Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What I Would Have Missed.

Tuesday night is Lifegroup night. Wednesday night is church and some Thursday nights are taken, as well. The LORD has been tugging at my heart about being present and available for my family. I ditched Lifegroup for the second week in a row. Because I chose to miss this gathering of people, people who live 30 minutes or more away from me, people whose path I don't cross unless it's in this Lifegroup, people that are in a different phase of life than me. . . This is what I gained and would have missed.

  • Sweet conversation with Ashley about choices, friends, things that are important to her versus things that are important to her friends. Where her friends are headed in the future and where she would like to be. It was sweet, sweet, sweet. Ash has a great group of friends and I'm very thankful she has them. I just love her opening up to me and asking my advice and me hearing her heart. 
  • Dinner with all Fab 5, which means laughter, sharing of our day, Alec and Hanna commenting about how much Dale's seasoning I put in the burgers and Ash loving all that seasoning. 
  • Watching our new favorite show together, gasping over the plot twists and during the commercials Alec sharing funnies with us from his work. 
  • Walking Gus. Being in the woods gives me such a peace. 
  • Hanging out with Hanna while the boys watch their show. Me and the Hanster don't care for it.
  • Watching Ash drive herself to soccer practice. Praying as I watch her leave. 
Sometimes you have to give up the good in order to choose the best. For today, I chose the best. 

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Fumblings

We're nearing an end to another week. Another week of school. Another week of work. Another week of life. It's been a little slower this week because I didn't have CC this Tuesday. Yet, I feel other things filled in the time.

Highlights of this week:

Ash got her license. The first place she drove was Gigi's. She's having to get used to texting me when she leaves and when she arrives. She doesn't mind doing this. She knows it's part of the Driving Rules. She's just like me, though, and has a hard time remembering. :) The next day she drove to Walmart. She felt so free and so independent. It's been sweet to see her so excited. My friend, Lisa, texted me and asked me if I was sad. I've never been one of those moms. I texted her, "I just get sad when they leave me for good." It's neat to see a new phase of life beginning.

We skipped Moxie Wednesday night and the kiddos when to Josh and Lydia's for a bonfire. I'm so thankful that even though we've been gone from SBC for two years now they still continue to do things with the youth. I'm thankful Lydia and I meet for Bible study and I get to see that precious Huddy grow up. I'm thankful for all the close relationships I still have intact from SBC.

Thursday Ash kept Brent for Ms. Lisa and we let her drive there. She's not driving her car yet, as she needs a rear-view mirror. She's been sportin' the van and is ready to have her own wheels out on the road.

I'm in such a place of GO. Some of this has to do with the ages my children are. Well, kinda. Now, Hanna is the only one I need to take places. This week for church stuff I would have been gone Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. I actually showed up for none of those events. I just felt my presence was more needed at home. I've been in some fuzzy gray area of life, thinking through and wrestling with the questions. . .

Where is my Jesus community supposed to be? The church would tell me the church is supposed to be my Jesus community. I would have agreed with this years ago. However, right now it's praying with Kim once a month, praying with my prayer buddies once a month, praying with my CC directors once a month, praying with Bethany every Friday morning. It's Bible study with Lydia. I'm making friends at church and everyone has been very nice, even checking on me when I can't make things. They're just not my community. I'm in a place where I really feel so needed at home. Not needed to cook, clean, or take care of people, but needed to be available. It's where I feel the Holy Spirit tugging my heart. . .to not be at the church all the time, but to be home. There is so little teaching on this. Bethany and I talked through the grays and fuzzy this morning. We're both on the same page. However, the church screams something entirely differently. Holiness happens in the home, though. Church is a place where we meet with other believers to be encouraged in good deeds. I have that with my Jesus community. I'm not saying I don't want to go to church. I am encouraged by the worship and teaching at our church. However, I just don't think I need to be there every time the doors are open or involved in everything that's thrown my way. Still trying to muddle through all of this, fumble and find my way into how the Holy Spirit is leading. My first disciples are the three under my roof. My primary focus is loving Jesus and loving my husband and my babies. If I'm gone two to three nights a week and maybe even more, how can this be done effectively?

Alec had a blow out on his way home from work. Praise Jesus he's okay. Jon has gone to meet him to fix it. Ash is working tonight. I'm about to take Hanna to a spend the night bday party from a friend at church. I met my precious Makayla at Safehouse for coffee late morning. I always love that place and love my time with her. Yep, more Jesus community there, too.

I'm heading for my own GNO with Faith, Lisa, and Jen. We're celebrating Lisa tonight. Yeah, these three, they're my Jesus community too. Oh, and how could I ever forget CC? There's more Jesus community. See why I'm so muddled and fumbled and tired? When texting with my friends earlier we were deciding on a time. Because we all know one another so well we told Faith and I 6:15 and Jenn and Lisa 5:45, to which Jenn responded 5:30 for me, which means she's leaving her house at 5:00. We'll see. We're swapping it up tonight. Saki instead of Margos and, as always, Corner Cafe for cake and coffee.

Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Blessings

Having all five of my family (and a few extra kiddos) on our row at church.

Seeing my friend JJ at church for three Sundays in a row.

Having Jon beside me at church, being able to put my hand on his leg or hold his hand.

Ash working in Children's Church.

Lunch around the table at Gigi's with Holly and Thomas.

I love a table, how a table gives food that gives life. How conversation of our separate, yet together lives brings us all a little closer.

Sunday nap with Hanna beside me.

Time to read a book.

Going to the grocery store and buying Ash peanut butter crackers for after soccer practice. These are her favorite. Buying everyone minus me these canned teas they all love. Learning their favorite flavors.

Planning meals for my precious family.

Tense battle with Alec on things of Jesus. This was the worst one yet. I'm going to consider it a blessing. I've learned that when things seem at their worst this is when the battle is the fiercest in the spiritual realm. Although I cried my heart out, I will praise God for this.

Holding close and tight to Jesus.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday's Swingings

Today I took Hanna and a few of her friends on a mall scavenger hunt for her birthday. That will be another post with all the pics included.

After getting home I was in desperate need for a nap, but no can-doee-toucan-louie. Jon needed help with our deck. Honestly, I didn't help much. He just needed me to hold a board. I came inside and read a little bit. I then headed over to Gigi's for dinner while Jon continued working on the deck. Ash was at CFA working and Alec and Thomas were in the backyard on the swing. I went and plopped myself in-between these two funny guys. Holly and Thomas came home because SSI had a mandatory island evacuation because of Hurricane Matthew.

The buzz all weekend has been personality tests and we have laughed and laughed and laughed. Holly was looking up things like what your personality would do if lost in IKEA, what part your personality would play in a horror movie, what English proverb most relates to your personality. We have hee-hawed with so much laughter. These things are dead on!!! At one point she said Alec's personality demonstrates love by telling facts and information and I said, "Oh, good. This shows me you love me alot. After all, I know I'm the person you love most in this world." To which that precious young man replied, "Yeah, you're right." After dinner we finally convinced Gigi to take the personality test. She obliged. Now we know all of ours.

I took Hanna and some of her friends to Wally World and we got some good ole junk food for them to celebrate the night away. I did tell them they have to be in bed by 1:00 a.m. These girls had a blast at Gigi's. They played night hide-and-go-seek and had a ball. I love the sounds of girlie laughter.

I left Alec at Gigi's to talk politics with Aunt Holly. After Wally World the girls and I came home and I sat down and watched part of the Miami game with Jon. I feel asleep during a little bit and decided I needed to be up and doing something so I could go get Ash in a little bit. My up and doing something is blogging.

Yay for two days straight.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Adventures of the Fab 5

Oh, how I miss the days of blogging, especially when I read through old posts and remember the things I've forgotten.

I tell myself the lie that I'm too busy these days. Anybody can carve out 15 minutes, can't they? So, 15 minutes is what I'm giving myself. I may never have another post with a picture, but that's okay. I'll have the memories recorded.

I've set the timer so I must type fast.

I stay quiet on here because I'm the mom of 3 teens and teenage years are tough. There are hard victories fought during these years and those troubles and victories aren't mine to tell.

But for now, let's see, what's going on with . . .

Jon - That hardworking man of mine is working away. He is still loving his job after all these years. He's made some really good friendships there. Once a week he and some friends go after work to play tennis together. He also played on a kickball team this summer. One of his friends invited several of us up to his lake house and we had a weekend of fun, sun, boating, jet skiing, food, and games. Jon then went for a guys' weekend only. I'm so glad he's taking time for himself to do things he enjoys. He is so devoted to our family, so it's nice to see him do things for himself.

Alec - That hardworking boy is making us so proud at his job. He received a recent promotion. It's not effective until January and in order for them to justify the promote he has to get Network Plus certified and A+ certified. To boot, the company will pay for any books he needs, as well as the tests. We're on the verge of closing a sweet, but hard chapter in our lives. I'm hoping to take some time to write down my thoughts on this last year. Wouldn't.trade.it.at.all. There's sweetness in difficulty, hard times, and heartache.

Ash - She's working some at CFA now. She's starting to enjoy her job more. I knew she would once she started meeting people. She's a chip off the old block, like her Mama. She can enjoy anything as long as she knows the people there. Soccer is up and running and she just keeps getting better and better. Although she had said in the past she doesn't want to play in college that has changed. We're starting to look at colleges for her to possibly play soccer at. One in Alabama has contacted her to play for them. However, they are pricey, and they don't give full scholarships. That one is off the list. :) No license for Ash yet, but she's almost ready. She's busting at the seems to get her license. Hoping for next week for her. :)

Hanna - She just made me a mom of 3 teenagers. She got to start wearing makeup and she is LOOOOVVVVIIIINNNNNGGGG IIIIITTTT!!! I no longer have to threaten her to get her to take a shower. She gladly does this and loves fixing her hair and putting on her makeup. She also loves digging in my closet and accessories. I tease her about it sometimes, but I do secretly love it. She's still her funny self and I don't think a day goes by that she doesn't make me laugh.

Me - I'm teaching at two CC campuses this year. I just love what I do so much. I had quit typing, but then picked it back up. We'll see what the future holds, but for right now it is what it is and I'll just choose to thank Jesus for it rather than whine. :) The running bug has bit me again. I went on a run longer than 3 miles today. I really have the itch to do a half marathon. We'll see. I'm involved in two monthly prayer groups that I just love. One friend in this group texted me the other day, "I'm sorry I talked so much and I'm sorry for the tears." To which I replied, "Don't be. I truly believe this is how Jesus intended for His church to be. . .so involved in one another's life that you feel free to share stories, tears, laughter, and the whole 9 yards. Most importantly, to pray hard for one another. I just love seeing Jesus work time and time again. In the words of my precious friend Beth, "He spoils me." I'm gearing up for Uganda again this year. I can't wait. It's been almost a year and a half and my soul longs to be there amongst my other people. This year Alec and Ash are going with me. I've already told two of my closest friends there Ash is coming. I'm waiting for Alec to get his passport to let them know he's coming too. They were thrilled to know Ash is coming. They will be over the moon excited to know that both of them are coming.

I'm finally starting to get involved at the church we've been attending for a year. I finally feel like myself there. I feel friendly and loving. I've been distant, but Jesus clearly showed me it's time to get involved. I'm working with the youth on Wednesday nights, have joined a life group, and I attend a ladies' gathering called IF once a month. It's been good. Honestly, it doesn't feel like family yet. Jesus is showing me that may not be His purpose in us being there. Our purpose is just be to love and not worry about how we feel. The preaching and worship is amazing. I leave every single Sunday both convicted and encouraged.

Hoping to be at this sweet place more often. I'm so thankful for all the memories I've recorded through blogging. Here's to many more!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Why Must I be Cursed with this Fate?

I was sipping my second cup of coffee with my Saturday routine of watching Fox News and Alec comes in bright and early, "Why must I be cursed with this fate of not being able to sleep past 8:00 a.m.?" Welcome to my world, hardworking young man. We laughed, he headed to the shower, and I dove into a book I've been enthralled in. That didn't last long because we had to be up and at 'em and out the door to go to Ash's second soccer game for the weekend. She had a game last night and beat an A team. She was fast, fast, fast. I love watching her play, watch her come from behind a girl, pounce her and take the ball from her. She even came from defense twice (in the last two games), made her way up to offense and shot for a goal. Today's game was intense. Our girls were down 2-0. We had 20 minutes left in the game and we tied it up. It was worth the sopping wet sweat I endured with watching her. *Grin* The game was so tense I was saying quietly to myself with only my family close enough to hear, "Come on, Toot (a nickname we've called her since she was a baby that Gdaddy gave her)." As the intensity of the game rose and her aggressiveness grew my "Come on, Toot," got louder and louder. She made a great play and it slipped and slipped loudly (no pun intended), "Come on, Toot." Mind you, she didn't hear me but Alec and Hanna did to which they said, "She's going to kill you." Alec warned me, "Mom, don't ever do that again." I told them, "She didn't hear me. She'll never know if y'all don't tell her." We get home this evening and guess what? They spilled the beans. Yikes, sorry Toot, I mean, Ash.

After soccer we headed to Firehouse Subs, Ash's favorite. I had promised her sometime this weekend we'd treat her to Firehouse. The Fab 5 were all together so my mama's heart was happy. After getting home the girls and I ran to town for some errands and our guys stayed home, rested, and watched the Olympics. We are L-O-V-I-N-G the Olympics right now!!! In fact, I've had to be taking me some naps during the day because we're staying up way too late to watch them.

While in town Ash got several inches cut off her hair. It looks so good. We also made our way to Walmart. I feel like I live there. In fact, I have several friends there who are employees. Spann is one of my favorites and he knows it. When leaving today I hugged him goodbye and told him I'd see him in a few days. He laughed. We joked about how much I've been in there this week. He sweetly responded, "You're spoiling me." He's so precious. We also saw a friend of Gigi and Gdaddy's. He was in line behind us. As we talked I helped him empty his buggy. He had these individual pieces of pie. He told me he was having company over after church tomorrow telling me many times, "I just hate eating by myself." Broke.my.heart. When we got to the car Hanna even commented on his individual pies.

I've been asking Jesus to help me be more thoughtful. He's being faithful to show me. I'm starting my list here because I know I won't lose it. It may include specifics for specific people. *Grin*

1. Invite lonely people to our house for dinner.
2. Know the names of the employees of the places you frequent.
3. Send people birthday cards rather than birthday texts or FB messages.
4. Takes pictures of items that remind you of people and send it to them.
5. Keep our family group meme text going.
6. Alec's favorite sub from Subway - foot long Italian, pepper jack cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, a little bit of mayo
7. Lick loves makeup bags.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Breakfast by Hanna

Right now its 8:30-ish on a Thursday morning. It's been a busy-good week. I slept in this morning until 6:00. Jon snuggled me when he saw me still laying in the bed after he had finished his shower. On a normal day while he's in the shower I'm in the kitchen making him some breakfast. He knows if I'm still in the bed then I must be tired.

He kissed my forehead and proceeded to get ready for work. No eggs this morning for breakfast, baby. I've had three days of being at home long enough to sleep. I'm learning to be nice to myself and sleep when I need it. I did manage to get up at 6:00 and make Alec breakfast and send him to work with a cup of coffee. I did my usual routine, stood outside the door watching him leave and praying over him until he was way far out of sight. It's become a precious part of my routine and I'm thankful. I then continued my sweet time with Jesus.

I was on my third cup of coffee sitting on the couch while Hanna is in the kitchen. She's making breakfast quiche. I've noticed when Ash has friends over she makes them a yummy breakfast. She has music playing and garlic and butter swaying their delicious scents throughout the house. I thought about her sweetness. She's feisty these days and she readily admits it, but her love language is service. I think it's just pure preciousness how she seeks to serve Ash and Claire with yummy food. I thought, "I'm going to get up and snag a picture." Then I remembered how I have missed blogging and I have this sickness called, "If I blog I need a photo." Yet, time is busy and my days are short and I don't have the time to load my photos. Maybe I just need to focus my memories with words and not photos. So, I'm here.

My coffee is growing lukewarm, praise music is playing, the sounds and smells of food is coming from the kitchen. I love this moment because I'm here and I'm present.

I need to get busy and work out and fold the laundry that's attached my kitchen table and get out MV emails and scrub my bathrooms and mop my floors and go to the grocery store and, and, and. . .

I think I'll just enjoy this moment. I truly do love this life I get to live.