Monday, March 14, 2011
"My 3 biggest pet peeves are..."
1. People who don't use their turning signal while driving.
2. People who text when you're trying to have a conversation with them.
3. When the person who previously used the bathroom has left the toilet paper roll EMPTY!!!
These are very minimal offenses, but all the same, very annoying. Oh, and I'm sure I have done every single one of them! Ha! So my little loves, just know that mommy will have grace on you if you commit any of these. I love you forever.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Wow. Glad this question only said "3"...cause we could be here all night. ;-)
My three biggest weaknesses...
The very first one that comes to mind is being a BIG people pleaser. If I can't make people happy or please them, I get frustrated at myself and all beside myself. I need peace wherever I go, so if I can't help provide that to someone or to a certain situation I get really down on myself. I struggle with boundaries in this area. It's hard for me to say "no" or state my own opinion, especially if it's contrary to the group or what I think people expect of me. I've really grown in this area, but in this an area of my life I will always need to watch because of the high value I place on relationships.
The second biggest weakness I see in me is being a fearful person. I have been ever since I was child. I was very close to being kidnapped when we lived in the apartment complex. A big brown van with a big scary looking guy was trying to get kids to come inside by handing them candy. I remember it was red candy, and he singled me out with his finger. After jumping on my bike and pedaling as fast as I could back home, I tried to tell what just happened to my parents. I was hyperventilating so bad that I couldn't even get a word out. Finally, after much calming down, I was able to describe the event in detail. My mom called the police, and it just so happened that they were looking for a man in a big brown van who was kidnapping children. Ugh. How I looked at people and the world changed from that day on. Fear always was "lurking." I've had weird fears. Fear of not having enough saliva to swallow, so I always had to carry gum with me. Ask my sister about that one. We were at a water park. I shoved gum up the side of my bathing suit so I would have it "just in case." Well, you know what happens at water parks. You get wet and go down slides! I lost my gum! I started to literally freak out!! I couldn't swallow!! Not enough saliva ya know. I made my parents buy my a slushy to hold me over, but long story short, we all had to LEAVE the water park. My family was NOT happy with me needless to say. Fear of throwing up in front the class (which I did in 2nd grade, hence why the fear). Fear that my heart was not beating correctly so I always had to feel my pulse to make sure my heart was still beating. I would not go into Turkey Hill or any other gas station alone for a long time for fear of those "weird" looking people that might do something to you. THANK GOD, I've outgrown ALL those fears, unfortunately now I have new ones. I thought THOSE fears were big, but now, I fear having seizures every time I go to bed (since all my seizures happen in my sleep). Fear of never being able to have children of my own (since it's been well over a 1 year), fear of losing my husband because i simply can't imagine my life without him. We've been through SO much together and I love him so much! I could go on, but i think you get the point. I continue to need to trust God to help me overcome my fears. ~Perfect love casts out Fear (1Jn 4:18)
And lastly, although there are many, I seem to put high expectations on people. When they don't meet them, I get really disappointed and upset. For example, I'm an extrovert, for the most part. I love sharing my heart with people. I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve. When I'm trying to get into someone's world and they aren't opening up, I feel like I don't know how how else to get to know them besides talking. I guess because that 's what I know how to do best. ;-) I can tend to get frustrated when I feel like I can only get to a certain level with someone and then I just get cut off. I of course can not expect them to be like me...someone who will freely offer their whole life story to anyone who wants to listen, so that's where I need to lower my expectations and just let me be me and let them be who God made them to be.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
We flew to the Caymans in March, rented a little jeep tracker thing, and I had my first experience with driving on the different side of the road! The Caymans is a British owned island, so they drive on the opposite side of the road that we do here in USA. My parents rented this wonderful 3 bedroom condo right on the beach. It was in a private condo complex, so it wasn't a crowded hotel, or really anything extravagant- but it was pretty much perfect. It was called The Cayman Reef Resort, and I loved everything about it the moment we arrived! Here are a few pictures of it....
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
I love this question. And the answer came quite easily to me because I have considered writing a book about my life, or aspects of my life, and already had a title in mind.
If I were to write a book about my life I would title it Pull Yourself Together.
Aside from the fact that I often use the phrase "pull yourself together" when speaking to myself and even to you, my children, the title does have a deeper meaning.
My life thus far has been filled with some pretty intense heartbreaks. Of course, pain is relative and I know that comparatively, in this world full of tragedy, the hurts that I have endured are minimal. But, nonetheless, I have experienced my share of disappointments, abandonments, losses and broken relationships and those things shaped me. They are still shaping me, in one way or another.
On my life's journey I have found this to be true: when pain crosses your path you can either pull yourself together, dust yourself off and move forward, stepping out of that place of hurt and into forgiveness, hope and peace - OR - you can just stay where you are, fall apart and let the pain swallow you up until it becomes your identity.
I can confidently say that I have chosen, always, to PULL MYSELF TOGETHER and thankfully I have a Savior who laid down His life for me, to make a way out of the despair and hurts of this world. I certainly could not have pulled myself together without Christ. He is the peace I have, the hope I have, and the faith I have to MOVE ON. He keeps me going and does not allow me to wallow in self pity, regret, shame or hurt. Because of Him, I forgive. He is my rock and my firm foundation when the world shakes.
Pull Yourself Together. That's the title of the book of me, at least the first 28 years worth. Prayerfully, the title will remain for the next 28 years too.
February 21. 2011
My first car was a 1991 Mazda 626, white exterior with navy blue fabric on the interior. The seat belts were automatic and would cut off your head if you weren't sitting straight in your seat. I don't think that's safe anymore, so you probably won't ever experience fearing a seat belt. I really liked this car, honest. Your great-grandpa Lanas gave it to me, and like most 16 year old kids who have their own car, I washed and cleaned it religiously. I also wasn't a fan of the interior for some reason, so I went through a phase of zebra everything. Seat covers, steering wheel cover, stuffed animal zebras in my car, zebra key lanyard, and I think that's all I zebra attire I could buy for the car. I don't know what inspired me to do such a thing, but when you're 16, you do a lot of things that are unexplainable. I have many memories in that car, and I wish it was still around. I sold it when I was in college because it was starting to rust in a lot of places. Here's a picture of mommy in her beloved zebra mobile on the morning of homecoming. The cheerleaders would go to the homecoming court's homes and decorate their cars. Below that is a picture of what my car looked like.
|notice the zebra seat covers|
Friday, February 18, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Kids, as you grow up you will surely learn about Mommy's passion for LIFE and advocacy for the unborn. I pray that when you are old enough to read these letters the murderous act of abortion is no longer legal in our nation. But, right now while I write this letter - it is legal.
Today, pregnant women can walk into any number of "medical facilities" and end the life of the child in their womb. They can kill a baby because it inconveniences them, because it was conceived through unfortunate circumstances, because it may be sick, or for no reason at all. Our country calls this "women's rights" or "women's health." The feminist movement champions the cause purporting that to deny a woman the option to kill the little human growing inside of her is to control her and take away her freedom. Not many on the pro-abortion side of the issue seem to recognize or address at all the rights and freedoms of the child. Abortion is a sad, sad act that victimizes not only the unborn but the women who undergo the procedure and the men who are denied any rights to preserve the lives of their children. This nation is deceived and the results are gruesome.
Abortion is legal and even encouraged by our country that currently gives over 300 million dollars in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, an organization that hides behind women's health care services but makes the large majority of their money by providing abortions to as many women (and children) as they can. Planned Parenthood has been caught several times denying the laws in order to provide adults and minors (kids - even as young as 11 or 12) with abortions while not reporting cases of sexual abuse and statutory rape, and while denying laws that require a parent or guardian's consent. Planned Parenthood is victimizing women and children, lying to them about scientific facts, minimizing or all together neglecting the option of adoption for unplanned pregnancies, and even recently was caught aiding and abetting undercover journalists who were posing as sex traffickers of minor children. This "women's health organization" could care less about women and children. What they care about is making money, meeting their quotas, and terminating pregnancies. And they are closely linked to our current president and our government that supports them both verbally and financially.
The entire organization, that now boasts a noble cause, was originally created to destroy the African American race. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, thought that African Americans were inferior and wanted to wipe them out (the fancy term for this is eugenics) by exterminating their children. She called Blacks "weeds" and "senseless breeders." She took advantage of the poor social, economic and educational conditions of Black Americans and tried to convince them that their pregnancies and bringing children into the world would hold them down - all the while her intention was to hold them down anyway and purify the American gene pool. She placed her facilities in poor, black neighborhoods and committed to "taking care of the problem" as she saw it. Today, most abortion clinics are still located in minority neighborhoods and a disproportionate about of minority children are being murdered through abortion.
Abortion is ALWAYS on my mind. The unborn victims of abortion are always on my mind. My passion for adoption is due in part to my loathe of abortion. Abortion denies life, love and value to children - Adoption demonstrates life, love and worth of children. To participate in adoption, to support it and to make it a part of your life is to walk in the opposite spirit of abortion. Plus, adoption is in our spiritual DNA - God adopted us into his family and we are now seated with Christ in heavenly places heirs to the throne of the Most High King. We were made to adopt because we ourselves were first adopted - and we are called to do those things that Our Father does. He is our example of LOVE and I know - through the gift of YOU, my kids- that the LOVE of a parent has nothing to do with blood and DNA. If it did, abortion would be non-existent.
Again, I hope that when you read these letters abortion has been outlawed. But right now- it is unfortunately and devastatingly legal and so Mommy is fighting through prayer, work with Pro Life organizations like Live Action, and through adoption to advocate for the unborn, be a voice for the defenseless and the vulnerable, and to parent the parentless. I hope that as you grow up you never allow our nation's values (or lack of values) to sway your own spiritual convictions about abortion and LIFE. The nation is deceived, the Prince of the Air (Satan) has designed and refined a system to destroy life in America and countless Americans are believing the lies of the system - not only believing but supporting. Do Not Be Deceived, My Loves. Fight for LIFE. Advocate for Those Who Cannot Advocate for Themselves. Speak Truth. Be a Light in the Darkness. Don't Give Up. I Won't.
Friday, February 4, 2011
What drew Ryan and I together was our heart for God and our heart for missions. Ryan and I both took a year off after high school and Ryan went into "YES" (Youth Evangelism Service) through EMM (who he works with now) ;-) and I went into YWAM (Youth With A Mission). These mission experiences vastly shaped who we are today as people. It gave us a deeper heart for God and a passion to extend ourselves for the sake of others around the world.
Other areas where we are alike:
*our LOVE for travel
*we like to try different foods
*we love the beach
*we like to experience unique things (getting dressed up and going to a nice dinner or simply going to "Central Market"
*we love coffee shops and a good discussion
*we both like to swim
*we have similar views of money and how we spend it
*we're both tall
*neither of us is a "bump on a log" (inside joke)
*we would both rather get things out in the open and talk through any issue before going to bed. We never go to bed angry.
*we both love dogs... but neither of us enough to actually get one. (..yet)
*we both like to eat healthy
*we like to take different streets and drive around and look at houses
*we like meeting new people
*we both like to cuddle
*we can be very spontaneous
Areas where we are different:
*Ryan is MAJORLY extroverted. I used to think I was...until I met him ;-)
*I like to sleep in
*Ryan goes to the gym more than I do
*Ryan washes dishes by hand, I use the dishwasher
*Ryan keeps up with world/current events via internet on a daily/minute-to-minute basis. I usually hear these events from him ;-)
*Ryan has a desire to learn in formal ways. I have a desire to learn in informal settings
*Ryan has expensive taste in clothing. I like bargain shopping. (Goodwill baby!!)
*our love languages are different. Ryan's are "acts of service" & "gifts" (and of course physical touch) ;-) And mine are "words of affirmation" & ""quality time"
*I prefer CHOCOLATE anything, where as Ryan prefers fresh fruit on top of vanilla ice cream
*I have snot (I blow my nose a lot), Ryan has boogies (rarely EVER blows his nose)
*Ryan keeps his clothes folded and kept a lot neater than I do. I seem to just quickly make a pile and deal with it later.
*I like cooking to be quick and simple, Ryan doesn't mind taking a Saturday at market and cooking from scratch with all fresh ingredients
*Ryan is very opinionated and will freely share his thoughts. I prefer to keep mine to myself.
*I am directionally challenged. Ryan is the best navigator around.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
"What was your favorite country you have visited so far? Do you think you will ever go back?"
I've only visited three countries, and I've loved different things about each of them. Uzbekistan - I loved the people and culture. China - I loved the food, and that was clearly seen by the 30 pounds I gained while living there for two months. Bermuda (owned by the U.K.) - I loved the climate, people, and beauty. Out of all of them, the one I'd want to go back to the most is Bermuda, although Uzbekistan comes in at a close second!
|Yup, that's your mama in the midst of gaining 30 pounds in 2004. My close friend Grace is the one in the right corner in blue and black. This was their college art class. I took some pointers...you know how talented your mom is at art. :)|
|They were beautiful and creative people!|
Your Dad and I took a cruise to Bermuda the summer of 2009. It was pretty much raining 3 out of the 7 day cruise, but we made the best of it. The people of Bermuda were so polite and friendly. The island was really clean, and the architecture was so colorful and beautiful! We rented a moped and explored the island rain or shine. It was a super fun trip, and I hope we can go back there as a family some day. Here's some pictures of the different places we visited on the island:
|Hamilton - great shopping and dining town|
|Horseshoe Bay - This is where I became a fried lobster.|
|This is the Royal Naval Dockyard where our ship docked.|
The saying "Opposites attract" is so true for Dwayne and I. I'll start off with what I see are our differences, because I'll have to think about how or if we are alike. When we first met Dwayne and I learned quickly we really didn't have much in common. I grew up in a home with order and a schedule, I only moved once when I was 3(which happened to be just 2 houses down the street) and I had 1 brother. Dwayne on the other hand grew up in several different places and situations with just his mom and
3 other siblings, to a home that added 2 other step siblings to the mix when his mom remarried. One thing about our experiences growing up that is alike is that we both grew up going to church and learning about God. I am thankful for that. From the beginning I loved hearing Dwayne's stories as a child growing up from struggling on low income, to life with 5 siblings constantly joking with each other and having fun. These stories make me laugh and look at life outside the "bubble" I grew up in. My parents were able to travel, even if just to the beach, once a year with us. Going away as a family was something Dwayne had not done as a yearly vacation. Basically our childhoods were not similar in anyway other than our parents choose to raise us in a faith based home.
Our ideas and thoughts of fun, although they have conformed a little over the years of being together even differ some. I have always enjoyed being active, like going for a hike rather than lay around on a Saturday afternoon, or go swimming on a hot summer day. Also I enjoy working out and challenging myself physically. When it comes to being with friends, although I love being with them and laughing together, sometimes I would just rather stay at home and enjoy a movie with my hubby. I love going to the beach with a good book and soaking in the sun. I dream constantly about places I would love to go and see, since turning 18 I have traveled to 5 other countries and loved everyone! For Dwayne if he has to choose between an afternoon hike
or a nap on the couch, he would 90% of the time choose a nap. For a challenge he has chose to try skydiving or scuba after sitting through a 30 minute training session. He tends to be a funny guy and therefore loves the company of others especially if they are laughing at him. The beach for him is a great place also for napping and a quick dip every now and then. Reading is out of the question for him, even if it's something that interest him, he has never read a book cover to cover! Traveling is a favorite past time as well so we have 2 things alike so far! We often talk of the places we hope to take our kids someday and of the countries we would like to go back to.
If I were writing this from Dwayne's point of view he would make sure to add "We are NOT alike at all." To tell a story, I add every detail even if it's not important or necessary. Dwayne gets right to the point with no messing around. Light a fire under his butt and he will put 100% into a project. He's a perfectionist, on the other hand although I like to get the job done well I am not a perfectionist at all. I don't have the patience it takes sometimes. To add to this he literally is a handy man when it comes to anything. He can watch a youtube video on "how to…" and DO IT! No second guessing, if he runs into a problem he figuresit out. I am timid to do a lot of things because I second guess my ability all the time.
I feel as parents, although we are still new at the whole parenting thing, we agree on how we want to discipline and raise our children. Our hopes and dreams might be a little different for them. I hope and pray for little accidents as they grow up and that they would be respectful of others and love the Lord! Dwayne on the other hand sees bumps and bruises(even broken bones) as a "learning experience", and also wants them to be respectful and kind. I hope that as we live the rest of our lives together and as parents we will continue to find balance in our likes and dislikes together and as a family. I pray I never hold one of my children back because it's not something I enjoy or want them to do. This is just a few ways in how we are alike and different, I'm sure as we continue to live life we'll come across others.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I kind of had to chuckle at this question. I really didn't have too many rules growing up. I felt like my parents trusted me. I rarely did anything to break their trust. Guess you could say I was a "goodie goodie." ;-) I'd like to think it was the grace of God over my life. My personality, as a middle child, was a people-pleaser to the core. I would do anything and everything to please my parents. For example, washing the dishes night after night without being told. I never wanted to do anything that would hurt my parents. Just being scolded at something I did wrong would bring tears to my eyes. Guess you could say I have a sensitive personality as well. ;-)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
There were quite a few professions that I dreamed of having when I was young. They ranged from neurosurgeon and writer to model and show girl (think Rockette not Vegas nudity).
I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because I loved science and, at the ripe old age of 6, I thought that money made the world go round. Neurosurgeons made lots of money. I had no idea that such a job would require a lifestyle with little room for friends, family or relaxation. Once I discovered the personal sacrifices this job entailed - the dream faded.
Good thing I had other dreams. I have always loved to write, won several contests throughout my school-age years and knew it was something that I could succeed in should I choose to make a career out of it. When I was younger - there were a few years when I was determined to grow up and be a journalist. But, as time went on I abandoned that aspiration because I realized that writing was an artform and like any true artist - I didn't want someone else (a boss, magazine editor, etc.) telling me how to "do" my art. I enjoyed writing what I wanted to write about, in a voice that was uniquely my own and I had no desire to be asked to conform to someone else's style or preferences.
There was a period of time (middle school years) that I wanted to be a model or a show girl. Not the naked, peep show sort of show girl but a New York City Rockette or dancer on Broadway. I was trained in all styles of dance and thought surely it was something that I could make a career out of. But, in 9th grade I gave up on that ambition too.
Finally, during my senior year of high school, when I made the bold (OK, it's true I just couldn't hack it) move to quit calculus class in exchange for accounting 101, I settled on the "job of my dreams" - accounting. I decided rather quickly that I wanted to work in public accounting for a national or international firm. Accounting was something that I could do and do well. It was basic and simple. Either the numbers matched up, the books balanced - or they didn't. When I did well - I knew it and so did everyone else - the financial statements were proof. To succeed in the profession of public accounting all you needed to know was principles, standards and financial rules, apply them, pass certain tests, and maybe have a few people skills (although the last qualification is debatable). There was no subjectivity to the process of accounting and so I determined that I would choose a job in this field. My writing would be left for personal use so that I could explore the talent under no pressure or opinion of anyone else. My parents were indeed shocked when I applied to college with a declared major of Accounting.
I sailed through the college courses with an A average - all but that one lonesome"B" that I got in Cost Accounting. I was offered a full-time job (and accepted) with a regional accounting firm before my senior year of college, passed my CPA exam (on the second try) and had a great career.
BUT - my heart was never in it. My heart - was to be a mommy. AND THAT IS WHAT I AM.
I may have talent in writing, speaking, baking, and accounting but the gifts that I desire to refine in my life are the gifts of patience, teaching, understanding, innovation, peace-making, communicating, creativity, nurturing, advocating, protecting, welcoming, providing, trusting, praising, encouraging and LOVING. And those gifts are best displayed in my lifelong career choice: to be a Mommy to as many little kiddos as I can.
Monday, January 24, 2011
January 24, 2010
This was actually a really hard question to answer. I want a title that reflects how life is full of seasons. Seasons that are unpredictable, always changing, constant and surprising. When I was a little girl I never would have imagined the story that God has drawn out for my life so far. It's incredible how hindsight works! I can see how different people impacted my life and changed me for better or worse, and how I always seemed to be at the right place at the right time in order for God to fulfill His purpose and plan for my life. I can also see the times when I was far from God and how He was still so very present and at work in my life.
I was asked this question in a grad class one time, and I think my title had something to do with a quilt. A true quilt is one that has many threads and colors and patches and patterns that work together to make a beautiful masterpiece. It's very hard to find two quilts that are the same. I think that was my title A Beautiful Masterpiece. Anyway, I'm not having any real breakthroughs for a title. So I'll just go with something like, oh, I don't know, Constant Grace in Uncertain Seasons.
Why? Well God has been The Constant, no matter what I've done, His grace is sufficient for me. No matter how selfish I am or undeserving of love, His love is unfailing. Life is full of uncertainties, and unsteady times, but having the hope in a God who can't be removed or shaken is all I need to walk through those uncertainties.
Life won't be easy guys, but with "the Word as a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path" (Psalm 119:105 and a song you'll hear mommy sing to you a lot), you will be able to face many storms. Remember to "trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in ALL you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path" Proverbs 3:5-6. I love you forever!
Friday, January 21, 2011
**Pictures to come soon when I can figure out how to scan them in.**
Growing up our family did not take many family vacations. Pappy bought and then ran his own business. Most of the time it was just him and one other guy. Since he was the majority provider of our family and leaving meant that the doors were closed on his shop which meant no pay, we didn't take lots of vacations. We did go away once a year to Camp Hebron as a family. This started when I was about 8 years old and continued until I was around 13. This was a highlight of our summer. Camp Hebron was located in Halifax, PA. It was a campground that had a pool, a lake, horses, basketball courts, and lots of other activities to do. Each year we would take the 2 hour trip up to Halifax, PA. The drive seemed like it took forever. Our good family friends, the Davis Family, also went along. There were a few families that were always there the same time each year but there were also other families that would come and go.
During the week, the parents would meet for sessions with speakers that helped them grow in their faith while the kids were split into age groups and got to enjoy lessons, games, and activities with each other. Until now, I never went back and thought about how my parents gave their week of vacation to grow closer to God and to give us the opportunity to grow closer to Him too. We could have went to the beach or any other place by ourselves but instead my parents dedicated usually the only vacation we took to take us as a family to a Christian run camp to sit in on sessions with friends to learn more about the Lord.
We stayed in Silvan View which had "hotel" type rooms that each family would sleep in. Meals were provided in a cafeteria type dining area. One night during the week, the families would head to the lake for a picnic type dinner followed by water games such as relays and races.
My favorite part of our week was getting to ride the horses. When we first started out I was only allowed to go for the horse rides where a person would lead the horse around a fenced in area. As I got older, I was able to go on the breakfast rides and trail rides. These were group activities but you controlled your horse which was AWESOME! I loved horses and this was one thing I always looked forward too.
A lot of our afternoons were spent at the pool. One specific memory I remember from our pool days was the day that Aunt Amber had to get stitches. She was jumping in backwards into the pool. She ended up jumping too close to the wall and caught her chin on the way down. Sure enough she had to go and get stitches.
Another memory that I have from one of our weeks at Camp Hebron was that the one night my class had planned to go for a hike on Peter's Mountain and camp out. We headed up the mountain shortly after dinner. We reached the top just as it was getting dark out and a little bit later a storm had rolled in. We were on the top of this mountain and lightning was everywhere. I just remember hiding under a large rock while we waited for the rain to slow down. The thunder was so loud and the lightning felt like it could strike right next to you. Needless to say, we were all soaked and were not going to be staying on top of the mountain that night. We headed down after the storm had slowed and ended up getting back to the Hotel late at night.
I am sure there are so many other memories from our weeks spent at Camp Hebron that I could share including talent shows that we participated in, games we played, trips to the icecream truck for a treat. It was always a great time to enjoy as a family and with friends.
I think the hardest part about becoming a Christian is something that I deal with every day...it is trying to do away with thinking about myself and having my own selfish desires and motives. Instead I have to surrender to the Lord and let Him direct my steps. This world pushes you - what will make YOU happy, what is best for YOU, what do YOU want, what do YOU deserve..YOU YOU YOU!! That is all that is ingrained in us from the media and the world around us. It is easy to get wrapped up in yourself and it is part of our sinful nature to worry about ourselves more than we worry about the people around us. It is a daily choice to choose the Lord and to choose the things that He cares about, the things that He sees, and the things that He wants. Daily I have to lay down my life to gain life in Him. Laying down my life for the Lord will make me look different. I may not be able to do the things that my friends do or say what others say. I may choose to do things differently than what the "world" accepts, but I do it all for the Lord and that is who I need to seek my approval from. All of this is something that I have struggled with growing up and even now as an adult. It is not easy to go against the norm and to stand up for what you believe but I do believe it is RIGHT! I desire to be liked by people so not agreeing with something or not participating in things is hard for me but it is the best at the same time.
Laying down my life for the Lord brings joy. It brings hope. And it brings peace! You can not gain joy by having all the things in the world (even though every commercial will try to tell you those things can). There is no hope without the Lord and peace can only come from Him. Peace, joy, and hope are 3 of the best things about Christianity. When things in this world get hard, I have peace that the Lord is with me and that He is in control. I have joy in the Lord for He is my father and the one that I can depend on no matter what. And I have hope for the future. There is no certainty in this world but there is certainty that having a relationship with my Father will lead to Heaven. Heaven - a place that will surpass all of our expectations. A place where we can be reunited with the one who created us and where we can spend the rest of our days glorifying Him and giving Him praise. I am grateful for my life on this earth but I am also hopeful for my life in heaven and what it will be like.
Kids, being a Christian is not choosing to live the easy life. Look at Jesus - his life was not easy but look at what an impact he made and how much glory he brought the Lord. My prayer is that each of you will come to know the Father and experience His love and I pray that when you make the decision to follow Jesus that you will be ready for the hard road but the road that is the BEST OF ALL! Being a Christian is a journey but it is worth it all. Love you forever!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
- I love seeing the world again through my daughters’ eyes. I love watching them grow and learn and experience new things. I love seeing their reaction when the lightbulb goes on, and the finally GET it. I love being able to be the one who helps them learn and experience these new things. I was their first teacher, and I will forever be grateful for that.
- I love the spontaneous hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” that come from my girls. Nothing will melt a Mommy’s’ heart more than when their child crawls up in their lap, wraps their arms around you, and says “i wub you mama”. Seriously - it doesn’t get too much better than that!
- I love that each time I look at my girls, I am reminded of what a privilege and honor it is to be their Mommy - how blessed I am to be able to have carried them inside of me. And even though being a Mommy is probably one of the hardest jobs out there, I don’t think there are ANY that are more rewarding.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Middle school was, for the most part, a wonderful season in my life. I enjoyed the experience of leaving elementary school behind and learning in a new place, with a new schedule, new teachers and new classmates. I have always loved meeting people so I enjoyed the process of making new friends.
On my first day of 7th grade I did not know anyone in my "section" (that is what my middle school called the group of 20-some kids that I had classes with) except a tiny little blond girl who was practically half my size. I recognized her from the 6th grade, district-wide spelling bee where she was eliminated on the word "restaurant" and I was shut down with the word "dense." Once we were knocked out of the competition we briefly shot the breeze and built up our bruised egos while the other dorks duked it out with spelling power. Then we did not see each other again until that fateful day in middle school.
She remembered me from the spelling bee too - and that is really all it took. We became inseparable, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. We laughed together often and made big plans to grow up, own houses right next to each other, find handsome husbands, raise our kids together in a warm state like Georgia or South Carolina, and grow old side by side. Nearly 18 years later, God has made most of those plans a reality (all except the location and the growing old stuff). You kiddos know that "tiny little blond girl" as your AUNTIE HOLLY. She is still "half my size" and she is by far the BEST PART OF MY MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS.
- Friendships really can last (and grow stronger) FOREVER.
- ALWAYS choose compassion over judgement. (clothe yourself in compassion - Col 3:12, be compassionate and humble - 1 Peter 3:8, do not judge - Matt 7:1, Luke 6:37)