Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Calling

I won't go into detail here, because all of the details are already at your fingertips if you care to explore. I will share with you that God has laid something new upon my heart. Well, it's not really "new", but my calling to share it regularly is new. I hope that you have a moment to check out a new place where I will be recording different thoughts. This will still be "home" to family happenings and such. However, I will now be sharing about my daily walk with the Lord over at my new "home" called You can get there simply by clicking on the title located on my left sidebar. I am so excited about sharing here! God has blessed me with a passion for Him, and now I feel that He is blessing me further with a passion for writing all about it!

Oh, and if you are one of those who "lurks", but prefers to remain anonymous ( I know you're out there, my blogger helps tell me so), I ESPECIALLY hope that you will follow me over there as well. Even though I don't know you, the fact that you come here to visit makes you important to me. :0)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vacationing 2011

This summer's vacation was ALL about the adventure! My hubby ad I set out to create a very memorable, loaded with adventure road trip for these three boys... And that's just what we did!!

We set out on the open, desolate highways of Nevada, Utah and Arizona. We saw intriguing things such as Area 51 in Nevada. I would inform you of the town in Nevada, but I'm not sure that Area 51 is part of a town. If you live in Nevada, then I'm sorry. That's all I will say about that.

Utah was a treat! We only visited the southern most part of the state, but we were pleasantly surprised by the beauty, the weather and the fact that we did find ONE Starbucks... FINALLY! My poor hubby was having some pretty serious withdrawals. We were able to experience typical summer time afternoon thunderstorms, beautiful sunshine and perfect temperatures. We visited with family and stayed at their FABULOUS lodge (a lodge that was temporary "home" to Amy Grant a couple of years ago). We fished near Brian Head Mountain and we hiked and went horseback riding through Zion National Park. We had late dinners at little hole in the wall joints in Kanab, Utah where we were entertained by their local karaoke competitors. We swam with bikers that adorned long feathered earrings and ponytails. We toured the North Rim of the Grand Canyon too.

Every night before laying our exhausted heads down J would pray. There was always thanks given for blessings received that day, but what I remember most was hearing my husband pray for the next day. He would pray for safe travels, and then he would pray specifically for the people that we would meet and talk to the next day. Every one of our days on this adventure we would have at least one long conversation with someone and learn about them. Sometimes they would be people from across the world, and sometimes they were local. The stories were always amazing! Each one of them felt like an appointment that had been made between them and us. That's just what they were.

It was such a sweet time away. God's presence was HUGE! It was noticed every day as we looked upon the beauty that He so meticulously designed in the mountains, the rocks, the rivers and lakes. It was in every conversation that took place in our car on those long, lonely roads. His presence was evident in the appointments with each stranger that we sat and chatted with, and God's presence was at it's biggest in Las Vegas where as parents, we were lead into some discussions with our boys that won't soon be forgotten. As they looked around this place called "Sin City", their hearts felt heavy with sadness. J and I just listened for awhile to everything that they were taking in. After awhile it wasn't hard to see that they didn't need us to help them form their opinion of such a place. Their opinions had already been formed, and for this we felt grateful and humbled as parents.

J drove a total of over 1800 miles in all and every mile has a story! The togetherness found in a vacation is unmatched. We have gone on weekend trips, we have done the "stay-cation". These are all fun and a blessing in their own way, but I LOVE the connection I find with my husband and each of our boys when we leave home for an extended amount of time. Mmmmmm... SO GOOD!!

God knew the desires of our hearts and He supplied even MORE than we needed. Isn't He just like that though? This family vacation will go down in history. It will be one that we will talk and laugh about for all of our lives! We set out for adventure and that's exactly what we had.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Than A Conqueror

How many times have I doubted? How many times have I said it?

"Oh, I'm hangin' in there."

The answer... MANY! Too many.

We had a FABULOUS, blessed vacation, and I will post about that soon with lots of pictures. First I need to jot down the thoughts that are heavy. The thoughts that have been circling around my head since Sunday's message at church.

Every day is a day designed by God. Every moment is known by Him. Sure, I make decisions. I'm not saying that I get up and turn my GodBot button on and he directs my steps and words like some kind of puppeteer. What I AM saying is that my attitude about the everyday happenings determines my very life. Not only that, it determines a lot of the lives around me because it's not hard to see that a lot of times, parents are the temperature gauges of the household. We model for our children. We model good and bad, don't we?

Do I want to spend my life simply "hanging in there"? Do I want my husband or my children to see me model for them in that way? OR... Do I want to spend my days here on this earth learning from my experiences, both good and bad? I want to model joy, in every circumstance. I want those that I love to see me with my eyes and hands lifted up... Even in the storm.

I know it's not very storm-like, but it's what's most recent and relevant. After church on Sunday we came home with a total of NINE boys! Our vehicle just kept filling up until it could be stuffed no more. We brought them home and then the big question was "What do we feed them"? Ummmm... Little Caesar's of course! It's cheap, it goes a long way, and they LOVE IT! I told J that I would go (hey, an opportunity to charge my estrogen a little before coming back to this house full of testosterone). I left the house and turned up K~LOVE. While sitting at a light not far from home, I was suddenly jolted from behind. I had been rear-ended... UGH! I was singing along with the radio, so I bit my tongue on both sides and I immediately experienced the typical effects of whiplash throughout my neck, shoulders and head. I've always thought those people who complain about pain after being rear-ended were just a bit on the wimpy side. I don't think that anymore. Anyhow, as I exited the car to talk to this woman that hit me, I didn't display very much joy at all. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite. I was angry. I gathered information from her and called J to come meet me with the officer. After that, I went back to my car, sat down and started to give a good pout. Why did my day have to go in THIS direction? If anyone had asked me in that moment how my day was going, I wouldn't have even said I was "Hanging in there". I would have chosen a few other words.

After I sat there sulking, I was able to come out of the fog a bit. I started to see what I had failed to see before.

It could have been so much worse. It was just a fender bender. My car was still drive-able. My body hurt, but I was able to walk and talk. I was not in need of any immediate medical attention. I would be able to drive home to my family. I had practiced what I've always been taught about space cushion, so nobody in front of me was hit. God was there. If I allowed Him, He would make me "more than a conqueror". I apologized to the woman who was waiting for everyone else to arrive at the scene. I told her I was sorry for losing my cool. Then I went back to my car and simply prayed. My eyes were on Him because I knew that I still needed to go back home to a house full of boys. I would be their temperature gauge.

After all was said and done, I headed back home (J completed the task of getting the pizzas). I walked in the door and I was immediately greeted with concerned boys. They were so sweet. They were angry that it happened too, but I had the opportunity to say this...

"Today is a perfect day to practice being more than a conqueror."

I was able to say it with a smile on my face only because it was put there by God. The army of boys settled and the rest of the day went as planned. Lots of boy fun and pizza to feed the crowd.

I became grateful for the moment.

I have continued to learn about the storms. My prayer now is that I will look like more than a conqueror FIRST when the next one comes... Whatever it may be. I have learned that if the first thing I do is look UP instead of DOWN, then the outcome will be different. The outcome will be what He has planned for me instead of what I have planned for myself.

"For if He is for me, then who can be against me?"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Missing Them

Trying something new again...

For the first time since becoming a mom 14 years ago, I am without my crew. A little over a year ago, I left them to be a part of my best friend's wedding. Today they left me behind to attend a three day "Boy's Fest" in San Francisco.

They are catching two major league baseball games.

I am painting living room walls.

They are tailgating with the guys.

I am enjoying a quiet dinner with just my mom.

They are sleeping in sleeping bags inside a church in the city.

I am sleeping with two dogs.

They are being boys.

I am being a busy mom with a mission to check things off my list!

I am missing all of my boys tonight, but I'm so happy that J and the boys are getting this great opportunity! They are with a great group of guys (young and not AS young) that are like family to us. The memories that they are making are ones that will be legendary... I can feel it in my bones!

When they get back, we will be taking off for our summer adventure... A drive to Utah and the Grand Canyon. More legendary memories! Mmmmm... Summer is so sweet. So thankful for the gift of enjoying the season, my family and ALL that God has in mind for the five of us.