Posted by: bellissimanh | June 1, 2008

Catching Up

Wow… it’s been a long time! Too long. Has it really been over a month since I’ve posted here? Where has the time gone?

For those of you who continue coming, hoping to find some new tidbit and seeing nothing but the same wall, I thank you for sticking with me, even in the lean months! I do apologize for my absence, but I really can’t feel all that guilty about it. It’s just life getting in the way, ya know?

I love being a wife and mother. I love that when I spend too much time shut up in my room they miss me. I love that I’m needed. I love THEM.

I love that God brings us through different seasons. I love that, for a time, He has prompted me to focus on more immediate and tangible things – personal Bible study, cultivating more love and respect in my marriage, helping my middle child struggle with maintaining friendships in the chaotic world of 7th grade, watching the National Spelling Bee with 7-year old Noah who has definite plans to one day be on that stage, hugging my woman-child daughter as she finds her way in – and out of – first love.

I was just sharing with a girlfriend today that I’m learning to say “no.” For the longest time, we were at everything. If the doors of the church were open (or even the HOME of a brother/sister from church), we were there. We serve in various ministries, but also felt obligated to attend every church function, every cookout, every birthday party, etc. You get the picture.

There’s nothing wrong with fellowshiping with church family – don’t get me wrong. But when that family time starts to run over and take it’s toll on THIS family time – something’s wrong. My first priority is my God, my man, and my children. Oh, I’m learning to say “no”… and I’m not even apologizing for it anymore! 🙂

I suppose blogland has been something else that I’ve said “no” to recently. Not consciously, mind you… but with a life so full of so much stuff – it’s natural for something to fall by the wayside. Again… seasons. I’ll try to be more diligent about using this space to work through the things God is teaching me, through His Word and through my daily life… but if I seem to drop off the radar for a bit, you’ll understand why. It’s just life getting in the way.

Here’s a snapshot of recent reality:

Jasmine was having a tough time in one of her friendships. She and this particular girl have been the best of friends for years. For one reason or another, they got into a feud. I don’t know that either of them could remember what they were fighting about… but things got bad, and then worse.

After J’s friend told her she didn’t want her to speak to her ever again, J wrote a note explaining her feelings – both the things she had been upset about AND the way she was saddened that something so silly could get in the way of all those years of friendship.  It was a good note. Honest. To the point. Explanatory. Apologetic.

Her friend responded by saying something to the effect of, “You don’t get it. We’re not fighting anymore. We’re nothing. Period. I will never, in any way shape or form, be your friend again. It’s over.”

How my heart broke for my little girl. I’m not naive. I know that it takes two to argue, and she is not completely innocent in this whole exchange, but still… I knew how she was hurting and hated to see her so upset. We sat down with the Word and I shared the following passage with her:

 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;  distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.  Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore

  “ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
      For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

     Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We talked about how she had done all she could to restore peace in the relationship. She was curious about burning coals, and I told her that God commands her to love her friend, and to continue to treat her with grace and mercy… to bless her. We talked about how when someone was truly repentant, they would often go about with a pot of burning coals on their head, signifying how sorry they were. I told her that if she were to just go on loving her friend, and treating her as she would want to be treated (such as not planning her spectacular birthday party and then bragging about it in front of the friend who was no longer intending to come), often God will bring that person to feel sorry for what they’ve done.

And then we prayed together for her friend. For her relationships. For her attitude. For God to restore peace and bring healing.

I’m happy to report that the next day, she came home to inform me that all was well and they were friends again. Joel said, “I wonder what happened to change her mind?”

Jasmine replied, “Mama and I prayed.”

Yep. Just life getting in the way. Forgive me for not apologizing for it. Wait… is that an oxymoronic sentence? Oh well… you get me. 🙂

God bless, my friends! May each of your lives be filled with teachable moments… the stuff this wonderful life is made of!




  1. So glad you’re back, but I totally understand where you’re coming from about saying “no.” It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but I’m so much better off for doing it! Glad things worked out for your sweet daughter. Oh, don’t I remember those days…..

  2. No apologies necessary, my friend! Especially when your days have been filled with such important moments as that…


  3. I have missed you! This blog was great. What a little faith builder for your Jasmine! Praise God. He cares so much, for all of His children. Nothing is too bi or too small for Him. Love, S

    Ps. I have been learning to say no and not to feel bad too! Its great! Realizing that being a light to my family is the most important thing I can do.they are my world.. My influence and presence with them is #1 to me. Did I say Im so glad you’re back? I am. 🙂

  4. What an amazing Mommy you are. Really. That was such a wonderful post and portrait of how the Lord WANTS us to parent our children. Your kids are so very lucky to have you.

    I totally understand the blog break. You’re right. Life is there and the blog is not so high on the priority list is it? That said, I love reading your posts because they ALWAYS bless me.

    Hugs and love.

  5. Learning to say no is hard. I’m still learning, but I’m MUCH better than I used to be.

    Kids need a lot of training, even in areas that I tend to think of as “natural,” like relationships. They are not born knowing how to handle a social life and we are wise to be very involved in theirs. Good for you – this will be another brick in her foundation, so to speak, a good foundation to build upon in the future. I’m so very glad that it worked out so well in the end.

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