Category Archives: Empty Nest

At the movies <3

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We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about His power and His mighty wonders.

Psalm 78:4 NLT

On Wednesday Russ and I did what retired people are able to do and took in a 3:30 movie. It felt crazy and spontaneous to me. Though I never worked a full time job like he did, I also felt like I was “on the clock” from 8-5 even if it was working around the house or running errands or whatever occupied my time. 

But there we sat, with some other folks who have the luxury of a matinee on a weekday as we took the wild ride that is the new Spiderman movie. And FYI….the closest pic I had to a spider was that grasshopper so extend me grace.

I was literally curled up in my seat for two and a half hours, dodging villains and hurtling from sky scraper to sky scraper and since I tend to enter into the story, I was fairly exhausted by the time it was over. 

Our family had been concerned for Russ going into it as I have not seen one single Spiderman movie and no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to sit by me at any movie.

I ask questions throughout the entire thing. I still laugh thinking of John’s exasperated voice in one movie responding, “I don’t know Mom!!!! I have been watching this the same amount of time as you!”

As the credits rolled at the end, we gathered our coats and made our way out of the theater. The only question I had was about different universes that all seemed to have New York City in them, but I was totally okay if I never knew the answer. 

In the hall way, we saw a young employee with a broom and dust pan. I guess he was waiting to go in and sweep. He was wearing a mask and so we couldn’t see his face, but we thanked him and then as we passed he seem compelled to tell us that there were after-credit scenes that we may want to go back in to see. 

I couldn’t think of anything to say besides thanking him and telling him that I felt very full from what I had already seen to that point. 

He nodded and asked if we were not Marvel fans. I said I had seen a few and enjoyed the movies, but no…I don’t really know all the stories and characters and such. 

Well, he said…we would probably be okay not seeing the trailers at the end but we still might want to look it up on YouTube, because it is about the next one that is coming and we probably don’t want to miss that. 

He made one last attempt to persuade us about the extra scenes we would be missing.

We thanked him and made our way to our car, but I have revisited that conversation a couple of times and it occurred to me. 

This young man is a follower of Marvel.

It means something to him that is important.

Important enough that he wanted to make sure we knew there was more to know and understand than just the movie. He cared enough to speak up and try to get us to go back in and dig deeper. 

And I thought about how it might be if when we left the worship center on Sunday morning we weren’t trying to head to our car to get a parking spot at lunch or look around for some of our friends to hug and catch up on things in the lobby. 

What if we were hanging around with an eye for those who maybe enjoyed the music and the sermon, but don’t realize there is so much more?

What if I were to be such a follower of Jesus that my heart was alerted to someone who was missing such a great opportunity to know Him more that I would take a risk and call out as they pass by?

What if I was such a student of His teachings that information about Him just flowed out of me naturally and if someone said thanks, but no thanks, I didn’t shut down and quit trying but instead just gave them another place to maybe look on their own if they change their mind. 

What if. 

Much to ponder and much to ask God to help me become that kind of person.

Blessings friends

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When we let Love speak…what would it say?

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Welcome back!

So I told you yesterday I was praying and considering if I wanted to share the letter we wrote in the afternoon session that day. We had let our Fear tell us what it wanted us to know, so in the afternoon session, our hostess and leader talked about the voice of Love and what it might want to say to us. 

I will repeat in case you didn’t read yesterday’s Randoms, she said she has found when she looks at her list of fear and the looks at the things of Love-  the Love things can help cancel out the fear. 

God says it like this through the writings of the apostle John…

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 

1 John 4:18

I don’t think of that as condemnation when I fear. I see it as a reminder that I need to return to a place where I can be reminded of God’s love for me and in that place I am “perfected” so that fear has no place in me. 

I have read through my letter that Love wrote me, and I cried as I was reminded of how God opened my heart wider while I wrote out the message of my thoughts. I want to share portions of it, because as I wrote, I reflected on the individuals who receive the lion’s share of my people-directed love – our family. 

As I looked over what I wrote, each word is kind and loving and precious…but too private to share and perhaps would be embarrassing for them. They have always been so gracious to let me be transparent about my “journey” and so far as I know I have not overstepped so much into their personal journey that I have caused them to wish their mom would have held back on that thought…or picture….they give me a lot of grace and I don’t want to abuse it.

I may let them know privately what I wrote because I would always want them to know the special place they hold in my heart…maybe…we shall see. 

But here are the portions I want to share with you as I hope perhaps some of it will resonate with you and drive out some fears today. 

Dear Laura, 

This is your love talking and this is what I want to tell you.

I am most intense in those moments when your heart literally feel like it is going to burst wide open and there is a physical pain in your chest that is sacred. 

Lately I see it most in the tender and common moments with your family and friends. Caroline’s eyes when she tells you what’s on her heart and the way her hair curls in the back and gazillion variations of blonde and brown.

At this point I moved on and pictured each family member and the “moments” recently when in the midst of the most ordinary of circumstances, my heart expanded so incredibly with a deep love that I had to stop and catch my breath. 

None of them were trying to earn my love or catch my attention in those moments. It was just who they are and what they bring to my life that filled me so full and my heart turned to God in gratitude for the gift of them. 

So it was with each one of our family. 

And as I finished with the last one and whatever impression came to mind was jotted down on paper, I ended with this. 

And the love for them just tightens your chest until you think your heart will burst and bleed out and you will dissolve into a thousand glittering stars of pure light. 

Sincerely, 

Your Love

I was not surprised by the intensity and purity of what Love would tell me. 

It is love of family that transcends circumstances and overcomes adversity. It is love that decides that whatever our differences are, what holds is together is too strong to give up on. 

It is love that bends and reaches out, no matter what.

It is love that chooses to stay in for the long haul. 

It is love that is born because we were first loved by Christ, and it is His love and His example that keeps us doing the hard work.

It is His love that fuels my love.

It is His love that takes over when my love gets tired. 

It is His love when we don’t see eye to eye, but listen anyway. 

It is His love that mends what is broken and restores what is damaged and heals what hurts. 

It is the greatest of all things…faith, hope and love…but the greatest is love. His love given to us so that we might love one another <3

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Wednesday Randoms….

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Wednesday randoms …. Again 

Happy Wednesday! 

Randoms today in no particular order include:

#1 

As I mentioned, Russ traveled to Austin to help John with his move to a new apartment this weekend and I decided to finally use one of the pillow forms I have had stashed in two basements now. 

Anyone else have a craft supply problem? 

I thought so. 

Well, here is the result of me finding some Valentine fabric at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 and googling YouTube for “how to make an envelope pillow cover.” 

It’s making me smile and I can’t wait to find some shamrocks on fabric to make one for next month. 

#2 

The homeschooling adventure for Team Maxwell has been going since the day the schools shut down back in whatever year this ugly pandemic reared its nasty head. 

Some days are good and some days are hard but these kiddos are getting a strong education and we are so proud of mom and dad for the efforts going into it. 

Case in point, Emmett built quite an elaborate manor house and such with his Lincoln logs yesterday and asked to borrow my phone so he could take a picture. Last night I was looking through the day’s photos and noticed two videos. 

As I watched and listened to him describe his creation, the descriptors were pretty impressive, but I lost it when he showed the smallest home and narrated it as, “and here is just a humble cottage.” 

Oh my gosh. 

He could either be an architect or a writer or both. 

#3

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Yesterday’s post was one I shared with much prayer, but the ones I heard back from make me thankful I took the leap of faith. 

As I read through other things I wrote that weekend, I found we revisited emotions and such and she asked us to write a letter about what “love” would say to us.

The hostess of the conference, Tricia Lott Williford, said that she has found if she lets her fear speak first and then Love speak next, the Love helps cancel out the fear. 

That’s scriptural you know. 

I am praying and debating sharing the second letter. We shall see what God leads me to tomorrow…but for now…thanks for the feedback on yesterday <3 

You know who you are. 

#4

I mentioned a while back that this year I have been leaning towards tea after my first cup of coffee. 

Sarah bought me a set of bamboo straws to use when drinking tea and coffee to help with minimizing stains from both the teeth. 

I can’t bring myself to drink coffee this way, but the method works great with tea. 

Today’s choice of tea is a Republic of Tea I got at Tournesol – Lemon Balm Kiwi Tea. 

It is very good and refreshing – no caffeine. 

Gasp…what am I even saying? Yes…I have even reduced my caffeine intake this year. 

A couple of other favorites are a looseleaf green tea with mint that I got a year or so ago from a local coffee shop. I had to buy a whole bag but it is so good and invigorating. And a cinnamon tea that is dynamic and refreshing from Harney & Sons. 

So there you have my tea choices and I recommend this kettle as it has a thermometer in the top of the lid. It is made by Stagg.

What is your favorite tea?

Seriously…I want to know.

#5

Speaking of Valentines, which I did in #1…

We have started the process of overusing glue and glitter in preparation for February 14th. 

If you are going to carry too many craft supplies in your cupboards, you may as well drag them out and let the little ones be creative. 

I found “Just an Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night on Youtube for them and played it on a loop while they made their creations.

Caroline loved it and can now sing the chorus. 

I couldn’t be happier….hope her parents enjoy it today <3

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