As I sit at the coffee shop, I see a class of teens being treated to an end of the year coffee / fruit drink. This teacher apparently comes every year and treats the students for a job well done. Now that’s a teacher who knows how to reach their students. She is being a reflection of love and God is love.
The whole class is polite, respectful and shows gratitude. This is the next generation of leaders. They are shown compassion and direction by this amazing teacher. It is refreshing, we can all reflect hope and love like this relationship.
Yes, they take out their cellphones for a bit of additional communication, however, they are in person carrying on conversation. There is laughter, smiles, and companionship.
There is hope!
They are valuing the most important thing, relationships in respect, love, common interests and they will likely succeed in the future as a result. This is the future!
Psalm 145:12-17 MSG  Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. GOD always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.  GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.  All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.  Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  Everything GOD does is right- the trademark on all his works is love.
Where is your sphere of influence? Make a difference to encourage and love others it’s a trademark of God who loves and can impact generations.
Psalm 145:3-4 MSG  GOD is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness.  Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
As a women of infertility, I understand the challenges of observing Mother’s Day. I have learned that God’s family is formed in many ways. Before I became a mom of adoption, He allowed me to feed into the lives of thousands of kids to teens as a nurse and public speaker for injury prevention. He also, gave me places to mentor foster kids as a big sister. There are other places the Lord can use your love and care beyond a biological child. You can make a difference to generations.
Mother’s Day is a day of multiple emotions; joy, peace, love, grief, loss, and regret. As a mom blessed through adoption, I think of the sacrifice of our birth families along with my love for our children. I think of their loss and willingness to place ( not abandon) their children to my husband and my arms. I know they each ponder, as Mary did in the Bible regarding Jesus, the life of their biological child. Yet their love for their child, according to their own hearts expressed to me and my husband, even in grief and loss, lead them to choose their forever parents. I have a tender heart that grieves with them even in my blessing every year at Mother’s Day.
I extend greetings on Mother’s Day and I receivecommunication that affirms, a mom never forgets their child and they have communicated appreciation for our loving care. We are the family of extended adoption. We are blessed. It is not easy. It can be emotionally hard for all in the adoption triad (child, birth and adoptive parents). However, spiritually we all must lean on Jesus for closing the holes in our hearts that only He can fill. I share with our children the same message, no mom or dad can fill the space in our hearts meant for Jesus!
It takes trust in God above all (even though in our human emotion it seems impossible). It is hope for our children’s future holding the hand of Jesus for wisdom. It is unfailing love for our children who are created in the image of God.
Psalm 145:8-21 MSG  GOD is all mercy and grace- not quick to anger, is rich in love.  GOD is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace. [10-11] Creation and creatures applaud you, GOD; your holy people bless you. They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor,  Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. GOD always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.  GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.  All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.  Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  Everything GOD does is right- the trademark on all his works is love.  GOD’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it.  He does what’s best for those who fear him- hears them call out, and saves them.  GOD sticks by all who love him, but it’s all over for those who don’t.  My mouth is filled with GOD’s praise. Let everything living bless him, bless his holy name from now to eternity!
I love this Message version of scripture, Psalm 145. No matter who you are, a single person, a single mom or dad, married, divorced, God sticks by all who love Him, those who fear Him in respect, seek Him, repent from sins and believe He is Lord. Call to Him and feel His love extend to all, moms or not!
Life has many seasons. Seasons of joy, progress and trials. Seasons of unexpected victories, healthy relationships and moments of pure bliss. There are also seasons of desert, dry, weary moments that seem to extend to the horizon, as far as our eyes can see. We can feel parched, dried up and isolated.
I feel as though it is in the dry desert times I am more willing to listen to that still, small yet powerful voice of wisdom, Jesus. Yes, I feel amazed when life is joyful and progresses as I think it should. However, I can consider my participation more valuable than the behind the scenes God appointed moments of joy and peace.
The human condition of self reliance puts our works for our lives ahead of His provisions. When that happens, my ears are too busy seeking the admiration of the world, the likes, the compliments that puff up my chest. It can bring the toddler attitude of “I did this myself, I can do it, leave me alone.”
This is attitude blocked gratitude and is prideful and blocks my ears from hearing the still, small powerful voice of Jesus that says, “ Here is the way to go, hold my hand and let’s travel together.”
Matthew 6 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Jesus doesn’t have a selfish motive, It is not in Him, He is all the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self control. These fruits are something we must work through in order to be like Jesus. Each trait takes time, and effort. Some days I feel confident in one, then another one challenges me. It’s ok, we are works in progress. Jesus will guide the completion of our journey.
This is a common theme on my blog lately, I need to be transformed to the mind of Christ. Am I listening for his voice? Are you listening? Where are your steps leading you? He wants to bless.
Isaiah 30:18-23 NLT  So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.  O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.  Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes.  Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.  Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, “Good riddance!”  Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock.
Let it rain on you and prepare for a future harvest with the Master Gardener, the Lord. He did create you with two ears and one mouth to listen more.
The same God that freed captives in the Bible is the same God that can transform your life. He is filled with kindness, wisdom, and understanding. He knows you He wants to fill you up with His riches of grace, unfailing love, and joy.
Will you take a risk and reach out to Him? Past disappointments with a human father may give you fear or cause distrust of your Creator God. He is good and He is able to guide your life. Will you let Him?
He wants to adopt you into His family, but He gives you a free will choice. As a mom blessed through adoption, this amazing gift of adoption into the Lord’s family takes on another level of love and awe. He wants a relationship with you.
Ephesians 1:3-11 NLT  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.  God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ-which is to fulfill his own good plan.  And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth.  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
“Same God” is a wonderfully moving message of the unfailing love and commitment of God to His children. Elevation Worship and Jonsal Barrientes really bring this promise to a beautiful place. Listen to the lyrics. Be amazed at this amazing God.
May this song impact you as much as it did me. He is the same God from the beginning of time to now.
There was a time in my life when God was not the focus, instead, it was about a checklist. I felt I was a good person, not one to cause conflict, and did the Christmas and Easter church thing.
However, I felt an empty space in my heart. I had a solid career as a mentor emergency trauma nurse and trained paramedics. My husband and I joined the land of mortgages, a solid career I loved, our first dog, with an expectation of a baby.
Screech went the brakes for this standard list of western expectations. Infertility without a cause and I had no control of my barren body which drove me to seek Jesus.
I had my final infertility treatment and took a memorable trip out of state. After a near-death experience on a Colorado rafting trip, I saw life from a different vantage point. I wore a crash helmet and tightly zipped life vest as the guides gave instructions on body position should a tourist end up in the frigid, springtime, mountain river. I was thrown from the raft at a point in the river called Cardiac Corner ( Class 4 – 5 rapids).
As my body and head were crashing into boulders and trees skirting the river and I was stuck in the swells and sucking water, I cried out to the Lord. I felt as if I would drown, but almost as soon as I called out Jesus, help me! I felt a warmth surround my body, even though my hands especially my fingers were bluish and numb, I felt no pain. I felt the river was a metaphor for life. Would I trust God with the details and take a ride in the rapids or crash and die?
I chose to trust God, rest in what felt like the huge, warm hand of God, and lived. My husbandand I relocated to Colorado within six months. My first Colorado friend took me to my first Bible Study. The book of Romans 5 showed me a new beginning and I learned after dedicating my life to Jesus that I will let Him drive my future plans.
One of my favorite scripture Romans 5: 1- 8 was an epiphany.
Romans 5:1-11 NLT  Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.  When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
I no longer saw my infertility as a failure instead I saw the need to trust God with everything. After infertility procedures, giving myself shots, waiting on God while caring for children at work in illness and trauma, relocating, and subsequently, the unknown of adoption. I realized I wanted to be a mom and trust the Lord to orchestrate the details.
After a decade of marriage, our first child came to her forever home through adoption six weeks after I accepted Jesus. All three of our children are amazing gifts from God who know more about Jesus as children than I did.
“God so loves”, a song by We the Kingdom brings a vision of joy, and diversity of many beautiful children created in the Image of God. I hope you enjoy it as I did when I saw the band play it live.
I hope you are inspired to realize God so loves. That is the first step of faith in an unknown God. I had to flip out of a white water raft to come to this amazing realization. What will it take for you?
Are you weary? He will strengthen you. You may feel unworthy of His love, He knows but loves you anyway. Bring all your failures. He will direct your life journey. God so loves.
This is a reblog of my first post. It feels so relevant for current times. May it encourage and remind you we all have broken parts. The world seems to be fracturing between nations. We all need peace and unity with our Creator. Our cracks can be healed and patched up by time meditating on His Word. Let Jesus provide the glue and wisdom.
I am inspired to share wisdom from the challenges in life. I went to an adoption group meeting last week, one of the leaders spoke about an ancient Japanese art called Kintsugi.
This Japanese art mends broken pottery with gold lacquer making the repaired piece more beautiful for having been broken. The message of using our broken stories, mistakes, trials and pains, for good, resonated with me.
Why do I see broken experiences as loss? Why do I see mistakes as failures? Why do I see trials as punishment? Do these broken stories mean I am forever broken? Who gave me this pessimistic thought? Should I stay in the negative or choose instead to see the other side? That is the choice I must make no matter which road I choose to journey.
As I purposely broke the creme colored china tea cup, I pondered the long list of my challenges with myself, and others. I pondered the mindset of the negative. I thought back to how in my infertility I found God. I thought in the stress and fears of adoption, awaiting God’s blessing, I felt His presence again. I thought, how each one of my children came to my husband and I at just the right time, God’s time, His Presence, His blessings to me. Why is that surprising and yet inspiring? The trials brought me to a closer relationship with Jesus. I had to trust Him with the unknown.
As I watch each stage in my children’s life, I am reminded yet again, God is refining me as the epoxy and gold flakes reconnected the broken pieces of my china tea cup. The bond of strength in this cup is stronger, the gold shimmering edges of the cracked pieces are more luminous. The beauty of the creme colored tea cup is changed and more meaningful to me now than if the tea cup hadn’t been broken.
As I was breaking the tea cup, I thought in the back of my mind how amazing it would be if there was a small irreparable opening. I reflected if that opening appeared it would be a reminder of how the Lord God Himself has shown Himself through the cracks of my life. It would remind me I am not meant to go through repair without His Light.
Interesting enough, the small opening in my creme colored tea cup did appear, I carefully dabbed on gold dusted epoxy in the opening. Surely I will remember He is steadfast in all trials, joys and the steps of life. May I be the example to those who watch the step by step journey of His Light shining through the cracks. Refined, remade, richer and Luminous!!!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
We are so capable of transformation in our walk with Jesus! Did you know He wants to move in your life? We have to submit to His authority not as a judge snd jury but as the One who wants to use us in a mighty way.
Zach William’s lyrics, Less of Me, were so right on for me lately. I want to be more full of grace, mercy, kindness, and less like me.
We all have failures, warts, so to speak in our lives. But we can be healed of the past and be used for the Kingdom of God.
We don’t have to settle for less than God’s best plan. Today’s the day, be willing to be more like Jesus and less of you. First, you must submit to His authority, bend your knee to Him, believe He can transform, say it aloud as Romans 10:8 – 15 reminds.
Romans 10:8-15 NLT
 In fact, it says, "The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart." And that message is the very message about faith that we preach:
 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
 As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."
 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.  For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."
 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"
May you feel the love of Jesus direct your life. It is amazing;)!If you have made this declaration of faith, let me know, I rejoice with you as does the family of Jesus!
People come and go but friends can impact each other in one moment or for a lifetime.
As I open the door to my favorite coffee shop, the brisk, frigid winter air swirls subzero for a moment. I am warmed by the smiling friendly faces of my breakfast buddies; the two baristas.
I am welcomed by the sweet voice of the two women baristas. We share morning greetings. I am humbled as we have moved past pleasantries as long as the customers are not behind me. As time has progressed, the lovely ladies see me coming and have my favorite coffee drink ready to go.
The coffee shop is my writing environment. I anticipate my reserved table after school drop-off. I seek the Lord for His pearls of wisdom to flow from my fingers onto the computer page.
These young women and I have begun to share personal stories. One single mom and barista is blessed with an elementary school daughter. I have been asking the Lord if he wants our friendship to deepen.
Recently, she revealed being raised in a Christian home but stepping away from her parents’ religion. I truly understood this path. I reminded her Jesus loves you, always has, and always will. I said, “He will use every life step for a new graceful loving relationship but we have to seek Him, Jesus is grace-filled and loving”. She responded, ” Yes, I think you are right, I wasn’t raised to a relationship with Jesus, just religion. “
Psalm 25:12-14 NLT
 Who are those who fear the LORD? He will show them the path they should choose.  They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land.  The LORD is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
Friends join our lives in many ways and from many environments. Sometimes, they are friends of friends or being a mom whose kids are in extracurricular activities or sports, a coworker with common interests, or even a stranger who becomes a little sister such as the barista at the coffee shop!!
Thank you, Lord, for expanding my friend group. Today’s conversation was seasoned in love as we shared a common experience as moms in a crazy worldview time.
May the three-stranded cord of our relationship with Jesus grow into a rich mentorship. We can learn from others even those generations removed. In fact, I feel blessed that I am allowed to speak any words to this sweet young mama. May my words be good advice and encourage her as the Lord encourages me.There may be someone whose path you cross that may need a friend. Ask the Lord to help you take a step of faith, your life journey can bring hope to another.
Proverbs 12:26 NLT
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Proverbs 17:17 NLT
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
I really appreciate the wisdom I have found from Kari Kampakis. I have two of her books. If you have a preteen, teenager or even young adult kids, you will benefit from her consistent, transparent, God given wisdom.
I am blessed to reblog this post “10 ways to Love a Teenager”. I am sure it will be a great resource. God bless you as a mentor, parent, friend, human. 😉 Mary
1 John 4:11-21 NLT  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
The challenges of the COVID years have brought more fear, less love. Fear of the unknown causes some to isolate, to put up not only their mask but in a sense a fence across their lives.
Fear is a tool of the enemy meant to devour peace, joy and love. Fear can cause divisions in families when people conflict in their understanding of truth. The culture further isolates by fear mongering and continuous barrages of emergency notices. It causes overloaded emotions. feelings and emotions are intense, griping and exhausting however they are not truth. Emotions that run wild cause us to devour and destroy our relationships. Having a relationship with Jesus brings truth and faith over fear.
God calls us not to fear. God calls us to love. I love 1 John : 4. Let me share more gold nuggets of faith in verses 15 – 19.
15] All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.
Love is an anecdote to fear. God is love, He wants you to throw out the fear and choose a perfect love. When you choose God ( Jesus) you choose to listen to Him not feelings.