Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lent -- 14 of 40 (What day is it? Life happening all around, distractions!!)

SO I have fallen WAY  a little behind on my lent blogging. I am repenting and praying God will help me get back on track. Here are a few of my latest distractions from opening up the ole laptop: 

1. This sweet face! This little girl is my partner in crime and I am enjoying every single moment of her still thinking I'm the best thing since sliced bread. Her brother's favor is waning, so I am soaking up this sweet 3 year old time with her all I can. We are painting finger nails, putting together puzzles, and I am giving in to her ever whim and loving every minute of it. That face could turn the saddest frown upside down. I posted this video of her "reading" the book I Love Monkey that she has memorized, and someone stopped me earlier this week to see the whole thing:

...and here is another one just for laughs...

2. Baseball practice: Reed is obsessed. His little self wants to be the best player he can be. He even had me out in the yard last week throwing pop-ups. Rob was finishing up some work and looking out the windows and saw me throwing (and saw the one I threw behind me). DISCLAIMER: I never proclaimed to be any kind of athlete. I am a runner, not a baseball (or insert any sport here) player. He caught most of the balls and when Rob was done they hit, pitched, and ran bases. Saturday they watched our Louisville win two games, went to our Upward Basketball celebration, then headed to watch the beloved Diamond Dogs win against Vandy. And Reed could probably tell me every single run scored and who scored it. I am actually looking forward to this baseball season to see him play -- cause I think he's going to be pretty good!! 

3. Antics -- the one on the right. Always up to something. And the one on the left, his partner in crime. This was going on right below the picture above of Reed throwing the baseball. Our broken patio umbrella and broken wheel barrow. Never a dull moment with these two. You can see from the look on their sweet faces that they were having a grand time! I forsee many, many, many, many, GRAND times in their future. God bless me during the teenage years!! 

4. Bible verse look up. Reed has been challenged by his sweet sweet Sunday School teacher to pick a verse that means a lot to him and memorize it. That is going to be his "ticket" into Sunday School each week and it's the verse that claims to be his little life verse for this time in his life. He has been loving looking up verses trying to figure out which ones mean the most to him. We have also started talking about the verses he looks up and how they apply to our life. Several have really hit home with him and of course (my little over achiever) he picked 2! 

The first I know comes from his love of Tim Tebow and how he wants to be strong in his sports. He is praying each night to get better and we are trying to teach him to give God the glory for any successes on the ball field, as well as in the classroom. I loved Tim Tebow's parents approach to this I read about in his book, Through My Eyes. The second verse he picked, because he doesn't like to see people hurt and we have prayed for several who have hurt him in the past. I hope he really does learn this verse for life, because that doesn't end at 7 years old. It's a verse that I still lean on at 36. Just thankful for all he is learning at such a young age. Blessed by this little guy each and every day.

5. Garden and Gun --- almost read the whole thing cover to cover last night. Just love it, but that's another post.

6. My real job. I have been working spreading joy and cheer to all the gift shops, florists, and clothing stores of North Mississippi and West Tennessee. Making people happy (mostly!!) with fun gifts for their stores. I love what I do and do what I love. Can't imagine doing anything else! 

7. Laundry -- This is the current state of my bed!! 

Hoping to post again tonight on a more inspirational topic!!! Life MAY or MAY NOT get in the way, so stay tuned!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lent -- Day 13 of 40 (things I am loving right now)

Friday “LOVES”
It’s Friday and it’s been a long week, (and I skipped another day yesterday, but I am still plugging along and by Easter, I will have 40 posts), and it’s FRIDAY!!!
Just thought I’d share a few of my favorite things that I have seen this week that will be in my world hopefully very soon:
·         These flats from The Root Collective:

Made by this guy (#ottomademyshoes)
and here is his story:

Lovingly known in the slum of La Limonada in Guatemala City as "Don Otto" (roughly translated "Mr. Otto"), this man has one of the most tender hearts imaginable. Each one of his shoes is crafted with not only skill, but a tremendous amount of love. His vision is to transform his community through honest jobs and relationships.

  • Sseko sandals and bags: I will have a pair of these before summer for the days the antelopes aren't cutting it (which aren't many b/c I love those shoes), but these have a great casual look and are helping put women through college in Uganda. Please and thank you! 

                       Here is a little bit more about their story:

Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand based in Uganda. In addition to handbags and accessories, we make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways.
Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place. 
Of Course I am still swooning over this bag from my "go-to" collection for give back products, helping women all over the world make a fair wage. I'm having a Noonday Party May 1st, so hopefully I will score enough hostess credits to add this to my collection of Noonday. This might be my favorite piece ever.

Kismet tote -- SWOON!!!

Threaded charm necklace...could certainly add this to my collection too!!
  • LOVE HAITI shirts -- We are going back to Haiti in May and I am super excited about the trip. Hoping to get some amazing things going with the women and children there! Circling that in prayer daily. And this is one of the ways we are getting there:

  • And speaking of Haiti this is happening in a few weeks and Reed is running it with me!
A few steps closer to one of my life goals with my children:

1.      Train and run a ½ marathon with each child

And this is a quote I saw today on Instagram that I thought was awesome! Looking forward to a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lent -- Day 12 (a day late b/c hotel room had no WIFI) of 40 (Memphis, TV,

In hotel room tonight and I always LOVE getting away for a night every once and a while. Every time I go I find the most interesting TV.
Tonight was no exception. It’s I turned TLC and wow they have some shows. First, my 600 Pound Life, was a woman who weighed 600 pounds and cannot walk. I can’t even. I only caught the tail-end of that show but I really do not understand how you can get to that point.
THEN, for the LOVE: Hoarders – Buried Alive. I have never almost thrown up when watching TV but I almost did tonight. This precious man who was an orthopedic surgeon and has ended up living in a house literally infested with roaches. I mean crazy infested. I mean crawling all over him as he slept, of course he had an onion and a bag of rotten tomatoes in his bed with him, along with various articles of clothing, books, and trash. Did I mention the roaches? There had to be 1 billion of them. And normally I can handling looking at each and every crevasse of a place until they bring in the cleaning crew, but about 2 minutes in I was like, “Let’s bring in the people to get those roaches of of you sweet little doctor man!” As I am watching it -- I CAN. NOT. EVEN. And I am the first one to get sucked into a show and I wish I hadn’t but I can’t stop watching it. And spoiler alert – they got everything out and he finally got to hold his grandbaby! I love it when there is a happy ending, even on hoarders.
And I can’t even tell you the name of the next show that came on (that I promptly changed)…TLC, you have taken reality TV to a whole ‘nuther level!!

Thank you Duck Dynasty for being on!!!

Something else that happened today that I think was interesting. The day started out a little shaky, so when you are majorly bummed, walk around Target and try on bathing suits – isn’t that what everyone does to make themselves feel better? Well that didn’t help (why I thought it might I have no earthly). I then decided that I wanted a career where I could just drive around, have lunch with friends, write cards, and deliver flowers in the summer. And grow stuff!! And sew stuff. Anyway, don’t think anyone would pay me to do that, so maybe Chic Fil A for lunch? Yes, please. So I ordered my #5 with a coke and chic fil a sauce and I must have looked like I was having a bad day because the precious sweet girl who gave me my food said, “I hope your day gets better!” Sweet, Sweet, Sweet (and they are always super nice at CFA anyway) and thanks to her my day did get better!
Met up with a sweet friend from college who I never get to see, then ate at Bonefish for dinner. Visiting + eating = 2 of my favorite things = day better!

I also started a book over the weekend that was recommended at Sundog Books in Seaside when we were there. She said it was hilarious and such a good read. Well, I almost purchased it, but instead got the Julia Reed book for me and Rob “The Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell (10,000 hours of practice and you too can be a prodigy, that is another post). I got home and ran by the public library to see if they could get the book for me. They did and I started it, and my word – it was funny, but it was like God kept throwing this at me:
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Philippians 4:8

And this was on the heels of the sermon with the list from yesterday’s blog:

4. What we do with our leisure time;
7. What we laugh at.

AND there you have it --- convicted!!

SO, I took it back to the library without finishing. I did! I just felt weird about reading it…
Now, to clean up my running playlist again. (the 90s rap is back on it -- eek!) (in my defense, I went to public school in the height of the craze) (I know, Philippians 4:8) (my memory verse for the week!)

“We may not have all the answers for our kids, but we do have tons of love for them.” 
– Willie Robinson
Thanks Willie -- I needed that!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent -- Day 11 of 40 (or something like that) (saved)


That is what I woke up with on my mind this morning. Saved. Saved means so many things. 

We are saved by grace (thank you Jesus).

We save money. We save time. We save ourselves from lots of things and for lots of things. 

I have been saving ideas for this blog for years in the back of my head and I hope they are still in there because I have a bunch more posts to write! EEK! But I know they will come. 

If we want to save our life, we must surrender it to Him. The gospels all mention this so I know it's important. Luke 17:33 says "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. We must let go of all of those worldly things.

I loved the sermon that Jeff delivered Sunday with text from Haggai (i was like, where is Haggai) (no, I did not go to Bible college and we did not have Bible drills...just being honest) (thankfully our scripture reader let us know it was three books back from I will never forget it!!)

Haggai Chapter 1When the Jews were finally able to go back to Jerusalem, only 15,000 of them went and they started building the temple and got the foundation built and stopped because they got busy doing other things (hello, me?!). The people lived in "paneled houses" and God's house was unfinished. They were called to renew their covenant with God. 

Itsn't this just like us --- to start something and never finish. Finally Haggai told them that God was with them and they needed to get to work for God and finish building temple. 

This reminds me of the MTV show "Rob and Big" where Big was always wanting them to "do work." Loved him. Anyway, we need to be doing work for God, no matter what we have going on in our lives. 

This goes right back to my "Circle Maker" quote that says " work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God." Haggai confirms this statement. Isn't God amazing? And just like Day 3 says, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do AMAZING things among you!" from Joshua 3:5. HE will!!! 

He also mentioned this list from A. W. Tozer of rules to remind us of what we do and WHO it serves:

Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;
3. How we use our money;
4. What we do with our leisure time;
5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.” 
― A.W. Tozer

This post is a little all over the place, but that's the kind of day it's been. I can honestly say!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lent -- Day 10 1/2 of 40 (Glacier, running, and working hard)

Well, I’ve been wanting to write about my running but keep putting it off. And since Saturday got really busy and involved 15,000 fun things to do (a 1 mile hike which turned into 3 miles with kids ranging from 3-9 years…several of them {my two that were with us} might have briefly lost it) when the weather is beautiful and lots of children everywhere, my blog post got pushed back to today (EEK!) so I’m calling this 10 ½ and will try to do another one today for 11. May have to double up another day since I skipped yesterday too. I’m not giving up my promise – 40 in 40 baby…just call me a show on ESPN, except its not about sports (funny thing that today’s post kinda is) and they aren’t as entertaining.

I started running, well, if I’m telling the truth, around 8th grade. I had a very short lived stint on the track team, but I did run several miles without stopping. Fast forward 10 years…

I moved to Montana to work for the summer when I was 20. I worked in Glacier National Park which is one of the most untouched natural landscapes in the United States. It’s a hiking resort with trails everywhere. Anyway, when I was not working in the St. Mary’s gift shop or hiking through the gorgeous backcountry that is Glacier, I was with my posse drinking a Henry Weinhards at Kip’s Beer Garden (don’t judge…I was young, stupid, and had to learn some things the hard way, but had fun along the way).
So so beautiful!

Our first time on Going-to-the-Sun Highway

I digress – Henry Weinhards is a dark beer (i.e. lots of calories) and I drank quite a few. Which quickly turned into 20 pounds gained. EEK! Back to State in a month and it wasn’t pretty. Thankfully my roommate was on the varsity Lacross team at University of Pennsylvania, so she was getting in shape, and I joined her on her training runs (this may be where I get my drill sergeant ways when it comes to training and running). We had beautiful surroundings to run in, zero humidity, and great convos about lots of juicy subjects. And my love for running was born in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
My trainer and friend -- see those chubby cheeks -- and please notice the beauty of Glacier in the background!)

The real love came back about 4 years ago after two babies and 30 pounds of baby weight. I started just running as far as I could then walking the rest of the way. I will never forget the first time I ran two miles. It was SUCH a HUGE accomplishment. I would rank it right up there with finishing my first race and then my first ½ marathon. It’s therapeutic, really. I get to listen to my favorite tunes or visit with friends, or just zone out and enjoy God’s beautiful world. It’s a great time to pray (that I can finish the run, among other things) too, and lots of good ideas are born out of my runs…there and in the shower!

My first ever race was a 10K on the coast and there was a power walker with a comb over that I had to pass because, well, he was walking (albeit very fast), and most importantly, a man with a comb over was not going to beat me (goals are important to set when running). I think I finished in 1:09 and could not have been happier. There have been so many fun races in between and I hope to document them here and future races too!

Running has brought much fun, joy, and friends into my life. It’s a lot of hard work, blood (sometimes), sweat (lots of that), and tears (some of those too), but simply put, I love it, for the many miles run, moments shared and the memories made.

In my life goals I set for The Circle Maker 40- day prayer challenge, several have to do with my running:

Physical Goals
1.       Run the Heart of Dixie Triathalon
2.      Run 12 ½ marathons in 12 months
3.      Run 1,000 miles in a year
4.      Still be running when I am in my 60s
5.      Run a ½ marathon in all 50 states (or at least the fun ones!)
6.      Run the New York City marathon
7.      Run a ½ marathon in a European country

And I loved the verse that was used in our children’s church yesterday. Mrs. Peggy used her cheerleading trophy from the 1950s – tee hee! But running metals could be used as well. 

Because it’s a lot of hard work being a Christian and we have to keep pushing toward the goal to win the race.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:14

And one thing that Mark Batterson says a lot (over and over) in The Circle Maker that has really stuck with me and that I am going to talk about in my next blog post later today (catch-up post), talks about working for Christ. Hard work. He said, “Work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God.” Running is like this. It’s a lot of hard work, and lots of prayers to get you through some tough runs. Sometimes the prayers you pray aren’t about running, but I know the focus during that time makes them extra special. 

New Orleans 1/2 was one of the best races -- completely flat and beautiful course! 

Friends and running go hand in hand -- right before Seaside 1/2! Such a fun trip!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lent -- Day 9 of 40 (It's Friday -- and one of the many {many} reasons I L.O.V.E. Jimmy Fallon)

So I love Jimmy Fallon for many many MANY reasons. First of all he's (let's just pretend I know him personally) really really nice. Rob knows that when/if (which is hopefully never) anything ever happens to him, that I will settle for nothing less than Jimmy Fallon. It's one of my Life Goals (literally) to meet him and for Rob and I have dinner with he and his wife. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel would be invited too if they wanted to come as long as JT and Jimmy would do a Melanie Yates version of "History of Rap" where I got to pick the songs. And let's be clear, this may never happen, but a girl can dream right. 

Anyway, one of the first things I saw on Jimmy Fallon was this video with Steven Colbert and Steven (on his show, The Colbert Report) said that Jimmy would donate $20,000 to a charity. And Jimmy said that if they did it, Steven would have to come on his show and sing Friday. Well, it still makes me laugh, along with just about everything Jimmy does.

Here is my Top 10 favorite things about The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, as well as Jimmy Fallon in general:

  1. Thank you, Notes (fitting since it's Friday night)
  2. History of Rap with Justin Timberlake
  3. #Hashtags and Jimmy and Justin's #hashtag
  4. All of the songs he sings (Reading Rainbow, TeBowie, and the list goes on and on!)
  5. The Roots
  6. Steve Higgins (he and Jimmy talk about funny moments)
  7. Slow Jams the News (especially when Brian Williams does it)
  8. Every Mississippi State home football game they show this clip and it makes me love him more every time I see it.
  9. Silly but love this SNL moment -- Jimmy's HAIR!!! 
  10. My worlds collided (and so did theirs) when Jimmy and Justin hosted SNL last year -- SO GREAT, SO GREAT!!
He is SO GREAT and most nights at 10:30, you'll find me tuned in to NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and I will be for many years to come!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lent -- Day 8 of 40 (welcome back family, movies, #tbt, and misc. topics)

It’s good to be back in the land of the living today (i.e. shower, make-up, work, leaving the house). Rob and I have had lots of good QT and have actually caught up on lots of movies (we have watched more movies together in the last 4 days than the last 4 years). Dallas Buyers Club, Runner Runner, Nebraska, and 12 Years a Slave – all great! We were sitting on the couch and it was so quiet around our house and I said "I guess this is what it is going to be like when children are gone to college." Quiet and watching movies...It was nice because 99.9% of the time we are without them, we are going somewhere. We were lazy but Rob had just had an organ removed and I guess I have no excuse except I was taking care of him. 

But it was such a joy to see the children today. Of course, when I picked them up, Luke was crying,  Mary Flynn as asleep, and Reed was on the verge of throwing up. Back to reality, but good (kinda) to be back. I had missed their sweet little faces. 
As soon as Mary Flynn walked in the door, she glanced at Rob said “Hey Daddy,” and said “I want to go to Mimi’s” and of course, Mimi was ready to see her too! Boys went straight over to Hill’s to play – glad you missed us (maybe it just says they are well adjusted?).

All is well and back to normal on Spring Avenue!

Well, onto spiritual matters: I am truly enjoying the 40 day prayer challenge. It’s been SUCH a blessing already and it’s just Day 2. A friend texted me that she was trying to figure out “next steps.” And I thought to myself, I have read something about next steps just today (let’s see was it Jesus Calling, Sparkly Green Earrings, Hands Free Mama, gods at war – seriously have read bits and pieces of all of these in the last few days.) (Rob is right, I’m turning into my mother who is always reading). 

I looked in the 40-day prayer challenge and this was the verse for yesterday:

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” 
--  Proverbs 16:9

WHAT!!!??? God was right there – it was an amazing moment!!! I am circling!! And here is an excerpt from the reading -- SO SO SO SO SO SO great!
Today was day 3 and this was the verse:

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do AMAZING things among you!” Joshua 3:5

I already love this verse so much – I prayed a prayer today that whatever I did, I was going to do it to please God…I know He has some amazing things in store. He told me so!!  At the end of today’s reading it said, “If we give more of ourselves to God, God will give more of Himself to us.” So simple but I’m down with that.

And since it's #tbt... mom was switching out some pictures in a frame and found this jewel circa 1999. Destination Unknown -- babies!!! Crazy that has been 15 years ago -- yikes! Mary Flynn saw the pic and said, "Daddy has some crazy hair!" Somebody did not like getting their hair cut in college ^^^^!

And on the inst today: I just love these bracelets from Love, Poppy -- aren't those awesome spring colors. I spy the 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid!!!

 And I am going to do a post on Noonday because I love it for so many reasons, on so many levels, it's about the closest thing to an obsession I have ever had. Not only is the jewelry great and one of my besties is an ambassador, each and every product gives a person in a 3rd world country a fair wage. I thought this quote was amazing, especially since I really want to remember this quote! Beautiful jewelry and inspires us all to do better for people all over the world.

Amen and Amen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lent -- Day 8 of 40 (a busy spring break)

Yesterday, Rob had his gall bladder removed and it blows my mind a little bit that he had an organ removed from his body (albeit laproscopically) and we were in and out of there in 4 hours flat. I mean, left home at 7:45, drove an hour, had surgery, drove the hour back home and he was back in bed by 2:00. I little scary, but he is feeling good and hasn’t had too many crazy notions since being home, just sleep and pain meds. He’s all nestled snug in his bed while visions of … dance in his head. SO thankful for all the calls and texts and visits we have gotten yesterday and today. We are truly blessed by wonderful friends and church family!
Two of my favorite verses when it comes to special people in our life:
"Sweet friendships nourish the soul" Proverbs 27:9
"I thank my God each time I remember you" Philippians 1:3

 And since it’s spring break and Rob was having surgery, the children have been at his parents and it’s been crazy quiet on Spring Avenue. Ready to see those three tomorrow.

I have started a few sewing projects and got these beauties delivered yesterday:


 We already have a massive “Meyer” waiting to make some freshly squeezed lemonade!

And our yard is starting to bloom and spring is certainly in the air (and will be until tonight when it is 28 degrees again…aaaahhhhh!!). Our Japanese magnolia tree is on the verge of blooming and I am hoping it doesn’t meet its untimely death.

Daffodils and quince make me so happy – I guess it was fun while it lasted.


 Since we were in a waiting room most of the day and got home with a groggy husband and a quiet house, I finished Melanie Shankle's other book, “Sparkly Green Earrings,” and it was wonderful. All about the joys of Motherhood – so many truths. I laughed out loud and cried big ole tears. I finished the book and walked back to check on Rob and he said, “Have you been crying?” Of course I have…don’t you know me by now.

Also started 40 Day prayer challenge today and about to write out some life goals. Praying for wisdom...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lent -- Day 7 of 40 (The hearts and songs about it)

The heart…


The heart has been on my mind over the last few weeks and months.

The heart that is the literal life blood of our bodies.

The heart defines who we are and who we will become, depending on how much of it we have.

The heart where the Holy Spirit lives in us.

The heart that we love Jesus with (our whole one).

The little hearts that we can feel beating as we hold them in our arms (pretty close to heaven right there).

 The big hearts that love bigger than words can describe.

As I go through this life, I feel like in each and every situation, that the heart is what it comes back too. The Lord above only knows all the mistakes, mis-speaks, misunderstandings, and mess ups I have made of my life at any and all points in my life. I’ve certainly had my heart broken, and I have what I feel like have been mild heart attacks when my children decide to show out in public or during the last scene (or maybe during the whole entire movie, and I even knew that they got him in the end) of Zero Dark Thirty. And hearts are filled with joy in times of happiness and sadness.  

 But on a much deeper level, I hope people can see my true heart. Even during the years when I wasn’t exactly where I needed to be in my faith (still striving to get closer every day), I know He was/is always there and I hope I had a loving heart. So when I do mess up or misspeak or whatever, people who truly know me, know my heart. My kindreds—they love me even if I mess something up or say something I shouldn’t. Thank God for grace from hearts who love Him and for His grace that He gives me daily.

 Now, I have always said that I am a good judge of character (which might say that I am judgmental, which might be a character flaw, which may in fact be sinful), but I’m saying that to say, I feel like if you look at a person (the way God wants us to) at their heart, you can know their true nature. Some “natures” we have to work a little harder at loving. That’s what God does to make life interesting. Some people’s hearts are hard and we should strive to love them a little bit more because that may be when something really, really special happens. But it all goes back to the heart.

 1 Samuel 16:7 says it perfectly:

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 I am going to try to focus on people’s hearts, instead of their outward appearance, and love them from one heart to another. It all goes back to the heart.

 God has really got me zoned in on this subject because it seems like all of my favorite songs right now are about the heart:

 I am obsessed with Casting Crowns “All He everwanted was My heart” – does anybody get through that song without crying (who am I kidding I cry all the time). Thank you Casting Crowns for this beautiful message that simplifies the gospel.


But all my deeds and my good name
Are just dirty rags that tear and strain
To cover all my guilty stains
That You already washed away

(‘Cause) All You've ever wanted, all You've ever wanted
All You've ever wanted was my heart
Freedom's arms are open, my chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart


And “The Middle ofyour Heart” by Kings and Country will forever be linked to our first trip to Haiti last summer. Because that was where MY heart was forever changed, it was where “it begins, it is where all the worry ends” when we put all that was scary and sad and unjust about the people of Haiti and we focused (yet again) on THEIR hearts, not what they had or didn’t have materially, BUT most importantly what they HAD or didn’t have spiritually. And we really did feel like God was “taking us over the edge” into such an unknown world, but when we stayed focused on Him, His love was MOST CERTAINLY where we landed. And it was broken and beautiful and only God could have made it perfect exactly like it was. Isn’t that just like God? To take what we deem as hopeless and broken and make it lovely. It all goes back to the heart.

 This is where it begins
This is where all the worry ends
This is where I say
I don't need to have control (this is me: I don’t God? Really? Eek!!!)

This is where I admit
I don't know how to handle it
Life in all of its chaos
You are my only hope

So take me to the middle of Your heart
Lead me to wherever Your love starts

To a new day dawning
To the place You are
And if You wanna take me over the edge
I'll let You ‘cause You love is where I'll land
Wanna be right where You are
In middle of Your heart

And the reality of “Lord,I need you,” by Matt Maher, hits me every single time I hear it. “Without you I fall apart, You’re the One that guides my Heart.” And I do start to fall apart when I drift away from Him. Just think if I really focused on Him at the beginning of each day, each hour, and each minute. Mighty mighty things…

 Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Guide my heart down only the paths you chose...


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent -- Day 6 of 40 (books and fabric)

I cannot go into a Lifeway, Barnes and Noble, or bookstore of any kind without at least three books. Today I left with 4, but I am super excited about them. Rob is having his gall bladder out tomorrow so I will have some time on my forthcoming! Maybe I can find a new career in reviewing books -- I would LOVE it. As long as I could work at Anthro on the side!

I am also excited about this fabric -- Mary Flynn is going to have a dress AND shorts! YAY!

Such a great Monday today working in Jackson. Lunch with a bestie, Lifeway (bought the books), visited Thimblepress, Jackson, MS, had dinner with friends to celebrate Rob's last day with all of his organs. Praying for an easy and quick surgery tomorrow!
Night Night!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lent -- Day 5 of 40 (Pie, ponies, and a mule)

Some insights I gained this morning from a wonderful day both at Sunday School and church this morning.

We are reading book called “OneMonth to Live” and today’s lesson talked about how we need to act the same in each and every aspect of our lives. We don’t need to compartmentalize how we act. If we are nice in one place we need to be nice everywhere. This hit home with me because of Luke’s “wanting to be nice” comment. Today when Mary Flynn wanted him to do something and he wasn’t the “nicest.” I told him (from what I learned in Sunday school) that if he was going to proclaim to “want to be nice,” he had to be nice all the time. And he is on quite the roll of being an obedient child and so super sweet. When Reed pushed him out of the car this morning in the church parking lot (opposite of being nice), and proceeded to lie about it. Then once they were both crying, I made Reed say he was sorry, and hug, and Luke (in probably the sweetest voice ever), said, “It’s okay Reed.” I still think I’m at the end of my parenting knowledge—HELP! (Reed loved me again when I gave him some new basketball shorts that came down below his knees, told me “You are the best!” Can we say love language here?)

SO back to Sunday School…at the end, Claire pulled out a pie diagram (which really make a great illustration of the lesson). One side had all the pieces of pie, church, co-workers, friends, sales clerks, family, and she asked us how we acted and how we treated people at each of these places. Then she flipped it over and all the pic pieces had God at the center, so when you took a bite of pie, God was the first bite.

And Bro. Mike’s sermon was also great! It was called “Don’t be a Mule” and I knew it would be good. I had the privilege of doing children’s church (and thought about using Claire’s pie) but decided to use one of the “My Lil Ponies” Mary Flynn and I got from my mom’s yesterday (she kept all of them, which was so much fun…brushing their hair really is therapeutic).
(insert pic of my lil pony that I cannot get to upload, but I will try tomorrow b/c it makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it)
Anyway, I focused on verses 8-9 and we talked about how if we listen to what God has to teaches, we don’t need a bridle like a horse or a mule. And then (in only Bro. Mike fashion) he came full circle and talked about how “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven.” How we need ask for forgiveness and we will have that burden lifted. And not to hold onto it like a stubborn mule. We don’t need a bridle, like a horse or a mule, we have Christ to take our sins away and to teach us and to “consel us with His loving eye.”  We didn't talk much about verse 7, but I love that David says "you are my hiding place." The book by the same title, by Corrie Ten Boom, is one of my favorites.

Psalm 32

Of David. A maskil.

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.[b]

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Now the children are off to the grandparents for spring break and I am finishing up 1/2 made sewing projects! Three pairs of shorts and 2 dresses for Mary Flynn.

Day 5 -- DONE (and made it under the wire at 11:48 p.m.)

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 32:1 : Ps 85:2; 103:3
  2. Psalm 32:2 : S Ro 4:7-8*
  3. Psalm 32:2 : Jn 1:47; Rev 14:5
  4. Psalm 32:3 : S Job 31:34
  5. Psalm 32:3 : Ps 31:10
  6. Psalm 32:3 : S Job 3:24; Ps 6:6
  7. Psalm 32:4 : 1Sa 5:6; S Job 9:34; Ps 38:2; 39:10
  8. Psalm 32:4 : Ps 22:15
  9. Psalm 32:5 : Job 31:33
  10. Psalm 32:5 : Pr 28:13
  11. Psalm 32:5 : Ps 103:12
  12. Psalm 32:5 : S Lev 26:40; 1Jn 1:9
  13. Psalm 32:6 : Ps 69:13; Isa 55:6
  14. Psalm 32:6 : Ps 69:1
  15. Psalm 32:6 : S Ex 15:10
  16. Psalm 32:6 : Isa 43:2
  17. Psalm 32:7 : S Jdg 9:35
  18. Psalm 32:7 : S Ps 9:9
  19. Psalm 32:7 : S Jdg 5:1
  20. Psalm 32:8 : S Ps 25:8
  21. Psalm 32:8 : Ps 34:11
  22. Psalm 32:8 : Ps 33:18
  23. Psalm 32:9 : S Job 30:11; S 39:10; Jas 3:3
  24. Psalm 32:10 : Ro 2:9
  25. Psalm 32:10 : Ps 4:5; Pr 16:20
  26. Psalm 32:11 : Ps 64:10