Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Little Girl... is 12!!!

(This picture was taken Mother's Day 1998.)

Today, I almost wanted to cry. I have never had a problem with my own age. I was alright when I turned 30, 35 and I'm fine with turning 38 at the end of the month. However, when I think of my kids and the milestones they go through, I feel a little... truthfully, I not really sure what I feel. Excited, sad, frustrated and maybe even a little depressed. There is excitement for my children and all their potential with each day that passes. There is extreme sadness that they will never be "little" again. There is a frustration with knowing that they need me a little less with each year that passes and I'm depressed over the fact that sooner than I want, they will leave me to follow their own life's calling.

Today is my baby girl's 12Th birthday. Enough said. We are fixing to enter a new territory, a new frontier and it literally has me shaking in my crocs. My little tomboy of yesteryear's is turning into a young "lady." Although she still loves the deer camp and climbing trees, she has started caring if her clothes match. Wanting jewelry and "smell good" shampoo are her new vices. Only yesterday she was asking me about straightening her hair! What happen to just putting your hair in a ponytail?!

Although I'm sad over the changes she is making... I'm enjoying them too. We now can enjoy shopping together. We have fun conversations about other things than the Disney Channel and we even share shoes!!! She even comes up to the daycare where I work to play with the babies and help her dear mom after school, twice a week. And last but certainly not least, she is learning to cook (blueberry muffins are her specialty!) and she knows how to wash clothes(Yeah!).

Anyway, there is a song by Tim McGraw that kind of says what I feel sometimes... I changed a couple of the words, so that it would be from my perspective as a mom.

My Little Girl

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go

Gonna tell you how much I love you though you think you already know

I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm

You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born

Beautiful baby from the outside in

Chase your dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again

Go on, take on this whole world but to me you know you will always be

My little girl.

When you were in trouble that crooked little smile would melt this heart of stone

Now look at you, I've turned around and you've almost grown

Sometimes when you're asleep I whisper I love you in the moonlight at your door

As I walk away I hear you say "Mommy, love you more!"

Beautiful baby from the outside in... you will always be my little girl.

Happy Birthday, Kayla! Mommy loves you. (more than all the stars in the sky...)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A picture of my brave defender...

( Sorry, when I was posting, my computer started acting a little crazy and now has lines on it that I can't get off. Hope you can read it alright.)

My son, the brave defender...

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It has been hard for me this year, because of Bible study at church and late work hours, I don't get to see all the games. This is difficult, for I never use to miss one game, unless my kids were playing at the same time on different teams! What is even rougher, is that my daughter refuses to go and watch a game. She is on strike from stepping foot on the soccer field, since she couldn't play this year, the first time since she was five, because it conflicts with her dance class!

However, last Saturday, I found myself once again at the soccer field. Although I had to wake up early on a Saturday morning, I found myself excited about watching Jordan play. The excitement was short lived. It was a makeup game, and we usually play our games on Monday and Tuesday nights. Trouble came when we only had 6 players show up. The team we were playing had a WHOLE team show up. To top it off, Jordan was the only older player on the team there and he and this pretty little blond girl were the only ones that even knew what they were doing. (Believe me, this is NOT a bias opinion!!!) The other two star players were gone! We pretty much knew we were dead before the game even started!!!

The coaches decided to play 5 players, which gave us one "resting." Big whoop! It is a big field and when the other team can switch out players every 5 minutes, well of course they had the advantage! Did that stop my son? No! In fact, even though they lost that day, by 6 goals, I walked away proud and a little amazed.

Picture this... A little blond girl, cute as a button, with a lot of talent, but pushed around by the big boys. A little black girl that falls down every five steps, don't know what her problem was! A "big" boy whose parents probably signed him up for soccer, because usually it is a very forgiving sport, for the nonathletic. A little black boy, who has potential and speed, but is scared of the ball and the other kids and a little girl that has enough energy and fearlessness for everyone, but no talent! And then you have my son... He is a strong kicker, has played since he was four, has lost a little of his speed as he has gotten older, but hangs in there with great determination and ... Trouble is, he is a defender and is good at it. If you know anything about soccer, you know the defender helps guard the goal and manages to kick the ball halfway down the field to his teammate. Problem was this particular morning, he was a defender, without a forward, Which meant he literally had to do it all! He only got one break the whole game! He would guard and defend, kick, run after his own ball, only for them to come back and score. He asked if the coach wanted him to be goalie for a while, to which he was told, "No, I need you on that field!"

My heart broke when he cried on the way home. He had accidentally did a goalie move, using his hands while guarding the goal, giving them a free kick and their 6Th goal. "Jordan, baby, why are you crying?" "Mom, I gave them that last point!"

Funny huh? He had already lost the game. They would have scored that point, whether he had touched the ball or not (nonathletic boy was in the goal! Why she didn't put Jordan in for the kick, I just don't know!). But here was my son, sad, because he felt he had let his team down. I asked him how he thought he had let them all down... His answer was simple: "I didn't do my job!"

Truth is he did do his job and so much more. He just couldn't accomplish by himself what a whole team is suppose to do. I have no doubt, if our regular goalie was there and our two speedy forwards were not missing, we would have had a whole different kind of game.

It really got me to thinking... God gave us all special gifts and talents. We were all put on this earth with a special "job" to do. Problem is so many of us don't show up for the game, the same "defenders" are playing more than their positions and wearing themselves out. And yes, at the end of the day, there is a little bit of guilt when the mission isn't accomplished. If we all worked with as much heart and determination as my brave little son did Saturday, there wouldn't be anything, that we as Christians couldn't accomplish for our Christ!

Did I also mention that my son suffers from allergies like his mom? I was scared he would have a big asthma attack right in the middle of the game, but he kept running and with a speed that was unusual for him... I asked him about it later: "I didn't think about it, Mom. I just knew it was up to me to keep running..."

Here are some verses that come to mind:

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah40:29-31

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

I pray that you find a little encouragement from my young soccer player to persevere through your day, no matter if it seems the players are stacked against you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

God moments...

My husband has a secretary who says she has seen a ghost. I know that some of you when you read that statement want to laugh in disbelief, while others acknowledge that it could be true. Truth is, I really don't know what I think. She honestly believes she saw one, who am I to tell her she didn't?

I see these shows on TV all the time where people have powers and premonitions or are able to see into other worlds and talk to the dead. I don't really believe in all of that or if it does exist, I don't believe it is of Christ. However, "seeing the future" has come to actually mean something to me. Am I saying that I can see into the future? No. What I am saying is that I believe that my Lord talks to me, and when I actually listen, sometimes he does allow me to know when something is going to happen.

After all, I believe in the Bible, a great book that shows my Lord speaking through a burning bush, in dreams and through angels. I believe that he is the same God today, and could decide to communicate in those same ways if he wanted to. I think our problem is this; we don't always stop and listen. Our world is full of too many distractions, that we don't always "notice" the presence of God when he comes talking.

What I do know is that throughout my life, I've had "encounters," moments when I felt I was being warned or encouraged to pray. Moments that couldn't have come from anywhere else but God. Sometimes it is a nervous feeling, sometimes it is a dream and often it is like a whisper in my ear, telling me to pray.

My first "God moment" happened when I was in the eighth grade. My family was living overseas in the country of Bangladesh, where my parents were missionaries. One night I woke up from a dream crying. I still remember the dream as if it was yesterday, it was so real. I was riding in a car with my Granny and my older cousin Lynnette, when all of a sudden the road disappeared underneath us. We all started falling. My Granny was crying, calling out for my cousin. My cousin had disappeared and I felt lost and alone. I remember waking up wondering why I had such a traumatic dream. The next morning, I was called into my parent's office, to find my mother crying. They had received a telegram; my cousin had died in a car accident. That dream foreshadowed the next few years and my relationship with my Granny. She had a really hard time recovering from my cousin's death and I was the one who suffered from her grief. Although, my Granny and I would become close again, before she died, I truly believe to this day that God was warning me that my next few years with her were going to be rocky. Now when I wake up from a dream, such as that one, I pray for guidance.

My God moments don't always come in dreams. For example, when I was a student at college, I started feeling real nervous one day. You can ask my husband, I was really starting to freak out, worried that something was wrong. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't relax. I kept calling home, which made it worse, because no one would answer (and this was before we all had cell phones!). All I could do was pray. My mom finally called me the next day (I could have shot them!). My sister had been in a car accident. The funny thing is, I started "freaking out" before the accident happened. God was telling me to pray.

Sometimes, God just blesses me with special moments. This month was my dear, sweet Nanny's birthday. She went home to be with the Lord, last year, after a lot of pain and suffering. The Lord allowed me to see her at her most peaceful moment. I was at her house, with many other family members. We knew it wouldn't be long, for she was ready to go and was off all her meds. I had been asleep on the love seat in the living room, when I felt like someone was waking me up. However, when I woke up and rubbed my eyes, noon was there. I looked around and everyone was dozing in their chairs, my mom and dad were asleep in the bedroom. I walked into her room, where my cousin was taking care of her, and sat down in the chair at a the end of her bed. As I watched her, I prayed. she longed for peace. Actually it was the most peaceful I had heard her breathing in a long time. And then it stopped. I had just experienced my Nanny going to be with her Lord. That was precious... I still thank God, to this day, for waking me up.

These are just a few examples of moments when I know God was talking to me. I have to wonder how many others there have been, that I have missed, because I wasn't listening. Every once in a while, I feel the need to call someone, hold someone a little tighter or tell someone that I love them. When I get those feelings, I listen. Just the other day, I felt the need to pray for my daughter, turns out it was an incident with a mean girl that brought tears to her eyes that day, and she really needed that mommy hug when I got home. I was glad I had listened.

So, do I believe in ghosts? Not really. However, I do believe in God. And I guess we had better keep our ears and eyes open, because He will find a way to communicate with us, when He needs us to listen.

*** I need to add this footnote. I wrote this post yesterday. I saved it, instead of sharing it because I was confused as to why I had written it in the first place. I now know why. This afternoon a nineteen year old boy in our town was killed in a terrible car accident. Although he did not belong to our youth group, he did go to the church that I work at. He must have been an incredible young man, for hundreds of kids showed up at the hospital. They moved them to his home church and started calling in the student ministers, like my husband, from around town to come in and counsel and pray. Although our boy's Bible study was cancelled for tonight, we still had the girl's Bible study. As I was sitting in my small group, listening to these young hearts vent over what had just taken place, I heard one of them explain how she had felt something was going to happen all weekend, had heard a voice telling her to pray. I smiled. She had had a "God moment." And I had the day before, been a little inspired to write my own thoughts down, so I could support her with hers. Wow! Isn't our God incredible?

Hope for the Sunday morning blues...

Here I am doing something very unusual... I'm on the computer on a Sunday morning. Usually I would be "snapping" at my kids to get out to the car by now, trying to frantically make it early to Sunday School, since I teach. However, I took the day off today. Recovering from a twenty four hour stomach bug, this morning I'm left feeling much better, but very weak. Yet, since I spent the day in bed, yesterday, my body is saying no more. It is a frustrating feeling; no energy to accomplish anything, yet tired of being tired.

I do have to say I feel better. It is funny how when you are in the middle of being sick, you have such a hopeless feeling, like it will never end! Of course when you do feel better, you live off of Sprite, saltine crackers and chicken noodle soup! I can't even make myself eat chicken noodle soup at any other time... my body tells me I have to be sick for it to smell appealing. Funny, huh?

So here I am, I guess trying to have a small connection to the world after being cooped up all weekend. My in laws just picked up my kids for church and my husband will be back from his retreat this afternoon, which leaves me alone in an empty house. Normally that would make me smile, for I've always been a person who enjoyed some alone time. However, right now, I just have the blues. I feel like a kid missing out on going to the party. Rather I'm a mom, with no energy what's so ever, looking around at a very dirty house that didn't get cleaned this weekend!
What is sad is that my whole weekend was shot, tomorrow I have to go back to work, it just doesn't seem fair!

However, I am always gently reminded that I am not alone. There is a greater "strength" always there for the asking. As I'm typing this I just happen to look up at my calendar by my desk. On it is a verse. Of course as I read it, I know it's not an accident. I'm always amazed at the thought that, God knows everything! He knows what I'm going to do before I do it. He knew when this calendar was printed that I would need a special verse of encouragement to read today. He knew I would need a little "hope" for the Sunday morning blues...

"The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. "
Exodus 15:2

I pray you have a wonderful Sunday. May God show you his presence, no matter where you are or what you are doing this morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My husband is to blame... he left me!

Before anyone freaks out over my post's title, I will put everyone at ease with a simple "our relationship is fine." I'm the one that blogged a list of things I adore about my man, just a few days ago. However, there is one thing I don't like... it is the fact that every time he leaves for a trip, something BAD happens!!! What is up with that? I'm wondering if he has a secret pact with God, to teach me strength or how to depend on the Lord while he is gone...

You might think I'm exaggerating, but the simple truth is, that when my husband is gone for more than a day or two from home, I have something crazy to deal with, out of the blue! There was the time my air conditioner broke down, that was a very miserable time. There was the time that my kids got sick, that was really not fair! Or how about the little things like, the rodents or BIG spiders that like to come out and play, when the "Big Cat" is away! Of course the weather usually like to creep up and do something fun too, like send a little flooding or a few tornadoes my way! Anyway, all I'm saying is that I look forward to a quiet weekend, just to be interrupted by something I'd rather not have to deal with or take care of!!!

So, I said all of that to say that my husband went out of town on a youth retreat, for the weekend. I wanted to go, but as I've already explained, it is allergy season for me and going with him and the youth group to a camp in the middle of the woods, would not have been a smart choice for me. One campfire alone would have done me in!

After the initial frustration of not going, I planned my weekend. I rented some movies for the kids and I, and mentally made a list of the chores we all needed to accomplish; laundry, laundry laundry! That all set, I went to bed at a decent hour with plans to totally sleep in. Well, I did sleep in, longer than I had planned, for I was up half the night. "Why?" Well, the "husband left town" bug hit again! I got sick! I woke up at around 3:00a.m. making a mad dash to the toilet. It was bad! Without being too graphic, let's just say I sat there on the shiny throne for a long while with a bucket in my lap! I wasn't feeling very royal either!

I slept until 11:00 this morning after finally being able to go back to bed, however as I type this I still feel under the weather... I will leave you with that today. Don't worry too much, for I already knew there was a virus going around, and according to everyone else, I should be fine by tonight. I just had to share my curiosity at the "timing" of it all...

Say a little prayer for me, after all my husband wont be back til tomorrow. A lot more could happen in 24 hours!:)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


OK. It is that time again. That wonderful time of the year when the weather starts changing, leaves start turning colors and people have decided that it is safe to "burn" things in their backyards. I don't like it...

Don't get me wrong, I think the fall colors are beautiful, (My family is from the Ozark Mountains... I know what beauty in the Fall is!) and I love the cooling down of the weather, when you can choose to wear long sleeves or short sleeves. My kids and I even have birthdays in the fall. Trouble is, Fall doesn't like me!!!

It starts with headaches, progresses to a cough and red eyes and eventually becomes a full blown infection... It is called Allergy Season! I am one of those people who can go for a long time without any trouble and then "BOOM!" something shows up in the air and I'm a goner...

A month ago we had a pretty big storm, which left it's damage with me. The next day I had a severe cough. I finally went to the clinic (you know I felt bad if I went to the doctor!) and came out be told what I already knew... I have allergies! So now I'm a "sniffling, sneezing, can't rest, have a cough, itching all over" individual on drugs! That means I'm living in a "fog" of medication. Great fun!

It is moments like this that I have to ask; "Eve, why did you have to eat the stinkin' APPLE???" God's beauty is made to be enjoyed, not resented! Red is suppose to be a pretty color of leaves in the fall, not blotchy hives on my skin! Running is suppose to be a sport of exercise, not something my nose likes to do while trying to breath!

I will survive. This is not my first rodeo with allergies. I've swelled up, hived up, runned out, coughed out and sneezed through this season before. It is just that every year I have a dream... a dream of being able to sit in the grass, hay, etc... without itching. A dream to be able to enjoy the woods or a good campfire without my eyes burning and my nose running. A dream to enjoy God's creation during the beautiful fall season...

Oh well, there is one silver lining to having allergies... I get out of the yard work! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For my husband...

I commented on something I blogged the other day and my husband said he had read it. I was a little surprised in that I didn't know he ever read what I wrote. He admitted to getting on every once in a while to "check up" on what I tell the world about our little family. Then he said in his teasing way that it really didn't matter, since i never wrote about HIM!

I don't think that is totally true. Honestly, maybe I haven't written a WHOLE blog about him, and most of the time I'm telling a story about my kids or what I'm doing, but he is there...

Anyway, I decided to dedicate a WHOLE post to him. I'm going to call it "TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY HUSBAND." Of course this probably wont make him happy either, for he will just say I wrote it because of what he said, but I'm going to write it anyway! So here it goes...

Ten Things I Love About My Husband!

1. His Heart. It is big. It is full of compassion and a love for people.

2. His hugs. He is my KevyBear. He gives the best hugs in the world!

3. His love for his children. He is a proud daddy that enjoys spending time with his kids.

4. His goofiness. He has his crazy moments when he just wants to laugh.

5. His ability to laugh at himself. That is something I do not have, I worry too much about what others think, while he has the ability to take an embarrassing situation and turn it around.

6. His love for his family. He has such a respect and honor for his parents. He is a great example for our kids.

7. He cries... He is able to show his emotions in public. He wears his heart on this sleeve.

8. His voice. A precious, beautiful gift from God. I love to hear him sing!

9. His love for Christ. He teaches it. He shares it. He lives it.

10. He loves me. He loves me "through the good and the bad, in sickness and in health..."

I'm a lucky girl. Nineteen years ago, I met a ministry student at college. We became good friends. He would change my life. You see, I didn't want to marry someone in the ministry. I was tired of the "fishbowl" life I had grown up with. However, God had other plans for me. He sent cupid and his arrow my way and the rest is history! :) I'm not your typical minister's wife by traditional standards, yet I'm thankful to be where I am today. I have a loving husband, who is a great father and a man who has devoted his life to serving Christ. He has been blessed with some pretty special gifts and a very fruitful ministry... I'm glad I've been along for the ride.

So, Kev, if you read this, " I love ya!" Thank you for all you do for us. I know there is an extra big jewel in your crown for putting up with me ( and my indecisive family) all these years!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Proud Mom...

Today was ordinary. My alarm clock went off at 5:00a.m., I kept hitting the snooze until about 5:30a.m. and spent the next hour grudgingly getting ready before waking up the "fam" at 6:30. I do what little I can to help them before I'm out the door and at work by 7:00a.m. I pray every morning they have socks that match, that they brushed their teeth, that their papers are signed and they get to school on time! So far so good. My husband has done a great job of "handling it" since I've gone back to work. In fact it makes me happy that they now know that they have two parents that can get the day to day, ordinary stuff done. I'm really proud of them all! They have even been getting to school early this year!

I know I've already tooted my family's horn, but actually the real reason I'm writing this little note tonight is to say this: "I AM A VERY PROUD MOM!"

I must explain, for I love my kids all the time, no matter what they do, how they do it or what they say... But as a mom, we love getting these little "love notes" from God, that let us know our kids are doing alright. As parents we need those little inspirations to keep us going and on track in this journey called PARENTHOOD.

Today I got one of those little messages. I came home from my ordinary day to discover that my husband had handled parent/teacher conferences (I love him!) and much to my delight I discovered that BOTH of my kids have ALL A's on their progress reports! YEAH!

Bigger news is bound to be heard somewhere in the world tonight, but you wouldn't know it from my smile. After a year of adjusting to a new home and friends, struggling with 3rd grade teachers and disrespectful classmates and graduating to middle school life, my kids are doing alright! I'm so thankful and very PROUD!

Maybe today wasn't so ordinary after all...

Monday, September 15, 2008

God reaching down...

First of all I would like to say that my brother in law and his family are doing OK. He called me last night to let me know that they are still not back home (they live outside Houston) but that they have talked to neighbors that say their house is still standing, with little damage and that the electricity in their neighborhood was back on yesterday. Praise the the Lord! Thanks for your prayers...

That being said, I've been giving "storms" a lot of thought lately. My family could tell you why. I HATE them. As a kid they scared me to death!!! All the little memories of crawling in the bathtub with my mom as a child, waiting out the tornadoes blowing by. Or all the sleepless nights due to streaky lightening and loud booming thunder. Why am I so afraid of them? I do have some theories, but that's another story, for another day. Truth is I'm better now, I guess that comes with being a mom. However, I will not lie... I watch the computer and TV like a hawk, when I know a storm is coming my way!

So, you can imagine this hurricane stuff has kind of bothered me just a little. It is probably a good thing I have been so busy, so that I didn't have time to dwell on the matter more. I'm just thankful my family is alright and that we didn't get as much of the "aftermath" of the hurricanes as they thought my little corner of the world would get! I love it when the weatherman is wrong! (About the bad weather!)

I was reading my dad's blog today: http://barnabasbrief.blogspot.com He was talking about the storms that have come our way and the control our Heavenly Father has on our lives. He mentioned the verse in Mark 4, that tells about Jesus calming the storm... That simple little story has always been a favorite of mine. To this storm fearing girl, Jesus having the power to calm a rainy war with the simple words of "be still!" has always left me in awe of his power.

That being said I was reminded of an "event" that happened to me, several years ago. My daughter was about five at the time. She was not feeling well, so I made an appointment to take her to the doctor. However, her doctor at the time was thirty minutes from our house. I was not too happy about this, because the weatherman had already called for bad weather for our area for that evening. But I prayed and put my "mama britches' on and said "I can do this!" We made it to the clinic fine, saw the doctor and got the medicine we needed. When we came out of the clinic the sky was still a beautiful blue... I got adventurous! I was more than halfway to the "big" town we go to to shop, and thought "I'll just run to town real quick and buy a few things, since we are this close."

NOT a good decision!!! When I came out of the super Walmart, dark clouds were everywhere! I was a nervous wreck and I had to drive the forty five minute drive home!!! (you see, I hydroplaned with my little one in the car one time, and since then hated driving in the rain.) We were headed out of town, when my little girl asked from the back seat, "Mommy, why are you crying?" I hadn't even realized that I was so nervous, that I had tears running down my face. I calmly told her that mommy was just a little scared. To which she responded; "I'll pray for you Mommy! That's what you do for me when I'm scared!" I can still hear her little prayer...

"Jesus, help my Mommy to not be scared. It's raining and we want to go HOME to Daddy. Can you stop the rain PLEASE!"

I remember smiling at the simplistic prayer. I remember thinking, "Oh baby, if only it were that simple." As we came around the mountains going home the rain started to let up, when all of a sudden there was an ecstatic Kayla in the backseat.

"Mommy, look! God heard me! He answered my prayer and is reaching down!"

I looked over and realized the dark clouds were all behind me and over to the side of us was the sun, glistening in the rain. It literally looked like the heavens were reaching down through the clouds. I wept. God HAD answered my little girl's prayer that day, while showing this Mommy that FAITH is simple. God is in control and what seems too hard or scary or out of our control can be calmed be a few simple words from the Heavenly Father!

I doubt my daughter remembers that moment, but believe me, this mom will never forget it. I learned something that day about a "child like" faith, while learning to put the steering wheel in the Lord's hands.

A tree fell on the house down the street from me, two weeks ago. In the house next door lives an elderly man, who goes to my church. I asked him if he was OK or if he was worried about the other trees around, falling on his house. He said his children wanted him to move, but he figured, that there is nowhere on this earth that is 100% safe and he might as well die from a tree falling on his house, as of anything... I pondered his words and realized his faith. God had control of this man's life... it was that simple.

So as we review the damage of past storms in our lives, and prepare for what lies ahead, I pray that we (including me) remember to simply ask God, with the faith of a child, to help us drive home...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Shopping List...

OK, I know I've already blogged once today, but since I get so busy during the week, I thought I would share a little more with you. I went shopping today with my daughter. That use to be a chore. (just ask my mom and sister!) Getting my baby to try anything on was like pulling teeth! However, now that she is a little older, with a little money to burn, she enjoys the idea of new clothes, shoes and of course, jewelry to match. Oh, my baby girl is growing up... :(

Anyway, I love to shop! I always have. I probably have my mom and my Nanny to thank for that. We are all about finding a good sale! So today, with my daughter in tow, we shopped. And we shopped well! If you subtract the money I spent on groceries and dinner, I spent a little over a hundred dollars. Now before you moan and groan for my husband, here is a list of what I got:
1) 3 pairs of jeans for my son (poor thing is outgrowing his clothes!)
2) 3 shirts for my son (SALE!)
3) 1 shirt for my daughter (I had to buy her something since I bought her brother something!)
4) 3 pair of shoes (2 for my daughter and I to share, since she now wears the same size and one for my husband; rule of thumb when you shop, buy the husband something, less complaining that way!:) )
5)1 belt for my daughter

Pretty good, huh? Make sure you tell my husband that...

OK, back to shopping. I have to be careful. In the past I have used it as my "feel better" activity when I'm down in the dumps. Which I guess there is nothing wrong with that, unless of course you get further in the dumps because you spent money you didn't have to spend! I also have to be careful not to let material possessions become a priority in my life. I've found that sometimes "window shopping" can make me happy too!

That being said, today I was on a mission. Kayla had birthday and allowance money to spend and I had to get her brother some clothes that actually fit. So it was definitely a "no guilt" shopping day! Fun! Since it was a fun day, I thought I would share my list of why it made me happy... (OK, I know that after this blog I'm going to sound very frivolous, materialistic and worldly, but didn't the "excellent wife in Proverbs" clothe her family? I know she did everything by hand, but since I don't live in Bible times and I can't sew, well then I'm called to provide for them the best I can, right? :) )

1) I love a sale! Get this, there were racks of clothing that were marked down 70%. Gotta love that!
2) I love it when they have the sizes I need! It can be so frustrating to find the perfect outfit, only for it not to fit.
3) I love that my daughter wears the same shoe size. No guilt shoe shopping? After all if a shoe costs a little more than normal, I can consider it a bargain if it costs less than two pairs of shoes if both of us will wear them, right? Don't bother arguing with me on this one, my family loves shoes!
4) The Dollar Tree. Need I say more? I love how I can spend 10.00 on nothing and feel good about it, because I have 10 things in my bag!
5) 3.00 shoes. Had to have them! They were cute. My daughter and I like the brand! Can't go wrong with 3.00 shoes! I think my sister would agree with this one!
6) The perfect green shirt! My son had gotten some green and black nylon gym shorts, only we couldn't find a shirt to match. I loved that I found a green and white Nike shirt on sale today that matched. The smile on my son's face, made the 10.00 purchase worth it!
7) Watching my child say "that costs too much" because she is spending her own money. She made wise choices and I was proud! A skirt, 2 shirts, earrings... oh, she did buy a movie, but she had money left too.
8)Walmart. Yes, there are times that the superstore frustrates me, like when they rearrange things every time I leave, so I can't find something the next time... But today, I was happy, because they had shirts that my son would like for five dollars. Can't beat that! They also had the new Chris Tomlin CD - AWESOME!
9) Subway inside of Walmart... my baby girl and I got a little food, she a 6 inch, me a pretzel and we sat and talked. Quality time! It made my whole day!
10) My husband liked my purchases... enough said.

After a long week, I had a little fun with my daughter, while providing for my family (we went grocery shopping too!). I'm thankful!

My Week...

This week has been very low key compared to last week. Yet I found myself still dragging along. In between exhaustion, a migraine and just plain weariness, I trudged through. I could have considered the week as insignificant, useless or a waste, by my own "high standards" at times, however as I reflect, I realize that the Lord provided me with little "tidbits" of joy, to keep me going...

1. There was my daughter, who is almost 12, who decided for the first time in her life that she would just do the laundry for her tired mom. I didn't even have to ask her!!! I just came home one day and found her washing... I couldn't resist asking her who she was and what she did with my little girl!!!

2. The joy on my son's face, while he explained to me how he had received a "character coupon" at school. These are little rewards they give out, when kids are doing well. I feel the need to explain this one just a little... You see, he had a rough school year last year and had a defeated attitude everyday. It was drastic because in the grades before, he was always a favorite in class and did exceptionally well. My little guy responds well to kind words, encouragement and lots of praise. I don't believe he received much of that last year. His attitude towards school has gone back to what it was before. I'm so elated!!!

3. The "thank you" I received from one mom, whose baby I watch at the daycare. She was so kind and encouraging. It is moments like those that change my perspective of my job from one of "bringing home money" to one of ministry. It makes the hard work worth it at the end of the day!

4. This one may seem silly, but it meant so much. I love for someone to play with my hair or rub my head. My dear, sweet, patient husband rubbed my head the other night, when I had a horrible headache. I still smile thinking about it.

5. The three 100%s that my daughter got on her math, English and social studies quizzes. And the 88% she received on the "VERY HARD, THOUGHT I FAILED IT" science test. I am so thankful she is enjoying her first year of middle school!

6. The hugs I received from my "other kids" in youth group, Wednesday night! They make me smile! It is moments like those that make me realize that I love what my husband does for a living. His work produces so much more than a paycheck!

7. My dad's blog. Keep the encouraging words coming, Pooh pa! Even when I don't respond, I'm listening! Aren't you glad that it is "cool" again for me to take my father's advice!

8. My son's energy as he follows his dad around. I pray everyday that the "hero" worship will not end! He is so cute as he longs for his daddy's approval in all that he does. I'm thankful for a husband that sees that, enjoys it and encourages it with his own time and energy! ( they are squirrel hunting right now!)

9. This is going to sound weird on paper... my next little tidbit is that my brother in law lives in the Galveston/ Houston area. I will explain... I am not happy that they had to evacuate and that their house may be destroyed as well as their places of employment!!! (Please keep them in your prayers!) However, when you hear of horrible events, like the hurricane and all it's damage, and you see and hear what struggles others are going through, well you have to be thankful! So, no I'm not thankful, for the hurricane and the problems it is causing my family, but I am thankful for the perspective an event like this gives me.

10. Rest. Need I say more? The Lord has allowed my family to be very patient with me this week as I gain the rest I needed. I can say I feel a whole lot better today! Of course they allowed me to lay around in the bed until 11:00a.m.! (very unusual for me!) Got to love Saturday
mornings like this one! :)

This list is just a small example of little moments that made me happy this week! I know to others they may seem insignificant or even rather silly. But isn't that why our Lord is so amazing?! He meets all of us, individually, knowing what we need to make our heart thankful.

There were days that I felt tired and blah. There were days like 9/11 when I felt frustrated and even a little angry. There were moments when I thought "life is not fair." And when I thought of my brother in law and his family and the destruction of natural disasters, well I felt scared at times too! And then there were God given moments when I felt great peace.

My daily prayer was for the strength of the Lord. He never promised life would be "easy." He never promised that we would be on "cloud nine" and full of energy everyday! He just promised that He would always be there to inspire us, encourage us, to strengthen us and even carry us when we needed it.

As a teenager I was given a bookmark with the "Footprints" poem on it. I still see the words "When there was only one set of footprints in the sand is when 'I CARRIED YOU!'" When I have one of those "blah" weeks when the world around me looks bleak and when my soul is weary, I find comfort in that promise.

I pray that the Lord will fill your week with you own little "tidbits" of joy to remind you during those "blah" moments, that He is still in control!

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Exhausted, yet thankful heart!

Let me start by saying I am totally exhausted! Yet let me follow that statement with this little tidbit... I'm totally thankful! In an earlier blog I listed all the time consuming "events" I had to help with this past weekend. Well, even though there are still many things left on the calendar for me to do, I can officially say that I survived the big weekend!

Last week started with me having a new job. Around the middle of the week we had some major wind damage around our town that added a little craziness to our world. Friday night I had a "Royal" invitation to attend a princess themed slumber party for the girls of our youth group. ( I stayed the whole night with 40 teenage girls!) Saturday I helped my husband get ready for "Open House" for our brand new youth area and then went to my new Sunday School room to do a little organizing and cleaning. (I got home late!) Sunday morning I taught Sunday School. went to church and then out to eat with the in laws. Sunday afternoon I went to the Open House, then church and then finished the evening with the anniversary celebration for our pastor. I did not get to bed until LATE! I had to clean a space for the guys to have bible study at my house Monday night. After only having four hours of sleep, I went to work at seven, got home at four, finished cleaning, then headed to the girl's bible study at church. I am now home... and very tired!

Now that it is over, I have to say "It was great!" God really blessed us this past week and weekend. I'm thankful for the new job. I'm thankful that the tree that fell went the other direction and didn't land on my roof! I have electricity!!! I'm thankful for all the fun and bonding moments I had during the big slumber party with our youth girls. I appreciate our church and their support in remodeling part of the church for our youth group to have their own space. (It is beautiful too!) I'm thankful for the fun little boys with "ants in their pants" that are in my new little Sunday School class. I appreciate my pastor and his hard work as well as his support for my husband with his job. He has a great family too! And finally I am thankful for the guys and girls Bible studies that took place tonight... I think God has great moments planned for these times.

What bothers me is that sometimes we have to wait till something is over to realize the blessings! I've had many, many things in my life that didn't make life easy. While going through those little fires, I wasn't always a very happy or thankful individual. However, I can honestly look back now at some situations and realize God's plan...

So moral of the story; when you are walking through a little fire, or your worn out searching for rest, remember God wants us to rely on him. You never know what He has planned! the rainbow comes after the rain...

Have a great week! Keep the faith! If I know my God, there is a rainbow of blessings awaiting you around the corner!

My weekend was rough. It plum wore me out! Yet it was all so good! Why all those things had to happen at the same time, well I may never know the answer to that. What I do know is this; I had to rely totally on my Heavenly Father's strength. Oh! I think I may have just answered my own "why?" question.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Forgetting the obvious...

Last week my daughter took her first big test in the 6th grade. She had some quizzes, but this was a TEST and she was just a little bit nervous. When she got home that day I had asked her how she had done. In normal Kayla fashion, her answer was sort of on the dramatic side; "I failed the test! I will never pass the 6th grade! How will I ever become a veterinarian now?!!!"

Well she came home with her graded test today... Needless to say, she did not fail. She made an 89%. I was happy with that... well that is until I looked at the graded test. One question she missed was an essay question. OK, fine, I can handle that. However, the other two questions missed were the obvious. She is studying Arkansas history. We live in Arkansas. Yet on her map, what is the one state she forgets to label? ARKANSAS! Then the second question she missed was what direction is Arkansas from Missouri? OK, I know you might think I'm being a little hard here, but her grandparents use to live in Missouri and we had to travel from ARKANSAS to MISSOURI every holiday!!!

Truthfully, I'm not upset. I just had a really good laugh at her expense! Even she had to laugh at the obvious. After the laughter, though, I started thinking just a little (not always a good thing). I sometimes wonder if God has a sense of humor. I know if He does, I keep him rolling... I guess what I mean is that sometimes I make things "hard," missing the obvious. I have to wonder how many times He says in a single day "This way, my child!" only for me to take a more difficult turn?

My child forgot the obvious on her test and missed two questions because of it. What did I overlook today? What did I miss because of it?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day?

OK so let me get this straight... Labor Day is suppose to be a "work free" day, right? Then why is it that for me it is a "have a list of things to do before I go to work tomorrow, day!?" I am just a little overwhelmed right now. I think every major project I have to work on right now is for an "event" happening this week or weekend. Here is my list...

1. I start my new job tomorrow, which means I go to work at 7:00a.m. every morning, leaving Kevin in charge to get the kids ready and off to school. In other words, I need my house organized and laundry caught up so that this will be a smooth adjustment for everyone!
2. I start my new job tomorrow, yet I haven't finished all my little projects with my "fill in" job at my husband's office, so I will get off at 4:00p.m. and go to the office and work an hour or so to wrap up what I had started, because the regular secretary doesn't return until Thursday!
3. We are having a huge youth girl's slumber party, Friday night. I am in charge of one of the craft projects, as well as being the adult support, behind the awesome college girls that are pulling the event off. I'm still not sure if I'm going to spend the whole night!
4. Our new youth room is completed, but it still needs some decorating done. Open house is Sunday! Help!
5. I start teaching Sunday School this Sunday. It is our promotion Sunday at church and I will start teaching the 5 year old class. Fun! However, I still need to go look my room over and get it ready for my new class, plus plan a lesson for this Sunday morning.
6. Our big Bible studies for our teenagers start Monday. I'm in charge of several things for the girl's Bible study, while I will need to make sure my house is picked up every Monday night for the guy's study which will be at our house.
7. First week in the month... it is time to pay the bills! Yuck!
8. We have another event on Sunday... but it is a secret. :)
9. My son starts soccer practice this week. Kayla started dance last week...
10. Oh, did I mention I would like to eat and sleep sometime?!

Say a little prayer for me. I will try to blog, after all it relaxes me when I can vent a little... However, if you don't hear from, you'll know why!

Happy Labor Day! Have a "relaxing day" in my honor please!