Thursday, August 27, 2009

Raising Kate

Baby Kate, I just cannot believe it was 2 years ago that God brought you into our lives. I am quite certain I will never forget that day as long as I live. You decided to surprise us a month early and really I don't blame you. With the schedule I was keeping I know you needed some rest. :) You spent a week in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and I only got to see you for a second the day you were born. It was sooo hard not to have you in the room with me and I pretty much felt like my heart was ripped out when I had to leave you at the hospital. But all was fine and you had some of the finest nurses we could ask for and the sweet neonatologist who I affectionately nicknamed "Dr. Diet Coke". We were kindred spirits. :) Those nurses took such good care of you and even had you all dressed up in your going home clothes when we came to pick you up. They even remembered your hairbow. And when the nurse asked me a question and I was too loopy to understand what she was asking, she just hugged me while I broke down as the impact of the whole week hit me. What special people!
We were so excited to finally have you home and all to ourselves. You just couldn't have been a sweeter more laid back baby. I was so glad. :) You just fit right into our crazy, busy life and went along for the ride. I just couldn't get enough of you!!

Time seemed to just fly by. I still couldn't get enough of you! Daddy stayed at home with you while I worked and you will never know what an impact you had on many people you never even met. I was working with people who were sick and dying and you represented new life to them, and something to look forward to and talk about. I would get in big trouble if I didn't have pictures with me!!

Now, you are 2 and I just cannot imagine life without you. You have the best laugh and I do not know how a 2 year old has the sense of humor that you do! I was singing to you one night and you put your pacifier in my mouth. Anyone who's had to hear me sing can appreciate that. :)
You love baby dolls and Barbie dolls and our dog Daisy. You say her name constantly and tell her "back!" and "stop!" while feeding her your cheese. :) Your absolute favorite thing in life is the music from Vacation Bible school. You ask all the time to play "BBS". I teach your Sunday School class and we listen to the CD the WHOLE class over and over and you sing and dance along.
At church you find Mr. Clyde and pat his pocket because he always has candy in there for you. You also live for drinking water out of the water fountain and stealing "big people glasses" of tea. One of your favorite phrases is "Wanna eat!" You get that from me. :)
You are just sweetness and I love every minute with you. Even all the minutes I spend getting you out of the refrigerator. :0) I love you Baby Kate!! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Will Always Love You

Josh, 11 years ago today we said "I love you" for the first time. In honor of this special occassion I was contemplating singing "I will always love you" Whitney Houston style to you at church tonight. However, I decided against it as you have done absolutely nothing in your life to deserve that kind of public humiliation and I do not want to interfere with Mr. Carl's testimony. Truly my singing could cause him to lose his religion or at least his ability to hear.

Instead I've decided I will just tell you what I loved about you and what I still love about you.


* I loved that you took math classes you didn't need so you could help me. (As if there is any
help for me in math.)

* I loved that you brought me strawberry creme Tastetations when I was sick.

* I loved that you covered my car in wildflowers while I was at work. (And that you paid for
them from the florist as we learned that it is illegal to pick flowers off of the side of Tyndall
Parkway. :)

* I loved that you and your friends used a boat battery to crank the Little Red Rocket when I
left the lights on all day for the 8 millionth time.

* I loved that you spent your lunches in a car full of girls listening to all of our issues and never


* I love that you put up with my neurotic need to change the radio station every 2 minutes and
you always let me listen to what I want to listen to.

* I love the sound of your voice especially when you say "Hey babydoll".

* I love that you support my dreams and encourage me to be my own person.

* I love that you always see the best in people and are infintely patient.

* I love that after 11 years you still say "I love you" the same way you did then!

For all of you blogging buddies out there I just wanted to let you know that this wonderful and handsome husband of mine has started his own blog at Josh, the Journey, and His Jesus. You should definitely check it out. In case you are wondering how such a silly goose as myself makes it in the real world you can read Josh's blog and see that he is the grown up who holds it together while I am off on world tours of the Florida panhandle or tanning on the trampoline. I think his words will teach and challenge you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sometimes I Cry Over Spilled Milk...

Are y'all ready for another confession? Here goes. Sometimes I cry over spilled milk. And laundry. And pop tarts smushed in the carpet. Yes, it is silly, but somedays are just those kind of days.

This particular blog of reflection has been inspired by my upcoming 1 year anniversary of leaving my job as a hospice social worker. You see, August 28th of last year I said my goodbyes, packed up my desk (I had to give a 3 month notice to get that task accomplished :) and turned in my pager. I can honestly say that I haven't regretted that decision for a minute. It was definitely not an easy one to make. I loved my job and found it very rewarding. But God gave me a very clear Word that I was supposed to be at home and I still remember the day I told Josh. Sitting in the recliner crying my eyes out. I cry a lot, can y'all tell? Anyway, we had no idea how it would work for me to be at home. No idea at all. But Josh went on faith that I was listening to God and not just tired of paperwork and meetings. God blessed us by opening a door for Josh to get his chaplain job just hours after I gave my boss my notice. It was one of those times I could almost feel God patting me on the back saying "See, I told you I have it all under control."

I guess right now is a time that I need to be reminded of that calling He placed on me. I say that calling, because often it is so easy to take motherhood for granted. Even though I haven't necessarily wanted to go back to my job, there have been many times I've thought about different people I've worked with and worried over them. The hard part of social work (as with many jobs) is that as hard as I worked my last few months I wasn't able to wrap up all of my cases and put a bow on top. There were many problems still unsolved and questions still unanswered. That's just how life works, or doesn't work. Still, I felt that maybe I had made a small difference in some people's lives.

At times I am tempted to look back at my job and think 'There are so many people who need help. Shouldn't I be helping these people?' I spend my days cleaning the same messes over and over and cooking meals that go half uneaten just to have hungry mouths pillaging throught the kitchen 30 minutes later. It feels not rewarding and not fulfilling. Couldn't somebody else feed my kids and clean up after them? Isn't that horrible? Well, here I am just being honest again.

There is never a time when I share personal confessions with you that it is not because I feel like there might be someone else who feels the same struggle. I find myself struggling with the questions "Isn't there more I could be doing? Something more special? Something more worthwhile, that would impact more people?" And I hear God's loving voice tell me, "I've given you three little people to nurture, teach, and love. What could be more special or worthwhile?"

I find much comfort in the book of Ecclesiastes that tells us there is a time for every season. I don't know what season you are in. You may be like me with little ones and find yourself frustrated with mundane chores and not having any clothes not covered in milk and snot. You may be at a job that doesn't feel fulfilling or purposeful. You may be an empty nester not sure what to do with yourself. Or you may just worry that your life will not be as significant as you would like it to be. I have found much peace in seeking to enjoy each season. It is easy sometimes to feel that whatever is going on in life will always be that way. I constantly have to remind myself that my little ones won't always be little and anytime I start whining about life my friend Karen has strict orders to remind that I will be crying in 20 years about how much I miss this phase of life.
(Karen, I really need that reminder right now as my kids are raiding the kitchen and fighting with each other. :)

The very first sermon Josh ever preached he used the Great Commission in Matthew 28. I have always remembered that sermon (we had a nursery at that church :) and how he taught us that the word "Go" as in "Go into all of the world and teach and preach and make disciples" actually translated "as you are going". For some reason that made such a difference in my life. I believe it showed me that instead of sitting around waiting for a grand revelation of God leading me to some foreign tribal community, He was saying, wherever you are be there. Wherever God has placed you there are people and opportunities that only you have.

I just want to encourage you to embrace the season you are in. Jesus did amazing, miraculous things while he was on earth. But he did them in boring, ordinary places with normal, everyday people. I pray this week you will feel His presence and know His Will-as you are going.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Emily's Excellent Adventure

I love a road trip. You know how some people hate being in a car or traveling of any sort? I'm not one of them. I could drive or ride around for hours and just look at stuff. I'm so exciting like that. :0) Well, this past week I got a road trip I hadn't bargained on. Since last March my dad had been diagnosed with a-fib. We knew that he was going to have to go in the hospital this past week so that he could take some medicine they hoped would get his heart back in rythym. I struggled with my decision not to go but Josh was starting back to school and Sarah had her first dance class. That was Monday. By Wednesday morning we had found out that the medicine wasn't working and they were going to do a cardioversion. I decided I really needed to be there. So I packed myself up and headed out. I left Josh to bravely man the homefront and headed to Panama City.

Thankfully the cardioversion worked for my dad and he was able to go home the same day. My sister and nephew came down and we got to have some family time. That kids loves me. :) They lived in Alaska when he was born and I did not get to meet him until he was 6 months old. I've had to do my best to bond now. He thinks I am hilarious! (Okay, maybe funny looking is a better way to put it). Anyway, by Friday I was torn between missing my babies and not wanting to leave Luke. And my parents and Jenny and Philip. :) Friday I fixed lunch for everyone, but in the middle of that process we had a plumbing issue. Standing water in the bathroom. Flash flood style. At first I didn't think much about it because I have 3 kids and everytime they bathe the entire bathroom finds itself covered in a small lake. But then I realized my kids weren't there and we had a problem. I did my best to provide my plumbing experience (which consisted of talking to Josh on the phone about what the plumbers had done at our house a couple of years ago and sticking some kind of tool down the bathtub drain). Finally we came to the conclusion that it was time to call the plumbers.

We finally got around to eating lunch and as we did my phone rang. It was my sis-in-law Leah calling to tell me that TJ Maxx had Lucky Jeans for $32!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who don't follow my blog regularly I recently set a goal and Lucky jeans were my prize. The truth is, I knew that even if by some amazing miracle I reached my goal I would never actually be able to let myself spend $90 on a pair of jeans. But here they were! On SALE! Score! Don't you love how I have an "emergency sale" network to notify me? :)

So, I am telling you all of this to say that with the excitement of the plumbing issue, the late lunch, not being able to tear myself away from my sweet nephew who randomly started kissing me on the mouth :), and $32 Lucky jeans at TJ Maxx, I was a little later getting on the road than I had planned. :)

I FINALLY got on the road and decided I would take a different exit that would mean less time on the interstate. I HATE the 3 hour stretch between P.C. and Pensacola. It's just boring to me. And it feels like it lasts FOREVER. I am fully intending to homeschool all 3 of my children through the 9th grade the next time we travel that way. :) Anway, you can probably see where this is going. I missed my turn and ended up taking the "scenic route". I really thought I was fine for awhile. I even entertained myself creating stories about people I saw in their cars. There was one military guy driving a camaro with New Mexico tags. I had a whole story about the airman who was missing his love back home. "His heart was as heavy as his foot on the pedal. His eyes were focused on the road, but his mind wandered in a million directions. As he drove along the coastal highway he couldn't help but think how the beauty of the ocean couldn't compare to her beauty." What do you think? Ha! The whole thing was made complete when Kenny Loggins came blaring on the radio. "I went to the danger zone/ Right into the danger zone." Well, as my mind was obviously in other places than paying attention to where I was going, I eventually followed that airman right onto the base!! I pulled up and the guard was standing there. I felt stupid. "Um, I think I'm lost. How do I get to I10?" He was very nice and pointed me back on my merry way.

I drove some more and encountered another fellow driver. This one was a grandma jamming to the radio. I saw myself 30 years down the road. She was full on dancing in her car. It was great. Yes, I am sure you would have never guessed I'm the type of person who sings and dances at red lights. :) I was enjoying the sights of my new route, but I was again beginning to feel that feeling. Not that lovin' feeling. The I don't know where the heck I am feeling. I am pretty sure I drove 4 or 5 circles around the Florida panhandle when I finally found my way to HWY 98 and luckily rembered the route my dad used to take through there. No sooner had I gotten my bearings when I entered "Fast and the Furious: Friday in Florida Style". I promise this car did a stunt in front of me. It came with inches of hitting a semi and then somehow inched it's way in between me and the car in front of me. She then passed the truck and took off going about 100mph. All I could think was that she must have the same thing on her mind as me: Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar. Seriously. I wasn't even hungry, but I had given up carbs for a week and it was time to cheat!!!

Josh had told me once I got to 98 to just stay on 98 and it would get me through Pensacola. Can I just tell you I didn't listen. I don't know why. It's not that I thought I knew better. Well, maybe I did. I just saw a sign for I-10 and reflexively turned as if my hands were saying "I don't care where your crazy mind wants to take you, your body is tired and we need to get home as soon as possible!!" So, I ended up on a bridge. Y'all it was the longest, scariest bridge I have ever been on. I'm not sure if it was scary b/c it was a. so long b. only 2 lanes c. it made me lean, I am not even lying or d. I had no idea where this bridge was taking me. I am going with all of the above. As I was on the bridge I could see the bridge I was SUPPOSED to be on going into Pensacola and it seemed soooo far away. I actually cosidered parking the jeep and swimming across to it. But...I couldn't figure out how to keep my Lucky Jeans dry. :)

I eventually made it off the bridge and came to a toll stop. Seriously, I have never in 20 years of traveling between P.C. and Mississippi had to pay a toll. I asked the toll man if I was headed the right way to get to the interstate. He told me I would be there in 5 miles. But his tone said "And this was the stupidest way to go".

I wanted to stop the jeep and get out and leap around in the grass when I saw the "Welcome to Alabama" sign. And that wasn't even my final destination. I just truly thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life driving around the Florida panhandle. I stopped outside of Mobile to get me some Arby's and there was a guy standing in line who called me ma'am. I just cannot get used to that! He looked like he was about 19 but he was dressed very nicely in dress slacks, a dress shirt, and tie. He told me his truck was messed up and he was waiting on his grandma. Have I ever told y'all that random strangers often tell me there life stories in public places? Well, they do. He then told me he was dealing with work stuff. He was supposed to have hired 100 people that day and it hadn't happened. He also told me he makes $3,000 a week and for a second I was tempted to see if he would hire me just so I could pay for the gas I had used wandering the scenic route. I told him I hoped it all worked out. Anybody need a job? :)

I made it home at 9:45, just a few hours later than my goal of 6:00. :) I was exhausted, but honestly, I still love a good road trip and having a story to tell! Sometimes it's fun to take the scenic route!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Every year on my parent's anniversary I always think about how well it worked out for me that they decided to marry each other. Have you ever thought about that? Well, this month begins a big couple of months of birthdays and anniversaries in our family and I started thinking about Josh's parent's anniversary, which just happens to be August 16. I always remember it, even though I am a terrible daughter in law and never get their gift sent on time. I am hoping that maybe if I say wonderful things about them they will forgive me. :)

Just a few days ago I started thinking about how well it worked out for me that they decided to get married. I was born just a month and a few days after their wedding. I won't tell you what year that was or I would make us all feel old. :) Oh to think that in my newborn state of life God had brought two people together who would bring my most favoritest person into the world!

I am so thankful for Mr. Bucky and Mrs. Traci (who go by Dandy and T now, courtesy of my children) because they didn't just bring my favorite person into the world. They raised him to be all of the things that my overly romantical heart desired. He was raised to love God and to serve Him. (That was my number one requirement on my list.) He is tall. (That was number 2, and okay that really has more to do with genetics than raising, but still....). They taught him to be responsible, thoughtful, compassionate, caring and hardworking.

Most importantly, I know that Josh learned how to love me by watching how his parents love each other. It is a rare and special blessing in this day and time to see couples who truly love each other and especially who still like each other! They gave me the greatest gift a young woman could ask for, a husband who knows what a godly marriage looks like. They also added to my family. Where many families have strife with in-laws I have been blessed to now have two sets of parents who love me equally. In fact, when Josh and I were dating Mrs. Traci threatened to keep me and disown Josh if we broke up. I think that is why he kept me. :)

There aren't enough words to say thank you to these two who have done more packing, moving, baby-sitting and praying than any people should ever have to. I just want to say Happy Anniversary! And thank you for not waiting too long to have a baby! :) And thank you for having good genes that you passed down to my really, really, ridiculously good looking husband. :)

We love y'all!!!

This is the most recent picture I have of T and Dandy together. I promise they usually look much happier. This is the two of them walking down the aisle to light the unity candle at Leah's wedding after watching an extremely emotionally heartwrenching slideshow to "Butterfly Kisses". I was afraid nobody would make it down the aisle after that. :)

Okay, this is much better! Don't you love those smiles!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Me Too

When I was in seventh grade I was given the nickname "Me too". You see, I had no self-esteem or confidence. Did anybody in 7th grade? I would love to hear about it. Anyway, no matter what other kids my age would say to me I would reply "Me too". As in, someone could say "My favorite thing to do is go to the doctor and get tons of shots" and I would say "Me too". "My favorite food is brussel sprouts". "Me too!" You get it? Well, thankfully God changed my life and gave me enough self-esteem to form some of my own opinions and ideas.

So why did I tell you that story? I was reminded of that nickname a couple of days ago when someone commented on one of my blog posts. She said that she really appreciated my "Me too" mentality because it encouraged her that she wasn't the only one struggling with things. She said that her pastor shares the same mentality. I started thinking about that and wondered if at some point I gave up my "Me too" nickname and chose to have a "Me too" mentality. The truth is, I don't know another mentality to have! That got me to thinking that maybe if when I started blogging close to 4 years ago I had realized somebody besides my sister and parents would read it that I might have done things a little differently. When I first started blogging we were preparing for our move to Mississippi. Our life was chaos and I termed the phrase "peacefully stressed" to explain the way we felt about the call God had placed on our lives. Neither of us had jobs or a place to live. We knew people thought we were crazy because we were moving to Ms. because Josh felt called to preach and we didn't even have a church here!

I've considered that perhaps I should have exaggerated a little or smoothed over some of the details. The truth is that on the computer I could say anthing and make our family sound anyway I want to. I could only tell you the super spiritual moments and show you only the pictures where everybody is smiling and tell you that we are awesome and have perfect children. I highly doubt anybody would buy that, but I could try.

So what am I getting at here? As I was pondering the "Me too" mentality I began to think about others who share the same mentality. Can I just get real honest right here? Sometimes church people get on my nerves. GASP! Yes, I heard it. And yes, I are one. I say that because sometimes it is so easy for Christians to get in a little pow wow and have the "Us vs. Them" mentality. We're good, they're bad. We know the truth, they don't. Well, I believe that the Bible makes it clear that God never intended for us to put on shiny, happy people faces and convince other people we have it all together. Sorry. It's just not there. It may feel nice and look pretty to the world when we do that, but it's just not reality.

Let me tell you who I think would join in the "Me too" mentality. I think that on days when I want to hide from God so my sins won't be found out I would find Adam and Eve struggling with the same shame. I can almost see a group of women talking about dealing with jealousy and see Sarah raise her hand and say "Me too!" For someone who is having a hard time letting go of sins in their past I can see a sympathetic Rahab nodding in agreement with the shared heartache. When I lose it and have a screaming fit in anger I often wonder if Peter would tell me, "Man, I know how you feel. I lost it and cut a guy's ear off!"

No, none of those things are anything to proud of. I won't ever encourage celebrating sin or our struggles. I just think we do ourselves a disservice by not sharing those struggles with others who understand. And do you know who the main person who understands is? Jesus. Yes, even the 9th grade boys I teach would get that right, because Jesus is their answer for every question I ask in class. But it is the truth. Hebrews 4: 15 tells us "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was at all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." What an awesome savior we serve! He became human so that He could understand those struggles and temptations. What makes Him the savior is that He did not sin. So what are we supposed to do with our human, sinful self? "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 We don't have to make the same mistake as Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) and hide from God. He is waiting for us to come BOLDLY seeking His mercy and grace.

That mercy and grace puts us in a new "Me too" group. You see, I look forward to being at the great banquet feast one day and sitting at the table with great numbers of people who have accepted the grace and mercy Jesus offers. I figure Peter or Paul will speak up first, they were the most talkative of the disciples. One might say, "I am here because Jesus invited me and I accepted!" And then, like suppertime at our house when all three kids raise their hand to say the blessing, we will go around one by one and say "Me too!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Night in My Kitchen

After letting the world know about The PLAN I have had several requests for the recipe for Crescent Italiano. I really hate to give it out and let everyone know how easy it is but Eli says "Jesus likes for us to share". I have to tell you that I've been making it so long that I can't always tell you exact amounts of things. I always say if you like something, put as much as you want in there!! (Hence my need for The PLAN). Here goes:

1 lb. of hamburger meat
2 cans of crescent rolls (I use the reduced fat ones to make me feel better and they taste the same)
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 can of mushrooms (I use 2)
Sour Cream (of course!)
Shredded cheese (People will eat ANYTHING with melted cheese on top)
Italian seasoning

Brown hamburger meat and drain, add tomato sauce and mushrooms and simmer.
Mix sour cream and Italian seasoning and spread on uncooked crescent rolls.
Pour hamburger mixture in casserole dish and cover with cheese.
Place rolled crescent rolls on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (or however long it takes the rolls to get done in your oven.)
That's it! So easy I can do it!

Before I go I must recommend my cooking music. If this don't get you dancing in the kitchen might be Baptist. Ha! Just kidding!!

Oh yes, it helps if you leave some of the mushrooms in the cans for the starving, swarming masses of little people helping you. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Okay, so a while back I posted about how I was going to have this great plan to lose weight before my high school reunion and get me some Lucky jeans. Let me tell you what has happened so far.

First, I have been sidelined by injury. I had started walking like 4 miles (for real) and then, I pulled a muscle in my back laying Kate down for a nap. Yes, I really did. I started feeling better and then Karen and I had to have a lunch date to make up for our lost two weeks of conversation and that meant O'Charley's soup and salad and of course the best rolls ever. We also discovered my latest greatest and favorite thing-chai lattes. I am not sure exactly what all is in a chai latte, but I am believing that it is very healthy and lowfat. :)

I recovered from my back injury and was soon struck down by a sickness that I have only known 3 times. Before you get excited (or worried), I have to tell you that I have been having problems with a cyst on my ovary. I normally would not share something so personal on here, but I am so that if you have also suffered from one you can e-mail me and we can feel really sorry for ourselves. Not only does the cyst make me feel extremely exhausted and nauseated, it also kept me up until 3 am a couple of Sat. nights back in pain. Y'all I am not kidding when I tell you I thought I was in labor. I just knew I was on my way to being one of those TLC documentaries about people who have babies and don't know they're pregnant. Mercy! I finally had to wake Josh up and tell him I was taking a Tylenol PM at 3 in the morning and that he might not be able to wake me up for a few days.

Well, enough of my complaining, whining and excuses. Here is what I have come up with. I am pretty sure it will be hitting the stores next summer. :)
1. My latest exercise routine now includes putting on my headphones and dancing around the kitchen while I cook and clean. Right now my kids smile at me very sweetly and think it is funny. I just know that in a few years they will be rolling their eyes saying to each other "I cannot believe she is our mother". We have had a lot of company lately and since that has caused me to cook lots of food that I really MUST eat for hospitality purposes, I feel that this is the best way to even things out. For those of you who have visited and missed the entertainment portion of the cooking, I am sorry the show is extra. :) For anyone in Montrose who happens to be in our backyard and look in our kitchen window and see me doing the Beyonce booty shake, I do apologize and hope that you will not hold it against my husband.
(BTW, in this pic I am making a dish called Crescent Italiano. It was my mom's recipe, but it has become the favorite at our house. It was the only thing I knew how to make our first year of marriage. Anytime people come to eat with us it is what they ask for. I am still unsure if people really like it that much or if they are just scared to ask me to make something else. Oh well, you can never go wrong with cheese and sour cream, right?)
2. The next part of the plan is diet. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an extremely healthy eater. (Um, not really.) Just check out what was in my fridge (besides my kid's shoes).
Yes, that is truly 3 packages of sour cream, a Reese's cup and a diet coke. I mean really, how many other weight loss plans would let you have these in your fridge? I feel the pounds falling off just talking about my plan.....
3. Recreational Activities- Finally, the top secret secret of my plan. The three legged race. Seriously, I don't know any other activity like running in sand, especially while trying to coordinate that running with another person, that not only works all of your muscles, but also holds the potential to land you flat on your face. That is hardcore!
Well, there you have it. I have discussed my girl problems, shown you pics of my refrigerator, me with no make-up and me in a bathing suit doing a three legged race. If this blog isn't motivation to get my act together, I don't know what is! Okay, I'm off to buy some blinds for the kitchen window. :)
*Please consult a doctor before beginning this exercise and diet plan as it will probably leave you in worse shape than you started.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's All About You!!!

A while back I joined the Networked blogs on Facebook and started inviting people to follow my blog. People actually accepted my invitation! Now, please know that I totally get that 80% of those people don't actually read my blogs, they just didn't want to hurt my feelings by not accepting my invitation. I totally get that. But, for a week or so it had gotten up to 99 people. I hadn't paid much attention until it reached that number and then it started to bother me. I just needed one more person to have 100 people who followed my blog (even if that meant they just clicked a button to accept an invitation and never read a word I wrote). Actually, I needed two because on Networked blogs you have to follow your own blog. So anyway, today is the day. The number reached *drumroll please* 101!!

So for the five of you who actually do read my blog, I want this to be all about you. I want to hear what you have to say!

1. Do we know each other in real life or did you find my blog by searching something like WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SEDATE CHILDREN FOR CHURCH SERVICES or something like that.

2. Do you have your own blog or website you want others to know about? Here's your chance to show it off! (To the other 4 people who will read this. :)

3. If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be?

4. What is something people might surprised to know about you?

5. If we were to have a conversation in real life what do you think the topic would be? (Ex. Would you ask me something from my area of expertise like "How do you get blue and green puke out of the carpet?"

Okay. GO!! I really want to hear from you!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shoes in the Fridge

This is a true story. Tonight, I heard my husband say, "We need to get Sarah's shoe out of the refrigerator." For real y'all, how can you take life too seriously when you hear something like that?

I've been thinking a lot about seriousness vs. silliness. I've often struggled with wanting to be more serious and have greater, deeper thoughts to offer the world. Sorry, they haven't come. :( Do you ever feel like to be spiritually legit it means that you are always serious and discussing important, life altering issues? Many times I have questioned if God could ever really use me in any way important because let's face it, I am just a big goofball. I have actually laid in bed before and thought, 'if some random person read my blog would they worry about a preacher who is married to the crazy lady?'

Well, in the last month or so I've had a few different people say to me or about me that I have such a joy. I do not say that bragging. I say that to tell you about my Jesus. You see, that is exactly the way He works. Some people who read my blog know and some don't, but for six years I suffered with depression. I'm not talking about baby blues or a sad time. I'm talking straight up, gained 40 pounds, stayed in bed, wouldn't leave the house kind of depression. So when people talk about my joy, it blows my mind. I know that it is a joy that can only come from my Savior.

I am aware of all of the sadness, heartache, and pain in the world. In fact, as someone in ministry and a former social worker I believe I may know it better than some. I don't believe in pretending that pain doesn't exist. But I just wanted to share what I felt like God spoke to me recently. I was talking to Him about how I wish I was deeper and smarter, and well, just more serious. Did He think that I had become downright silly and ridiculous? But then I thought about His Word in Galatians 5:22 where it tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. I thought about Proverbs 15:13 that tells us "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."

Josh preached on joy just this last weekend and as we talked about it we discussed how stressed out and discouraged people seem all of the time. Have you noticed that? I know that I am very guilty of letting life weigh me down. I want to share a lesson with you that I learned from my depression. My depression was the worst after my first baby was born. I was married to the man of my dreams, had a healthy beautiful baby, and lived in a nice house just blocks from our families. I learned from that time that we can't count on our circumstances to make us happy. I was out driving one night and pulled into a church parking lot to pray and seek some guidance. As I left the parking lot I noticed the church sign and this is what it said, "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11. You see, I have learned that true joy comes from being in God's presence. It comes from seeking to focus on the things Paul has told us to: "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

So, I wanted to write this and hope that it would encourage someone. There is a lot of hurt in this world. I pray this will be a place you find laughter. And really, how seriously can you take someone who has shoes in their refrigerator??? :O)