Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's Time to Talk about SANE

Many of you know that body image issues have been a struggle for me for most of my life.

I started counting calories when I was nine, I ate between 600 and 900 calories a day the summer before I started high school, and throughout my first 14 years of motherhood, I tried to eat as little as possible each day--and still get out to exercise (even when I was exhausted from being up all night).  That part of my story hasn't been pleasant.

About a year ago, I started something new.  I read The Calorie Myth my Jonathan Bailor, and my frustrations with food and exercise finally made sense to me. He explained the science behind how our bodies work. He told me which foods would help my metabolism to heal. More importantly, he helped me to finally achieve "nutritional serenity," so I don't even have to think about calories anymore.

I wish I could explain how much this has meant to me. Looking back, I can't believe how many years I spent going hungry.

(These are my "before and after" photos - I can't tell you how reluctant I have been to post these, but I know it's helpful for people to see...)

But the story gets better...a lot better.

My daughter, Alia, started struggling with her weight when she was in third grade.  I helped her to count calories (like I did), and I encouraged her to eat less sugar.  I also tried to get her moving more and invited her to participate in my workout DVDs.  Nothing worked. She kept getting heavier and heavier.

However, when I started applying the advice from Jonathan and The Calorie Myth, she saw that it was working for me, and she began to follow my lead.

It was slow at first. We started eating green smoothies together, and I showed her how to get protein into every meal. But over the course of a few months, her entire body changed.  Every few weeks, we were heading off to Old Navy to buy her smaller pants and poking new holes in her belt so she could tighten it.

It wasn't only her body that transformed.  She became happier and more confident than I had ever seen her--without EVER being hungry.

Last September, I reached out to Jonathan Bailor on Twitter and thanked him for making a difference in our lives. Then I invited him on Power of Moms Radio, and he invited me onto his podcast.

We talked about Alia--and all the mothers, fathers, and children out there who are overweight and/or diabetic--not because they are weak, but because they don't know what to do besides "eat less and exercise more."

Then we decided we could do something together to help save lives. We outlined a step-by-step program for families--including things like how to grocery shop, how to pack SANE lunches, and how to eat healthfully while on the go. We recorded videos about how to get organized so the process would feel easier, and we interviewed Alia regarding how she made this transformation as a 15-year-old girl.

This week, our SANE Families program has launched. 

It has taken hundreds of hours behind the scenes to get it up and running, and there's still a lot of work ahead of us to get it out to the families who need it, but this is part of my Butterfly Project I've been telling you about.

My life and Alia's life have been so transformed by Jonathan's work that we feel compelled to share it with others who are struggling like we were.

If you want to hear our podcast with Jonathan and learn more about our SANE Families projects, this is the link that includes all of the key SANE information:

So excited about this--and hopeful that we can make a real difference.

Much love,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When Your Knowledge of God is Deep in Your Core

***Quick Book Update (before I start this post):

Thank you all for your support and inquiries regarding my upcoming book, Your Children Want YOU!  I am more excited about it than I can say, and I thought it might be helpful to let you know what's happening.

(1) The book is finished.  It has taken more than two years, but it's done.

(2) I shared it with my dear friend Rachel Nielson, who is more than an editor. She's a deliberate mother who lost her amazing mom to cancer years ago (you can read her story here). Out of everyone in the world, I felt like she could give me the feedback I needed on this book.

(3) She did. In fact, her feedback was so good that I decided to take some extra time to apply all of her edits and publish the book "right." Rachel has never met my mom, but she knows her. She would say things about my book like, "I don't think you meant it this way. I think your mom would have said ____ instead."  And she was absolutely right.

(4) The book is coming. I feel like it's a sacred project that will not only honor my mother, but will strengthen others who need her.

This is what I wrote in the dedication:

To My Mother, Zoe:
Even though you can no longer remember these stories, 
I am keeping them safe for you and sharing your light with the world.

So I'll be announcing more soon, but if you want to receive an email when I launch, please sign up at  (the new site my husband and I just launched that I'll talk more about soon!)

With love,
April here's today's post:

I was about to jump into my day (lots of emails and projects calling my name), but I felt like I should pause for a moment to record a powerful experience that won't leave me. I hope it will be helpful for you.

Last Thursday, my children and I went to visit my mom (as usual!).  We went boogie boarding at the beach first, so we were a bit tired when we got there.  I actually crawled into my mom's hospital bed right next to her and took a little nap while she held me. I haven't done something like that in nearly 20 years.

Well, after our rest time and our dinner, my sister Laura came over to visit for a little while.  We pulled up a few chairs around Mom's hospital bed--me, Laura, Grace, and Alia--and then we just talked.

Mom doesn't participate in these conversations anymore.  She usually fiddles with her bedding or hugs her stuffed animal (a blue bunny this week!), and then whenever we make eye contact, she smiles at us like this:

A few minutes into the conversation, Laura mentioned that she was teaching a lesson at church that Sunday about justice and mercy.  (This excellent talk was the basis for her lesson...I definitely recommend reading it.)

We talked for a bit about what kinds of questions she could ask in her lesson and about how we have personally felt the Lord's mercy in our lives.

Then I shared a thought that has been strengthening me for the last few weeks:

I need the Lord's mercy every single day. Sometimes I look at the challenges--and the opportunities--in front of me, and I think, "There is NO way I can do this. Zero. I don't have what it takes. I don't have the energy. I can't possibly get through this. I am not up to the task." 

But then I step back for a moment, and I ask myself, "Has there EVER been a time--even once--when the Lord has let me down?" 

And the answer is, "Not once."  There hasn't been one time in my entire life when I have felt like I was falling, and when I have called to the Lord for help, and when he hasn't come to rescue me. He gives me SO much more than I merit, and so when I start walking into what seems to be a long, dark, overwhelming time in my life, I only need to remember that I have help RIGHT there.

The power I feel when I remember these thoughts completely lifts me. However, what is more powerful is what my mom was doing while I shared those thoughts.

"Look," Laura said, "Look at Mom. She's listening. She's here. She's nodding her head."

I turned to look at my mother (who is about five years into her Alzheimer's), and although she didn't have the words to say it, this is what I felt:

April, what you're saying is true. The Lord is there for you. He's there for me. Don't give up. NEVER doubt Him. His mercy is a gift, and whenever you need Him--no matter what--He will take care of you. 

I wish I could have taken a photograph or a video of her face and her eyes. I wish you could have seen how she wasn't confused or distracted for those few moments.

And do you know why?

Because her knowledge of God is so deep in her core that nothing--not Alzheimer's, not dementia, not old age--can take it from her.

That is what I want for me and for my family.

Forget about all of the shallow things that get way too much attention these days.  They don't matter.

Forget about the questions or doubts that creep in.  They're not from the right Source.

Life is not easy--for anyone. But I have no doubt whatsoever that God loves us, knows us, and cares for us.  It is by His power that we can do whatever He asks.

I hope you can feel His love for you today.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I've received several inquiries lately from those of you who read this blog--essentially asking, "How are you? How's your mom? What's happening right now?"

Thank you so much for caring.

A lot has been going on these past few months, and I had to take a step back to assess where I am, what I am doing, and where I am going with my life.

I'll be talking more about this soon, but I'm calling this process my "Butterfly Project," and I've been in the "Cocooning" phase.

(Eric refers to it as my mid-life chrysalis.  Isn't that a fun concept?)

I didn't talk about my Butterfly Project openly at first because I thought it sounded silly.  But as I've slowly opened up about the process to a few close friends, I've discovered that it's practically a universal need to assess and redefine ourselves every so often.

In many ways, I've been living my life as a caterpillar--staying close to the ground, living below my privileges, and being okay with situations that simply are not optimal.  And while I know I have a blessed life with so many beautiful parts, living as a caterpillar is exhausting.  You have to crawl everywhere, even though deep inside you know you have the capacity to fly.

Well, a few months ago, I decided that it was time for a change.  It's time to shake things up and get past all of my super-comfortable limiting beliefs and become that butterfly I've been dreaming about all my life.

This is scary.  It's even scary to write about here, but I'm going to make this transformation or literally die trying.  (There's nothing particularly dangerous about this process--I just mean that I will either succeed soon or I will keep trying until my days in this life come to a close...hopefully after I hit 100.)

I want to live my life with purpose every single day and know with absolute surety that I am pleasing my Creator. I want to breathe deeply and feel more confident with my decisions. I want to feel joyful--even when life isn't easy.

This cocooning process has consisted of spending lots of time in thought and prayer, reading dozens of books that have opened my mind to possibilities, and having hours and hours of important discussions with Eric--who has been my #1 Butterfly Project champion. (He hung these glass butterflies on my wall, and then Alia made this darling caterpillar to inspire me.)

At this point, it's about time for my cocooning to come to an end, as it is starting to feel stifling here in this chrysalis.  :)

So look for more posts coming in the next few weeks!

Now before I close, I do want to give you a brief update on my mom.

In many ways, she is doing really well.  She's totally off of hospice, and her caregiver, Cheryl, is doing an amazing job.  Mom is more responsive than she has been in a long time, and she is even reading a few sentences at a time.  (That floored us.)

The hard part is that she never knows me.

She knows some people in the family, but I can't remember the last time she said my name.

Honestly, I'm okay with it now.  It's enough just to be with her.  I hug her and say, "I'm April. I'm your daughter."

And she says, "Oh, yes, of course!"  (Even though I know she doesn't quite remember...)

At last week's visit, I was getting dinner out of the car, and Alia and Grace went into my parents' house first.  Mom was in her wheelchair by the window, and the girls said, "Our mom is coming in soon.  When you see her, say, 'Hi April!'"

They practiced with her over and over, and then when I walked in, she gave me a big smile and--with the girls by her side, slightly holding their breaths--said simply, "Hi!"

My girls were so darling.  They said, "Oh, we're sorry, Mom. We tried so hard to help her say your name."

I told them it was okay, and I let them know I appreciated their effort.

Later that night, as I sat alone in my room, however, it struck me just how sweet that was of them.

To know that I have children who know me and love me is such a gift.  They're perceptive enough to know how much it would mean to me to hear my mother say my name.  That fills me.

Thank you for your friendship and your goodness and for all you are doing to strengthen your families. Thank you for caring about our family and this life we're working so hard to live well.

Excited to share more soon.

With love,
April (the Butterfly)

Friday, February 13, 2015

The BEST "Winnie the Pooh" Experience You'll Ever Have

Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California will be featuring "Winnie the Pooh" the first two weekends in March, and if there is any way you can make it, please do! (More details below, if you want to attend!)

The quick story:  I first saw Wilson High School's "Winnie the Pooh" with my sister Laura when I was a little girl (four years old, maybe?).  I was enchanted with the tissue-paper leaf canopy hanging from the ceiling, and the entire production was magical.

Then as a 14-year-old freshman drama student, I auditioned for the play, and when I was cast as one of the little rabbits, I could hardly contain my excitement.  (The cast list was posted right before Christmas break, and I spent several hours of that break hopping around my house to get into character.  I know...kind of ridiculous, but this was a DREAM COME TRUE.)

As a junior, when we did another Winnie the Pooh play (it's an every-other-year thing), I had the chance to be Kanga.  Again...a dream come true.

I had to laugh when I spoke with a recent Kanga (two years ago) because she was born the year I played her part.  Hello? When did I get old?

This is Mr. Bowden, my high school drama teacher, who has promised never to retire.  :)

When I spoke with him after Winnie the Pooh a couple of years ago, I said, "We have got to get the mom bloggers involved and fill this theater up. No one knows about this!"

So this year, that is exactly what I am doing.

Here are a few more photos, and then details are below regarding how you can get tickets.  (Please come!!)

One of the best parts of the performance is when the characters sign autographs at the end.  (I didn't take photos during the show, so this is mostly what I have...) Do you see the smile on my son's face?

There's Pooh, Owl, Kanga, and Tigger...

And Auntie Robin, Christopher Robin, Roo, and Rabbit:

The show is lively, fun, and clever, and it is perfect for any child (or adult).  Seriously, you will not regret the experience, and you will wish you had brought all your friends.

So...are you wondering how to reserve your spot?

Here are the details:

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and all kids under the age of 1 are free. (This is a STEAL.)

The dates are March 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14th.

Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. 

Saturdays @ 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Typically, you can't reserve tickets in advance, but Mr. Bowden has agreed to make an exception for YOU.

Please email april (at) powerofmoms (dot) com with the subject line "Winnie the Pooh" (the subject line is really important, or you might get filtered out) and I'll tell you how to get in touch with Mr. Bowden and which show I will be personally attending with my family. We're also doing a group picnic that day! 

Can't wait!!!  So excited for you to experience it with your children.

With love,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heaven-Sent Lift

I miss you. 

I miss writing on this blog. 

I wish I could just sit down every day and talk about all the things I am learning, and all the funny things that are happening, and all of the exciting activities that are totally out of my comfort zone, but for which I am very grateful.

But tonight I just want to record a simple idea that has brought me more strength in the last two days then I had hoped to receive.

I woke up yesterday morning with five or six heavy things weighing on my mind, and because it was early, and no one else was awake, I went quietly downstairs and sat cross-legged on the carpet in front of our little gas fireplace to have my personal time with God.

I read this talkand this particular line jumped out at me:

"Heaven-sent lift will be found for heaven-sent duties."

All of a sudden, I looked at my list of worries I had recorded in my journal and realized that every single one of them was heaven sent.

I think you can relate....

Everything involving my family, my work at Power of Moms, or my interactions with God's children is work I am doing only because I want to serve my King.

I know many of you feel likewise.

And so I realized I didn't need to worry.

Instead, I simply needed to ask Him to send the help that He has promised.

Well, the help came--that "lift" I had hoped for.

It came with more power and peace and beauty than I feel I deserved. 

My heart has been SO calm, and the past couple of days have felt incredibly empowering.

As I look back, I can pinpoint the start of this miracle to the moment I read that promise from above.

So I wanted to take just a moment to share it with you. And I want to make sure you know that for all of your heaven-sent duties, heaven-sent lift WILL come...if you just ask. 

With Love, 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Alia's Room Tour!

Merry Christmas week, everyone!  Alia is home from school on a break, and so she is guest-posting for me.  :)  Hope you are all doing well.



Hi everyone!  This is Alia, April's daughter, and today I am going to share how I decorated my room on a budget (and mostly by myself).  I have received a lot of questions about my room decorations, and I thought that I could answer most of them in a blog post.  For the most part, I spent my own money on the things in my room (a few things were Christmas/birthday gifts).

I got my own room when I was 12, and for two whole years, I had zero decorations.  I didn't really care about them too much, and I rarely spent time in my room.  Now that I am 14 (almost 15), I spend more time in my room for homework, craft projects, and other things that I'm working on.  I really wanted my room to be a space that I loved, and that's just what it's become.

The first step was painting. I didn't like all the work that went into painting the walls, so I only painted one wall a color.  One wall is teal and all of the other walls are white.  (I did need my parents' help with this).

This is what you see when you first walk into my room.  I love art and color, so my room is full of it.  My comforter is from Target (HERE), and the matching pillow cases were sold separately (HERE). I really like these colors, and *bonus* it's reversible!  It can also be plain yellow, but for now, I like the pattern.

My bed is really tall because of these risers. I don't have closet space for everything in my room, so it's kept under my bed.  I probably have three rows of boxes plus 4 boxes of fabric.  My bed frame was pretty cheap--it's a Universal Bed Frame (HERE), and it works for every size bed.  We got the risers HERE.
And now for the pillows on my bed.  I have the two from Target and lots of homemade ones.  This is just a pillow from the craft/sewing store.  You're supposed to make a cover for it, but I left it plain and painted it. I didn't have any fabric paint on hand--just acrylic, but it never washes out of fabrics, so I think it works.  :)

This is the back of one of my pillows. I made two of these out of some fabric and batting.  I just made a rectangle, sewed it together, and added batting.  It probably took an hour for two matching pillows.  I love making these, because they are so simple and easy, and you can use any kind of fabric that you want.  (Mine are made of a not-too-sparkly gray material).

This is probably my favorite wall in my room.  It started off with one tiny painting, and I've been adding to it for about a year.  I got the canvases as a Christmas present, and I think they were on sale at Michaels.  I got some of the picture frames from Walmart (2 for $2), and they had lots of different sizes. Also, I use painter's tape to hang all the papers up (so that my paint won't get damaged). One thing that you should probably know about me is that I'll see something on Instagram or Pinterest, and I'll be able to recreate it.  Most of the things on my walls are things that I've seen somewhere else. 

I saw this painting HERE, and I really liked how it looked.  I printed out a hexagon, traced it, and painted it!  Super simple and easy.

My younger sister helped me with this painting.  She found it on Pinterest and drew it on a canvas, and then I painted it.  She made one for her room with different colors and with a different animal.

This part of my wall has things from all over the place.  The silhouette is one that I found online, traced onto cardboard, painted, and cut out.  The hand is from a project in my art class.  We just traced our hand on construction paper, and decorated it with henna designs.  The 'A' is from Michaels, and it started out as a plain wooden letter, but I spray-painted it yellow.  The drawing is from my friend Lia (You can read more about Lia HERE).  Anyways, I really liked this drawing, so I put it in one of the inexpensive frames from Walmart. The giraffe was just an image that I found online (HERE).

I've seen this painting all over the Internet, and I decided to make one for myself.  I made it with melted crayons, so that's why it looks a little bit messy.

I just went to the 'quotes' section on Pinterest, and I found all of these things.  I printed them out, and the washi tape at the top is just for decoration (the tape is super weak, and it can't hold anything up).

More quotes from Pinterest, and I painted a C.S. Lewis quote onto a canvas. (That was actually my very first painting that went up on my wall).

I used watercolors for the two paintings at the top (my favorite water colors ever HERE).  I used permanent marker on canvas for the feather.  I just looked at a picture online, and I made my own version of it.  It took about an hour, but I think it was worth it!

And now for the things above my bed.  I used yarn and felt to make the triangles that are hanging above my bed (I also have a matching one above my door).  I just cut a bunch of triangles out, and hot glued them to yarn. It was super easy.  I made a different one for my grandparents, but it was made of Christmas colored hexagons.  I used 5 square canvases for the paintings above my bed.  (More on them below).

Here are a couple of the paintings.  I sketched them in pencil, and then I painted them.  (More info about the drawings below).


I used these three drawing books for the paintings (above), and in a different part of my room (getting to that in a minute :) These books make drawing SO simple, especially for kids.  I got these as a Christmas present a year ago. The author is Sachiko Umoto, and these are the books I like best. I seriously recommend getting these for your children.  I've never found a set of art books that I liked this much!

Let's Draw Happy People
Let's Draw Cute Animals
Let's Draw Plants and Small Creatures

This is the other side of my room.  :) I'll explain more below.


I made paper 'pinwheels' for my door, and they are so easy. You take a square paper, and make 4 cuts from each corner to the middle, but you don't cut it apart.  You fold every other point (there will be 8) into the middle, and then you can glue and tape them together however you like.

These are my little cubbies, and they hold everything.  For example, I keep paint, scrapbook supplies, clay, stamps, ink pads, school supplies, and curling irons/hair stuff in all of the buckets. I got the cubbies from Home Depot (HERE). I put the cubbies together myself, and the instruction were pretty easy.  This is one of the things that I spent my own money on.  It was on sale, so I got a great deal.  The yellow and teal boxes were extra, and I also spent my money on those. (HERE).

This is just an example of what is in one of my drawers.  I like having my things stored in these because I don't need to have these perfectly organized and out in the open.

Here's what's on top of my cubbies.  I got this clock for Christmas when I was 10 or 11, and I really love it, but it was discontinued.  You can find it on Amazon, but they are selling it for $200+ and I got mine for $40.  One of the best purchases I have ever made is this candle warmer.  I love candles and all of the different scents, but it's so dangerous to have candles in our rooms.  I got this one at Target, and I love it. (More about it below).

This is the candle warmer,  and these are a few of the scents that I have.  Walmart has them for $2-3, and Target has them for $3-4, but you can find them on sale most times.  I bought the candle warmer for $10 on sale, and this one is similar, but it's a bit more expensive (HERE).

This is what's on top of my cubbies.  I have an art project giraffe/bug, a bunch of books and journals, and paintings!  I found these on Pinterest, and I love having them in my room. The four square paintings are made of some really thin wood that I found at Home Depot, and I attached little hanging brackets to the back of them. 

Right next to my cubbies, I have a desk/work area.  I'm using this space all the time, so it's super important for me to keep my desk clean. The shelves are just pieces of white wood and shelf supports/brackets from Home Depot. The desk is from Target, but I can't find the exact link.  I helped pay for half of the desk, since it was kind of expensive (not more than $100 though.) My parents helped to put the desk together because it was kind of complicated.

I got this teal chair from Target too, and it was about $20.  I have a little plant too (it's one of the plants that doesn't die easily).  I'm kind of obsessed with Easter Island (I'm going there one day!), and I have a little painting of one of the statues.  I also have my cutting mat handy (from the craft store), because I'm always using it!

This is the wall I was talking about earlier, the one that I used the art books for.  My three younger siblings helped to draw a ton of animals, plants, and people, and I used them on my wall. I used my water colors to fill them in, and I love all the colors!

 Here are a couple close-up pictures of all the drawings:

 I totally skipped over my shelves...I'll talk about them now! I have lots of little print-outs.  One of my favorites says 'Painting is my happy place' and you can print your own out HERE! :) I also have this little colorful container to hold my chapsticks (container from Target..Only a couple of dollars). 

Then I have an 'Up' section of the shelf. It is my favorite movie, so I printed out a few pictures, and I made printable 3D characters! (More info below).

Disney's website has 3D characters from pretty much every movie(from princesses to Toy Story, Cars, Star Wars, etc..), and they were pretty easy to put together.  Little kids might need some help following the directions. Also, I don't recommend using tape/craft glue, because they fall apart too easily. If you use a hot glue gun, they stay together and dry quickly.  Find them HERE. You can actually just search 'papercraft' in the search bar, and every 3D printable will pop up.  :)

 The final thing on my shelf is a small jewelry hanger.  It keeps my necklaces so organized, and it's a cute little tree! Similar one HERE. I think that adding little personal touches like the 3D printables or art projects not only save you money (most are handmade or very low cost), they help your room to look creative and cute!

Well, if you've made it all the way through, thanks for reading! I have loved adding to my room over the past couple of years, and for the most part, I was responsible for paying for the things that I wanted in my room. All the hard work was worth it, and I learned so many skills along the way! (From putting cubbies together to learning how to paint new things).


Hope you enjoyed this tour of Alia's room!  (She makes me smile...I am not even HALF that creative.)

Good luck with your own decorations, and please feel free to leave comments.  Alia would be happy to answer any questions.  :)

With Love,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Christmas I Didn't Know I'd Have

My mom started receiving hospice care in May.

Her Alzheimer's had progressed to the point that she needed to be in bed full time, so her doctor signed the form allowing for extra nurses to come in and tend to her at home.

The prognosis? Approximately six months to live.

I remember when I heard the news. I started counting on my fingers, "June, July, August, September, October, November."

Then it hit me that I might not have my mom with me during this holiday season.

Well, although my mother is still in bed, and although she still doesn't know who I am, she is doing so well, and so I thought I'd post a few photos of this Christmas season that I didn't know I would have.  (Plus at the bottom of this post, I kind of opened up my heart regarding what's going on in my life.... Thank you for caring so much about our family.)

On Thanksgiving, after Eric, our children, and I ate dinner at our own home, we drove into Long Beach to visit my sister and then headed over to Mom and Dad's house to help them decorate their tree.  (My dad had called me the week before to let me know the tree was all ready for us!)

When I saw the little tree on the patio outside my mom's room, I asked, "Where do you want me to set this up?"

In the 27 years my parents have lived in that house, it's always been in the living room.

"Well," my dad replied, thoughtfully. "I think it should go in here with Mother."

You see, the heart of the home has shifted to Mom's bedroom. We eat dinner in there with her, we sort through photo albums in there...and it was only fitting that we set up Christmas right where she could see it.

This is Cheryl, one of my mom's full-time caregivers.  This was her FIRST Christmas tree ever.  Isn't that fun that she got to decorate with us?

And the lighting isn't right on this photo, but I still love it.  (That's my mom and dad...)

Grace, Alia, me, and Cheryl--putting on the ornaments:

My dad always picks one of these paper angels to put on the top.  Page and I made them in kindergarten (same teacher, two years apart):

My mom is SO funny...she never wore headbands like this before, but now she is ready for a party at pretty much any moment.

Sweet Alia...

The finished tree:

Ethan and Spencer set up the nativity in the front room so there's still "Christmas" in there.  My dad told me that he and my mom didn't have a nativity when they were first married, but one day at church, the Sunday School teacher said that every home should have one.

The next day, my mom went out and bought this:

In the weeks since we put up the decorations, our Thursday visits have been beautiful. We eat together and sing Christmas carols. My mom hugs me and kisses me, and I help my dad with paperwork and little household tasks. Really, life is good. It's simple and precious. Such a gift, don't you think?

But there are hard things going on right now for me, as well. 

Tonight is good, so I think I can write about it without sounding like a downer, but a couple of nights ago, I was feeling really low. 

There are some big decisions I'm trying to make right now, and the demands on my time sometimes feel too heavy. (I won't go into detail because I know I'm not the only one who feels this way...)

But I had one of the sweetest experiences when I opened up my Bible to Jeremiah 32:27. It says this:  "Behold, I am the there any thing too hard for me?"

When I read that verse, I heard my mom's voice in my head.  She loved that scripture, and she would quote it often:

"April, we don't need to worry about that. The Lord will take care of us. Is there anything too hard for Him?"

I wish you could have heard those words being said in her voice. The confidence, the faith, and the utter assurance that she knew what she was talking about was enough to totally quiet any concerns I might have been having.

And as I read those words the other night, that same peace came back.

I've been hearing from a lot of you lately, and I know that your lives are anything but easy. Some of you are going through struggles I can't even imagine, and I wish with all my heart that I could make things better for you. But because I am not able to come do your dishes or sweep your porch right now, I share these thoughts with the hope that they will bring you the same comfort they brought me.

I have no doubt that as we turn our hearts to the Lord and ask Him to show us our lives from His perspective, He lifts the burdens from our shoulders and helps us to clearly see that life is a gift.

Thank you so much for your friendship.  (And Merry Christmas!)

With love,
Related Posts with Thumbnails