Thursday, October 16, 2014

hearts for home #166

Welcome to our 166th  Hearts for Home  link-up!

Built on the foundation of 
Proverbs 31 & Titus 2.  The place we can encourage one another in our own individual journey's as homemakers while holding tight to Jesus, encouraging one another to....

Love God with our whole hearts, souls and minds
To grow in a deeper more intimate relationship with our Lord & Savior

To portray God's love & amazing grace through our everyday lives
To honor, respect and love our husbands
To cherish our children as the blessings from God that they are
To make our homes havens, full of peace, love, kindness and encouragement
To open our homes with genuine hospitality and love
To glorify God in all that we do
To let go, pursue truth, and embrace grace

How have you lived out the Proverbs 31 or Titus 2 woman this week?

  • Faith in Jesus - What have you learned this week? How have you grown?
  • Marriage - How were you an encourager and helper to your husband this week? 
  • Singleness - How did you honor God this week? How is God growing you?
  • Mothering - What ways did you nurture your children up in the Lord this week? What tips and tricks have you learned as a mother? 
  • Health -  What foods did you prepare for your family? What ways are you keeping yourself  healthy along with your family? What natural ways of life have you discovered?
  • Service -  Did you happily and gently serve your family and those around you? Did you give God praise while serving? How did you reach out to others in need? 
  • Finances - What frugal ways have you've discovered to be wise with your families finances? Do you have a tip to make the finances stretch? What ways did you find to make a little extra money this week? 
  • Industry - What ways did you willingly work with your hands? Did you learn anything new? 
  • Homemaking - How did you create a haven in your home this week? 
  • Hospitality - How did you practice hospitality this week? Did you open your home to guests? Any tips on how to be more hospitable to the loved ones in our homes?
  • Time - Did you work diligently with your daily work? Was your time spent wisely or wasted? Would you have done things differently? 
  • Beauty - Did true beauty reside in your heart this week? Did you learn a way to to enhance your inner beauty as your outer beauty?

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 Join Us? 

  • Enter your direct link into the linky tool below.
  • Share ANYTHING that relates to being a Godly homemaker. {Some examples listed above.}
  • Shared content must be from your own blog. 
  • No links to businesses or etsy shops. 
  • It's not required, but I would be honored if you'd share our Hearts for Home button. 
  • Have a wonderful time sharing, learning and mingling!

The views expressed by others on this link-up do not necessarily represent the views of Graced Simplicity - we are not responsible for other blogs or their content. Inappropriate content will be removed without notice. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the best kind of children

We were headed out the door of the store when she walked up to me with the biggest smile on her face. She spoke with the most delightful "Hello!" She proceeded to compliment the children on their  behavior, and how she noticed how helpful they were being to me.

"These are all your children?" I nod with a smile and say "yes, they are!" She beamed with a twinkle in her eye and said "good for you!" She elaborated a bit about her personal life story as a mother. She had raised four boys and they were such a joy, she wished she could do it all over again.

As this sweet mid to late 60's year old woman with shocks of gray hair started to take a few steps away, she put her hand on my shoulder and said with an ever so soft voice "all 5 are healthy and doing well?!" I nodded and said "yes." {probably with a bit of confusion on my face, I'm sure.} "What a blessing!" She said in a louder tone. She walked further away and shouted with a wink in her eye - "that's the best kind!" "Have a great day kids." "By Mom!"

As we walked out of the store, I couldn't brush her words off my shoulder - "that's the best kind?!"

“Only "healthy" children are a blessing?”

As our family is currently in the process of adopting through the special needs program of our adoption agency, I cannot help but ponder the thought of "health & disabilities." I mean, it has been so much of our world these past few months.

This perfectly good stranger was completely unaware that our family was in the process of adopting, let alone a "special needs" child. And I wondered what she would have said if I told her? My heart sunk that her seemingly innocent view of a healthy child vs. a non healthy child was obscured and really was coming to the conclusion or portraying that sick or disabled children are "not the best kind."

Personally my heart has opened up more and more than I ever would have imagined in this area over the years, and more so since our adoption process has began. I've always loved that so many people out there had a heart of gold for those with disabilities of all kinds. I just wasn't one that could "do that."

Over the years, the Lord has slowly been preparing my husband and I's hearts for many things we thought only "others could do."  I mean, we simply weren't capable of caring for a child with missing limbs, cleft lip & palate, let alone a child who might need surgeries for heart issues, let alone a whole list longer than I have time to list here, or even pronounce properly.

But as we look back, the Lord began opening our eyes and our hearts in the area of disabilities just 3 years into our parenting when our 3 year old daughter was diagnosed legally blind in one of her eyes, and that she could lose complete sight in that eye as well. IT WAS THEN - I slowly began to get a glimpse, that God WILL never allow a situation into our lives and not equip us with what we need to conquer.

At the time, I became the mother of a child who in the worlds eyes had a "disability." The Lord  taught my husband and I so much through those hard years, including miracles. We were totally unprepared, yet we were equipped with the strength and stamina and peace we needed at just the proper times and place. Even though it was a hard news to swallow and hard to understand.

Numerous babies are being thrown away {aborted}, and abandoned every. single. day. All because they are of an inconvenience or because they were born with a disability. If you read any statistics on abortions today, you will see many "disabilities" listed. I'm talking extra toes or fingers, heart defects, missing limbs, visual issues, facial abnormalities, malformed limbs etc, not to mention "healthy" babies!

I must stop and say: Mothers of all ages who choose to give their children up for a better life and a chance to live life are HERO'S! Such a selfless act of great love.

It's true, when God created the world it was PERFECT and FLAWLESS. And same goes for the people he created! No flaws! However, because of Adam and Eve's choice to disobey, sin came into the world. God didn't create it. Man chose it for themselves!

So yes, sometimes children are born with disabilities, because of a fallen world. Some are born with defects. And God still allows and desires for us to care and love these children whether they were born into our families biologically, or our hearts. Whether they are in our homes or outside our walls.

God calls ALL children a BLESSING, not a curse.

And whether or not a child is born "healthy" or not, who's the judge of a disability anyway?

We don’t just dishearten God when we rid ourselves of these little precious souls, these babes, who in the worlds eyes are less than perfect - but we are snuffing out what may very well be one of the greatest ways the Lord allows our lives and the lives around us be changed for the better, and the chance for his love to shine bright in a dark and fallen world - to bring honor and glory to himself and his kingdom.

May our hearts be ever so tender to all CHILDREN. Whether they are born "healthy" or born with a "disability." May we consider every opportunity to serve as a way we can minister, and serve while bringing glory and honor to the King of Kings. May we view ALL CHILDREN as a blessing from the LORD.

My we teach our children that every person was created in the image of God. Every person is of great value, every person has a purpose, a place and a time, the color of our hair, the number of toes we would have, and the days we would live on this earth and the time and place we would die, we were  knit and formed so beautifully together in the womb by a Creator who loved and died for each and everyone of us.

Psalm 139:13-17

 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How can we forget? The Lord delights himself in using the weak, and those who are not considered strong. He uses the lowly to demonstrate his love and his greatness.

Culture tells us to stay far away from suffering, hardships and pain - when God clearly tells us to "Rejoice in our sufferings..."

So when it comes down to our biological children or those grown in our hearts - healthy or not. We're trusting the Lord for HIS BEST.

"HIS CHILDREN are always the best kind!"

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