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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stretching & Growing

My parents always encouraged my sister and I to be lifelong learners and to never shy away from a challenge.  In some ways, I feel like I do that and at other times I feel like I get more fearful the older I get.  About 6 weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend of mine, Monda.  Monda is a pastor's wife from a church in a nearby city.  She is incredible and I truly look up to her and always look forward to catching up with her.  She called to ask if I would speak at her ladies tea.  She went on to tell me that she had been praying for a while and that God kept bringing my name to mind.  I immediately said "yes."  How could I say no?    Inside I was freaking out.  What do I have to say?  I'm really comfortable singing in front of people but speaking makes me NERVOUS.

I started brainstorming with Levi and also taking notes.  His advice was, "Tell your story and go with that."  So that's what I did.  It was honestly really healing for me.  I've heard Levi tell our story or bits and pieces of it but I've never shared my perspective.  I had to relive some of the hard parts and it was emotional for me.  I used Job as a scriptural reference.  I really struggle with the book of Job and the unfairness of it all.  I've learned that life is unfair (DUH!) and that has nothing to do with God.  He doesn't make it unfair because of our right or unright decisions or actions.  Sometimes the unfair is directly related to our own decisions, sometimes it's the result of another's actions and sometimes it's just because life stinks at times.

As I prepared and processed and worked through it with Levi, I realized that had life been fair and all that I had expected it to be, I would have missed out on some great truths in my life.  I would not have the depth of relationship that I have with my creator.  I continue to be amazed at the capacity of love that He has for me. I would not have the relationship that I have with my husband, I have so much respect and admiration for him.  Being a lead pastor and planting a church from a handful of people is a challenge to say the least, not to mention being hours away from family.   I would not have Catalyst Church.  Holy cow, I never could have imagined the people of Catatlyst and how genuine and amazing they are.  I would not have the friendships that we have with some many wonderful people from my mommy group to my mdo friends to our soccer friends and school friends.  Had life been fair and what I expected, I would have missed out.

The God that walked with Job and talked to him through the storm is the same God that walked with us through our storm.  I am encouraged in that!

I survived my first speaking engagement and am very thankful for the opportunity!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Just wanted to take a second and write about my mom.  Oh my word!!  My mom is one of the most hilarious, fun loving, silly people that I know.  She is friendly to everyone and will talk to anyone.  She has a huge heart and loves people (and to sing).  My mom is amazing. I am so lucky to have her.  I'm thankful that she always told me that I could do and be whatever I wanted.  She always supported me and let me be myself and was okay with whatever that meant. 

I'm also thankful for my older sister, what a great example for me.  She has such a compassionate and loving heart and spirit.  I'm thankful for strong grandmothers and the examples that they were to me.  I'm also thankful for a terrific mother in law that is better than what I ever could have expected or dreamed of!!  I'm telling you, I am one lucky lady.

The worst part of being way out here in the great state of Texas is being so far away from our families, especially on days like Mother's Day.  I've tried not to think about it because I do start to get a little mad (maybe displaced sadness, I don't know).  I miss my mom (and Dad and sister's family) terribly.  I'm thankful for the legacy that was left for me.  I've also been a little more aware that there are people today that are missing their mom on mother's day for the first time and my heart aches for them.  And, I'm keenly aware of my friends who have such a yearning and desire to be a mom but haven't been able to experience that yet and I'm praying for them.  Today has been a day full of emotions and thoughts. 

Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Single Parenting

This week, I've been alone with Addy.  Levi took Keegan on a road trip with him to a wedding. Keegan has been with Levi's parents while Levi's been enjoying wedding festivities.  It's nice for Keegan to get some one on one time with Levi and his parents.  I have had a great time with Addy.  I've really enoyed her company.   I've enjoyed hearing her tell a complete story without interruption or an argument about the facts.  I've enjoyed watching her dance to the music of her choosing for as long as she wants. I've enjoyed her telling me silly jokes and HER getting to say the punchline.  Some of those things she doesn't get to complete on a normal basis because of a certain younger brother who is just doing the job of being the little brother. 

Having Addy by myself, enjoying girl things and watching girly movies has been so fun for me.  I enjoy my time with Keegan and probably take it for granted because we're together so much.  This week has definitely shown me the importance of a little (or a lot) of one on one uninterrupted time.  I've really tried to put my phone, laptop, and some "to do lists" down to enjoy & listen to her.  It's been well worth it. 

There are seasons in life and with our kids and this season is great.  Addy & Keeg are both pretty independent and self sufficient and are just loads of fun. I'm not at all saying it's all roses, there are definitely challenges. I'm under no delusion that my kids are perfect or genius but they are amazing and they're mine so I can have that opinion. I don't want to push my kids to do or be things they are not just to measure up to someone else's unrealistic standards.   I'm learning that I have nothing to prove in my parenting to anyone except to my kids.  They need to know they are loved unconditionally.  They need to know that I support them 100% in anything they do.  They need to know that they can be themselves.   They need boundaries and consequences to be kept safe.  And above all, they need to know that they have a God who loves them and created them to be who they are.  It is my responsibility and challenge at times to teach them these things.

I fail a lot at parenting.  I'm glad there are new days.  I'm glad my kids don't remember my failures. I'm glad they forgive better than I do.  I'm glad they teach me to be a better me.  I'm one lucky mama!!
I've missed Levi & Keegan and will definitely be glad when we're all reunited but in the meantime I'm thankful for all the girl time I'm getting!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Anxious Thoughts

have filled my head the past week or so.  I'm sure it's partially due to hormones (or almost fully if I'm being honest). I tend to carry things for others. And by things, I mean stress, worry, negativity, etc.  I'm not sure why I do that.    It could be anyone, it could be my husband, my kids, my best friend, my long lost friend, a neighbor, the girl at Walmart.  I will worry for anyone and over anything. And surely, I have better things to do right?!  I do, I know I do.  I find that my worrying goes in waves.  Sometimes I am very content to not worry but then other times, like the past week or so, my worry radar has been BLARING.  I'm trying to pray instead of worrying.  In the Bible it says don't worry but pray.  I'm trying to be more diligent and catch myself.  In hindsight, last week was a heavy week in our lives...not necessarily in our lives but in the lives of lots of people around us.  We are privileged (and I truly mean that) to love the people of our church and lots of people outside our church and it seems like a lot of our friends are struggling right now with major things.  I tend to take that on myself and hurt pretty deeply with and for them. I think part of that is just being the Body of Christ and living life with people. I love that and I wouldn't trade it for anything!!  So maybe for me to cope,  I worry and think about it way too much.  And it seems the more I worry, the more I realize I can do nothing about it and then that worries me too.  Ha!!  It's a vicious cycle. 

So, I continue to live life with my friends and I continue to trust that God has me right where He wants me.  And I will hopefully continue to go to Him instead of worrying. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Girl friends

I've blogged before about how blessed I am when it comes to wonderful girl friends but this week in particular I am amazed at how many wonderful people I get to call my friends.  I've had the opportunity to sit and enjoy a meal and/or snack with 3 different women this week and learn about their lives and experiences and history.  I've gotten to deepen that relationship and get vulnerable with them and I love that.  I seriously do.

I was chatting with an absolutely wonderful friend of mine tonight on fb and we were talking about a lot of different things and I was telling her how often I fail and screw up and that she really knows the "ugly" me (not the pastor's wife me-ha, as if there's a difference, lol).  I was sharing with her a conversation that I had with a friend and how it's so cool to have these honest and authentic conversations with people.  She wrote back and said, "both you and Levi have these magic powers that lead you to right situations where God uses you."  The cool part about that to me is:
  • God uses our screw ups, our insignificant attempts, our "ugly" 
  • God will open opportunity and all we have to do is be willing
  • God doesn't want us to play God, he wants us to LOVE 
  • there will be situations that we feel unequipped to handle and where we don't have the words or explanations and in those situations, God has the opportunity to work wonders
  • if we shut up and quit playing church and put feet on our LOVE, we can actually be the Church
  • patience & persistence are vital to grow a relationship
 It's cool to me to be able to sit back and reflect and truly be thankful for the opportunities that I have to love and be loved.  It really is amazing how many wonderful women I've been able to get to know & develop friendships with. Okay, those are my thoughts for tonight, kind of sporadic.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pinterest Craft Night

Pinterest is all the rage these days and I have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker!!  I love it. I don't spend hours and hours on there but I will spend some time perusing and pinning.  I have some pretty crafty and creative friends.  We happened to get together about a month and a half ago and started talking pinterest and one of us had the idea to get together and "craft."  So, we did!  Xuan, Katy, and I did a mini pinterest craft night at Xuan's about a month ago.  We had so much fun.  We decided to see if any of our friends or friends of friends wanted to get in on the action.  We did and they did and we got together last night.  There were around 20 of us who showed up.  We had 3 or 4 options of thinks to make (door hangers, magnets, or vases).  Everything that everyone did turned out so stinkin' cute!! The other challenge of the night was to bring a pinterest recipe to share.  OH MY LANDS!!!  Did those ladies step up?  YUMOLICIOUS!!

It was really cool for me.  We had no clue what the turnout would be like but we had lots of different ladies show up.  It was cool for my friends from all those different worlds to collide.  It was also neat that some of the girls brought their friends too.  I'm already looking forward to next month and I'm encouraging everyone to bring a friend.  The more the merrier!!!

It's Been a Month....

Since I last blogged.  I hate that. I really wanted to blog but I realize that sometimes I want to use my blog to vent and that's probably not right.  I'm a critical person at times and things (people) annoy me sometimes and I'm trying to be more positive and not let those things (people) irk me and definitely not using my blog as a forum.  So, I've used the "if you can't say something nice..." motto and been quiet;) 

AND BUSY...let me add busy-ness to the list of reasons I've been absent.  Lots going on in our house and lives and blogging's been low man on the totem pole.  I'm back, at least for tonight!