Friday, January 22, 2016

Embrace

I've been thinking a lot about a single word.

What word you ask?

Well now, don't rush me we will get there.


For the past 4 years I have picked a New Years Word.
Rather than focusing on goals and things of that nature, (which are all well and good I"m just not of that cloth anymore) for some time now I have prayed for God to give me a single word that would serve as a reminder all year through of something HE would want to do in my life.

I love words so this New Year's tradition kinda stuck with me like white on rice, like peanut butter and jelly, like coffee and some cream.

Ok moving on....


Last year my word was Peace and little did I know how much I was really going to need  some hard core, big time, heaping spoonfuls of Peace in my life last year.
The reminder of that word may have prompted quite a few prayers that I otherwise wouldn't have thought to cry out for.
Some of those prayers might have sounded like this....
Hey God, what the HELL is going on ?
HELP!!!
I need me some PEACE up in here!!

There were moments last year that I thought it literally felt at times like the least peaceful year of my life.
With a house full of young teenagers who are full of their own ideas and have a healthy amount of independence encroaching everyday more and more, I'm sure you can imagine what I might be talking about.
Sometimes my house literally became somewhat of a battle zone last year as I was learning to let go.
In the midst of it, and now looking back God knew that I would need his PEACE to be with me last year as I learned how to parent in a whole new way.
There were other things as well that tried to rob me of  the peace that surpasses all understanding, but God was faithful and his peace never left.
He did a great work with all the crap that went down last year there were some things that came out of the crappy fires of life that now I see as his hand alone never leaving me, never forsaking what he promised.

As I began to pray about what word could serve as a reminder to me this year I was a little hesitant because choosing PEACE last year and then having almost the opposite happen all around me was a little intimidating.

But a few weeks back I read this scripture:

"So here's what I want you to do, God Helping you:

Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. 

EMBRACING what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it's level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you"



That is in the Message Version of the Bible, another version of this scripture from the Amplified Version reads like this:

"I appeal to you therefore, brethren and (sisterthen), and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies (presenting all your members and faculties) as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world(this age) [fashioned after and adapted to it's external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind [by it's new ideals and its new attitude] so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in HIS sight for you]. 

Romans 12: 1-2


As I was letting the first version marinate in my bones I became SO inspired. 

I thought about how everything that I do with this earthly vessel I am given is something that matters to God.
Sleeping, eating, going to work,  grocery shopping,  doing mountains of laundry, and just plain ole walking around.... It ALL matters to the Lover of My Soul.

 I was reminded once again that every detail of this little life matters.

Sometimes, I forget that very important detail to this re-born life.
I forget that every cry in my heart, every passion I've been given, every friendship, every word I speak or that is spoken to me it all matters. 
The enemy of our souls would like us to believe that is the furthest thing from the truth, but Oh beloved reader don't believe that because it is a total, and utter LIE from the pit of H E double Hockey Sticks!

I decided in that moment to EMBRACE that love.

His LOVE.

Simply LOVE.

In that moment I was overcome with a flood from that kind of attention.
That the God of the Universe would care about little ole' me still trips me out.
I'm blown away by His faithfulness, His unending pursuit to simply LOVE me.


The love of Jesus is beyond what I can even express in words and it penetrates through every lie spoken, or perceived about myself.


"YOUR LOVE IS LIFTING ME ABOVE ALL THE LIES"

So that my beloved reader is my New Year's word 
EMBRACE.
This year I'm choosing to Embrace fully the LOVE of my Savior and not allow this world to come and rob, kill or destroy the work that the Lover of my Soul has been doing and will continue to do with this stinky flesh until the day I die.

I'm going to embrace the love of my Savior around every corner this year. 


I want to remember that when my daughter graduates, I can embrace that moment full of his love and securely know that she will be in his hands as she has been since the day she was born.

I will embrace his love, and trust HIM  the moment my other daughter turns 16 and drives a car for the first time.

I am determined to fully embrace his love and rest in it the day my oldest son starts High School this year. 

And I won't be listening to the lies that would cause this heart to have fear about my future because his love that I will be embracing will lift me higher than fear.

I'm gonna EMBRACE it all!!
This crazy roller coaster called life.
Embracing all that God has for me this year is what I want to do.



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Turning a Corner



The days are going by so fast my heart can hardly keep up with what my brain is telling me is really taking place. 

What is really taking place is that after we turn the corner and begin a new year 2016 will usher in one fully grown, legal young adult Scofield and another 16 year old legal to drive Scofield... And soon after those two have birthdays the youngest Scofield baby bird will have his last year of childhood before he enters into true "teen" years.


Sigh.

I tell myself, It's all normal. 
It happens everyday right before my eyes.
It's healthy and good what's happening.
But, somehow my eyes don't believe me and the water works appear for no reason...

Ok well maybe there are reasons why I've    been a weepy hot mess over here.

Anyone who has parented teenagers can tell you that it is NOT for the faint of heart.
Some would say,  (Ellen my Ma wisest woman on the face of the earth)  that in fact "Parenting is NOT for cowards!" 
And ya know what? I gotta tell ya, this past year that saying my momma has said since the day I became a mom 17 years ago has never rung more true.

I won't go into detail to respect my kids privacy but I will tell you my new favorite life analogy that makes it easier for me to sleep better at night( parents of littles take note)

I like to think of my kids as no longer being baby birds that need to be fed right from momma. 

No they are the brave, juvenile, still somewhat baby birds who haven't left the nest yet and as they prepare to spread those wings and fly some things have to happen first.

There needs to be these little flutters from four little birds that are getting ready to spread their wings and fly. 

Little flutters that some might call teenage rebellion, but I choose to see them as flutters of independence.


 I know the day is quickly approaching when they will no longer need to ask my permission about life choices. 

I'm hoping that they might still value my opinion and ask for it once in a while, but ultimately they have got to launch out of this cozy, safe, somewhat clean nest and fly into a world of unknowns and so these flutters I choose to see as them testing out their wing span.


 
I'm also truly thankful that even though I can't go with them wherever they choose to fly I know the lover of their souls will be with them at every strong wind and storm. 
I still believe that THE greatest gift I can give them as momma bird is that of faith. 

And although I don't have the ability to open their eyes to see and their ears to hear I can certainly turn their heads and hearts in a direction or a way that is a good way to walk or in this life analogy to 
FLY!

And so we will turn this corner and by the grace of God we will make it thru the brave adolescent bird years where I'm sure there will be many more wings fluttering and flapping but eventually we will see them take flight. 

Until then I will wait... And while I wait I will not be idle or full of fear for the next fluttering... I will wait upon the Lover of my Soul who will give me strength for these days ahead. 
 
The book of Isaiah chapter 40, verse 31 has some good things to say about this waiting-parenting game plan I've got going on ... There's something about soaring and flying in there too  ;) 

Nothing But Love <3 Noël



 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Going deeper

I'm feeling the pull, the gentle nudge to go deeper.



Sometimes in the pool of life I walk in the shallow end. 
I will admit to you honestly beloved reader I don't know how to swim.
But, I'm not talking about the physical here. 
If I were I would also admit,
I like the comfort of knowing that my feet can touch the bottom of the pool.
There is safety in that.

But, I'm not talking physical.
I'm talking spiritually.

 I feel the pull to go deeper, maybe even to dive in off that board without looking back or thinking twice about a bottom.

I feel the courage mounting.
The mustard seed of faith is growing.
I'm in that line to jump off that long board. 
I'm not worried or anxious about how deep I will go or how I will swim.
I'm just ready. 

"Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. 
Let me walk upon the water wherever you would lead me. "

Monday, October 26, 2015

Balance





When I look at this picture all I can think of is one word;

Balance.

Ok maybe I was thinking of one word and one phrase; the word Balance mostly, but then also

                                                     THERE'S A TRAIN COMING!!

If a pictures really worth a thousand words then I would say this picture is the poster child for that quote. Also my eldest child, the one photographed here, the one who made me a mom for the first time... I'm pretty sure she would be the poster child for the world Balance. I have always said of Emma Faith, that she has the best self management skills I have ever seen. The kid got up in Jr. High early so she could watch the morning news.  She would sit with her cup of coffee and  find out what the weather was going to be for the day and dress accordingly. Who does that? I mean I'm sure some of that early morning rising came because she wanted to have a cup of coffee in the quiet before her siblings woke up, but still it was a very impressive, balanced thing to do for a young lady of 11 or 12.

Balance.
When observing this photo shoot there were so many thoughts and emotions running through my brain. At this particular captured moment I was thinking...
In a matter of seconds she could've lost her balance and toppled over into the Truckee River and that would of been the end of this amazing photo shoot. The Lemaire Photo crew could've lost their balance and with very expensive cameras in hand, tragedy would ensue. Thank God that isn't what happened. They all kept their balance.

Balance.

But then the train entered this beautiful picture and I started to think about the train of life that John Mayer sings about in his song; STOP THIS TRAIN.
I'm sure if she was ever going to get distracted and fall off that chair it would've been when the big, loud train came barreling by, but she kept on being focused. The photography team kept their cool as I stood with Emma's fan following (Grandma, and Aunties) off on the sidelines and prayed for more balance and more focus.
And I thought about how I CAN'T no matter how hard I try, I can't stop this train that is coming.
The train that ushers my oldest child into adulthood is going to be here this May and I can either get on board or stand by on the sidelines trying to figure out how to make it all stop.

Balance.



It is so very easy in this life to get off balance. To let the loud trains that come as quite a surprise get you rattled and off your focus or determined purpose. I think that balance and purpose go hand in hand though. When you know your purpose in this life it takes more than a train or semi truck or tornado or .... Just about anything else under the sun to get you off track.
Her purpose and the Lemaire Photography crews purpose was to get some really awesome photos and NOT fall in the Truckee River.
My purpose for quite some time ... well almost 18 years now has been to be a good mom to 4 incredible people.
Just because one of those peoples will soon be 18 and technically a legal adult doesn't mean my role as mom is over.
It's never really over.

Balance.

Often times though it isn't the loud trains in life that get us off balance it's the little suttle things that creep in and get bigger and bigger and before you know it you've lost your balance. You've let something else consume all your time, energy and passion and when you turn around you traveled down a road you never intended to be on.
I want to stay on the purposeful roads that God has given me in this life and I want to get on board the trains of life and not buck the system of Father Time.

Balance.

In order to do this I'm learning. I'm paying very close attention to those that have gone before me. This is what I'm learning; the older I get to truly maintain balance in my life I have to let go of some things. I just can't possibly "do it all" and stay balanced. It's hard to let go. In fact I'd venture to say it's one of the hardest life lessons that I'm still learning. 



Balance. 

In regards to parenting it is THE hardest lesson to learn I'm convinced. There's a very good reason that the saying "if you love something let it go" is well known and speaks truth. It's because in order for our children to truly grow into healthly balanced young adults we have to let go of SO much. If we don't they rebel. It's not healthy to tighten the grip of control over our children right before they are expected to head out into the world and face decisions that will require them to use the only skill set they have been given. They will need to balance;  school, work, relationships, and God knows the social media department of life will need some extra hard core balance. 

Balance.

We let go of expectations and preconceived notions.
So that they can forge their own path completely and utterly different than our own.
We let go of their physical prescense always being there as they drive away from us.
So that they will feel the difference of being surrounded and supported versus being alone and quiet.
We let go of our hopes and dreams as they come up with their own.

Balance.

I'm finding that in order to keep a balance healthy relationship with my oldest daughter I have to let her go, and although my mom warned me that this would absolutely be the hardest part of parenting... I never thought that it would THIS hard. 

"Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnessary stress."

So here's to letting go, getting on board, and finding balance in it all!








Friday, October 02, 2015

The Rhythms of Life



Rhythm, I'm not talking about the musical kind like keeping the beat of a song or having moves to a dance.
There is a rhythm to this life, as opposed to the musical rhythm.

Everyone has this kind of rhythm as opposed to musical rhythm which everyone does NOT have. 

 Life Rhythms are the soft quiet way we go about our day, week, month year.

Sometimes the rhythms of life can go by so quietly that we forget to look up and see how the world has changed.
Other times, our lives rhythm can be hi-jacked by tragedy and we never really find that beat again.
And still other times we can take on someone else's life rhythms and try to adopt them as our own, all the while we are dying inside.


The rhythm of a life looks different for everyone and takes everyone a certain amount of time to find what their true rhythm is.
Some are upbeat and always on the go and this feeds their soul.
Others life rhythm is much slower and requires much more down time.

I have realized after 40 years on this planet that mine is of the latter group.

Although I do ALOT I don't function well in that  "ALOT" category or rhythm section if you will.
It has taken me many years to realize this and to be ok with it. 
It's ok now for me to know that every week I need at least two days to regroup as opposed to the one day of Sabbath that every person on the planet really needs, but often denies themselves.

Finding your life's rhythm is somehow tied into finding your true authentic self.
Some people never truly find that person that they were always intended to be.
I believe finding your true self and life rhythm comes from slowing down long enough to hear the sound, the beat of your heart.
Asking yourself questions like;

What makes my heart sing?

That's a saying that my mom has said so many times I can almost hear her saying it now with her east coast accent. It's a good questions because it opens up all kinds of other answers.
What makes your heart sing can sometimes often lead you to your rhythm of life.

"When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring."

I want to retain my essential God given rhythm no matter what the seasons of change may bring, and the only way I know how to do that is to check back in again and again with the rhythm maker. 
The season changer.
The life giver.
The conductor if you will.
And of course by now your wondering what the point was to this lil here blog...
Well I really just needed more Gloria Estefan in my life!

BIG SMILE


Happy October!


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Human Faith Race


I'm not a runner.
Those of you who know me, know that I have never run a race in my life.
I can hardly stand to exercise let alone get up the gumption to run when no one is chasing me.
I did however, enter a half marathon almost 10 years ago now and I walked/jogged the whole thing with my 10 year old daughter, whom I might add, it was her bright idea to enter this marathon.

We were the last to arrive at the finish sign that had almost come down by then.
I lost a toenail.
But we finished the race.
I'm not a runner, but I have realized now more than ever before in my life that I am indeed in a race.
Some would venture to say we are all in a race, the Human Race, but that isn't the the only race I'm talking about.
I'm also talking about my faith race.
My very human, full of faith race.
It's a different kind of race because I'm not competing against anyone.
I'm not trying to look better than my neighbor and have more faith based "Good Works" that people can take note of.
I'm not trying to earn titles and have certificates that say I have more faith than you because I took this class, or I attend church several times a week.
Seriously, I could give a shit about that!!
I'm just trying to live in such a way that is worthy of my calling, and the best way I know how to do that is to simply, truly, authentically;
Love God
and
Love People
It's sounds so simple.
It sounds so easy.
But this human faith race is NOT easy my friends. 
There are times when I hang my head in sorrow because I don't understand why with our free will we choose to hurt one another instead of realizing we are on the same team.
We get caught up in silly things that at the end of this race won't even be on our radar let alone something we are still talking about.
These are the times when I want to stop running, not the faith part of the race because for me loyalty to Jesus the Lover of My Soul is easy.
He makes this race easy.
He even says;
"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light"
and 
 "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"

No it's not that part of the race I want to sit down on, it's the human part. 
The love people part.
Loving people is hard.
Now dont' get me wrong I am a people lovin person through and through, or is it thru?
But
We are a broken concept if you will.
We were never supposed to function outside of being in relationship with our Creator, and so being broken we go around breaking more things.
It's messed up what we do to each other and ourselves sometimes.
And that's just the part of loving people that we can control.
Then there's the part that we can't control, like when tragedy happens and our reactions aren't always  what they should be.  
"Life does not have to be full of ease to reflect beauty. 
Some of the most beautiful faces in history have not had eyes to see, nor voices to move their lips, 
but have possessed peace and serenity that only faith could render."
But much like the quote says above some of the most amazing runners in this human faith race are those who have endured true hardships;  cancer, divorce, loss of a child, homes being burnt in a fire, children with disabilities, and so many more seemingly devastating things.
YET...
they are still running this race.
You can see it on the faces of those who have gone before you in these dark areas of life.
They are weathered in worn because they have been running for so very long, in the heat of the day, and 
YET...
they still shine.
There are so many who have gone before me in this race like it talks about in the book of Hebrews chapter 12.
"Therefore then... since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses"
My great grandparents, ran this human faith race.
My grandparents both ran this human faith race.
My parents are still running this human faith race.
And so for me it's a legacy of faith.
But for some you don't have that kind of lineage and to you I would say 
read Hebrews chapter 11 to find out what kind of human faith race you do have.
It gives me great courage and focus to realize that there are those going before me leading the way, 
and honestly it makes me want to stay in the race for the generations I will leave behind someday.
 
I'm not a runner ....
 
But
I want to be a runner who finishes this human faith race.
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

LOVE.



This past Sunday the passage of scripture that my community read thru was from John chapter 4. 
It is one of my all time favorite Bible stories, and certainly one of the most meaningful things that Jesus ever did while he was here on earth.
You might think that talking to a woman at a well pales in comparison to everything else he did while he was here, but you would be SO wrong.

Let me tell ya why you would be OH SO wrong.

 It is true, he did so many miracles while he was here.
Let me just list a few off the top of my head;

He fed thousands from one loaf of bread and a fish.

He raised Lazarus, one of his best buddy's who had been not "mostly dead" but DEAD, dead! He was stinky and wrapped in mummy attire for days, and with a word he came out and had a party with his sisters.

And then of course there was the whole raising himself from the dead and walking around, (not like "The Walking Dead") for 40 days as fully ALIVE and fully WELL.

This and so much more is why he has so many followers, and why ALOT of the world has come to know him as the One True LIVING God, but the stories like what I find in John chapter 4 are what draw me back to his feet in total, utter, love, and adoration. 
I think it's because this story speaks to the heart of every person who is broken and in need of true love.

Question;

Can you tell me of one person who isn't in NEED of true love?


The story in John chapter 4 is about a woman, who came to a water well to fill her empty bucket.
What she left with was not only a very full soul, but her eyes were opened to see the Lover of her Soul.

Her whole life she had been searching to fill this void that she had.
The bible says she tried to fill that void 5 times over,  with 5 different husbands, but nothing and no one could take the place that Jesus would.
She was broken.

Question;
Can you tell me one person who isn't broken ?

I absolutely love that every time I read this story I get something new from it.
There are angles and sides to every story we all know this to be true.
Ask any divorced couple to tell you their version of what went wrong and often times you get two completely different stories.
The same is true of the stories in scripture.

This is why I believe it is said in Hebrews that the scriptures are alive and active.
WE (with the help of the Holy Spirit) make them come alive when we read them and share them with others, because each of us see something different.

We question different things.

We interpret words and the meaning of those words different.
We have different passions and interests that cause us to see the world and all that is in it so differently.
I absolutely LOVE that about reading the bible with other people.

Did you know that is the way it was always intended to be read?

So this Sunday the angle on this scripture came from a bro in Christ named Matthew.
He talked about the significance of the fact that most Jews didn't even travel thru Samaria. 
They would take a different road that took them way outside of where they were trying to get to, all to avoid the town of Samaria. We are talking DAYS out of the way.

Most Jews thought of Samaria as the ghetto if you will, and would take great lengths to avoid passing thru there. The reason was because Samariatans had become front runners. They followed Judaism only when it benefited them, otherwise they went with the popular party at hand.
 
I had never really thought about how significant this road trip was for Jesus and his disciples until Matt broke it down like that and it gave a whole new angle to the story.

We all know that for Jesus to be speaking to a woman was unheard of for that day and age, but to have even traveled to Samaria was a bold move on his part. I'm sure the disciples begged and pleaded to go around the ghetto streets of Samaria, but the scriptures say, "He had to go".

Question;
WHY?

Because he knew that not only was there going to be a conversation with a broken, thirsty woman at the well, but a whole town that he would proceed to hang out in for 2 whole days would come to know the LOVE of God in a way that they had never experienced before.

And that is why this story is significant, beyond what may appear to be just a simple conversation.

Jesus was breaking down prejudices.
Jesus was establishing a kingdom with a foundation built on nothing less than love.
Jesus wouldn't be persuaded to take a different path.

His way, is THE only way, and that is the Way of LOVE.
Above all titles, genders, races, ....
HE IS ABOUT LOVE
If anyone tells you different they are preaching a different gospel.


Jesus the Lover of My Soul.
Jesus the Lover of her Soul.
Jesus the Lover of EVERY Soul.




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