Baby, I’m back!

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting any blogs for awhile. Maybe you’ve missed them. Maybe you were relieved. If you were, that’s fine just please keep that to yourself. If you were wondering where I’ve been, I’ll gladly share.

It all started in February which seems so long ago now. I was at work and was getting ready for a meeting to start. My coworker seated next to me began sharing how she had started working on her masters degree and how great it was going. We couldn’t talk long because the meeting soon started but this conversation sent me down a rabbit hole.

I am easily inspired. When I was a child, I wanted to be everything. It changed often and usually based on the latest movie I had just watched or the book I had just read. I still have these tendencies. So instead of carefully considering what was best for me and mine, I plunged straight ahead. I started class on March 1st with visions of job offers and endless opportunities. I was doing great and then…a global pandemic hit. Everything changed overnight it seemed. Everything including my goals, my dreams, my inspiration. It was as if I was waking up and realizing I already had the job I wanted. I realized it was okay to say that I didn’t want to do that. Immediately I started beating myself up. I truly am my worst enemy. Can you relate?

The person I feel the sorriest for is my husband David. He has a front row seat to my crazy antics. He is a saint that I do not deserve but do not tell him I said that. Thankfully, I was able to withdraw from school and I did end up learning something. I learned that I am thankful for the life I already have. I don’t want to go up any career ladder. It’s okay that others have dreams and goals to achieve more and maybe it’s my job to cheer them on as they go. I learned that education is a tool. It’s not a gold medal to wear on your chest. I wanted my bachelors degree and that’s what motivated me to go get it. I have never really wanted a masters degree and I’ve said it out loud plenty of times. Time is a gift. I only have so many days on this earth.

Before withdrawing from school, I asked myself how I wanted to spend those hours and the truth was that I didn’t want to spend my time at home doing homework. I also realized that I couldn’t do everything I was doing and just add school into my routine. Something was going to have to give. I volunteer at our church and love every minute of it. I work full time and when I come home I enjoy spending time with David and the kids.

Having said all of that, I don’t regret attempting school. For so long I’ve used the excuse of not getting my masters degree because I thought I couldn’t do it. I found out I can do it. I just don’t want to. So I will just chalk this up to a life lesson. Ephesians 4:32 states that we should be kind and compassionate to one another. I’ve decided to be kind and compassionate to myself and forgive myself for being so impulsive. And maybe I’ll take a page from David’s book from now on and carefully consider big decisions from now on.

Have you made an impulsive decision and ended up changing your mind? Is there something you need to forgive yourself for? Instead of beating yourself up, be kind and compassionate to yourself and forgive yourself.

“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
https://www.bible.com/72/eph.4.32.hcsb

What A Week…

So this has been a crazy week. On Monday, we were informed that the granite slab we had picked out for our kitchen countertop had broken while being transported to be cut for our job that starts in a couple of weeks. So, Tuesday afternoon David and I made the trip back over to Owensboro to pick out another granite slab. Apparently, the one we had picked out was the white whale (Moby Dick reference) of granite/quartzite. No one else has anything similar in this region according to the nice gentleman who helped us at the granite and tile company. Thankfully, David and I were in agreement to go back to our original plan of black granite and all was right in our world once again.

I took this moment of fleeting bliss to decide this would be a perfect time to go back to school to get my masters degree. I have applied to Western Governors University should start online classes in April. Our kitchen and bathroom renovations should be completed by then. (Lord, please hear my prayer.) David thinks my timing is impeccable. Did I also mention that Andrew took our laptop with him when he moved out? So now David has until the end of the month to get one before my classes start. He informed me last night that he has this taken care of. (Let the church say amen!) (side note: he actually ordered one last night. Yay!)

We ended the week with a doctors appointment for Lydia at Vanderbilt. She has started a new monthly injection that has helped her get off all of her other medications. God is so good!! We celebrated this great news with a trip to The Cheesecake Factory.

I think I can safely say life is not boring right now. I’m not sure how everything is going to work out but I know I have peace in my heart so I’m trusting God that He is leading me. He is so faithful!!

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/isa.30.21.nkjv

Happy birthday David!!!

Once upon a time, there was a guy named David. He covered himself in blankets and tried to hide from his birthday.

His beautiful wife lured him out with a milkshake. He loved it so much he decided…

…to drink Andrew’s milkshake too. It was so good he thought…

…”I wonder if Lydia’s milkshake is good, too?” So he tried it and…

…fell into a deep sleep and dreamt about…

…having his own milkshake.

The end

Happy birthday, David!!😘

New Beginnings

New year. New you. New diet. Same old, same old. But this year our family has had some new beginnings. They are the same things each family goes through but it’s a first for us so it was a big deal. Let’s start at the beginning.

December 1997, David and I happily announce we are expecting a baby. Fast forward to December 2019. The baby, who is now a handsome bearded man, makes an announcement: he’s moving out.

The joy and excitement he has planning his “escape” mirrored the joy and excitement his dad and I had when we first announced his arrival. My heart was screaming “no, please don’t go” while his heart was screaming “at last, I’m free! Thank God almighty!”

While your kids are growing up, you try your best to instill nuggets of wisdom along the way. You tell them they should practice cleaning their room to get ready for their college dorm or first apartment. You tell them to open a bank account when they get their first job so they learn how to handle money. You keep telling them these things on repeat even though it seems they’re not listening.

But then the day arrives that they actually move out. People tell you what it was like for them when their kids moved out. How they missed seeing their vehicles in the driveway. How they missed the sightings of their kids coming in from work or going to the kitchen for a snack. You listen and think that day is a long ways away. But then….

We are excited. Proud. Sad. Sentimental. But mostly proud. The house is a lot quieter. David and I are getting used to our new norm. Pray for Lydia because we are forcing hugs and kisses on her against her will. She is not a hugger but we know that it’s only a matter of time until it’s her turn to strike out on her own.

Thank you, God, for these sweet humans you’ve allowed me and David to nurture and raise. Lord, I pray they seek you in everything they do. In Jesus name amen.

“Sing to the LORD a new song because he has done wonderful things! His own strong hand and his own holy arm have won the victory!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭98:1‬ ‭CEB‬‬

https://www.bible.com/37/psa.98.1.ceb

Happy New Year!

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. The excitement of new dreams, new ideas, or new goals. But my most favorite thing has always been ringing in the new year with loved ones. As a kid, my mom always put out a spread of yummy treats. She would make party pizzas on party rye bread and homemade Chex mix. There would always be leftover Christmas treats for dessert. She always made it feel like a party. And we had to watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s rockin’ Eve.

As the years have past, my New Year’s celebrations have changed but the one thing that’s been consistent is ringing in the new year with those you love. Whether we’ve hosted in our home or taken the party on the road, I still feel the same nostalgia as I did as a kid. Eating treats, staying up late, and wishing loved ones near and far a happy new year.

You may not relate to how I feel about December 31st. Maybe 2019 was not a good year for you. Maybe it sucked. Let me encourage you to kiss 2019 goodbye and maybe thank it for some lessons learned. Whether we like it or not, we learn a lot about ourselves through suffering. I’ve had some really sucky years in the past but I can see now that I was going through a season of maturity, of pruning.

2015 and 2016 were difficult years for me. I was very miserable at work and it carried over in my home life. My motto during that season was “bloom where you’re planted”. I still have it written on my whiteboard at my workstation. It’s a good reminder for me. And maybe it can be for you too.

I pray that you see 2020 as a fresh page. A fresh start. I pray you see yourself through God’s eyes. A loving father who wants nothing but the best for his children. That’s not to say that he tolerates spoiled brats. The Bible says he disciplines the ones he loves.

Dear God, I pray for anyone reading this to feel your love each day. I pray they always hear you speaking to their heart and allow you to lead and guide their steps. I pray that 2020 would be their year of increase for more love, more kindness, and more of you each day. In Jesus name, amen.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/lam.3.22-23.nlt

Go to church!

There’s a popular belief that everything can be done online nowadays. And maybe it’s true for a lot of things. But church shouldn’t be one of them. I think it’s great to be able to stream a service when you’re unable to go but this shouldn’t be your regular routine. If it is you’re truly cheating yourself from several things.

First of all, being in a church service and worshiping with other believers in the presence of God…well, there’s nothing better. Our Pastor reminds us often that it isn’t a church building that changes you but it’s the presence of God that changes you. Don’t miss out on experiencing that firsthand.

Another reason to attend church is to be built up and encouraged through the teaching of God’s word. The Bible is the infallible, indestructible, irrefutable holy word of God. If you attend a church that preaches something else then I suggest finding a church that is founded on the word of God. This should be nonnegotiable.

Another reason to attend church is being connected with other believers. All of us go through trials, disappointments, or suffering of some kind. We all suffer loss. Loss of a job, a loved one. The list goes on and on. Being connected makes the tough times a little more tolerable. We are blessed to have a group of church friends that we call our framily. Friends that are family. We have weathered lots of storms together. We request prayer during tough times and are able to encourage each other. If we hadn’t been connected at church twenty years ago then we would have never experienced the friendships we’ve been blessed to enjoy.

I could keep going with my reasons to attend church but I’ll end with this. Raising your kids in church allows them to find godly men and women to look up to. Andrew and Lydia have several wonderful people in our church who love them and encourage them to follow after God. They challenge them to be their best. If I die tomorrow I know that these wonderful people will come even closer to my kids and love them and be there for them.

You might find a great deal on a pair of boots online but you’ll never have the depth of fellowship with other believers if you don’t attend church in person. Being a part of the body of Christ will help you grow spiritually. Have you ever seen a toe all on its own that’s healthy and thriving? No. A toe that’s not connected to a body is useless. So get connected to a local body and see how God uses you to help others and also uses others to help you.

It can be scary being the new person but we’ve all been there before. Take the first step and I believe you won’t regret it. And if someone has hurt you in church then don’t let that keep you from going. We’ve all been hurt and we’ve all been the ones to cause others to hurt.

I hope you feel encouraged to go to church. If you have questions please comment below or share any thoughts or opinions. I would love to hear from you.

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/1co.12.12.nlt

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/heb.10.24-25.nlt

Christmas Just Isn’t The Same

Christmas is a time steeped in tradition. Traditions can be so comfy and reliable or maybe stressful but then the beautiful people that started those traditions are no longer with us and the season is never the same. But guess what? It wasn’t supposed to always stay the same.

When my mom passed away on Saturday December 6th, 2003, the Christmas magic she had created went with her. I’m not going to tell you to take the lemons you’ve been handed and make a sweet treat out of your bitter situation. But what I am going to do is encourage you in your grief.

I will never stop missing my mom or any of my other sweet family and friends who are no longer with us. I am a born again spirit-filled Christian and I have no doubt that I will see them again in heaven. But they will be missed while I’m here on this earth without them.

Instead of wallowing in my sadness, I try each Christmas season to remind myself that the baton has been passed to me to create Christmas magic for those around me. The traditions David and I have started with our kids will change into new traditions. We will cherish Christmas past, embrace Christmas present while holding it very loosely, and hopefully ready our hearts for Christmas future.

If you are grieving loss this Christmas, please know that the only unchanging thing we have is a very present savior who never changes. He is a constant reminder that all of our hope and joy can only be found in Him. I pray peace and comfort for you this season.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/heb.13.8.nkjv

Operation Christmas Cards

For years, I sent Christmas cards to friends and family near and far. My mom did this for years and I did my best to carry on her tradition. I also enjoyed receiving cards from family and friends. It’s always fun to receive a card and maybe a photo of loved ones and see how big their kids have gotten or a new pet they’ve added to their home.

As years have passed, my Christmas card list has dwindled. Also, the cards I receive has gotten fewer. Maybe this is an antiquated tradition but I’ve enjoyed it nonetheless. At least, I did until it turned into a chore. I don’t know about you but I usually avoid chores.

But then a few weeks ago I saw a post asking for cards to be sent to our deployed service members. I thought about it and then decided to participate. This morning, as I sit at my kitchen table in my warm home I am writing notes to men and women who are far from home serving our country so we can enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted.

Before I started writing, I laid my hands on the stack of cards and prayed for them. I don’t know who will receive these cards but I pray they feel God’s love, peace, and protection as they read my handwritten note.

It’s not too late to participate!! The deadline to send cards is November 27th. If you are interested you can message me or do a Facebook search for “operation Christmas card”. I know any card you send will be greatly appreciated.

“How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:103‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/psa.119.103.nkjv

“Hey, teacher, leave that kid alone!”

So, if you’ve ever heard the song “Another brick in the wall” by Pink Floyd then you recognized the title of this blogpost. When I hear this song, it brings certain memories back to mind that I would rather forget. I would like to preface this post by saying that I have come to love and respect teachers. Some of my dearest friends are teachers. But as a kid, I strongly disliked the majority of my teachers and did not enjoy school.

I started kindergarten two months after my fifth birthday. (And have I already mentioned in past blogposts that I was my mom’s baby?) Years later I would hear my mother lament sending me to school so early. Truthfully, I’m not sure it would have mattered. There were moments I enjoyed but mostly I got fussed at for not doing my work and for staring out the window. Fun times.

I enjoyed recess, music, reading and history. But I hated math. I always told myself the big fat lie that I would never use math so therefore it was not important. Since I didn’t even try in math, I would usually get the following on my report card: F- failing subject; U- unsatisfactory; N- needs improvement. I would laugh and say, “I had fun in math this nine weeks.” This infuriated my mom. She was always an excellent student and expected all of us kids to follow in her footsteps. Mom knew I could do the work but that I wasn’t even trying.

I guess a few times each year I would do enough required work to pass to the next grade since I was never held back. I had a few teachers that saw potential in me and actually inspired me to do my work. But then I had a couple more teachers who tried to convince me that I was just plain dumb and not worth their time. I can see both of them vividly and remember both of their names. Many times in my adult life I have thought how wonderful it would be to take my bachelors degree from Murray state university and rub it in their faces. In my very humble opinion, Mr. J and Mr. K (both math teachers) were not in the right vocation. Mr. J loved to hunt and talked about it incessantly. He even kept a plastic decoy duck on his desk. I imagine it was a visual reminder during those bad days when he had trouble remembering why he chose to be a teacher. Mr. K had me convinced that I was “special” and put me in remedial math. Do I blame him? No, I don’t…now. I used to but I don’t anymore. He probably had no choice since I wouldn’t do my work.

I’m sure some of my classmates have good memories of these two teachers. I am very happy to report that I finally learned to apply myself and do my work and prove to the world, and myself, that I’m not a dummy.

If you are a teacher, please know that I respect what you do. If you love kids and want to encourage them to achieve their dreams, I pray you are blessed each day you go to work. If you teach kids or are thinking about becoming a teacher please pray about it and make sure it is something you desire to do.

I would like to conclude by saying that anyone can find themselves in the wrong profession. Accountant, lawyer, doctor, waitress, therapist, nurse…anyone. Also, we all need reminders at difficult times during our careers to remember why we chose our profession.

And now let’s all pray for Mr. J and Mr. K…Heavenly Father, if these two men are still alive I pray you bless them. Thank you for me not holding on to any bad memories and having peace with all math teachers. In Jesus name, Amen.

““And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/mrk.11.25.nkjv

Saturday morning

As a kid, I remember waking up on Saturday morning and grabbing a bowl of cereal to eat as I watched Saturday morning cartoons. Then as a teenager, Saturday morning became the day I could sleep in. Saturday morning has always been a special day as far as I can remember.

Here lately it’s become the day my eyes pop open at 3 o’clock in the morning. That is not very special in my opinion. After working all week and getting up each day at 5 o’clock in the morning it would be so nice to sleep in a little bit.

I have some sweet friends that are young moms and they talk about looking forward to the day their sweet baby learns to sleep all night. I remember those days. They seem to drag on with no end in sight. But then the day comes that your little one learns to sleep and then a few years later you have to teach them to wake up. It’s kind of ironic really.

Even though I’m up before the chickens, I’m not going to let it affect my day. I’ve started joking and saying I’m getting extra hours to my day. I might as well laugh about it. But I do think I’ll start taking a sleep aid on Friday nights.

Whatever your Saturday mornings look like, I hope it’s a day you enjoy. Maybe your work schedule is different and you look forward to another day of the week. I pray you find joy in each day God blesses you with.

For all of you who may be experiencing sleep issues, I pray you find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Prayers for sweet sleep for all of us.

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/pro.3.24.niv