Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Hope

I listen to Christmas music all throughout the year, but when the 31st of October hits it's full on Christmas music in our house, van, my computer, and anywhere else I can turn it on.  It never gets old to me.  This is the most wonderful time of the year, as the song states, but my heart is so heavy and I find tears too often the last few days.

The day before Thanksgiving two sweet families I know experienced tragedy and loss.  They were both enjoying a nice week off from work and school and weren't expecting what came to them.  Our family is continually praying for both situations and my mind has been racing with so many thoughts.  Why does it take unexpected events for me to stop and re-evaluate what I'm doing with my life?  I rush through each day, fill my schedule with too much, live in stress, buy too much, get easily frustrated with the kids, waste too much time, and it goes on and on.

We stopped before bedtime last night to begin the first of our Advent readings.  Hope is the theme this week.  How appropriate for these last few days.  I asked Sawyer if he knew what hope meant, and like all good mothers we asked SIRI to tell us the Webster's definition.  We received a lot of info from SIRI, but what it came down to was this,  Hope is - to place confidence; to trust with confident expectation of good.  We ended our reading with thanking God that he is our unchanging HOPE, and that we get to live our life with purpose because we are confident in the expectation of good from Him.

Life is hard.  The unexpected and confusing happens way too often, and at any moment it can be my family dealing with tragedy and loss again.  But then comes HOPE.  HOPE that makes me pray that God will bring comfort, peace, endurance, and answers for these families.  HOPE that reminds me to slow down during Christmas and really listen to the words of the music I play, to live in moments fully present without rushing to the next, to hug people more, to be slow in anger, forgive quickly, to put others needs before mine, and to be patient with my kids constant requests for having needs met.

I will be more aware of my HOPE in Christ this week and more willing to share it with those who don't understand it or need to be reminded of the HOPE they possess.  I will live in HOPE and not fear.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Everywhere I go I'm seeing the little pocket of community/relationships that affect me and I them every day.  We are designed to be relational people.  We are designed to want and need to be encouraged by those around us.  We desire to know and be known.

One of my soon to be favorite communities is the book study club that I'm a part of beginning this week.   A group of moms, soon to be moms, and want to be moms who need a place of encouragement, laughter, prayer, and accountability.  We are spread from Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, to Florida.  So we get to do this conference call style.  These women challenge me to keep going when I don't think I can.  

Just this morning God used my online community to help me move past the issue of worry in my day!  God always meets us where we are.  I love that!

I'm sad for the times I have hindered community/relationships because of selfishness or just lack of compassion and love.  The more I need encouragement the more I'm aware of my selfishness in my relationships.  Eye opening!

Lord help me to see those around me in need of your encouragement, love, and community.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013


There have been several times in my life that I have had dreams of things I wanted to do, be, or have.  Then there are times I stopped dreaming because it's hard when they don't get accomplished or they fail.  Here lately I've begun to dream again- dream for myself and for my family.

I had an opportunity last month to meet one of my favorite authors in a small group setting.  It would have been a dream come true.  After praying about it I knew that it wasn't going to happen right now because of a lot of factors.  So, I began to dream and pray about the people I would like to meet.

Candace Cameron Bure
Lysa TerKeurst
Liz Curtis Higgs
Angie Smith
Christy Nockels
Natalie Grant
Martina McBride

These are all women I admire for their talents, faith, and accomplishments.  It's one of those things that I would love a girlfriend afternoon of hanging out and picking their brain for more wisdom as a mom-friend-artist.  So, I'll continue to pray for the opportunity and until then I'll be grateful for the internet and social media!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Books for the Kids

When it's time to read with the kids we are mostly reading books for boys.  I really enjoy ordering books from Scholastic and they have a great selection of boy books.  If you frequent the library, search the scholastic website and then go see what Scholastic books your library may have.

My boys are 6 and 2 1/2 and these are a few they love...

Pete The Cat

Splat the Cat

Pirates Go To School

ANYTHING by P.K. Hallinan
He is my FAVORITE children's author and illustrator.  Go find him on facebook!

I'm a seasonal reader so right now we have several new books from scholastic that are spring themed.  Then there's the Shark books.  You can't go wrong with little boys and shark books!

As far as chapter books go we have read through a condensed version of The Black Stallion and Pinnochio.  I'm ready to dig into some more classics with Sawyer!

Earlier in the year we finished the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We all enjoyed this and will start it again soon. 2 1/2 year old is very active and rarely sits still.  I finally figured out that it's going to be a LONG time before he sits still to listen to a story.  So, now he has to stay in the room while we are reading but I don't make him sit down with us.  He does hear the story and occasionally will come over to see the pictures.  Don't get discouraged if you've got one or more like this.  Just keep reading, and maybe even read while standing on your head!  If you have a kid like this you totally understand.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Who's Desperate?

 I've been on a book reading frenzy lately.  It's pretty normal for me to have about 5 I'm reading at once. On the finished list lately has been...

The Wedding Dress - Rachel Hauk

Liz Curtis Higgs 4 book series Thorn in My Heart-Fair Is the Rose-Whence Came A Prince-
Grace In Thine Eyes (read these now)

Higgs Novella - A Wreath of Snow

Melanie Shankle's - Sparkly Green Earrings 

Desperate : Hope For The Mom Who Needs To Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

 There's more on the list that aren't finished but as much as I enjoyed reading Higgs' series I needed Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson's book more.  Sarah was very brave to reveal all she was feeling about motherhood.  She laid out on pages for anyone to read all the weaknesses I keep to myself and don't want others to know.  Desperate is a perfect title because that's the feeling I have most.  So, I know of at least 3 people, including Sarah and Sally, that have felt desperate.  There's got to be plenty more moms and guardians who feel desperate too.

 I would enjoy so much going through this book with other people.  There are so many scriptures and tips to help you get through the desperate moments.  Most of all there's reminders that I will never be perfect as a mom or anything else.  I have to take each day as I'm given it and ask for God's grace to help me honor him in what I do, say, and think.  Oh and STOP STOP STOP comparing!!!  As Lysa TerKeurst would say, "I'm not equipped to handle her good or bad".  I can only handle what God created for me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

2-12-13 to 3-24-13

41 days is not a long time, but it's the time that Preston was here with us.  I saw him 3 times, so sweet and tiny.  I wanted to touch him so badly!  Thank you Lord for our time with him and thank you he is in your presence now!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


 I've been wanting to post for months and haven't.  Just a few moments ago I had that thought, "you need to write on your blog".  And then the other thought happened, "I don't have the perfect picture and there's too much that's happened and I can't even begin to write it all."  Then I realized that I was doing what I complain (in my head to myself) about to those whom are perfectionists.  NOBODY that knows me would EVER use that term to describe me so here I am creating an imperfect post!

Everything in me feels heavy today.  My Great Nephew (I can't be that old) Preston was born at 23 weeks on February 12th.  Smashed right between Thea and my sister Christy (who he will affectionately refer to as YA YA or Heem).  This sweet baby has been born with a whole bucket full of physical delays.  Today Holly and Taylor (baby P's mom and dad) received the unhappy results of his MRI.

"Lissencephaly (sp), neurons are grouped rather than spread out, high risk of Epilepsy, will likely never reach common milestones of walking and talking"

How does any parent process this information?  How do doctors deliver this kind of news every day without mentally breaking down?

This is only the second time in my lifetime I've had to experience serious health complications with a family member.  In 2006 my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and in less than a week of diagnosis he was on an operating table and we had no assurance of good to come of it.  The prognosis was he could die, he could survive, he may survive and never be the same, and on and on.  I was pregnant with Sawyer, my first born, and was feeling sad that my little one may not ever know my dad.  

It was almost like an out of body experience standing in the hospital room pretty much telling Dad bye just in case things didn't go well.  He was definitely ready for the leaving or staying but it wasn't easy to come to that myself.  And we are a family of criers, thank you Grandma, so we were pretty scary to outsiders watching!

Now baby Preston is here 6 years later.  It's a very different situation but the unknown is still just as frustrating!  So, we continue to pray with everything in us that God works in Preston, all of us, and anyone who comes in contact with his story or presence.  

Thank you God for being in control and help us to let go of control and trust in your faithfulness, grace, mercy, love, and peace!