Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Robin is a woman about 10 years older than myself. Married young due to a pregnancy. Her mate didn't share her love for Christ and yet she stuck with him, loved him, supported him completely and most of all she respected him. Her words are filled with love, kindness and wisdom. I've never known someone to dive into the Word like her. When I met her, she was on her 1st ever missions trip with us. Paul told her she couldn't smoke on the trip, so she quit cold turkey. She was dressed in her 'older clothes' and not as stylish as others her age. She shared her feelings with open exposure and complete freedom. She was raw, vulnerable and honest. I couldn't find any masks on her face..........she was the real deal! To this day, she is still my hero. I love that God placed her in my life during my crazy, immature years. I'm still immature but imagine me as a 20 year old?!!!
And sweet, sweet Lori. A time in my life when my marriage was rocky, my husband a pastor at a church and I was lacking many qualities that a wife should encumber. I was feeling hopeless. She came along with her tender heart and picked me up. She listened to me ramble on and on about my selfish requests, encouraged me to keep digging into the Word and most of all, to grow forward. To this day, she still calls on me and checks in. I love her so much. An older sister, she is!
Of course, life wouldn't be the same without Aime. My soul-sister who is walking in the same stage of life as myself. After spending time with her, I feel empowered and encouraged to become a more loving wife, stronger individual, and more tender parent. There is no competing or comparing. We have vacationed together multiple times, with kids adn without kids. Our friendship survived a church split, even when we didn't agree. We live on opposite sides of the country and yet I am giddy with joy when I receive her 4 page emails. Our hearts are knitted together. She is quiet to be around but deep inside the span of her being is a roaring lion who loves justice, give compassion to the hurting and displays grace to all.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my mom. A woman who single- parented for many years without any help. She worked as many as 3 jobs at one time. At one moment we were homeless and she sent us to live with a friend while she hit the streets looking for a job that would feed and house us. Romantically speaking, we were temporary vagabonds! Mom was successful in her search! To be quite honest she went through hell and back as a parent. I know, naughty word, but it fits. She dealt with an abusive husband, horrific jobs in fast food chains and even survived driving a school bus. She finally married her best friend and is happy and settled. I'm thrilled for her. I thank her for giving me the type of tenacity that only comes through rigorous and extraneous experiences.She's a rock!
I've been blessed with tons of amazing women who have shaped my life. I think of Jeannie, Julie, Holly, Maryanne, Alison, Sheryl, Lesa,Sloane, Jaine, Kineka, Linda and Roger, and so many more. All of these women love God, love people, and show it in their everyday lives. Their actions are synonymous with their deeds. They are unstained by cultural pressure, vulnerably strong, and not afraid to just be................I'm guessing you have a few super-heroes in your life too.
The other day, I rushed out of the house to pick up my kids from school and didn't even realize that I was still wearing my giant, bright blue Gator slippers. oops! And to make things worse, I was wearing my sweatshirt inside out. And it's true that I had on the same yoga pants that I was wearing the day prior. Hopefully no one was keeping track of my ridiculous outfit. Now, I normally like to look presentable but there are moments that the rush of life and cries of the baby take over and well.............you're left looking........like a mom. It's funny cause just years ago, you could spot me teaching in school and dressed to the hilt! So I am professional and I do have self respect. I'm not some country girl that's been raised by wolves. I like to look nice.
Bottom line is that you finally reach a point that you are okay with who you are and focus on your own strengths given to you by God. I can't sew a stitch but I love to cook, scrapbook (whenever time will allow), race in triathlons and that's about it. I kill all living plants; so gardening might be disastorous! Hair and makeup....ummm.........I read magazines and try and figure that one out cause I have no natural ability to curl, fluff, spray, or rosey up my cheeks. I wing it!
I've learned not to be intimidated by the most attractive moms who seem to have it all together. Once I get to know them, I realize we all share similiar fears, concerns, and joys in parenting. Just hoping you feel normal as you read this blog and see that being an amazing mom doesn't mean being a super-hero. But if you are a super-hero, that's cool too!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So each day of break there was some surprise. It was as easy as a rental from Redbox or as elaborate as camping in our own backyard. Paul took one week off and that's when we jumped into the super cool surprises. We saw Star Wars in 3D in the theater (our first 3D experience), went out to eat at P.F. Changs, hiked a 3 mile course up the mountain with a picnic lunch, camped for 2 days in the backyard, went swimming at the local outdoor heated aquatic center, played at the train park, and much more! We might as well have been at Disney! The kids were just as excited and the enthusiasm level was high. The only difference is about $700! I can handle that! Paul and I even squeezed in a date. Not to mention I had my triathlon during this time and that was a blast too. We sure did sandwich in tons of activities. I was feeling a bit forlorn when kids returned to school today. As much as they drove me crazy on the last day of Spring Break, I still wished for more time.
I"m hoping we will all remember these sweet experiences. It's not really about what we did but doing it together as a family; it has been so worthwhile and speaks greatly to my heart.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Lincoln, we love your adorable smile, your 'angry faces', your 'nuggles' that come with great demand in the evenings, your hip hop dance style, your funny laughs. We love watching you run full throttle down the road with your head bobbing back/forth and your hair dancing in the wind. We love waking up in the mornings to find that all the chapsticks have been stolen and concealed in your room. We love listening to you create battle between Buzz Light Year and Iron Man. We love you!!! May God grow you into the man He has designed you to be and use you in an incredible way!
As the girls dipped into the water with daddy and pappa, they were greeted with a cool surprise; the water was NOT heated. There was no way that these warm blooded, Phoenix creatures were going under those cold waters. To be honest, I was a bit taken back at first and probably displayed a bit of a disappointed demeanor. So many family and friends had come and we had planned for over a year and...............I was being plain selfish! So we walked the girls back to the dressing room and gently explained that we were not disappointed with