TWL: Just One Thing Series (Day 2)

For the remainder of December, some friends and I are choosing to see just one thing each day. We are taking our cues from Psalm 9:1-2. Join us? 

Here is the focus for each day: 

  • Write down one thing you’re thankful for
  • Choose to remember something good that’s happened
  • Smile
  • Sing or listen to one song and let your heart truly hear the words. What did you hear?

Leave yours in the comments below. I think it will be good for us to see what others see.

So here’s my today:

  • Thank you God for loving me and how your love continues to change my life.
  • I’m remembering the beautiful sunset you painted in the sky last night Lord.
  • I’m smiling because even if situations are hard, and we don’t know what to do, we can still have your joy and dance together in the kitchen. 
  • I listened to the song Christmas Cookies off the Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas album, and I heard the power and joy of family.

Your turn friends! 

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Oh Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

This Written Love Series: Just One Thing

Yesterday, a friend gently nudged my weary soul with an idea. 

I had just finished telling her that this is my favorite time of year, but due to the nature of my job,  I don’t get to pause and snuggle into the season like I used to.  

She understood, and said again, “Just one thing. Look for or even at one thing, and intentionally enjoy it.”

I think she’s on to something here, so I’m going to listen to her and give this a try. 

For the remainder of December, I’m going to choose to see and enjoy.  Want to join me?  If you’re with me,  let me know in the comments below. 

This time of year is busy,  it won’t be easy, but we can do this. Remember,  we are going to have to choose this.  

Here is the focus for each day: 

  • Write down one thing you’re thankful for
  • Choose to remember something good that’s happened
  • Smile
  • Sing or listen to one song and let your heart truly hear the words. What did you hear?

So here’s my today:

  • Thank you God for giving me rest and sleep last night
  • I am remembering how this week, through friends, you brought us a little closer to maybe being able to get a car that runs
  • I’m smiling because I’m still in my pajamas reading my Bible,  drinking coffee, and eating pastries. 
  • I listened to Out of Hiding, by Steffany Gretzinger. I heard and was reminded that You God hold my peace and how much I’m running to you today. 

Your turn friends…count them. 

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Oh Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

What I think God really cares about, in light of this election.

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As the debate began, I found myself overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness, but I don’t think it was mine.

Earlier in the evening, I was picking up some items at a local store and two young boys walked past me. They had their skateboards and backpacks and were talking to each other. I say they were boys because they weren’t over 12 years old.

I heard one say to the other, “Did you find what you need?” A moment later they walked past me. As I smiled at them I saw the boxes of condoms in their hands.

A heaviness fell upon me.

While in this very moment the nation watches two less than ideal people argue rather than debate, there could be two boys, not men, having sex with two young girls, not women. Children who haven’t learned to drive yet, who aren’t of an age to vote or have a say are having sex.

This is something I think God cares about.

While our candidates continue to berate each other and focus on each other, children are being left alone in a world that will destroy them at the first chance it gets. God cares about this.

When I saw those boys turn the corner and walk away, my heart longed to save them, to rescue them from the heartbreak that they had no idea would come from the choices our culture tells them is no big deal. I stood there shocked at the state of our country, of our children, of our hearts.

I know this is the season of arguing and debating and I am certain someone will have something to say in opposition to me. Go ahead, but I didn’t write this for me. I wrote this because I think God cares about much more important things than what this election is forcing us to focus on. Does He care about all the issues on the table, absolutely. However, I know He is a much more intimate God than what we give Him credit for.

Do you think He cares about two young boys with condoms in one store in one small city in one big country? Do you even think He cares at all?

That is an important question for you. I knew in that moment, I could not go to those boys. But I knew that I know the one who could. I know God heard me when I asked Him to intervene in their lives as well as the young girls they were going to. I knew He heard my prayer because I believe He gave me eyes to see them.

What have your eyes seen lately?

No matter what happens in this election, I believe God cares about all of the people who walk the streets lost and without hope. You, me, and especially our children.

We need to vote, but even more so we need to love the broken and stop arguing with each other. How God loves the world doesn’t change regardless of whose in charge and shouldn’t change how we love either.

God gave me a gift in the brokenness tonight to show me a little of what His heart must see and feel. I am praying for those boys. They may not be able to vote or drive, but they are precious to God. So this small blog post is my way of giving them a say, even if they will never know it.

God’s love isn’t political, and I hope our love won’t be either.

Can I ask you a question?

recite-2t5ub

Want to go on an adventure? Great! Then we need to talk about something first.

It is unfortunate to me that our idea of relationship has deteriorated to a quick text, a comment under a post, or a thumbs up. Somehow the internet has made me feel like I’m reading a billboard instead of having a conversation.

What happened to watching your friend’s face as they talk? What about seeing their eyes or their body language as your words actually collide with their senses? What has happened to the sound of the human voice or the gentle touch of someone who cares for you?

There is an art to face to face interaction and sadly we’ve put down what we’re created to share and exchanged it for a device that allows us to tap our way in and out of each other’s lives at our convenience.

I want you to know something about me. This breaks my heart because I know I’m more than this blog and that you are more than your comments.

When I was a kid, if I had the option to be outside climbing trees, or sitting making up conversations with my Barbie, I guarantee I would have been more chimpanzee than super model. I loved interacting with nature, watching life happen, and I still do.

When I wasn’t in a tree or throwing a ball, you could find me inside with a book in my lap. I read so much that once my Mom had to talk to a neighbor who had committed to paying $1 to a charity for every book I read. This man didn’t know the little girl he was dealing with. In one summer I read enough to probably take his car payment.

So these are key things to know about me. I love nature, I love people, and I love the written word.

The internet and social media can be a great way to connect with people far away, but it can also create a deep loneliness. It’s the kind of sadness that makes a person feel like they are watching life and yet not living it.

I have given a thumbs up on a “friend’s” post and been desperately weeping about something else at the very same time. How sad is it that we can interact this way and say we are content with this level of friendship?

I want to change this about my own life. What about you?

When we are with someone, it’s different than if we are interacting with them from a distance. Think of a love letter. When your eyes see the words an old man has written to his wife, your heart probably responds a little. Love stories are sweet, right?

It’s different when you are watching the wrinkled man talk about the faded letter he holds in his hand. When memories of a life together overflows from his eyes as his lips tremble out the story of when he wrote it, how he loved her, and how she is now gone. That’s the love letter come to life.

That’s what I want this blog, This Written Love, to be about. It’s about the parts of life that bring love alive in front of us, within us, and that move us out of our chairs.

So here we are.

Are you content with sitting alone scrolling through each other’s versions of life? Is it enough for you to look at pictures of nature but never smell the fresh air for yourself? Is it okay to feel alone when you have 479 friends?

My answer is NO to all three.

Ready to do something about it?

Let me know in the comments if you are ready to look up from your phone and interact with what’s right in front of you.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

To life and love unexpected,

Aimee

An Unknown Mother

Mother's Day

This is a post I wrote last year the day before Mother’s Day. It speaks of one of my most painful times, and yet it is my most popular blog post to date. Please read and share with anyone who may be an unknown mother…

I am an unknown mother.

I stayed seated at church when all the mothers in the room were asked to stand up. I clapped and smiled for them and the little ones by their side, in their arms, or filling out their tummies.

Not many know that four years ago exactly I could have stood up, but that my husband and I lost our little one the afternoon before.

I am an unknown mother.

My pastor stood to give the message. Before he began, he paused and said he also wanted to honor those of us who have not been able to have a child. To honor those of us who are mothers in a different way.

My husband squeezed my shoulder. I didn’t hear anything my pastor said after that.

I wept unseen tears, lost in the memories of four years ago when my story took an unexpected turn, never to be like the stories of my friends. On Mother’s Day that year we sat at the kitchen table, watching our church service online, my body aching and my heart breaking from the fresh loss. That weekend I was an unknown mother.

Might this be you too?

I remember a few days after I lost my baby, my brother and his family came to see us. My brother got out of his car and walked to me and hugged me, saying nothing, wrapping me in his strength.

Just like he didn’t use words, I won’t either. There is nothing I can say to ease the pain that many of you are feeling today. I just want you to know you are not alone.

I often have wondered how our life would have been different and honestly, everything would have been. We wouldn’t have moved to Uganda for 5 months and had one of the greatest adventures in our marriage so far. We wouldn’t now be the resident advisers in a home that provides a family environment for young men aging out of foster care.

Do I still wish I could hold my child? Absolutely. Even though I cannot, I am still a mother. My mother’s heart still lives. I still give really good hugs and pull my muscles wrestling with my nephews. I still paint my fingernails with my nieces. And I most definitely worry and pray for the young men in my care without them ever knowing.

And I still cry whenever I watch an ultrasound or see my husband hold our littlest niece who finds his arms a cozy and safe place for a nap. I still cry, and you will too.

My prayer today is that the God who sees you would hold you even tighter than my brother held me. Our God understands the pain of losing a child. You are not unknown to Him.

I have included some videos below. One is the story of my favorite hymn, It is Well with my Soul by Horatio Spafford. The other is a newer rendition of it with other lyrics added in.

May they minister to your heart wherever you are on your mother’s journey.

If you feel led to leave a comment, it surely will let others know they are not alone. Let us love and celebrate our mother’s hearts today.

Trying isn’t good enough.

Everyone thinks about bullies, but the truth is not many people do anything about it.

Every day we cross paths with people. Some are good and some are bad, but you know who the greatest offenders are? They are the ones who don’t do anything. They’ve picked no side, and even more dangerous is that they think they have.

They watch from the sidelines as the battle unfolds hoping they don’t get blood or spit splattered on them. They might stay silent, just watching, or they might yell and cheer for one side or the other. They talk about helping other people. They try helping by talking about the problem, but they don’t do.

Bullying is not an issue to be talked about. Let me give it to you straight. Bullying is a heart issue that seeks to destroy another person. It is a tool of an enemy who wants nothing more than to steal the beauty of creation that is you and me.

One day a few years ago I was at a local restaurant with my family and my young nephew was playing in the play place while his Dad and I talked. Over my brother’s shoulder I saw my sweet buddy smiling so big and having so much fun. Kids are supposed to do this. It’s a play place. My nephew’s smile lights up my heart and I adore him.

His child like joy made me want to go in there with him but for some reason it’s frowned upon to have people my size jumping into the ball pit. As I looked up to smile at him, I saw my nephew’s situation change. He was smiling at a kid bigger than him and then in a second the kid shoved him so hard my  nephew’s back slammed into the plastic wall behind him. I’ll never forget the look on his face. Innocent joy turned to fearful confusion.

I jumped up so fast my chair almost fell over behind me. I was instantly angry and about to drag that punk who shoved my nephew out of the play place by his neck and show him what shoving really felt like. Good thing my brother was there or I’d be writing this from a jail cell.

I was full of emotion. What the heck was that kid thinking? Who did he think he was? Someone I love was just hurt and I didn’t like it.

We handled the situation like adults should, but that moment has stuck with me. Innocent joy was stolen and that is never ok.

Every day we cross paths with bullies and their victims. You might even be one of them.

As Yoda said above, there is no try, only do. Bullying isn’t an issue we solve with legislation or in a group setting. Bullying stops because one person steps into a situation and saves another person.

You can be that person. Will you be that person?

Tomorrow, as you go through your day, I want you to open your eyes and ask God to help you see someone who feels like no one has their back.

Tell them you see them. Show them they’re not alone. It can be scary to step into another person’s pain, but you can do it. I believe in you. Let’s do it together.

Tell me the story of how you brought love where you saw destruction in the comments below.

Don’t try. DO.

Let me introduce myself…

recite-2t5ub

Want to go on an adventure? Great! Then we need to talk about something first.

It is unfortunate to me that our idea of relationship has deteriorated to a quick text, a comment under a post, or a thumbs up. Somehow the internet has made me feel like I’m reading a billboard instead of having a conversation.

What happened to watching your friend’s face as they talk? What about seeing their eyes or their body language as your words actually collide with their senses? What has happened to the sound of the human voice or the gentle touch of someone who cares for you?

There is an art to face to face interaction and sadly we’ve put down what we’re created to share and exchanged it for a device that allows us to tap our way in and out of each other’s lives at our convenience.

I want you to know something about me. This breaks my heart because I know I’m more than this blog and that you are more than your comments.

When I was a kid, if I had the option to be outside climbing trees, or sitting making up conversations with my Barbie, I guarantee I would have been more chimpanzee than super model. I loved interacting with nature, watching life happen, and I still do.

When I wasn’t in a tree or throwing a ball, you could find me inside with a book in my lap. I read so much that once my Mom had to talk to a neighbor who had committed to paying $1 to a charity for every book I read. This man didn’t know the little girl he was dealing with. In one summer I read enough to probably take his car payment.

So these are key things to know about me. I love nature, I love people, and I love the written word.

The internet and social media can be a great way to connect with people far away, but it can also create a deep loneliness. It’s the kind of sadness that makes a person feel like they are watching life and yet not living it.

I have given a thumbs up on a “friend’s” post and been desperately weeping about something else at the very same time. How sad is it that we can interact this way and say we are content with this level of friendship?

I want to change this about my own life. What about you?

When we are with someone, it’s different than if we are interacting with them from a distance. Think of a love letter. When your eyes see the words an old man has written to his wife, your heart probably responds a little. Loves stories are sweet, right?

It’s different when you are watching the wrinkled man talk about the faded letter he holds in his hand. When memories of a life together overflows from his eyes as his lips tremble out the story of when he wrote it, how he loved her, and how she is now gone. That’s the love letter come to life.

That’s what I want this blog, This Written Love, to be about. It’s about the parts of life that bring love alive in front of us, within us, and that move us out of our chairs.

So here we are.

Are you content with sitting alone scrolling through each other’s versions of life? Is it enough for you to look at pictures of nature but never smell the fresh air for yourself? Is it okay to feel alone when you have 479 friends?

My answer is NO to all three.

Ready to do something about it?

Let me know in the comments if you are ready to look up from your phone and interact with what’s right in front of you.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

To life and love unexpected,

Aimee