Friday, August 29, 2014

Moms Night Out Review and Giveaway

Happy Weekend, friends! I have a fun giveaway - a copy of Moms' Night Out DVD and Blu-Ray two disc set!

I wish I could set you each up with your very own night out. A night of beauty, refreshment, peace, nourishment and a transfusion of courage to your weary soul. I would have quilts and comfy places to sit and quiet, flowers and twinkly lights and yummy food that you did not have to prepare. I would give you a big hug and tell you what a good job you are doing and that, yes, this mothering gig is extremely hard and we are in it together, sisters.

While this Mom's Night Out is a bit outlandish - the comic relief is welcome in light of what we know as reality. Life is messy. It is sticky and germy and noisy and chaotic. It interrupts and changes our plans until we are more flexible than Gumby.

Seeing yourself on the big screen is eye opening and touching and poignant all at the same time. It felt like someone "got" me when I watched this movie as I saw myself in Allison SO many times.

I have two very, very favorite parts. My very favorite of all is at the end of the movie - Allison is writing a blog post as a mommy blogger and she writes this,

"I am a mess. But I am a beautiful mess. I am His masterpiece."

Just let that sink in for a minute.

The other part that gets me every time is in a police station lobby. A rough looking biker dude named Bones is patiently waiting with Allison for this mess to get straightened out and she goes on and on about how she is not enough. He profoundly and in such a moving way points out that God did not make a mistake by making her the mama of her kids. "Enough for who?" is a question of his that comes to my mind over and over. Yes, I'm not enough for me.

I've laughed and cried during this movie and thought about parts of it for weeks afterward. I am thrilled to send one of you a copy provided in exchange for this review.

I'd love to make a visual of all the words that come to your mind when you think of motherhood. Leave one word. Leave more than one word. Whatever comes to mind and you'll be entered. Open to US residents only please. Comments will be open until Monday, September 1 at 10pm EST.

I received two copies of this movie in exchange for writing a review about it. All opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

Motherhood. Can't wait to hear your words - go!

Slow: Psalm 86

Consider writing or printing out the entire Psalm. Label any instances of surrender, less, obedience and worship with the letters s, l, o and w or with certain colors. 

"Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. {L} Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. {S, O} You are my God {S}; save your servant who trusts in You. {W} Have mercy on me, {S, L} O Lord, for I call to you all day long. {S} Bring joy to your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. {L, S, W}

You are forgiving and good {W}, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O Lord; {S} listen to my cry for mercy. {S} In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. {S}

Among the gods there is none like You, {W} O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. {W} All the nations you have made will come and worship before you {W}, O Lord, they will bring glory to Your name. {W} For you are great and do marvelous deeds {W}, You alone are God. {W}

Teach me your way {S, O}, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth {S, O}; give me an undivided heart {S}, that I may fear your name. {W} I will praise {W} you, O Lord my God, with all my heart {S, W}; I will glorify your name forever {S, W}. For great is your love toward me {W}; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. {W}

The arrogant are attacking me, O God' a band of ruthless men seeks my life - men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,{S, W}

 slow to anger {W}, abounding in love and faithfulness {W}. Turn to me and have mercy on me {S}, grant your strength {S, L} to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and e put to shame, for you, O Love, have helped me and comforted me." {W}

** Slow moments around our life lately.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Slow: Nehemiah 9:1-37

Nehemiah 9:1-37

Verses 5b-15: so full of praise, glory, blessing and honor to God. Write your own paragraph of praise!

Verses 16-37: a history lesson on their ancestors legacy of discontentment. Amidst all of this, they still praise and acknowledge the truth of who God really is. And, we see again that He is slow to anger and lose patience with us.

Compare the Israelites behavior with God's response:

Israelites behavior
God’s response
vs. 16-17: disobeyed
refused to listen
failed to remember
wanted their own way
Slow to anger
Abounding in love
vs. 18-25: created an idol
“reveled” in His goodness
Provider: leading, guidance, instruction, food, water, physical help, kingdoms and nations, numerous sons – prosperity
Kept His Word and promises to them
Subdued their enemies
vs. 26-27a: disobedient
sin/rejection of God’s Law
killed God’s prophets
Handed them over to the hand of their enemies.
vs. 27b: cried out in their oppression.
Delivered them time after time
vs. 28a: evil
rejected God
Gave them to be ruled by their enemies.
vs. 29: arrogant
refuse to listen
rejected God
Gave a warning.
vs. 30-31: ignored
Urging to do what was right
Provided prophets
Handed them over to their neighbors
Sustained them

Have you experienced behavior like this in yourself or in your home?

Yesterday {written in the Spring} we maintained a family tradition to hold a little Spring party in our home. We like to dye eggs, do an egg hunt, read a couple of books and go through Resurrection Eggs on a day separate from Easter Sunday. At any rate, we had spent all morning in our fun activities and as lunch time approached, one of my children asked, "What's for lunch?" To which I responded, "Probably leftovers."

To this I received a very ungrateful response as if leftovers was not "fun" or "special" enough for our celebratory day. I was not exactly slow to anger or gracious in patience.

You've been here too right? It immediately takes the wind out of your sails and made me wish I had not been so generous in planning fun all morning for this child who responded in such a way. Isn't that just like the Israelites? And us?

I am so thankful God doesn't treat me as my behavior merits! Stop and thank God for how He has been slow to anger, generous, patient and faithful to you!

** Photos: An Emily-planned girls night complete with cozy, hot tea and Little Women!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Slow Evening Beauty

At the end of our second week of school I was downright weary. I was craving beauty and with a borrowed beach park pass - we secretly planned a Family Night picnic. It was a huge hit and I literally felt physically better on our way home than I had on the way there - beauty. It just does this to me. I knew I needed it and I am so grateful for these moments to slow, rest, do nothing, be recharged.

I love how the sound of the ocean sort of muffles other sounds, it is commanding and that white noise is such a blessing and calming to the soul. We saw lightning, a very faint rainbow, birds and heard tons of squeals and giggles of delight from our three. It was a delight to the senses - and it filled me up. I am so grateful.

I bought the sunflowers at the grocery store and everything else came from shopping our own home/yard. The second part of the beauty comes when we get home - I always clean everything up right away and look forward to a peaceful spot to download my photos and relive it all again. I always look forward to this part!!!