Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I pulled up my blog and could not believe that it has been 7 days since my last entry. Where does the time go? I want to do better. I hope to do better. I envisioned having more "free" time with Reagan in school and it just ain't happening. Gracen apparently is feeling the loss of her sister and wants Mommy to "sit" with her all day, regardless of what she is doing. She is constantly saying, "Come sit Momma, come sit." I know all you moms out there who are further along on this journey would tell me to sit and enjoy the time because it will be gone before I know it. So, I have been sitting and soaking up her desire to have me near. We were painting a picture this morning together on the back patio and she looked up at me two different times and said, "I love you". I tell you there are no sweeter words.

Reagan is loving school. She comes home every single day saying "school is awesome". Of course, her favorite thing to talk about is PE, but I trust that she is learning academic things too. Her teacher called me last night to tell me that she was doing wonderful and that she was very well prepared for kindergarten. She shared a weakness though. Reagan is slow about getting things done. I knew this about her already but was hoping that it wouldn't show itself at school. It takes her 10 minutes to put one shoe on in the morning and I wish I was joking. Mrs. Miller thinks it is mix between perfectionism and procrastination. I would agree. She is very particular about writing her letters and coloring, but she also has a hard time focusing on the task at hand and just getting started. I am glad that she wants to do such a good job on her classwork, but I want to encourage her to speed up and I am not sure how to that.

This problem shows itself at home too, especially in the mornings. Our morning are difficult because she is SLOW to get moving. We wake her up a little after 6:00am and Gene takes her to school at 7:30. You would think that a 5 year old could be ready for school in an hour and a half. But it is like pulling teeth to get her to do anything. I am probably exaggerating but it feels like it takes 1o minutes to put on her shirt, 10 minutes to put on her shorts, 10 minutes to wash her face and brush her hair, 10 minutes to potty....You get the idea. And don't even get me started on eating breakfast. She has yet to leave the house finishing even half of her breakfast and she is given more than enough time to eat it. For every step in getting ready I have to stay with her and stay on her or she won't do anything. And I have tried walking away. It is ridiculous! I am finding that I am a complete grump by the time she leaves at 7:30. Who knew that this season of getting her out the door on time would be so diffcult. Again I had visions of getting up and getting ready and eating a family breakfast together followed by a family devotion. I would kiss Reagan on her cheek and send her on her way. (I have a lot of visions of the way I would like things to be.)

I read somewhere recently that your children are the sandpaper that God uses to rub out the rough edges in the lives of the parents. I think that is so true. Being a mom has shown me my own weaknesses in too many ways. I see something ugly in one of my children and it scares me because I know that they learned it from me. Like this whole "slow" thing that is coming to the surface with Reagan. I probably taught her this. It takes me two hours to get going in the morning. Not because I am not doing anything, but because I really like to have a long quiet time with God. The truth of the matter is that Reagan's hour and a half battles in the morning are taking my time with God and it is irritating me. Again, I am reminded of the post I wrote not too long ago about laying down my life for my children. I know God is showing me my selfishness and I have to lay down my own desires to meet the needs of my children. I have to learn ways to teach them to overcome their own shortcomings and that is hard when I am such a work in progress my self.

Any suggestions on how to motivate Reagan in the mornings and how to encourage her to work more quickly would be fabulous!

And I know I have said this a thousand times, but parenting is NOT for the faint of heart!

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Looking for My MOJO

I honestly was looking forward to a few hours of "alone" time when Reagan started kindergarten. I had high hopes for all I would accomplish while Gracen was taking her afternoon nap. I envisioned myself exercising, blogging, working on an upcoming Bible study that I will be teaching, catching up on odd jobs like putting pictures into photo albums, etc. And y'all, can I just say that I haven't done anything. I simply cannot get motivated.

Reagan started school last Wednesday and I took a nap on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. I never nap! I am a little embarrassed about it, but the quiet was so nice that I found my bed calling my name. Normally, after laying Gracen down for her nap, I would be starting some one-on-one time with Reagan, and I just couldn't hold my eyes open on those days. Gene was off on Friday, so needless to say, nothing got done around here. Monday rolled around and I literally wasted 2 hours trying to decide "what to do". And here it is Tuesday, and I am blogging, which is accomplishing one of my desires, but I honestly would rather just lay down.

I cannot find my MOJO! I cannot get going. I cannot focus on one task, but rather I just float around the house doing little things, that leave me feeling like I did nothing, if that makes sense. I don't know what is wrong with me. I really just don't feel good. No energy....just blah....everyday. My mom suggested going to the doctor and having some blood work done to see if maybe I am deficient in something. She is probably right, but I seriously hate having blood drawn, so I am hoping this passes instead.

On a positive note, I have enjoyed spending some quality time with this little cutie!

We have spent the mornings doing puzzles together, reading books outside on a blanket, in the shade, of course, and just playing together. She really likes when I sit and color with her or when we get out the playdough or play at her kitchen. These are the kind of things that I did with Reagan before Gracen came along, and now it is her turn. Gracen has such a sweet temperament, and I really enjoy just being with her.

Of course, yesterday she found my lipstick...my favorite tube of lipstick....and she wasn't such the little cutie pie in that moment. She did pose nicely for a picture though.

I have missed Reagan. The house has been really quiet! I like quiet, but it takes some getting used to when it has been missing for so long.

She has LOVED kindergarten. She comes home every single day talking nonstop about her teacher and different activities from the day. She has been eager to get up and get dressed in the mornings too. I know we are only 5 days in, but I am thankful that she likes it so far.

Yesterday, she came home and could read 6 sentences on her own. They contained some of the sight words that she is memorizing. Her homework was to read each sentence 3 times to me and then repeat the activity with another adult (her dad). She was so proud of herself, and I must admit, I teared up! I was so shocked to hear her read...on her own. In true Reagan style, she did say that since she could now read, she didn't need to go back to school. Thankfully, she wanted to go this morning.

(Her sentences were very simple and repetitive..."I am a dog. I am a cat. I am a pig. I am a hat. I am a bat. I am a mat.)

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reagan's 1st Day of Kindergarten

The big day finally arrived! Reagan's first day of kindergarten is here. She got up early this morning excited and ready to go. I was very thankful for that! In my nightmares, I thought we might have to drag her out of the bed kicking and screaming. Of course, that will probably come in the next week or so as the "newness" wears off.

Here are a few pictures from the morning.

Here is her lunch for the first day of school...her requests, of course. I cut her sandwich in heart shapes and added a little lunchbox note inside her sandwich box letting her know that I would be looking forward to seeing her after school. My older sister sent me these cute notes in the mail and I think they are just precious. Thanks Lori!

Here is Reagan ready to head out the door. She looked so grown up to me.
Here she is in her new classroom. She literally gasped when she walked into the room. She walked all around the room and was pointing things out to us. She was introduced to a few of the students and to her new teacher, Mrs. Miller. Gene and I helped her put all her things away and get settled in her seat.

Her cousin Jacob is in her class and they seemed really happy to see each other. A familiar face was a good thing in such a big, new place.

And here are both of my girls with the teacher, Mrs. Nancy Miller.

I am so excited for this new season in her life and I have prayed for her throughout the day.

My day sure has been quiet though. Reagan is my talker and Gracen has always been quiet. Gracen and I enjoyed a lot of one on one time today doing puzzles and reading books. I enjoyed that time with her and I think she did as well.

Of course Gracen did walk around the house a few times calling "Sister! Sister!" I guess she will get used to Reagan being gone during the day.

Until next time....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Close to God

I have days, even weeks, where I can sense God's presence. Not in a weird mystical way. But rather, He is on my mind more often than not. I don't know why He seems closer at certain times and distance at others. This week I am just thankful that He seems close.

A few mornings this week, my eyes have popped open before 5:00am. I love my morning times with God, but not before 5:00am...my goodness! When I wake up like this, my thoughts immediately go to God. I have rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but no such luck. This morning, this happened at 4:45 and I just laid there praying for different things and different people. I didn't want to get up and move around because Gene is off on Friday, and I know he likes to sleep in on his off day. The more I laid there though, the more I wanted to read my Bible. I had to get up!

Working in youth ministry and college ministry, we are often asked, "How do I know that I am saved?" and this is one of the evidences of salvation that we list for them....You will have a DESIRE for God. This desire pulls you toward your Creator and Savior. There will be a desire to know Him better through Bible study and prayer. Today I am thankful for this confirmation in my own life.

This week, I am just so grateful for God's provision in our lives. We are at peace with where we are and what we are doing. Peace has been hard to come by over the last few years. In our previous church, for whatever reason, the numbers have been dwindling. People have been leaving the church which has affected the "need" for so many staff members and the financial resources to pay so many staff members. In numerous staff meetings, Gene heard, "I don't want to let anyone go, but if you hear of a good job opportunity, take it." This is scary when your husband provides the only income for the family. I have had months where I have worried that Gene would lose his job, wondering how fast we would blow through our savings, wondering if some medical emergency would occur without health insurance, etc. Thankfully those things didn't happen. You would think that after so many years of walking with God and seeing His constant provision that I wouldn't worry....but I still battle this sin.

We are loving being back home at Shoal Creek. When we first started praying about this "move" over a year ago, I couldn't wrap my brain around taking such a pay cut, but God removed what I was placing my confidence in. I went from asking God to allow Gene to find a job that was a financial "increase" (being honest), to begging God not to allow him to lose his job, to being so thankful for this new job opportunity, regardless of the salary. Today, I am still just GRATEFUL. I am no longer worried at all. I know that God will provide what we need. We feel so blessed that God made a way as we were losing hope, that we didn't go without a pay check, that there was no lapse in insurance...not even one day, and that we are so excited about the future and being actively connected to our community.

Gene has been blessed beyond measure by his new staff and the willingness of Shoal Creek members to accept him with open arms. He is loving his private office after 4 years of sharing a trailer with 4 other ministers. Studying God's Word is almost impossible in that kind of environment with everyone talking and answering their own phone.... and there was NO privacy at all for even a simple phone call to answer someone's question or counseling need. Simply put, Gene loves going to work again and that blesses this wife!

Our family is spending more time together too which is an added bonus.

God is so good! Maybe that is why I feel so close to Him today...because I have seen His intimate provision and care for us ....AGAIN. My prayer today is that I would feel just as close to Him when things are not so good and troubles arise. The Bible says that "in this world we will have trouble", so I know it is coming. I am praying that I will be found faithful when it comes.