Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Saint I'll Be Remembering This All Saints


I've spent the last two weeks prepping and shopping for the All Saints' party that we plan and run each year for the local homeschoolers.  It's a lot of work but it's fun and it's worth it and even though every year I wonder if I should put in the energy to do it again, every year I find myself packing treat bags and planning games and worrying again during my late October evenings if we'll have enough food at the buffet table.

While I love the officially canonized saints dearly and feel a strong connection to a whole bunch of them, the part of All Saints' that I love the most is that it's for everyone.  

Kinda like that.

The point of All Saints' is not just a collective celebration for all those we've already been remembering through various memorials and feasts throughout the year anyway.  One of its primary intentions is remembering all the saints that don't have official recognition in the Church.  The billions (trillions?) of souls that are beholding the face of God that we can't name.

Except I can name one.
At least, I'm fairly certain I can.

I know that the official teaching of the Church is that the child we lost within my womb we can "entrust to the mercy of God" and we have "hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism" (CCC 1261).  My experience and knowledge of the mercy of God lets me have a pretty solid trust that this means my little one who was free from any actual sin and who we would have baptized had we had the chance is one of those souls in His Presence.*

So All Saints' Day?
That's the day the Church celebrates him.  My child.

I love that.  I love that I belong to a Church that recognizes all those who have made it.  The grandpas and grandmas, the little children, the mentally challenged, the deathbed conversions, the babies, the souls who died in a state of grace…if they're up there, this is their feast day.  This is why I can't ignore it or let it pass without intentional celebration.  This is why American Halloween doesn't register much with me.  I have something much more personal and beautiful to plan for and celebrate - the victory of one of my very own flesh and blood children.  My most intimate experience of death happened within my very body.  It was painful and difficult and heartbreaking, yes.  The tears were many and my heart sometimes still aches to think of it.  But it wasn't gory or grotesque or creepy - it was heart wrenchingly brutal and beautiful.  Death has lost its sting and that is something I celebrate with joy.  I have hope that my own child, through the merits of Christ, conquered death and is up there with Him.  His tiny little corpse now long decayed is not something I want to mock but something I want to revere.  This beautiful Solemnity of the Church is the day the Church gives us to realize the dignity of each and every person who has fought the good fight.  Even if that fight was a few minutes, days, or weeks long, they won.

So this All Saints' I'll be thinking yet again about him.  But not with the raw grief and sadness that sometimes hits, rather with the joy and hope and pride that my baby made it.  That one of these little ones He's given me is already there.  

That's worth the party, I think.   

 Joseph Mary, pray for us.



*A much more detailed explanation can be found in the Church document The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Grab of Autumn at the Farm


It felt like forever since we did something fun as a family just because.  Even though our little farm trip was all but an hour this past Sunday, it was really really good to get out together in the somewhat sunshine and pick out some pumpkins.  We scooted out after our nephew's Baptism party to grab a tiny slice of fall before it's passed.  A little sad these are only phone pictures and kinda grainy and off but it was a take-what-you-can-get kind of day week.  Note to self:  figure out new camera sitch, stat.

Boys, we will not be picking ANY pumpkins until I get a few pictures...




 Get a load of this squirmy fuzzy adorably hard to focus pumpkin...



 I KNOW.  You're saying, Mary, you really should've chosen the denim overalls.  Totally.


The gourds are much more compliant photographic subjects.





These sweet babies were running all over the farm.

And gettin' some three year old lovin'




Thank you, Lord, for sunshine ;)
and sweet little moments with the fam however we can grab them.



Friday, October 23, 2015

Twelve Toys My Children Don't Need


(This is what works for us.  Maybe you have some special needs or situation where your child may really benefit from one of these things.  I'll assume you know I'm not talkin' bout those, sound good?)

I've come to believe that most kids actually thrive more with less toys.  Not no toys but less than the bins and boxes and several hundred square feet of house space taken up by play things.  Their imagination is more developed, their attention span increased, their gratitude expanded.  Quite possibly the most  important, mother's sanity is defended.

Here are my general guidelines of toys we don't need in our home.  Following these I find the amount of stuff we have in our house to not be overwhelming or stress inducing.  (Other things?  Yes.  But not this.)  And while cleanup and upkeep are not always joyfully undertaken, they are essentially simple.

I realize it sounds strict or even harsh written out but I assure you that I'm not some crazy anti-toy lady asking for resentful and joyless children.  (I've also never put it into such 'structured' form or thought about it much at all until writing this post.)  And I'm also not a jerk about it with gifts.  We're blessed that our families are really cooperative with this.  I *try* to handle this issue with kindness and through it teach my kids the value and place that stuff should have in our lives.   My kids for the most part have never even given second thought to how we do things.  It's just how we do.


1.
Toys that have only one function
These are the toys that are only made to be played with one way.  Things like toy phones or that dog that barks and does the flip thing or the speak and say that tells you what sound the animal makes…those type of things.  There's not much else you can do with them and the novelty wears off quickly.  While there's nothing inherently wrong with them, of course, they tend to take up space while being limited in use.  Those are the things they get to enjoy and be enthralled by in some office waiting room not our home.  You get so much more imaginative play and bang for your buck with "open play" toys that are meant to be used in all sorts of ways.  Blocks, a doll, Legos, a sandbox…those things.

2.
Toys That They Just Don't Use (or use once a year) 
If my kids just don't use a toy or they use it very very rarely, it doesn't earn a place in our home anymore.  It's silly and greedy for us to keep something in our house that we don't use and that another child might.  When my oldest turned two I got him the sweetest used wooden Amish-built kitchen set.  We repainted it and fixed it all up and it was just darling.  So cute.  Over the next few years we received wooden food and kitchenware as gifts and I bought sweet little kitchen accessories from garage sales.  I loved it.  The problem, though?  It was almost never played with.  It just sat there looking cute (or being dumped out by toddlers).  They couldn't care less if I got rid of it but I was the one attached to it!  I finally gave it to a family who I knew would get a lot of use out of it and it freed up a huge piece of floor space and went to a much better home than ours.

3.
Seventeen Versions of the One Toy
You know the scenario, I bet.  Your child is into a dinosaur phase (or stuffed animals or matchbox cars or dolls or whatever) so said child ends up with ALL THE DINOSAURS from relatives, you, or the neighbor down the street (who may be just purging their family's collection onto you).  Just because one is good doesn't make seventeen better.  In fact, in some cases I think it undermines the specialness of that first beloved toy when a dozen other options come easily and on top of each other.

4.
Toys Mom Just Doesn't Like
Mom, can I tell you a secret?  Getting rid of that obnoxious toy is okay.  You won't ruin your child and chances are they won't even notice.  In some respects you may even be doing them a favor.  And it's not pretentious, it's wise.  You have the right to get rid of toys that just bug the heck out of you.  (Who the heck invented that popping ball push toy??  NOT A MOM.)  I have a thing against toys that make noise or are just plain ugly.  So we don't have those.  And I don't feel one bit guilty.  I'd rather they play with a few quality toys than amass a bunch of stuff that is junk or horribly obnoxious.

5.
Toys That Just Don't Feel Right.
On a related note, a parent has the right to say no to things that just seem "off", even if they can't explain why.  That Bratz doll, questionable video game, or toilet humor pull string toy doesn't need to stay in your house even if Aunt Jenny or Grandma (or your children) think it's just the best gift ever.  God made you the parent and He gives us intuition so that it can be used.  I think maybe practicing intuition like this in smaller ways strengthens it to be used and followed when it's much more important.

6.
Cheap Freebie Toys
I very often say no now when my kids are offered a freebie toy (or I stealthily get rid of it later on).  Cheap toys that are given at restaurants or the dentist or as favors or prizes.  (Dear Trader Joes, I heart you but my kids do not need a roll of ten stickers every time we grocery shop.)  It seems, especially if you have multiple children, that left unchecked this kind of stuff will take over your house.

7.
Toys, Even Good Ones, That Are Just. Too. Much.
Even if everything we have is purposefully selected or would be played with there is a point where it is more than one family should have.  I think often about other parts of the world and throughout history where children have only a few toys and were happy (happier?).  I think about what my children will learn if just because they like or want something they then get to have it.  I think about the idea of detachment and the addiction we have in our country to STUFF (even good stuff).  There is a point where I can say, "yes, that toy looks fun and is super neat and I bet you guys would love it.  But we don't need it."  And that's okay.

8.
Toys That Don't Have a Place to Call Home
If I don't have a spot for a toy in my house, I have a general guideline that we need to either get rid of something else to make that space or it doesn't stay/come into our home.  Maybe this sounds silly but I figure that God gave us the home we have.  If there is not room to reasonably store that item in the space He's given us, then He doesn't mean for us to have it.  (Bonus:  When everything has a designated space, cleanup becomes far easier even for the littler ones.)

9.
Toys With ALL THE PIECES
Clean-up to enjoyment ratio must be considered.  If a toy has a lot of pieces and sees very little use besides getting toddler-dumped, then nope.


10.
Toys That Will Be Easily Broken (or already are)
If it can be fixed, put it on the counter (or teach kids to) so you don't keep forgetting.  If it can't and is unusable or if important pieces are missing and I know reasonably well that they aren't going to be replaced, it's time to part ways in the best possible way.  If it's not something we own yet I try to be realistic about the quality and if it's worth it coming in.

11.
Fad Toys
I don't want my kids pining for something and liking it just because they've been told it's the thing to do, especially if it's dumb.  (I'm lookin' at you, Silly Bandz.)  I think it teaches something unhealthy to kids.  I want them to have their own mind about things.  If there's a new toy out that they genuinely like for its own merits, fine.  But having that one thing simply because everyone else has one doesn't sit well with me

12.
Homemade Crafted Toys
If I kept every single cardboard toy or Perler bead creation of my children, I would no longer have a space to call home.  It would be filled with five million pony bead rosaries and stick bows and arrows and the so (SO) many paper airplanes.  Some of the neater creations I take pictures of but almost all are dismantled for reuse, recycled, or just thrown out.  They really don't mind.


So that's how we manage the toy situation around these parts.  As space has gotten tighter we may have to pare down even more as the playroom is going to have to become a bedroom.   Stuff is meant to be enjoyed and used and received gratefully but not hoarded or abused or coveted for its own sake.  My hope is that living this way will play a part in my kids learning the proper place of stuff in our lives, increase their imaginative play and gratitude, and lead all of us to better living a life of detachment in a culture that constantly pushes the opposite.  It may someday even help them with the joyfully cleaning thing.  We'll see ;)



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Oxen and Palettes for the Feast of Saint Luke


We didn't hear much about St. Luke at Mass today because it's a Sunday but today is his feast day!  

(Today Pope Francis also canonized the first married couple, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese!  Isn't that awesome?  What a cool thing to do during this much discussed and hotly debated synod on the family.  Such a testimony to the importance and integrity of the vocation of Marriage.  They were pretty awesome and you can read a little about them here.  Nine children, four of whom died in infancy or childhood and five daughters who entered religious life.  Buuut I digress…back to St. Luke.)

In addition to writing one of the Gospels, St. Luke was a physician and according to tradition, an artist.  His symbol amongst the four evangelists is the ox.  For our little Luke's feast day today, I ended up making some St. Luke themed sugar cookies.  Oxen and artist palettes, both of which seem appropriate for our Luke.  If you're impressed, please remember that last year we stuck crescent rolls on our heads and pretended it was a thing.   


We were fresh out of oxen cookies cutters at this house but I do happen to have a cow cookie cutter.  They're related, right?  I was able to use a big heart cutter for the palette.


Curving the bottom of the heart by hand with a knife turned into a palette-esque (or kidney bean) shape.  I was kinda proud of that revelation.  I used several pokes with a drinking straw to add the palette finger hole.

This also works for a swollen Pac-Man cookie.  You know, in case you ever need that.

It was kinda picky to do all the colors.  I used India Tree natural dyes and since their blue is NEVER blue (all three bottles I've had have come out an army green) I also used some of their blue crystals (Wegman's sells them individually!) and mixed them into some frosting.  I first tried to go the easy route and find some more natural M&M type candies to use as the paint but with no success.  If you're not picky crunchy like me, you could use M&Ms or Skittles rather than frosting.

So each color is just a dollop of color (India Tree red for the red and orange, India Tree yellow for the yellow, spirulina powder for the green, and the India Tree blue sprinkles for the blue.)  The paintbrush is melted chocolate with a sliver of almond for the tip.

Aren't they cute?  
Two of the boys decided to paint today while the feast day boy himself took a much needed nap.  


And here's my oxen.  My poor, humble oxen.

I used carob powder added to the frosting to get it brown. (Cocoa is better but I've had this can of carob powder that I've been trying to get rid of and I swear it's bottomless.)  Almond sliver horns and tiny pieces of raisin for the eyes finish it.  I feel like they could definitely benefit from a tail and nose but whatever.  The boys will love them and eat them in a hot second with or without such embellishments.

See?

 Happy feast day to our sweet and wild little ox.

Saints Luke, Louis, and Zelie, pray for us!



Friday, October 16, 2015

This Month in Boys - October 2015


-a monthly recap of some of the things I just don't want to forget-


John Paul


-made his first loaf of dinner bread the other day.  He forgot the salt but other than that, did a great job and will certainly be pressed into service in the future.
-has been creating more army plans and large backyard weapons as well as a whole fleet of bows and arrows.
-went to his first youth group meeting with our local homeschool group!  Somehow I have a big kid.
-acquiesced to a haircut.  We compromised on the length and went to real place for a cut.  He cut a bit more off than we were thinking so now we are both waiting for him to outgrow a little bit of a Beatle head. 
-when he grows up wants to "be medieval."  He would, honest to goodness, like to build and live in a castle in the middle of the forest with a group of other medieval play actors and set up surrounding kingdoms ("about a mile apart from each other or so") who trade, have pretend battles, etc. with each other.  

Michael


-compiled a roughshod first aid kit on his own in an old mints container.  It's pretty much bandaids.  His two younger brothers, of course, had to follow suit.
-has been busy making plans for all sorts of things to build.  I'm not sure how many have come to fruition but his ideas are pretty great.  His latest endeavor is to build a wooden safe.
-wants to help John Paul paint the garage to earn a chunk of money.  Possibly in the spring…
-went golfing and out to lunch with Grandpa, John Paul, and David.  He loved it.
-still is our best sleeper.  Never an argument going down and falls asleep right away.  We may be moving him and John Paul to the other room soon so the two of them can sleep without being woken up by littles every morning.
-would like to be a priest who paints his own church and has a garden.

David


-made his first aid kit in a huge plastic container and has been bringing it around to places with him.  He   insisted on bringing it to the appointment at the new doctor who sweetly gave him all sorts of neat goodies to add to it.
-declared, "If I were the president, do you know what I would say?  No smoking, no guns, no swords, no cannons.  And I would tell the people that the babies in Mama's wombs are babies."  Proceed discussion about the role of government and a democratic republic system and gun control and...
-decided that he wanted to write a letter to Pope Francis.  And so he did.
-finished both our Frog and Toad books!  On to Little Bear!
-also finished his math 1A book.
-gave his guardian angel a test by stepping in front of his brother shooting a homemade arrow.  He got a good gash about 1/4 inch away from his eye.
-while learning new memory work and having to pronounce the word "synthesis":  "Wait.  Is that even really a word?"
-when he grows up would still like to be a farmer and a priest.

Luke


-let us know that "All thieves are robbers.  They're robbers that can fly."  Oooor maybe robins?
-questioned me, "Why is this called mango lemonade, Mama?  Because there's mango in it?  And some lemon in it?  And some nade in it?
-made up the nickname Benzy-Boy for Ben.  It's starting to stick a little bit.
-wants to play games with me (or anyone) all the time.
-tested his guardian angel just this morning by falling backwards off the piano bench and gashing the back of his head.  The jury is out on whether stitches will be needed.
-is still my little sous chef.
-decided that for his upcoming feast day dinner he would like tacos and bananas.
-says he would like to be a farmer when he grows up with chickens and cows and horses.

Ben


-managed his first little sniffly cold like a champ.  It messed with his sleeping but other than that, was still a happy (albeit snotty) clam.
-is still really sound sensitive.  The only time he cries is if he's startled by a loud noise or movement.
-is still fascinated by his hands.  He just moves them and stares at them with this look of intrigue and awe that is absolutely the best.
-is beginning to grab things, reach for things, and mouth whatever is in his hands.
-when weight is put on his little legs will bounce and lunge like a crazy man.
-has no long term goals as of yet but I have no doubt this kid's called to something awesome.



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Some Beauty, Some Crafting, Some Smiles, Some Tears


A few moments to capture from the last week…

{pretty}
I caught this color trifecta from our driveway a few days ago.  The trees are taking turns changing and and the leaves fluttering down constantly.

{happy}
Pay no heed to the off center picture frame and instead appreciate my cute little canning jar pumpkin creation.

I have so many extra canning rings!  It's a bit ridiculous.  So I finally did this with some of them.  Super easy and cuter than I initially thought it would be.  I made two and used 22 rings for each pumpkin.  The stem and leafish thing are just from a paper bag.  Silly little thing but it made me happy.  Do you have a brilliant use for unneeded canning rings?

With all the toys Luke decided he needed to play with.  Obviously he's very interested.

{funny}
He's just starting to be able to Bumbo it up.  (Thank you, Colleen!)  He looks so ridiculously tiny and mini in it!

Pre-Mass diversions.  They love him hard.  He's not always so sure.

{real}
Last week was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  We made our popcorn rosaries and drank cider and let me be clear that this photo looks MUCH more peaceful and idyllic than the way the scene actually played out.  Nice in theory but eating while trying to pray with five young children doesn't work well.  Far too much micromanaging of other people's rosaries and it just makes something that is hard (focusing during prayer) even harder.  Next time we'll make the rosaries as an afternoon snack or something and pray separately.  #keepyoureyesonyourownrosary

The victim of a homemade stick arrow.  Thankful for near misses, guardian angels, and a quick recovery.


Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  (Although, I'm not a huge fan of the term 'pregnancy loss.'  It's the loss of much more than a pregnancy.)  I made this little meme for anyone who would like to share it or use it as a Facebook profile pic.  (Right click to save it in your files and then upload it wherever.)  One part of building a culture of life is to acknowledge that every single baby lost in the womb matters.  I do think hearts are slowly changed by the acknowledgement that the grief of losing an unborn child means that there was a child to be lost in the first place.  


Praying today for those who grieve.

It's also the feast of St. Teresa of Avila!
Love that lady.  My middle name is after St. Therese but she was named after St. Teresa so kinda sorta she's my patron, too.  I love the little way but I've always felt a stronger personality connection with Teresa.  I think we have very similar temperaments so clearly she's awesome ;)


Linking with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Ministry of Baby



Inside there's the temptation to turn away, to pretend I don't see her eyeing him up as she peruses the red bell peppers and bags of precut squash.

There's no time today.  In and out of the store.  Get the job done.  Like a machine.  I make a good one.  There's no room for the questions or the pleasantries or the smalltalk that could prove awkward here.  I'm a busy mom, you know.  There's a dinner to be made and schoolwork to take care of and, after all, he needs to get home for his nap soon.  Besides, I tell myself, everyone else is busy, too. They're not looking to be bothered and certainly aren't at the store for small talk.  Get in, get the stuff, get out.  Above all, don't make eye contact.

But He stops me.  Again.  He pulls me out of myself and reminds me of the gift that he is.  Not just to me but to the world.  I angle my body so that she can get a better look at the little boy strapped to my chest.  I stroke his cheek and whisper in his ear so that he'll give one of his famous big grins.  She inches over.  "I had six children."  And the conversation begins.  An encounter is made.

It's easy to see the big evangelists.  The preachers, the ministers, the sisters, the missionaries.  It's even easy to see how we normal folk have a role to play in the Body and how our work and actions can be a part of His work in the world.  Volunteering, praying, sacrificing, evangelizing.  The little ones, though.  We often think of them as the recipients.  The baby is to receive, to be cared for, to be taught and tended.  They are the little ones upon whom Christ begs our compassion.  Yes.  But how very often I forget that this little one has a Kingdom part to play, too.

The baby in the mall, in the church, in the park, in the checkout line pulls us in.
 People who would never have anything in common on the surface find themselves having a conversation.  The baby draws the shy/busy/self-absorbed/suspicious mom (or stranger) out of herself and initiates a conversation and sparks a new awe at the majesty of His work.  The baby begs to be noticed, unconsciously giving us a glimmer of hope, a reminder that God is in charge, that God loves, that He hasn't forgotten us.  The baby loves indiscriminately smiling at the stranger or staring blatantly and without apology - noticing.  They don't pretend to not see that other person and rather stare unashamed, noticing their existence, acknowledging the presence of another soul, another image of Him.  Their cry in the grocery store demands our response and calls us outside of ourselves to compassion when we'd rather just get the job done and do it without distraction or remembering the other in our midst.

Our babies have been such a lesson to us in openness to the people around us.  They prompt the conversations that I would never otherwise have begun.  They give me a natural segue into a conversation that I would like to start.  They give me courage to approach the stranger or even see the stranger to begin with.

Their ministry goes farther still.  Their mere existence brings joy to the sorrowing, comfort to the suffering, acknowledgement to the depressed and forgotten.  They minister to the hurting.  They bring His love and hope better than I probably ever have as an adult striving to do the same.  They minister unaware because it is so much a part of who they are.   Even those who are annoyed by their presence are offered in that presence the opportunity to love, to make a choice, or even take a glimpse into the mirror that God offers them in that moment - facing the reality of their own cynicism towards innocence and life.

I remember once as a college age girl searching, hurting, trying to find where He was speaking to me. The mission in the inner city where I often attended Mass was filled with little children.  One little boy reached out.  He wanted me to hold him during the Mass.  The love he shared, just holding that sweet little frame against mine, healed.  It brought grounding and a spot of healing in a time of confusion and hurt.  And though he probably would've been happy in anyone's arms, he had chosen mine.  He ministered God's love and healing to me.

I must let my little ones do the same.  I must let them bring that joy and love and offer of a hope they don't even know they possess to the people around us.  I must let them draw me out of myself and be present to others.  I have been given a gift.  In a time of life when my time and energy and ability to minister to the world seems woefully short, I have been entrusted with a gift better than any I could muster up in a structured program, outreach, blog post, or classroom.  He has entrusted them to me and shame on me if I keep them all to myself.  Prudence, protection, and their needs met first, of course, but allowing them to be the gift that they are to the world is a true ministry indeed.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

From Regret to Restored


Satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness, 
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, 
And the years we have seen evil.

Psalm 90:14-15


The bones of this post has been sitting in my drafts for a few months since Leila shared such beautiful thoughts on it.  It probably would have been subject to deletion very soon…until I saw what today's Psalm is.   Leila's post uncovered for me a deeper reality to that verse that kinda blew my mind and which I needed to be reminded of yet again this morning.  (Please do read it.  It's incredible.)  There is a reality spoken here that the Lord will not just replace the days, weeks, or years we regret or that were a hardship to us but He will truly restore them.  Give them back to us.  


Did you hear that?

Give them back to us.


What true hope that is!  Not a pat on the back, it'll all be okay, dear.  Not a that all didn't matter, let's just focus on something more positive.  

Restoration.  
Hope.


I have regrets.  Do you?  There are whole years of my life that I wish I could do over.  Some that were wasted.  Some that were abused.  And then there are the years that I don't necessarily regret but that were downright bloody and difficult and heart wrenching.  Her words brought such joy and hope that through God, those years weren't just a teaching lesson.  They're not just an "oh well" on the timeline of my life.  They can be made new again.  

Made NEW.  
Somehow they will be returned to us in whatever mystical way that means.  
Given back. 


Restored.



What if the Lord isn't just looking for us to forget, to make peace with, or even just to heal?  

What if He's looking to restore?
What if those pithy sayings about never looking back and focusing on what's ahead are falling short?
The only time you should look back is to see how far you've come.
Meh.
Those never really click with me.  I mean, yeah, I get it.  We can't change the past.  Don't wallow.  Focus on where you're going.  All true.  But where we've been does matter.  We all know that.
Which is the more compassionate:  
That pain doesn't matter, stop with all this dwelling nonsense 
or 
That pain is bitter, excruciating even, but not only can it be healed, it can truly be restored?  
What if He can give it back to you?
What if the cross is big enough to do that?
What if He will restore?

I don't know what that means exactly and I don't know what that will look like for you, dear friend.  But He does.

Childhood wounds
Sickness
Regret
Abuse
Sins
Betrayal
Our own missed chances and opportunity

Just maybe He doesn't only want to heal those things but just maybe He also longs to restore what was lost.  Restore in a way that only He can.

 Right before those lines about restoration we ask to be filled and satisfied by Him.  We make ourselves available to His power, to His mercy and love.  Then we ask for restoration.
What if all we need to do is to be present to Him, to ask, and then trust that He will do it?
We have His word for it.  Words of real hope.

"Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten."
Joel 2:25

Make up for the lost time, Lord.
Please.  Restore.


{Sunday Scripture Snapshots}



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