Beauty In All Things

A single mom loving Jesus and surviving suburbia

Day 1 – Taking the Challenge

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Here we go. I am taking the challenge. 31 Days to Write. Pick a topic, write about it each day for 31 days. Voila! To see all the 31 topics check out  31 Days to Write.

A few years ago I stumbled upon 31 Days in October. The Nester over at Nesting Place gathered a group of bloggers to write about one topic for 31 days. I thought it was a cool idea, but never thought of myself as a writer. How life changes. Now I love to write,  to share to muse, to speak in my own personal space.

So, For 31 Days I will show the shoes of this single mamma raising 3 amazing and energetic kids and surviving Suburbia. It is not too planned out and I imagine will include some light and funny, some deep and real. Join me every day in October for 31 Days in My Shoes.

Shine

Hi All, I’m blogging over at Hope Fully Known today. My dear friend Tamara is a writer, editor, advocate, momma and blogger. I am honored to guest post for her today. Here is a little excerpt….

SHINE

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You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. tinidazole cream over the counter  People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven. Matt 5:14-16

 

There it was, exactly how he pictured it. The top of the line, shiney, wood-trimed and blue. A gift from grandpa for his 3rd birthday. The trike of a life time.  Grandpa went to several stores to get the right “boy-blue” color and this three-wheeled wonder cost more than my first bike! Sure enough, he was a wiz on this trike and could finally keep up with his big brother and sister. That year he even won our town’s local bike race in his division. It was a wonderful gift.

 

The other day I walked outside and looked at that trike. 3 years later it is well worn. Sun bleached from days in the yard, one wheel is wobbly ready to fall off, and rusty on the handles. My baby still gets on it from time to time, but now he is a big boy. No trike, no training wheels. I was sad for that trike today. It has faded from its past glory. I started thinking I should try to shine it up.

 

The last 3 years have been as hard on our family as the trike and I find myself in many ways sun scorched, wobbly, and covered in rust. ……  read more

XOXO

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The Jump

thejumpMy hands shook as I stepped out onto the ledge. I looked down through the grate to the ground a hundred feet below….Why am I doing this?…. I clipped in with harnesses fit tight around my legs and shoulders…. Again, why am I doing this?…. I stopped a moment, turned to the young guy holding the lever and begged him to confirm that I was indeed hooked in. He assured me and the floor began to slowly drop. There I was hanging. Suspended far above the canyon. 3-2-1 the latch released and I plummeted.  It felt like a lifetime before the rope caught and I swung out over the ravine. As I swung I shook, scared I would still fall even as the rope held taught. Once the arc of the swing decreased, my body started to relax and I settled into the joy of soaring hundreds of feet above the ground. Knowing I had faced my fear and jumped!

 

For whatever reason I felt compelled to have a physical representation of the emotional and spiritual cliff jumping I have been doing over the last few years. Larry Crab calls it jumping off the cliff of safety into the abyss of rejection and trusting that the “rope” of God will hold you tight before you hit the ground.

 

It was a funny thing to actually jump. First, when I stepped out it seemed like a really BAD idea. My terror was greater than I anticipated. And so it is with most steps in life. It is much easier to stay put. It may not be good, but it is familiar! I know how to navigate my current situation and make it the best it can be. I made my literal jump with a friend. We sat side by side and once we stepped out there was no turning back. Truthfully, I don’t think I could have made it up the stairs to get harnessed in without her. I didn’t need her to do anything. She didn’t hold my hand, she didn’t force me, in fact, she barely spoke. She just walked beside me as I faced my fear. God is so good to put us in community. Sometimes we are called to act or to speak, but sometimes we are called to just walk beside our friend as God does His healing work in her life.

 

Second, it was not instantly fun. Even after the rope caught it took several swings for me to relax. Why is that? I was safe, secure, but the shadow of the fear I had just faced took a moment to vanish in the light of my new reality. That is the thing about facing fear, it takes a little time to get used to our new reality. Our new freedom. Often we have been in darkness and fear for so long it is difficult to embrace the freedom and light Christ offers us.

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1

 

Third, the jump actually hurt. Later that day large bruises showed up on my arms and legs, tender to the touch. Life is not instantly peachy when we risk and leap where God is calling us. It is messy, painful at times. But it is right where I want to be – trusting God and enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

 

For I know the plans I have for your declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

Radical Obedience – Later

Radical ObedienceIn my bible study this week we are looking at Radical Obedience. My first thought is big things, but really the little things can make the most RADICAL changes in our life, right?

God calls us to be in His word. To know Him through his word. He certainly uses outside influences, sermons, books, speakers, but at the heart of it, we get to know Him through His word.

So why am I not giving up time in my life to be in His word! In fact, why am I writing this blog before doing it? The truth is, that as much as I dialogue with God during the day, and read books, and listen to sermons it takes more mental and physical energy for me to just sit down, stop and be in His word.

It is because I think I will do it later. But then….

LATER needs dinner to be made

LATER needs a load of laundry

LATER needs dishes and bedtime routines.

where to buy priligy in nigeria  Later fills the space of what should be done now.

My radical obedience today is to simply make time TODAY to be in God’s word, to sit quietly and listen to Him. I must give up everything else to do that.

I’ve So Got This!

IMG_8345So, I am sitting in my back yard. It is a beautiful evening. The sun is setting and the sky is filled with pink and purple clouds. I have my fountain on and the kids are watching a show. It’s just me and my laptop and I am fiddling with my blog. I’ve got this. You know… life. It is all together. I’m on it.

Then I smell it. I realize my neighbor is burning dinner. Poor dear.

Wait…that is my dinner.  ALL the water from my boiling mac and cheese has evaporated and I am now burning the noodles.

I had to laugh. After cleaning up the mess and starting the water boiling for round two of dinner I am struck by how often things go wrong when I think everything is finally all falling into place. It is starting to phase me less. No matter what, there are going to be unpleasant things that come up. I am learning to savor the sweet moments and laugh at the burnt!

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. Ecc. 7:14

A Child of God – She Speaks 2013

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You are a speaker who gave a bad talk. You are not a bad speaker!

Those words are still ringing in my ears. I spent the last three days in speaking and writing workshops and meeting and greeting and more workshops and more meeting….. My brain is on complete overload but I am so happy. What an amazing time.

One of the keynotes was about what defines us. In times of failure it feels as though failure defines us.

I was short with my kids today. I am a bad mom.

I bounced that check. I am horrible with finances.

I gave a bad talk. I am a bad speaker.

The list goes on, but the formula is the same. The failure defines. But what if…

I am a child of God, saved by grace, who was short with my kids today.

I am a child of God, saved by grace, who bounced a check today.

I am a child of God, saved by grace, who gave a bad talk.

The failure does not define us. That is a lie. The truth is, as believers, we are children of God, saved by grace, who mess up. Daily! Our failure does not define us. Our position before the Lord defines us.

If I am defined by God and not my failures, I can trust that he has gifted me to be an influence for him exactly where I am right now. So I am forced to look at where I am right now. What is my sphere today. How do I share him right where I am? I am a single mom, a travel blogger, a PTA member, girl scout mamma, a soccer mamma, a basketball mamma…

How do I intentionally live for the gospel in my sphere of influence.

What is your sphere of influence? How can you use what God has given you for His glory right where you are today?

A big thank you to missalamode for the pic of the conference. You can see more here.