Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the cross

"He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities.  
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
and by His stripes we are healed." 
Isaiah 53:5 

An unexpected winter break was the perfect chance to travel south to visit one of the historic California Missions.  

A self guided tour took us through the cobblestone pathways and age worn arches to  soak in the artifacts and wonder about the Indians and Friars that once lived here. 
I wanted this fourth grade rite of passage to come to life for my son.
What I didn't expect was the curiosity this statue would stir in my children.
They've never seen a life-size replica of Jesus.  
The man they read and talk about, study, pray to, and whose spirit is within them.
They ran ahead and began to touch and feel.
I don't believe in worshipping graven images.
But what I saw was this intrigue.  The statue caused them to imagine.
Just as being at the mission allowed them to replay a time in history.  

They were putting themselves in Jesus' place.
Thinking of what it would be like to carry the weight of the cross along with him.

"And come, take up the cross, and follow me."  
Mark 10:21 

Pondering the magnitude of what He did for all of us.

"For he made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, 
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
2 Corinthians 5:20-21

I see it here in his eyes.  He's not just looking at a statue. 
"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, 
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross."
Hebrews 12:2

There's something about really envisioning the moment you'll see Jesus face to face.
It's so overwhelming my words can't describe.  The awe.  The peace.  The comfort.  The joy.

He so holy, perfect, without sin.  In our flesh, we're so broken, imperfect, sinful.  This child close to turning ten that has stretched me and grown me and pulled me and torn at my heart in so many ways.  We're in a new territory of him trying to push away.  I say I can't let you continue to sin in your behavior towards me.  But is my behavior sinless, my pride, my anger I feel building inside.  I pray for guidance as we navigate these new waters.  I pray to keep the heart of my child in the midst of boundaries he does not like. 

I need this Lent to be a time of fasting and emptying of myself in order to fill my heart with greater compassion towards my child's struggles.  Sometimes I just see a battle of wills, but forget that he has his own trials, hidden behind the disobedience.  A dear friend whispered this advice to me, compassion.  Just have compassion.  It sounds so simple, but sometimes the layers of challenges before me, weigh me down and I forget.  

But the one who fathers both me and my child.  He is the one carrying the weight.  I need to go back to the cross.  In doing so, I feel utter gratitude at His patience, His forgiveness.  I pray to embody that more and more for my son.  Because I am to be a reflection of his heavenly father.  The One who is always forgiving.  
He sees our repentant hearts, washes away our sin and makes us whole because He chose to go to the cross.  

"by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to shame,
by triumphing over them in him."  
Colossians 2:14-15

As I approached she said, "I'm hugging Jesus Mommy."
Her innocent, sweet spirit looked lovingly.  
Reflecting on her Savior, the one she praises daily, thanking Him for the cross.
I join her in thankfulness for such a sacrifice and the gift of eternity by His side.  

"But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.  
And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior."  
Philippians 3:20

303. sitting quietly
304. fresh air
305. staying calm when my flesh doesn't want to
306. being able to laugh at something that at one time would have hurt
307. sensing healing
308. knowing God is at work in the midst of a very big challenge
309. resting in Him while I have to wait for answers
310. a healthy chocolate pudding recipe made from avocado that the kids loved
311. stories at night
312. holding onto little hands
313. celebrating a friends birthday with pedicures
314. friends that pray in the midst of troubles

Sunday, February 26, 2012

did you know

This time of year I become an awards show widow.
This is the 20th Academy Awards show my husband has worked.
Though super grateful for the work, he really didn't want to leave us today.
And I didn't want him to leave either.

We used to both work these shows.

I would produce the fashion packages and pieces about where they keep their oscars.

It was fun.  And I dreamed of one day wearing a Badgley Mischka dress.

I thought their designs were oh so beautiful.

It's interesting how much your life changes.

Today I dealt with a poop issue, attitude adjustment, and anxiety over school resuming.

We actually had to abruptly leave whole foods where we met a friend for dinner due to behavior.

I don't even manage to watch the red carpet anymore, I'll just see the recap at some point.

But it's ok, because motherhood is a higher calling.  I know that.

I just need to remind myself sometimes when in the thick of the messy and ugly stuff.

It helps when I get texts from my husband saying,

"Thinking of you...miss you."

Sometimes I miss my old life.  I'll admit, nine years ago I was yearning to go back.

But was that something that was building for the kingdom of God?  Hardly.

Am I now? I have to believe I am.

Even though some days it feels like I'm not sure I'm getting through or making a difference.

I pray that all I'm pouring into these little lives is for God's glory and that He'll use them mightily.

I know He sees the sacrifices we make as moms.

And I know the award that matters will come when He says,

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Friday, February 24, 2012


the mountains you have to climb
feel oh so very big.
And you need to just get away.
and get outside to run and play.
Watching the birds
and dolphins passing by.  I feel Him near.
Breathing it all in I sit and pray, watch and wait.
I'm still waiting.  But feel some clarity dawning.
I've had a couple of days of feeling so very weak.
But I know there is a plan.
There is a purpose.
And I know He will strengthen me.
I think I know where the Holy Spirit is leading.
But it feels very overwhelming.
And I struggle a lot with not wanting to make a mistake.

I keep hearing a whisper.  Even in those twilight moments when you first wake.
Before you're fully conscious.  These are the moments when I know it is Him.
And He is speaking this simple truth.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, 
no mind has conceived what God has 
prepared for those who love him." 
1 Corinthians 2:9
For those who love him.  This child of mine, she finds hearts absolutely everywhere we go. In the shape of a leaf, a fallen flower, a gap in the clouds, and always rocks by the shore.  They find her and she them.  And I don't doubt that they are placed there by the Lord, a message for her, for me.
I do not yet see.  My mind can't conceive.
But God knows.  He doesn't make mistakes.
And I know He is bigger than my mountains.

"I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron."
Isaiah 45:2

I'm praying for wisdom, for clarity.  I'm doing my due diligence, but
I'm also trying to rest in knowing that the Lord has a plan even though
I do not yet understand.  And he is paving the way.

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, 
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them 
and make the rough places smooth.  
These are the things I will do for them; 
I will not forsake them.  
Isaiah 42:16

Sunday, February 19, 2012

loving gifts

I know it's a bit past Valentine's Day at this point.

I've just been so focused on the next task at hand that the blog has had to go on the back burner lately.

But I was and am still so excited about this gift that would be perfect for Mother's day that I had to share.

Each parent in my son's class takes a turn teaming up to host a holiday party.
Months ago I chose Valentine's day.  It's one of my favorite holidays.

Another mom and I did some fun games (ideas courtesy of one charming party..I LOVE that site!)

She read this book about St. Valentine.  (Also perfect for the 3rd/4th grade age range..and not too long either).  And for the craft, I wanted to do something that was practical, that they could gift to their moms as a Valentine's present.
So they made their very own brown sugar body scrub.
I received an expensive one from Whole Foods for Christmas.  The ingredient list got me thinking,
that it's really not that hard.  And the kids had so much fun measuring and stirring, and choosing their own essential oils for their moms.

Here's the recipe if you're interested.

1 1/4 cup of brown sugar
7 Tablespoons of Almond Oil
3 Tablespoons of melted Coconut Oil
15-20 drops of essential oil (I brought sweet orange, lavender, lemongrass for them to choose...typically the sweet orange was the one they went for, it is a really nice combination).
You mix all the ingredients except the essential oil first, making sure the consistency is nice and moist, you don't want it too dry and crumbly.  Then you add the essential oil and mix well again.  Then you can pack it in to the 8 oz. container.
I wish I had more pictures of the process, but my hands were deep in the oil helping kids measure and mix.  I found the containers online at speciality bottle.  This recipe perfectly fills the 8 oz. container.
I used photoshop to design two inch round labels, printed on a full sheet of label paper and punched them out with a circle punch.
The tag reads: "Dear Mom, For all you do to care for me, 
Now it's time to pamper you."
So a very happy belated Valentine's Day everyone..and perhaps this might inspire some DIY mother's day gifts in May.  It really was easy, so easy my five and seven year olds mixed their own batches at home.  Now everyone is scrubbing away and soft as can be at bath time. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

happy moments

Lately I'm just struck by how much it's the little things that make you happy.
Make you take a moment to breathe.
To soak in the pretty sun.
do you see her swinging with her head tilted all the way back.  You know that feeling right?  That feeling of freedom.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but I had to try to capture the moment.
Her creative style.
And baking healthy treats with my girls.
(flourless nut butter cookies - recipe found at here.)
Remember what it was like waiting for them to come out of the oven.
Hanging with a friend's baby.
My babysitter from when Audrey was a baby who also happened to be her big sister's preschool teacher
now has a son of her own.  Sometimes she picks Audrey up
from preschool and takes her to her home to hang until I can pick her up.
Audrey absolutely loves it.  And I think would adore being a big sister.
These lemons
and oranges from our own tree inspired my son to start a sale.
Fresh oranges and lemons.
His price seems a bit high in this economy.
But one after another people stopped.
It's amazing how much you can get to know your more distant neighbors this way.
And I was amazed at how many people actually took the time to support them.
It was unexpected, but nice on the start of this beautiful weekend.
I'm busy working away on a number of projects, including a Valentine party
for my son's class (more on that soon) and an editing project that I was literally doing in the front
yard on the laptop while they carried on with their sale.  It's all about the
multi-tasking as a mom isn't it!

Last night after dinner, I quickly had to try my hand at making a vegan, raw, chocolate mint truffle.
My kids said they taste like Mimi's mint bars.  That's about the best compliment ever.
Because we all love Mimi's mint bars.
But these are filled with only healthy, good for you ingredients, including some
fermented spirulina protein powder.  Love that they have no idea. :)
Perfect with a cup of tea!
Here's the recipe in case you're interested.

1 cup cacao powder with maca.
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp. peppermint oil
2 cups soaked & pitted dates (soak for a couple of hours, but dump out the water before adding to recipe)
1/4 cup thick raw honey
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp. fermented spirulina powder.  (I get it from a local store, but it can be found here. Scroll down a bit to read about the benefits of fermented spirulina.  It's why I've chosen to use a teaspoon a day in my morning smoothies).
& a pinch of pink sea salt

I used my hand held mixer that I use to puree soups, to mix this.
I must warn when forming the balls it was much more wet than I expected.
Once the balls are done sprinkle them with the cacao powder and put in the refrigerator overnight.

Happy Almost Valentine's Day everyone.