Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Happy New Year Post~

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just 2 days away! Even harder still...another year has almost past.

We do not do Christmas Cards, I always WANT to do a cute little Christmas Card with our family picture on it and a fun trendy just never seems to come to fruition and honestly, I am learning that I am ok with that. However - I thought that perhaps I would make an end of the year blog post to let you glimpse into our family through my eyes...

2015 has been a year of many changes for our family and yet many things haven't changed. The biggest part of 2015 centered around our sweet Hannah graduating from High School! Seriously - how did that happen? I blinked and she was out the door to college. She has now finished her first semester at Dallas Baptist University. It was an adjustment for us and for her - she had her ups and her downs but through it all she has come out loving the Lord and knowing Him better - that is the best measure of success!

Joel and I also celebrated our 20th Anniversary this year. I cannot even fathom how blessed I feel to walk this life alongside him. We had grand plans of a fun getaway trip for just the two of us but it didn't happen - and although it was disappointing we know that it was all part of God's plan and we are looking forward to going to a week long retreat in April for minister's and their wives which is something that we have always wanted to do.

Another new and different change for us this year was walking alongside our own parents through various medical conditions and surgeries. In March, Joel's Dad had surgery for colon cancer and although there were some setbacks and unexpected situations - we are SUPER thankful that he is cancer FREE!!! He also had another surgery here in Lubbock this summer on his caryatid artery - thankfully he is doing much better and hopefully on the uphill swing! My mom also had surgery this summer for a hole in her intestine. Again, some unexpected setbacks and challenges but she too is recovering and we are so thankful for that. There is not a moment that we take forgranted how blessed we are to have parents with minimal health issues and although we know that may not always be the case - we know that God is there through it all. We are very thankful that Joel was able to go to Colorado for a week to be with his mom during his dad's recovery and I was able to go and be with my Dad during my mom's surgery and both of us were able to be here for his Dad's surgery in Lubbock.

Our younger three kids have AMAZED us through this year of challenges and change! They have literally taken it all in stride and have been very understanding. Malachi is half way through his Junior year of High School. He has started a new job and is overall doing well. He also joined choir this year for the first time and loves it - the music gene has continued! He is beginning to pray and seek the Lord about where he is headed after high school and we are anxious to see how God will work through him in the days ahead.

Kestra is a sophomore. She is still loves softball and choir. We are super excited that she made the JV team for softball and are looking forward to many softball road trips in the spring! She is also trying UIL solo this year in choir and has already had her big sister Hannah helping her with her music. She also has her first boyfriend and we are very pleased with how both she and he have gone about it all. He is a wonderful young man who is very respectful of her and us! She looked into getting a job but has found that she is making great money babysitting and loves it - so she has a pretty good clientele going for her.

Tyler is still homeschooling. He has made so much progress in reading and we are thankful for the flexibility in his schedule. He has found that he enjoys cooking in the kitchen and of course still loves being outside and animals!

A first and a highlight for me this year was being able to go on a Girls' trip with my Sister-In-Law Jana to Washington DC in October! She earned a trip through Plexus and invited me to join her - it was a fun and memorable time and I am so blessed to have had the time with her!

Ministry wise we are still serving at First Baptist Levelland and it has been a good year. We have enjoyed seeing children come to know the Lord, be baptized and parents committing to train them up in the Lord. I am loving my job as Director of the Parent's Day Out program and work with some outstanding ladies and families. For the first time ever, we have a waiting list and are 100% full - this has been a fun time!!!

We have also been working our home based businesses - Plexus and Thirty-One. We are so very thankful for companies that keep their focus on the Lord and His provision as well as being committed to building relationships and helping people not only financially but physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am looking to promote to Director with Thirty-One in the coming year and Joel is working to promote in Plexus as well. God has been faithful to provide through these avenues.

As we look ahead to 2016 we know that God has so much more in store for our family and although we may not know exactly what that looks like or entails we are excited to be a part of His plans. Our prayer is that you will seek to join God in His work wherever you may be! Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Some "Me" Time

This morning, I am taking some much needed "me" time. Time to really pray and reflect and set some goals in pretty much every area of my life for the upcoming year - although, I don't plan on waiting until January to begin the work!

In 17 days I will be 41 - yep as Tyler put it a few weeks ago "OVER 40"! As I look back on my life there are many moments that I am proud of and happy to have accomplished. There are also moments that I am not so proud of, mistakes made, and tasks left undone. I think if we are all truly honest - that's the case for most of us. Recently, I read a quote that went like this "Don't focus on the past, it's behind you. Don't focus on the future, it's not here yet. Just be in the Present." Although I agree with the premise of the idea that our FOCUS doesn't necessarily need to be in the past or future - I disagree that we don't need to look there at all. We have to learn from the past - both our successes and our failures. We have to look to the future and seek where God is leading us. Yet, yes we do need to be in the present. So..that's what this morning has been about - reviewing the past, praying towards the future and just setting some goals!

For some time now, I have felt that 2016 is going to be BIG. I believe that it is going to be big for not only my family and I but I believe that God has BIG plans for America. Yep...I said it! God has a plan for our country. Of course it is an election year and that is always a big year in America but that isn't what I am referring to. I am referring to spiritually! I believe that 2016 is the year where we as believers are going to be called upon to stand firm, stand strong and LOVE BIG! Just a thought - but I regress, this post isn't about that as much as it is sharing what God has laid out for me PERSONALLY so that you all can be praying for and encouraging me in that!

So, I have basically lined out 6 areas (so far) that I believe God is calling me to work on in the next year. Of course, I am married and so a few of these goals are joint with Joel ( hope he agrees to them - LOL) but most are just personal. I then, set goals within those areas...Here they are:

Spiritual Goals:
1.) To have a consistent and in-depth quiet time. Yes, this is a REAL struggle for me. I am good with reading a Daily Devotional and prayer time...but I want an IN-DEPTH like searching the Scripture to get to know my Lord kind of quiet time. I am not a morning person by nature but I am convicted that I need to be getting up and digging in God's Word each and every morning!

2.) Read 4 books in the upcoming year that will challenge and spur me on in my faith! I am open for some suggestions here. I love to read but must confess - I am a fiction kind of girl! I need some thought provoking get off your hiney kind of books! LOL

3.) Mentor/Disciple 3 people. In the past, I have LOVED mentoring women and teen girls one on one! It has been life giving and has challenged my faith walk like CRAZY! However, recently this hasn't been the case. I have gotten lost in my self and too focused on me that I have lost sight of the call that we have to "Go and make disciples"

Physical Goals:
1.) Consistent exercise 4 times per week. Tuesdays and Thursdays with my preschoolers is great BUT it isn't real intentional exercise and that is definitely what I need.

2.) Consistent use of Plexus products that I KNOW work but yeah, you gotta actually USE them to have them work!

3.) Limit soft drinks to 3 per week. I am a realist - I believe that we should all have some freedom to indulge! LOL

4.) Lose 30 lbs - I am convinced if the prior 3 happen, this will be a no brainer!

Financial Goals:
This area will be more defined as I have opportunity to really sit with Joel BUT I know he will agree with these basics

1.) Set aside our "Emergency Fund" according to Financial Peace.

2.) Pay off at least 30% of our debt

3.) Purchase a second vehicle

Thirty-One Business:
1.) Enroll 3 new consultants under me. I want other women to experience the joy and freedom that comes from Thirty-One not just financially but just the sisterhood of women who encourage, reward and celebrate one another.

2.) Promote to Director - so that I can reach even more women and encourage them!

3.) Consistently sell an average of $1000 per month

Plexus Business:
This one will also be more defined after sitting with Joel since it is our joint business but I think he would agree with these starting points

1.) Enroll at least 3 new ambassadors under us so that we can help them reach financial and physical goals.

2.) Earn an extra $300 to $500 per month.

Personal/Career Goals:

1.) Begin taking Child Development Courses to become eligible to be a Child Care Administrator of a licensed child care facility. I have no idea on the timing, but God has really given me a passion and desire to pursue this. I am about 27 college hours from it but believe that this will be accomplished within the next year.

2.) Be more organized in my home. Currently it isn't near as organized as I need it to be!

So, there you have it! My GOAL list for 2016. I believe that goals are great - they give us direction, purpose and vision. So, share with me - what are YOUR goals? How can I pray for, encourage and help you reach them?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A little dose of Encouragement goes a long way

It's time we get real, it's time we get honest - with ourselves and with others. Face it - no matter what sparkly, fun, cute things we post on social media, no matter how much we smile and say it's all going great, no matter how much we hold our head up....we all deal with discouragement at some point or another. It's there - whether in work, at home, as a parent, in our marriage, in our friendships, in our schooling, in our faith.

Let me be real, honest, and transparent with you - I have/am dealing with discouragement in many areas. I am not going to elaborate on them all but I am going to list them - not for sympathy or attention but to share with you that you aren't alone in this struggle of discouragement...

I have been discouraged in my parenting skills - or lack thereof.
I have been discouraged in our church and in the work we do.
I have been discouraged in my marriage/family life.
I have been discouraged in my home based business.
I have been discouraged in some of my friendships.
I have been discouraged in work.

You get the idea...discouragement can creep into any area of our life and if we aren't careful - it will creep into EVERY area! This is where I found myself recently - discouraged about just about everything! It seemed no matter where I looked - I was discouraged, even when in reality there wasn't anything to be discouraged about!!!

This fall, I have been blessed to be leading a small group of women in a Bible Study on Encouragement! Here's the deal folks - by nature, I LOVE to be an encourager, it is something that I am passionate about and that resonates in me. Yet, when you are walking around in discouragement - it is REALLY hard to be an encouragement to others! Trust me it's true!
Anyway - so this Bible Study is all about encouragement - I was really excited about it! Finally, something to get my head up, get out of the rut of discouragement and smile. It has done that BUT not in the way I see, my toes were stomped on right off the bat! I realized that I was looking for encouragement in all the wrong places, in too many faces (ok, sing the song you know you want to!)

I was looking for it from other people - friends, husband, parents, co-workers, ANYONE! However - the first chapter nailed it - GOD IS TO BE MY BIGGEST ENCOURAGER!!! Yep...He is the One who created me, formed me, gave me purpose and meaning, He is the author and creator of encouragement! And get this...He has been there the whole time waiting for me to look at Him, to see Him cheering me on and lifting my head up! Psalm 69:32 says "Be encouraged, you who worship God." He so longs to encourage and uplift us - we just need to look to Him!

Week two - nailed it AGAIN! The WORD OF GOD is a source of encouragement. YES!!! If I will run to His Word He has encouragement waiting there for me....I Timothy 4:13. However, I will never find this encouragement if I am not faithfully opening up the word and looking for it....

This is week 3 and yep...Hit the nail on the head AGAIN! We need to be encouraged and encouraging others in our faith. Romans 1:12 says " I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other."
Here's the deal - as women especially, we tend to talk about EVERYTHING under the sun; marriage, kids, work, fashion, vacation, kids' activities, school, etc EXCEPT - our faith. It was summed up best in this quote "how can you encourage the faith of your sister in Christ if you never talk about the faith you share?"

That's it - how can we possibly encourage one another in our faith if we aren't TALKING about our faith? We can't!!! This was my challenge this morning as I read through my Bible Study - to talk about my faith, to encourage others in their faith, to be drawn out of my world or as Nicole Johnson says
"I need to be drawn out of my own little world, and so do you. I see women all the time who seem joyless and lonely - I can see it in their expressionless eyes."

So, here's my encouragement to YOU:
Hold your head up high sweet mom, raise your eyes up wonderful wife, wipe the dust of discouragement off and look UP - to the author and creator of YOU! He wrote your story from beginning to the end before your first breath was taken. He loves you, He is cheering for you , He is there - raise your head up and be encouraged today.

Has it been awhile since you opened His word? That's okay - today is the day it is there, rise up go to His word and be encouraged.

Are you lonely and wondering if anyone notices you? That's okay - today is the day that someone notices YOU - I notice YOU because I see myself in your lonely and lost eyes. You aren't walking alone - you have others to encourage and love you!

Are you struggling in a weight loss goal? Think that there is just no way you can do it? That's okay - God says you CAN do all things THROUGH HIM! He's there cheering you on, encouraging you to get up and try again, He makes it possible. Phil 4:13

Are you struggling in a job, career or even a home based business wondering if you will ever get ahead financially? That's okay - God knows your every need and He is there. He's going to provide a way in the wilderness and do things that you can't even imagine. Isaiah 43:19

Oh sweet friend - let's not wallow or walk or remain in discouragement! Let's commit today that we are going to rise up, look to God, His Word and be encouraged. Let's resolve to be the source of ENCOURAGEMENT that is speaking louder than the voice of discouragement.

Be honest, be real, be transparent - how can I pray for you, encourage you and cheer you on?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Time = Flexibility, Change, and Trust

It's been awhile...Okay, so like a few months since I have sat down to blog and well, that's just the way it goes in life at times. We are caught up in living life instead of documenting it! Ha ha! 

I have to admit, I have a love/dislike relationship with Summer! I really do! 

I LOVE that we have a break from the crazy school schedule, I LOVE that most days we are able to get off to a slower start and be laid back. I LOVE that there are different opportunities to serve and grow in Christ. I LOVE that many of our regular church activities are on "break" and we get to catch our breath. 

At the same time, I DISLIKE that we don't have routine. I DISLIKE that it seems like every summer we are faced with some sort of challenge financially. I DISLIKE that often times I find myself waving in passing between trips to my various family members. I DISLIKE that I can't predict when we are going to be thrown a curve ball. I DISLIKE not seeing my amazing PDO kids and co-workers regularly.

This summer has been no different but then again I guess it has! God is teaching me that I have to remain in Him, trust Him, and be okay when plans change. Let me tell 40 years old and having been in full-time ministry for the past 20 years you would THINK that I would have these things down and be able to roll with the punches...NOPE! 

Here is how things have played out so far...Next week the hubby and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage!!! BIG DEAL people!! We had first planned on going on a getaway trip in June while our two middle kids were at camp, we would send the youngest to hang with grandparents in Aubree Tx and of course oldest is fine by herself. NOPE! Finances and unexpected health issue with my mom changed that plan BUT I was okay with it - we had a PLAN B! We rescheduled for August...more on that in a bit.

Next up in the change and trust department. Joel's parents were coming down for the funeral of his Aunt. On their way down they stopped in Santa Rosa for lunch. While there, his Dad suffered a TIA stroke - it only lasted about 10 min but by the time they made it to our house, he wasn't doing well at all. To make a long story short - it ended up that he had 98% blockage in his carotid artery and had to have surgery down here...what was supposed to be a 4 day trip turned into a hospital stay and a 12 day trip. We are praising the Lord that he is doing well and they have made it back home where he is recovering. However - in the midst of this Joel, the oldest, and youngest all had to prepare and go to camp. Made for a little bit of craziness...

Flexibility - well, we have been planning for months for our niece to come stay with us while her parents were on a cruise. Our whole family was excited about it and looking forward to it - however, due to the unexpected surgery with my father-in-law we decided to change those plans and so that was a bit of a disappointment - but the right thing to do for sure! 

Change of plans Part B...Remember earlier I mentioned the anniversary trip? We had rescheduled it for August. Well, again not anything that can be helped but my mom will be having surgery during that time and I definitely want to be able to help her and be there for yep, flexibility. 

As you can see, this summer has not turned out to be at all what I had planned. I envisioned many memories made with  our oldest before she leaves for college, a great time celebrating 20 years with my hubby, fun times with parents and cousins....but IT IS OKAY because NOTHING took God by surprise! Not one part of it has taken Him off guard.

My mom's situation could have been so much worse than it was, my father-in-law had his stroke while in this area where we could easily be available and help and Joel's sister could come be there as well, my niece is able to spend time with her other grandmother, and well as for our trip...that too will happen when God opens the door and things are a little more settled. Finances are beginning to stabilize a bit but we do still have some struggles there but God has that too! 

You see, God has reminded me of a few verses in the midst of all this craziness. 

"No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37

"Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us--" Ephesians 3:20

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

This summer I have a choice. I can choose to be angry, upset, disappointed, bitter, etc OR I can choose to be thankful, trusting, flexible and joyful. The first will lead to a miserable summer of just making myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually sick. The second leads me to the cross where Jesus can bring me joy and courage and strength. I choose the second. 

I am not sharing this so you will feel sorry or to make others feel bad for me. Rather, I am sharing it because you see, in life we will ALL face times of change, times where we have to be flexible and times where we have to trust God's timing and purpose. We will all be faced with a choice of how to respond and we need to be ready to respond in joy, trust and confidence in our Savior! If you find yourself like me - in a place that is far from what you imagined - remember this:

Not ONE thing has taken God off guard, not ONE thing can steal our joy unless we allow it to, and not ONE thing or circumstance is out of the realm of our Father's loving hands! 

With that...I am off to face the rest of my summer in JOY because of Him!!! I don't have the answers, I don't know what else will come my way, I still have burdens and challenges to face but I know who holds my today, tomorrow and all the days before me! 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Of minister's kids and the like

Kids...they are the biggest blessings we have and yet they are often time the biggest challenge we face. We are given these precious little gifts, wrapped in cute little blankets, and sent on our way from the hospital with the ginormous task of raising them to be Godly Christian adults...YIKES!

I have debated many times through the years about this post, do I type it? Do I keep it to myself? Am I just looking for an excuse? However, recently I was reminded in a couple of different ways that people need to hear this - they need to see us as transparent and real so here it is.

Preacher's Kids, Minister's Kids, PKs, etc - Call em what you want but they exist! They are in the church, in the schools, in the community. Yes - they have a different life in some ways than the average kid. They are often the first to the church on Sunday and the last to leave, they are at almost every church event, they are often made to go to every youth event whether they want to or not. Many times, they have had to adjust to new schools, new towns, new churches so often they have lost count...And - they live in a fish bowl with anywhere from 100 to 500 or more people watching, observing, seeing if they will behave "appropriately".

Here's the deal - THEY ARE STILL KIDS! There, I said it - they aren't fully grown, they aren't adults, they are still learning and growing and making mistakes just like any other kid. Recently, in talking with a woman about an incident that occurred involving some youth in her community, one of which happened to be a pastor's son she made the statement "I was like come on Preacher boy - tell me the truth." So, what's the problem? Should he tell the truth - Yes, absolutely! Should he tell the truth simply because he is a pastor's son? Telling the truth is an attribute we want in all kids - especially Christian young people but don't call him out simply because of his father's profession!

Another example, in ministry we often get "anonymous letters" from people that feel it is there job to not only tell us how to improve in ministry, but also how we should discipline, raise our kids, etc. Disclaimer - most of the time we do not read these said letters, they go directly to the trash - why? Because if you can't come to me in love and express your concerns in person then they have no validity - the Bible is clear about how to go to others. Anyway - back to the letters. This particular time, I opened it completely by accident. In it my children were accused of the standard things - you know, sitting in the balcony off to themselves, talking, running in the church, etc. Again - should my kids run in the church - um no, but should yours? Should my kids talk in church - of course not, but have yours ever done that? Do you see what I am getting at? Of course they make mistakes, of course I need to correct, guide and discipline them - but so should every other Christian parent and we need to do it with grace, love and compassion.

Let me tell you something you may or may not realize about minister's kids - they didn't choose their life. God didn't call them into ministry - although He may one day. The Bible does have clear standards for overseers and leaders in the church. I Timothy 3 outlines the requirements for minister's, servants, and leaders of the church. It does say that they are to be "attentive to their children" YES - we need to discipline, guide, direct, nurture our kids and yes as leaders we are to lead by example in this area but it doesn't say that our kids won't mess up. It isn't what our kids do but rather how WE as parents handle it that is the issue here.

So, why write this? Is for my own kids sake? No, although that would be an awesome side effect - my kids have been there, done that, got the t-shirt. They have taken the hits, worked through them and moved on. I am writing this so that others might be encouraged to look at the minister's kids in their churches through a different lens - one that sees them as kids that are learning. I am writing it so that minister's families can be encouraged to take a breath and not feel the pressure of having to have perfect kids. I am writing for those who are just beginning the life of ministry to know that it is really ok if your kids mess up...

Side Note: Not too long ago I connected via Facebook with a Coach's wife. As we began comparing life and stories we realized that coach's kids, teacher's kids, and minister's kids live similar lives - all eyes are on them. So extend a little grace to these kiddos too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Don't let the BIG D win the battle

THE BIG D...No, I am not talking about divorce, or Dallas - I am referring to DISCOURAGEMENT. You see, discouragement tends to rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times, at least for me it does. Times when I think things are going smoothly, we are sailing along, there is joy, there is satisfaction...and then WHAM!!! There it is - DISCOURAGEMENT!

Recently, I have been reading a lot about JOY and what it means to have joy in our life! To truly embrace wherever we are at in life, whatever we are facing - to face it with joy and how refreshing this has been! I have loved walking this journey of joy...and then, somewhere along the way that sneaky little guy discouragement began peering his ugly head. At first it was subtle - just a small twinge here and in the finances of having a senior and all the expenses that come with that...then the joy came back in realizing the fun and excitement. Then there was the small criticism of ministry...and then the joy came back in a parent expressing what a difference we are making.

However, last night...well last night that mean ole' guy discouragement reared up in FULL FORCE! Attacking one of the most delicate and sensitive areas of my life...that of my sweet special needs son. At the time, all the progress we have made this year homeschooling didn't matter, the fact that he is now reading random signs around town and stores vanished, or the fact that his self-confidence has improved tremendously..yep - out the window by one simple occurrence! He was playing with some other kiddos on the track during the baseball game - we still aren't sure exactly what happened but when it came time to leave he was down and upset. From what we gather - he was trying to be friends with some other Jr. High kids and they wanted nothing to do with him...

You do need to understand that he is developmentally delayed to some degree - so although 13 yrs old, he acts and socializes on a level of about an 8 to 10 yr old. So, he interacts like an 8 to 10 yr old...which doesn't always work with other teens.

So, back to that discouragement...we have seen SO much good come this past year of having him at home for school. He has really thrived - yet this one incident - one small period of time was a slap back to the reality of the situation: he doesn't fit in and now he is beginning to see that. Oh this mom (and Dad I might add) were faced with discouragement. Once again...

WE HAVE A CHOICE...wallow in that discouragement or stand firm and determine that JOY will win out! Philippians 4:4 says "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, and AGAIN I say Rejoice!" Rejoice when you realize that the finances are short, rejoice when you are criticized for your ministry, and REJOICE over your special needs son and the life God has for him! This is my decision - to pick myself up off the floor, to hold my head high, to grab hold of my son's hand, and walk this life in JOY!

I loved how my amazing husband handled this moment with our son - he sat him down and didn't try to deny that he was different, didn't hide the fact that he wasn't like other teenagers but instead stated that GOD had made him just the way he is, that GOD had a plan for his life and that following GOD was more important than having lots of friends and "fitting in". He shared with him how much he enjoys that our son gets to hang in children's church and help with the kids. He was showing him how to REJOICE in who he is and to have JOY in the life that God has planned for him...

So...we can't let this D become BIG - instead we need to squash it with JOY!!! With that - I am going to hang out with my AMAZING SON!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hey Mom! Yes YOU...What YOU do REALLY does matter!!!

Good COLD March morning! As I sit here all bundled up in my hoodie and working to stay warm on a day when the high is 36 degrees - my heart is full for all my Mom friends.

I spend about 75% of my time with preschoolers and their moms. The remainder of my time I am with my own 4 teenagers, their friends, their friend's parents, etc. As I have watched moms of children of all ages from birth to teen, as I have listened to the things they aren't really saying, as I have read the posts they are sharing, the ideas they are pinning to Pintrest - I am hit with the truth - so many times us Moms feel as though we aren't making a difference, we are just spinning our wheels trying to keep up, we are going through the motions and often have little to show for it...To some it up - we are wondering "Do I matter? Is what I am doing really important?"

The simple answer - YES!!! The more complex answer - YES!!! The little things you do everyday as a mom are really making a difference, they are impacting lives, they are changing the world, and they are making a difference in the Kingdom of God. I know, I know you are thinking "Seriously? Like how is changing the 5th dirty diaper today REALLY changing the world?" Here is how - you are showing an unconditional, sacrificial love for another. You are showing that even in the dirtiest of jobs - you can share love and care. For the mom who is dealing with a pre-teen child who is constantly arguing, complaining, cocking an attitude and you have grounded them for the 5th time THIS WEEK...You are showing that respect is earned, that consideration and kindness are essential in life, that one day a bad attitude could be the loss of a job.

You see - we have been taught a lie for many many years as Moms; actually several lies but one essential one that I was reminded of this week - we have been told we are raising children. NO!!! We aren't raising children - we are raising ADULTS! Yes, you heard me. Our ultimate end goal is not to have a well mannered child; when my daughter moves to college this coming August I am not dropping off a child. I am dropping off an adult. Friends - this is a game changer! All the sudden instead of thinking in terms of a well-rounded child; I need to think in terms of a God fearing, productive, responsible, trustworthy, educated, compassionate, loving, caring adult. Do you see the difference?

If you're like me, that just really overwhelmed you and maybe was even a bit sobering to you. Good! Because I want you to realize that this path of motherhood, this journey of raising adults, this season of life - it's important, it matters and YOU matter! What's really amazing about this journey though and what really is my saving grace - We aren't alone! God didn't leave us to walk this path all on our own. First and foremost - He is there, His Word is our guide. Second - He has given us friends to walk alongside us, to encourage, to be honest with us, to hold us up when we are weak, to join us. I am so very thankful for that aren't you?

Just this morning a friend posted an article to Facebook about being lonely as a mom - and yes, there are times that it just is lonely but it really doesn't have to be. You see, the thing about us women, us moms, is that we tend to believe that we are to have it all together - that we can't admit that our day is rough. We get on social media and we see these cute pictures and posts and we believe that if we are vulnerable and honest then we will be considered a failure or let down. The reality is this - those moms posting those pictures and posts, they have bad days too! Yep - secret is out! You see - Facebook would look A LOT different if we decided to just be honest and real. Yet - we don't and the result is that at the risk of being vulnerable and transparent - we hide, we isolate and we become lonely. Can I just encourage you? Be open, be honest, be transparent - you will be surprised at what a relief it is to you and to other moms around you!

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

We are "training" our children - this means there will be successes but their will be setbacks. There will be good days and there will be bad days. It's a process - but the end result? That MATTERS and they need us in their corner from day one and for the remainder of their lives! 

So, here's to you MOM - YOU MATTER! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What legacy will I leave

Good morning from Chattanooga TN. Yes, you read that right, Chattanooga. Let me fill you in on why I am here and then I will continue with this post...I will do a 2014 recap later but this is what's going on in my head this morning!

December 29 my family and I were driving to Plano, TX to celebrate the New Year with my sister and parents when I received the call I have known was coming for several months - my 94 yr old Grandmother had passed away - just one week shy of her 95th birthday. This was not unexpected (seriously who's is at 94) but none the less a jolt. We continued to Plano, where we hastily made plans for my parents, my sister and her family and myself to fly out to TN at the end of the week for the service, while my husband and kids went back home to Levelland. Yes, we did still have a great week with family and lots of memories...but alas, here I am now in TN and today is the day we will reflect on the life of this woman - my grandmother.

So, on to the topic of this post. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit with my mom and her two sisters as they met with the ministers who would be officiating the service. They shared memories of growing up and tried to summarize the life of this beautiful lady in an hour to these two men. They talked of her zeal to live on the edge by going to nursing school and joining the Navy in a time when that wasn't all that popular for women, of her adventurous spirit in meeting and marrying my Grandad in 6 weeks time, of her sewing their clothes, and working hard to give them all the things she never had in life, they talked of her tenacious attitude, and how she would reach out to the down trodden.

Towards the end however, my aunt said "You notice that you are not hearing us talk of her faith in the Lord or how she pointed us to God. She was quiet in her faith - a believer but not openly." This is true in so many levels. To be honest, as a grandchild I have often wondered if she was a believer - I now believe that she was, but just didn't know how to live it out loud.

I would love to type a post about all the wonderful fun memories I have of her - but to be honest, I don't have a ton of those. In fact, I have really struggled with this because I don't have very many good memories of her - but that is not for now. I do know that in her own way, she loved all of her family very much!

Yet, listening to this conversation amongst my Aunts and mom made me think...what would my children say about me if they were sitting with someone who didn't know me and trying to sum up my life? What do I want them to say? Would I want them to share how I willingly moved too many times to count for a life in ministry with my husband? Would I want them to remember all the grand trips I took? Or even how I loved children? Sure, those are some ok memories but I would hope that there would be so much more to it than that....

At the end of my life - I want all who know me to be able to say, she lived her faith. There is no doubt in whom she believed and who she served. She openly showed her love for Jesus, in everything she pointed to HIM who saved her. I long for my children to remember times I prayed with and for them and pointed them to Jesus.

Now - let the honesty come right here right now; this is not the case. My children have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. They see me when I come home and close the door where no one else sees...It is in THESE moments that I want my faith to be real and to show these four precious ones my love for Christ! I have been hit hard with this the past 24 hours...My children are all teens and although much time has passed - there is still time to be open with them and let them know that I long to turn this tide so that behind the closed doors of my home, they will see my faith perfected and lived out.

Maybe you too will be challenged in this area. What legacy will you leave for your family? My hope and prayer for my life is to leave a legacy of faith that points to the glory of my King!!! With that - I am off to celebrate the life of this tenacious and spirited woman I got to call Grandma for the past 40 years!!!