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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

when you're not chosen

i have had my fair share of times that i was not chosen.
it seemed to all happen at the same time for me.
it was my senior year in high school...
-was captain on my cheerleading team (lame, i know) and at the end of year banquet, 3 awards were given out.
i didn't get one of them.

-competed in a piano competition
didn't win

-wrote a kids version of a Bible story, and told it to the judges
didn't win

-first year of college, tried out for the softball team
didn't make it

-tried out for a singing group at college
didn't make it

-second year of college, tried out for softball again
didn't make it again.

(wow, this looks even worse typed out than it felt!)

anyways, i was thinking about not being chosen and just the whole idea of feeling like you don't fit in.
i went to a photography event on monday, and as i watched some of the people there crying over the chance to get a picture with jasmine star, i was thinking...
if my dad was here? he would literally have no clue who this girl even was! ha!

i started thinking about people in general and where we all fit in.
did you know that "celebrity" means, the state of being celebrated?
every single person is celebrated in certain aspects, in certain places.

who decides how celebrated a person is? right??
i mean really.

so what i take that to mean is this.

YOU are a celebrity!
does your baby's eyes light up when you walk in the room?

maybe you teach a sunday school class where all the kids adore you.

do your friends turn to you every time they need some good advice?

then see? you are being celebrated!!

so the next time you aren't chosen for something, or the next time you are in a situation where no one really knows or appreciates who you are,
remember that you are a celebrity to someone!

celebrate that.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the rest of the day...

here are the rest of the pictures of our amazingly, relaxing beach day.

the boys thought it would be fun to play baseball... is that what you call it when you throw a bouncy ball and hit it with a surf board?

i love spending my days with these boys  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

beach day

today was 85 degrees, and the perfect day to take the boys to the beach!
i love living only 30 minutes away from such a beautiful place.
i don't have time to upload all my pictures but i wanted to at least give you one.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

i have heard a lot of people say that their parents dragged them to church when they were younger.
it's funny, because i went to church every sunday growing up, and i never once remember my parents dragging me there.
i think i know the reason why.
my parents loved going to church! (and still do!)
because they loved it so much, we would all get up on a sunday morning, get ready and excitedly go to church together! there was no dragging. there was no whining. it was just what we did.
adam grew up the same way! his parents loved going to church, and they still do as well!

this is how we have been with our boys. 
we just love our church. 
we love the singing, we love the preaching, we love the family!

i think that maybe this is why last sunday, 2 days after aj had had surgery,
our family went to church together.
but instead of it being a situation where i was "dragging my kids to church"?
aj was insisting that he wanted to go!
i told him he didn't have to! he had just had surgery, and was still in a lot of pain - it was ok to stay home!
but he would not miss it.
and that makes this mommy so proud of her little man.
i think that all of our family feels the same way about the verse in Psalm 122 that says,
"I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord"
we are always glad when we can go together to church as a family.
i love these three boys more than i could ever say.

so my encouragement to you would be this...
don't ever let your kids hear you complain about going to church.
don't ever let your kids hear you complain about the people in your church!
in fact, don't ever complain yourself!
be excited about getting the chance to go to church, and just watch -
your kids will pick up on that excitement and will be excited about going too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

how much God loves...

i was looking in the freezer tonight, and realized that we have had a half gallon of this certain type of ice cream - uneaten - in the freezer for about 2 months.
don't really know why i haven't thrown it away yet. but anyways.
it reminded me that aj didn't like it.
he loves ice cream, but doesn't like caramel in his ice cream.
riley? he likes sherbet, but not pink sherbet.
(and adam, well..you know. just plain old fat free vanilla.)

i totally know what my family likes to eat, and what they don't like.

i also know that riley is always hot at night, and doesn't like to be covered up with a lot of blankets. he also likes to sleep with his socks off.
aj likes to be covered up just right at night, and sleeps with his socks on.

because i love my boys so so much, i have loved learning about what they like and don't like.
and because i know what they like and don't like, i love to make sure that i have the right kind of ice cream in the freezer, the right amount of blankets in their beds, and i enjoy making them happy!

did you ever think that God, our heavenly Father feels the same way about us?
where do we get this idea that God is in heaven just "testing" us and trying to put things in our lives to see how we'll handle them? why do we sometimes feel that he is giving us JUST ENOUGH to get by...nothing more?!

that is NOT the God i read about in the Bible.
according to Psalm 139, God has more thoughts about me than the grains of sand!
then he tells us in jeremiah that those thoughts are thoughts of peace, because he wants to give us hope and a future!
there are so many verses that talk about God's love, and his favor!!
Psalm 5:12 talks about blessing the righteous with favor...and i could give so many more examples of God's love and care for us.

if even I can care so much about my kids that i want to know what kind of ice cream they like...
my God is certainly going to care even more about me than that!

so tonight, if you are feeling like God doesn't care about you?
ok, sorry to yell, but seriously.
don't get caught in that ugly trap of that lie!
it is just not true.

God cares about every single aspect of your life.
why don't you include him in those aspects?

i just love how much my God loves...

and just because posts with no pictures can be boring...i thought i would add a couple pictures of callen playing the mandolin with my dad!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

trusting God with my children

i am starting out this post with a disclaimer:

due to the incredibly small amount of sleep i have received in the last 2 days, and the excessive amount of caffeine consumed, this post may appear totally non-cohesive.

that being said.
i have spent the last 68 hours...err...i mean -wow. not even 24 hours..same thing.
in the hospital.
it started out with the guessing game that all parents play at some point and time.
you look at the symptoms, you try and NOT look at google, and you make a decision.
do i risk looking like a hypochondriac and take my child to the ER?
or do i risk my child's life and keep him at home.
we decided to risk what we would look like, and take aj to the ER.
we were so glad we did.
what was extra nice, was that i got an escort (*cough*pulled over*cough*) by the friendly state police!
anyways, what started out as a minor stomach ache at 6:30pm, turned into appendicitis by midnight.
so we have spent what i honest to goodnessly thought had been at least 68 hours, but turns out has not even been 24 hours, in this hospital.
the hospital i was born in.
and the most incredibly friendly and amazing hospital ever.
for real.
from the receptionists, to the janitors, to the cafeteria workers, to the nurses, to the doctors, to the surgeons -
nothing but kindness and helpfulness. i can't say enough about it.
but i will. and that is enough :)
aj has been a trooper from the beginning.
just the sweetest little patient and the most adorable little man i have ever seen.
he went through an iv, x-rays, a cat scan and surgery.
and has done awesome.
as soon as i left my house, i grabbed his warm blanket (as he calls it), my ipad, and my Bible.
i was so thankful for all three.
the entire night he laid and i sat in a room, and we had the ipad playing worship music the whole time.
it was so comforting and peaceful.
i read aje some psalms as he was starting to get nervous about the surgery, and i prayed for him.
4 times. per his request.
i was incredibly overwhelmed by the texts and emails i received from people who were praying
and willing to do whatever to help.
my sister had just come into town, and it was so great to have her stay at the hospital, as well as my parents at different times, so i could go home and get extra clothes, and me and adam could do the things on our crazy life schedule.

at one point i looked at my sleeping little boy, and the most amazing thought came to me.
i love aj (both my boys) more than i could ever even express.
they are my babies, and they always will be.
GOD loves aj (both my boys) even more than i do!
and HE is the one that aj belongs to!
i was so overwhelmed with emotion, and complete peace.
maybe it was chris tomlin in the background singing...
there's a peace i've come to know.
though my heart and flesh may fail.
there's an anchor for my soul.
i can say, it is well.
and the verse that literally opened up on my lap when i opened my Bible.
From the ends of the earth will i cry unto thee.
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than i.

and that was it.
do i trust? do i trust God enough with my life?
with my son's life?
and the answer from the deepest part of my soul tonight is.
yes i do.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

everyday life

these are some things that i use every single day.
it is not an exhaustive list...obv.
and they are not in any particular order.

coffee. duh.

my new fave lotion..

i seriously have to wear a ring every day. i don't know why.

the extent of my makeup. yep. that's it.
unless i'm feeling really fancy, then i'll pull out my eye shadow.

my favorite blanket that i have to sleep with every night.
and my computer.

although i get mocked constantly for never answering my phone, i do use them every day.
my talking phone, and my texting phone.
i like to text. a lot.

need this to survive, and it is pretty evident when i have missed my time with God.

i use these 2 smiling faces to keep me happy and focused on being the mom that God wants me to be.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

a little before and after

i always like to see how people get certain shots that don't look natural.
typically, babies don't sleep the way you pose them, and since we always
like to put the safety of the baby above the need for a great shot,
i thought i would share a little before and after!

here is baby cambren at a week old.

isn't he a doll?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Being Satisfied.

i started teaching a ladies class a few weeks ago.
there are a few friends of mine who aren't able to come to the class for a few different reasons, and i was asked to put my notes here so they can be as much a part of the class as possible.
so - this is for you, loretta! :)

i decided to just start teaching on something that i wanted to learn for myself.
i have really been studying out the concept that
i can be totally satisfied in Jesus alone.

i mean, is this true?
what if i lost everything? would i still be satisfied?
i read verses like
"satisfy us early in the morning with your unfailing love..." Psalm 90:14
and "The Lord shall guide thee continually and satisfy thy soul..." Isaiah 58:11
these are some of the things that Jesus promises to satisfy us with:
*long life

this implies to me that JESUS is the root of where my satisfaction should come from.
not my family, not my health, not my possessions.
So this is what i have been spending my time studying out. i want to see if it's true.

i have spent the last 3 weeks with a group of women, studying and talking about what this really means.
the first week i talked about the difference between your heart, soul and mind.
this was throwing me for a loop. i could not figure out what exactly what the difference between heart and soul meant.
they are 2 different things according to the Bible.
the Bible says something else that is pretty much the opposite of what i hear everywhere else.
while common advice i hear is "follow your heart"
what the Bible tells me is that my heart is deceitful!
and isn't that the truth?!
my heart is constantly throwing me off!!
and that is why i have to guard my heart. (proverbs 4:23)
and that's why i should hide God's word in my heart so i won't sin (psalm 119:10)

so here's how it works.
a thought comes into my mind, then i decide what i am going to do with it.
keep thinking about it, or capture it and get it out of my head.
it then goes into my heart (which i have hopefully filled with God's word!)
from there it goes into my soul.
and that is who i am!
it determines the way i act and live.

we then talked about the three things that i thought would help us find complete satisfaction.
prepare your heart
2 chronicles 12:14 talks about the importance of this!
set your soul
I chronicles 22:19 talks about setting your soul...determining what you are going to do, and who you are living for.
call to mind
lamentations 3:21 reminds us that is is because of God's mercies that we aren't consumed!
helpful to be reminded of on those days that are rough to get through!
and we are also reminded in isaiah 26:3 that God will keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on HIM!
who doesn't want perfect peace??

and here is the hope i left my homegirls with

deuteronomy 28:2,8
this is awesome.
it tells us that God will command blessings on us if we follow him!
did you GET THAT??

the creator of this universe, the one who is in complete control of literally everything will command blessings on me? and you!
that is amazing to think about.

i hope this has challenged you to do a little studying of your own!
do you want to be satisfied?
i know i do...
and i want to make sure i am doing everything possible to be sure i find that satisfaction!

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