Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Last Week In A Glimpse

*You would not have believed the excitement over this super simple breakfast.  It was even said that I cook the "best things in the universe" by the pickiest eater in the house!  But I must admit, warm blueberry muffins, bacon, and coffee make a home smell amazing.

*It was definitely a week for sea life around here.  Between dolphins dancing at Epcot and sea creatures galore on Madi's field trip to the aquarium, we got to take in some pretty fantastic views of God's creation this week.

*The past few days have been sunny and just gorgeous, but gray skies and chillier weather earlier in the week made hot cocoa the perfect homework companion.

*I was given this scarf by a sweet lady in our church and think it is so pretty.  Such a nice was cozy and cheerful on a cool day!

*My mom and I did a little sale shopping and she bought me this great little blazer for $10.  Loving it!!

I don't know about you, but I was thankful to be in the Lord's house today and in His Word.  What a blessing to worship freely.  Tonight finds me extra exhausted and ready to turn in very soon...a new week has begun and we will see what it holds!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Man, I Feel Like A Woman {And Starfish}

There is this new Ariel ride at Disney, and a few months ago in the midst of an incredibly busy season, a couple girlfriends and I rode it during a preview day while our kids were in school.

When we entered the room where the sea creatures dance under the sea, there were all these colorful starfish with super happy, smiling faces on the walls. And these starfish, they would just spin round and round and round and round, never stopping, just spinning.  I sort of laughed to myself and made the comment to my friend that these days I feel like those starfish, spinning and spinning from one thing to another. She looked at them and said, "Hey, at least you're still smiling!"

(Photo credit: Google images)

But really, it's the rhythm of womanhood, this constant spinning from role to role, and honestly it can be exhausting but sometimes it's just plain amazing and you have to laugh when you think of all a day can hold for a woman.

Last night I chuckled as I reflected on my day, a day not nearly as busy as some, a day that wasn't as packed minute to minute as tomorrow promises to be, yet still my 
roles constantly changed throughout it.  I have a feeling it will look familiar to most of you...

It started as usual, getting up in the dark, packing lunches, making breakfast, making sure backpacks were packed and kids were dressed and sent off to school with a kiss and a prayer. 

I've been working quite a bit but the plan was to have a day at home, so I settled in for coffee and time with God, then hit the trail with two friends for exercise and conversation.  We walked four miles and talked nonstop as women do and need to do. We were almost back where we started when my phone rang.  It was the school asking if I could be there in an hour to work a half day.

There went my plans to catch up on housework, pick up groceries, and wash the gray right out of my hair!  We quickly finished our workout and I drove home with just enough time to jump in the shower, eat an early lunch while simultaneously putting on makeup and getting dressed, and get to school to teach second grade.  

When the bell rang and school was over, I gave snacks to my two little loves then sent Madi to art club and took Trev to the library where we worked on his homework and reading.  At 4:15 we headed home where I made another snack and spent most of the next two hours working with Madi on classroom homework, vocabulary homework, and reading.  By the time we finished Jimmy was home from work and I was rushing to get the kids out the door with my parents so he and I could head out for an overdue dinner date, just the two of us.

But there was a student in our youth group who had a basketball game and Jimmy wanted to go out to support him, so first we headed off to the high school gymnasium and cheered him on and after they won the game we headed to Carrabba's for adult conversation over hot minestrone soup, fresh Caprese salad, and a shared steak.

However, since I ended up working and we had no milk, orange juice, cereal, etc., we had to stop at the store on the way home and ended our date night standing in the world's slowest checkout line.  (This is real life romance here!)  Since we hadn't ordered dessert, I picked up some frozen yogurt and was looking forward to enjoying some later, that is if didn't melt already while waiting in that crazy line.

It was late when we finally got home, and I got to work putting away the groceries and folding a gigantic pile of laundry that left me with about 10 missing socks.  Seriously. And if my day hadn't been reflective enough of a day in the life of a woman, I ended the night by accidentally singlehandedly eating that entire pint of frozen yogurt straight from the carton. Oops.

This stuff of being a woman.

It's a multi-faceted, often complicated journey.

It is no wonder we sometimes talk out loud to ourselves!

But we're in this thing together, girls.

And here's a reminder as we face the rest of this day, and the next and the next and all each one holds for God's strength, we can do this. 

When the spinning becomes dizzying, He is the equilibrium that steadies us.

So spin on, smiling starfish, spin on!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Saturday, January 19, 2013

High Five For Friday!

(And yes, it's already Saturday, but the kids had no school yesterday so Jimmy worked on his usual day off so we could enjoy a family day yesterday...we were out from early morning to late night having a ball!  Thankful for days like those!)

1) Treated myself to new pens. When my husband came home from work and saw the huge pack he teasingly made the comment that if anyone needed some Paper Mates, we had some.  To which I surprised myself by responding immediately (and a little defensively), "Those are mine." But I mean, really, you don't mess with a girl's
colored pens!  :)

2) Speaking of my husband, he is incredibly creative and resourceful and has been sprucing up the building where our youth group meets.  He imitated an idea he saw online for these awesome panels and they look amazing.  Even more amazing is that they are simply hand built, hand painted frames strung with yarn then illuminated!  He makes me proud.

3) Baked a cake for my grandma for her 87th birthday.  She has been in and out of the hospital these days and not doing so well.  But she requested chocolate cake with white frosting and she used to make the same for me when I was younger, so I'm glad I was able to do this small thing for her.  (And I have to say, it was delicious!)

4) Some days call for a big ol' pair of earrings.

5) And others (like this breezy one spent outside) call for hats and little boots.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Linking up with Lauren at High Five For Friday

Monday, January 14, 2013

{Gifts 32-55}

#32 - back porch basketball games

#33 - sharing the simple pleasure of the "little black dress" with her

#34 - the opportunity to teach her class for a couple of days

#35 - breathing in the scent of their freshly shampooed hair

#36 - family dinners around our table

#37 - praying for someone in need we don't know, explaining to them why we pray for people in need even if we don't know them, hearing him pray tonight "for the boy I don't know...knowing God hears those prayers

#38 - that song, that one song that you can't stop playing, and what it does to your soul

#39 - when God whispers grace on your heart in the middle of the day at school

#40 - 2 Samuel 22:31

#41 - breezes at recess

#42 - prayers at 11:11

#43 - feeling a hug around your knees at school and looking down to see the precious face of a three year old who asks, "When will you teach my twass again?"

#44 - chocolate, enough said

#45 - a more organized closet (finally faced that challenge)

#46 - tons of laundry finished, and not worrying that the baskets will still never be empty

#47 - slowly learning to remain and rest

#48 - the fragrance and taste of the pork roast that had cooked away in my crockpot all day while I was working

#49 - hearing and watching my daughter bravely and joyfully speak into a microphone to testify of her recent salvation and baptism

#50 - salmon and tuna and vegetables and olives

#51 - making it through an incredibly busy week and knowing it is because of His strength

#52 - his massage when my head ached

#53 - all the beautiful weather that blessed us with a much welcomed lower utilities bill

#54 - the incredibly encouraging message from someone faraway that came at exactly the right time

#55 - stopping to breathe and realizing once more that it's all grace

For these and more, I am thankful....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Imparting Grace {2013}

Impart: to communicate, to bestow.

Synonyms: give - communicate - convey - transmit - inform.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace 
to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

Imparting grace.

I couldn't help but think that these two words would make a good goal for 2013.

I read that passage yesterday morning in a study relating to marriage.


Because honestly, isn't it all too easy to be the least grace-filled in our homes to the people we love the most?

I want my home to be a place where I impart grace.

I want my daily sphere of influence to be a space where I impart grace.

I want this little corner of the blog world to be 
a place where I impart grace.

It starts with the choosing.

And if there is anything I learned in 2012, it is that life is about choosing.

Choosing love over throwing my hands up and walking away, choosing faithfulness to serve when I'm a little (or a lot) exhausted, choosing kindness and compassion when I'd rather choose frustration and indifference, choosing holiness over sin even when it isolates, choosing excellence when mediocrity comes calling.

Choosing to let go and give things to God when I want to hold on too tightly.  Choosing to get up and face each day armed with the Word of God ready to put the needs of my family and the needs of others before my own, and let me tell you, it's not always easy.

But it is what pleases the heart of God and makes me more like Jesus. 

I am certainly still in process.  I don't always do this well.  My heart is not always that of a servant, and I am ashamed to say I sometimes I complain.

As we enter a new year,  I am going to try to make this a theme of my heart and life, the essence of my communication.

Choosing daily to impart grace.

It is sure to be a challenge, but a rewarding one.

2013, here we go.