Jody Lynne

Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: family (page 1 of 5)

This Girl!!!

Remember the show That Girl? Ok, so this show dates me since it aired 1966-1971, but it came to mind as I wanted to write about another girl. This girl... Kelsey. Hopefully we will still be friends after posting a picture I didn't have permission to use, hey, I'm the mother here.a0a94c15-01f4-4800-8a43-48beb1274f86     I don't often write about my family. Their story is not mine to tell and they may want to tell it themselves someday. In light of the upcoming celebration of mothers on Mother's Day, I want to shed some light on those who made me a mother and call me mom, or in some cases mama! Justin will be always known as our firstborn and only son and will have the added badge of making me a grandma for the first time in August. Hannah is our second born but the first daughter, Kelsey came along two years later, not much of a badge of honor is it? Lauren, our fourth, was born as our last child and gets the title of baby of the family. All four, with a fifth in heaven, have made me the woman I am today. They call me Mom, but they have all played an instrumental part in the forming of how I view the world today.  I love them to the moon and back(not sure what that really means, but sounds good!!) But I wanted to tell you about this one who doesn't have a particular motto in the pecking order of the Gates Family. What to say about this girl? albany4 She invited me to Albany to celebrate Mother's Day last weekend. She took the time out of her busy schedule of a full-time job and going to school, to plan Friday and Saturday just for me. Ethiopian food, homemade brunch on Saturday morning, a walk through Washington Park and along the Hudson River were highlights. Off to the mall for a pedicure and new shoes to show off my new nail polish were the best way to end our afternoon together. And, yes, there were several cups of coffee to keep us going. Her card to me in essence said thank you for never giving up on her. In fact, it was a music card, when opened, played, I will Survive. Because some days...ok, a lot of days, motherhood is a matter of just surviving until the kids we love so much...are in bed. And that is what I want to leave you with. Even though many days it seems all you do as a mother is survive, we do in fact survive. We can do more than survive whatever season of motherhood we find ourselves in. We can thrive. We can do the next thing, we can serve and love and then love some more. Because the writing in the card thanked me not for the clothes I bought her, or the phone I paid for, or the countless loads of laundry washed or food on the table day in and day out. Yes, those practical acts of love and service do count, but what Kelsey often thanks me for is the unconditional love I(and her dad) have poured into her life. And when I was loving her day in and day out despite what may have happened that day, I wasn't loving her because I knew the outcome. I was loving because Someone had loved me that way. I know first hand the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father, poured out to me, which I then poured into her and Justin, Hannah and Lauren. We aren't, as mothers, promised a certain outcome when we parent to the best of our ability. We press on each day, doing the best we know at this job of 'mothering,' and leave the results with Him. This girl makes me smile...that's her badge!

Motley Monday

My flowers refusing to say good-bye to summer. flowers

For our Labor Day cookout we had these gems. You can't find them anywhere else, least I never heard of them until we moved to central New York.  The potatoes are boiled with a cup of salt added to the water, which comes with the potatoes. I don't use all of the salt. Can I say...not healthy? Salt Potatoes 2

I try to use all leftovers. These made great fried potatoes.salt potatoes

saltpotatoes1 My heart melts EVERY.TIME. I see this picture of Justin and his beautiful wife Melissa. They are loving life in Wyoming. Who wouldn't? We miss them so much, but with these smiles we know they are where God wants them and they are happy. That's what I want for the four beautiful children God has gifted us with...to follow and love Him and to be happy and joyful in whatever they are doing. Justin and melissa  

Shifting Sand?

Today's post is a follow-up to That Time of The Year .  Cheryl, a long time friend, ended her comment with this;
After they are gone I don’t know what I’ll do with myself…..
Cheryl is a mom of two, who has given 110% to raising her children and in a few short years, they will be on their own. My first thought when I read her comment was 'how could she say that?' My sneaking suspicion and  judgemental thought was 'how could she not have anything to do after her kids are gone? Was her entire life her kids? But truth be told, she is me. I've had the very same thoughts and voiced some of my fears to some of you. You can check my categories posts to find me talking about some of those fears. Yes, our kids leave a void, sometimes a cavern so gaping we don't know how it can it be filled.  Again, we can fill in the blank about what we fill our lives with and then that thing, person or how we live is stripped away. It's not just mothers who ask, 'now what?' Friends, we don't have to be mothers to have the feelings of life turned upside down. Life is ever-changing, daily joys and sorrows are proof of that as my husband gives me a daily dispatch on the community he pastors. The cavern of 
  • A spouse passing away
  • Retirement bringing the same question of 'what's next'?
  • Cancer report brings us to the end of ourselves.
  • The ongoing bad news around our nation and world floods the evening news.
You fill in the blank. There is nothing new under the sun, but when it happens to you or me, it is new. Unexpected, devastation, depression, and fears are just some of the raw emotions we can face. But the good news is... There is the gospel of good news. There is a Savior we can know who will fill the cavern, our hearts, giving us joy and peace that cannot be explained.  I took the timely advice of Elizabeth Elliott, which I heard many years ago. 
Just do the next thing.
Focus on what is before, not focusing on the future.
  • Prepare for the future today by saturating our hearts and minds in the living Word of God.
  • Pursue spending time getting to know a loving Heavenly Father.
  • Point your focus on Jesus every single day.
  • Practice loving God and our neighbor every day.
Today is the day to do the next thing, gaze on our Lord and glance at the shifting sand of daily life circumstances. Because, like the sand that is easily blown about, so our days come with changes and challenges.  May we find our foundation not in the shifting sand but in Jesus, who never changes. 
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? (How Firm A Foundation~~John Rippon)
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