Friday

God At Work

Today's the day!

Leaving today for She Speaks Conference.

In just a few hours, Troy will drive me to the airport, then take the kids on down the road to camp, then come home and be SOOOOOOOOO lonely! :-) Robert O. from church offered to come over for some prayer time if it just got unbearable! I think Troy will make it.

I wrote at the beginning of this month about how I didn't want to go, not ready, too far off track with my writing, blah-dee-blah... And I prayed. And, obviously, so did some of you. I am so very grateful.

God has brought me not only to a precious place of peace, but He is opening doors and moving in big, wondrous, and some of the strangest ways imaginable! Writing and speaking opportunities are opening -- many that may be MONTHS, possibly years away from completion or fruition, but I know God is at work. So, thank you to my prayer warriors, and please don't stop!

I am ready! (Well, right this moment I am either frantically running like the proverbial headless chicken or waiting in an airport, but...) I am ready to go soak up any word the Lord may have for me. I am ready to learn what He has for me. I am ready to tackle this next work in my life.

CHARGE!

Thursday

Quick Hello!

Ola, blog friends!

Blogging VERY late today. So much going on, but I have my list. I love a good list, don't you?

I am getting ready. Tomorrow is the day! I fly out of here to go to She Speaks. The family will drop me at the airport, then Troy will take the kids to "camp" (in quotes because it's about 50 hours -- grown-ups would call it a retreat). I think Troy is very excited for a weekend to himself. I hope he is, anyway -- sounds GLORIOUS to me!

So today is a day of packing, laundry, itineraries, interviews (still have a few articles out!), and running to and fro! AND -- I still think I'm going to try to get to the pool for a bit. I've just started doing the math... Let's see... we paid how much for that yearly membership? I've been there how many times this year? So I'm paying about $25 every time I go there so far? Yeah, about that! Trying to beat the averages!

THEN next week is more exciting laundry, packing, whathaveyou, and finally a family vacation. Ready and SOOOOO not ready!

Anyone else still traveling this summer? What's up with you folks?

Wednesday

Blog Friends Rock!

Y'all are the best Internets in the whole world! I knew you would pull through. Can't wait to compile all of this music.

a) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe quote was found by Leslie Ruth and Mike (mlefan). Tammy mentioned the instance I referred to in the movie with Lucy talking to Tumnus, but, as Leslie Ruth pointed out, the movie botched it up pretty good. It's pretty lame compared to the power of the written dialog. For those wondering, it's near the beginning of Chapter 8 in the book when three of the kids are at Beaver's house.

b) According to all of the fab-o input, here is my current playlist thoughts. I will probably have to cull this down to make it fit on a CD.

Shackles by Mary Mary
Signs of Life by Steven Curtis Chapman
Made to Worship by Chris Tomlin
Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin
Forgive Me by Rebecca St. James
I Am Free by Newsboys or Desperation Band
Free to be Me by Francesca Battistelli
Set Me Free by Casting Crowns
New Law by Derek Webb
Breakdown by Jack Johnson
American Dream by Casting Crowns
I Repent by Derek Webb
Free by Steven Curtis Chapman
Glorious Day by Jeff Johnson
Mirror by Barlow Girl
Free by Ginny Owens
I Will Sing of My Redeemer by Travis Cottrell
I Am Persuaded by Travis Cottrell
Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell
Cross the Line by SuperChick (or One Girl Revolution, my personal SuperChick fave)

And, if you didn't get Ricky's comments on that post, you missed a pretty good sermon about what freedom DOESN'T mean.

And? since he put this song, completely unrelated to the topic in my mind, here's a freebie:


Tuesday

Need Your Help, Blog World

You guys are always full of good information for me! I need some help with some things and would love your input!

a) Because of a writing project I'm working on, I am looking for a quote in "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" about Aslan. Someone says "He's a lion??? Is he safe?" The answer is a laughing, "Oh, no, he isn't safe, but he is very, very good." I thought it came at the end of the movie, but it isn't (Lucy has a similar response to Tumnus, but I think it is referencing an earlier conversation). Is it in the movie at all, or only the book? Is anyone a LWW scholar? Would love some help!

b) Music people! Help me out! Coffee Group has a speaking engagement coming up in a few months. Our topic that we've been given is "Amazing Freedom" -- the freedom we have in Christ. That puts FFH's song "Good to be Free" in my head. I know there are TONS of other songs out there about the freedom we have in Christ -- free FROM sin and pain, as well as free to love and trust fully. Suggestions? I would love to make us a CD to be running through our heads these next few months. Do you have a song that pops into your head that talks about 'Freedom in Christ'? Spill it!

Here's one that doesn't even use the word 'freedom'!

Monday

Starting Over -- One More Time -- and More Perspective

It is looming.

I'm still in my 30's, you know? :-) I am saying that as often as possible because in about 6 weeks I won't be able to say that.

A big birthday is looming. Last year, I wrote about some things I've learned in my 39 years on that birthday (don't expect another list this year -- I may have learned a few things this year, but not 40 more!)

A year ago when I turned 39, I was staring down 40 with my 'fight face'!! It was ON and I was going to win. I made goals for my running and set off to meet them. All went well until.... (cue dreadful music) an injury! Bummer. Recovered from the injury right around New Year's, so I was in the calendar year of the birthday, still staring it down (and from 9 months away). Big plans and goals. I was going to stomp this birthday into the ground, so fit would I be!

Well, again, if you're following along, you know that I have been laid low for weeks at a time battling migraines, then the headaches caused by treating the migraines (go figure). Started surfacing from that conundrum about the time I went on the mission trip with Ashley a few weeks ago, which I returned from with a horrific case of the creeping crud.

Here is where the perspective comes in: for my birthday, I would be so happy to go the whole day without a migraine, and to sleep through the night without a coughing fit. Forget how I look -- though one of those days would probably GREATLY improve the bags under my eyes -- and forget how much or how fast I can run -- that may upset the migraine balance. The battle with minor health problems has made me increasingly grateful for a day that I can go and do what I can when I can. For my 40th birthday, if I can still walk across the street unassisted, I'm good!

Starting over?

It's another Monday, another day that, for this precise moment in time, I feel relatively healthy. I am lacing up my running shoes and starting over. Almost from absolute square one. I wish I knew how many 'do-over' Mondays I've started over with my running this year alone, let alone in my lifetime. Here's the deal: I will not stop. God has granted me one more day, and for today, the health to try to tackle it.

Am I frustrated that the November me (before I got hurt) could run circles around this starting over me? Not really, honestly. I guess there was a moment in time when I spent more time looking back at where I had been, and why can't I still be there, blah, blah. But now that just wastes too much time/ energy. This is where I am. This is today. I do the best I can. I train and run and make the most of today's workout while I can -- I don't know when my health will allow me to do it again. But I can't spend time kicking myself for not being where I was or where I want to be or where I should be.

This is me. Starting over, and grateful for the grace that allows me the day and the health to do it.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Romans 12:1

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22,23

Saturday

If you are familiar in the least with VBS, you seriously need to read this. Hilarious. Joshilyn should forever be in charge of VBS games.




I know it isn't 'xactly 'Ave Maria' season, but this is a current favorite song. It is being used for some of my exercise classes, and I am really enjoying it. This live version is more fun to watch, but leaves out some of the snappy-doo that the recorded version has. Seriously, you'll have to listen. Beyonce'. Who knew?


If you would like to add your 'Good Thing' button to your blog, copy the code into an 'HTML' box on your sidebar:


Friday

Another Fun Video

This was all over Facebook yesterday, so you may have already seen this, but how fun is this? This is one wedding my kids wouldn't have minded sitting through...

Thursday

New Recipe Posted

As mentioned, I'm starting to almost see the Land of the Living. Hey, y'all -- yes, you, over there in the Land of the Living. Is it okay to cross over? I'm thinkin' about it... I even stayed upright most of Wednesday. Well, if you count sitting on a lounge chair at the pool for 2 hours being 'upright' (and I do).

However, I'm kind of at the point of the mama bear coming out of hibernation in the spring seeing what all havoc the cubs have done to the den while she was sleeping. Feeling a little overwhelmed. In a week from tomorrow I go to She Speaks, then come home for 3 days and take my family to Colorado.

Betwixt here and there I have four articles due, a day to keep an out-of-town friend's child for the day, a Coffee Group planning meeting, and various and sundry other things that must be done for such traveling.

So, I posted a recipe. You should check it out.

When I have some articles written, I will share them with you! Until then, check me out, skirting the edges of the Land of the Living. I will be in and amongst you in no time flat!

One more thing -- is summer busier than ever for anyone else? Is it a function of aging children or what? What is your summer like?

Wednesday

About to Make It

'Kay -- if you know me or keep up on facebook, Twitter, or just plain real life, you may know I have been SICK. Kids, I don't do sick. My family doesn't do sick. But we have all been sick, except for Troy, and I'm sure his time is coming. I am starting to get better. While I am trying to crawl back into life, enjoy this video. I feel certain I am the last person on the planet to see it, so enjoy it again:



Saturday

Observation

When my kids were little, every summer I would dutifully send them to VBS at church (this was, of course, before we re-named it 'SBA' for no apparent reason). By mid-week, one or both of them were throwing up their toenails and had what I came to call 'the VBS virus'.

Now that my kids are older, I am dutifully sending them on mission trips. Thus far, it has only been one, but trust me, I will... If this week is any indication, I will bring them home and have about 2 days before 'mission trip malaise' of high fever and incessant coughing hits. Can someone more experienced tell me if this is how it always is?

Friday

Hospitality, Revisited

I have mentioned that I am not much into household hospitality: having people in my home isn't really my thing, love people though I do. I was recently convicted how I may not offer someone the gift of my time when someone made me feel lesser about my money. Let me explain.

When I quit teaching, Troy and I took a gamble on my writing career that, thus far, hasn't paid off too well financially. We eat, we do okay, Troy provides for us quite well and God has taken care of all of our needs, but there is not a lot of room for extras in our budget. Partly for that reason, and partly for health reasons, we don't eat out often. I don't mean we don't eat at fancy restaurants often, but frequently pick up fast foods. I mean we rarely purchase any food not prepared in this kitchen.

Not long ago, we were leaving somewhere with someone I know fairly well who I thought would be aware of our (financial) circumstances. Both families were heading out to eat anyway, and we discussed going somewhere together. I mentioned my criteria, hoping to keep the meal within my family's budget. I got laughed at: "Oh, that's only because you want to get your way." Then, ironically, that person continued to steer the choices so that they could get their way. Since at this point I was too embarrassed to say anything else, I agreed to something that was far outside of our budget. I didn't enjoy the meal since we ended up spending about twice what we would have for a meal.

I was annoyed at myself for not speaking up, but I thought about the message I got from that person: "Come along if you like, but to spend time with us, you have to fit in, spend a certain amount, and go/do where I want." Gotcha.

Not much later, we were in the same situation with a different family -- one that we don't really know as well. The conversation went a little differently. In short, it was, "Whatever you guys need. Great with us!" The message I got was, "It doesn't matter what you choose, we just want to spend time with you. That's the important part." I paid a lot less for that meal and enjoyed it much more -- mainly because I felt welcomed and accepted for who I am and what works for me and my family.

I hope that I am the last one to make someone feel left out because of finances, but I'm sure there are some people that my kids go to school with that simply can't keep up with the $5 here and $15 there for t-shirts, fees, what-have-you, etc.

On top of that, I think of the most valuable commodity I have: my time. If someone needs any of my time, I fear I may try to cram them in a corner of my day when it works for me. May I never embarrass or make anyone feel less-than because of the left-over of my time that I try to offer them.

Continuing to work on this hospitality business...

Thursday

Perspective

As mentioned, I am still recovering from the trip. Partly in the sleep world, but partly because I got screwed up and forgot a few too many days to take my migraine preventative, so I'm trying to adjust to that all over again. I'm thankful to realize it isn't just me in my age -- Ashley woke up feeling pretty crummy yesterday and I think we are all just trying to adjust.

Trip was, as mentioned, wonderful, but not without snags (has anyone ever been on a mission trip that had no snags?). Got about 15 miles out of town and had the first flat. Oh, yes. Hobbled another 20 miles to get it fixed (that vehicle was a bus-type thing, so the tires weren't standard size). Drove another 30 or so miles and had another flat. Major ordeal to get the kids unloaded in shifts, etc. and to lunch while the bus got into town and repaired. We left at 8 a.m. and it was 3:30 p.m before we had been on the road for 60 consecutive minutes. Ugh. 10 hour trip became 15.

Obviously, that isn't a great way to start a trip, but it's a great way to see who you're traveling with. The adults were so amazing. I wish I could be like all of them. Even-keel, and treated all of those teens with kindness and respect the entire time. Precious folks.

Later (maybe) I will tell you what all we did. I did a little different than most: another lady and I were basically 'mission trip moms' and (what else do you do when you're a mom???) went to Wal-Mart a million times, took a kid to the clinic (which gave me two weeks worth of blog material alone), and shuttled work crews to their sites. We also cooked real for real food for lunches. I say 'we', but the other gal did the lion's share of the work while I stood around thinking, "she makes that look SO easy..."

Oh, and we sweated. A lot. It was HOT. I was accused of not breaking a sweat because I wasn't on an actual work team the first two days. I just made it look good! :-) The afternoons were for VBS for a little Hispanic church across town. We split into teams: snacks, crafts, Bible lesson, games. Poor games: outdoors on a blacktop parking lot. Bless 'em. But it was awesome and the teens did GREAT and the VBS attendees seemed to have a GREAT time. So precious.

More details later. For now, those of you that hang around here regularly, I wanted to share this with you. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling a little bit (or a lot) like a loser because my writing isn't going like I would like? Well, one of the last nights we were there helped me gain perspective on that.

We split into a boy group and a girl group. Each group went to dinner, then back to our dorm for a boy devo and girl devo. The girl devo started with some 'girl business' that turned into a few of the adults being mom and talking through some stuff that had NOTHING to do with the devo, but was necessary for the moment. It was precious and hilarious. The devo just became 'what's on your heart' and was very sweet.

After the devo, rounding up all of the girls getting them towards bed (can you say 'herding cats'??? OI!!!) one of the girls crawled up in my bed. "Can I talk to you?" Her gorgeous brown eyes were brimming with tears and her chin was quivering around braces with multi-colored bands. She poured out her heart about her relationship with God and what she wanted it to be and what it really was -- those things we all struggle with, but when you're 13, you don't know you just may as well get used to the struggle and start learning how/praying to come out on top more times than not.

Getting her squared away and prayed over, I realized I wouldn't have traded that moment for any book deal I may have gotten had I missed last week. My writing isn't helping us financially very much these days, but I am so thankful my life is where I am able to make those kinds of trips and experience those things with the teens. It also doesn't hurt that a few of Ashley's friends told her I was 'awesome' and she heard from a few others how they 'just aren't close to their mom...' I think Ashley has realized that, yes, I'm a dork and embarrassing, but it could be so much worse. Oddly enough, I bet we didn't spend 30 minutes together all week, and I had to make an effort to spend those 30 minutes with her. We were BUSY!

So, I continue to rest and nap and recover little by little. But I'm oh-so-thankful for the opportunity I have to witness God in action, molding lives.

Wednesday

Staggering Back Into Blog World

I am back.

I am back and trying to establish routine and normalcy. I make it until noon until I collapse.

The trip was wonderful. More details later.

My husband missed me greatly -- I think he and Riley had pizza about 4 times while I was gone -- so there is an added bonus upon my return! And at some point I shall tell you about how he surprised me upon my return!

Until then, I am probably taking a nap!

Saturday

Business Idea

For you entrepreneurial types:

Imagine there is some mom out there envisioning herself to be a frugal, cost-conscious mom like myself and doesn't believe camp to be in the budget for the summer.

At this point in the summer, frugal, cost-conscious mom is willing to empty the retirement account, sell the car, and rent out a room for a week's peace and freedom from the demands on transportation and entertainment.

Last minute, major overly priced summer camp. It would be a sure thing.

Friday

How Great The Father's Love

(originally posted 3/27/06)

A Perfect Post


I overheard a young mother recounting her nighttime ritual of laying her head on her pillow and asking herself, "Did I love my family enough today? If something happens to me tonight will they know exactly how much I loved them?"

As an "older and wiser" woman — and more skeptical and a bit jaded, I suppose — my first instinct was to laugh: "Well, of course you didn't love them enough! How silly!" Jesus conceded that though we are imperfect parents (He literally called us "evil"!) we still do the best we know how! (Luke 6:11-13) Chances are, I did NOT love my family enough today or on any day.

Her question, however, haunted me. I continued to turn it over again and again in my mind. The question seemed a bit less daunting and a lot less accusing if I rephrased it: "Could I love my children more, could I love my children better, tomorrow?"

Well, Lord willing, I will be given tomorrow with my family. And yes, I will try to love them more completely tomorrow. However, none of us is promised tomorrow for our families or ourselves.

I have wept with mothers who have kissed tiny foreheads for the last time to send them to "The Land Where There Is No Tomorrow." I have prayed and pleaded with mothers whose children have been precariously close to the edge of "The Land Where There Is No Tomorrow." Those women know what it is to lay their heads down at night and ask, "Did I love them enough ...?"

My husband and I have tangoed around the line of calling it quits on "happily ever after." With our new resolve for our marriage, I am painfully aware of how fragile a marriage can be. I am fully aware of his choice to be here. I am intentional about daily letting him know that I appreciate his choice and all that he is to our family. Thankfully, I have not faced the horrific loss of one of my children. But, I think I have failed to be intentional about letting them know how thankful I am for them, as well.

The old apostle John, near the end of his life, reminded us, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1) My loving Father has LAVISHED His love on me. Surely, that lavished love should run over and splash on my family.

One small thing I am realizing more and more is that as my children grow, the frequent opportunity to touch or hug them is diminishing. I don't lift them in and out of car seats or high chairs any more. I don't help them in and out of the bathtub, wipe their faces, or even brush their hair for them any more. They are no longer at an arm's distance or underfoot all day, so I must be intentional about meaningful touch for my children. I know that my arms ache when my husband is not in town to hug and touch me. My children need touch and love even more!

I also realize that sometimes I really have to try to listen carefully to what my children say. I am frequently guilty of multi-tasking which, I've come to realize, means doing several things poorly at the same time. It really doesn't take very long to sit, look into their eyes, and really hear what they are saying — and sometimes, if I am really listening, I can even hear what they aren't saying. I think about how much it means to me when someone has obviously heard what I said and then later asks me about it. I want my children to know they are valuable enough to get my full attention!

Another thing that I've realized that means a lot to my kids is to simply sit together and hang around together. Of course, the TV should be off for this — although it's also a good idea to know what they're watching and talk to them about it. My kids like for me to talk to them about my day, as well as listen to them about theirs. We dream and scheme, hope and plan.

Meaningful touch, intentional listening, and being together are not huge undertakings. They take a very little amount of time — my kids really like to limit how much time they hang out with me anyway— and they require no money at all! I just have to be intentional about doing those things.

And tonight I will wonder, "Could I love them more tomorrow?"

Thursday

Deep Thoughts

(originally posted March 12, '06)

The Jews would not willingly tread upon the smallest piece of paper in their way, but took it up; for possibly, they say, the name of God may be on it. Though there was a little superstition in this, yet truly there is nothing but good religion in it, if we apply it to men. Trample not on any; there may be some work of grace there, that thou knowest not of. The name of God may be written upon that soul thou treadest on; it may be a soul that Christ thought so much of, as to give His precious blood for it; therefore despise it not. -- S. T. Coleridge


Wednesday

Differences Between Moms and Dads

(originally posted 8-01-05)

No, this isn't an anatomy lesson. This really struck me a few weeks ago. On July 4th, Troy was off of work, of course, and we had a fun family day. Early in the day, before it got too miserably hot, we decided to go for a bike ride. The kids and I all have bikes, but our oldest chose not to go on the ride, so Troy used her bike and the three of us went for a ride. Keep in mind that the kids and I have ridden quite frequently together. It basically always makes me a nervous wreck. I spend most of my time coaching on bicycle safety:

"Stay in a single-file line on the right side of the road."

"Slow down at this intersection to watch for cars. They have the stop sign, but make sure they see you."

"Keep your helmet on the top part of your head."

The funny thing is that when I was riding with my husband (who refused to wear a helmet) I should have been saying the same things. I realized that while I feel it is my job to teach my children how to be safe on their bicycles, Troy believes it is his job to teach them how to do a perfect wheelie and how to go 'dirt-biking' over the mounds of dirt at a nearby construction site. In all honesty -- each of those things is important. So I'm thankful that Troy is around to teach such things (I don't think I could ever pull off a wheelie).

I thought the same thing last week on our amusement-park tour. It was my self-appointed job to make sure everyone got enough water to drink, was always with an adult, and didn't eat so much junk that they got sick (which was easy to do since after paying $9 for an icee for everyone, we were done for the day -- I'm not exaggerating a penny). Troy had to make sure that everyone rode at least one thing that was a little bit scary for them, then on Friday he made the most beloved rule of all. After we had both jumped all over youngest for burping quite audibly at the steak house the night before, Troy made a new rule after lunch on Friday: "Burping after meals consumed in an amusement park is okay." After this pronunciation, he proceeded to shake the rafters with his own eructation. The kids were thrilled.

I am so thankful to God for designing this dance we do through life of give / take, push / pull, worry / play as parents. I am so thankful for the man I married to take on his role as bicycle daredevil instructor and roller coaster evaluator.

Tuesday

A Few Prayers...

In a little over an hour, Ashley and I will be leaving with 32 of our closest Jr. High friends and their parents to go do mission work in McAllen, Texas. It's about an 8-hour drive. We will spend the week doing service for the Las Milpas Church of Christ -- working on homes in the mornings (painting and roofing) and performing a Vacation Bible School in the afternoon.

If you are inclined to say a prayer, I would love for you to pray for all of us. Some specifics for our trip would be:
  • Safety in travels
  • Good health of all going
  • Kids and adults would be filled with Holy Spirit and show Jesus to the people we are serving.
  • Bonds would be formed among the group that travels together that would allow us to serve God more effectively upon our return
"My boys" are going to be here this week. Please also remember them in your prayers as Troy is still on crutches and Riley will pretty much be accompanying him to work most days. 

While I'm gone, I'll be posting some old blogs! 


Monday

Marriage (and Family) Monday

In mentioning last week that I always try to be transparent here, I realized what a tightrope that can be. I do try to be transparent, in person and on the internet. Honestly, I see no reason not to be and I have precious little tolerance for people who aren't, as mentioned here.

However, keep in mind that 'no man is an island unto himself' and I live in a house of three other people -- souls that I am entrusted with safeguarding and honoring. I do not know the balance of transparency and safeguarding these souls. 

So, in omitting much of the little day-to-day nuances and issues that come with living in a family, the picture you are left with may be a little too rosy on occasion. I am not going to spend time telling you all the awful ways that we are a way-too-normal family. Let's just say -- we aren't perfect, and please don't let the fact that I TRY not to air much of our mess here lead you to believe we don't have our occasional bumps and bruises.

Just as Satan feeds me lies and discontent about myself and my gift, you know he tells me the same things about my marriage and my husband. Even my list last week? Yeah, I had to think past the "Well, he doesn't do this, and he isn't that..." honestly, I had to think long and hard. But I'm so glad I did! I AM crazy about my husband -- but I had to try to remember why. And, keep in mind, I was only a week away from an accident that could have easily claimed his life. I had been thinking on why I was thankful to have him around! Life hasn't been easy for us lately. I wouldn't say it has been particularly difficult, but it hasn't been easy, either. It certainly hasn't been a time of sitting around with dewy eyes thinking gooey thoughts about the one I love. 

If you are having a hard time remembering why you are crazy about your spouse, I would encourage you to make a list as well. It's a fun exercise. 

Even on facebook when I commented that one of my children was ugly to me, many assumed which child it was (they all assumed the same child). I didn't say anything, trying to protect the innocent and guilty alike, but they were assuming incorrectly. So I shall probably refrain from any more generic comments about my children's behavior. I mean, aren't you glad YOUR parents didn't have the internet when you were a pre-teen and teen? I am!

I say all this to say -- my silence on a subject MAY mean things are great, but it may mean that I am honoring my family by not airing our messes on the internet. If you would like to sit and take me out for ... water (I can't do coffee, tea, or Diet Coke anymore ... I'm a  CHEAP date) I will be happy to talk to you and be as transparent as you can stand, but on the internet I tend to keep things a little closer to the vest, as it were. 

I, too, am guilty of assuming that one person has it all together because of how much or little I read on the internet. Please don't assume that I am that person that has it all together. I keep threatening to post a picture of my laundry room to prove otherwise! :-) We're a mess around here with fusses and drama and tears like everyone else (you truly wouldn't believe what is taking place AS I AM TYPING THIS). But God's grace keeps us going one more day, and blesses us with enough laughter to make us think that it's all worth it in the end.

Hug your family tight and find enough to love to wash over the little fusses and big messes.

Sunday

Migraine Info Posted

I am not a doctor, I don't even play one on blogland TV. But I have learned a LOT about migraine in the last 8 weeks. Every time I mention that I have come through another victory about my migraines, someone asks me about it.

So, I wrote up what I know. I didn't put it here, because it's ridiculously long. I put it here. I may put a link to it on the sidebar. If I can be a pro about anything, I guess it will be headaches!

Thursday

Encouragement and FREE STUFF!

One of the reasons I was so transparent with you about 'where I am'  yesterday was my desire to always be completely honest and transparent -- even to you, internets, who may or may not comment and let me know you are there. Another reason is purely selfish -- I thought you may have some kind words to give a little pat and help me back to the right direction. And you didn't disappoint.

It just makes me think of the body of Christ. I love it so. I love that my task as writer is to encourage and enlighten and do whatever God would have me do that, Lord willing, bolsters you in your walk with Him. Yet when I grow weary or the clutter and noise from the world crowds out what the Lord would have me say, it is you people, you wonderful people that I theoretically encourage, that lift me up and set me on my way, thus enabling me to do my job. 

That is how His body works. Love it.

11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:11-16

Now that you have encouraged me, I leave you with the opportunity to win some FREE STUFF! Scoot over to SassafrasSweet's blog and check it out (I sent you to her Etsy shop not too long ago) and enter to win some free dish towels. Easy as pie!


The following song really is more my current theme song with everything -- writing, whatever. I just had to put a little distance between Ephesians and Miley Cyrus in this post... What does it say about me if a kid who was born two days after I got married is singing my theme song? Hmmm.... it may be a sad statement about me, but I do love the song:


Wednesday

Off Track

So.

Once upon a time, I put it out there.


No one laughed (audibly).

But the next month I got a record number of migraines. Hmmmm.... 

And I started drowning in a cycle of migraines and figuring them out, then once I found some relief from migraines I went on a medicine to PREVENT a migraine that instead gave me a headache EVERY day (but it wasn't a migraine!). Can you say irony? 

Also, how great do you think it is to be MARRIED to someone that truly has a headache EVERY day??? Yes, indeed, we were livin' the dream over here!

Lo and behold, this week I look up and realized that the end of (now) this month is a writing conference I'm attending. A writing conference I have scraped and saved to be able to getto  register for, that my parents generously bought me air fare for, that I had grand plans to go to with book proposal in hand. 

I don't have a book proposal in hand. I don't have a book inside my head. I'm doing good to still have my head attached at this point, I figure.

I'll be honest. If I didn't already have loads of my own money and other people's sunk into this conference, I wouldn't go. I have this week that I will be finishing swimming lessons and next week I will be on a mission trip with Ashley. I'll be back in town for a few weeks, then here's my conference!! Yay! or not...

I think I even signed up to have either my writing or one of my talks critiqued by a group of my peers, but I don't even know which I signed up for right now. Susan has finished getting ready for hers (which is what made me remember that was even part of the conference). 

So, I'm off the writing track. I feel lost as lost can be in trying to nail down this dream of mine. After battling my health, I feel like I'm starting completely over which would be fine, but now I realize I have to go to a conference. Yes, I'm supposed to learn at the conference, but everything in me is already screaming at me, "You don't belong there! You aren't really a writer! Poser! Imposter! They're all going to know you don't belong!" 

So.

Once upon a time I had a dream. I think I still have it.
 
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