Seeing Mother’s Day in a different way…

Hello my lovelies!
Yesterday was Mother’s day..and I can honestly say it’s one that I will never forget. I believe that sometimes in life we experience coincidences that are God incidents. I went to my church yesterday morning with the intention of staying for service after Sunday school. In Sunday school we talking about God’s Amazing Wonders..and how sometimes we miss them.

After Sunday school, I decided I would head to my mom’s church to be with her :) My brother and sister were unable to come home this weekend due to work conflicts. I got to church and walked in. My mom smiled but it didn’t quite reach her eyes..she looked at me and said we have a situation and I think it’s amazing that you’re here.

Before I had arrived at the church yesterday, a family had walked in. They were dirty but dressed in nice clothes. Two little girls with smiles so bright and a little baby in tow..they had come to church for Mother’s day. My dad (who is the pastor) quickly learned that someone in our town had told them to come to our church..because the pastor there loves everybody. My dad and mom quickly set to work to make them feel welcomed.

I arrived after Sunday school and my mom told me about the two little girls..the family is homeless..and destitute. I immediately prayed for wisdom and perseverance. I have a very tender heart and situations like this one are often hard for me to process. My dad, he’s a blessing y’all, ran to Hardee’s and brought back enough biscuits to feed the whole church. Saying that we always like to have breakfast on Sunday’s (which they do!). Those little girls tore into the biscuits and I struggled to keep the tears at bay. I asked if they’d like to go into big church or stay with me in the Sunday school room. They looked at me..and with sheepish expressions, asked if I could help them make a card for their mom for Mother’s Day..because they had nothing to give her.

I quickly assembled as many craft supplies as I could find and we set about making the most precious Mother’s day card you’ve ever seen. No store-bought card could rival the amount of love those girls put into those cards. We added glitter and pom-poms and some more glitter..until I wasn’t sure the paper would hold it all :) They were so proud and I was so humbled.

Shortly after the service started, the father brought the baby brother in. He’s 7 months old and quite small. They told me he was a special baby..that he’d been born prematurely and it’d been a fight for him to survive. I quickly told the father I’d love to keep him so he could enjoy the service. There was a moment of hesitation, but after seeing the girls giddy at work he agreed. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Little baby R was happy for all of 7 minutes…then came the loudest wail you’ve ever heard in your life. I’m not scared of babies..I’ve been around them my whole life. But this one scared me..as I picked him up I knew something wasn’t right. He was burning up with fever. When I tell you fever..I mean the kind that makes your heart stop because you know it’s too high. Having no baby supplies at hand, I struggled to find what I needed. Thankfully, I found some towels and a pacifier. He’s teething so I knew his teeth/gums were hurting. I found a towel and began to wipe away his tears and sweat.

I’m not often done in by smells. Having been raised on a farm, it takes a lot to make my stomach roll..but the smell of that little boy and his tears tore my heart to shreds. I cried because I knew this wasn’t the life anyone is supposed to live. Doing the best I could, I wiped his little hands, feet and neck. As soon as I placed a cool rag upon his forehead he quieted down. After a diaper change, he seemed better. I finally got him to take some formula and then he promptly started wailing again. I tried everything..rocking, walking, patting his back, a swing..nothing was working..until..he fell asleep.

The girls were troopers! Such little mother’s they are..telling me what he liked and what he didn’t like. I knew somehow I was going to have to tell my dad he needed a doctor desperately. After service I gave the girls a ride home (they had told me they walked a block to church..they walked 2 miles.) We deduced that the family (father, mother, daughter and baby) has no home of their own and they’ve been staying with relatives here and there trying to find work.

After dropping them off & giving hugs, I cried all the way to my grandmother’s house. I thought to myself how blessed I am..and how much I take it for granted. Here we would sit at Gram’s house..with more food than we needed while there are families so close to us with nothing. The great thing about my family? When we told them about the situation..it wasn’t a reply of oh that’s so sad..it was what can we do to help?.

Later that afternoon, after telling my dad about how sick I thought the baby was, he called the father to check on them. The dad expressed his concern about the baby’s temperature and humbly asked for a ride to the hospital. My dad and I set off immediately to take them to our local hospital. I have never been so thankful for a hospital that turns no one away as I was yesterday. I know at times I’ve often complained about it when I was the one sitting in the ER waiting to be seen, but I shall never complain again.

The doctors and nurses immediately went to work on the little baby. There was no judging..no questioning. Just a doctor who was sweet enough to realize there was more to the situation than what he was seeing. He spoke privately with my father who explained the situation. My dad stayed with the family late into the night. The doctors decided to keep the baby for 2 days. They’re concerned about his lungs and his temperature which was 102.8 upon intake.

The love for a Mother that I saw yesterday will forever be imprinted on my heart. The way that those girls loved their mother and the way that she loved them. The way my mother loved those little girls..the way my church showed God’s love yesterday by surrounding that family instead of judging them. That was what Mother’s day to me is all about..unconditional love.

So I pray that we won’t forget that. I hope that you will love someone..regardless of their station, their color or their life.

XoXo,
One Humbled-Heartbroken Lemon

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Thankful Thursday!

Is it Thursday already? I feel like this week is flying and crawling by all at the same time..but’s here’s what I’m thankful for this week!

1 – Bargain Brooks

I’ve been wanting to try a pair of Brooks out..but not at the $125 price tag. This week I found a pair this week at a Rugged Warehouse store for $44 and decided to try them out. SOOOOO COMFY! I’m running in them today for the first time :) I’ll let ya know how it goes.

2 – Mr. Peacock has arrived..and he’s wild!

Our last peacock was eaten by an owl..it’s a crazy story..a grown peacock getting picked up and hauled off by an owl? I wouldn’t even believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. But needless to say..the farm finally has a new peacock stud..and he thinks he’s hot stuff. He’s very wild and smart.

3 – New House

My new house-to-be is coming right along! I should be closing on it the last week of the month. I’ve been scouring the internet for remodeling ideas. It’s an older house that needs some TLC and the living room/dining room has an interesting layout. Last night I found exactly what I had been thinking in picture form :) Exciting!

4 – DIY Projects

I’ve been trying to do one new DIY project each week. This week I’m tackling scrap fabric rugs. So easy..all you need is a stack of old t-shirts and a hula hoop. They work up really quickly! I’m thrilled to be using so much of my scrap fabric.

5 – Church!

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with where I am supposed to be plugged in at church. There were several issues at the church I was attending that I did not feel comfortable with. After praying and seeking God, I knew it was time to start looking for a church home. I visited several churches but one just seemed to fit. I’ve been attending there now for about 2 months and I can’t begin to tell you how much I love it. I literally count down until I get to go to church. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about worshiping. They have a huge college and career ministry and I LOVE IT! I’m no longer the awkward single, childless, never married girl in my Sunday school class. There are 15 other girls all walking the same path as me and THEY ROCK! We have monthly Bible study and I wish we had it every week! I love sitting cross legged in Rebecca’s living room digging into the word.

6 – Halfway There!

I’m really thankful that God made people to endure med school! RJ is halfway through with block :) I’m thankful that he’s got 7 tests under his belt this week and only 7 more weeks to go! (Not that I’m counting or anything..) This girl is ready for him to have some free time! Because secretly I really just want to go eat Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice cream with him :)

 

What about you? What are you Thankful for this Thursday?

XoXo!

One Peachy Lemon

 

Becoming a Titus woman..

IMG_1205I LOOOOOVE first Tuesday :) Because first Tuesday means that at 7pm beautiful ladies converge upon Rebecca’s house for Bible study. There is something about snuggling into the couch with 10 other girls…women rather..my age and getting into the word. I know I don’t talk a lot about my faith on my blog, and forgive me, because I feel that I’m doing you an injustice by not talking about it. It’s a crucial part of my being, who I am, who I want to be.

The past few months we’ve been studying the book of Titus, specifically chapter 2. I never knew that so much wonderful info could be hiding in those three little chapters Paul wrote to Titus while he was at Crete.

We’ve been talking about the roles of the older and younger women in the church. I’ve always wondered why the older women aren’t more involved with the younger. I love them! They are a wealth of information and wisdom. My heart longs to sit under their teaching, but never do they seem interested in teaching a younger woman. I’ve resolved that even though I am young, I am still “older” than the youth and it’s my responsibility to pour myself into them. Being in a season of singleness is wonderful! I have so many opportunities to do things I won’t be able to do when I move into the role of wife and keeper of my home. But more on that later!

Last night we were a little on the small side, but that just makes it more intimate in my opinion. It’s beautiful to see the barriers and walls come down as we share our hearts with each other..barefoot and crisscrossed in the living room. We dug right back in where we had left off last night.

What is the role of “older” women in the church? We are to be teachers of good things. Good things..what does that mean? Things that are virtuous, moral, admirable. We are to be sober-minded, we are to love our husbands and we are to love our children. With the exception of Rebecca, we are all single. You might say, well as a single girl, how does this apply to me?  A LOT! We are to be sober-minded, because let’s face it..you can’t make proper judgements or decisions when you aren’t sober-minded.

Be Discreet ~ As we continued on through Titus chapter 2, we talked about being discreet. To be a woman of discretion, one must demonstrate good judgement. As a single woman, I need to demonstrate good judgement in my speech, my actions, my desires and my impulses. This one hit close to home for me. I’ve been battling lately against the desires of my heart and the desires of my flesh. I long to be married, I long to be held and loved by my husband. We talked about our relationships with the opposite sex, and I thought to myself..if my husband reviewed my actions of the last 3 months would he be pleased with my actions or disappointed? I’m sad to say I think he would be hurt. I am to be refined, tactful, modest, have foresight and not be unrefined, brash, boisterous, immodest, tactless, lacking foresight, reckless and self-indulgent.

Be Chaste ~ As we broached this topic, I expected to see some discomfort in the room. I love that these girls don’t try to justify sexual purity. I love that Grant and Rebecca & Ryan and Jen draw a hard-line on this one. Ryan has continually challenged us in Sunday School..both the career and college class to set our generation apart. The world screams at us constantly. Think about it..when is the last time you watched something on TV that didn’t involve sexual intercourse? He had us list our “favorite” TV shows and then we examined them. The top five: How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Southern Charm and Game of Thrones. I began to think..how many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy have I poured into my brain? If you want me to be completely honest, I haven’t missed an episode since the season 1 premier. Knowing this, I can tell you that there is nothing wholesome or godly about that show. It is loaded with casual sex, lewd behavior and marital infidelity. Game of Thrones? The first 3 episodes contain blatant sexual scenes. I was really convicted last night about my chastity. A chaste woman places a high priority on holy living because her heart longs to bring honor to God. I wept last night on the way home because I knew that this was something I greatly need to work on. I am to be pure, unpolluted and virtuous. I cannot be unpolluted if I’m pouring hours of ungodly tv shows into my brain or reading “romance” novels with impurity in them. I prayed for my husband. As much as I know that the world is bombarding me with sexual temptation..I know that for a man visual imagery is a road that is slippery. I thought about the billboards I’ve seen around town, about the magazine covers in the checkout line and about the TV shows that are popular..all of them contain immodestly dressed women. How I hope he has such godly men as Grant and Ryan in his life molding him into a warrior and husband to be for me.

Be Keepers at Home :) This has been a revelation for me. Our society today seems to be solely focused on the “career” woman. But the more I read and study, the more I am discerning that being a “career” woman isn’t what God had in mind. Being a keeper of a home isn’t meant to strip me of my dreams or aspirations, make me a maid or knitter..it’s God’s design for the home to run smoothly and efficiently. (This is not to say that a man can’t run a home efficiently because I know they can!) Men can do it..but it’s something women do immensely better. Think about it..God made guys to think about one thing at a time. They weren’t created to multitask. WE THRIVE on it :) As a single girl how does this apply to me? I don’t have a husband or a child..oh but it applies so much! You have to begin with the end in mind! I may be single now, but I plan to have a husband and if God wills children someday. As a single woman, I can do things to ensure that my husband and I have a smooth start. I can learn to clean a house quickly, prepare meals and live on a budget. Because otherwise, you will struggle. My cousin recently got married and his wife cannot cook at all. She has no concept of living on a budget as she spends her money as quickly as she made it. They have struggled greatly this first month of being married. I do not long for that. In preparing for marriage, I should be wise with my finances not accruing a lot of debt. I shouldn’t pursue a degree that will require long hours and ladder climbing. Because debt takes time to pay off, working long hours damages your marriage and ladder climbing means choosing whether you are going to be submissive to your husband or your boss.

We’ve been talking a lot about being “submissive” to your husband. This has always been a hard concept for me..in my mind I equate it with weakness. But it’s not being weak at all. It’s being so strong. Rebecca has been an amazing model of this in my life. Being submissive doesn’t mean that I don’t get a say or an opinion. It simply means that although my husband and I discuss things..ultimately the decision is his to make and I respect the choice he makes. Will I always agree? Probably not..but how can I learn this if I’m not married? God gave me two amazing “keepers” until my husband arrives..my parents. I can practice my submissiveness to my parents. I can tell you that at 26 it is becoming more and more difficult. We also talked about being submissive to your boss at work. I realized that I need to be more submissive. While I may know that an idea may not work or look like it should, I need to be respectful of my boss and the decisions he makes.

Being a keeper of a home is one of the greatest jobs a woman can ever have. It’s hard work, but so fulfilling. It requires the ability to multitask, manage, submit, get dirty..and the list goes on :) It’s a job that requires you to completely give of yourself if you want to do a good job. All of these things are necessary to maintain the order and tranquility of your home in order for it to truly be a “home”.

As I prepare to have my own home in a few weeks..I pondered on the meaning of “home”. Home is a place where I can come to rest, rejuvenate, acquire necessary skills and resources to be effective in the world. The same should be true for my family. Our home should be a place of refuge for my husband..a place he can come after working all day and be received with love and respect. As the “keeper” of my home, it is my job to guard it. When my children come, it will be my job to make sure they are supervised. I am to keep watch over them until the time arrives for them to marry. When children are supervised, they are more productive and protected :) Until then, I desire to keep my home pure and holy. It is my home and I must guard what comes in. I want to be a woman of good repute in my neighborhood.

Whew..this sounds like a lot of work. It is! But don’t worry my dears :) It’s the best work we’ll ever do. We talked about seasons in life. I’m moving into a new season in my life. Each season contains different responsibilities and opportunities. We shared how as single women, we are able to minister to the married women with children. One thing Rebecca shared that really touched me was this..Don’t rush through the season! How many times am I guilty of wishing this “season” in my life would pass? I resolved to enjoy my life. So I’m single..big whoop :) I’m a soccer coaching, swimming teaching, preschool loving, amazing girl who gets to pour and pour into these young little minds who will one day (hopefully!) be sitting in my living room being poured into as Rebecca pours into me.

By manifesting these qualities, we will earn the respect of outsiders and bring glory and honor to God.

This is the moment I hate…the moment I know our time together has come to an end..these girls are becoming my dear friends. It’s been really hard to find friends who share my beliefs. Girls who are modest in their appearance and not using their bodies to lure men into their beds. It’s refreshing..I can’t tell you how refreshing.

To my husband, darling, I’m praying for you. You’ve been on my heart a lot lately. I have a feeling you’re near..but God’s telling me you’re not quite ready for me yet. Know that I love you so much. I can’t wait to pour this love I’ve been saving up into you. I’ve been praying for our home and life together. It’s going to be a beautiful day my love when I vow to love you for the rest of my life.

Until then, be strong.

XoX0,

One Ever Changing Lemon

My Word for 2014

I’d never heard of Mike Ashcraft and My One Word before this year. After reading more about it, I decided that it was something I needed to do.

STEP 1: Determine the kind of person you want to become

I want to become a beautiful, delightful woman of God. After struggling for so long these past 2 years, I want to let go of the bitterness in my soul and embrace the delight that’s living in my heart.

Step 2: Identify the characteristics of that person

A delightful woman..Who is she? What does she look like? I believe she radiates and inner beauty that shines and shimmers in a way that cannot be emulated by modern make up. I believe a woman of delight laughs! A lot :) She is a woman you crave to be around because she brings joy to your soul.

Step 3: Pick a word

My word for 2014 is Delight :)

Delight
Psalm 37:4 says delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I want to learn to delight in my Savior. I want to delight and emulate His character, His nature, His creation, His love and His beauty. I want to delight in my job, my family, my friends and my relationship with my Abba.
Will you join me? What will be your word for 2014?
XoXo!
One Delightful Lemon