Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I have been reevaluating my thoughts lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what I think about the most. Where does my mind wander in my down moments? Where does my mind wander even in my busy moments? Are those thoughts mostly positive or negative? Do I think about one thing more than anything else? Are those thoughts God centered or self-centered?

My answers to those questions vary depending on my mood or what stressors are in my life. My thoughts are like the ocean… ebbing and flowing. But, one thing is for sure… my thoughts are mostly self-centered. It’s a habit, really… one that I need to break.

I place higher value on fleeting thoughts and emotions than I do on the never changing, always present God. It's safe to say that 
whatever we spend most of our time thinking about becomes our idol. Idolatry is anything that you place higher priority in your life than God.

Do we think about money and our finances more than we think about God? Then, money is our idol. Do we think about our problems more than we think about God? Then, our problems are our idols. Do we think about our children more than God? Then, our children are our idols. Do we think about our relationships (succeeding or failing) more than God? Then, our relationships are our idols. Do we think about our religion and the rules and traditions we must follow? Then, our religion is our idol.

I suppose, like me, your idols change. What we think about (or, in my case, obsess about) is different from day-to-day, season-to-season. Therefore, we are inconsistent in what we project on the world. If we are idolizing positive feelings at that moment in time then we project happiness. If we are idolizing negative feelings at that moment in time then we project sadness.

What if we idolized the thought of God? Then, we would project His love, peace, grace, mercy, and kindness on the world. Just sayin'. 

Lately my thoughts have centered on my child. His struggles with ADHD and Anxiety consume my thoughts.  How can I help him? What can I do for him? Am I doing too much or not enough? Is he having a good day? Am I too hard or too soft on him? Am I present enough in his life? Is it ALL my fault that he even has these diagnosis?

Yep… it hit me pretty hard when I realized that I have made my child’s struggles my idols because I spend more time thinking about them than I do about God. 

Now that I know where I am investing my thoughts, I am going to re-invest my thoughts in praying and talking to God. My incessant stressing and worrying is not changing things. But, I know my incessant praying will.

I know that… I just forget.

I am turning God back into my idol. I will put no other gods before Him… not even my child’s struggles. (Ouch… that was hard to admit!)

What god or idol have you put before our Father in Heaven? 

"You shall have no other gods before me." ~ Exodus 20:3

Monday, November 25, 2013

You’ve got the wrong person!

Let me preface by saying… I haven’t felt well for a couple of weeks due to a cold, it was a loooong week in my classroom, and my son’s follow-up appointment for his ADHD/Anxiety is approaching. Anyone of those alone is enough to break me… but all at once… I was shattered.

Friday FINALLY came around… I went to bed early and cried myself to sleep. As I was crying, I told God “You’ve got the wrong person!” He must have been mistaken. I am not the one for the job. I can’t handle the stressors of this life. I am not the teacher He needs me to be. I am not the Mom He needs me to be. I can’t continue to fight the fight in either of those roles. I am clearly NOT the one.

I put myself in time-out all weekend long. Saturday at about 5:00pm I finally took care of some personal hygiene issues. I only left the house on Sunday to go to lunch with my boys.

I needed that time to reflect, to just be, to wallow in my depressed state of mind, to wade through the feelings I was feeling… I knew I wasn’t going to live in this state of mind… I just needed to allow myself to feel it and understand it… in order to release it.
What it comes down to is this… God didn’t make the mistake, I did. He called me to those roles through His strength in me. I made the mistake of carrying the burden of those roles on my own shoulders. He was scattering the pieces so that I could see the whole picture and I was scooping them up, one-by-one, and putting them I my pocket. I was squandering the big picture. With the pieces in my pocket, I couldn’t see His plan.

So, I dug the pieces out of my pocket and threw them in the air and said, “Fine, then… You take it! You carry these pieces. You’ve got the wrong person!”

I almost felt God chuckle. That was His intention all along… for Him to carry the burden. Those pieces were never meant to be in my pocket. They were always meant to be scattered around me so that I could see the big picture and shift the pieces into place… but certainly not carry them around.

I picked the pieces up because I took my focus off of God. I got desperate for answers. I thought those pieces were my answers and I grabbed them. I squandered those little pieces until my pockets bulged and I could not carry on… the pieces made it too heavy for me to even function properly. I got sick. I became overwhelmed. I shut down.

 In my time-out weekend… I came to see the big picture. I was making it more about me and less about God. The pieces were mine. The burden was mine. The roles were mine. And, with that equation… YES, I am the wrong person! But, when I switched the equation to making it more about God and less about me… I am the right person because God is within me.

It is Monday now and I am happy to say that I am once again feeling whole. My shattered pieces have been glued back together with God’s grace and mercy. God has the right person… as long as I make it more about God and less about me. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I am kind of a big deal amongst my friends.  All of my friends are kind of a big deal to me too! No matter where we are in this world, together or separate, we carry with us our “big deal” mentality. Because we are loved by each other… we are free to be ourselves… without excuses… without apologies… just free.

Although I attribute my “big deal” mentality to my group of friends, I am kind of a big deal to God too. He thinks I am something special… something wonderfully made. Because I am loved by Him… I am free to be me… without excuses… without apologies… just free to be who He made me to be.

Even if you don’t have a group of friends to whom you are a “big deal”… you do have God. He thinks you are something special too!

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

We are all kind of a “bid deal” to God! Carry that “big deal” mentality with you no matter where you are in this world! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hole in my Heart

I have found a common thread among the women around me… we all reach a point in our lives when we have to come to terms with the fact that we are enough and we are worthy just as we are. We are enough in our flaws. We are worthy in our imperfections. We are perfectly who we are in Christ alone.

There are so many factors that have lead these women (myself included) to come to terms… in our own way… in our different ways. The common factor in reaching this point has been our love lives. It could be through a dissolved marriage, a cheating partner, or a valley in our relationship. I find this incredibility profound because we have all waged our worth on our romantic relationships. We over identified with who we were in that single relationship. We allowed that to define us.

Once that relationship was in danger or dissolved, we found ourselves wondering what our worth was. We found ourselves questioning if we were enough. We found ourselves trying to redefine who we were.

I suppose the root of all of this is… why did we feel our romantic relationship defined us in the first place? 
I’ve been soul searching for this answer… for myself just as much for the women I love. I think I have found my answer and hopefully you’ll feel it is your answer too.

I think that we waged our worth on our romantic relationship, over identified with who we were in that single relationship, and allowed that to define us because that hole was in our heart in the first place. That hole was put there by God and He was the one who was meant to fill it. He wants to fill that hole with His worth, He wants us to identify with who we are through Him, and He wants to define who we are.

Instead of allowing God to fill that hole… we entrusted an imperfect, flawed, human man to fill that hole. This man is incapable to fill the God sized hole we have in our heart. Not because he is a man but because he is a man in a fallen world… imperfect just like we are.

Once we have realized that our men can never fill that hole… we are left with a gaping empty hole in our hearts. We are left grieving. We are left wondering where to turn. Some women turn to another man… thinking that maybe she just didn’t choose the right one in the first place. Some women turn to God… realizing that the hole in her heart is too big for anything in this world. I hope your journey has been the latter.

Maybe we can raise a generation of women who realize at a young age that that hole in their heart can only be filled with God’s love.  Maybe we can save them the pain and the confusion from trying to fill that hole with a romantic relationship. Maybe they never have to feel the emptiness of that hole in the first place.

My relationship with my husband is not perfect. But, it is becoming much better as I realize that I am not defined by that relationship… I am worthy… I am enough… I identify with God’s love. The God sized hole in my heart can only be filled by God. By filling that hole with God’s love…  then, loving my husband… I think I am becoming a better wife.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Another Year’s Questions

My 39th birthday came and went. I thought I was doing great with getting another year older. Then, it hit me. I’ve been trying not to over identify with the feelings that are washing over me; yet, there is a hint of truth in them… making it difficult to dismiss those feelings.

The truth being that maybe this is all there really is to this life. Don’t get me wrong… I live a very blessed life and I am fortunate beyond belief. But… what if this is it? What if there isn’t some grand plan for my life? What if the day-to-day struggles and responsibilities are all there really is to life? What if what I am doing today is what I will be doing every day? What if life is all about my perception of the world around me?

I asked myself these questions… and answer them honestly. I came to realize the answers to these questions depended on me. As they depend on each of us. We write our stories.

If this is it… then, “it” will be enough and I will be enough because “it” doesn’t define me. Being God’s child defines me.

If there isn’t some grand plan for my life… then, the plan that does unfold will be my journey and I will own that journey and I will positively impact those whose journey’s cross my journey. That seems grand enough.

If the day-to-day struggles and responsibilities is all there really is to life… then, I will add love, joy, and laughter to the mix to make it enjoyable. I am working everyday to get one more day closer to heaven.
If what I am doing today is what I will be doing every day… then, I will try to do it the best that I can and even better tomorrow. I will leave yesterday where it belongs… in the past. I will accept each new day as a gift.

If life is all about my perception of the world around me… then, I will perceive it to be a beautiful world full of good people who are probably just trying to answer all of these questions themselves. I will perceive the world through love, acceptance, and grace.

With the gift of another year of life, came another year’s questions. I choose to answer this year’s questions with an eternal perspective. How do you answer another year’s questions? 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Open the Music Box and Dance

When I was a little girl I received the gift of a music box. Honestly, I don’t remember who gave it to me. I have a faded picture in my mind of what it looked like. I don’t even remember the song that was played when the box opened. All I remember was a ballerina inside the box. She was perched on top of a spring in her scratchy, net tutu with her hands always over her head and one her legs bent in a pose. She lay down on her bent spring waiting for me to open the box… waiting to come alive.

Once the box was opened, the ballerina would spring up and dance in circles as the song played. She always had the same smile on her face. She lived for the moment that I opened her box. She was simply created to dance when the lid opened.  

Sometimes, I would barely open the lid and peek inside at the ballerina laying there. She would just wait in dormancy inside the dark, lonely box… quietly… patiently. I’d open the box lid all the way and I watched her come alive and dance in circles. Always on queue… never with hesitation. She did what she was created to do.

When I think about my relationship with God and how I come to life with Him in me… I think of this ballerina inside of my music box.

I am that ballerina.

There was a time in my life when I was waiting inside of a dark, lonely box… perched on my bent spring… waiting to come alive. Then, my relationship with God opened the lid to my box. Without hesitation, I sprang up and danced with a smile on my face. I knew that I had lived for the moment when He opened me to His love and grace. I too was created to dance… with God, the opener of my music box.

Where are you on your journey with God? Are you inside of a dark, lonely box… perched on your bent spring… waiting to come alive? Or has God opened the lid to your box and you are dancing to the song of His love and grace? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I was having a difficult time coming up with a funny or inspiring confession today; hence the 9:00pm posting. Nothing was coming to me. I figured it was because I just felt blah today. Not for any particular emotional or hormonal reason. Whatever the reason… blah is definitely the feeling.

“Welcome to my world… it is a blah place to be” just doesn’t have the same ring to it… but, as for today, it is an honest expression of how I feel.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

Sometime I just feel blah! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

In the Margins of Life

Margins… those little areas on a piece of paper that keep all of our writing in the center… they are blank spaces… they allow room to make notes… they frame and boarder our stories. Without margins I don’t think I’d know where to stop my writing… or where to begin. I would probably just go right up to the edges of the paper… filling up all the space.

Come to think of it… there are people who live their lives with margins and then there are those who live their life right up to edges without any centeredness… without any room to make notes… without any thing to frame their stories... they filling up all their space.

In life, I used to live without margins. I too would fill up all my space. This didn’t leave me much time or energy to reflect on my story. I just lived my story right up to the very edge. Then, I noticed how un-centered I became when my margins were filled up.

Now, I leave margins in my day. The most beautiful moments of life are lived in those margins… the unplanned, the unexpected, the little surprises. The most important moments happen in the margins of life.  

I am reminded of margins because yesterday my husband called and asked if I could meet him for lunch. Had I filled my day with all of the whims that came to mind… I wouldn’t have had a margin of time when my husband called. But, I didn’t fill up the space of the day and I did leave margins. So, I got to have my husband’s undivided attention for an hour.

When we pack our lives full all the way to the edge of the page, we miss out on the margins of our story. It is in the margins of life that life it fully lived. Are you leaving margins in your story?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

Happiness is not a place to get to… it is a choice that we make… every moment… every day. I used to think it was a matter of arrival. I’m not sure where I got THAT idea! Maybe because I’ve heard of people searching for happiness… as if it was something they lost in the cushion of the couch or left at a restaurant by mistake. Or maybe it is because nobody ever taught me that happiness is within you.

What I've learned is this... happiness is that place inside where your soul meets God’s and you dance together through life. If and when you “find” that happiness or, more honestly spoken, choose that happiness… then nothing can make you lose or un-choose your happiness. Unless, that is, you give it consent. It is yours to give away or keep. Your happiness is free will.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I “found” my happiness in my dance with God. I choose to continue our dance together… every moment… every day.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A New, Blank Chapter

Each new day is exciting enough… with the promise of a fresh, new start… with the possibilities of greatness… with the understanding that each moment is precious.

But, a new year is even more exciting.

As this new year of life is given to me, I welcome it with grace and thanksgiving. It holds all the promises, possibilities, and understandings of a new day; yet, it is like a new, blank chapter in a book staring you in the face and asking you to write upon its pages. Do I just scribble something down… perhaps the first thing that comes to mind? Or, do I intentionally commit to writing a story of greatness… perhaps a story that will outlive me?

This new year of life is going to be the best chapter of the book so far. My hope is that the year after that will be even better. And, that this pattern continues… keeps continuing into future generations… outliving me.

When we share our stories, we change the world… if  and when that story is a story of truth and a journey to greatness. I am writing my story upon the blank pages of my book each and every moment, of each and every day, of each and every year.

I am thankful for the gift of a new, blank chapter! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Forest of God’s Promises

I often think about how much energy, time and moments I throw away by being concerned with things which don’t really matter. Like when I over identify with negative feelings… or I allow my bad, fat feelings to diminish me… or when I am sweating the small stuff… or when I make a mountain out of a mole hill. Yeah, those things tend to taint my perspective long enough to waste and squander precious time; not to mention, my self-worth.

Once I snap out of focusing on those things which don’t really matter, I feel a little silly because I know better. I know the enemy plants those little seeds and sometimes I choose to water them until they grow into oak trees.

There are other seedlings that I could choose to water… the ones that God plants. Like the seedling of being His child… the seedling that I am forgiven… the seedling that I am beautifully and wonderfully made… the seedling that He has plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future… the seedling that I am loved. What if those seedlings were watered into a forest of giant oak trees? I bet the enemy would have a difficult time finding ways to hurt me if I was protected by a forest of God’s promises.

I also wonder how silly and sad I will feel when I get to heaven… if I will even have the capacity to feel those feelings there. When I reach heaven I will see how much I wasted on those things which don’t really matter.

An eternal perspective brings everything into focus. With an eternal perspective I can see through the enemy’s forest of lies and choose to water God’s seedlings of truth. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Moment at Dunkin’ Donuts

Once a week my son and I go for a breakfast date before school. It breaks up the week and gives up something to look forward to. We switch between Dunkin’ Donuts (his choice) and Einstein Bagels (my choice). Well, one morning my son was adamant about his choice. So, I compromised and we went to Dunkin’ Donuts. Oh, darn!

When we walked up to the door there was a homeless man sitting out front with a cup of coffee. I nodded and smiled as we walked by. My son and I walked inside, ordered our breakfast, and sat down. I quietly spoke to my son about the man sitting outside. I pointed out how I knew he was homeless and stated the facts that lead me to that conclusion.

I asked my son if he felt comfortable giving him money. My son said he didn’t feel comfortable approaching him, but he did feel like we should do something for him so that he can have a meal. As we are whispering this conversation, a lady walked up to the man and gave him money. Then, a few minutes later another woman brought him a breakfast sandwich. I made sure my son was aware of what was going on… so many people giving and pouring blessings on this man.  

When it came time to leave, we decided that we would tuck money into this man’s shopping cart as we walked back by. We decided, sometimes an anonymous gift is better anyways! I could tell my son was a little nervous to do this… but I encouraged him to do so anyways. I was proud of him for being out of his comfort zone for the benefit of another person.

We have about a ten minute drive to school from this location. The entire drive we spoke about that man’s life, how we are called to help and love others regardless of who they are, how we are given much therefore much is expected of us, and we talked about how God’s word says “…whatever you do for the least of these… you do for me”. We talked about how we don’t know what he will do with the money and how that’s not our business… we are called to only give… not to question.

My son wanted to know if it was appropriate to offer that man to come live with us. Oh, how I love this child’s heart!!! I had to tell him to do so could put us in harm because we don’t know if he has the capacity to be dangerous. I followed with… if he has a heart for reaching the homeless; there are resources we could use to help them… such as homeless shelters.

At the end of our drive to school, I told my son that I didn’t think it was an accident that we went to that location for breakfast… I didn’t think it was an accident that we were placed there to help that man… I didn’t think it was an accident that God worked through us on this very morning. 

We were given a gift of a moment… you know, those moments I often talk about? Those moments where I get to teach my son about being a child of God. I love how those moments arrive at the most random of times and places… like on a school morning at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

My goal is to spread love and encouragement and a touch of humor on Facebook. As you are well aware, some people’s goal is the exact opposite… bless their hearts! But I take my goal to the extreme. I want to comment on and like everyone’s posts because I don’t want them feeling badly if I ignored them or over-looked what they had to say. If you post it on Facebook then it must be important enough to you… after all, it is what you are sharing with the world. And, if it is important enough to you then it is important enough to me as well! Think of it as a Facebook support system!  
I do think we have the ability to reach people in a way we never have before. We can share our thoughts, our moments, our ideas, our theories, our beliefs with hundreds of people all with the click of a button. Our posts are our stories to the world.
 What story are you trying to share?
 So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I share my story through social media… I am trying to make it a loving, encouraging, and positive story. I am welcoming you to my world… it is a blessed place to be! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bad, Fat Feelings

I had a fat morning… you know the kind… when you put your pants on and you can barely zip them. Once you do finally wiggle inside them and do a couple of squats to zip them… your muffin top explodes over the waistband. If you have no idea what I’m talking about… then I am probably going to have to reconsider our friendship!
I changed out of my muffin top pants and put on a comfier, looser pair. I wish my attitude was changed just as quickly.
So, my fat morning left me feeling… well… fat. That feeling left me feeling diminished. That feeling left me feeling not worthy. That feeling left me feeling sad. It was an avalanche of bad, fat feelings. I allowed those negative feelings to define who I am. I believed the lie that was reflecting in the mirror and, in turn, I reflected those feelings on the world around me. This avalanche snowballed for about an hour. 
In that hour… I made some mistakes that I am not proud of. Before we left for school, I yelled at my son. I am not a yeller! Once we got to school, I yelled at a student; although he was clearly in the wrong, I had no right to do that!  I was spewing my bad, fat feelings on those around me. Bad, fat feelings are like a virus… they infect others... if we let them! 
After realizing what was going on, I attempted to make amends. I apologized to my son before he went to class. I snuck in to the lunch room to apologize to him there as well. My son lectured me for carrying that burden around with me all morning long. I found the student I yelled at and asked for his forgiveness too. They both accepted my apologies… they gave me grace.

I thought about how I acted out my feelings. I prayed for God to meet me in this place. I was reminded that I am not perfect, I am forgiven, and that I am beautiful because I am God’s child… not if and when my pants fit… I am all of these things NOW… even with my exploding muffin top. I scared away those bad, fat feelings with my big, fat faith in God. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

There are moments in my life that I thought I was made for great things. Of course those great things involve fame and fortune. I thought about how I would handle interviews and what I’d wear on the red carpet. What can I say?! I am a creative person and I have an active imagination. Those moments are fleeting and rare now days because I have settled into my purpose and my place in life. I feel like I have arrived at the point that I was made to arrive. I may not have the fame, but I do have the fortune of being blessed with wonderful friends and family… and to them… I am kind of a big deal!

My red carpet walking daydreams are over. But, God does have a sense of humor… so, He gave me a different kind of red carpet. This red carpet is an actual 3 feet by 2 feet red carpet in my son’s bedroom. This red carpet has taught me a lot… so much more than a red carpet walk would have ever taught me.

My son loves to leave Lego’s out that are a “work in progress”. In order to keep his mess… oh, I mean “work in progress”… in a contained area, I gave him a red carpet in his bedroom. My rule is if it fits and stays on the red carpet then he can leave it out. If it is off the red carpet then I might spontaneously decide to vacuum his bedroom. It’s a pretty good system. It has worked for about 5 years now.

This actual red carpet has taught me:

1. I don’t have to force my neurotic organizing onto my child.
2. I too can have a “work in progress” pile.
3. Not all red carpets are meant for walking.

I have sat around that red carpet with him for many hours allowing him to show me his latest creations and helping him dig for a specific Lego pieces that he can’t find… which is like finding a needle in a hay stack. I admit, I’ve also sat there and tried to organize for him… my efforts never last long. That is his space and I am learning to respect it.  

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

My purpose is not to walk down a red carpet, but to sit around an actual 3feet by 2feet red carpet. I am making a much bigger impact on the world by investing in a sit down than I ever would with a walk down. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Honor Roll

My son and I both had a hard time waking up on this Monday morning. So, we were running late to begin with. Then, he started a conversation that I knew was an opportunity for me to teach… so we spent an extra 10 minutes talking. Was I late to work? Yes. Does that really matter in the grand scheme of things? No.  What really matters is that when a moment knocked, I answered.

I could have said, “We are running late. We’ll talk about this later.” Or…“We are running late. Eat your breakfast.” I have learned a thing or two about moments… they are meant for now… not later. Moments are meant for catching and cherishing… not putting off for later… that “later” may never arrive. These moments are the right moments.

The conversation was about honor roll at school. He said he worries about that a lot and said how important it is to him to be on honor roll. He also shared that in his mind if he is not on honor roll then he did not pass that quarter perfectly. He went on to say that his friends get on honor roll and he wants that too. I listened. I heard what he was saying. I repeated it back to him so he knew I understood. Then I told him…

Because he has ADHD he has to work 3 times as hard as all of his friends. The fact that he gets A’s and B’s is remarkable! And, I bet those A’s and B’s come a lot easier to his friends. So, he must be 3 times as smart as them. And, anyways… there will never be another Shelton in the world; therefore, he cannot compare himself to anyone… EVER! To do so is not an equal comparison.  

We do not expect him to be perfect. Nobody is perfect! We expect him to be good enough and to do his personal best.

His job in this world is not to get on honor roll. His job IS to bring glory to God.

He is not defined by his grades or by honor roll. He IS defined by being God’s child.

When he arrives in heaven, God is not going to say, ““Well done, good and faithful servant! Way to get on honor roll in the 5th grade.” Nope! He is going to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have lived your life to bring me honor and glory! You have love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. You have also loved your neighbor as yourself.”

When we were done talking he said, “Why haven’t you told me all of that before?”  I questioned why he asked that… "Was it because it helped?" He said, “Yes!” My answer was, “I didn’t know you needed to hear it! I didn’t know how important it was to you.” I suppose that was a good reply. But, now that I’ve thought about it further… I think another reason I haven’t told him that until now was because it hadn’t been the right moment until now. He wasn’t fully ready to hear it until now. He couldn’t fully process the reality of all of those words until now. I had to wait until the moment was right.

What is your “honor roll”? What are you worrying about that doesn’t really matter in terms of an eternal life? Is it to lose ten pounds? Is it the approval of others? Is it how many people “like” your post on Facebook? Is it how many followers you have on Twitter?

We all have battles that rage inside us. These battles tell us lies that we believe. Like… you must be on honor roll. We have a choice in what to believe. Do you believe the lies of the world? Or do you believe the truth that is found in God’s Word and promises? As for me and my family… we choose the truth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

My husband and I have very different perspectives on money. I would spend every last cent on I have on life experiences and gifts for others.  My husband, other the other hand, is a “saver”… he is frugal and prefers to save his money rather than spend it. We definitely live beneath our means. I see money as a renewable source… he sees it as a dwindling resource.

After 19 years of living my life along side this man… he is starting to rub off on the way I handle money. His rubbing off on me wasn’t just over night. Nope! It was gradual!

I’d like to think I’m rubbing off on him too. We balance each other in all aspects of life.

If you have a spouse like mine… then you need to be aware of the warning signs that you too might be turning into a “saver”. Here are some of the symptoms I have displayed …

Instead of buying a cute new pitcher for your tea and lemonade you reuse plastic juice containers as pitchers.

Instead of buying a paint palette for your crafting needs you reuse egg cartons as paint palettes.

Instead of buying little travel sized containers for your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash you reuse empty water bottles.

Instead of buying a bag or two of ice you refill plastic bottles and juice containers with water and freeze them to help chill things in your cooler or ice chest.

Instead of paying your hair dresser to color your hair you color your own hair at home.

Instead of buying a new sun visor for your new Lexus you use chip clips to keep the old sun visor up in the windshield… even though it doesn’t fit and it is like a fat man wearing a half shirt. (I did end up buying a new one when my dear friend made fun of me! She shamed me into it!)

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I think I need an intervention! I am becoming a “saver” like my husband!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Red Light, Green Light… continued

 My son had an appointment across town this morning. The only way there was to drive through the surface streets.  At first I thought it was unfortunate that we had to drive in rush hour… then, I saw it for blessing it was because it gave me a chance to talk with my son about my most recent  Red Light, Green Light  blog.

I told him what my blog was about. I explained the rules of the game and asked him to play with me. As we approached a red traffic light I said, “Okay… first person who pops into your mind.” He’d give me a name and we’d pray aloud for that person. I would say, “Ooohhh… good name!” He would say, “Ooohhh… good prayer!” He even prayed one of the red traffic light prayers. Beautifully so, I might add!

Instead of dreading the red lights… I looked forward to each one of them… I even started hoping we would hit more red lights. The fellow drivers on the road probably would not have appreciated that hope.

Not only did we enjoy this new game but, I was given another chance to teach my son to think about others. I was allowed another opportunity to teach my son about prayer. I was presented another one of those small moments that life is made of.

The moment knocked and I answered with a game of “Red Light, Green Light”! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Red Light, Green Light

Do you remember playing the game “Red Light, Green Light” when you were younger? Our goal was to be the first one to get to the person calling the colors… that was our destination. We ran so fast when “green light” was called. Then, we stopped and froze in place when “red light” was called. But, if you moved during the “red light” mode then you were out of the game.

You know… childhood games had a lot of life’s lessons embedded in them.

The life lesson about “Red Light, Green Light” came to me while driving one day. This lesson transfers literally!  

Just like the game… the traffic light turns green and we all go. Then, the traffic light turns red and we stop… or we are supposed to stop and freeze… except I didn’t used to freeze in place at the red light. Whenever I would stop at a red light, I would check my phone…  text, facebook, email, etc. Once the traffic light turned green, I would put my phone down and go. The cycle continued until I reach my destination. I should have been out of the game. I was cheating at “Red Light, Green Light”, really.

A red traffic light is a moment to just be… stop, breath, relax, and be still… frozen in place. Just like the game. 

So, now when I come to a red traffic light I pray for someone. I say a red traffic light prayer for whoever pops into my mind first. Then, when the traffic light turns green… I go. The cycle continues until I reach my destination. I think I am winning the game now.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

Just like everyone else, I struggle to keep balance in my life. But, lately I have been in a groove. My relationship with God has never been better. My marriage is wonderful. My son just accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. My friends are amazing. My school year is going great. All the way around… I am in such a good place!

There was a time in my life when I’d suppress my joy because I was worried about what could and would come along to steal my joy… what could and would come along to knock me off balance. Not anymore. Now, I just soak in the joy. Now, I just allow myself to feel the joy all the way down to my core. When I feel it that deep… I start to cry joyful tears.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…
I am in such a good place that I have started high-fiving God!  I say “Whoooo! High-five, God!” and smack my hand in the air. I imagine God high-fiving me back and fist pumping with enthusiasm!  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hard Moments

It was a difficult morning... like a lot of our mornings are… and, I was daydreaming about how nice it would be to quit teaching, get a high-paying job, and hire a nanny. The nanny could do all of my dirty work for me… I can just show up and be fun and loving Mommy. The nanny could get my son ready in the morning. The nanny could take him to school. The nanny could pick him up from school. The nanny could do all of my son’s homework with him. The nanny could get dinner ready and clean-up after dinner too. Ahhhh… it was nice to escape and daydream about what it would be like… for about a minute.

After that minute passed, I realized that it is during those hard moments… morning routines, our drive to school, after school, homework time, and daily chores that we have our BEST conversations. Everyday these hard moments give us the opportunity to talk about life, to talk about bringing glory to God, to love each other, to pray with and for each other, to offer grace and mercy, to give hugs and kisses, and to develop a meaningful and intentional relationship with each other and with God.

Then, another one of those hard moments came to mind. This past weekend my son and I were picking up dog poop in the back yard and I wouldn't have rather been anywhere else than in that hard moment with him. While performing this chore together we had the opportunity to talk about how we are called to do everything as if working for the Lord… even picking up dog poop! In everything we are to bring glory to God… even picking up dog poop! In everything we are to perform without complaining or arguing… even picking up dog poop! If we can do all of those things even picking up dog poop… then doing all of those things will be a lot easier when the task isn’t as undesirable.

You see… if I had a nanny (or a dog poop picker-upper)… then I would miss all these hard moments where I am privileged to teach my child in the way he should go and bring him up in God’s word. So… I will pass on the high-paying job and having a nanny… because I want these hard moments. Really… it is during these hard moments I get to mold my son into the person he is now and will be for eternity.

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I am a laid back person; therefore, high-maintenance is not a word people would use to describe me… when I am awake. However, that is a totally different story when I am sleeping. I am a high-maintenance sleeper. To prove this point, let me share everything I need in order to sleep at night:

  •  I need my sound machine which creates white noise to block out any noises from outside.
  •   I need my ear plugs because from time-to-time my husband snores and I cannot take the chance of him waking me up. It’s for his safety… really.
  • I need my ceiling fan and a free-standing fan blowing directly on me.
  •  I need my humidifier filled with water and doing its thing.
  •  I need my alarm clock set 20-30 minutes before I actually have to be out of bed because I have to hit snooze at least twice and sometimes three times.
  • I need my mouth guard because I grind and clench my teeth while I sleep.
  •  I need my blankie to snuggle.
  •  I need to have between 8 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
As you can imagine, it is kind of like setting-up a shrine around my bed. It takes me a while to get to bed because of all of these preparations. But, when I am finally ready… oh, man... I sleep well!

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I am “The Princess and the Pea”!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I was texting “someone” the other day and sometimes when I text my conversations go an entire different direction. In this particular text conversation we took a turn and began discussing our need for caffeine. Right then and there I came up with my invention.

Please don’t try to steal my idea. It is copyrighted already… in my mind. The owners of Starbucks have a hit out on my life because they are going to go under after my invention hits “As Seen On TV”.  I might have to change my identity. But I promise to keep in touch from my underground lair.  And, I can finally legally change my name to my stripper name “Cupcake Hatcher” (name of your first pet and the name of the street you grew-up on).

So, back to my invention…  I am going to invent a caffeine patch! I know, I know… genius, right?! My patch will come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and caffeinated strengths. There will be no caffeine lull or crash… just a constant stream of caffeine going into your system. In my text, I decided that no animals will be harmed with my product. However, I will be testing my product on family members and I cannot guarantee that they will not be harmed. It’s a risk worth taking.

All I need is a catchy name… Java Patch, Caffeine Stream, Patch of Joe… I’ll get there.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I am inventing a caffeine patch. Would you like to invest in my company?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I wonder if people might think it isn’t right for me to have two Facebook pages that are so opposite of each other. One is for my blog “Welcome to my world… it is  a blessed place to be” where I share my story and inspire others. The other page is called “She” where I am documenting the “That’s what she said” jokes that my friends and I say.  (I know… I know… it is like we are 12 years old, but we crack ourselves up!)

But, it isn’t inappropriate at all… it is just me. I am a strong Christian woman who also jokes, laughs her way through life, and is sometimes inappropriate… okay, a lot of the time inappropriate. God knows that’s how I am… He made me that way.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I don’t have split personalities… I am just real!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

My 39th birthday is fast approaching. I am trying to be graceful about getting older. I think my “personality” is getting better with age… I’ve at least got that goin’ for me. But, my biggest struggle with aging is all of the extra hair my body is producing.

If you have read my blog for long enough, you know my feelings about body hair. If you are new to my world, then let me just update you… I wish I was like one of those hairless cats. BAM!!!… now you are up to date.

It would be great to have the extra hair on top of my head. But, this is not the case. My hair grows on my face and around my naughty bits. What?! What?! Really, it is out of control. I spend most of my life (okay, that is a lil’ exaggerated) dealing with unwanted hair.

Last Christmas I asked my husband for a nose hair trimmer. He denied my request so I swallowed my pride and bought one for myself. This year for my 39th birthday, I am going to request laser hair removal… full body. I am going to take in a picture of a hairless cat and say it is my inspiration!

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I wonder if laser hair removal will give me a bulk order discount… like Costco.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THIS world is just a camping trip

I get so caught up in living my life in THIS world, that I forget that this isn’t my permanent home. I truly have blinders on that limit my perception of eternity.  When I am struggling… that is my perspective. When I am happy… that is my perspective. When I am tired, or overwhelmed, or stressed… that is my perspective. When I am in-love… that is my perspective. It would be accurate to say that the blinders I wear are my emotions. When I take my blinders off and remember that THIS world is just temporary… it sometimes blows my mind.

The bible describes THIS world as our tent… a temporary home. I LOVE this analogy! And, I can totally relate.  My family and I like to camp. We don’t go too often because we tent camp and it takes a full day to pack all that we will need for three nights away from home, in the middle of the forest. It’s a lot of work to prepare for a camping trip. Well, it is a lot of work for me because I want all of the comforts of home when I camp. I want a comfy place to sleep… so I pack a million blankets and pillows. I want all of the foods I like and coffee is a must… so I pack a couple coolers, bags, and a french press.  I want my personal hygiene to remain at a socially acceptable level… so I pack a shower bag, water, and a million products. I want the trip to be fun and memorable… so I pack s’mores, scavenger hunts, and glow sticks. I don’t want to go without anything or get there and wish I would have packed something… so I pack extra stuff too.  I go through all of this packing just to try and make our camping experience feel like home. All of this effort to feel comfortable. All of this effort to feel like tent camping is our permanent residence.

Even after all of that packing… inevitably, there is something I forget to pack. Also, inevitably, I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t feel at home. There are factors that I can’t control like bugs,  wild animal calls in the middle of the night, and rain. So, after all of that packing, planning, and preparing I still don’t feel at home. This tells me that I am not made for a temporary home… I am not made for tent living. I was made to endure it, make the most of it, and enjoy making the memories. After all, it is just temporary.  

The bible also describes heaven as our home… a permanent home. When we go to heaven it will be a home coming, a celebration, and our permanent residence for all of eternity. I can’t even fathom how wonderful it will be to go to heaven.

Although, maybe we do get a little glimpse of what heaven is like after our tent camping adventures. That moment when you walk into your house… the air conditioner is on, you take a much needed shower, you get into your pajamas, you sleep in your own bed… all the comforts of home… everything just right.  Ahhhhh! Home Sweet Home! I think heaven will be the same feeling… times a million.

After camping out in THIS world for our temporary lifetimes, it will feel so good to be home in heaven… our permanent home for all of eternity!


Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

As most of my readers know, I am a visual arts teacher for an elementary school. I teach art to about 500 kindergarten through 8th graders. So, as all teachers do, I have my summers off.

As summer is coming to a halting stop… I report back to school tomorrow. I am reflecting on the great adventures of my summer. I enjoyed a long weekend alone with my husband while our son was at church summer camp. My son and I went on a 3 week vacation (my husband joined us for one of those weeks) to Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. We went to the Arizona Science Center and the Musical Instrument Museum with great friends. We saw a few movies at the theater. My friends and I rented a cabin in Flagstaff for 3 nights. While we were there, my Bucket List Girls group went on an obstacle rope course high in the pine trees. I’ve enjoyed pajama days, organizing days, movie days, and cleaning days. I’ve enjoyed date nights, girl’s nights, son and Mom nights, and late nights.

All of these experiences have been such a blessing and refreshing to my soul. My heart is full and I am ready to pour into others.

Having reflected on my summer…   I feel as though I can take on another year with passion. I am open about the changes coming our way. I am ready to fill the hearts and the minds of my students. It is going to be a great year!

I am also ready to start back to school because I need some structure in my life. I have a hard time getting out of the house before noon. I eat all day long. My to-do list has been completed. My son has reached the point in summer (as he does every year) when he is bored… and he thinks it is my job to entertain him… and that I am responsible for his happiness. Ugh!

But here’s the catch… as much as I love structure, I can only tolerate it for awhile. Then, I get bored with structure and want to go back to freedom… it is a vicious cycle for me.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I am super excited about the new school year… or maybe just excited for the structure!  Not sure which… or for how long it will last! Sigh... 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Inspiration Boards

In order to change my habit of negative self talk, I decided to use words that I connect with to create inspiration boards. It has taken me several months to complete all 15 of these boards. I wanted to be careful about the words I chose. I wanted to have words that contained the ability to change my thoughts. I wanted words that spoke directly to my heart and soul. I wanted words that I truly live by. So, here are the words on my 15 boards:

1.      God… meet me in this place
2.    Thankfulness Gratefulness
3.    It is well with my soul
4.    I am beautiful because… I. AM. GOD’S. CHILD.
5.     Perfection is not welcome here
6.    I am worthy
7.     Love myself and others
8.    I am enough
9.    Pray
10. Own my story
11.  Get out of my comfort zone
12.When we tell our stories, we change the world
13.Be… change, courageous, vulnerable, brave, good enough, still, true
14.You have to brave with your life so that others can be brave
15. Vulnerability is life’s great dare

I have these 15 boards hanging on the wall in the nook of my bathtub. When I find myself falling back into the habit of negative self talk, I soak my body in the bathtub and soak my heart and soul in these words. I allow these words to wash over me until I feel like me again.