Category Archive Creating A Legacy

ByEmily

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls (that will connect them to Jesus)

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I’ve noticed quite a bit of women in a frenzy trying to secure the latest craze for their loved ones. Gifts have become overrated, over the top, and beyond my price range! It’s all about the latest technology, the newest toys/gadgets, and expensive clothes that will go out of style by next year.

5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

I’ve never been one to understand going into debt over things that are too quickly cast aside- especially since we’ve seemed to have forgotten the greatest gift of all time…..the one that didn’t come wrapped in sparkly paper with a giant glittery bow, but in swaddling clothes…..the one that is the true purpose for the Christmas season- Jesus!

Presence over Presents

Presents are no longer meaningful. And along with everything else in the world these days, they can distract us from our relationship with God. So instead of buying electronics and apps that will consume their time or toys that won’t last, let’s get our daughters gifts that will guide them to a closer walk with the Lord. Instead of swiping your credit card for whatever gifts are all the rage, look for items that will help your daughter seek His presence.

Whether your daughter (daughter/niece/cousin/best friend/student/etc.) is a youngster, a preteen, or heading off to college, these inexpensive gifts are the perfect options to point them to a personal relationship with the star of Christmas Himself and will even last well beyond December!

1. UPLIFTING MUSIC

Music is everywhere and it is feeding our minds, sometimes without us even realizing it. Why not buy a cd for your daughter that will influence her in a positive way? My suggestions would be something like Francesca Battistelli’s latest album entitled If We’re Honest or Barlow Girl’s Never Alone album.

I have only heard two songs from Francesca’s latest cd, but I quickly fell in love with them both. “Write Your Story” and “He Knows My Name” have awesome lyrics that will build her confidence as a child of God. And if the rest of the cd is anything like those two songs or anything else Francesca has done, I know it’ll be wonderful!

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Barlow Girl’s Never Alone album is a little older, but I remember when I first listened to this cd. My exact thoughts were, “Every young/teenage girl needs this cd!” With songs like “Average Girl,” “Mirror,” and “Clothes,” this cd will encourage your daughter to love who God created her to be and trust in His plans for her life.

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2. JOURNAL

A journal is an excellent choice and can be used in several ways. She can write her thoughts, prayers, favorite scriptures, et c. You might even start it for her by writing some encouraging quotes and scriptures or with a special note. I thank my seven year old for giving me this idea when she asked for one for Christmas to write prayers in. Journals come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. Be sure to choose one specific to her uniqueness.

3. INSPIRATIONAL CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES

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Brands like Kerusso and Cherished Girl offer t-shirts with adorable designs and scriptures for all ages. You can also find jewelry with scriptures or uplifting words. Offer the gift along with this challenge: Don’t just wear it- live it!

Anyone can wear a Christian t-shirt. Encourage your daughter to walk the walk and use this gift as a reminder that she is a daughter of the King.

4. DAILY DEVOTIONAL CALENDAR

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Like journals, you will have a variety to choose from, once again for all ages. Dayspring offers a line of Daybrighteners that can be used from year to year and the designs are endless. With a daily devotional calendar, she will be able to start each day in the word.

A couple of years ago, my husband bought me the Jesus Calling by Sarah Young daybrightener. I keep it beside my bed with my Bible. Every morning I flip the page, read the short devotion, and then look up the scriptures that go along with it. There’s nothing like getting in the word first thing!

 5. BIBLE/BIBLE ACCESSORIES

Have you seen the different Bibles available? There are children’s Bibles, teen Bibles, Bibles specifically for women or girls, Bibles specifically for cancer survivors, the list goes on. I love my KJV Bible that is chocolate brown and pink. What girl wouldn’t? 😉 Out of all the gifts that may engage the light and love of Jesus in your daughter’s life, the Bible is the most essential. No matter how old she is, she needs her own copy of life’s handbook.

Along with the Bible, you may add accessories such as the following: Bible cover, colorful pens/highlighters, notepad, sticky notes, and/or bookmarks. No Bible is complete without favorite or key scriptures highlighted or notes in the margin, right? I know if you were to flip through my Bibles, you might be able to read the story of my life in between the lines. With these Bible accessories, she can make her Bible her own.

All of these gifts can be found at your local Christian bookstores and gift shops. You’ve heard from me, now I want to hear from you! What items would you add to this list?

BySherry

A Life Well Lived

1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Grandma Ingle

I was raised in a Christian home, does this surprise anyone? I hope not. Both sets of my grandparents were pastors. From the time I was a little girl, I had people at different churches tell me how much I looked like my Grandma, Carmen Ingle. As a young girl, and as I got older, I took this as a big compliment. I always thought grandma was the prettiest older lady I knew, with her trim figure and salt and pepper hair. She told me her beauty secret was using Oil of Olay everyday morning and night.

One of my very first memories of Grandma is when I was little and she flew down to our house in Southern California and picked me up and took me to her house in Santa Rosa. She let me sleep in the guest bedroom with the big bed. Every morning she would come and wake me up by saying, “Wake up, Snow White!” She also introduced me to her slides of the family! To this day, I love going through the slides and hearing the stories from long ago.

She made us grandkids Mickey Mouse pancakes, built a fort under her kitchen table with I think every blanket in the house, she taught me how to crochet, pick blackberries in her back yard, and showed us how to suck the honey out of honeysuckles blooms. She taught us to play Tetherball, Badminton and Rummy. She read Little Black Sambo to us, and got me hooked on Shirley Temple movies and Little Women starring Katharine Hepburn. As I got older, I loved going to her house to do all of these things. I loved watching her laugh as I would reenact the scene when Beth, from Little Women, contracted Scarlet Fever and fainted at the door (I may have been a wee bit dramatic). She also told every grand kid they were her favorite, and we fight about it to this day, even though it was really me! 🙂

Grandma loved to dance, sing, and listen to music. When she would hear music she would dance all over the room she was in. She would sing hymns, praise and worship songs throughout the day. She would ALWAYS talk about how awesome Jesus was.

The biggest thing she instilled in me was to pray. Grandma prayed about everything. As I was looking for a verse that I felt described Grandma, I automatically went to Proverbs 31; and, while many of those verses do pertain to her, 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 describe her to a T. Grandma rejoiced in all things. She would praise God no matter what. She found something to rejoice in the Lord about everyday, whether it was a sunrise, or someone who came to know Christ as their Savior, or a beautiful flower.

She prayed unceasingly. Whenever a need would arise in anyone’s life, she would write it in her prayer journal and two or three times a day she would pray over everyone in her journal. When a prayer would be answered, she would write the date that it was answered next to the name. It was humbling to see my name on every page of the journal I have, along with the rest of the family. Sometimes prayers were for specific things, sometimes it was for blessings.

Lastly, she was thankful for everything that came her way. Last year, we went through the storage shed and found letters that she had written to her Sister in the 50’s. She spoke of some unexplained car trouble in a town in Oregon, but thanked God for the car trouble, as the mechanic who helped him gave his heart to Jesus. She spoke of having little money in places, but gave thanks to God for providing what they needed and seeing souls saved for His kingdom.

Grandma was a confidant and mentor of mine. She was the first person I told that Matt had asked me to marry him. She taught me that day how to flirt with him by winking at him with my mouth wide open. ;0. After 18 years of marriage, I still wink that way at Matt everyday and we giggle over her flirting ways. I gave birth to my first born child on her birthday, she says Sarah was the best birthday gift she has received.

As grandma got older, dementia and Alzheimer’s set in. The last few years of her life, I could see my Grandma forgetting things and even forgetting I was her granddaughter. She would introduce me as her niece. I would let her think that, as she called my daughter Sherry. When Grandpa could no longer care for himself and entered a rest home, I was asked to take her to visit him everyday. I loved the time I got to spend with her driving her around and at times even stopping to shop, or go to lunch. I, along with my parents, aunts, uncles, and a cousin watched her heart break as she said her final goodbye to her husband of almost 65 years last year. I sat with her in her room at the rest home afterwards, because she didn’t want to watch him slip from this life to glory. I comforted her every time she would wake up that day and ask if he was gone yet. I cried with her when she would forget at times that grandpa had passed and ask where he was. I rejoiced with her as we talked about how grandpa gained his reward for his faithful service to God.

A few weeks ago, we knew time was getting close for Grandma to gain her heavenly reward. On July 8th, I watched my daughter hold her hand and thank her for teaching her how to draw and crochet, among other things. I saw the love in my grandma’s eyes, as she could no longer speak; but held on to every word my daughter was saying. As I sat and talked with her about the wonderful times we had together and watched her shake her head yes at remembrances I spoke about. Rubbing lotion into her worn hands that so willingly worked for the service of Christ, thanking her for being a Godly example to me.

I decided at the last minute to go visit Grandma for my lunch break on Thursday, July 10th. I called my mom and took her lunch and spent time just quietly talking with Grandma. As my lunch hour ticked away too quickly, I went to her and held her hand.

“Grandma”, I said, “I have to go back to work now, but I want you to know how much I love you.”

Without moving her lips, she looked at me and spoke the sweetest words that she said often to me, “Love you. Goodbye.”

I leaned over, gave her a kiss and with tears in my eyes, and joy in my heart at her words, walked out of her room. One hour later, a co-worker came to find me and told me my dad was on his way to pick me up. I called dad and he told me Grandma had passed into glory. My heart broke, not for her, but for those of us left behind. The pain was great and overwhelming.

Today, July 24, 2014, would have been her and Grandpa’s 66th anniversary. As we lay Grandma to rest and celebrate her life, I want to ask you what Grandma would, “Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior?” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

My Grandma is rejoicing with Jesus today, because she believed in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. Her belief was simple, she believe that God sent Jesus to this earth to die, and raise again, for the sins of this world. It is a simple thing to do. She would tell me, “Just talk to God as you do me. He understands.”

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior and would like to, it is so easy. The prayer I prayed as a teenager was simple, “Dear Jesus, I believe that you came down to earth, died an unjust death, and rose again 3 days later for my salvation. I give you my life, and ask that you come into my heart that I may rejoice with you for eternity. In Jesus name, amen.” It is that simple. I would then ask you to start reading the Gospel of John (the fourth book of the New Testament) and learn more about Jesus.

If you are already a Christian, I encourage you to Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Also, say a prayer for my family and I today. God bless you.

Sherry

Sherry and Grandma Ingle

 

ByAngie

A Letter To My Kids – So They Never Forget

As I am writing this, it is nearly 2 am. Up until about 30 minutes ago I was in bed reading when I heard one of my kids wake up and shuffle around his room. Upon checking to see what was going on,  I found that Tommy, my middle son, had a nightmare and was trying to settle himself back down. Seeing that he needed some comforting, I invited him to come into the living room. He seemed to already know what he needed to soothe him: for me to pray for him, his favorite Pandora station that we have customized over the years to play Rockabye Baby and instrumental hymns, and to lay in my specific spot on the couch.

Just as Tommy was all settled in and I had turned off all the lights he pointed over to my laptop. “Mom, why is your laptop over there? Aren’t you going to write a blog while we are up?” I assumed he was procrastinating falling asleep, so I asked him, “No, what would I write about?” When he replied it was deep. Okay, well, it was deep for a 6-year-old. “I want you to write a blog with a picture of me with you, Jeffrey, Becca, Johnny Ben, and Molly and a picture of you and dad.  Then you can write about how much you and dad love us and how much you love dad, because someday I’ll read a lot and want to read it when I am a grown up.”

I was so caught off guard. I expected him to tell me about his efforts to tell The Joker about Jesus so he won’t be an arch-villain any more. (Yes, that is really a frequent topic of his.) I did not expect him to mention something so emotional and actually relevant. (Dear Mr. Future Tommy, I’m sorry for assuming you wouldn’t be relevant. But you were 6. Someday you’ll have a 6-year-old and know what I mean. Forgive me. Love always, Mrs. Mom From The Past) I promised him I would do so, but a few moments later after he fell asleep I decided to go ahead and do it now.

Why now? In the last few years I have made a lot of to do lists. Most of the items listed on those lists have never been crossed off. I do have good reason for some of that, but I really don’t care why I can’t do this that and the other any more. I’ve been in the process of reorganizing my life and re-prioritizing. (I’ll write more about that another day…) When it comes to my kids, I no longer want to put anything on the back burner if it can be done now.

So Tommy, and my other 4 children, this one is for you…

 

Just my kids and me

Just my kiddos and me – Summer 2013

 

 

Dear Kids,

I could never explain how much I love each of you. You guys are probably so sick of me telling you all the time, but it is true. (Okay, apparently Tommy isn’t tired of it…) These aren’t just words that I have to say nor am I making small talk. You may get tired of me stopping you to give you a hug, sending you a goofy text that ends with an “I love you” in all caps and tons of exclamation points, or saying it out of the clear blue. But I mean every word and I want to be clear to you that I do, with all of my heart, love you.

All 5 of you know how far from perfect I am and how I wish that some things had happened differently. I regret every mistake I have made that has caused you any pain. I’m sorry that because of my past mistakes we are all split in half across the country from each other. I wish that Tommy, Johnny Ben, and Molly could have grown up with Jeffrey and Becca and that you all would see each other every day. I hate that I don’t see all 5 of you on a daily basis. That does NOT mean that I love any of you more than another though. My feelings for each of you are equal. Just remember, we have had some amazing summers as a family. We have inside jokes, hobbies, and many memories that have come out of those times together. Others may think we are weird, but that’s okay. Embrace it. This is how God made us to be, a big silly family full of inside jokes,  and we are happy.

At the same time, because I care so deeply for you, I will not let you just do everything you want. We have rules, consequences, and lots of talks (that you all roll your eyes at… Don’t think I don’t notice…) because I want you to have successful lives and relationships, now and when you are grown. I want you to know right from wrong, good manners, and most of all how much Jesus loves you and wants to be a part of your lives. There are times that you will be angry with me, but I will not apologize for doing my job as your mom.

Not only am I thankful to have you as my children, but I’m thankful that you all have each other as siblings. Even with the age and distance gaps, you all get along more than many other brothers and sisters I know. You all amaze me and bless me so much in many ways, but this is one area that I am extremely blessed. You may bicker and argue occasionally, but when it comes down to what matters, you all look out for and help each other. That’s awesome, thank you!

You may not see how it is possible now, but each of you have taught me so much. Whether it be how to have patience in a hospital with an unforeseen circumstance only to see God work a miracle in His time, how to pour tea like a princess, the name of a little known character in Star Wars, understanding more about the neural system, or something academic. You inspire me to better myself. Each of you blow me away with your wisdom. Yes, even Molly, who at the time of my writing this is 2. You’re all going to do great things. I know it.

It is no secret how much I love your Dad, Bobby. While we all know that Jeffrey and Becca have a different biological father that loves them as well, we were blessed when Bobby came along. He loved you both as if you had always been his and still does. You should know that he has not once referred to you as “step-children” and always as “my son and daughter”. I’m pretty crazy about that man, and he loves all of us very much as well. Even more than Cadillacs, Twinkies, and Coca Cola.

As I bring this to an end, I want to remind you that nothing in this world will ever compare to the love of Jesus. Never give up on Him, because He will never give up on you. Each of you know of times in your lives that He stepped in and touched you with healing or resolve. Never forget what He has done, and thank Him every day. I thank God every day for the privilege of being your Mom. I would go through every one of those pregnancies, labors, sleepless nights, and rough days again in a heartbeat if given the chance. Bobby and all of you are the best thing that ever happened to me outside of salvation. One more time:

I love you, Kids!!!

Love,

Mom

P.S. Tommy, thank you for asking me to write this. It’s not just for you, I needed it as well.

P.P.S. Are there flying cars? Did you guys ever talk me into going back to blonde? Write back your “past mom” and let me know about the future, ‘kay?

 

 

Mom and Dad, sans kids

Just Bobby and Me – Summer 2010

 

If you read through all that and have made it down to the bottom of this post, I urge you to write a letter to your children to read some day. Not only will they be grateful that you did, but you will as well.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

 

ByDanielle

I Am Thankful To God For You

I am not proud of my children.

To say I’m proud of you implies I did everything. In my house we say, “I am thankful to God for you.” For your ability to listen, play sports, do well in school, to do anything that gives God glory. In our house we try very hard to give God the glory. In our confirmation class we were discussing pride & proud. We looked up the definitions of both words.

Pride:

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etch.

2. the state or feeling of being proud.

3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride.

Proud:

1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often followed by of, an infinitive, or a clause).

2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.

3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

Both of these words focus on me, mine, look at me, see what I did. If it were not for the grace God gave me I would be nothing. Because of Jesus’ great work on the cross, His empty grave! He has given me the ability to be a child of God, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend. None of these I do very well. I make mistakes, I still sin, I am an imperfect person in an imperfect world.

 

I Am Thankful To God For You - Why Danielle says Thankful instead of proud and more thoughts - On Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - RaisingStickyHands.com

 

In our home we say “I am thankful to God for you,” for giving you the ability to listen, to do your chores, to get along with your sisters, to play the piano, etc. In this our children know we have joy watching them. They also know God, His love, His grace. They know because of His deeds (His great works in the Bible) that we can trust His character.

Have a blessed day dear ones! You are Loved!!! You are Loved!!!
~ Danielle

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts – Thanksgiving With 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Last year, I shared how we learned 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 for our Thanksgiving memory verses. What great verses they are year round! I also shared with you our Thankful Tree. This year I want to share with you our Thankful Turkey.

 

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Mommy is thankful for:

  1. My boyfriend* and my girls *Calm down! Just because we got married doesn’t mean my husband quit being my boyfriend.
  2. Books
  3. Laughter
  4. Potatoes
  5. Sweet tea

Daddy is thankful for:

  1. Jesus
  2. My girlfriend *Blush!* I was so excited to see this! Especially since he hadn’t seen my answers yet. .
  3. My girls
  4. A house
  5. A job

Naomi (6) is thankful for:

  1. A mom/dad/sister/myself
  2. A warm and nice house
  3. Church
  4. A bed to sleep in
  5. Food to eat

Adah (4) is thankful for:

  1. A house
  2. A mommy, sister, and daddy
  3. My whole wide family (She says, “I love them cause Thanksgiving is about loving people and when I love people, they love me.” My heart is melting!)
  4. My daddy and mommy cooking for me
  5. Having a church

 

Do you do any “thankful” crafts with your kids for Thanksgiving? Please share with us!

ByKaren

Ticket To Nineveh

Has God been calling you to do something and you are running away from it faster than a cat with it’s tail on fire?

Well, as most of you know, Jonah had to stop running eventually. When God told him to go to Nineveh, Jonah was like, “no way, no Sir, no how!” He even turned and went the opposite direction to put as much space between him and his destiny as he possibly could. No matter where he went though, he could not escape the calling of God Almighty.

 

God is calling - How will you answer - Will you be like Jonah or answer the call to Nineveh

Because of his disobedience, he had to be thrown overboard from the ship to Tarshish. He didn’t realize beforehand that the decisions that he was making, had a great effect on those he was in company with or those around him. His decision to disobey God caused the boat to sway to and fro in a rage. The other men on the boat were scared and knew that this kind of rage could only come from God.

God had already had the “big fish” prepared to swallow Jonah up. Can you imagine being in the actually belly of a fish? With all the stomach acids and inner parts? You know that it couldn’t have smelled very well. He wasn’t just there for one day either, but 3 days and nights!

This gave him plenty of time to think, pray, and humble himself before God. After those 3 days, he was vomited up onto dry land, and from there, Jonah went on to Nineveh as he was supposed to in the first place, which led to a mighty work of God in that city.

Do you realize that if you’re not walking in His calling, you are pulling against Him? Your decision affects those around you. You could be the only Bible that other people read. There may be someone around you that doesn’t know Jesus and YOU are the one that is supposed to be a witness to them.

If God is calling you to something, which ticket are you going to purchase? One to Tarshish or one to Nineveh?

ByDanielle

In Memory Of Nana Lou: A Process Of Grief

In March my Nana was called home. She lived a glorious God filled life. I know where she is, and I know I will see her again. The following is mostly how I felt & what my emotions were.

 

Nana Lou

 

Today I heard the doxology.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above all ye heavenly hosts! Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost!! Amen!

The doxology was one of the first “Christian” things I learned. It holds a special place in my heart. I want to praise God for everything good & bad.

Today my Nana died. For awhile I was angry at God. I didn’t get home in time to be with her, to say goodbye, to tell her I love her. It took us 22 hours to get home. I thought a lot in those 22 hours. I cried a lot in those 22 hours. I praised God a lot in those 22 hours. The phone was put on the speaker and I said my final words to Nana. I told her how much I love her, how much I would miss her. How much B,M,S & E love her & will miss her. I told her to hug Jesus for me when she got to Heaven & hug my Gren (grandfather) I told her how sorry I was I didn’t make it home. I remember just telling her how much I love her, how sorry I was & I would see her in Heaven.

The days have been long, but they have also been encouraging. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with family & remembering Nana. It’s been difficult. I get overwhelmed & cry easily. I am selfish. I live 22 hours away from all of my family. I miss living near my family. I should have been here to help care for Nana. I should have been there when she died. I should have been there for my dad & sisters…. I should have….

Monday is Nana’s wake. Tons of people will come through offer condolences & cry, laugh & tell stories.

Tuesday is her funeral. I will cry. I will think how unfair it is. I will know she is in Heaven, with Jesus. I will rejoice & praise God knowing she is not in pain, she is with her Savior.

 

Cold day at the beach

 

On Easter we didn’t go to church to celebrate the joyous resurrection of our Savior Jesus. We went to the ocean and talked about Nana. It was cold and windy. I don’t really remember exactly how cold it was, looking at the pictures I see how cold really we were. Nana has always known where she would go when she died. I believe God gave me (us) this time together to cry, live, understand each other just a little more.

As sad as I am, I also rejoice.

Flash forward a week….

Nana’s wake was beautiful. 200 people came to offer condolences and morn with us. I grew closer to my aunt & understand my Dad a little more. Watching my children mourn was very difficult. Emma was very emotional. Sophia was emotionally shut off. Melissa, my oldest daughter, took on a mom role for her younger sisters. I was taking care of my dad & aunt. I also have a son, Brian, he is 25 & he is lost.

I don’t remember a whole lot about her funeral, here are a few memories I will cherish…Before Nana’s funeral we prayed as a family. My Dad, who does not believe, led us in prayer. It was such a beautiful moment that my family shared. My Dad, my Aunt, my children, & sister stood in a circle holding hands & praying. Funny, I don’t remember the words he said, but they were Godly.

 

Me and my dad

 

Once we got to the church and the men in our family carried Nana’s casket into the church & we walked her down the aisle, the church organist started playing “How great thou art”. My Sophia finally cried. She held onto my arm and we walked, tears freely flowing. We sat down and the priest spoke of Nana, told stories, remembered how if anyone needed prayer Nana was the one to ask, she prayed faithfully everyday. Then came time to read the prayers of the faithful. That was my job. I can hear the priest saying Lou’s oldest granddaughter, Danielle. I can see myself walking up to the pulpit. I feel myself taking that deep breath and looking at the paper I am supposed to read. I look down and I see that whoever typed the prayers out has written the wrong name on the paper & all I can think is please don’t say the wrong name!! I take a deep breath, all that comes out is my tears & my grief. I cry through the first prayer. I paused for what seemed like hours, which in fact was only maybe 30 seconds and I hear footsteps. I look up & Sophia is standing by my side holding my hand. I continue reading the prayers, crying & at that point, where Sophia is holding my hand & I am crying & reading. I no longer care that I’m sobbing while reading. I would not have been able to get through reading if Sophia hadn’t been there holding my hand. We walk back hand in hand tears in our eyes. It was a beautiful bonding moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.

 

Sophia and me holding her hand

 

My Dad walked up to the pulpit to speak about his Mom. I remember him talking about growing up and Nana always cooking. I remember him talking about Nana’s last night on this earth. Nana was partially in a coma at this point and one of my aunts or my step mom made her a drink, a highball, they put some of it on a sponge and she opened her eyes and smiled and said yum. My Dad talked of how much love nana had for everyone and then he too broke down, he came back to his seat.

 

Dad, Aunt, and Nana

 

After the funeral there was a meal, after the meal we went back to my Aunt’s home & talked more. There are so many more things that happened in those 2 weeks we were home. I am comforted in knowing that someday I will see my Nana again & we will be with Jesus next time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Grace & Peace to you!
Danielle

ByKaren

Restoring Value

Vanity -excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.
-an instance or display of this quality or feeling.
-something about which one is vain.
-lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness: the vanity of a selfish life.
-something worthless, trivial, or pointless.

Our children today are so vain at younger and younger ages. I fear for the girls, especially, because they have de-valued themselves so low, that it’s hard to re-teach them the value of their lives. Young ladies feel like they have to do whatever it takes to gain attention from boys or men and if they don’t get that attention, they feel worthless.

They paint themselves in so much make up, that they don’t even realize their true beauty anymore. A little make up is fine, but don’t hide yourself. They wear their shirts waaaay low and their skirts/shorts waaaay high, clothes tight, so that “everything” shows. They compromise their bodies and do things that they know deep down they don’t really want to do.

 

You see, we were all born with a God shaped hole right in our hearts. This worth, affection, and acceptance can only be found in Christ Jesus. - Karen Wilds, Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

Being vain doesn’t give you self worth. Getting attention from men/boys is the wrong type of affection to be searching for.

You see, we were all born with a “God shaped hole” right in our hearts. This worth, affection, and acceptance can only be found in Christ Jesus. When you accept Him and strive to live your life for Him, everything else falls into place. That emptiness and void will be filled.

If you know some young ladies that live this way, show them God’s love and let them know that their value can be restored.

ByAngie

Are Good Intentions Really Worth Anything?

I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have good intentions, do you? The majority of the people of this world have every desire to accomplish and do good things, whether for themselves or others. Those with bad intentions rarely admit it, anyways.

We’ve all heard the sayings, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” & “Good intentions are not enough”. There are movies, books, and even Travis Tritt sang a song about having the Best Of Intentions.

But what all does that mean, exactly? Do good intentions really mean anything? Think about it. You don’t refer to something that has been done or is in the process as a good intention. You call it an accomplishment.

My life has been full of good intentions. One after the other. Some turned into accomplishments, some into failures where I could at least say I tried, others, well, they are still those same old good intentions. The only person that feels good knowing that I had those intentions is me. It really means nothing to anyone else. In fact, my lack of acting out said intentions may have let down or outright hurt others. But if I tell myself “At least I had good intentions” then I can let go of my guilt and go on about my merry way. The truth is, my doing that is wrong…

An intention is not meant to live forever as an intention. Much like a caterpillar builds a cocoon and becomes a butterfly, our intentions are meant to have a brief life that’s meant to become something much greater. When they don’t transform as they are supposed to, they become stagnant and worthless. We may still see the beauty in them, because they were our own, but no one else will. Kinda makes you think “What’s the point?”, right? Good, because that is exactly what every single other person is thinking.

You see, I’m really writing this as a message to myself. Lately I have had a truck load of good intentions that never flourished. I made promises to myself that I would do things around the house, in homeschool, for my family, for others, and even to God that I never did. I resonated with the fact that at least I had good intentions to accomplish these things, but in the end I only feel like I let everyone down. Even if they didn’t know about it. I feel terrible. I’m determined to change this bad habit, but if I continue being lazy, procrastinating, and ignoring my plans those good intentions will never come to be what they could become: Something wonderful.

Text graphic of <a href=Hebrews 4:12 NKJV" src="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hebrews-4-12.jpg" width="750" height="250" srcset="https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hebrews-4-12.jpg 750w, https://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hebrews-4-12-300x100.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 750px) 100vw, 750px" />

Another point I want to make is that Hebrews 4:12 in NKJV says:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

However, when you read Hebrews 4:12 translated in The Amplified Bible, it really brings things to perspective:

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

If God knows the heart, then He knows that some of those good intentions we have were not really as important to us as we say they were. After all, if it was that important to us, wouldn’t we have finished the task? Something to think about.

In a nutshell, in all of my rambling I’m trying to say this: A little less good intentions a  little more action please. Actions speak louder than good intentions. No one will remember me for my good intentions, so if I don’t do anything I intend, I’m not going to be remembered for much. (Not exactly the kind of legacy I want to set forth…)

From this day forth: I will try harder to be more realistic with my plans, stop lying to myself, and be honest with God and not put Him off.

What about you? What are some ways that you’ll turn your well meaning plans into accomplishments?

Text graphic of a quote on good intentions by Margaret Thatcher

 

 

 

ByAngie

E Is For Everlasting Love

GE DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s Friday night. The boys and Molly have built a fort in our living room. Molly has since gone to bed, but the boys are watching a movie and will sleep in here all night… Most likely they will fall asleep on separate sides of the room, but will end up at some point snuggled up to each other because that is what they do. Bobby, my husband, is sitting on the other side of the couch from me. What he’s doing on his computer is beyond me, but he looks relaxed. Earlier today I was able to purchase the plane tickets for my 2 older children to visit this Summer.

To not feel loved at this moment would be impossible. I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and will see more that do soon.

In my life, I have loved many. Friends, family, children, and most of all my husband, to name a few. I have laughed, cried, and literally peed my pants over emotions brought on by those that I love. When it comes to love, I am definitely wealthy. I may not have a lot of money, assets, or possessions. But love? I have an abundance!

Unfortunately, I have learned one thing about all of these people: They are human. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anything bad about any of them. My point is that they are going to fail me, no matter how much they don’t want to hurt me. There are those that I love that don’t feel the same about me. There have been some in the past that have outright betrayed me regardless of how much I loved them. There are even those that may not realize they are hurting me at the time, or may let me down with actions that may not seem to them hurts others. It’s human nature; We change our minds, hearts, and feelings all the time. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the human heart.

You know what’s amazing? The only love that I can 100% truly count on? One love that will never fail me, or you?

The love of Jesus.

It was the first love I ever learned about in the form of song. First Jesus Loves Me and then Jesus Loves The Little Children. The only love I felt while crying alone in the middle of the night, cold and helpless without anyone to turn to and unsure of where my next meal would come from. The love that held me close and let me know He was there through each and every one of my painful miscarriages. The love that has told me so many times “You can do this! Follow My lead!” when others said “What are you thinking?”

The ONLY love that is guaranteed. The only love that resulted in the forgiveness of every sin I’ve ever committed. The only love that can heal my illness. The only love that can help me to be the woman of God I desire to be. The ONLY love that will never fail me.

This love will never end, and is everlasting. Jesus won’t change His mind tomorrow. Nor can He “fake” his affection for me, as anything He says is made truth. His love does not play favorites, and it doesn’t get moody. His love stands beside me as I laugh, and holds me when all feels hopeless and I’m sure I can not possibly go on.

His love never fails.

EverlastingI can love my husband all the live long day, and I know that Bobby will always be by my side. He is the closest thing possible to the man I prayed for as a little girl in my bedroom playing with my dolls. Our story is truly that which fairy tales are based on. However… My husband has and will fail me. He would never EVER intentionally hurt me. But he’s human as am I.

My parents may see me as their little girl. I can make them beam with pride. (And believe me, I can make them hide in shame, too!) They can do all they can to make me happy and feel loved by them. But their love will never be able to fulfill me the way the love of Jesus can.

Children are the greatest blessing from the Lord. But being a child myself, I know that my children are not required to love me. They may grow up and feel very differently about life than I do. They are going to let me down at some point. And that is okay, I will always love them.

I have been so blessed with many family members and friends. But not one of them will love me in a way that is able to whisper “all is okay” after I’ve lost a pregnancy or have received word about a loved ones death.

Only Jesus, only the love of God is everlasting. Jesus was my first love, after all.

By the way, have you met Jesus? His love is pretty awesome, if you haven’t caught on by now.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Oh, psst… D was going to be for “Down Time”. Oops! Silly blog was attacked. Bah… But to chronicle my “Down Time” you may enjoy the following photos from my weekend in Palm Springs, CA earlier this month:
For the first time in my adult life, I had a TAN!

For the first time in my adult life, I had a TAN!

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