Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
We had the coolest thing happen today!!! I was filling out our adoption subsidy paperwork and I had a question for my caseworker. So I called her to ask for her help and since she didn't have the answer she had me call Kaden's caseworker. I had never spoken with her directly- only through our caseworker so it was really cool to get to thank her for all of the work she does and for how fast she is working to get him home. (If you are adopting right now- please let your caseworker know how much you appreciate them. They work hard, often at the expense of their families and all too often only get to hear the complaints). Then- she told me she had some more pictures of him and asked if I would like them! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! I asked her if I was able to share them and she said it was fine since they had previously posted his picture on a website (the only other picture I have of him). Basically we are just not able to share personal information about him which I have not. So- she sent me these beautiful pictures of my baby boy!!! He is THE CUTEST!! Oh sweet Kaden I cannot wait to hold you for the first time and treat you like a little king. I love you so much already that it hurts.
It’s embarrassing to admit this… but part of the reason why I was so afraid to say yes to Kaden was because I had this fear that he might not be perfect. You know, all parents want their children to be perfect. I know- it’s silly, but we do. We want everyone else to gush over our children- say how cute they are, how they act like little angels, well mannered, polite and respectful. We want them to be straight ‘A’ students, popular, well- rounded, athletic, strong. It’s every parents dream. And well, while viewing Kaden’s files and the challenges he was coming from- I’m ashamed to admit that I was afraid. Someone told us that we were ‘taking on someone else’s problem” and I was afraid that they might be right. But you know what- I was wrong. Dead wrong.
Websters dictionary defines Perfect as this: to bring to final form. Being entirely without fault. Pure. Total. Satisfying all requirements.
You see, according to Websters dictionary and ACCORDING TO GOD- Kaden IS perfect. God does not make mistakes and God made Kaden. He brought him to final form, and Kaden is entirely without fault. He is an innocent child but because of someone else’s sin he has suffered. He is pure. Total. Made in the image of God. Perfect.
And I almost missed this because of my warped American view of perfection.
I believe that so many times in our lives we miss out on God’s blessings because they do not come packaged the way we thought they would. We don’t notice the VALUE of these gifts because we are so caught up in worlds dreams.
What I have learned is that any ideas, any dreams, any plans of how I think my life should be- I need to just throw them out the window and let God show we His ways. Because God has a purpose that is higher than ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “ declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
God has an eternal plan that we can hardly grasp, and there is a divine nature that our infinite minds cannot comprehend. We are constantly trying to limit God with our categories and our understanding. Just when we think we have figured God out or have determined how God should act, He does something far more marvelous than we could have ever imagined. Because we are so slow to learn this- the only thing we can do is trust what He says and praise what He does. And yet… we are so stubborn, so set in our ways- we still try to plan. We still think we know what is best. We still believe we have the perfect plan.
In the dark hours of facing my fears, and facing myself… I have grown. I am so thankful that God forgives. So thankful for God’s grace. Despite the ugliness of my heart, despite my internal fight of clinging to the worlds view of perfection- He has blessed me with the most amazing gift this world has to offer- a child. God is allowing me- to raise this beautiful, perfect child that he created. I am in awe.
Lord, I am on my knees thanking you for this privilege of being Kaden’s mother. I ask for your forgiveness when I do not see things the way they truly are- when my ways, my ideas are so warped from your truth.. I thank you for each and every life that you create and I thank you for making each and every child perfect. Your compassion in my own life moves me. Help me to learn to do the same for others. Help me to treat everyone alike Lord, as valuable creations- made in your image. I love you Lord. Amen.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday morning I got up early and drove an hour to our Foster agencies office to pick up Kaden's files. I was so excited to get them. Excited to get to see more pictures of him and to learn more about our new son. Our caseworker told us that we needed to read the files and then say yes or no by Monday morning. I had already known we would say yes. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would say no...until I read the files.
Until I saw first hand the horror, and let the reality of it sink in.
Then, my big talk, brave attitude, devotion, save the world ideas, ran out the door- leaving me alone, crumbled, and full of FEAR.
It shakes you to the core.
Now I've had bad days like everybody else. I've experienced loss, been defeated- felt like I had hit rock bottom. But nothing, nothing prepared me to look wide eyes opened at this file before me and straight into the face of evil. Nothing.
Two complete files- each 6 inches thick... with more information on Kaden's past than I even had on my other children. More than my heart could bare to read.
Now I have to admit that I am the type of person that truly does turn off the news because I cannot stand to hear or see the evil in the world. I don't like reading the newspaper either. The 'news' is often more than I can handle. I've become an expert at looking the other way, letting someone else take care of the 'dirty' work. I prefer to stay in my own little world where wild flowers grow in my backyard, children swing on tire swings and the biggest complaint in my life is the rising cost of gasoline.
So, as I opened Kaden's file and began to flip through the pages I felt myself go into shut down mode.Visibly shaken I had to walk away. Close the files. Run. Hide-under my pillow, in a closet-anywhere.Find safety. Leave the room. Leave the horror that my son had lived over the past 16 months and walk away. It was more than I could handle. I didn't want to step into this pain- the real deal of what Kaden had actually lived. I wanted to go back to my safe little world, shut the door, lock the windows, turn off the news. My life is good, it's easy. We do not not associate with that kind of evil. We don't let it become real in our lives because we run from it, hide from it. We don't let it in.
We pretend it doesn't even exist.
I began to panic... my insides were screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", I could feel my heart beating faster, I felt my mind kick into over drive coming up with all sorts of good excuses to say no. I thought of ways we could explain to people that we just had to say no. I thought of how we could just make a clean break, walk away... no, better yet RUN away as fast as we could. We could keep living our life as we knew it. Forget about Kaden. Forget he even existed. Forget that even without us he would still face this past. After all, we are good people you know. We go to church every Sunday and pray for those who are hurting. Heck, we even throw a check into the offering. We bring meals to those who have new babies, we go on missions trips, and we read our bible every day. There, good enough. Or is it?
And then those words that I had read in the bible came creeping into my mind... the ones I had read daily, quoted to others, said I lived by- you know the ones... you can see throughout my blog. They became almost alive...
"Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. " Joshua 1:16
"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." 2 Timothy 4:17
"The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you". Matthew 6:33
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6”
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?Then I said, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8
Matthew 18:5 reads “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me”.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Slowly, throughout the course of the day God gave me the strength to read through the rest of the files. God made it clear to me the real horror that so many children just like our sweet Kaden face every day. There are Kaden's all over this world, hoping for a chance. File after file of them filled with the unimaginable- the pain, the suffering these children face at the hands of evil that exists in this world today. We can choose to look away or we can choose to step into the pain and be God's hands and feet.
As I finished, I closed the file, and looked over at my husband... with tears streaming down our faces we held onto eachother, bowed our heads and whispered "yes Lord... your will be done."
“And God said, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12
Thursday, February 21, 2008
As I read through the rest of the book I know I will have more to share. But today I wanted to touch on this verse that God has placed on our hearts ever since we found out about 'Sweet E'- our little Kaden. It’s from Joshua 1:16: “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go”. The verse doesn’t say 'some of what you have commanded us we will do… or even, as long as it doesn’t hurt me too much we will do'… it says WHATEVER and WHEREVER. Scary huh? Let me tell you- it is- because we are living it right now. Yet I am blessed beyond measure by serving God in this way. Even though it is hard, even thought there is and will continue to be pain- we will stand firm, with our roots deep into the soil of our Lord and keep our eyes focused on him.
I’d like to end with this message from her book: “To want to serve God in some conditions, but not others, is so serve Him in your own way. But to put no limits on your submission to God is truly dying to yourself. This is how to worship God. Open yourself to God without measure. Let His life flow through you like a torrent. Fear nothing on the road you are walking. God will lead you by the hand. Let your love for Him cast out the fear you feel for yourself”. (taken from Dangerous Surrender, written by King Louis XIV)
Precious Lord, please help us hear your calling and to surrender to you. You have already equipped us with everything we need for life’s battles. Having you by our side is more than enough. And Lord, when the journey gets long and the road is rough, help us to keep our eyes on you. Give us the spirit of willingness- regardless of where you lead us. For when we are left to follow our own pursuits disaster will result and that is not what you want for your children. I will guard the treasure of your word by planting its roots deep within the soil of my heart. I chose to listen, look and obey what you tell me.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Then, then I found this... a great big "A" etched into the side of my vehicle with a rock. (Wonder who wrote that one Miss Aleigha??)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Lord, thank you so much for blessing me with my precious, supportive parents. I pray not a day goes by that I take them for granted. Thank you for the blessing of their unconditional love- especially during the times when I did not deserve it. I thank you for their beautiful example of how to parent a child and how important family truly is. I am so grateful for the safe, loving home they provided for me and for the sacrifices they made to ensure that I was loved and cared for the way every child longs to be. I am grateful that they taught me how to believe in myself, to stand up for what is right, to be proud of the work I do, and to never give up on my dreams. Thank you for blessing me through their lives. Their hearts, their compassion for others, their giving nature, their strength and their love is a gift to all who know them. From their example I have learned what is really important in this world- and that is you Lord.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Lucado is talking about Psalm 23:1 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want' and he explains it in a way I had never thought of before. Lucado says that often we live in the 'prision of want'. The prisioners are 'in want'. "They want something. They want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want. He goes on to say that "they don't want much. They just want one. One new job. One new car. One new house. One new spouse." But Lucado tell us that the psalmist David lets us in on a secret- the secret of satisfaction. 'The Lord is my shepherd. I shall now want." "David has found the pasture where discontent goes to die. It's as if he is saying, 'What I have in God is great than what I don't have in my life."
Lucado continues to remind us of two biblical truths. "Your stuff isn't yours. Ask any coroner. No one takes anything with him." Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand". Eccles. 5:15 NIV
And then Lucado hits the nail on the head when he says "All that stuff- it's not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It's not you. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive. Jesus said, "Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot" Luke 12:15. Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart". 1 Samual 16:7 NIV. When God thinks of you, he may see your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness or quick mind, but he doesn't think of your things" (Max Lucado- Traveling Light).
So I challenged myself today- I took a mental picture of myself minus all my 'things'. Me-standing before the Lord with NOTHING but any compassion, devotion, mercy, love, and heart that I might have shared. I took a long hard look at what God see's in ME daily. I challenge you to do the same thing... What does your mental picture look like today? What does Jesus see when he looks at you- minus your stuff?
Monday, February 18, 2008
"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." 2 Timothy 4:17
How cool is it to know that God- the King- stands right by our side?
These past couple of days have been rough. When we found out that we were chosen to be Kaden's parents we were so excited and felt like we were floating on air- but it didn't take long for someone to burst our bubble and we came crashing down - hard. I knew they would come- the comments, the less than enthusiastic remarks, the "are you crazy?" "better you than me", the jokes about our family size, "you can't save the world", 'what will you drive?" and more. I've preached on here enough about not living to please the world... preached about doing something BIG for God. But I have to admit that when the comments come they hurt- even when you are doing what you know you are supposed to be doing- it hurts. As I have said there are parts of Kaden's story that I will not be sharing on a public blog... things that would make a grown man cry. Things that we will only be able to deal with in God's strength alone. So trust me when I say this journey is going to be taking one tiny baby step at a time and keeping our eyes focused on the Lord every inch of the way.
"God is our refuse and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
Lord, there are times when I feel like I can't make it another step. My strength is gone and I don't know if I can go forward. So I look to you Lord- for your power. Yet when my spirit is weak you can accomplish great things through me and my obedience. Whatever comes Lord, I will be ready and willing to act quickly to your call, to trust in you to live for you. In you I will become strong, steadfast- unshaken. I will not give in to my weakness. Use me Lord, even when it hurts, even I weap- use me.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Don't worry- little brother getting squished on the bottom made it out safely.
Friday, February 15, 2008
If we want to see improvement, want the world to be a better place- we have to start with ourselves. Hate knowing there are families going to bed hungry each night in your neighborhood? Start a food drive. Don’t like knowing there are thousands of children dying of HIV in Africa every second? Go on a mission trip- or better yet- adopt a HIV+ child. Are you worried about the environment? Quit wasting and quit using plastic. Tired of the high price of gas? Car pool, ride your bike or better yet- stay at home. Join a cause- support an organization. Tutor a child- open your home. Serve. Educate. Inspire. Start with YOU. You be the change you wish to see in this world. Don’t know how? Ask God- pray that He makes His priorities your priorities and then obey His command. Lord, use me again today. Let me be the change.
“Lord, let our eyes be opened. “ Matthew 20:33
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Colds and flu are everywhere right now. Seems like everyone I talk to has it at their house. Ours is no different. Today I was helping Mya wipe her nose and I said to her "Mya, what are we going to do with this silly nose of yours? It will not stop running!" A few minutes later she comes running back into the room... "Don't worry mommy- I fixed it!"
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Much of the information we have on Kaden I will also not be able to share. He has had an extremely hard past and been through a LOT for a little boy of just 16 months. It will be his story to share one day how he wishes and if he wishes. I know though that God can use the painful experiences in our lives when we allow Him and I am praying that we can raise Kaden to have peace in that. I know looking back on my life the times that were the hardest were the times I grew and changed the most. It was never fun, but the end result were worth it. I don't ever want Kaden to look at himself as 'poor me' but rather look at his life as a blessing. Because most definately he has already blessed our family and he's not even home yet.
Some fun things I know about Kaden: they told us he loves animals and other children (which is a good thing in our house because we have lots of children and some days they act just like animals!!) They said he is small- but very strong. He is still taking a bottle which I am so thankful for because it really helps with bonding when we can rock him and feed him his bottled.
As for when we get to bring him home- they have to obtain a certain document which should take 1-2 weeks and then we can begin our visits. The first visit we will go to the foster home he is at right now (which is a great home and they would have loved to have adopted him but they are 60 years old and felt they could not). At this visit we get to meet him and hang out and play for a few hours. Next visit we are allowed to take him for a few hours to do something fun like the zoo or McDonalds playland or something. 3rd visit we get to bring him home for the weekend!! Then if all is going well they will schedule for adoptive placement- meaning he will come home with us FOREVER. :0) We have lots to do before then- did I mention I have nothing for a little boy anymore??? I'm still trying to decide about the whole crib thing- my kids were pretty much climbing out of their cribs by his age so I am not sure what we will do. I'd hate to buy one for a month. Plus we need to find out his shoe size and clothing size. I don't think he will like us much if we dress him in left over pink sparkly dresses from Aleigha and Mya. My boys have high hopes he will be good at football... his daddy and I just want him to be whatever God calls him to be. For I know God has big plans for this amazing little hero- my new son- because He has definately made it clear he was to be our son. He pushed us to put all our fears aside and step out in faith. There is no where else I would rather be- then holding my precious children in the Lord's grip.
Thank you Lord for once again expanding our family. Some may view us as crazy but I know in your eyes God we are right where we should be and there is no where else I would rather be. Thank you Lord for the privilege of serving you. I am in awe, and I am so very, very blessed.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I have been emailing back and forth with our caseworker, Lisa, who is representing us today for Sweet E and Baby D. I have to tell you- I LOVE the girl. She is fantastic and knows her job well. I don't know how we have always been so blessed with the greatest caseworkers in this world. First we had Tami and Jynger from Dillon, International. Hello- could they come ANY sweeter? They were amazing- so caring and I honestly couldn't have made it through our 'first' adoption experience without them. Then came Felis from Special Delivery. She ROCKS. I am always telling her I want to be her- the girls got heart, compassion and soul. I keep trying to think of some way I could inch my way into her family... hey, I know- maybe they could adopt me???
Ok- back to staring at the clock. I really think perhaps I need to change the batteries in it or something- this day is taking forever!
Also, there is sweet man by the name of Jimmy Mullens who has been reading my blog- I just wanted to say thanks Jimmy for checking in on us... that makes my day!
And then this...
Monday, February 11, 2008
How beautiful are your feet?
Did you know that Jesus has a foot fetish? He thinks that feet are beautiful… he sees beauty in our feet when we are not afraid to get up, MOVE, and have the courage to serve. Often times we refer to this as being the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus. While this is true, I often wonder if maybe Jesus didn’t mean for us to take this a step further. I think that God wanted us to not only serve with our hands and feet- but with the eyes of our heart as well.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Our caseworker called yesterday and they are deciding next Tuesday the 12th who Sweet E's forever family will be. It is between us and one other family. If you have a spare second that day and think of us- your prayers would mean the world. We really just want God's will to be done- no matter what that is. More than anything I want Sweet E to be in the forever family that God wants Him to be in... Our wants and desires put aside.
But our news didn't stop there. God has a sense of humor. Months ago our caseworker had also submitted us for a 6 month old baby girl. (She is 9 months old now). Adoptions through the state can take months and often times your caseworker will submit your homestudy when she see's a good match come through for you and sometimes you don't hear anything for months or sometimes never at all. Anyway- our caseworker had no sooner just hung up from talking to Sweet E's caseworker and this baby girls caseworker called to let her know that we were one of three families being considered for this baby girl and that next Tuesday the 12th they would be deciding who her forever family is. Same day. Very funny. Let's see- that would make EIGHT kids for us... They say 'Eight is Enough' you know.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much". Luke 16:10
Lord, you have equipped up with everything we need and I give you permission to use me when ever and where ever you need. I have made the choice with a willing heart to follow and obey you even when I am frightened and unsure- for when I do this I am proving to you where my heart really is- with you. I will follow you without question. Teach me Your ways, Lord, as I grow in you.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
My sister and family are floating on cloud 9 tonight with her new son in their arms forever! I actually got to talk to him on the phone briefly (my kids were grabbing the phone for their chance too!) He sounds SO SWEET and Jenny said he is of course drop dead gorgeous and REALLY FUNNY! God is good like that- knows exactly what child fits exactly in what family. I cannot wait to meet him and I am so excited they are all together at last! LOVE YOU MARIO!!!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I forget that it makes no difference to God how old we are, whether we are rich or poor, have 10 children or none at all. He can use us. God doesn’t care if our kids are too far apart in age- or too close in age…God does not need us to be perfect, experienced, or even prepared… all God cares about is our willingness to obey His call. He will work out the rest of the details… just like he did in my backyard that day.
One of my favorite, yet unexpected, blessings is the bond between the big and the little ones in our house. I actually feared this- feared the large age gap between these kids, worrying that the difference was too great for them to ever really know each other or ever really bond. I fear it so much because you see, it wasn’t MY plan. I didn’t want my kids that far apart in age. It wasn’t how ‘I’ pictured it would be. But a good friend of mine reminded me that we are not to put limitations on God and what He can do. I know I am guilty of this…There are so many times when I have done just that- put limits on God because I couldn’t see the whole picture, couldn’t see how all the pieces could fall into place. I let what the world views as perfect or good stop me from things God has asked me to do…thinking maybe we are too old to adopt or already had too many children to adopt again. I’ve let financial fears stop us from doing the things that God has called us to do, forgetting that God does not need our money. I can find so many reasons why we wouldn’t succeed, couldn’t possibly make it work... and so many fears in my own inadequacies that sometimes I couldn't even take that first step to begin the journey. Yet as I watched through the window as Travis, my 17 year old, taught Mya, my 5 year old, how to dribble that soccer ball and shoot it into the net - I just sat back and smiled. Seeing them spending time together was one of those moments where I knew that my friend had been right- I can’t put limits on God. I can’t see what the future holds or how it will unfold. But God can. My biggest and my smallest do have strong bonds, despite their difference in age and once again God knew what was best.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
Lord, so many times I find myself trying to play your role… I put limits on what you can do…. I believe that ‘I’ have it all figured out. How many times have I missed out on a blessing you had in mind because ‘I’ got in the way and lacked faith in you? Help me to remember daily that you are my source of strength and that yes without you ‘I” could not succeed but in you I can do anything you call me to do. I give you credit for all that I am and all that I can do. I am totally dependent on you and nothing apart from you. Everything I have and am comes from your strength. When the doubts creep in, when the weight of the world is too much and I can’t see the way, help me to stay focused on you and you alone.
So, here are the rules~The rules are to link the person who sent this and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours~Post the rules on your blog~Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself~Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link their blog~Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Ok- I am so excited- I have just been tagged... and well, I have never been tagged before and I have always dreamed of being tagged... so yes, this is quite exciting to me! Thanks Cindi! :0)
Alrighty then... 7 strange/weird things about me... this ought to be EASY.
1. Might as well get this one out there right away... I pooped out of a tree when I was little. Yep, you heard me. I pooped out of a tree. I was really curious what it felt like to be a bird so there you have it. For those of you who are also curious about what it feels like to be a bird... try it, you might like it. ;0)
2. I can burp the alphabet.
3. I cannot sleep without socks on and my pants tucked into them and I have to have a fan running.
4. I can't eat eggs- they gross me out.
5. I love small towns and old cemeteries.
6. I detest going to the gas station and putting gas in my car so my sweet husband does it for me every time. :0)
7. I am early for everything... always. Actually, I spend half of my life waiting for things to start. :0)
I was tagged by Cindi at http://livetoloveandlaugh.blogspot.com/
I am tagging http://recoveringnoah.blogspot.com/2007/06/eli-to-rescue.html
Monday, February 4, 2008
2 1/2 c. rice krispies
2. c. oatmeal
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. sunflower seeds without shells
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. choc. chips
Combine in a lg. bowl, cereal, oats, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Combine in a saucepan, brown sugar and corn syrup, bring to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stin in peanut butter and vanilla, until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix. Press into ungreased 9X13 in. baking dish. Cool. Enjoy!
Friday, February 1, 2008
"I want a better life." That has become the slogan of our society today. Everywhere we look there are a thousand suggestions on how to live a better life. There are pills, exercises, and diet books to help us lose weight so we can live a better life. There are lotions, treatments, and surgeries to help us look better so we can live a better life. There are cell phones, computers, and televisions to keep us connected and entertained so we can live a better life. There are cars, clothes, and fancy homes to keep us feeling wealthy so we can live a better life. There are schools, classes, and colleges to get our kids ready to live an even better life than we do. There are also jobs, cash, and credit cards to keep us spending for all of these things so that we can one day, hopefully, have that better life we dream about. I want a better life too, but I don’t think that any of these things will help me to get it. I have tried a lot of them over the years and while they may make you feel better for a moment they don’t bring you the lasting happiness you want. I have found for myself that the only way to have a better life is to live a better life, and only way to give your children a better life is to show them how to live a better life as well. How do you live a better life? You start by living more for your soul and less for your wallet. You spend more time hugging and less time buying. You turn off the television and take a walk with your children. You smile more and worry less. You spend more time with your loved ones and less time at the office. You laugh longer and more often. You look in your heart more and in the mirror less. You make your first job spreading joy rather than earning money. You realize just how much God loves you and you spend your days sharing that love with everyone you meet. And you always remember that your life is a gift from God and how you live it is your gift back.
~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~