Tuesday, January 15, 2019

simply Tuesday, and about the act of encouraging others

Remember how yesterday I said how much I was looking forward to the company Christmas dinner tonight, and not having to think about what to make for dinner?  It was canceled and postponed until a later date.  I will say, though, that I came up with a yummy dinner idea for tonight!  And I came across a breakfast idea for Drew for this week.  I don't think he minds eating the same thing everyday, but I thought I'd at least buy the ingredients and offer to make this for him some, maybe alternating days.

Needless to say, Kroger is on my agenda for today.  And maybe one other place, but we'll see how much I get done this morning.

At my church, every once in a while, we have this thing called Girlfriend's Cafe.  We all have matching coffee mugs that we take with us when we go, and we enjoy dessert and coffee and fellowship, then someone in our church shares their testimony.  We have them at least two times every year, and it's always one of my favorite events.  I share that because we had one of these last night.  A sweet friend from church shared her story with us, and I know it was not easy for her, because part of her story included sharing about her son, who just recently passed away.  As I sat there and listened to her share, and then after she spoke, seeing so many godly women rallying around her and encouraging her, I was reminded, AGAIN, about how important fellowship is within the body of believers.  If you attend a service each week, I want to encourage you again to get involved.  Get into a smaller bible fellowship class (we used to call these Sunday school classes), or get involved on a Wednesday night in a small group somewhere.  There are so many ways to plug in, and you'll never regret the decision to do just that.

I say it all the time, I don't know what I would do without the women God has given to me in my life.  These are friends that I've met either in church or in a bible study, who are my closest friends.  I cannot imagine not having this in life, and though that is not the reason to become more involved, it is a definitely one of the benefits.  I will just confess here that I am one who very easily makes a friend or two, and then just latches on to them.  I have to pray about this, though, asking God to help me to never exclude people.  I'm not saying that everyone can't have a best friend.  I have one, and I thank God for her, but I can definitely reach out more than to just that one friend.  I'm also not suggesting that we can't ever do something with just the two of us, but God always reminds me that it is better to invite other people alongside us.  I've been the one who didn't have friends, so I remember what that feeling is like.  And all I have to do is remember, and that is like a reality check.

That was a long and roundabout what of encouraging you in your church involvement (church as the building).  If you live close by me and do not have a place to call home where you attend services each week, please reach out to me.  I would love to have you come and be involved.  All of our spring semester classes just began last Wednesday night, so come join us tomorrow night, even!  It's not too late.  I would love to see you there.  I will be in the Malachi Mirror Image study that is offered on Wednesday nights, but there are lots of other options.  If this is for you, reach out to me in some way and I'll help you out all that I'm able to.  Most of the classes start at six thirty, but a few of them start at six.  All that information should be available on our website.  CFBCFamily.org.

I'll be preparing for tomorrow morning and night today.  (Malachi is offered twice every Wednesday, at nine thirty in the morning and at six at night.)  I'll also be starting on my sixth book of the month!  I read that one I got Friday from my happy place and finished it last night.  I'll do a book review at the end of the month, and will try to do one every month in 2019, per request.  (Just a hint: I've only loved ONE of the books I have read so far.  I'm hoping number six will change that.)  So far I've read one nonfiction and four fiction, and it was the nonfiction book I read that I loved.  All the other ones, I found myself hurrying through.  (Anyone else do that?  I can speed read like nobody's business, and I've utilized that skill with all the fiction books so far this year.)

I have loved my Timehop the past few days.  This time last year I was in Denver, for my twin great-nieces first birthday party, and tomorrow, they turn TWO years old!  They have changed so much in this last year.  I'm so thankful for every opportunity I've had to see them, and I'm so glad my family has gotten to know and love them.  It helped tremendously that my nephew got married in 2018, and that they traveled to Memphis a couple of times.  I am reliving my own boys' childhood through seeing my niece raise these miracle angels.  (I will forever call them that, because they are little miracles.)

Look how sweet.  Kinsley (left) and Kylie.  They have grown by leaps and bounds and talk and "read" books, and dance their little tushies off.  Erika is such a great mom to them, and every time I see her with them, I'm blown away.  She is so calm with them and is also fun and laid back and super creative when it comes to cute party ideas.  (I'm so glad I had mine before social media, though, the pressure to live up these days is intense!  I could never have done with mine what moms do today.)  Anytime I think of something I did with mine when they were little, I'll share it with her, because I didn't have anyone to tell me things like that.  Just yesterday I shared a little organization tip with her, on how I would store all their wooden puzzles.  That was our birthday present to the girls, because my own boys loved puzzles, and I figured they would love them, too.  And they do!  :)  That being said, though, I don't overshare with Erika, because I don't need to, and I didn't love a thousand different people giving me advice.  I am all about everyone just finding out what works for them, because each family is so unique.  I try to respect that about moms who are younger than me.

While on that topic, I also never share only the bad stuff.  I think the statement in the American language that I hate the most is, "You think it's hard now?  Just wait until _____________ (fill in the blank)!"  Just yesterday I told someone that.  Every moment in life is hard, whether in parenting or something else.  Every milestone and change is hard, though sometimes fun at the same time.  When my son graduated last year (and my oldest one, the year before that), I didn't want people to assure me that it was going to be okay.  I wanted a moment to cry for a bit, and afterward, I knew I would move on.  And I did.  But sometimes, we just need a moment to experience all the emotions.  I don't like to shy away from them, I think embracing how we feel in all the moments is part of parenting and growing.  My favorite kind of person is one who won't console me, but who will sit with me and just be near, and maybe cry with me.  I try to be that for others, because who wouldn't love someone like that?  And life is hard, y'all.  Life WITH Jesus is hard, but without Him, it would be impossible.  

I say that all the time, about life being hard, even with Him.  But He never promised anything would be easy.  In fact, He promised the opposite.  "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace.  You will have suffering in this world.  Be courageous!  I have conquered the world."  John 16:33.  I'm so glad I have that peace that only He can offer.  This is another reason why, when I'm talking to young moms, I love to share the good stuff.  I love encouraging younger women.  I love saying to them, yes, it may be hard in this moment, but the good stuff far outweighs the bad.  That little reminder always helped me, when I was in the throes of raising all my boys.  Some days were just killers.  Others were great.  

If you are a younger mom and ever want to talk, let me know!  Or if you're a younger lady.  I love to encourage people, and this makes sense, because the gift of exhortation is in my top three spiritual gifts.  Feel free to reach out to me anytime.  I have a lot of time on my hands, these days, because my kids are all getting older and are around less and less.  God is always so gracious to keep putting people like this in my path.  

I'll leave you with a verse image out of Matthew eleven that I read yesterday, because we all need this reminder, every day of our lives.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.  

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