Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I meant to…

Scenario…You are at Target (yes, AGAIN).  In the shoe department you see a friend you have not seen in a really long time.  The conversation goes a little like this:

You: Hi!! It has been so long, how are you?
Friend:  Good, how are you?
You: We have been so busy, you know, baseball, soccer, swimming.  We really need to get together and catch  up!
Friend: Yes we do, text me when you can grab coffee!
You: Yes! I will.  Maybe next week?!
Friend: sounds good, see ya soon!
You: Bye!

Three months pass and you still haven't texted your friend.  I am totally guilty… Multiple offenses!!
Why?  Why do we let other stuff get in the way of our friendships?  Oh, wait, I know… We are moms juggling  a million things. One more thing, will throw the balls out of balance and we are left picking the mess up off the floor.  

Stop… Stop juggling!

I am totally included in this.  I have told a million people that I will call them so we could catch up.  Come on Sistas let's finally agree that we have a lot going on, and that we are all really busy………. but….wait for it….. sisterhood, fellowship, friendship, relations are REALLY IMPORTANT TOO!

We, as women, need to be in fellowship with one another.  We need to support one another.  We need to lean on each other.

Hebrews 10:24-25 states:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

See, even back in Jesus' time the ladies were too busy shopping at Target and not taking time to hang out with one another.  

One of the greatest inventions of all time is when Target added Starbucks!  Hello!  It was meant for women to come, gather, break bread, and sip on a latte and buy scarves!

So, this week ladies, I challenge you to call that friend.  Call her, even though your bathrooms are dirty.  Call her, even though you haven't showered in 2 days.  Call her, even though your to do list is getting longer by the minute.  Because chances are she is in the same boat as you.  She needs you as much as you need her.  

Your to do list will always be long, your bathrooms will continue to get dirty, but your friendships will last a lifetime.  They will nourish you and help you get through the mess.  

Call your friends, spend time together, be real with each other.  Learn how to grow as Godly friends leaning on each other and the Word!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Train Tracks

I need to start off by saying I am a great mom.  I would never intentionally put my kids in harms way, unless, perhaps, there was this one time… hypothetically, of course. 

Every morning during the school year it is the same routine.  Wake up, wake up kids, start coffee, wake up kids again, then fix breakfast.  Then there is that period of time in the morning that the kids are eating, and I am in the background making lunches, guzzling coffee, and fetching the things they have forgotten.  


The last 15 minutes before we leave the house is also straight up chaotic!  I have tried so hard to not make it so crazy, but it usually turns out the same.  Me yelling, the kids grabbing their book bags, and shoes and heading to the car.  We drive out of the neighborhood while the kids are still getting strapped in. 


Our commute in the morning is about 30 minutes one way.  If we don't leave the house at exactly 7:25 am, then we will be 10 minutes late to school because of all the traffic.  This particular morning we left at 7:30, so I was trying my hardest to make up for the time.  


The light turned red.  I inched forward, I knew better… NEVER stop on a railroad track.  I am usually so careful.  But, I thought, we're running behind, I need to pull up and try to make it through the next light.    


That's when the unexpected happened!

The railroad lights started blinking, the bells started ringing.  Sheer panic overcame me.  The arms of the railroad gate came crashing down ON my car!!


Ya'll I would like to tell you  I responded differently.  I would like to tell you that I did not panic, that I kept cool, calm and level headed.  

Folks…. I FREAKED!

I froze.  I tried to backup… but there was a car in my way.  I could see the train lights coming around the bend.  The conductor was blowing his horn.  I unbuckled my seat belt.  I looked at my kids, I looked around at the other cars just staring at me.  I felt trapped…  I felt stuck… I made a bad decision that was going to put my whole family in danger.  


That's when, by the grace of God, I managed to get control over my self, and the situation.  I still had a few moments before the train was going to hit.  I calmly put my car in drive and pulled across the tracks.  


It was that easy.  There was a big enough space for me to pull through the crossing arms and be safely on the other side.  I parked the car in the nearest lot.  I was shaking, half crying, and thanking Jesus for His protection!!!


Meanwhile the other cars around me were staring at me like I was a complete idiot!!  And I was!


Doesn't this happen all the time.  Well, hopefully not literally.  But we are constantly getting stopped in the tracks of life.  Fear takes over, we complicate things.  When we can't go backwards and fix something we have done, we panic.  We freeze.  Then sweet Jesus comes in and shows us a path that is not complicated.  He guides us through the crossing arms to  safely rest on the other side.  


Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe that day.  I learned not only never ever never stop on the train tracks, but also not to look behind me at the past. 




 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

2 Samuel 22:3-4



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seriously? I need to clear something up

Y'all, I was just looking through Facebook, you know that place you go to when you have nothing else to do, aka, all the time!

I came across an article title which read,  12 Pinterest Trends that need to go Away.  I was amused, because quite frankly I love me some Pinterest!  As I read the list I came to the eighth trend listed, and I stopped in my tracks… Pinterest parenting advice, especially "mommy blogs".  Wait… What?  Are you talking about me?

I have a "mommy blog"….  Then I kept reading.  They are talking about the mommy's who give advice and whose kids are dressed in matching clothes.  You know the ones I'm talking about!  They have super cute craft ideas, like building the Eieffel Tower out of toothpicks, or use wooden pallets to create a couch.  They are well versed, fully manicured and volunteer at every school function.

Well, Let me clear something up before you get the wrong idea.  I am NOT like that!  I am completely honest about the mess of a family we are.

Although, sometimes we do crafts from Pinterest.  They usually end up messy, completely unrecognizable and someone is always crying at the end, (Most of the time its me.)

There was this one time I volunteered to be room mom for my son's preschool, yeah, I showed up to the party a half an hour later.  I was in charge.  You know, craft, snack, drink, book…yup…LATE!

There was this other time I told my son's teacher that I could come every. single. week to read to the class.  I came three times! THREE TIMES!!  I am a really good beginning of the year mom, but sometime around Halloween I just can't take it.

The matching clothes.  I got that one covered…My kids totally match.  At least I am sure they have something that matched in their drawer somewhere, they may not be wearing it together at that moment, but, sure they totally match.  Seriously, half the time their hair isn't brushed, one is wearing cowboy boots with shorts in 90 degree heat, and the other one wants to wear nothing but camouflage!

I am not THAT mom.  I will not pretend to have it all together, because, no one ever really does.  It might look good on the outside, but there is something messy.  I am proud of my messes.  I like that my kids eat spaghettio's for breakfast.  It's ok! The food police did not knock on my door and arrest me.  My kids were not hungry, and a fight was diverted.

When I am messy, that is when God can move around.  That is when I need him, when I call on him.

So, I am rejoicing that I am not one of those moms… You can come sit a spell at my sticky kitchen table and I will tell you all about it.  Or just hang out in my little corner of blog world, and maybe you can appreciate that you my sweet messy friend, you are not alone!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Preschool mommas, HOLLA!

This is for all of those Preschool mommas out there…

I saw you.  You had a cheerful smile on your face, a Starbucks in your hand and a pep in your step.  I was there too…  Ahhh, TARGET WITHOUT kids.  Its like a mini vacation!

We were able to look at every single scarf.  We looked at all of the cute new fall fashions, maxi skirts and funky Tee's.  The best part was I actually got to try on clothes!  (I did, I tried on two dresses, a top, and a pair of shorts.)  It was glorious!  No one was peaking under the dressing room door, no one was saying, "mom your belly looks weird", no one asking to play my phone, and fighting with their brother.

Glorious, Pure Glorious I say!!

It didn't stop there.  I tried shoes on.  Even the really high heels that I would never wear.  Why?  Because I could!  I did not even look at the kid shoes.  Glorious!

You didn't stop there did you mommas?  Nope, you walked through every single aisle!  You wandered through the lamps, daydreamed about a new duvet cover, and relished in the mirrors.  Did you see that Target has pretty new paint colors?  Yup, It was right beside the peel and stick wall paper.  I know, Right?  Totally cute.  Did you stand there like me, wandering where you could stick up that bad boy?  Yep!  Glorious!

Ya'll, did you see the pillows?  Super cute!  Did you wander through the makeup aisle?  Yeah, that was pretty awesome too.  We even had time to look at the clearance jewelry.  Yes, that blue beaded long necklace was ahhmazing… It was tempting!  

Target is a magical place.  Walking the "loop" is like walking into Narnia.  A magical world  filled with  enchanting maxi skirts and chambray shirts.  Cute flats and metallic belts.  Flowery scarves and chevron pillows.  

Mommas, I hope you enjoyed your magical land of Target.  Drink up that Carmel Frappuccino and add the whip.  Here's a toast to you!  You deserve it!   Bask in the Gloriousiness of the glossy aisles!!

Yup! Glorious!

( P.S. See ya tomorrow!  I mean, we have 4 hours a day, and we have to get groceries, right?)



Thursday, August 14, 2014

A trash can saved my son: Trash to Treasure!

We have been packing boxes for weeks! We've cleaned out closets and cabinets.  Boxed up winter clothes, boots, and toys.  But there was one dreaded area that we did not want to mess with.

The attic!
This is where we have stored the crib, Christmas decorations and unwanted furniture.  Honestly, I have opened the door thrown a bag of clothes in and closed it quickly.  I mean, it wasn't a place we hung out.

Since we are moving, we needed to get in there and clean, organize and move everything out.  We managed very successfully to get all of the junk, important boxes into the garage. The last thing was a twin mattress that was perched precariously on the rafters.  The Hubs, pulled and pushed and huffed and puffed but it wasn't budging.

My eight year old decided that he could help with his brut strength to shimmy it.  He pulled, pushed and stepped.  One minute he was standing in the attic, the next minute he was falling through the sheet rock!

The Hubs hollered, I screamed and we ran down the stairs excepting to find the worst.  My husband was yelling call 911!  I was in shock and the Little's were running in circles.

 There STANDING in the kitchen was Tyler!

He had fallen 13 feet and was now STANDING in front of us.  He was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, crying and slightly hyperventilating, But he was not in a million pieces, nor bleeding from head to toe.  He was visibly OK!!!

My husband rushed him to the emergency room.  His wrist looked bruised and had a knot forming, and, did I mention he had just FALLEN 13 FEET, so he needed to be checked out.  After a few x-rays, everything checked out.  Did you hear that?  He was totally fine!!  Nothing broken!!!



Looking through the attic.



The ceiling in the garage.



Unbelievable!

He fell 13 feet… straight through the sheetrock… falling.  My son landed on a flimsy plastic trash can.  Thank you Jesus! That plastic trash can saved my son from serious injuries.  He was protected. It is absolutely amazing! God protects.

Throughout the day we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, and pure joy.  We thanked God for His provision, for his angels, for his love.



Psalm 121:1-8
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Boxes Galore!

There's a lot going on around here!

This is the house we have lived in for 9 amazing years!



Yup, that's right... we are MOVING!  We are so excited!  We bought a house a few miles down the road in a fabulous neighbor.  We move in less than ONE week!!

So what does that mean for me....Well, I have turned into a crazy stressed out lady.
This is hard stuff!  I have packed, and wrapped, and trashed, and moved a million boxes, and we haven't even left our current house yet!  What gives? I thought moving was supposed to be fun and magical, and this incredible family bonding time!
(I can hear y'all laughing at me)

I have learned a few things over the past several weeks.

1) Packing is not magical!!  Unless, of course digging through your closet and finally finding the match to the other shoe that you just threw away 6 months ago.  OK,... still not magical.

2) My kids have not missed the toys I packed up weeks ago.  Does this mean I should just throw them away?  Nope, they have compensated the lack of toys with TV.  I have totally used the TV as a "sitter" the last couple of weeks.  I know... Horrible mom!

3) When you move, you even have to clean out the junk drawer.

4) Books are heavy!

5) I have not cooked in a week, and no one is complaining.

6) We own a lot of pillows.  Why?

7) I have secretly bought random items for the new house and stashed them in a box.  And by random I mean; deer antlers, bowling pins, and tacky paintings.  Can't wait for hubby to see it.  Let's just say, he doesn't always share my quirky taste!

8) Goodwill and Craigslist are awesome!

9)  Did you know that you have to clean your empty house after you leave?  I mean, I barely cleaned when we lived here.

10) It's sad to see your whole life for the past 9 years packed up in boxes stacked on top of each other in the garage.



This is our "formal" living room.  It's nice a cozy, don't ya think?

Boxes for daze!


The three car garage is totally packed to the gills!



The kids have enjoyed sleeping on the floor the last few days.
Don't judge the unmade beds, we're moving!



All in all, we are going to miss this house.  This is the first house that Hubby and I actually felt like home.  We brought all three baby boys home to this house.  We have hosted birthday parties, life groups, baby showers, bible studies,  get togethers and cook outs here.  This house has been well loved! We built this house together, picking out all the finishes.  We have grown into this house, and have loved being in this neighborhood.

We will be saying goodbye to this chapter, to this house, and looking forward to our new house and a new adventure.


"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3:1


* I'll post pictures of the new house soon! Woot Woot!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dear friendly motorist

Dear Motorist,
I just wanted you to know that I am sorry I didn't let you cut in front of me.  It would have been the nice Christian thing to do.  You see, I had a car full of boy!

Mr. Motorist I just endured a trip to the Walmart with my three boys.  It was in the Walmart that I had to keep myself under control. I mean, after all, it is a respectable place of business.  While in the Walmart I had several people give me looks that could only mean I was doing a GREAT job at being a parent.  You know, the unwanted glares of judgment from random strangers. 

 I had a few polite people that told me I had my hands full.  Yes, polite citizen, I do have my hands full, do you have an extra arm or two you would be willing to share?

One women told me that it will go really fast.  Well, that may be true.  I will look back at the precious sweet times and think, wow, they grow up fast.  But, I am pretty sure that I will not look back fondly on the screaming tantrum moments in the Walmart.  Just Saying!

 Another random women actually reached into my buggy and tickled my child.  Not sure why she thought that was a good idea, I mean she totally freaked little man out.  All I could do was laugh nervously and push the buggy in the opposite direction. 

To keep my boys occupied I gave them cowboy hats to play with while looking through the t shirts.  The boys knew I was not going to buy them.  But, thanks to an average Walmart shopper who politely said, "wow, you have to buy that for them.  They look great!" Ummm, no, I don't have to buy it.  They are $15.00 a piece!  Do the math.  Do you want to pitch in?

Mr. Motorist, I did not get everything on my list.  I ended up buying random stuff that we will never need.  For example, three American flags.  Two of which broke while still in the Walmart.

So, Mr. Motorist, by the time I saw you, I was DONE.  One boy was playing air guitar very loudly, another boy was playing drums on the dash board, and the third was singing 'LALALALA', over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.  When I saw you wanted to pull in front of me I was fearful.  Fearful that I might not make it through the green light.  If I didn't make it through the light, then I would have definitely lost all remaining sanity.  All I wanted to do was get home as quickly at possible.

So, to sum this up I should never go to the Walmart! It only causes trauma, and traffic violations. 

Sincerely, 
the crazy lady in the minivan

(p.s. It has been a long summer day!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

I am pursuing my husband

This week has been pretty awesome!  My husband and I have been dating.  Yes, with each other!
Our three boys are off at Camp Grandmaw and Grandpaw for the entire week.  They are living it up pretty big.  Candy, cookies, bike riding, water tubing, fishing, swimming having a big ole time!

So, that has left Andy and I in a pretty unusual spot.  We are HOME ALONE!  The first day was pretty weird.  The house was way too quiet, and way too clean, but then we got over it! 

This week we decided that we would have fun, do things we wouldn't normally do, embrace each other and have silly fun again.  

We were actually able to talk and finish a conversation!  We went to supper and a movie, we ate lunch together most days, we had a water gun fight.  We became friends again.  We were not just defined by our kids and being parents, but we got to be a couple completely into each other.  We held hands and kissed at supper, he noticed what I was wearing and called me pretty.  

I learned things about my husband.  I also learned things about myself.  I was more relaxed, more in tune with my husband and my feelings.  I was open to him and what he was feeling.  We were able to do what married folks do, and just be together.  I was able to think about my husband throughout the day, with kids I don't have a chance to think.  I thought about how much I love him, and how I could be a better wife to him, and what I could do for him.  It was really amazing when I realized how often I don't think about him.  The kids consume so much of my time and attention that I easily forget about my love.  All of the mommas out there know exactly how I feel.  We get bogged down with daily life that we are only in survival mode, not living mode.

This week my husband and I LIVED!  We lived for each other.  We lived with each other.  We LIVED!

I am excited that our week is not over yet.  Today we are going white water rafting, ziplining and finishing it off with food truck Friday! We have decided that even when our kids are out of the house we will still be the cool parents, who date each other. 






(Saturday we will be married 11 years!! Woo Who!! Go us!!)


"However, let each one of you love your wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband"
Ephesians 5:33

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Running the Race

I have to confess... I have been uninspired, preoccupied, not feeling it lately.  I haven't been able to find my words or make time to write and blog.  I think it has taken me a few months to wrap my mind around on what I have been thinking.  I have figured out that I have been missing some really important fuel in my life.  I have not been feeding myself, so how in the world was I supposed to pour out in my blog?

I had tried several times to sit down and try to write.  I wanted to write something profound, trying so hard to impress, trying to move readers hearts.  And the truth of the matter is, that I was doing just that, trying too hard.  I put way too much pressure on myself, and therefore I froze when I sat down to write.  I was empty.  I didn't even know where to start.

Then it dawned on me.  I had ALREADY started.  God was already using me.  He already had me running His race.  I was the one who chose not to trust, and continue on His path.    This has been a process for me.  A journey of learning about myself and learning where God has me.  The biggest thing I have learned is simply knowing and embracing where God has me right now, right in this moment.
There are a few things that I have learned about myself in this process.  

1) I need to be in God's word EVERYDAY!  I will admit that I struggle with this.  I might do really well for a while, and then out of nowhere life happens and BAM, I not reading daily.

2) I need to listen and trust my husband in my life.  He is the spiritual leader after all.  Now before you go all crazy on me, let me explain, I'm kind of all over the place.   I have ALOT of cray cray ideas.  "Let's move to Costa Rico and be missionaries; Lets adopt; Lets home school; I'm going to Africa; I'm not going to Africa; Wait, I wanna go to Africa again; I wanna open a nonprofit; I wanna help people".  I'm exhausted just writing it.   My husband is amazing!! I need to listen to him and value what he sees in my life.  After all, there has to be some calm to my chaos.

3) I need community.  I mean good, Godly women pouring into me and me into them.  Being in constant communication with women I trust.  Women who are walking with the Lord.  Women who are not judging me and my craziness, but are praying over me and helping me along the way.  Women that I can text at any moment and ask for prayer, or just recognize that I need prayer.  Women that will hold me accountable and ring me back in.

I am fixing my eyes upon the Lord!  I am reminded of a quote by Margaret Shepard, "Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith".  It's so true!  We have to be reminded of this because our life is constantly changing and moving.  As long as we keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord, we will preserve.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
Hebrews 12:1-2

"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart"
Hebrew 12:3






Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear GOD

I was in front of my computer.  Thinking, reading blogs, praying; trying to understand my path.

I know. I was listening.

Selfishness creeps in.  Self doubt is knocking on the door of my heart. Why does our human side have to come out so ugly.  Dying to flesh is a process.

I know.  Its ok.  You are my child.  I created you.

I know that being uncomfortable is sometimes a good thing.  A chance for us to grow closer to you,  closer to being more Christ centered.  Sometimes, I don't want to be uncomfortable.  I don't like to NOT know the ending.  I want my plan to be laid out.  Just tell me Lord what your plan for me is.  I will follow.

You have to be equipped.  I am equipping you.  Patience my child, I've got this.

Lord, why do some people get the big gigs?  I want to move mountains for you.  I want to change the world and tell everybody about you!

You are my child.  Be in the moment I have given you.  Allow me to guide you.

I am weak, Lord.

My child, I am strong.

I cry, and crumble into a million pieces.

I will make you whole.

I am ready to be all in!  All for you! Use me...

I have already used you.  I will continue to use you.  I made you.  I know your inner parts.  Have faith my child.

Faith...

Faith...

You've got this?!

I've always had it!!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yup! This totally happened!

This is a post to help you feel better about your parenting...

So, my husband was out of town last week.  When he is out of town I let the boys take turns sleeping in bed with me.  I had tucked Carter into my bed, got Walker into his bed and proceeded to check on Tyler. 

That's when I heard a POP! 
Walker came running out of his room with a terrified look on his face.  "What happened?" "What did you do?"

He's response was that the penny went POP!  Ummm...OK!  
That's when I knew something wasn't right.  When they admit to a little bit of the crime, it usually means they did something pretty crazy.

Walker decided that it was a good idea to pull his night light out of the socket just a little bit, THEN DROP A PENNY DOWN ON THE PRONGS!!!

Seriously!!!  How was this even a good idea.  How does one think to do something like this?
So I screamed.  I mean what else was I supposed to do, there were BURN marks on the outlet!!

So that freaked out the other two kids.  Then, I remember that I am the only adult in the house, so I need to get it together.  Breath...

All three boys ran and got under the covers in my bed.  I go to look at the fuse box.  I have no idea what to look for, but I have seen my husband open it up.  So that's what I did.  The fuse was actually switched to off, so I put it back on. 

When I made my way back up the stairs the lights in the whole house flicked.  That scared everybody all over again, even me!! 

Sooooo.... 
Tyler and Walker slept on the floor in my room, Carter was in my bed, and,  I woke up every hour and sniffed the air to make sure their was no smoke.





WHEW! I was so glad to have my Hubs back home!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Time I....

This past weekend I did something radical.  I did something that made me uncomfortable, even anxious. 

I gave up social media for the ENTIRE weekend.  No Facebook, no Instagram, not even Pinterest could be found.  

And you know what the crazy part is?  I survived!!  I didn't break out in hives, or cause my head to spin uncontrollably.  I merely just lived my life...

I did not have to check on who was at what movie, or whose toenail fell off, or whose kid got the stomach bug.  I lived. I breathed.  I ate.  I went about my normal day.
  
It was freeing.  I felt empowered by my own life.  My own circumstances engulfed me.  I am not saying that I was on FB all of the time, but anytime I had a down minute, I would check it out.  Instagram, I probably looked at more often.  Don't lie, you do it too.

 Some of us even have "friends" on social media that we have never actually had a real conversation with.  We are engulfed in their pictures and their comments and the life they allow us to see.  We forget to look at our  own life and the greatness that we have.  We don't have to post a really cool picture about it, or comment that #wearehavingsomuchfun. 

I will admit there were times this weekend that I caught myself trying to click the app.  I even got on Pinterest, until my husband pointed out that, that too is social media.  

So what did I do instead? We built forts, watched movies, rode bikes, went to a play.  And no one had to know.  I didn't post #chillinwithmyhomies, or #threesillyboys. We had actual  conversations with each other.  It was great!




Don't get me wrong, I do not think that social media is bad.  Afterall I do have this little blog.  I do think that it can interfere with our own personal lives.  I just felt it was time for me to take a step back for a little while.  We used to be media free (TV included) twice a week.  It is a good check.  A time to reflect and be with the people you are with. (As I write this, I think it might be a good idea for my family to do again. p.s. don't tell the boys, they take it kind of hard).

So Lent is starting tomorrow.  And I have decided that part of my Lent experience is giving up social media every weekend.  Who knows, it may lead to more than just the weekend.  

Its time to get reconnected with our families and not the ones on our screens.  Why don't you join me?
#analogweekend 
I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Can you swallow a pocket knife?

My Uncle Bill could do the most amazing trick. All of us kids could be mesmerized for hours. He would sit in an old wooden folding chair while my cousins and I would gather at his feet.  

Y'all, he could swallow his pocket knife!

I can't make this stuff up...  He would sit in his chair and in a grand, dramatic way he would choke down his pocket knife.  Us kids, would just stare at him, thinking he would just die, but instead he would cough, and hack, and up would come the pocket knife.

It was the coolest thing!  We would just watch and look at him in amazement.  The grown ups would stand around and chuckle at how the kids were so entranced by Uncle Bill.  It was magical.

It wasn't until I was a teenager that I figured out the he didn't actually swallow the pocket knife.  Actually if I'm totally honest, I think my older brother had to explain it to me (I know, Duh)

I'll admit it, it was kind of a let down.  I thought, why would he trick us, why would he let us on to believe he could do something so amazing?

But you know what...  He COULD do something amazing!  He was a cool great uncle.  We loved hanging out with him, and hearing his stories, and watching him do his trick.  He made us laugh, he kept us entertained (which was kind of a miracle).  We learned from him.  I have great memories of him and his cool trick.  I wanted to hang out there.  Truth be told, his wife Aunt Mary Helen, was a great cook too.  It was the perfect combination!

Isn't God kind of like this.  We go through really hard times, and wonder, why.  We get caught up in the let down of the moment that we find it hard to see the growth in the experience.  We grow so much during the hard times.  It's not a trick or a quickness of hands, its life.  Life at its best.  Life.  Learning.  Lessons.  

Look back at your life and pray over your hard times.  What lessons can you learn?  What friendships were formed out of those times?  What cool trick can you do because of it?

Can you swallow a pocket knife?

Disclaimer: No one was hurt in the making of this post... Do not try this at home, professionals only.





Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Be still

Be still....

Let me paint a picture for you.  Three boys. The seven year old is practicing guitar, the 5 year old is playing monster trucks, and the 4 year old is pushing the loudest fire truck you have ever heard.  Can you hear it. It is neither still nor quiet nor serene at my house.  Usually after about 20 minutes a fight will break out.

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God

How in the world can I be still?  How in the world am I supposed to hear God's still small voice?  The noise level around me is so loud... so, so, so loud....

Did you know that God wants to talk to us.  He wants so desperately to have a relationship with us. A relationship with open communication.

He speaks to each of us.

The Lord speaks to me in different ways.  
For example, just today I was suppose to go to Holy Yoga, instead I wasn't feeling good so I drove home.  On my way home I saw a lady walking along the side of the road.  There is no sidewalk, and the shoulder of the road is narrow.  Its a winding country road.  I drove past her.  God tugged on me.  I felt compassion, and I immediately turned around.  It was a small pull from Jesus.  I drove her to her work, just about a mile up the road, but the cool part is I was able to make a connection with her, and hopefully help her again.  A simple ride a few miles up the road.  God is good.

When I felt the Holy Spirit urge me to go to Peru for the first time was an experience!  I was sitting in church, and my heart started beating faster, my palms got sweaty, I was nervous, anxious and a bit nauseous.  Yup! That was God urging me to sign up for the trip. So, I obeyed Him and I will forever be changed.

God has also laid certain things on my heart that I just can't shake.  Themes start to form around words, or situations.  And all of a sudden I have a realization I have to act.  Starting this blog, and my speaking ministry is an example.  

Even though my everyday is loud, crazy and unpredictable, God still speaks.  I am sure that I have not listened every time, and I have missed opportunities.  I have probably missed times to share the Gospel or help someone in need.  But the best part, is that God still tries.  He has not given up on me.  He still wants me to do His work, no matter what that looks like.  

I just try everyday to put myself out there to be available for Gods work.  I don't care how that looks, or what I am doing.  It doesn't matter how big or small it is, just as long as I am obedient.  It could be teaching my 5 year old how to manage his feelings, or passing out blankets to those in need.  

Listen to God.  Allow Him to change your day, and radically serve Him!


Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 46:10


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow! Snow! And more Snow!

We live in North Carolina.  I have lived here my whole entire life and it is very, very rare that we get alot of snow.  In fact we are made fun of because we shut down if we get a few inches.  Milk and bread are complete necessities, and are often sold out at the stores during these drastic snow storms.

Well, this winter, we have gotten SNOW! And alot of it.  Y'all, like, ALOT!


This is like 15 feet in southern measurement!


Carter loved picking up chunks of ice...Don't eat yellow snow!


Sometimes you just gotta lay down!


Carter kept throwing Walker down and wrestling. Walker didn't care.


Tyler made about a bazillion snow balls.

I don't think Walker could see...it didn't seem to bother him!

The Sled master!

The sled was bigger than he was.


I am glad that it snowed and the kiddos got to play in huge amounts of it.  But I am ready for my flip flops and humidity.  Enjoyed it while it as here, but glad to see it go.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Fives on Friday...Weird Foods I've eaten

My husband and first born, are in Florida on a boar hunt.  I thought it would be fun to list five weird foods that I have eaten....

1) Squirrel
To some of you this is totally normal, for others you are completely grossed out.  When I was a little tom girl growing up on the farm, I would go squirrel hunting with my brother and dad.  We would have squirrel and gravy with homemade biscuits for Sunday supper.  Yummo!!!

2) Deer
First off let me state that it is deer meat.  We do not call it venison.  Again, I would go deer hunting with my daddy, and yes I have killed my own deer.  And yes, I have gotten the blood wiped on my face, (its a tradition for us wood people)... And... I just lost some readers.

3) Guinea pig
I am not talking about your pet Fifi.  I have been to Peru twice, Cuy, as the locals call it is a common thing on every Peruvian menu.  Its really good, it tastes a lot like pork.  The villagers raise cuy.   They would sometimes give it to us as a thank you for coming to their village.  

4) Ethiopian Bread
I know this doesn't sound exotic or eccentric, but have you tried it...  Its grey, kind of wet,  and spongy.  I think it is an acquired taste, which I have yet to acquire.

5) Cow heart
This is also a  delicacy in Peru.  I must admit this was not one of my favorite things.  But, when in a foreign country, you must eat like the locals.
  
BONUS-  Bear, Elk, Snapping Turtle, Rabbit, pretty much any wild game meat-  Almost every year my dad's hunt club has  a Critter Cooking.  Its pretty much anything that you have killed over the year, you cook it up and everybody digs in.  It is also a fundraiser, its a win win!


 Food is only weird if you let it be. "Weird" food is all about perspective.   Let me know what weird things you have eaten.  I would love to know, maybe I need to try something new.  Maybe you need to try something new.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Waiting...


Are you waiting?  Do you feel like you are in limbo?  Do you feel like something awesome is yet to come?

I have often felt like I was waiting for something really awesome to happen.  Like Publishers Clearing House to show up at my door with a multi bazillion dollar check, and my life would be infinitely changed.  Or possibly waiting to be "discovered" (discovered, for what I have no idea).

There are seasons in my life that I feel I have been created for so much more.  I have been made for greatness.  Aren’t we all created for so much more?  Aren’t we all created for God's greatness?  Aren’t we all made in His Holy likeness?  Should we all be waiting?

 Just in my circle, several people are in the waiting room of life.   My mom is currently waiting on a prosthetic leg  because of a recent amputation.  I have some sweet friends who are currently waiting on holding their precious boy from China.  Another friend is waiting on a home to be built.  Another is waiting for a possible move.  My family is currently waiting on answers for an upcoming life change.  Aren’t we all waiting?

Maybe we are waiting for what will happen next.  Maybe the season you are currently in is really rough, and you are waiting for the clouds to clear.  Maybe you are waiting for signs from God about an upcoming decision.  

A lot of times with waiting comes worry.  The unknown is scary.  So we, in our little human brain replay unknown scenarios as to what might happen.  Recently my husband and I toyed with the idea of moving.  I mentally packed, unpacked, painted, decorated, rearranged and lived in three different houses.  Why?  Emotions, planning, eagerness, stupidity.  Whatever you want to call, it was a waste of my time.  I wasted Godly moments to mentally plan an event that did not even happen.  If only I waited for God to fully speak to my heart, I would not have wasted precious God time.  

Waiting is hard, it can be painful, and it is exhausting.  We are creatures of action.  We want to live fast, act fast and be fast.  Who wants to wait around?  After all, look at our culture of fast food, drive thru’s and 30 minutes or less.  We want it hot, fresh and NOW! No matter what it is.  Quick conveniences make up our world.  

Think about when you are driving.  I want you to be honest.  How many of you constantly check your phone at a red light?  Who checks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email?  You know you do, don’t lie.  We don't know how to wait.  Even in the car!

Waiting makes us uncomfortable.  It makes us think about our decisions.  
Look back in the Bible,
How long did the people of Israel have to wait before they made it to the Promised Land?  How long did Sarah have to wait before she bore a child?  How long did Jesus have to wait before he could proclaim the greatness of the Lord?

Waiting is biblical.  Waiting grows us; it makes us stronger in our faith.  Trusting God to make decisions for us and waiting for Him.  Dependence on our Heavenly Father is grown out of waiting.  

Waiting builds up our spiritual WEIGHT.  When we are forced to wait, God builds our character.  He grows and strengthens us so that we can handle any other waits that come our way.  Our walk with Him grows deeper, and stronger, and stretches us to reach wholeheartedly towards Him.

We should think about our waiting period as a blessing.  A time that we can rely on what God is doing in our lives.  Waiting is a gift that allows us to grow in our relationship with Jesus.  It is still hard, and uncomfortable, and makes life a little stressful.   But the reward is just so Great!


Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles: they shall run and not grow weary.

Psalm 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!