I See You – An Ode to Motherhood



Valentine’s Day is almost here and moms everywhere are scurrying to help children put the finishing touches on their Valentine boxes. They’re making those last minute trips to the store for Valentine cards. They’re planning special ways to communicate their affections to the loved ones in their life.

Mama, it’s time to take a break. Grab your favorite beverage, whatever it may be. Rest your feet and steal a quiet moment for yourself. You, the one who is always giving until there’s nothing left to give. Take a moment to be still and receive.

Weary mother,

I SEE YOU

I see you waking in the middle of the night to calm your child

I see you tip toeing away to not wake the baby

I see you doing your best to comfort your sick child

I see you splashing cold water on your face to wake up

I see you sipping coffee in the dark to steal a quiet moment

I see you scrubbing dried food off the floor

I see you planning meals to make sure no one goes hungry

I see you with kids strapped on and buckled in gathering food for the family

I see you trying to maintain a conversation in your sleep-deprived, caffeine-fuelled state

I see you loading and unloading that stroller in the parking lot

I see you diverting your eyes in the store from the new and pretty things you can’t afford

I see you counting your cash and putting the things back that make you go just a little over

I see you exiting the restroom after you’ve wrangled  three kids for a potty break

I see you pay for the squished loaf of bread that your toddler sat on because you don’t have it in you to walk to the back of the store to grab a new one

I see you hoping your gray hairs aren’t too noticeable because you don’t have the time or money to change it

I see you sacrificing self-care for the care of others

I see you going without, so that the rest of the family can go with

I see you grasping for a shred of patience as you let your little one do it himself

I see you finally sitting down to eat after everyone else’s belly is full

I see you doing your best to let go

I see you engaging in the work of motherhood

I see you searching for a sense of significance in the diapers, dishes, and laundry…oooh, the laundry

I see you weary

I see you beautiful

I see you strong

I see you


 “You are the God who sees me,” for she said,

“I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

“She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family…

She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

…her lamp does not go out at night.”

Proverbs 31: 15, 17-18 


Image credit:

drkenmcgill.me (heart in hands)

eskipaper.com (flowers in hands)


If this could encourage a mama in your life, please share.

 

Where Were You, God? – A Reflection on God’s Tangible Love

I look back & reflect

on all I’ve lived,

experienced,

endured… quietly.

One question echoes…, “Where were you, God?

An answer unravels

My child…

I sent the angels who quietly guided your steps.

I was the gentleness in the mother who welcomed you.

I was the kindness in a friend who reached for you.

I was the goodness in a teacher who told you to never settle.

I was the faithfulness of a classmate who prayed for you…secretly.

I was the unseen that protected you from the harm that could’ve been.

I was the boldness in a fellow student who shared stories about me.

I was the intention of a teacher who pointed you to my purpose for your life.

I was the love in the words of a wife spoken about her marriage.

I was the warrior covering you in prayer that stressful year. 

I was the mentor helping bathe your mind in Truth that hard season.

I was the Light piercing through the darkness. 

I was the Peace that overcame your anger.

I was the Healer who mended your broken heart.

My child,

I AM the Hope replacing your hopelessness.

I AM the Strength emerging from your suffering.

I AM the Joy breaking through your weariness.

“I AM WHO I AM”


“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.”

John 15:11-15 (MSG)


Image credit: wookmark.com (heart-shaped balloon), Wikimedia.org (heart-shaped pages)

 

 

 

 

Some People

Some people will never see the ocean, but they will know that it exists

Some people will never hold a million dollars, but they will strive for it

Some people will never set foot on Mount Everest, but they will believe that it stands

Yet, some people will never recognize God and they will assume He doesn’t exist

Some people…

“I tell you,” he replied, ” if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:40


Image cred: wikimedia

Will you come?

“Where are all my people?”

There is room enough for a great multitude, yet only a few gather.

There is room enough for many to feast, yet only a few are seated.

“Where are all my people?”

 

The Lord is preparing a place for you.

Will you come?

You know the way.

It’s the narrow road.

 

In anger, you accuse Him.

In stubbornness, you ignore Him.

In complacency, you forget Him.

You choose the broad road.

 

There is a way that is right and good.

It brings life.

The truth remains—only one true God.

In humbleness, you accept Him.

 

At the end, what will you hear?

“Well done” or

“I never knew you”

You choose.

 

 

“Enter through the narrow gate.

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction

and many enter through it.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,

and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14


Image credit:

Inside the Vatican – narrow gate

 

 

 

 

Before I Knew You

 

sunshine1

When I was a child,

I sensed you in the sunlight.

I felt you in the breeze.

I heard you in the birds’ song.

 

When I was a little older,

I saw you in a concerning glance.

I felt you in the consequence.

I experienced you in my sleep.

 

I didn’t know you, but I sensed you always…

watching me,

guiding me,

protecting me.

 

Then one day, You opened my eyes to see…

You give Life.

You bring Hope.

You reveal Truth.

 

And, now, I know…

Your Way is better.

Your Way breathes life.

Your Way brings hope.

 

Now, I have children of my own and my heart whispers,

Open their eyes.

Give them Life.

Show  them Truth.

Make them Yours.


“See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God and so we are.”

1 John 3:1


Image credit: scheirmad.wordpress.com

Me…Without Him

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Without Him

I am…

a despiser of Truth,

a destroyer of relationships,

a vessel of pride,

lost in the darkness.

Without Him

I am

distracted,

joyless,

harsh,

selfish.

Chaos and desperation crash down.

I cling tightly to the solid surface beneath my feet.

I strain to see the Light through the haze of clouds that surrounds me.

In His great mercy, He touches my searching hands.

He reminds me, once more,

that He is near.

That He Is Here.

Once again, my heart finds rest

because I am…

with Him.


Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 


 


 

 

 

The Woman Behind the Writing (Well, Sort of…)

1. My name is Jennifer. I’ve also been called Jen-Jen, Jenn, Jeffernino, and Shaffe-dog. {My maiden name is Shaffer which explains that last one.}

2. When I was a kid, my dad nicknamed me “Little Round Brown One”. I was chubby & tan.

3. I have one sister who is a year older than me, but I’ve always been mistaken for the older sister because I stand a good 4 inches taller than her.

4.Everyone thought my sister and I were twins growing up.

5. My mom is from the Philippines. My dad is from the North. And I grew up in the South. No wonder I was so confused as a child!

6. When I was a kid I used to go to bed listening to my Walkman. If you don’t know what that is, you’re young.

7. The first cassette tapes I owned were Aerosmith & Paula Abdul. (See #5.)

8. I quit choir in 4th grade because of a boy.

9. I drive a minivan but would prefer to drive an SUV due to the “coolness” factor.

10. I was a foster mom for almost 2 years. {It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Props to you, foster parents, out there. My heart still breaks a little when I see old pics of the kiddos we cared for.}

11. I am a peanut butter junkie. Sometimes I just grab the jar and a spoon.

12. I don’t get coupon-ing. I just shop cheap.

13. I really don’t like “stuff”. I can’t stand clutter. However, motherhood has forced me to adapt.

14. I’ve popped my knuckles my whole life. Fortunately, I stopped biting my nails.

15. I love coffee-flavored ice cream. It’s even better topped with M & M’s.

16. I like chocolate.

17. I’m an Arkansan, born and raised. Go Hogs!

18. I see so much of myself in my oldest daughter. It’s scary.

19. I was pretty silent throughout my young childhood and adolescent years.

20. In my early 20s, I started volunteering to do the readings in front of the church to help me get over my fear of speaking. {I attended a catholic church on my college campus.}

21. I’ve tried a lot of sports…basketball, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, golf. Sports are not my thing.

21. Music and creative arts are my thing. I’ve played piano my whole life. I sketched in college. Now, I write.

22. At sporting events, I have a hard time paying  attention because I’m so distracted by everything else going on. (see #21)

23. I’m the assistant coach for my daughter’s soccer team, but I’m pretty much just a glorified cheerleader. Go Team!

24. I have to answer the question, “What happened to your head?”, a lot because of the birthmark on my forehead. It looks like a bruise.

25. I used to be so self-conscious of my hairy arms.

26. I graduated from high school in ’98.

27. I hit my rock bottom in the winter of ’98.

28. If I had a life motto, it would be: “I make cheap look good.”

29. I feed my kids frozen waffles for breakfast way too often.

30. The idea of being “fit” is nice, but life is too short (and crazy for me, right now) so I do what I can, but I still eat the “bad” stuff way too often and  exercise not often enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Story of a Girl…Rewritten

letter-penThis is the story of a girl…

…a girl who learned that it was safer to stay quiet, than to speak up.

…a girl who learned that it was safer to not try at all, than to try and make a mistake.

…a girl paralyzed by insecurity that she learned to shut down and build walls.

…a girl who felt unlovable, so she acted unlovely.

.

This is the story of a girl who sought relief from her pain in a lot of  wrong places.

…a girl who stood for nothing and spun out of control.

…a girl so consumed by her anxiety that she sank into depression.

…a girl who finally broke.

 

This is the story of a girl who understood that she had to make a choice.

…. a girl who heard the sweet sound of God call her name one night.

…a girl who chose to accept the love of Christ and run into His arms.

.1395936858947..a girl so hungry for truth that she read every book on faith she could get her hands on.

…a girl who stumbled and fell a lot.

…a girl gently led by her Father’s hand.

 

This is the story of a girl who still makes mistakes.

…a girl in awe of the Father’s great love and mercy.

…a girl who desires others to know that God can heal and bring good out of even the darkest places.

…a girl who wants others to experience the freedom that can only be found in Christ.

…a girl who trusts her Heavenly Father because He has shown Himself trustworthy, over and over, again.

…a girl who will seek Him all the days of her life because without Him she has nothing.

 

This is the story of a girl…rewritten.

 

This is the story of me.

 

Are you in need of a rewrite?

 The pen is mightier than the sword. - Edward Bulwer-Lytton


“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2


Inspired by the Rewrite teaching series from Northwest Community Church.


 

Image credit: imgkid.com, galleryhip.com, studio.jumpers-inn.de