Monday, November 26, 2012

let's think a little...

I'm just gonna be honest with you.  I don't like to think.  There was a time in my life when I did.  I would pride myself on all my creative and intellectual thoughts.  But now, as a busy wife and mom, I don't think, I just do.  I don't have time to think.  I don't have energy to think.

But I'm realizing that thinking is not something I can let go of.  1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action;" Ugh.  I think He means I need to think.

I was doing a Bible Study a while back and it had me read a few verses, and then it asked me a few questions about those verses, and that was it.  I searched through the curriculum looking for more.  You know, the part of the Bible Study where the author tells me what I just read in the Bible, and explains it to me, with lots of great Christian fluff and one liners thrown in there to make me feel good.  But it wasn't there.  What?!?  They actually wanted me to sit there and think about the words I read in the Bible?  No thank you.  I quit the Bible Study.

But this morning, I sat down to read James.  I read the first verse, "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ..."  My brain had a thought.  I almost skipped over it, not wanting to engage, but I stopped, and prepared my mind for action.

James.  A SERVANT.  Of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.  What does it mean to be a servant?  Can that be said about me?  A servant is someone whose job is to serve their master.  They do everything that they are told to do.  And I'd even go as far to say that a good servant is someone who doesn't wait to be told what to do, but who looks around for things that need to be done and they just do it.  They take care of it.  They want to please their master.  Their every thought and action is based on what their master would want them to do.

Yes, I'd say I'm a servant.  But...who am I serving?  Who do I want to please?  Who is my every thought and action based on?

Me.  My kids.  My husband.

When my every thought and action is not engaged in the work that my Master has for me, I am not serving Him.  When I am not actively looking around for things to do to serve Him, I am not a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to be a servant today.  Not to myself.  Not to my family.  But to God.  The Lord Jesus Christ.

Think on THAT.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


On the first Wednesday of every month, at noon, they test the storm warning sirens.  I don't know if this is something they do everywhere, or just in my town, but that's what they do.  I didn't know this until I became a stay at home mom.  Before I was always gone, always busy.  But then as I sat at home, and heard the siren, on a beautiful warm day, I learned about the tests.

It's always alarming the first time you realize what's going on.  Usually those sirens are heard in the midst of a storm.  It's the dreaded siren.  Sometimes storms can be bad, but when you hear the siren, you know it's bad.  One day I was at Walmart on the day they were testing the sirens.  And it happened to be a rainy, dreary day.  It was so funny to me to watch everyone in the parking lot freak out as the sirens went off.  I just chuckled to myself and kept my little secret that it was just the monthly test.

Today, I heard the siren for the first time in a long time.  I always notice it.  But for the past few months, I haven't.  My life has felt a little something like chaos the past few months.  There has not been any catastrophic event in my family or anything that has caused this, but the weight of normal life has just weighed me down.  So much so, that I haven't even noticed the blaring sirens down the road.

And that made me stop and think, "If I've missed that, how much more of the small things in life have I missed out on?"

I have felt like I've been living in a fog the past few months and for some reason, the past few days, it feels like the fog has lifted.  I don't know if I'm dealing with medical issues, or spiritual issues, or what, but I'm glad to have a brief reprieve.

I have been clinging to the promises of Psalm 3:

"O LORD, how many are my foes!  
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
'God will not deliver him.'
But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answer me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn against me on every side.
Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

God has been teaching me so much through this time, as hard as it has been.  Maybe that's why He needed me to go through this.  I can't tell you how many people I have cried to. [and not just a few tears, I mean that ugly, nasty cry.] But I am learning.

I will probably blog more about specific things I am learning, as this would be a very long post if I included everything now.  But for now, I think I am just going to focus on being present and being aware of the things around me.  Because I think I'll be blessed by more than just some silly storm sirens.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I miss writing.  Writing brings me joy and I hate that I've been missing out on it.  For me, writing is an overflow of my soul.  But the reality is that in this season of my life, my soul has been empty.  There is nothing to overflow.  So I stay silent.  And I soak in.  And I learn.

Another reality?  I'm at Starbucks, and my daughter pooped, and I somehow got out of the house without any extra diapers.  But she fell asleep.  So I sit here, in Starbucks, with poop girl, wondering why no one wants to sit around me...  Now THAT is reality.

Friday, September 7, 2012


[I'm joining in on Five Minute Friday!  Thanks to Emily for introducing me to this, because I have indeed had quite a bit of writer's block lately.  The prompt is graceful.  And in 5 minutes, with no over thinking, and no editing, here's what came out...]

So many times when we hear the word graceful, we think of beauty, or the way someone presents themselves.  But when you really take time to think about that word, it goes much deeper than the outer appearance.

I have been learning so much about grace lately.  Parenting is hard.  There are so many decisions.  And it seems as soon as you make one, it opens up a box of a million other decisions to make.

But one decision I have made is to be graceful in my parenting.  Full of grace.  Leeland may only be 2, but I  do not think it is too soon to teach him about the graceful God that loves us and cares for us.

I looked up the definition of grace one time and this is what Webster's dictionary said: "The freely given, unmerited love and favor of Jesus Christ."  Wow.  That definition has always stuck with me.

Freely given.


There is nothing we could do to deserve the love and favor of Jesus.  But He gives it to us anyways.

I love love love Leeland.  And a lot of times he is so much fun, and I love being around him.  But he is 2.  He has a temper.  And there are some days that all I want is to get away.  To sit at Starbucks and sip coffee in silence.  Heck, I'd even settle for getting to go to the bathroom alone.

Yet, I love him and I favor him anyways.  Even though he has done nothing to merit that.  I give it to him freely. Because that is what Jesus does for me, and that's what a graceful mama does.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

there had to be a change

I know that most of my posts are all spiritual and encouraging, but I just can't do that all of the time.  I put a lot of pressure on myself for these posts to be all Godly and inspiring and whatnot, and sometimes I just don't have it in me!  So, it's not always going to be that way.  I'm telling you this more for my sake than yours, because I know you probably don't care.  But now I'm taking that pressure off of myself.  Whew, glad that cat's out of the bag!

So I'm doing a little experiment.  We are at a point in our lives where we REALLY need to limit our spending.  We keep trying and trying to whittle it down but nothing seems to be working, so I had to do something drastic.  I tracked every single dollar we spent for about two weeks.  I was going to track it for the whole month of August, but after the first 2 weeks, it was sickening how much money we had spent.  So I stopped.

But while I was tracking, there was one thing I noticed.  We spent a lot of money on food.  I would spend a pretty good amount of money on groceries every week, and then we were still going out to eat a few times a week, which adds up to a lot.  There was one day when I was going to try to be good and fugal and make lunches for all of us as we were out around town.  But I pulled out the loaf of bread (which was about 3/4 full) and it was moldy.  So we went to chick-fil-a instead.  And spent $17.  Yuck.

$17 might not be a lot to most people but when you are trying to save and when you are conscious of your spending, $17 that you weren't planning on spending is A LOT.  And we won't even talk about the loaf of bread (and other groceries) that I paid good money for and then threw out because we didn't eat it. (because we were going out)

So I decided to break the habit.  If you had asked me, I would have said that our family didn't eat out much.  But we did.  It was just habit.
It was also a treat.  Oh, we had a good day?  Let's eat chick-fil-a.
It was also therapy.  Oh, we had a bad day?  Let's eat chick-fil-a.
It was also socialization.  Oh, you wanna get together with me?  Let's meet at chick-fil-a!  (are we noticing a trend here?  I promise I do eat at other restaurants sometimes...)
And it was even many more things.

So I decided that for the whole month of September, I'm not going to eat out.  I am not going to spend a dime at a restaurant.  That even includes Starbucks or running through the drive-thru just to get a coke.  (yikes!)  In fact, I even started before September.

It has been 10 days and I have already had so many revelations!  Yes, we have been saving money.  I am spending about the same amount at the grocery store, yet not spending the money at restaurants.  We could be saving several hundred dollars a month.  But also, I feel a lot better!  I can't tell you how many times I've gone through a drive-thru and then called Weston and said, "Fast food makes me feel yucky."  Yet I would do it again two days later.  After 10 days of no fast food, I just feel better!  And I think I'm even skinnier :)

I'm also more excited about cooking.  I used to not care about cooking.  I'm not a bad cook but I would just make mediocre meals just to get food on the table.  If we wanted really good food, we would go out to eat.  But I realized, why can't I make really good food in my own kitchen??  I know this may not be a revelation to some, but it was to me.  So I'm on a quest.  I've already tried imitation chick-fil-a nuggets, but my main goal is to make really good tex-mex!  I'm starting with salsa, pico, and guacamole and will be trying a new fajita recipe tomorrow.  There have been times that I've made food, and it was not good, but I kept the recipe and made it again just because it was easy.  Why would anyone do that to themselves and their family??  I'm a doofus.  So from now on, I'm throwing bad recipes out, and tweaking good recipes to make them better!  If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.

We are also dealing with some health issues in our household so we are making a transition to lots more  fruits and vegetables and way less processed food.  I'm considering the transition to a whole foods diet. I am about to attempt to make my own bread (what??!) and even looked up a recipe to make homemade goldfish crackers.  We are convinced that our bodies will feel better if we put better things in them.  I've already gotten a small taste of that with one small change in 10 short days.  [small taste- see what I did there?  sooo punny....]

Ya'll, I have read all those blogs about people that eat like this and it was always SO NOT ME.  I thought those people were crazy and there was NO WAY I could eat like that. But I'm taking baby steps and have actually been enjoying the journey so far.  These are big changes for us and I'm hoping that this won't be just a one month trial run, but it will be a lifestyle change. [although I'm pretty sure I'm never going to make my own kefir.  whatever the heck that is!]

For those of you that are already so great about not going out to eat all the time, and cooking great food at home.  Don't judge me!  :)  I know you probably think I'm crazy.  I just assumed that's how everybody else lived too...??  But I know that's not the case.

And if you want to get together with me, don't invite me out to eat. :)  You can come to my house.  We can drink coffee brewed in my coffee pot, or experiment with the homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe I found.  Oh, and I won't charge you $5 for your cup of coffee ;)

Friday, August 3, 2012

the journey

I love seeing people's journeys.  I love walking with them on their journeys.  I love the stories that come out of it all.  We can learn so much about who God is and what He does when we see the journeys and hear the stories.

I feel the need to share a little bit of my journey.  For weeks and weeks now, I've wanted to get back into writing blogs.  I've made a list of blog topics that have been on my mind.  I've even started a blog or two, but the words just never seem to come.  And I think it's because I just need to share my journey with you.  Because that's what this blog has always been.

If I had to sum up this season of my life in one word, it would be renewal.  I'm in a time where the Lord is teaching me so many new things.  I've been given lots of different opportunities, I'm taking on new responsibilities, and as they pile on, I am having to trust the Lord more and more.

It's kind of one of those times when I feel like the world is going on around me, business as usual, and I'm just kind of on the outside, looking at it all, figuring out where I fit in, and how God wants to use me. Sometimes I wish I really could just step back, unplug, and observe, but as a mother of two very active children, that's just not an option.  I've gotta keep going, gotta keep moving, no matter what.  So I'm living in this dichotomy of wanting to sit, think, and reflect, but having to just do without thinking.  And I'm learning that sometimes that's the way God wants it.  Sometimes he wants us simply to obey.

I'm learning that things will look different through this season.  My time with the Lord will look different.  My relationship with my husband will look different.  My community with friends and family will look different.  I can't do it all.  I can't please everyone.  There are some things that I just have to let go.  And that's ok.

Although this may sound cheesy, and it's been said SO MANY TIMES before, I am learning that there really is no time like the present.  With Facebook and Pinterest so prevalent, there were so many things that I wanted to do.  It seemed I was always looking outside, looking to other people for ideas about how to be the best wife and mom.  It seemed I always needed to find more things to teach my kids, more fun crafts to do, more, more, more.  And then I realized the beauty of simplicity.  The art of simplicity.  The joy of simplicity.  Instead of looking outward and dreaming, I've started looking into the eyes of those right in front of me and doing.

So that's where I am.  I don't have any great biblical illustrations or wise words of encouragement, but I have my journey.  Walk with me.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I know, I know... New blog, out of nowhere, after a long stint of silence. I'm accepting the fact that I'm an inconsistent blogger. You should too :)

I decided to squeeze in a few minutes of blog reading in this morning and was scrolling along, picking and choosing which blogs I wanted to spend my precious time reading. I came across this blog, Waiting on God, and was about to scroll right past it. I thought, "I'm not waiting on God for anything. I don't need that." But then I had the thought that any encouraging word from the Lord would be good right now, as I'm going through a tough time. So I read it. And it was EXACTLY what I needed.

Let me give you a little background. [This is one of those stories that is hard to tell because you know us moms, we try to be perfect. We don't want the world to know that our kids aren't perfect. And we don't want the world to know that we don't always know how to handle them. But I'm just gonna be a little honest and a little vulnerable here...] Most of you already know this but, I have an 18 month old (Leeland), and I just had another baby (Kinsley) last week. Even before I had Kinsley, Leeland was already starting to go through a tough stage. He really is a sweet boy but he has started hitting, pinching, and biting. He doesn't do it out of anger most of the time, he just does it. I don't know why and we have been trying everything we can to get him to stop, without any success.

And then baby Kinsley came into the picture and things just escalated. When I'm home by myself with just the two babies, Leeland constantly just screams and cries. He hits Kinsely, he pinches her, and he scratches her. And a few days ago, while throwing a little tantrum, he decided to throw the tv our plasma tv... So needless to say, we are now a tv free family! Not by choice, but because my toddler busted our tv beyond repair.

That was the end of the rope for me. But you wanna know the craziest part? I was a little annoyed with God about this. I had been asking friends and family for advice on dealing with him, but that morning (the morning of the major breakdown and tv incident), I sat down and talked to God about it. I realized that He should have been the first person I turned to in all of this! I prayed and prayed about it. I gave it over to God. I asked God to calm Leeland. I asked God to give me wisdom in dealing with him. I was feeling pretty good and confident after that little Jesus time, knowing that He would make everything better. And then what happened? WORST. DAY. EVER!

I was crying to my mom about it later that night and she said that maybe God just wanted to teach me something. And I agreed, but I was still a little annoyed.

And then I read this blog. I didn't think I was "waiting on God" for anything but as I started reading, I realized I am. I am waiting for Him to answer my prayer. I am waiting for that time where my house will be a little bit more calm. I am waiting for the day when Leeland will not hit. I am waiting for the day when he will be able to tolerate those moments when I need to take care of Kinsley. My God is the great provider and He will answer my prayer. But God does not promise instant gratification. Although that may be what I am used to, that is not His way.

A day or two after Kinsley was born, I read this blog (By the way, if you're a mom, this is a MUST READ. Even if you're not a mom, it's good.), and these words have been my comfort ever since:
"I figure God is big enough to give me just what I need for each day. Maybe it's not as much as I would like or as much as I think I need, but I have to believe that it's sufficient for the moment. He promises that, you know?"

So I cling to those words, and this verse:
"And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see.Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time." Habakkuk 2:2-3

The waiting is hard. But I will endure because my God is good. He is teaching me and molding me. And the waiting will end- in God's time, not mine :)