Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Poop is the Word of the Year

Last night I told Brian that I wanted us to be intentional this year and come up with a "word of the year" over the next few weeks that we can use next year.  I braced myself for the "why?" and "That's strange--why just focus on 1 thing?" replies that I thought would come. 

Instead, he said, "Poop.  That's our word for the year.  It's something we're all good at." 

I guess he has a point...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Unexpected Friends in Unexpected Places

Do you ever think you'll find friends in places you don't and don't think you will find friends in places you do?  When we moved to Aubrey, I thought it would be easy to make friends.  I mean, I meet new people in my job every week.  I even ENJOY meeting new people.  Moving to a new city was going to be a I thought.
It wasn't that people were unfriendly.  They were just busy.  And already had friends.  And didn't realize they were leaving me out.  I'm sure I have done the same thing thousands of times.

One Sunday, I was working in Carrollton when I saw a student with an Aubrey shirt.  After pretty-much accosting him and peppering him with questions, ("Do you live in Aubrey?" "What grade are you in?"  "Do you know my daughter Hope?" "Do you always go to church here?"  Where in Aubrey do you live?") I met his mom.  And the craziest part of this?  They used to live in the same city I did and moved to Aubrey the same month I did.  And knew many of the same people I do.

So we became facebook friends--Bonnie--the mom, not the 6th grader.  And that was about it for a year. Until Lovepacs-Aubrey started.  And once again, I was reminded that when you serve alongside someone, you are setting yourself up to find a kindred spirit.  Someone whose heart bleeds for the same thing yours does.  Someone who sees that same heart in you and locks arms with you to tackle a task.  And if you're REALLY lucky, you might have kids the same age who become great friends and husbands who like each other. 

And the next thing you know, they are feeding you dinner and taking your kids home and saving you a seat at the football game.

Here's my point...I think most of us want more friends or want to go deeper with the friends we have.   The best way I know to do this is to pick a project to do together that serves others.  Something that gets you outside of yourself and what you think YOU need.  Something that reminds you the world is bigger than you.  Something that gives you a sense of accomplishment when it's done and gives you an opportunity to hug your friend close.

A Secret Women of all ages Share

I ran across this blog today: How to find a circle of mentors and started to just share it, but felt like I wanted to add something to it.  It has some great advice.  And sounds really simple.  But here's what I know...

We are insecure.  It feels weird asking someone to mentor you.  It feels even weirder to ask someone if YOU can mentor THEM.  I speak from personal experience.  I've asked people in the past to mentor me who have said both yes and no--and even worse, nothing at all.  Some have turned our really great and others have flopped.  It's made me extra-sensitive to ask again.  I mean, shouldn't all this just come naturally?  Shouldn't I just "click" with someone and the mentoring happens without me having to put myself out there to ask?

Sometimes it does. But not always... 

But here's what I also know: sometimes easy isn't best.  Sometimes you have to be willing to be vulnerable to set the stage for the relationship--to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. 

And another thing:  I loved in this post where she talked about our expectations.  Many times we think we need the perfect mom to mentor us in our parenting, the top exec to mentor us in our work, the friend with the cleanest house to mentor us in how to get it all done each day.  And in holding on to those expectations, we miss the person in front of us who might be the best for us, but is far from perfect.

Are you stuck in that place of wanting to ask--either to be mentored or to mentor--and scared to move forward?  I'd love to hear why you think you haven't taken that step yet. 

Are you in a mentoring relationship right now?  What's the best and worst thing about it?  How did you find your mentor/mentee? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just Because I don't Say it doesn't mean it isn't True

My girls have gotten older.  This means they have friends on facebook.  And access to the world wide web.  And can see things I post.  I can't tell you how many times it took for them to get angry with me for posting "unapproved pics" before I finally wised up and stopped.

Parenting is hard.  Just because I don't post the hard stuff, doesn't mean things are a piece of cake.  Just the other morning, I found myself having an ugly cry about how I messed up and how clueless I was on what to do. 

I fail.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I yell.  I ignore.  I speak sarcastically...way more fluently than I should.  I don't always believe the best.  I push too hard.  I focus on what needs to be corrected instead of what's being done well.   And yes, I even roll my eyes...a lot (wish I could say my girls got that character trait from their dad).

I read a post a few years ago from a middle school mom that basically said the same thing, but much more eloquently.  If I could find it, I'd post it instead of mine.  But I can't, and I felt this urgency to post SOMETHING to let other mamas know they are not alone. 

I hear it whispered or talked about in a private place--while they furtively look over their shoulders to make sure others aren't listening.  They feel the same way I do.  Not wanting to give up, but not sure what steps to take.  Mamas who believe in Jesus and mamas who don't.  Mamas who search the Bible and Christian blog posts and mamas who look to the leading psychologists.  And mamas who do all of the above at different stages--grasping for an answer.

I wish I had one for them and for me.  I wish God would speak to me in very clear voice and tell me "Hey, before you say that thought in your head, here's what you need to know is going on in your daughter's head right now."  or "Ummm...Angel, patience comes from me and you haven't talked to me at all today.  How do you think you are going to cope with a moody tween without it?" or even better, "Angel, this is EXACTLY how you need to handle this"--down to the steps doled out to me in recipe form (Make sure your room temp is at 72.  Rub your daughter's back.  Try not to stir too quickly or she will become whipped instead of blended).

Alas, it doesn't really work that way.  (Ok--who still uses the word "Alas" when they talk?  I started to take it out, but it sounds right here and makes me sound like a deep thinking kind of blogger so it's staying in). 

Anywhoooo, for now, I will continue to be vague and not post the hard stuff that would embarrass my family.  I will keep posting the chicken blogs, the pics of the things my family does that I'm proud of, the goofy thoughts that come into my head that need to find an audience who will appreciate them more than hormonal teenagers, the #itsaroyallife hashtag.  Because those things are real, too.  As real as the hard times.  And sometimes, we just need to grasp onto and celebrate the times when things are going well because, there's enough other times to keep us down.

Writing Again

Do you ever have those days when you question your passions?  When you wonder if you are doing something just because you are good at it, or just because it's familiar--therefore, easy--for you?  If you really love it or just think you love it because you don't know what else to try? If that stirring inside you is just discontent or the spirit telling you to move?

Brian and I got into a discussion today when he asked me if I thought I would always be in kids ministry.  I never thought I would.  I always thought I would move into a more missional role.  Which is funny in it's own right, as kids ministry is the most missional of all!  And then Frisco opened and I thought I had found my spot that I would stay in for a while.  And I may.  It's not like I feel like I'm being called to something else at this point. 

But, in the midst of the conversation, he reminded me of how much I used to love to write.  Which, honestly, I had forgotten.  I'm not sure if that love is even there any more.  But it once was.  And it really did bring me joy.

So for the next few weeks, I'm going to try an experiment to write a little bit every day.  Some may turn into posts.  Others may just be portions of a post (I have 3 different drafts right now).  And others may end up in the delete file. 

I've done this before and have not been able to be consistent, so we will see if it works.  I already missed a day yesterday, but I'm trying to forget that and just move forward with what I have now. 

We'll see how it goes.  I'm praying that in the next few weeks I will figure out if I want to get more serious about my writing again or just continue to post one liners on facebook. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sad, but Glad...Reflections on Pal

There are just some people who are larger than life--no matter how humble they are.  They just can't help the fact that people look to them for advice, for wisdom, for direction, for encouragement.

Pal/Granddaddy/Dr. Wade was one of those people. Those of us still on earth are grieving the loss of him right now.  Some from a ministry standpoint--he was such a mighty influence in the missions world, others from a shepherd standpoint--he was their pastor for over 40 years, and others from a personal standpoint--they lost their dad/grandfather/friend.

It's a strange feeling to be so sad and yet so glad at the same time. 

As I think of the moment he passed, I have no doubt Grandmamma was giddy with joy at seeing him again and Uncle Bill was standing right behind her waiting for his turn to hug him tight.  I know there is no marriage in heaven, but I'm willing to bet Grandmamma has been guarding a plot right next to her mansion--holding it for him (she probably has a 2 liter bottle of diet coke ready, as well).  I can also imagine all his  friends lined up, waiting to greet him--even Lee Williams--who just got there himself.

As I think about Pal's legacy, I can't help but think that I am one of millions who was personally touched.  The love I have for missions and serving, was planted in me in a young age--as well as the love for the Church.  I remember how well he took care of our missionaries and that sticks with me now as I serve in my role at a church.  And his love for Truth has been firmly embedded in me--I know to turn to the Bible--to see what God says--when I have questions. 

Even those who didn't believe the same as him, couldn't help but respect his passion for reaching those who don't know Jesus.  He's one of those people that you kinda hope you are not in line after at the Bema Seat of Christ, because it means you will be waiting a loooonnnnng time for your turn.

So family and church, I am grieving alongside you right now, but I can't help but smile--even through the tears--as I KNOW he's home now.  I remember many sermons where he talked about his funeral and told us not to cry for him--he was confident he would be in heaven with Jesus and would be ready when God was.  This past year without Grandmamma has made him desire to be HOME even more deeply.

And, for those of you who will be at his funeral, just a word of caution--DO NOT say he looks natural. He has threatened many times to sit up and smack you on the head if you do that. HE IS NOT THERE!  That body is not natural.  He's in heaven, sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to Bill and Bill sing "A Robe and a Crown"--probably making Grandmamma do Karen's part.

"His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant...Come and share your master's happiness."  --Matthew 5:21

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."  --Jim Elliot

Monday, April 20, 2015

What I learned from Pulling Weeds

I am not a gardener.  As much as  I love fresh veggies and pretty flowers, I have the blackest thumb around.  Seriously, I've killed ivy and all the other non-killable plants.

Needless to say, I'm not usually allowed to plant anything.  Since I don't plant, I don't usually take care of the plants either.  I really think they smell me and die so I stay far away. 

But when you have a big backyard, even without a garden, you have weeds.  And the weeds we have growing by our septic sprinklers are bigger-than-Texas weeds.  We planted trees last year that are smaller than some of the weeds--I'm not even joking.

So, Friday night, Brian mentioned that the weeds need to be pulled so we can mow.  (Y'all, they are so big, the riding mower won't go over them!)   He showed me how to use the pick to dig them up so it didn't leave as big a hole as the shovel.  No worries--I can do this.

Saturday morning, I got out there and about killed myself.  There are 2 patches of them and I made it through the 1st (easier) patch.  I got about halfway through the other-which, let me just say, made me feel like I was in an episode of Swamp People it was so mushy!  Lots of ibuprofen and sore back and shoulders later, here is what I learned:

  • If you don't get the whole root, you will deal with the same weed again
  • It's easy to ignore the little weeds to attack the big ones, but they are just as dangerous
  • Some weeds take digging from all 4 sides before they come loose and then you still may need to tug to get them out
  • There is no way around tasting some dirt if you are truly committed
  • When you know you've missed the root, it's easier to pull your tool out and start over in the right spot rather than try to muscle through
  • It's gonna take more than a water hose to clean off all the dirt/mud
  • You've got to stop every once in a while and look up and get perspective; otherwise, it will feel like you are getting nothing accomplished
  •  The ground will probably not look pretty when you are done
  • When your daughter makes you pancakes (esp. after a hard parenting bout the night before), you need to stop and take a break
  • Hearing someone else cheer you on and tell you how good it is looking, will give you energy when you think you want to quit
  • If you wear athletic shorts, make sure they are long enough that you don't moon the passing cars when you lean over (cuz you will be leaning over a LOT)
Anything you would add to the list?