He Sees You

Today I washed and folded laundry. No one applauded.

Today I cleaned the kitchen and all the floors. No one cheered.

Today I made breakfast AND dinner. No one shouted accolades of praise.

Today I picked kids up from school. No one gave me a standing ovation.

Today I did office work for our business. No one patted my back.

Today I comforted teenage girls in their time of emotional distress. No one broadcasted my compassion and patience.

Today I taught my kids to repay evil with good and to love God and love people. No one shouts my name from a stage.

Today I cleaned the litter box and fed all the animals. No one sang a song of glee.

Today I helped with College Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry and College Writing. No one gave me an “atta, girl.”

Today I paid college apartment rent, auto insurance premiums, and bought the hundredth pair of pointe shoes. Not one person requested an interview to declare my amazing, selfless acts.

Today and every day…day in and day out…I clean, I fold, I wash, I sweep, I comfort, I cook, I love, I give.

Today and every day…day in and day out…I care for and keep human beings alive and thriving.

Where’s my praise? Where’s my public display of adoration? Where’s my grand gesture of thanks?

Nothing but silence.

Then I hear my Father say, “I love you immensely, I think about you all the time, and I see you and know who you are, where you are. When you do all these tasks that seem to go unnoticed, I see. You are not doing these things for others, but for Me. Well done, my daughter. Thank you for caring for who I have given you, with what I have given you.”

Mothers, wives, grandmothers…don’t give up, don’t be discouraged. You are loved and appreciated by your Creator. Keep doing what you do as unto the Lord. The Father delights in you as you bathe your baby and wash those dishes. God rejoices over you as you teach your children about His Son. His banner over you is pure love as you tenderly care for and support your family. He rewards you in special ways that touch only your heart.

Let David’s words from Psalm 139 be your prayer and song each day.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Why is This Happening?

“Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do people that we love suffer? Why do mothers, fathers, children get sick and die? Why is there rape, murder, racism, anger and so much hatred everywhere you turn? If there is a God, why does He allow these things to happen?”

So many awful things have happened this year. It seems that we are completely surrounded by sadness and despair. In my own life throughout this year, I’ve experienced tremendous losses, insurmountable stress, tragedy, fear and sadness.

For instance…I share these things with you to demonstrate that we all have situations to overcome or deal with in our lives. I speak from experience, not from a perfect life. Some may say, “Easy for you to say, Susie. You haven’t had bad things happen in your life like I have.” So on that note…

One of my closest friends was diagnosed with colon cancer (and thankfully has recovered 100%).

My grandfather passed away during the initial COVID quarantine.

Working in healthcare during this pandemic was so awful…I recently “retired.” Unless you work in healthcare, you can’t imagine what I’m speaking of.

A dear friend died suddenly from complications of COVID…a coworker. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that.

Several people I know are battling with cancer…young women. A high school classmate died from breast cancer this year.

My sister was in a head-on collision with a truck and suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken foot and neck and hip injury. She is on the long road to recovery.

My dad fell down the basement steps and mangled his elbow, which required extensive surgery. He is also on the long road to recovery.

My girls’ education has been disjointed and disorganized. Lily is having trouble getting everything together to apply to colleges because of all the delays and cancellations of everything. Nathan’s football season in his first year of college football was canceled. Who cares, you may say? Well, he’s there on a football scholarship, so… Schools are doing the best they can, but it’s a lot of stress for these kids and the parents.

This election season has been completely ridiculous. The way people are acting towards one another…there are no words. It grieves my heart.

I could go on and on…I’m sure you have a list as well.

I can easily fall into the trap of asking, “Why?”

I don’t know.

But, this is what I know. God is sovereign and He is good. I don’t always understand His plans and His thoughts, but I know He is good.

I know that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to pay the price for all our sins, all our sickness and diseases.

I know that there are things that happen here on earth that I don’t understand now, but when I see Jesus face to face, it will all make sense.

I know that this world has been corrupted by evil and sometimes we must suffer because of that. But God, our Abba Father, has given us a Hope, a Rescuer, a Defender in Jesus.

I understand that the trials, sickness, and heartache of this earth are just for a little while. This is a temporary situation.

I know that my God is full of grace to help me through whatever I face in life. He walks with me through every situation I find myself in. He is close to me when my heart is broken, when I am depressed and when I am afraid. I trust Him with my whole heart.

I know that he sees each tear I cry when I am sad, lonely, overwhelmed or worried.

I know that He makes everything beautiful in His time.

I know that He uses every situation for good in some way, even when I can’t understand and or see it.

I know that God loves my family and my friends more perfectly than I ever can and I place them in His hands. His will be done in their lives.

I won’t pretend to have all the answers, but I can point you to the One who does. God’s Word comforts me and encourages me. I pray for His grace each day to help me face whatever comes. The Bible says His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great.

He is who I turn to. He is who I cling to. He is all I know.

Peace in a Pandemic

What’s around us doesn’t have to get in us. -Joyce Meyer

I know that is hard, if not seemingly impossible, to achieve with everything that is going on in our world today. Fear and anxiety is the common thread of every news program, social media post and article that we are unrelentingly exposed to every day.  I freely admit, it is all WAY too much for me to handle on my own. Don’t you agree?

When I find myself becoming anxious, afraid and overwhelmed, this is what I’ve been doing. I pray these words, just like David did in Psalm 61:2.   When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  That “Rock” is Jesus.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  He gives a peace that doesn’t make sense when you consider what is happening in the world right now.  The peace that passes all understanding.

Throughout the day, I meditate on these words, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  Dwelling in the secret place of God simply means that you spend time with Him daily through worship (thankfulness), prayer (talking to Him), and reading His Word (the Bible is the blueprint for our lives, it’s the way God speaks to us most easily). Being in the secret place is a time of intimacy between you and your Creator. A time to talk to Him and for Him to talk to you. When you enjoy this kind of relationship with God, you can count on His protection, His covering, His rest, His peace and His security. Psalm 91 says that He will even command His angels to protect you, defend you and guard you!

And why would God do these things? Why would He even care what we’re feeling or going through? Because He loves us. When we call on Him for help, He WILL answer. He gives us His Word. God promises to be with you, to walk with you and talk with you, even during a global pandemic. Don’t worry, He’s not too busy…You’re at the top of His priority list!

So, I encourage you today to do as the apostle Peter instructed us to do:  Humble yourself before God, admitting that you can’t deal with this crisis on your own. Then, cast all your cares (all your anxieties, all your worries and all your concerns, once and for all) because He cares about you (with deep affection and watches over you very carefully).

Reciting the above verses from the Bible every day will help you stay grounded and peaceful. As you spend time with God, share with me what He is speaking to you, if you’d like. I would love to hear all about it!

In the meantime, hang in there, friends, we’re going to make it! Here’s an awesome song to encourage you!

Of Kids, Birthdays and Moms

My oldest child’s birthday was this past Thursday. My Bubbies turned 17 years old! I honestly cannot believe how fast time goes. I’m always telling younger mothers how time flies and to cherish the time when their babes are little and sweet. Even when I’m saying the words, I can see the look of pure exhaustion in their faces and know they are thinking, “Please God, let time move a little, teeny bit faster!” Yes, the days may seem super duper long when you are slinging dirty diapers and baby food, but the years fly by oh so fast.  Hang in there, young mamas, freedom is coming!

I am showing my age…we’ll talk about that in a later post…anyways…

As usual during birthday “season” in our home, I posted the obligatory, gushing, sappy social media post on my son’s birthday and I suddenly had a revelation. Not only did he turn 17 years old, September 20th being the day of his birth, but it was also the anniversary of the day that I became a mother. I got to thinking…we celebrate our children’s birthday with such joy and exuberance on the day WE GAVE BIRTH TO THEM. They get a party, cake and presents. I have spent an awful lot energy, time and money on my kids’ birthdays. But really, what did they have to do to warrant such a celebration? Come down the birth canal or pop out of a c-section incision? I mean, I’m the one who decided to try and get pregnant, endured 38 weeks of pure misery, weeks of bed rest, pre-eclampisa and a horribly long induction process that ended in an emergency c-section where I almost died. Like seriously, though. I mean, I get celebrating the child born on that day, but someone should say congratulations to the mom for growing, birthing and keeping the child alive for however many years or SOMETHING! I know that there is Mothers’ Day, but that is just one day. I had THREE kids! In THREE years! Those kids should be celebrating me and thanking me for giving them life. (Settle down, I know God is the giver of all life, but He chose me as the vessel to carry and give birth to those kids.)  More like, “Happy Giving-Birth-to-Life Day, Mother!” Just sayin’.

Side note:  Motherhood is truly a thankless job, yet one in which I am happy to be a participant. Raising human beings is quite the task and not for the weak..especially during the teenage years and beyond. I thank God for my little-ish (all taller than me now) blessings and they truly make me over-the-moon proud of them every day. Sometimes, my heart feels like it will literally burst out of my chest! My kids are the best!

My friend commented on my son’s birthday post, “Happy Momiversary!’ Perfectly said. And from now on, when I see someone post a “Happy Birthday” on social media, I will wish their child a “Happy Birthday” and the mom a “Happy Momiversary” and congratulate them for being such an awesome, life-giving human being. Rock on, Moms! You’re amazing!

By the way, I have scripture to back up my point of view.  Look up Proverbs 31: 28-29.  “Her children rise up and call her blessed;  Her husband also, and he praises her. ‘Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.'” Word, ladies. That’s the Word.

 

 

 

If You Give A Mom Three Toddlers

This is a guest post by one of my dearest friends. It’s just in time for Mother’ Day! Hope you enjoy, “If You Give A Mom Three Toddlers” in the style of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”

If you give a mom three toddlers, she’ll probably need a shower.

While she’s showering her two year old will probably pull the shower curtain back and tell her “Hi, I like your boobies.” After she showers, she’ll want to put clean clothes on.

While she’s dressing a Jehovah’s Witness will ring her doorbell and her four-year-old son will answer the door for her.

She will run to the door only half dressed and tell them that this is obviously not a good time, and the Jehovah’s Witness will laugh at her.

After she is dressed, her kids will want to color with markers, she thinks, “Two out of three are occupied, this is a good time to unload the dishwasher!” While the kids are coloring, her two daughters, 2 and 3, will decide they are a better canvas than the coloring book and they will need to wash their hands.

While they are washing their hands, they’ll think it is fun to fill the sink with dirty, soapy water. The sink full of soapy water will make them think, we should throw bubbles all over the bathroom! Her son will hear the commotion in the bathroom, and he will not want to miss out on the fun. Now, he will join in the chaos, also throwing bubbles and water all over the bathroom. Now the bathroom sink, floor, and walls need wiped, and all three kids’ clothes need changed. This makes her think she should get dressed and change out of her pajamas, too.As she is undressing the girls, being naked makes the girls think that they should play dress up. The girls dump their bin of dress up clothes and pick out princess dresses for themselves. Seeing the girls play dress up, reminds her son that he has a foam sword he can use for dress up, too. Playing with his foam sword, reminds her son that its fun to scare and chase the cat with his sword. As her son is chasing the cat, and the girls are dancing and singing to “Let It Go,” she runs into the kitchen to rescue the cat, trips over the dress-up bin, and runs into and hits her shin on the forgotten, open, unloaded dishwasher.

While in the kitchen, she remembers that it is lunchtime and decides to fix lunch, and throws some chicken nuggets in the microwave and pours the kids milk. The chicken nuggets are cooking and this makes her think, “I forgot to eat today, ” and she hears her stomach growling. All three kids are eating their lunch, and the straws in their cups make them want to blow bubbles in their milk. While they are blowing bubbles in their milk, one cup tips over and spills milk on the kitchen floor, and all over the kitchen island. She begins cleaning the island and kitchen floor and finds the three marker lids she lost this morning and a chicken nugget from yesterday. She thinks “I should just clean the entire kitchen floor while I’m down here.” As she cleans the kitchen floor, her kids finish eating their lunch, and her stomach continues to growl.

She finishes cleaning the kitchen floor, and now all the kids are wiped clean, dressed and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Now, she can finish cleaning the bathroom sink, floor and wall; unloading the dishwasher; picking up markers; and washing the dirty, wet clothes and towels. She feels good about her accomplishments and sits down to eat the leftover scraps of chicken nuggets from her kids plates.

As she is sitting down for her two-minute lunch, her two year old, who wears big girl undies, runs by and hollers, “Mom, I poopied!” She tackles her two year old to change her, which makes her four year old think its time to wrestle. After she is done wrestling, and wiping the two year old, she somehow ends up with poop on her pants, on her arm and under her fingernail, maybe even in her hair. She can’t get the smell of poop out of her nose. She thinks, “Its only one o’clock, I already showered today,” but if you give a mom three toddlers . . . she’ll probably need a shower.

Written by: Larissa Hoffman