Welcome to my world...

I like having a place for me to just write whatever I'm thinking about. Sometimes serious, sometimes silly. Since I have 4 kids, and my favorite thing to do is read, usually it hasn't something to do with one of those activities!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are we willing to give it all as parents?

So I was driving today, and I heard this song that Matt Hammitt from the band, Sanctus Real, wrote.   He wrote it as a tribute and promise to his unborn child who they knew was going to born with a heart defect, but as I listened, it spoke to me in another way.  As humans, we all have problems and weaknesses.  As Christian parents, when our kids (especially teenagers) begin to show their, let's just say, not-so-nice side, we have to decide how we're going to respond.

Sometimes the way our teenagers act bring out the not-so-nice side in us, too.  Discipline is necessary in parenting no matter what form it takes, but what do we do with our hearts?  What do we do when our children disappoint us, make us angry, even go through spells when we may not even <gasp> like them very much?  How do we handle it?  Sadly, we tend to hold our hearts back.  We fall into a form of conditional love without even realizing it.  Our kids let us down or don't do what we think they should do so we pull back.  We don't want to get hurt again.  We want them to just "grow up" and make all the right decisions.  We get angry, frustrated, embarrassed.  We get hyper-critical of every choice they make.  They should KNOW better.  They've been TAUGHT better.  They should be making better choices, Godly choices. We don't know how to handle it so we hold back a part of hearts in a move of self-preservation that comes across as conditional love.  I'll show you my love if you please me, but if you don't, I don't want to have much to do with you.  I'll tolerate you because I'm your parent, and I do love you, but that's about it.

I don't have all the answers, but I know this, we are commanded to love one another.  There are no exclusions to that command.  We are to be merciful and gracious as Christians because the Holy Spirit resides in us.  We can't keep holding back with our kids.  We have to just keep laying our bruised hearts on the line.  Yes, we may continually get hurt and angry, but we have to take that to Yahweh Rophey, The Great Physician, and let Him heal the broken parts in us. This may be for me only, but if you're a parent and you're dealing with older children that are beginning to go their own way, and that way is not that path you think they should be on, take a minute to read the chorus below.  Then seek the only Perfect parent, God the Father, and let Him help you love them the way they need to be loved by their parents.

MATTHEW HAMMITT - All Of Me lyrics

Afraid to love
Something that could break
Could I move on
If you were torn away?
And I'm so close to what I can't control
I can't give you half my heart
and pray He makes you whole

You're gonna have all of me 
You're gonna have all of me
'Cause you're worth every falling tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I'll start

I won't let sadness steal you from my arms
I won't let pain keep you from my heart
I'll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I share with you


Heaven brought you to this moment, it's too wonderful to speak
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me

**If you've never heard of the song, you can listen to it hear:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Something I read in November....Just a review!

This was such a great story. Generally speaking, the story is about Remington Wyatt who witnesses a murder and goes on the run. She knows a lot about how to get "lost" because of the job she was working in at the time of the murder. Enter FBI agent, Rafe Baxter. In trying to further his career, he takes on a cold case having to do with the murder of a federal judge. Both of the main characters' paths lead them to Louisiana where the past has come to meet Remington in ways she hoped to avoid and where it is intersecting with her present and future in ways she could never imagine.

Robin Caroll does a great job of drawing you into a story that if not written correctly could have been confusing and boring. Instead, it is a story that is constantly moving and twisting in ways that keep you on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you have it figured out, something else beings to unravel! I LOVE those kinds of story lines. Once again, Robin has proved she is one of the best Christian Suspense (with a touch of romance) authors in our generation. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hope and Christmas

So, each year I pick out an ornament for each of the kids and one as a "family" ornament.  Most of the time, I try to find something that has to do with what we have done or something that speaks to me about this past year.  I really have not tried to even find one this year because it has been just kind of weird this year.  Today, I was shopping for something else and found the *perfect ornament.  Through all the ups and downs of this past year, I have been able to find that even keel, that peace that only comes from God.  How?  Today, I was listening to Adam Robinson, and his sermon reminded me of the how --- Hope.  Hope that only comes from knowing that the God of this universe, creator of all and lover of My Soul, still holds me and my family in His hand.  Hope that knows that He sees all and holds me through the hard times and promises never to leave me.  Hope that the promises of Heaven that were brought originally in the form of a tiny baby over 2000 years ago apply to me and my life and my future as well as to my family's future because they have all placed their faith in that tiny baby, Immanuel, God With Us.  He left all of the glory of heaven to willingly come and live a perfect life, and then be killed a horrible death to save me, to redeem me, to purchase my salvation for me -- to give me that HOPE.

PS -- I had a lot of "easy" subbing days, and I have been reading a LOT!  Quick and Easy reads from Love Inspired!  LOL  The book on the side is one of the ones I read this week, and it was fabulous!  All of the December offerings have been great!  KUDOS to those authors!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Good Fight - Book Review

The Good Fight, by Shawna K. Williams, is a wonderful addition to the story that began with Jakob Wilheimer and Meri Parker's story in her book, In All Things. Their story continued in No Other. This book goes in a little different direction and, rather than continuing their story in depth, it expands on a supporting character named Roger Talbot. The novel catches up with Roger about ten years after the end of the first book and is set in Port Delamar, Texas. This story introduces the new Roger Talbot, a changed man. We also meet Pennye Boyle and learn how her life has been unknowingly intertwined with Roger's. It is a very well-written novel that will keep you enthralled until the end. Even if you haven't read the first two, you can definitely still read this as a stand-alone novel.

From the very first pages, I was pulled into the lives of two very different people filled with the same negative, distrustful outlook on life. It is a wonderful love story with just a little bit of mystery and a whole lot of grace, mercy and redemption. I really enjoyed how the author brought those themes forward and threaded God's redemptive story through the story of an attorney named Roger and a waitress named Pennye. The forgiveness and acceptance shown in this book is what we all should strive for in our daily lives. Again, very well-written -- I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Strange few days...

The Cocktail and Dinner Party was fun.  (See pic at bottom of note.)  The location was very nice, and it was great to get a free dinner with my DH.  He even....gasp.....danced with me!  Granted, it was one dance, but it was so sweet to be in his arms like that again.  The music was only "okay" so I really didn't push for more dances than that one, and I didn't have to push too hard for that one!

The day ended on a sad note with my oldest deciding (after getting mad) that he was moving out.  Needless to say, the next day was not a super-happy day.  In many ways, we are ready for him to move out! Not in that way, though, before he had all his ducks in a row.  I was sad and a little scared for him, but for now, he is staying somewhere safe so I am trying to be at peace with that.

Sunday, DH and I had a hard time, and the three younger kids were all a little freaked out -- just didn't know what to think about the oldest leaving.  Then, I had to get over it because DH had a guest in from Germany, and I had to prepare myself to entertain after church.  Normally, by 2:00, I am napping while watching football.  (Apparently, I am my daddy's child.)  Fortunately, it was not a big deal, and the guest didn't want to hang around for supper so Sunday ended on a relaxing note.

Monday brought some good conversations with the oldest, and I have hope that he may move back in at some point in the next few weeks.  We shall see.  God has been so good through all of this.  He has just provided so much peace.  I am not constantly worried about him.  I'm not crying all the time.  I just have a God-peace, and I am so grateful to Him for that.  Had a great night at our church's fall festival to top the evening off!

Today, DH left for an 8-day trip to German.  Booooooooooo.  He prayed over me before he left so that made me teary-eyed, but it left such a sweet spirit in my heart.  He is such a blessing to me. After he left, I had my yearly breast MRI.  Woohoooo...it's over!  Met a sweet lady there who had lost 2 sisters to breast cancer.  In addition, her daughter had it at 25 and her mother is also a survivor.  Wow.  Just wow.

Praying it's all clear, and it's not my turn, yet.

Thanks for reading and that's a little bit of my crazy life......from this spot.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A little on the light side

So, tonight the DH (darling husband) and I are going to a "Cocktail Attire" event. Of course, as any good woman knows, I didn't have anything to wear so I've been shopping a tiny bit. Looking for something that looks good, but not obscene. Something that looks like something a 40-something should wear and not a 20-something. Shoes that I can actually stand and possible dance in. And of course, something that doesn't add to our debt. Shopping for this event has not been easy.....and dare I say it? It has not been fun.

Fact one -- women my age who want to still look really cool and gorgeous, but also modest, do not have very many options in the cocktail dress department; add 50 pounds overweight and the choices decrease exponentially.

Fact two -- bad back plus a knee that has been acting up for over a week equals very slim choices in the cute shoe department also. I put these gorgeous 3" heals on, and immediately, my right knee is aching. Really? Really? How old am I again?

Fact three -- I almost agreed with DH and backed out. However, I talked myself out of that because, really...how often do I get to attend a function that has "Cocktail attire"? Not very.

I did find a dress and shoes after numerous stores where I just knew I'd find the right dress. Not sure what I'm doing for jewelry (I have about 6 hours or so to figure that out) and I am NOT carrying a stupid little bag all night. If my nose gets shiny, I don't care.

Oh and PS....17? 42? Why do zits still break out a day or two before a "special" event. Really? Yes, really.

The shoes.....(dress pic later)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New To Me

I am going to attempt to start blogging. I love to read and I like to write. Do I have anything worth saying? Not sure, but sometimes it just helps to get it out there!

Is my life perfect? Nope, but I truly live a blessed life. You can almost always find me in some kind of Bible study and also reading some kind of Christian fiction. I'm not that picky. I've been an avid reader my whole life. That part of me never seems to change! Lots of other things have changed now that I've reached my 40's.....but we'll go there at a later date!

I just finished reading a really interesting detective story called Back on Murder, by J. Mark Bertrand. It was a very thought-provoking book about a police officer's struggles with his job and wanting to get back to place in his career that he had "lost" for a while after a personal tragedy. I enjoyed the insight into a police officer's mind as well as the specifics of the mystery. It kept me guessing as to how it was all going to play out, and I liked it! I also thought the author did an excellent job of challenging us to think about how we, as Christians, interact with the world around us and how that is perceived. I am content to just sit and let others do?

I am also in the middle of Return to the Garden, Embracing God's Design for Sexuality. Wow. Just wow. God has brought me through so much junk through the years that I thought I was ready to deal with my kids on this subject. Through the last few years, I have been saddened because I watch so many teens I interact with struggle in ways that mimic my life history. I have always been drawn to teaching and helping teenagers. This study is one all moms and girls need to go through. It has challenged me to be more intentional in how I talk to my kids (boys and girls) about sexuality. I highly recommend it!

That's my thoughts.......from this spot.