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Swim Mom Stretch Marks

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Her first heat was called for first call. **did not hear it** Her first heat was called for second call.  **heard it and began climbing over other people in a crowded gym** We get to the swimmers line up area.  **her event is not lined there.** Asking people who seem to be ignoring me, where they are.  **finally get an answer and they are at the pool.** Get to the pool at the exact moment she is supposed to be on the block.  **rush to get her on and ready for the start** Buzzer goes off and in she goes.  **BREATHE**
That was my first experience as a swim mom at a swim meet.  There is NOTHING in the world that prepared me for this moment of launch.  
18 months ago we made the decision to put Sophie into private swim lessons.  She started swim lessons as an infant.  She took classes off and on until one day my husband and I realized that this was simply not working.  We sat down and looked at all the programs offered and we finally realized that our best value and best shot at getting our dau…

$#!+ Happens: Grace Extended

One Sunday I was going to church to lead the women’s Sunday school class.  This was a DVD driven class and as a general rule I would screen the video before the class watched it so I could be prepared for the discussion questions.  Well, this one particular Sunday, I arrived and was setting up and realized that I left the DVD at home in my DVD player. 
What I thought was a very seasoned Christian woman loudly and sarcastically exclaimed, ‘WELL THANK GOD WE NOW KNOW YOU ARE NOT PERFECT.’
This took me aback.  Later on I will understand that this temperament was to be expected from this individual.  But at the time it embarrassed me and stumbling through that class was one of the more difficult hours of my christian teaching experience.
After the class, another woman, very sweet lady, gave me a piece of advice.  She said, “There will always be people like that, looking to find your faults and point them out to you like it is a reason to celebrate.  You have to ignore that and remember…

Blessed are you if you do them. John: 13:13-17

“How do you do so much?”
I get this question about once a week. 
Usually it comes with a side of scorn and judgement. The more this happens the more I realize that this has little to do with me and more to do with the person asking. 
The person asking me expresses their concerns regarding the toll that my volunteering maybe making on specific aspects of my personal life. The conversation usually goes like this….
“Oh, your husband must hate that you do so much.”
OR
“I am sure your children hate that you are away from them so often.”
My replies often shock them. 
“No, my husband is good.  He loves me and wants me to be happy and helping makes me happy.  When he notices it does not he will encourage me to quit. Oh and he will help me too if I need it.”
And
“Nope, my kids actually help and honestly, my kids are pretty proud of the work we do.  They can say that we helped do this. It has really taught them a lot about the world they live in.”
Now, back to the original question—minus…

White Washing

I ended my Saturday by having dinner with my dear friend tonight. She is brilliant. A self made biblical scholar who actually does her best to be a disciple of Christ. I admire her so much and her opinion and input is something I consider priceless.  After a much needed kick in the butt and a pat on the head from our time together I was drawn to pray. I guess God finally recalculated my GPS because as soon as I said amen, I was drawn to a passage in scripture-
"What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs--beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity.” Matthew 23:27
I had to ask myself am I a whitewashed tomb? Short answer, sort of. I am trying. I can say that much. I am doing my best to follow God and do the basics. But I have been apprehensive to go that step further and do what I know God wants me to do. And God wants me to do it without whitewashing.…

Not all who wander are lost, they just want to argue over the directions

Not all who wander are lost.
That is what was ringing in my head as I was underscoring some discussion topics in Deuteronomy for a bible study discussion. It was causing me to reflect on how we do not hit our destinations because we do not let God lead and we neglect to do what he says. Then I finished the thought, Not all who wander are lost, they just want to argue over the directions or they want to be driven.
How often have you not trusted your GPS? Personally, it is more times than I can count.  On more than one occasion I have said, “That can’t be right.  This place is in an opposite direction,” and completely disregard the machine.  My other favorite is when I say, “That is near this other place I know how to get there!” and then I don’t even turn the machine on!
If you know me you laugh at this because I have a terrible sense of direction.  Living in NKY it took me years to know the difference between 18 and 42. I had to always ask, is this the street the church is on or the oth…

Bible Study Woes

"Hey! I have an idea for a bible study! Let's read the ENTIRE BIBLE IN A YEAR!"
"And we will meet as many Sunday nights as possible at my house to talk about it!"
"Oh and we will do an online portion too!"

This was me in January 2017.  As I write this it is March 2017.

The ample group of 10 who started this with me is now 5-7ish.  This math reflects my commitment as it is being tested as I deal with this less than exciting task of reading the ENTIRE bible. The last few weeks I have been spending some time actually reflecting why this is so stinking hard! As a result I thought I would share my thoughts and the solutions I have found to be rational approaches.  Maybe this will help you if you decide to embark on this journey, who knows.

Struggle 1:  IT IS BORING.It is like a new Blue Ray, for this example I will go with Trolls.  My kids have watched this film a million times! I NEVER watched it all the way through but yet, I know ALL the songs and a go…

The Best Day Ever!

“Mommy, this was the best day ever!”
These words are spoken by my 7 year old quite often.  The other day she said this after she and I made a quick trip to the grocery store. All we needed was milk and bread, and NO it was not for a hurricane, or snow storm! On the way out she dropped her often used phrase. 
This time, instead of saying, “I am glad.” I actually inquired about it.  I asked, “You say that so much.  What makes today the best day ever?”
Her retort pretty much stopped me in my tracks.  She said, “Well mommy, anytime I get to spend with just you and me is the best! And I don’t know, everyday just seems a little bit better than the last one.”
What wise words spoken from the lips of one so young!
She and I do not get one on one time as often as either of us would like.  Usually when we do it is in the midst of the daily routine or because it makes sense in the schedule. We do not have too many special days just she and I like we did when she was an only child and before…

The Send Button-- Luke 6:37-42

Between Sunday school and church services I get a few hours of God time :-)  That being said, I wish I could say that I really sat in the scripture from yesterday's sermon.  However, I did not.  I did continue along with the same school of thought the pastor took us on (preserve the things that matter).

That school of thought, strangely, led me to thoughts of technology today. Around a decade ago social media and text messaging were non existent. Email was gaining popularity as a means of communication, however, most communication was still done by telephone and hand written letters.  Chances are, your main means of communication did not involve a send button.

The evolution of communication has brought us to a point that we feel if we feel it or think it then the entire world must know of it.  We can broadcast it to the world instantly if we choose or we can simply "put someone in their place" with an email or text message. In other words, we no longer have to work for a…

Buried by God; Our Idols--Deuteronomy 34:5-6a

I was watching a story yesterday on a cable channel on the staff of Moses.  The show itself was poppycock and the main driver of the thing was a complete hack, but none the less, it made me reflect yesterday on the discussion lesson from Sunday school this past week.

We are finishing up the book of Daniel, using a Beth Moore study, and we are in the second half that deals with prophecy. Trying to decide which piece to pick up and discuss from such a big confusing mess was difficult, but I found myself focusing on the point of Moses' burial.

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him......
Deuteronomy 34:5-6a

Wait??? The God buried Moses? Is that right? 

I cross checked Beth Moore and sure enough, there it was.  It is amazing how something like that can escape us as significant.  But I assure you it is and there is a lesson for us today, as I found out.

God buried Moses.  Why? 
Simple, think of the golden ca…

Church without physical walls- Jeremiah 31:3-4

My bible is filled with notes and agape.  It is actually a journaling bible with spaces designed for writing in the margin.  This is important because I write down notes on sermons, bible studies and times of reflection.  Most of the time I date them and indicate why it was significant.  It is awesome to thumb through and find them and remember that moment and then see the outcome. 

I stumbled across a passage this morning that I found impactful almost a year ago, it was the 5th of January last year.  My only note attached to this line was "answer to prayer on feeling lost."  A few things happened around this time that made me pretty bitter and made me questions my decision of a church home. I would be lying if I said that this is still not a struggle, even today.

"'I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.  Again, I will build you and you shall be built."
Jeremiah 31:3-4

I had to seriously listen for guidan…