Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

5 Minutes from the Heart: Write

slide11I get the feeling that I am supposed to write. Most of the time when I start to write I’m not sure that I have anything to say, but after a few keystrokes it just starts to flow and I just type and listen to what my heart has to share. Often I write and erase, write and erase again, even when I’m doing a 5 minute free write where the rule is to just write with no thought for where it is worth reading. The times that I just write from the heart are the times that I really say something worth hearing. These are the times when I go back to read it and don’t know where those words came from. Sometimes the phrases are quotes that I would frame and post if it came from someone else. However, since it’s my own writing I don’t take as much care to share it that way. I know that there are a lot of things in my heart and on my mind that people would appreciate hearing. So, I continue to step out of my comfort zone little by little and say a bit more each time. The words come from such a deep place in my heart that it can be difficult to get them out. It takes time in a quiet room, free of distractions other than my favorite songs playing softly on Pandora. Often, the most difficult part of writing can be finding that time and space just to begin. So, here I am writing for just 5 minutes the things that are on my heart and mind regarding the topic for today: “write”. Where would you write? What would you write about? What is on your heart to share?

Connecting again today with Five Minute Friday and Write 31 Days for 31 days of Five Minute Free Write Challenges during the month of October. We write on a given prompt for just 5 minutes without revision and pour out what’s on our heart. Won’t you join me?

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5 Minutes from the Heart: Remember

431402_3151896518285_2022565788_nWhat I remember best are the stories my Dad loved to tell every year when we would go to his family reunion. We would drive around town and listen to him describe his childhood in vivid detail. The store that his grandfather owned, where his mother worked, may not longer be standing, but in his memory it is just as much there as it was the day he first saw it. The house down the street that he and his dad caught on fire while trying to help get rid of a beehive sits in his memory as clearly as if he were still standing in the smoke. The day we moved into our first new house and my brother had to ride the bus home from school to a new place without warning is something he still sees in the back of his mind clearly enough to smell the exhaust as the bus drove away. The house off Throckmorton Highway where he lived with his parents and uncles still shares a place in his mind as clearly as the day his first grade teacher had to drive him home after the school bus purposely left him behind. The thing that will live forever in my memory is the sound of my Dads voice and the smell of his original Chapstick as he poured out his heart and relived those memories every time he was given an opportunity. I will always remember the love in his voice when he talked about his family and the life they created for him. Thankfully, my Dad is still around and still remembers these stories and many more. I can’t wait for the next chance to sit with him just to listen and remember.

Connecting again today with Five Minute Friday and Write 31 Days for 31 days of Five Minute Free Write Challenges during the month of October. We write on a given prompt for just 5 minutes without revision and pour out what’s on our heart. Won’t you join me?

5 Minutes from the Heart: Hope

896e6af298f71c631956d3b120acda05--jeremiah---favorite-bible-versesA few years ago my best friend was going through a rough time, her career path had taken a difficult turn over and again, leaving her to struggle and raise her daughter in a manner that was not the level that she had fought her whole life to achieve. She had reinvented herself, relying on God to provide hope for her future, by getting her real estate license, then a few years later the mortgage industry went through a significant struggle and she yet again found herself going back to school. This time to become a classroom teacher. After getting her degree and teaching certification she worked as a substitute for two years before finally getting her big break and being offered a position as a second grade teacher. It was an exciting and scary time as we spent her birthday that year at the teacher store buying materials to decorate her room. As a gift I bought her an owl key chain with Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on it, assuring her to God had a plan for her future. Four months later she passed away unexpectedly. Every time I see that verse I think of her and the hope she had that God was taking care of her and her family. God has not failed to care for her family and provide for them a future. Her legacy of hope lies in the heart of her daughter who will continue to take her mothers memory with her and will share it with her children. God gives a hope for a future that may not always be what we expect, but in the end will bring us closer to him.

 

5 Minutes from the Heart: Mom

IMG_3174This first thing I think of when I hear the word Mom is that we all need to learn to forgive ourselves for what we perceive as our failings in motherhood. We also need to forgive our own mothers for the places where we feel they have failed us. We must remember that we are only human. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our children’s lives, but we are not God. We are sinners by nature and therefore we will have times where things do not go perfectly according to our plan, but that does not mean it’s not still part of God’s plan. We will have times when despite our good intentions we fail miserably. Just as God provides us grace for our failing, we must also provide grace for ourselves and our own moms.  All moms wonder at some point if they are making terrible mistakes with their children, but we press on in doing the best we can with what we have. In those places where you give yourself grace to make mistakes, you learn a little bit more about the heart of God for your children. Our mothers were once right where we are, making choices in our best interest to the best of her ability with the skills she had learned to that point. I think this is why Grandmothers are usually such amazing and inspiring people in our lives. They have already walked in our shoes and made the mistakes we have yet to make. They speak such grace into our lives from years of experience and sacrifice for their children and families. They were not perfect at motherhood either. We will all one day sit at the feet of Jesus and learn the answers to why things happened the way that they did, but until then, give grace to yourself, your mother, your friends, your families.

5 Minutes from the Heart: Enough

bccc54c1a573f027ba3ccefaa112afd3In focusing on enough this year I have seen that my value is not in how many steps I walk or how often I win the “workweek hustle” on FitBit. It is not tied to being the first car in the parking lot or the last one left at work each day. It is not in how many Starbucks stars, LulaRoe leggings, or tubes of LipSense I collect. It is not even tied to getting my preferred seat at church on Sunday mornings. My value is not in the percentage of times I win at Words with Friends, not even when that friend is my brother 😉 It is not in how clean I keep my house or car, how well behaved others believe my children and grandchildren to be, or how neat I write in cursive. It is not in the price of my house, car, or other material things. My value is in who God says I am and who He made me to be. He is my Father and I am His child. He loves me unconditionally regardless of any of these things.

The biggest thing that I am learning in this focus is that my “enoughness” is not based on how well I was parented or how well I have parented my own children. I keep being brought back to this and having to remind myself that even though there are pieces of both that were not and are not perfect, they are best left to God as I, myself aside from Him, do not have the tools to take them on. This does not mean that I am any less of a daughter or mother. It just means that I need to learn what areas of my life to turn over to God and let go. No matter how often they return to my sight and thoughts, they are not mine to pick up again unless and until God gives me that skill set and tells me to go slay those giants.

Linking with 5 Minute Friday today.

5 Minutes from the Heart: Control

controlControl is something that I have spent a lot of time trying to gain. From a young age I think I felt that life was out of my control and I was determined to correct that. I was a perfectionist in a lot of areas. I wanted to do my best, but never felt that my best was good enough to please others. I would make bargains and try my best, but yet again I would come up short of the goal that I set for myself and had assured others I could reach. These bargains were attempts to find acceptance. They were ways of proving my value. They were ways of changing the way others felt about me so that maybe I would be loved. Of course those things never made me feel accepted, valuable or loved. After years of trying to find those things in people, I now know that they only come from God. He has shown me very vividly in recent months that I am His and that not only is He enough, but I am enough. It’s an amazing feeling to give up the control I have fought so hard for years to maintain, and let God be the ruler of my life. There is a peace in knowing that the God of the Universe, the King of Kings, is my Father and that He is in control of not only my life, but the lives of my family, the lives of others who might seek to pull me down or destroy me, and the lives of those who strive to build me up. He is in control. I can let go.

Linking with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write for just 5 minutes without editing. Today’s prompt is control.

Enough For My Trusting Heart

enough-550x250For 2016 the word “trust” was my one word for the year. I studied about trust, read about it, and learned a lot about activating my ability to trust. God has been so faithful in teaching me to trust others, myself, and most importantly Him. It has been a journey of learning to listen to God, allowing Him to be in control of my steps and actions, and making my own wants take a back seat to what was best for me and my family. This included a very clear directive that it was time for our boys to go back to their mother again. It was a difficult thing for me to do on my own without leaning on Him and knowing that He was making the path straight before me. The night in April that I took them was a big stepping stone in my journey to trust. It was a turning point for me. Since then I have left many other decisions in His hands and felt at peace in situations where I would not have previously. I have set aside some, but not all, of my controlling ways, and am learning through each hold I give up that He is more capable of making decisions than I ever was. This process has taught me more about the importance of consistently reading my Bible and spending daily time in prayer as well. I now know that I must have a relationship with Him that gives me confidence in His lead in order to relinquish my own control to Him. I have started reading books by authors such as Shauna Niequist, Lysa Terkeurst, and Ann Voskamp who tell their own stories of allowing God to direct their steps and lead their lives from very low places to the most amazing everyday experiences in the shadow of the almighty. These women and others have been quite an inspiration to me in many ways and I highly recommend their books listed below. As 2016 comes to a close, I am beginning to see through trusting in Him that I am enough. I am learning that the experiences of my childhood,  any failings of my parents, and any failings of myself as a parent do not define who I am. Not only is He enough, but I am enough. In 2017, I plan to focus on the word “enough” and seek His face for more confidence in who I am and in the knowledge that I am who He called me to be. Ann Voskamp wrote, “The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.” I pray that you too will find a word for this year to focus your lives and give you more reason to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Psalm 3:5) as I find a place where He is enough for my trusting heart to believe in myself and His will for my life.

I listened to and highly recommend the following books on http://www.Audible.com:

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

All are also available in print, but believe it or not I am not a fan of reading for pleasure. I have made much better use of these texts in audible format while driving or walking.

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