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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Currently: What I'm Wearing and Doing This Fine Spring


Spring has finally made it's way here. Although I'm not sure how long it's going to last. My fingers are crossed that it will continue and I can finally get comfortable. The weird thing about me is I love when it starts cooling down after summer. I love sweaters and boots and crisp leaves and cool air. But after winter. Our long drawn out winter, I am beyond done. I am ready for sandals and tanks and skirts.  That's right, skirts and dresses are generally my choice throughout the spring and summer. I feel much more at home in a skirt and sandals any day than shorts. Especially as I get older. Shorts are not my friend as age creeps up on me.

I thought since I get to wear new-ish clothes that I'd share a few spring looks on the blog this week. I have sort of an announcement to make, that I wrote up weeks ago and have been waiting for the right time. I think probably on Friday or Monday. But for now, here are a few things that are current to me.



Eating: I just ate a bowl of oatmeal. This morning I had strawberries and an orange. I snuck in a donut in our cafe at church. But I don't think anyone saw. We are trying to eat clean and healthy around here lately. I've had a few setbacks. It's not making hubby happy. I'm pretty sure he looks down upon me. The guilt is overwhelming.

Listening to: Well I just finish making a message opener for our youth ministry service this week. So I was trying to find a song and started listening to PLUMB. I've been listening to her for close to twenty years, I think. Her lyrics are always so honest and speak to me. I posted a heart wrenching song by her earlier this week here.

Reading: I have been doing a lot more reading and a lot less blogging lately. And I'm glad. I just whipped through two books this past week and am now reading a book called "Escaping The Devils Bedroom" by Dawn Herzog. It's about women who have come from a background of human trafficking or sexual exploitation.  I'm also picking up with "Catching Fire." I know. Am I behind or what? I started reading through about two chapters over a year ago after I read the Hunger Games and I don't know what happened. Kids, I think. So, here we go again...


Loving: Ok. I'm loving the back of this tank top I'm wearing. I totally dig it. What I'm not loving is the obvious need for some back and arm exercises and possibly the lack of tattoo?

Hating: Eczema. I mentioned this last week, but if you could see underneath that skirt and tank (haha) you would see legs and back and tummy covered in a rash. I went to the doctor this week and it's starting to clear up, thanks (no thanks) to steroids. I'm not a fan of using steroids or meds in general lately to cure myself. Especially after we have been studying up on food and how it affects your body, good and bad. 
But it's a quick fix to a painful process. Oh so painful.

Annoyed With: People who take other people for granted.  People who say mean things, just to make someone sad. People who want to hurt people they love, because who knows why? Especially because I know deep inside, at least I can only hope that they wouldn't want the people they love to be in pain. And in the end, they are only hurting themselves, because they will lose the people that mean the most to them and that loved them so much.

 Wishing for: Dare I say? A baby boy... Yes. I dare.


Praying for: I'm always praying for peace and grace to carry me through my day. I wake up and commit my day to the Lord. I'm always praying for opportunity to be used by God, whether it's with a stranger or my children or my sisters. I always want to be open to it no matter who or what. I'm always praying for my family and circumstances I know they may be facing. And I'm always praying for wisdom and guidance in the decisions I make. These are daily prayers for me. Of course as times and seasons come upon us, our nation, our world, our church, our family... I pray for that as well.

Editing: Photos from an impromptu "before church" photoshoot this week. Should be posted tomorrow or the day after.

Thankful for: Honestly, I'm thankful that my life is calm. In the sense of no drama. When drama knocks on my door, I politely say "no thanks" and move on. I've had enough drama for one lifetime I think.

Working on: Flyers up the wazoo. Banners, flyers, graphics. Always. I volunteer doing web and facebook updates for the church my dad pastors. So they are always asking me to make something. And I do. Usually with a willing heart ;) Sometimes I need an attitude check. Only sometimes.


Missing: New music. Any music. I need more music. Any suggestions would be great. I love folksy stuff. I love eclectic. I love worship. I love jazzzy. I even love a little bit country. I just don't make my way to purchase anything. And I haven't in years. I love Swell Season and The Civil Wars and Amy Winehouse. I love Cranberries and Norah Jones and Gungor. And yes, I love love love Toby Keith. Someone get me some new music.

Devotions: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. And She Reads Truth as we make our way through Hosea. It's nice to finally read some of these books of the Bible I never read (ashamedly).

Looking at: A cute little blond girl, who is scolding me that I'm taking too long. I guess that's my cue.




Monday, April 29, 2013

Entertaining Kids Without A Crutch



I could have easily just put a few adorable photos of my kids up and left it at that today. I'm not the gabbiest girl on the block lately. But let me tell you what's been going on here. For the last 5 days, we have not had the internet. Our server is having issues and after checking to make sure we paid our bill (which we did), they sent us a new router and it still didn't work. Then they promised to come fix it Saturday and they never showed, so I'm sitting here on Sunday afternoon hooked up to Jeff's phone which we are using as a hot spot. We use a different phone company than our internet server (thank God) and he is grandfathered in to an unlimited data package (thank God).  But unless Jeff doesn't need or want his phone and happens to be around, we have no internet. Hopefully today they come.

Let's face it! In the culture we live in, as parents, the internet and television has become a crutch for us. It's our "keep the kids busy" safety net and way of escape.  When you get used to it; the kids wanting to play online or go on Netflix or theWii, it can get a little very uncomfortable if it's gone because suddenly they are all bored out of their mind and suddenly have to find something mischievous to do to entertain themselves.  The funny thing is,  I've been thinking over this a lot lately, changing the way we live to the way things used to be, like in the "olden" days. You know before a grocery store full of processed foods, before fast food,  before television, before the internet... What did people do? What did people eat? And very honestly, we have been working on this at home. Changing bad habits. I've been working on it. Being more natural with the way I live.  Which is mainly the reason I haven't been around as much.  The less and less I go online, the less and less I am interested in going online, The less and less I eat junk, the less and less I am interested in eating  junk.
It's a good feeling.


However, it's one thing to decide to make changes. It's quite another to have it all ripped away from you without warning. Womp Womp.  We have had some of the most ridiculous fights between the kids this past weekend. I'm not exaggerating  when I say that Saturday morning I woke up (because of) and immediately dealt with an hour long screaming fight over a mighty bean. Not mighty beans plural, which we have. It was one specific mighty bean, a robot one. And not just any robot one. A red robot mighty bean. If you don't know what it is, google it and you will realize how ridiculous this is. Out of breath and out of a voice from yelling, I finally forced the girls into the bathtub and made Wes give Jada the robot (it was only fair, he had like 8 others). It's sort of a blur, but what I remember is I kept yelling "We are family! That's what we do! We share!" And Wes was hunched around the corner outside of the bathroom like crouching tiger, hidden dragon ready to pounce on her and steal it back when I wasn't looking. This was a serious brawl, my friends.
I was close to losing my mind.  
Saturday night, I forced Jeff to take Wesley to a movie, just to get him out of the house and away from Jada.  And Friday Night, Jeff took Jada out while I had a date with Wesley. This is what we have to do. Split them- the older kids. Usually the internet or Netflix will preoccupy one of them so the fights are kept to a minimum, but now we have to keep them separated in order to maintain our sanity.   Sure I love the idea of doing things together as a family. It's just is no fun usually.  Jada loves to tick Wesley off.  It's a sport to her. She really loves it when he gets mad and chases her around the house. I'm serious.  She loves it. It's a power play for her.
Yes, she is 'one of those.' You know the type. She provokes it and she laughs as he starts screaming and running after her threatening to punch her. And then it happens. He punches her or chokes her or throws a remote control at her eye.  And then I have to discipline him, even though I know it was her fault. She has no problem playing the role of the instigator and in the end, the victim.  And she laughs as he gets disciplined.
I look over at her with tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face. Do you know anyone like this?
It's exhausting. I'm wiped out. This momma is tired.



I always pull out the big guns with my kids. You know the "When I was a kid, we played outside. We didn't even have the internet. The first time I saw a computer was in high school and I played Oregon Trail."
You know the tough stuff that parents say that their kids don't care about... Yeah, that's right. I say it.



Tell me. How do you keep your kids entertained without the "crutch?"


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just Keep Breathing...

For those of you who are weak, who are tired and who need strength to just keep breathing...
You're not alone.



Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
'Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out "God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?
Oh I need you God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out "God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?
Oh I need you God, I need you now.

Though I walk, Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out "God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?
Oh I need you. God, I need you now.

I need you now, Oh I need you, God, I need you now.
I need you now. I need you now

Lyrics and Music by PLUMB

 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Truth Is...


The truth is
sometimes life has to be on purpose
sure, we can just live and breath and speak
letting the dishes pile up on the counter
letting the dog go unbathed
letting the voice mail go unchecked
all these things I do weekly
scratch that, daily
I let things go
important things slide right past my day
like visits to dentist
or undone homework
or eczema that has infested my entire body
I think i wake up thinking
that if I pretend it's not there, somehow
it will go away on it's own
Ok, the truth is
the eczema I can't pretend
My skin literally crunches when I walk
and I'd like to pretend I'm not in pain
physical, actual pain
but I am
The truth is somedays when I manage to 
schedule a few long overdue appointments
read a few chapters from a book
 and sweep the floor
all in the same day
I feel like superwoman
and I tell myself to grow up
be an adult
The truth is, 
that little girl in the photo
Sometimes I have to be intentional with her
because she's the middle child
not my baby, not my first born
she got stuck in the middle
and I have to remind myself
and remind her
how much I love her
how happy she makes me
and how much her personality makes me laugh
and at night when the other two kids want me to rub their back,
tickle their feet 
and they shower me with kisses
and she simply rolls over with no requests of me
after saying "I love you Mommy"
It's then that I go in for the snuggle
I have to do it on purpose
So that she never forgets how much I love her
and need her
And the truth is 
she is my mini-me
she will go to bed silently
but the smile on her face
says more than any words ever could
I remember then how much my self sufficient
comedic middle child
needs me too.

linked up with my dear friend brooke at covered in grace

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Sad Parts and The Happy Parts


Last night I started doing a Veggietale Devotional with my kids. Don't ask me why I hadn't started one earlier with my oldest child being nine years old, but better late than never right?  I can't even begin to tell you how excited they were as we discussed what talents we each think we have and each of us went around naming what we think is  special about everyone is our family. They absolutely loved the time we all had together just sitting in the living room and talking about how God made each of us with a purpose. After that, myself and my two girls watched Incredible Journey. Both of them were crying throughout the whole movie, saying the "music makes me cry." I don't think they got the concept that movies have lows and highs, sad parts and happy parts, generally ending up with a high.  So they blamed it on the music. Either way it was a night that I want to repeat over and over again. It made my heart smile.
Thinking over the things that really make me happy are those intimate precious moments with my family, date nights with my hubby when we try new places to eat and go, girls nights with all my friends where we laugh and tell stories, hanging out with my mom or sisters shopping and talking, and of course being with my entire family at birthday parties or holidays. Every time I find myself in one of my "happy parts" it involves people. Not things, not money, just people. People that I love so crazy much.  But you know what? Whenever I find myself in a 'sad part' it involves those very same people. The people I love. Because people, well they're  people. People disappoint and let us down. We disappoint and let them down. Life can be sort of rollercoaster-ishy because of this. If our hubby snaps at us because he had a bad day, we get low. If our kids get sent to the principals office, we get low. If our friends do stuff without us, we get low. It seems as if we place all our trust and hope in other people to keep us happy.  The problem with is that is not their job, to keep us smiling all the time. Essentially nobody owes it to us to make sure that we stay in a happy part, not even the people we love.


This is where our problem lies, making humanity the source of our joy.  Our happiness and hope and peace  is only guaranteed when our source is Jesus. He is the supplier of every good thing in life, even those friends and family that you cherish so much.  There is nothing that we have that is good or great or wonderful that did not come from him. This is something I have been learning this past year. Obviously I still struggle with that sort of narcissistic  notion that somebody on planet earth surely wants to grant my every wish, but as time goes by and these challenges, these sudden lows come, relying on Jesus for my joy keeps me at peace even when the world seems to be crashing all around me. Sometimes even the smallest things, like a fight with a friend, can leave us feeling hopeless. But we have to learn to not let the circumstances with people disrupt the assurance and peace on the inside that everything will be okay. I am far less concerned with letting other people's lives and decisions and attitudes destroy my own life since I've been applying this.

Psalm 28:7-The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Train In The Night

Train in the middle of the night,
tranquilize me, soothe me, relaxing my nerves
A million voices of a million thoughts that seemingly go unheard
those whispers that won't keep quiet
When I keep hushing them away
The rowdy sounds keep getting louder
as they are begging me to stay
I keep tossing and turning
lying there awake
The street lights shine their light on my mind
dissolving the sleeping pills that I take
Eyes wide open, every thought louder than the next
Until I hear that old familiar sound
that leaves me reverently perplexed
It's the sound of the train in the middle of the night
A simplicity that I beg
it's casual but not too close, in the distance but not unheard of
Carrying the freight
taking the weight off my shoulders
It's funny how a lasting smell, a lasting sound
can make a moment stand on its own
The informal introduction of the night train
reminds me I'm not alone
It's uninterested in what I have to say
yet soothingly drowns out all that is screaming in my head
Reminiscent of  that old Cash song
When the train is coming around the bend
It's as if a lullaby was rocking me
My eyes drift off the sleep
Until once again, my apprehensions keep me awake
I bid thee farewell,
dear train
dear train




Photography by my husband. Find him on Instagram as Superflysmith

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Adjusting My Sails







There is a part of me that loves the storm. The fearful  boom of thunder and  strike of lightening, the howling wind and the crashing waves have the potential to drown you, leaving you breathless  or it has the potential of forcing you to learn how to swim. And swim well. You know that saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? It's truth has sort of been screaming silently to me through my adult years. Life has a way of embedding strength into you once you are all grown up, if you let it. You can stand taller, run faster and know that the storm came, you made it through and you are stronger...and now onto the next step.
 It's been raining and storming here a lot lately. And while I love the sort of cozy intimacy a summer storm can bring, mostly lately it's been sucking, because a storm for us now is cold and dreary and moody, and it  means our roof is leaking into our house.  We've got buckets strategically placed throughout...and in that way, storms suck.  These storms really suck. In a passing complaint to my husband about it, his reply was "I bet the farmers are happy" because a storm also can mean growth and new life.
When the storm seems to sort of suck the life out of us in one moment, knowing you are still standing afterwards brings forth a new confidence in yourself and an opportunity.  And that is the part of the storm I thrive on. The experience, the growth and the ability to adjust my sails and head in a new direction. In a sea of tears last night I allowed myself to embrace reality and come to terms with some of the damage these storms have cost me throughout my life, some I buried deep and far away in my past. Some I didn't even realize existed. It all seemed so small at the time in comparison to what other people face and in effort to bury bitterness and keep smiling,  I forced myself to be okay.  Yet somehow these small things affected my whirlwind of a life and emotion in recent years, with me not even knowing it.  
And suddenly I do.  I am thankful I am still standing. And realizing that I am, is bringing me to an adjustment of my sail. Pointing me in a whole new direction.

To Be Continued...


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Least Of These

Remember back in February when I was raising money for an organization called Mocha Club, specifically for Women At Risk? Well, if you remember correctly I far surpassed my first goal of helping two women off the streets in Africa and we actually helped THREE!  This week, I will be finally taking upon the challenge that I promised I would if you helped me reach my goal and I will be hitting the streets of my hometown to talk to and encourage the women involved in trafficking and prostitution here. I will be joining up with an organization called Inner Beauty Center at 9pm central on Friday Night...and it's not really the best neighborhood, so if you think about it, keep me in prayer. I'm definitely feeling nervous.

Anyways, I have another opportunity for you to make a difference. My friend, L, from All Glorious Within is raising money for Orphan Care during the month of April. I'll let her tell you what she is up to!


Hey Friends! 
 I am so thankful to Julie for allowing me to come and greet you all here in this space of hers and to share with you something the Lord has placed on my heart. 
Following my senior year of high school, the Lord orchestrated in an incredible way a trip to Africa which was totally unexpected. You can read the details here

 Since then, the Lord has been laying things related to that trip even more specifically on my heart. Changing me to love like He loves in many ways.

 Breaking my heart for those who feel unloved.
Giving me a heart specifically for orphans, adoption and Africa.
You'll have to watch this space to see what He continues to do with those heart stirrings. 
I have no idea what the future will hold and what the Lord has planned for us specifically yet. 
 I am hoping doors will open for us to pursue foreign adoption at some point.
 Maybe even heading to Africa long-term should that be what He calls us to.
 But for now, while waiting on further leading, I feel His particular burden to care for orphans where I am now, even if unable to adopt at this point in life.
To make it a priority to take action. Even if that doesn't require packing a suitcase and heading halfway around the world.
'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
The way I felt the Lord laying on my heart to care for orphans was through an organisation called the Mocha Club. They are an incredible organisation with existing long term projects in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe who work to provide for orphans and vulnerable children


 So this month I am partnering with them in doing something called a purpose project. I raise a specific amount of money for their orphan care projects, then should I meet my goal....I do a project so that my fundraising has a purpose. 


 The Goal: Raise $750 for orphan projects ongoing in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe 

 (This will provide care for 3 orphans for a year) 
 My Project:  Once the money is raised, I will be running a 5K race aiming to beat my high school record of 26mins. 
 (I have started training!)
 How can You help?
 I am looking specifically for people to partner with me financially. 
 I realise money is tight for so many people right now. Myself included. But any donation NO MATTER HOW SMALL helps achieve this goal of working together to change the lives of three orphans.

 I opted to give up a Starbucks latte a few times this month and instead donate to the project. (So even $5 will help!)

 I can't do this without your help, friend. =) 

 

I would also love it if you would share about this project through social media! 

Please tweet or post to fb so that others may hear about this project!  
 Thanks so much for reading, sharing, donating, however you are able to help! 

 I am so thankful for each of you! 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So excited for her and for another opportunity to give into an amazing project.
I helped L by donating , will you?


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Happy Weekend!


Sometimes weekends can get a little hectic for us. The kids are home fighting over the computer. They are hungry basically all the time and want to be fed non-stop, the television is blaring with cartoons,  the plans to take them here and there can be fun but a little overwhelming at times too.  Take a few minutes and breathe, relax and enjoy life. Know that God's grace can carry you through the darkest and the brightest of days. Invite him to be involved in your day. Keep your heart and mind focused on him throughout it all and 
He can be your peace.

Happy Weekend World! Have fun!

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.-Isaiah 26:3
 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If I Were A Song Writer...



Some days I wish I was a song writer. Or even a book writer. Possibly a poet. But for now I write in my online journal. My blog. Blogging is sort of awkward at times. All I really want is to get all these thoughts out. These thoughts that are jumbling up my brain as I work out or drive or shower. These inspirations, these aggravations, these motivations. I want to write them out. You know how you hear of a typical guy/girl fight. The girl wants to spill her guts, to vent...she doesn't necessarily want the advice of her guy, but she just wants someone to listen. I'm a hard thinker. Probably because I'm a girl. Maybe because I'm passionate. Possibly because I'm a writer. But I think hard. And a lot. And I usually want to spill it all out onto someone that will listen. I don't have a lot of those people, those people that won't form an opinion, but that will just listen. And the few I do have, I feel like I've worn them out with all my jumbled pile of dirty laundry... sometimes literally.  So, instead I dump my brain and spill my heart here, wanting to tell someone, but not necessarily wanting people to know it all.

I think blogging can be difficult, because you write things as they happen. It's a daily or weekly thing, in which people can read daily or weekly about what is going through your mind.  People can wonder immediately why you said that, offer you their advice or sympathy...or empathy immediately. And it's almost embarrassing. I've made it known that I am a pretty open book. I spill a lot of my heart out to people when I want them to care and I just spill a lot onto people in general... and after the fact, maybe a week or two later...maybe a year later, I get slightly embarrassed that you know so much. You don't know everything, but you know enough to think you really know me.



The truth is a blog post doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't tell of the days leading up to the post, the years, the emotions, the events.
It simply explains what you are feeling right now or doing right now in this very moment and maybe what you have done or are doing about it. It's hard to tell the whole story about some things in thirty or forty-five minutes. Some stories could be a book. Some stories have back stories that have back stories that have back stories, but all you are reading is the here and now, the blog post. The event, or the emotion that is happening now...

 If I was a book writer, I could tell a story.  A real story of a real life and the events all the way back to childhood that led to me being a blogger today and maybe you would understand more.  I would have the time to expound on the tragedy, the reality , and the beautiful events that makes life what it is today. Your heart, your smile, your tears would read a long with the ups and downs of my life and conclude with me today on this day why I am the way I am...today, the day you are finally reading this....but I don't have the time to do that
 
 If I was a songwriter, I could write a melody with lyrics about my life, my relationships, my fears...but you may never know it's actually about me. You would sing along. hum the tune of my song and feel the emotion, but never know how deeply I felt those feelings when I wrote that song that one day when I wrote it. You would hear the song years later and still sing along. You may wonder what the song actually was about, but never really know.   You may think it was about my marriage, when actually it's about a friends marriage. You may think it's about a spouse, but actually it's about an ex love.  Its catchy tune may disguise the intensity of the lyric, so you forget about the emotion behind it.  All you know is it's about love and it's struggles...And some of my songs that I wrote, I have only felt to some degree, but they aren't even my feelings. I am trying to write the feelings that I may perceive  in another human being or situation in the world, but they aren't actually MY feelings. They are not personal to me, other than that my heart is wondering and wandering through the lives of other people. Yet, a song touches so many lives for whatever reason and is felt in their soul years and years and years later, after the actual emotion was felt that made that song possible.


If I was a poet, I would write about life and nature and music and faith. I would use metaphors and similes, so that you would have to figure out what I was talking about. It would create a sketch in your mind of comparisons about life to storms and nature and animals and other inanimate objects. But very rarely would I come right out and say what I am thinking. And very rarely would you read it AS I was feeling it. You wouldn't read it until years later...again, after the fact. And you may find love and truth and intellectual beauty in it, but never will you really know the actual thoughts I was thinking in that moment.

Blogging is different. It's almost scarier I think. I don't cover my thoughts with a vast hole of time gone by so that one day people will know what I was feeling 5 years ago.  I don't engulf my feelings in a rhythm that others can sing a long to never realizing how real it felt when I wrote it. And I don't often use metaphors. Because it's journaling and it's immediate. I call it like I see it in that moment. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am cynical. Maybe I am too positive. Maybe I talk too much. But it's just me writing life as it comes at me. And it's scary, because even though we all have these thoughts we think, writing them publicly turns you into the target of possible judgment, humiliation, and questions right in that moment that you are feeling them. Do I want that?
Maybe you don't want a hug or advice. You might just have a lot to say... But maybe you do. and get nothing from anyone.  Maybe you just need a hug, but have no one around to give it to you. Maybe your heart is alive with inspired thoughts but you have no one to share it with. Whatever the case, it gets an immediate reaction by those around you to your very current thoughts and feelings. Whether bad or good. Sometimes it gets no reaction at all.  And the reaction or no reaction from others creates new thoughts and feelings and events that you write about. 


Either way, it's scary, because you lay all your emotion and inspiration on the line and you just wait to see what people will say (or won't say) over the next few days... But I still do it, when I want to, because I like to write. And for now this is what I can write for everyone to see.
This is what I feel. It's never hidden by the strum of a guitar or the stroke of keys.It's not handled with care over years and years
of editing and retelling the story. It is what it is today, in this moment, and as soon as I hit publish, you are reading it. I am what I am. I think a lot. I feel huge. I love big. Really big. I hurt hard. I care more than I care to admit. My heart never stops finding a place to feel compassion. My mind never stops wondering why things happen. My feelings never stop growing and getting stronger.  I never stop learning about myself and the way I do how I do.  And I never ever stop seeking God's wisdom for life...So I write it here, in this space of mine.
This space I've given over to the wondering and judgement and stalking and nosiness and hopefully sometimes admiration and inspiration of others. This space in which people can think to themselves, "What is REALLY going on with her?' Why did she REALLY write this?" Right now, no particular reason other than its me, thinking out loud. This space in which my family and friends can wonder about me.... or this space in which the people who are not my close personal friends can unfriend me if they dislike my current musings.
This is where I write. I write what is right here and now. And I hope here. I hope that in all my ideals and amusements and thoughtfulness, that one day someone, some way will some how find a moment of inspired faith and renewed interest in something they lost.

I hope that's ok. I hope it's ok that I say things and think things that you don't always understand. I hope it's ok that I am emotional.  I hope it's ok that God has given me a whole lot of ME to deal with, to use, to push. I hope it's ok that sometimes I just call it like I see it. I talk a lot and I feel so much and I don't always let you in on why...
It's ok with me if its ok with you... Actually either way, it's ok with me...


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Biggest Thing I Will Ever Do...


I just want to say how much I love these three people. I have no idea what I'd be doing with my
life if I didn't have these three children to raise up. It's a scary responsibility at times, knowing that
I've failed them. Even when they don't know I've failed them, but I know it.
 It's a challenge each day to not be lazy and complacent, because one day they will be adults...or even scarier, teenagers and the time to fight for them is now before it's too late.

It's an adventure and it's fun watching their little personalities become big personalities and their interests develop, wondering where they will lead them. 
I know that those traits and characteristics that are in each of us begin at such a young age. 
I will hold this particular memory with me as long as I live. 
When Leila was probably about 8 months old, I was holding her and she grabbed my earring and pulled on it. Of course, out of reaction, I yelled "No." She didn't get scared, but her face just very silently went sad. She made a little frowny face and a single tear streamed down her cheek. Her feelings were hurt. The reason I will never forget that is because now 4 years later, she still cries the same exact way. Her feelings get hurt, but she is silent about it. If she gets yelled at or embarrassed, she walks out of the room quietly, but you can find her hiding by herself with tears streaming down her face. That is how I know that each of their personalities will stick with them.
It is up to us to steer them in the right direction...that sensitivity, that silliness, that talkativeness, 
that willpower...and turn them into strengths. It scares me. What if I mess up? What if I'm doing something wrong?
That is such a huge responsibility. HUGE. What if the crap I go through affects their lives because I become lethargic? It's up to me to make myself stay happy, so I can make sure I am doing everything I can to ensure they stay happy... This is the biggest thing I will ever do. Not just create people, but train people. Yikes. Seriously, yikes. By the grace and strength of God...

Just thinking out loud...



Monday, April 1, 2013

Seriously, Who Cares?


I've been trying to figure out the words to say. I'm not good at talking unless I have something
very specific to say. And lots of times I do and I just talk too much. I go on and on and on.
But lately I've just sorta been like 'who cares?' I mean seriously. Who gives a crap?
Good attitude, huh? 
But I keep thinking, does it really matter if I do or don't write about this?
Is this really going to make a difference to anyone? If I don't write it, someone else will...right?
So, I'm not sure where I am...right here...in this moment...as far as blogging goes.
Who cares what outfit I wore? Who cares how silly my kids are? I mean, I do. And' I'd like to 
think that is why I blog. To keep memories. My own sort of personal online journal. When my heart
needs to be spilled, I spill it here. But does it really need to be public? I'm not sure anymore.
Does anyone else ever feel like that? Like why do I need people to read my blog? Is it for me?
And if it's not for me, then do people really hear me? I'm sure these thoughts are just a part of human nature,
 but seriously...who cares? Do the things I say make any impact on anyone other than me?

I guess I will just keep playing it by ear and see what happens. Maybe tomorrow I will have a novel written 
for you, who knows....
And for now, here are some other reasons why I have been busy.










People always ask me...or us how we take such cute photos...
Go through about an hour of this and that's how you get the perfect family photo.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter...


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