It’s been a past month of
Christmas and
New Years and
family and
holidays and
food and
awful flu sickness and
all three sisters visiting!! and
80 degree weather the past week and
Zoe wanting to read everything in sight and
realizing there are 30 mis-matched socks in my bin with no pair and
helping a friend do her baby registry [baby fever] and
helping to plan a baby shower for said friend with other friends and
meetings at church with a missionary from Canada and
seeing a golf cart with a trailer going down the street and realizing he’s Fedex and
Hudson popping his 4th tooth and
my sister Ervina featured in this magazine
Olivia bee-bopping around as usual and counting in the 80’s and
beginning to read ‘Farmer Boy’ with Zoe and
allergies that made me so ill and
just catching up on life after having such a busy last year…
Whew.
Life with three kiddos and a husband is never dull.
Adding a few extra things in there makes it full.
In a good way.

It’s a rainy windy day in the south,
so maybe that’s why my thoughts turned a bit deeper today…

Do you ever have those moments of wondering what you have to offer?
Of maybe not even feeling insecure,
but just thinking what you have to offer is not worth all that much.

I mean, there is always someone else who can
talk better
dress better
cook better
create better
write better
laugh better
have better behaved kids
have a cleaner house
be more organized
have a better blog
be wittier and funnier
have a better marriage

say such profound things [and mine just comes out jumbled]
make such an impact on their world
have the favor of almost everyone
seem to have life so easy 
never have things stuck in their teeth
who never has bad morning breath……

Okay, okay, maybe not quite the last two.
But you know what I mean?
Sometimes it seems that our lives, while special to God,
may not be something that matters to other people.

Life has thrown some hard things the past few months.
It’s still not perfect, not even easy, necessarily.

There are things like losing a dear friend that changes what the rest of my life looks like.
It changes perspective on life, it shakes up what I thought was imporant and valuable.
I realize how much of life I took for granted, expecting a tomorrow every day.

There are hard and painful things that test the foundation of my relationship with God,
and test where my security lies.
And sometimes the testing reveals things I don’t like to see.

There is the beginning of a new year, which is both exciting and sobering.
I want my life to count, not for myself, but for God and eternity,
to be who He created me to be, not just a phantom of it.

I was talking to God about some of these things,
and suddenly remembered the story of the little boy with the loaves and fishes.
It’s so neat how God spoke the Word, not just for a neat story, but to speak life forever after.
And it suddenly became alive to me…

It was a simple gift, a humble offering.
He could have withheld it, been embarrassed by his poor-boy lunch,
plus, what could it help with so many people?

But he offered it.
And that’s all that matters.
Would he have not given his little lunch,
a miracle wouldn’t have happened because of his gift.
Jesus could’ve still worked, He is not limited by us,
but the blessing would not have been given to the boy.

And so often I withhold.
Because my gift,
what I have to offer,
the little strength I have,
is just so small.
It just doesn’t seem significant enough.
Maybe I don’t just have fish and bread,
maybe I even feel like all I am is fish and bread.

It’s not a 5 course meal with Wine & Cheese & Olives,
like I wish it was.
All I have is simple bread, roasted fish.
Loaves & Fish.

What could God want with that anyway,
when there are offerings of Wine & Cheese?
Why not just let those people give when it seems like so much more?

The miracle is not in what we have to give.
It’s not in the Loaves & Fish
or in the Wine & Cheese.
It’s not in the bigness or the smallness of the offering.

The miracle is in the God who takes our simple offering and breaks it, and blesses others with it.
The miracle is that GOD is blessed with it.
Wow.
Maybe He’ll take it and multiply it to one person,
maybe  He’ll continue multiplying it to five thousand people,
but either way it’s so much more blessing than if we would’ve kept it for ourselves.

It’s scary sometimes, you know?
To offer?
What if it still doesn’t seem significant?
What if other people make comments about it,
like, “All she’s doing is that! How can that even help or make a difference?”
I want to learn to be still, to offer even still,
and to know Jesus’ approval, know He cares about what I have to offer,
to hear Him saying to my heart,
“Bring it to me.”

Whether He takes my humble offering
and blesses one person or a hundred,
I want to learn to offer…

I think I often write after the fact,
like, “God did this” or “God came through a week ago”.
Today I write from right now.
In the middle of learning.
In the middle of a bit of scared.

Watchword for 2013:  OFFER
Learn to offer my loaves and fishes.

………………………………………………………………

// I love to watch my daughter learn. It thrilles me to see that she enjoys learning //



// that little green envelope? well, she kinda has a crush on her daddy. //

// little man, pre-hair-trimming. his hair only grows on the top of his head! //

// he adores his [bearded] daddy. it melts my heart //


// Kenny making a fabulous Dutch oven supper for us one night//



// a sister and her fiance’! yes, my third sister is getting married! //


// two sisters and their men and my brother came to visit us after Christmas!
we sure did miss our other sister and her husband who came to see us later.
but I was sick and didn’t get any pictures :(  //


// two of my lovelies, how am I so lucky?
wearing our Sevenly shirts – ‘love the orphan’ //

 

~clarita

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Loaves & Fishes vs. Wine & Cheese

  1. Elizabethmarie_1

    I love seeing pictures of you and your sisters together.
    Your little guy is SO, SOOOOOO adorable!!! Baby Gap cute!!!

    Loved what you wrote. So much truth.
    It was a humble gift the boy offered, but God turned it into a miracle.
    and sometimes life feels like that…like there isn’t much to offer.
    It’s the intentions of our heart that matter to God.

    Clarita, you are such a sweet person. Through and through, you just are.
    When I think of you I think ~ pure heart.

    Happy Thursday to you.
    XxOo

    Reply

  2. aSeriesofFortunateEvents

    I think of you and there’s just so MUCH. And no, That wasn’t a fat joke. ;) You have such depth and understanding I don’t know how it’s all held inside one person. You can see it in your eyes!

    Everything you give is special, Clarita because God made you and when you give, whether its a gift or just a conversation with someone, or supper on the table, it’s special. I can see Him in you, He just shines right out. Like you can’t even contain it. Don’t ever doubt it.

    I hope that made sense. Ha!

    Reply

  3. inanorchard

    You have an amazing heart Clarita! It’s hard when big circumstances make us feel so small. You wrote this so beautifully all I can say is Amen!! I think it’s the small and insignificant things that He wants the most… that chance to take a little and turn it into abundance. I have been so stingy lately. I need to change that.

    PS- I wholeheartedly agree with Beth!

    Reply

  4. SherriMonCheri

    O my, your little man is CUTE! :)

    And wow…the part about offering what we have…”The miracle is in the God who takes our simple offering and breaks it, and blesses others with it.
    The miracle is that GOD is blessed with it.”
    So true! You have encouraged and blessed me!

    Reply

  5. clearlyhis

    Clarita, your words on “loaves and fish” are just wonderful and so inspiring. Thanks for offering yours! It truly is multiplying.

    How c.a.n your Hudson be so big already. He is just as adorable as your girls!

    …and Zoe’s is following her mother’s footsteps I can tell by her already lovely writing. How precious.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. It is beautiful.

    Reply

  6. wj3km

    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matt. 25:40
    And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matt. 10:42-

    I had the same thoughts of insignificance yesterday waiting in the car pick up lane at school – and often have those feelings when I sit at home alone, not knowing anyone around me – what in the world to I have to offer, give, or what can I do in a place where I’m not acquainted with anyone?? Just being a mom to your little ones is significant! You are pouring into their lives, displaying the love of Jesus, being an example of a servant.

    You are beautiful! Inside and out. I love to see the relationship you have with your sisters – incredible and inspiring.
    Hudson is growing fast and very very schnuck!

    Reply

  7. WasabiBek

    Great to see you on here again. I know you’ve had a bit of a rough month… but always so great to see a post from you. You always have something encouraging to share. Tried calling you back a few times this week… I’ll be around all day today if you get a chance to call!:) I’d love to talk. Happy weekend to you!

    Reply

  8. dreamstillcometrue

    I could cry with the significance and simplistic truth of what you wrote… love it so much. I’m still waiting for my word for this year. Oh such lovely days were spent with you. Love love love being family.

    Reply

  9. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    oh, this was so very good. so very true.
    it seems ironic? no, actually significant that this is the second piece in as many days that i have read about giving what you’re given. timely, indeed. because, as we all do, we struggle and are bombarded by doubts and thoughts of insignificance from the source of all bad things and it’s so very pivotal for me to remember, to react with His truths in times like that. little IS much when God is in it, and it’s good for me to remember that.

    i’m so happy for you that your sisters and brother could come. those truly are the best of times.
    to a slower, healthier January; cheers!!
    love,
    R

    Reply

  10. seekinHISwisdom

    Such a inspiring post, I believe as mothers we can feel like our world becomes so small and we have so little to offer. Love the thoughts on giving even when we feel like it is “little and meaningless”, because the truth is, yes, God multiplies it! If we give big it can become to “us involved” and it might become meaningless…..

     The lose if a loved one really does give life a different perspective and things change so fast that our hearts and minds cannot seem to catch up with our feelings and grief. It shakes your world and it’s takes a lot of time for things to settle within your heart to where you feel like “you” again. I found it harder to deal with everyday life challenges for a long time because of the emotions that seemed so “out of wack”.

    As always I adore pictures of you and your sisters, the light in your eyes, the love and color and taste……it’s all so precious!! Sisters are priceless……

    Reply

  11. lifeisadance

    @wj3km – so you’re a “transplant” from the north too? wow, i wish we could sit and talk!  the transition of a big move and new area can be a big challenge… i know it was for me. wow. God be with you! ♥

    Reply

  12. lifeisadance

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown – “and it’s so very pivotal for me to remember, to react with His truths in times like that” so so true… it’s a constant thing for me to have to return to. i think that’s why we need each other/true friendships too, to encourage each other and tell each other the beauty we see, invite the offering… xoxo

    Reply

  13. estrellasyluna

    isn’t it crazy how much we can compare ourselves to other women? and start believing lies? This post hit me so hard. and it goes perfectly with alot of other things that have been rolling around in my head. So, SO grateful for ladies like you that can express and write the way you do. Its a blessing!

    Reply

  14. baileyandme

    beautiful post! i especially love zoe’s note to “ben”. fun sister pictures- glad you all got to be together…. and i ADORE little hudson’s hair. i was just spellbound by him on the back of your c-mas card. he is so sweet looking and cute!

    Reply

  15. down_onthefarm

    it’s like you must have heard several conversations that i had recently with friends about this very thing—significance. (oh how i wish that what you’ve shared here could have been interjected.) or maybe because it’s inevitable, we all come up against this…and wonder. i was talking about it here. you were writing about it there. :) if i don’t realize why i have significance and where it comes from…i will have to madly scramble to find it and/or prove it…way different than OFFERering.

    i just loveLOVE what you wrote about the “The miracle is not in what we have to give…The miracle is in the God who takes our simple offering and breaks it, and blesses others with it. The miracle is that GOD is blessed with it.” yes. YES! if i were to focus on my what as the something. the miracle. i would end up measuring. and measuring leads to comparing. and comparison sucks life and flattens our spirits and relationships.  He has promises for even my weaknesses! does the creation say to the Creator, i don’t think you know what you’re talking about?! :)

    i feel so encouraged! i’m in the middle of learning too. :)
    and am loving the word offer. what that means from Him.  and to Him.

    and amen and ditto to what beth said. love ya!

    Reply

  16. Richgem

    Oh, dear Clarita…this is a beautiful post; such wonderful reminders and explanations. I am an older gal but young at heart. Not beautiful in the world’s eyes: scarred, crooked face, short and on the slightly chubby side, and not fantastically talented in any way. Rejected because of where I live, how I look, blah, blah, blah. However, after years of allowing the enemy to convince me that I had nothing to offer, I realized that because of Jesus and his power and gifts within me, I had/have everything to offer and want to offer that for his glory. Life is so much better. And I just have to focus on that, not on “do I look ‘good enough’ to go to Trader Joe’s market” or “I can’t invite ‘HER’ over because she lives in hoity toity neighborhood”, or “oh, I can’t provide a meal for that young couple who lost their baby because the other gals at church are much better cooks than me”, etc. Focus on Jesus and his gloriousness…that’s my life-saving, depression-killing motto. Thank you for being who you are on here!

    Reply

  17. FOREVERLANE

    Thanks for sharing your heart on this . . . and your watchword! I love it and am filled with thoughts to ponder. Your list of things that have happened, and what you’ve been up to made me feel both excited & happy, and a wee bit tired. Whew! You’ve had a lot going on! I just love the fact that your sisters and men could be there. I love those chiefs and their dutch oven experience, and am proud to have two of them in my family too. :) Oh, and Zoe’s reading and writing?? Um, WE are not even there yet, whether it be because of the teacher or the boy . . . but we’ll celebrate the gladness with you and keep {in your words} be-bopping along til we get it right here too. ;)

    Reply

  18. richlyblest

    Are you homeschooling Zoe? I can’t remember. It looks like she has the same Abeka books that Kierra has to read. It IS so fun to see them learn!

    Hudson is getting so big. Wow!

    I enjoyed your thoughts on loaves and fishes. So often, I feel like I have so little to offer. But I need to remember to give what I have, and Jesus can multiply it exponentially, maybe even when I don’t see what benefit my loaves and fishes were.

    Reply

  19. redladybug18

    Love this post and love your words of wisdom!!!!!!! Here are some scatter thoughts…..God, I think, just wants us to take one day at a time and give Him all we’ve got. I heard a sermon on the radio just tonight about how we have so many visionaries but not many who stick it out and continue to the end giving what they have. I think it’s awesome how God gives us all gifts and talents (Kinda like puzzle pieces that all work together to make the bigger picture

    I want some cute sisters like yours :) Congrats on Claudia’s? engagement! Love her outfit! Someday I will jump on the fashion bandwagon with y’all :)

    Reply

  20. lifeisadance

    @down_onthefarm  – okay, so i want to be in on your conversations!! i feel lke i learn SO much from you! this whole thing of offering, along with wanting to know more about what it really means to be a woman and offering what that is, has been something i’ve thought so much about the past year. one day let’s sit and talk and i’ll pick your brain and heart. :) xoxo

    Reply

  21. lifeisadance

    @Richgem – i LOVED your comment. and i could relate to so much of it… the simple thing of not  offering because of not feeling good enough, or not weathy enough, or not a good enough cook, or not dressed good enough…. So many ways the enemy tries to stifle who we are, and therefore the light of Jesus within us because of that. i love what you DO offer, and even from afar i am blessed by it!

    Reply

  22. lifeisadance

    @redladybug18 – And I love your thoughts! “there are many visionaries but not many willing to stick it out to the end…” so so true! I want to be one of those finishers!

    and yes, you’re good! it IS claudia gettig married. :) and she is a fabulous dresser. so out of the box and fun. :) and you’re welcome to join me trying to join the fashion band wagon! Ha! :)

    Reply

  23. quiet_hearts

    And so often I withhold.
    Because my gift,
    what I have to offer,
    the little strength I have,
    is just so small.

    Oh how I feel that!

    But Jesus says, “Bring it to me.”

    Yes.  I know.  Thanks for this beautiful encouragement!

    Reply

  24. lifeisadance

    @quiet_hearts – that is me too. i’ve been realizing that i tend to give, and give willingly, if i know that it’s wanted, or if it feels like something. but if i have a touch of insecurity, or someone around me seems to offer more, or other wrong reasons, i just withhold. God hit me really hard with this scripture… it was so beautiful and encouraging to me. now the hard part – living it!! :)

    Reply

  25. down_onthefarm

    @Richgem – you have SO MUCH to offer, gail.
    i have been touched. blessed. and encouraged
    by the person that you are 
    and the value that is communicated to those around you.
    that being said…what you wrote resonates with me.
    and love the understanding & wisdom that you offer
    from your experiences.

    i am privileged to know you and call you dear friend. 

    Reply

  26. grace_to_be

    i had read this the other day on my phone but couldn’t comment..
    thought about it so much since.
    have had those words come to mind when i’ve gotten discouraged.
    “let him take your loaves and fish and multiple it.”
    i’m not even sure if that’s a direct quote, but it’s what has echoed over in my heart~

    thank you so much for sharing. love your heart and openness and just realness.
    you’re so beautiful my friend. truly.
    and it seems redundant, because i know everyone says it..
    but there is a beauty that goes so much further than what is seen with the eye-
    it’s a beauty you can only feel with your soul and it’s the most beautiful beauty there is.
    you’ve got it.

    so blessed by Him in YOU!!

    love you.

    Reply

  27. justcallmeM

    Thank you for the challenge of giving from what we’re given. Still trying to think how to fit in a Girls’ Night here with all this busyness. Oh, where are the long, winter nights?? :)

    Reply

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