One day…

Yesterday I had been busy all day and it just never stopped. I had done the gym, ran the errands, did the Sam’s bulk trip, picked up the bigs from school, made the lunches, organized the “office” (laughable, it’s a desk with lots of crap and then a few actual vital pieces of information, like birth certificates…). I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, and was into organizing more. I had put everyone down for a nap, when in the middle of my “getting our life together”, my big came creeping down the steps.

If you know me as a parent at all, then you know that our naptime is mandatory. As in non-optional. No, you will not be getting up. This is your bed and this is where you lay for the next 1-2 hours. (This is not me taking a stand on naptime. This is just what works for me and my family. I really, truly don’t care if your child naps or not. Everyone please quit making every dad blame thing a soapbox topic. This is what’s wrong with the world. Everything’s a “thing”.)

But, nevertheless, here she came. Sneaking so silently I didn’t even hear her. Except, I knew she was there, due to the eyes in the back of my head that all mothers grow the moment they leave the hospital with their new bundle. She asked to stay up. “I’m just not sleepy, mama. Everyone else is asleep and I just can’t, so can I stay up?”. I caved to silent rest on the couch while I finished downstairs. After a few minutes, I felt her peering at me. I looked over at her, put down my work, and snuggled with her on the couch. This can wait.

You see the thing is, she’s graduating from Preschool in three weeks. I am launching her into a new world of public school, larger classroom sizes, new friends, possible bullies, new teachers, more responsibility, testing, homework, peer pressure, comparison, and no “unexcused days”. No days of staying home because I would just rather have her with me. No days of playing hookie to go to the movies instead. No pick up at 11:30, so I will get to eat lunch with her. None of that. All of these days are nearly gone. Gone in 19 very short days. Tears are burning my eyes as I type these very words…

I thought I was ok with all of this. We did kindergarten registration a few weeks back. I didn’t cry. I was excited for her. A little nervous, but excited… as I remember my first days of school being too- a little nervous, but exciting. But yesterday, in the middle of my errand running, I went to the book section in Target to find an appropriate book to have all of her teachers sign as we launch her into this next phase. A book that I will send on the last days of school, to every teacher of hers, for the next 12+ years. I found the perfect book. I sat there, in the back of Target, holding Maggie Ruth, and cried and cried. The more I thought of Charlotte launching, the tighter I held my 13 month old. God help this poor baby. Being the last won’t be easy, and I can assure you, if she wants to stay in this house until thirty-five, THEN THAT WILL BE FINE AND NONE OF YOU WILL SAY ANY CONDEMNING WORDS, OR IN ANY WAY PUSH HER TO LEAVE ME!!!!

I read the line….”When I look at you and you look at me, I wonder what wonderful things you will be….”

AND THEN I CRIED SOME MORE.

So I put aside my work that I didn’t finish, because let’s be honest… it’s a long list of unfinished things that I will pick back up the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next to finish. But it can wait. Because Charlotte won’t. She won’t wait to grow. She won’t wait to grow another inch taller. She will soon cut her own food. And read books to herself. She will fix her own hair. And pull the paint set down by herself. She one day soon will not lay down for a nap after lunch, but instead tend to homework and then go ride her bike down the street. She will one day soon set her own alarm for school, not needing me to gently brush her hair off of her face and wake her sweetly. “One day” is turning into “One day soon”, and too soon will it become “today”.

So for now, I will lay with her on the couch, and let her fall asleep cuddled up next to me. Us both waking with our cheeks stuck together. I want her to launch. I want her to succeed, and fail. I want her to go and grow at “big school.” Moving up to the next grade, growing older… it’s a privelege that is denied to so many. I want her to become a sweet girl, and beautiful teenager, and kind woman, and thoughtful wife, and attentive mother. And career woman, or entrepreneur, or homemaker, or whatever calling God sends her into. But I will hold this sweet five year old, until she won’t let me anymore. I will hold her until “One day” becomes “today”.

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian…”

Sundays. Can I tell you what Sundays mean? For us, the start of our Sunday is church. Seeing our people. Hugging their necks. Sitting in the pews, listening together intently to the word of God. We watch eachother sing praises to our Almighty, and worship together. We carry eachothers children back to nursery for one another. We catch eachothers runaway three year old in the parking lot (thank you deacons👐). We make it a point to go visit the sweet elderly lady who sits in her same “spot” every week, just to see her sweet smile. We have the same sweet old man sneak our children candy and joke with them on the way in. The way you meet on the steps of the church, and all speak together and love on one another on the way out. We meet eachother in the middle of the aisles to ask “how was your week?”, “I’m so glad to see you!”, “pray for me this week!”.

I had someone find me in church today, “I love your heart…” she said, among other things. Her words have stuck with me all day. Do not under any circumstances believe that small words can’t touch someone. I love her and she loves me. Not because we are related, or because we are especially close, or because we speak everyday. She loves me because I’m a sister in Christ. She loves me, the way that you love your people.

For anyone who is involved in church, you’ll understand. And for anyone who isn’t, you’ll want to get involved. Church binds you together in an unexplainable way. Not “clicky” or a club that no one else can enter… no, not that. (And if it feels like that- then the Lord probably intends for you to be at a different church. Jesus would not dare allow someone to not let you have a seat at the table. So, if it feels like that; it’s wrong.) No, it’s a special way that God kind of sews all of your heartstrings together when you worship Him, hear His words, and see eachother broken down and built back up in the Spirit together. The way you watch someone walk to the altar to lay down their burdens and hug them with knowing and loving hugs after service, making a mental note to yourself to “check in” with them the next week. Its impossible to witness the very intimate and personal way that God changes our hearts and minds in service, and not be affected by it.

We have fun at church. We cut up at church. We laugh and share humor a church. Holy and humor can reside in the same place. You can be human, and a church-goer, and a Christian. I’m not really sure when the stigma began that Christians were meant to be prudes, but um… cough cough. We’re not. We are imperfect people with normal lives, striving to live the way Jesus did. Thats it. And church is where we come together under one roof, to love our God. It’s the place where a bunch of us broken people come to meet every week to be put back together in Christ. What a blessing. What a safe place. What a gift.

“Going to church doesn’t make you a christian.” You’ve heard it before. And yes, they’re right, it doesn’t. But then again, thats not the point of church. Church is not to “make you a Christian”. Church is where you come to worship God. Church is where you come to literally have His words spoken over you, to breathe in you new life. Church is where your people gather to build you up, love you, pray for you and with you, worship with you, hold you accountable, check in with you. Church is such a precious gift, and if it is physically possible for you to get into the doors of church, I am begging you to go. God will open up your heart in such powerful ways. He will set people in your life who will be such a gift, and so uniquely designed to fuel your walk with Him. Our church has been such a blessing. It is so funny how God will change your view on things when you get involved in church. How you will see things with such grace and mercy. How it will soften your heart, and allow you to walk with such joy.

Have a happy Sunday guys, however you spend it… I hope today gives you joy and rest. ❤❤❤

Meltdown on Aisle 7

I was running errands early this morning, trying to get everything done on the road while I only had one child. (The two “bigs” are both at preschool on Tuesdays and this is the closest thing I have to “me time” during the week.) I ran a few places and then landed at the grocery store. In the middle of my trip I get a phone call from one of my sisters reminding me of another something on our calendar. I stumble around words, and apologies, and “I’m not sure if we’ll make it because we also have x, y, and z…” and I begin telling her how crazy our schedule is.

I’m on the phone with her and I’m telling her all of the things, as if she doesn’t know. She’s a part time working mother of four herself with heavy responsibilities at church as well… So clearly, I was preaching to the choir. But she listened and reassured me she knew and let me whine on the phone to her anyway, when all of a sudden I felt the lump creeping up in my throat. My eyes started to water, and I felt it coming. A meltdown. The problem was, I WAS STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GROCERY STORE. Can you imagine if a woman randomly burst into tears in the middle of Bi-lo at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning. I’m sure management would have called in child services for the infant in the buggy, until I was deemed medically fit to take her home and not an emotional nutcase. So, I quickly got off the phone, said a quick prayer pleading to God to let me get out of the store before I humiliated myself, finished my shopping, and got the heck out of dodge.

You guys, honest to goodness, would not believe what the family calendar on our fridge looks like right now. There is something on every square, everything color coded, with tons of sidenotes, arrows, and diagrams. Russian intelligence couldn’t decode this thing, y’all. I would show you a picture, but I’m afraid that the serial killer in my head (that apparently is always within a few feet of my home) would see our schedule and know the appropriate time to strike. So, I’ll refrain. And I’ll also stop watching shows like Bates Motel… But our calendar is nuts…. Just so you know.

It’s the end of the school year. And as much as I love it- I dread it. Every year.

Side note: Do not give me the, “…but soak it up mama, one day you’ll miss this” speech. Yes, one day. But you are either lying to yourself or lying to me if you’ve ever been in this season and not felt overwhelmed. Just putting that out there.

Overwhelmed.

Ball practices, ball games, dance practices, dance recitals, parties at school, programs at school, wedding season, busy season. We have a minimum of three required places to be a day at least five days a week. AND THERE’S ZERO I CAN DO ABOUT IT. I can’t take anything “off our plate”, this is just how the chips fall for the last 8 weeks until summer begins. It is what it is, as they say.

I get a text about something else that we could attend/want to attend/should attend but can’t attend, because we already have something on the schedule today. Ball practice. I say another prayer for a little peace. A little wiggle room. Anything. And go about my day.

I get a phone call not long ago, letting me know that ball practice is cancelled. “Oh, ok then. Well, now we can go to the thing that we could/should/want to attend and that will all work out good.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. I could literally feel Jesus standing beside me, rolling His eyes and doing the face/palm smack. Like, “YOU MORON! You just prayed for a break, I gave you one, and you filled it RIGHT back up with your worldly crap!”

I don’t have a lot of control over our schedule right now. The only thing I can do is set the stage, prepare for the day, and shuffle the kids as quickly as I can. But so help me, when the Lord offers rest in this season, I WILL TAKE HIM UP ON THE OFFER.

Mathew 11:28 “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

His presence literally lifts the stress away. And isn’t it amazing, that he fulfills his promises and answers prayers according to His will!? Thank goodness that the cancellation of Tee-Ball practice wasn’t going to throw the universe into a tail spin today, because Mama needs the break!! 🙌🤣 The bigger picture here though, is how quickly I was about to trade in His gift. I’m so glad He grabbed me by the shoulders and set me back on His path. I’m so glad that the Lord knows how I operate, and knows that I can get sidetracked by a bumble bee. I’m so grateful that He knows I need Him to hold my hand, and literally walk me to His blessings.

I’m going to hole up in this house for the remainder of the day. I will enjoy the sunshine and sidewalk chalk with my girls, eat dinner in peace with my family, and enjoy the simplicity in the rest that God so generously offered me today. Enjoy your day guys, keep an eye out for God’s blessings! 😙

“Too Much”

My Turner Mackenzie has recently turned three. She is, in every way- me. She is into playing in the dirt, and catching grasshoppers, and play-doh. She likes unicorns and glitter, but also turtles and bugs. She sleeps with her bunny and blanket but here recently, also with a rubber toy frog, turtle, and alligator. She plays with babydolls and dresses up in princess gowns so that she can play with her older sister, although these aren’t her favorite things, her sister is… so she can roll with the punches and play well with others. But she is also fiercely stubborn, and loud, and sensitive, and dramatic. She is an all or nothing type of girl. She’s fiercely loyal and loves like no other. Sometimes she is devastated and her little heart just doesn’t know how to handle when something feels unfair or unjust. So she does this mix of mad and sad because she’s still learning how to express herself with words, but even when she does… I have a feeling this will be how she handles things. She will lead with her emotions.

It reminds me of the line in Charlotte’s Web when Fern is trying to save the runt, Wilbur. After being loud and wildly emotional to save Wilbur’s life, her Father replies, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Fern you will have to learn to control yourself!” She of course replies, “Control myself!? This is a matter of life and death, and you want me to control myself!?” As if it was absurd to think that she wouldn’t be emotional about something that mattered to her. This is her. This is Turner. This is also me.

Do you know those women that you see that just seem lovely? People use words like demure, precious, lovely, and reserved to describe them. This is not me. I’ve tried on and off for years to be this woman. Shockingly, I never succeeded. I never could quite get the hang of quieting my inner voice, (or my outer one either). 😂

I am loud. My inside voice is never at an appropriate decimal, although I try. I never laugh appropriately, or at an appropriate time. I’m the one laughing at funerals, and weddings, and at the very holy moment of the lighting of the “Singing Christmas Tree” that a local church puts on every year. During which time you are suppose to be very quiet and reflect on our Saviors coming, and all of the things Christmas means to us for a total of 3 very long minutes. But alas, someone whispers something, and then I get the giggles and can’t for the life of me stop. I hear the creaking of the pews in front of me as people turn around to stare at the hoodlum ten year old who can’t get it together. This is still me now at nearly thirty. I’m not sure that I ever remember seeing my mama that mad. Except for maybe when me and my childhood best friend took off on our bikes, got lost, and didn’t show back up at home until 6 hours later. Or maybe that one time the principal called her in because I had an “A” in Biology, but unfortunately I had skipped, I don’t know, maybe 100 days of school or something. (I’m exaggerating.) Point is, I’m loud, and talk too much, and write run-on sentences because I can’t shut up.

I do things. I try things. I’m all or nothing. I get into projects fiercely, and when I decide I’m done- I abandon them without reserve. I just believe that if you want to try something, then do. Also, if your doing something that no longer makes you happy, then stop. Some shame-seeking people would use condemning words like, “quitter”. I just believe that this life is too short to not test the limits, or even worse, continue doing something that makes you miserable. There are thousands of different jobs, and thousands of different hobbies, and thousands of different sports. Why not try them all? Or stick with just the one that makes you Happy? This is YOUR life and no one else is going to live it for you.

Some people have the ridiculous notion that since I’m outgoing, and enjoy speaking to people, that I am always confident or an extrovert. Neither of these are true. Actually, my loud mannerisms and social personality can make me quite self conscious. You see, with people who are more shy or demure, it’s easier for them to fall back and become a wall flower of sorts. It’s easier for them to not put themselves out there, because they feel more comfortable letting someone else be “out there.” For those of us who don’t know how to be lovely, or soft spoken… we just show up to the party with a smile, be ourselves, and then have anxiety for the next two days. “Was I too loud? Did I talk too much? Did I say everything in the right tone? Was I too much?”

I’ve been classified as “too much” my entire life. But Jesus says I’m just right. I am not “not enough” nor “too much”, I am just right. I am exactly what God designed me to be. He made some of us soft spoken and lovely, He made the rest of us loud and sociable. He made us this way so that we can better connect with eachother, and lead others to Him. I have to stop looking at myself through the eyes of well, quite frankly, all of you and start seeing myself how Jesus sees me. I am praying everyday, every single day, that my daughters see themselves in this same light too. I am challenging you to do the same. We will pick ourselves and eachother slap apart until we change the way we see. I hope you guys have a happy weekend! Love your neighbor, but more importantly- love yourself. ❤

Shedding the weight.. and I don’t mean a diet!

Whelp. I’ve done it again. I’ve gone bananas over the playroom. After FOUR , yes I said FOUR opportunities to clean the mess in the playroom this morning, I have officially come unglued. I would like to say, to all the tender souls who think that we are too strict on our little snowflakes- That they had several opportunities to keep the things that they are PRIVILEGED enough to have, but they didn’t rise to the occasion, nor did they put in the effort or give a darn to keep them. I will absolutely ask for and demand that my children take responsibility for their own things and actions. This includes personal property and behavior. We had a garbage bag full in just a few minutes, a TRUCKLOAD of toys in about 20. That in itself is embarrassing. The only thing more embarrassing, is that there is still MORE THAN WE NEED.

Granted, my children are still very young. For the time being I will keep Maggie Ruth out of this equation, seeing as how she is not yet old enough to walk or talk, therefore did not help in the aiding or abetting of the playroom crimes. The other two however, are plenty old enough to pick up after themselves. They may need to be reminded or redirected to cleaning, but they do know how, and when they choose not to-they choose to lose the privelege to those objects.

I have to accept responsibility as well. The amount of STUFF in this house is just absurd. I mean really, innapropriate, ridiculous, and wildly unreasonable. These are the reasons that I can’t keep up. This is why I have anxiety and stress. This is why at least once a week I turn into some kind of crazy nutcase. I’m in the corner flailing my arms around about crap being everywhere, and my people have become numb to it. It’s like, “uhhhh… Mama’s losing her marbles over the crayons in the floor again… I’ll just go upstairs.” This is why we need a change….

(1) There are one of me and FIVE of us. So there is ZERO reason why I should be the only one (and Daddy, because he actually does help too) To consistently pick up after myself and everyone else.

(2) We have too much JUNK. You guys, hands to the heavens- if Jesus walked through my front door right now- I would be plum ashamed at the “frivelous” To “needed” ratio in our home. The quantity is just insane. I dont know how we got here, but it has finally reared its head and it is UGGGGLY!

To get us back on track, we are donating, trashing, and selling. THE THINGS MUST GO!!!

Charlotte and Turner don’t seem to understand that giving their belongings to someone in need isn’t dumping them in the back of a bin or goodwill type store. I need for her to understand the connection. So we will be finding a family, child, foster home, or children’s home to take the toys to personally. She needs to understand other people’s needs, and how we can help fill them with a simple kind gesture. They need to understand why she should care for her things. They need to understand that not everyone has access to their “needs” much less, “wants”.

I’ve started doing some things to help and encourage the girls to take care of their things. Here’s a few ideas that worked for us and might for you…

We have a “shoe basket.” Here, shoes do not get left downstairs. Every night the girls take the shoe basket and empty shoes in the appropriate closets. No more tripping over shoes or hunting them down. The are taken off, and then taken back to their “homes” at the end of the day.

The girls also know how to take off their clothes, and put them correctly in the hamper. No more inside out pants with underwear still rolled inside them. Pulling pants leg back right side out is No longer something that I can physically do or handle. I can’t, I can’t do it, I cant handle it. It’s making my laundry days a nightmare.

Here is where I have to cave. Three and five year olds are not “efficient”. You do not get both “quick” and “correct”. You get one or the other, you have to choose. So since I’m choosing “correct”, I have to up my patience level. And I mean, like going from “nonexistent” to “Mother Theresa”. This is non-negotiable for at least another five years.

“LORD, grant me patience.” 😨

I also do this….

It’s a small Rubbermaid tote about the length and width of a full sheet of paper. All of our precious gems of school and artwork that come home, I throw in this bin. No mlre leaving them in the car or on the kitchen table. At the end of the school year I take out anything with hand/feet prints or anything particularly cute or special and THROW THE REST AWAY. Then, the girls have their own bin in the attic with their names on it for keepsakes. When they are older and move out, they can decide what to keep and what to chunk and it is no longer my concern. This works great for us and it might help y’all as well.

There is a book I read a few years back by Jen Hatmaker. It’s called SEVEN. It’s fantastic, and her and I are best friends (in my mind, at least). But she went through this kind of crazy moment where she had enough of all the “excess” in her life and she did some pretty radical things to get her life back on track. I dont know that I will do the experiment again, but I am definitely claiming our life, home, and time BACK. No more excess, no more uselessness, no more “stuff”. When you get rid of all of that, it clears out your mind and heart and soul, and you can replace the void with time, and peacefulness, and friends, and family, and Jesus. The stuff that matters gets more attention because you got rid of the “glut”. Here’s to spring cleaning and a breathing in some fresh air! Let’s shed the weight, let’s trim the fat, let’s get our lives back in shape! 🙌 good luck yall!! 😚😚

Just for fish and giggles…

Once upon a time I was a young, twenty-two, newlywed who uttered the words, “There will never be deer heads hung on my wall.” Of course, I also was once a young, naive, fourteen year old who uttered the words, “I don’t think I want children and most certainly will never own a minivan.” And on that day God laughed and laughed and laughed…

I guess my point is sometimes we make downright ridiculous LIES to ourselves and don’t even know it. Because about three years into marriage, I caved on the deer heads. Which now, nearly seven years into marriage I ask myself, “Self, why did you even care in the first place?” It’s like at 22 I had completely disregarded the notion that I had married a younger Crocodile Dundee from northeast Georgia. The man came home with a bob cat once, for crying out loud. I mean honestly.

So now, (being a much more seasoned wife to my husband), there’s very little that surprises me, or that I don’t just shake my head, roll my eyes at, and say “ok honey…” After the first year or two of marriage and you know, 800 kids later, you kind of grind the sharp edges down on each other. Which sounds a lot like wearing eachother down, but in the best way possible. We are at a soft, steady spot in our marriage where we accept, and sometimes even find endearing the absurd of eachother. And some days we just are completely annoyed but love each other, so we let it be. Like, Brayde no longer makes mention of the ridiculousness to the very specific ways that I make a gallon of tea, told laundry, load a dishwasher, or scramble eggs. (I would like to say there’s more than one way to skin a cat on these topics, and you could.. if you wanted to do them incorrectly…) OR why I am sent into complete and utter overdrive on Sunday mornings. I just do. Until my feet hit the steps of the church I am a total raving lunatic. Its like, “I just need to praise our Lord and Saviour and hug our peoples necks, AND YOU YAYHOOS DONT KNOW WHERE YOU PUT YOUR TOOTHBRUSH?! WHY IS IT NOT IN THE BATHROOM!? SHOES!!?? HERES AN IDEA, CHECK THE CLOSET!!!” Because ya know, I’m chalk full of grace and patience just moments before singing praises to our Almighty. But, Brayde doesn’t say a word. He just rushes the girls in the car and has my bible and a cup of coffee waiting on me when I get in. (Just in case anyone is wondering, yes. The answer is yes. I completely married up and out of my league.) And when the man wants to go fishing or hunting or go do any of his many endeavours, I tell him to “Go and ride like the wind, bullseye!” Because those things just do not phase me. But then there’s the days when we have an argument, and days later I’m still scratching my head and going, “whaaa?”. Which brings me to my story…

This past summer Turner Mackenzie became obsessed with turtles… Which in a long series of unfortunate events, led us to getting a pet turtle. He lives in an aquarium which we inherited from my daddy, the keeper of all things. This is just who he is. If the zombie apocalypse begins tomorrow, then just head on over to my daddy’s house. There is everything to make a complete bunker, along with an aquarium and probably 72 extra rolls of duct tape… and maybe even an inflatable pool. You can have your own little oasis… You’re welcome.

So, a few days ago Brayde comes home from fishing with a slew of crappie, brim, and catfish. All of which I care nothing about, unless of course, I caught them myself.

Listen, I have inherited some of my husband’s interests over the course of our marriage. Fishing for huge monster stripers will make me jump up and down and giggle like a preteen asked to her first junior prom. Hunting? Yes, absolutely- if it’s exactly between the temperatures of 73-92° other than that, nope. No thank you. Hannah cares ZERO about being too cold or really, not even too hot.

But even though I didn’t catch any of these fish, I love my husband, so I caved and went to take a look. Listen, if he can can look at how well I organized the new Tupperware in our drawer and be tickled for me, then I can do this for him. (We don’t do gifts… this is our love language.. get off our backs, man.) But I absolutely mean this when I say, it may have been the biggest crappie I have ever seen in my life. I congratulated my man on his awesome catch and turn to go back in, when he stops me to ask where the water conditioner is for the aquarium.

“Hmm? Beside the turtle food, why?”

“Because I need to add more water.”

“Oh no babe, I just cleaned the tank and added more water Monday. The turtle’s fine.”

“No, the fish will never make it in that little bit of water.”

*blank stares*

If you can’t tell, by this point, my brain has still not caught up to the fact that my husband wanted to KEEP THE CRAPPIE FISH IN OUR TURTLE TANK.

In his defense, it was, as I stated before, quite a large Crappie. Maybe even state record. But no. Just no. Noooooo. This is not Bass Pro Shop!!! I have enough mouths to feed! Not to mention that our turtle is an omnivore and Lord only knows what kind of a mess I would have in that tank if it got a hold of a fish. Actually, I do know. BECAUSE Hubby once put a baby bass in there, and there was nothing left except an awful stench and a fish head floating around hours later. So, NO to the Crappie.

So at this point, the fish never made it as a pet. I “won”, but that’s the thing with “winning” an argument. It never quite feels like winning. And then I felt bad, because Brayde and I just don’t ever really say no to each other about much of anything, really. So, I felt bad and told Brayde that if it meant that much to him. Then keep the fish. I didn’t care. But I didn’t want it to stink. Or breathe. Or swim. Or look at me. And thats when he told me that I was making his head hurt and to quit talking about it. He said some sort of mature, rational nonsense like, “You’re giving in with stipulations, and that’s not really giving in at all.” And he was right. Pshhh. “Ok fine, Mr. Feeney.” (Shout out to my 90’s kids 🙌). But I still didn’t want it to stink up my house. So, I kept my mouth shut and now a few weeks have gone by so I feel like I should tell somebody the hilarious stories which are my life.

Ps. In case any of you are wondering, we had a fish fry that week with hushpuppies and slaw. And it was jam up. And I’m fine with all of this. So, good day and Godspeed.

Let it Shine

Words. I’ve always loved them. I love reading them, I love writing them, and if you know me at all, then you know I love speaking them. Writing releases something in me. It feels kind of like holding my breath for a really long time and then slowly exhaling. I’ve actually been contemplating the blog for a long while now; Two and a half years to be exact. I kind of kept hearing God nudge me, and I ignored Him or really, told Him to back off- I didn’t wanna. Don’t raise your eyebrows and get judgey… we all do, at some point, disobey or disregard God’s call.

•”It brings up too much…”

•”I don’t want to…”

•”Let someone else!”

•”Don’t make me!”

“My words don’t carry weight for anyone except me. I’m the only one who gets my words, or my life, or my struggles, or my successes. I dont want to be TRANSPARENT Lord, PEOPLE WILL SEE ME!!!” 😂 It’s easier to NOT put yourself out there. You can’t be judged as harshly when you keep all of your junk wrapped in a neat little bow.

•”No one will care! Why in the world would anyone care about reading anything I wrote? Who cares!?”

I do. Jesus does. I realize that those are the only two people that truly matter in this scenario. There are only ever two things to ask yourself when it comes to your dreams, or hobbies, or career, or goals. (1) Do I enjoy it? (2) Will it glorify God? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, then you should stop making excuses immediately and run! Some people have a call to teach, some to create, some to inspire, some to cook, some to love, some to build… some to write.

I had people tell me ALL the time to write, and it wasn’t until I had someone tell me that “God gives us gifts to use for his glory”, that I really started thinking seriously about it. My putting excuses on why I shouldn’t- actually started to feel like God was telling me to do something, and I looked him directly back in the face and said “No”. And let me tell you something… The Lord won’t let you get away with that for very long before He really starts to deal with you, so good luck.

•”I don’t write well enough. People will think I’m dumb. Or it’s dumb. Or my thoughts are dumb. Writing brings up too much I don’t want to deal with.”

If you dont know, I’ve done this before. A blog, I mean. I started one several years ago under completely different circumstances. I won’t go into great detail (right now, or ever again, I haven’t decided…) but it was a really painful time for me and my family, and I just wasn’t sure that starting a blog again was something I wanted to do, because I don’t want to face the past. But the past is exactly what that means, behind you. Everyone has something, don’t they? And should you deny yourself good in your future, just because of the bad or sad things in your past. Of course not.

And then, sometimes when I write my words down, it makes them real. I can’t escape the words or thoughts when I’m literally staring at them. And then I have to deal with them like God’s been telling me to. I don’t know about you, but working through things and bringing them to the light is not fun. I have to deal with my jealousy, or lack of faith, or yuck, or sin and it just sucks to be quite honest. That part is never fun. But walking in a new lightness and peace always comes after, though. The rainbow that the Lord always promises shines through and I get to walk with a new freedom.

So this is my push for you. Go ahead, start the business, or the blog, or the class, or the hobby, or the sport, or the thing. No one ever accomplished anything by doing nothing. Nearly every night I sing “This Little Light of Mine” to the girls, and I just thought it time, that it start being a living testimony instead of just a bedtime song. Don’t waist gifts or desires God lays on your heart. “Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine…”