Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break!!!  Oh - It was so much fun.  I am a FREAK when it comes to unpacking, like I start the laundry the second we walk into the house kind of a FREAK, have the kids take their suitcases to their rooms and get everything out of them kind of FREAK.  Not this trip.  Just tonight, one week later, I finally put the suitcases away and put away the last bit of MY laundry.  I just wasn't ready for it to end.  My hubby is a wonderful trip planner.  He is just fabulous at it!!  I tell him he should quit his day job (hoping he won't take me too seriously!!) and be a trip planner for other people because he is so great at it.  This Spring Break trip was just as great as all of the other vacations he has planned for us.  The destination for us was Zion National Park.  We flew into St. George, UT which was just the nicest little place and such a short flight from DIA.  We loved that the sun was shining and the wind was not blowing.  We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and enjoyed our adjoining rooms, heated pool, hot tub, unlimited hot water for showers, (is there a theme here??) and of course....FREE breakfast.  It was wonderful!  While in St. George we took a short walk/hike, ate at a favorite restaurant of Daddy's, and tooled around town for Daddy to show us where he used to live/work.  The next day, we headed out of town about 45 minutes to Springdale, UT where we stayed at a wonderful place called The Desert Pearl Inn (  I did not want to leave.  It was so great.  We had a back door that sent us straight out onto the river, with views of the pretty red rocks and gorgeous sunsets.  It truly was heavenly.  While there, we took advantage of our close proximity to Zion and we spent a lot of time in the park hiking, walking, picnicking, taking pictures, posting pictures on IG, and playing in the river.  The weather was gorgeous, and spring had already come to  the desert so it was in bloom and the terrain was just so colorful (unlike our brown grass at home).  I loved being with the family in this beautiful setting.  I'm so grateful for the chance we had to get out of town and spend time together.  Taking a break from the routine always gives me some extra mojo to get back into the groove of life.  We hit the ground running as soon as we came back home.  Soccer started up for 2 youngest kiddos, Marky had dance tryouts (AND MADE THE TEAM!!!), Maddie is starting track, dance practice, piano and well, the rest of life... We just keep plugging along, fitting it all in.   It's not always ALL great, but it is always ALL good!!!  


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It all started with a small basket of laundry that I was routinely putting away.
I reached down while at the same time reaching over and *BAM*, a shock of pain shot horizontal across my back and shoulders.  OWWIE!!!!  It was so painful that I couldn't breathe.  Fast forward several hours of heat and resting and stretching, and I thought I was all fixed up.  Not so fast there missy... Since Saturday, I have had so much pain and I knew that I needed to get it figured out before we left on our vacation.   Today I went to the chiropractor who gave me the news that I had popped a rib out of place.  Are you kidding?? Putting away laundry?  That's something I do nearly everyday!?   The chiropractor actually wanted to see me twice today since we are leaving in the morning.  He helped me SO much, I wanted to kiss the man. (I didn't...)  But isn't it just so interesting that one can get injured just going about the regular business of life.  It wasn't like I was doing anything strenuous or adventurous or crazy... Tonight, I am so grateful for the kind chiropractor who took care of me.  I can still feel the tightness, which he said was normal, but the pain has greatly subsided.

We are going on a short trip tomorrow.  Our destination is St. George, UTAH to go play in Zion National Park.  We are sort of like groupies of National Parks.  Any chance we can go and get a stamp in our National Park passport book, we do.  I'm so excited for the trip!!  The kids can hardly wait.  Molly, the doggy, is the only one not wagging her tail.  She understands what the suitcases mean, and even though she will have a nice friend stay here at the house with her, she still doesn't like to be without her main man - Michael.

So have you updated your Apple device with the latest IOS??? DONT!!!!  Its a royal pain in the BEHIND.  Nothing will work like it worked before.  I'm not one who likes a lot of change, so had I known that I would have to not only CHANGE but then I would have to figure it OUT.... Oh BOY - Its not been fun, and honestly, I still don't know if I have figured out all of the bugs.

And speaking of not liking change... I've actually been wanting to shake things up a teeny tiny bit in my world, and a great opportunity has come around.  I did a fitness challenge that I came across through social media, and the on-line coach that I had was just awesome.  She was a motivator and encourager and someone to ask questions of and bounce ideas off of.  It seemed like a "job" that I would find fun, motivating people and helping people... so I have talked with her about possibly working for her and doing what she does, Fitness Coaching (which is a lot of just encouraging people to be their best!).  We shall see where this takes me... I am TERRIFIED to do something like this.  Which might just be the reason to do it!!!

My small group Bible Study is doing Angela Thomas' new study, "Stronger".  It is SO wonderful, as I knew it would be. But even better than wonderful, it is very timely for me right now.  So many places in my life I want to be stronger. Not just better, but Stronger.  I am loving it.
My verse for right now is
Phil 4:13 - I love the Amplified version
"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency)."

Turning in for the night. Time for a heating pad and my book.

Thanks for reading... those of you who do :).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Over the past few weeks, I have been a part of the audience of 2 different groups of people. 
400 or more "like-minded" folks filled both places, listening to speeches from people up front. 
Both talks had the variations on the themes of divorce, being a single parent , re-marriage and all that goes along with that. 
In one of those places, I was made to feel condemned, ashamed, 
less-than, and not-as-good-as.
In the other place, I was encouraged, uplifted,
as-good-as, and applauded as a survivor.
One of these "talks" lead me (and my oldest girls) to feel badly about ourselves.  The other "talk"has motivated me to get involved with this organization  .
I am so excited about what this group stands for and for any small part I can play
in affirming the efforts and supporting the lives of single parents 
and divorced people.

13 years ago, I became a single mother.  It wasn't a choice that I would have made on my own. It wasn't a situation that I thought that I would have ever been in. 
However, the few years that I was a single parent turned out to be some of the best moments of  blessing for me.  It was a place of receiving, a place of tenderness between me and my Lord. 
It wasn't a final stop on my mothering journey, but it was a rest-stop where I learned about God's Grace and Mercy, and now I want to give all of what I learned to others.  
 Every single day, God showered  my oldest daughters
and I with His extravagant love and provision.
Nobody should be without that. 

As one of my favorite authors, Glennon Melton, says... "A broken heart is not the end of anything. It’s the beginning of everything."

This was true for me.  
And I hope that it will be true for the single parents in 
Project self-suffiency is committed to uplifting and encouraging, not shaming, people who have been either in divorced situations 
or places where they have been abandoned or have chosen safety for themselves and their children.

Sadly, years before I was divorced and parenting my children alone, I would have
viewed single parents with eyes of judgement,  pointing fingers and placing blame.  I would have called those divorced people out, would have told them "whats what". 

I'm more ashamed to admit that this ugliness was in my heart than 
I am to ever say that I am divorced or was a single parent.  
I am really truly grateful that those eyes of judgement
and my heart of disgusting and legalistic regulations
have been completely transformed. 

 Because of God's provision for us, my years of single-parenting weren't many.
He brought the 3 of us
a wonderful husband and father that we
desperately needed.  Patrick came into our lives, loving us
and caring for us, a tiny group of pilgrims who were happy yet lonely.
Patrick and his extended family welcomed the girls and me into their
family, showing us a picture of the true grace of God.
That grace was extended over the years with the births of 
more siblings for my big girls, thus creating a family for all of us.

I am just starting to get to know Project Self Sufficiency
and I am so thrilled to know about it and get involved with it.
I commend anyone and everyone who has ever been apart of the sadness, 
the loneliness, the trauma, or the hardships of divorce/single-parenting.
Rather than judging and condemning, I hope that we
as a society will do more encouraging and supporting then 
we do judging and throwing stones. 
I want to be a part of the success story of one of these single parents. 
I want them to know love and feel supported by someone, always.
That's what Project Self Sufficiency is all about.