Thursday, December 2, 2010

A random thought about aging...

Bette Davis said, "Getting older isn't for sissies".  You know, that's really true.  It sounds funny at first, because it happens to ALL of us, regardless of how we feel about it or try to fight it.  But if you think about it, it's spot on.

Aging is something we're all so afraid of, I think especially in America.  Many countries in the world hold their elders in high esteem, but we tend to obsess over and worship youth and vitality over age and wisdom. So as a society, when 'age' comes knocking, we go running and screaming in the opposite direction, frantically searching for the latest innovations and novelties that will keep us looking and feeling 'young'.  That's not very brave, is it? What we look like should not be who we are, and what we're valued for.  That's shallow and really kinda silly.  How much more courageous would it be to embrace growing older, and allow the wisdom and knowledge from our life experiences -  not to mention the love of our God living inside of us - to reflect our inner beauty and shape our countenance?  Not only in ourselves, but to accept and seek it out from others? 

How awesome would that be!?  Perhaps if we became a more inner-beauty & worth-focused society than an outward one, we could build upon one another's stregths and better appreciate and the 'now' instead of constantly fearing the future or escaping the past.  Be brave, embrace it!  It's such a simple concept, but a hard 'do', because of the state of our society.  But it's worth a try, right?!   Turning 40 this year makes me consider this a lot more heavily, as my perspective is changing as I get older.  You can't turn back the clock and you can't stop time from marching forward.  I want to be courageous and embrace my age rather than be constantly trying to wimpily run away from it! 

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.  Just some rambling thoughts I had after watching a snippet of a talk show this morning!

(PS- I'm not really talking about wanting to look good 'for your age' or taking care of yourself.  That's different! At least if you're not obsessive about it...)  

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I had a thought a little while ago and thought I'd just come in and jot it down.  I got to thinking of all that I'm thankful for, and the list was so long.  Then I realized that there really isn't much that I'm NOT thankful for!  Even the bad/hard stuff - though it isn't fun to experience - shapes us, teaches us and brings us wisdom and perspective.  Besides, appreciation of the good stuff is only made richer by being familiar with the bad stuff too, right?  May God find me grateful not only on this day, but always and in all things! 


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Season of Gratitude

Well, with Thanksgiving being tomorrow, 'the holidays' are officially here! And there's talk everywhere about how to 'de-stress' your holidays, and the big question:  "What stresses you out the most during the holidays?"  You know what?  The thing that stresses me the most is everybody stressin' out!  For the season nicknamed, "the most wonderful time of the year" - when we're supposed to be thankful and loving and peace-seeking -  people sure can "Scrooge-out"!  Why do we do it?!  It seems so unnecessary!  Here's why:

I heard some good advice about de-stressing this season from Martha Beck, an author, O Magazine contributor, and LifeCoach.  I'm paraphrasing a bit, but these were her basic points:
  • Check your motivation.  Motivation is typically fueled by one of two things:  Love and Fear.  Doing things you love to do, or for someone/people you love and care about, vs. fear that if you don't do/make/get something, someone/people will be upset, disappointed, or you will fail, etc.  
  • Let 'good' be good enough.  You don't have to be perfect!  We tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard than others do, and often 'good' is more than plenty and perfectly acceptable for most! 
  • Find the humor in the holiday(s).  Don't take things (and yourself) too seriously.  Learn to let those 'mishaps' color your holiday & make it memorable rather than ruin it.
Love that!  Great 'checks' for our motivation and easing the stress of perfection.  Also, keeping an attitude of gratitude and a giving spirit will help you keep perspective and be more mindful of your actions.  It's hard to be grateful when your eyes are on yourself!  Joel Osteen says, "Constant gratitude shows humility because when we are thankful, we magnify God instead of magnifying our problems. It gives us proper perspective and opens the door for God’s grace, favor and supernatural empowerment."
 “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34, AMP
So, maybe instead of asking, "What stresses you out during the holidays?", we should be asking, "What are you grateful for?"  Here's to our holidays being fueled by love and gratitude rather than fear of perfection and perception!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!   ;-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Multitude Monday, Vol. 6

I'm still new to this journey of One Thousand Gifts.  Still finding my way, still learning how to truly and earnestly appreciate all of the beautiful gifts the Lord has given and placed around me.  I yearn to get out of myself and take in my surroundings, the things and people that bring me joy, to savor the simple things and then turn them all upward in praise.  Ann Voskamp says,
"It’s only in the expressing of gratitude for the life we already have that we discover the life we’ve always wanted—a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — and by God."

Father, please open the eyes of my heart that I may see your glorious works around me with my physical eyes and ears and touch. Help me to slow down, pay attention, and take it all in.  And then return it all back to you and be a witness to others of your unfailing love, mercy and grace.   Amen.

72.  Thankful for time spent with visiting family that I don't get to see much.
73.  Fall colors finally showing up!  Beautimous!
74.  New peeps visiting our LifeGroup!
76.  Thankful for a church that honors and appreciates it's volunteers so graciously.
80.  Thanks to my awesome hubby for steppin' up and doin' chores, fixing dinner, dealing with the kids, etc. when I wasn't feeling well.  Even when he didn't feel that great himself.  I am beyond blessed!

If you'd like to join me with your own 1000 Gifts journey and join the Gratitude Community, click here or on the button below.  Have a blessed week!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Multitude Monday, Vol. 5

This week, it's just been about thanking God for the simple things for me.  Thursday started Fall Break for us, with my hubby taking off so we could all spend some time together.  We didn't end up doing some 'big stuff' that I originally wanted to do, but ended up being blessed anyway with a bunch of 'small stuff'.  I think that's part of the lesson of doing this One Thousand Gifts, is finding beauty and gratitude in ways we might have otherwise missed!

53.  New Lifegroup friends
54.  The ambience the autumn sun and falling leaves give the outside of my house
56.  A lazy Fall Break morning!
59.  My first NBA game experience! (via free tickets!)
61.  The sound of falling rain on the roof
63.  Krispy Kreme doughnuts!
65.  Small roadtrip & family time at the pumpkin patch (more free tickets!)
66.  The wide open spaces of the rural Oklahoma countryside
69.  Time spent with friends we don't get to see very often
70.  A few stolen moments to myself to sit and just be quiet


holy experience

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shining Light

It seemed I was having a case of negative/critical self-talk and attitude today. And as the day went on it just got worse, as I found my self, once again, failing my expectations. (Eyes on me.)  I was driving home from errand-running and feeling stressed, irritated, and defeated.  (Running theme in my life lately.  I'll expound on that later.) Then, right in the middle of complaining to myself about myself, a song came on my iPod random shuffle that stopped me.  It quieted me - that voice inside my head.  I just stopped and listened:  

I love you Lord
I worship You
I'll love You Lord always
So thankful Lord
You saved my life
You saved my life today
Let me be a shining light for you
Let me be a joy to you always
Let me be a shining light for you
Let me be a joy to you always

And Lord I'd love
To bring to You
The honor to your name
Just look at what
You've done for me
I'll never be the same

Conviction.  My behavior wasn't very edifying, and I was definitely not being "a joy" or "a shining light" - to anyone - let alone to or for God.  I played (and sang) the song 3 times on the way home and offered it as my prayer.  My spirit calmed, and those complaints and irritations seemed to melt away.  They didn't magically disappear, mind you, they just became less important and my stress level decreased.   I honored God by giving them to Him, along with my praise.  (Eyes on Him.) And once again, found my way into His grace. 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28-30, MSG

"I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord , for it is good."  Psalm 54:6, NLT

(P.S. - I probably also stopped scaring my 2yr-old daughter with my nonsensical rants from the driver's seat!)   ;-P


Monday, October 11, 2010

Multitude Monday, Vol. 4

holy experience

Well, it's Monday again.  And I've found myself unprepared for my post and lacking in general on my One Thousand Gifts journey.  I'll admit that I've slacked on my gratitude journaling this week.  Just busy-ness and forgetfulness mostly.  I started to feel bad, guilty. But, then I thought to offer myself some grace. I could use some today.  Just one of those days I'm feeling inadequate and all up in my head wondering how I can 'fix' myself and my circumstances.  But then I was reminded of a word I heard recently that talked about letting go of perfection, to stop begging God to do this, do that and simply let Him in, worship Him, offer Him the sacrifice of praise and get my eyes off of myself.  Because only as I draw myself close to Him will He be able to do a work in me.  Then the other things will fall into place, somehow.  The plan will be made known as He sees fit to reveal it to me, piece by piece.  It's a little harder "do" than "say", but I get it and am working on it. 
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. "  2 Cor 12:8-10 NIV

So today, I am thankful for His Word, and these other words that have stayed upon my heart, that all allow me to once again embrace His mercy and grace. 


Monday, October 4, 2010

Multitude Monday, Vol. 3

I can't believe it's already Monday again!  But alas, here we are again, and though I've already had a rough entry into this week, I'm here to highlight some of my blessings from this last week on my One Thousand Gifts journey.  For God inhabits the praises of His people! 

38.  Beautiful blue skies and cooler temps - YEA!
42.  Always thankful for PAYDAY!  ;-)
43.  I am so doggone blessed by my kids.  They can be so cool. They're so smart and cute and can be terribly sweet when they're not fussin at each other!  Heath is so creative and imaginitive, perceptive.  Tender.  Sensitive. Funny.  He sometimes surprises me with sweet compliments. 
Hollie is so stinkin' cute, just full of life and happy.  She has a joyful soul.  She sings & talks somewhat loudly in public, in her 2-year-old dialect (which I could listen to forever!), drawing many-a-smiles from others.  She's a snuggler.  She's smart.  Passionate.  Slightly ornery. Yet generous with her 'thank you's'.   Blessed by these two AWESOME gifts.  Truly - they leave me in AWE.
46.  God's mercy and grace. 
50.  A de-lish  Double Chocolate Cupcake from SaraSara! YUM!

Looking forward to a great week!  If you'd like to join in with your own One Thousand Gifts, you can join the Gratitude Community here

holy experience

Monday, September 27, 2010

Multitude Monday

Happy Monday!  Here are some highlights of my 'gifts' from last week, on my Thousand Gifts journey:

13. The journal my sweet hubby surprised me with to document my 1000 gifts.
20. Our friends being able to bring home the first of their premature twins, Eli, from the hospital.
23. Finding grace for myself, little by little...knowing that 'tomorrow is another day', another opportunity to    try again.
25. Becoming more aware of and longing for the quiet.
27. My Pastor's vision and call to action
30. Special time relaxing, hangin' out with my family watching a movie together.
32. Hugs from my Hollie.  :-)
34. My 6yr-old son telling me he loves my corn casserole.  ;-)
35. Watching my kids make up silly, non-sensical games & then cracking up at themselves.  Priceless!
37. Our first beautiful Fall day!

Thanks for joining me on my journey.  If you would like to join The Gratitude Community with your own journey of One Thousand Gifts, you can link up here at A Holy Experience

holy experience

Monday, September 20, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

Today, I'm starting a new 'experiment', if you will...a gratitude list.  But not just any gratitude list - this one is a little different.  I've done 'Thankful Thursday' lists here before, and have been thinking of starting a more 'daily' gratitude journal recently.  Then as I was exploring (in)Courage today, I happened upon the blog of one of the authors, Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience and discovered the Thousand Gifts List.  I think it was a divine appointment, as I fell in love with and am intrigued by this idea.  Here is a sampling of what the Thousand Gifts List is in Ann's words:
"I am daily jotting down items on my Thousand Gifts List, working, one-by-one, up to a thousand gifts. Not of gifts I want. But of gifts I have.

As the moments slip down the hour glass of time, I am scratching down the gifts---just as they happen, as they arrive, as they are unwrapped---that He has given that make my life grace, the daily graces that He gives in an infinite number of ways, that stir me.

I am seeing things I have never seen before, atuned and aware of this constant, endless stream of gifts from His hand. I am one waking from slumber....from the stupor of indifference and ignorance. I have sight, fresh and keen---the world is new and full of His gifts.

Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don't see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. But maybe, before The Gift List, I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that He loves me."
WOW. Join me if you will, on this journey of enlightenment and gratitude.  I haven't figured out yet how many items I want to aim to list each day, or if I even do.  I may just keep my journal handy and jot them down as they come to me and see how that goes.  And I'm sure it will be varied - some of it may be 'deep', some of it will be 'small', silly stuff. (see below) But I will post each week for Multitude Mondays some or perhaps all of my weekly discoveries.  I'll think on it and let you know my plan next week.  Here are my first gifts:

1.  My beautiful, perfect children.  Not because they're perfect - but they're perfect gifts from God to me as their mother.   
2.  The way my 2yr-old daughter lowers her brow when talking intensely about something. 
3.  Sonic ice.
4.  The beautiful music at A Holy Experience's  website.
5.  The amazing (in)Courage online never ceases to bless me in ways only God would have a hand in!

I am so excited to see what God has in store as I open myself up to discover His blessings and handiwork that are all around me, and perhaps to even explore a little more of myself.

To start your own Thousand Gifts List click here and join the Gratitude Community!  Thanks, to Ann at A Holy Experience for this gift of grace!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Cleaner

I cleaned the bathroom mirror the other day, which had been clouded with water and toothpaste spots.   When I was finished I stopped and just took in the view. Not of myself, mind you…just ‘the view’ in general.  The clean, clear, unobstructed view. Then it struck me:  My spirit felt like the dirty mirror.  In the midst of my busyness & preoccupation with my son starting Kindergarten and new schedule, I had slipped away from time in the Word and prayer, out of communion with God.  Plus, this particular day was a challenge, having gotten behind in said new schedule, throwing off the rest of the day, along with some other issues.  So I was tired, frustrated, feeling defeated and inadequate. One of those things we women - especially moms - tend to do…trying to be that ever-elusive and basically *imaginary* Superwoman.  I even cried out to God at one point (literally), asking, “Lord, why can’t I do anything RIGHT?!”

Then, standing there in front of that newly-clean mirror, it became CLEAR. (Pun intended!)  I had let my spirit become cloudy with muck and yuck, having neglected that time with God and in the Word.  He is ‘The Cleaner’ who can wash away the water spots, and the dirt and muck from my soul.  But I have to ask for His services.  And He’s always available – 24 hours a day, in fact – if only I’d make myself available!  And I suspect He’ll remind me that His mercy and grace are included in that cleaning package, along with His love and forgiveness. And then He might offer this:

A woman who is imperfect, in need of grace, gloriously gifted, flawed and beautiful who dares to believe she's loved through it all by a God who has an amazing purpose for her life. No need to apply. You're already known. You've already been chosen. The Lord looks at the heart. “ (Based on 1 SAMUEL 16:7)         ~Holley Gerth

I’m gonna go buy stock in The Cleaner…

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Today I'm participating in a new series:  Things I Love Thursday, hosted over at The Diaper Diaries.   So come along for the ride as each week I feature something I love...  

I must say, today - I really love blogging.  Fellow bloggers.  The 'blogosphere'.  I'm coming up on my own one-year blogging anniversary, and while I am still pretty green at this, I'm starting to find my way.  I've been so blessed by all of the different blogs I've come across, one usually leading me to another, to another, and so on.  (It's very easy to lose track of where you started!)  I've found lots of helpful tips, inspiration, and words of encouragement on lots of different topics ranging from blogging to motherhood to cooking to faith and more.  And I'm developing new friendships, albeit virtual!  Perhaps virtual in person, that is, but very present and real in spirit.  While it can sometimes be a distraction and source of social disconnection, this technology/internet/blogosphere can also really make this big world a smaller place and lend unexpected blessings every once and awhile.  And I'm just thankful for the opportunity to share my own thoughts and encouragements here with others as they have shared and blessed me!   

"So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. The way He wants you to live."  1 Thessalonians 5: 11, MSG

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Happy Thursday to ya!  Today I'm thankful for:

  • Boy Scout (hubby) FINALLY making it home from Jamboree after a nearly-24-hour plight!
  • Seeing my kids enjoy their Daddy after him being gone for 13 days!  
  • My 5yr-old folding up all of his pj laundry and putting them away, without me asking! 
  • That I remembered today that our library videos were due *yesterday*, before they were forgotten any longer!
  • That my 5yr-old brushed his teeth before bed without having to be told!

"Little" stuff, I know, but...isn't that where the joy really is?  ;-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I thought I'd give Thankful Thursday a whirl since it's been awhile since I've done one.  And just feeling the need to lift up an attitude of grattitude today!

Today, I'm thankful:
  • For medical advances that are helping support and sustain the lives of our friends' twin baby boys, born 10 weeks premature.
  • For and blessed  by the countless prayers, gestures of love and support, and offers help going out from friends and family for those babies and their parents.
  • To my Dad for driving my hubby to the airport at 4a.m. this morning so I wouldn't have to get myself and the kids up to do so!
  • For realizing that even though we have a large, daunting air conditioning repair to make, that it could still be worse!
  • For the plethera of sweet kisses and squeezy hugs from my 2yr-old daughter the last couple of days.  (They've been really needed, and have tried to really soak up those moments!)
Just a few of my grateful thoughts today!  I am blessed!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


"More" is a running theme in my life lately.  We need more money.  We need more of (or replacement of) this and that.  My 2-yr-old is always wanting "maw" to eat...and becoming very stealth in her acquisition of it when she decides Mommy or Daddy's "no" is unacceptable.  My 5-yr-old son wants more toys and more of his own way.  I could use more exercise in my life.  More desire for exercise in my life!  I want more time - to get more done, to do more things I want to do.  And so much more...

But there's been another "more" theme floating in the air over the last week or two that's caused me to finally stop and take notice:  God's whispering, "More of ME."  He wants to be the "more" of my life.  The other stuff is just 'stuff'.  It has no eternal significance.  He is the Author and Creator of this world, this life. The Alpha and the Omega.  And He asks to be first above all else. 

The choruses of two songs have kept popping in my mind that drive it home:
  Enough (Jeremy Camp version): 
"For all of You, is more than enough for all of me...For every thirst and every need...You satisfy me with Your love...And all I have in You, is MORE THAN ENOUGH

I Need You More:
"I need You more, More than yesterday...I need You Lord, More than words can say...I need You more, Than ever before...I need You Lord, I need You Lord. 
More than the air I breathe...More than the song I sing...More than the next heartbeat...More than anything.
I need You more..."

 He wants me to love and seek Him more than anything or anyone else.  So He's drawing me close.  And I want to snuggle up beside Him, and tell Him how much I love Him.  And listen intently as He tells me, "I love you, child. It's going to be okay.  More than okay.  Trust Me.  Remember what I told you:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the unbelievers run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
(Matthew 6: 25-34, The Message)

Here's to MORE of Him and MORE of what He has in store!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shock and Awe

Recently our family visited Frontier City, a local amusement park.  We stopped to watch in awe of this ride:

Just watch it.  We didn't ride it.  It goes upside down!
As we're standing there, we look over at Hollie -she's 2, and caught this:

Shock and awe. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



May Jesus assure you that as you follow Him—

You will never meet a fear He cannot conquer;
You will never face an enemy He cannot defeat;
You will never enter a battle He cannot win;
You will never have a need He cannot meet;
You will never face a temptation He cannot overcome;
You will never have a burden He cannot lift;
You will never face a problem He cannot solve;
You will never have a bondage He cannot break;
You will never have a moment when He does not care;
You will never have a time when He is not there.

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]." Philippians 4:13 AMP

~Roy Lessin,  Co-Founder of Dayspring

What a great reminder that we are not alone, and don't have to 'do it all' in our own strength. In fact, God doesn't want us to! He wants us to depend on Him. Imagine the life we could have if we would simply let go and allow His strength to 'infuse' us! 

And take a look at the definition of assurance:
1. a positive declaration intended to give confidence
2. promise or pledge; guaranty; surety 
3. full confidence; freedom from doubt; certainty 
4. freedom from timidity; self-confidence; belief in one's abilities 
5. presumptuous boldness
WOW.  God can give me all of this!  He declares promises to take care of me and my needs if I call on Him. And if I will trust with a certainty and surety of who He is, He can instill a confidence in me that I could never muster on my own.  This, in turn, can release my timidity, and then allow me the freedom of 'presumptuous boldness' to serve Him and live the life He's called me to!  Oh, what BLESSED ASSURANCE!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sing A Song

I found this quote today via the Tweet of a fellow blogger (who is, incidentally, my church Campus Pastor!):

"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~Maya Angelou

This reminded me of a favorite song that I love by Third Day, that usually leaves me raisin' the roof (of my car, usually) and always cheers me up...ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My husband's grandmother passed away two weeks ago.  She was a dear, sweet woman who epitomized Christian love and charity.  I was inspired at her funeral by words of her many acts of encouragement and support she generously offered to others in her lifetime.  Sending cards, phone calls, visiting people, serving her church.  These things reminded me of my own grandmother who passed a few years ago - they were a lot alike. Though both were often limited later in life by their physical limitations, their spirits were lively.  I was also reminded of my own 'call' to be an encourager...which is partially why you're reading this now.  A faithful servant's heart, encouraging attitude, a strong sense and love of family...this was their legacy.  A legacy I aim to uphold and pass on to my own family.

Bless You, Granny Mc!

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."  Proverbs 31:30

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Conclusion

Well, since it's now been a month since I left the multitudes of you hanging on the eve of my 40th birthday,  I'm finally back to offer the conclusion to the cliffhanger:  I survived!

You can breathe now! Yes, oddly enough I felt the same the day after turning forty as the day before!  Such a strange phenomenon, but it's true.  A whole new chapter of my life has begun, and yet I feel no differently than I did at 39.  Hmmm...what gives?  :-)

I like something Raquel Welch (she's 69!) said recently on Oprah regarding women aging, similar to what I said in my last post: 

"The lesson for every aging woman is to embrace it.  I want them to stop being scared of it, because it's just another chapter in life.  It's not time for you to give up. You don't need to repeat what you did already. Don't keep comparing yourself."

A new chapter!  Don't revisit the old ones!  Yes, tuck them away to use as tools of wisdom and knowledge that support your story of today, but don't dwell there!  Keep moving forward!

OK, anyway...I had a very nice birthday.  My sweet hubby threw me a surprise party -actually a week early, and boy, was I  surprised.  It was at a Mexican restaurant, where I thought I was meeting some girlfriends for a girl's nite out.  But, lo and behold - SURPRISE! - there were family and friends waiting for me.  At the Mexican restaurant...did I mention that?  *NOTE: I don't like Mexican food.*  (Had some REALLY YUMMY birthday cake, though!) That's where the surprise worked.  Boy Scout had the girls had rope me into going there with some ruse about 'craving Mexican' and 'buy one get one free coupons' or something.  Uh-huh.  Good one, guys!  There was much more that went into pulling off that party, but that's the gist...

Then, the day before my birthday I won a LeCreuset French oven from The Pioneer Woman!  That was pretty thrilling...considering I had entered just about every bi-weekly-or-so 'contests' of hers since last July with no results!  Yippee!  Then enjoyed a relaxing mani/pedi and a yummy dinner out with the hubs on 'the big day', complete with uber-yummy Krispy Kremes for dessert, as my birthday cake. (Chocolate covered creme filled - to die for, OMG!) And the week following (this was on a Saturday) was Spring Break and Boy Scout was on vacation, so quality family time spent together!    

That was a good two weeks.  The week after that I started walking again, which has really helped me feel better!  I'm not terribly consistent with it yet, but it's something!  That's half the battle, right - the starting?!  At least it was for me...for YEARS!  Cheer me on - I need to keep my 40-yr-old booty in gear and on the 'active' path!

Well, this was 'birthday month in review', concluding the 40th Birthday series.  Thanks so much for joining me.  I'll now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock...

Well, these are the last few hours in my 30's!  Yes, tomorrow I turn the big 4-0!  At first I was kind of dreading it, but now I'm trying to embrace it, hoping that this next era will be even better than the last.   Instead of standing at this point and focusing on what I haven't done, I'm realizing that life is really just beginning.  It's a starting point - as I watch my kids grow up, as we're becoming more financially stable & responsible and feeling more like 'grown ups', as I embark on a journey of rediscovering my 'true self' and  how God can use me. 

So, 40's - I welcome you.  I think.  No, really!  Well, sort of.  ;-)  Here's to the future...may God bless it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday?

Ya know, I'm not having the best day today.  It's not been bad per say, I'm just in a bit of a funk...which is ironic, considering it's an absolutely beautiful day outside.  It may just be hormones, or maybe a full moon, I don't know.  Anyway, I'm not feeling very thankful or praise-filled today for Thankful Thursday, but you know what - I'm going to do it anyway.  Probably all the more reason to do it, eh?!  Because  no matter what - there's always, always something to be thankful for.  So, here goes.

Today, I'm THANKFUL for:

1.  My kids.  For all the mess and headaches that they can be.  At least I'm able to have them.

2.  A  B-E-A-utifully sunshiney day, despite my sour(ish) mood!

3.  Hubby's job.  It sometimes makes me (and him!) crazy, with all the evenings and occasional weekend activities he has to work.  But we both know it's where he/we're supposed to be, as well as are so incredibly grateful to have a job when so many others do not.

4.  Finally finding curtains for my daughter's room!  This one may be kinda silly, but we've had mismatched sheets thumb-tacked over her windows pretty much since she was born 2 years ago.  So, it feels like quite an accomplishment to have that last little detail finished!

5.  A Perfect God.  On days like this when I feel out of control and as far from perfect that I can get, I'm glad to be reminded that I don't have to be.  We're not a perfect people, but He is: 
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Cor. 12:9   
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."  Psalm 18:30

Plese enjoy this song, Perfect People by Natalie Grant:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Attitude is Everything!

I came across this today, and wanted to share.  It is by Keith Harrell, motivational speaker and author of Attitude is Everything.  I heard him speak at a Boy Scout Convention I attended with my hubby several years ago, and think he has some cool insight on people and attitudes.  Check him out! 

Aim to stay in focus
Take control of all negative thoughts.
Transform all challenges into opportunities.
Inspire someone with your faith today.
Team up with other winning people.
Understand your own uniqueness.
Dream to be more than you are.
Enthusiasm is essential for success; get off the sideline and get into the parade of life!

Have a "SUPER-FANTASTIC" DAY!  (as Keith would say!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It's Thankful Thursday! I've been a little slack with this lately, but it's time to get back to it!  We have been truly blessed this week, so I'm giving thanks for:

1.  Uncle Sam puttin' a nice chunk o'change back in our pocket! (YEA!)
2.  Finding time to move-it-move-it today! (quite an accomplishment!)
3.  A second financial blessing on it's way! (YIPPEE YEA!)
4.  My lil' Pookie Bear and Sweet Pea...even when they make me crazy.  Which is often.  Gotta love 'em!
5.  Speaking of #4, I'm thankful that God (and the hubs!) made me a Mom.  Here's an essay about motherhood that my friend Katie posted on her blog that I found so powerful (thanks for sharing, Katie!):

Mom 2.0:  Defining a Movement by Katherine Center
You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely: So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.
You’ll forget all this when you grow up. But it’s okay.
Being a mother means having your heart broken.
And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.
And it’s the best there is. And also, sometimes, the worst.
Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.
Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.
But you must remember this: What you’re doing matters.
And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.
The truth is, being a woman is a gift. Tenderness is a gift. Intimacy is a gift. And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.
That’s why I have to love you this way. So I can give what I have to you. So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.
I have watched you sleep. I’ve kissed you a million times. And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some Things I Love

In honor of  Valentine's Day, and inspired by a post Ree made over at The Pioneer Woman the other day, I wanted to list some things I really dig.  (Photo above of me and my hubby two months before we got married at a college dance!) 



My hubby

My kids

French fries

The Sound of Music

My hubby’s tush  :-o

70’s & 80’s music



Chocolate Chip ice cream

My kids’ laughter

Sunsets on a clear view of the horizon

Curled up with “Gone with the Wind” or “Little Women” (June Allyson version) on a cloudy/rainy/ snowy day

Wide open spaces

My iPhone

The smell of bread baking and popcorn (movie) popping

My long-lost DVR

My 2-year-old daughter's happy dance/'shimmy'

Just to name a few….

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  Hug and Kiss your sweeties! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Countdown

The Countdown is on.  One month from today I turn the big 4-0.  I can't believe it!  It's been kind of freakin' me out.  How did I get here already?  I think I've just been too caught up in the what I haven't done...what I don't have to show for my life...what I can't seem to 'get done' now.  But, this last week I've realized that it doesn't matter.  What's past is past - all I have is now.  So I need to start living in the moment, try my best and savor these days while my kids are little.  Because I know they won't be for long and I don't want to let that pass me by.  Same with the other 'stuff'...the weight issue, the time/being late issues, not being able to get things done stuff...just take it one day at a time, make some goals, and do the best I can.  That's all I can ask of myself! 

So, I'm trying not to be so afraid of 40.  It's just a  number, right?!  It's just the beginning!  It's a new decade, a new age group, and we're at a turning point personally/financially.  (I'm definitely ready for that!)   How exciting, right?!  That's what I'll be telling myself over the next month.  Repeatedly.  Remind me!

Here's a few passages I happen to have come across this week that relate:

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." ~Mary Jean Iron

I found this quote on a new blog find:  One Ordinary Day at 

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."   Theodore Roosevelt 
 Found this one at     Love it!

I'll be in touch how the countdown is going!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Sunshine

Two years ago today a little more sunshine came streaming into my life, in the form of a cute little stinker named Hollie Jo.  What a blessing she's been!  She has such a sweet spirit about her and has always been a happy girl.  I've always called her my "Jolly Hollie".  (That was fun at Christmas - we have a singing snowman that sings a medley of Christmas songs that includes "Holly Jolly Christmas".  She played him over and over again...I think she thought that was 'her' song!)

Now don't get me wrong - she's a feisty one!  I fear she'll give her big brother a run for his money in the attitude department!  Not to mention give her Mom and Dad a few headaches.  But none-the-less, she's my sweet angel.  She always will be.  I'm sticking to it.  (Just remind me of that in 10 or 12 years!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


OK, another song I want to share.  Another Mercy Me song, at that.  It's just a place I'm in today and wanted to write it down and share it with you.

HOLD FAST by Mercy Me
To everyone who’s hurting

To those who’ve had enough
To all the undeserving
That should cover all of us
Please do not let go
I promise there is hope

Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He’s come to save the day
What I’ve learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife
Is His grasp
So hold fast

Will this season ever pass
Can we stop this ride
Will we see the sun at last
Or could this be our lot in life
Please do not let go
I promise you there’s hope...

You may think you’re all alone
And there’s no way that anyone could know
What you’re going through
But if you only hear one thing
Just understand that we are all the same
Searching for the truth
The truth of what we’re soon to face
Unless someone comes to take our place
Is there anyone?
All we want is to be free
Free from our captivity, look -
Here He comes...

Hold Fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He's come to save the day
What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife
Is Your grasp

That's all I wanted to say today.  Be blessed!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Late Nights & ONE THING

Since it's been awhile since my last post, let me start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Sorry I've been gone so long (almost a month to the day)...things just got away from me!  Which is what brings me to today's subject...

I must confess:  I have an addiction.  It's called 'staying up too late'. Acutally, let's just call it 'late'. I stay up too late, then get up too late, I get Hollie, my nearly-2-yr-old up too late, I get my 5-yr-old son Heath to school practically late, then often let Hollie nap too late, get dinner started too late, get the kids ready for & in bed too late, and then start over at stay up too late. "Et cetera, et cetera, et ceteraaa..." (Name that movie)

Not all of this every single day, but close enough. And I hate it...I think it's holding me back.  I'm a serious nightowl by nature - always have been. My hubby Chris (a.k.a. Boy Scout) is kinda one too...we've always stayed up 'late'.  But the last couple of years I've started staying up excessively late.  And it's not 'insomnia'.  I just stay up, often when I'm actually tired.  I realized awhile back that I've just done this since the kid(s) were born.  I think it's my way of finding 'me' time, 'alone' time, time to do things I can't seem to do when the kids are up.  Stuff like blogging (hello there!), messin on the computer = email/balancing checkbook/reading Pioneer Woman/FB/watching TV shows online that I missed during the week, etc., reading, and so on.  Not terribly 'important' stuff, but just those 'wanna do' things.

And that is something I do just about every day.  It's just a vicious cycle...the stayin' up late causes the domino effect of the other 'late' things affecting my day.  That, in turn, causes me to feel tired, inadequate, forgetful, frustrated and guilty. And, honestly - I'm often calling myself 'an idiot', a 'loser', and 'stupid' for not 'getting it' and doing this to myself over and over again.  Hence, leaving little room to motivate myself to get on the exercise bandwagon that I really need to jump on!  Vicious. Cycle.  Not sure which is worse -the vicious part or the repetitive, cycle part.  Hmmmm.  Why don't we just dump them both?!  "Hey Jane...get me off this crazy thing..."  (Name that movie)

I have to make a change!  For lots of reasons - for my health, for my family, for my sanity, and to be able to begin to fulfill the plan God has for me.  It all connects...this issue affects every area of my life.  I'm not at my best.  And I'm not as open to God as I know I should be, to be used by Him, because I'm so caught up in myself and my 'issues' and not great at forgiving myself.  I'm confessing this to you, because I need to start somewhere, and be held accountable!  So if anyone sees me up after midnight on Facebook, message me and tell me to get my fanny to bed!  Then I will tell you to do the same.  HA!

It's my goal to get to bed earlier and then up earlier to start my day.  This may likely call for some sacrifice, initially anyway, like not being able to get all my 'wanna do's' done, or have as much 'me time'.  But, I'm hoping that in the long run it will actually help me find more time! (among other things!)  I'm excited!  I need this!  I want to be free! Free from this bondage I'm holding myself in! I'm excited about what this could mean for my future!  Excited about being able to bless others (like you!) in a bigger and more effective way!

Oh, and I'm posting my "One Thing" points below.  This was a message our Pastor brought for the New Year. He talked about the fact that we've just entered not only a new year, but a new decade.  And instead of just having 'good intentions', things you want to accomplish,  have 'God intentions'.  If you concentrate on 'one thing' a year, by the end of this next decade you will have accomplished TEN 'one things'!  That's exciting to me, since that's probably more than I accomplished in the last decade!  ('significant' things) So,  I just wanted to share mine. Here is the message if you want to check it out: 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."   Isaiah 43: 18-19
1) What one thing do you desire from God?  To be used by Him
2) What one thing do you lack? (in your spiritual life)  Willingness (to both feed on the Word and to be used)
3) What one thing do you need to let go?  Unforgiveness toward myself.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14
4) What one promise do you need to claim?  "To meet every need I have from His riches" (Phil 4:19).
I need to trust:  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:28-34

MY ONE THING:  TO BE FIT AGAIN IN 2010!  (Both physically and spiritually!)

Thanks for 'listening'!  I'll keep you posted on my progress! 

(Photo by Chris Daughtrey)