Favorite Things Monday – Shake Off the Dust Edition

We survived the first week of school!

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I was quite vocal about my not readiness and that feeling didn’t quit. The kids did great. This momma wanted to take the day off (I mean the whole week but even my dreams have logic). The first week of school didn’t require an earlier morning that what I am used to…but I felt like I got beat up this week. All week.

I’m not a teacher. I can’t imagine how much caffeine was required by those in the classroom. The real MVP’s…all of you.

If I’m being honest, it was a rough week. Nothing went wrong and the weekend began with running and soccer, then ended on a FANTASTIC Sunday note. I love the local church and I so love this amazing community God allows us to serve and lead. I have so much to be grateful for it borderlines ridiculous. 

Shaking off the dust of discouragement. Sometimes, it is easier than others. I’ll never forget a difficult season where Ray knew what our response had to be. To give proper credit, it was his idea. I was pregnant and crying, the news was tough, it was his birthday. It was some sort of trifecta. What did we do? We shook off the dust. We were laying on our bed, hands and feet in the air, and on the count of 3…we shook off the dust. Imagine it for a second. Two crazy people shaking their hands and feet in some sort of attempt to show our feelings who was the real boss. Reminding ourselves that God was indeed still God. While our circumstances didn’t change, we did.

This week, it lingered. I was walking out last week’s message, had a stirring heart and while I can think of several other reasons, yesterday I was reminded (yet again) that God moves even when I am fighting a bad mood (whew…He’s more powerful than my funk). God does things I can’t see till I can see them (it’s like I’m a philosopher). This week, don’t underestimate the power of your simple obedience. He does good things.

Last week is over and a new one has begun.

I have an ten year old turning 11 this week. For the record, in my brain, turning 11 sounds a lot like turning 14…or 16…or moving out of the house. I am aware of how fast the time goes and I don’t like it. However, I do like who this wild and imaginative kid is becoming.

You got this! I got this! Let’s do this!

Favorite Things Monday – Back to School Edition

It’s been a couple of weeks. We have had lots of busy…then A WHOLE WEEK OF VACATION.

We basked in the glow of the sun, ocean, white sand, family time and the purpose of the whole thing…vacating. We often get asked what we do on vacation. When the destination includes the beach, that is the only requirement. If it doesn’t require sunscreen, a towel and a boogie board, it is not going to fly. In the future we may add a snorkel cruise or ocean kayak. The theme: relaxing on the water. We enjoyed every minute.

So what am I thankful for?

Rest.

It’s worth fighting for. I’m not always so good at being proactive with it. I am one that cheers on friends who acknowledge their need for rest. We don’t say yes to everything and we know the benefits of it (and that whole commandment from God). The time to refuel and refresh. The secret to keeping all the things moving is surprising…have moments where it has zero to do with you. The world keeps spinning when I take a break. Turns out it’s not up to me.

School starts tomorrow.

I can pretend I am grateful for it but it falls under the category of things I am working on. Is it good? Yes. Are the kids bummed? Nah. Is this momma ready? Nope. I’m not ready for it. The routine isn’t so bad. Soccer is about to be in full swing. There are lots of great things about this time of the year. It’s like New Year’s Day for parents. We have new resolutions about healthy lunches, homework plans, chore charts and how we are going to do things better than last year.

It was an entire summer of activity. My kids should have some sort of theology degree with as many VBS’s they went to. They have loved it and really are ready for school.

Then there was momma…

We have known school stress and struggles in our home. One child particular is “a divergent thinker”. That’s a direct quote. It is a compliment. It is a reality. We love it and know that God has a specific plan for…all our kids and there are seasons where the fight is greater. It doesn’t make school the easiest place. Ray and I refer to one particular grade as “if we can make it through that, we can get through anything”. It’s no joke.

Part of me isn’t ready. I really do know that everything will be just fine…and I have a case of the “I don’t wanna’s”. I know what defines our kids. I know what does not define them. Certain seasons call for greater reminders. We get to be the loudest voices of influence in our kids lives. I can do loud. Let’s do this well.

Last on my list for this week…

An awesome husband who believes in me.

I love to preach. I really do. I had the opportunity to do just that this past weekend. I love the Church. I believe in it. Like, lets chat because I want to go on and on about this. I love how God uses it. How He ordained it. How He can take a mess and do some really awesome, miraculous things in the midst of it. I love what happens when we gather together. Getting to serve the local church is one of my greatest joys. Getting to serve in a speaking/teaching capacity is not something I take lightly and am honored to have the opportunity. You can check it out here. As I am writing this, the sermon hasn’t been uploaded yet. It will be.

The aforementioned awesome husband is one who pushes, challenges and encourages me to walk out what God calls me to. We make a good team.

If you are having to fight for joy or are basking in the “return to school” glow, I hope your week is full of favorite things. Fight for them, find them. You got this.

Tag! You’re It!

Social media is currently covered in photos of couples challenging other people to a “love challenge”. I have been tagged at least 3 times. I love my husband but appear to be a bit of a social media slacker. It’s a good thing he doesn’t determine the level of my love by a social media post.

So in the spirit of love, here it goes… Also, in the middle of writing this, I get a guilt trip over how many times I’ve been tagged and he just isn’t sure if I love him or not. He’s cute but not as funny as he thinks he is…on occasion.

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My biggest cheerleader. Comic relief. Reality check. Challenger. Encourager. Big strong shoulder.

He defines persistent.

I was the weirdo teenager who used to pray prayers that went something like this; “I don’t want to live a normal life”. God has been quite faithful. We threw normalcy out the window and embraced that our “normal” would look a little strange.

He has lead our family into some crazy unknowns. He has encouraged me when our obedient steps looked like insanity (cause don’t they all). He has been faithful with every. single. thing. that God has placed before him.

I get to see the behind the scenes that no one else does. I get to see the hard work, the heart, the time, the good times, the hard times, persistence and heart after God. It’s the stuff that makes us. It is what God has used to shape us. I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t trade him.

 

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With or without hair, he is still my favorite.

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Apparently, we take a lot of pictures wearing sunglasses. We take our long awaited family vacation in 5 days. Expect to see more sunglass pictures.