Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Life is a Highway...or Jesus Take the Wheel--you Decide

I know a certain 16 year old who doesn't have her driver's license.  She's had her permit for a long time, but--until tonight--has refused to drive on the highway.  The other night, we even had to back up on a skinny road two different times, drove to Sonic where we made it between the yellow poles without touching them, AND dodged a golf cart.  Yet, she still refused to take the highway.

But tonight, she did it!  She conquered her fear and drove on the smooth highway that was a straight shot and 5 mins faster to get home.  As we were cruising along, I had a thought...

How many times is the path in front of me very easy and yet, I take the long way around?  Maybe because I'm scared of the other cars on the road.  Maybe because I've gotten used to taking it slow and am afraid of going fast.  Maybe just because it's unfamiliar.  So I continue to drive the road that curves and winds, dodge the kids on bikes and families with strollers.  I'm even even willing to deal with the stop signs every 1/4 mile.

Just so I can avoid the highway.

But when I do and the music is blaring and the windows are down (unless it's summer in Texas--then it's much better for the AC to be crankin), there's a freedom that envelops my whole body.  A joy that comes with the speed. A feeling of being untethered.

And it IS worth tackling my fear.

So if you happen to wave at me when we are out and about on the road, I may not see you because I'll be  singing "Life is a Highway" at the top of my lungs. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Royal Conversation

Me:  We need to close the baby chickens door.

Him: It's raining and lightning.

Me:  I'm going anyway--lightning won't strike me.

Him: SIGH...I'll go.

Me: I don't mind.

Him: (As he buttons his raincoat) Remember, I want to be cremated, not buried.

Me: Where do you want me to throw your ashes? The farm?

Him: I don't care--you can throw me in the toilet.

Me: I'll scatter you at the farm at dead dog hill over Bubba and Callie and Hank.

Him: Well, that's better than Dead Chicken Hill.

Me: True


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting out of my Funk

I went to bed last night in a funk and woke up the same way today.  Nothing major happened to cause it.  Nobody in my family has the virus.  We have plenty of food and toilet paper. We will be able to pay all our bills this month. 

But, the reality that this probably won't be over in a few more days hit me and sent me in a downward spiral of worry and unrest. 

When I start to feel sorry for myself, I know I need to find ways to look outside of myself--not to escape, but to remind me that my fears are small in the big picture of life.  So, with that in mind, this morning I decided to sign up to help pass out food to families at our church's ministry center. 

Y'ALL!  We fed 280 kids tonight!  Most of what I did was sorting and packing--which, if you know me, you know how much of that I've done the last 9 years with Lovepacs!  It brought me life!  I can't buy food for all those kids, but I can help put together a box that has a variety of food in it and pray over it as I pack it!  I can invite a friend to help pack with me.  I can tell others of the needs for food. 

And, tonight, I am going to bed with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  I made a difference today by doing something small, but something  I am good at. 

If you are looking for a way to make a difference, they are passing out food to families from 5-6pm each night until Friday. You can donate food at the Argyle campus (there are bins outside the main entrance of Cross Timbers Church) or, if you live in Aubrey, you can leave food on my porch and I will get it there.  We needed LOTS more canned veggies and fruit, kid-friendly soups, canned tuna/chicken, and chef boyardee-type meals  tonight. There were plenty of snack items, but things like spaghetti would have been a great addition to the boxes we handed out to families. 

You can also sign up to pass out the food.  Here is the link:  https://crosstimberschurch.org/hopecenter/?fbclid=IwAR0omi4aOmcITV7nMow-MASa8Bta_M-O7xZJDIN0YN532hT0cJvOS2XlKCs

If you know of a family in need, send them to Cross Timbers Church in Denton btwn 5-6pm.  They will need to bring their kids with them.  They will stay in the car and volunteers will bring the boxes to them. 

Finally, would you pray with me--for enough food for every family who comes this week?  For enough volunteers to sort and pack?  For this ministry center staff who is planning and organizing all the moving parts of this behind the scenes?

Praying for all of us tonight--that we each find a way to get out of ourselves and serve others in a way that not only brings hope to them, but brings us life too! 


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Defining Today

I dread the scale at the dr's office.  I cringe when I step on it because I know a one-time look at the scale does not tell the story of my progress.  The nurse writing on my chart doesn't know that while the number shown is still not ideal, it's SO much better than 6 months ago.

As I was contemplating this and suppressing the need to defend my weight, I had another thought.  This medical staff has never seen me before today.  They don't know who I was--they only see who I am at this moment.  They don't know that yesterday I had a milestone.  (I officially hit the 50 lb weight loss mark--yay me!)  But they don't know that (unless I tell them).  They look at today's numbers and make their assessment based on it.

How often do we let what we failed at yesterday define us today?  Most days, I still see that 50 lbs when I look in the mirror.  Or the yelling I did at my girls.  Or the task that once again did not get marked off my list.  Or the lack of compassion I showed to a co-worker.  I could go on and on here--I'm an expert at failing.

Please hear me--I believe in the value of looking back and realize how that helps us take the correct steps forward. 
How different would today be if I took it at face value?  If I looked at the facts and not the history.  What would change?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Being New

This weekend our church celebrated it's 20 year birthday, but I've only been there for the last three.  As I was doing the math, I realized, that when CT started, I had just begun attending my old church--where I was for 17 years.  So, if I had found CT back then, I would have been here all 20 years.

I'll admit, that made me a bit regretful.  I love this place so much that it's hard to not think I waited too long to get here.  In my head, I know I didn't--the peopleI met at my previous church were more than worth it.  But, as people were reminiscing about the first years, I found myself a bit melancholy and envious.  Partly because I don't talk to many from my old church any more.  Friendships that I thought would last forever have died away. Also, I like history--and being a part of it.  I'm used to being the one with the memories and I don't like the new girl feeling--that yuck of being on the outside, looking in.

As I was wallowing, I kept seeing people post pics next to a big 20 display our team had made. 

And I realized that display was created around the snow globe structure that Brian had made me for our kids lobby this Christmas. 

So maybe I DO get to have a part in the memories, but I also have a part moving forward.  I get to be a part of the new memories people make.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Give Me ALL the Books

I was looking at my Goodreads account the other day and realized I only read a few books in 2019.  The tragedy!  I know not everyone loves to read (believe me--I live with 3 of them and constantly wonder where I went wrong in parenting to not pass this love on to at least ONE of my girls), but for me, reading is life-giving. 

I realized my love of books in 3rd grade.  The school library was closed and I was in tears.  Mrs. Moore, my teacher, let me borrow a few of her personal books.  The summer after, my parents "paid" me in books to watch my sister while they were at work AND I gave me a subscription to Weekly Reader.  Did anyone else subscribe to this?  When those 2 books came every month, I would read them over and over!!!  There was no Amazon prime back in the day

In 4th grade, Mrs. Puckett took it a step further and gave me free reign of the treasures in the little bookcase behind her desk.  With the exception of "The Borrowers" (fitting, huh?) I don't remember the titles of any I read--just that I think I read them all.  If Mrs. Puckett thought they were good enough to spend her money on, then I just KNEW they were worth the time to read!

A few years ago, Brian and I were having a conversation (okay--it was an argument, but does that really matter?).  In the course of it, I was defending my love of reading as not just being a "lazy sport" like I thought my family believed it to be.  As a kid, we didn't have much money or take many vacations.  Books were my trips.  I was (and still am) an awkward kid who meant well, but didn't make friends easily.  Books provided characters who didn't make fun of me when I cried for them or got angry on their behalf. 

This year, I want to read more--pretty fitting that it's 2020.  And maybe even branch out in what I read (my go-to is fiction that ties everything up in a pretty bow a the end).  My goal is to read 12 non-fiction and 24 fiction by the end of December.  That's only 3 a month--which should be easy if I keep the games off my phone and limit my facebook scrolling. 

So, what's on YOUR must-read/want-to-read/need-to-read/required-to-read list this year?  How do you keep track of what you've read?  Where do you get your book recommendations? 

And most importantly, what have you read that I need to read this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Find Your Tribe...Love Them Hard

This year I have struggled with my word for the year.  I had several that spoke to me and have spent the last month praying about them.  I just feel like I am on the edge of watching and be a part of something BIG God is doing and I want my word to represent that.

So, like in 2018, when THE word popped in my head, I tried to push it out.  (In 2018, it was "Consistent" and that felt soooo boring. It ended up being the word that inspired me the most out of all my words and that I saw God move through all year long.)  I kept going back to the other words I had put in my notes section of my phone.  I did another online quiz to tell me what it should be. I pretended that I was still praying and thinking about it.  I tried to rationalize why it was not a good one...

  • It was too inward-focused and I want to be outward focused this year.  
  • It has been over-used.  It was "cutting-edge" several years ago, but now it's just old hat and not original.
  • It wasn't God-focused.

Then, we went shopping today.  I have been looking for a shirt that was a size smaller than I currently wear to be my inspiration to continue on my eating plan (I've lost over 30 lbs since September but still have 24 more to go).  It didn't take long and I found one I loved and wouldn't you know, it had the word I had been trying to ignore on the back of it.  And then, I found super cute shoes to match it and they were on sale for $10.  Did I mention the shirt was also on sale?  UGH!  I guess there's no more ignoring the word.

For 2020, my word will be TRIBE.

I found this sign last spring--I even took a pic with my dear friends with it--but left the store without buying it.  Two days later, I drove 45 minutes back to the store to buy it because I couldn't quit thinking about it.

For me, tribe is a word to describe my peeps--the people I love and who love me.  I have a tendency to spread myself thin and not be "all-in" with the people who matter most because I'm trying to do and be more for people who honestly, just don't matter as much to me.  I ask my girls to shhhh so I can hear a tv show (that could easily be paused).  I fail to grab lunch with friends I love because it takes effort and I want to be lazy or the opposite--tell myself I should be working instead of hanging out.

Tribe is people--the ones who matter.  The ones who don't sugarcoat the truth for me and who don't care if I wear make-up or have an annoying laugh.  The ones I KNOW have my back when push comes to shove.  The ones who challenge and encourage me and send a text at just the right time.  The ones I can do the same for without feeling awkward.

And to be completely authentic here, I don't think my tribe is complete.  I believe it needs to widen a bit and that makes me a little tired.  Tribes take time and energy and I'm getting old, y'all!

Brian asked me what having a word of the year does for me.  It keeps me on track.  It reminds me to open my eyes to what God is doing in and through and around me.  It focuses me on what matters most.

Here's my ask of YOU.  If you see the word tribe in a meme or on a written in a quote or expressed on a sign, would you send it to me?  You can message me, email me or better yet--text it to me (random happy texts make my day!).  This will help me keep it in the forefront of my mind and serve as a reminder to re-evaluate how I'm doing with my tribe.