Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Boogeyman....or the water heater....

I've watched a crime show or 80 trillion in my day, and I consider myself very aware of danger. My Dad taught me well. He used to tell me to keep my head on a swivel coming out of the mall (he demonstrated that by turning in a complete circle while surveying the landscape) and to hold my keys in a way that I can stab someone with them. I also consider myself pretty brave. While in college, I once accompanied two of my roommates on a road trip an hour and a half away with a guy none of us had ever met. It was a blind date and two of us went along to.....well, I don't know, increase the body count???? I also worked as a social worker where I went into some pretty rough neighborhoods, at times at night all alone. I encountered outraged family members. It was part of the job. But something happened last Thursday night that struck fear in me like I've never known. I was up late waiting on school shirts to dry, because the kids are supposed to wear them on Friday, and why would they have put them in the laundry at the end of LAST WEEK, when they could stuff them under their beds and the couch in the playroom so that we would have to do a mad dash through the house throwing stuff and hollerin'? Exactly. So, that is why I was up at midnight when I heard something. Something that sounded like the front door knob turning to be exact.

Now, the first time, I did not let myself freak out. I assured myself I was just hearing things. The second time, I blamed it on the dryer. The third time I got that icky feeling in my tummy and debated calling 911. Because Josh had to be up at 1:30 to work with his Dad, I really did not want to wake him up. However, I did. BECAUSE IT SOUNDED LIKE SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO OPEN OUR DOOR AT MIDNIGHT!!!!! Josh put on some shorts, came out to the living room and immediately threw open the door. Just opened it. Like, hey, come on in! I asked if he needed a baseball bat, but he said he didn't. I do believe he was half asleep. In fact, he told me later he was going on exhausted adrenaline and I could tell as he tore through the house opening doors and looking out windows. We finally decided that if somebody was trying to break in we had long since scared them with the sight of us in our pj's. Shoot, the amount of unfolded laundry on the couch was scary enough. I can honestly say I was able to fall asleep and was only slightly freaked out the next day after I took the kids to school and came back to a quiet house. It was creepy quiet. I also did a little investigative work. I noticed some of our woodchips were now in a mess on the sidewalk. I also noticed a spot on the glass door that looked like someone had their face up to it. Someone taller than all the little people who usually press themselves against the door. Josh was quick to point out that he saw a neighborhood dog mess up our woodchips and that the smudge on the door was from the *inside*. Still, I'm pretty sure I was on to somethin'.......

The next night Josh came and told me he had discovered the source of the sound. He heard the same thing..  I was so relieved he heard it too. I felt justified in waking him up at midnight to run around the yard. At least I did until he told me what is was. The water heater. Oooh, spooky, huh? Being the preacher's wife that I am, I of course became the opening of his Sunday night sermon about why we should not fear.  One of the church members told me I should have called 911. I told him I was pretty sure they wouldn't appreciate being called out to check on my water heater. He is a former cop and said he knew someone who called the cops because of a mouse. Of course, I KNOW that sound and how to handle that situation. :) I am equally excited it was not a burglar or a mouse. I do however wonder, if the cops did come to check our front door how many sets of fingerprints they would find?????

Other scary events this week:

* When we went to the FSU game I decided to just use Eli's FSU backpack to tote all of our stuff. I transferred my purse into the side part. Last night I look up to see him holding a "girl product", waving it in the air screaming, "What is this?!?!?" I had visions of that happening in the first grade classroom and was equally mortified and thankful it happened in the privacy of our living room. 

* I have been asked to begin teaching theatre classes again. The same organization that ran the summer program got funding for the school year as well. I was asked about it a few weeks back and then never heard anymore. Well, today I had a meeting and was informed we will begin try-outs on the 11th of October and perform a Christmas show on the 8th of December. Get out a calendar and look at that. It'll scare you as bad as somebody breaking into your house!!!!!

* Did you know that you are not supposed to mix bleach and toilet bowl cleaner? Well, I learned the hard way yesterday. I mixed the two and toxic fumes emitted from my bathroom. You think I'm kidding? I literally had to run out of the bathroom choking and gagging. It finally occurred to me that I should probably flush the toilet. Later I googled it and found this article that informed me it causes a toxic gas that can cause DEATH. I've been on a roll, y'all. Please consider this your PSA of the week. I do have to say, my toilet has never looked so clean. Oh yeah, and thankfully I didn't die.

* I'm gonna wrap this up now because I've got to get to bed soon. I went and picked up my niece and nephew today and they are currently snug as a bug in a rug asleep in my house. My aunt tank is full. Luke was so excited to come play with Eli and "Eli's toys". :)  Lyla has been all smiles I won't lie though. I've got to get 5 kids up and ready to take to school (in the church van, it's the only thing we can fit in). I know I can do it. I know I can. But if somebody tried to break in my house tonight, I may ask them to stay and help me get kids loaded up. Just sayin'.......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Gifts I've Been Given

Well it's official. I am no longer 30, flirty and thriving.I am now 31 and.....I run?  No, I really don't. I'm 31 and...I own a gun? No. Josh would like to get me one, but I'm pretty sure it's better for everybody that I not have one. I'm 31  Hey! I like that one! Let's pretend I'm fun. I mean, we pretended I was flirty and thriving for a year, right?  Okay, that makes me feel better. I've decided I can cope with aging better if I have a catchy phrase for each year. And I can color my hair. And if the years just keep getting better.

Anyway, I had a great birthday on Monday and felt very spoiled and loved. Sarah's teacher asked me to start volunteering on Mondays, so I did. I went in with the kids and was put to work stapling papers, making copies, and eventually she even asked me to walk around during math and help the kids who were having trouble. Bless their hearts. I specifically put on my volunteer application that reading and writing are my strengths and DID NOT even mention math. Y'all pray for those kids I help, 'k?  Anyway, I stayed until it was time to get Kate and when I arrived at the Jeep I found this.
It brought back memories of high school when my sweetheart would do stuff like this almost everyday. I'm not kidding. I felt 17 again! And that card said everything I wanted it to, just like the poem Josh wrote for me the day I decided I was in love with him and we would get married. I was 17 then. Anyway, that card and balloon would have been enough to make me happy for the day!

Josh took Kate and I out to lunch and the weather was so nice we sat outside to eat. I love eating outside. I got two cards in the mail, one from my sister and one from my bestie. They both had gift cards in them, and gift cards are my new love language. We were planning to do my birthday dinner the next night because Sarah has 3 dance classes on Monday night (she's hardcore, y'all), but while I was on the phone with Karen, Josh got a call that some of our friends who he was supposed to pick up at the airport on Saturday were actually coming back the next night. SO.....he called my Mom and brother and asked if they could go ahead and come and then threw my birthday dinner together in a manner of hours. I asked for meatloaf, hashbrown casserole and German sweet chocolate cake. I decided that you know you're old when you've been told you can have anything for your birthday dinner and you pick meatloaf. :) Josh had never actually made a meatloaf, but wouldn't you know it, his turned out way better than mine do!!  It was all super yummy and to top off my night of feeling old Josh didn't just use the number candles, he put all of them on there.
At this point I was trying to figure out where I put the fire extinguisher. (Yes, we actually have one. It was in the house when we moved in and I just figured the church got word of my cooking abilities ahead of time....)
My Mom captured this shot as smoke filled the room. At least I can say I blew them all out by myself. :) I may or may not have eaten every last bite of what was left of the cake the next day.

After supper I FINALLY opened presents. It was killing Kate. She had been trying to give me presents to open all day. I knew Josh had ordered my present from him weeks ago and had been really excited about it. I was excited about it too!

Okay, for some reason this pic will not upload the right way. Please pretend she is not sideways. Anyway, this is a figurine that I was given my senior year of high school at my dance studio. I loved her dearly, but made the critical mistake of displaying her in my home whilst it was filled with 3 children under the age of 5. She got broken. Beyond repair. I'm not really a "stuff" kind of person and I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to having stuff out around the house, mostly because I'm too lazy to dust it, but this ballerina was very special to me. Josh has been trying to find an affordable one to replace her for years now, and I was so thrilled he finally found one!

To end my day perfectly, after I opened presents everybody was going outside. I was staying in to play with my toys :)  and Eli said, "I'm going to stay with Mama. It's her birthday. We can't leave her by herself.." Oh. my.word. Please know that when a girl comes into his life for real and replaces me as his favorite girl, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Just sayin'. 

All in all it was a fabulous day. I will say that in my old age I have really begun to think about life so differently. This year I felt like God just really impressed on my heart the gifts I've been given in my life. Not birthday gifts. Gifts like, parents who loved me and worked hard to make sure I stayed healthy and happy. Gifts like, friends who have laughed with me, cried with me, been honest with me, shared life with me. Gifts like, a husband who goes out of his way to make me feel loved everyday. Gifts like amazing teachers at school, dance, and church who invested their time and knowledge in me. Gifts like living in a time where I have opportunities and resources that women even 20 years ago didn't have. Gifts like being trusted by God to serve Him in ministry. I can even see now how so many of the tough things I've experienced in life came with the gifts of compassion, mercy, understanding, and yes, even patience!

I have often struggled with why I have been blessed in life the way that I have. It doesn't seem fair that I've had so many good things when others suffer so much. It's something I've wrestled with for as long as I can remember and I feel like for my 31st birthday present God spoke to me about it. I felt like He told me if I've been given these gifts, it's so I can share them. The love I've known should lead me to love others, especially those who may not get if from anyone else in their life. I've been blessed with friends to teach me how to be a friend to others. I've had amazing teachers that have equipped me to teach others, and if I have opportunities I need to use them to bless someone else. Thank you, Father, for the gifts you've given me!

"how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

Matthew 7:11

What gifts have you been given that you can share?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm Lovin' It!

So, this last week has been kind of a bummer. I haven't felt all that great and have been dragging big time. I always get a little down when I don't feel like I can keep up with the crazy pace of life. This happens periodically for me, and in the past I have been very guilty of giving into the blues and going straight to the dumps. I've had some moments, but I just finished Warren Wiersbe's, "Be Joyful" study on Philippians and I have tried to take this as a test at how well I absorbed the lessons of that study. The overall idea is learning how to not allow people, things or circumstances steal your joy. It was such a great study. Anyway, I'm trying to get back in the game, and speaking of the game, I do realize how pointless it is to post a blog during Saturday night college football. However, I just got my turn with the laptop and I'm pretty sure it was Josh's way of occupying me so that I don't ask things like, "Do you like my new nail polish?" during the most important game of the year. And speaking of nail polish, since I haven't actually done anything noteworthy in the last week, I thought I would share a random list of things I'm loving right now. Here goes.

* First, I love this new nail polish line by CVS called Confetti. All of the polishes are like, a $1.99 and tonight I found my favorite color, "Dressed to the 9's". 

* I cannot wait to see how this new nail polish goes with these new lyrical shoes I just ordered. I am teaching a lyrical class this year and it is my FAVORITE. Lyrical is my thang. Hip Hop: not my thang. Lyrical: totally my thang.
Aren't they purty? I mean seriously, how many people get to buy shoes for work that have butterflies and bling bling? P.S. Those are not my feet. I'll spare you that shot.

* One more thing with feet. I also just got Heel Tastic for my achy, breaky feet and it is awesome! Y'all know I'm a sucker for As Seen on TV stuff, but I think this is actually gonna work.

* I am attempting to get back on the wagon with my diet. I don't know that I will be able to totally give up caffeine again, but I am trying to really cut back. I discovered Honest Tea the last time when I was being really super good and fell in love with the Black Forest Berry and the fact that it comes in glass bottles I can save and reuse. The Pig stopped carrying it not long after I discovered it (boo), but recently they started carrying it again. Yay! It doesn't taste anything like the sweet tea I make, but it just has a really refreshing taste.

* I'm lovin' that Kate has started singing "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" and that tonight she said she wanted Jesus in her heart. I REALLY loved hearing all 3 of my babies singing "Jesus Loves Me" in the playroom last night.

* I love giraffes and today I got to feed one.

* I love that my girls FINALLY cleaned their bedroom. I did the ugly cry in a happy way and told Sarah how proud I am of her.Y'all just don't know what that room looked like. It left me in sobbing fits for days declaring how I have failed as a mother and thanking God that my daughters are pretty since they would obviously never get a husband based on their domestic skills. Anyway, I am seriously loving that it is clean!

* I loved reading Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy and am so thankful you can download it on Kindle for $9.99. I've had an infatuation with Jacqueline Kennedy since 3rd grade when I read a biography about her, Some of this was hard for me to follow because I don't know my people in history very well, but it sparked my interest and made me want to learn more about that time in history and even led to me watching a documentary on the Cuban missile crisis. My Dad would be so proud. :)  

* I love that God is answering prayers and working in people's lives in ways that make me say, "Yep, that can only be God."

* I loved this post by my friend, Lori, and feel overwhelmed with a need to be a more faithful prayer warrior. I'll start by saying this prayer for you, one that I love from Philippians:
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
                                                                          Philippians 1:9-10

What did you love this week?

Monday, September 12, 2011

So Much Football It'll Make Your Head Spin

I asked in another post what your favorite things about fall are and my two faithful readers (thanks Karen and Lori!) :) responded with football and fall food. I of course, said fall fashion. Well, this last weekend was a chance for those three to merge as my family embarked on "Football Weekend 2011". 

It started Friday night. One of my theater girls had asked me to come watch her and her friends perform with the band at half-time. I was thrilled to get the invite. I figured I was long gone  from her mind with the summer memories once she started a new school year. But, she invited so I was sure to go! It just so happened that somehow Sarah ended up having two friends over, so we arrived at the game (late, I might add) with 5 kids in tow. As we were getting out of the car I could see the other team's band lining up so I started rushing everybody to the gate. And by rushing, I mean waiting on 5 kids to unload, beg to take dolls into the stadium, and stroll through the parking lot like we had all the time in the world. Herding cats, y'all. HERDING CATS. Anyway, we got in, found a seat, saw 2 seconds of the show and Kate said, "I'm hungry."  Shocker. Sarah's friend had gone to get some money from her parents who were at the game, and Sarah took that as her cue, that she too, must have money for the concession stand. Josh gave her a $20 and I knew that meant nothin' but trouble. Next thing I know she is walking up the bleachers with a BOX full of 6 snow cones. That's my girl, so thoughtful. :)   We watched the rest of the show and worked on our snow cones. Then Kate had to go to the bathroom so I took that opportunity to run by the band section to wave at my girls. One even ran down to hug me. The old band nerd in me wanted to scream, "NO!!!! DON'T DO THAT!!" because when I was in band we would have faced the penalty of death for leaving the stands during a song. But, it was cool. We lasted about 20 more minutes after half-time during which we had to jump up and grab Kate as she almost fell down the bleachers and approximately half of our snow cones ended up on us or the surrounding bleachers. When we got there we got really good seats and I was afraid we might actually be sitting in the band section because there weren't many people around. Turns out, everybody else must have known that it was the section with the lady who screams really loud at every play and every announcement, including the announcing of the cheerleaders. So, we decided to call it a night. Don't worry, we left our mark. In cherry snow cone juice.

Saturday was a full day. I got up, fixed some orange fluff and a hashbrown casserole for our homecoming services. We met my Mom for lunch to celebrate Grandparents Day then headed to clean and vacuum out the jeep. I want to have it detailed so bad, but I'm afraid the people would pay me to not have to do it. Anyway, we got home and did a wardrobe change so we would be ready for the FSU game. Josh's parents were taking some boys from their church and got us tickets to go as well. It was the first time for the girls and I was anxious to see how they would like the experience. Personally, I spent more time in the bathroom and the concession stand than I did watching the game, but hey, that's part of the experience, right? :) I know the guy and his daughter who were sitting next to us (and had to move to let us out) were thinking they got the worst seats in the house, but they were very nice and he assured me he remembered what it was like when his kids were little. When I was sitting in the stands, I was fascinated by the football fashion. Long gone are the days of t-shirt and jeans. I saw all kinds of fashion. FSU dresses, rompers, you name it. I've decided if we start attending more games I will need a fuller football wardrobe. :)  A highlight for me was the half-time show (of course!). My cousin, Niki just made the Marching Chiefs this year and I was soooo excited when I found her on the field! It was an awesome show too.  I won't bore you with any more details, I will just share 5 dozen pics.

We had nachos  and funnel cake, our team scored lots of touchdowns and I got to see the look in Sarah's eyes when she realized the baton twirlers batons were ON FIRE! All in all it was a fabulous day. Thanks T and Dandy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Most Favorite Story Ever

I can still remember talking to my dr. who delivered Sarah at one of my annual check-ups. He was asking how she was and I was gushing about how amazing she was. He said, "Just wait until she starts talking." And unlike some people, he meant it in a good way. In the way that it is absolutely mind blowing the day that it hits you that the child you birthed who has spit mushed peas on you and who you have watched struggle to roll over, crawl and then walk is now sitting across the table having a conversation with you. Like a real person. It's kind of an awe inspiring moment. I've realized that the next most exciting development after talking, is when my kids learn to write. Josh threw away most of the kid's schoolwork from last year because I have a serious hoarding problem when it comes to paperwork. And no, I don't guess we need every math worksheet, but what I couldn't stand to just throw away was seeing their names in their handwriting at the top of every page. And how it changed every week, sometimes every day. Well, I've made a concerted effort to do better this year. Every week when papers are sent home, I throw most of them away. But today, I found one in Eli's folder I just couldn't part with. In fact, I might frame it.

My name is Eli Fidler.
I like to play baseball.
I love too watch football.
I enjoy siting in my moms lap.
These are the things I like doing. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: Trend Setter

* I have noticed a phenomenon at our post office. I'm calling it "The Influx". Twice this last week I've had to go there, and that is just an errand I dread. Mostly because I always seem to go there when I'm in a hurry and you really need to devote a good 10-12 hours for a post office run. Have y'all noticed that? I am not kidding, on Sat. morning I looked at the parking lot and there was NO ONE there. Not a soul. Then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, as I pulled into my parking space, so did 3 other cars. AT THE EXACT SAME TIME! It looked choreographed, y'all. We all left a space in between us empty. Like guys do at the movie theater. It was crazy. It looked like a TV was on sale on Black Friday the way we all jumped out and ran toward the door.

* I spent my Labor Day very productively. I split my time between watching a marathon of "Barbecue Pitmasters" and a marathon telling of the history of Hollywood moguls. Fascinating. I'm still craving barbecue and wanting to watch "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

* I got a nap on Sunday afternoon which was fabulous, except Josh let me sleep until 5 minutes before church started. I literally jumped out of bed and ran to church in the rain. I gave a whole new meaning to "hot mess". 

* I made pork chops, roasted potatoes, ceasar salad, and Sister Schubert rolls for supper last night. As we ate I informed my family it would be the only meal I was cooking all week so they better enjoy it. I know, I am wife and mother of the year. In my defense, last night truly was the only night this week we don't have somewhere else to be and this Sunday at church we are have homecoming so I will be cooking enough this weekend to make up for the whole week. :)

* Speaking of all of that food, I am miserable. I have been off of my healthy eating plan for almost 3 months now and I can tell. I thought if I was really good for a few months and got myself balanced I could add stuff back into my diet, but apparently I cannot. Please pray for me. I really like to eat.

*  Since I am not feeling so great, Josh let me sleep in this morning and got the kids ready for school. Kate took advantage of that by playing hookie today. How do they learn so fast????

* It is starting to feel like fall and I am sooooo thrilled! My most favorite part of fall is checking out the fall fashion trends (because I am so fashionable and trendy) and this year I was shocked to find that I am already wearing these trends!

I am especially excited by this first trend. Smudged eyeliner. Seriously, I've been waiting my whole make-up wearing life for this trend! No matter what brand I use, my eyeliner ALWAYS smudges on me. Always. It's about time that came into style.....
Pics courtesy of

This next look they call "bold brows".  Read:  I don't have to pluck  my big, bushy eyebrows on a daily basis. Woo-hoo!

Finally, not only have I been wearing this next trend, but I have been sharing it with the next generation. I present to you......the messy bun.

This is how my hair looks 99.875% of my life.The other percentage is when I teach ballet and it actually has to be in a nice, neat bun. But never fear, on those days my ballet girls usually come straight from school and I end up fixing their buns and this is what they look like! Bun making is not my gift. I always warn people when Sarah gets ready to do turns because it is like a bobby pin grenade going off in the room once she starts spinning. Bobby pins and hair flying everywhere!  It's just so exciting to be so stylish and such a trend-setter. :)

* What are your favorite fall trends? Please share! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Keeping Up Appearances

I scrunched my nose in displeasure as I took in the outfit she chose for herself. Black leggings, a slightly too big denim skirt, an old t-shirt from last year, and of course her white socks and tennis shoes. I sighed in frustration as our hectic morning got even crazier when she decided she needed to fix her own lunch, including a messy peanut butter sandwich that did not look the way I would have made it. What would people think? That her Mom didn't buy her decent clothes or fix her a perfect lunch? My morning frustration culminated with a glance in the rear view mirror to watch her pull her hair up in a pony tail that was messy and bumpy. She did stick a bow in it, most likely because I've tried to make her wear hair bows for years, and bless her heart, she tries to make me happy. But WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK????

Deep breath. Slap upside the face. Who cares what people think? Apparently I do. Do you?

 Friday night Josh took me to see "The Help". I read the book a couple of months ago and LOVED it. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the movie as well. I was really surprised at how the book affected me. First, it is set in Jackson, Ms. in the 1960's and my Daddy grew up in Jackson, Ms. in the 1960's. It really gave me a glimpse into what life was like during that time. Obviously the book gives a glimpse at the racial climate of the times. But what stood out the most to me was the idea of "keeping up appearances". I don't know that southern, white girls are the only ones who struggle with that particular issue (I'm pretty sure we're not), but I found myself heartbroken by how many people were hurt because of "keeping up appearances". I don't deny that there were and are people who are mean and hateful and just outright racist. I've seen it up close and personal. But, I've also seen that outnumbering those people who are just racist, there are many who just can't get over the idea of keeping up appearances. They may not personally have anything against a certain person or  race, but they just can't get past the fact that it is not socially acceptable in their group to socialize with certain people. Beyond the issue of race, the character in "The Help" that affected me the most was a little girl, Mae Mobley. From the first time I read about her, I pictured Kate. And as I read about her mother who was cold and distant and disappointed that her daughter wasn't everything she had hoped for in a little girl, I wanted desperately to reach into that book and hug Mae Mobley and tell her how special she is. It's okay, there was someone who did. Abileen, her maid and nanny went out of her way to fill in where her Mom fell short. And I found myself questioning, where do I fail my kids? And while I hope and pray that I'm a better Mom than Mae Mobley's, I know I am just as guilty of allowing my need to "keep up appearances" to affect my mothering. 

How many times have I spanked my kids, not because they did something that was truly deserving of a spanking, but because the looks on other adults faces led me to believe that was what I needed to do? How many times have I crushed my children's spirit by criticizing something they've done because it's not the way I would do it? How many times have I fussed in frustration about how they look or something they've done because of how it would make me look. Shame on me. 

We had an interesting conversation in Sunday School this weekend. Our lesson was talking about community and used FB as an example of ways that.people seek community. My teacher, who is not on FB, asked Josh and I about it and then he asked about my blog, as he had heard people talk about reading it. He actually asked "what is a blog?" I began to share how I started mine and we discussed the pros and cons of sharing our personal lives online. I immediately began to think that it is an incredibly bad idea for me to have a blog. Just what have I shared in these years of blogging?? Honestly, blogging has done more for me in terms of weeding out my "keeping up appearances" bondage than anything else in my life. The truth is, the more I've shared and the more God has worked in my heart, I've learned that I don't have anything to hide. I have plenty I'm not proud of, plenty I'd rather not discuss, plenty I'd like to redo, but none of it I feel the need to hide. Because I'm a child of God, I know where my value lies. I know that God deserves the glory, not me, and I know that many times He gets the glory when others see the dirty, messy, not so good parts of my life and how He works through them. I know that in order for my kids to learn independence and have a sense of self, I have to back off. I have to watch them go to school dressed in clothes that make me want to hide under the bed and I have to wait a little longer in the mornings for them to fix their own lunch. God knows that for me to grow into an authentic, sincere follower He has to watch me make some mistakes. He has to wait for me to try to do things on my own until I realize I can't and learn to depend on Him. 

Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, having the house decorated a certain way, being in the right social circles, making children behave a certain way. Whatever it is that we do to keep up appearances, it is really a big waste of time if the only reason we are doing it is because of how it looks to others. No matter how things "look", God knows exactly why we do what we do. And it only matters if we're doing it for Him.

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,"       
Col. 3:23