Happy Mother’s Day, Remember Mom’s You Are A Big Deal

Over fifty years ago God ordained my time, place, and gave me a Mother as seen in Psalm 139: 13 You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb

I am extremely grateful for the bravery of my mom who chose life as today I realize her decision created a difficult road for her.  Her choice allowed me to have a place in this world.

Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” These are my sentiments as I know the road I’ve traveled has allowed me to be who I am today.  

When one spells mom upside down, it spells wow.  Indeed being a mother is wowful 😉  I am grateful for the love and support of my mom in my life.  It beautiful how our relationship has grown over the years. I love you dearly.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Thank you for being here so we can celebrate with you.

I have one biological sister and a step sister.  I appreciate how God has knitted our hearts closer together as we have grown and matured.  My mother’s mom in the generational photo is no longer with us but is not forgotten on this day of remembrance as without her, well there would be no mom or me.

As a family normal is totally overrated.

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My mother, sisters (Francois & Alyce) and four generations are shown above.

When I met my husband, the unexpected gift I was given was an incredibly generous, and accepting mother-in-law.  I am madly in love with her only child, my husband, Jon. Thank you for always being there and for loving me like your own. If you weren’t my mother-in-law I’d choose you as my friend.

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Thank you for raising the man of my dreams and accepting me into your life.

One of my greatest callings and blessings has been being a mother to Cayley, Courtney, & Caryn.  Indeed children are a gift from the Lord and I am so thankful for my gifts.

Having two independent adults who have become my best friends.  Who are not both living back in Austin within walking distances to us. I have learned so many truths from Caryn and Courtney as their lives are a living example of what it truly looks like to have a thriving relationship with Jesus.  3 John 1:4 puts it this way, “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

Motherhood has been the most incredible job that God gave me to do. It has been through the task of bringing up my daughters that I have matured and learned to love abundantly, to be selfless, and gracious. Oh I still have much to learn as my youngest reminds me 😉

I thank God that He knew I was far from ready for the empty nest by blessing us ten years later with our Cayley.

I am so proud of who my daughters have become, are becoming, and how they make the world a better place to be. To the world, a child is only one person, but to a mother, her child is the world. 

It’s because of my daughters I have the greatest title, “Mother.”

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It’s because of my daughters I have the greatest privilege of being called “Mother.”

There have been many women who have graciously, laboriously, and lovingly invested in my life and for this, I say thank you.  I am unable to adequately pay them back but I pay it forward by following your example of investing in others.

Me with some of my spiritual moms and those I am blessed to be a spiritual mom too.

From my experience, there are many who do not have a mother due to death or abandonment. Others have strained relationships or are geographically separated from their mothers.  Regardless, it has been my privilege to pour into the lives of women that God has brought into my life. I am grateful for the many ways God had made me a spiritual mother. It is a privilege to nurture and invest in the relationships of many college students, friends, and others over the years. I am in awe of those who have made significant steps toward Jesus as a result of God using me in their lives. It is an unspeakable joy to journey alongside others, helping them nurture their relationship with the Lord and experiencing more of his love in the process. The blessing of spiritual motherhood is the reminder that you are making a difference in the lives of others and they are loving and following Him. Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As women, we are called to both mother and to be mothered regardless of our age or what season of life we are in. 

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Our love to God is measured by everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.

It’s been said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to impact the life of others.”

May we all desire to deeply invest in others. Today and every day I give honor to the biological and spiritual mothers.

Happy St. Particks Day

(God is three-in-one: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) to the Irish.

There is only one circle of delight in the universe.  The Father loves the Son, his beloved, and in him he is utterly thrilled.  “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom My soul delights” (Matthew 3: 17; 17:5).  We are not to stand before such delight, and wonder how we could ever thrill the Father’s heart like Jesus does.  The good news is that we are included in Jesus Christ.  We have been given the gift, as Professor James Torrance says, of participation in Jesus’ very own relationship with the Father in the Spirit, and thus in the delight of the Father for His own Son.   –C. Baxter Kruger

My family has only a tad of Irish blood, so growing up we rarely celebrated the day. Many years ago while home schooling my daughters we watched a movie that changed my perspective and helped me appreciate this holiday more. The movie we watched was St. Patrick: The Irish Legend. After watching this film and doing a home school research project I developed a greater appreciation for St. Patrick and had a reason to celebrate the works of one of the most popular saints.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in honor of St. Patrick, the beloved saint of Ireland. His given birth name was Maewyn Succat, born in 387 in Scotland to wealthy British parents. Around the age of 16 he was kidnaped by Irish raiders and was sold into slavery where he worked as a shepherd for six years. During this time, he learned the language, practices, and customs of his captors, as Ireland was a land of pagans and Druids. It was also during this time that he turned to God while in captivity. According to Catholic Online he wrote the following, “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”
After about six years of captivity, Maewyn had a dream in which he was told to flee Ireland and go to the coast. He walked almost 200 miles to the Irish coast where he found sailors who brought him back to Britain where he reunited with his family. Again an angel appeared to him in another dream encouraging him to return to Ireland as a missionary. In obedience, he prepared by studying for the priesthood and became an ordained Catholic priest, and eventually was ordained a bishop. It was during this time he changed his name to Patrick. As a bishop, he was sent to bring the Gospel to Ireland. After returning to Ireland, he faithfully served for almost 30 years spreading Christianity throughout the country. He died on March 17, 461, hence the celebration of his life on that same day.

As you can see, March 17th was originally a day dedicated to remembering the life work of St. Patrick. Today, however, this holiday is often associated with some well-known symbols. While some of these symbols have significance others are just common practice. These symbols include:

• The color green is not the color associated with St. Patrick as his color is blue. The color green is used to denote the color of spring,
Green shamrocks plus the “40 shades of green” found in Ireland. On March 17th, rest assure the color green will abound in chrysanthemums, many lakes and rivers, our clothing, and even in beer.
• Shamrocks are significant as St. Patrick used them to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity (God is three-in-one: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) to the Irish.
• Leprechauns with their pots of gold are part of Irish folklore.
• The celebration of one’s Irish heritage is what St. Patrick’s Day has slowly evolved into.
• Eating Irish meals such as corned beef and cabbage, is an American tradition as is simple Irish stew.
• The first US public celebration was held in Boston in 1737 due to the large Irish immigrant population.
• The first St. Paddies parade took place in New York City in 1762 and continues to host the largest parade.

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday where most businesses close to honor Irelands patron saint. When Irish people immigrated to the US, they brought with them their holiday and traditions. That is why the festivities are often greater in highly Irish populated cities. These festivities include parades, Irish drinks and food, music, and fun activities for everyone. I was in Chicago on March 17th a few years ago and noticed that they dyed the river green! Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, I encourage you to take a moment to read up on the true origin of St. Patrick’s Day.

What will you do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Looking for Holiday Fun in Austin, Texas?

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Are you needing help to create some new traditions with family and friends this season? Austin has some of the best activities during the holidays with fun for everyone.

Last year I shared the value of establishing Meaningful Family Traditions, which are practices or beliefs that help create positive feelings, a sense of belonging, and are often repeated regularly. Many traditions are handed down from generation to generation, but every family can create its own traditions as well. Many family traditions center around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Below are various holiday events in and around Austin, Texas.

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NOVEMBER 2014

  • The UT Austin International Office is looking for local community members to host international students or scholars for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchange, meaningful connections, and the sharing of diverse holiday traditions! Although this is a one-day commitment, you are welcome to continue the cultural exchange with your Thanksgiving Dinner match if the opportunity arises.
    • If you are interested in hosting, please complete the online application by Friday, November 14th. Matches will be coordinated and notifications will be sent out by Wednesday, November 19th. Click for the application. Any questions, please feel free to email intercultural@austin.utexas.edu
  • Mission Possible Great Thanksgiving Banquet November 23rd 8am-2pm. A wonderful service opportunity to love those on the street of Austin.
  • Chuy’s Parade 29th at 11am Downtown.
  • Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting of the tree will be November 30, 2014 at 6pm. Tree will be on display nightly December 2 – 31 from 6pm –midnight.
  • Find a real Texas Christmas Tree to bring home and decorate. Oh what fun it is to head out to a tree farm in search of the perfect tree.  It is an experience cutting it down and tying it to the roof of the car. In the past we have gone to Elgin.

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DECEMBER 2014

  • Handel’s Messiah performed by The Austin Symphony at Hyde Part Baptist Church, on December 2nd at 8pm
  • Lights of Love 5K December 5th at the Mueller Hanger from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet, TX December 5th, 6th 7th and 12th 13th 14th 6:00-9:00pm nightly
  • Ballet Austin: The Nutcracker Opens December 6 – 23rd.
  • Trail of Lights December 7-21st
    Downtown Stoll & Holiday Sing-Along December 6th starting at 6 p.m. gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season. From 7-9 Congress Ave. will be celebrating the holiday cheer as local shops, restaurants, galleries and museums will be open late with special offers.
  • Cherrywood Art Fair December 13 & 14th  (Saturday and Sunday) 10am – 5pm at Maplewood Elementary
  • Trail of Lights 5K by Humana on December 15th
  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar December 16-24th 11am-11pm daily at Palmer Events Center.
  • His-Story A Story of Redemption December 18th – 21st night from 6:30-8:30 at 1190 Chicon St.
  • LBJ Tree Lighting December 21st. Families are encouraged to come out to the park and plan to enjoy a delightful experience as the park transitions from daytime to nighttime in festive holiday fare. Lights, bows, luminaries, garland and wreaths adorn the buildings in the park. Even the nature trails are dressed in their holiday best.
  • Austin’s New Year (ANY) December 31 from 5-10pm at Butler Park . Come welcome in 2015 with Austin families. ANY is an alcohol-free celebration. Exciting fireworks finale!

Holiday fun in Dallas area.

Holiday fun in Houston area

Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season.