Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FMF - Real

I try so hard to be real, genuine. To not be fake or pretend. For the most part, I think I do a good job of "keeping it real". Maybe sometimes too real. I think there is a fine line between the two and I sometimes stumbled over that line. Forgetting to use my filter and letting whatever I think, come out of my mouth or whatever I am feeling inside be seen in my actions. Sometimes those things are good and sometimes those things are hurtful to myself and to others. I find it easy to be real around my family ,but sometimes at the cost of being real, I am blunt and to the point. And again, I find myself exposing my true feelings and thoughts at the cost of my husband and children's hearts. So many times, I forget to be real in the face of my Savior and I pretend that I have it all together or I smile and think that I have Him fooled. That everything is okay. That I have it all figured out. But, I don't. I need to be real during my quiet time, letting God see my already exposed heart and allowing Him to work in the places that need tweaking. I long for a real relationship with Him. 

 
Link up your FMF post to Kate's blog. 5 minutes, unedited and unscripted writing.
 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

FMF - Plan

I always have a plan. Even if it is not written out, it is in my mind. Sometimes I verbalize my plan to my husband and sometimes I don't. When something does not go according to plan, I get frustrated and then realize I never told him my plan.

So often, in my relationship with Jesus, I make sure I have a plan in place. I mean, it is good to have an idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there. But, more often than not, I forget that God's plan for me is bigger and better than mine. I forget or ignore that I should be leaning into Him to know His plan and purpose for me before I plan things out myself.

If I could remember that, I wouldn't get so frustrated when things happen that seem off plan or not how I wanted them to go. It is so easy to hurry along in life with my agenda before me, forgetting to even check and see if my plans align with God's plan. His should be the one I check first, aligning my dreams, ideas and plans with His. But, I so want to be in control of everything that I push aside what God may have for me. My agenda is so much more important than His at times.

Then, when things change or don't go my way, I am hurt and confused. But, I shouldn't be. I should be focusing on what God has planned and promised.

Jeremiah 29:11..... "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

What an awesome reminder that God has plans for me and that they are good.

Now if I could just get my husband on board with some of my plans ;)

   
Link up your FMF post on Kate's blog. 5 minutes of writing, unedited, unscripted.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

FMF - Gather

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessings.....one of my favorite hymns to sing in chapel with my students during November.

Gathering.

At the end of the night, I gather up the dirty dishes, the laundry baskets, the school papers...sometimes I put them in their proper places and other times I just put them in one place to distribute later. But, I feel like I can not go to bed until I have gathered the scattered things.

When we moved back to MD, we used to have a monthly family gathering. we would meet at someone's house to eat, fellowship and celebrate. In the beginning, it was healing to be with my people, to laugh and love. Then, it became toxic. Things changed, people changed, people moved. It was more a scattering than a gathering.

We would take walks and the littles would gather treasures. Leaves, rocks, twigs, acorns. Whatever had fallen or been scattered about they would scoop up with their chubby little hands and hold them close until we got home. Then they would lay them out to gaze upon what they had collected. Somethings would be tossed aside, others given as gifts and others set in a special place.

Gathered.

 Right now life feels scattered. Feelings, plans, schedules, dreams strewn about. Some will be tossed aside, some will be used as gifts and others will be set in a special place. God right in the middle of it all.

God takes His arms and gathers me into them when I can not make sense of life, when I feel scattered. When my thoughts are strewn about and I can not make sense of it all.

Gathered. And loved.         

Link up your FMF post to Kate's blog. 5 minutes, unedited and unscripted.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

FMF - Visit

As soon as I saw the word for this week's prompt, I instantly thought of my Mom-Mom and two special visits.

I knew my sister in law was having a baby shower for me to celebrate the arrival of my daughter. But, what I didn't know was that my grandmother and mother were surprising me at the shower. When I opened the door and saw them, it was amazing. I had moved 1300 miles away from my family and to be able to share this special day with them was incredible.

What was more amazing was that my grandmother was going to stay for the whole week and spend time with me and my new family. Mom-Mom didn't like to fly, but made the trip especially for me and was willing to travel home alone, since my mom had to get back for work, and spend extra time with me.

We had so much fun showing her around Dallas and our city. It was so nice to have breakfast with her and attend church with her. It was just such a special time.

Fast forward 4 years and my younger daughter, youngest son and I traveled back home to see my Mom-Mom after she was diagnosed with throat cancer. She was not given much time to live after she chose not to subject her 82 year old body to radiation and chemotherapy. It was a bittersweet visit, but one that I knew I needed to take when things were so uncertain. My husband and oldest son were able to join us for the weekend and spend time with Mom-Mom. It really meant a lot to me to have the there especially since my grandmother had helped raise my son before I married by husband when J was 9 years old.

Rather resistively, I moved back to my home town with my husband and children later that year after what I thought would be the last visit I had with my grandmother. We moved back in August and she suffered a serious setback that revealed that the cancer had spread to her lungs. She moved into the basement apartment with my parents, as we rented the top two floors of their house. My mother worked full time and since I was a stay at home momma at the time with my two toddlers, I was her daily care giver. I got to spend such precious moments with her before she went home to be with the Lord just a short month and a half after she moved in with my parents.

I am so blessed to have had those visits with my Mom-Mom and hope that my grandchildren will cherish the time they visit with me.

Link your FMF post on Kate's blog! 5 minutes, unedited words.

  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Fringe Hours

A few years ago I stumbled across a blog written by a Christian mother who was dealing with a tragic situation. She was pregnant with her fourth daughter and there was a possibility that the baby may not live past a few hours once she was delivered. I was drawn to Angie's blog for her Christian witness, strength in tragedy and her genuineness. As I continued to read her blog, I started to search through her blogroll for other woman like her to read and connect with through the blogsphere.

That is when I found Jessica and The Mom Creative. I was instantly drawn to Jessica's smile, her creativity and her spunkiness. It seemed like a double blessing when I happened upon a book club Angie and Jessica were starting*. I joined them for several of the books and even purchased two of Angie's books, fulfilling a secret dream of hearing her speak, meeting her and having her (and her daughter, Kate) sign one of the books!

So, imagine my excitement when I saw on Facebook that Jessica was writing a book and was setting up interviews to talk to woman and mothers for research and information. I hesitated at first, but then commented that I would love to talk with her. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a message from her and an interview was set up a few weeks later. I was a bit nervous for our call because I felt like I was going to be talking to a celebrity, a blogging superstar, if you will and I did not want to make a fool of myself. For so long, she and Angie had been my secret best friends and I was totally fangirling at the thought of being able to actually talk to Jessica.   

Per Jessica's welcoming and laid back style, the phone interview was awesome. She was personable and genuine. It was like talking to a best friend. I was excited about her book and thankful that she had allowed me to be a part of the background/research part of it.

I continued to follow her blog posts and Facebook updates about her life and the book. Again, I was anxious when I sent an email saying I would love to be part of the launch team for the book, The Fringe Hours, but I felt like I really wanted to do whatever I could to support Jessica and her first publication.

I hadn't heard anything back about the launch team, but was thrilled when the book arrived in the mail for me to read and preview. I could not wait to start reading it and once I started I had to pace myself so I wouldn't finish it all in one day!

A bit of a back story - I am a wife to my amazing husband, Rick of 14 years. We have a blended family, so I am Momma to 5 kiddos ranging from age 23-10. The 12 and 10 year olds are the only kiddos at home still and we have added three terrific grandkiddos to the mix (ages 4, 2 and 1 month). To say we have a busy family is an understatement as both my husband and I work fulltime in education and our kiddos are involved in many activities. We are also active members of our church. Our time is precious.

And that is one of the reasons I love The Fringe Hours! It is a practical read that allowed me to refocus my needs, priorities and time to make sure I am using my hours of the day, week and month to be the best wife, mother, employee, friend, witness I can be. I love how there are places scattered throughout the book for me to write down answers to questions Jessica asks throughout the chapters to help me really think about and consider how I am using my time and making sure I am taking the necessary time needed for me to pursue my dreams, or finish a project or just be still and rest in my relationship with the Lord.

My husband has always been one to encourage me to take time to do the things I love - I just got back from a weekend trip to TX with my best friend to see Maroon 5 in concert! - but, I have a hard time carving out those minutes or hours for myself. Unless, it is a nap on Sunday! But, The Fringe Hours has helped me be able to listen to my husband's nudging to have coffee with a friend or take that Zumba class or that trip to TX. I really do not think I would have even considered being away from my family for a few days without the prompting from Jessica and her book to realize that taking time for myself is really a gift I can give myself and my family.

I also recently signed up for a training class for my local pregnancy clinic to become a volunteer counseling for women in crisis pregnancies. I have wanted to take the class for years now, but was finally able to take that leap of faith and commit myself and my time to it because of the reminders in The Fringe Hours. And I am going to a Paint Nite next month, something I have been putting off because who will help with the homework or make sure the lunches are packed? My avoidance of taking advantage of my fringe hours is normally fueled by guilt. Not anymore, thanks to Jessica's book!

The laundry will still be there. The homework will get done and maybe I will have to get up early to get the lunches packed. But, it is all okay. Because taking care of me and having time for myself and what drives me and what I love makes me a more efficient housewife, less stressed mom and more attentive wife. Everybody benefits from me using my fringe hours.

Are you afraid to spend some time on the things you love? Or even use some of the budget for getting help around the house or with the kiddos? Don't wait another minute to get Jessica's book, The Fringe Hours. It will literally change the way you look at taking time for yourself and it will improve every area of your life. It is not a quick fix, self help book. It is a deeper look into what you are passionate about and how you can maximize your time to pursue your dreams and talents.

Order the book now! Then come back after you have read it and share your thoughts with me!       



        

Friday, February 13, 2015

FMF - When

When will I stop being so emotional about things, especially when things go wrong? I mean, really, are they going wrong if God is orchestrating things? I do not like not feeling in control of my emotions when circumstances change or go differently in real life than I imagined them in my head.

When will my grown children fully grasp their potential in Christ and live completely and solely for His honor and glory? I want to be able to rest in the fact that my children walk in the truth.

When will I get sick of being overweight and fully commit to a healthy lifestyle and lose this excess weight? I am so tired of being tired and not being able to buy cute clothes and feeling like I am hiding my insecurities behind my weight.

When will I get to start my master's degree? When will I not have to explain my undergrad degree and that I taught for 6 years, that I am totally capable of and worthy of a teacher's certificate and should be teaching in the classroom? I feel like every rejection is directed at me. Why am I not good enough?

When will I stop dancing around my issues and fully commit to an unashamed, intimate relationship with Christ, living life for His honor and glory and in total awe of all He is doing in my life?

When will I publish that book and speak at that event and witness to hundreds?

Maybe Philippians 3:13b-14 should be my focus and my prayer.......

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."   

When will I just let go and let God.....

Link your FMF post to Kate's blog!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Giveaway: All the Fun Things!!

I am participating in #fmfsnailmail and Kaitlyn Bouchillon is hosting a giveaway for participants!

Hop on over to her blog to enter!!