Monday, February 20, 2017

Sonic Run

Having three kids gives you PLENTY of opportunity to see how you've screwed up.  Especially as they have gotten older.  You just pray that your mess ups, have not truly messed them up.  That one day as an adult, my son is not laying on a couch spilling crap to a therapist about how messed up his childhood was.

As dysfunctional as my childhood was, I am the "normal" one of my siblings.  It  took my getting to my breaking point at 19 or 20 years old and God meeting me where I was.  But that is another story.....  This time I want to talk about my friend down the street growing up.

I had a friend down the street named Janice.  She was old enough to be my mom, but she truly was a friend. We made runs to Sonic for a Cherry Limeade and onion rings just to sit in her car and talk.  She made time for me even though I was stupid kid with way too many issues.  Yeah, she had plenty of issues of her own, but maybe that is what helped us bond.  Janice's friendship was there through the twists and turns of adolescents when I needed someone stable to love me and listen. As an adult, I realize how special and needed that friendship was to me.

My two oldest are boys and you basically have to pry any information out of them growing up.  I unfortunately didn't really get to know any of their friends.  I only remember having one of Joey's friends go hiking with us once.  Even now, I still don't know who Joey considers to be good friends.  Luke is thankfully close friends with some one we have known their family forever.  My boys are basically adults and I just pray for God to watch over them and make good choices.  Just looking back, wish I did things a little differently.

Faith has been a change from the secret society of boys.  She tells me most (not stupid enough to think I know it all!!) of what is going on in her life. I started having band nights once a month
with a group of her friends.  Yeah, I am sure that she probably wishes that I just would drop her off, but it has given me an opportunity to get to know her friends.  (It has also given me a chance to know her boyfriend as well.  I am happy to say that my girl has good taste.)  I've built relationships with the girls.  They have my number and have texted me before.  I've texted them as well.  It has given me that chance to be that adult friend for some one else.  Some one that can love on them, listen, give advice, but is not mom.  I know as long as I try those relationships will grow with time.  We all need a cheerleader in the background.  I'm fine with being that person.  Who knows what they will be facing in the text few years of their life?  High school is around the corner and there is both good and bad during those three years.  I want to be that person willing to make that Sonic run or if it's really bad, grab a tub of chocolate ice cream and sit at the park with two spoons.  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Faith, 14 - Luke, 17 - Joey, 19
I cannot believe it's been two years since my last post.  But then again, in some ways I can.  Life tends to get away from us.  One day leads to another.  Soon enough a week has past.  Which turns into a month...then a year.

I turn around and my kids are grown.  Last year was Joey's graduation.  I was dehydrated before graduation day even got here!  The last football game when the band played.  The last band concert.  Senior assembly.  It was one thing after another tugging on this Momma's heartstrings.  Now he is going to the community college full time and working part time.  He trying to reach his goal realizing that after high school isn't near as much as fun as you imagine.

This year is Luke's graduation.  After all these years of IEP meetings, meeting with teachers, going above to administration downtown - basically being a pain in several people's butt -- it is coming to an end.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Because after 12 years of fighting, Luke is loving his senior year and has straight A's.  He has options for his future thanks to his high school and a teacher that believes in him. This Momma will crying those ugly tears very soon this year.

Then, comes my baby girl.  It doesn't matter how old she is - she will always be my baby girl.  Faith is now a Freshman and will be starting high school this fall.  She made the varsity soccer team and she plays the trumpet.  Her life right now is basically homework, soccer, band, a nice boyfriend, and a few good friends.  I am just praying that she learns to balance the stress she puts on herself to make straight A's.  Her stress level can be high at times but with her supportive friends, she is doing well.

Well, that is a start.  Letting you know where the kids are right now. I am looking forward to writing again.  It's a part of me that I have missed.  In a time where everything is face paced - it is good to slow down for a moment.  God can reveal things in everyday moments - we just have to notice.


                        "Those who are the happiest, never did have everything.
                        But rather, they are thankful for everything they do have."

Friday, February 20, 2015

God dwells within Me

You know who you can watch a movie and well, it was okay.  For example, the first time I watched Rat Race, I could barely get through it.  I thought it was terrible.  Now, with two teenage sons, I watched it with them and I hate to admit: it's funny.  I really laughed hard a few times.  That is what happened yesterday with Eat, Pray, Love.  Honestly, I still don't think it's one of my favorites or anything.  But it had a couple quotes that stuck with long after the movie.  So, I had to stick the movie in and fast forward to find the quotes I wanted. 

That is one of the quotes.  Isn't it true?  In the times in our lives, when we reach the bottom of the pit...When we are left with nothing...God can mold us, God can use us, He can transform us.  He can take our lives and show His glory!  He can turn our lives into what we were meant to be.  Ruin can be a beautiful thing.

But, this is my favorite quote from the movie.  The reason I put the movie back in and hit the forward button until I found it.    "God dwells within you.  As you......God dwells within me. As me."   Read it again and let that sink in.  I know, right?  Deep stuff!  In the Bible, it says that our body is the temple which the Holy Spirit resides.  (1 Corinthians 6:19)  And God created us in His own image.  (Genesis 1:27)  But did you really think about God created you with all your imperfections and the Creator of all things dwells within you -- as you.  Not as a perfect person.  Not because we act like we are supposed to.  God knows our hearts.  He knows when we judge others, whether we speak those judgements or not.  He knows when hold anger against another.  He knows it.  He sees it clearly.  Yet, God dwells within me..as me.  The imperfect woman I am.  I just never heard it put so simple.  And sometimes Simple is better.
My strengths... My weakness... My faults...My dreams...My imperfections...My passions...My everything.  God dwells within me...as me.  How wonderful is that?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Day Contest!

What is it snow days that makes me so happy?

It's not just because it's a day off.  If I needed one that badly, I could just take one of my personal days. I think it is because it's different.  The world kind of stops for a moment.  I don't have to get up and head some where.  I  get a day AT HOME with my kids.  I love it!

It's 9 am and I am still in my pajamas.  Which doesn't happen any day of the week!  Saturdays and Sundays are too busy for that.  A pot of soup will soon be on my stove.  I sit under blanket with my laptop open with fur babies resting beside me.  Life is good.  And I just take a moment to say Thank You Lord for truly a day of rest.

Yes, I will finish my laundry up today.  And dishes will get dirty and washed.  A precious little girl's birthday present will get finished today.  But today will also include some home made spinach dip while we play board games.  A glass of hot chocolate in the afternoon.  If we have enough snow, it will even include some snow ice cream.  Just moments that don't happen everyday.  They seem to only happen with the snow keeping us inside.

It's no wonder why I love snow days so much.  It means family, together at home. And since I'm in such a good mood... how about a Snow Day Celebration?  It has been a long time since I've done any drawings.  How about a breakfast basket?  Scones, muffins, banana bread...that kinda thing.  :)  Just leave your name in the comments and you'll be entered to twin.  Must be able to meet me in NWA to pick up basket.  Good Luck everyone! 

Jen


Saturday, February 14, 2015

About Perspective...

It's all about perspective...

I'm learning that lately.  Your perspective can change your attitude for the better or worse.  It can make your day longer than it needs to be.  For example, I hate going grocery shopping.  Seriously, I've even waited until we even ate most of our canned good.  Fridge was empty besides condiments.  Yeah, it was bad!  Dinners were let me say... creative! :D  Yet, God can change my perspective.  After a tight week here and there, I leave the grocery store thanking God for the food He has provided. Amazing difference, isn't it? 

Even my home is still not finished after 2 years.  Yes, I'd love to get new floors or have my bathrooms completely finished.  (our home is a fixer upper!)  Yet, I thank God every night for the gift of a home for my family.  I know what it is like to be in between places to live.  I know what it is like to move your family and while moving in, they reality company tell you that you can't move in.  (and you already gave up your lease on the other place)  So, I honestly don't take my home for granted.  I thank God every night for a home to raise my children in.  It is all about perspective.

It gets harder when cancer is involved though.  I really hate that word.  Let me tell you this love story.  It is Valentine's Day after all.  Susie and Randy were high school sweethearts.  Their families even went to the same church.  His father was a pastor.  Then life happens...They both ended up married to others with kids.  But the story does not end there!  They found each other once again!  Both no longer married.  And true love which never died was still there.  Their love for each other was evident for everyone to see.  Cancer came and took Randy just a day ago.  My heart aches for Susie.  He was only 52.  Selfishly I do wish this story had another ending.  But, I know that the only way God could heal Randy was to take him Home.  Their faith is strong.  If your perspective was of the world, the pain would be too much to go on.  To finally have your love with you, just to lose him too soon.  Yet, with God in the picture, our perspective changes to one of celebration and hope.  He is healed and whole once again and I will join him again! Amazing what God can do, isn't it?

I would really like to say my perspective is like this all the time.  But...it's not.  I'll still complain because the bathroom isn't done yet or kids won't help with the laundry without being told to do it NOW (not in a minute).  But, I have curved a few of my perspectives towards those of gratitude.  I am trying this year to keep my perspective toward Christ.  Thankfulness is a wonderful thing.


What perspectives need an adjustment in your life?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Odd Duckling

"This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore"

Remember that old hymn?  That song has been in the back of my mind the past few weeks.  I find it popping in my head at various times on different days. Someday are worse than others....but I just feel so out of place.

Yep, that's me in the middle of all the white swans. Everyone has their own paths with ups and downs.  Each road has its own struggles.  Yet, most of the time, I feel like the odd one out there.  In a world of  bi-weekly pedicures, shopping, and nice dinners out like it's nothing unusual. That is not me.  It's not where I'm at.  My toes get chipped, I think that I really need to paint my toes.  Sometimes it gets done -- but then days become weeks while just doing life and I look down at my toes at night and think....I really need to paint my toes. And the cycle continues until a week or two later, I finally get it done! :) 

Even my daughter is going through this right now.  She is now 12.  Her favorite day of the week is Wednesday because of small groups.  She loves to play soccer.  Her clothes everyday of the school year is either jeans or yoga pants with a t-shirt.  Usually with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.  While I very thankful that she doesn't spend 30 minutes to an hour getting ready every morning, I would like her hair down once in a while.  :/  Anyway, if you remember this age, the boy craziness is starting. Several of her friends are already there. Luckily we have by passed this so far.  I'll take the grace that God has given me!  :)  Having two older brothers that can be nasty and disgusting I'm sure helps by showing boys in a different light. haha!!  getting sidetracked.... But she is the odd one.  There are no boyfriend stories for her.  No trying to look nice to empress a boy.  Just Faith being Faith.  Which is all I could ask for.
The picture I like to take :)  Such a pretty girl
Then there is the true picture :D



But God created us to be different.  We are called to be like Christ. Ephesians 4:24  "and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."   That's a lot to live up to. Christ was not accepted and loved by all.  He did not just go with the crowd.  He was the odd duckling. The were multiple times in the Bible were Jesus talked to some one people thought he shouldn't.  He didn't do what others told Him was right.

It can be hard to be different.  We all are actively seeking acceptance, whether we realize it or not.  Have you ever thought about it like that?  You are seeking acceptance.  I am seeking it.  It just matters where you are looking for acceptance that matters.  Is it God?  Is it the world?  We are all born with a hole in our heart.  We look for things to fill it, when all along, we only needed God.  So being different, it's okay.  The acceptance of Christ is all you will ever need.


"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  Colossians 4:5-6


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A little less talk please

Okay, I just gotta say that, well, this is MY blog and some times a person just has to gripe.  This would be one of those times.  So, if you would like, please feel free to skip to the next blog on your list.  It's okay.  Promise I'll never know and if I do find out, I won't hold it against ya! ;)

I am tired of a lot of talk and so little action.  That is what it all boils down to.  I could stop there and be done because the rest of my paragraphs will just reiterate that sentence.  But, my mouth won't let me!  I am not perfect my any means.  I get mad.  I yell when I shouldn't.  A bad word will escape my mouth once in a while.  I like to stick my head in the sand and pretend things are peachy.  BUT, I have taught my kids some good things.  My kids know what it's like not to have it all, but they also know that there are others who would gladly trade them places.  I am a big believer in volunteering.  It is a big part of my heart.  My kids have helped a free lunch program.  They have helped animal shelters.  They have cleaned an elderly person's home on the wrong side of town.  We have gone to nursing homes.  My kids have big hearts for service.  But, it is not because I've talked about it.  It is because as a family I have scheduled it and made them live up to our promise.   It is not because we are not busy and don't have things to do.  It because I made it a priority in our life and other things will have to wait.  I am proud of that.

I get tired of everyone talking about it.  When I offer to schedule a day to serve, I don't even get a reply back.  Or when I do schedule something and I only have a couple workers.  We are all busy and there will always be others things to do.  It is just the matter of saying, I am committed to this and it will come first. (so yes, soccer falls to the wayside at our house)  It is easy to gripe about the young people today because they just don't understand because things are handed to them so easy.  It is not the young people's fault.  It's the parents.  Yep, it's our fault.  Not because you give your kids everything, or most things, they want.  It is because you have not given them a servants heart.  It is more than just talking about it at church.  Or washing someone's feet that went and got a manicure on Saturday just for the service.  It is getting them out of their comfort zone and into some one else's shoes.

I hear people talk about forming "loving relationships," but I don't see any work being done besides meetings at church.  Relationships take work.  It means making time for some one else. Maybe something is happening and I am just not a part of it so I don't see it.  I don't know.  When I think of loving relationships,  I think of the kids in my Wednesday night group.  We spend time together outside of church walls.  They will text me or I'll text them during the week.  They know they can talk to me about anything.  That is a loving relationship.  Or the Hens and Chicks ladies group at church.  I love those ladies.  We spend time together.  We eat and laugh while we are working.  It has nothing to do with our ages and things in common.  Most of them are old enough to be my mother and can do wonderful things I am just learning.  It is time together with a common goal.  If I want to cultivate a loving relationship with others, it might mean having a pot luck at your home with some people that you don't know very well just for the chance to get to know them better.  I've done it before...it works.  Relationships are messy and they take time.  But the first thing you have to do, is to take the first step and reach out. 

Sorry, I will step off of my soap box.  Please let's just stop talking about service or relationships and let's DO.  Remember you are the example for your children.  If  you don't make the time to help others or to reach out.... that is what your teaching you kids.