Friday, April 30, 2010

Family Movie Night

Three weeks ago we instituted "Death Family Movie Night" on Friday nights. Logan and Emma get to stay up late and watch a movie of their choice (with Mom's approval!) and lay on the air mattress blown up in the living room and eat popcorn. Even though we miss Dad being a part of it, we have a wonderful time together.

I just wanted to take a few moments to remind everyone that you don't have to take expensive vacations or pay for outings or buy lots of toys. The joy of parenting is found in these everyday moments we share with our children. Sometimes we just have to turn off the computer (yes....I know, I am on the computer now) and turn off the phones (how ever many you have...I have 3, which is really 3 too many!) and enjoy some family time with each other! (Just added pic of Emma's ducky slippers because they are TOO CUTE!)

Love and prayers...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am a talker. I know...those of you who know me are stunned! But, alas, it is true. I love to talk. In fact, blogging is just another outlet for my incessant chatter. I just have so many ideas and thoughts that beg to be shared...not always great ones, but they want to be shared nonetheless! But today I was reminded that the most important thing I can do, as a friend, a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a child of God, is listen.

"Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear" Psalm 45:10

God's word is full of instruction and most of it requires that we listen to what we are told. The word "listen" or "hear" is used over 500 times in the Bible (KJV)! God wants us to listen to Him! He has an important message for us!

"Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth." Proverbs 7:24

I have been studying prayer in my current Bible study, but I think often we forget an important piece of the "prayer puzzle"...and that is listening. Listening for God's response to our pleas and cries for help. Sometimes we are so caught up in the asking that we forget to listen for the answer!

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

I have also been convicted of not listening to my children. I talk to them...a lot, I yell at them...more than I like to admit, but I don't often listen to them. We often complain that we don't understand our children, why they do what they do, but how often do we listen to them? How often do we sit down and ask them what they think or want?

I had a great weekend this past weekend...especially Sunday when our new friends, Laura & Matthew, from church came over and spent the afternoon at our home. But today I realized that I talked and talked and talked (somewhat desperately I fear), but did I listen? Did I ask about them, their lives, their past, their dreams, their challenges? Did I take an interest in them and their lives by asking questions and then listening to the answers? That brings up another good often do we ask a question and think we already know the answer so we tune out the response? I find myself moving ahead in the conversation while the other person is speaking, formulating my response to their next questions, or my rebuttal to their response.

So my goal and challenge to you for this week is to a good listener, take an interest and reign in my tongue. To not speak while someone else is speaking, to really listen to their problems, thoughts, questions, stories, and so on and take a genuine interest in what others have to say.

Love and prayers....

Monday, April 26, 2010


"And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"
-Mark Hall

Sometimes it is hard to see God's plan when we are in the midst of a storm, but just knowing that He has me in His arms during trying times and is my shelter and rock is enough. I know that He will see me through the storms in my life, even though right now, I don't understand them.

Sunday, our pastor talked about adversity. That we should not only not run from it, but actually seek it out and linger in it, learning all that we can from the storms in our lives. Often our mentality in adversity is like that of a ship in a storm, hunker down and wait it out. Hide in the driest, safest corner and wait for the worst to pass. But that is not always what God intends for His children. He wants us not only to look back on the storm and say "what a lesson I learned", but we should see the lesson during the storm.

It is easy to look back when the storm has past and see the good that came from it, but it takes faith, rock solid faith, to say...even though you have not reached down and wiped my tears, stepped in and saved the day...I will praise you DURING this storm.

Rick and I are experiencing some storms right now in our lives and would like to ask for you to pray for us if you feel led to do so.

" O Lord my God, I cried out to You and you healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name." Psalm 30:3-4

Friday, April 23, 2010


Like everyone, I often find my carnal side and spiritual side at odds with one another. Recently the subject of this conflict has been my role in our home. I long to fill the traditional role of wife and mother, staying at home, raising my children and keeping house. Currently, however, I am filling the role of bread-winner.

Since moving to Greensboro last year, Rick has not been able to rebuild the very successful business he had in Virginia Beach. Looking back, I see that our move to Greensboro, while it was a decision we all made together, was entirely centered on me and my job. I failed miserably in my duty to support my husband in his endeavor to rebuild his business here...unfortunately it has taken me over a year to see the folly of my ways.

Don't get me wrong, we have been blessed by God in ways we could never have imagined and many of those blessings came because of our struggles with Rick's employment and the lack of financial stability that resulted. I don't know that Rick would have heeded God's calling into ministry had he been able to re-establish his business here.

But the more I study my Bible and His guidance for women, I realize that God has called me to a ministry as well. The ministry of wife, mother, and homemaker. I need to be at home with my children. I want to be here when Rick gets home from work, with dinner prepared and ready to enjoy our time together as a family. I want to go to the grocery store, take them to doctor appointments, and run the numerous errands associated with running a household.

I also feel called to home school my children. I am less and less impressed with the quality of education in our schools today. Don't misunderstand, I have many dear friends who are teachers and I admire them and I know that hey have the best interest of the children in their hearts. However, I also feel that schools are so regulated by government now that it is more about test scores, numbers, and rankings than it is about truly developing the minds of children as individuals.

So, my friends, I ask that you pray. I know that God does not put something in our hearts without providing the way to make it happen. However, right now, He is choosing to keep the "how" of all of this to Himself. Pray that we will be patient and seek His guidance in our choices.

Love & prayers...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Down Time

So here we are on Tuesday night, soccer night, and Emma, Mackenzie & I are all sick. I am so blessed to have wonderful friends that offered to take Logan to soccer so I did not have to take my girls out. It's not even 6 pm and they have both had baths and chicken soup and are snuggled up on the couch watching cartoons.

As much as I hate for them to feel bad, I love the cuddly, snugly, sweet demeanor of my girls when they don't feel well. It's a nice cool, rainy night to cuddle up together and relax in front of the TV. earth-shattering epiphanies tonight. Just a reminder to enjoy every moment together, even when it's not the moment you had planned.

Love & Prayers...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cup Half Full?

Someone recently told me that, although my blog description claims to share all the aspects of my life, I tend to be less than forthcoming with the negative parts. I realize that I often don't share my feelings of fear, hurt, anger, frustration on my blog. I suppose the reason is two-fold, I usually blog at night after everything has calmed down and I have had a chance to put the day in perspective (at that point it doesn't seem as bad as it did when I was in the middle of it!), but I also have always struggled with the concept that showing these emotions is a sign of weakness.

Truth be told, I am a big chicken. I say that with a smile, but it is an accurate description of me. I am nervous about taking my daughter to school tomorrow (usually Rick does this)...will I get lost, will I get in the right car line, will I be able to get out of the parking lot, will I know how to sign her in. Silly, insignificant things like this can paralyze me with fear. It is not so much those individual items, but the overall fear of looking stupid, of humiliation, of appearing to not be in absolute control at all times.

I have been down lately. Hurt, angry, frustrated. I have cried and cried out to God to save me from this place that I am in. I have strayed far from the path that God has laid out for me and I have been lost. Only in the past couple of days have I seen the beacon of light leading me back to shore. I have gotten back into His word and that is where I need to be. But I wanted to share my feelings with you all to let you know that I am not always happy. I am often not fine when I say I am fine.

I have been overwhelmed with life lately and have been feeling inadequate as a wife and mother and even at my job. I have frequently felt inadequate as a wife and mother, but usually I am pretty secure in my job is the one thing I do well. Having a wonderful husband like mine is often a double-edged sword, especially when you pair him with someone like me-who is afraid of everything. For a long time, he has made up for my deficits, he handles the aspects of parenting that terrify me (birthday parties with people I don't know, school drop off and pick up, soccer practice & games, etc.). But recently, recognizing that I need to put aside my irrational fears and participate in life, he has begun turning over many of these things to me...some out of necessity (he works evenings) and some not out of necessity. Unfortunately, I do not feel I measure up to him in the performance of these tasks.

I am surrounded by women who lament their husbands who don't help with the kids, don't do any housework and some that don't even work at all. I, on the other hand, am married to the male version of June Cleaver! Not only does he do these things, but he does them better than me. That is a tough pill to swallow, and it often leaves me feeling inadequate and useless. Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly capable of and do contribute equally to our household, but he has often picked up where I am afraid to go on.

So there it is....all my ugly, dark, negative feelings. The walls are down, the floodgates open. I need friends and family to talk to sometimes. Someone to understand where I am and just say "It's okay, I have been there too." Moving to Greensboro was one of the best decisions we have made, but it has not been without challenges. One of those challenges is finding a network of friends that can see me at my worst and still love me. Friends that can come over when my house is a mess and my kids are nasty and I am not at my best and not judge. Hopefully this will give you some insight into me as a person and peel away another layer of protection around my heart.

Love & Prayers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Prayer of Betty Scott Stam

I wanted to share this prayer with you. This was the daily prayer of Betty Scott Stam, a missionary in China who was executed alongside her husband while her 3-month old baby slept in a mud hut.

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life.
I give up myself, my time, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt, send my where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever."

I am humbled by the strength and faith of this young missionary mother who sacrificed herself to share God's word.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crazy Beautiful Life

What a crazy, amazing, busy week! I can't believe this week went so fast...although it seems like it has been much more than a week since Easter.

I was out of town for business on Monday & Tuesday which always throws a wrench in our schedule. Tuesday night Logan had his first soccer practice...he had a great time and I think this will be a fun season! Wednesday night I got to just relax with the kids, a welcome break from our busy lives. Thursday night we had 2 overnight guests (Sierra, 4 & Grayson, 8) so I took 5 kids to soccer practice (for Emma & Sierra) and then fed them all and got them all to bed by 8:30, it was pretty awesome, but very exhausting.

Somehow through all of this activity we have fallen behind in laundry and housework, so today (a beautiful Saturday!) I am cleaning bathrooms and folding laundry! But that's okay-I am glad to have the time today to do it!

The weather has been beautiful. Last Sunday, the kids helped me clean the outside toys, which turned into a water fight! Our garden is coming along nicely, the strawberry plants already have little green berries. I am ready to get more plants for the garden.

All in all, life is good. Not without it's challenges, but overall good. I have, lately, found myself spending more time in worldly pursuits rather than focusing on my walk with God. I committed last night to spend time studying His word every day. I have also neglected the Love Dare which I am going to be re-focusing on as well. I definitely know when I am straying from the path God has chosen for me...and I definitely need to get back there, quickly!

Love & Prayers

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I love is one of my favorite seasons. I love the new growth on the trees and plants, the beautiful colors of the flowers, and the birds singing. Yes, I know...cheesy, but I love it! Especially after a particularly cold and wet winter here in NC, it is nice to have warm breezes and bright sunshine to lift my spirits.

Spring is a season of growing. We have done a lot of growing in our home and we have a lot more to do. We are growing our first garden here in NC...we have planted tomatoes, strawberries (I found the first little green berries today!) and kohlrabi & I have my kitchen herb garden as well....oregano, rosemary & thyme so far. We have grown together as a family, less selfish, more helpful to one another. Rick and I have grown as a couple..again removing "I" from many of our conversations. We are eating healthier and exercising a family. We have found a wonderful church home at Edgefield and are growing in our faith daily.

Today we had an Easter Egg at was so much fun. The kids had a great time hunting for eggs and they heard the Easter story and got their picture taken with the Easter bunny. It is wonderful to have a church family like Edgefield to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior with.

We are going to check out the Greensboro Trails this weekend and take a nature hike as a family..something I would like to make a regular weekend occurrence. Logan and I did some gardening this afternoon while Rick and Emma checked out a new (to us) natural/organic grocery store.

We are definitely keeping busy. Lots going on in the next couple of months...EBC Yard Sale in a couple of weeks and our Disney Trip in May. So stay tuned for more pictures and funny tales of our kids!

One final thought...I think perhaps my favorite smell of spring/summer is sunscreen on my kids. Mackenzie had such a wonderful sun-kissed, sunscreen smell after the egg hunt today-I wish I could bottle it and put it in one of those scented oils or something!

Love & Prayers...