Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is a special day because it is my mother's birthday today. She was on my heart and mind when I woke up this morning. I am so thankful for her unconditional love and for her consistency in all of our lives. I am thankful that she is an active part of our lives and that my children know her well. The older I get the more I realize that loving and Godly parents are a gift, a gift that not everyone receives. I am thankful to God this morning for my parents and the family that I was born into. My life has been blessed because of both of them.

Last year, I wrote a long birthday letter to my mom about our similarities, etc. and all of those things are still very true. You can go back and read that blog entry here. There is also a picture of her if you are a new reader.

Well, Happy Birthday Mom! I love you and hope you have a fantastic day. I am looking forward to having dinner with you and the family tomorrow evening.

Changing the subject, Gracen is finally getting over the little cold that she has had, and Reagan's cold was very short lived. Gene is better, and I never caught it. We have all slept the last 2 nights, which is a huge "Praise the Lord".

My new oven is being delivered this morning, and I plan on cooking Reagan's favorite meal tonight, baked spaghetti and garlic bread. We haven't had it in months, and it is really good. The delivery means that I have to go and clean behind and under my old oven. Oh joy! I should have done that earlier in the week, but it wasn't really a priority until right now.

The bug man is also coming this morning, so I cannot stay in my pajamas long today.

Gene is off today and will be painting our dining room. It desperately needs some updating because it has been 10 years since we have done anything to it. Actually, Gene and I would like to sell our dining room furniture and make that room into an office, complete with a desk and bookshelves. In the future, I will post some pictures of those pieces just in case any of you are in the market for dining room furniture. Our kitchen will be the next room to update...rugs, valances, wall decor. We have had a "fruit" theme for 10 years, and I think that phase has passed. It probably passed a few years ago, but, oh well.

I hope everyone has a great Thursday. In honor of my mom's birthday, call your parents (if they are living) and tell them you love them! If you are in conflict with your parents and not speaking to them, you need to humble yourself and make things right TODAY. If you are a Christian, then that conflict is a sin. You are called to honor and obey your parents all the days of your life. When you honor them, you honor God.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taking Risks for God

I saw this clip months ago when it was posted on the blog called Women Living Well, which is linked on the side of my blog. You may have already seen it, but I wanted to share it on my personal blog because I literally think about this clip every single day.

I think about the Christian life that I have lived up until this point. It has been pretty safe. I cannot say that I have taken HUGE risks for God. And as I think on that more and more, I want to take risks for God. I want to do things that are out of my comfort zone. I want to do things that will cause me to have to depend on God. I want to do things and go places where I am not "comfortable". I want God to stretch me and grow me. I am asking Him every single day to show me what that will look like.

I certainly don't have an answer yet.

Gene and I talk about this together a good bit, and we pray about the future and what it may or may not look like. I often wonder where we will be in 30 years and what we will have accomplished for the Kingdom of Christ at that point. I think that is the only thing that will really matter.

I don't want to look back on my life and wonder what I could have done for God if I had not been so concerned about my safety.

You might be wondering what I am thinking about or talking about. One thing is doing foreign missions. My family knows what a huge step this would be for me. I hate to travel, or maybe I should say that I am scared to death to fly. When my kids get a little bit bigger and can be without their Mommy for 7-10 days, I want to take that leap and go with Gene. I am praying that God makes me ready and then He will truly break my heart for the things that I see.

Take 3 minutes and watch the clip below and think about your life. Maybe your life is too safe too...

(And Jenna, how do you like my linking skills? I am going to be linking like crazy.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up...A Day Late

Sorry that I have been absent, but I have been dealing with colds around here. Gracen had a pretty bad cold straight through the weekend and that made her one grumpy little girl. Reagan has had a touch of it and so has Gene. Sick husbands are kind of like children...I love you though Gene. Thankfully, I have remained healthy.

Gene and I were talking about my health just this weekend. I haven't been sick since early in my pregnancy with Gracen. Of course I was sick to my stomach then, and I had one bad cold when I was about 5 months pregnant, but nothing since then. I realize that saying that out loud will probably be my undoing, but I just wanted to publicly give God praise for keeping me in good health. If you are a mom, you know how vital your role is around the house. Quite frankly, I just don't have time to be sick. Of course, now that I think about it, laying in my bed might not be half bad.

My girls are also taking turns again getting up in the night. Last night was Gracen's turn at 3:00 a.m. and Reagan woke up complaining of a sore throat and runny nose the night before that. Not fun, I tell you, not fun.

Anyway, to the weekend wrap-up.

Gene had a college event Friday evening, and Reagan was invited to a birthday party at Emma Urnis's house. I dropped Reagan off at 3:30 and then met Gene to spend some time with him before his event started. Gracen and I were then invited to come back to Emma's house for pizza, cake, and ice cream. We all had a great time, and Reagan played with her little friends until 7:00.

On Saturday, we went and finally picked out a new oven. It will be delivered on Thursday, and I am very excited about that. I have casseroles, etc. lined up in my head for our menu next week. We also picked up some more finishing touches for our den. You will remember the remodel that we started back in June. We found a large rug that we really liked, curtains, and throw pillows. The room looks so cozy now and I will try to post some pictures in the future.

On Saturday afternoon, Gene settled in for the football games, and I had to go clean my sister's office in Montgomery, a once a month job for mad money. I left supper in the crock pot and the girls with Gene, grabbed my ipod and listened to some great sermons by David Platt the entire time I cleaned. Three hours of great preaching was wonderful way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, we had an awesome day of worship. Our church finished up the monthly study on stewardship and I was convicted throughout the month to make sure that I am giving God my absolute best in all areas.

I have been REDEEMED and BOUGHT with a price, the blood of the lamb. I am no longer my own. I belong to Christ, and He deserves my absolute best. I want to honor Him with my money, giving him the tithe and beyond off the top of our check. I want to serve him with my time, my talents, and my testimony, never giving Him leftovers. He is WORTHY, and I pray everyday that my life glorifies Him.

Philippians 1:27 "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..."

On a totally separate note, I have been praying for a couple of months for someone to disciple. I am not currently teaching a Bible study right now, and I personally think that every Christian should be growing in a way that he or she is then able to mentor someone else, either through teaching a class (which I know isn't for everyone) or by mentoring somebody one on one. Jesus told his followers to "go and make disciples". On Sunday, I was asked by one of the most Godly young ladies I know if I would be her mentor. Actually, she could probably mentor me because her life truly inspires me. I've got her in age being that I am 15 years older, but she has me on zeal and complete dedication to the Lord. Anyway, we will begin meeting every Tuesday during Gracen's nap time starting today. Cool, how God answered that prayer, isn't it? He is always listening and always at work.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Loss of Sleep

It has been a long and difficult 24 hours. I forget how important sleep is until it is gone. It is a precious gift isn't it? I am praying that I recieve the gift of sleep tonight, because I certainly didn't last night.

I always go to bed by 10:00. Actually 10:00 is probably a little late for me. Gene and I both like to go bed before then because we both get up really early. Well, last night I decided to stay up because I didn't feel that tired and I had a few little projects that I wanted to get done. Gene was so tired and got in bed around 8:30. I think I laid down around 11:00 or 11:30. Well, my head wasn't on the pillow 10 minutes when I heard Gracen crying. Gracen NEVER cries in the night. She is the best sleeper. I can't even remember the last time that she woke up in the night. Well, she was congested and had a runny nose, and I could tell that she just didn't feel good. She wanted Momma...for hours, despite my best efforts to get her back to sleep.

I was anticipating a wonderful nap today. No such luck! Gracen refused to sleep even 10 minutes, and she normally sleeps 2 -3 hours. I started trying to lay her down around 12:00. She would lay for about 10 minutes and then start crying. I felt like a walking zombie by 2:00 because I was just so tired. I had no energy whatsoever. To make matters worse, Gracen was cranky and snotty and needy all afternoon. Ugh! It is hard to patiently deal with that with I am tired myself.

I finally got both girls in the bed and asleep at 8:00...about 30 minutes after the goal time due to Reagan's incessant requests for "just one more Bible story and one more prayer".

I can say with certainty that God is my refuge and my strong tower in times of need. I had many moments today and last night that I just had to stop and pray and ask Him to give me strength and patience to be the mom that He wanted me to be, the mom that loves as Jesus loves me. And do you know what, He answered those requests. At some moments today, I surprised myself at how patient I was as I dealt with both girls in my exhausted state. In those moments I knew that was God. It wasn't me, it was the one who lives within me. I am thankful tonight as I am getting ready to go to bed and hopefully stay in the bed, that with God's help, I CAN be the mother that I desire to be and when I am not, He will gently convict me and pull me back onto the correct path.

Daily, I am thankful that I don't have to do this mothering thing alone. I have a partner who is with me 24/7, who will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you Lord for your constant love and provision. Thank you Lord for being so strong when I am so weak. Thank you Lord for loving me consistently, and I ask that You would empower me to love my girls in the same way. Thank you Lord for your forgiveness and your after day. Your mercies truly are new every morning.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Quick Hello

Sorry I missed my usual weekend wrap-up on Monday. I have been busy preparing for the kick-off of momMEtime, EMBC's ministry to moms. For the last few days, I have been doing one thing or another to get ready for that meeting. I was making sure all my ducks were in a neat little row in the area of food, childcare, decorations, reminders, running copies, etc.

All the effort was worth it. We had 20 moms today, our largest group ever, and everything went so well...Praise the Lord! Childcare is always a little hectic and this morning was no exception, but hopefully that will be a lot smoother next month now that everyone knows where their child should go.

Our Bible study material is being taught by Joy Williams and comes from the book Real Moms, Real Jesus. The lesson was entitled "Help! Everyone Wants a Piece of Me!" Mrs. Joy did a fabulous job teaching the Word, honestly sharing her successes and her struggles as a mother, and encouraging us to go to Jesus for every single thing that we need. I just love her sweet spirit and pray that I raise two godly daughters, just as she has done. She shared a quote that really stuck with me...."Don't ENDURE motherhood, ENJOY motherhood." Too often I feel like I am just enduring motherhood...trying to make it to nap time and then to bedtime. I don't want to feel that way. I was reminded today to enjoy my children because the time with them does go by so quickly. Mrs. Joy also reminded me that motherhood is about serving the people in front of me, my husband and my children, and that motherhood is the ministry of interruptions. My schedule, my best laid plans, will be interrupted everyday by the needs and desires of my children, but I should never view them personally as interruptions. They are my ministry. Those words change the way I view my girls. We also received a strong call to connect with Jesus Christ everyday through Bible study and prayer. He is our lifeline! Without Him, we will start to run on fumes and running on fumes isn't good for anyone.

I loved our momMEtime meeting today. The best part is the fellowship among all the moms. I have made some great friends due to this ministry and look forward to hanging out with them each month. I loved the small group prayer time, covering each other's needs in prayer. I also loved the delicious food...just saying.

Well, I just wanted to pop on and let you know what has been going on in my world.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have written before about how much I love the quiet mornings. There is just something calming about starting the day with Jesus. I have been praying for more depth in my relationship with Him, and this request is causing me to get up earlier and earlier, because that is the most precious, uninterrupted time with Him. Over the last week or so I have been up by 5:00 am, sitting with my Bible, my journal, and my coffee. You would think I would be exhausted by late afternoon, because as any mother knows, I go wide open with my two girls all day long. But actually, quite the opposite is true.

The Word of God energizes me in a way that I cannot explain. Many mom friends have asked me where that hunger for Him comes from and my answer is always the same. It comes from Him. I constantly ask Him for a greater hunger for His word and for prayer, a request my husband has modeled for me over the years. And do you know what...He faithfully answers that request. There are days that can turn into weeks, where I am easily distracted, and I am just not that into getting up early, or I do not have that hunger for God as I should. When those times come, I tell Him how I feel. He already knows what is in my heart anyway. I tell Him I am tired, and I am just not that in to Him today. I confess that lack of desire because that is sin. I am called to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength, and I am pretty sure that those words mean that He should come first, before every single thing in my life.

He wants me to be enamored with Him, to be so in love with Him that I cannot imagine NOT spending time with Him. I am finding that the more time I spend with Him, the more I DO feel that way. It is a cycle...the more time I spend with Him, the more desire He gives me, the more I ask Him to fill me up, the more He pours out on me. On the flip side of that, the more I neglect my time with Him, the more I bury the desire to be with Him.

James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to You."

Pretty simple really. We have a sure promise in scripture that as we seek out God, as we draw near to God, He will meet us there, drawing near to us.

Just this morning, I fought the desire to sleep in. I stayed in my cozy bed 25 minutes after my alarm went off. I opened my eyes every 5 minutes or so and thought about my Bible and how much I would regret it if I lost that early time with Him. Call me crazy, but I think that was Him, calling to me to spend some time with Him. I have asked Him for the desire and He has answered. Even when I want to sleep in, He beckons me to get up, to draw near to Him.

If you struggle with having that consistent, daily time with Him, tell Him. Be honest. Tell Him you do not have the desire for Him but that you desperately want it. Ask Him to open your eyes as you read your Bible and ask Him to give you a desire to talk to Him in prayer. That is a request that He will honor....I promise.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

I don't know how well you can see the big welt on Reagan's arm. I can assure you that the picture doesn't do it justice.

Can you guess what happened?

Sweet little, docile Gracen bit her. I must admit when I heard Reagan scream out and then start crying, I was shocked to find out that Gracen had bit down on her arm and wouldn't let go. This is uncharacteristic for Gracen. She is not mean spirited at all. Come to find out, Reagan was being mean to her, teasing her in different ways. Reagan has discovered that it is fun to pretend to hand something to Gracen and then when she reaches for it, run away or snatch the item away. She will also call Gracen to her room and then shut the door right before she gets to the door. Gracen will cry and then I have to go and speak to Reagan about being kind. I guess on this particular afternoon, Gracen had enough.

I can't say that I blame her. Some days Reagan is so stubborn that, quite honestly, I would like to bite her too. Of course, I never have....and Reagan, if you ever read this blog in the future, I never will. I love you too much, baby girl to bite you.

In case you are wondering, I did discipline Gracen. I pointed to the bite mark and said "No biting" in a very stern voice, while tapping her mouth, and then popped her hand. She cried endlessly, and Reagan grinned ear to ear. Lovely.

Of course, they do love each other as well. Here they are in matching dresses, hugging on each other, being just as sweet as sugar.

Sibling rivalry is fun isn't it?
I honestly thought I would never have to deal with it. I bought a few parenting books when Reagan was really young, and I always skipped the chapters about sibling rivalry. I would also listen to stories from other moms who were frustrated from dealing with the constant fighting and bickering that would go on between their children and think to myself, "Well, that is one positive of having an only child".

Oh, well...I guess my time has come. Sibling rivalry has entered my world, and I am not exactly sure how to handle it. I guess I will learn as every other mother has done before me.
Any advice from my readers... I am open to suggestions.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simple Outside Play

I haven't posted any pictures of the girls in a while so here are a few shots of them playing outside, some alone and some with their cousins Abby and Jacob.

Here is Gracen outside in Gran and Paw Paw's yard. Half of their yard is dirt, so she gets pretty dirty here. She also has a black scab on the bottom of her left nostril from where she fell on our back patio not too long ago. This is not the most flattering picture of Gracen. She has dirt all over her face and her clothes, and her hair is a mess. I don't even think I brushed it that morning.

Here is Reagan and Jacob riding their John Deere tractors. They are playing "bumper cars" here.

Here they are back at our house having a snack break. Look at those blue eyes on both children. So blue and pretty.
Here is Abby and Gracen playing on the trampoline. Gracen likes to be right where Abby is, so she was in "hog heaven". Abby is so good with her, so careful with her, and protective.

Thankfully both of my girls love to just play outside. I don't take them somewhere to entertain them every day or even every week. Most places are just too expensive to go to regularly, and I don't want them to get used to having to go, go, go. They certainly get to do plenty, but hopefully those trips are special and not commonplace when we do go.

I have great memories from my childhood just playing in my backyard, in my neighborhood, and in the cow pasture behind my house. I also have great memories of going places and doing special things with my family. A good mix of both and that's what I want for my kids as well.
Have a great day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

We had a very quiet weekend after returning home from our trip to Callaway Gardens. On Friday evening, we just hung out with the girls around the house. It is amazing how much they can drive me crazy, but yet how much I miss them when I am away from them, even for one night. Gracen was so clingy with me Friday evening and all day Saturday, which wears on me after awhile. She was my little shadow every single place I went. Even shutting the door to the bathroom made her whine incessantly until I came out. Reagan made it clear that she missed me too, but she is a Daddy's girl and was very clingy with him.

On Saturday, we tried to clean up a little bit, doing laundry, some housework, and washing the cars. Saturday evening we ordered delivery pizza and settled in to watch the Alabama game. Gene loves some AL football, and I must say, I am coming around to his way of thinking. I have always been an Auburn fan, only because my family was Auburn, but it has been a few years since I have watched an actual Auburn game. It is so much more fun to cheer together as a family, that is for sure. During the game, Gene would clap and say "Touchdown" when the team scored, which made Reagan cheer and get excited. She asked for some pom-poms and a cheerleader costume. I told Gene how expensive those little outfits are and he said that was fine, as long as it was an Alabama outfit. Long story short, I guess we are officially an Alabama family. It only took 15 years of marriage to completely "leave and cleave" and submit to Gene's leadership in this area....LOL! It really wasn't much of an issue until we had children, and I tried to dress Reagan in Auburn shirts. Gene didn't really care for this at all. I cannot say that I was a die-hard Auburn fan anyway. So, sorry Daddy, I love you, but "Roll Tide!" Wow, that felt really weird! Alabama isn't down in my heart yet, but I guess Auburn isn't either.

On Sunday, we headed to church, and I know I have said it before, but I just love corporate worship. Our music program at EMBC is amazing and I get lost in the worship music. It just gives me goose bumps sometimes. I look forward to going and being with God's family. Bro. Glenn preached an awesome and truly convicting message on Stewardship, and the words brought tears to my eyes about 4 different times.

Every September our church teaches on tithing and what it means to be a good steward of everything that God has given us...our money, our time, and our talents. The sermon was an introduction to the month's topic and focused on this question...

"To whom do you belong?"

I am not my own. What I do with my money, time, and talents should reflect that ownership. I was redeemed and bought with a price. I was purchased by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. My stewardship should reflect that I am His slave, obedient to everything that I see in the Word of God. Stewardship, or the lack thereof, basically boils down to two issues....ignorance or illegitimacy. If I cannot give Him what is rightfully His, it is either because I haven't been taught what the Bible teaches about it or He doesn't truly have my heart, which will cause me to horde all my belongings, not trusting Him with all that He has given me.

Gene and I have tithed faithfully for 15 years. The tithe is 10% and we give that cheerfully. We also give above that at times, helping with different organizations and situations that come up. I was convicted by Bryan Easley who shared his testimony of increasing his tithe every year by 1%. He and his wife Beverly, who recently passed away from breast cancer, were giving away over a third of their income. God has been faithful to them. Bryan shared that he just received the statement from their 11 day stay at the cancer treatment center in Illinois where the bill totaled over $100,000. At the bottom, it said balance....$0. Through insurance and God's people, he doesn't owe one dime. What an amazing story of God's faithfulness, and what we can watch God do when He truly has our heart.

Like I said, Gene and I give faithfully, but I do want to trust Him to give more, and I also want to make sure that I am giving Him my best in all the other areas as well. As a mom, Reagan and Gracen get the BEST of me. I feel like most days I serve them until I am exhausted. Gene, and many days, God, get the leftovers. I do not want that to be the case. I am struggling with how to balance everything, and to do well in each area of my life. The girls are literally in my face demanding to have their needs met and Gene and God are not. I was really convicted about my priorities.

I know that as I start my day with Him and seek His face through Bible reading and prayer, He will help me figure it all out.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Callaway Gardens

I wanted to share a few pictures from our overnight trip to Callaway Gardens in honor of our 15th wedding anniversary. We had a fabulous time and the trip went by in a blink. Of course, we knew it would. We didn't do anything fancy. We just enjoyed a lot of down time, hanging out and talking.

The first picture is Gene taking a break somewhere along our biking trail. We rode for almost 2 hours, sometimes side by side talking and other times one following the other. There were also times that the trail would start to wind uphill and we had to push our bikes up. We are both out of shape, a realization that we discovered about 15 minutes into the bike trail. As tiring as this activity was, it was still a relaxing change from the busyness that we call life. The wooded trail was beautiful. It was also mostly shaded and there was a nice breeze...thank the Lord.

Here I am standing by a creek. Gene and I really got dressed up didn't we? I doubt you can really see the water that was trickling down the rocks. The sound was so relaxing, I could have put a cot right there and slept for hours.

Before dinner, we took a nap back at our room at the Mountain Creek Inn. We probably could have slept right through dinner, but we chose to go eat.

Here is a shot of my dinner. Gene got the same thing or I would have taken a picture of his plate too. We ate at the Vineyard Green and the food was delicious...the best I have eaten in a while.

The next day we toured Callaway Gardens. We started at their Butterfly Center.

Here is an inside view of the Butterfly Center. It was so beautiful inside. It contained plants, flowers, waterfalls, and over 1500 butterflies flying all around.

Here are two pictures of some of the beautiful butterflies. You could walk right up to them and they wouldn't even attempt to fly away. I guess they were very used to people.

Here we are together by one of the waterfalls.

We went to a show about birds of prey. Exciting stuff, I know! Here is a shot of the hawk. I will spare you all the pictures of the other birds...owls, vultures, etc.

Here is a picture of a beautiful chapel on the grounds of Callaway Gardens.

And inside the chapel...

This was our view as we ate lunch at the Discovery Cafe. It was cool enough and shaded enough to eat outside overlooking the lake. It was heavenly to eat without holding Gracen down in her highchair.

We spend the afternoon riding bikes and walking the trails.
The time away together was so nice. I wish we could go away together once a month...without the kids. A girl can dream right?
Thank you to my parents who kept Reagan. She had a wonderful time and was spoiled for two days. And thank you to Gene's parents who kept Gracen at our house so she could sleep in her own "environment". Both girls were very well taken care of, which allowed us to truly enjoy our trip.
Until next time...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

15 Years

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. I will refrain from writing a sappy love letter, mostly because Gene "says" that he doesn't read the blog. That doesn't offend me at all because I know how busy he is at work, and I don't want him getting on the computer as soon as he gets home. I also post my entries at very random times. Sometimes it is in the early morning, sometimes after lunch, sometimes at night. He would have to check it all day long to stay current with it and he just forgets.

I will say a few things. I met Gene when I was 16 and I knew then, and told many people, that I was going to marry him. I was crazy about him from day one. The timing wasn't right then and 3 years passed. He contacted me again when I was 19 and we started dating, and we married 3 years later. So basically, I have been in love with Gene for 21 years, or over half of my life.

To say that I am still in love with him today would be a huge understatement. He is my soul mate and my best friend. I cannot imagine doing life without him. He just gets me and I get him. We click and it is just so easy with him and quite frankly, it always has been. We get along perfectly, and I think we compliment each other and bring out the best in each other, exactly as God designed the marriage relationship to do. I trust him completely and enjoy his company above all others. We are alike in many ways and different in others, thank the Lord. We can sit and talk for hours or we can sit side by side and never say a word. Either is good.

Marriage is a covenant relationship that is ordained by God. I am amazed at how many people walk out on the commitment that they made before God, leaving their spouse and their children behind. Marriage definitely has its ups and downs. Gene and I have walked through some tough things together and with God's help, those issues have made us stronger. Today, we are in one of those "up" places, and I do not take that for granted.

If you are in one of those "down" places in your relationship with your spouse, I want to encourage you to take all the issues to God. He has to be the center of your relationship for it to work the way He designed it to. Submit yourself to Him and to your spouse. God can overcome every hurt and betrayal, and can awaken every dead feeling and renew the love that you guys once had for one another. God is love and we can love only because He first loved us.

Gene and I are headed to Callaway Gardens for an overnight stay. We are tickled pink to be getting away and spending some alone time together. With little ones in the house, the moments of deep conversation and uninterrupted quality time are few and far between. You will remember that we went away together for 5 nights in July and we had a fabulous time, reminding ourselves that times away from the busyness of life are vital to our relationship.

So, if you read this Gene, Happy Anniversary. Fifteen years has gone by in a blink, and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you. I love you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Obedience is a hard things isn't it? It is hard to teach my 4 year old to obey, and it is hard in my relationship with God.

Reagan is so stubborn. She has to be told something multiple times before she obeys, and even then she continually asks questions about why she has to do what Gene or I told her to do. Even through spankings, she is continually asking me why. I told my Dad just the other day that God gave me exactly what I was as a child, and still am today. Stubbornness ruled my character, and I continually fight against the desire to have my way as an adult. I cannot always have my way. As much as I would like that, life just doesn't work that way.

Reagan is so much like me it is scary. Everyday we could have a screaming match because she wants her way and I want mine. I have to remind myself that she is 4 and I am the adult and I will not argue with her. About once a day I say to Reagan, "Because I am the momma...that's why!" or "Your job as a child is to learn to obey me...all the way, with a happy heart". I know she is sick of me saying those words, and quite frankly, I wonder how many more times I will have to repeat them. Just yesterday, I got so frustrated that I went into my bathroom and said over and over again to myself, "I am the momma! I am the momma! I am the momma!" Sometimes I just need to remind myself and then I go and remind Reagan. She can be one tough cookie, and looking back I know I exasperated my parents as well.

There are so many parallels between parenting and being in a relationship with God, my heavenly Father. He deeply desires that I obey Him fully. I can see in Reagan that if she doesn't obey me all the way, she disobeys me. If she doesn't obey me with a happy heart, she might as well disobey me. I want her to obey out of love and respect and God desires the same from me.

John 14:15 says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." That means that if I truly love God then I will have a heart that will obey Him.

I can clearly see this verse played out in my relationship with Reagan. I want her to obey me the first time and obey me consistently because she loves me and she trusts me. She doesn't need to understand my command or agree with it and, God desires that exact same thing out of me.

Obedience is an exercise of the will, isn't it? Emotions have to be left out of this equation. I have to come to a place where I willingly disregard what I want and choose to set my mind on the things of God and His way of doing things, even when I don't understand the why of what He is asking me to do. I have to come to a place of full surrender in my walk with Him, acknowledging that He is in complete control. God is still working on this with me and we have been in relationship together for almost 30 years.

Hopefully, Reagan will not be an adult before she gets the concept that "I am the momma". But, if it takes that long, I am pretty stubborn and I am up for the battle. God hasn't given up on me and I will not give up on her.

Until next time...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

I am tickled pink to say that I am typing this blog entry with my brand new computer. I love it! I cannot get over how fast it is and how much easier it is to use. I truly was working on an old dinosaur and didn't realize it? Well, I actually did realize it, but couldn't justify spending the money on a new one as long as the old one was "working"....and I do use the term "working" very loosely. Today I am thanking God that the old one bit the dust and that we were able to replace it. Gene is loving it too, and I told him he could use it occasionally if he asked me first. (Just kidding!) I love that this one has 3 ports so I can use 3 different devices and LEAVE them plugged in...all without losing my internet connection. Oh, it is the small things in life that bring the most pleasure, isn't it?

I realize that I haven't posted pictures in a while and I will as soon as I figure all that out. I don't think it will be hard. I just haven't downloaded my camera software yet to try it. Give me a few days and I will post some current shots of the girls.

We have had a nice Labor Day weekend so far.

On Friday night, we kicked off the holiday weekend with a family movie night. I cannot tell you how much Reagan loves this. We told her on Thursday that we were going to have one and on Friday morning when I woke her up for school, she rolled over and mumbled, "Family movie night". I didn't even get a good morning. I went and bought a new movie and surprised her with it when I picked her up from school, and it just about killed her to wait until Gene came home from work. After dinner, baths, and putting Gracen to bed, we finally blew up the air mattress, popped popcorn, poured the Sprite, and settled in for cozy night.

On Saturday, Gene did yard work all day long, so that left me to watch the girls. We basically hung out in the yard around him while he worked. I ran some errands after Gracen's afternoon nap, and then we settled in to watch some football. Gene requested taco soup for the first "Football Saturday" so that is exactly what he got.

I am so glad that football has started. It signals fall, which is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pulling out my fall clothes, making smores in the fire pit, family activities like the Pumpkin Patch, football games, etc. It is a great time of the year.

On Saturday night, Reagan started complaining of pain while she went to the bathroom. She woke up 3 times in the night and said it burned when she tee-teed. On Sunday morning, my pediatrician met us at his office for a urine sample. She was diagnosed with her first urinary tract infection. We are on an antibiotic and she is already feeling better.

I missed worship on Sunday morning because I was at the doctor with Reagan. We all took naps Sunday afternoon and then we took Gene's mom out to eat on Sunday night because we didn't have evening services. We had a great time just hanging out and talking. Gracen actually sat in her high chair and let me eat. That is always a good thing.

Today, Monday, we are spending the entire day at home. We have cooked out on the grill for lunch and we are cooking out again for dinner, with Gene's family joining us for hamburgers.

The down time has been really nice.

I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Holiday as well.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wrong Priorities

I wanted to pop on and let everyone know that my computer DIED! I am typing this from Gene's computer because he is off on Thursdays. He is not home every other day of the week so no computer is a problem for me.

My laptop was a 2004 model. I know what you are thinking, but it worked perfectly for what I needed it to do. It was actually an old work computer of Gene's from when he was on staff at Shoal Creek. It died about 3 months ago, and I have been using my Dad's old laptop, also a 2004 model. I thought it was the answer to all my problems because it was working wonderfully until Wednesday, when it too bit the dust. The 2004 models only have 1 USB port so I am constantly plugging in and unplugging my ipod, my camera, my printer, my zip drive, etc. Every time I unplug something I have to restart the computer. Honestly, it has been quite annoying but they have served my needs for the last couple of years. I just don't think an old computer can handle all the activity nor can it handle all the memory space required for all my pictures.

Well, I just cannot be without a computer. It is my link to the outside world and I cannot coupon effectively without the Internet, so we are going to Best Buy tonight to get me a new one....I hope. They will probably be out of stock of every computer known to man.

I guess there are other stores though.

What does this post have to do with "Wrong Priorities", the title of this post. Well, my oven has been broken for a few months and I have not viewed that as the same type of emergency. I have not bought a new oven because I simply have not wanted to take that money out of savings. I mean I can cook with my stove top, my crock-pot, my waffle maker, my griddle, my microwave, my George Foreman grill, and the outside grill. What do I need an oven for, except for maybe my weekly pizza, but hey, Sheila's Pizza is right up the road.

Does a new computer fit the description of an emergency, which is one thing that savings is for... why, yes....yes, it does!

Anyway, this will be my last blog until I get my new computer all set up. That could take a day or a week. Who knows? Hopefully it will hook up easily and I won't have to have a techie come out to the house. That could seriously take a week because Bright House doesn't get in a hurry about their appointments, at least not in my past experience with them.

Until next time...