Showing posts from 2012

Peace?? You mean that's possible??

#1 God answers prayer.
#2 You just never know how the answer will come.


We've been hearing a lot about peace at Crossroads Baptist lately.  Pastor Brandon has been teaching from Colossians 3 on the "roots of peace"* and the Lord's been very challenging me.

I have peace...I mean, I know where I'm going when I die, and I've learned the hard way to trust Christ to provide for all my needs.

BUT, like other things in life (running being a major one) I like to take things to the next level.

I wanted to have God's peace at a new level in my life.

SO, I started praying for it. I didn't know how the answer would come because I really didn't know exactly what I was praying for. I knew my house would still be filled with loud, easily excited children, and I knew that I would still spend my days in piles of laundry, dishes, and dirty diapers, but I was hoping for a new, overwhelming peace to be in my heart.

I was also hoping for a day of rest. (Ha!)

"How Ba-a-a-ad Can I Be?"

#1 Our old selves can feel so comfortable.
#2 But if we're seeking Jesus the feeling won't last long.

"How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doing what comes naturally!"  The lyrics from this song (forever seared in my brain!) from the movie The Lorax came to mind today as I was thinking of how I so easily slip into the old ways I've been trying to leave behind...the ways that come "naturally".

As I was thinking this over in the car, with King talking my right ear off about his unrealistic plans for our Thanksgiving holiday, and Lottie in the back seat squealing for joy as she steals the blanket from the screaming with fury baby, I kinda wanted to pull the van over, lift it over my head, give it a hulk-like shake and scream, "BE QUIET!!!!"

By grace alone, I didn't.  And by grace alone, this song was playing on the radio:
[Overcome by Jeremy Camp] Jesus died so that we can overcome our sins. 
We are not prisoners. 
We don't have to be …

Meal Planning - Conquered!

#1 This may not work for you...
#2 But it sure is working for me!

A Month's Meals

Why? - Because I was failing to get a decent supper on the table for my children.

There was too much fast food, too many grilled cheese sandwiches, and too many evenings when I thought, "Maybe they just won't notice if I don't serve supper, and we can skip right on to the bedtime snack."
Doubly sad because I actually love to cook.
Triply sad because I thought it would be easier with the hubby out of town...I mean, the kids don't care if we eat meat or not, and they don't mind having lasagna three nights in a row!  In reality, it was harder because I lacked motivation, and I REALLY lacked time to actually plan a meal.

The Solution - I kept trying to plan for a week, try some new recipes, make out detailed shopping lists, and on and on, but nothing worked, so I did it my ya go:

{BUT FIRST, a little explanation...this is meant to be very flexible, more like a st…

A Pep Talk

#1 God hears
#2 God cares

As I was slowly rolling toward bed last night I was praying to God.
I was praying for a pep talk.
I wanted to quit...just quit.
I knew I needed encouragement...from somewhere.

The answer:

A good, strange day.
I was so busy...ran long, went to Bible study, drove the kids to and fro, dropped stuff at the consignment sale, etc...and I really didn't talk to anyone more than a sentence or two (except for the children, which is nonstop). 
Weird...not talking to anyone, I was strange that I hadn't.  None of the few sentences that were spoken were meaningful either.  (Well, the conversations with the kids were meaningful, but not in the "pep talk" way I needed.  And my dad did text "your almost there" when I told him about my run, which was nice. But that was the extent of my conversations.)

The Lord decided to give me a pep talk straight from Him today, and I'm glad:

I heard just what I needed at Bible study.  From Isaiah 12…

Women of Faith Conference - Debriefed

#1 You can take this seriously...
#2 ...or not.  It's only my opinion.

What: Women of Faith Conference
Where: Duluth, Georgia
When: This past Friday and Saturday
Who: Sandi Patty, Amy Grant, Anita Renfroe, Brenda Warner, Kelly Minter, Mandisa, a good praise band, and others.  (Plus a big group of great friends from my church, Crossroads Baptist!)
How:  How'd I get to go?  I was the grateful, last minute recipient of an unused ticket.  Also, my mom and dad just happen to be coming to town anyway, so they were kind enough to take on kid duty.  It seemed like the Lord wanted me at this conference for some reason. 

We had fun...lots of laughs and good times.  Quality time with friends (of ALL ages!) is never wasted.The praise and worship was great! (But I couldn't help thinking they could use a little Christa Rooks. ;) )Amy Grant, to my surprise, was probably one of my favorite parts. (I doubt this would be the consensus of my group, but again, this is only MY opinion.)  I have…

Big, Fat Failure

#1 Don't take this too seriously
#2 But, seriously, I am a big, fat failure.

Thankfully the Lord planned ahead.

The 2012 Olympic Games reminded me of my failure as an athlete.  I always wanted to be in the Olympics but laziness and a lack of determination took over.  Of course, a lot of kids dream of being an Olympian and never make it so I don't really feel too bad.  Plus, there's always Rio 2016! :)

I'm fairly least I always made good grades, but my contribution to our yearly household income probably averages in the negatives.  I'm a failed business woman.  I'm failing as we speak, but I'm okay with it.  My real full-time job just doesn't pay very well. 

Speaking of that...parenting, I mean...according to Ted Tripp I'm pretty much a failure there too.  Also, okay.  My kids are still young, and I AM trying. 

I've been a bad friend...selfish and lazy.  For that I am always sorry.

It can be very depressing being such a failure as I.…

How to Live Without Losing

#1 God is good to warn us.
#2 God is good to me.

"Watch and pray that you may not enter temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41

Try this: Think of what you want in life, what you want for your family, what you want to accomplish, what you believe you can do. Allow yourself to dream, and start to plan beyond next week. But remember..."the flesh is WEAK." Can you go after these dreams and not be swept away by the world? That's what did.

I thought: I'm ready for more. I want to make a little money, to look nice, stay in shape, run a marathon, and still run an efficient home and successful home school. I want to do it all and still glorify God, but OH! "the flesh is WEAK." Will I be swept away by "the lust of the flesh" and "the lust of the eyes"? (1 John 2:16)I make mistakes. I get consumed. But God is gracious, and I fight the flesh. You can too.

Realize this: If you're not glorifying God …

Make the Most Out of Life...Contentment


#1 It's a long lesson learned.

#2 It's actually a long lesson being learned!

Try this:  Lie in bed and think about contentment.
That's what I was doing.  I was lying in bed, thinking about contentment...thinking about the path we've come down...about how being content has been gently pounded into me...remembering all the times of discontent...and how God has always brought me out.  He's always given me little glimpses of hope to keep me going.  He's a good God. 

You can try this, but I don't recommend it:  Go broke.
I remember some low times from the past two years...When our bank account was in the negatives, and I worried, but then we received an unexpected check, and I praised God. I felt relieved. I felt happy, and this was good.  I felt content then, but why had I worried??
When I spent our last $50 on medicine for our kid, but I was  able to have a true peace that even I didn't understand.  I felt content.  I was just happy to be God…

Make the Most of Leftovers...Pizza!

#1 Pizza is serious business.
#2 Yet not so serious at all.

If your family loves pizza (like eat it every other day and be completely happy LOVES) then you may enjoy these ideas for stretching your leftovers from an acceptable meal one day into a family pleasing pizza the next. (We sure did!)

Day 1: Have grilled chicken and rice.  Be sure and grill enough chicken so that you'll have some leftover.

I started with 2 eggs and 2 cups of cooked rice.  I scrambled the eggs then added the rice to the pan.  Then I poured a little soy sauce over it.  I also steamed up a bag of corn and added about a 1/2 cup to the mix.  I sprinkled on some Mrs. Dash Table Blend just for kicks.  I turned it to low and let it simmer, stirring every now and then.  While that was working I grilled up some chicken in my Pampered Chef Grill Pan...probably one of the most used items in my kitchen.  I seasoned it with McCormick's Perfect Pinch Original Chicken, but you can get more creative if you'd like.

How to De-Slump Yourself

#1 You can take this seriously.
#2 Because it can seriously happen to anyone!

Things to do if you ever find yourself in a slump.  (That's where I found myself yesterday.)  And by "slump," I mean spiritually, emotionally, physically TIRED!

Prevent the slump:Spend time in prayer and in God's Word regularly.  (I slept in yesterday, which is not always bad, but when I sleep in I have to designate the time to stop and pray...I did not.)Eat a good breakfast. (I had a single slice of banana bread, which is also not bad, but I should have had a scrambled egg along with it...think protein!)Keep your workout balanced.  (I'd run a lot last week and had a good race on Saturday, but I had stretched minimally, which equalled a super tight back for me.) Once you find yourself slumped:
Stop. Find a quiet spot, even if you just have to imagine it's quiet, and pray.  Read a passage.  Rest your mind for just a moment (or a while).  (I like getting Moody's "T…

Signs of a Husband Who Loves You

If your husband shows any of these signs it may mean that he loves you...or he's just a little crazy (or in my case, both)!
He always makes you feel safe:

He always tells the truth...even when it embarrasses you.

He writes you love songs like this:

He doesn't mind if you disagree and admits it if he knows you're right.

He helps you make things like these: {photo by Monica Carter}

He always says things like, "I don't know what I'd do without you," and means it, (and you're not real sure what he would do without you either :) ).

He always wants to provide for you...even if it comes to this: El Cheapo Lawn Care. 35 bucks gets it cut!!! Keep your wife and your beer money!! Call (423) 285-3307.This deal is for people that live near me. Includes weed eating but not edging. {yes...he did.}

And most of all (above all), if he loves the Lord and loves Truth, and encourages you to do the same, then you know for sure that it's love...always.

The Universal Signs of Children

If you've seen any of these happenings at your home then a child has probably been there...and you can't help but smile. :)

Couch disassembled:

Strange dinner guests:

A rainbow in the dishwasher:

The alphabet strewn across the fridge:

Magnetic creatures attaching themselves to the inside of the washing machine:

And the classic:

(Notice these pictures were all taken on the same day...It could've been any day at our house. The fun never stops...nor the mess.  God's gifts are good.)

Writing about God

I ran across some old college papers today.  They somehow survived the "spider house" (read that story here), which is amazing in and of itself, and surfaced as I was searching for my YMCA aerobic certification cards, which I found expired (of course).  These papers serve as evidence that child bearing kills brain cells. :) 

Upon reading them, and realizing that I have no memory of writing them, I found myself doubting I could do it again.  Who knows though?  The reason I majored in Bible was because it was the only subject I really enjoyed studying and the only one I felt worth such devotion. 

Though writing papers was never one of my favorite past times I do remember the growth I experienced through the process and the sense of fulfillment at the end.  The paper that follows is one I remember dreading to write but it ended up being the one I was most thankful to have written.  It made me think...maybe it will make you think too.

Theology Statement I believe in God as the T…

A 10k Surprise with Twice a Week Training Runs

#1 PLEASE don't take this too seriously! #2 Because I was seriously surprised myself!
{My trophy...I like that it says "First Place" not "First Place in the Women's 30-34 Division" :)}

Preparation: Train for a 5k Then a 10k Then a half-marathon [I took six weeks to train for each.  I ran two days every week - once on my treadmill during the kids' naps (intervals and hills) and once on Saturday when the hubby was home (distance). 
I did strength training three days a week (usually a fast paced circuit) and Zumba one night a week to supplement.  The reason this works for me is because I make every minute of every workout count - I don't have time to waste!
I never raced.  I wanted to, but it never worked out so I did my own personal time trial for all three distances.  None of the results were all that great.)] Now, pick a 5k race. (I picked the Cheerios Challenge 5k, and that's what I trained for.)  [I ran these workouts from Runner's World, on…

How to Make the Most of Being Stranded on a Country Road with Kids (and Thrive!)

#1 Take this very seriously
#2 Because this seriously happened to us

Maybe it will happen to you!
By God's grace alone. Preparation: Pack your recently revived suburban with beach gear, children, and half your house.Leave.When you're at least 30 minutes from anything that resembles a town and at least two hours from anyone you know:
Try not to be too surprised when something falls out from under your truck and the power steering goes out.Pull over. Pray. Laugh. Then go find that thing that fell out.When you find out the problem can't be fixed immediately and the truck isn't going to make it to the beach as is:
Pray again. When an angel and his equally angelic wife appear dressed as a farmer and a farmer's wife in a pickup truck:

Accept all help offered.Slowly cover the mile to their house. Unload kids and cookies. Wave to husband as he drives off with farmer angel to find parts. Let kids eat cookies, drink soda offered by angel wife, and play with random abandoned toys.…

The Sandwich Diet (No Sandwiches Included)

#1 Don't take this too seriously
#2 But this is seriously working for me

Make a "Sandwich" of Your Day

Preparation: This is the most important step, because without the healthy food in the house you will not eat it.
Think - Think about the healthy foods you like to eat.  What's a satisfying healthy breakfast to you?  (I like oatmeal.) What makes a salad edible?  (I've gotta have a little something sweet, like apples or raisins.) What are your favorite fruits, veggies, and lean meats?  (I chose apples, broccoli, and salmon.)Make a list - A shopping list that is...and stick to it! (OR...browse the produce section and buy what looks good and is on sale.  This worked for me.)Shop - The only thing that makes this diet a real "diet" is that it doesn't include "junk food" (sweets, things high in salt, fat, etc.)  We're not counting calories, so get as much of the good stuff as you like.Eat: This is where the "sandwich" part comes in

It was an "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" kinda day

It all started with a dirty diaper...

I'd just pulled a fresh load of laundry from the dryer when I smelled it.  So I changed it, wrapped it up in a grocery bag, and headed for the trash.  The trash can was full.  I took it out, tied it up, headed outside.  Lottie and Ace followed.

"Mommy, can we play outside.  The weather is beautiful." says Lottie.  How can I say no?  So, we play outside. 
Duke joins in, "Can I get my skateboard out of the garage?"  Of course. 
"Can I get my scooter?" asks Lottie.
So, we go to the garage. They play, I referee.

"Mommy, can I get a snack?" says one.  It is snack time. 
"SNACK TIME!" They all come running. 

"Mom, can we watch a show while we eat our snack?" says Duke.  I suppose.
"Can I pick a show next?" says Lottie.  I'm not so sure about that.

Now, back to that (not so) fresh load of laundry.  Oh well. 

"But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, 'You are my God.'

Make the Most (or at least survive) Being Stranded on the Interstate with Kids

#1 Don't take this too seriously
#2 But this is seriously what happened to us

I hope it doesn't happen to you.

Preparation: Bring snacks, drinks, extra diapers, and wipesLeave the dog at home (We failed at this point.)When the vehicle starts to shake: Remain calm, pray, and let your husband thinkGo along with his decision to turn around no matter how sad it makes you (or the kids, or your mom)Comfort the kids and use it as a life lesson - sometimes things just don't work out like you think they should...God's in control When the vehicle makes a really loud noise and starts to shake violently (scaring you out of your pants): Pull over, prayCall your dad because he's always helpful in every way (at least mine is)Once again, let your husband thinkOnce you get to a safe location and are waiting for help (In our case thanks goes to bro-in-law Ryan.): Pull out the snacks and drinks - we talked fractions as my seven-year-old decided how we would divide the crackers and moon …

Get The Most From Your At-Home Workout

#1 Don't take this too seriously
#2 But this is seriously what I do

It's multi-tasking at its peak, and sometimes it's the only way I get in my workout.

Step 1 - Preparation:
Load your dishwasher and shine your sink FlyLady styleFlip the laundry or start a new loadMake sure the kids are set with snacks or gamesTake a few minutes to go to a quiet place to pray (I do this first because though I never forget to workout I somehow always forget to stop and pray in the midst of my afternoon.)Gather your workout equipment including your plan of attack (I used this Women's Health workout today.) and position yourself near the kids (This sometimes takes an extra step of clearing off enough floor space to actually be able to move.)Grab your Bible or a verse written out to memorize (I memorized 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 today.)Step 2 - Begin:
Read the verse(s) you're going to memorize out loud (This is why you're near the they can hear you.)Do your first set of exerci…