Sunday, December 30, 2012

World's Worst Baby Book Mama

There are mamas I know who have baby books & scrapbooks for their children that would challenge the work of the world's top graphic designers.  To all of these mamas, "I salute you."  For you see, I am, admittedly, the world's worst baby book mama.

For our first son Thomas, I bought a baby book.  Faithfully, for the first six weeks of his life, I documented important know what I'm talking about, things like how much he weighed, what time he was born, who came to visit, what gifts he received.

When our daughter Abby arrived almost 7 years later, I believe I bought a baby book, but don't quote me, and heavens, please don't ask me where it resides.....those pages only made it thru the first few days.

Four years ago, on New Year's Eve Day, at 12:02pm, Jack Henry entered the scene.


Ok, so you may have guessed by now..... no baby book.  This time however; I'm quite sure I saved the money  - a girl finally begins to know herself around age 40 you know. ;)

Truth be told, I used to really feel guilty.  Guilty that I hadn't been a good mama and taken proper notes, guilty that good mamas had these beautiful books documenting everything from their child's first guests to their first teeth to their first steps................ just plain guilty..........but you know what? {deep cleansing breath} I don't feel that guilt anymore.  (a girl realizes a whole lotta things around age 40)

           There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. - Romans 8:1

Keeping a prestigious baby book doesn't determine my ability to be a good mama.  Loving my kiddos unconditionally, encouraging them, nurturing them, building them up, valuing them, and showing them The Way....that's what makes me a good mama.  (*note: not a perfect mama, there is no such thing. Let go of that mommy guilt immediately)

It was hearing the Christmas story found in Luke Chapter 2 again this year that originally inspired this post.  I have mentioned before that each year, when I read.....and hear........and soak in the words of this incredible love story, God shows me something *new*.....................................  This year, my heart rested on these three incredible verses.....

                    When they [the shepherds] had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. ♥ Luke 2:17-19

Mary didn't have a baby book.  No Snapfish or Shutterfly either.  Not even a Nikon CoolPix to capture the Savior's first smile.  BUT MARY TREASURED.........Mary PONDERED............Mary STORED UP each and every moment and embedded them in her heart.

That's what a good mama does you know. ♥

Happy Birthday my sweet Jack Henry - You are forever engraved on your Mama's Heart. ♥
Grace & Peace to You as we Welcome the Gift of a New Year,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We can give them.........GRACE♥

Stunned. Shocked. Saddened.....Seemingly helpless.  But are we?
Or, in the wake of yesterday's tragic events.......Is there something that we, God's people, God's CHILDREN can do?
I asked Him about it last night. Most of the night in fact.
I shed tears as I spoke with Him.......cried out to Him.....praying for the children who were snatched from the arms of their earthly parents......praying for the mommies & daddies who now feel the emptiness in their homes and in their hearts....praying for the community who gathers to find ways to express their love and demonstrate their support........
I asked God...........what can we do? what can we send? what can we give?
and He answered...........
God ALWAYS answers...
He answered,
Give them.....GRACE.



Give Them Grace. Show Them Grace. SEND. THEM. GRACE.
Friends, if there's one thing I'm learning on this faith journey, it is the importance of listening to God, and in turn, obeying Him.  Now.  Not later.  Now. He speaks. We listen.
So here is what the Elness family came up with.........
We are sending a shipment of Max Lucado's "GRACE for the Moment Devotions for Kids" to the students of Sandy Hook Elementary.  27 copies in honor and memory of those taken.
We placed the order online, with instructions to ship to the school, and we prayed for each set of tiny hands that we hope will soon hold one.

Will you consider joining us? Whether it's one copy, ten copies, or one hundred copies?
Imagine if enough copies were sent to place in the hands of every small student at Sandy Hook?

Let's share the GIFT of His Grace this Christmas. ♥

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them. ~Mark 10:13-16

Sweet Blessings,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In the Middle

Father - Son - Holy Spirit
Jesus in the Middle.

Son - Daughter - Son
Abby in the Middle. 

The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ~Genesis 2:9

The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. ~Exodus 3:2

In the middle is a pretty incredible place to be.
Dove Caramels.
In the middle.

Abby Jean & Jesus Christ - both loved to the fullest by their heavenly Father and entrusted to the care of their earthly parents.  Both made in His Image to reflect His light, His grace, His mercy, and His love. ♥ Both sent for a purpose, and both with humble beginnings....

 Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby.  She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger..... ~Luke 2:4-7

Today, we celebrate and give thanks for our "in the middle".  Our middle-school, middle-child, in-the-middle Abby Jean turns 12 years old today.  A beautiful millennium baby born at night in a small hometown hospital in December. 

Happy Birthday Baby Girl.  You make us proud every single day of your life.  And God has you right where he wants you.  
In the Middle. 

♥All my Love Always & Forever,
Mom xo