Thursday, February 24, 2011

Exploring the Wild Blue Yonder!

We had the best day today!

The weather this week has been amazing. Very sunny and warm with bright blue skies. We decided today that we wanted to do something outside so we could enjoy the weather.

We packed a picnic lunch, picked up our friend's four children and headed to the park. This is not your typical park with just a kid's playset. This park has nature trails complete with waterfalls and it has a nature center. We started by eating our lunch and letting the kids play on the playground.

Next we headed to the nature center. It was complete with owls, snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and did I mention snakes. Oh and I almost forgot there was a small alligator that's enclosure did not have a top on it. I was not completely convinced that he couldn't climb up and bite us. The funniest thing happened when we were looking at the exhibits. Our friend's son was looking a this giant albino iguana in it's plexiglass case and then all of the sudden the iguana jumps at him and hits its face on the glass. Luke jumped back and hollered. We all laughed and to be honest I thought maybe he provoked the poor reptile. So my son and I go and look at the iguana. And then the next thing you know it jumps at us and bangs its face on the glass. I screamed and my son hit the floor. It really was hiliarious!

After I collected myself, I read the sign on his case that said he did not like being inside and to please respect his privacy. I think there needs to be another warning on the glass...Be sure to visit the bathroom first before viewing the albino iguana!

We finished looking around the nature center and then we headed to the trails. We got to the creek and had fun trying to cross it without slipping on the rocks. There are trails on both sides of the creek. We walked for what seemed like forever. The scenary was just beautiful. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the land is in this area. The kids had fun crossing the creek on nature's balance beam, a tree that had fallen across the creek. My husband had to help a couple of them across it. I decided not to brave the balance beam for fear of ending up in the creek below.

The boys decided that they needed to take a swim. They stripped down to their underwear and splashed around in the creek. I don't know how they stood it, but they squeeled and hollered like they were having the time of their life.

Now would be a great place to insert all the great pictures that I took. The only problem is that I forgot my camera!

I told my husband that we definitely have to go back so I can get some pictures. We had such a fun day enjoying the beauty of God's creation minus the distractions of tv, video games and cell phones. It really was a special day!

post signature

Monday, February 21, 2011

Laying In Bed Is Overrated!

I started feeling a little weird on Friday. I didn't feel sick. I just didn't feel like myself and I just felt like being mean. By Saturday night, I was curled up in my bed with chills, body aches and fever. I have been in my bed ever since.

Today I ventured to the doctor to learn that I have bronchitis. I am not doubting the doctor, but I feel a whole lot worse than bronchitis. I hurt from my hair to my ankles. I didn't know you could feel like this with bronchitis. Luckily I got some medicine and I am hopeful to wake up feeling better tomorrow.

I have watched so much tv that I am sick of it. I actually just watched House Hunters International and had a couple say that spending $500,000 for 10 weeks ownership in a property sounded like a good deal. And they actually bought it. Oh my!

Hope you have a great week!

post signature

Friday, February 18, 2011

Measure of Success

Do you ever measure your success based on the world's terms?

I know when I was still pursuing my career, my success was measured by my accomplishments. I will be honest and admit that it is hard to shake that mentality. I am a "do-er" and so I always feel that I need to be doing something.

Just this week, I have been reminded that God does not measure my success based on my accomplishments. My success is not determined by what I can do. In fact, looking through Scripture we see that God works in the realm of our weaknesses most often. Because it is in our weaknesses that His strength is demonstrated.

I had a conversation with a friend this week and this subject came up. She is a singer and she said she gets asked why she doesn't pursue being on the radio or traveling more often. To most the measure of a singer's success would be being on the radio, being well known and having their lastest CD on the shelves. I mean isn't that success in the world's eyes. But thankfully that is not how God measures success. If it was then she would be a failure because she isn't on the radio and though she does travel some, she does not have a tour bus waiting for her to hop on it. She has peace because she knows she is doing what God has called her to do. And He has provided her many opportunities that she would never have even dreamed about.

She was sharing this with me to encourage me because I have been struggling with this lately. I know what God is asking me to do (write a book about my recent journey with Him) and I will boldly declare that I can't do it and so I struggle with feeling that it will be a flop because I am focused on what I can do and not on what the Holy Spirit can do. I even commented to my friend that it would probably never be seen on the shelves at Lifeway.

And I have to be honest and admit that I was measuring its success and mine based on it being on the shelves of Lifeway.

How silly is that?

How very much like the world is that?

I am sharing this because that it is how the devil works. You see I have not even been able to write because I am trying to control what the outcome of it will be. And the crazy thing is I have no control over that. According to Ephesians 3:20, if God is in it He can do immeasurably more than I can think or imagine.

My friend challenged my thinking by asking, "would you not consider it a success if it changed just one person's life?" Of course when you put it like that the answer is obvious. The problem is I haven't been thinking like that. And then let's take it a little further, what if you never were aware of that one person. Now that gets a little harder doesn't it?

The reality all boils down to being obedient to God and trusting Him.

Ultimately, that is the only measure of success. Did I obey God and did I trust God?

I challenge you today to examine how you are measuring success. Are you measuring it based on the world's standard? Or are you boldly going where few go ... living a lifestyle of obedience and trust!

post signature

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hard Working Lady

On Sunday night, I watched the funniest little girl on television. She was on Toddlers and Tiaras, which airs on TLC. I believe she was around 4 years old. She was a dark haired, big blue eyed little girl with a southern accent that makes me sound like a northerner. I honestly could just sit and listen to her talk. She said things like she was a middle aged woman which made her just hilarious.

She was a talented little girl because she could be headed straight for a meltdown and then just like you flipped a switch, she could turn on the pageant charm. It really was a talent. Well, they took her for her glam shots. They got her all dolled up and then she declares, "Oh Mama I can't. I just can't Mama!" Then mama whispers something to her and the beauty queen charm is displayed.

Well, pageant day arrives and it is full of drama. The mama regretably pinches the little darlin while trying to zip up her dress. You guessed it, full meltdown ensues. The little darlin starts demanding, "I want my Ni Ni! Where's my Ni Ni! I need my Ni Ni!" The Ni Ni is her pacie that her mama has tried taking from her but she is beyond dependent on it. Her mama gives in and gives her the Ni Ni. Then they kinda interview the little girl and I am guessing they asked her if she liked her Ni Ni or pageants more. She begins to explain that she loves her Ni Ni and she loves pageants but she really did like pageants more.

And then that little darlin said these words..."I love my Ni Ni! She's a hard workin lady!"

I laughed and laughed. The fact that she referred to her pacie as a hard workin lady is just too much. Oh I love it!

Speaking of a hard workin lady... I got me a new little carpet cleaner. Now that may not sound exciting to you but I love it! It is the Bissell Little Green. It has a little wand that you use to clean spots. Last night I tried it out and could see how I could easily become addicted. I am cleaning carpet like a hard workin lady!

Hope you have a great day!

post signature

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Picture Perfect

I have spent most of my life trying to give others around me a picture perfect glimpse of my life. I really wanted everyone to believe that I had it all together and at times when that wasn't really possible then at least they needed to see that I was in control. It sounds crazy as I type it out now, but I am just hoping that you will be able to relate.

When my son was younger, he had this move he would do that would lay him flat on the ground in mere seconds. This "move" usually occurred when we were in a store and I was telling him no to something. Along with the "move" came huge alligator tears accompanied by loud cries. It was very embarrassing.

Well one day, the four of us were in a department store near our home. My son had decided a few days before that he needed two way radios. He was probably 4 or 5 years old. Of course, we had told him no. So as we walked around in the department store he spotted some two way radios. They were attached to the hanger of a really ugly shirt. Now we all know that the toys attached to hangers that you get "free" for purchasing a shirt are usually not the highest quality toys.

So I did what any good mama would do and I said no. He proceeded to beg and I continued to say no and then the next thing I know he is laid out on the floor. After trying to reason with him and explain that the radios would not really work, my patience were at an all time low and I was upset. My husband walks up and sees his upset wife and crying son. I try to explain what is going on and the next thing I know my husband is escorting my son out of the store with a firm grasp on his shoulder. You can probably guess what my son was screaming but just in case you can't relate I'll tell you. It went something like this, "Mama help me! He's hurting my shoulder! I REALLY WANT THE RADIOS! Mama help! get the picture.

I fought the urge to hide in the clothes racks and was just thankful that both of them were outside. I don't even remember now what I was shopping for but thankfully my daughter was happy in her stroller and I continued to shop.

Much to my surprise my two fellas reenter the store. This time I was almost to the register. My husband explained that once they got outside, he was able to talk with our son and things were better. My son was still trying to stop crying, all while mouthing to me so Daddy wouldn't hear, "I want those radios." We proceed to the register and guess what is hanging on display at the register...

Oh Yes Ma'am, a nice collection of two way radios. Only this time they weren't the ones attached to the hanger of an ugly shirt. No these were $100 radios. And guess who spotted them about the same time I did?

It gets better! Of course we say no and then he starts crying. This time the "move" only consisted of going down on his knees. I am trying to get him up and together because I knew Daddy wasn't going to stand for this. And I was right. Daddy gets involved and he is not really concerned with giving off the picture perfect image.

It is my turn with the cashier. I am trying to convince my husband to ignore our son because the scene they were creating was really wrecking my picture perfect image. At that time, I had several speaking engagements in our city and I remember bringing up this fact to my husband because everyone knows your "speaker" has to have her life together. Well, the scene finally ends with my husband dragging my son out of the store while he screams for me to "help him" and he continues to scream for the radios. I am not kidding when I tell you that every eye in that general area of the store was on me. I was sweating and praying for God to open up the floor and swallow me.

I tried to not make eye contact with my cashier. I was just hoping that she was fast. I scramble for my coupon and hand it to her. It was for 15% off my total purchase. I look at the screen to see my total savings. I see that she had given me 30% off in error. Well, my dignity is gone, but I still have my integrity. So I begin to tell her that she gave me too much of a discount. I will never forget her words to me. She said, "Oh honey, you have earned it today. If I could give you more off I would!" I thanked her and then left.

I was so upset with my husband because now people were going to know that I was not the perfect mother married to the perfect husband with perfect children. And on top of that now people wouldn't invite me to speak at their events because of him. It was drama at it's best!

This past year, I have had some intense lessons with the Lord. One is that I don't have to portray this picture perfect image. I am not perfect. I am flawed. I have weaknesses. I have struggles. My best, my righteousness is as filthy rags to Him. When I live in my own strength and my own picture perfectness, I cheap myself and others from seeing the power of God at work in me. And that is what people really need to see!

So I am kicking that picture perfect image to the curb and I am embrassing my weaknesses because I want others to see that Christ is alive and working in me!

P.S. Can you believe that I actually typed "keeping it real" in my last post? She managed to "keep it real" again this morning when she asked if I could quit talking because and I quote, "the Princess needs to eat her breakfast in silence!" Help me!

post signature

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Weekend Fun!

This past weekend, the weather was just gorgeous here.

On Saturday we had errands to run and we had to get our little four legged baby her last puppy shot. The day my husband and daughter went to the pet store and found her, he called me numerous times trying to get my approval for another dog. He kept saying that people were gathered around them just waiting for them to put the puppy down. My reply was that all those people were paid actors and that he needed to get out of there. We all know how that ended since I am the new owner of a puppy. But on Saturday we had to go back to the pet store for her last shot and people were all around us. One lady came up to us to ask if we were going to get the puppy. I said "she's ours, we already got her." I guess they weren't paid actors afterall.

I think I am slowly becoming "that person"! Last night I took one of her toys that came apart and wrapped it around her. It looked like she was wearing a tutu. I then chased her around on my knees, all while calling her name in crazy voices, just to get a cute picture of her. I think I need help, but look how cute she is!

Oh Miss Bella Blue you have stollen my heart! (see I told you I am becoming that person)

On Sunday, we enjoyed a great morning at church. And then we came home to enjoy a great afternoon in the sunshine. The kids and I decided to take our big hunk of chocolate for a walk. Drake, our chocolate lab, is now weighing in at 95 lbs and thanks to his new choker collar we can now walk him instead of him dragging us. We walked to the back of our neighborhood and on our way back decided we would venture down a trail in the woods. Some of our neighbors cleared out a path and so we wanted to see where it led. It was so beautiful and peaceful. We walked down the trail and came to a creek. We decided to let Drake get in the creek. I really wish I had my video camera because he was so funny. He first walked around getting a drink and then he decided to lay down in the creek. The look in his eyes said it all. It really was funny. It was also great getting to talk with the kids and have such a relaxing afternoon. I was very mindful of what a gift from God that it was!

I am a huge fan of Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling. I love how she wrote it as if Jesus were talking to the reader. God has really spoken to me through it. I have felt on numerous days that I was on Sarah's mind when she wrote it. I was very delighted the other week to see that Sarah Young has written Jesus Calling for Kids. I have been praying and really feeling convicted that I need to help my kids start having a quiet time each day. So we started something new yesterday. While they eat their breakfast I read the devotion to them and the scripture verses and then we pray together before they head out to school.

Can I just tell you how that will change your morning for the better!

Well, this morning apparently I got a little carried away while I was praying with them. When I ended, my daughter had her head down and acted like she was snoring. She said "that was one long prayer!" Kids have a way of keeping it real don't they!

Enjoy your day and shine for Jesus!

post signature