Monday, June 30, 2008

The Lamest Blog Post Ever

Today I feel uninspired. I have no witty words to share with you. No words to inspire and encourage you as you go about your day. No cute stories to share. As my husband would say, "I've got nothing."

But, I need your help. And so in exchange for your help I've managed to come up with a few words (which you might be better of skipping and just jump to #4).

My friend Christina will often do a weekend update. And since I have no creativity within me at this moment, I am going to steal her idea (I hope you don't mind). And while her weekend updates are fun to read, please prepare yourself - mine is extremely lame and quite possibly a large waste of your time.

And so, I present...

My Weekend Update:

1. Somehow I managed to attain tens of mosquito bites all over my legs. They are driving me crazy one itch at a time.

2. On Saturday I was able to go to my cousin's wedding. In a twist of irony, we attended the shortest wedding service ever (approx 5 minutes) coupled with the longest wait for a reception (and meal) (approx 4 hours). On the plus side, the bride was beautiful, we got to hang out with fun people without children :), and enjoyed a little salsa courtesy of the bride and her father - very cool! Oh, and the food was really good too!

3. The Cubs lost again. Swept by the White Sox. My husband ( a fan of both Chicago teams) was unable to decide who to root for. So he watched the game dressed in a Sox shirt and a Cubs hat. He is a conflicted man.

And now for the blog participation portion of this riveting post:

4. The upcoming week is "birthday week" at our house. My daughter's is on Thursday and the boy's is on Sunday. I need some help. Do you have any fun gift ideas for 3 year old boys? I could use a few suggestions.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I almost forgot...

We were so tired the last leg of our trip home from She Speaks. Our plane had been delayed and we were arriving an hour later than planned. My sister Jami shares our last "adventure" quite well here. She makes me laugh. I remember at one point during the plane ride looking over at her with her eyes closed, her hands folded and a very worried expression on her face.

But that was not the only way she inspired laughter on that fateful trip home (and yes I do haver her permission to share this - it is just one more example of what tired can do to a person).

We were looking out the window at all the pretty lights shining from the earth below us. And she made the comment, "Oh we must be getting lower."

"Why do you say that?" I questioned

"Because we can see the lights." she answered back.

"Jami, that is because there are no clouds out tonight."

"You mean we can always see the lights when there are no clouds?"

Some questions are better left unanswered.

Stories, Pictures and New Friends

I'm not sure where to begin. I came away from She Speaks full of information, friendship and an excitement for the future. (And to think I almost missed it by miscalculating what time we should be at the airport Friday morning - picture me running through an airport parking lot hyperventilating at the thought of missing our plane!)

One of the highlights of the weekend was the focus on blogging. Not only did I get to meet people who love to blog and whose blogs I read, I got to sit in on workshops led by Boo Mama, Big Mama and Rocks in My Dryer! (If you are interested in growing your traffic or learning about blogging boundaries, etiquette and privacy check out their blogs, they have posted their material from the weekend!)

All of the workshops I attended were full of good information. I have a lot to process and sift through.

The best part of the weekend, however, (besides getting to share it with my sister) was the friendships that I made. I love it when God provides a kindred spirit. Even when you are not looking for one.

Pictured below are Karla, me, Jami and Emily (not pictured is Samantha). These are women I laughed with, cried with, connected with, ate with, and stayed up late with. Our time together was entirely too short. Thank you for making She Speaks extra special. And, for sharing your hearts and time with me. I can't wait until we meet again!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

He Speaks, I listen (sometimes)

What a weekend! I had the opportunity to travel to Charlotte, NC with my sister this past weekend for Proverbs 31's She Speaks conference. I went expecting a "message from God." I went expecting to hear from Him at the conference. And I did, although not in the way I expected.

On the first day of the conference I felt Him prompting me to do something outside of my comfort zone, it was not a big thing. It was not even that far out of the zone (like maybe an inch outside). But I said no. And it bugged me the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday night, I visited the prayer room. In the prayer room tables were set up that held papers with the different names of God and the names of all the conference attendees. I went to look for my name and walked right to it. It was on a page that said "The Lord of the hosts of heaven will always fulfill His purposes, even when the hosts of His earthly people fail." It spoke peace to me immediately.

Today during my quiet time I looked up the verses that were listed underneath those words. Malachi 1:10, 13 spoke to me. They say

Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my alter!... When you bring injured crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?, says the Lord.

I think that is the state of my heart. I offer "sacrifices" that don't inconvenience me or make me uncomfortable. I offer only the things that I can give while still keeping up "appearances". But, I am not willing to give the best offerings, to make the true sacrifices and so I light a "useless fire" and offer him the "crippled animals." I obey Him when it is convenient and when I don't look like a fool in the process.

That is not how I want to live. I want to experience God in big ways and small ones. And that involves obedience. Honestly, I don't have a lot of confidence that I will obey him the next time he nudges me. So I will just plead for mercy and grace, which He always seems to have enough of, and rest in the knowledge that His purposes are always fulfilled, even when his people fail.

And now I am feeling very tired, so I think I am going to take advantage of my quiet house and take a nap. I will be posting pictures later. And telling stories. And introducing you to my new friends (one of the biggest blessings of the conference!).

Monday, June 16, 2008


you are the winner of Susie's book Balance that Works When Life Doesn't!

Congrats - it is a great book. I know you will enjoy it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't eat my Peanut Butter Crunch

We have Peanut Butter Crunch at our house right now. It is probably our favorite cereal. Yesterday as I was passing it out to the kids, they kept asking for more. So, I gave them more, reluctantly, and in increasingly smaller and smaller quantities. All the while thinking, "this cereal is going to be gone by tomorrow." It was quite distressing.

You see, I am the kind of girl who likes to take good things, like Peanut Butter Crunch, and make them last as long as possible. That may mean eating smaller portions at a time, but then I get to have more portions to look forward to. I always save my favorite part of the meal(i.e. the rolls or potatoes) for my last bite. I NEVER read the end of a book until I actually get to the end (but that is another blog post altogether).

When I get birthday money, I have the hardest time making a decision on what to buy because I worry that I will find something better if I wait. When I was little and would get bags of candy for Easter or Halloween, I would limit myself to one or two pieces of candy a day so I could make the candy last as long as possible (even if it meant the candy would start to go stale).

At one point in my young life I had an entire jar full of laughy taffy. That candy lasted for months, literally. It would have lasted even longer, but I found out years later that one of my sisters (who will remain nameless) used to sneak into my room in the middle of the night (literally crawling on the floor in the dark while everyone was sleeping) and eat my laughy taffies. She recently confessed this to me, I guess the guilt was just eating away at her in the dark recesses of her mind, much like she ate my candy.

I was the only one in my family like this. My sisters would eat their candy as soon as they received it (hence the need to steal mine!). And, I don't think they have any problems spending their birthday money.
Although most of these little quirks are harmless. I have started to realize that sometimes, I can loose out on the joy of the moment because I try too hard to save joy for the future, where there is no guarantee.
So, I am trying to live in the moment and take advantage of the little joys that are set before me, even if it means eating all the Peanut Butter Crunch today and not saving any for tomorrow!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Interview with a Mom - Susie Larson

It's been a while since I've done my last "interview with a mom." I thought it was time to bring them back (on a semi-regular basis at least!). My purpose with these interviews is to create an opporutnity to learn from other moms who are ahead of me in the journey of motherhood. I hope you are as encouraged by them as I am.

Today, author and speaker, Susie Larson, has agreed to join us.

And, drumroll please, in honor of this first interview, I am going to be giving away one copy of Susie's book Balance that Works when Life Doesn't! To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment by 5 pm on Monday, June 16th.

For more from Susie, check out her blog. She posts every Wednesday.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband Kevin and I were married over 23 years ago. We were going to wait five years to have children but (somehow) got pregnant on our honeymoon. Praise! We not only were blessed with a beautiful son who is now a godly young man, we found out I had endometriosis. I needed to have my children right away if I wished to have them. I ended up with a hysterectomy at age 29, but thankfully had three sons before that time. My sons are Jake – 22, Luke – 20, and Jordan - 18

Tell us about your new book coming out in July and why you wanted to write it.

Yes! I am excited about this new book. Every author has a book that is sort of her signature book, and this one is mine. The title is, “The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary.” In this book I address three things: a woman’s identity (that it’s both her privilege and responsibility to embrace her worth), how she relates to other women (and the call to break the stereotype of gossip, pettiness, and drama), and the call to make a divine impact in her world (which she cannot do on the low road of insecurity and gossip). Women who have read the review copy have said that it’s a life changing book. I am very passionate about the message in this book!

Why do you love being a mom?

Early on, God made it clear to me that my sons were created in HIS image, not mine. The beautiful challenge for me was to be so in step with the Lord that I could clearly discern His plan for their lives. I wanted to cooperate in every way possible with His plan and His shaping of their character. I suppose I could have made them eat more vegetables, but I went the distance when it came to cultivating a spiritual legacy in their lives.

What has been the most challenging part about being a mom for you?

The biggest challenge for me early on was trying to parent three baby boys while fighting a disease that took away about 90% of my strength. I was bit by the deer tick during my third pregnancy and battled severe illness during those first several years after my third son was born. Even so, God was faithful to fill in where I was lacking. Later on, the challenge for me was to be whole so that I could parent from a place of fullness, and not emptiness. If we don’t take care of our own hang-ups and insecurities, we will pass them down to our children. I was determined to impart life and freedom to them and so I had to take seriously my own call to be free and whole in Christ.

What is your favorite lunchtime meal?

Okay, this might sound weird but my favorite lunch time meal is coleslaw salad (with grapes, sunflower seeds, chicken breast, and poppy seed dressing). I have gluten and lactose intolerance so my diet is seriously limited. Oh, it just occurred to me that you were referring to my little-kid days. Let’s see, hmmmm, I’d have to say, grilled cheese and tomato soup. That was our favorite lunch for many years.

What is your favorite summer activity?

Again, my boys are grown now, so my answer is different now than it was then. I absolutely love to wake up early, grab my coffee and all of my devotional books and Bible, and head out to my deck to watch the sunrise and to spend some time praying. My other favorite thing is to ride the bike trails as fast as I can.

Share one good mom tip you have learned over the years.

I heard this from Gary Smalley. Never let your child walk away with a closed spirit. In other words, pay close attention to what’s going on in their heart and mind. As parents, we have to confront, redirect, discipline, and sort through messes with our little ones and it won’t always be pretty. But at the end of the day, we have to make sure that nothing in them has shut down. We have to be together on this journey and the only way to navigate through life (especially those teen years) is to be fully present and in tune with how they are responding to the difficult things they encounter.

What do you like to listen to in your car (music, talk radio, nothing, etc.)?

I listen to the local Christian radio station. Sometimes I like it quiet so I can pray.

What book (if any) are you reading right now?

I’m reading Wayne Muller’s book on the Sabbath. And while I don’t agree with everything in that book, it’s given me a lot to think about in the way of pace and rest and reflection.

Do you have any parting advice for young moms?

I’m afraid I’ll sound like every other cliché in the book but with all my heart I mean this: enjoy these years; embrace them, for they will quickly pass. In fact, none of us know how long we get to walk this earth. We live in such a performance oriented society and moms are especially made to feel they need something else to validate them other than “just” being a mom. This is a great lie of the age! What could be more important than investing in tomorrow’s leaders? Whole generations of kids are growing into spoiled-entitled-self aware adults. This world is desperate for more grounded, godly, Christ-following leaders. Embrace your call as a mom and do with with every ounce of dignity God gives you!

Thank you Susie for sharing with us!

Monday, June 09, 2008

It's a Woman's Prerogative to Change Her Mind.

Remember when I asked for tagline ideas and even bribed you with a $5 gift card to the store/restaurant of your choice. Well, I've changed my mind. I decided to keep the tagline I already have "Listening for His Voice in the Midst of Everyday Life."

And, since Holly suggested I keep that tagline in the comments section of said post, she wins the gift card!

So, Holly let me know where you want your card to come from and I will see that you get it.

Thanks for all your suggestions friends. You had many a great idea, and I thank you for sharing.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Never Thought I'd Hear Myself Say...

My friend Angie recently did a series of posts entitled "Things I Never Thought I'd Say". I am going to borrow her title because yesterday I heard myself uttering that kind of sentence.

Mya and Sean had a doctor appointment. The doctor appointment before Kindergarten usually involves shots, but Mya got her shots last year. Yay for her, right?

The morning of her appointment we were talking about the agenda for the day (i.e. a doctor appointment for her and Sean).

To which she replied, "I am getting a shot today and I won't cry. Right mom?"

I had been handed a golden opportunity. A chance to be the hero. A chance for my young daughter to rise up and call me blessed. "Guess what?," I said, "You don't have to get a shot today because you already got your shots last year!"

Her response, "But Mom, I want to get a shot."

What do you say to that?

Something I never thought I'd hear myself say...

"I'm sorry, but you don't get a shot today you already had yours."

I am happy to report that this story has a happy ending. It turns out, she actually needed one shot. And she didn't cry!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Creative Taglines needed, apply below!

I have been trying to think up a fun tagline for my blog and I need your help. Nothing I have come up with sounds quite right. Here are a few attempts:

Whadusay - Annuls of a Mom trying to Hear herself Think (Kory thinks this is too wordy)
Whadusay - Silent prose in a Noisy World (this was Kory's attempt)
Whadusay - A place of Silent Lucidity (another Kory attempt, I don't really want my blog associated with a Heavy Metal song)

So you see I am stuck. Please help! As added motivation I will giveaway a $5 giftcard to either Target or Starbucks (or the store/restaurant of your choice) if you come up with the winning tagline!