This week I received the sweetest message. My little grandson was “practicing” singing a song that he and his mom often sing together. I’ve listened to it over and over again and every single time I do I can’t help but giggle, it’s just so darn cute!!!!
It’s not the song, although I absolutely love the song, it’s more the innocent seriousness of his voice. Move over Micheal Buble there is a new guy in town.
This kid was emulating his mom, he was looking at the music as if he knew exactly how to read it, then he played those piano keys like the expert he knew he was.
Oh to have the confidence of a child.
Not one right note was played but you wouldn’t know that by watching him.
And when he sings- that little speech impediment of his bellows out the words without shame or fear of what others think.
” I wase a ha-wae-u-ya… sing a yittle yowder…”
Yes buddy I will. I will sing a little louder today. I will raise that Hallelujah and let God know exactly what He means to me. Not because of what He has done, (and He has done so much) but because of the reminder from an innocent child.
I think that short 30 second video was the best definition of Jesus telling his disciples to let the little children come to him.
Because when they come…
As I watched the video I was reminded that God doesn’t care if we sing on key. He doesn’t care if we fall short by human standards, He just wants us to come with our whole hearts.
We may not all fit the social standards of this world, but we do all fit with God.
I sing loud and proud and totally off key. Let’s live the same way; loud, proud, and sold out to a God that loves us completely as we are.
Today let’s be kinder to ourselves and each other and let’s “wase a ha-wae-u-yaa yittle yowder”. We will all feel so much better if we do.
Christmas is a holiday that should remind us to take a step back, relax, and enjoy the moment. It’s a time of gathering together with those we love and watching the little ones find the magic of the holiday.
But for many it is an anxiety filled time of year that causes stress levels to rise and wallets to empty. It’s cookie baking and gift buying (which should be fun… right?) and long to-do lists that as you cross off one thing five more are added.
It’s a season that many need a month (or more) to recover from.
If this is you it may be time to reevaluate the season. I know I had to.
I admit that in the past I would bake cookies until late at night and find myself wrapping gifts on Christmas eve instead of watching a movie with the family or reading a story to the kids. I had so many things to do for those I love that I wasn’t really there for those I love…
This year there are not nearly as many cookies ready for Christmas. I cut down on my budget and I’ve already gotten most of my gifts wrapped. Now, I’m not saying this to brag or to make anyone feel bad about all that is still left to do- I’m saying it because man, I needed this. I needed to find peace in the season and I needed to stop the insanity of it all.
I love the lights, I love the gifts, I REALLY love the cookies (maybe I love them a little too much- but we can talk about that in the new year) Oy vey.
Seriously though, how many of you are struggling this holiday? How many of you are watching the news and losing hope? How many are fighting an internal fight that no one knows about and it’s killing you? I’m not being dramatic here- I wish I was.
If that’s you please know that there is hope.
The gift I want to give you this Christmas is the gift that I paid nothing for. But instead, it’s the gift that Jesus paid for with His whole life. If you need hope and you need help and you need a fresh start and a new life- then please take this gift. You can’t find it in a store, you can’t earn it, you can never do anything too bad or too good for it- it’s not about you and I. (Thank goodness cuz this girl doesn’t deserve it at…all…) No more excuses, no more putting it off. This is the time to change your life.
So, let’s just get rid of all the normal arguments and just really be honest here:
Are you good enough? Probably not.
Are you going to “do better first”? Straighten some things out first? Stop thinking bad thoughts, stop swearing, stop…. (you can fill in the blank here) Probably not and neither am I. Jesus doesn’t want you as you think you need to be- He wants you exactly as you are right now and that may seem unbelievable but I promise you it’s 100% true.
What we need to stop is making excuses. We don’t need to change anything; He came as He was to accept us as WE ARE. Right now, in the midst of the mess, in all our ridiculous, crazy, and sinful ways. Don’t wait any longer. Life is short and unpredictable, but our eternity doesn’t have to be.
This isn’t a temporary fix. This is an eternal solution.
If you need Jesus and some hope in this crazy world, then pray this prayer today. It’s that simple. All you have to do is tell Him and mean it. He does the rest. I love you all and my prayer today is that you find the hope that I have found and that we will spend eternity celebrating the most precious gift of Jesus together. Let’s put the insanity of the season aside and take hold of the one gift that can literally change everything.
The prayer is simple, just like receiving a perfectly wrapped package from a friend, and the contents will literally change your life forever.
Jesus, I need you. I believe you died on a cross for me and I want you to be my savior. I want you to come into my life today and give me hope. I know that I’ve made mistakes, I know that I’ve sinned and I ask you to forgive me for all of them. I pray that you will come into my heart right now and save me. In Jesus name I pray- Amen.
Jesus is a gift I can never repay and a gift that I can’t live without, but He is also a gift that I can give to you and I truly hope you will receive this gift today.
What a long week. I have to be honest, guys I’m exhausted. As I sit here writing tonight, I admit that at one point this week I got on social media to get away from it all. You know how it is. I just wanted some mindless scrolling. I wanted to look at people’s family pictures and see what they had for dinner. I was planning to ignore the political posts and opinion pieces; I just wanted a break. As I scrolled though, the opposite happened. I found that a really kind hearted soul had passed away. I saw that some terrible tragedies had occurred, and some dear friends were struggling. I searched for hope, I searched for some positivity but the heaviness of the world just wouldn’t budge.
I immediately texted my husband and told him that I really needed to hear his voice. I just needed one minute of him telling me all the things I already knew; that God is still in control, that someday all our tears will be wiped away and that today it’s ok to feel the pain and stand in faith, even if we don’t understand.
And I did not understand.
I guess we all get too that place don’t we?
I was reminded that when life hits like this we have two choices to make- we can either run to God or away from Him. We can either get bitter or get better. Faith was never meant to be easy, but man is it powerful.
As Friday finally arrived, I finished my work day and called home. My husband answered right away. (He had a vacation day to shop with his mom which is one of his favorite Christmas traditions) He said “Listen, I want you to hurry home. I have a hotel room ready to book and a bag packed, we are going to a Christmas concert tonight.” I argued that we shouldn’t stay over, that it was only an hour and a half away and although it would be great to go, maybe we should drive home late that night. I’m so glad he stopped me and said Nicole this is going to be amazing and I want a night away with you. (I always know when he’s serious because nicknames are thrown out the window.)
I threw cloths in a bag, and got in the car.
Guys, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I hesitate to even open up my email right now, but I do know who holds my tomorrow, and if there is anything I’ve learned it’s that when your husband says get in the car I want to spend time with you… you get in the car. Tomorrow isn’t promised and today- well, we have to make the best of it and love on those we care so deeply about.
And that concert. It was REALLY awesome. We sang Christmas carols, listened to incredible music, and were encouraged by who God is and what He has done for us.
I needed the reminder.
Now I’d like to say that when I got home things just felt better, that everything fell into place, but the truth is our hurts and hard times don’t just go away and getting home brought a whole new series of gut punches.
What I can say is this- I don’t regret our little spur of the moment get-away, and I don’t regret the few moments of peace I had in the midst of a very stressful week.
Guys, I don’t know what is happening in your life today. I don’t know if you’ve had an awesome week with your family or if you’ve been blindsided by life like I have. What I do know is this, life is unpredictable and when we have a chance to love- we better do it with all our hearts. We need to appreciate the little things and learn to brush off the dust. We need to fight for what matters and put life in perspective.
I really don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that each and every day is a gift and we should hold tight to the people and moments that really matter.
Last night I got to spend some time with the cutest little sweeties I know. We went bear hunting in the kitchen, climbed mountains and crossed rivers. We imagined that the living room rug was a pond and we jumped in and swam.
We used cookie cutters and playdough to create some pretty cool sculptures, none of which I got a picture of because sometimes you just have to put your phone down and enjoy the moment.
There was one moment I enjoyed the most though. One simple tiny moment in time that wrapped my heart up and melted me right there on the spot.
My oldest grandson (3) came up and stood in front of me as I was sitting on the couch. He continued building with his playdough as he snuggled back into me and I rested my head on his shoulder. I said “Ryan, I think I’ll just rest here a minute”. He didn’t miss a beat and replied- “It otay, I wuv you”.
Yes, he can have anything he wants for Christmas this year.
That simple moment in time, seconds really, made all the difference in my whole day.
Simple, needed, loved.
There are so many worries in this world, so many challenges and uncertainties and the day had been long. But this moment refreshed me. This moment made my heart melt. Such a simple phrase from an innocent child who means what he says.
As I melted inside, I felt the Lord’s gentile nudge. I felt the Lord say that this is what He wants for us too. He wants us to come to him. To lay our heads on His shoulder and give Him our burdens. He wants to comfort, protect, and heal. He wants us to get refreshed from all the worries of this world and to know that in Him we can have peace.
He wants us to have simple moments in His presence where He can say “I love you”.
I pray that you will receive His love today and have a much-needed rest from your burdens. Remember His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I pray today that you wrap your arms around Jesus and let Him whisper in your ear. “My child, I LOVE YOU”.
Hey everyone, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written. Honestly, I’ve missed it. But life happens and you know how that is. And to be real, I just needed a break from a lot of things. I needed to step back and reevaluate where I was and where I’m going.
I love the picture below. I took it the other day while I was taking a walk. The sky was beautiful, the day was warm with a light breeze and I felt the weight of the world sitting pretty squarely on my shoulders. I think the problem lies with the way I was looking at the many issues I was facing. I didn’t see a clear way out and I felt like I had to fix everything.
I can’t fix everything. I can’t fix much of anything.
Shocker, right? Why do I do that every single time? Why do I look at the situations and pray about them and give them to God and then pick them right back up and tell Him what I need from Him? As if the God of the universe can’t handle things without my not-so-subtle suggestions.
If you are like me then today you are facing some challenges. Some of those challenges may just be simple changes that are taking place in your life and you’re struggling with the adjustment. Others may be devastating and you are struggling to even breath.
I want to encourage you today. I also want to encourage me today. I want us both to look outside the chains that lock us in and look to Jesus. He is the only one who can walk us through this crazy world. He is the one who will walk us beside the still waters even though we walk through the valley of death.
I love that. I receive that today. I hope you do too.