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from my heart

Being a Good Steward

Last week I was at my BFF’s house where we meet with other friends for a Bible study. We were talking about faith and one of the ladies started talking about some issues she was dealing with right now with her autistic daughter. We were all sitting there encouraging our friend and one of the other ladies told her that God has handpicked her to take care of this girl. My sweet friend said with tears in her eyes, “Yes, I have always known and believed that God gave me _______________ as a gift, but I always want to make sure that I’m a good steward over her.”

That really struck a chord with me that night….

She wants to make sure that she is being the kind of steward she needs to be over her daughter!!

A good steward?! I have never thought about being a good steward when it comes to people God puts in our path.

Now a steward or stewardship defines our practical obedience in the administration of everything under our control, everything entrusted to us.

In other words, a good steward is one who takes care of everything they have and this includes people!!

Ok…so these adults above me are my kids with their spouses that God handpicked for me to take care of…..from their birth until they both got married and even beyond that. :)!!

Have I been a good steward of them? I tried, but I know I have come short of that many times!!

And now I have 3 grandgirls who are a mighty wonderful blessing!

And they are the ones whom God has entrusted to me to be their Grandma!! Love. Them.!

And every year on the first day of school, I am entrusted with new little kinder cubs! Here is my most recent group:

God has handpicked each one of these kiddos to be a part of my 2016-17 kindergarten class!!

Therefore, it is important that I do my best for them…..

in other words…

I need to be a good steward!!

How you might ask?

I need to display good stewardship with these children each day by……

giving them hugs as much as possible.

listening to their stories that MUST be important to them because they won’t stop raising their hand or trying other means to get my attention

learning how each of them learn and work best

fitting my instruction to meet the needs of each individual child

keeping calm (no matter what might frustrate me during the day!!) and carrying on

believing that each child in my class CAN learn

helping with tying their shoes

putting Bandaids on boo boo’s

giving them times throughout the day to rest their brains

not RAISING my voice

making sure that none of them are hungry

building trust with each kinder cub

showing patience in every situation

giving them more positives than negatives throughout the day

reading aloud to them each day

allowing them to ask questions….many….many….questions

LOVING them unconditionally!!

My list could go on and on…….

When I get back to school next week, I plan to put forth much effort to be a good steward towards my kinders!

That is what God wants me to do…..

now that I realize each one of them was handpicked just for me,

I see what a true gift they are to me!

They are not just any kind of gift but a priceless gift!

And when we get priceless gifts, don’t we take care of them a little better than gifts that are not priceless??

Yep. We sure do.

Can’t wait to get to be with my little gifts next week!!

And I plan to take care of them….REAL GOOD!!

From a Mess to a Masterpiece

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Today, I just really felt led to share from my heart.

I’m giving you a big hint with the picture above as to what my little heart sharing is going to be about. ……my precious granddaughter, Jaden. One of the sweetest blessings we (meaning Dan and I) have EVER received!!

To preface what I’m about to share, our friend preached at our church today and I was very moved by an analogy  he used in his sermon.  In 1st grade, art was his favorite time of his school day. It was his favorite time because he was allowed to finger paint. He got to take globs of finger paint and with his fingers he could just paint whatever he pleased on the canvas that he was given. He could get those little first grade fingers messy and create his own beautiful picture. Basically, he got to make a MESS. Then, as he would walk down the halls of his school, he would see other paintings hanging on the school walls, that were created by 6th graders who used paint brushes and other mediums to create their paintings. He would always be in awe of these paintings and thought of these paintings as MASTERPIECES!! He realized that as he would get older and with more knowledge and tools, he could become better and if he stuck with it, he could create masterpieces like those he saw in the hallways of his school. He compared this to what our Lord has done for us. There have been times in our lives, that have been just a big ‘ole mess!! I mean just messes that you would think would take FOREVER to clean up. But through the grace and mercy that the Lord gives to each and every one of us through his son, Jesus, He can take our messy canvas, work with us, give us the right tools, teach us, clean it up and create a masterpiece within us.

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A messy painting for sure! Some of my students “gravity” painting from last year.

Fun!…..but not really masterpieces!

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Here is the best I could do with finding a picture of a masterpiece that I could use for this post. Dan and I painted these flowers at my school last summer. However, it was not quite done freehand….thank the Lord for projectors that allowed me to trace the designs before I painted them!! But you get the idea…..our little masterpiece at school!

The right tools, the right paint, more knowledge and VOILA! A flower garden!

As our friend was finishing up, my eyes just welled up with tears. I couldn’t help but compare what he said to our situation over 12 years ago. ……

Our daughter became pregnant and she wasn’t married. She was 20 and was still living at home. When she told us, we really thought that the situation was a mess….not the baby that was inside her…..just the situation. So we knew that we wanted her to keep her baby…..no doubt about it, and with God’s help, we ALL trusted HIM to help us through this difficult journey in our lives.

That was back in 2007 , now we cannot IMAGINE our life without Jaden! Neither can her mom, her stepdad, her little sister, her uncle, her aunt and many others!! We all are so very blessed to have Jaden in our lives!!  God has done an amazing work in her. We are so thankful for what He has done in her life. He continues to take her and work through her in so many ways. We look forward to what God has in store for her!!

So, today after the sermon, I was just so overwhelmed with thankfulness for how the Lord has blessed us with Jaden!

This struggle….. or mess…… in our lives over 12 years ago has turned into one of the most beautiful MASTERPIECES that God could have EVER given us!!

While we were eating lunch today, I just had to share that with Jaden.

Through my tears, I told her (with Dan sitting there agreeing and nodding his head….He’s so good at doing that! :)…..) that she needed to always remember that she is not a MESS!!

That God created her as a MASTERPIECE that will forever be PRICELESS in our family!!

Thanks for letting me share my heart today!

Enjoy your week and remember that you, too, are a masterpiece designed my God!!

Making New Christmas Memories

IMG_5397Today, being Christmas Eve Eve :), I just have to share my heart. It’s a bittersweet day for me, because my precious granddaughter of 10 years has arrived in Virginia with her mom and stepdad and sister for a visit with his family. They left last night around midnight from a rainy night in Georgia to travel to a cold morning in Virginia. They will be gone only for a week, but it is one of the most important weeks in history!! Christmas!! Hello!? Don’t you know that I want my granddaughter with me during this important and eventful week!?!

Jaden has lived with us ever since she was born. Even though her mom married 2 years ago, she continues to live with us because well, she just wants to, and we don’t mind it. Her mom lives only a couple of miles away, so the living situation is all good. You see, for the past 10 years we have been blessed with a granddaughter who has spent every Christmas with us and now we are left alone with no presents  left under the tree, no toys hidden away upstairs ready for Santa Claus to put under the tree, and no little girl asking me, “Grandma,  when are we going to bake Christmas cookies?”

What I’m left with today are two little sheets of paper with artwork that she did for us before she left last night. By the way, when her mom came to get her last night, we all cried and cried. It was pretty heart wrenching and a time I’ll probably never forget. But Jaden did go willingly, and as long as she did that, we knew it was the right thing for her to do.

Ok….I know this sounds really sad and it is, but what I have to remember is now that my children are all grown up and they have new families that we have to share time with, it is time for me and Dan to make some new memories that may not be as traditional as what we are used to but are still sweet memories nevertheless. I guess you would call it a new season in our lives. Is it easy? Absolutely not!! Not for a person like me who loves to keep with traditions when it comes to Christmas. But in order for us to continue living the wonderful life God gave us, we need to do that….(by the way, my dear friend Donna had to help me realize this). 

So, here is what we did this year. It may not become a new tradition for us but we definitely had fun.

IMG_5358This is Dan and me at my stepmom’s house on Sunday afternoon. My half brother and his wife were in town and so we all got together with my brothers, half sister and and their families at my step mom’s house. We had a great time, eating wonderful food, watching football, and we all brought gifts to play “Dirty Santa”. I love the fact that even though my dad is deceased, my step mom and half sister try their best to keep us connected. This event definitely did that and it was a lot of fun!

Since my son is only a few miles away from my stepmom’s house, he invited us to come to his house to go ahead and exchange gifts with each other. So, my daughter and her family came too. We had crockpot vegetable soup which was made by my son and cornbread (made by Publix 🙂 ). It was yummy. Then we gathered around their living room and exchanged gifts. We like to go around and unwrap 1 gift at a time. Jaden had so many gifts, that we got her to unwrap 2-3 gifts at a time. She needed to unwrap her Santa gifts too! That’s why she had so many!!

I sat there the whole time just letting this memory soak into my heart so I could remember it forever. I knew that even though it wasn’t the “REAL” Christmas day, it was OUR Christmas day!

Now of course being me, there was definitely some mishaps. I left out a giftcard  from my son in law’s stocking (which by the way was a Publix Christmas reusable bag….I loved using these instead of bringing the stocking from my fireplace…that way, it was easier for my kids to just take the stocking goodies with them) and I shorted my son a giftcard….I’m all about keeping the gifts as even as possible. But, all in all it was a fun time and everyone was happy.

IMG_5360Here is a pic of my son and daughter in law’s Christmas tree. They pin their Christmas cards on it with clothespins. I love it!!

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Do you ever find a gift that you buy more than 1 of because you think other people would like it? Well I do. This year it was this adapter that you plug into any outlet and it has 6 multiple outlets with two USB outlets on the top. My son (on the right) and son in law (on the left) . They were really excited to get this little contraption!

IMG_5363Here is a pic of me with my two granddaughters and my sweet daughter, Whitney! By the way, the baby’s name is Virginia. They are precious ones in my life. I am also blessed with 1 terrific daughter in law!

Ok so that is how we made a new Christmas memory this year.

Yes, since we’ve already celebrated Christmas, it is very quiet in our house….Dan is actually working (he works from home by the way) on his computer and I have the TV turned off while I’m typing.

I’m missing Jaden terribly….

but she did call us this morning and she was fine and excited to be in Virginia and the family there had breakfast waiting for them…..

and I may bake cookies or not…..can’t decide yet……

….I still need to go and get my son a giftcard….by the way he and his wife are spending the night with us Christmas Eve before they see her family on Christmas morning….we have Christmas Eve dinner at my mom’s house.

….and now I’m looking at a Christmas tree that is sparkling and dripping with ornaments that have been bought throughout the years, and I’m reminiscing over all of the past Christmas memories and pondering these treasures in my heart. However, I’m also excited thinking about the new memories that are yet to come and all of this is making me feel

MIGHTY BLESSED!

God bless you and I hope you create some great Christmas memories, too!