Sharing My Crayons

I would love for everyone to know the people in my life that have affected me in a positive way. I want to share my friends like I would share my crayons. That sounds hokey but it’s as simple as crayons. For me, crayons have been as close as friends. The various colors and what can be discovered from them.

In a world where the creative ones have a bit of a harder time fitting into the norm, my friend Ann has been a source of comfort. I’ve only known her a little while yet I do know that a lifetime of kindred spirits has just begun.

Here is the exact post from her Facebook page. She has given me permission to post these insightful words on parenting. The raw deal and the real deal. Enjoy the read and be looking for her blog to begin soon (we are working on that this week).

Cate B and Ann

Meet Ann:

“I took this photo almost 2 weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about posting it ever since. But I knew that if I did, I would want to be real honest about this particular picture. 

This sweet mother/son selfie was taken on a date I went on with Kaiden. I can hear it now, “Awww! That is so sweet! Awww!” And you’ll begin to envision what a sweet, loveable, fun, bonding time that must have been. 

And I must interrupt your envisionings with a bit of reality. Those were the envisionings I had when I had planned this date. But then I went ON the date…. And the picture you see was one of the very few, very few, sweet bonding moments of the whole evening. 

The majority of the evening was spent “bonding” if you will, in a battle of wills. Fishing him out from under the table because I wouldn’t let him play games on the little game thingy that was on our table. (Thanks Applebees, thanks a LOT!) He didn’t want to eat his food, he talked back… The list goes on. It ended with an epic tantrum in the parking lot. NOT exactly how I would have preferred our date to go. 

You see, right now we are going through a sowing season with him. A season of working the soil of his little heart. And it’s a HARD, gritty, sweaty, endless (or so it seems) toiling, thankless, season. It’s a season where we are planting seeds. The thing about planting is that you don’t see the fruits right away. That’s the hard part. You put the seeds down and they get covered up and because you can’t see them down in that soil, you can’t see what they are doing, you can’t see if they are germinating and taking root. 

So we work that soil constantly, going after the weeds relentlessly. Relying on the grace, power, and instructions of the Master Planter. Carefully tending the soil of our own hearts. Living on faith and refusing to listen to the uprooter of the seeds. The lies that he whispers: “your child should not be acting this way in the first place.” “You’re messing him up.” “You’re not doing enough.” “You’re not doing it right.” “You’re not good enough.” 

We stand firm on the Word and we water that soil with truth, love, and destiny. And we choose to live by faith, that we will see those precious seeds sprouting, come spring and summertime. And eventually there will be a full, thankful, abundant harvest. 

You might wonder why I’m writing about all this. Well, getting these words down where I can see them, it encourages me, it boosters my faith. And I value transparency. Social media can really make it seem like we have perfect relationships, perfect lives. I am working daily to lay down perfection and pick up LIFE. It’s messy, it’s hard, it’s real, I don’t have it all figured out, but it’s beautiful. 

And maybe, along the way, another parent who is going through this hard season of planting seeds, will be encouraged along with me. We got this friends, because God’s got us. And he supplies the seeds and the knowledge for the planting.”

Ann and Kaiden
Ann and Kaiden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve Got A Friend

One of the beauties of humanity is when you find people of like mindedness. Kindred Spirits. Someone who thinks similar to you and even understands what you just told them.

For me that seems few and far between. But when I find one it is like a bowl full of gems and jewels and chocolate!

The church we attend has a Wednesday night meeting. I do not always go to the midweek meeting but the last three weeks they have invited three different young adults from a college in the Kansas City area. These kids (I call them) get the opportunity to share what they are learning and going through with the intent of helping others. Youth. So refreshing.

Last night a young man walked up to my husband and I and introduced himself as the guest speaker for the evening. He proceeded to say that he likes to get to know his audience by asking what it is they have been going through lately. Well, having just posted my last blog about the seasons of my life I jumped right in and talked about that. Bam! He totally understood what I was talking about.

Don’t you just love it when you find someone who gets you? It is so important. We all have friends and acquaintances of different degrees. It is important we know that. Some are friends and the relationship may be more one sided. Those are good. Some, well, some are just “hey, how ya doin'” kind of relationship and you keep on walking. That’s ok too.

I’m not saying that this young man is now my deepest friend. I may never see him again. What I am saying is that we all need someone or a few someone’s we can rely on. The someones that don’t question your every look or move. The someones that have your back. The someones that hand over their back to you. The trust that no matter what you go through or how you go through it they will not judge or walk away, even if they don’t understand totally. The love.

As Christians we need to stand with others. We cannot do this life alone. We not only have the power of God within and without but we have others that need us and us them.

Recently, my husband and I saw the need for others to come alongside and hold us up through changes in our life. It’s all good things. He travels from time to time and I cannot always go along. We needed prayer support and friend support while he goes and I stay or when we both go.

So. We formed “Our Posse”. A group of friends of like heartedness and like mindedness. A group of loving and caring friends from quite the variety of life. A Motley Crew. We send out group messages when we have upcoming things we may need wisdom about and they pray. What a difference our life has become. We feel so much lighter. So less burdened.

I recommend this for everyone. It is not good for man to live alone. We were born for relationship. First one with God and then others.

I had a call from a friend of twenty plus years. We use to take nature walks or just gab over coffee and tea. Instant friends. Now she lives in Puerto Rico. But we are still strong together and always will be. It’s as if we never parted geographically.

Don’t stand alone, Dear Reader. There are people out there for your back. Even this blogging community has someone or someones for you to connect with.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Love is…repetition

©susanirenefox
©susanirenefox

Love heals, love creates the desire to hear and see. Love opens the heart, dissolves fear and distrust. Love opens doors, creates pathways, softens downcast mouths, releases fists. How else will we let those around us know that we are the true followers of Jesus?

John 13:34-35  So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.

John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:13-15)

Love conquers fear and hate, solid walls of separation and centuries old dug-in-heels of they-are-evil and we-are-righteous thinking.

Love allows embraces, possibilities and “aha!” moments. Love is responsible for transformation, seismic shifts in understanding, the willingness to explore common ground.

Eugene Peterson renders Jesus’ call to love our enemies so even the most hardened hearts can understand it:

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:44-48, The Message)

You see, if we don’t believe or subscribe to Jesus’ commands to love, then we won’t choose Love. It’s as simple as that. We’ll hang onto our immature choice to love who we want to love, not who He tells us to love. We’ll love with strings attached, yanking it away when people in our family, circle of friends or church don’t meet our expectations.

This is not the way Jesus tells us to love. Jesus tells us to love compassionately. Deeply. Sincerely. Unfailingly. Unconditionally.

Above all things, have unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:9,11,16,19)

Thankful

This coming Thursday, in the USA, is Thanksgiving Day.  It represents the beginning of the Christmas season and a day to be thankful.

Most seem to celebrate by gathering with loved ones and feasting on a wonderful roasted (or fried or tofu-ed) turkey with stuffing and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and pies and rolls and………. whatever food you love.

Others celebrate by shopping for Christmas.  I did the major day after sale thing (aka Black Friday) only once.  I. Will. Never. Do. That. Again.

I’m not a great shopper.  That means that the task is not pleasant to me.  Online shopping is wonderful.

Back to Thanksgiving.  It is a time to be thankful. Well, it’s always time to be thankful. But this is the season that more people give thanks than normal.

Today I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus.  He is my best Friend and always good.

I am thankful for my Family, and that includes the Friends that have become my family also.  I have the best sons and daughters and grandkids a person could possibly ask for.  I am thankful for my husband – even though he broke my favorite mug – he is the best for me.

I am thankful for my health and for my future.  I am expecting mighty things to come to pass.

I am thankful for the one daughter I gave birth to and lost too early in life.  BUT – I truly am thankful to have been her mom and known her.  The memories I have are amazing.

Giving thanks, in general, brings smiles and peace to your heart.  It’s a good practice and I believe opens the windows and doors to a better life no matter what your circumstances.

May your mouths and hearts be full of thankfulness this season and always.  Give it a go!  You may be surprised how your perspective changes over time.

12187872_926362557445435_5807140011647753063_n

Enjoy!

Cate B