cherishing the moments

One More Time Mommy

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One more time mommy…. how often do we here that when our kids are small? As I sit here watching my young adults sing and do the dishes together one more time, I am thankful for having them all under my roof for one more night. When they hand you that infant in the hospital, they don’t hand you a manual or tell you all that is in store for you. Out of all the stages that my kids have been through, I think the young adult years have been the most interesting and the most intense. If you are anything like me, being a mom is a major part of who you are. Now as my kids are flying the coup and venturing into their own lives, it feels odd not to see them everyday, not to know what their plans are and to realize this is the beginning of the next stage, the next season. Yep, and here come all the mixed emotions…. happiness, sadness, excitement, trepidation, nostalgia and sometimes even remorse over not holding them a little closer, a little longer, smelling their infant head one more time, telling one more bedtime story, or taking another trip to the playground. But alas, time does keep moving on, and in all honesty, I loved the toddler years, but am happy to not repeat them. So for now, the last night of the Jacobsen six being together, I think it will be one more dance party, a few more hugs and maybe another episode of a favorite show until we are together again.

If you are mom like me transitioning your kids into adulthood, then know you are not alone. If your kids are home with you now, give them another hug, kiss them on the forehead, tell one more story, or bury your nose in their infant hair another time, for sure enough the moments will be memories in the blink of an eye. Be Blessed my friends, and say a pray for me as I make this transition into the next season.

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The Blizzard

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The forecast was predicting it, some of were hoping for it, and then it was here, the blizzard.

I was raised in the Appalachian mountains and snow was commonplace during winter. Sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, and hot chocolate are memories that are dear to my heart. So when snow comes around, the kid in me comes out. I have been disappointed in the past and thus was holding back my excitement for this past weekends snow predictions, but I can say now that the blizzard did not disappoint. From the first flurries, to the final totals, this girl has been one happy camper. All of this snow really got me thinking about childhood and how much I have always loved the snow and how I still have not grown out of the enjoyment as so many often do. However, I will say that being able to stay home makes all of the difference! In fact, a few years ago, when I was showing property with my snow boots on and in houses with no heat, this girl was singing a different tune. But this weekend, I had the luxury of being home for the entire blizzard. From our first walk in the beautiful snowy winter wonderland being created in front of our eyes, to still sledding today on our homemade hill, the snow has been a real treat. We walked, we sledded, we came in from the cold and wrapped our fingers around mugs of glorious hot chocolate. I marveled at the blessing of sharing this time with my family and creating memories like those of my childhood days. Even as I write, the fun continues as my kids are outside building a snowman. I am cherishing the moments before life’s busyness starts up again tomorrow and all of us, once again, go our own ways. But for now, there are still games to be played and movies to be watched.

I hope each of you got to make some special memories as well. I want to say a big thank you to all of you out there who kept the electricity on and have worked hard to clear our roads. And to all of you who hate the snow, hold onto hope… spring is just around the corner, and we will once more enjoy the warm sunshine on our faces and our toes will enjoy the freedom of fllip-flops.

Be Blessed My Friends.

Leah

PS. Please enjoy our family video below and share in the comments what you loved about this weekend.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and is dedicated to my children. We have always loved this song. I hope you enjoy it too. Be Blessed my friends.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
(with Tammi Terrell)

Listen baby, ain’t no mountain high,
Ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough baby
If you need me call me, no matter where you are,
No matter how far; don’t worry baby
Just call my name; I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry,

Oh baby there ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Remember the day I set you free
I told you you could always count on me darling
From that day on, I made a vow,
I’ll be there when you want me,
Some way, some how

Oh baby there ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Oh no darling
No wind, no rain
Or winters cold can stop me baby, no no baby
‘Cause you are my goal
If you’re ever in trouble;
I’ll be there on the double
Just send for me, oh baby, ha

My love is alive
Way down in my heart
Although we are miles apart
If you ever need a helping hand,
I’ll be there on the double
Just as fast as I can
Don’t you know that there

Ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

Don’tcha know that there
Ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
Ain’t mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough

It’s Just One of Those Days

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Ever have one of those days? You know. The kind where nothing seems to go right? Where you are just trying to make it from one hour to the next. Or maybe minute to minute. You may even say that to yourself, “Yep, it’s just one of those days”. I want to encourage you, that you are not the only one who has days like this.

When I was a young mom, with three toddlers, I had lots of days like this. Days that the house was cluttered with kid stuff everywhere, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and messy babies. I would wait for hubby to come through the door so I could have a break. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. He may have had a bad day too and now we both needed a break. At the end of these days, I would go to bed feeling like a complete failure. I use to think that as I got older everything would change and that life would get easier. In some ways, life has changed and become easier. In some ways, life hasn’t changed at all and has become harder. I have come to realize that as much as some things change, some things stay the same. Even though my days look different and are filled with new challenges, like being the parent of young adults, the dirty dishes and laundry still seem to find ways to multiply. No matter how much time goes by, I am still me and I still have bad days. I still get overwhelmed. I still get frustrated. I still get a really bad attitude. However, along the way I have learned a valuable lesson. God never changes.  No matter how much time goes by, God is still God. Along the way is when I realized it.

-My bad days don’t surprise God.

God already knew about my bad days. The dirty laundry, piles of bills and endless parenting doesn’t surprise him. Neither does my bad attitude. He knows exactly where I am and he is there with me. He chose to give me this life. That’s right. He knew about my weaknesses and failures and he still gave me my husband. My kids. My friends and family. He knew I would have bad days. He knew I would yell at my kids and my husband, and sometimes kick the dog. Yes. I confess. I have kicked my dog.

-I am not defined by my bad days… I am not defined by my good ones either…

But he also gave me a way out of my bad days. He gave me his shoulder to cry on. He gave me his arms wrapped around me. He gave me his truth spoken to me. His truth. His truth is that I am not defined by my bad days. I’m not defined by my good ones either. I am defined by being a child of God. I am defined by His love for me. He also gave me the promise “I will be with you”. I can pour out my heart and tell God exactly what I am thinking and feeling. My feelings don’t surprise God. I can yell, scream and cry and he will not leave me. In fact, I just need to speak his name and he helps me. He helps me from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. He helps me, he cares for me and he changes me.

Now when I have a bad day, I think about the fact that this day will not define me or my family. It doesn’t mean that I am a big fat failure. It simple means I am human and in need of a savior. It will simply be one of those days that I need to lean even more on God. He has given me tools for these days. He has given me scriptures, affirmation statements, prayers to pray, and friends to call. But even if I don’t use those tools and let the bad day get the best of me, He also gives me forgiveness. He has given me the power to ask for forgiveness, to ask others to forgive me and the power to forgive myself. He gives second chances and brand new days. He gives me love and the assurance that it’s okay when I fall short. After all, God is the only one who is perfect and the only one with no bad days. Be blessed my friends.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Hebrews 13: 5-6, 8 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

The 16 Year Old Me

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Life is a journey

I’m often surprised in life with how things happen in ways that I never expected. For most of my life I have been a planner. In fact, by the time I was 16, I had my whole life planned out. I wonder how many of us do that? In Sunday school this week our Senior High students got to finish up a series on Godly Career Development with a panel of church members. Listening to them share their stories, I found myself chuckling at the way we, as people, try to figure our whole lives out when God has other plans for us. None of them had their lives turn out as they has planned as teenagers. It made me think about a recent visit at my parent’s house.

For Christmas we stayed a couple of days with my parents. We were reminiscing about Christmases gone by and how the years go by so fast. My dad was talking about how I am still his “little girl” when I now have two adult children of my own. He talked about his childhood and things he had hoped for and how happy he was to have grandkids. He told me he was proud of my husband and I for how we had raised our kids and thought we had done a good job. It was a wonderful time of fellowship for our family and got me to thinking about how all of the good things in my life are because of The Lord.

In that moment, I thought about my past plans and things I had strived for. The things that I had tried to make happen. I thought of the things I had done wrong and the things I had done right. I thought about how I had my life planned out at 16, leaving little room for God to make changes. I wondered what the 16 year old me would think if she could see her life now. I imagine she would be scared, happy and have her little mind blown.  Some of things she planned did happen. I have a great husband, children and a strong walk with the Lord, however, I don’t think any of it happened the way she thought it would. I think she would be very surprised at how it is all better than she could have ever imagined. As I thought about the 16 year old me, and who I am today, I was left mostly in awe of how God’s plans are always the best. Because all the things I have done right are really the times that I listened to the Lord, trusted him, and let him lead the way. And the things that I had done wrong, well, He has come in and cleaned up my mess. If I could go back and talk to the 16 year old me, I would tell her to trust more in God’s plan and His goodness. I would tell her how much she needs Him in her life. I would tell her that His plans are always the best ones and if she thinks her plans are better she is sadly mistaken. Because I have had the chance to walk in my own plans and have been left to my own devices. That woman, that person, is not a pretty one. She is a mess. But with God, she can be pretty amazing. Because everything I have I owe to Him, everything I am I owe to Him, and everything I want to be in the future I give to Him, because He is trustworthy. In this life I have learned what a mess I am without Christ, but how with Him I can be used in great ways, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, and as the Lords hands and feet. Pretty amazing that God wants to use us no matter how small we are, no matter how selfish we have been, and no matter what we have done.

So I guess I am left with telling the present day me to, trust God. Trust in His plans and in His goodness. Trust that He has a perfect plan and that He already has all the answers. Know that He loves more than can be measured and holds all things in His hands. Yes, that is what I would tell myself and it’s what I am telling you. Be Blessed my friends.

O Holy Night

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In honor of Jesus Christ, the reason for the season, this week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is “O Holy Night” I have many favorite songs, both Christmas and non Christmas, but his one would rank high on the either list regardless of whether it is considered a Christmas song of not. Oh what a night when our savior was born. Truly a holy night. Some of the lyrics in this song move me to tears. Fall on your knees, Chains shall he break, O night divine. Such powerful words. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas. Be blessed my friends.

O Holy Night

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees,
Oh, hear the angels voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O night divine! O night divine.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand;
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend;
He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace;
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name;

Christ is the Lord
Oh, praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

Noel, noel, noel.
Oh night, oh night divine.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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I am a little late for Poetry Tuesday. But better late than never right? This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost. I really like this poem and feel it is fitting since we are heading into winter. But this poem also makes me think of how seasons of life change. Whether it is a good season or a bad season, change is still ahead. So if you are in a great season of your life, enjoy the moments. If you are in a hard season, hang on, spring is just around the corner. Be blessed my friends.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay

Robert Frost