Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A much needed break!

Our Mini-Vacation

I must say I always welcome Spring Break but this year - it is ESPECIALLY welcome! As stated in my earlier post on Chaos...we have been going, going, going. So, a break was needed to say the least!

Well, as is often the case we were short on money and short on time so decided to combine picking up Hannah at the Albuquerque airport and a mini-vacation into one. Tuesday morning, Joel and I loaded the 3 younger kids up and headed to Albuquerque.

First stop - my friend Jennifer Baca's business Red Light Green Light. This was a play area with educational toys and play centers. The kids had a BLAST and I so enjoyed seeing Jennifer - she and her brother Ricky were like another sister and the brother I

never had as a kid!!! Here is Tyler at her place -

Next it was to my Grandma's house - I just LOVE her so much! I was able to share my Africa album with her and to share stories about my trip...great time!

Then - we headed to the hotel and just let the kids rest, relax, and SWIM!!! Following that was a wonderful dinner at Texas Roadhouse - I must say it was hard to decide where to go eat with so many options - which we don't have in Bayfield/Durango!

The kids enjoyed both the peanuts and yelling YEE HAW with the servers when there was a birthday! Joel and I enjoyed the steak and the rolls and the smiles on the kids' faces!!!

Finally at about 10:00 I left to pick up Hannah from the airport! Her flight was a bit delayed but by 11:20 I had her and we headed back to the hotel where Dad was eagerly waiting!

Today we hit the Rio Grande Zoo and the Albuquerque Aquarium! I must say this was the BEST family day we have had in a VERY long time!!! The kids were amazing and the animals were all out and about since we got there right after it opened and got to most right at feeding time!!! The gorillas and the polar bear were big favorites at the zoo and the sting rays stole the show at the aquarium!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sending My Girl Off....

YIKES! The time has come for me to officially send my oldest off on a BIG trip that I am not going with her on... Hannah was actually the one to point out to us that she has never been on a trip without us going with her (advantage of having a husband who's the youth pastor!)

Seriously, she has always been with us: camps, retreats, mission trips, etc. However, tonight (4 hours from now) she will embark on a journey across the United States all the way to Washington DC. She will be gone 4 days - whirlwind trip!

I am SOOOO very excited for her but yes there is a part of me that says, REALLY? Am I really sending her on this trip and not going? YEP - I guess I am! I think it will be great for her - she will be responsible for all her stuff, her money, keeping with the group, etc. Although we TRY to have all our youth (our kids included) be responsible on youth trips - it can be difficult to not step in and be "Mom"! LOL.

I can't wait to hear all about her trip and what she liked/doesn't like etc. Tuesday night is a LONG time to wait for this mom! Ha ha!

This trip is coming at a GREAT time though - given the hard week she has had. I am glad that she can go and just be a kid, experience something new, and bond with her friends!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Heavy Heart

Hannah #31 and Shaniah #50
There are so many times as a Mom that I just want to tuck my children away and shield them from the bricks that life hurls at them. Yet - I know that it is through these times that they grow stronger as people but also in their faith...

Today was one of those days. A young girl, 13 to be exact, was killed in a car accident today. Her name was Shaniah Farmer - she played on Hannah's volleyball and basketball team, was beautiful and fun loving. My mama heart wants to just take away the pain and hurt that my sweet Hannah is going through BUT I am so thankful to see the fruit of her faith play out even in the midst of tragedy.

After school, I took Hannah to get ice cream and just give her a chance to talk. She talked about how they found out, how she and her friends cried for over an hour - then she shared about how 7 of her friends got together and PRAYED as a group. She went on to tell me how she had prayed the prayer of sorrow most of the afternoon - this was a lesson Joel taught at our recent youth retreat. ALL of this happened before Joel or I ever saw her this afternoon - what a testimony to her faith!

Although, yes I wish that I could shield her from these types of things - I am SO thankful that God is using her at a young age to share her faith in a time of tragedy. I know that the journey of grief will be long for not only the students but also for Shaniah's family. Please pray for the Farmer family as they walk this journey. Pray for the students and teachers at Bayfield Middle School as they grieve...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The need for some order to the chaos

Ok - just going to lay it out there...the past two months of my life can be summed up in
one word - CHAOTIC!

I wish that I could say that this was a simple case of a busy schedule and the many activities that we have been going to, truth is I can't. I am serious when I say that EVERYTHING in my life has just been one big jumbled ball of home life, my spiritual life, social life, emotional life, get the picture.

Well, this weekend - it has come to a head and I AM DONE WITH CHAOS! I have literally come to the point where it is so messed up that I can not function well in ANY realm of my life. Rather than doing anything well - it has been a matter of simply attempting to keep my head above water.

Don't misunderstand - just like anything in life that is broken and not right; I know that it didn't get this way overnight and so therefore I can't fix it overnight BUT I can start taking the steps to put order, direction and organization back into my life and set-up protective measures so that it doesn't get that way again.

When I really began to see this for what it was this morning - I was a little taken off guard and then overwhelmed by the task of fixing it. I thought - "why is this SO imperitive to me?" Then - I got it tonight at the Truth Project...God IS NOT a God of disorder but of ORDER! Everything He does, everything He created, who He is screams - ORDER! So therefore, as His child - I am CREATED to have order in my life! This is why the overwhelming need to have order back in my life has consumed me, this is why I haven't felt at peace about anything at all!

Just like any problem - before you can truly find the solution you have to identify the problem and seek to discover how you got there. For me - there are a few factors: first, not setting goals that are realistic and attainable; second, not staying focused; third, not saying a simple word NO; and finally, not seeking the Lord as to what I should and shouldn't be doing. I have been jumping in and doing things simply because they needed to be done and no one else seemed to be doing them, I have let procrastination in other areas rule, and I have lost sight of the things that the Lord has specifically called me to do!

Now that I know HOW I got there....I intend to get it back in order and focused. First - I am not taking on any "new" endeavors until I have a good handle and grasp on those things in my life currently. Second - I am eliminating some VERY specific things that the Lord, through my husband's leadership, has asked me to give up and allow someone else to do. Third - I am going back to my FIRST love of Jesus and SECOND love my husband with my kids being a close THIRD and anything else after that.

This doesn't mean that I am dropping everything. I am a firm believer that there are ministries, tasks, and opportunities that God has for us. In following Christ's example - I see that yes He took times of rest but He never TOTALLY stepped away from it... I plan to carve those "times of rest" into my everyday schedule - times where I simply enjoy the quiet house, or the birds singing, or the sound of my kids laughter. Times when I am not "busy" but like Mary - sit at the feet of my Savior soaking up Him!!!

Hopefully in posting this - two things will happen: I will know that others can hold me accountable AND I can encourage someone else who has come to the realization that their life is a jumbled ball of chaos to work toward order....

So - I would ask that if you read this you would take the time and ask me if I am seeking order rather than chaos AND if you need someone who totally gets it to hold you accountable - I AM HERE!!!

I am truly excited about going down this path - this week's focus for restoring ORDER:
1. Consistent Quiet time every day - which has not happened in a long while
2. The HOUSE - it is a literal WRECK! This week is devoted to getting it in order!

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." I Corinthians 14:33

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The "C" word...

Can I just say I HATE the "C" word - that is CANCER! I literally hate it with a passion. I know, it's just a word but ugh - I don't like the feelings of fear, uncertainty and finality that it brings on myself and others. I can't stand the fact that a person being diagnosed with it knows right away that they are in for an uphill battle and I really don't like the fact that many whom I have loved and cared for have either passed away from it or are currently battling it!

Don't fear - no one in my immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer BUT in the past few months we have had several of our close friends be diagnosed with various forms of cancer. The most recent is one of my sorority sisters from college and I just want to SCREAM at this terrible disease!

Yet, as angry as cancer makes me and as much as I hate it - I KNOW that I KNOW my God is SO much stronger than cancer, He is able to bring healing and restoration to the lives of those who battle it and most of all HIS name can and will be glorified through many of the stories surrounding it! I admit - I struggle with my faith each and every time someone I know and love is diagnosed with any form of cancer. It takes me days to process and come back to the TRUTH of Jesus and His power; however thankfully I do come back and know that even though I can't physically do anything to cure those who battle it - I CAN FIGHT THIS BATTLE ON MY KNEES and thus this is where I am at now. Below are the names of those that I currently know battling some form of cancer - if you read this, will you just take 5 min and join me in praying for them? God is good and will be answer when we call His name!

Summer (Mohon) Perkins
Elizabeth Bailey
Derek Pressley
Kathy Armstrong
Wally Buckalew
Marti Saul (in remission currently)
Donna Bass

These are the ones I can think of right now - I may add others as I think of them or they are mentioned to me. If you know someone battling cancer PLEASE feel free to comment and add their name so that I can pray for them as well!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Busy, Busy, Crazy, Crazy!

Oh my goodness! The past few weeks have just been filled with all kinds of things and I have been so busy that I hadn't realized how long it has been since I blogged - YIKES!

So, quick recap of the past few weeks: Following the winter retreat, our next adventure was to Moab Utah for Hannah's volleyball tournament. It was SO incredibly nice to get out of town if only for a night! The kids enjoyed the pool at the hotel, seeing the rock formations, and yes we watched A LOT of volleyball!

Then, it was home for another week of work and school. The next weekend I was off to a scrapbook retreat for two nights - WONDERFUL - and Joel and the kids had another volleyball tournament in Mancos! Like a good Dad - I received regular texts and Hannah had an AMAZING day with 2 spikes, scored 6 points off of serves, and played off the net GREAT. Praying she does that today since I will be there!

This past week I was able to sub at the Elementary school everyday as an aide for a little girl named Emily who has special needs. Emily truly blessed my life this past week! Her joy and excitement for the little things in life was so refreshing!

We have also had two young ladies from our youth group with us all week this week while their mom is in Mexico! They have been so fun and I love them I have to give them back? I could be a mom of 6 if the two new ones were 17 & 18! LOL.

That brings us to today where we are headed to yet another volleyball tournament in Cortez. Hannah and two of our youth girls are going with me and Joel will stay here working on AWANA Grand Prix cars with the other 3 kids - pics to come!

So - in a brief way that is what we have been up to! I do have a couple of other things that I really want to blog about - one being a new passion God has put on my heart and one being with an issue I am struggling with. However, I really don't want to "rush" those posts and so will wait til I have a time to type them!