Friday, August 30, 2013


So, I go weeks without posting and now, I'm on the verge of a third post this week. Write this down, people. It may never happen again. I guess when the spirit moves (and when Veggie Tales viewing by your 3 y/o occurs), you take advantage.

Over the course of several weeks multiple situations have caused me to reevaluate my convictions. I like to think of myself as somewhat level headed, but who knows if others share that same opinion. Maybe you just think I'm laid back. Honestly, I'm just really good at playing it cool. Recent incidents have led me to truly examine my heart and give thought, prayer and reflection to every situation before reacting. 

I think it's easy to say, "I'm staying out of it." It's harder to actually do so. I'm not a choosing sides kinda girl. In the last few months, I have developed a new (or what some may call weird) point of view on relationships. Personally, I strive to base my relationships with others on my first-hand experiences with them. I don't want to fall victim to hearsay, others spin on things or even "the real truth." Often times, we tell ourselves that being educated about others' actions protects us. To a certain extent that is true. If you have encountered a vicious animal or known predator lurking at the park where I take my children to play, I'd like to think you'd warn me.

The flip side of that is that everyone deserves to be able to represent themselves. Well, what if they misrepresent themselves, is what you'll say to me. My response would be that is a risk that I feel God has asked me to take. It's my conviction. It may not be yours, and that's okay. But, please don't assume that means I'm playing the fence. He asked me to step out on faith and love others...even the ones that are hard to love.

I will, of course, protect myself and my family, but I also want to give everyone a fair shake. In my book, no one is guilty by association. If you've been a friend to me, I want to be a friend to you. Along with that, we both must recognize that we may not share the same friends, but that doesn't mean we can't love each other and love Jesus.

In the end, we must keep perspective. These little bumps in the road, these situations that seem impossible, these encounters that appear hopeless are all just reminders that we are imperfect and this is not our home. Thankful I serve a perfect Savior. Praying I can continue to recognize the convictions He gives and embrace them.

Confession: I'm Feeling Thankful for His Hedge

Yes, tomorrow is the start of the football season for my beloved Dawgs, but this post isn't about those hedges that adorn my favorite fall Saturday hangout. If you know me, than you know that I'm certainly thankful college football season has arrived. But, today I'm feeling thankful for a different reason, and that's something one should never hide. There's too much hurt, sorrow and complaining in the world, to not share when you feel a dose of blessings. Don't get me wrong, I've hit some bumps in the road the last several hours and been surprised by His plan, but I can't help but feel thankful for God's leading.

I was sharing with my hubby last night that despite various circumstances, I felt ultimately that God had been looking out for me. Then, minutes later a friend tweeted a similar message about gratitude for God's hedge of protection. Sometimes, we don't notice that hedge until much later. But, when we do sense its presence, we suddenly realize it's always been there.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The "C" Word

It scares us. It's hard to embrace. It is almost always uncertain. That ugly "C" word...CHANGE.

Even though it can be hard, I've always managed to embrace change and find excitement in the newness of things. Moving or changing your residence can be difficult. With the exception of moving in 1st grade, each of the times I've moved, it was with great excitement about what was ahead. From my parent's home to my first apartment, which then became the first residence my husband and I shared. From that little apartment to our first home. From that first home to the one we live in now. One that was selected with the little ones in mind.

Other times it is the change from a single person to a married person or vice versa for some people very dear to me. Or changing from a couple to a family of three, four, five or more. It was exciting to change from a single woman to a wife. Despite planning, I felt poorly equipped to tackle the role of mother. I'm pretty sure most women do; it's our nature. But, even that change was one that was coupled with excitement.

The church we attend and have been members of for almost six years now, is adding an additional worship service that will differ in style from those previously offered. I must admit I've scoffed at those that find this change drastic, unimaginable or detrimental. "What's the big deal?" I think to myself. I guess because I've never really struggled much with change in my life. This seemed no different; not to mention I'll more than likely enjoy the new worship style.

So, why all this rambling about change? It's because I've met my struggle, people, and it's name is kindergarten. Honestly, it's probably a whole host of other things I have going on. Why does everything start up at the same time? It's like we're all blissfully enjoying summer with hot days running through the sprinkler, picnics with friends, movies at the drive-in, popcorn for breakfast, long summer nights, popsicles on the porch after dinner, catching lightning bugs in the yard and then BAM! Hello, early mornings, socially acceptable breakfasts, lunch packing, homework, football practice, bible study, awana, exhaustion and reasonable bedtimes.

Getting moving in the morning was a lot easier when it meant just making it to preschool by 9 a.m. I'm having more than a little trouble embracing the new normal, which is alarms, waking blissfully sleeping children, and often times grumbling. I know we've had it good. I'm not complaining. I'm just revealing my current struggle, friends.

I looked up the definition for change:

to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

That first part seemed to make sense. I'd heard it before. Change is making something different from what it is, but that second part jumped out to me. It's also making things different from what they would be if left alone, altering its future course. Perhaps it's my faith in an incredible God, but I have to believe that change is necessary. If things were left alone, those early morning snuggles watching Curious George wouldn't be so precious in my memory now. I'd have little reason to look forward to Saturdays.

Just as change is inevitable and necessary, so is growth. As much as I loathe these early mornings and long afternoons waiting to pick up big brother, I believe God has something in store. Praying He keeps showing me ways to celebrate this new season of change.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is it 3:00 yet?

The verdict is in, and he loves kindergarten. The jury is still out as far as mama is concerned. It was such a long day, and I just can't believe he can do without me for that long. I realize I've been very blessed to have had the opportunity to spend so many of my firstborn's hours right alongside him. We conquered mother's morning out and preschool, and mom even enjoyed the freedom to grocery shop alone. But, seven hours is a huge chunk of your day when you're only awake for 13-14 hours.

I'm so glad that he loves it, and he thinks his teacher is great. It's just going to take this sentimental mama some time to get used to the new reality. As a full-time mom, so much of my recent identity and achievements has been tied to this precious five-year-old and his wild little brother. They need me, but just a little less each day. Each of us has a purpose and gifts in this life, and I'm having to adjust to the changing landscape around me.

The old adage about your little ones growing up too fast is true, of course, but it seems I've managed to find ways to celebrate each and every milestone on this beautiful journey of parenthood. This one, however, is proving to be a wee bit more difficult. The celebration and gratitude will come, it always does.

In the meantime, just ignore the women sobbing at the stop sign or zoned out on the juice box aisle. She's looking for the next clearing in the landscape, the next place to share her gifts and probably wishing, hoping and praying for her watch to hit 3:00 already.

more photos from the first day