Monday, July 20, 2015

Tell the guards to open up the gate!

How often do you come drive home, pull into the garage, and then shut the door? How often is the only time you come out of your house it's to walk straight to the mailbox or on the sit back deck where you are surrounded by your fenced in backyard? How often have you nodded your head to the neighbor that lives in the white house, oh you know, the one that has the black jeep and two teenagers? How many times have you started a conversation with the owner of the black jeep? Do you even know his or her name?
We are so guilty of this. We is talking about my husband and I. We know one set of our neighbors well enough to walk into their house without thinking twice about knocking.  We've lived in the same house for 8 years. It's beyond sad. 
We are called to live in community and our church family lives this out better than most churches I've known or interacted with. We are blessed by it but with this blessing comes a sense of contentment. A sense of contentment that needs shaken up a bit. Because contentment is often a slippery slope.  I talked about needing a neon sign that flashes sometimes to get the point across? Well, that neon flashing sign came by way of a for sale sign in the neighbors yard. You know, the neighbors that I nodded my head to the other day? The neighbors whose names I don't even know? 
Something that has been convicting this family of ours here lately is our comfortably in community. We have been blessed with such a tight community that we consider them family. But we've become comfortable. It's easy and amazing and a blessing to send a quick message and instantly have dinner guests (not guests, companions is more like it) and just spend the evening laughing and loving on one another with ease. 
It's time to open the gate of our fence and perhaps linger a little longer at our mailbox. Or perhaps it's an intentional walk across the road and a knock on the door and an invitation to a cup of coffee or some hotdogs on the grill. It's time for the garage door to not come down with such ease so quickly after we get home. 

1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (ESV)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Comfort. Control. Contentment.

Comfort, control, and contentment are three huge things to me. I struggle when even one of those elements of my life are either missing or out of whack. Sometimes, I find myself relying on those things more than anything else and a mere shift of one of the three can turn my world chaotic, as well as the world of those I hold closest. However, I am beginning to realize sometimes a shift of the elements is necessary when we become too comfortable, when we rely on elements other than our savior to make us complete. Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder. Sometimes it needs to be one more forceful and of the flashing neon light persuasion. Sometimes, life just gets out of whack and we have choices. We have the choice to wallow in those moments, "take charge" of it, or just submit and fall at the foot of the cross. I tend to cycle through all three during a shift change but thankfully as I've grown older (maybe a tad wiser) I've begun to cycle through those quicker and find myself landing at the foot of the cross much quicker than I ever have before. Submission can be harder than anything but how sweet it is when it happens.

Psalm 139: 10-12
"even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you." (ESV)

Friday, June 19, 2015


Perseverance is a funny thing. I think one of my most proud moments as a mom was when Teagan learned to whistle. She was ecstatic and continues to work on her "craft" because she wants to get better and "whistle like mommy" (can't help it, whistling is something I do ALL THE TIME- ask my coworkers). It was far from instant; in fact it took several months that included whistle attempts several times a day every day. It was a testament to true perseverance which is something we are called to as Christians.

Everything is instant these days. Instant messages. Instant money. Instant food. Instant clothes. Instant bug spray. Instant tan. Instantly dried hair. Instant information (thanks, Google and Siri). In this world of instant though, we are losing our ability to be patient. We are losing our ability or our willingness to persevere. We are losing our ability or our willingness to work for something and not give up when it gets hard to doesn't come as quickly as we think it should.
What is our reaction though, to those things that take work? take time? take persistence? Things like peace? Or health? Or weight loss? Or knowledge? Or trust? Or respect? We often, I know I do, react to these like we can just Google them but when that doesn't work out we throw our hands up and look down at our device or turn on the TV to drown out the reality of something needing work.

We are going through Judges at Exodus right now and looking at God's relentless pursuit of his people. Can you imagine if God were to have said, well, I can't get these people to turn to me and stay with me right this second so I'm done? I don't even want to imagine that. He was and is persistent in his pursuit of us. He even sent a Savior to ensure our eternity with him. But, our GOD, who could bat his eyes one time and make everything however he would want it, decides to exude perseverance and consistent pursuit of us. His pursuit of us goes from Genesis to Revelations.

It definitely puts our instant gratification "needs" into perspective.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Funny thing, habits.

I would need at least 12 extra sets of hands and feet to count up the number of times I have said I was going to start this or commit to that. That I was really going to start waking up again at 5am to go for a run or read my Bible or blog or fill in the blank here. 
Why does it seem so hard to start something new? Or start something again? Honestly, I'm not sure. I've jumped back on the marathon journey but this time it's going to be harder. Because this go 'round I am fully (and then some) employed and don't just have hours to spare while my girls are at daycare. My family is first priority and my job is a necessity but my passion is health and right now for me that manifests in running. 
I've written out my training schedule. I've adapted the infamous Hal Higdon's Novice 1 plan. While I could probably do the Novice 2 plan I am doing things a bit differently this time. I'm allowing more time for training and ensuring that I've built a solid foundation. I have already become more diligent about strength training and I've been reading up a lot on it because it truly is important for runners to have a solid strength training routine. I'm also spending a lot of time stretching, with this I've had to schedule at least 20-30 minutes on top of my running time to ensure that I've properly stretched. I won't have my IT band being what brings me down this time. 

What it comes down to this time is ultimately time. This is where habit comes in. This is where it becomes about mind over matter. Do I wake up when my alarm goes off at 5:15am or do I hit the snooze button again? Hopefully, the habit will slowly (or quickly) come back and we'll be off to the races! Heres to the run! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yoga Outlet! (Review)

I think I could live in "yoga clothes" or "running clothes" every day of my life. Actually, 5 out of 7 days I'm in scrubs at the hospital and the other two I am likely yoga or running clothes except the 2-3 hours we are at church on Sunday. And date night…I will wear real clothes for date night.
I was approached by Yoga Outlet for their Spring promotion and said an immediate yes! $50 to spend on their site? How could I say no?
It took me a day or two to actually decide on what I wanted and I found some pretty Spring colors and patterns for pants. I was able to get two pair!
Aren't they lovely?
Soybu Allegro Capri

Soybu Allegro Legging

The products I purchased were fantastic. However, I bought them for Spring/Summer but they are more fit for Fall/Spring due to the fabric thickness. They are both incredibly soft. They sit high on the waist, which is awesome!
I would recommend the website, especially so you can try out some of the higher name brand items for a cut cost. The only issue I had was with the mobile website; if you're not already signed up for the site I do suggest signing up on something other than the mobile site because that was a pain, however, it took no time at all once I got on my laptop.
Other than the website glitch everything else was great. Shipping was quick and my new pants got to my front porch quicker than I imagined! I doubt this will be the last time I order from Yoga Outlet.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where did you get your funny?

Oh Kyra Mae, 
I have no idea where you got your funny from. You are all or nothing. You are meltdown or funny face. You fight hard but you love harder. You have me wrapped. You are smart like your daddy and emotional like me. We've decided this has potential to be a dangerous combination. You have super curly hair that is rarely tamed and in the humidity, Shirley Temple has nothing on you. You love reading and puzzles and snuggling. You have grabbed on to the role of the youngest and played it well. You love your sister with a fierceness that I pity anybody who dare breaks her heart. Hell hath no fury like a Teagan with a Kyra Mae as her sister.  You dance to your own beat but you have two left feet and are our constantly bruised and beat up kid. You are passionate. You know what you want and typically will stop at nothing to get it.  You bring such laughter to our lives. I even have to watch myself when you are doing things you know you shouldn't because it's often funny. You love hugs and kisses and you love to be tickled. You despise having to go try and potty if you don't have to go right that second. You always come home with a sandbox of sand in your hair on pretty days. You share the brightness in your eyes that Teagan has. You are barely one size away from her in clothes because you are physically your daddy made over and are taller than some of the kids in her class. People rarely believe me when I tell them you are merely 3.  Our relationship had a rocky start. I feel like I've spent a lot of time making up for the bonding I feel like I deprived you of in the first year. I think I'm partly at fault for feeding into your youngest child mentality. I admit to babying you some. I admit to doing things for you because it's just a little bit easier that way. You get very upset if you don't do things right immediately and if it doesn't work the first time you get yourself worked into a tizzy. This has been a tough one for your daddy and I. We recognize the frustration and sometimes we are really good at cultivating persistence and perseverance with you during those hard times and sometimes we are terrible at it. We aim for more good at than bad at. I just ask that you be patient with us. I pray that you know how much we love you. I pray that in those times of frustration that we are able to show each other Jesus and grace, oh, so much grace. 
We love you. Forever and always. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tea for two.

This little girl of mine, she isn't so little anymore. I hear myself starting to say the words, "don't rush it" and "your time will come" more often than I'd like. Her smile lights up the room. Her eyes can tell you every answer to the universe. She has concern for what others think but she still stays true to herself. She reminds me at night to braid her hair so it won't tangle for tomorrow. She asks questions about friends overseas and how certain cultures believe certain things. She prays for their hearts, that they will learn about and love the Jesus she does. She is sassy and easily distracted. She is kind. She loves to sing, and after a lot of persistent practice, has taught herself to snap and whistle and she beams when she does. She tries to mother Kyra Mae which doesn't always go over well. She is rarely without a book or high heels. She likes to accessorize and asks to wear lotion on her face like mommy. Occasionally I curl her hair. She loves dresses. She loves chapstick and cannot wait until we let her have a tube with color. She challenges me. She pushes my buttons and tests my patience. I say, "seriously, kiddo?" quite frequently. Her heart is tender and is easily bruised. There are times where my words are the ones that bruise. She loves deeply and forgives quickly. 
There are times when I cringe for the times that will come as she gets older. I sometimes grow weary for things that will be. For when the reality of a fallen world smacks her in the face. When the kids in her class are not so accepting of her personal style. When the world starts to tell her to just give up or move on to something else when the things in life or life itself gets hard. When her heart gets broken the first time by a friend or a boy after loving them deeply and possibly forgiving too quickly.
Then I rejoice. I rejoice at the fact that God gave her to us. He gave her to me to be her mommy. To be blessed to capture that smile and to be the one to look into her eyes to find the answers she may not want to tell me. I rejoice that there will still be times she wants me to sit on her bed and braid her hair before she sleeps. For the times I won't be leading her into prayers but that we will pray together and her words will be without prompt. I rejoice that she has personality. I rejoice that she has started to seek perseverance now and hope that it will be something we can continue to encourage in her. I love how she loves her sister. I know there will be a realistic version vs. the romanticized version of their relationship that I see but their genuine love for one another makes my heart burst. I am anxious for those relationships that cause her heart to break. I am anxious that she is going to go through the phase that all girls go through where parents are no longer the heroes of their story. However, I hope that at that time I won't want to be her hero and won't pretend to be able to fix it. I pray that Josh and I are able to love her and direct her to the cross, to the real hero. I pray that when the time comes that loving her well as her mommy will be what I am equipped to do. And I am blessed to fill that roll, both now and later. Forever and always.