Tag Archives: Christianity

I’m Not Waving; I’m Drowning

20 Sep

“I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.”

These are the words of a British Poet named Stevie Smith. Her most famous poem lent its title to a collection she published in 1957, simply tilted “Not Waving but Drowning.”

Her brief, twelve-line poem pictures a dying man thrashing about in the surf, gesturing wildly, yet unable to attract the help of people passing by on the shore. The passersby see him, but they think he is waving. Some walk on, and some even wave back… leaving him to drown.

Have you ever been there in your life? I sure have and more than once. I recall a very specific time where my arms were flailing all around and people would nod and wave because that is what they thought they saw me doing, little did they know, I was not waving; I was drowning and about to go completely under.

The funny thing is that a wave does not always mean that someone is saying,”Hello” sometimes it means they are saying,”Help.”This was my reality when my entire world was crumbling right before my eyes. All the things that I thought had value or gave me value, had disappeared and I was left with a brokenness that made every part of my being ache.

I don’t think people knew how bad off I was. I think that I had become so good at wearing “masks” to cover the “real” me, that when I wanted someone to see my wave as a cry for help, they saw a hello.

But, God saw me. He saw me struggling to keep my head above the water. He saw the turmoil in the very pit of my soul. He saw the pain, emptiness and very deep-rooted wounds that had created such brokenness.

In this book, the author talks about a gift that her son gave her one year for her birthday. He saw an advertisement in a magazine for a stepping stone kit. In the magazine they showed a picture of the finished product and it was beautiful. The boy was very disappointed when the kit arrived and inside was, as he described, “A box of broken things.” His father had to explain to him that he would use the pieces to create his own pattern and make a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for his mom. Once he understood this, he went to work, and she said that stepping stone was perfect. All the pieces were arranged in the very order he had placed them, and what she loved most was that he had scribbled in the concrete, “I love you, Mom” with his finger. That special stepping stone is in her back yard and every morning when she goes outside to drink her coffee, she sees that stone… that gift, that means so much to her, but was once just “a box of broken things.”

I believe that God sees our brokenness… but also sees the final product, what only HE can make from that it. When we come to him in pieces, lost and needing to be “repaired,” He gets to work. He begins to strategically place all the pieces of our brokenness and make something that becomes a unique, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

I love Isaiah 43:19, which says:

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

So many times we feel like we are going to drown but that is because we are too busy looking behind us, and not ahead. We let our past become the focus of our future. You cannot drive a car if you are looking in the rearview mirror. You have to look through the windshield, and I truly believe there is a reason the windshield is MUCH bigger than the rearview mirror. That mirror has been strategically placed over the windshield so our eyes can catch a glance of what is behind us, before we return our gaze on what is ahead of us.

I am so thankful for the redemption I found in the cross. Without the cross, and what Jesus did on it, I am a HOT MESS. I believe with all that I am, God is asking us to leave everything behind, and follow Him, because he has something brand-new in store of each of us, just as he promised in Isaiah. He knows if we are waving “Hello” or “Help.”

So in closing, I pray that if look at the state of your life right now as “a box of broken things,” that you will make a decision to not let it stay that way. I am so glad that I finally gave up and surrendered everything to the Lord. I allowed Him to grab my hand, and drag me to the shore.

I am looking forward to Chapter 2… The title alone already has me excited and I pray that each of these entries will encourage you, just as they are me!

So, until tomorrow… Many Blessings~ Summer

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God loves broken people (and those who pretend they’re not)

19 Sep

Yesterday was the kick off for the fall session of “Women of Faith,”  which is a women’s Bible study group at my church.

Last week, after not really being sure which study I wanted to do, I ended up choosing,“God loves broken people. (And those who pretend they’re not.) I think it was the title that caught my attention, but it was the description of the book and study that kept it.

If there is one word I use to describe my past, it is BROKEN.

Many of you reading this know my story, but for those of you who don’t, let me just say that is by God’s grace and mercy that I am here today.

As I was outside this morning, sipping on my extra strong coffee, and reading through chapter 1 of this book, I decided that I would blog as I go through this study. In the first chapter alone, I think I had 5 “Ahh haaa” moments. I can already tell that this book, is exactly what I need and I know God is going to continue to restore this once very broken life.

So, later this evening, when the babies go down for the count, I will begin writing about this journey I am on. I will go chapter by chapter and pray that God uses it to help you, no matter where you are in life, or how “unbroken” you think you are! ūüėČ

Eeekkk, okay, I am excited. Now, time to get in “mommy” mode and feed the girls lunch!

Until tonight, have a great day!!!

Many Blessings~ Summer

Choosing a love that lasts!

30 Aug

I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office this morning, when I spotted the cutest couple I have ever seen. They were sitting across for me holding hands as they both read different magazines. The lady looked up and sweetly smiled at me and said hello. I said hello back and somehow we started talking. After a few minutes I asked them how long they have been married. The gentlemen, smiled, squeezed his wife’s hand and said, “We are newlyweds, of 62 years.” My heart melted. Then he said, “My bride is more beautiful today than the day I married her.” Okay seriously, can you get any more adorable? No, I didn’t think so. I am pretty sure the receptionist and I swooned at the same time.¬†I knew the nurse was probably going to call them soon, so I had to ask what their secret was. How have they made it last for 62 years? The man looked at me and said, “Everyday I wake up, I chose to love my wife. When we have a bad day, I choose to love her. When we have a good day, I choose to love her” And then the best of all…”Even when she burns my supper, I chose to love her.”¬†

I left the doctor’s office, thankful I had met that couple and even though our paths may never cross again, what he said to me will not be forgotten. Love is a choice.¬†The Bible’s premier “love” passage or very definition of love is found in I Corinthians 13 :4-8, it says; “Love is patient,¬†love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,¬†it is not easily angered,¬†it keeps no record of wrongs.¬†Love does not delight in evil¬†but rejoices with the truth.¬†It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I love that in this ¬†description Jesus gave of what love is and what it’s not, everything requires action.

For many years I viewed love as an emotion or a feeling you have for someone else, but now that I am married, I realize that emotions are not something to base a marriage on, but simply something to start a marriage with. Marriage is hard work and if you are relying on the emotional connection with someone to carry you through for the rest of your life (like I once was) you will quickly be disappointed. Because the very definition of love is not an emotion. It requires action and actions are a direct result of… choices.

I think this sweet little man understood this. He knew that life was going to be good and it was also going to be bad. He knew that some days his wife would make the best dinner and other days she would burn it, but most of all he knew that in order to make it through those times, he was going to have to wake up every morning and choose to love her, even when he didn’t feel like it.¬†I love their story and what’s great is that this can be our story too. If we simply choose to love our spouse no matter what, we will be able to sit and after 62 years of marriage tell someone of a younger generation… this is how to make love last.

Blessings~ Summer

Today’s “To-Do” List

28 Aug

My life is busy and sometimes can be flat-out-chaotic. Between two 9-month olds who are now very mobile and two teenagers, there are moments I feel like 24 hours in a day is NOT ENOUGH. However, in the craziness of today I will do the following:

  • Tell my children I love them more.
  • Write my husband a love note.
  • Extend an extra dose of patience to someone I want to throw a shoe at. IE… my teenagers.
  • Vacuum less (Okay who am I kidding? That wont happen)
  • Smile more.
  • I will not be so hard on myself. Instead be the best I can be.
  • When I want to complain, I will thank God for something he has given me or done for me instead.
  • I will make today count. I may not be an important executive of a prestigious company or have a bunch of letters after my last name; but I am the CEO of the Elliott Household. I am a busy and important woman in my own little bubble, so today, I will not take that for granted.

Is it Contagious?

23 Aug

 

 

Contagious (adjective): tending to spread from person to person.

 

 

My husband I were laying in bed on what had to have been a very long day. I have absolutely no idea what was said or done but all of a sudden I started laughing. It was not just a regular, “that was funny” kind of laugh, it was a full belly, tears flowing, could not stop kind of laughter. Within seconds, I look over and he was laughing just as hard. This went on for several minutes ¬†and finally as we both began to come off the “laughter train” I asked him why he was laughing. He looked at me and said, “Because you were.”

We all know that laughter is contagious. We don’t really know why, but it is. I also think that if we take this a step further, we realize that almost everything can be considered contagious, or as dictionary.com puts it, spread from person to person. ¬†For example,¬†I used to work with a lady who was very depressed. Whenever she was in the office she brought with her this gloom or negativity. It was amazing how fast the entire “vibe” in the office would change when she entered it. I also worked with another lady who has very positive, fun, happy and laughed a lot. When she was in the office the “vibe” was just like she was, positive.

Our attitude is contagious to those around us. Our kids, spouse, co-workers and friends, ¬†are prone to catch what ever we are spreading around. ¬†So the question than becomes, “What are people catching from me?” I know that we are not always going to be happy and in a good mood. Life just doesn’t work that way, but even in the times when things are not going great or we find ourselves in a “funk,” I believe we still have the ability to spread positivity by having an attitude that is uplifting and encouraging to those around us.

Now, go out there and “spread a little cheer.” ūüėČ (insert corniness here)

Blessings, Summer~

 

 

 

Goodness I have 8th graders

20 Aug

¬†I can close my eyes and picture the day I took these two too preschool for the first time. They had on denim little dresses with ruffled socks. They didn’t have much hair, but what I could work with was put into pig tails with bows. They had different backpacks because I let them pick them out themselves, so one chose a dog backpack and the other chose something with princesses. They sat on the bottom stairs in our Florida condo and posed for a ton of pictures I took with a disposable camera. Remember those things? Yea, not many do. But I took as many pictures as I could which was probably about 25 in all. I fought back the tears as we got into the car and drove to “big girl” school.¬†Now here I am several years later, fighting off the tears because my “little girls” are no longer little and this stings my heart just a bit.

8th grade… the last year of middle school and year before high school. It is a sobering thought for me because I honestly just felt really old. (insert BIG sigh). I like to think that I am one of the “cool mom’s.” I mean, I have tattoos, listen to good music, dress pretty trendy, and I don’t drive a station wagon or a mini-van (no offense to those who do, I just remember my mom picked me up in a purple station wagon… NOT COOL). But even with all that in my favor, I am still Mom and I know that very soon they are going to think being seen out with me is public humiliation or social suicide.

Life for teenagers now is so different then it was for many of us. We didn’t have Iphones, Ipods or anything with an “I” before it. We had to actually remember phone numbers or at least had an address book handy if we wanted to call someone. We didn’t have social media what-so-ever. We had actual conversations with our friends and although the desire to fit in and be accepted was there, I don’t think that it was at the caliber that is for the youth today.¬†Although the ways of the world have defiantly changed over the years, I pray that, morals, values and character haven’t. I pray that everyday my girls walk onto that campus, they know WHOSE they are and that they will never find their worth in this world. I pray that being “different” is a badge of honor for them and that they are “lights” in a school filled with darkness. And I pray they never compromise what they know is right in order to fit in with the wrong.

So, with all that being said, cheers to the last year of middle school and may it be fun!

 

A letter to my sister

30 Jul

Dear Sis,

I am SO proud of you. I am proud of the woman you have become and what you are doing with your life. I am proud and humble to call you my sister and my friend.

For 3 1/2 years now, I have watched you grow in your Faith. I watched you surrender all you are to the Lord and walk in obedience despite the cost. I watched you become so strong and I have also watched all of this rub off on so many.

With grace, love and humility, you have changed lives. Not just mine, but if mine was the only life you ever changed, I know that would be enough for you. Your true love for Jesus is evident in all you do. It is evident in how you treat others. It is evident in how you lead your children and respect your husband. It is evident in the way you serve without ever needing or wanting anything in return. I know your hearts desire is to be a light in a world full of darkness.

Witnessing your baptism last night… Your public declaration to follow and serve Jesus, no matter what… was such a proud moment for me. I stood there in awe of how far you have come. When the world was offering you so much, you chose the path less traveled. You chose the road that is narrow and so very hard at times. You knew the cost, but you walked it anyway, and that has led you to a life of redemption.

I love you with all that I am and I am so thankful that God chose YOU to be my little sister. He chose us to have a bond that the strong-holds of this world cannot break. Thank you for loving me in my darkest of hours and never giving up on me. Thank you for believing in me when everyone had given up on me. Thank you for seeing something in me and knowing what I was capable of becoming. But most of all, thank you for passionately pursing Jesus and living a life that changes others.

Your Past… A gift or a curse?

9 Jul

My past! For many years it is has been a place of shame, secrets and regret. I place I never wanted to go back to and many times wish had never happened. It is a place where I was so afraid that if people ever knew about it, they would look at me so differently. It was definitely a curse; until just recently when I found myself in a situation where my past, once a place of darkness, was used to bring light.

This situation made me really sit back and “reevaluate” my past. Times in my life that I never thought could have any good in them, or areas that were so full of pain, are now being used to help others and heal me. These areas that I never wanted ANYONE to find out about, are now what God has me leading with rather than sitting in silence.

My past is a gift.  I sit here and I can say that I am actually thankful for it. It has not only been the tool God has used for me to reach out to others who are hurting and feel alone, but it is a reminder of how BIG my God is and without Him, how small I am. A past that once defined how I felt about myself is now a means to relate to others without judgement and with humility.

I love the Bible for one simple reason… It is full of pasts, and like mine, not very good ones. It is a book full of stories about people who made poor choices, who were selfish, who disobeyed God and put themselves first. It is written about idolators, prostitutes and murders and God said, PRINT IT. He did that because he knew my sins even before I ever made them and knew that I needed to see that he does so much with a past like mine.

The problem is that so many of us, are so afraid of what others might think of us if they knew the truth about who we really are or were. I would pick and choose what “sins” or mistakes to share with others. We remain silent and hope it never comes out, when all the time, God¬†wants¬†it to come out. He wants us to share the filth and pain so others can see how great He is and how He changed us from what we were to who we are.

I now wonder how many opportunities I have passed up to help someone is a dark time because I was worried about what they might think of me. God does give our past and pain, ¬†purpose. It is a gift but we have to be willing to open it. That is the hardest first step to make. Remaining silent, or keeping that gift in the box is never going to do any good. It just sits there and can’t be put to use the way it was intended. It is like buying a computer but never taking it out of the box, turning it on and using all it offers. The same goes for those things in our past that we hate most.

Your past can be the enemy’s greatest weapon OR God’s greatest tool. You are the one who makes the decision whose hands it falls into!

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