Motherhood Minus Social Media (#5MFF)

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My daughter in a borrowed baby back pack enjoying the ride with mom.

 

As a single, working mom I toted and doted over my one and only girl. I carried her on my chest, on my back and in my heart. As a Personal Trainer/Director, Fitness Instructor and breastfeeding mama in an all women’s gym, I enjoyed a lot of love and support during this season. My Girl was doted on and toted by many women in the environment we spent our days in from the beginning.

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Hanging On To The Precious

Therefore thus says the LORD: 
“If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. 
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. 
They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
Jeremiah 15:19
Choices. 
I put my fingers to the keyboard. 
I listen.
I pray, stumbling upon His holiness.
Confessing, my unholiness.
Trusting in forgiveness He provides.
Faithfully.
I choose the precious.
Him.
There are times it is not so. 
There are times I engage in fleshly battles- 
He has not ordained for me. 
I choose the vile, and realize I stand alone.
Obedience, cast aside like an old, worn garment. 
I seek something new.
Foolishness greets me.
I am naked.
Longing for the clothes He graciously gave me,
I stumble into grace.
He takes hold of me in my dark place,
illuminates the corners of despair
sanctifying me again,
setting me apart-
caressing me gently 
with his righteousness,
restoring me to 
His table-
reminding me of His call
His Spirit empowers me,
ignites my heart
with passion
to share –
His Truth
Here.
There.
Everywhere.
As He leads.
His mercy, His sacrifice.
His undying, dying love 
that lives forever.
Leading me to bid farewell to the temporal
for the Kingdom
unseen by many, 
even His own.
But I see, it.
I see it.
I see it full well.
Keep me from being blind to that which is precious,
while pursuing what will be in the end,
worthless.
In Your Sight.
Amen.

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Why The Duggar’s Choice Matters

I have finally decided enough is enough. I must raise my voice in defense of what is right. I am not joining in with any one, but just am sharing what I think with authenticity, grace and TRUTH. I am not a person who watches much television. I also do not generally like reality TV, although I could name shows that really have captured my attention on a few occasions. I try to weigh and consider the facts before I jump on any bandwagons. But, I feel it is time to speak about with regard to this family and their freedom to choose, live and have their being in the way that seems good and right to them. 
It started a few weeks back, my mom came in and made a comment about the recent loss of the Duggar family. I love my mom but we have radically different views about life. This was a short conversation, as once I spoke what I thought about the news, she wanted to end the conversation. Quickly. Funny how truth does that. Is all I really said was, “Why do people think they are doing anything wrong?”. It’s baffling to me. It’s OK for celebrities and others to share their “dirty, little, secrets”, disgusting behaviors and choices, but this family who has shared their journey thus far needs to sweep under the carpet the loss of their latest addition to the family, Jubilee Shalom. Regardless of how you or I choose to grieve, the reason no one wants to see these precious images of life and loss is because of the reality. We are living in a murderous culture which is bent on self gratification, personal idolatry and selfishness. We don’t bow down to idols or sacrifice our children to Molech, instead we crowd around a glowing screen or stadium and slay babies in the womb before they have voices. 
 This is a life. Nothing less. This a choice. Their choice. This is the climate of our day, dangerous, deceitful, cruel and ugly. The Duggars represent a beautiful testimony to life as they live out their convictions. 
In this current time of instant message, image and gratification- their lives are on display. This is not unlike the  many other extremists whose outrageous lives are in our faces constantly.
Stop the press.
An image to behold that brings truth to the forefront.
20 weeks old.
A tiny hand.
Tiny feet.
A child.
Behold truth.
Behold life.
Behold reality and grasp meaning.
The acknowledging of loss and life is never wrong. The conflict is that our liberal country wants to deny that this is a life at all. 20 weeks. 
That is the truth. 
May God bless the Duggars and their beautiful family.
May he bring them continual joy, peace and shelter them from those who oppose them.
May He continue to make His face shine on them as they grieve the loss of Jubilee.
 May they rejoice in the reality of uniting in Heaven.
May they continue to be bold for Truth.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. 
Deuteronomy 30:19

Today and Always

© Dawn Paoletta (please do not copy)
I took this picture at Narragansett Beach
 on December 31, 2010 New Years Eve morning.
One year ago today. 

                                                                   

Today and Always

Some say life is a series of choices…

If I choose to argue

for that “important” cause, 

it might be a good thing,
perhaps 
some would take pause.
If I choose to oppose 
every wicked thing,
and stand shouting hateful words 
in hopes of good to bring.
If I choose to pursue
the many worldly goods,
passing by those shaking their heads
and all accusing shoulds.
If I choose to waste my words on that which 
seems is right,
instead of yield to the brightest 
of all penetrating light.
If I choose to fight the wars 
of those who oppose –
all of the godly people,
what do you suppose?
If I choose to battle in the strength 
of many men,
I would lose my hope and power 
from the one 
in whom I depend.
If I choose to strive for all godliest of gain,
I might lose it all-
that which I have yet to attain.
If I choose to seek those who exclude the least,
I would leave behind 
the one who brings true peace-
excluding none.
If I choose to speak when it has not been led,
by the Spirit through the Son,
my words are lifeless yet, and best remain unsaid. 
If I choose to let these lips impart what’s true,
I will have served best 
the One who who makes all things new.
If I choose to share what I have received,
I confirm with my mouth,
that which I believe.
I choose instead of all of these,
 to stay beside my guide,
and cling to his robe-
safely –
that is where I hide.
In doing so I confirm 
my identity-
nothing else I am but His,
a child,
chosen, loved – free. 
Keep your wars, your fame, your fights, your rights and soapbox stands,
I am most content
 clinging to His hand.
I’ll leave you to your preaching, your rants, and your tirades,
I will stay close by my King avoiding the charades.
I will live my one life 
praising my Faithful King,
knowing and believing
in the Truth that he brings.
For the life I claim as mine
is truly not my own.
He laid down His life and 
Heaven now,
 is called my home.
Above all else I pray 
that this be my one thing.
I live today and always
to glorify The One True King.


12/31/11
©Dawn Paoletta

Some Build Empires, Some Build Lives

I have been thinking a lot lately about what is really important to me with regard to choices. I mean like why I do the things I do and considering why other’s may do what they do. Since I am not going to presume that I know what is in the heart of another- I believe to do so is a bit arrogant for anyone to attempt. There is only one who knows the motives of men (and women) and I can speculate all I want, but seeing as I am not God there is always the chance I may not know the “one thing” that would shed light on a situation, person or circumstance and that is reason enough for me to direct my magnifying lens on myself and no-one else as intensely. Besides if one seeks to understand another, one must consider possibly changing a perspective they are holding onto which they may not want to let go of…case in point: when I seek to understand another – I have to be open to be changed, to forgive and be forgiven, to accept them even though I may not agree with what they believe. To compartmentalize is to trivialize another. It is to say: I don’t want to be touched by you. I am separate and superior. To say I am one way professionally and another personally is hypocrisy. A lie. This theme keeps coming to me these days: You are who you are all the time. I refuse to buy the lies that tell me my work, personal, community and spirituality are separate. If you are a compassionate person, it is reflected in ALL areas. It may vary how it is brought into each realm BUT you will be consistent. If you are gracious, it will be evident for all to see in each realm, in varying ways but there will be evidence. But if you are full of selfish ambition, willing to compromise your values, use people for your own gain and see them only in light of how they can benefit you…then that is who you are. Maybe you can see that is who you were as you learn to walk in the ways of truth, I know it has been my way many years ago and I have done many things with wrong motives before learning to walk in the way of the Master. I am still learning. I don’t care whether someone is a “Christian” or not, as I have met many who walk in integrity and believe me (sorry to say) they were not Christian. You know some Christians aren’t even available to be used because they are so sidetracked by any number of things that hold them entranced in this life. Sometimes the way they think is so completely detrimental to their availability to the Holy Spirit. Now don’t get me wrong I am not here to bash my Brethren. I am for the Body, not against it. But the fact is we have to “stay awake”, friends to the leading of the Lord in the common details of life. Anyway this is getting me off track because my real focus is not about Christians being available (that’s a blog for another day) but for those who spend their time building something for today while neglecting that which will be truly significant in eternity. I wonder, are you busy building your own empire (everybody serves you) or are you busy building a life? Are you available to those in your life who God has placed there? Or are you so busy building your empire that you don’t have time to build into the life God has given you as well as the others He desires you “build life” into. I know that at different times God has brought specific people into my life that He has wanted me to be available to serve, love and know. I have to be willing. I have to be available. I have to set aside my own “building plans” and ask if God wants me to serve this one right before me. I have found that it is often not the person I would choose but maybe someone it is going to take a God- sized stretch to embrace. But I will also tell you I see miracles on a regular basis. I see amazing things and live in the realm of the super-natural where every day holds the possibility of divine intervention and power! Why would I want to settle for an empire when I can live forever in a Kingdom that was and is and is to come? I can think of many examples of prominent people spending the majority of time building that which they thought would bring them security, happiness, freedom. Instead in the pursuit they lost that which was the most valuable. Choices are hard when we are unsure about what is most important to us. Sometimes we forget what is most important because we allow so many other influences to taint our ability to hear clearly our conscience and the small voice within. I am grateful that when I can’t see or hear clearly I have a God that “has my back” and front and sides. I feel like I have said this before but it is true and it so resonates with me. Sometimes he has to pull something from my tightly clenched fist just so he can replace my tiny little empire with the life he has for me. Oh, did I mention, it is an abundant life? He is not scrimpy. You would think the way I cling and refuse to let go, that the King I serve is stingy. But it is not so! It is the daughter of the King who is need of change. So I let go. I enjoy the beauty of the flowers and take in the salty, sea air. I let go of the tiny little empire I was clinging to and trust the one that said, “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life”. After all He is the King! We do not know the length of our days…consider your choices. Live for your King and serve Him well, friends and in doing so you will build something more magnificent than an empire…and something of everlasting value.
In the meantime I myself am digging beneath the surface and enjoying the journey! I pray you are, too!

Enthusiastically In His Grace,
Dawn

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