{Letters to My Daughter} {No. 2}

Sweet Girl,

You wrote me the most lovely letter. Thank you. Because I know you are dying to know — yes, it made me cry! Big. Tears. I didn’t cry just because you said nice things about me and to me. I cried because as a momma it is pretty awesome to see God working in your life.

God used you and your words in that letter to encourage me. That makes my heart swell to the point of bursting. Do you hear me? God used you. Let that sink in. 

There are three things I want you to know and remember.

1. Words are powerful. Use them well.  Speak life. Speak hope. Speak words of encouragement. Once you release your words, it is impossible to get them back. It’s like squeezing an entire tube of toothpaste out onto a plate and trying to put it back inside the tube. (I used to do that on the first day of school in front of the class. Trying to put toothpaste back into a tube is quite messy!) It’s the same with our words, you know. If used unwisely–carelessly–words hurt, leave scars, cause damage to relationships. And always, always remember your words reveal your heart. Guard your heart and use your words well. Let every word you speak be a reflection of Jesus’ love being perfected in you. The letter you wrote me is a glowing example of what I’m talking about. You spoke life and encouragement to me. What a gift!

2. God will use you. Look around and listen to Him. I am sure when you wrote my letter you didn’t think you were doing anything extraordinary. Yet the words you wrote were exactly the words I needed to hear in that very moment. You should know that there are people around you who need the same kind of gift you gave me–words of life. Can I challenge you to look for them? On purpose. Ask God to use you to encourage someone each day. Ask Him. I promise He will. This is not the first time you’ve used words to encourage. You have a gift of encouragement. Once you wrote an encouraging message to a kid who was a few years younger than you. You leave sweet notes for your siblings and for us. Keep doing that. Remember, you may never know how God uses the words you speak and that’s ok. You just be brave and bold. Be obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and speak life.

3. I love you. You are extraordinary. If I could line up all the girls on the planet and pick one to be my daughter, I would choose you. Every single time.

I’m glad you’re my girl. (Even when we’re having a bad day!)

XOXO.

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#ModelStatus – Guest Blogger, Maddie Grace

My sweet girl, Maddie Grace, wanted to write a little post for my blog. She is only twelve, but what’s she’s talking about here is important; and, I am glad that she wants to use her voice to encourage others to reflect Christ. She’s growing into quite a beauty, inside and out. God’s masterpiece. It makes my heart smile to watch how He’s working in her life. Thanks for reading!
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The teacher was late. 10 minutes late. It was 7th period spiritual life class. Me,Daisy, Malcolm and Dalton took action, we ran to the wall and struck awkward model poses. They were very, um…disturbing or model-ish as we might say. We stood frozen, and then the teacher came in.
“Hey guys sorry I’m, oh…” He said with just one glimpse of us. We all burst out laughing. Then I started thinking about what a model’s purpose is: to “advertise” clothing and make people want to buy it.
In the same way, we are God’s models. He uses us to go and to advertise his word, his truth and make people want and need Him more.
We are called to be a model for God. We are made in his image, specifically for His purpose. You don’t have to have the greatest hair or the prettiest face! So just remember, the next time you get an opportunity, model God’s truth the best you can. #modelstatus

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I Didn’t See THAT coming . . .

This week I met a woman who was brokenhearted.

I knew that she lost her husband a few months ago after a 14 year battle with cancer. I knew that she had recently endured surgery and her recovery was estimated to take up to a year. So, before I arrived, I knew.

Even still, I was not prepared for what happened next.

I was there to walk through her home and provide and estimate for residential house cleaning services. She opened her door and greeted us.  “Hi Mrs. X., I’m Valerie. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you so much for having us.” She responded kindly, thanking us for coming. Then I asked, “How are you today?” {Sidebar: I cannot tell you how often I have been guilty of asking that question already anticipating that the answer is “Fine, thanks.”} I do not know why I asked the question.  It simply rolled out of my mouth before I could stop it.  “How are you today?” 

And, then there were tears. She responded, “I’m not so good today.” And, more tears.

Suddenly it dawned on me. (Duh!) This was about much more than an estimate for residential house cleaning service. This was a God-moment. I was there because that sweet woman needed to be reminded that God loves her, he sees her, he is very near and promises to bind up her wounds and heal her broken heart. So, I reminded her.

I walked away from there being reminded myself that God is always working. He is ordering my steps. He is putting people in my path, on purpose. So, I have to remember to slow down. To see. To listen. To be obedient. When I rush through my day with my head down, refusing to see people, I miss opportunities to see God answer a prayer that I’ve been praying: God, use me. Holy Spirit, work through me so that people see Jesus. 

Let them see Jesus. Always. JESUS. 

 

 

92 Days

Brian and I have a couple of those cool pregnancy apps for our iphones. They’ve been fun. Today, however, I opened one up and read “92 more days to go!”

Ummm…what’s that now?

I must confess. I freaked out.

Between moving (twice), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s there won’t be much time to blink before the beginning of February is staring us in the face! Never mind that I have been known to deliver anywhere between 37 and 38 weeks in previous pregnancies. That puts us in the middle of January! The MIDDLE OF JANUARY! There is still so much to do. That might be an understatment. We haven’t done anything!

Oh. My. Goodness.

Moving on.

We’re 27 weeks along. Our next appointment is November 22. After that, we will likely start going to the doctor every 2-3 weeks. We’ve taken one of our first prenatal classes. That was fun! Brian was paying close attention. I was overwhelmed and suddenly panicky as the nurse covered the labor and delivery process. Suddenly, I had vivid memories. I kept thinking, “Oh yeah, I hate that part!” or “Oh, right. That part HURT!” and even, “I don’t think I can do this again!” Shameful, I know. Brian, being the encourager that he is, gently reminded me that I’ve done this four times. He says it’ll be a breeze! He’s my biggest fan! Our birthing class will be in the beginning of January. That’s bound to provide plenty of opportunities for a good laugh and even more opportunities for sheer panic! Big fun!

We still haven’t settled on her first name. Only a couple names from the original list actually made it to the final list. Some of our favorite possibilities are new additions to the list! We have a short list for her middle name, also. Here is that list: Claire, Dawn (my middle name), Faith, or Christine (after my grandmother on my Dad’s side). That list was easy! Looks like we will take our list with us to the hospital and name her when we meet her. That is, if I can keep the planner in me at rest until then! Luckily, we have plenty of other plans to make!

Speaking of plans, there are a lot of other things happening around here at the moment. I’ll have to save those updates for a separate post. Thanks for reading!