Friday, February 29, 2008

Choose Life

A choice is set before you now
Living or dying, blessing or cursing
And know, the time has come around
To turn from your fighting and rest in his mercy

Choose life, that you might live
The life that he gives, he gives you forever
Choose life, the way that is true
From the one who chose you, your father in heaven
Choose life

Trust the lord with all your heart, with all of your soul
And all of your being
Hold on, listen and obey, surrender your life
Into his keeping

And the weight you're under, will be lifted away
And the world will wonder what happened here today
And you'll stand right there and say

Choose life.

I've had a very heavy heart the last couple days, because something very tragic happened to my friend recently. I can't really go into it here in respect of privacy. But if you want to throw up a prayer, God knows her name. She could use it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some tunes I have been enjoying lately

I love music! And I am always looking for new music. So, any recommendation for great music is always welcome in my world. Although, I am not in any way musically gifted!

A favorite scene in my home always involves listening to music. I am cooking dinner and my kids are dancing around. Or the we are just hanging out reading, or working on a project, homework, etc. while listening to some great tunes in the background. I often wish I could just freeze time right there.

Anyway, I have been listening to these CD's lately and really enjoying them. I wanted to share them with you.

Jason Gray -All The Lovely Losers
I have been studying the Sermon on the Mount this month with my church. Many of these songs are about how the world may think of us in a negative way, but that God sees us as blessed. Good stuff here.

Jacob Taylor - Sweet Surrender
This guy leads worship at our church sometimes and he is awesome. If he doesn't make it big on the Christian music scene, something is seriously wrong. Great CD! You will not be disappointed if you take a chance here and buy some music from this new artist.

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static
I don't know how this guy keeps just coming up with this great music. I love his voice. This is his newest CD.

Bethany Dillon - Waking Up
I listen to her a lot while blogging, writing, studying. She has a smooth voice and writes some great music. Apparently, she got married recently so there are some sweet songs from that perspective. This is also her newest CD.

I have just purchased Shaun Groves- White Flag CD. I have been reading his blog a lot lately because of the Compassion trip he just went on with a bunch of other bloggers (see my sidebar) and am just truly impressed with this guys writing. Straight from the heart. I have really enjoyed his words and have been impacted by what he has to say for sure. So, I noticed he has a CD about his own studies on the Sermon on the Mount so I ordered it. Anyway, I am sure it is going to be great. I will let you know as soon as I get it. I can't wait!

Happy listening!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring Emerging

For more great Wordless Wednesday photos click here and here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Where is my focus?

I wrote the other day about comparisons. Since then, I have talked to many other women who suffer from the same "comparisonitis". That's not really a word for you grammar crazies out there, but it works here.

Oh my goodness, ladies, when will we stop comparing ourselves to each other?!?!? I wonder if we could see inside each other's hearts or really live a day in each other's lives if we would still want what the other has so desperately.

Anyway, I wrote how I am spending so much time comparing and how it wears me out. I realized then that it is not what God wants for me. I mean really, what fun can it be, for the creator of the universe, to create me for a special purpose only to watch me try to live out someone else's life? I would imagine he gets pretty frustrated with me to say the least.

How frustrating is it to give our own kids directions on how to behave to see them act differently?

This last week at church we have continued our Sermon on the Mount discussion. This weeks passage is Matthew 6:19-34. Jesus is asking us why we worry about such things as our clothing and food. If our focus is on God, why are we worried about this? Do the birds and flowers wonder where their food or beauty comes from? No, they just live! They just focus on what they are supposed to be doing and God takes care of them.

Well, what if I stopped focusing on all the things this crazy society tells me I need? Our society seems to makes it so normal to want what everyone else has. How many times do you say this to a friend. "Oh, I love that_______!" "Where did you get it?" "I neeeeed one of those, too!"

What if I stopped focusing on all those other women that seem to have it all together? The ones with perfect hair, perfect kids, perfect teeth and perfect faith. Especially, when none of that is really perfect anyway.

What if I kept my focus on a perfect God and what he looks like? What he wants? His kingdom?

Wouldn't I have more peace? Wouldn't I worry less? How would my life change? Who could I really be?

And just how exactly does one do that all the time?

What do you think?

Why Blog? Read this.

I get questions about why I blog ALL THE TIME. How do I find the time? What do I write about? Why do I do it? Why write about me? Isn't that kind of prideful? Yeah, someone asked me that. Anyway, I was over at Jo-Lynne's blog today and she had this posted. Apparently, she gets the same questions and this leads me to believe most bloggers do, too. She makes a wonderful connection and comparison that is very interesting and hopefully answers a lot of these questions. I would tell you more, but why would I do that when you can just read it here.

21st Century Radio Homemaker,

I am keeping them

When I met my hubby over 15 years ago he spoke often of his trip to South Africa. He spoke highly and lovingly of a couple that was one of his host families. This is the couple that has been here with us over the weekend. They are now traveling through the mountains of North Carolina and will be back on Thursday to spend another day with us.

Can I just tell you how precious these folks are? Yes, I can use that word to describe someone because I live in the South and bless their hearts too. Anyway, some might be nervous about having complete strangers come to stay in their home for over a week. Will my kids bug them? What should I feed them? Will I annoy them with all my ramblings? Will we be able to entertain them?

Oh my, they are the easiest, sweetest and most appreciative people ever! I am keeping them. They cannot go back to Canada and I would like to adopt them as a second set of in-laws. They remind me so much of my in-laws actually. They are flexible, open to anything and love food. Just like us!!! All entertaining revolves around food with us. If you come to stay with us, there will be some eating going on and there will be no dieting.

And we have certainly shown them North Carolina through the food. They have now been introduced to fried okra, hoppin' john, seafood chowder, shrimp salad, calabash seafood and plenty of fresh biscuits and cornbread.

We have cooked and enjoyed some good wine, too. We traveled to historic Wilmington, NC for a day of sight seeing and they happily tagged along the whole time without tiring out a bit! My kids were worn out before they were.

They love the children and being grandparents themselves have adapted well to our craziness. They even brought them gifts which is a sure fire way to my kids hearts. AND they listen to my daughter who can talk a blue streak, let me tell ya'.

You know, this is a couple who left all they ever knew behind in South Africa to come and live by their children in Canada. They now deal with weather below 3o degrees Celsius. (Yes, I am getting a quick lesson in the metric system this week.) And they are happy. They are thankful. They move forward and live life. They made lemonade out of lemons. They miss their homeland of course and still have family there, but they just don't spend time wallowing in that. To them, life is unbelievable, food is incredible and God is good.

Someone to emulate for sure.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Signature Link Love

Many of you have commented on my signature. Click here to find out how to do the same! Plus, all kinds of other useful blog tidbits.

I love her blog because she is so generous with her advice on how to make our blog better. I am sure she could keep all of this useful information to herself and charge us for it, but she doesn't!!! Thank you, Amy!

Signed with my fancy dancy new signature,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dad gone crazy


Okay, back to our regular scheduled blog post...

We have some lovely visitors from Canada right now. They are actually originally from South Africa and were my husband's host family when he was in high school as an exchange student there. He formed a very close relationship with them and we have been able to keep in touch with them over the years.

It has been such a blessing to have them here. What a special couple. Fun, easy going and full of wonderful stories about life and most importantly my husband!

Yesterday, we were going through some old pictures of my husband from his trip. Most of them I have seen before and yes, some of them are of him and the girls that were also on this trip as exchange students. Most of the pictures in this box are wonderful shots of animals and awesome sights of South Africa. BUT, a couple were photos of this group of high schoolers gone crazy being away from parents in a foreign country.

And these were the first photos my 7 year old daughter grabbed.

"Mom, is this you in this picture with Dad?" No it is not.

"Mom, is this a swimsuit, Daddy is dancing in?" Hmmm. Not sure.

"Mom, Dad is the only boy in this picture with all these girls!" Yes, he is.

Okay, I guess I should have gone through the pictures first. So, I took these out and tried to brush it off while the rest of the group, including my in-laws laughed. Yes, very funny. I wonder if they would have thought it so funny if they knew 18 years ago what was going on!

So, she continues to look through the photos specifically looking for, not huge lions on the African plains, but inappropriate photos of her Dad. This is a good reminder to burn all photos of our incriminating youth!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BlogHer Ads

Yes, you now see BlogHer ads in my sidebar. Please do not let this distract you from reading my ultra important musings. (yeah, right)

I struggled with whether or not to have ads on my blog so that I could generate a little income, but in the end this is what I decided.

I am a SAHM. I volunteer endlessly at school and church. I absolutely love what I do with my church and for my kids in their schools. I love being available to friends, my husband and family by not working in a job outside my home.

However, sometimes it would just be nice to contribute to the family income, even if it is only pennies and nickels.

When both my kids are in school full time, I have always said I would go back to work at least part time. That is in 2 years and to be honest, I don't know how I will have time to do that.

I REALLY have found myself enjoying blogging and writing and have purchased several books in an attempt to improve my writing skills. I purchased the domain for my blog also. So, the ads will help in recouping some of those expenses.

Anyway, who knows if blogging and writing will actually become that part-time job I always said I would get. It certainly would be conducive to being a SAHM.

I have been impressed with BlogHer's ads. No profanity, good causes, good advertisers and good policies. So, click on them - you will find them to be useful ads and yes, they will pay me when you do. THOUSANDS of pennies. ;) (Family and good friends - you are somewhat required to click on these and help me out here) :)

Or don't, but please keep visiting my blog and leaving me comments. I have loved "meeting" new bloggy friends and building a friendship with you.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Step away from the Computer

Any day that I have to spend at home is a good day. I run, like most of you, ALL THE TIME.

So, once a week, I really try to stay home and focus on what I need to get done in my house. Like a little thing called laundry. Oh and cleaning. Organizing the mountain of papers that are necessary for first grade and preschool (honestly, how many trees does it take to let us know what is happening in school?), paying bills. You know all that really boring stuff.

But when I am home I also do one other thing. A LOT. I spend too much time on my computer.

I don't spend too much time writing on my blog. My mind is a pretty simple place, so it doesn't require too much time getting out what I need to say. No, the time is spent reading all the other great blogs out there and emailing.

So, I tested my time on the computer recently on one of these days at home. I tracked it. Just a little tick every time I checked my email or blog or went online. 14 times in one day!

Okay, that is too much in one day, isn't it? Tell me it really isn't. It will make me feel so much better!!! To be fair, my computer is right in one of my main living spaces. I see it every time I go up and down the stairs. So, on the way to run toys or dirty socks upstairs, I check my email. Then when I come back down, I treat myself to a recent article on one of my favorite blogs or websites.

I have also been treating myself to a little chocolate from my big red heart that I received on V-Day. So, it goes like this. Come downstairs, grab a chocolate, check a blog. Go back to my household chores. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable system to me!

Also, my computer is always on. I did read on a popular blog where she says that she actually turns her computer off until the afternoon or evening time.

OFF? As in NOT ON.

That is huge! Oh, could I do that? Maybe later. But for now, I will just try to discipline myself to half my time on the computer. And then if that doesn't work, then we can try to turn it OFF for a few hours a day.

So, how about you? How much time do you spend on your computer? What do you think is a normal amount of time on the computer and do you every turn yours off?
And if you want to get really deep here, why do you think we spend so much time on our computers? I find it relaxing. I enjoy it more than TV and really love reading what others have to say about life and such.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Speaking of Comparisons

Today I was on the phone with my bestest friend of many years. She is going through a very tough time right now. She was just sharing all that is happening and what she is having to do to make some very big changes in her life. I am in awe of her courage and impressed by the steps she is taking to make these changes.

While we were talking she said these words to me, "If I could be more like any one person in the world, it would be you." She even said at one point something akin to me being perfect.

Wow. Me? Why would she want to be anything like me? This friend is the one who knows the most about me! The one who has seen me at my very worst. This is the person that took care of me so many days and nights through college when I was not capable of taking care of myself. So, to say she wanted to be like me. Well, you gotta know, that is as glorifying to God as anything can be.

So, you know what I said to her? " I want you to be you!" I love you and I want you to be you -- only better by being the you that God intended for you to be. Not me! I get enough of me every day."

I didn't say this, but really, I get pretty sick of me. I so hope there will never be two of me. I mean, I am a whole lot to handle! Sure, some days, two of me to be all the places I am required to be would be nice, but that is not the point.

Really, what I was trying to say to her is to stop comparing herself to me. Stop comparing her life to mine, her marriage to mine and her faith to mine. Because in reality, mine has it's own issues and she doesn't want them.

So, this got me to thinking about my past week and what I had been feeling in my own little world. Here is a little story of me feeling all sorry for myself all week.

Why? Because, I too, have been comparing myself to a lot of other people.

I have compared my blog to other blogs. I tell myself, they are all better of course.

My writing to other writers - definitely better.

My bible knowledge - oh, so many know so much more.

I have compared myself to other wives and mothers only to find that I don't cook enough, let my children watch too much TV and certainly don't give my husband the attention he deserves.

Well, how can I when I am trying to keep up with everyone else?!?!!?

I have compared the way I pray to those who definitely have the gift of praying. Their words to God flow like a fountain of smooth sweet fondue chocolate. Mine sound more like a lovesick teenager just talking to her daddy about the heartbreaks in her life.

I have compared my growth and transformation with God to women who have been Christ followers for years.

I have compared my leadership skills to some that have been leading in other areas for years and whose style is so much different than mine.

I have compared my kids to other kids. Why can't my daughter keep just one bow in her hair for more than 10 minutes? Why isn't my son writing his name, yet?

My mom to other moms. If only she liked shopping more...We could have so much fun if we could go shopping together.

My husband to other husbands. Other husbands are home a lot earlier than mine. They have such normal jobs. Oh, and that sense of humor of his! Does he really have to act so crazy all the time?

I have compared my exercise stamina to the buffest of all women at the gym. I have compared my breasts to the enhanced ones in the gym locker room. I have compared my hair color, my nails, my shoes, my clothes...all to women who probably just got their look pulled together for that day. Who knows what they looked like yesterday?

And you know what, y'all? I'm am just exhausted. I am just so tired of comparing. So, guess what? I think I will take my own advice.

Because God wants me to be me! Only better by being the me He wants me to be. And that definitely does not entail me comparing myself to all these other women.

In a book I am reading right now, Eat Love Pray, she talks a bit about this. To summarize, she says, how God isn't interested in watching you pretend to be someone else. He wants you to be you!

Sunday in church, my pastor affirms this for me with his message. He was talking about the Sermon on the Mount and where Jesus is explaining to his disciples how to pray. You know, the Lord's prayer. It is not intended to be something we memorize and just recite but more of a guide in prayer. The disciples ask, "Lord, how should we pray?" and he tells them, "it goes a little something like this..." (Matthew 6:5-15) NIV

From what I understand, it is not that I am expected to pray like someone else, but exactly like that lovesick teenager I was referring to above. From my heart. Not so that someone else can comment on how great my prayer was. (which I was not at risk for anyway)

So, what about that being perfect part? Well, if you know me even just a little, you will know I am far from perfect. None of us can be perfect in the eyes of our fellow man(or woman in this case). There was only one who roamed this earth that was perfect. The only way I can live a perfect life in God's eyes is to live the one that God created me to live. To do what I am created to do.

It really takes a lot of energy to try and be all these other women I keep comparing myself to and I actually end up feeling empty. But when I am in sync with who God wants me to be I actually feel energized! I feel full.

Well, how do I know if I am living the life God wants me to be living? How do I know if I am the person he wants me to be? I know. You know. Most of us know. There is that little voice inside that just won't shut up when we are out of sync with God. I just have to choose to listen.


Sunday, February 17, 2008


My Sweeties!
Happy Sunday!
Have a great week!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Watch this and try not to be moved.
It is Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer with her Compassion child. Wow.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nothing can compare

I went to write something this morning, but first logged onto all the blogs writing for Compassion right now.

Then I went to read some of my favorite blogs that are not on the Compassion trip and they were blogging about the Compassion trip.

It is just that impactful.

Nothing I could write about today could compare to what these folks are experiencing and blogging about right now in Uganda.

So, if you came here to read my blog today, please, read thiers instead.

I am sure I will think of something completely meaningless to write about later. So, keep checking back!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beauty products, Love and Spellcheck

Well, this has been a busy week! I know, who doesn't have busy weeks, right? Seriously, I felt like I have been drowning more than a couple times so far. My husband was traveling and he really never travels. I am so thankful for that because my world seems a bit out of sorts when he is gone.

So, I don't have much to talk about except to lead you to some bloggy friends and to tell you that spell check has been broken on Blogger for about a week. Hello, Blogger - we are blogging, you know- writing. We kinda need spellcheck! Please fix it today. Whew - thanks for letting me vent that.

My friend at Musings for a Housewife and her friend at Bye Bye Pie have a cool new blog dedicated to reviewing beauty products. I LOVE beauty products! My husband has said on more than one occasion how high maintenance I am. I guess using 3 or 4 products on my face before I can even think of heading to bed qualifies for that statement. I am not sure if most beauty products really work, but they do make me feel better! So, I am excited to have Jo-Lynne and June review these products and let us know which ones are worth the money. Chic Critique is the name - reviewing is their game.

Also, I WON something in the Valentines Day Contest over at Jill Savage's blog. She heads up the Hearts for Home ministry. I won a subscription to Marriage Partnership magazine! I am so excited. I love magazines and never win anything, so it was a highlight to my week for sure.

Anyway, check those ladies out, have a lovey dovey Valentines Day. Remember that you are loved by an amazing, grace filled God. He knows your name and he loves every single hair on your head.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Faces - Wordless Wednesday

Okay, this is not going to be so wordless. I apologize for that, but the photo is something I want others to see and leaves something to be said.

This is Fabrizzo. He is 4 and lives in Peru with his mom, dad and sibling. His parents sometimes are able to work. He is able to attend school because we sponsor him through Compassion.

I just wanted to introduce you to him. He says he likes to play cars, just like my little boy who is almost 4. But his life is very different from my little boy.

I urge you to check out the button on my side bar and read about some of the experiences that a team of bloggers are having in Uganda with Compassion right now. There are some photos of faces you want to see. Need to see.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos check them out here and here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some Valentine Lovin'

I think I have said before that I love Valentine's Day.

My favorite color is pink, my second is red and my third is chocolate. All the colors of this time of the year!

Plus, how much more fun is it than making paper and doily valentines, giving cards to your hubby and kids and just showing some love?

So, I picked up a few things this past week and wanted to share:

Lovey dovey music

Steven Curtis Chapman - All About Love
Shelby Lynn - Just a Little Lovin'

If you have a Family Christian bookstore close by, that Steven Curtis Chapman CD is only $5!!!

I also picked up these two books below for $5 each. What a bargain!!! I love a good bargain, but especially more when it's all about love!

Some good books to help understand your man and him to understand you.
Men are Like Waffles Women are Like Spaghetti
I haven't read this yet but I have heard it is a good book.
The Five Love Languages
I have read this and it has been very helpful in understanding what makes us each feel loved.
I would say it is a must read for couples and they even have one for kids.

We normally never go out on Valentines Day. We go out the night before or after. We really hate to fight the crowds.

So, do you have any big Valentines Day plans? Do you usually stay home or try to fight the crowds and get out on the biggest date night of the year?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Refrigerator Art

Do you place your children's simple drawings on your fridge? It's funny. I will often display them for a couple days and then move them upstairs to our play room where I have a special place for art to be displayed. Sometimes, I hate to admit, I have to pitch some it. The really special stuff goes in a box in the attic. I have no idea what I will do with that box, but I just can't bring myself to let go of it right now.

We received this drawing from our Compassion child the other day. His name is Fabrizzo. He is 4 and lives in Peru. He is about the same age as my son. I did cry when I opened his recent letter to find this picture. I proudly display it on the fridge and find myself not able to let it go either.

My kids drew him some pictures and we wrote back. We have only sponsored him for a couple months so our communication is just beginning. I can't wait to watch this little boy grow. I can't wait to see his artwork with each letter and post it on the family fridge.

A group of bloggers is going to Uganda on a Compassion trip. I hope you will follow along with them as they journal about their experiences. I have two places you can click on my sidebar to read about their time there.

Until then, click here to get some refrigerator art of your own.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Just a little cycling class

So, because of my distress over my recent bad dream, I decided to step up the exercise a bit.

I have 2 friends that love cycling classes or Spinning as some know it. I am pretty sure I like an intense workout so, I decided to give it a shot today.

So, I went to my first cycling class.

It is a good thing that I don't have to type with the part of my body that sits on the seat of those bikes. That part is feelin' some pain.

The instructor promises that it will get better. Ukay, like when? She congratulated me on standing up so much during the hills to really "push myself." I was thinking, "Yeah, I was standing up, because I could not sit down!" Seriously y'all - those seats are torture instruments to be sure.

I pass the cycling room every time I go to another class at the gym and now I know why. Why I keep on passing it, that is. It scared the bajeebas out of me. You know it is back to that being afraid of the unknown. Well, now I know.

So, I just have a couple tips of how to know that you might be in trouble in an exercise class.

  • You enter the room and it is dark. It's full of people who are ready to work out, but it is dark. This, I believe, is so you can't see the pain in each other's faces. Otherwise, you might realize how much it hurts and actually leave the class.

  • Aerosmith is the music of choice followed by Queen's Another One Bites the Dust. Seriously. Your instructions: climb the hill until the song is over. Who knew that Dream On lasts for an entire 4 minutes and 36 seconds?

  • The girl on the bike next to you is training for her next triatholon. And she helps you adjust your seat because she is not only in great shape but she is nice, too.

  • On the way in, you see another friend and she says she will pray for you.
  • Your friend that you are meeting in the class has graciously picked the two bikes in the front row right in front of the instructor. She is so excited you are going to get the full experience! No cheating up in the front row!

But, seriously, it was fun and I plan to try another class on Monday...but not without a new little nifty gel bike seat. I am all for changing things up in the 'ole exercise routine, but not without the proper equipment!

Bad dream turned happy

I had a very bad dream last night, y'all.

The setting: My high school reunion.

(Which, by the way, is coming in August)

Events leading up to:

  • My kids caught the stomach bug and I had to cancel, not one, but two hair color appointments.

(Oh wait, that really happened this week)

  • I had not been working out on a regular basis and had gained, well, let's just say some extra weight.

(Oh, this is not a bad dream either, but yet my sad reality right now)

  • I had no time to purchase a new dress and the only one available for me was one that I wore to a friends wedding over 15 years ago.
(Thank goodness, this dress is long gone.)

In the dream, I have decided not to go to my reunion because of my zebra striped hair, weight gain and outdated dress. I am experiencing great distress in my dream over this. I want to go, but my vanity is getting the best of me and I actually still care what these fellow classmates will think of me.

Then my mom (gotta love a mom) tells me that I am beautiful, smart and should not care a wink about what others think.

(sounds like many conversations I actually had with my mom in high school)

So, I get all gussied up and go to the reunion.

I have a grand time and no one even notices my hair, my weight or my dress. They are just happy to see me. Whew. I love happy endings.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hipper Than Thou Pastor - Time link

Here is a recent article about Rob Bell, pastor and founder of Mars Hill Bible Church and founder of the Nooma video series.

A new bloggy friend, Mamacita, reminded me of how much I like this guy and we got to cyber-chatting about this link to an article in Time Magazine. So, I thought I would give Rob Bell some linky love and post it here on my blog. You know, because about 10 people read my blog and he is probably really counting on me to get the word out.

Anyway, check him out if you don't know who he is or what he's about. He has a lot of great things to say about faith and God and really makes me think. He will definitely make you think.

His book Velvet Elvis is one of my favorite books E VERRR!

He has an AWESOME video series called Nooma. I just put a link there up on my sidebar after seeing it over at Mamacita's Big Tall Fresh Air today. Take a look at those, too, if you have a minute. It will actually play the entire video of my favorite Rain. I cry every single time I watch it because it is so moving.

Anyway, thanks to my new friend for reminding me of Rob Bell today and yes, I took the very long way to give you that link you wanted.

Win an Oreck Vacuum Cleaner

Yes, you can actually win an Oreck XL Ultra vacuum cleaner.

A new one.

What a very cool giveaway. I mean, yes, we hate to vacuum, but if we have to we might as well have one that works like this one.

Click here and you will be redirected to 5 Minutes for Mom so you can sign up, too!

Not ready

We have had some really nice weather in my corner of the world this week. The high yesterday reached 76 degrees! In February!

I've lived in Texas and North Carolina for almost half of my life now, but can't seem to shake my Midwest roots. I still just expect that the mercury will not rise above 40 until March.

So, there is something that I have discovered over the last couple days in this "not a cloud in the sky early spring" weather.

I am not ready for it!

And yes, this is all about my vanity.

I need one of these desperately. My little piggys have been hidden in all kinds of boots and toe covering shoes. Imagine my horror yesterday when I went to put on my favorite flip flops only to realize that I should not.

I am so not ready for this or even these.

The gym is calling my name! Diet should be my middle name right now and I need to rid my house of the comfort foods of Winter. Oh, yummy banana bread, I will miss you.

And a tan would be good right about now. When did my legs become this pasty?

Thank goodness our friend the groundhog says 6 more weeks of Winter. I need it to get ready for Spring!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WFMW - Favorite Online Shopping Stops

Today for Works for Me Wednesday, we are supposed to post about our favorite online store or site. A place where we find good deals or love to spend some time shopping online

I buy most of my books on being a mom and wife at MOPShop. They are books that are reviewed by MOPS International to be especially useful to me as a mom and wife. AND proceeds of my purchase go to MOPS which I think is a great organization.

Not so unique, but always helpful:
I use Amazon the most. It is just a good place to find great deals on many things.

I like - Ocassionally, they will have their PJ Pals for less than $5! I usually go to the clearance section and find cute clothes for my kids.

Unique and fun:
I like to look at the gifts on Red Envelope. They have unusual and cool gifts. Always special little things for my hubby.

Home based cool jewelry:
Presence Jewelry I have one of these necklaces with the cross and a Christmas tree pin. I get so many compliments on them both. People are always asking where I got them. So, here is where I got them!
Mountain Girl Silver My friend just recommended this site to me. I would love to order something from here soon.

Hop on over to Rocks in My Dryer, Works for Me Wednesday for more great online tips!

Wordless Wednesday - Big shoes to Fill

Some big shoes to fill
Check out more Wordless Wednesday here and here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Afraid of the Dark

Last night I was putting my 3 year old son to bed. He likes for me to lay down with him for awhile each night while he drifts off to the land of Nod. His request? "Rest with me, Mama."

Oh, twist my arm. A chance to cuddle, rub his little soft head and smell his yumminess? Yeah, I'll take him up on his request...just for a minute...or ten. Plus, it really does give me a chance to talk with him about his day. It seems like my kids wind down enough at bedtime to share parts of their day they might not otherwise. So, I do try to take this precious time with each of them.

It is just that sometimes this precious time eeks into my precious alone time or my precious couple time with my husband as they try to delay bedtime as long as possible.

So, last night I was trying to explain to my son that he is getting to be a big boy and he does not need mommy so much anymore. I tried to explain to him how he can do lots of things on his own now and falling asleep is one of them. He told me that he needs me there to help him fall asleep because he is scared. I assured him that he is very brave and had nothing to be afraid of. I asked what he was scared of.

He says, "I am scared inside. I am afraid of the dark. I don't know what is in the dark."

Now, I understand that many little kids are afraid of the dark. Both of my kids sleep with night lights and I am starting to see from my older one that they eventually grow to realize that the dark is not so scary.

I have to admit, though, that even I don't like to enter a room until I have turned the light on.

While I feel safe and protected in my home, I find comfort in knowing what I am walking into.

So, my son's statement actually rings a little true in more ways than just the obvious.

I thought about this. Isn't walking into a dark room like walking in faith?

While I feel safe and protected in my relationship with God, I sometimes would really feel more comfortable if I knew more about the situation I was walking into.

If I knew ahead of time about the dark places I might have to go through, would I still go? Or would I try to take a safer more well-lit route?

But then, what miracles would I not get a chance to see? What life lessons would I miss out on?

As I look back on my more private journals I see that I write a lot about fear. I will even ask myself, "What are you afraid of???"

More than not, my answer is the fear of the unknown. It comes in many disguises, but undressed it is just the fear of not knowing what I am walking into.

In my journal writings, I, with some divine inspiration, usually come to the same conclusion.

My fears are based on what I can do (or can't do) in a situation. It is based on my own capabilities and my own will.

I realize that I am not trusting God to be the light in my darkness. I become paralyzed by this fear of the darkness. Entering into the unknown.

I can't move forward.

I can only get by for so long on my own abilities. And then, I have to look for the light.

Just like when I enter a dark room. I look for the light switch.

I move forward in the dark, through my fears to the light.

As I finished up with my son the other night, I reminded him to look toward the light coming from his closet and his night light and not look to the dark. I encouraged him to pray and ask God to protect him in the dark. It seems so simple, doesn't it?

We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB

The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going...put your trust in the light while you have it so that you may become sons of light.
John 12:35 -36 NIV

Compassion, Uganda, Blogging

This Sunday, a team of people that happen to have really great blogs will be traveling to Uganda with Compassion International. They will be keeping a live blog of their activities there.

I have posted a button in my sidebar to help you follow one of those bloggers Anne Jackson from I really have enjoyed reading her blog lately. She poses some very thought provoking questions.

Here is a link to the rest of the blogging team. Check them all out - good stuff!

I am anxiously waiting and excited to read about what God will be doing on this trip.

Please pray for them, the Compassion team and that people would be moved to sponsor a child in Uganda.

I sponsor a child and it is a real blessing. More on that later this week.

Keep the Romance Alive Contest

Check out this fun Valentines Contest over at Jill Savage's blog. And be sure to read all the romance tips in her comments! Great advice!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Football and politics

Football and politics pretty much rank in the same order for me. Not the most interesting things to spend time thinking about. (this statement is not meant to offend, it is just my silly opinion) I do not really find myself in many conversations about them because I :

1. Don't really understand them.

2. Don't really care to understand them. (Well, I do care a little more about politics.)

3. Do not find them very much fun and it is all about the fun factor for me.

BUT, I do find Super Bowl Sunday FUN because we get to go to a party or invite people over for a party and then we get to socialize and eat. It is the best excuse to make those fattening dips you have been dying to try.

So, really I guess I do find football fun as long as it entails food and socializing.

The food part works out great. Who doesn't enjoy food while watching the big game?

The socializing, though. Not so much.
Who wants to listen to a bunch of chatterboxes when watching the big game?

We had friends over last night and it was nice to hang out. Who knew that 2 familys could go through that many tortilla chips!?!? I heard that on Super Bowl Sunday enough guacamole would be eaten that it could actually cover the entire football field. And so now you know.

I find it funny how the guys just watched the game and did not talk about ANYTHING else but the game. Meanwhile, the gals talked about everything from child rearing, homeschooling, God, television watching, cooking, etc. etc.

We tried to talk in the same room where the guys were watching the game, but the looks from our men told me that we needed to take our blabbing elsewhere. So, we ended up in the the food...talking the entire night while the only thing you heard from the guys is the occasional roar of frustration over a bad play or excitement when "their team" put some points on the scoreboard.

We joined them at the end of the game which ended up being quite exciting even if I do say so myself. Not being a football fan and all. I really didn't care who won except that my hubby had bet some big money on the game ($5) and I was trying to support him!

So here I am blogging about football and politics each within the span of a week. Stranger things have happened I guess.

How was your Super Bowl Sunday? Sad over the loss, happy at the big upset or did you even care? And who else found some of the commercials to be completely bizarre? (Except the Bud Light ones - those were just plain funny.)

She Speaks Conference

I receive a daily devotion from Proverbs 31. I love this ministry that is designed for today's busy woman. I have it on my sidebar along with Lysa TerKeurst's and Renee Swope's blogs. I find inspiration in these ladies words pretty much every single day.

About 6 months ago, I saw that they have a speaking and writing conference every year in Concord. Concord is about a 3 hour drive for me. Since I have just started speaking more and really found that I enjoy writing, I was more than ready to register for this upcoming conference. The dates for the 2008 were not even posted yet and registration was not open.

Fast forward to this last month. My little brother, (who is like 6 foot 3 inches and not so little anymore) is getting married! He is 34 and has finally found the love of his life after many lonely years. He works with Wal-Mart as a manager and has basically been married to them for about 5 years. Imagine our family's joy that he found this lovely woman and they are going to make a life together.

Then he told me the date.

Then P31 posted the date for She Speaks.

The same date.

Well, obviously, I have to be at my brothers wedding. I want to be at my brother's wedding. I would not miss it for the world. Both of my kids are in the wedding, too. I am very excited about both the wedding and seeing my little ones all dressed up. My 3 year old in a tux! Really, this is probably more cuteness than I will be able to handle.
I thought for sure that God wanted me to be at this conference and that this was where I was going to learn how to improve both my speaking and writing skills. I do this a lot. Impose my own WANTS on to what God wants for me. I just love how I always think we are so in sync with what I want to do. Then He shows me what HE wants for me to do. And when I am obedient, I see what being in sync with God really means. Oh, how he must get a kick out of me sometimes.

Now, I don't believe the door to attend the conference is completely closed for me, just delayed a year. So, I guess for this year I will just have to practice my speaking and writing and read some books on how to improve them. And next year, if my other little brother doesn't get married that same weekend, I will plan to be at She Speaks.

I wish you would consider going to She Speaks! this year, though. I think it is going to be absolutely incredible! Especially if you blog or are in women's ministry. I have posted this post not only to come to terms with the fact that I will not be attending, but also so you might know of this wonderful opportunity. At least check it out. Maybe the door that is closed for me this year is wide open for you! Plus, North Carolina is BEAUTIFUL in June.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One Vote 08

You will not normally find me discussing politics here. Here or anywhere really.

But, I thought this was interesting. Check out One Vote 08 to find our your candidates plan on global poverty.

Is it just me or do they all sound like they are saying the same thing? And this is why I don't really discuss politics. I question ALL of them. Call me cynical, but are they just telling us what they think we want to hear to get votes or are they sincere?

In my hopes and dreams, I hope the candidate I eventually end up voting for is sincere. I have to believe that he (or she) will fight for the things they say and not be swayed by lobbyists or big business or the wind for that matter.

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