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Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Happy Monday!

Today, I’m sharing another great post from Joshua Rogers.

Using a very personal experience of lying when he was 18, Joshua reminds us that God has provided forgiveness through his Son and removed our shame along with the penalty for our sin.

Read on and see what you think.

Joshua Rogers learns a big lesson about lying.

Mimi

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God’s perspective is something to celebrate.

See him? Do you see my sweet grandson way, way up in the tree? Look again. He’s there. And boy, is he up there!!!

When I watch him scamper up the tree in person, I hold my breath and pray for his safety. Without a care in the world, he’s up in the top branches in no time. And the word that comes to my mind is FEARLESS. While perhaps the word that comes to his mind is “FUN.”

As a grandma, it’s difficult to watch an almost 8-year-old climb so high. I fight the urge to yell “Be careful, look out, take your time…” Even if his physical ears can hear me, his “listening” ears are totally tuned out at the moment. So, I keep quiet, watch, and try to enjoy seeing him have a blast.

When I was his age, I was climbing trees all over the neighborhood. It never dawned on me that it could be dangerous. It was just so much fun to reach a perch above the neighboring roof lines and get to enjoy the view and perspective only attainable by being so high above the ground.

On the ground and looking up, I have no way to really assess how Callan is doing. I can’t possibly know if he is as secure as he thinks he is.  I can’t judge if this is a good idea or not. I can’t predict if a limb will snap, falling to the ground along with him. And that’s because I just don’t know.

From experience, I can have a rough idea…

…remembering how I felt when I used to climb trees. I can use math to try to calculate weight and mass. I can make an assessment based on his athleticism. And I can even project my own insecurities and make him come down. The fact is, my perspective is too limited to make proper assessments.

But I have a Father in Heaven who has full perspective, the right point of view, because He is over all and He sees all. He created us and the world and knows exactly how it all fits together. Because He can see the big picture.

God knows the beginning from the end and all the in between goings on in our lives. He knows when we’re in dangerous territory, and He knows when we’re safe. He knows when we can stretch our wings safely on a new adventure, and He knows when we need to stay on the ground.

God can ensure all aspects of our lives fit together for good.

He can take a bad situation and turn it into something beautiful. He can pick up the broken pieces and create a masterpiece.

As our Master Designer, God has created a great plan for each of us. So, when He watches from a distance, He is completely aware of everything. Nothing is left to chance. We are His and He is ours. Our lives are in His hands and we can trust Him with everything.

We can be assured that God has a plan for us that will be fulfilled, and that the plan is a good one.

From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened. When I plan something, it happens. What I want to do, I will do. (Isaiah 46:10 NCV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Experiencing some things right now that don’t seem to make sense?

Praying that even if your own perspective is off, you’ll still be able to rest in the Lord, trusting Him with every aspect of your life.

Mimi

Happy 40th to my first born.

This week I’m writing my story on Sunday because today is my son’s 40th birthday. We got to spend a wonderful weekend with him and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness to God for this precious gift to Greg and I. So, I thought I’d share a little about him with you.

Tim made me a mom.

Tim came along when I was 25. I thought I remembered how I felt during his pregnancy and birth, but after finding my handwritten journal notes from that time, I realize my memory had faded quite a bit.

Tim was our first. My only childcare experience came from having a much younger brother and doing a little babysitting as a teenager. So, I guess I felt ready and prepared. After all, back in those days, you took classes in “prepared childbirth.” Since I took the classes, I must have been ready. But it turns out I wasn’t at all prepared.

One journal entry a month before his birth mentions we had a crib and one or two onesies but that was it. There hadn’t yet been a baby shower and I hadn’t bought anything else including diapers. My notes mention wanting to meet this little one (didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl in those days until out they came!), but they also mentioned we weren’t exactly set up for the new arrival.

And once he did arrive, the notes talk about being depressed and feeling inadequate. My heart aches for the 1979 me. I can’t remember how it was, but it must have been lonely. I know I was thoroughly in love with my new baby, but I also read about how much of a failure I felt.

Thankfully, the depression lifted and Greg and I fell into our new parental roles with great, great joy.

About Tim

Timmy, as we called him, was adventurous, fun-loving, a sweet friend and protector to his little sister, and a delight. He had his own sense of style and on any given day his over the knee sox were either pulled completely up or rolled perfectly down to his ankles.

As a man, he takes amazing care of his family, loves them fiercely, continues to enjoy a great sense of style (though his knee sox gave way to black no-see-um ones), thrives on workouts at the gym, probably knows the songs to every Disney movie as his own little princesses watch them over and over again, and all in all makes this mama very proud.

Don’t blink.

Really, don’t blink. The growing up years are so hard at times. You want to do everything right but often do it all wrong. As a mom, you lament your mistakes and hope and pray your kids will forgive you and turn out ok. Sometimes you wish ahead, wondering what they will be like in their teens or 20s. You imagine them finding a special someone to love, having a great job they like, and then having children of their own. But if you do too much of that, you can miss the special every day moments that are precious gifts from God.

So, to other young parents, be careful about wishing time away. Treasure “the now” each day. Love hard on your kids. Forgive yourself, knowing your kids have a great capacity to forgive, too. Enjoy their sticky hands and artwork…even on the walls. Be understanding and sympathetic. Enjoy silly times with them dancing like no one’s watching, telling stories in bed at night or making shadow shapes on the ceiling.

Go to their ball games and listen to them make music, even when they choose drums and play loudly! Smile at first dates and give plenty of limits when they learn to drive. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and have high expectations. But don’t let those expectations keep you from enjoying the smaller successes along the way.

There are no do-overs.

This mother, at times, wishes she could have raised her kids with the knowledge and experience she now possesses. But there are no do-overs…until you have grandkids. Then you have that opportunity to shower all your “I-love-you-no-matter-what” kind of love on them and on your adult kids as they navigate parenting.

Tim is one of my great joys in life and I’m cherishing the opportunity to spend his 40th birthday weekend with him. To hear about one of my other great joys, stay tuned…because my No. 2 turns 40 next year!

Love to all,

Mimi

Clearly, I can Identify

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

While the boys were here recently, I served up some dessert: mint chocolate chip ice cream with whipped cream on top. And I must say, I could truly relate to Callan’s instructions. “Just a little ice cream with lots and lots and lots of whipped cream.” You can tell from the picture, he was one happy camper.

I have often said over the years when asked about dessert, “Yes, I would love some. But hold the dessert and just give me the whipped cream.” Okay, okay, I never actually said it out loud, but it’s definitely what I was thinking in my mind!

Callan and I are of the same mind concerning whipped cream. You can never have too much!

Reflecting Christ to Others

Sharing something in common with one of your grands is a treasured experience. But my prayer as a grandma is that my grands will find something in me they want to share that is much more valuable than a love for whipped cream: a desire to love God and know Him more each day.

That’s a tall order, isn’t it! But at this point in my life, it’s the most important thing I can share with my loved ones…especially my well-loved little ones.

Matthew 5:16:

…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

My Prayer

Father, my prayer is that my life will truly be a reflection of You with my actions and words pointing others to You, and You alone.

Mimi

Appearances can be deceiving.

We recently received a text from our daughter showing a picture of a shark her hubby had caught near New Smyrna Beach. To me, it was rather impressive.

Then I thought…hmm, wait a minute. That can’t be a real shark; it must be fake. I haven’t heard of anyone catching a shark with a surf rod and line. So, I texted my thoughts back and was assured it was definitely a live shark. And apparently, it put up quite a fight, too.

Of course, it needed to be returned to the sea. So, they opted for the safer method of cutting the line rather than trying to fight the creature to remove the hook from its mouth. (Smart move!)

Then came the next picture…

…and boy did I laugh. In the pic above, it looks like it could have been a 3- or 4-foot shark. I was imagining the strength it took to land the thing. But without anything else in the photo, my perspective was obviously skewed as you can tell with a quick look at the happy fisherman holding his catch!

Without anything else to add information to what I thought I was seeing, my perspective was off. Way off.

It’s just what happens in our everyday lives.

We may blow something out of proportion (like I did with the shark’s size) or we may not pay enough attention to something important. In my personal experience, I see this most often with my initial impressions or reactions. So, I’ve learned I need time to investigate, research, contemplate, etc. And I need time to look to God’s word and talk to Him to get His perspective rather than relying on my own.

This becomes imperative because often I don’t have the whole picture. But God does. If I remain close to Him, if we’re communicating with each other, there’s a better chance my eyes and understanding will see and know what He sees and knows. And that, is a good thing indeed.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Both pictures remind me about the importance of having the proper perspective. And today’s Bible verse reminds me that above all, God’s perspective is what really matters most.

Mimi

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year!

In the photo you can see hubby hard at work un-decorating the Christmas tree that we had outside this year on our lanai. I’m so grateful for him. He put most of the decorations up and was happy to take most of them down, repack, then get them up in the attic. With the two of us working side by side, it was down in about two hours, maybe less.

But I have to laugh…

…at how I’ve changed over the years. Our long-standing tradition has us putting the tree up and decorations out the day after Thanksgiving. But in years past, I would leave it all up into January, just enjoying the cozy, warm feelings. Especially on cold nights with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of cocoa in hand.

But not anymore. I think it all changed when we moved to Florida. While I still buy into “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” pre-Christmas and am delighted to pull down those attic stairs and bring out our assortment of decorations, I have to say that January 1 or 2 runs a close second because we get to put it all away…usually in shorts and tee shirts.

This year it was in the 80’s for nearly a week after Christmas, so you’d better believe we needed to pack things away until next November.

How about you?

What are your traditions for beginning the season and for ending it? I bet some, like a few of my friends, are taking things day on the 26th. But I just betcha there are a few who keep things in place for several more weeks.

In any case, stay tuned. Once the Christmas decorations have been returned to their resting places, it’s on to January reorganization. I’ll share a little about what I’ve been up to next week.

Until then…

Mimi

Happy New Year

Wow, that went fast!

It’s hard to believe how quickly these last 12 months have gone by. For me, 2018 was a year of both challenges and triumphs. I’m sure it’s been the same with you.

In the past, my wish would be to know the future but then my sweet friend Marilyn would remind me that knowing what’s coming doesn’t always bring delight.

Knowing the future may be great when it looks rosy, but to know some trials are coming your way could be devastating. And yet, for those of us in Christ, we can confidently face those unexpected trials because His grace is completely sufficient to get us through.

Did things catch you off guard last year?

Did you feel ill-prepared to face the challenges that came your way? I dare say many of us can answer yes to those questions.

And while I certainly wish all good times for my loved ones, I know it’s often in the darkest hour that we cling to God and experience His wonderful grace and amazing love, comfort, and peace.

I Rejoice With You

So, if last year found you desperately holding on to God…I rejoice with you because that’s the perfect response to less than perfect circumstances.

And if 2018 was relatively calm, I rejoice with you as well, thanking God for that respite you experienced.

No matter what 2019 has in store for us, we can experience God’s peace, knowing He has everything under control. Nothing will surprise Him, and certainly nothing will catch Him off guard.

 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NLT)

Happy New Year with Love!

Mimi