Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tonight I Give Thanks

*that her little hands pieced together such an intricate puzzle

*for a husband who understands and knows my heart

*that this morning the sun was shining, the candle was burning, and the coffee was hot

*for breath and life and another day

*that in his five year old sincerity he asks us, "Does this song honor God?"

*that my dear friend received good news at the doctor

*for the happy look on their faces when I told them I would take them to the Book Fair

*for AWANA leaders who helped mold lives

*that they are hiding God's Word in their hearts

*for their enthusiasm and the light in their eyes over a ribbon and a job well done

*that God already knows

*for the joy and convenience of reading books on my Kindle

*for Publix cake

*that I got to review music theory terms with this sweet girl

*that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted

*that healing is in His hands

*that I can trust Him

*that a soft bed awaits

Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This morning the sky is gray and the house is quiet, except for the hum of the washing machine and the distant sound of birdsong.  I am enriched by my time in the Word, though a bit sad simply because there are only two lessons left in my study on David. It has been an amazing journey.  Those 400 pages are filled with notes, insights, prayers, and even a coffee stain or two.  God has enlightened me, convicted me, challenged me.

A few days ago, this study took me to I Kings 1:32-48 where David's kingly reign ends as he proclaims Solomon as king.  He is now an old man and it is time for his son to rule over Israel.  Solomon was now God's appointed leader.

Change was in the air.  A season was ending.  Yet when David received the news from his royal officials that the city was rejoicing loudly over the anointing of their new king, David bowed himself in worship on his bed and blessed God.

David met this moment of incredible transition with worship and praise to his Lord God.

This lesson opened with three questions to ponder...

What seasons of transition have you just come from?  Or which ones do you anticipate to be upon you in the near future?  What do changes like these tend to do to you?

I had to smile when I read those, because the last few years of my life could be defined by transition.  Geographically, financially, relationally, in motherhood, in ministry - transition has marked this season of my life.

In my notes I scribbled these words...

sometimes scare me to death - other times motivate me - these have thankfully made me more dependent and reliant on God

Thankfully, I can say that this season has also been one of praise of worship. Sometimes public, sometimes private, sometimes through songs of exaltation, sometimes in tears face down on the floor.  Sometimes at the piano, sometimes in a journal, sometimes spoken out loud to my Savior, sometimes typed and shared from an overflow in my heart that I cannot contain.  There has been transition, but it has certainly drawn me closer to the heart of the Father.

At the end of the lesson, Beth posed another question....

I know you want (like me) to meet times of change and transition with praise and worship to the Lord.  What can you do today to begin preparing yourself for having that kind of response to endings and new beginnings?

Again, my words scribbled in green ink...

be in the Word!
claim the Word!
quote the Word!
sing the Word!
sing songs of praise and worship
make them the soundtrack of our lives
determine to praise and worship!
choose praise and worship!
let me be singing when the evening comes

You may be in a season of transition.  If not, you may have just come out of one; or there may be changes lurking around the corner.

As I have been challenged to do, I hope that you, like David, will give worship and praise to God when everything changes.  Because God is unchanging.  And something amazing happens when we acknowledge His character and bless His name during life's transitions.

Take a moment to join me in singing this song to bless our God...

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) by Matt Redman

Monday, May 28, 2012

Girlfriends Getaway

Last Sunday after church, two of my dearest girlfriends and I headed to a Disney hotel for two nights of pure relaxation.  With the crazy schedule we had all been keeping the past few months, the last busy few weeks of school looming ahead, and our friend Heather's pregnancy complications, it was the perfect time for a quick break from routine with no agenda but rest.  Our terrific husbands let us go without worrying about anything at home, and we had the best time we could have asked for!

The weather was beautiful and this quiet pool was close to our room.  Sunday afternoon and evening we alternated between lounge chairs in the sun, and the water which was beyond refreshing at a perfect temperature.  Like we always do when we are together, we talked, talked, talked!  After several hours, we finally headed back to the room to freshen up for a late dinner.

We enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Red Lobster, talking and laughing and taking our time. After dinner we headed into a little 24 grocery store which ended up making us so slap happy that it will go down as the funniest grocery run of my life.  We were laughing so hard Heather's baby must have been wondering what was going on!

We went to bed happy and relaxed.  The next morning we were all up early, and enjoyed breakfast and coffee at the food court in the hotel.  After a good night's sleep and an omelette doused in hot sauce, I was feeling great!  It was another fantastic day outside, so we headed straight for the lounge chairs and our little piece of paradise.  We spent the entire day talking poolside, cooling off in the refreshing water.  It was the most relaxed any of us have felt in months!  Amazing what a day or two with no agenda does for busy moms.

I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of Baby Adilyn...we can't wait to meet her!  It's been awhile since there has been a newborn around!

The resort was stunning.  At lunch we enjoyed walking the grounds and eating once in again in the food court.  So convenient.

After hours of sunshine, we headed in to get ready for dinner.  We had a reservation at the Magic Kingdom and after a full day water and sun, we were hungry and eager for a great meal!

Such a beautiful property...

We were making unforgettable memories!!

These are the kind of friends where we can be having deep conversations baring our souls one minute, then laughing so hard our stomachs ache the next!  Cindy's daughter snapped a few photos that caught us mid-laughter.  Love these moments!

We had to get our photo by Cinderella's Castle, of course.

Then we ate a fabulous spaghetti dinner at Tony's Restaurant.  This restaurant is based on the movie Lady and the Tramp.  That spaghetti hit the spot.  It was delicious!

When we stepped out of the restaurant after our meal, the electric parade was going by which was neat.  We were tired, but made a quick stop to see Mickey and Minnie. I'm glad we did - this photo makes me smile!

We would have liked to lay by the pool the next morning, but there was so much to do waiting for us that we we packed up, ate breakfast, and went home.  We did sleep in a bit that morning and slept great - I think we were completely relaxed.  We came home to the whirlwind of events I shared with you here.  But I was so happy to see Jimmy, Madi, and Trev.  I was thankful for Jimmy who sent me off willingly for a little break and took care of things at home, and my parents who helped him out when he had a few things he had to tend to.  And I was incredibly grateful for our getaway, and for the friendship of these two women.  

It is interesting because our friendship is so obviously from the Lord.  God's hand has been in it all the way.  At a time of deep hurt and confusion in my life when I was tempted to retreat emotionally, God prompted me to ask these girls and another friend (who sadly for us has since moved to Tennessee) to meet weekly for prayer and encouragement as we all sent little ones to kindergarten.  We prayed our way through that major transition, and those weekly dates knitted our hearts together in an incredibly special way.  We have gotten to know each other so well over the past two years, and have hardly missed a week where we don't either have a morning meeting or some sort of social gathering or outing, sometimes with other sweet friends and whole families involved, sometimes date nights with our husbands, and sometimes just us girls.  I cannot even begin to describe the blessing they have been in my life.  I have a few good friends here and a few good friends faraway, and I hold them close in my heart and praise God for them.  I know what it feels like to be lonely and rejected.  I know the pain of betrayal and loss.  But I also know the gift of friendships where God is at the center, where we strive to encourage each other on the journey, where we share life together.  The kind of friendships that make me a better wife, mom, Christian. The kind that uplift not tear down.  The kind where jealousy and comparison are not welcome.  The kind where we have found a safe place.  The kind where laughter heals.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

This Morning My Heart Gives Thanks For...

* slowly but surely making our way through all the entries on May's calendar

* the belly laughs that surrounded me as we read this together

* children who have worked very hard and made good choices this year

* no school on Monday and the fact that there are only 8 more school days left until summer

* fabulous teachers

* that I am feeling much better - thank you God for health

* learning new things from God's Word

* romance in marriage

* friends to share life with

* relaxation in the midst of the chaos

* contentment at home

* the mug my mom gave me that held my morning coffee and reminded me of this post I wrote nearly one year ago

* that joy comes in the morning

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wild Friday Night

I am typing this in the middle of a wild and crazy Friday night that was spent guessed it...Walmart.  Oh, yeah.  We were getting pretty desperate around here so after reheating some leftover pizza for dinner, I dragged myself out the door headed out to buy a cartful of groceries at my least favorite place in the world the store.  It was funny, I ran into two other Pre-K moms there - I guess we all know how to do a Friday night up right!!  At least we have food in our pantry.  It was so bad Trevor actually dictated a list for me this morning!  Here are the five things he requested....


Pop Tarts




You know, the essentials.  :)

After shopping and unloading all 200 bags of groceries, I was happy to spend a quiet evening at home.  It has been another action packed week around here!

Tuesday night Trevor was a little piggie at his school program.  I could have eaten him up he was so precious!

Wednesday night Jimmy and I were emcees at an SGA banquet for the high school. One of the girls from the youth group asked us to help host and it turned out to be a fun evening!  We got to dress up which is always nice.  I was happy to help out the high school and spend time with my very handsome date.

Thursday night Madi was a bee at her school program.  She was absolutely adorable and I could see her dimple from across the room!  I love that they go to a school that supports music and the arts.

Today my dad and I had plans to accompany Madi on a field trip that she earned to Medieval Times.  Only a select number of students in the school were going on this trip, and Madi was one of three in her class who earned it.  Unfortunately, my dad had a fever last night and was unable to go.  But the unexpected treat was that I pulled Trev out of class at the last minute and he took my dad's ticket.  Both kids loved the experience.  Madi thought the chicken leg was amazing (ha) and Trev was captivated by the epic battles and intense action.  That is right up his alley!  They wore their crowns and waved their flags and cheered on the red knight.

After this week of school activies, this Friday night of groceries and time at home was just right.  Though if I close my eyes, I would love to pretend I am where I was when the week began.  More on that was bliss.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day Celebrations And More

With the busy week we have had, I am finally sitting down for a moment to reflect on the rest of our Mother's Day celebrations!  It really was great having my brother here with us.  Our beach day together was eventful - the kids enjoyed playing with their Uncle J and I loved being part of the fun, but also getting a few minutes to relax in the sun and chat with my mom.

Later in the evening, my brother was excited to rent a paddle board and ended up giving the kids and I rides.  It was just beautiful out, with the sun shimmering on the water.  We definitely made some neat memories.

Jimmy took a turn as well!

The next day in church, my brother and I both shared testimonies of the godly influence our mom had on us.  After church we all had lunch together, but not after receiving goodies the kids brought home from their church classes.  These are the best kind of presents!

However, Jimmy and the kids shocked me with a special surprise Mothers Day/Birthday combo gift - a Kindle Fire!  I am absolutely loving reading on this, and am all about the convenience of ordering books and reading at night!!

For lunch my mom made one of our favorite meals - mojo pork served on toasted bread with homemade mango salsa, avocado, grilled onions, and fresh mangos. Unbelievably good.

Everything was so fresh and delicious, and it was nice eating at home together as a family and having time to visit.

My mom gave me a few Mother's Day treats, including this sun hat which I have great plans for...

Monday I was treated to a very special picnic in Madi's classroom!  We had the best time, and the 1st graders treated all of us moms like queens, serving us with enthusiasm!  Madi gave me this story she had written about me, which is definitely a keeper.

Pretty obvious Madi's Mom likes to eat, huh?  Well, my girl and I do enjoy our desserts.  And our roller coasters.  :)

Tuesday I got to spend the day with Trevor on a field trip to a children's museum, and he had quite the time.  His favorite parts were sliding down the fire pole and climbing the rock wall.  Oh, and digging for buried treasures in the "sand" which was actually made of pieces of rubber erasers!

Wednesday and Thursday were school and church and the usual, but yesterday after Pre-K I picked Trevor up and we headed to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekend where he got to meet Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.  I know.  And, that's not all...after the Indiana Jones stunt show, we hung around to let the crowds pass and Indiana came out and we got to meet him as well!  Trevor even got to hold his whip!  And then we ate a Darth Vader cupcake!  It was a big day for my five year old.  We left around dinnertime and he conked out the second I pulled out of the parking lot.  Sweet boy.  I love making memories like these with my kids.

This morning I taught a piano lesson, then took Trevor to a birthday party at Chuckie Cheese (madness), ran some errands, and our family went to a graduation party for a girl in our youth group who will soon be moving away to go to college.  I can't hardly bear the thought of it, she is so special to us!  But it has been a joy to see her grow in Christ, and I can't wait to see what God does in her life in this next chapter.

What a week it has been in this very merry (and crazy) month of May!