Several years ago a pastor named Cameron at my church was preaching on Sanctity of Life Sunday and telling us about a mission trip that he took our youth on, to Washington, D. C. Two of my children were part of that trip. My daughter Necole who was in college at the time, went as a chaperone and my son Anthony went as one of the teens on the trip.
One day Pastor Cameron took them out to see some of the historical sites in D. C. They ended up at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
I don’t know if you have ever been there, I myself have only seen pictures online, but it is a massive black granite stone wall. At it’s tallest point it is just over 10 feet tall. At the shortest point it is 8 inches tall. Engraved into this shiny black stone is the name of all the soldiers who were killed in action or missing in action in Vietnam.
There are over 144 panels of stone and when a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together.
Pastor Cameron told us how he watched the kids walk by the wall and how some of them stretched out their arms and their fingers would lightly brush over the names. Once they walked past the wall they turned around and looked back at it.
They talked about the 58,000 plus names that were on the wall...how each name represented a life... a set of parents.... a story....... everyone has a story. If you consider how many lives each one had influenced, it becomes overwhelming.
He then asked the kids how long the wall was and of course the kids said it was really long. He asked them how long the wall would be if it had 116,000 names on it? Someone said, “It would be twice as long.” He then asked them, “How long would it be if there were a million names on it?” Then he said, “Imagine if there were over 50 million names on it, then how long would it be?” One of the teens answered, “It would go for miles.”
Then Pastor Cameron said, “That is how many babies had been aborted in the U.S.”. As he looked at the kids faces he noticed that two of the kids were really quite and they looked really sad.... When he shared this story in church, before he even mentioned who the two kids were, I knew that they were mine............
At that very moment just like the wall.....God brought my past into my present and I was there in church flooded and overwhelmed by emotions........I have shared my testimony several times all ready and thought that I would never share it again, that I did what God had asked of me and I was done.
But this was a moment when God spoke so clearly to my heart and I was sure He wanted me to continue to share my testimony. Deep down, I really wanted God to ask me to do something easy......it is so emotionally hard for me to share my story. I do not feel qualified but I remind myself that God does not always call the qualified.....He qualifies the called.
It amazes me that God can use someone like me to share my brokenness for His Glory....God never let’s anything go to waste.....even the sin and shame in our past....the hurt we experience....He is able to use it to magnify His Glory and Grace in our lives.
I am so thankful for the many men and women who unselfishly served our country and gave their lives.
Every time my husband or I see a service man or women, we always make a point of going over and thanking them for their service to our country.
In John 15:12-17 it reads:
12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants,a for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
I will never look at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial the same way again....It represents so many lives....so many stories....but to this day I can not get out of my head the vision of how long that wall would be and how many names would be on it. Right now according to http://www.numberofabortions.com/ there have been over 61 million abortions in the U.S. since Roe vs. Wade...for every baby lost there is a mom and a dad...so many lives, so many stories....too many.
God has an agenda, He is in control and we need to be busy doing all that He has called us to do. I pray for a day when this will end but in the meantime I will do what I can to help us get there, it is my hope that you will get involved and help to end this battle.
Facing a Task Unfinished....
I heard this old hymn when listening to a sermon. What a beautiful prayer.......
"May we have a task that drives us to our knees and sends us to labour for thy sake."
Facing a task unfinished
Frank Houghton (1894-1972)
"Facing a task unfinished, that drives us to our knees, a need that, undiminished, rebukes our slothful ease.
We who rejoice to know Thee, renew before Thy throne the solemn pledge we owe Thee, to go and make Thee known.
Where other lords beside Thee hold their unhindered sway, where forces that defied Thee defy Thee still today, with none to heed their crying for life, and love, and light, unnumbered souls are dying, and pass into the night.
We bear the torch that, flaming, fell from the hands of those who gave their lives, proclaiming that Jesus died and rose.
Ours is the same commission, the same glad message ours, fired by the same ambition, to Thee we yield our powers.
O Father who sustained them, O Spirit who inspired, Saviour, whose love constrained them to toil with zeal untired. From cowardice defend us, from lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us to labour for Thy sake."
Do you have a task unfinished that drives you to your knees?
I do..... My heart for the unborn aches with so much pain. When it looks bleak in this world of darkness, I remind myself that God has an agenda and I must be about his business.
When I draw a picture of a child....like this one to the left. I bathe it in prayer and pray for the unborn. I pray that eyes would be opened and that people would see these little babies as just that.... babies.
And I pray for my baby that I aborted so long ago. I know that God never lets anything go to waste and that even this I can use to bring Glory to Him. I got a new job this year and work as the director of operations at the local right to life office. Soon I will be starting a post abortive Bible Study to help women who are hurting from a past abortion to find healing and hope. I ask that you would pray for this endeavor as I feel it is something God has been preparing me and pushing me in the direction of doing.
May we toil with zeal untired.... as it reads in the song written so long ago....
What's In Your Garden of Eden?
If you have been following me for a while you know that MOHLOM has always donated 10% of my sales to our local area Right to Life and 50% of our card sales, which are copies of my original drawings, go to them as well.
Why do we give? Because God has laid it on my heart to give in this area. You see..... I am so passionate about this topic, because I am a post abortive woman..... I know the heartbreak of abortion and what it does to woman and men.
My Plant Based Journey...
My plant based journey started last year in May. I had been having all sorts of health issues with chronic inflammation and feeling down right awful! I had been previously eating a high protein diet and low carbs. At first I seemed to be doing ok with this sort of diet, but then it all changed.
We would buy a grass fed cow each year and several free range chickens. So my only meat was beef and chicken and occasionally fish or seafood.
My one doctor had recently gone on a plant based diet and suggested that I watch a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. The plant based eating was helping him, he dropped around 70 lbs and was off his blood pressure medications.
It is that first harvest of the year! I love when my herbs are ready to harvest. My husband and I both love to cook, he is a classically trained chef and we honestly use a lot of herbs and spices when we cook. Most of the herbs we use, we grow and harvest ourselves. It is one of my favorite hobbies. I love learning about the herbs, trying new recipes and learning about all the healing benefits and vitamins that herbs offer.
Today I harvested English Thyme, Lemon Thyme and French Thyme. (On the pictures below I labeled the French Thyme just “Thyme”). They are all different and each has its own unique flavor profile. French Thyme offers a flavor that is subtler than the English Thyme. They both have the same mint and clove notes but the French Thyme is milder in the flavors. The leaves are so tiny and tender and so tasty. I cut them put them on plates to dry at room temperature. Once they are dry I strip the little leaves off the stems and put them in jars for cooking. I always have enough of my own without buying it from the store!
A few years ago my mother and father in law were talking about selling their home and building a new one in a site condominium a few miles down the road from where they live now. The home would have been smaller, not as nice, and away from their twin daughters. Plus, my mother in law loves her flower gardens, and they really like their home.
I spent 20 years working in the land title business and saw this same scenario with other elderly people many times. I started crunching numbers and was showing my husband, Brian, what those numbers looked like. We took the estimated sales price of their home, plus all the closing costs and realtor fees. It was sad, because they would take all of their net proceeds to build their new home in this site condominium. It would be smaller and not as nice as where they live now. It would be away from their daughters.
I remember talking to Brian and I told him, “If I was in a position to have 2 of my children so close to my home, I would not want to move away from them.” Also, I am the type that I like to put down roots and make a place my home, and when I do, it is heartbreaking for me to leave. I knew for my mother-in-law, Dorothy, it would be hard for her to leave her home.
I kept thinking about it and talked to Brian. I suggested that maybe we could offer to move in with them and help take care of them. That way they could stay in their home.
We started talking to his mom and dad about it as well as praying about it. We felt like we should do it; that it was the right thing to do.
My daughter Charlotte and her husband Mitch and their son Emmanuel, (or as we like to call him - Manny), came to visit for Christmas. Charlotte is a talented artist who has recently illustrated her second children's book. (almost published, I will post a link to it once it comes available). Her first book that she illustrated was titled "Dunkin on the Move". Charlotte like me has a website for her art and is also doing a blog. We both want to be more consistent and intentional with our blogs but are having a hard time doing it. We are both a bit competitive….. okay a lot competitive, so we decided to make it a challenge between us two in posting new blogs. But right after Christmas, Charlotte texted me and told me she posted a blog…. How dare her get one out before me….just like her to get a jump on it…so here I go trying this year to be more consistent with my blog…
When Charlotte was here for Christmas she brought that pair of earrings (above right)…she had dropped it on the floor and they broke….well they are glass. If they hit tile or cement, there is a chance they will break, and this pair did. She was so sad as they had become one of her favorite pairs of earrings to wear. While she was here, I tried to fire them in my kiln, twice. I was trying to repair them. But glass has a memory…at least that is what my aunt taught me when I was apprenticing with her to blow glass. She told me every time a tool touches the glass it leaves its mark…..kind of like a scar.
debt motivates you to do things
More of HIM, less of me - MOHLOM
I would sign my letters with More of HIM, less of me…
When I ran into some very tough financial times with a business that I was partners in, when the real estate market tanked back in 2007, it rocked my world. As one of the owners you are the first to go without pay. And that is what my partners and I did, trying to help the business survive. In the meantime, since my income and my husbands, was wrapped up in this business we had to do something else to supplement our income. All I had was my art…. But could I make any money at it, that was the question.
I would draw with graphite and my focus was unborn children, babies and toddlers. But to complete a single drawing it would take me around 13 hours. Which was time consuming. I had to figure something else out to make money.
I had this kiln that a friend gave me years ago, a renter had left it in the house they rented from him. I had always wanted to do pottery and so I was excited to take the kiln. I moved it from house to house never plugging it in….
But now I wondered if I could melt some cullet in it. Cullet is the scrap glass from a glass blowers’ pipe. My aunt at the time was blowing glass and she gave me some to try. I had no idea what I was doing or getting into. I checked a book out from the library on kiln formed glass. I read it and read it over and over again. Taking notes.... and finally came the day, to try it out. It took me several tries to get something worth keeping. But I logged my times and temperatures in my trusty spiral note book and then had a guide to what wasn’t working……. I just had to figure out what would work.
It took many failures and almost but then I finally had a success! I was so excited. During this time I was trying to come up with a name for my new art business. I decided on MOHLOM. When I shared the name with my husband, he was not too thrilled. But when I explained it was an acronym for “More of HIM, less of me”……. then he loved it! You see that is how I would sign my letters. It was my hearts cry to have More of Jesus in my life. If I had more of HIM, then there would be less of me and that is a much better way to live life.
We started selling the fused glass at art and craft shows and sharing my story and love for the Lord! It provided us an income to put food on the table and make it through that very tough financial time. Fast forward…… we are now debt free and currently on “baby step 4” of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Plan. Thank you Dave!!! I will share more about that later in another blog.
But right now…… I am so happy to be working on expanding my art and developing other mediums that I can add to my website and my art shop MOHLOM.
I would love to have you visit my shop and get to know me through my blog!
More of HIM, less of me,
Mary Catherine Jackowski
A picture from one of our local art and craft shows.
That Awe and Wonder.....
Watching my children have children has been so amazing. Seeing them as parents to a little child….to watch them nurture them and see them bring out laughter and smiles from such this tiny little creation is such a blessing. I now have 4 grandsons and they are all so unique and special. The oldest is talking and I can understand him sometimes….but there are times where I need his mommy to translate for me. But he calls on the phone and says “Grandma Mary?” And a smile emerges from my face and I am excited to hear from this little person. But then I will say “Hi Kenny” and then he starts talking much faster than my old ears can translate his young speech. But I can hear the excitement in his voice. He is excited about such small things….everyday brings new wonders to it….When did it change? When do people stop seeing all the amazing everyday things that happen? When do we stop getting excited about all the little mundane things of everyday life?
A Visit To Corning...
Mary Catherine Jackowski
MOHLOM is more than a shop or a business it is my hearts cry. MOHLOM stands for More of HIM, Less of Me. As I grow older that is my desire for God to fill me and overflow to those around me.