Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Scars of Hope

It was a moment. A viligent western cowboy came in with his pocket knife and rope. He had a glean in his eye as he searched for the routhless criminal. He asked the townsmen if they had seen him pass their way. They nodded and went about their business. His plan was simple. To rope him and bring him to the sheriff...and if there was any resistance he would surely have to use his pocket knife. Then it happened....he fell. With bravery and a calm voice he showed me his knee. A little bit of blood was visible. There was going to be a scar...

The story for him was simple, falling on his way to the next town {the laundry room} was unplanned. But for a 7 year old boy his wound was not going to keep him down. He never shed a tear and even while the sun is setting refuses to wear a band-aid. His scar has meaning...and it soon became part of his story.
Evidently we all will wear a scar of some sort. Whether it is something unplanned, like a accident or something tied to a memory it is up to us how we see our scars. For some those scars can be deep, rooted in some sort of childhood memory. Forgiveness for those scars come slow. Forgetting where they come from may never happen. For me those scars are written on my heart. Memories are hard...but I have seen the Lord use those scars as he molded me into the Woman of God I am now. I have seen the joy in relationships that are covered in forgiveness, and I see those scars differently now. Those scars are a part of my story.

But there is one more scar in my life. One that was planned.

This scar is a little different.

{A heart note: This is my story of my heart, many that are dear to me have made this decesion. I love them all dearly and do not mean this in any judgemental sort of way!!! Each one of us are different and make differnet choices, for my family and I this choice ended in regret}

A number of years ago my husband and I found ourselves in a season of life. A season full of changes, uncertainities, and fear. We were bringing a third child into our life, we were greatful for each of them and rejoiced in our newest little guy. The day he was born we made another choice, a choice to stop having anymore. A decesion that seemed very "natural" at the time. I was wheeled in to have my tubes tied. I hung onto the words of many around us who said we already had our hands full. I clung to the fear and uncertainties of our lifestyle and reassured myself  this was the best choice.  My new little guy was in the nursery and I yearned to hold him. My other two where at home sound asleep. In that room, in the silence of no one around I felt like I had just given a part of my heart away.   I cried.

Not just once but many times over the next seven years my heart seemed to ache over this decesion. I would pour my heart out to the Lord. I would run my fingers over the scar across my belly button no bigger than a button and fall to my knees. In His soverignty I asked for forgiveness. In His promises I found joy. And it was in the years that passed, sheparding my three blessings serveing alongside my husband whereever God lead Him where I found contentment.

Over the last two years both of our hearts yearned for more blessings and we begun to look into expanding our family through foster care or international adoption. It took about a year of researching, paperwork and praying for peace when we saw God closing those doors. He then begun leading us into a different direction.

This past friday I was wheeled into a different recovery room. One where my husband sat smiling at me and my oldest daughter held my hand. It was here where that little scar across my navel took on a new meaning. A bigger scar now replaces it...a scar that is healing slowly. One of hope. Hope for more of Gods blessings in the years to come.

We don't know for sure what will define this new scar. It may be a joyous new little face, with a new name and another chance. It may be one of grief if the Lord wills for any of our seeds to see him first and they pass from our womb. It may be silence. We don't know the plans He has for us.

But what I do know is this...I am humbled that He has given us this oppurutnity. I am greaftul for the overflowing support and encouragement from many who have walked alongside us in this journey. And while I sit still sore, I feel like my heart is whole.

{If you are interested or considering a tubal/Vascetomy reversal feel free to check out these sites which have been a great encouragement for me.}


~May God bless you today as you love on your arrows~

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hard Grace

Do you see your children as a burden or a blessing? So often as moms we can let the bad things our kids do be magnified in our hearts and in return the good only shadows behind. Its hard...I am learning... but I know every moment is God-given.

  Each one of my children are different...as I am sure each of one of yours are. My boys...are...well BOYS. Wrestling in odd places of the house, curious about many things, and loud. Did I say loud? They are strong, and very attentive during bible time, and they do break stuff. They are silly and love to give me raspberry kisses. They are mine. Given to me by God.

My daughter is very fragile. She loves dainty tea cups, finding quiet moments throughout the house to read-and has learned sometimes curling under a tree outside is the quietest place of all. She is growing up fast and loves learning about what the bible says on how to become a wise woman. She thrives in the kitchen and gets giddy in front of a blank canvas and new paint brushes. She still loves holding my hand. She is mine. Given to me by God.

I confess my to-do list was BIG today.. I was sick all week and felt like so much was left undone. I wanted to get back into a "normal" (well as much as possible) school schedule Monday. I hurried through each room.  I soon realized God had many interruptions planned for my attention.  It wasn't too long before I found myself feeling like I wasn't going to get anything done. Inside I felt like there were many "discipline" moments. Moments that felt like burdens.

I scurried to my to-do list and he pulled on my shirt.
"Mommy can you hold me?"

He's not my little guy anymore...and rarely asks to be held...I bent down and he wrapped his arms tightly around me. I melted.

The decoration he broke last week faded.

The Lego's he forgot in his pockets then discovered in the pew Sunday morning were only a memory.

Those became shadows in the light of that moment.

He sat there for only a few minutes then ran eagerly back to his toys. I watched him and was grateful. It wasn't long before I saw another...and another...in all of my children. They were little things. Things I am sure I would walk right past in my haste to complete the  To-do's for the day. They were blessings and I begun to look closer.

As I vacuumed I prayed. My mind was overwhelmed with all the hard moments. My heart was focusing only on the "wrong" things they had done. As moms we need to be diligent to discipline when needed. I believe God gives us every moment. But sometimes I wonder...what  if the hard moments are not just meant as opportunities for us to mold their hearts towards Christ, but also to mold ours as moms to grace. Grace that sees the blessings in each and every child of ours. Grace that is full of love when one more thing breaks. Grace that offers forgiveness. Forgiveness that keeps us from thinking only of their mistakes.These children are gifts he has given me. Every moment is His.

Keep an eye out today for Hard Grace....find those moments and hold onto them tightly. For it is here where our Joy as a mom...our love for raising them...gives us a small glimpse on God's love for us.

Many Blessings,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pew Prayers

                                               Dear Lord...
Its been a hard day. I've yelled more often than not. Please forgive me for not forgiving quickly and for keeping your grace all to myself. Thank you for the hearts of everyone in my home. Thank you for the many hands to help get heavy things moved. I am grateful. Thank you for the rain. The sounds of it on the ceiling and  the smell of dirt being filled. Thank you for small hands holding me close and hugs. Thank you for your grace...unfailing and your love...always there. Give me strength to serve you and my family in the morning. Help me to see your wisdom and apply it.


Monday, August 27, 2012

"Our New Beginning"

Its nearly Fall...summer has seem to fly by so quickly! The last few months our home has been filled with laughter, tears, fellowshipping with new friends, the smells of new recipes, the beginning of a new schedule (which may still need some adjusting)and the humming of a sewing machine that has stayed silent for years! As I open the windows and let the crisp fall air slip in I find myself refreshed. Do you ever just stand there feeling the breeze and sigh? I do :) Its those little moments that don't seem to last long in a house full of little (or big) ones. 

Just as spring has its new beginnings... Fall, for us, is a new beginning. A beginning of a journey towards expanding our family. It's been over six years since we have had little feet running through our home...and little hands reaching high for something to play with. The last six years have been very humbling for our family as we have seen God's grace and mercy and have followed Him as he lead us through many changes. At the beginning of that six year journey we decided that God was calling me to be a fulltime stay-at-home mom and my husband received a job at the local Christian University. A few years later we moved into our own home, set a little in the country, and the Lord lead us to a new church family. Our three children have grown much since then. Our oldest is blooming into a strong woman of God, taking an interest in art and interior design. Our oldest boy loves learning about missionaries and tells us he wants to be one when he grows up. Our youngest boy loves math and geography. My husband has continued to serve the Lord at the local university and I have found much to do here as I homeschool my children and begun opening my new business called "The Threshing Floor."

As our children have grown we talked about expanding our family. Back when my youngest was born we decided to have my tubes tied. It was a season of life where at times we felt overwhelmed and searched for stability as we adjusted to one income. In hindsight we wonder if our faith in God was a little shaken. For us it was a time where things always seemed soo hard. It seems God's plan for each family is different. Within the last two years we researched, set appointments, talked to caseworkers and agencies, and filed a file box of all the papers to examine. With hope we looked into many options. It seemed whenever we thought a door had opened... two closed. The Lord called my husband to serve at a university...we both knew it was exactly where God wanted him. My husbands income is sufficent and we are truly blessed! Sometimes we have just enough, other times our cup overflows!!! We knew the Lord's plan was better than ours and kept following Him. 

The last door closed on what we thought would be a great chance to rescue a orphan from within the states and my peace was gone. Soon I found myself surrendering it all to the Lord. It all sounded like a great idea-and I begun to pray. In our home we have a love for orphans, we have many many friends including our pastors family who have adopted. We know the need is great overseas and in the states and our hearts were opened. But you see sometimes the Lord's plan are way different from ours. Even though we felt like our plans were good and we have done much research nothing seemed to give us peace. Doors were not opening. During these days of confusion and grief a mentor of mine reminded me that I have three wonderful arrows and that I needed to focus on their hearts. It was in those days when the eyes of the three precious arrows we alraeady have, meant soo much more. It was here where contentment found me once again. That peace that passes all understanding and I begun to thank the Lord for every little thing in each of my children. I prayed that I would have their hearts and keep them focused on Him all the days of their lives. 

 We thought all the doors were closed but one day we were talking and I realized their was a window opened in my heart. A desire...a yearning...a moment in time where we felt we made a decesion in haste. It was that window that we realized was still there. Could it even be possible? Could the Lord have had that as His plan all along? After much research we found the Lord opening many doors in even the smallest details when it came to this option. So with faith, prayers and words of encouragement from friends we made our decesion to have a tubal reversal. To restore that part of our life to the Lord. It isn't going to be easy, and we know this isn't a popular choice. But we know the Lord is in control and He has promised to always provide our needs! We simply have to trust Him. 
With this decision we also know a great expense is required to get the surgery...something that will increase our faith even more. Its a long journey...one of faith, hope and love. A journey we hope will lead to the Lord blessing us with more arrows. Your prayers are very special to us and as a family we would like to ask you to pray for the following; for peace as we wait on God's timing, pray for faith as we trust Him for the financing, and pray for joy as we continue in the days ahead raising the arrows He has trusted us with already. 

 Many Blessings from our heart to yours, The Pickering Family

 "Lo children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward...as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of thy youth. Happy is the man that has a quiver full of them."

 *If you would like to donate to our "Arrow Fund" feel free to email me here..we hope to have a paypal button up soon! simpleblessings@frontiernet.net

 P.S....if you have a Etsy shop and would like to help us raise funds by donating something that I could raffle off feel free to let me know! I am hoping to have some "raffle" giveaways in the coming months. Most importantly your encouragement and prayers are priceless! If you would like to receive our prayer letters throughout our journey please send me your email or home address. 

 Thanks again for walking this journey with us!

Monday, May 14, 2012

High Heels and Hot Wheels

Once I looked into the face of a little girl, sweet with rosy cheeks and  bright eyes under a lacy bonnet. She would squeal with excitment whenever daddy would lift her high. Her favorite thing was the M&M jar far above her reach. This little girl loved picnics and falling asleep next to mommy.

Soon this little girl became a little lady, blooming into womanhood and I stop...slowing myself down... try as I may to stop time. Could this be my sweet little one who I loved to carry in my arms ever so often?

Please join me at A Mother's Heritage for the rest of my reflections (and a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe)!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Being carried by the Lord

                           (when my head aches and my heart is weary)
The last few weeks my body has been weary with sickness. I have let my heart out there for many to pray over, and I have leaned on my Love more than ever before. It was a long healing process...walking pneumonia took most of my energy, caused my nights to be restless full of coughing and made my days very long. As I look back-now fully recovered,  I see the Lord's hands. His hands were there when my youngest needed encouragement to use kind words. His hands were there when my oldest son bowed his head and pleaded for my healing. His hands helped guide my oldest as she prepared many lunches.My strength wasn't enough but His was. He carried me. I. am. thankful.  I have a God I can turn to when I needed to. And in the midst of many days of struggle the Lord has so graciously poured out sweet blessings...showing me He is there.The prayers of righteous friends, (even though they were through blogs and phone calls) meant so much more! Friends willing to become family as they offer to carry any burdens I am willing to let go. And the love of my life being my strength when I was weak. Those are the moments that I treasure...and even though being sick for over two weeks really made my heart weary I can rest knowing that even in the midst of sickness the Lord has blessings waiting for me to pick up. Be encouraged dear friends! Those simple blessings are all around...I hope you will be looking for them as you go about your day today! And Thanks so much to all of you who reached out, may God bless you in a special way!!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seeds of the Heart

What seeds are you planting in the Hearts of those around you?

Please join me over at http://amothersheritage.com today as I share about the different kinds of seeds we are planting in the hearts of all those who watch us and how my family turns Dandelion seeds into a wonderful bread!