What You Didn’t Know You Signed Up For When You Became A Mother

 

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(FreeImages.com/BorisLitvak)

I knew becoming a mother would be a challenge, but I didn’t know what I had all signed up for when I became a mother.

Nope.  Not even half of it.

Women imagine the pain of labor, but not many have heard of the recovery.  Then, there’s the soreness of first adjusting to nursing.  There are the sleepless nights, when you stand rocking and bouncing a screaming baby for hours when your groggy mind can hardly think of anything beyond your extreme weariness.

There are the days when your greatest wish is only a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep and when you daydream of putting your head down on a soft, downy pillow.  You glamorize the elusive activity called “sleep.”

You hear the stories about motherhood, but you can’t fully imagine it until you have experienced it.

But then, no one call tell you the indescribable joy when you feel your body give the final push and a precious new life enters the world!  No one can describe the euphoria when you hold that warm little body in your arms!  No one can explain that even when your body screams for more sleep, you manage to still jump out of bed to feed a hungry baby.  No one can explain the moment when you first fall in love with the babe in your arms — the moment when that unique bond between a mother and her baby forms.

You don’t fully understand a love that would be willing to die for another until you hold your own child in your arms.

Dreams of becoming a mother don’t normally include the temper tantrums, the potty-training nightmares and messes, the melt-downs at the grocery store, the broken furniture or marker writing on walls.

Prior to motherhood, one doesn’t comprehend the heart-break, the tears, the fears, the bravery, the selflessness, the sacrifices, the exhaustion, and all the prayers that go into mothering.

Prior to motherhood, one can’t experience the laughter and shared giggles over tickles, cuddles, books, and picking buttercups with your child.  One can’t imagine the contentment in holding a Wooly Bear Caterpillar so your toddle can feel the soft “wool”.  One can’t imagine the laughter that bubbles up when you see the berry stains on your child’s face from snacking while berry-picking together.

One can’t imagine the sadness when your little one comes running to you with tears making streaks down a muddy face while blood runs down a cut knee.  One can’t imagine the pain of holding your screaming child while the doctor gives a shot or sews stitches into a gash.

One can’t imagine the joys and fears of the first time you send your child off on the school bus or the anger you feel when your child comes home in tears because of the cruelty of other children.

Parenting books can’t totally prepare you for the difficult questions, the perplexing personality conflicts, and the discipline infractions.   There are no easy formulas for parenting.  There are no “cookie-cutter” children.  There are no perfect parents.

Photo albums don’t fully capture the joy and the wonder of watching your baby grow from toddler to pre-schooler to middle school age.  Not even graduation and wedding photos capture the significance of watching that same child who once screamed in a grocery store aisle and wrote on your best furniture with markers standing tall and strong and beautiful while reciting forever vows to their beloved.

Parenting is an oxymoron of pleasurable and painful moments.  It stretches you physically and emotionally and spiritually.  Parenting reveals the limits of your own abilities and the weaknesses of your own personality.  Parenting takes you to the heights of joy and plunges you to its depths.  Parenting tests your willingness to grow and to be challenged.  Parenting challenges the depth of your convictions and the height of your faith.

When you first watch the ligaments and skin stretch around the growing life within you, you never knew that the very essence of who you are would be stretched as well.  You didn’t know that the pain while bearing down to deliver a baby and the euphoria afterwards would be just a foretaste of the pain and joy you would feel as you watched your child enter each new stage of growth in his/her world.

When you imagine parenting, you can’t imagine the exquisite beauty of it nor the pain that prostrates you to the floor.  Becoming a mother means you not only surrender your body to stretch and grow in ways formerly unchallenged but you surrender your heart to be stretched beyond what you could have imagined.

Becoming a mother means you “sign up” for more than you envisioned, but it means you have the potential to grow beyond what you can foresee.

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How Pro-Life Am I Really Continued…

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Photo by Becca Davis Photography.

About two months ago, I wrote a blog called “How Pro-Life Am I Really?”  Since that time, I have thought more about the topic, especially since recent days mark the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

On January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of Roe. V. Wade, hundreds of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C.  They marched to protest a law that half of our country sees as protecting reproductive rights but a law which another half of our country sees as a death penalty for the millions of babies being aborted/murdered under its sanction.

I know kind-hearted and well-intentioned people who fight for abortion rights.  Some of these people would be the first to vote for laws, curtailing Second Amendment rights, oil-drilling on US soil, Green-House Emissions, child-abuse, and animal-abuse.  Yet, the incongruity is that these very people who dogmatically support protecting any other life form find it not only acceptable but laudable to support the abortion of the unborn — all under the guise of “reproductive rights.”  Why this inconsistency?

Some support abortion because they have believed that a fetus isn’t a baby.  Some believe that a woman’s rights trump the baby’s rights.  Some believe they are saving the woman by rescuing her from the burden of carrying and caring for an unwanted baby.  Some even believe they are “helping” the baby to not be born into a situation where they are “unwanted.”

My first blog on this topic addresses when life begins.  In it, I wanted to establish that life begins at conception.  Since I wrote that blog, even more liberal abortion “rights” supporters are acknowledging when life begins.  The following link is to a liberal’s blog regarding this:

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if_abortion_ends_life/ 

Direct quotes from the blog by Mary Elizabeth Williams, writer of the Salon:

“Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?

“…And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Unbelievable!  Yet, this is actually a positive step in some ways — to be truthful that it is life and that most abortion activists know this.  This then leads people to question whether the author’s claim is acceptable?

Do women really have the right to choose death or life for their babies — based on the mother’s convenience or inconvenience?  In other words, are mothers more important than their babies, their children?  Is it acceptable for a mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy because the baby is depending on her own body?  Society wouldn’t say it is okay for a mother to terminate the life of her born children so why then when they are unborn?

Again, in my first blog, I address the dangers with people being allowed to choose the worth of another human’s life.   Isn’t that in essence what we are advocating by saying a mother has the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy?  If everyone knows a fetus is a baby — just one not born yet — then what is the excuse for aborting it?  The excuse is rights — that the mother has the right.

The question to be asked is, “Why does the mother have the right?”  Is she more valuable then her child?

If someone has a right to end someone else’ life, then we are judging or placing a value upon one human right verses another human right.  We are saying that one human life, the mother, has more value than her unborn child; thus, the mother can choose to terminate her pregnancy.

When one human life is deemed more worthy than another, a moral travesty has occurredSuch a belief leads to the perpetration of horrific evils: slavery, genocides, the Holocaust.  This belief naturally leads to Euthanasia, Infanticide, and eventually the elimination of any forms of “less desirable” humans, such as the mentally impaired.

Past history has shown us where our present trends will and are leading.  (If you want to know the future, look to the past.)

Our nation’s Declaration of Independence says,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

As our Declaration of Independence says, “All men are created equal.”  The “creation” of man does not begin once a baby enters the birth canal.  As humans, we don’t derive our value and rights as soon as we leave our mother’s wombs!  Our worth is not based on our habitations.  Our worth is based on who we are — we are humans — with the highest form of created intellect, with souls, and in the image of God Himself!

Planned Parenthood likes to sound as if they are for protecting women and their rights.  If this is true, then why don’t we see them counseling the woman regarding all the options (brochures on adoption options and pregnancy care facilities)?

If their true goal is to help woman, why don’t they seek to protect the rights of unborn women (and men)?

If their goal is to protect woman, why don’t they report when a minor is pregnant due to relations with an adult male? 

If their goal is to protect woman, why don’t they ask the minor if her parents love her and then encourage her to get their counsel and support? 

Why do they separate the minor from any forms of support she might have? 

If their goal is to help women, why don’t they encourage the education of women by giving the women informed information on abortion procedures, truthful answers as to the recovery process, Post-Abortion Syndrome grief counselor’s business cards, and even give the women the option to have an ultrasound procedure done first if the woman desires.  Why not make it be an option they can choose or reject?

If Planned Parenthood is so much for the help of women, why does it promote an aggressive sex education program that excites and incites more sexual promiscuity among youth?  Why do they seem so satisfied with the results of more sexual activity among minors?  Is that truly beneficial?  What is their end goal?

If the end goal of Planned Parenthood is not about truly helping women but more about promoting a profitable financial agenda, then you will see them endorsing and advocating programs that encourage a promiscuous lifestyle that results in unplanned pregnancies and that then results in abortions.

If the goal of Planned Parenthood is about the money-making opportunities in the abortion industry, then you will see them discourage informed consent, parental notification, ultrasounds, alternative option counseling, grief counseling, abortion education, etc…  Instead, you will see the push for quick, private, pressured decisions.  Instead, you will hear the deceptive terms of “rights”, “inconvenience” promoted.

Abortion has also been falsely promoted under the excuse that more women will have “back-alley” abortions if it wasn’t legal.  In other words, the excuse is given for legalized abortions that we make a wrong more convenient so that supposedly fewer women are harmed in the process.  In other words, if women can do it more conveniently, this justifies the action itself?  Using that same logic, should we keep our doors unlocked and perhaps even post a “Welcome” sign to robbers so that they don’t get injured in the process of trying to break in and steal?  Fewer robbers would be injured that way!

If abortion is murder, which it no doubt is!  Wait.  Some are already responding with, “How can you say it is murder?”

If there is life, a heart beating and then some outside force comes and violently dismembers that being and stops that heart, I would indeed say it is murder.  The result is death!  We had a life; now, we don’t.  Fairly simple conclusion.

There is also the point that legalized abortions, clinical abortions, still end in women being permanently injured and even dying — not to mention the millions of babies killed every year through abortion procedures.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the early supporters of legalized abortion, in later years admitted that the coat hanger stories were mostly fabricated as propaganda to promote the abortion industry.

Wikipedia gives this history on Dr. Bernard Nathanson:

“Bernard N. Nathanson (July 31, 1926 – February 21, 2011) was an American medical doctor from New York who helped to found the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, but later became a pro-life activist.

“Nathanson was born in New York City. His father was an obstetrician/gynecologist,[1] the same career that Nathanson held in his professional life. Nathanson graduated in 1949 from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal.[2]

“He was licensed to practice in New York state since 1952[2] and became board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology in 1960.[1] He was for a time the director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health (CRASH), then the largest freestanding abortion facility in the world. Nathanson has written that he performed more than 60,000 abortions.[5] Nathanson also wrote that he performed an abortion on a woman whom he had impregnated.[6]

“Originally a pro-choice activist, Nathanson gained national attention by then becoming one of the founding members of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (later renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League, and now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America). He worked with Betty Friedan and others for the legalization of abortion in the United States. Their efforts essentially succeeded with the Roe v Wade decision.”With the development of ultrasound in the 1970s, he had the chance to observe a real-time abortion. This led him to reconsider his views on abortion.[1] He is often quoted as saying abortion is “the most atrocious holocaust in the history of the United States”. He wrote the book Aborting America where he first exposed what he called “the dishonest beginnings of the abortion movement”. In 1984, he directed and narrated a film titled The Silent Scream, in cooperation with the National Right to Life Committee, regarding abortion. His second documentary Eclipse of Reason dealt with late-term abortions. He stated that the numbers he once cited for NARAL concerning the number of deaths linked to illegal abortions were  ‘false figures’.[7][8]

“Referring to his previous work as an abortion provider and abortion rights activist, he wrote in his 1996 autobiography Hand of God, ‘I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.’[1] Nathanson developed what he called the ‘vector theory of life’, which states that from the moment of conception, there exists ‘a self-directed force of life that, if not interrupted, will lead to the birth of a human baby.’[1]

In other words, stories are fabricated, truth is suppressed, an agenda is promoted — all under the guise of ‘woman’s rights’ — when in reality, women are being extorted in order to advance the monetary profit and selfish lifestyles of its proponents.

It is easy for those within the pro-life movement to decry the proponents of the abortion industry.  In the process of condemning the evil of abortion, it is also possible and easy to condemn those who have been deceived by its lies.  Those who call themselves pro-life must also recognize that women are the victims too. 

Women are the means to the monetary ends for those who benefit from the coffers of the abortion industry.  Women are extorted and abused under the guise of helping them and promoting their “rights”.  The sexuality of women is degraded and abused.  It is casually promoted to the extent that its value has been debased to the vulgar.

What should be a blessing  and an honor to women has been vulgarized to be a burden and hindrance.  The “invocation”, dignity, and distinction of motherhood has been redefined as the ignoble and the nugatory.

As Mother Theresa said:

Mother Theresa of Calcutta:
“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” –Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “Notable and Quotable,”
Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14

To be pro-life means that one not only recognizes the evil of abortion but that one sympathizes with its victims.  It does not mean the condemnation of the mothers; it means the empathizing with women who are just as much the victims of abortion as their unborn children.  It means that we, who call ourselves pro-life, must support, educate, “empower” women to understand that they do not need to be the victims of our society’s abuse and degradation of our sexuality.  It means that we must understand our value — our value in God’s eyes.  It means that we must seek healing for those who are and have recognized their deception and who grieve in agony as a result. 

It means that we must with courage speak up while we still have the power and breath to do so — to be the advocates for woman and their unborn children so that the abuses and the deception is made apparent, restrained, and finally obstructed!

Infinity

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I have been reading a very interesting book by Jonathan Cahn called The HarbingerOne of the last chapters have really stood out to me.  The rest of what I will share will be direct quotes from his book:

Without judgment there would be no hope? I asked.

Without judgement, there would be no end to evil in the universe … or in man’s heart.  There would be no heaven.

“Why would there be no heaven?

“He looked away from me and toward the light of the setting sun before speaking again.  Because heaven would then be filled with locks and prisons, hatred, violence, fear, and destruction.  Heaven would cease to be heaven … and would become hell instead.  But there is a heaven, and there is a time and place of no more sorrow … no more hate … no more weeping or tears … and no more pain.  There must be a judgment.  Evil must end… beyond which is heaven.

“So, in other words, if evil entered heaven, heaven would cease to be heaven because it would have evil in it…

“…You can never judge yourself by your own standards and your own righteousness, but only in light of His righteousness. Which do you think is greater, he asked, the moral distance that separates us from the most monstrous of Nazis or that which separates us from God?

“I guess that which separates us from God.

“That’s correct, because the first separation is finite.  But the second is infinite.  So what we see as the slightest of sins within ourselves appears, in the eyes of Him who is absolute goodness, even more abhorrently evil than the crimes of the Nazis appear to us.  In the light of the absolute Good, our lust becomes as adultery and our hatred as murder.

“…Who could make it into heaven? 

“No one could stand and no one could make it into heaven.  How far would just one sin take you away from the infinite righteousness of God?

An infinite distance?

“Yes.  So how far are we from heaven?

Infinitely great.

And how long would it take us to bridge the gap, to be reconciled to God, to enter heaven?

“An infinity of time.

Eternity, he said.

“…If you have an infinite gap and an infinite problem, what do you need?

“An infinite answer?

Which means that the answer could not come from yourself or from this world.  It could only come from the infinite, from heaven … from God, which means that any given answer, any given ideology, and any given system based on the efforts of man is ruled out.

“Which rules out most answers, I said.

Which rules out every answer, he replied, every answer based on man trying to reach God, a hand reaching upward to heaven.  The answer can only come the other way, from the infinite to the finite, from heaven to earth … from God to man.

“A hand reach down from heaven?

“Exactly.  And what alone could answer an infinite judgement?

“An infinite mercy?

Yes, the infinite mercy of an infinite love.  And what alone could fill an infinite absense?

“The infinite presence of the infinite love.

“…Because it’s not about religion; it’s about love.  That’s the meaning … the overcoming of the infinite judgment by the infinite love.

“The love of God.

The love of God.  For God is love, and the nature of love is what? 

To give? I replied.

“Yes, to give of itself, to put itself in the place of the other even if it means that by so doing it must sacrifice itself.  So if God is love, then what would the ultimate manifestation of love be?

“…The giving of Himself … God giving Himself to bear the judgment of those under judgment if, by so doing, it would save them. 

“…As in Jesus…

“The infinite sacrifice, said the prophet, to bear an infinite judgment, in which all sins are nullified and all who partake are set free… forgiven … saved.  An infinite redemption in which judgment and death are overcome and a new life given… a new beginning…a new birth.  The love of God is greater than judgment… Remember… there is no sin so deep that His love isn’t deeper … no life so hopeless … no soul so far away … and no darkness so dark that His love isn’t greater still.

“…How far away from eternity do you think you are?

“One heartbeat, he replied, one heartbeat … You’re only one heartbeat away from eternity.”

Why You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Raise Godly Children

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Have you ever blamed yourself for the wrong choices of your children?

Have you ever felt discouraged because you sinned in your parenting (by an angry word or expression or tone of voice) and feared that your kids might forever be scarred or have issues as a result?

Have you ever thought that you had to try harder, be better … in other words be more perfect?

Have you placed an unattainable standard before yourself in your parenting: that your kids won’t turn out “perfectly” or godly if you aren’t perfect in how you raise them?

Have you ever questioned how your kids are going to turn out to live productive and more importantly, godly lives if you are not the flawless example to them?

Have you ever felt and acted as if God’s love and in turn your love to your children is dependent upon the measure to which obedience or dare I say “perfection” is achieved?

Most of us know that God’s love is not dependent upon our obedience.  Yet, we live that way.  We walk in fear or timidity, enacting man-made laws and rituals and tradition to placate our images and ideas of what we believe God expects from us.  The reason?  Not because we always want to obey but sometimes more because we feel and live as if His love is dependent upon us — our behaviors, the measure of our “godliness.”

Why do we think and feel and live this way sometimes?  Has God ever chosen only “perfect” people to accomplish His work, ways, and will?  The Bible gives multiple examples of God choosing people that did sin and sin big time.   Some of these people are in the very line from which Christ’s earthly lineage can be traced: Tamara, Judah, Bathsheba, David, Solomon, Rahab, etc…

The Bible also gives clear guidelines and commands that define what is sin and what it isn’t.  He also clearly judges those who sin.  So what does it all mean?

Do we ignore God’s justice, or do we ignore His love?  Are they mutually agreeable and cohesive with each other?   Can both His love and His justice be singularly achieved?

God calls David a “man after His own heart.”  Yet, David was an adulterer, proud at times, irresponsible in his parenting, a murderer, etc…  As a result, the Bible does speak of judgment.  David’s house was divided in so many ways — brother against brother.  The entire nation of Israel even suffered judgment when David chose to number the armies of Israel.  David’s newborn son, the child born as a result of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, died.  At one point, David’s son Absalom tried to wrest the kingdom from his father and David had to flee for his life.   So why did God call this man “a man after His own heart”?  Scripture also makes it clear that David had a tender and repentant heart.  He grieved over his sin and truly repented.  David submitted to authority (as in example of King Saul) and never rebelliously questioned God’s punishment.  David also had a heart of worship.  The Book of Psalms speaks time and time again of how in the midst of every circumstance, David had learned to yet praise God.

Each person that God chose to use in the genealogy of Christ’s earthly lineage (lineages of Mary and Joseph) were sinners but sinners who at some point repented and experienced redemption as a result.  The key here is their repentance and the changes in their lives that occurred.

God doesn’t choose perfect people to accomplish His will.  He uses forgiven people — people who have been forgiven because they repented.

The truth is we all sinThat isn’t an excuse to continue in our sins.  What it should be is an admission that we are sinners — you and I.  Knowing we have sinned much and have been forgiven much should result in a spirit of thankfulness and worship of One Who is Holy and Righteous Altogether! 

God doesn’t ask us to be perfect.  He asks us to be repentant and useable as a result of our submission. 

God’s grace is perhaps best shown when it is extended to the sinner — not the “perfect.”  His grace is best shown in the chaos and messiness of life.  God’s grace is all about a Savior who offers redemption to an undeserving but repentant sinner.  God’s grace is all about His perfection being extended to imperfect people. 

As mothers, this means that His grace is best demonstrated when imperfect mothers accept His forgiveness and receive His redemption in order to live lives that are forgiven and transformed through Him!  This means that the greatest work of parenting we do is not our own feeble attempts at living a “good” life but is when we learn to walk in His grace and the freedom that comes as a result.

When we sin, God’s love is not affected.  What is affected is our relationship with Him.  When we sin, we put “distance” between our hearts and God’s.

As mothers/parents, the best thing we can do for our children is to teach them what God’s grace means and to live it out before them: that Grace is God extending His forgiveness to us and offering us redemption when we accept it.  It’s learning to walk in His Grace, meaning we walk obediently, humbly, and joyfully before Him. It’s understanding that it’s not about us; it’s all about Him — His work and ways!  It’s understanding that not only was Grace a past work: the work on the cross (salvation), but it is also a present work: the daily renewing and transforming of our lives through His power!

It means, we have been forgiven much so we can forgive much!

Dance With Me

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My 19-month-old daughter loves music and loves to dance to it.  Today as I was playing some lovely worship music, Olivia came to me, extended her hand, and said her word for dance: “Dah.”  I asked her if she wanted to dance, and she said it again and then started to dance.  Not only did my heart melt at this, but I began to dance with her.  What a precious moment it was to share with her!

When her Daddy came home, Olivia ran to the door, squealing, “Daddy!  Daddy!”  She now says it quite clearly, and it is so endearing.  I know it melts her daddy’s heart.  Her daddy swung her up into his arms.  As my worship music continued to play, Daddy and daughter began to dance together as well.  It was their moment.

Suddenly, I couldn’t help but think that my Heavenly Father stretches out His hand to mine and says, “Daughter, dance with me.”  Life is a dance in many ways.  Some of us stumble at the slightest change in tempo.  Some of us are so busy that we miss the opportunity to dance to the music — the music that comes when our hearts are in tune with our Creator’s heart.  Some of us hear the music of our Father’s heart and are so in harmony that we are able to “dance” with it. 

Two years ago, my husband and I enjoyed taking a Ballroom Basics class.  It was such a fun couple time, and I absolutely loved it.  I started out with having “two left feet” and I think our instructor wondered if I would ever get it.  By the end of our class, I was able to feel comfortable and even graceful as I danced in my husband’s arms.  I remember one important lesson that we had to learn.  It was that the man leads.  He must lead with firmness.  The woman just follows his lead.  If he leads with weakness (weak hold), the dance will be sloppy in its execution. 

When it comes to our Heavenly Father, He is the one who leads the dance of our lives.  He does it with strength and yet with gentleness.  The more we learn to follow his lead, the more graceful the dance of our lives becomes and the more beautifully it is executed. 

He is the one who leads the dance of our lives.

Our Heavenly Father does ask us to “dance” with Him, to follow His lead, to be in harmony with Him so that our lives follow the “music” of His heart. 

He asks us to dance with Him.

How much though are we like my daughter?  Do we ever ask Him to dance with us?  Do we stop in our days and ask Him, “Daddy, will you dance with me?”  

Do we look for His arrival and listen for His coming, like my daughter does for her daddy?  Will our greeting be with as much delight as my daughter’s squeal?

While we live this life, do we listen for the music of His heart?  Does our heart reflect worship back to Him, and is it a graceful dance to Him — a graceful dance with Him?  Do we stop in our day and ask, “Daddy, dance with me?”

Do we trust ourselves into the hands of our Heavenly Father?  Do we follow the leading of His steps?  Do we listen for the “music” of His heart and dance in time with it?

Do we listen for the “music” of His heart and dance in time with it?

Is our life a graceful dance for Him and with Him?

“Dance with me?”

A Letter To Drew

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(Picture By Becca Davis Photography.)

Dear Drew,

I almost wanted to include all of your funny nicknames your daddy has given to you at one time or another.  How we love our “Drew-Buster”!

Well, Drew, it is your turn to have a blog written specifically for you.  I didn’t want to wait ’til your birthday so I thought I would take the time right now to write a blog that is just for you.  This blog is part of the legacy I want to leave with you.  I want to make sure that I say the things I should say to you while I have the gift of time.

When it comes time at some future moment to say a good bye on this side of life, I want you and your siblings to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are loved and to know the heritage that you have been given.

Drew-Buckles, I still remember the first time I held you.  You were so alert and so calm.  What a cutie too!  Once we posted pictures of you, we had people telling us you were one of the prettiest babies they had ever seen.  You were a cutie, and I am not just saying that because I am your mommy.

You loved to be held.  What a cuddler!  You were also a very happy baby.  I have lots of pictures of you smiling and laughing.  You still have that special twinkle in your eye — that look of mischievousness.  🙂

You have a tender personality.  You play very well with your sister and love to hold her hand and take her places to show her things.  She is only 18 months old but already loves you.

You are also artistic and creative.  You love to draw, build things, and make crafts.  You are also good at math, and you are really taking off with your reading.  You say you want to be an engineer like your daddy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is exactly what you will be some day.

Physically, you have great upper body strength and are good at rock climbing and playing on Monkey Bars.  (Even as a toddler you seemed to climb everything.)

Drew, you are our sunshine!  You still love to be cuddled, and we so love your hugs!

It is so special to see you developing into a nice boy who is thoughtful, creative, and well-behaved.  You have your moments, but so do we all.   We are so thankful to see you growing into a fine, young man!

Drew, you have the same middle name as your daddy.  The meaning is also the same as your mommy’s first name.  As it implies, you are very loved!

Your first name is also special.  It means “Manly, Strong, Handsome”.

God made you for a special purpose.  He has unique plans for your life, Son, and they are good and excellent plans!  He made you to be a leader, to use your strength of character and physical strength for helping and serving God and others. 

Your sense of humor will be helpful in relating to those whom you are called to serve and lead.  Your sensitivity will help you to have the heart that is needed to truly be an effective leader.  Your creativity will help you to be flexible and to inspire a new generation of leaders.  Your physical strength will help you to have the endurance needed to selflessly serve those whom God has called you to serve.

Precious Son, you are such an amazing and special little boy!  You make me smile when I think of you.  Just thinking of you makes me picture your gorgeous blue eyes with their special twinkle and that adorable giggle and delightful smile of yours!  You are a joy and treasure to our hearts!

I can’t wait to see the man you will become.  Your daddy and I pray for you regularly to become a godly, young man and that you would be fully confident in your identity in Christ.  You are God’s son!  He loves you and says that you are marvelous!  He has beautiful plans for your life.

Son, when life looks drab and uninspiring, never forget that you are a testament to a God of life, of love, and creativity!  You were made in His image! 

Precious Son, when you find yourself completely depleted of all energy and creativity (and you will at some point), remember that you are not the source of your true life, energy, and inspiration.  God is.  So long as you hold onto Him and look to Him, He will fill you up. 

God’s Word says that He will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you can ask or think.  This speaks of an overflowing and continuing supply of sustenance and His grace.  Just as a spring continually pours forth its refreshing liquid supply may your life be a continual channel of God’s grace to a thirsty world.  May you be an inspiration to this world through the energy, creativity, sensitivity with which you pursue God and serve others!

Precious Son, just as you meticulously work to create a lovely piece of art, your Heavenly Father is working to create a beautiful piece of art from your life.  He uses the “dark” times as well as the “bright” times to produce a beautiful masterpiece with our lives.  As you allow God to work in your life, your life will be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and testimony to the hand of the One who guided you, creating the Masterpiece of you!  You are a Masterpiece, Son, and will be even more so when your work is completed!

My Precious Drew, take up your creative tools and create and inspire, but in the process allow God to use you as his canvas, upon which He will create an amazing Masterpiece whose purpose is to glorify God and bring hope and healing to a world!

Son, I love you!  You are precious to me!  Never forget that.  Never doubt that.  Always know it! 

Love,

Mommy

P.S. Kisses and hugs…