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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

P.S. There's a dead bat on the stairs

Sometimes life gets a little...hectic.
Please don't ever mistake my talks of busy life to come across as complaining, because I absolutely love my life.
I love my family, my business, my community, my church, my ministries, my whole life.
Except for the animals that sometimes think they own my house.

I mean seriously. Last year we dealt with birds, mice, bats and a hamster.
I figured I would throw the hamster in since he is, after all, a rodent.
Yes. We have a pet rodent.

But things have gotten to the point around here where Adam and I really have to make a strong conscious effort to communicate because we are running in a million directions.

Running a business, running a not for profit, planning a conference training for a 10 mile race, raising kids and trying to live a little can start to get in my head.

But it's like fine. I mean, I'm going crazy a little. But seriously. I'm fine.
So sometimes things happen and I just laugh. Like.
I just can't even.
So the mouse droppings up in the attic?
The 274 moths I kill in my bedroom every stinking ever loving night?
The skunk that continues to get into my trash even though I try to set up booby traps?
The three-legged cat that creeps into my yard?
Ain't no thang, people. Ain't no thang.
We cool.

So when I went up into the attic to look for more of my shoes,
(There is just not enough space for them all. Don't judge. It's not my fault. I love shoes. I was born that way)
I just stepped over the mice droppings and figured. Whatevs. They can run around up here for now until we eventually finish it off. They're not bothering anyone.
And then I turned around and walked back down the stairs and thought...hmm. Something smells funny. But I'm sure it's just my imagination.
But no. No it was not.
Sure enough. There was a furry, turned upside down, dead bat on the bottom step.
Almost as if he was just about to get into my very own personal living space and didn't quite make it.

And ya know what?
I didn't even scream. I didn't even flinch really.
I closed the door behind me, and just kept moving.

And the conversation that I had with Adam as I was leaving went a little something like this.
I have a shoot at 6:30, I should be home by 8.
And p.s. There's a dead bat on the stairs.
Love you! Bye.

And the bat thing rolled off my tongue just as if I had said...dinner is in the crock pot. Which, funny enough. Dinner was in the crock pot. That crockpot, however, had not even been turned on.
So I really could have said...some raw chicken and barbecue sauce have been sitting in the crock pot for the last 4 hours, so now if you eat it, you shall die.
What is up with that? I am so busy that I can't even remember to hit START on the crock pot?!
It's one button!

Ok so really. Adam told me he took care of the bat.
And we had to order out for dinner (so now everyone thinks I didn't hit start on purpose! ha!)
And it's all totally fine.

Just wanted to give you a little sample of what goes on over here.
Good times, peeps. Good times.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy Monday ~ Be the first voice

Do you ever think about how many voices your kids hear in their lives?

I'm a lay-it-all-on-the-line kind of a person all the way around.
I'm all. Dude. Here's the line. And here's it all.

So when it comes to the voices my boys are hearing? I ain't no fool!
I know the ones that are competing with the sometimes still and quiet voice of God.
I know them.
I hear them myself!

They remind us that being committed isn't all that important.
I mean, unless it's something really important like your job. Ya know, making more money? Climbing that corporate ladder?
But I mean, let's not get carried away here.
Church every Sunday? I mean, is that really necessary?
I'm already a Christian so I'm going to heaven. The rest doesn't really matter.
And besides...it's my only day that I can go to the beach! duh! God will understand.
And the same goes for what I do with my time during the rest of the week, how much time I spend with God. And on and on.

And then the voices love to remind my boys that it truly is all about them.
I mean, parents can be so insensitive and just don't get what their needs are.
Things have changed since those old people were growing up anyways.

Of course there is the whole, whatever is good for you trick.
You know the one...anyone who dares say that there is an absolute right or wrong is so shallow and bigoted. I mean. I know I can follow my heart (gag) because it is, after all, all about me and my feelings.
I legit just saw this quote:
"Follow your heart regardless of what others tell you to do. It's how you feel at the end of the day that really matters."
Wait. What?

Moving on before I. go. off.

Here's my whole entire point.

Your children were given to you as a gift.
Not a gift to be taken lightly.
But a gift to be worked at. Yep, that's right.
And it's hard work, no denying that.
And with all of that is the responsibility to the one who gave them to you.

So at the end of the day.
I stand before God and explain to him what I have done with the gifts he gave me.

That's why I care so much about what voices my kids are hearing.
Don't misunderstand me.
My kids are free to make their own choices, and as they grow older they get more and more chances to make their own choices.
But it is still my responsibility to be the loudest, first voice they hear.

And when my heart and my mind have been saturated in the only absolute truth there is?
My loud, first voice is going to be telling them the truth.

Peeps. It's not always easy!
The truth is, we are told to love our enemies. We are told to treat others as we want to be treated.
There are times when I tell my boys that. And then they watch someone mistreat me and watch how I act out (or totally don't) what I just told them.
So there is the first voice they hear about a situation? And then the first act they see about a situation.

So I teach my kids what is going down.
I tell them that the majority of boys around them who are their age are looking at totally inappropriate stuff on their iPods, iPads, tv's, phones, whatever.
And then I tell them that it is not good that they do the same.
And then I tell them why.
Sure. They still ultimately make the choice for themselves.
And they know that they ultimately answer to God not just me and Adam for their decisions.

But still.
I will be the first voice.

What about you?
Are you being the first voice?

Silence is not a voice.

So if you choose not to talk about the uncomfortable topics?
Someone else will, and someone else is.
Don't let the other people be the first voice for your children.

Too much is at stake.

You. You be the first voice.
You be the loudest voice.
You be the strongest action.
You take responsibility for these incredible gifts you have been given.
You take the time to know what truth is for yourself, so you can accurately give the truth to them.

Now go be a loud voice.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Passing through ~ Time with family

It's been almost 2 years since we've seen Adam's Aunt and Uncle from Virginia, so we were more than happy to have them stay with us for the night when we heard they were going to be passing through on their way to Maine.

The kids all get along great, and the adults? We put up with each other.
Ha. Just kidding...we love them, and we hated to see them go. 
Thanks for coming to see our new house and for the deep conversations and lots of laughs.
Can't wait to do it again. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I don't agree..

There are certain things in life that people believe because a lot of loud people keep saying them.

That does NOT mean that they are true!

I don't agree that you should follow your heart. Your heart is deceitful.

I don't agree that money makes you happy. The love of money can cause a lot of sorrow.

I don't agree that there is no absolute truth. God's Word is truth.

I don't agree with everything the loud people are screaming at me.
I'm just sayin'.
Don't let yourself fall into the trap of believing everything you hear...
Even if a celebrity is saying it.

So here's my simple challenge for you all this week:
Do the research yourself and then stand on your beliefs based on truth.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sometimes you just need someone to see

Have you ever been in a situation where you just wanted someone to see what you were going through?
You just wanted someone to see. That's all.
Then you feel like it would all be ok.
If someone saw the pain. If someone saw the injustice. If someone saw the struggles.
If someone could just see.

I recently felt like this.
There was an injustice. Something that wasn't fair, something that I just wanted someone to see.
Somehow, I felt like it would make it all better if someone just saw it.

A particular name for God came to my mind... El Roi.
It means this: The God who sees.
Do you get that? 
God sees! He sees.
And He is just. 
He is fair. 
He is good. 
And in those times when it seems like no one sees...it is simply not true.
He is looking for people who are obedient to Him to show himself strong on your behalf.
Why? Because he cares about you.
Amazing and just unreal. 

When there are times it feels like nobody cares. Nobody knows. Nobody sees.
God sees.
And in those times when I just need someone to see? Who better to see than the very God who created me. 
The God who is love. The God who has all power. 

So tonight. If you just need someone to see.
God sees.
He does. Don't let yourself believe otherwise.
He sees. He cares. He knows. And He is in complete control.
El Roi. The God who sees.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Everyone deserves to feel beautiful ~ My Grandmother's story

"Hi dahlin'. How's my girl today?"
My grandmother's sweet voice with a thick New England accent still makes me smile every time I hear it. I grew up hearing it a lot and I think every time I am with her, I hear "Love you, dahlin'" before I leave!

My grandparents raised 5 kids in a tiny house in Brentwood, NH.
The middle child was my dad. 
We grew up pretty close to them until they moved South when I was in High School.

Their salvation story is pretty amazing. 
They were fighting a lot, my grandfather was drinking a lot and there was no peace in their home.
Until that one day when a local pastor visited my grampy and told him about a God who loved him enough to die for him. Told him that God wanted a relationship with him and could turn his life around.
He accepted Christ as his Savior, and their marriage was saved, their family turned around and everything changed.

I am so grateful for the fact that my family has given me such an amazing legacy to follow.
My grandfather passed away a week after Riley was born, but his legacy lives on. 
I still have emails from him and cherish the times we had together. I still remember many times sitting at my kitchen table listening to stories he would tell.

My grandmother is visiting us for a while this summer and we could not be more excited.
She is an amazing woman.
She is incredibly positive. 
She is loving and caring and never thinks of herself.
She is so giving and she loves God.

I believe that everyone is incredibly valuable to God, regardless of age or physical condition.

My sister, Melanie, came to visit from New Jersey last weekend and we decided to give gram a makeover. 

I believe that everyone deserves to feel beautiful - because they are beautiful.

I told my gram about it a couple weeks ago, and she didn't stop talking about it up until the day it happened!

I believe that everyone needs something to look forward to.

She came to my house and we started out with a manicure. Melanie gave her hands a treatment, and then painted her nails. Her hands have always been so soft. I remember that from when I was little. She would sit next to me and rub my hands.

I wish you could have seen her. I should have taken video. She lit up. She talked and talked and talked some more. She told us about the times she was dating my grandfather and they would go dancing together. She told us about the time she and her BFF cleared out a restaurant because they had gone out to eat right after working at the egg factory. 

I believe that everyone needs someone to talk to.

Then I curled her hair. Did her makeup. Put a necklace on her. And brought out false eyelashes...to which she responded "oh my lawwwwd!" I wasn't really going to put them on, but her reaction was so funny!

I believe that everyone needs to laugh more.

And then I gave her a photo shoot.
She. loved. it.
She has said that she feels like a burden, and it breaks my heart to hear it.
The circle of life is a funny thing. I can't imagine the countless hours she selflessly put into her 5 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren over the years. 
And here she is, needing time put into her, and she feels bad.
Because that's how she is. She wants to give, not take.

I believe the fact that God has a perfect plan for us that does not stop when we age.

Just recently, my mom was walking by the room my grandmother was sitting in, and heard her praying. She is a woman who loves God and is still being used by Him, even though it is not in an obvious way.
The fact that people can't see how she is serving God does not change the fact that she is making a difference for eternity by her prayers. 

I believe that God will use anyone.

I proudly introduce you to my beautiful grandmother, Annie.

(I forgot to take a before picture..my mom reminded me after I had done her makeup! So I had to go to my sister's blog and get this picture from the first week she had come to stay with us.)

I believe everyone deserves to feel beautiful. 

And I have no doubt that my gram felt so beautiful after a day of pampering. 
Of life being spoken into her.
Of hugs, kisses and laughter.

I feel so blessed to have her in my life.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Monday ~ Who are you letting influence?

Whether we like to realize it or not, who we choose to hang out with is who influences our kids.

The way I choose my friends is showing my boys how they need to choose their friends.
And when I spend time with people while my boys are with me? Those people are influencing them.

It seems obvious, but I think that it is something worth really thinking about before you plan your next get together.
Your kids are being influenced by who you, the parent, choose to spend your time with.
Your friends attitudes, their language, their lifestyle...all of it.

So who are you letting influence your kids?
Choose wisely.

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