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If you have children of any age living near you or far away, you’ll want to enter this drawing for a copy of

The Love Dare for Parents.

love dare

 

I just received my copy of the book and my give-away copy in the mail yesterday,

and I’m very excited about reading it!

 

Not because I don’t think I love my kids enough.

Not even because I think they may not know I do,

but because I want to understand more about building relationships with each of them that will stand the test of time.

 

Life is hard.

Life is confusing.

I feel unequipped most days with answers to difficult questions that are laid before me by both my family and friends.

 

I believe at the end of all the questions love is what will never fail.

 

Can I explain this perfectly?

No.

Do I wish I could?

Yes.

Do I think this book will answer every question?

Probably not.

 

But I believe with all my heart that any step toward loving more is a step in the right direction.

So, I’m venturing into a love dare with my heart wide open.

 

I hope you’ll consider jumping in too!

 

I have one free copy to share.

I wish I had more!

 

Click  here to order a copy if you do not win.

You won’t regret making the choice to learn more about sharing your love.

 

Now these three remain; faith, hope, and love.

But the greatest of these is LOVE.

I Cor. 13:13

To enter the drawing click on “Precious Comments” below and leave your name and email address.

I will draw the winner next Tuesday evening!

Or leave a comment on my Facebook page under the link to this blog post!

 

This book is for parents or adults with kids of any age in their lives whether those kids live nearby or far away!

I’m getting ready to head outside and tackle the weeds in my front yard landscaping.

Sometimes task like this seem like things far from God’s view when I think of great works being done all over the world in His name.

 

I may have even headed outside today not really thinking that God would have any part in my morning except for the fact that yesterday someone sent me a picture that has simply taken my breath away!

 

I love hearts!

 

I love finding them in the most unexpected places.

 

On Facebook, if you are my friend, you have probably noticed that others are finding hearts too.

 

Well, yesterday, one of my mom’s friends from my hometown sent me a photo that has revolutionized my way of looking at every aspect of this world!

grains-of-sand-990x500

This is beach sand magnified 250 times!!

http://www.lostateminor.com/2011/07/12/tiny-grains-of-sand-magnified-to-250-times-real-size/

 

Here are a few more photos I found of magnified sand!

sand grains magnified

sand_1

http://www.irtces.org/isi/WebNews_View-en2.asp?WebNewsID=203

 

When I posted the picture on Facebook sent to me, one of my friends commented that this reminded her of what she had learned about grain pollen.

And I went searching the Internet again!

pollen grain

Who knew chickweed pollen was so intricately designed?

pollen grain of cucumber

And look at cucumber pollen grain!

 

blue pollen grain

This pollen grain is from the Artemesia plant!

 

I don’t know about you, but these photos affect me deeply.

 

I love knowing that this world was created by Someone who cared enough about the tiny details of this world to place beauty and form into things unseen by our human eyes.

We never would have known that sand or pollen was any more or less than what it is by simply seeing it covering a shore or our patio table.

But God still took the time to place beauty in the unseen.

 

That’s powerful to me.

 

Because if I believe that He cared enough to do these beautiful things to grains of sand and pollen, then I can know with extreme confidence that He is extremely involved in your life and mine (who are created in His very image) as we go about the big and little things in life.

 

He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. (Psalm 139:13)

Knitting requires concentration, effort, and a design plan.

 

You, my friend, have a purpose today.

Big or small.

It doesn’t matter.

 

Don’t waste today thinking that you are insignificant, unqualified, unnoticed, or unnecessary.

 

God designed you for His glory.

 

Take pride in His creation called YOU and open your eyes to all the wonders around you.

 

HE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!

 

He shows up in hearts on spider webs, crosses in shadows, pennies in cracks of pavement, and on and on………

 

I love seeing how God shows up in your lives!

 

My faith is strengthened when I see God working in my life and in yours.

 

Hebrews 11:1-3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

This is what the ancients were commended for. 

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command,

so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Abraham, Moses, and all the other men and women who lived during Bible times did not have the microscopic photos of sand and pollen,

yet they still had faith in a God who had a plan and a purpose for their lives.

I’m praying you believe even more today in a God who works in big ways and in small ways to draw us all closer to Him.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

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I love God.

I’m not sure how He created the Universe, but I believe He did.

 

I believe Jesus is His Son and that He really did live on this earth just like you and me.

I’ll never understand the whole sacrifice thing, but I do know this:

Something inside of me that I did not create understands justice and the need for consequences when someone breaks a law.

So, I accept what Jesus did for me on the cross thankfully and with humility,

because if I had to offer some sort of sacrifice every time I messed up, I’d spend an awful lot of time at an altar.

 

 

Sometimes though, and I’m just being honest,

there’s a whole bunch of things in this life that just don’t make sense to me at all.

 

You know my own road with grief.

so I won’t go back there in great detail  today.

I still walk it daily.

  I try my best to see the best and brightest side of life even in my sadness.

My passion in life is helping others smile through their tears too.

 

 

But when I find myself in the presence of someone whose heart is newly broken,

I still find myself wordless.

 

Even though I’ve woken up to a world that suddenly stopped spinning on several different occasions,

and even though I’ve ridden behind a hearse twice with one of my children in front of me,

I still can’t find words that make death seem bearable.

 

I’ve had people try on many occasions to help me with my grief by using words -even Christian “words”-

(and forgive me if this offends anyone),

but rarely have they helped.

 

No one who is hurting wants to hear…….

 

“God has a better plan”

“God brings good from everything”

“God is in control”

“God will heal your broken heart”

“There’s still so much to be thankful for”

 

 

While I’ve found on a personal level that in some respects these phrases may hold some truth,

I find them almost as empty as the arms of someone who is dealing with a loss.

 

So, today, as Tim is upstairs writing a funeral message for a friend’s mom and I know of several families who are walking fresh roads of grief,

I just want to say from someone who does believe in God and a life beyond this one,

“I’m sorry for any empty words you may hear from Christians.

I’m sorry for any empty words you may hear from me.”

 

There’s really no words, no cards, no flowers, no gifts of any kind that will replace the ache deep inside you.

Honestly, nothing this world offers is going to be enough.

Friends and family will try to help you in the only way they know how –

through words and acts of kindness.

 

I just have to say this,

 

“Sometimes even comforting words about God won’t be enough.  And that’s okay.”

I’ve found in my own grief that what earthly words can’t seem to do, God’s Word does.

 

This is one verse that still carries me today,

 

The Lord is close to the

brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in

spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Yesterday, I watched Tim fall from the sky hooked to a parachute (and another man!).

tim skydiving

To say this was an exciting moment would be a huge understatement!

Just look at Tim’s face as he leaves the plane!

tim jumping from plane

There’s something about watching someone put his faith in strings and “whatever parachutes are made of” that makes my heart skip a few beats.

There’s also something about watching your husband experience a once-in-a- lifetime memory thanks to our kids’ creativity that brings tears to my eyes even now.

 

But that was yesterday.

 

Today has been a totally different kind-of day.

It’s been a quiet day.

 

Tim didn’t fall from the air.

He mowed our lawn.

 

I didn’t photograph death-defying activities.

I photographed blackberry cobbler as it was being made.

 

Yes, I photographed my day in the kitchen.

 

WHY?

 

I think there are a couple of reasons.

 

First, I was excited about trying something new and about cooking in general. Smile

 

Second, I knew deep inside that yesterday compared to today was something I wanted to share with all of you.

 

See, I’ve thought a lot about yesterday and the energy we felt as we shared the day with friends and family through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

It was so much fun to hear everyone’s reactions and know that even though friends weren’t with us in person they were with us in spirit.

 

I’ve also thought about the reality that every day can’t be a skydiving day.

 

No, some days are not that exciting.

 

They are just regular, routine, predictable days.

And that’s okay.

 

I read a quote recently that said,

“There’s no such thing as an unimportant day.”

 

I love that.

 

Today was definitely not a day I would share minute by minute via social media, but it was still an important day.

 

It was important because we shared the day with people we love.

 

I talked to my brother and mom on the phone and wished them happy birthdays.

Olivia had a friend over to watch movies.

They ate my cobbler and lived to talk about it.

I had friends spend some time with me in the pool.

Tim mowed and worked and rested afterward.

It was a quiet day, but it was a good day.

 

And I guess I’m writing this just to remind myself that all kinds of days are good days if we soak up the laughter and love around us.

So whether you find yourself in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime moment like free-falling from an airplane at 12,000 feet or simply watching a cooking video to help you make a cobbler you’ve never tried before, enjoy your day.

It is a gift.

 

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I would like to end this post with a thank you and a prayer request.

Thank you, Martha, for sharing some of your blackberries with me last night. I love you so much!

And to all of my blogging friends, please keep Martha in your prayers.  She found out she has to have six more months of chemo and needs our prayers, love, and support. 

You can send her a card at this address:

Martha Jordan

c/o First Church of Christ

287 Pomeroy Street

Grayson, KY  41143

If you haven’t seen Tim’s skydiving experience on Facebook, here it is!!

 

 

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under

the heavens.

Eccl. 3:1