Welcome to my fancy redecorated blog! I’ve been thinking it was time for a facelift, and I’ve been wanting to take the kids’ faces off the front page as my focus has shifted from mostly posts about my family to mostly posts of a spiritual nature. My amazing friend Mindy has this journaling Bible that she creates gorgeous art in, and she is responsible for the artwork in my header. It might stay that way or change a bit, depending on how much she wants to play with it– her words. 🙂 Mindy is an amazingly talented artist and a precious friend to me. At the bottom of the blog there is a link to her website. 🙂
Speaking of amazing artwork, back in January I asked my in-house artist to make me a very specific painting– of an altar with a just-opening flower growing from it. The altar represents 2015– my year of sacrifice; and the flower represents this year of opening. Anyway, he made this for me and I love it so much, and I’m just now remembering to share it. 🙂 I still haven’t found a perfect home for it, but I will. I love being married to my own personal painter!
Tonight at Bible study we were talking about how God gives each of us gifts that He wants us to use in our churches and relationships. It just got me thinking a lot about how much God has used small gestures to truly change my life and grow my faith. Sometimes we tend to think that if we can’t do something huge and earth-shattering, it won’t make a difference, but that is such a lie! I thought maybe I’d share some of the ways God has used “small” things in my life–
He used Jane, when I was 16 years old, to disciple me in the fine art of teaching children. I probably didn’t have a fabulous attitude at the time, but I have used what she taught me for more than 20 years now in Sunday School, daycare, JOY Club, AWANA, Vacation Bible School, and even homeschooling. Just a little bit of discipleship.
He used Elizabeth, who was my secret prayer partner one year at church, to give me a spiral-bound journal that started me down the road of journaling. In a process that took years, I went from taking sermon notes to taking Bible study notes to journaling my prayers, and now I go through one of those hard-cover, spiral-bound notebooks about every three weeks. And it has changed my life. Just a small gift.
He used Rachel to invite me to this Monday night Bible study more than three years ago, when I was lonely and struggling to adapt to life as a pastor’s wife in a new town. And now these ladies are just one of the best parts of my week. Just an invitation.
So many more I could mention– meals brought, texts sent, notes written, hugs given, struggles noticed, prayers offered. My point is– what if today we paid attention to that little voice that says, “send her a note” or “bake her some bread”? Who knows what kind of influence we could have on those around us?
Last week, my eleven-year-old and I had a major school-related victory. He has always struggled a great deal with spelling, as well as with really bad handwriting and a tendency to turn letters around. The basic result of that is that for the last four years, pretty much everything he wrote was nearly indecipherable. This year I started insisting he use cursive for his writing, which has helped immensely because his cursive is nice and neat and he’s less likely to switch letters or run words together. And we started with (yet another) spelling curriculum, and this one really seems to be helping a great deal. So this year we’ve been focusing a lot more on composition than we ever have before. He was pretty behind in this area thanks to all the catching up he’s had to do with spelling and also the fact that sometimes I just skipped the writing assignments because they were so stressful for both of us. But this week he wrote me a paragraph that had only six errors in it. Every word was readable. Every sentence started with a capital letter and ended with a period. And none of this might sound like much, but trust me– it is AMAZING. It is huge progress and such an encouragement to me. That boy has made so much progress in the last two years, and we have fought for it. It is good to see some fruits for the hard work! 🙂
I got this in the mail from my niece and it made my day. 🙂
Have a great day, my friends. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will delve into the realm of spiritual warfare in earnest. Keep me in your prayers! And remember to smile– you are beloved!