Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Monday, March 28, 2011

Peasant or Princess?

When the world doesn't fit so good.

I have been doing my study on Crazy Love, which has been very challenging.  The last chapter that we worked on was lukewarm.  I once wrote a blog about being lukewarm.  Maybe I will post it again.

I had to challenge myself this past week and figure out what area, out of the 18 listed, is the one that I need to work on the most.  I am sure that after taking care of one step the obvious choice is to work on the next that you no longer can be described as lukewarm.  I have a looooonnnng way to go, but over the weekend I came to a conclusion of my biggest fault.

And I have no idea how to fix this issue.

You see, I live in an awesome neighborhood with people that I love dearly.  These women have been there through some seriously rough times. They pray for me and my family.  They are good women.  

They are all very different from me.

This weekend we all went to St. Augustine.  I would have been happy dressing up as an old-timey person and chasing chickens and these ladies wanted fine dining.  From the experience I just realized that I am more of the peasant and they are the princesses.  It does not mean that I do not love them, I'm just different.

As my first real outing with no drinking (32 days and counting now) I looked at my evening a lot differently than I normally would.  I had a blast as we are all quite entertaining to be around.  Just as will find us throwing stuff at each other, pulling hair and punching arms.  What I came to realize though that besides completely missing my husband...

I just found that I spent the weekend trying to be worldly...

And I missed God.

I know that it is not a bad thing to enjoy good things, but I was left feeling guilty and misplaced.  It was a weird feeling to feel, especially being with women that I care about a lot.

What does that mean for me?
What does that mean for my friendships?

As I spent the weekend and they spoke about the next girls trip and the next couples trip and the hotels and restaurants...I just have to ask  why am I going?  Am I going to please my friends and the world?  Am I going because it's expected of me?  Am I going because if I don't I will not have a closer relationship with these friends?

How different am I?
What makes me different?

When I left, despite all the laughter, I had a overwhelming feeling of sadness.  It was confirmation that I am more of a peasant than a where do I fit in?

It is as if I am trying to please the world instead of pleasing God.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome Home!

Today marks a very special day in my life.  My niece Audrey was born today!  My sister-in-law had several days of labor to try and get that little butterball out, but out she finally came at 1am!

Audrey has been wanted for a while.  As soon as my brother-in-law was married I was ready to be an auntie again.  My nieces and nephews are older than my own kids...who are 12, 13 & 14.  I am ready for another little baby in my life to spoil.  

We went on vacation last year and when they arrived on Saturday night they arrived with EXCITING NEWS - they were pregnant!  Oh my joy was overflowing!  I was going to have a sweet little something.

As soon as I had a moment I sent a text to both of my sisters.  Oh, they were excited and happy for them.  I consider my bro-n-law and sis-n-law as my real brother and sister.  I love them very deeply and my sisters new that.  :)  That was the last text/conversation that I had with Amy...she died that Friday.  The cancer had completed it's task.

I was so thankful that I had the joy of becoming an aunt again at the point that I was losing my sister.  It has helped me to know joy when I could have wallowed in pain.  Instead I held on even more to my sister-in-law who was there when I got the news of Amy's passing...she watched me cry, she watched me finish making dinner for the family.  Judy has been there when our daughter Maria first came to visit us and when she officially became our daughter.  Judy came just in time to experience all of these life changing events with me (us).

Now I get to experience this life changing event with her. I am so blessed to have them in my life.  I am so blessed to have this sweet little niece.  

Its just a new beginning.  
I completion of the life cycle from death, pregnancy to birth.  

Such a whirlwind of emotions I have felt over the past few years: joy, sadness, regret, fear...such big things I have tackled in my life and such great gifts God has blessed me with all at the same time.  I truly am blessed.

Little Audrey.
I love you.
I celebrate you.
I am here for you...all the days I have on this Earth.
I pray for you.
Every day.

Aunt Bubba <3

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Dig...

Tomorrow is my bible study.  I posted what I wanted us to do during the week this past week since we did not meet.  It was a challenge.  A challenge to see if we are, in fact, lukewarm.

That chapter was seriously challenging for me.
Eye opening.

I am lukewarm.

What a sad and disturbing thing to realize about yourself.  I am really trying to step out on faith and do what God wants me to do, but it's difficult.  Just trying to read and prepare for this bible study is difficult.  Running my family and keeping my head above water is difficult.



I haven't drank in quite some time now: 23 days to be exact.  But who's counting? It seems like an eternity.  I have had two social occasions now that I would have normally drank at.  It was interesting being in that moment without SOMETHING to drink.  I had coffee and water and everyone became sillier and louder and here I was...sober.  The other really agonizing time is at dinner, just as we are wrapping up and I'm trying to figure out the schedule for showers and bedtime: there is ALWAYS an argument,chaos and it's in that moment that there is nothing I would like more than a beer.

I have been walking away in the evening and getting relaxed or in the shower.  I just do not have the patience for it.  At least not yet.  Tommy has been allowing me to leave while he orchestrates that time.  I do not want to be screaming at everybody - loosing my mind.  

That's what I've been doing.
Without a beer in the evening.
At that moment.

Emotional drinking.

Not a good thing.  
Rather eye opening.  

In those moments ... my quitting drinking experience resembles when I quit smoking several years ago and I have to wonder how addicted I am to just having that beer?  Even though I didn't have it every night in those moments in consumes me.

I am pretty sure I have decided how long I will be quitting for.  As I said before, I felt like God wanted me to quit.  I was not sure for how long...but it was an urging from within me that I needed to comply.  The nagging would not stop until I did.  When I did quit I made a commitment to God that I would not quit until he said it was okay.  Not sure how that works but I do have a feeling  about a time frame.

I believe that the time frame may be somewhere between 5 - 7 years.  A long time, right?  Yeah, I feel like it is a really long time.  I am not fully committed to that length of time, but it might just be my reality.  I believe that if it's what the Lord wants of me then I will do it.  

My kids will be 17, 18 and 19 in five years.
Now THATS a scary thought!


So I have been pondering the part of lukewarm that resembles me the best.  I had several that I think I teeter-totter within:

3) I have a desire to fit inside church and outside church - I care more about what people and MYSELF think than what God thinks.

5) I am moved by stories of people doing radical things for Christ but personally never act on it.

8) Say they love Jesus and he is part of my life, but only a part.

11) I will serve God and others but there are limits of how far I will go or how much time, money, or energy I am willing to give.

13) I am thankful for all the comforts and luxuries that I have but rarely give as much as possible to the poor.

14) I do whatever I need to do to keep from feeling too guilty.

15) I continually play it safe; slave to the God of control.

16) I feel secure because I attend church, made a profession of faith, was baptized, come from a Christian family, vote republican  and live in America.  Don't all Christian Americans go to heaven?

These are my top assailants.  
These are the things that make me lukewarm.  

Now...time for me to go and dig deeper...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A challenge of your love and faith...

Chapter 4: Profile for the Lukewarm

***CHALLENGE***Read the following information and then challenge YOURSELF below the 18 “symptoms”


1)  Attend church regularly (Isaiah 29:13)

2)  Give money to charity and to the long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living. (1 Chronicles 21:24; Luke 21:1-4)

3)   They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. (Luke 6:26, Revelation 3:1; Matthew 23:5-7)

4)  Don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin (John 10:10; Romans 6:1-2)

5)  Moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act (James 1:22, James 4:17; Matthew 21:28-31)

6)  Rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends (Matthew 10:32-33)

7)  Gauge their morality or "goodness" by comparing themselves to the secular world (Luke 18:11-12)

8)  Say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed a part of their lives...but only a part. (Luke 9:57-62)

9)  Love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength (Matthew 22:37-38)

10)  Love others but do not seek to love others more than themselves (Matthew 5:43-47; Luke 14:12-14)

11)  Will serve God and others but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give (Luke 18:21-25)

12)  Think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven (Phillipians 3:18-20;Collossions 3:2)

13)  Are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor (Matthew 25:34, 40; Isaiah 58:6-7)

14)  Do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty (1 Chronicles 29:14; Matthew 13:44-46)

15)  Are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control (1 Timothy 6:17-18; Matthew 10:28)

16)  Feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America (Matthew 7:21; Amos 6:1)

17)  Do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to (Luke 12:16-21)

18)  Probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren't very different from your typical unbeliever (Matthew 23:25-28)

Pick the one characteristic that weighs the heaviest on your heart.  It might be the one that you feel the most guilt of (that’s how I feel) or the one that seems the most challenging)…spend 15-20 minutes getting to the HEART of this lukewarm characteristic.

Why do I do this?
Why do I feel this way about this?
What’s stopping me? 


Find verses that combat this characteristic.  Use if you do not have a bible…do word searches.  Find what God says about that characteristic and how to be encouraged and how to overcome it.  I have a concordance if anyone would like to use it!


Ask God to help you battle this sin.

Think of one or two tangible things you can do this week to help you fight against this lukewarm characteristic.  It may be fasting for some, or getting up earlier to pray, taking a walk by yourself, or even talking with your children.

Start challenging YOURSELF and stepping out for YOU! 

For those of you that come and meet with me on Tuesday – be prepared to share about your journey this week: the highs and lows.  I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as we go forward.  What a challenging chapter this has been…and will be for another week to set on my heart!  Love you ALL!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

In two hours my oldest daughter will turn 14 years old.  That's completely amazing, scary and mind-boggling all at the same time.  

Where has the time gone?  

Many of you might not know the history of my oldest daughter, Maria.  We only discovered her existence a little more than three years ago.  Seriously.  Just like on the movies...our Plain Jane reality show's husband got a phone call - we have your granddaughter.  From there we went through DNA testing, court hearings, and then finally we were able to meet our daughter.  A month of so later we were moving her into our home.

Such a crazy roller coaster that time was.  There was a lot of adjusting to a new child with weird habits.  We had our normal house rules that she never had and we were conforming her into our world as she was adapting.  Oh, it was hard.  It was hard on all of us, but we loved her and she loved us...and God was just AMAZING during the entire process.

In my life that was the most dramatic experience where you could turn your head, glance behind your shoulder through the years of time and calculate every step along the way; every question of why God?  Every battle in our young marriage?  Our instant thing after another and each one was God molding, guiding, correcting and preparing us for THAT moment in time.  

Truly astonishing.

Even the relationship with the women on my block, our church home that we had just received, our newly dependence on God had just been established...all the cards lined up and VOILA - the gift was delivered.  Wrapped in a tiny red bow.  

Our beautiful Maria.

As she turns 14 of course I am filled with the thoughts of her future high school life and all the things she is going to face there.  Pressure of this thing or that thing.  I just pray that, unlike myself, that she can have the confidence in who she is...that God made her beautiful and deserving of so much more than the crap that she will be fed.  I just pray she doesn't make the same mistakes that I made...because I made way to many.

Happy Birthday my BIG baby girl!  

Who ARE you?

I am real.

You see, it is true that I write about the things in my life that I feel pressing on my heart.  These things that I stumble across are usually at the moment that I have realized I am completely lacking in that area.

I do not write these things about OTHER PEOPLE...but rather about myself.  I am a Christ follower.  What does that mean?  Well other than all of the stuff that I have a feeling most of you means that I recognize that I am not good enough to be loved by a flawless God.  I believe that there is only one way to get to heaven...and that's by accepting this truth.

Some people think that Christians are haughty because they we believe we are going to heaven.  Honestly, in the end...I don't know who's going to be there.  Only based on the truths that I believe within the depths of me has I walked down this path.

And this path is NOT easy.
Being a Christian?  
It's not easy!

I live the same life as everyone else.  Same problems...I just have the reassurance that no matter what happens - God has a plan.  That takes my stress level from a 10 to about a 2.  I wish I could say that I never worry...but worry a lot less than non-Christians that I know.  

My not good enough.

Do you know the verse "We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind."  The translation of filthy rags actually refers to menstrual rags.  You know...a used tampon?  That's as good as our BEST is to comparison to his perfection.

Do you feel a little humbled by that?
I know I do.
a LOT.


That being said - I feel like a waste of space today!  

I'm tired.  

My bought of worrying yesterday (which is so dumb) set me into a state of exhaustion today. Now, a day that I need to prepare for a birthday and the very soon birth of my niece and I am just sitting here.

Very overwhelmed.
and very tired.

You see? 
I'm completely human.
I completely suck often.


Tell me about YOU!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Amazing Talent

The creator looked at the wood, checked it's strength, quality and ability and began to make his plan.  He could see exactly what this wood would be perfect for.

He cut the wood, carved it, and banged on it.  He put wires in it so complex and tight no amount of surety could believe that the wood would be able to handle it.  

He molded it.  
Shaped it.
Twisted and turned it into his vision.

After the masterpiece was dissected and reconnected it was the moment of truth.  The test of the makers amazing ability to create something so AMAZING out of something so plain.  Not only is this thing beautiful to the eyes...what it does to the soul is something far more beautiful.

He tuned it.
He stroked it.
It became alive.

Its purpose is declared and defined.  Each of it's keys holds a promise of a note.  It can be played solo or in an accompaniment.  It can lead and it can follow.  If given the chance to allow it's creator to play it - it can make those around it cry.

After the creator created his masterpiece he sold it to a customer.  He prayed that the piano would be used to echo throughout the halls and homes.  As any piano should echo the love and dedication that the creator put forth into it.  It should reverberate the creator.  It's impact, if given what it deserves, should last from generation to generation.  That the impact of it's sound would bring grown men to weep at it's beauty.  Oh the creator of that beautiful formed and fine tuned piano had great aspirations for it's ability to touch those around it.

And so the piano left the building.
Everything it needed to be an AMAZING piano was built within it.

The owner left with great promise of grandeur.  He would allow the piano to honor the creator.  

Days passed.

The owner forgot about the piano.  He forgot how to play the piano.  He forgot all about the promise he made to the creator to allow the piano to reach it's excellence.  Instead the piano collected dust in the corner.

Every once in a while the owner would open the key cover, sit down on the bench, and stroke his fingers along the beautifully carved keys.  Then, as his children watched in amazement he would play something.  Something beautiful yet quaint.  To children even the silliest of songs played upon the piano sounds like an orchestra!  Then the keys were once again covered and the piano sat.

The owner did not take care of his piano.  He never had it tuned, rarely cleaned and polished it, and in general disregarded it.

The owner aged.
So did the piano.
The owner, over time, died.
The piano was wasted.

The children of the owner regarded the piano indifferently.  What purpose did the piano truly bring to the home?  Only a handful of memories at best.  None of the children were taught how to play the piano...and after seeing the piano was decayed beyond repair or recognition decided to dispose of it.  It was left, abandoned on the shore.  It did no more there than it did in the hall of the owner's home.  It's only beauty at the end was that the dead piano finally had been put to rest.  

It was no longer neglected.

The creator, once he learned of the misuse and neglect he wept.  He wept not only for the piano in which he created, but for the owner who had such an amazing gift that he let perish.  The sounds of that specific piano will not echo an eternity.  It will not even pour forth into the next generation.  It will be washed away, just as the owner was.


The past two years have been very trying and difficult for me.  I did not have an amazing relationship with God, the creator.  In fact, I held onto His promises but not depend on Him for my very breath.  

The more I walk closer to Him through prayers, studying His word, and realizing, once again that not only does He exist, but I need Him close to me.  I need that relationship.  I need that encouragement as I walk each day.

Every morning.
Every evening.
Everywhere in between.

As I walk through the past few weeks and find myself spiritually revitalized there is something new within me.  

A spark.

My ability to write is no longer eluding me. God’s gift, talent within me that cries out His love and mercy!  It can no longer be contained.  It can no longer be hidden and ignored.

My heart cries out for the Lord.
My talent is letting it come out onto paper,
Or host to those that need love and encouragement.

These gifts and abilities I have are not to be ignored any more. 


Do YOU have talents that you keep hidden?

Or that you have forgotten?