Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How He Holds Me Together

'Soap bars on two folded blue towels' photo (c) 2008, Horia Varlan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It was after I’d scrubbed fingerprints and dog nose marks from the windows and doors. After I’d vacuumed rugs, mopped the tile, unloaded the dishwasher and filled the bathroom cabinet with clean, soft towels. After I’d smoothed out the wrinkles in the bed sheets and comforter, swept the patio and pulled the chicken from the freezer to thaw for dinner ~ when I remembered the ladies talking in the grocery store aisle.

When I heard the words, they sort of just sat there, unsettled and rough.

“As the mom and wife, you’re the glue that holds your family together,” one said to the other nodding her head in agreement.

My stomach knotted.

I gripped the shopping cart and wandered away…thinking, considering the burden of being “the glue” and how my poor family wouldn’t stand a chance if they relied solely on MY strength and abilities to keep things afloat at home.

He himself existed before anything else did, and he holds all things together.

(Colossians 1:17)

'Window box perfection' photo (c) 2011, Rachel Kramer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As the “mom and wife,” I couldn’t possibly be the glue that holds my family together. Without the strength of God, the presence of Him, the constant need and leading of Him, I am but an empty vessel.

The binding element in my family and my home is none other than the power and love of Jesus. He sustains, overcomes, strengthens, provides, protects, understands, calms and brings peace far beyond my ability.

I am not the glue that holds my family together, but my Jesus is.

'Flowers' photo (c) 2011, Moyan Brenn - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Creation Station" Contest

'Cottage style desk area' photo (c) 2011, Posh Living, LLC - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Where do you create?

'Outside the Sewing Room' photo (c) 2010, suzy spence - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

· Do you run a home business?

· Are you a scrapbooker?

· Do you write?

· Do you paint?

· Are you a musician? A Photographer?

· Do you home-school?

· Do you sew or quilt?

Where does God inspire you most?

You have an opportunity to have your special space featured in the new “Creation Station” section of Christian Women’s Voice Magazine! Show us the space where God inspires you most and you could be in our NEXT issue!

'Craft Room' photo (c) 2011, chrissy.farnan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


· We want pictures!

· We want to know what makes your space so special!

· We want to know about you!

'portrait of the artist' photo (c) 2007, the trial - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Entries must be received via email no later than midnight March 20th.

Visit: cwvinfo@christianwomensvoice.org and enter to win TODAY!

(Note: only 1 entry per issue will be chosen)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reaching Down to the Roots

'Lavatera' photo (c) 2005, B.G.Z. Olson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

For whatever reason, the lavatera shrub that occupies a sunny corner of the garden has decided to shrivel. Her foliage is curled and dry and she’s thinned out so much that even the little finches have abandoned their hiding space within her branches to head for a thicker, denser residence.

I headed out yesterday morning to water and even though the poor thing looked so thirsty on the outside, I knew her foliage wasn’t what needed watering. No, what she needed was a deep-down soaking; a good, long drink that reaches clear to the roots with a sustaining power to last through the heat of the day.

Like the shrub that withers in the garden, it does little good to spray the foliage – moisture lasts but just a moment or so on the surface then evaporates. But the water that reaches clear to the roots, the heart of what’s been created, will remain and will continue to nourish and replenish.

I’m giving thanks today for those who reach the very heart of me.

'Project 50 #33 - Watering Can' photo (c) 2009, Christopher Craig - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’m giving thanks for the ones who make themselves available to be used by God and FOR God.

I’m thankful that He brings the perfect sermon on a Sunday morning; a day when I enter our sanctuary empty and needing the Word. He brings a message that speaks to the root of me and feeds my spirit.

He brings the mother-in-law who calls me at 6am on a Saturday with perfect, God-breathed words of encouragement and a prayer for the day ahead.

He brings a sister in Christ by my office to share a coffee, a hug, a scripture, a gentle smile and a listening ear.

He brings that message in the mail, the one I stain with tears of joy for the comfort it gives.

In essence, it’s the light of the Lord shared by others that carries sustaining power. Praying you will be used by Him and for Him to reach the very root of someone today.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simple Joy...

simplejoy...

Maybe I’m taking a que from Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts. Maybe it’s because I see it all around me ~ those struggling with family, relationships, finances, worry for tomorrow. All the stuff that clouds our vision of “joy.” Maybe the idea came when that photo washed up out of the blue and landed there in front of me; the one of my son showing the boyish back of him in baseball cap and t-shirt fishing at the creek a 6-hour drive north. I remember the day and the warm sun, the song of clear mountain waters rushing and the patience of him sitting, waiting. The smells of campfires swirling, of peace and sweet Heaven in the air. All that took my breath away and stopped me head on. I grabbed the moment, the precious gift from the Giver to savor NOW, today and all of my tomorrows.

'Yosemite Valley' photo (c) 2009, Chris M - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

My hope is that you and I will see and realize the simple pleasures; the moments that give us the greatest joy without the great expense. They only require that we live with our eyes open, not to the frustrations and negative elements, but to the blessings sometimes buried beneath the rubble.

It takes but only a minute of our time. A pause in the big rush. Our words hushed and with a full heart we give thanks to the Father of all things wonderful and glorious.

There truly are simple joys in each day. What are some of yours?

Be sure and stop by the Christian Women’s Voice Facebook fan page and share YOUR simple joys – they COULD be included in our next issue!


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