encouragement

Enjoy the Ride: Part 2

Ok, I guess I wasn’t quite finished talking about enjoying the ride.  Last night my three youngest and my husband and I traveled in the car for over 2 hours to have dinner with our oldest on his 21st birthday.  Talk about enjoying the ride.  I actually drove up there and let’s just say the rest were not a fan of the driver.  But anyway,  we enjoyed each other. We talked. We laughed a lot. And we had wonderful food to celebrate. We are a foodie family.  Food snobs as I like to put it.  We like food but we like good food.  That being said we took from each other’s plates and put our food on the other’s plate.  We tasted and savored every bite and all while enjoying each other’s company.  We are a blended family.  The two youngest belong to me and the two oldest belong to my husband. But in the end we all belong to each other.  We are blended and stirred up and kneaded and simmered all together.  We are all a part of each other even if we didn’t start out that way.  But most of all we enjoy the ride together.

On the way home we stopped for Starbucks and then headed on back to the house.  After all the caffeine we were a lively bunch, myself probably the worst.  We sang and danced and played the music loud.  We laughed and told stories and made funny voices.  All in all we enjoyed the ride.  We are family and we can be silly and crazy and little goofy.  It’s who we are.  We try to enjoy the ride every day we can still ride.  My babies will all be gone in less than 5 years and I won’t say the ride will be over but it sure will be a lot less interesting but until then we will ENJOY THE RIDE.

being a mom and wife, being real, Christian, encouragement, grateful, love, slowing down

Enjoy the Ride

Y’all I’m in the car a lot. I drive an hour one way to work three days a week. Yep at least 6 hours in the car just to go to work.  That doesn’t even touch the time I’m in there driving the kids to school and back and practice and games.  You get the idea.  But here is the thing I have learned about being in the car so much. You have to ENJOY THE RIDE.  Everyone is so busy these days. Running here and there. Hustle and bustle.  Always on the go. But we have to remember to enjoy the ride.  I have teenagers now and if you know anything about teenagers you will know that they like to be left alone.  They spend a lot of time in their rooms and on their phones.  But the time that I am in the car with them. They are MINE. Almost like a hostage situation.  (kidding, not really) But it is a time that I can talk to them and ask them questions.  They are a captive audience, and well so am I.  They play their music (that’s where the hostage situation thing comes in, and you thought I was talking about them). So I get to listen to their music.  They tell me stories about their friends and what is going on at school or with their team.  I cherish these moments.. yes even the music, God forbid.  They are only going to be with me for a very short time and I am reminded of this daily.  I want to soak up as much as I can while I can.  On the other days when I’m in the car by myself I still ENJOY THE RIDE.  I look at the beautiful world that God has given us.  Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter.  We can always find beauty in nature.  I also use this “ride” to listen to encouraging words and music.  I have just recently discovered podcasts and I am addicted to them.  I listen to them everyday and when I exhaust all the ones that I subscribe to then I start listening to music.  I prefer contemporary Christian music but whatever calms you or lifts your spirits remember to enjoy the ride.  I know everyone is so busy like I said earlier and some are at different stages of life and the music is from the latest Disney movie.  Trust me is was just like two days ago that I was in that driver’s seat.  (it is perfectly normal to sing the song in the car long after your kids are dropped off at daycare…perfectly normal..scientifically proven, trust me on this one)  But also enjoy the ride because in two days you will have teenagers like mine and the songs change…THEY CHANGE A LOT!!

I also have a time that I drive my sweet 87 year old grandpa to the doctor.  No music…even though every time I get in his car he has XM radio blaring with Elvis Radio.  He is cool like that.  We drive about an hour to the doctor with no radio.  We talk and laugh and he tells stories and I tell stories.  I realize my time with him is short.  I try to soak up every single word. Every single smile. Every single laugh.  We ENJOY THE RIDE.

So I encourage each of you to ENJOY THE RIDE. Whatever that looks like for you, take my word for it.  It will change very soon.  ENJOY the RIDE in every season and aspect of your life.  It will be short lived but the memories that you have of the RIDE are PRICELESS.

 

being a mom and wife, being real, Christian, encouragement, grateful, love

Being vs. Doing

I was watching a video last night on Facebook and it had a very interesting message.  It had about five beautiful older ladies and they were basically talking about the concept of “if I knew then what I know now”.  The common theme with each of them was the following:  BEING vs. DOING.  This really got me thinking.  Are you doing the things you do or are you being who God wants you to be?  Are you doing all the things that society thinks or says you should do or are you being the person God has truly designed you to be?  Are you doing things or are you PRESENT and being the things? This wisdom is so good.  So many times we go through the motions of doing the things that make our lives look so wonderful on the outside that we forget to just be who we are.  We polish up the outside…clean the house, clean the kids, drive the cars, post the beautiful things that are going on in our lives that we forget to actual do the living. TO BE. It goes back to the saying about how at your funeral you really don’t want people to think of you as the lady with the clean house,  the lady with the clean kids.  You get what I’m saying?  We get caught up in what the world wants to see, expects to see and hear from us that we forget to actually enjoy the moments we live.  Enjoy the yuckness (that is a word, it has to be) because that’s what we all have.  SPOILER ALERT: Life is not all rainbows and sunshine and unicorns.  It’s tough sometimes and it is truly messy sometimes under all that polish no matter who you are and what you are going through.  We like to sugar coat it for everyone else.  We like to DO the right things to make everything seem just wonderful.  Wouldn’t it be a cool idea if we were just really honest and transparent?  If we stopped DOING and started BEING who we really were.  Let people see the mess.  You know, the mess you are but GOD still loves you.  The unorganized ball of craziness that you really are but GOD loves you right in the middle of it.  Don’t get me wrong there are times when I feel like I pretty much have all my ducks in a row.  Yeah it lasts about 8 minutes at the most.  Kind of like a bull ride.  If I can make it those 8 minutes I feel like a winner.  People need to know that it’s perfectly alright to not have it all together, to be a mess.  God loves us in all seasons.  He loves us best in our mess! (that totally needs to be a on a shirt!!) (I’m a t-shirt-with-cool-thought-provoking-sayings junkie) He does his best work when we are mess.  So I say BE instead of DO. It’s TRUTH. It’s FREEDOM. Be in the moment and love the life you live even if you haven’t polished it in a few days.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknes.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

being a mom and wife, Christian, encouragement, grateful, love

Going Postal

I have never really understood that term.  Don’t get me wrong I know where is comes from but I just don’t have the same experience with “postal” as many do.  Growing up in my little bitty town my grandmother was the front window clerk at the post office.  She worked there for over 35 years.  She once filed her papers for retirement but then decided that she didn’t want to leave.  So my “postal” experience was much different.  My mom and grandpa would take me there to visit and I would sit on the high counter.  I really thought I was something special and the people there did too.  She was stamp my hand with “Fragile” or Special Delivery” in the bright red ink and everyone was sure to see how special I was.  My grandmother was known my so many in the town.  This was all before internet and email and on-line shopping and bill pay and such.  You went to the post office and you mailed your bills and picked up your mail.  She would always buy for the me the newest and neatest stamps that came out.  She always wore this rubber fingertip things on her thumb and forefinger.  I am only to assume that they help sift and shuffle the mail without the worry of a paper cut.  She was “postal” to me.

I have visited a few more post offices since she passed away and I still get the same feeling of nostalgia every single time, no matter what I’m there to do.  I have mail packages and picked up packages and bought stamps.  Every single time I am there and I have contact with the clerk I see my grandmother in them.  I see it in their smile. I see it in their continuous, no matter where I am, willingness to help.  They all have a smile on their faces and always greeting people and asking them about their families.  I see her in each one.  Just the other day I had to mail a package.  I went to a post office that I had never been before.  When I got to the counter the lady helping me had on those same rubber finger covers.  It hit me hard.  It was like she was right there with me.  I almost asked her if she would stamp my hand. (Kidding) But it did take me back and remind me so much of the lady that everyone adored in town.  I was always proud to tell someone that I was her granddaughter.

So every time I have to go the post office in whatever town I’m in I always remember that “going postal” is really so much different to me than the intended use. “Going Postal” is about stamps on the hand, about a little girl sitting on the high counter like a princess, about the rubber finger things, about new stamps, and about a grandmother that I loved and miss everyday.

 

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Are you there God? It’s me Angie

Write a book. Write a book? Write a book! God has been working on me for a couple of weeks now and I mean the “can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t think of anything but” kindof working on me. That almost sounded like a first love feeling. yikes. But anyway, for some crazy divine reason the Lord has put it on my heart to write a book. I don’t have the first clue about writing a book. Would anybody even want to read anything that I have written? Honestly that has never crossed my mind until I just typed it. I’m just trying to follow what the Lord is telling me but I have no idea even where to start. I do know that I have lots to say. Yeah I know BIG SURPRISE. ha ha. But is feel like the world needs a whole lot more Jesus and whole lot more love, big love, in it. We need to love each other and try to understand each other. We are all on this big old planet together and we need to learn to love each other and take care of each other. We need to encourage others. Everyone has demons they face everyday and some of those demons aren’t so different from the ones that you face everyday. Everyone has doubts and worries that they deal with everyday and they need to know that they aren’t alone and that nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has it together. Even though they look like it on the outside and God forbid on their social media they are a mess just like you and me. Don’t be fooled. And you know another thing…we all came into this big ugly mean world the same way and we are all going out the same way. Why not just love on each other and help each other get through our time here? Tell somebody about Jesus and how wonderful He was and how He loved all the misfits of the time. His life was about spreading love and loving those that were hardest to love. We need to learn to love like Jesus did. Love the people that are hard to love. Love the sinners. Love the lepers. Love the people that don’t fit in. They usually need it more than anyone. Let them know that someone cares and that there is a better life.Like I said I have a lot to say but I have no idea how to write a book. For now I’m going to write and write and write and trust God to show me the next step. I’m not even concerned about selling books or making a best seller list or signing books or whatever authors (goodness i’m not an author!) so. I’m concerned with obeying the calling that the Lord has given me. I’m scared and excited and nervous and scared and scared and nervous. Did I mention that I have no idea what I’m doing? God will work the kinks out and I will obey. I will continue to ramble about love and encouragement until I make someone puke.(insert sideways smile, cause I crack myself up).

I decided to share my “calling” of sorts with my husband last night and of course he had questions. None of which I could answer. I just told him that God has been basically bugging the crap outta me for the last two weeks to write a book. He, of course, said go for it but he did mention that he wanted his own chapter. Really? Ok dude, I’ll have a whole chapter devoted to you my sweetness. I could title it, “Husbands and Toddlers, one in the same.” or “My Sweet Husband, He screams my name more than a small child.” or better yet “My Sweet Husband, the man that can’t hit the clothes hamper”

Maybe I’ll have to devote more than one chapter to him. He provides a lot of material to work with. On a daily basis. Anyway, wish me luck, pray for my sanity and the sanity of those around me. In all honesty I am excited to see what God has I store for me. Whatever it may be……God’s got it all worked out!!!

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Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be teenagers

Ok, so I have come to realize that I suck at this blogging thing. I am on a computer all day long at work and when I come home a computer screen is the last thing I want to look at. And besides who has time when you get home from work…Dinner, dishes, laundry, cleaning…can I just stop there. Anyway I want to make more of an effort to try to get on here more and get all this stuff outta my head. I posted a pic last night on Instagram of basically my living room from my perspective sitting in my recliner. The living room was completely empty and rather organized and clean. The point was for mommas of small children who don’t have a clean organized living room and who aren’t sitting in their comfy spot in the quiet. Enjoy the chaos. The littles aren’t little for long and they grow up and then want to be alone or in their rooms and they don’t want to play with you anymore. You suddenly aren’t the center of their universe even though they never stop being the center of yours. It’s not that they don’t need you and love and all that. It’s just that they aren’t sticking their fingers under the bathroom door while you are trying to poop so that you know they are out there. “Mom can you see my fingers?”, “yes honey I can see your fingers” “what are you doing mom?” “Honey I’m pooping” “Can I come in?” “No you can’t come in, Ill be out in a minute” “mom I miss you” “I miss you too but ill be out in a minute” Yes its annoying as heck but honestly I miss all the attention. Bottom line is, play with them, read to them (yes that same book for the 101th time that day) and watch the shows with them (yes the ones you have in your head all day at work and think you can’t watch another), play in the grass, because before long they will be big and won’t want to play with you anymore. It’s not a bad thing just a change that all us moms go through. All I’m saying is….Don’t waste their baby time on worrying about the laundry and the dishes and the clean house, etc, etc. Take the time to be with them. The laundry and dishes and clean house will still be there. You are no less of a mom or wife or woman if you leave those things because you are playing with your little. Take it from an old exhausted mom, you will never regret giving them time.
Now I have a huge pile of laundry and sink full of dishes. My “littles” are in school right now so i’m going to bust it now so I can sit in my recliner in the empty living room tonight while they snapchat and facetime in their rooms.

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Big girl panties and bull horns 

Do you know what your calling is? Yeah I know that’s a deep question. But it doesn’t have to be. We think our “calling” in life has to be some amazing grand all compassing thing but our calling could be as simple as feeding our children good food and big love….so that they can fulfill their calling which just might be one of those grand big time things that we all think about. I don’t necessarily know what my calling is either but I know that the Lord has called me to encourage and to be real. Sometimes I’m not so sure what that looks like on a daily basis and some days I just plain stink at the encouraging thing because I’m the one that needs that encouragement. Whatever you feel “lead” to do please do it. Don’t resist. Sometimes it’s a small gesture like a little note to someone to say they are doing a great job. Sometimes it’s being messy and real with bed head and last nights makeup at the grocery store talking to someone who just might be going through a really hard time. I love to make people laugh and it fills my heart and soul to see someone laugh and especially if they laugh at me. I like to be silly and I like to be sarcastic because in the sarcasm is a little truth sometimes that we don’t really wanna mention but it can break the ice. Ask God what He wants you to do today and following his leading. Don’t get me wrong there are going to be times when He asks you to do something huge that is out of your comfort zone. Pull up your big girl panties and march right on in there and take the bull by the horns. (yes that is a hilarious visual if you just think about that last sentence..big girls panties and bull horns). Love God, Love people and listen for your calling. God has big plans for you and your calling even if it looks like making coffee for you husband each morning. You may be teaching your kids that service to others is the hands and feet of God.
Love somebody today.