A Case of the "Monday's"

SCREAM!  I had thought I turned on my alarm for this morning so I could go for an early morning run but I didn't and I just kept on sleeping.  I however was happy for a minute when I woke up and it was just 66 degrees outside and I discovered I was 1.8 pounds from the goal I had set for myself before my trip this week.  This week is a big week for us and I'm a little overwhelmed with everything that is about to go down.  I have meeting this evening, football practice for the kids starts, a trip to Dallas, and I need to show my kids some summer fun daily and keep my house and laundry clean and make sure the bills get paid.

I got up, got dressed, drank a Spark, I put on my running shoes and headed to the track.  My hamstring is still hurting but I ran anyway, sort of, I walked more than I wanted to and didn't go the distance so to speak.  I got heated in the checkout line at Costco over the price of a watermelon plus I get heated shopping anyway.  I felt super defeated as I heated up.  My morning was turning out to be a big wash...pooey.  A sad little run and no watermelon for the kids.

I pulled into the drive to see my husbands pile of car junk that he is working on and took a picture to post on social media with words of disgust.  I did, and deleted it.  The negativity is just pouring out today.  I cried.  I walked past the pile of new football gear, mountain of shoes, dirty dishes, and walked straight into my study and straight to my Bible.

Tearfully...sobbing actually...I called out to God for help.  I'm overwhelmed by the sense that I'm not living up to my own expectations and just a big failure today.  I knew I would read the scripture I needed as long as I asked for it.  It's His Word that he uses to speak to me so I have no doubt that I will read exactly what I need to as soon as I opened my Bible.  After a few twists and turns through scripture I came to 1 Peter 5:8-11

Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[b] the God of all grace, who called us[c] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
It was then that I realized that a roaring lion was trying to devour me today.  Whew!  I tell you it makes my heart pound knowing that there are women all over the world who are feeling just like me today.  That we feel defeated, that we can not do it all right.  That we fail as moms and wives.  That we can never get ahead.  That we will forever and ever be trying to find balance.  It wasn't me failing, it was the evil one telling me I was failing..

Truth is we aren't going to do it all right...we are going to have "fail" moments.  But let's go back and read that scripture again.

The only one that is telling you that you are a failure is the devil.  He wants you to believe that it isn't okay to make mistakes, to mess up, to fall short...truth is.  We all do it.  We all have dirty laundry, piles of stuff laying around, dishes that forever need washing, coworkers that rub us the wrong way, cashiers that don't listen, gas lights that come on, muscles that ache, alarms that don't go off...it happens!  That's life!  While we are suffering for these days and feeling defeated God is looking down on us and saying "don't forget about Me".

So, as I lifted my head I said...thank you Lord!  Today is going to be awesome!  Thank you Lord for giving me renewal, for giving me hope, strength, and seeing me for what I am...a child of yours who just wants this life to lead me back to You.

As I'm sitting here...my alarm goes off at 12 (noon).  Weird huh?  Let's just say that was all in God's plan for today and that it's time to start my day again with a new perspective.

Prayers for you my friends.

On The Other Side of Consistency

If there is one thing that I struggle with, one thing that holds me back, it is the lack of consistency.
Consistency matters but only in the things that matter, right?

I can rattle off to you every aspect of my life that feels like it falls short of glorious and lack of consistency is what keeps it from being so. Maybe because it's not meant to be so.

Some other words for consistency would be words like diligent and rigor.  Neither of those sound much like me at all.

I consistently...
     do laundry.
     wash dishes.
     kiss my babies.
     hug my husband.
     feed the dog.
     take baths.

The list of things I consider myself doing well could grow quite lengthy.

So why do I let the short inconsistent list bother me so much.  Why do I fret over it and let it hold me back.

I don't consistently....
     eat clean.
     put away laundry.
     clean out my car.
     mop my floors.

I could go on and on with that list too but it would still be fairly short.
This short list is the one I dwell on.

I could lose weight if I'd stay in the gym more, if I run more, if I eat healthier all the time.
I could feel less overwhelmed if I could find the boys underwear or my favorite pair of shoes.
I would feel more worthy if I remembered birthdays better or called my friends more often.

The reality is, whatever is important to me is what is easily consistent.  What is easily done well are the things that matter most.  What doesn't come so easy truly weighs me down.

I want my running goal to matter more...but it doesn't.
I want my jean size to go down...but it doesn't.
I want my floors to not be filthy EVERYDAY...but they are.

So, I dwell and worry.  I fret and frown.  I scold myself and others.  I blame my inconsistency on a husband short on time or kids who are well...kids.


Then one day...today...I look up from the pile of bills to file, the craft supplies ready to be organized, the desk that is a mess & I realize that it's all good.

Eventually, my consistencies and inconsistencies will shift when needed and some may never.

I realize that everyday I have to fight.  I fight for my life to be what it is intended to be.
I fight the evil one who wants me to believe that my inconsistencies are what hold me back.
Did you know that fight has been won already?  But I still feel the need to take a jab or two in his direction.

When in reality the inconsistencies are just evidence that some things are just not as important (at this moment) and worrying about those disrupts the things that are.  They are a distraction from the things I do well and do right.

I know I'm not the only person out there who feels this way.  

It is simply time to get out of our own way y'all. .  It's time to let God handle the things we can not, handle the parts of our lives that are not consistent until we can become consistent at them.  That is if we're even meant to actually bother with them.  There may just be a reason for them not being so.

So with ever inconsistency we need to give it over to God.  He is waiting there ready to BLOW OUR MINDS with what He can do with it.  We're going to stop putting limits on a limitless God!

The enemy is going to allow us to hear peoples negative remarks, looks of disappointment, and feel rejection.  He wants us to feel like all of these circumstances are hopeless and there is no way out. Why would He want to do this?  So, he can bind us to the things in life that don't matter.

I serve a God that is greater, bigger, and more magnificent that I could ever imagine and He promised that HE can do exceedingly, abundantly more than anything we can imagine for ourselves. Ephesians 3:20 What we let go of, God will do greater with it.  He has better for us.  We only need to believe and let go.  Like an anchor that's sinking, we are holding on tight to the things in life that are eating away at us.  Let go and float on up.  He's there ready to take your hand so you can walk on the water..and be amazed.

All of those inconsistencies of life that are distracting you from what God has waiting; from the joy, from the happiness, from the fullness of life, let them GO!  Because on the other side of consistency is FREEDOM!  The things you are good at, that matter most is where you freedom lies...right behind consistency.

You will find freedom in the things that matter to you most.  The love for your family will set you free.  The love for your purpose in life will set you free.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Proverbs 13:4
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
So my friends, let go of the things in your life that are causing you pain, hurt, &  regret.
Believe that God created you to be more & that He has more coming for you.
Step out of your comfort level & focus on Him & the consistencies that truly matter.
Stop beating yourself up, that's not for you, that's not what He has waiting or intended.

Seek Him first!
Consistency matters but only in the things that matter.

Summer Chore Chart for Kids | Custom

My boys are about to have a new reality check.
Chores are necessary when you live in a house with 5 people
and one on the way.

So, I tweaked their chore chart to suit our needs.
Added a few.
Took away a few.

The reward system is their favorite part.
The mandatory reading isn't.

I had to add 30 minutes of reading daily to their list.
This is to offset the PS3.
I call it damage control

Customize it!
Implement it!

In The Morning When I Rise

I felt His calling this morning...
So, I made the bed.
I brushed my teeth.
I got dressed.
I fixed breakfast...and I felt His calling.

Our Lord Father can be relentless huh?

So, I carried my breakfast, Bible and journal out on the porch this morning for some nurturing and nourishment.  I sat down, plopped it all on the table, noticed the lovely bed of dirt across from me joining me for breakfast, counted my blessings, and began to read & write.

My Psalm today that from where my Bible opened and the one that caught my eye was Psalm 4:5-8.
At first I thought I was reading a little verse about sunshine and light and how great life is and then I backed up and read again.
5.Offer the sacrifices of righteousness..
Offer a sacrifice?  Of righteousness?
Sacrifice...got it, I get that.
Righteousness...not got it, what's that?

When I think of how the world views righteousness today I think of "self righteous" people who take pride in the things they do, brag about how much better they are than others because they went to church Sunday, or maybe they belittle people who make more choices...whatever self righteous is, it's not of Christ.   So, I guess I need a lesson in righteousness.  Here were my thoughts from my journal.

Sacrifices offered from righteousness.  Lord, show me how to offer righteousness with sacrifice.  This very part of the verse was not initially the one that I thought was so special for today.  Lately, I have had the thoughts...is it okay for me to have a glass of win in public?  Are curse words really a big deal because sometimes I want to say them?  Thoughts like these...and then I read Your verse.  "Offer the sacrifice of righteousness..."  Living a life of righteousness, goodness, and uprightness comes with a sacrifice.  But what is righteousness? I so want to be .  But the sacrifice is hard.  That's why it's a sacrifice and I give it to You, right?
And the return rate is Your countenance, light, gladness, joy, I will lie down in peace and sleep in safety. 

It just so happens Psalm 5 is a prayer for guidance.  Isn't that just perfect.  I literally choked up reading it.  Especially..
 "My voice You shall hear in the morning O Lord.  In the moringin I will direct it to You And I will look up." 

Wow. Just grab your Bible and start reading it.  Starting my day with a little morning worship is truly going to lift my spirits.  I'm going to be able to look up and know He has my day in His hands.  That is the righteousness He speaks of...and more.  But I'm still learning.

A little sacrifice of my time for Him is going to do me more good than not sacrificing the time and hurrying through my morning and day.

That brings be back to my questions and thoughts I've had lately.  I know I have spent less time with Him lately, no excuses, I have none.  Distraction is not an excuse and busy is being under Satan's yoke.  But what about those other little questions I have?  Well, He deals with us each individually?  Do my Christian friends think less of me because I have a glass of wine sometimes at night or a cocktail on the beach while relaxing?  Does it diminish His message and make me less useful to Him?  Does saying a curse word do that too?  If it does, no doubt, He will convict my heart.  He will guide me.  He will teach me about righteousness.  He will take a look at my steps and if I need to be set upright and corrected, He will do it.

I always feel like I scratch the surface with my writing but I think all that means to readers is that He has a message for you that you need to dig for.  That you need to hear from Him by spending time in His Word that was written for you today, at this very moment.

His message for me is burning right into my heart and couldn't possibly fit on a computer screen.  It has to go out into the world and lift others, brighten days, rescue the weak.

So, I will leave you with this.  I am going now to my Bible to continue reading, to seek guidance and to pray.

Be blessed today.

Just wanted to share a little clip of my life lately.

I have a new running partner.

My oldest is now 13.  We took him to Nashville for dinner.
Testing is over and the fun of learning begins.

My Littles are regressing back to sneaking in our bed.
Spring is here in the south!
Donated clothing is the BEST!

Oh and we only have a few more weeks and our Foster Parent paperwork will be run through.
A child's placement with us is about to happen.  We are getting ready!  Praise Him for that!

The Lord Will Hear When I Call Him

Repeatedly, this morning (and in the past months), I have read in my Bible about my "voice".  I found that there is a great deal in Proverbs 1 & 2 especially.  When I first started reading these scriptures, I started highlighting every time I read the word "voice".  Example, Psalm 3:4
I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. 
The Book of Psalm is full of words like these; Psalm 4:1 is another favorite.
Here me when I call, O God of my righteousness!  You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
Next to that verse I wrote: VOICE IT!
Pray with me...
Lord, you are keenly aware of any hopes that have been deferred in my life.  Help me to put my hopes in You for You will fulfill my longings.

So, much as been on my heart for months.  I constantly struggle to find the right balance between planning and designing the life I want and depending on Him to plan and design the life He wants me to have.  Does anyone else struggle with this too?  I am praying that He and I come to an agreement and that really means that I am in His Will.
I run my own direct sales business and I love it!  I love it because it made such a radical impact in my life.  It allowed me to leave a teaching career that was "not what I signed up for."  It allowed me to come home to my 3 children and take care of their needs.  I was able to do a great deal while working but there were times I knew I should have been there for my kids and the regret scorched my heart and sometimes broke my spirit.  After I went back to work I kept saying, "all I ever wanted in life was to be a momma."  I know many people want to be momma's but they LOVE being teachers, doctors, dental hygienists, case managers, etc....  Not me, I only really ever wanted to be a momma.  I prayed when I was a little girl that God allow me to be here on earth long enough to experiences motherhood and He listened.  Being a momma is my "job".
Sometimes, my prayers have felt like they are just words spoken too.  Like they were meant for my ears to hear more than my Lord Father to hear.  Why is that?  It wasn't until I realized how very close He was, that He delights in leaning close to me that I started speaking to Him.  My Lord Jesus, petitions for me so that I can walk and talk knowing that He is near.  So, in January I started a list.  I listed all the people I wanted God to bless.  I listed all the circumstances I could so that I could be specific in prayer and boy have I seen Him work since being intentional.  As many who read my blog know, one specific prayer that He answered was our questions about adoption.

He led us straight into Foster Care.  We never dreamed that would be what His intentions for us.  After writing about how clear He was in giving us direction, it seemed that many other things took a back seat for a bit.  Including the business that brought me home.  All the while I pray He strengths it.  Sure, we still move about out daily lives but it seems like everyday is a full of tiny little steps and thoughts towards bringing our baby home.  We've had support from friends and family and we've had people who literally shut us out; which I will never understand that kind of selfishness. 
The journey since January 20th has been longer than I expected.  Our IMPACT training classes started on February 7th and ended in March.  We were hoping they'd have been completed in February.  We have spent the better part of March getting all our paper work filled out: back ground checks, doctors forms, drug testing, appointments, phone calls, pet vaccinations...
Now, it's April and this has been the slowest of them all.  They are assigning us case workers for our home study and I have 1 more class on the 25th to complete for CPR, First Aid, Safety, and Discipline, etc.  I am having to miss a major business event this day and I PRAY that everyone understands the circumstances.  There will be more chances to travel for work but only one day to get this done and finished.

My husband has lost time at work for doctors visits and testing, we've been working on the nursery, buying locking medicine cabinets, and making sure household chemicals are secure.  I have been buying clothes and cleaning out closets.  I have been reading and talking to people to help us be more prepared for what's coming.  I'm not na├»ve as to the horror stories of foster care but that is all out weighed by my faith and trust in the Father.

The one thing I can say that has been my battlefield, where I feel attacked, is spiritually.  The devil has been all over me and my marriage.  Things happen, fights happen and then... you open your eyes and wonder what just happened.  It is just like the evil one to attack those who know they are doing something for Kingdom.  The worse fight my husband and I ever had in the 22 years we've been together happened in the midst of this journey.  Words were said that only Gods grace can cover.  The devil's attack was on me as my character and peace were diminished, but good always comes.  It changed me.  I am so grateful God put the tools in my hands that I needed immediately.  He covered me with His hand and let me rest in a place of darkness for a bit while I let Him fight for me.  Knowing that I have been protected and ushered back into the Light gives me a new hope.  Being sifted in such a way as to bring up to the surface the things that needed to be removed.  I prayed for sifting, to have my weaknesses exposed, I just didn't know how it would all happen and I'm glad it did.

While, I feel like this journey is private in some ways I also believe that I should give a "voice" to the experience.  My hope is to be real enough that future foster or adoptive parents know what to expect and how to handle the spiritual warfare that goes on in the home.  My voice lifts of prayers.  My voice is heard by Him.  I pray that my voice serves Him within the households of many families who believe in taking care for the innocent.  I pray that His voice is sought after always.

Even as I come to a close on this post the devil is telling me to go back and chance my stance...I will not!  God is all in this process and He can not be removed.

So many families are on the same journey we are.  Their timeline and experiences may be different so I pray for their protection and for their sifting as well.  I ask that you pray for our family as well.