Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On the Road Again!

My friend and I are heading out this morning for Cincinnati so I can speak at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. Prayers for safe travels, minimal rain, strength and a productive time in Cincy would be appreciated!

See you Monday!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy, happy Sunday!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I was recently doing a Beth Moore study and it was time to look up a page full of scriptures that told about the miracles of Jesus. Many of these were very familiar stories and so Beth cautioned us with this simple admonition...

Do not let familiarity cheat you!

For some reason, that quote stood out in emblazened letters to me and the truth of what it was saying began to seep in.

Whether scripturally speaking or in life in general, we all stand to allow familiarity to cheat us from all He has to share with us. Whether it is skimming over a well known passage and missing a nugget He has for us...whether it is in the incessant talking of our children that we find ourselves tuning out on occasion as a means of maintaining sanity...or whether it is the patterns of marriage we find ourselves following blindly along in until we have nearly lost our way.. .we let familiarity cheat us at times!

We think we know what to expect so we push auto pilot and do not fully engage in the life that is going on around us. How many times have I cheated myself or cheated someone I love because I allowed familiarity to blind me? Oh that I would see each day and each moment as a fresh opportunity to engage with my family, engage with my friends and engage with the one Who gives me my next breath.

Familiarity can be a gift. It can be a comfort to really know those we interact with and engage with on a daily basis. It can create a sense of peace to be known and know fully in intimate ways, but it can also create opportunities for the nuances of life to become overlooked.

Father, I thank you for this life You have given me and for the people I get to share it with. I am blessed beyone my wildest dreams. I do desire though, Papa, to stay fully engaged...first and foremost with You so that I would not miss anything You would have to show me! I also don't want to cheat myself and cheat those I love by operating on auto-pilot because the terrain is so familiar that it does not require my full attention. Please keep me from allowing familiarity to cheat me from anything You would have for me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A New Day

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. I did some school with the kids, cleaned up, did quite a bit of laundry, cooked a big lunch and just generally attended to Mama stuff. Benji had a game, but it wasn't til 4:45pm so I had time, after all my work was done, to take a shower and freshen up. That may seem like it shouldn't be anything noteworthy, but if you are reading this and are a Mama you understand how exciting it really is!

When I got to the field, I realized just what a glorious day it was for baseball...high 70's, no humidity and a good breeze that kept it from feeling even the least bit hot. This is the reason I think there is no place like Georgia in the springtime!! It had been warm enough when I left home for me to put on shorts and, since I had pulled my chair up to the wall behind home plate, I decided to put my legs up and get a little sun on my haven't-seen-sun-for-months legs.

I raised my legs, stretched them out and gazed down at them in all their whiteness. And then it hit me...

I had only shaved one leg in the shower!

The bad thing is, I know I shaved 2 legs so evidently I shaved the same one twice! Seriously? That is what I have been reduced to? A woman who, when she finally gets freed up enough to take a shower does so, only to realize later that she was so far gone she will now have to wait til tomorrow to shave the other leg. Of course, by then the first leg's hairs will have grown enough that it will have stubble and I will be reduced to shaving that leg for the third time in 2 days!

Somehow, when I held that first little baby in my arms so many years ago, I never thought that motherhood would take such a toll on my mind! I used to be sharp. I used to be able to complete a thought AND a sentence and sometimes do both at the same time. I used to be able to remember names, numbers and other important facts in my head. I used to be able to get out of the shower with both legs shaved at the same time! Sheesh!

Well, the good news is that today is a new day with new opportunities...and a new chance to make sure that both legs get shaved at the same time!! My one consolation is that immediately upon discovering my oversight, I posted about it on FB to try and encourage other moms as they slogged through their day that they were not the only ones for whom the mind was slipping! As sisters in this journey always do, my friends encouraged me that they too have done just this (along with a few other hilarious things) and that I am not alone in my craziness. Laughter truly is good medicine and being able to laugh at one's self is always an admirable quality!

So today, may women all across the nation rise up in their calling...and attempt to find time not only to shower, but to make sure both legs get shaved at the same time!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Well, thank you to anyone who prayed for our trip to Greenville! The conference was wonderful and had an amazing turnout for its first time being held there. The people were incredibly friendly (which shouldn't be surprising since it WAS held in the south ;O) ) and there was a vast array of speakers.

The response for our sessions was great and it was such a privilege for both Tim and I to get to share and encourage these precious people who are walking a very similar road as us! Brennan Dean and his team did a great job organizing everything and seeing to the needs of their speakers! I am actually really excited about heading to Cincy next week to speak!

We were very sad when we found out we had missed Benji's first high school homerun, but we did make it back in time to see him play at Coolray Field where the AAA Braves play! What a rush for the boys to see their names on the big screen and pulling out a hard fought win was icing on the cake!

Here is a picture of our handsome first baseman in the dugout!

Come see us at the Midwest Homeschool Convention!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hope you guys have a great weekend! Can't wait to see very special friends in Greenville, SC this weekend at the Southeast Homeschool Convention!! It is going to be a blast and I anticipate making some new friends, too, while I am there!!

See you Monday!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Through the Fog!

Some days I feel like I am in a fog...having trouble making sense of things and knowing I do not have a true perspective. Not much of anything has definition. There are things I think I need to know now and I can sometimes make out the outline of answers, but then the mist crawls across in wisps and I am left wondering again.

Corinthians 13:12 ~ We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

This morning I looked outside and what greeted me was such a beautiful portrait of what I am feeling! Wanna see?

That's it! The sun (Son) is spotted through the mist and I start to have some clarity. What was once shrouded starts to make sense!

I just had to leave the computer and run outside with the camera again. As I was typing my thoughts, all of a sudden the room started to glow as the sun made it's full appearance and the mist was overshadowed. The mist was still there, but the sun was the dominant sight! Look at it blazing away!!

Isn't that the way it is in life? Sometimes His presence is a faint glow that I can barely make out and other times He bursts forth on the scene in such a show of radiance that His presence cannot be mistaken!

Ephesians 5:8-10 ~ You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.

Lord, I am tired of groping! I am tired of stumbling around! I desire to live in the bright Light of Christ so that my way is made plain. May I quit focusing on me and my own comforts and desires. Would I desire to be so hidden in You that Your radiance leaks out from me in such a way that everyone will catch a glimpse of You and Your radiance at work in me!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My People

I am getting ready to speak at 3 homeschool conventions over the next few months...2 of them this month! As it gets closer to time to go I , as always, find myself fighting the urge to panic! Just keeping it real... ;O)

I was emailing back and forth this morning with Amanda Bennett, a rock star amongst homeschoolers, and she was trying to talk me down off the ledge. She feels a sense of duty in talking me down I am sure because she is the reason I am speaking in the first place. She is probably my greatest cheerleader and is always calling me and saying, "I was talking to so-and-so about you today." These conversations generally result in me agreeing to do something and then she later must come along and help keep me from being thrust into full panic mode!

This morning she shared these very wise words with me...

Feel, felt, found...

I know how you feel
I have felt that way myself
I found that if I did this..... that everything worked better....

It is our experiences, our testimony, our discovered coping techniques that they need, and they need to know that they are not the only ones to have these feelings, frustrations, etc.

It was quite funny to me that her wise words and a certain country music chorus that has been resounding in my mind merged quite well together! This is what I keep hearing as I contemplate speaking...

These are my people
This is where I come from
Were givin' this life everything we got and then some
It ain't always pretty
but it's real
It's the way we were made
Wouldn't have it any other way
These Are My People

The people who will be sitting in those chairs are my people! I do know how they feel and I have felt the same way myself...often!! So here I sit, contemplating how the Spirit works and realizing that I am a perfect candidate for Him to work through because my natural abilities are tapped out!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Sunday!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I am in the process of preparing for the homeschool conventions that I am speaking at this spring. I have 2 sessions and one of them is the session I did last year called She Senses the Worth of Her Work. I was worried that I might have trouble doing the same session again and find ways to make it fresh. It is crazy, though, but as I started reading through my notes I found I am as passionate as ever about this topic and am excited to share with another group of women!

I was reading through my notes on Saturday as I sat at the ballpark in Columbus, GA at a double header Benji had that day. Our drive home was almost 3 hours and Benji and I had the best time laughing, talking and just spending time together. I realized that time like that is one of the pay-offs that shows me very clearly the worth in what I do every day.

The relationship that I share with my kids makes everything I do as a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler worth it. I am not saying that women who put their children in school or work can't have the same kind of relationship with their kids, but being a stay-at-home homeschooler is hard and some days it is hard to keep slugging it out. Knowing that it was a tool the Lord used to mesh our hearts together is amazing.

The world loves to distort the lens that women look at themselves through. We never feel smart enough, skinny enough, appreciated enough or loved enough. Riding home with Benji and listening to him share his heart and just cutting up and laughing together was such an encouragement. Having my kids tell me they are so happy God gave them a Mama who is a great cook makes all those days I have to figure out what to cook for dinner worth it! Having a teenage daughter who wants to talk to me about things in her life and a child who calls me "Sugar Lips"...does it get any better than that?

It may seem, on any given day, like our time is filled with mundane tasks and constant irritations and interruptions all strung together, but the intrinsic worth in all we do is so priceless we could never put a monetary value on it!

Thank You, Papa, for letting me see such fruit from years of labour! Thank You for the strong relationships I share with my children and for the amazing young men and women they are becoming. Thank You for blessing me beyond my wildest dreams and for sustaining me when the going gets tiring. Thank You for helping me embrace this life in spite of how many times the world tries to tell me there is more out there that would fulfill me and feed my need for affirmation! Thank You for these 6 people I get to call mine, Lord! They are amazing!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In All Things...Choose Joy!

I am still reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, and thoroughly enjoying it. I was excited that last night afforded me the opportunity to lay in bed and read before I went to sleep. The amazing part of that was that I was actually able to stay awake for a while to read! No small feat anymore!

The premise of Ann's book is to choose thanks over criticism and joy over anger. Some days...some moments...I am better at this than others. As I read and reflected on the choices I make to respond, I was left with the distinct feeling that I choose the flesh way too often when I have the opportunity each time to choose thanks and joy. Little did I know while I was reading that I would have an immediate opportunity to practice what I was reading.

Having older kids means we are almost never the last ones in bed. With little ones who get up early and inner clocks that have us waking up most days way before the chickens, we must get in the bed before the big kids even think about turning in for the night. Last night I turned out my light and began to gaze out my open window. I was enjoying the fact that it was finally warm enough to sleep with it open and the sound of the few brave crickets who were already venturing out made me smile.

All of sudden I heard a rustle in the kitchen and the laundry room and suddenly my peaceful reflections were interrupted by the clink, clunk, clank of big girl's jeans and other sundries in the dryer. My last minute girl had waited til, well, the last minute to make sure her clothes were clean and dried for the day to come. Despite my many pleas to take care of business early so I am not kept awake, she was scrambling to get it all done. I was faced with a choice...

I could either stew and ruminate over being kept awake by a teenager who had failed to plan yet again or I could choose to give thanks.

Thanks for a dryer that works to get our clothes dry...

Thanks for a laundry room, albeit a small one, that allows us to do laundry at home...

Thanks for children who do all their own laundry and keep me from being overwhelmed with mounds of unwashed clothes...

Thanks for the opportunity to choose thankfulness and joy instead of ingratitude and frustration...

1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

I passed the test last night. I chose to be thankful. I chose to be think on what was true and lovely and praiseworthy and of good report. I drifted off to sleep with words of thanks on my lips and in my heart instead of a heart full of angst and frustration.

Lord, may I make the same wise, redemptive and life-giving choice today, multiple times throughout the day, when I am at a crossroads and faced with the temptation to exert control and selfishness. May I choose the high road that You have offered and model for my children what choosing to be thankful really looks like! May I lay down tonight, at the end of the day, and know that You are pleased with my choices!

May I choose joy...