness for you and the heroic sacrifice of your loved one. In Jesus’ name, amen.


The Gift of Being Face to Face

fullsizeoutput_7c31Remembering those who served and lost their lives makes me want to soak in this time with those right in front me. I am taken back to the words of Corrie ten Boom, a holocaust survivor and hero.

In1944, after hiding Jews behind a wall in her home, Corrie ten Boom was sentenced to prison camps and solitary confinement. After a month, she was allowed to leave her cell to take a shower.

In her inspirational book, The Hiding Place, Corrie wrote: “How rich is anyone who can simply see human faces! The shower too was glorious: warm clean water over my festering skin, streams of water through my matted hair.”

How Rich is Anyone. Anyone who can simply see human faces.

When we’re with our friends, spouses, and children, let’s indulge in the richness of being face to face.

The richness of being able to talk. To connect. To be together.

What a gift.

Jesus embraced this gift of being face to face.

People were never an inconvenience to him. Ever.

When Zacchaeus was in the tree, Jesus sought him out.

When leaders rebuked the blind beggar, Jesus called the man to him.

When the disciples told the children to leave, Jesus called them to him.

When Jesus saw a crippled woman, he stopped preaching and healed her.

Jesus walked through life with his twelve disciples and many others. He took the gift of being with people to heart and made time for people.

Let’s do the same and soak in the gift of being face to face.

Indeed, “how rich is anyone who can simply see human faces!”


 

Not Saying, “I’m Sorry”, Again and Again

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Many times after falling short with my kids, I’ve wanted to say, “I’m sorry”, over and over again, but I’ve been trying not to. I don’t want my kids to think they need to ask for forgiveness again and again to be forgiven.

Just before Jesus died and rose again, he said, “It is finished.” Not “It is halfway done”, but “It. Is. Finished.” The Lord COMPLETELY forgives us when we ask him to. It’s over. Done. Erased.

By not apologizing over and over to our kids about the same thing, we can SHOW them that once they ask for forgiveness for something, they are also fully forgiven. Period. It’s over. Done. Erased. No need to bring it up again.

The Beauty of Grace & Forgiveness.


An awesome quote to share with our kids:

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Sometimes Kids Have Bad Days, Too

My recent article published by Her View From Home:

The other night was marked by my 6-year-old daughter’s mega meltdown.

I racked my brain for any way to help her escape her bad mood. She suddenly yelled, “I’m mad at everyone and no one in this family likes me!”

Huh? We constantly tell our kids how much we love them so this curve ball threw me for a loop. Until I remembered she’s a child, upset, and just needs to let it out. I thought about my daughter adjusting to full-day school in first grade, and the many expectations placed on her there and at home.

As I listened to her wail, watched tears flood her hazel eyes, and anger pour from her lips, I drew her close and hugged her tight. I didn’t give another exhausting lesson on good attitudes, but just let her be. I let her release. Silence and comfort calmed her and she melted in my arms.

There isn’t always an easy answer. Sometimes we just have a bad day. It is what it is.

I try to remind myself that it’s OK to be in that and not get cheered up. As Psalm 30:5 says, “Joy comes in the morning.” Another day will be here, and our spirits will be lifted. To continue reading, click here: Sometimes Kids Have Bad Days, Too.


With a busy week last week, I’ve been thinking about all of you single parents, as well as those of you with spouses deployed, and ways we can rally around you:

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My husband was on a work trip for one week. One week. And I was so grateful when he returned. But my mind went straight to single parents and those with spouses deployed: balancing all the sports’ activities, coordinating rides when one of your kids is sick, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and just keeping up with it all.

How do you do it?

You. Are. Superheroes.

But, if you ever need help, please reach out.

To those of us not in this situation, how can we help?

Is there a single parent or a parent whose spouse is deployed we could drop a meal off to? Or watch their kids for an hour or two? Or just go over to their house and hang with them so they don’t have to get a babysitter anytime they want friend time? Any more ideas? Please share them!

Let’s show our support so these superheroes know they’re not alone.

That we have their back.

That we are for them.

It takes a village. So, let’s be that village.

 

Noonday Earrings Giveaway Starts NOW!

To enter, just COMMENT below and you’ll be entered with a chance to win these awesome earrings! (If you SHARE this post, you’ll get EXTRA entries.)

To learn more about Noonday, check out Emily’s website: EmilyStokes.NoondayCollection.com.

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* Giveaway closes Friday, May 10th at 1pm. Winners are randomly selected and can only be in the continental U.S. because of shipping.*

 

You Are Beautiful. As You Are.

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I love my daughter’s innocent words in the picture. What if we took this to heart. That God made us just as he wants us to be.

What if we stopped the comparison game, the envy, the self-critique. What if we stopped always trying to change something about ourselves.

What if we knew God made us beautiful. Just as we are. And relished in that.

What if we let go of fads (who cares about them anyway) and enjoyed our own style, a reflection of who we are.

Beyond that, what if we spent more time caring about who we are over appearance.

The Lord said these powerful words: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

What do our kids see we care about most? What do we notice in others? Do we compare ourselves out loud or do we reflect contentment with how we look and who we are. Because our kids will mimic us.

Let’s show our kids what it looks like to celebrate the beauty in our friends as well as ourselves. Just as they are. Just as we are.

And above all, let’s show our kids what it looks like to look at the heart as the Lord does and to celebrate THAT in people.

***Noonday Jewelry Giveaway coming soon for Mother’s Day!!!!

Noonday Jewelry Giveaway coming!

56631960_867487713590845_2262045084507701248_nNOONDY JEWELRY GIVEAWAY COMING Mother’s Day!!!


Nail polish remover spilled, homemade pesto pasta dropped, salt shaker shattered. Ugh! Guess who did it. All.

Yep, it was me. After I thoroughly stained the table, I thought about how I’d react if one of my triplets had done that – eeks.

Days later when I spilled ALL the homemade pesto pasta we were so looking forward to, my kids came alongside me and helped me clean it up. As we scooped pasta off the ground, my daughter said, “It’s okay, we all make mistakes. No big deal.”

How often do I jump to frustration and impatience at my kids’ mistakes? This verse popped into my mind: “…you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

When I react imperfectly to my kids, I’m thankful for their unbelievable grace. It makes me want to lead with a whole lot more of it.

The next time our kids make a mistake, let’s think back to the last thing we broke, dropped, or spilled, and instead of reacting in anger, let’s choose calmness, and maybe even laughter (With all the things I’m dropping lately, I sure need to!).

And, I might have dropped my keys down an elevator shaft once. Read more about tapping into grace in my article, “Losing Keys and Finding Grace”.


Loved this meme from Her View From Home. So true…

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