Thursday, February 28, 2013

two cents...

Days become weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years of just doing…lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that so often I just get caught up in the day to day and just going through the motions. I find myself overwhelmed, feeling like there just aren’t enough hours in the day or I just don’t have enough time or resources to get everything I want to do and then I realize I have 24 hours, just like everyone else I’m just not being intentional with my time. I find that many of the things I want to accomplish could easily be done if I would turn off the television in the evenings, or if I would put the cell phone on silent and just be with my family, or if I would get up an hour earlier or spend an hour in the evening just working through some things.

I am then overwhelmed with guilt for all the things I am obviously not accomplishing and I just can’t seem to battle out of this constant circle. I want to work out, I want to spend more time reading both the Bible and other resources, and I feel like I never have time for me. In reality, I don’t make time for myself. Isn’t it incredible the difference between reality and perception? I was discussing this with a co-worker this week and there is such a variation between the assumptions people make about you, perception; and the reality of who you are. There are also huge disconnects between your reality and the reality of other people. How do you merge those, how are we truly transparent in who we are and what we believe?

This is a question that has been plaguing me lately, how do I truly demonstrate who I am and do I even want to. I know we’re called to be imitators of Christ Jesus, but am I really striving daily to be that? Am I really becoming more and more like Him, leaving more and more of my fleshly nature behind? Do I really want people to transparently see me for who and all I am?

Then in reading today, I came across Ann Voskamp’s blog, “A Holy Experience,” and dang that woman can write, and put words to what we’re thinking, feeling and seeing, in ways I envy…but she said, “Because only when you are blown to the unknown heights, do you unfurl your wings and begin your flight.” I realized that only when I allow myself to be tested beyond what I can imagine, or be pushed to heights beyond what I even though possible for myself, I have no choice but to let loose, unfurl my wings, and fly. In the flying I am made whole, made more of who He is, and find my joy in all things.

Just some thoughts as I’m leaning into His arms,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


You know it's coming...those moments when Satan creeps in and takes the joy out of the ordinary, the moments you find that you're just watching your life happen. I have been feeling that way lately. Titus has been tested and there was an exhausting day of holding him down while he cried uncontrollably for forty-five minutes for a heart echo, to find out everything was normal which was the prayer we had been praying since we found out he was going to have to have an echo. Then there was the detail that he tested positive for RSV so we've been doing antibiotics (did I mention the double ear infection), and breathing treatments regularly and now if only he'd sleep through the night. Tennyson, the strong willed one, who has determined to be defiant so we have started losing our big boy privileges on a daily basis, which has led to temper tantrum throwing....

I could go on and on and in my mind lately I have been, only to be reminded, actually hit last night at the MUMs group (Moms Uplifting Moms) like a mac truck that as moms and wives we many times determine the pace of our household. Sure we have a lot of responsibilities, sure we have a lot on our shoulders, but if we don't have the mindset of "whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Col. 3:23)," I know I personally would never survive. Andrea Eckhardt reminded me last night that there is some truth to the old adage, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," and Satan can only steal from me what I allow him to, so today and each day from here on out, I plan to wake (even when I spent more hours rocking my baby than sleeping) with a smile, with joy because I have children to rock, I have food to put on the table hence the dishes, there will always be a pile of laundry because I have clothing to put on their backs, there will be a fight stepping out into the cold but there's a warm car to head to, and there is enough left in the bank account to put gas in the car to get us from point a to point B.

I don't know why in my little mind I think I should be entitled to whatever I want, I don't know where this adage became a part of our society, but I know that Christ told us there would be suffering. We would endure things on this earth that we don't want, we won't have every luxury and we weren't meant to. We are here to love one another, serve the widows and orphans and become nothing for His names sake. I pray that as I work to have joy and be positive, I am instilling in my children the fact that joy is a choice you make everyday, it's saying "yes" to Jesus each moment of each day.

End of rant,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lots of Firsts

Well we are officially "Quincites," and I'm pretty sure that's not a real word, but we are. I will post pictures soon of the new house, which is rather awesome, I just have to remember to take some pictures.

Tennyson started preschool at the Crossing yesterday, and though he was very apprehensive to initially enter the classroom loaded with boys, as soon as another kid complimented his mohawk (which Aunt Jenny did an amazing job of styling before I picked him up), he was game and ran right in and started playing. They're studying the letter "D" so they talked about David & Goliath yesterday and he's really excited as today they will be discussing dinosaurs and he can't wait. Tomorrow is blue day and show and tell so I'm sure there will be lots to talk about tonight. I love this age and his excitement for everything. He can't wait for Kindergarten, though this mom could probably hold off another year or two if it worked that way.

Just last night on my way home I was thanking God for His constant provision and delighting in all He is at work on in our lives and here in Quincy, when I pulled in the driveway and saw that Travis and the boys were in the red truck in the street talking to a neighbor. The truck had died while they were backing into the driveway and there was a "puff" of smoke that exited the hood. Tyler came to our rescue and using the Sequoia the boys were able to get the truck back up into the driveway and Tyler had a great contact for Travis to call today to get the truck looked at.

Travis and I were later talking and he visited with Verizon yesterday as we have their telephone service, and are under contract for another year but their service doesn't work in a 12 mile radius around Quincy because of some dispute they have with United Cellular or something. Anyways come to find out they won't let us out of our contract but will split the buy out with us. I was so mad, between it and the truck, Satan just really knew right where to attack me and steal the joy of the day.

The boys both were exhausted and took their naps before dinner (actually Tennyson never ate dinner because he slept from about 5:30-9), and then were not ready to go to bed when I was so of course we watched Cars 2 our newest Netflix video at 10 last night and then Titus was restless until 3:22 this morning, and I have to tell you I just wasn't finding any joy in the moment, knowing that my alarm would be going off just after 6am.

As I am now reflecting back on yesterday, I realized without the truck breaking down we wouldn't have met another wonderful neighbor in our little corner or the world, we wouldn't have had the extra time to discuss with Tennyson how dropping everything to help another in need is one of the greatest gifts we have, we may not have had the one-on-one time we had with Titus while Tennyson rested, or the opportunity to snuggle with our boys late while watching Mater. Those are all precious gifts that are too easily overlooked when you choose to allow Satan a stronghold. The old adage, give them an inch and they'll take a mile doesn't just ring true with things of this world. Allowing Satan any opportunity to steal your joy and turn your eyes from our Father, even just momentarily, gives him more power than we realize. I have spent this morning while working, worshipping God not just for His constant provision, but for His astounding grace that covers all my circumstances. No matter how big an issue that I am facing, or how upset I sometimes get, He is always holding me in His loving arms, ready to hold me when I finally I realize I can't do it alone, my own strength is weak, and I just need to relax in Him.

Praying you are able to relax in His arms today and each day,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


What a word, is it really even a word, though I am sure you can get the drift of what I am trying to say...there are so many things in which God gifts us with throughout our lives that are truly amazing! Life, love, and laughter are such overused terms to mean something insignificant many times however, they are all truly significant things. So often, life is taken for granted. In my hometown just this week a wonderful woman, "Peaches," was taken from us far too early. She leaves behind two great kids, her parents and a brother who have been blessed throughout their lifetimes with her wonderful and infectious personality and humor. She was a mother to so many children in our community and a wonderful woman.

Love - there are so many tormented souls out there. So many times I watch as young people struggle and trade their worth for what they see as true love. People will fail us, it's the inevitable however, it's the investment that we make in their lives and we allow them to make in ours that determine the journey and the ability that we have to open our hearts and our minds to other people. Will we be rejected, at time trampled and abused, of course it will be done both intentionally and unintentionally to us during the span of life, it's just the way things happen. The only one who will never fail us or let us down is the Lord, and many times I believe we feel as if He has let us down because we don't receive what we feel we should or we deserve and many times I think that's because we don't allow Him to fully invade our lives, to really become a part of who He is and what He's doing around us. All that to say it's heartbreaking to me to see so many today that have quit investing in their relationships with their spouses, their friends, their families, their children, etc. it's heartbreaking because there is so much more received when we give of ourselves and our love than will ever be seen when we withhold everything from those we were created to enjoy.

Laughter - really is there anything better than catching up with friends you haven't seen in a while, enjoying good food, wonderful company, and laughing so hard that it hurts reliving the antics you pulled and experienced together. I know that there is nothing greater than experiencing life, in all it's messy circumstances than facing it with laughter and with the sense that craziness happens, and if you aren't able to laugh at yourself and laugh at yourself with others you are truly missing out on some of the greatest benefits of love and one of your Creators purposes for your creation.

I am not one for making New Years resolutions, not because I don't like them but because I have never actually kept one probably. So this year, I don't resolve to anything, but strive to become more and more like Jesus, to get off my darier and become a follower, no longer a fan!

Love you guys,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cool Quote & Thankfuls

"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." - Elizabeth Elliott

I came across this quote in an article I was reading in Leslie Ludy's Online Living Room, set apart girl at , it's an online magazine published by Leslie Ludy and her Ellserlie team. The article was entitled, "A Steadfast Soul" by Tessa Thompson and it ended beautifully when she said, "We may be women with a great capacity to feel, but when we look to our Father to be our rock and fortress, a shelter to whom we continually resort, the One who is mighty and victorious in and through us, we are also women with a great capacity to go throughout each day with steadfast joy, unwavering peace, and a gentle calm that truly makes us different - and yet beautifully dignified - women of the Almighty God." How profound? So thankful that I not only have a great capacity to feel, but also that I am beautifully dignified because of who He is and nothing that I have done or will ever accomplish. There's hope for me yet!

As I was thinking about this and the many things we have to be thankful for this holiday season, I remembered that I was supposed to be creating my list of 1000 things of thanks from Ann Voskamp's message at Women of Faith and as you can tell I had already forgotten, so here we go...

6. Sunrises that light up the entire sky in several different hues of color
7. White Chocolate Mocha's and Peppermint Hot Chocolate
8. Good books and a cup of hot tea
9. Fresh biscuits with melted butter and honey
10. Snuggling with my boys before bed

So now that I am doing 5/week you may be blessed with things I'm thankful for for the next 3.84 years, have fun with that.

Laughing & Loving,

It's been another week, such a slacker I am

Wow, things are sure going crazy here and the stress of everything we have coming up is starting to get to me. I wish that I was more organized and I feel like if I were I am sure I would be a better wife and mom. So in my anal-ness (not sure that's really a word) I had some free time yesterday afternoon after a meeting before my graduate class began and worked through a google calendar for our family. I put everything I had written in my antiquated paper and pencil planner which I love because I can hold onto and really feel it. I do however, never seem to have it with me when I need it, nor do I remember to write things down later. So with the google calendar I have set it up where anytime Travis or I add something to the calendars on our phones or to the calendar online they will sync with one another. This was a great idea in theory however, as I started actually building the calendar, rather than alleviating my concerns and helping me feel more organized, I honestly just felt more overwhelmed with all the things we have going on before the end of the year.

That's not even the half of it however, because after seeing all these cute things on Pinterest and other blogs that people are doing with their children, I am pinning or saving them, etc. and feeling overwhelmed about all the memories that my children are missing out on because I am not making time to do all these activities and then there's my five year old who will be in Kindergarten next year and I didn't put him in preschool this first semester though he's enrolled at The Crossing in Quincy after we move there. Is he behind? Why am I not spending time developing his skills homeschooling him per say in the evenings...because I'm at ballgames three or four nights a week, but that shouldn't make a difference my children should take precedence.

I keep seeing all these great things people have going on, how organized they seem to be and how much of a slacker I am, and let me just tell you it's really doing wonders for my self-confidence. All that to say, I have decided that though there are fantastic opportunities for memories to be made with my children, we won't be able to do them all, maybe next year right...I am just going to focus on each day, one at a time and trying to make a memory with them both, one day at a time. At the end of everyday, if when I lay down with my boys, we can giggle and cuddle and love each other, I guess we had a pretty good day, we are still a family, we still love each other and though we may have missed a chance to do something really creative, we made memories of our own.

Lord, today I turn over my need to be the "perfect" mom and wife. I ask Lord that more than finding perfection in my parenting and my marriage, I find more of you. Lord help our eyes to be fixed upon you in all things, our hearts to be overflowing with your love, and the words of our mouths to overflow with the abundance of your grace for one another.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting Started...

It has been such a long time since I have taken the time to really sit down and spend some time writing. I loved doing it when Tennyson was so little and I would find time to pray and write over him while we were experiencing the NICU in Joplin (for more on this visit to view our journey), but in the past five years since those days I have filled my life beyond full to overflowing. I don't know why I have done this to myself and my family, but I just tend to jump in headfirst and grab all the opportunities that present themselves.

So I am resolving to start some things anew, and get more focused on our family and decluttering our lives and just slowing down because too often I am sure when the Lord is speaking to me as I know He is, I am too busy to be bothered with slowing down enough to hear him.

As many of you may, or may not know, our family will be relocating in late December to the Quincy, IL area. I have accepted a position there in the student ministries department at Madison Park Christian Church. While I know that this may be a surprise to many of you as I have spent the past five years loving on the kids at Union Star School, it was time for us to find something else to invest in. Some other students to love on and to just slow down and really revel in who our Creator is.

I heard Ann Voskamp speak this weekend at a Women of Faith Conference in Kansas City, MO and she talked in depth about being grateful and how thanksgiving shouldn't just be one day a year, but should be a Christian's state of mind. She challenged us to get out some paper and a pencil and to start writing down all the things we were thankful for, to create a list of 1000 items of thanksgiving. If you're anything like me, that number is so overwhelming, not that I couldn't count to 1000 but I can't imagine really trying. I can't even imagine numbering my pages to 1000 let alone wrap my head around actually writing out 1000 things to be thankful for. While there are many, I know I am truly very blessed, I have decided to make this more manageable I will start by trying to write down five everyday.

Here goes...
1. Our Lord and Savior who is the only reason I live
2. My husband who was so perfectly created for me and puts up with my constant failure
3. Our wonderful boys, Tennyson and Titus, who are in essence the very best of both of us
4. Families, and the way that regardless of what has happened in life or how far we have gone, they are there.
5. Friendships, there are so many wonderful people that we work with on both regular and irregular basis that Travis and I will miss greatly after we move, but know that we will forever be joined, even if only for this season.

I have so much more that I want to say but of course, two ballgames are calling for my time and attention, right after I pick up those beautiful faces.

Resting in His Arms,