What would your mother do? Encourage.

What can one mom even do to make a difference?

We moms need to know this.

Here’s the next part of a short series about all the huge little things moms do. It’s not a contest, but let’s all tell about our memories of those little things that mean so much, that only moms know how to do best.

Mom gave us baked beans for lunchMy mom encouraged me. I remember one of the first encouragements she gave me, when I really might have needed correction on any other similar occasions: I’d been playing with my food on my plate.

The menu that day was hot dogs and plain old pork ‘n’ beans, so everything I needed was at the table already.

I began stirring relish, ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar into the beans on my plate. After a sample, I told my mom how good it was. She questioned me, I explained, and that’s when it happened: A new gourmet cook was born at that very lunch table. My mom exclaimed that if I could determine exactly what should go into carefully-crafted old style “baked beans”, then I must be a natural-born cook.

I felt pretty pleased with myself and I never forgot it.

Encouragement can go the other way, too, dragging a person up from a low place, where I was during third grade.

It was election time in our country and in school, we had a mock election, dividing the class into three political parties.

It was rigged. All the popular kids were in one party, the brilliant-student-types in another, and we misfits (the sickly, overweight, or otherwise unacceptable ones) were in the third party. I leave you to guess who won, but will add: I perfected the art of sickly by having one of my semi-annual cases of step throat during the vote. Yeah, we came in last. Amazing, no? We’d had such hopes. We did our best. We mined our mom’s ideas for sure-fire campaign tactics, made posters, and delivered speeches, all for naught.

After a phone call came to our sick-house regarding the results, my mom so tenderly relayed them to me. I cried. She held me and asked me to try to be a big girl, to think what the other children would think of my crying…

I remember the moment so clearly, like the movie re-run it has always been in my mind. I remember feeling rebellious and sort of amazed at myself for what I said at that point.

“I don’t even care what the CRY-BABIES think!”

She did not reprimand me. She did not scold my out-lashing little self. She just held me until it blew over.

And that quiet response told me far more than any words could. She understood. She cared. She had my back.

So when did your mom encourage you? Share.

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very near hell, the apex of descent

10,080 Minutes Very Near Hell

Where is the place that is very near hell?

It is the apex, the place where ascent weakens to the weakest possible point, the beginning of the end, the molecule of time before the descent.

It is a place of deep sorrow and pain. It is a place of helplessness and confusion. It is a place of crushing and fainting.

Do we want to know where this is? Do we want to read about it?

No.

It is a place of regrets and blame, of requirements and inability, of surroundings and enemies of all that matters. A place of conflicting opinion and constant flood of words. A place of never doing it right. A place of agony and of tears and of darkness.

But it is not hell.

It is only death.

We were not programmed to die. We were not created to deal with death.

We were created and intended to live, to vibrate with joy, to glow in the dark.

But we die.

But not all of us at once. We each have his own appointed time. Some of us must remain survivors and feel the loss, mourn the loss, die a thousand deaths during the loss.

And some of us must stand by and watch, very near hell.

It is a duty, a privilege, an honor, to be standing by and watching the descent, the mourning, the loss, the thousand-times death. To stand by, to help, to helplessly watch and wait, is a gift that rebounds to the giver in humble thanksgiving in the soul. To mind quietly the senseless, necessary tasks of the earthbound, standing next to the earth-ending descent, is a miracle and a reverie, nearly a trance.

To remain alive ends all words.

Why You Would Kill a Christian

Killing Christians is a practice as old as Christianity. Those who practice it do nothing more than imitate their predecessors. Predecessors who attempted but failed to snuff out the life of our faith in its infancy.

The practice of persecution is hard for some to understand but it’s actually an understandable act. In fact, I can think of at least ten reasons to kill a Christian.

You’ll probably enjoy reading more here.

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer

The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Update

A bold and brave testimony from one of the Tittle daughters. May we all raise children like her:

A day of extreme emotions here at FamilyLife. April 28, 2014

He died as he lived … protecting his family.

Rob Tittle, a FamilyLife staff member and kindred spirit warrior for the family, died last night in the tornado that crushed parts of central Arkansas. Two of his daughters—Tori, age 20, and Rebekah, 14—were among the 14 killed in the storm.

Rob, 48, and his wife Kerry, had heard the tornado warnings and were shepherding their nine children under a stairwell when the tornado disintegrated their home. Rob was doing what a man does—putting his family first—when the twister hit. All that is left is a grim grey slab of concrete.

Their 19 year old daughter posted this on Facebook: “This is… from a friend’s house, my mom, and my six brothers/sisters are alright. We have lost three of our family …

Please continue reading this lovely young woman’s testimony, and the rest of this tender report, here.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Behold, now is the day of salvation.

Homeschool Family Hit Hard…

I am sorry to have to report this, but I think you will want to help. The Tittle Family of Reformation Kidz , a supplier of curriculum content for home schooling families, lost three members in last night’s horrific tornado just north of Little Rock.

Mr. Tittle and two of the eldest daughters all perished in this disaster that left their home looking like this:

remains of the home

remains of the home

I only post this because I think there are those out there who would want to know what a person can do for fellow homeschoolers in such a horrible situation. You might find an answer at this link, which is to a benefit already set up for them.

Please pray about what you should do.

Thanks.