Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stop, Drop, and Roll!

Bella, now in K-4 at Brookwood Preschool Academy, has just recently completed a whole week's worth of learning everything there is to know about fire safety! Each day of that particular week, she would come home with a piece of knowledge to impress us all! I've been reprimanded for my candles, instructed to keep a glass of water and a cloth on my nightstand every night, shown all of the proper exits in my house, and how to call for help! However, her most prized piece of knowledge is the same of any child that has been through a fire safety course...What to do if your clothes catch fire. Bella not only told us about how we should stop, drop, and roll, but demonstrated on NUMEROUS occasions how to follow through these three steps. She had us, the girls, and Nate, rolling all over the floor! :)
Being so very proud of her and her enthusiasm for fire safety, I couldn't help but stop at a certain devotion titled, "Stop, Drop, and Roll!" as I thumbed through the girls' devotion book. Knowing it would perk every one's interest, I selected that devotion for the evening. It took the stance that no matter what circumstances may have you feeling under fire, it is important to not panic, but simply STOP what you are doing, DROP to your knees in prayer, and ROLL all of your anxieties onto Him, because He cares for you!(1Peter 5:7). The girls enjoyed the devotion that night, especially Bella! In fact, most of them rolled down the hallway into their beds afterward! LOL When the lights went out for all, I took the time to apply the verse to my life! At first I was just amazed by the fact that my God cares for me in all extents of the emotions I feel, whether justified or not! WOW! He CARES for me! All I have to do is surrender all of those anxieties to Him in prayer and let Him instruct me on how to REST in Him! Powerful! Yet in my mind's eye, I couldn't stray from the image of someone rolling all over the ground in an attempt to put a fire out, yet because they are in such hysterics, they don't realize they are rolling themselves straight back into the fire again! Crazy thought, I know! Relating it all back to the spiritual, I realized how silly I am at times when I get all worked up about stuff, go pray(or complain) to God about what's going on, and either halfway surrender it all to Him, or give it all to Him, but pick it back up before I give my Heavenly Father the opportunity to really care for me like only He can! How foolish to think that I can't trust Him to put the fire out, and calm me down!

So, the next time I don't want to relinquish my rights to my anxieties of present circumstances, I hope Bella's fire safety training will help me out! After all, HE CARES FOR ME!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Blog Post Worth 19,000 Words....

I'll let the pictures do the talking for lack of time. Here are a few snapshots from the past few weeks.

Sweet Marleigh

Nate's Drive-thru Window
Frequent Request: "CoookEEE Peas" (Cookie Please!)

Gave up on the whole sitting up thing!

Bella's fall interpretation of her family!

No room for more!

She's growing up on me!

Fresh out of bed!

She was placed on the blanket!

Still amazed she didn't bump her noggin!

Trying to be the baby!

Basket Head!

Baby fro!

"I'll take THAT one"
Candace's Bridal Shower
Theme: Carved Out for One Another
You can always use nature when the pocket book is lacking!
SOOo much fun to see a finished product revolved around one little carving!


The Gift Tree

The Yummy Cake!

Moss letters in the shape of the carving!

Place Settings
Wooden ornaments as guest favors!

Table Setting

Serving and Cake Tables
A Whole lot of work, but a whole lot of fun!
All for one AMAZING sister!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Expect Delays...

As I wind down in body and gear up in mind on this Saturday evening, I can’t help but compare my Saturday night/Sunday morning routine to a traffic jam! EVERYONE not only has to get out the door on time, but also properly dressed, smelling good, Bibles in hand, and open minds ready to hear from the Lord! I have a personal list of my own duties added to that list: Every item packed in the diaper bags, preview everyone’s clothes to make sure they are proper, throwing offering into the abyss of my purse(only to be hunted and scraped out later), seeing that mouths are feed, and preparing myself mentally for all the things that might “go wrong” along the way! Wow!
I guess the biggest thing I have learned in the stress of watching Sunday’s come and go, is that liken unto a traffic jam, I must expect delays! If every car in one city used the same road and had to be at the same place at the same time, the people in those cars should just KNOW to expect delays. As we all try and get out the door at the same time for church, really ready to go, we just HAVE TO expect that something is not going to go just right. Somebody will be missing a button, have a couple hairs out of place, need to be fed in the middle of ironing clothes, or be missing their Bible. The list could go on and on. I’ve learned however, over the past year, that my attitude concerning the delays, can mess the WHOLE day up or make it run more smoothly. Going back to the traffic jam, as many may know, our attitude towards the delays, affect the entire ride to our destination. If we choose to lay on the horn, demand everyone out of our way though nowhere to really go, and rehearse as many expletives we may know, in our heads or verbalized, all we end up with is high blood pressure and a bad mood for the rest of the day. However, on the contrary, if we leave out early, knowing we will have delays, we can enjoy the scenery as were stuck in traffic. From time to time, we can even get a chuckle out of those who are acting a little manic. At least when we arrive at our destination, we can still enjoy the day and look back at the delays as opportunities. (Even if you do end up being a little late!)
So, as I sit here tonight, hopefully having as much done as possible, in an effort to be at church on time with everyone looking great, I full-well anticipate any delays as well. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? All I can hope is to take whatever comes my way with ease, compassion, and the opportunity to allow God’s wonderful grace to shine through me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Certainties become uncertain....

I have so much that I want to blog about. The everyday events of my life are enough to usually keep me laughing, but as of the weekend I'm simply at a place in life where so many of the things in life that were so certain, suddenly became uncertain, distant, and unfamiliar. If you're looking for a laugh out of this post; read no further. I'm hurting right now. I am of course able to continue with life and enjoy it, but I can't help but know that God is at work right now in my life with the events surrounding. I say all of that to say this, I don't know what to do except pray right now. That's it! I can't run to the rescue or even run to rescue for myself right now. I'm sitting. Resting in Him. Learning to be still and accept the present darkness, knowing that the end result will be life flourishing!

Thoughts and verses that are helping me now:

In the same way of the seed:
"We need to be willing to give up whatever is most familiar , comfortable, and precious to us, allow ourselves to sink into darkness, and trust God to bring life out of what feels like death."- "This is the mystery of fruitfulness: Life multiplied many times over from what seems like death."

"Heartache forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when you heart is aching." ~Joni Eareckson Tada

Psalm 116:1-6

Psalm 126:5-6

" The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears. Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life." ~Ken Gire

Psalm 34:18
Psalm 51:17
James 1:5-6

"There are moments when God makes utter and complete sense to us, and then suddenly, life changes and he seems a foreign remnant of a childhood force kl-fed faith..."Lord, give us eyes to see your coming and going, ears to hear your voice and your silence, hands to hold your presence and your absence, and faith to trust your unchanging nature in all seasons."
~Elisa Morgan

"It doesn't matter what the size range of your circumstances might be; all that matters is what will your response be."

"We can hug our hurts and make a shrine of our sorrows or we can offer them to God as a sacrifice of praise. The choice is ours." ~Richard Exley

"But when we release our grasp, our relinquishment puts a stop to our manipulation of other people and releases the Holy Spirit to do the supernatural through the power of prayer."

"Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God's love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out his wonderful plan of love." ~Eric Liddell

I choose to give it to God.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To California and Back!

If you know me, you know that my children are my pride and joy! Sweet Marleigh doesn't have much of a personality yet, but I got her laughing last night for the first time! It's such a wonderful experience as a parent to watch them be happy; or better yet, create an environment for them to be happy! Little Man Nate is such a love bug! Whomever gets the joy of waking him up in the mornings, gets the biggest hug! The kind that just make you melt because of the the way that they melt into your arms. And to hear his countrified version of "Awww", will make the worst of days become the best of days. It's now his favorite word when he gives hugs or sees pictures of his family members! So sweet! Last, but certainly not least(she wouldn't dare let that ever happen), is Ms. Bella Boo! Every night we have a 15minute bedtime ritual that she WILL NOT let you forget about. After brushing teeth, reading a book, and saying her prayers, the lights go out and I take the time to let her know just how much I love her. Ever since her toddler days, Wesley and I have always said the phrase to her, "I love you to the moon and back!", and she always responds, "I love you too"! Yet as of recent, she has been learning about other things and places in the world, and will try to out-do "to the moon and back". To the sun and back, to the milky way and back, etc.... But my favorite yet is; "Mama, I love you to California and back!" One day I will have to break the news to her that California is not so far away compared to the others, but as for now, there's not a better feeling in the world than to be loved to California and back by my sweet Bella! And just as much as she means that with her whole heart, I can only conclude that I love them just as much! I thank the Lord daily for my little blessings, no matter the messes they may challenge me with! Nothing can ever dilute or discredit the love that I have for my babies; a love that stretches ALL THE WAY to California and back!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Babies, Brides, Books, and Bleach....and don't forget the Random Chipmunk!

I'm about that age in life now that all my friends are getting married and having babies. Thank the Lord I'm already done with both!!(I'm so competitive at EVERYTHING!!) This past weekend and week to come I have joined in celebration with two of the most amazing people in my life. It all started with preparing for my college roommate/best friend's baby shower on Friday night. I was assigned to bring the cake, and AS USUAL, I had to make things more difficult by wanting to make the cake instead of going the store bought route. An adventure in itself! However, Wesley and I built our very first decorative cake. And yes, it was a building process. In fact, Wesley compared it to tiling a floor! For being our first cake, we were quite proud of it, and I couldn't think of many people that I would want to spend that much time and effort on doing something for, except Michelle. When I headed off to college back in the day, I was stuck with some random girl who ended up being an amazing part of my life!! At the time, she was a little over-bearing, cared a little too much about the happenings of my life, and had strict standards for herself. Oh how I needed her though! I've never learned so much in my life from one person! The most important thing I have learned though is the love of a friend, a true friend. You can't out love or out give Michelle. An example, you ask? Get this. She shows up to HER baby shower with gifts for US! WHAT?! What a woman! I'm so excited for her and her venture into motherhood!
The "S" is for Sophie

Moving on to Sunday. After praise and worship at church, I headed off with my little sister in an attempt to have bridal portraits done. After getting her 2tons of (gray) hair done up, we traveled to the end of the earth to Holly Springs Baptist Church. We stepped inside to get her in her dress, and then we heard it....RAIN! What?! Thankfully, after a few shots in the church, the clouds passed on by and we were all set for some outdoor shots. Being that brilliance runs in our family, Candace had the awesome idea to go up to the top of Bald Rock for some photos. And all I have to say about that is: "Blow Away Bride!" We get to the top of this big rock and it is absolutely FREEZING! Then, the wind starts blowing like crazy, and what does Candace want to do? She wants to put on 6in. purple stilettos and both veils. So....long story short, we become crutches for Candace and pray that the wind doesn't rip the expensive veils from her head. We would hold everything together, and run away quickly, just for a few snaps of the camera, while bystanders nervously watch the bride as she clings to the rocks for dear life! I'm sure we got some pretty amazing shots, but OH MY WORD! Since my brain is in math world, I can only express this in terms of Candace + Stilettos + a windy mountain top = PRAYER to the second power! We did have fun though! And though most brides focus on their adorning dress, leave it to Candace to change shoes 4 times for her pictures! IT"S ALL ABOUT THE SHOES! And not to get too mushy about her, but there are very few people I'd go traipsing up the windy, cold mountain for, just for one good shot!

I wish I could give you a pic from yesterday, but then Steven could see her
in her dress!
I got home later than expected and began my study efforts! Math test was today. Two weeks into this class and I'm dreaming about math! I feel as if that's all I do! A word to the wise: if you drop out of school with intentions of going back, don't wait more than five years in between. You lose credit for math and computer. But alas, here I sit, not so wise, working my algebra. A couple things have changed since I was in school last. My book for instance, I sure did pay $139 for it, all to find out, they didn't bind it. So, I have to get a big notebook to put it in, all to find out the book is online as part of my class! BOO! What is wrong with this picture? Regardless of all my gripes, I studied hard and did well, considering it is math we're talking about. I'll have to live with a 95.

Now, with time off coming this week (meaning much cleaning and packing for me), and Candace's Bridal shower(meaning lots of decorating for me), the week has just begun to get crazy! The Lord knew I needed a laugh today so the stress wouldn't reach a "knock-down, drag-out" climax. So, when I hopped on the mini bus (AKA the short bus) to go pick up kids, something didn't seem quite right. I heard a knocking sound. It seemed to stop long enough to get to the school, but when I pulled in the drive and came to a stop I heard it again and a sudden thud directed my attention to the door. Looking out, a very frightened little chipmunk jumped from under the bus to the sidewalk. Back and forth his head kept jolting, wondering what his next move would be. All this pavement. All these kids. All these big buses. I could do nothing but laugh out loud as I sat there all by myself. I brought a chipmunk to school. HAHAHA! Seeing as how the chipmunks ate through our gas tank last winter, I wished nothing but demise for the rodent. It appeared that he had finally scurried off realizing he wasn't in for another ride under the bus to get back home. As I pulled forward a little to get the kids, I glanced in my side mirror, only to laugh even harder. There he was again, in frantic desperation, dodging buses and heading back to me. Once again, he stood at the door of the bus, as if he were asking for me to PLEASE open the door! I just glared back and thought, "You got tha wrong one, sucka"! And then I ever so politely drove off! Who knows, maybe some others will join him tomorrow! They better if they know what's good for them. I may not know the proper technique in shooting a gun, but I can get creative!

Turns out I really did need the laugh today! After getting dinner on the table, the hustle of the evening routine, and cleaning up the mess from an overflowing toilet, I'm sitting here in my bleach perfume with a million things to do for the Bridal shower and time off, all while I'm supposed to be studying for another test tomorrow. I should really get busy!

I had to make up a math problem then solve it on my test today. I'm interested to see who might take a stab at it. Submit your answers as a comment.

Dacusville and Mauldin are 23 miles apart. Wes and Lindsay are driving from Mauldin to Dacusville for church and Candace and Steven are driving from Dacusville to Mauldin for MIP. The couple leaving Mauldin, averages 2 miles faster than the couple leaving Dacusville. Both couples meet on the road 30 minutes into their trip. What are the rates of the cars? (P. S. - I realized after working this problem that they wouldn't really go this speed.)