Saturday, December 31, 2011

The changing of the years- 2011 to 2012

As year 2011 comes to a close, it's easy to look ahead at the fresh start of the new year. There will be changes that happen because we make them. There will be changes that happen because they make us. In spite of all the changes, there will be some things that may not change- no matter how much we may want them to.

We as his children can give praise to an all-knowing God who thinks good thoughts toward us. Whatever the future holds, it's in very capable hands. 

Happy Year 2012!
May God bless all his children

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All over again

I love loving my children.
I thought this as I went into the girls' room to check up on them. The baby girl, was tucked right in, and I hated to have to disturb her. She looked so peaceful and content snug on her little belly. I wanted to make sure she had a night diaper on, so I gently picked her up, to avoid tousling her, belly up. She groaned, and slightly frowned. Shh, I said, stroking her pretty little cheek. I kissed her, held my face close to hers, and felt surrounded by heartfelt love. I was in love with the love that poured from me to her. I was enthused that it was love- not resentment, or grief, or a heavy sense of duty- that motivated me.

I have been experiencing, of late, what seems like a rediscovered love for my children. Not that I have ever ceased to love them, but I do remember, years ago, struggling with affection toward them. This love is renewed again, as I am not, what one would call, affectionate by nature. Recently I am finding a sweet joy and simple pleasure in holding them, playfully poking them, hugging their neck, and giving kisses.
No big deal, you may say.
To me, it is something I am most grateful for in this season of mothering. I want to hold them, just like one of my eldest daughter's books, that she has fallen in love with all over again called "Let Me hold you longer". I want to hold on to the memories of their faces and their joys and their laughter, and silliness. I want to remember their adventures and make sure that I am a part, of at least some of them. I want to never cease to fall in love with them,  as many times as I possibly can,all over again.

Love never fails- 1 Corinthians 13:8

And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love. -1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, November 25, 2011

Forgetting God?

Yesterday I was flipping through the pages of my 4 year old's bible- a Gideon published New Testament- and was pleasantly surprised by what I found in the prefacing pages.
A few songs were shared there, anthems, such as "Jesus, Lover of my soul", "The Star -Spangled Banner", "Onward, Christian soldiers" and "America ( My country 'tis of thee)". The songs themselves were not the surprise. It was the verses that are not generally sung or mainstream.

We may all belt out, skillfully or unskillfully,

O say ! can you see, by the dawn's early light....

Yet the song has this  4th verse:

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation...

Or how about this one:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time equals life and better things to do with it

This is intended to be quick and short and inspiring, hopefully.

Remember what you give your time to is, to what, you are giving your life.

Sometimes I get antsy when I don't add something here or my other blog in a while. I think, I am letting the readers, or some googling soul down, if I don't add  an encouraging entry. I, on purpose, have to choose to "neglect" blogging, reminding myself I am indebted to no one  besides God and the family he has given me to nurture and minister.They are the ones I should inspire each day- not people I will possibly never meet this side of heaven.

I have to leave the computer off some days- only taking some time to it in the evening, after everyone is resting their heads on their pillows for the night. My primary ministry is where I am now- my home, and to keep it and dress it, and all that is in it, by the help and grace of God.

Do not be weary, in doing well, for in due season we will reap, if we do not faint. Ask God to give you vision to see beyond what you can see- and realize that their is a distinct purpose for the time/life he has given you. Everything in the life of a child of God parallels to a spiritual equipping, for eternity.

That is a life worth living.

Psalm 31:15 
My times are in your hands;
   deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
   from those who pursue me.

Giving some Life to my baby girl

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Music in the air ( and maybe a record production too)

Would you mind, taking the time to "Like" my Musician page on Facebook? With your help I can get closer to a recording oppurtunity. My dream is to share this God given talent of being a singer/songwriter with the world. Tell others about it as well. The contest is based on building a fan base, so if each one tell one, and they tell one- well hopefully the numbers will add up, and I can get in a professional studio, to share Jesus through song. Simply click on the link provided in this post or on the right column on this page. Share this post, if you do not mind.
Be blessed in the Lord!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yesterday is gone

(c)Chantel Dillard, 2011 
Yesterday I felt over whelmed
"But when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the Rock that is higher than I"

Yesterday I complained
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning you"

Yesterday I felt sad and misunderstood
"Rejoice evermore" & "casting all your cares upon Him for he cares for you"

But today I will
go to the rock
give thanks in all things
rejoice always & cast my cares on the Lord

"...weeping may endure for a night,but joy comes in the morning" 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Giving to give again

Give a hug.
Give. Give.Give.
Give a rock at 2 AM, and
Give. Give a bath. Give.Give.
Give more hours.Give. Give.Give
my comfort. Give help Give.Give.
And then a tender, gentle, touch, from a well meaning husband, friend, loved one, wanting to give; wanting me to receive. They do not know that sometimes receiving can be misread as more giving. I feel spent. I feel there is no thing else to
Give. I do not have limitless money,
or all the answers, or all the stre-
ngth in the world. But such as
I have I give. For if I cease
to give I cease somehow
to live. P   O   U   R
into me Holy Spirit
so there is more
of you to

Monday, October 10, 2011

Modest Mom Giveaway!

For your chance to win,visit A Wise Woman Builds Her Home: The Modest Mom (& Giveaway!}: Have you heard of The Modest Mom ? If not, you will be glad that you got to hear about it here! I was recently sent the most lovely blous...

Through the Numbers- no more than I can bear

Reading the Word of God is not for vain-glory. Unfortunately it has become that to so many people. I have found myself falling into that pit, before. I do not want to go there again. 

I shake my head at myself as I continue slowly through the book of Numbers. Getting past chapter 7 has proven to be a challenge. I have read and reread the beginning of this chapter several times already. And then I stop. Sometimes it's because of a "light-bulb" moment. Sometimes it's external forces at work. I have not made it to the end. It disappoints me. I want to finish. Then I read...

Numbers 7: 3-9
3And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.
 4And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
 5Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
 6And Moses took the wagons and the oxen, and gave them unto the Levites.
 7Two wagons and four oxen he gave unto the sons of Gershon, according to their service:
 8And four wagons and eight oxen he gave unto the sons of Merari, according unto their service, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
 9But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.

When God instructed Moses to distribute the gift offerings to the Levites, each family unit had their distinct part to play in the upkeep of the tabernacle. From the outside looking in it seems disproportionate. But God never puts on us more than we can bear. Maybe the sons of Kohath were gifted with other-worldly strength, and could "bear upon their shoulders". Maybe the sons of Kohath were prideful and  to "bear upon their shoulders" helped maintain their humble spirit. Maybe the sons of Kohath, were the very opposite, needing a boost in their confidence as men, and to "bear upon their shoulders" ignited their self-esteem. Only God knows.
With the entire family of God, only  God knows as well. One may wonder why this one seems more gifted or blessed than the next. One may think it unfair that one sister or brother or another is seemingly going through more valleys than the next.  It may seem that this person has more "time" to give to God, or the other can't break even with time to spend with God. Just know that God, who is all-seeing, knows the deepest, most intricate parts of us, more than even we could ever know. He knows the precise experiences it will take to mold us into the complete person in God we are to be. Our lives are inter-woven with the lives of others that we may not even know exist. 
My prayer today is that we learn to look through the eyes of the Lord, at ourselves, and those around us. I pray that we seek him with all that we have to give. That is what he expects- not more or less. Through the day relate to him with all that we have to give. Each season in our life varies from one to the next. But be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruits, in its season.
God plans our seasons. He knows them. He gives to every one of his children according to our service- what he expects from us.  God is not expecting us to keep up with the crowd, even if they are a crowd of believers. We are to "work out our own salvation". Each walk with God is as unique as the distinct personality that God himself gave us. There are things that must be common to us all, for the bible emphasizes, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, AND ONE BAPTISM.  Even with that, he has called us all to different seasons, different callings and gifts. God does not demand from us more than he has equipped us. Though we seem to have this tendency toward our own selves, God does not place on us "more than we can bear", so why should we?

*Now where was I? Oh yeah, verse 10...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I can go through

God has blessed me with a gift to write songs. Here is  one of the latest ones! Enjoy and comment. God bless you all.

Whenever I am with you  I have nothing to fear
As long as you're holding my hand
Whenever I am afraid it's in you I trust
for all my times are in your hands

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Be Still...

Stillness is something that I am yet working on.
I have this idea in my head, that if I am still for too long, I am leaving something undone. I am wasting time.

 For example, I have to purposefully quiet myself, when I am anxiously waiting for my little one to fill his belly of milk.

I am antsy.
I nurse him, and walk around, looking at the list of things that are being neglected at the moment.

My back hurts, and my shoulder is aching.
Sit down.
I pace.
Sit down.
But I have so much to do.
Sit down.

I sit. I sigh a sigh of relief because my back feels a tad better.
I sit, tapping my right foot.
I look at the peaceful, content baby in my arms. He detects me, watching him. He grins, just enough to show me his gummy smile. Just enough to keep up with the mommy goods.

I can't help, but to smile as well. My bible is in arms reach and I chuckle, with my eyes toward ABBA. I always complain that with the unending demands of a new baby that I don't have as much time to spend with HIM, as I want.

 I read Ecclesiates 3:1- " To every thing there is a season..." I realize that, like a "tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in season", there are seasons in this life as a God-fearing mother. God knows them. I turn the pages. Psalm 31:15. " My times are in your hands." I ponder, SELAH. He knows the hours and minutes and seconds of my day. He does not put more on me than I can bear. He does not demand more from me than I can give.
He also knows, better than I do, that there is a benefit to exhaling and being still; for as long as I have life, I have  time. For my times are in his hands. Yes, Lord.

(C) 2011, Chantel Dillard ( Use with permission only)
Being still reminds me, yet again, I am not in control. God is.
Being still puts what is important back in to the right perspective. God's perspective.
Being still allows me to discipline my thoughts, and be anxious for nothing, but in everything....give thanks. This is God's will.

God is showing me the positive side of being still. It is not the same as doing nothing. It is simply  the opposite of doing. It is- being. Being in Him. Being aware of my time, and the hands that they are in.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God

Linked at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cereal and Prayer

My four year old was talking on the phone this morning. She wanted a turn since I was hoarding all the phone fun to myself. She took the phone and said an expectant
"Hello?" Silence. "Uhhhh- ha!" "She doesn't wanna be bothered right now", looking over at me. I gave her a confused look ( where did that come from?).  I offered her a better response,"Say 'She's nursing the baby right now'." I Assumed she was trying to say I was busy. Pause.
"She's doing laundry."  "Uh-huh. We ate cereal, and then we had prayer." She kept talking, making herself comfy on a pillow that fell to the floor.

I was still stuck on her saying of the word prayer. It stuck out to me because, to her, it didn't stick out. It was in the same line as cereal. We ate, because we eat. We prayed (And our "prayer time" is incorporated with singing, dancing, playing instruments, and exhortation from the Word), because we pray.  It wasn't the odd  thing out.

And then I think of how she loves to carry her tiny New Testament Bible around with her. To the doctor's office, the supermarket, the neighbor's house- she has her bible. She just likes to carry it- that and her pink bag full of tiny entertainment. It' one of the must haves, right by the half clothed Barbie doll.

My prayer is that we strive to exemplify worship as a daily living rather than a dutiful task.
It must be more than a front for the assembly, but an intricate part of who we are, as sons and daughters of the King.
(semi) attentively at church

Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singing a new song and other things

It is amazing how God can use so many of us in so many different ways, yet for one purpose and that is for the progression of His kingdom here on earth.

PhotobucketThis has me thinking about the hundreds of us singer/songwriters out there. How can there be room for anymore? still, for some reason, no matter how many ways to say I love you, there are still many more ways it can be said. No matter how many times sadness and joys are felt, there are still more ways to tell it. We can still, like the Psalm says, sing a new song. ( Click to hear)

And this brings me to the CROSS. It is the one place, where, though millions have come- there is still room for one more, and another 
                     and another 

 When it comes to following the vision and calling God placed in your heart, step out on faith. Don't compare yourself to so and so. God's calling on you is as unique as you are. Remember that he will equip you, He will provide, and He is not slack concerning his promises to you. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Far Above Rubies: Mistress of the House

Far Above Rubies: Mistress of the House: "'...the woman, the mistress of the house.' I Kings 17:17 Dear homemaker, how do you picture yourself in your home? Trapped, Imprisoned? Do..

A Woman and Child in a Sunlit Interior, 1889 Giclee Print
A Woman and Child in a Sunlit Interior, 1889

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just give me His heart ( and a guitar on my back)

Play the video as you read this: 

A few years ago, I was sitting at home with my 3 children. I was so restless and aimless. I am a stay at home mom, but I felt like there had to be more for me to do. Yes, I was content in knowing that my calling was to mother my children for this season of life, but there was still something lacking. I knew that being home, I had more opportunity than most working folk to be more spiritually active, per se. There was possibly more time to read my word, pray, meditate, and have awesome spiritual encounters.

One morning during prayer I thought, what is the point of me reading and fasting and praying and meditating, If I am not passing this on. I felt a real sense of urgency to get out there.
But God how can I get out there with children?
I got up from my knees, wiped my eyes, and got dressed. I got my little one dressed, plopped her in her stroller and went outside. I started with my neighbors. I was nervous- what do I say? but I was purposeful. I knocked on a door- no answer. I went to the next door, hoping no one would answer this one either. The door opened and a middle aged women opened the door. She looked tired, but pleasant.
I introduced myself. Told her I was a neighbor of hers, meeting everyone. I said "since I'm here, I was wondering if you would mind me praying for you. Is there anything you would like prayer for?" She told me her back was hurting. I said, "OK". We prayed at the door. I could see her face change. she looked a little refreshed. We exchanged information. I still remember her name til this day. I visited her on occasion just to see how she was doing. One visit, I shared salvation with her. It was casual. She didn't turn me away. I never saw her outside that realm, but a seed was planted.

I went to some one's house each day after. I prayed with them. I shared the gospel with them. I started walking everywhere I went with my guitar slung on my back- talk about a conversation starter. I played music at the park. I sat on people's steps and sang to them about the Lord, with their permission. It was amazing to see how often I really was not turned away. I was invited into people's homes, as a neighbor. I was neighborly. I spread the gospel. I won't pretend it got easier and easier- I was nervous every time. I was excited every time as well. I would go to Walmart, the grocery store- wherever- and say, I am going to talk to at least one person. I spoke to cashiers or people in the aisles. Sometimes just inviting them to church. Sometimes asking them, what became one of my default lines- " Do you have a relationship with Jesus?" People were surprisingly not offended, rather impressed at the boldness of such a question. It wasn't me by far.

One day I boarded a bus. I sat in the back. I felt led to talk to a group of people back there. Words of a song came to me, and I jotted them down. I asked them if I could sing them a song I just wrote- because they look like they would enjoy some good music. I sang  to them on the back of the bus- the entire bus got quiet. I was able to share God with them through the song and after.

We moved and I continued my neighbourhood gospel stroll. Whenever I was out I made it a point to talk to  folk on the street. I listened to the Spirit. Sometimes I would start with my default line. Sometimes I would wait minutes into the conversation, and it would just come up.

I had another great bus experience, a women I felt led to sit beside. I asked her if she had a relationship with Christ. She gave me a 'maybe" look. I asked her if she ever obeyed the gospel. She was receptive. She asked about God's realness. I could tell some of the things I shared she never heard before. She said she had too much- her past was full of things- right now she was on probation. I said Nothing is too big for God to overlook if you truly turn around. She was afraid of committing right then. But a seed was planted.

I sat beside a deaf woman on the bus ride back home. I felt led to pray for her. We had to have a conversation on index cards I happened to have in the diaper bag.  I wrote and asked her if I could pray for her? Would she like to hear? She was hesitant at first, I told her she could be healed in Jesus name. She said she already went to church. I told her that was great, yet I am asking her if she wants to be healed of deafness today. She slowly wrote, OK, after a length of time. We got off the bus, with the young man that was assisting her. We stood on the bus stop and I laid my hand on her ears and prayed over them. My brother and sister with me touched and agreed. I whispered into her ears. What?I don't know. I pulled away and said something to her. She turned her head to me, leaning her ear to me, like we do when we hear something but not clearly. I said you are healed in Jesus name, and the young man with her, eyes wide open. Looked at me and began to say " Thank you miss, thank you, miss", with a wide smile. I believe she heard even more as she walked away.  I still have those cards. I read them from time to time, believing God that I can be used to even more boldly see the next miracle to completion.

We moved again. This neighborhood is different. I haven't been able to go about the same way- maybe I am more intimidated to go knock on every one's doors. Though as I am writing this, I think, nothing is stopping me but myself. I don't think going outside to stroll will give me many opportunity to talk to someone as most people are not just walking around in this neighborhood. (Excuses?) But I have had more opportunity to show Christ on the long term- meeting parents at the bus stop. Being a listening ear, and counseling and praying with them. I am being more than just neighbor, but friend, and that is allowing me to shine the light of Christ, even deeper than a mere street encounter.

Lately my pastor has been urging the congregation to be passionate about The Call. My heart is stirred in me to do more, once again. Again I ask God, how with my children? But it was them after a while saying " mommy can we talk to this lady about Jesus?" "Mommy can we talk to them about God, and invite them to church?" Because they saw me going and preaching. So with the children is the best way, sometimes.

(C) Chantel Dillard 2011,2009
My prayer today is that God will give us his heart, that our passion to share him with those around us, and those we come across, will be genuine, and overflowing from our hearts. I pray we use what God has given us, to share the gospel. I pray we do not ignore the ripe opportunities because of inconvenience. I am thankful for the gifts he has given me. It's my crutch, sorta speak, to write this blog,or sing, or grab a guitar and play. But it works.
Reach someone for God today.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mess will be mess- so why stress?

They have me surrounded!
Rubber bands and hair clips decorate the floor by my bedroom door, courtesy of the almost-two year old. A wet towel lays outside the bathroom door near the stairs. Shoes in the hall threaten to levitate me. My littlest one is in my arms, giving in slowly to sleep, or the glare of the computer screen- not sure which one. There's more, but that is more than I care to reveal. Some dignity must be salvaged, I think in my best classic victorian accent.
 This was the scene before I decided to take the Fab Five to the pool. 
I looked around. I groaned. I took in a deep breath. I left it all there and stepped outside in the sun. And you know what? It was not dragon fire breath today- yay! There was a cool breeze, the water wasn't freezing, and they had hours of fun without fighting and nagging. It was nice. 

I knew I would go back into the mess I left. I knew that, when I left. I decided, since most likely I would be tending to it again whether I attacked it then or later, a few hours of fun wouldn't hurt us. It actually did us some good.

(C) Chantel Dillard,2011

It was worth it.And, now, on to dinner...

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink [insert applicable noun here]; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." -Romans 14:17

There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiates 3:1

Friday, June 17, 2011

They really are Blessings

I groggily and almost painfully opened my eyes this morning. I was deep in the middle of a dream, but something kept sporadically hitting me in my chest. I peered through the slit of my eye lids and encountered the brightest eyes staring straight in to mine. Or what of mine would be seen.

I half-smiled, intrigued by the alertness of my almost 7 week old son.  Then, he cooed. My heart fluttered and my eyes opened even wider. Between yawns I talked  to him, cuddled him, and laughed at his attempts to control his fly-away arms.
Thank you Jesus.
I sat up in bed, with him beside me and began to pray. He cooed again. It caught my attention.  I proceeded to tell him that  I am talking to Jesus right now, and a little courtesy would be appreciated. He puckered his lips. I told him I am sure he had his personal time with God, and it's mommy's turn. He smiled wide. I smiled back.
I turned my attention back to prayer ... a knock at the door. It was the almost 2 year old. She was awake and decided crawling into my bed would be a good start to her morning.

I let her in, and knelt down by the bed to try again.

Another knock. I continued praying while I opened the door again, this time for the 4 year old. She joined the bed brigade. I walked around in my room, continuing in prayer and praise. The sun was shining brightly, the rest of the house was still peacefully quiet.  I was inspired to thank God for them. The children who give me insight into myself. They help me see where I am falling short, and they help me see where I am strong. They give me purpose. They increase my understanding of God. I understand how God feels at times when I think I know more than he does. I understand that God is always watching, ready to catch me before I fall, because I do the same thing. I can relate to their expectations when my children come to me with their hurts, for when I am hurt, I run to God. I know what I expect from him. I understand why,sometimes he says wait, or he says no.  It is because He loves me, he is protecting me. One day they will understand this of me as well.
My children show me God -his character. Therefore I am blessed.
Thank you, Jesus

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Friday, May 27, 2011

How I know: A lesson on trust

This I how I know I can trust Him
It humbles me when I tell my children to do something and,without delay,
they hearken, say "yes, ma'am" and go to it.
My husband says too, that he is humbled,when I follow his
lead,trustingly. It behooves him to make his decisions all the more,
sound and sure.
Together,we have decided to trust God with our family-- in provision, in
protection, and in size/number. Sometimes I go to God shaking in my
boots on the latter.
Today, when Alayna asked if it was ok to play dress-up, I
hesitated. Usually the dresses and such, end up carpeting the girl's
bedroom floor. This is despite my constant reminder to replace the dresses when
they are done. Slowly I reply,
"Ok," "But if the dresses aren't hung back up,you're gonna get
it." Excitedly,and clearly oblivious to the last part of my
consent,Alayna bounces up and says ,"Yes,ma'am!" and runs to commence a
new phase of playtime.
As she walked away, I felt immediately humbled. I wanted to call her back
for a hug, and tell her how sweet she is, and say 'you can dress up in
your beautiful dresses all you want' (possibly to my own regret later).

I let myself smile, however, when she and Tamerah glides through my door
in their dresses,with grins bigger than their bows.
I smiled at the warm wave of peace I felt from the Lord,  suddenly reassured that he
knows me, wants the best for me. He is aware that I am trusting in,
and submitting to him.
He does not want to betray that trust.
More than I love my children, and more than I love myself, and more than
my husband loves me-- GOD LOVES me.
A simple act of joyful submission from my 4 year old,reminded me of that
unchanging fact.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a
hope.-Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wash, Live, Repeat....

"Sweetheart is that how we sit at the table?"
"Put your folder in your book bag , hon."
"Uh, uh, uh- shoes off at the door."
"OK, make sure you brush your teeth, wash your face and lotion it."
"Did you brush your hair?"

I use these lines and more every single day. Things I have repeated, if not years, for months.  Exasperated, I think, why can't they just remember?

Then the Spirit says:
 "Love is not easily provoked"
"In everything give thanks"
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding."
"My grace is sufficient for you."
"Put on the whole armor of God"

These are lines that God, through his indwelling Spirit must constantly remind me.

His word says we must "die to the flesh" everyday, and be "renewed  in the Spirit" day by day. We must partake daily of the spiritual bread, the Word of God.
It is everyday, morning by morning, his mercies are renewed for us.

 God as our Father instilled a lot of repetition in our lives. It must simply be, because we will choose to forget. It must be, also, that the enemy  is in competition for our souls. He is bombarding us repetitively with anything opposite of what God is planting in us.

This humbles me as a mother. I can't grow tired of redundancy, when I am planting goodness in my children. God, does not grow tired of doing that for me- because he wants the best for me.
I want the best for  my children as well.
"Clean up your rooms, then go outside to play!" is what I'll say, amongst other things, again today-- and many days after.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Joy List

A book titled Calm in my Chaos had a great suggestion for creating a list of things that bring you joy. To create the list , write as many things as you can in five minutes that  bring you even the most remote pleasure- nothing, the author writes, is too small. Here is mine:

Chantel's Joy List
  • unprompted back rubs from my dear husband
  • Tamerah's seven-toothed grin
  • Alayna's heart to help
  • the feel of the sun on my arms after walking out of a shivering cold building
  • sunlight filling a room after the shades have been pulled back
  • stretching out on freshly washed sheets after a long, tiring day
  • my husband's way of making me bowl over with laughter ( he is so funny!)
  • learning a new song on my guitar
  • taking the children to a huge playground and watching them have fun while I just sit and relax
So try it- write a "joy list". Then when youare having a chaotic moment, pull it out and close your eyes to picture it all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sleep Light

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise up, and call her blessed"- Pro. 31:27-28

It was close to 2am. I called for mom. Who else under heaven would I call?
The phone rang just a few times before she picked up, sounding not a bit disturbed. "Mommy, can you pray with me?" She didn't answer. She started praying.
I wasn't a little girl in my room at my parent's house any longer, still she was there to call on.

Not a night goes by that I do not hear the word mommy, or mom, sounding into my ear canal. Even without a newborn, nights do not render me off-the-clock.

Parents in general do not punch in and punch out, on their parenting roles. Mothers in particular, however are on duty in title, and, in doing. Typically while Daddy snores away, moms  are handling intermittent wakers, I-had-a-bad-dream-ers, bed wetters, and the one who decided they couldn't make it to the bathroom to throw up dinner.

I am amazed how easily waken I am. It is as if my unexpected late night visitor, was not unexpected at all.

Sleeping light is part of the skill set inherited when motherhood births you.

Mothers have to sleep light- without heaviness, without worry, and ideally without resentment.

Mothers are the sleep light- the beacon in the darkness, the calmer of fears, the one who makes the unclear clearer.

Close to 2am. A dream woke me. My heart was racing. Who else would I call? The one who possesses and defines the character of mother. The ultimate example of a perfect parent- Jesus, my sleep light.
Psalm 121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
 3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
 4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
 5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
 6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
 7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
 8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Waiting and much more

Eagerly and somewhat anxiously my husband and  I are expecting the birth of a new baby soon.  The due date is in a day and as excited as we are, frustration has set in. For the past five days we have been involved in what I have found the term to be, prodromal labor. It has been emotionally taxing, trying to endure on and off early labor. We even headed to the hospital one of those days. At one point we were sure, but as we approached the hospital all certainty ebbed away. Another disappointing verdict proved that we would just have to wait- even longer.

It is for sure, one of the things that all of us struggle with from time to time. As soon as as we think we have the waiting thing under our belt we are faced with a situation that implores us to go beyond our own ability to wait, and once again rely on the grace of God to carry us past our own strength to wait.

It is in these periods of waiting however, that we recognize our ability to rely on God's strength. His Word comes to life - His strength really is made perfect in our weakness.

This morning I read in the book of Lamentations 3:35, "The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him."

So waiting is not just  standing still, but it is a work of seeking that should be done in conjunction with it. I found myself in the last 5 days,so consumed with counting and timing contractions, and labeling the intensity of labor contractions, that I was neglecting the one who had control over the very situation.
Oh I was praying, but they were me focused. I was reading, but it too was me focused, dutiful rather than genuine.

It was 3 days into it, that I decided I had to take a mental labor vacation and return my focus back to God. God, I told myself, has a purpose for even this. Trials work patience, patience, experience, and experience, hope- according to Romans 5:3-4.  During this ordeal, it has also been embarrassing. I find myself constantly remarking to my observers that , this is something new for me. After 4 children I would think I would know what labor is and is not. It is causing waver in my self confidence. Everything I thought I knew, is being pulled by the thread.
 Again the Lord reminds me , in James 1:3, that the trying of my faith works patience.

 Patience, like I said is one of those things, that we can never have enough of. I am still battling frustration and lack of faith in my instincts, but my consolation is in knowing that God is faithful. His intention is for us to have a closer walk with him. In this I will find myself closer to the Lord than if I had not experienced this. Not to mention that the experience this is giving me, enables me to help another mother in the future, and it builds my faith for when I am again- 

Friday, April 1, 2011

I guess i'll be cuddling with two

The pink peeks through as a dusky rose.
The morning yawns with the rising sun;
and it dawns on me that I'm stuck- 
mid-stretch between my little girl and my newborn son.

Moving is tempting, but after a while
the quiet has more rest appeal.
I laugh to myself as thoughts collide,
of how blessed I am;
how annoyed I feel.

I imagine this scene from a different view-
Arms peacefully sprawled close to my head.
Silently they say " I Love you".
I wish I could take this picture from above the bed;
I guess I'll be cuddling with two.

(C) Chantel Dillard, 2011
Words and images by Chantel Dillard

Do you under-stand?

I recently told my husband that I feel like I can not connect to our son. He is only 8 for crying out loud- I didn't expect this until, well, not anytime soon. I feel for my son, being the only boy , for now, of  four children. He is the oldest.  So much is demanded of him, not because he is the oldest, but because I have seen what he is capable of.
Overall, he has a big compassionate heart, he loves the feeling of helping. He is a guys guy for sure though. He likes to get his work done, so he can sit back and relax and meander the rest of the day away on video games.

Beside these things- I sometimes feel like I don't really know who he is . Our discourse is made of me "reminding" him- over and over and over- about everyday things.
"Make sure you close your drawers, hon"
"Are you going to sit down while you eat that?"
" You just walked over that, you can pick it up."
"Make your bed."
"Is your room clean  according to my definition or yours?"
Moan, Groan, bah humbug.  I feel badly sometimes that I come off as the merciless dictator whose only motive is to burden him with trivial tasks for the sake of pure misery.  I feel like he looks at me and sighs a big sigh.

So yesterday during one of his normal morning moaning sessions, I said
"Come in here son. What's going on: What's wrong? Why every time I turn around you are moaning and groaning and harumph-ing about the house?"

He says, "Well..." and proceeds to say things that I so much want to rebut. I want to say, " But you're 8!" I want to say, " I know it doesn't make sense now, but you'll understand later." I didn't. I smiled. I listened. I focused on listening. Listening to more than what he was saying from his mouth, but trying to hear his heart. It was hard. He's eight. Most of it surprised me. It left me wondering if he really felt the way he said or was it just to have something dramatic to say, with mom as my personal audience. He wondered if I would still pay attention to him and his siblings after the baby. He said he is sad for me when I have to say no to them about things they ask, because he knows I really don't want to say no. It sounded like he heard some things and was projecting them as his own. What surprised me was I thought he was going to say,  things like
 "I'm always getting in trouble" or
" You're always telling me to do stuff" Nope.  Hmm. The conversation  left me with question marks. The conversation also left me feeling oddly bonded to him. It wasn't what was said, it was just that there was something said. We talked.

Me, mom, standing still, and listening, made him feel appreciated, and listened to. Later he said,
"that was a good talk, mom." And I said , " Yes, it was very nice- we should do that more often."

It took under-standing, or standing under; a humble act of self-lessness, to give him my attention and time.
Understanding is more than being able to comprehend, it is a humbling- it says right now, I stand under you, for you are more important than _______.

"Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your path."

Monday, March 28, 2011

in remembrance of me

there is life in the blood

and in the garden coats dripping with blood
 extended the life of a man

and outside of it a brother's blood
called  from the dust to it's creator

not knowing that one day it's Creator would shed blood-

calling out to the dust