From Naughty to Nice

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I made the naughty list.  And I’m OK with that.  My five-year-old, on the other hand, is not.

I heard the squeak of the office door, a tale-tell and soon-to-be tattle-telling sign she was where she shouldn’t be—doing what she shouldn’t be doing. 

I caught her red-handed and covered in smudges of bold black ink, cold-busted holding a used ink cartridge she’d creatively used to decorate every visible area of skin on both her and her little sister (A.K.A. sneaky little accomplice).  There they stood, covered in soot from head to foot.

After yelling the ring leader’s first AND middle name (‘cause you know I mean business when I yank out the middle name card from my mean mama bag), I said, “Go get your little tail in the corner right now!”

Seconds later, the wailing ensued and the river of tears flowed.

The punishment fit the crime, but somehow the reaction didn’t.  For even greater infractions, I’d seen her react with utter nonchalance while choreographing a tap-dancing show in her time-out corner.

So I bent down to ask, “Why are you crying like that?”  She drenched my shoulder and hugged my neck, slobbering and blubbering, “I’m…I’m afraid I’m on the naughty list!” And then back to the ear-shaking, earth-quaking sobs she went.

“Ahhhhh!  I see,” I said as the lights twinkled on.  We’d just visited Santa who’d told her she “should” surely make the “Nice List” for behaving so well.

I tried to stifle my grin, before my own creative mind went to drawing.  I could sure milk (and Christmas cookie) this for all it was worth and for as long as it lasted.

All I had to do now was add the Naughty List to my bag of mama tricks each time she dared to make a bee-line for the naughty line.

Visions of obedient girls danced in my head as I nearly giggled with glee and shook my own bowl of jelly.  But as much as my head wanted to, my heart melted like cookie dough instead.

I saw myself in those same coal brown eyes and crocodile tears. At times weighing my good and my bad, thinking God was keeping a list and checking it twice, and hoping he was adding more checks than x’s.

And maybe I don’t do it for my ultimate salvation, but if I’m honest, I’ve done it for the gifts in between.  The peace.  The joy.  The blessing—even the healing.  Well, if I do more here, maybe He’ll bless me there.  Or, I haven’t done this, so He can’t do that. If I could only be good—enough.

Until He fixes my fuse and strings together truth, illuminating His Christmas tree of grace. Erected in love. Held together with nails on outstretched branches and dripping with ribbons of scarlet. Topped off with the crowning Star of David. The Son of man, born in a manger to die on a tree—and rise again for you and me.

Once and for all.  For all who would receive this priceless gift.  No strings attached.  Only believe. And receive. (John 1:12)

We won’t be, can’t be, and we don’t have to be good enough because He—is enough.

Grace is Him doing what we couldn’t and us getting what we shouldn’t.  He took the nails and the coals, and every bit of our naughty when all He had in Him was nice.  Removing our sin-filled smudges and soot from head to foot —with one swipe of grace, there’s not even a trace.  How can it be?  He leaves us as white as snow, spotless and free.

So my naughty little kids and their naughty big mama can celebrate the greatest gift exchange of all time.  Merry Christmas y’all! You betta be good for—well, you can scratch that.  Freely receive His gifts and embrace His grace this CHRISTmas season.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

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How to Make a Sonshine Box

How to Make a Sonshine Box

 

Kindergarten Faith

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What’s Kindergarten got to do with faith?  Well, everything.  And you don’t have to be a mama to get the elementary lesson God handed out for homework this week.  All you have to be is a daughter. And you are.  God’s beautiful, loved daughter.

A week ago, we dropped our beloved daughter off at school—for her first day of Kindergarten.  She would’ve leaped out of the car if we’d let her.

“You better stay in that seatbelt until I come get you, little girl!” Then finally, she got to take her big step forward while we reluctantly stepped back to watch her go.  Even superglue wouldn’t have held her, no matter how hard I hugged her or how tight I squeezed.

My husband and I flashed back to her first steps five years ago—and ours.  Though I’d been holding women’s bible studies, we’d never led a couples’ group together.

We re-traced our steps to that first group meeting.  Heart racing, red splotches creeping up our necks, praying to Jesus to help us remember our words—and our names.

We’ll never forget it.  It made the record books—of sorts.  Recorded on the pages of history in our spiritual legacy.

Way after God showed up and after the last couple left, we exhaled ourselves onto the living room floor. Heads bowed in reverence and utter relief.  And then uplifted in pure exhilaration. “We did it!”  Well, we knew God did it.

And just when our smiles couldn’t widen another inch, they managed to span another mile when we witnessed our first-born, at 9-months of age,  take her very FIRST steps to us.  Grinning, full of gums and gumption, she toddled straight for our hands—and our hearts.  We couldn’t be prouder.

No doubt, God perfectly planned and timed our first steps with hers.

A timely message to remind us that He’s so proud of each of His kids when we set out to take a bold step of faith, whether it’s leading a group, or leading a woman in the grocery store to the hand of Jesus.

All it takes is a mustard seed-sized faith—even a tiny Kindergarten-sized faith will do.  Just take a step, and He’ll do the rest.  I told you mine.  Now you tell me yours.  I want to hear YOUR FIRST STEPS STORY TOO.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

Thank you for walking along with me, one step, one word, at a time.  It would sure bless me if you’d subscribe to my weekly emailed blog posts, and I hope to bless you right back!

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I do DE-CLAY-UH! {DECLARE!} Here’s to Hair and Hearts as Big as TEXAS!

FOUR hearts beating FOR Him.

FOUR hearts beating FOR Him.

I’m about to go where I haven’t been in a LONG time.  Back to my sky-high hair days.  And all because there’s some “wild obedience” going on in Texas.

I’m trying to use my best Texas drawl here, but somehow it’s sounding more like the Louisiana chick that I am, horribly feigning a Scarlet O’Hara line.  And the only thing that’s ever been Texan about me was my Texas-size hair in the 80’s and 90’s. I’ve got the blackmail pictures to prove it, along with the sweet memory of my grandma and mom saying, “Pleeease Christie, can you make it go down–just a little?”  If only I’d listened to them.

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The reason I’m even having Texas-sized thoughts along with my God-sized dreams is because there’s a group of amazing blogging women who are meeting up in Dallas soon, and I’m linking up with them to share a few things about myself. As my bio. page says, I kinda dread this stuff.  I mean, can we talk about YOU and YOUR stuff?  OK. OK.  I’ll do it anyway.  I’ll obey.  Did I mention their theme this year is “Wild Obedience?”  Uh. Huh.  I hear you, Lord.

And what I heard even louder than their theme was their name. The Declare Conference. “Declare.”  A repeated word in my mental vocabulary and my call to write.  When I heard it, I thought of one of my life verses and what I’m currently writing about:

And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him, declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. Luke 8:47 (ESV)

Now on to the fun stuff.  It’s Declare’s  4th year in existence, so I’m answering 4 things in 4 categories. (I just wrote that in my best gameshow voice, by the way.)

4 THINGS ABOUT ME:

1.  I’m named after the Christian book, Christy, although my mom changed the “y” to an “ie.” Her motherly prerogative. She also loved that the name had Christ in it and means Christ follower.  I cherish the memory of being reminded of that by her in March of 2012.  Neither of us knew then that I’d have just 8 more months of those kind of encouraging reminders from her.  But God sure did.

And the weekend she reminded me of my name origin, I also met Diann Mills, a Christy-Award winning novelist.  I even got to ask her who her “Aaron and Hur” were in her writing life. (Remember-they were the ones who lifted Moses’ arms when he grew weary.)  I wanted to know who lifted her up when she felt like giving up, and who continued to encourage her to write and follow her dreams.  I thought of my man and my mom when she shared her answer. Tissues please.  We both needed some then, and I need some now. I love how cool God is.  And I live for these kind of God stories.

2.  I moved to a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana the summer before 6th grade, and I ended up marrying the first kid I met. I was the new kid on the block and had prayed to find a friend before the first day of school.  However, he was disinterested in cootie-filled girls.  Fast forward 20 years, and God answered that prayer after all.  Did I mention we danced to New Kids on the Block at our reception?  Again, I just love cool God stories.

3. I have an unused law degree, of which I stubbornly pursued “just because I said I would” since the 7th grade. (Does stubborn qualify as an endearing quirk?  I didn’t think so.)

There’s some sweet irony here, though. I’ve been operating under “the law” for years, but now I’m seeking daily grace instead.

4. I LOVE to hear good God stories.  Even more, I live to write them. I said that already, but it’s worth the repeat.

4 OF MY ENDEARING QUIRKS:

Just four?!  And the “endearing” part is debatable.  It’s more like, enduring them. OK. Here goes.

1.  I snort laugh.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t happen too often.  Only if something is reeeaaaally funny.  Just pretend like you don’t notice.  It’ll be more comfortable for both of us.

2.  I’m kind of an incessant pile-maker.  Goes with being a note-taker and a thought-collector.  (Hey, I’ve heard note-takers ARE history-makers.)

3.  I love personality quizzes.  Meyers Briggs, can I get an Amen! After we’ve known each for a while (hopefully more than 30 minutes), I may or may not ask you to “tell me your letters.”  I’m a nerd like that.

4.  I get easily excited about the little things in life–especially all things quaint, cute, and coffee-related. You know those kind of people you have to caution to slow down and take time to smell the roses?  Well, “I ain’t one of those.”  Along with snort-laughing, I have no trouble snorting up rose petals.  In fact, you might just need to pry me out of the rose bushes.

4 THINGS ABOUT MY BLOG & WRITING:

1.  They were birthed from pain. So I don’t actually live in those rose bushes.  But I do live with some thorns in the flesh.  Specifically, herniated disks since 2009.  And after a fall in 2011, I finally asked God what He wanted me to do instead of telling Him what I was gonna do for him.  It seemed like writing was His answer.

2.  But truth is, it took losing a mom to finally force my writing and blogging hand.  So wild obedience didn’t come naturally.  It came painfully.  And with each weekly blog, I simply write out life in the light of His Word, from the Well of His Word.

3.  Since Christie Hughes was already taken for a blog name, I added the “at the well.”  I know.  It’s long.  

And the funny part is I recently learned I’ve been mentally referring to the wrong well.  I first thought of the woman at the well, and of course Jesus is the Well.  But unlike my bio. says, I’m not supposed to be sitting at the well.

Aside from sitting down, reading and writing, from the Well of His Word, I’m at the “Well” of His Word.  “Daughter, your faith has made you WELL.”  That’s me.  Daughter.  Just like the woman with the issue.  And she sure wasn’t sitting when she received her “well” kind of faith. I’m getting so excited thinking about that, I’m gonna have to type standing up.

4.  So along with blogging, I’m writing about that “well” kind of faith that turns a faith-filled woman with issues into a daughter made well.  And I’m learning that beautiful things can be birthed from painful events.  I look into the brown and blue eyes of two spunky little girls each morning and see smiling proof of that.  Which brings me to the last four things (and how my girls and their daddy are my “favorite things”).

4 OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

1. Faith.  Family.  Friends.  Yeah, I know it SOUNDS like three and not one, but really, they can’t be separated.  Let’s just call it a 3-in-1.  It’s probably obvious here that I live with two mini-me’s who are nudging little negotiators (“Can I have just ONE more cookie, Mama? But what about just TWO MORE goldfish?”)

2.  Pictures.  I’m more about people than things, but if I select “things,” they’re gonna be sentimental.  The kind of things you grab if you’re headed for an island (besides the fire starter and knife).

3.  Words from those I love, including a letter from my mom in 2011 telling me, “God doesn’t put more on us than we can handle.  Sometimes that doesn’t seem fair, but ultimately we see in the end what he was doing and it is always for a purpose if we keep him first.  I admire the mother that you are.  I wish that I could go back and be more like you as a mother.  Pretty heavy statement, huh?  You don’t let circumstances rule you.  You rise above and find joy in your surroundings.  You have such FUN with your children.  I’m proud of you for that. I know you will continue to be the mother God wants you to be throughout their lives. And you have such a love for others.  You witness every chance you get.  I have no doubt your mansion in Heaven will be one of the most beautiful.”  Maybe I should’ve added tissues to my list.

4.  The Word.  Specifically, the Bible I grabbed from my mom’s coffee table the last time I saw her.  It’s a life-saver.  And there’s a bookmark of sorts now placed inside that sends a rush of hope through my veins each time I look at it.

It came in the mail a few days before she left for Heaven. A random item placed in a card from a stranger. I opened it at the exact moment I was telling my brother about praying with Mom and getting to see her lift her hands to Heaven and hear her tell Jesus that she was claiming all FOUR of her kids for the Kingdom.  Not one.  Not two.  Not three.  But all FOUR.  Yep.  You see it right.  It was a vintage playing card.  The four of hearts.

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Allow me to say it ONE more time–I just love cool God stories like that.  And from my heart to yours, thanks for reading and playing along with me.  Now it’s your turn.  What are your 4 things?  

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (ESV)

You’d sure bless me if you’d scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar to subscribe to my weekly emailed blog posts.  I hope to bless you right back.

Reason to Celebrate!

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This month I’m celebrating a BIG anniversary. SIX WHOLE months of consistently putting my fingers to the keys and putting myself out there. Chasing freedom with every word. Following a pinky promise I made to my Mama to write. To push past fears. To swallow pride whole and just write. For an audience of One, in hopes that maybe just one woman would be encouraged along with me.

Half of a year may not seem like long to you, but it sure feels like eons to me. Like the way time droned on in grade school. Months, years, were BIG deals back then. And how about when you “dated” a boy in junior high and celebrated your “anniversary” of “going together?”

I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s, so that’s the lingo we used. And we didn’t actually “go” anywhere. Except maybe to the movies or the roller rink. But I sure remember celebrating my whopping THREE MONTH ANNIVERSARY with my 8th grade boyfriend, who now just happens to be my husband and my lifetime love.

It WAS a BIG deal, capped off with some couples’ skating, indoor fireworks, and a snail-mail Hallmark card enclosed with, hold your breath, wait for it–his football picture–of him clad in shoulder pads and braces, given to me to frame and keep, like, FOREVER!

That’s how I feel right now, for my “six month anniversary” of sorts. Smiling as big and wide as his sweet little brace face that I still keep in my 8th grade scrapbook. Only now I’m scrapbooking a blog. Taking the scraps of life, the leftovers and do-overs, and even the torn pieces, and handing them all over to God.

Looking up to the One who saves and keeps every last one, then renews and reuses them for my good and His glory. Helping me paste them on the pages of a well-worn life for others to see. For my little girls and my guy, for women like you and me, and for my Mom. Oh, how I hope she’s reading these pages from Heaven.

And a fellow blogger and friend just gave me something else to celebrate and glue right here on this post, and I can’t thank her enough. Paige at Tales from the Laundry Room gave me her top spot and nominated me for an inspirational blogger award. I’m so blessed to write, arm-in-arm, and heart-to-heart with amazing women like her.

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To accept it, I’ve gotta follow the rules: (which is fairly easy for a recovering, people-pleasing rule follower like me. 🙂

1. Display the Award on your Blog.

2. Announce your win with a blog post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.

3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award, paying it forward.

4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment (or a pingback).

5. Include an embedded video of your current favorite song (YouTube has almost everything, just copy and paste the link into youreditor). If a video is not possible, you can embed a SoundCloud track.

Wish I could list more, but my 10 are:

Angie at angieryg.com

Bonnie at bonniejwallace.org

Jo Ann at JoAnnFore.com

Karina at forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com

Kathy at Cornerstoneconfessions.com

Lindsey at LindseyPBrackett.com

Michelle at MichelleLazerk.com

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

Renee at ReneeRobinson.com

Twila at gottatellsomebody.com

They’re inspiring writers who point to the ONE name that matters, which brings me to a favorite song.  It’ll make you want to sing, dance, and celebrate! And based on my prior post, you know I can’t sing. But since you can’t hear me, and I can’t hear you, let’s press play and belt it out together.

The Only Name–by Bid Daddy Weave:

Then in the comments, share what God’s given you to celebrate. And I’d be so blessed if you would scroll to the bottom or hop over to the sidebar and input your email to receive my weekly blog posts. I hope to bless you right back!

He’s Your Daddy!

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There were two things I wanted more than anything as a little girl: a unicorn and a daddy. And by age 10, I quit believing for both.

Santa never came through on the first one, and my prayers for a father’s return bounced right back down to earth.

My parents divorced at age 2, and my father left the country and the picture by age 6. He took with him a new family, his parental rights, and the last name on my birth certificate.

What he left behind was a broken girl saddled with bags of severed dreams, rejection, and more fear than she knew what to do with when a step-dad replaced him in the pictures.

You can see why age 7 was the perfect time for Jesus to walk in. I was a girl in need of a Superman Savior. And a Father’s love.

Needless to say, it was easy to see Jesus as a safe friend and Savior, sent down to earth to rescue the lost and forgotten. But somehow I could never really view God as Father, lavishing unconditional, unearned, unmerited love.

I could grip the Savior, but I just couldn’t grasp the Father part. That was for storybooks and fairytales, and those chapters were closed.

Maybe my story’s no different than half of yours, because half of us are from broken homes and family trees split in two.

Or maybe yours stayed together, with a dad still present, but never really there. Perhaps you’re divorced too, with kids in the middle. Maybe you’re a mom doing the best you can with all you have–but God never meant for mamas to be daddies.

The fact is, whether we know it or not, how we saw, or didn’t see, our earthly dads, will shape and color how we view our Heavenly Father. And it will impact how we view ourselves. For better or worse. For truth or for a lie.

Broken homes filled with unfiltered lies can mar and scratch the truth-filled pages of God’s love letter to His kids. When a dad leaves or doesn’t fill the role God intended, there’s a gaping hole. And there’s one who sets out to fill it.

The father of lies, as the Bible calls Satan, can drown out God’s words of true love and affection. He shovels on the dirt, year by year, lie by lie, until you’re buried so deep, you can’t tell the truth–from the lie.

So we listen to the wrong dad. The counterfeit. Who tells us we’re not good enough. He sounds like this: You’re unlovable, leaveable, dispensable, unworthy, Hurry up, put your guard up! You’ve gotta earn approval, prove your worth, look the part, sound the part, play the part, until you fall–apart.

All the while, God waves at us, smiles upon us, lovingly adores us, but we won’t see it or accept it. Because it can’t be for real, and it surely can’t be for–free.

It’s hard to paste unconditional love over caked-on dirt. We must finally lift up our arms from across our heart, and let our Heavenly Father pour out His pitcher of truth, grace, and love. And then down slides the mud.

We’re women, but we’re still girls. And here’s what we still need to hear and what our daughters need to know.

You’re the apple of your Heavenly Father’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)

He’s numbered every hair on your head. (Luke 12:7)

He’s counted and kept every tear that you’ve shed. (Psalm 56:8)

You are never forgotten or forsaken. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

He redeems your past, and has plans for your future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

And He calls YOU daughter. (Matthew 9:22)

Fellow daughter, receive this, believe this, embrace this–you are LOVED! And yesterday, today, and every day is Father-Daughter day! Because HE’S your Daddy!

Comment to share how God has shown you that “He’s your daddy.” Then Scroll to the bottom or hop over to the side bar to subscribe to receive free weekly refills in your email inbox.

 

 

 

Cornerstone Confessions

 

Angie Ryg

And the Gifts Kept Coming!

timing is key

I’m still smiling from cloud nine. God gave me just what I needed and even more than I wanted. And not a second before or a minute after. He could’ve stopped at my daughter’s day card and my sweet mama moment I shared on my last post.

The card and the rollers right before Mother’s Day. They were enough. To strike a cord and heal a hurt. But God didn’t stop giving. And I could’ve halted my spring cleaning challenge. But I didn’t stop either. So the gifts kept coming.

Instead of throwing in the towel, I threw myself back into shuffling through and shoveling out more of my mess. And for no apparent reason, I changed up the course and switched out the scenery. Plowing into my daughter’s room and venturing where no mama has gone before. Or at least not in over a year. Under the bed. Where the wild things are.

Ten minutes later, I came up for air holding a treasure and a heart full of gold. You see, that same day, I remembered a book my Mom used to read to me over and over (and over and over). A sweet childhood memory. I even planned to hop on line and have it delivered to my front door. Instead, God delivered it into my treasure-hunting hands. I didn’t even know we owned it. God knew just what I needed and gave me more than I wanted.

And I kept digging. “Who IS this mad woman?!” my husband even exclaimed. All day I was a mean, green, cleaning mama machine. Before clocking out for the night, my eyes darted to the infamous kitchen junk drawers. The ones I usually pretend aren’t there. But now they became prey for the predator.

I was one drawer down with two more to go. Close to midnight, I thought about quitting. But I didn’t. Again, for no apparent reason, I completed 1, skipped 2, and jumped straight into drawer number 3. The random, useless one that hadn’t seen the light of day or my hands in years. Elbow in, I dug in deep, tossing out old coupons, clippings, and covered up layers. Way in the back and down underneath, I spotted the keys–mere treasures indeed.

Two Keys. Not just any keys. One for me. One for Mom. I’d lost them long before I lost her. And I was still in trouble (you know you can still be “in trouble” at 30-something, right?). And here’s the kicker. I’d thought about them that very week, and even told my husband I didn’t know if I’d ever find them.

I forgot where I put them and Mom never let me forget it. “Christie, when are you gonna find those keys? You really need to find those keys. I NEED you to find those keys.” I’d hear it over and over (and over and over).

They were simply keys to an empty box. Side by side. Numbered 77. Now they are a reminder that I hold the God-given keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, as I keep digging in and doing what Matthew 7:7 tells me–asking, seeking, knocking. And finding.

Now, should I be surprised to clean up the house and find lost items? Nope. But it’s as much about the timing as the finding. Days before Mother’s Day, God knew just what I needed and gave me more than I wanted.

And it’s about the reminding. He reminded me that there are literally rewards for “going through stuff.” I’m sitting here typing in a mini-van, headed down from the mountains and the spiritual highs of a Christian Writer’s Conference. Much to my dismay, carrying a little writing reward tucked into my suitcase.

I found treasures and gifts this month when I went through my junk, followed by a paper award for writing about my mess. The last thing I ever wanted to write, but the first thing God asked. And I was rewarded. Because He knows just what I needed–and again–gave me more than I wanted.

The book, the keys, the award–meant a lot. But even more, God has far greater treasures stored up for us–heavenly rewards for all that we go through.

Picture your daunting piles and the miles of pain. All that you endure, while still holding on to Him. Then hear this–you will be rewarded for each and every one. I promise.

When my 3-year-old wants me to keep my end of a bargain, she comes in close and yells, “Pinky promise, Mama?!” As she holds out her pointer finger to me instead of her pinky, no less. So here I am holding out my pinky finger to you with my right hand, while holding my left pointer finger up to God, saying, “I promise you–you WILL be rewarded. And girlfriend, that’s a pinky promise Heaven intends to keep. And timing is the key!”

How has God recently encouraged you with a treasure and reminded you that your struggles will be rewarded?

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

From a Mother’s Day Grinch to a Daughter’s Day Gift

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Last weekend I was pumped. Stoked. Jazzed. Dripping with so much confidence I looked like Rocky Balboa, ready for 50 single-handed push ups after a round of sacking frozen meat carcasses and a 10-mile uphill run. Well, almost.

Hours into digging in and spring cleaning out, I took my first break. Hey, surely even Rocky needed a breather and a coffee refill.

To top off the iconic moment, my trainer, I mean my husband, grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat, squeezed my shoulders while he dared to sing a Rocky theme song. I laughed and then almost choked on a half a cup of coffee while the other half nearly spewed out my nose.

I gotta admit. His timing was perfect. And the singing was funny, ’til I pressed stop with a quick backwards elbow jab. I had work to do. And he’d started this fast moving train. I had more cleaning dragons to slay and elephant boxes to move from last week’s post.

But I hit a road block a few hours later. And I was a sobbing, soggy wet mess on the floor. Going through boxes that hadn’t seen the light of day…..in years. Reliving memories, but mostly tossing out trash and regrets. And having some mopey Mama moments. It’d been well over a year since I’d seen her and heard her reassuring voice. Now would be a really good time.

I had just stood on top of the world. But I slid down nearly as fast as I hopped on. I’d almost conquered the elephant, but somehow I couldn’t conquer the dread in the pit of my stomach.

I knew the calendar. I knew the month. And I dreaded the coming week. Just call me the Mother’s Day Grinch. Then I spotted a card. No year. No date. But it had my name and my Mama’s handwriting all over it. It was timeless–and no doubt just in time.

And just about the time I was ready to throw in the towel, a smile from Heaven walked through the door saying, “Mama, will you roll my hair?”

What? Now? In the middle of this? She’d been asking for months if I’d roll her hair for the very first time. And it made no sense for me to get up now, but I did.

After the last roller was in, she admired my work in the mirror. I watched her reflection look up to mine before she said, “Mama, I look just like Mimi.” I stared in the mirror, and then watched my own jaw drop, along with a single tear slide down my face in front of me. She sure did. She SURE did.

She was not quite 4 when her Mimi, my Mama, left for Heaven. But I guess she was with her for long enough to remember that her Mimi never left the house without first rolling her hair.

And even the bouffant that followed to top off her little 5-year-old head was uncanny, as my brother aptly pointed out. She looked just like her Mimi. And like mother like daughter.

micah rollers

Such a sweet reminder that even in the middle of bitter places, Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us. And just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, He steps in to pick you up and set you back on the path of purpose He’s planned for you. Whether it winds through the bottom of a valley or leads to the top of the mountain.

And check this out, ’cause it’s for real. He even sings over you. Perhaps not the Rocky theme song, but rest assured, He’s singing over you girlfriend. So don’t throw in the towel. You’re almost there.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

Quick. What’s your favorite theme song? Hum it in your head and then write it out in the comments below. And let’s keep singing and keep moving together.

And because I couldn’t resist–Rocky theme song:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKhpbfR-LE

Cornerstone Confessions

http://cornerstoneconfessions.com/category/family