Do Not Settle

Do Not Settle for a Mediocre Life

“What will be the legacy of your life? What story will the days of your life tell?”

Will you invest it in what matters, what lasts? Or will you waste it by frittering the days on what does not matter?

Those are questions I have pondered much since May 2003. After my Congestive Heart Failure diagnosis and Open Heart Surgery, I had a lot of time to think as I watched other people care for my young children and mange my household. It was very painful, and yet life giving, to realize that there were many years of wasteful living behind me. That the legacy I was leaving my children was very weak and lacked the richness of wisdom, faithfulness, beauty and love. And so I began a journey.

Learning to Embrace

Since that time I have been learning to embrace the truth that my life matters. I am making the choice, daily, to live with intention even though there are many wasted years behind me. And I realize that there is no grand stage ahead of me. There is only the “tucked in” moments at home, in the van, in the here and there of daily life. That is my arena for pouring out the very essence of Gospel influence, love and grace. I purpose to no longer settle for a mediocre life, but to own my life and make it count for something lasting.

Do Not Settle

In Sally Clarkson’s book, Own Your Life, these words gave shape to moments in my life that I didn’t know where to place… “putting together the pieces of your unique life puzzle”. Each of us do have a different life puzzle to put together. Once we realize that, even the oddly shaped pieces find a place in the whole.

Do Not Settle

There are many pieces to my puzzle that I would have liked to throw away, throw back at God. But now, at 46, I can look back over it so far. There is so much that is very hard, yet I am beginning to see the “wholeness” of me. The way I am even able to seek and know my Creator is shaped by all the pieces of my life puzzle. Those terrible pieces, the seemingly wasted ones, all fit together with the better, more beautiful pieces to create a picture of sacred redemption. Someday I will see the final picture of my life, and I no longer dread that moment!

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How do you relate to the ideal that we each have a unique life puzzle? I hope you will be encouraged not to settle for a mediocre life, but know that your life matters! This week I am giving away a copy of “Own Your Life” right here on By Quiet Waters. I believe in the message of this book, as I see it ring true in my life, and I am excited to share it with you. I wish I could give each of you a copy!

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You will find the details below:

March 2 to March 9  Drawing will be completed and announced by Tuesday morning.  Be sure to check here or the facebook page!

Open to US addresses only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Snuggle Time Devotions

Over the past couple of months I have been sharing with my granddaughter a new book,  Snuggle Time Devotions that end with a hug.  This book was created  by Stephen Elkins, with the goal to make the Bible “enjoyable and relevant to children today.”

 

snuggletime devotions

The book includes 52 rhyming Bible stories.  There are devotional thoughts, games and activities to demonstrate the lesson in each story.  The illustrations are gently whimsical, but I am disappointed to once again see one particular thing.  Jesus is portrayed as a blonde with prominently white children.   I have had to flip through the entire book to find the few pages with children of races other than white.  If we want to make the Bible enjoyable and relevant with today’s children, we need to be real with them.  Jesus wasn’t “white” and he loves all the children of the world.  Christianity is not a white American faith.

snuggletime devotionsThe thoughts above definitely impacted my enjoyment of the book with my grand daughter.    She hasn’t been overly interested as a two year old, she much prefers “My Grandma is Crazy”, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Rumble in the Jungle!

That said, the format of the book is interesting and I think the creator of this devotional has a good idea, adding activities and hugs at the end of each devotion.  Maybe the future books that are planned will be more reflective of a world wide faith in Jesus.

snuggletime devotions

snuggletime

Snuggle Time Devotions was given to my by the Tyndale Blog Network, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sponsorship Saturday, Birthday Folders – For Boys

birthday folders

 

This month I had four (4!) birthday folders to complete.

For this project the first two folders to pull together were for older boys, so I spent some time looking for different things to add in.  The one thing I found was printable paper airplane kits.  I printed those (3 pages each, with instructions) and added 1 blank sheet of paper per set.  My daughters thought the sets looked cool, so I added a packet to each of the 2 girly folders.

 

birthday folders

 

birthday folders

Four birthday folders and a couple of reply letters were sent off this week to wrap up February correspondence.  We did receive a couple of letters and I am starting to hear some replies about the activities & small gifts we send off.  We also received a pastor letter from Guatemala that was encouraging to read.

Besides the idea for paper airplanes, what other items do you sent to older sponsor boys?

 

 

 

Behind My Bellybutton

behind my belly button

This title of this book, Behind my Bellybutton gave me a little giggle when I first saw it.  Seeing the boy eating a muffin and reading the title, I thought I had a book about the digestive tract in my hands.  I promptly handed it to one of my daughters, the CNA, caregiver, nursing student daughter!

A few days later I was gathering my current reads & a cup of tea for some evening reading and I picked up Behind my Bellybutton, to give it a quick read.  I had been sent the book in exchange for a review, so I needed to read it!

Well, this book isn’t about digestion at all.  One of the things I quickly noticed, and enjoyed, is that this book is written from a boy’s perspective.  See, I am a girl mom.  I have daughters, no sons (that’s always the question that follows when I tell others I have 5 daughters), I have a grand daughter, 2 female cats and 8 hens.     Everything in my home is pretty much of the girly sort, or we put a girly spin on it!  All of the sweet “when you were born” books, stories, songs have had a definite feminine touch to them.  Yes, my husband is sorely outnumbered, but truly, he is man enough to handle it!

Back to the book.  It is a charming book written by Elaine Tomski.  From the back cover:

All little boys want to be big, especially on their birthdays. As Eli wakes on his birthday, he is definitely not happy. That’s because his older brother claims Eli is only little.

Eli’s mama tells of the day God created him. He was the size of a poppy seed. Throughout the day she assures her curious son that he grew in a safe, warm place behind her belly button and near to her heart. Find out how Eli discovers God was growing him bigger then and growing him bigger still. Will Eli have a happy birthday after all?

The book is 32 pages, and has bright cheerful, yet simple illustrations, which are done by Chris Danger.   If you are a “boy” mom, and it is true that most books of this sort are a bit girly, I suggest you check this one out.  It is sure to bring a smile, and hopefully a fun read aloud for you and your son!

behind my bellybutton

Now, all this talk about “behind my bellybutton” brought out a song in my house… so for your pleasure, I end this post with a little Veggie Singing!

 

Behind my Bellybutton was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion by Ambassador International.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Picking Up Needles Again!

This Moment, a moment to remember, to celebrate, as I thought this week begin picking up the needles again, redeeming some of those moments waiting in the car pool lane, or passing a few minutes with a teen in the car before she dashes off for another round of classes.

 

#fringehours

 

Inspired by the new book Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, I’ve been on the look out for my own #fringehours.  It ‘s been a long while since I picked up a set of knitting needles and a ball of yarn, but this week I found a simple pattern, took a few minutes to pull a set of needles out of the tub on the top closet shelf and managed to remember to put the items in the van!

Never have I been an accomplished knitter, but I do enjoy the craft.  One afternoon this week I had a few minutes with my 15 year old daughter, just waiting in the van.  I pulled out the needles and yarn and let her refresh me on seed stitch.  Sweet precious moment!

 

Linking with Amanda, and Jessica

Bandaids, Compassion Correspondence

Earlier this month I shared a birthday folder in my Sponsorship Saturday Valentine’s post and a past post, with  first aid coloring pictures.  I have cleaned them up a bit and added some simple words about bandaids and first aid.  I found these images during lots of searching on the internet and now I am not sure where I originally found them!

first aid

 

This one does not print as crisp but I like it better because it has a child.  I think the idea is pretty clear in this one!

Bandaid

With these coloring pages,  I like to attach a small ziploc baggie with bandaids.

Bandaids

I usually buy several boxes of colorful and character bandaids as the seasons change.  When I am ready to add some to the birthday folders, I staple a handful of them to a card stock scrap or an index card.  And now I finally have a simple printable to send with them.

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As you see in the above photo, I did not put the band aids in a baggie.  Trying to get things completed before the afternoon school pick up, and the last opportunity of the current week to take a deliver to Compassion, I didn’t grab a baggie.  Instead I just stapled the card to the coloring page.  I think that is okay since the whole thing is going inside a birthday folder instead of individually.

A quick reminder, make sure you label each paper, baggie & gift with your sponsor child’s name and number!  I don’t put my name and number on each thing, but I do on most.

Please share, in the comments, other FIRST AID ideas you have for sharing with our sponsor kids?!