Aruba…Jamaica…

Flint, TX was a bit more realistic.

I return!

That’s right. I survived the five days of near internet free living (please note sarcasm). Vacation is good for the soul.

To clarify: vacation means – an act or instance of vacating. To vacate.

That is EXACTLY what we did! We vacated!

We spent Sunday through Friday out in the middle of nowhere in east Texas, on a lake where there happened to be next to no cell or internet service. It’s was like God did it on purpose. The views were beautiful, the trees were pine and the lake went forever.

Amen.

Selah.

I’d had every intention on blogging while on vacation. I had some inspiration. I couldn’t do anything with the inspiration but I want to give good intention credit it’s due. Check this out and feel free to call them the cutest thing ever (Joel and Jackie’s Honeymoon blog). Posting was close to impossible for me, so I took my cue from location and did nothing. Thanks God.

We did the following…

Sleep, swim, eat, more swimming, lots of reading, Madagascar 3, more reading, swimming and sleeping. My kids played Wii with Ray, I watched Food Network, Ray discovered Duck Dynasty (we don’t have cable in case you can’t tell) and we were one big happy family. One big rested happy family.

Brilliance!

I almost finished reading 7 and have a few pages left in One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. Um, read it! It’s fantastic.

Here are some pictures of our week of vacation.

               

            

        

This is for real…Ray’s beach towel. Prepare yourself!

Also…the Mother Ship called

    

 

Some beautiful sunsets

     

This is my favorite Sophia picture

 

We return refreshed, energized and with great expectation. We are excited with upcoming changes as Revive Church. We are looking forward to seeing what all God does as He continues to stir things in us, challenge us, connects us and reminds us of His mission and His faithfulness.

Ready…set…GO!

We Were On a Break

I’m sitting at home this morning, forgoing a morning workout and taking a brief moment to just be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the weird ones who finds a morning run to be good for the soul but this morning, rest won.

I’m reflecting over the week and its many moments. Some thought-filled, some focused, some convicting, moments where I felt awesome and some like I failed, some where my kids said ridiculous things and moments to laugh.

I’ve argued on a 4/6yr old level. I’ve paused in the middle of writing this to inform my daughter that the toy brush is handing me won’t suffice and trying to dodge the impending meltdown. It didn’t work. She’s also wearing a fancy pink dress at 9am and there is no telling her different. I’m also in the midst of trying to get packed for a vacation…ah, vacation!

Rest is on the horizon.

Starting Monday, I’m on a limit. Ya ready for this…I’m avoiding social media. I know that I will have to log on for Visalus purposes…but that is all. Here is my limit. 5 days, no more than 5 minutes a day. I plan on blogging while we are out of town but I’m not setting any public writing goals. I’m not even sure this place has free Wi-Fi. I’m not freaking out about it. I’m taking a break! I know how much you will miss my comments, picks of me reading my bible and stuff my kids say. I’m sarcastic.

I can’t wait for the time with my family. It will be time uninterrupted by my social media habit. When in doubt blame 7 and go with it.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself…

You get a group of girls together and anything can happen. Add in the fact that we are all part of a new church plant and most of us have had the most topsy-turvy year of our lives thus far; we are a perfect storm of faith, emotion and questionable sanity…and we are right where God wants us.

As a women’s community group, we have been going through 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Having read the book before, I knew potentially what I was throwing my friends into. I couldn’t wait. I think some of their husbands were a little scared. We’ll ignore the fact some of us tend to live in momentary extremes. Their fears are valid. I’ll discuss the differing personalities in a moment. There is a reason God assembles us in our differences. I had certain hopes and prayers going into this. God has exceeded every expectation.

To sum up the first three weeks…

Turns out that talking about reduction, simplicity and fasting goes a lot deeper than the stuff you are giving up. Go figure. This has brought up far more than I anticipated. I love that we can wrestle with what we needed to wrestle with together. This has stirred new dreams, fresh vision and a bold call to action that we can no longer just talk about. Have I mentioned tears? Those were NOT planned. Ah, community…Thank you Jesus…that is all.

We sit and laugh cause that is what we do. We sit and cry over what we used to pursue and how God is giving us fresh eyes.

One who tends to live in extremes mentions selling all her stuff and her house and living under a bridge. We don’t all fully believe she is joking and we thank God that she has us for stability sake.

In the middle of week 2, one girl ended up giving a drunk woman at a restaurant a ride. She turned out to be a stripper, a prostitute and a list of other things. Insert a shattered friends heart after dropping this young woman off at a bus station headed for San Antonio. You can read about that here. Lots of tears followed.

One has filled out a home loan application and bawled over World Vision kids support packets…and takes one named Goodluck. Read about that one here.

Different women, different responses.

This week we went over months 3 and 4. We survived Month 3 talking about possessions. Not without someone (who shall remain nameless) ready to clear out their apartment, every closet included. Month 4 is media month. I thought I was good. Then…a big fat THEN…I got to a portion where Jen talks about what she would go back and say to her 2004 self. I had read this part before. This time, I read it like a blubbering idiot. This time I was reading it out loud. I could read it again right now and would likely have the same reaction. Tears!

Each season of our lives plays a part. We learn, we grow, we change. God jacks us up, we live in the tension and He reveals. We act.

We are all starting to see how to start with where we are and with what is in front of us. There is no going back and we are ok with that 🙂

We have a Garage Sale For Orphans coming up at the end of the month (June 30th to be exact). I can’t imagine a better way to end out reading this book. So we are selling our stuff, our friends stuff, strangers stuff…give us your stuff and we’ll sell it. My kids know where toys and clothes are going. They also know why…and that if they leave that toy on the floor one more time.

So, to summarize…this book is great and much like life, it is best lived out in community. Let the good times roll. We are on this crazy train and we are not alone 🙂