Build Memories Worth Remembering

mamaw papaw memoriesMy maternal grandmother, Juanita Nutt Clark, passed away Monday, January 25, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. She lived to be 91 years old. I have many memories of Mamaw. Today I want to share a few of those memories with you.

The last 5 ½ years of her life she lived with Alzheimers. But those are not the main memories I have of Mamaw.

Mamaw will always be strong and healthy in my mind as I reminisce over the days I knew her when I was a child. She loved to garden and had the most beautiful rose bushes. Those and Papaw’s whirly gigs were the first things that we saw as we arrived at their house for a visit.

The next thing I remember is Mamaw’s sign that said, “Back door guests are best.” As a kid I wondered about that sign since technically there was another door that was even more in the back than that door but I get the idea now.

We entered the house through the kitchen and after giving Mamaw and Papaw hugs, we would stop by her guest bedroom to see her latest quilt that she was working on. All her quilts were hand sewn and beautiful back then. She even won awards in quilting shows. Somewhere there is a picture of her standing beside one of her quilts on display.

mamawkids memoriesThen we would go to their living room and sit on their couch and listen to the adults talk. It wouldn’t be long before Papaw would bring out “the claw” and chase us around the room. When us kids got bored Mamaw would bring out her collection of wooden spools for us to play with on the enclosed back porch where Papaw’s workshop was located.

And on pretty days we would run play in their fenced in yard. I remember Mamaw and Papaw had a nice sized yard that gave us plenty of room to play chase and hide and seek. It was even more fun with cousins since we could have teams. Ah, but it was hard not to play with the clothes line.

Some of our visits we ate dinner with them and there were usually aunts, uncles, and cousins at the table as well. It became a family joke that Papaw always had to take a picture of us with a bite of food in our mouths.

We kids were usually prompted to wash our hands in the bathroom sink after playing outside. We liked to listen to the large shell that held their bathroom door open. We would put our ear to the opening and listen to the sound of the ocean. We would also weigh ourselves on their bathroom scale that said “hospital” on it. It was one Papaw had from one of the hospitals he worked at as an electrician.

Then right about the time we needed to leave, Mamaw would pull out her cookie jar of homemade cookies. Once we finished eating the cookies, we would give her and Papaw a hug before we left.

Mamaw Assisted Living MemoriesThose are just a few of the many memories I cherish of Mamaw. While there are other memories of special times, it’s those regular every time I saw her ones that makes the memories special.

It makes me reflect on my own life, what memories will my children and future grandchildren have of me?

Mamaw’s last days were with Alzheimers and not remembering her loved ones but as soon as she walked through those pearly gates of heaven her memory was made perfect. She has perfect recollection now.

The last time I saw her she didn’t remember me. But the next time I see her, she will greet me by name. I imagine I will find her quilting tapestries for the mansions Jesus has prepared for those who have trusted in Him.

Why not? If God gave us our talents to use for Him here on earth, why wouldn’t He let us continue to use them for His glory in Heaven?

And now for the big question, if you were to die right now would you go to Heaven? If you can’t answer that question with a sure yes then you need to do a heart check.

Was there ever a time in your life that you felt bad for the sins you have committed, told God you were sorry, and committed your life to Him?

If not, now is the accepted time. Today is the day of Salvation.

I wrote another post about my paternal grandparents entitled A History of Family Commitment: My Paternal Grandparents that you might like to read from my building commitment series

Do you have memories of a loved one that you would like to share? What memories would you like your loved ones to have of you? 

I would love it if you would share your memories with me in the comments

AGT_WHW_Linkup_ButtonIf you have any questions about whether you will see your loved ones in Heaven, you should check out this post by my husband entitled “Will I See My Loved Ones in Heaven?” that he wrote for Ask God Today Ministries.

Speaking of Ask God Today, I’m linking up with other bloggers for our Warm Hearted Wednesday Link-up this week’s topic is Examples of Love. I would love for you to join us there.

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Our Eldest Son Answers the Call to Preach

Sunday, September 20, our 17 year old son, Joshua, announced that he felt led of God to preach the gospel. Our church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, voted to license him to preach and the following Wednesday he preached his first sermon at Fostoria Oaks MBC and Sunday morning his second at New Hope MBC.

I want to share his first two sermons with you all.

The first sermon we recorded the audio from my husband’s phone. Joshua preached from Proverbs 22:6.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Then this past Sunday Joshua preached from Ephesians 2:8-10.

I should explain the background noises that you will hear during Joshua’s second sermon. Since I was recording the sermon on my phone Elisabeth was a little active. She got out of the pew and about half way through Joshua’s sermon you can hear Scott whispering for her to sit down. Then all those kissing noises. That’s her kissing my arms. I tried to quiet her but well, she likes to give kisses. So you get a taste of what it’s like listening to the preaching with a 3 year old.

(If you are reading this in your email and can’t see the video then click here to view the post on the blog or you can watch Joshua’s sermon on YouTube.)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

And this was a shorter sermon. Imagine what Elisabeth does during one of her daddy’s longer ones. 😉

These are Joshua’s first two sermons and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in the ministry. Scott has already started mentoring him. They get up early every Sunday morning to study together at the Church. Scott wants to pass on to Joshua all the things he needs to know to be a successful servant of God.

I’m very proud of my son. I can only imagine the advantage Joshua will have with Scott pouring as much of his Bible knowledge into him before he goes to seminary.

Scott and I both agree that we want our children to grow up and be better than we are. We want them to raise their children better than we have raised them. Yes, we are setting the bar high. We want them to achieve great things and the only way for them to do that is to set high standards for our children.

Hope you enjoyed Joshua’s sermon. 

Would you like to encourage Joshua? Feel free to leave a comment for him or you can email me and I’ll pass the word along.

I also have a post that went live this week over at Ask God Today entitled “Is Jesus Truly God?” I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think.

 

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How to Find What is Right When Things Keep Going Wrong

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This is our master bathroom while the dryer is out.

Have you ever felt like things were just going wrong all the time. You know, those times when everything around you seems to break and then you catch your kids playing outside in their best dress pants.

Our dishwasher broke a long time ago but we adjusted to washing dishes by hand.

Now more recently our dryer broke two to three weeks ago or so. (And it did happen during the rainiest season we’ve had in five years, so hanging the clothes outside hasn’t really been an option.) Continue Reading →

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The Love of a Parent (or Elisabeth Threw up in My Hands)

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Elisabeth is trying to figure out why I gave her a rock and a snake.

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” – Luke 11:9-13 KJV

I made the mistake of telling my husband that I needed God to strike me with inspiration when I was trying to write this post for Ask God Today’s email series on Love.

It’s not that the Bible is short on topics about love. On the contrary there are a lot of great verses that refer to all kinds of love. My problem was I had to choose only one.

Then inspiration hit me like a rock and I grabbed these props and gave them to Elisabeth at our kitchen table.

“When your children are hungry, what do you give them?”

I then compare our love for our children to God’s love as our Heavenly Father.

Little did I know that Elisabeth wasn’t done giving me illustrations for this post.

Yes, she threw up in my room as I was writing this article and after I cleaned it all up her illness gave me more to write about.

Isn’t that how it goes sometimes?

“How many times has my Heavenly Father cleaned up the messes I’ve made? I may have to live with some of the stench, but as I draw closer to Him, I become healthier.

Elisabeth fell asleep in my arms. As I held her close I thought about how comforting it is to know that God is right there holding me close whenever I’m not well. He knows exactly what medicine we need.”

So that is how inspiration strikes this writing mom sometimes. :) As I say in this post, “I’m not a perfect parent. I make mistakes.”

But I’m just glad that God IS perfect. He knows exactly what I need when I need it.

You can read more about The Love of a Parent by clicking on this link or on the picture above.

Have you experienced God’s love in your life? Will you let Him pick you up? Feel free to share your experiences of parental love in the comments. I love to hear your stories.

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Plan to Finish

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Jonathan is standing beside several unfinished projects.

 

Each year starting in 2013 I have been choosing a word for the year. In fact it was a blog post by a fellow Tribe Writer called “Why you should have One Word for 2013” that got me started. Picking a theme word each year has really revolutionized my goal setting and how I keep up with it all.

I won’t bore you with all the details on how I’m not a list person and how before starting this method I gave myself way too many goals thus becoming overwhelmed and hardly accomplishing anything on the list at all. (Yes, I did just say all that in one breath!) 

Now I pick one simple word. A word that all my goals and aspirations can snuggle up to and get comfortable with. 

In 2013 my word was “Determined”. All that determination helped me get my writing off the ground. I finished my manifesto “Don’t Quit! Build a Legacy of Commitment“. Which you can download the pdf for free right here on my site. It was a really good year for my writing. 

That year I wrote a post about how my Life is Like a Boat. Despite all my determination I still felt unbalanced. I decided maybe if I chose the word “Organize” for 2014 I would find that balance. 

My family and I accomplished a lot in 2014. We got most of the house cleaned up. We traveled a lot without losing too many things. It was a very good organized year (at least organized for me). Even though things aren’t perfectly organized yet, it is better. I feel this past year was a successful year. We did so much more that we wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t even tried.

Now you are probably wondering about my word for 2015. 

I struggled to decide on a word. I started thinking about it in December as I was trying to do last minute organizing. One of the things I need to work on is making sure I keep my priorities straight. It sounds very noble. Make a list of the things that are the most important and focus on those things this year. However I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t quite feel that word working for me. As I tried to write down some things that I wanted to do this year using “Prioritize” as my key word my goals just looked flat.

My husband and I had our children list some things they wanted to accomplish this year. They wrote some pretty good goals and some lofty ones that will take them a lot of work to accomplish. Most of them were very good goals and they can achieve them all if they work hard at it.

New Year’s Eve my husband and I sat down with the kids and talked with them about their goals. I told them that one of the things I would like to see this year are goals actually being accomplished. I told them that if they set out to do a project I want to see those projects finished this year not just started.

Then my word for 2015 hit me between the eyes…”Finish”. My children are not the only ones that need to finish things. Suddenly my mind went to all the unfinished projects I have laying around the house. 

I never finished crocheting a blanket I started around 10 years ago. I’ve worked at it off and on (more off than on) but never finished it. I have a lot of blog posts just from this past year that I started writing but never finished. I have books that I planned to write and some I even started but never finished. 

I look back on my life and realized that a lot of those unfinished projects stem from a problem in my mind. Somewhere in my life I got into the bad habit of assuming things weren’t going to get finished. 

For way too long I have set myself up for failure.

This year I’m going to finish. I’m going to finish that blanket. I’m going to finish getting organized. I’m going to finish cleaning my house up. I’m going to finish writing a book. I’m going to finish the writing courses I started. I’m going to finish reading my Bible through. Everything I start I’m going to make plans to finish.

I’m going to help the kids finish their projects as well. This year will be very productive and I’m going to keep a list of every project we finish. 

I already know our Rock Solid Family will finish this New Year out strong. 

How about you? Do you have some goals for this year? If you were to summarize them into one word, what would that word be? I can’t wait to hear from you. Please share your word for the year in the comments

Together let’s make 2015 the best year yet!

Right now? I am going to finish taking down that Christmas tree!

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Drowning

swimmingpoolI can’t swim!

I sputtered trying to grab the edge of the pool but it was too slippery.  My head went under. I splashed and reached for the concrete that I should have been able to hold onto. I never thought that concrete could be so slippery when wet.

“Help!” I whimpered as the water covers my head one last time.

I was 8 or 9 years old when I jumped off the diving board into my dad’s outstretched arms. He set me safely on the side of the pool.

“Don’t get back into the water,” my dad warned. “Walk over to the shallow end with your mother.”

I looked and saw my mother waiting with my sister all the way on the other end of the pool.

It is much warmer in the water.

I disobeyed my father.

All these thoughts flash through my young mind as I sputter my final cry for help.

Cry for help? It sounds more like a whisper to my ears. Why can’t I project louder when I really need someone to hear me?

But someone did hear me. Strong hands lifted me up and set me back on the side of the pool. I was rescued. I was saved.

Grateful for the second chance at obedience, I walked to the other side of the pool.

This wasn’t my last time to mess up. However I learned to be quick to repent and ask for help when I need it.

This story parallels another time I was rescued. I was 7 years old when I first began to realize I made mistakes. I was not perfect.

I knew what sin was. I knew I should repent. Repent of what? That was my problem at 7. I didn’t know what I was repenting of.

How can you ask someone to help you if you don’t realize you need help?

I was 10 years old when I finally figured out that I couldn’t figuratively swim by myself. I was miserable from guilt of the sins only I knew about. I remembered every lie. I remembered every time I stole. I remembered every time I fought with my siblings.

These things weighed on me and I was miserable. I wanted to get out from under the pressure of guilt.

At church camp I cried out for help. Finally I admitted I couldn’t take care of this problem myself.  I gave my life to Christ and He immediately rescued me from the deadly waters surrounding me.

That burden of guilt has been lifted off me. I am forgiven.

I am free. No longer drowning in a sea of guilt and shame.

Many times people hear that word “free” and think it means, “Oh, I’m okay now I can just do whatever I want.”

No. It means I am free to do what God wants me to do. It was His grace that gave me this new life. I now want to obey the rules He gave me in the Bible.

Yes. I still mess up. I will always make mistakes.

My dad still loved me even after I disobeyed and could have drowned. In the same way God still loves me even when I mess up.

Just like my dad wanted me to obey after I was rescued, my Heavenly Father wants me to obey now that He has rescued me.

No more getting back in the water to drown. Now I am walking the good path that God has laid out for me to walk.

Do you remember a time that you disobeyed? Did you learn a lesson from the experience?  You can either share them in the comments below or reply by email. I would love to hear your stories.

The school year is almost over and the rest of the year will be pretty jam packed with activities. However I am making it my goal to get back on track with my writing and take you along on our journey. Thanks for not giving up on me. :)

~~ Anastacia ~~

 

 

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Would You Throw the LifeSaver?

A person is walking along the banks of a large lake. As he does he happens to see a man who looks as if he is swimming in the water. However upon closer inspection the man walking sees that something is not right about how the swimmer is behaving. He is splashing a lot. Every few seconds he sinks under the water for longer periods of time and splashes back up to the surface only long enough to take a quick breath and sputter.

The walker just happens to have a lifesaver in his hands. He starts to throw it to the swimmer but then he hesitates.

Should I throw this to him? What if he gets upset at me?

You know he might think I’m suggesting he doesn’t know how to swim.

Will it offend him for me to throw this lifesaver out to him?

I wouldn’t want him to feel bad for being a terrible swimmer.

You know I think I will play it safe and watch him a minute before I throw it just to be sure he needs help.

I’m not a lifeguard. Maybe I should call a lifeguard to come get him out. Hmmm… There doesn’t seem to be any around here.

“Hold on, Mister! I’m calling a lifeguard for you!”

Meanwhile the swimmer goes under and the opportunity to save him is lost.

Unsinkable

The above story probably sounds a bit absurd.

“Just throw the lifesaver already!” you’re probably saying.

And yet the above scene is what a lot of us do everyday.

We hear people complain about those who have thrown lifesavers out. They say things like, “Why doesn’t everyone just leave me alone?”

“I’m not interested in what you have to say.”

“Mind your own business. I don’t want to hear it.”

“You live life your way and I’ll live life my way.”

To us it sounds like they are saying, “Just keep that lifesaver to yourself. I enjoy splashing in this water of life.”

However if we see them struggling and yet don’t throw the lifesaver to them, we are to blame for their drowning.

On the other hand, if we throw the lifesaver to them despite the fear that they might reject it, we  give them that opportunity to grab on or not. We have done our part.

The rest is up to them. We are not responsible for their decision to hold on or let go.

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,’

‘when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,  then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.’

‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

“Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

~~Ezekiel 33:1-9 NKJV

Here I am throwing the LifeSaver to you.

I know what it is like splashing around trying to get out of the water. I couldn’t reach the shore alone either.

Someone threw me the LifeSaver. They didn’t wait to see whether or not I wanted it. They threw it out there for me. I chose to accept it.

Now I’m offering it to you.

God has the strength to pull you to the shore and change your life completely.

Will you let Him? 

If you have already accepted God’s LifeSaver and are wearing His Life Jacket please share your life changing story with us in the comments.

In my next post I will share with you the story of how I was saved from drowning. Literally and figuratively. Be sure to check back later this week for that. Until then…

Who will you throw the LifeSaver to today?

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Never Alone: Facing Life Without Your Partner

Many things in life are unpredictable. Sometimes things happen beyond our control. We may not want to think about them happening. We hope and pray that it never happens to us. However there comes a time when we must face this question. Either before it occurs or after when we are shocked by the reality of it.

We do not live forever here on this earth, nor can we predict who will go first or when.

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I have known many who have lost their lifelong partner. I have friends younger and older who have faced this difficult situation. Each one grieves in different ways.

Our mortality is a hard subject to discuss. However it is important.

What would I do if something were to happen to my husband? Where would I go? How would I support my family? What would my husband do if I were the one to go first? My heart aches to even consider those possibilities.

A friend of mine who lives in Sweden, Lotta Wanner, wrote a very thought provoking post called “Not Enough Time“. In it she shares a couple of incidents that made her realize how short life is. She also talks about ways to prepare for our families ahead of time if something should happen to us.

If we were to have something happen to us what would we want our family to know? I wrote about this last June in my blog post “If I Only Had One Day Left“. In that post I talk about what I would do if I had only one day left to live. In that one day I would write everything I would want my children and their future generations to know.

Maybe this post will be the jumping off point to help you and your spouse discuss what you will do if something were to happen to either of you.

Some questions you might consider discussing are:

  • How will you support the family?
  • Where will you live?
  • What decisions would be hard to make while mourning?
  • Do you both know where important documents are kept?
  • What about passwords to personal accounts like email and such?

Those are just a few questions you might consider.

Don’t get me wrong it is very good to plan for a long and healthy life. It is also good to prepare for your future and what you want to accomplish in your later years. Dream big dreams of happily-ever-after together.

God doesn’t want us to worry about losing the ones we love. If you think about it having this discussion and preparing beforehand actually frees us to not have to worry about it anymore. When those important matters are taken care of we are free to live and dream of a long and healthy future together without fear of what may come.

The day may come that you face life without your spouse. Whether you are prepared or not it will still be hard. Or perhaps you are already facing that moment.

Here are some words of comfort I want to give you today.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
 
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
 
According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
 
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
 
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
 
Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
 

– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

This is hope. Knowing that even though the loss hurts right now, a day will come when we will see our beloved ones again. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

Will you be having this discussion with your spouse? Are you prepared? Please share with us in the comments

This is Day 25 of 31 Days Building Commitment. This series is following my book Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment which you can download for free here

My next post will be for the lonely. Thanks for following!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Dear Children: A Letter from a Mom

I am writing this letter to my children. Perhaps your children might benefit too.

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Dear Children,

As your parents, we want you to know that we really do understand.
Your father and I have been in your shoes before. We grew up in different homes and under different circumstances. Those differences in our raising helps us to better know what challenges you face today and in the future.

God expects you to honor and obey us even though we are not perfect. Learn from our mistakes. Be respectful even when… especially when you disagree with us.

Not all children have godly parents. They need good examples to watch how a family should be. You may one day be a mentor that a child will look up to. Set a good example of love and respect. You never know who is watching your life and wanting to be like you.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

– Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV

The Bible says to honor your parents. Give us the respect God intended you to give.

Listen to the wisdom from our years of experience. Listen as we share what God has given us to share.

Be obedient children. If you obey, life will go much better for you. You will be learning from us and will not have to make the same mistakes we have made.

You will one day soon be embarking on your own life and adventures. Soon it will be up to you to make your own decisions. You will not be able to blame your father and I for what choices you will make. It will ultimately be up to you what you do with the rest of your life.

It is hard on us as parents to see you feel bad. When you realize you are weak in an area, we have trouble pointing out what you need to work on. We want you to know right now, we love you and only want you to be the best you can be. You should strive for your highest potential.

It is okay to feel bad about the things you do wrong. We don’t always have to feel good about ourselves. We need to feel guilty at times. How else will we know we need help if we never allow ourselves to feel how terrible our mistakes are?

God can give us the ultimate help and greatest relief from our pain. If we never feel bad, we will never strive to be better. We all need to do better.

This does not mean to drag yourself in the dirt and be depressed. No. I’m saying to realize your weaknesses. Make the necessary improvements. If you do, you will be a stronger and wiser person.

There is a place for humility. It is very easy to be proud of ourselves and of our accomplishments. It is a difficult thing to remain humble. People appreciate a humble spirit.

Be willing to put others before yourself. Be slow to brag on your own accomplishments. Be quick to praise other’s accomplishments. That is what it means to be humble. It is okay to realize you are doing well. No matter how old you are I will always love you to call me to tell me everything that you have done. I am and always will be proud of you.

Treat people the way you would want to be treated, even if they do not treat you the same way in return.

God knows your heart. Pray to him. Tell Him your regrets and fears. He is always there to listen and help.

Always remember that God loves you. He will always be there for you even if your father and I can’t. God is always ready and waiting for you to call on Him. Just as I say that I’m just a phone call away. God is even closer. He is just a prayer away. You don’t have to get your phone out and dial a number for Him. All you have to do is speak and He is right there with you to listen and help.

I have so much more to teach you. I’m very thankful that God gave you to me. I am very proud of you. I love you!

Love,

Mommy

If you could write a letter to your children or grandchildren what would you write? If you have a blog consider writing a letter to your own children. If you do please share the link with us in the comments. I would love to read what you have to say.

This is Day 24 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Only 7 days to go in this series. If you want to see a basic outline of where this series is going check out my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment“.

Tomorrow I will take a break to tell about our Jonathan’s Birthday.  Breaks like that won’t count in the series they will simply be added bonuses sprinkled in. :)

Thanks for following!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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True Love and Commitment in Marriage

Elisabeth asleep with her hands in my sleeves

Elisabeth asleep with her hands in my sleeves. The picture is a little blurry because it was dark in the room.

I am sure some of you may have missed my posts over the weekend. I decided that if I was going to write about love, marriage, and commitment that I needed to be living it. So this weekend I went ahead and put my writing aside to enjoy my family.

Yes, I could have blogged from my phone. But which is better being in karate class with my family or sitting on the sidelines typing a blog post with my thumbs?

I could have stayed in the car while my family went into the store to buy art supplies, but then I would have missed the chance to offer hospitality to friends we saw in the store.

Saturday night I could have blogged but then I would not have been playing my ukulele while my husband played his viola. And then there was the chess game we played together.

Sunday afternoon, I chose to not worry about writing. Instead, I enjoyed watching our children play with their friends after church. We hadn’t seen our friends in a long while and it was a blessing that they visited us.

We had a Bible Study at our church Sunday night. After we got our children to bed, I chose to sleep instead of write. A well rested mother makes for a much happier family.

This morning I read a book to my 3 youngest children while their siblings were working with some animals on a neighbor’s ranch.

This afternoon I agreed to let my son have a pet rooster. I originally planned to let him start with chickens and eventually have a rooster. However my mothering heart realized he was on a humanitarian mission to rescue a rooster that was destined to possibly be someone’s next meal. A pet rooster might be good for him.

I rocked my baby to sleep for a nap. I do not rock her to sleep at night but for a nap, I do. She is growing up so quickly and I know it won’t be long when she won’t let me rock her anymore. So I rock her with her hands stuck up my sleeves. I haven’t fully figured out why she likes to stick her hands up my sleeves when she is tired but she does. I guess she finds comfort that way.

My husband came home and I listened to how his day went before he left with our son to pick up the rooster. They came back with not only the rooster but a hen as well. I guess they didn’t want the rooster to be lonely all by itself.

And while my husband was gone with our son, he told me I should get this blog post written. So I started this post. I also answered what felt like a million questions.

I then rocked the baby to sleep for the second time. Who was so rudely awakened by a brother coming in asking more questions at the top of his voice.

I can’t stop life from happening around me. Sometimes I have to put what I want aside for my family. I can’t be angry with my children for wanting my attention when I would rather write. My husband needs my attention too. Life cannot be only about me and what I want. I need to also keep in mind others and what they want.

This past weekend I chose to live out building commitment instead of just writing about it. That is what this world needs after all, someone to stand up and set an example of what a committed marriage and family should look like.

Have you ever had to give up something you really wanted in order to show commitment to your family? Please share with me in the comments.

Right now our children are in bed and my husband is washing dishes so I can come in here and finish this post. That is what true love looks like. Doing what we wouldn’t want to do otherwise for the good of the one we love.

This is Day 18 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Tomorrow we will continue the series where we left off Friday with finding commitment after divorce.

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