The Hard Stuff

Let me start of with a little disclaimer:  I love all people!  Really, I do…I honestly love everyone, regardless of who you are or what you’ve ever done.  I can sit here today and tell you that if I were in a room with a convicted murder, who confessed to the crime, and someone walked in and said one of you must die…I would take that person’s place.  I realize that might be a bit extreme, but I want to make sure that’s clear.  I love you!  I believe in second chances and saving grace!  I am not here to judge because I have enough to be judged on myself.  I know that when I stand before the God of the universe…there will be a few things we are going to have to talk about that I am ashamed of.  We are all human and we are all living in this world together.
 
Now, let’s get real y’all!  You know I’m here to be real.  It’s my conviction to be completely honest in all that I do.  I spent most of my life being a complete sugar-coater.  I never wanted to offend or disappoint anyone.  I am an oldest child…first born.  I desire to please others and keep the peace by nature.  However, since I’ve become a mother, God has convicted me about that.  I have been extremely convicted to always speak HIS truth…never my own…or the watered down version of the truth he speaks.  I’ve come to terms that speaking out for Christ will offend others at times, and may even cost me some friendships.  I mean this in the best possible way, but…so be it.  My God always comes first.  My life here is temporary…”like a vapor; here today and gone tomorrow”.  I was created to serve the Lord God Almighty.
 
So, let me go ahead and tell you, I am very disappointed by some decisions made by our government today concerning the biblical definition of marriage vs same-sex marriage.  By no means was this an easy decision for them…I think that is obvious based on the 5-4 vote.  Now before you go getting your feelings hurt, let me tell you…I have gay friends.  Yeah…really…I do.  And I love them!  Do I agree with what they have chosen?  No way!  Do they know that I don’t believe it is right, based on what God states in the bible?  Of course!  I pray fervently for them.  I want everyone to go to heaven!  Is that going to happen?  No.  God tells us this in the bible as well.  However, I love them!  This is the hard stuff, y’all.  No matter who you are and what your beliefs, this is not easy.  It isn’t meant to be easy.  (Thank you sin!)  I could sit here and reference one bible story and verse after another in an attempt to convict those who don’t agree with me…but I won’t.  I don’t feel led to do that.  I do feel led to tell you that you are loved.  Being a Christian is NEVER easy, but is it easier than living a sinful lifestyle?  Oh, yes!  Why?  Because I have Jesus to lean on, trust, rely on, and talk with.  I am promised so much!  In Jesus, my future is bright…no matter what happens!  I am loved…no matter what!  I’ve lived in sin and I’ve lived in Jesus.  I choose Jesus!
 
Honestly, I can’t be too disappointed in the sinful ways of this world.  However, I can be disappointed in Christians today (including me).  What are we doing?  Why are we not taking a harder stance for Christ?  What justice are we doing anyone by being ‘tolerant’ and ‘sugar-coating everything’?  You can not successfully spread the word of God without offending people.  You just can’t!  When we as humans are living in sin, we become offended when someone tells us we are wrong.  Do I get offended by people who tell me I’m crazy for believing so radically in Christ?  No…I know better.  I don’t care what people say in terms of my convictions and beliefs.  Am I offended when fellow “Christians” basically tell me that I can’t expect better of other Christians?  No…that just makes me feel sad.  When are we as Christians going to get our bottoms up off the back row and get serious?  When?  How dare we go to church every Sunday and sing to Christ about following him and standing up for him, and then walk out of those doors doing the same old thing day in and day out!  How dare we continue to play it safe and stay within our comfort zone.  God doesn’t command us to relax and take it easy once we form a relationship with him…he commands us to work!  I feel like we should expect more of each other and hold our brothers and sisters accountable.  We should be backing one another, encouraging one another, and working HARD for Christ!
 
I can’t help but wonder how God feels tonight.  I realize that he knew long ago that this day was coming for us, but I wonder if he still feels disappoint and disgust with us.  I know how I feel, and I can only imagine how he feels.
 
This isn’t easy for me to put out there and discuss, but it needs to be done.  Even if I stand alone, I will always stand for Christ!
 
God Bless!

One of Sassy’s Favorite Places

One of the fun things we’ve done this summer is visit the Monroe/West Monroe area, where we use to live.  We were up there for a softball tournament, but had some good down time for some fun stuff.  We got to have lunch at one of our favorite places, The Pickle Barrel.  We also got to go show Sassy her old school, Claiborne Christian, and show her where she use to live.  Claiborne is a private school and preschool; she attended Claiborne Christian Preschool.  She really loved that!  We also got to eat dinner with my cousin, his wife, and daughter at one of our main Mexican spots, Chile Verde.  It was so nice getting to see them and catch up on life.  We really miss getting to spend time with them.  One of Sassy’s favorite memories was visiting the Duck Dynasty/Duck Commander Warehouse.  When we lived in West Monroe, we lived right down the road from the warehouse and drove by it every day.  We thought it was cool, but no biggie…they weren’t super-stars back then like they are now.  Of course since they are always on our television we had to go take pictures.
Summer 2013 Summer 2013 002 Summer 2013 003 Summer 2013 005
If you can’t tell…Si is Sassy’s favorite person!  She quotes that man all the time!  She really enjoyed this trip!  She could not stop smiling while at the Commander Warehouse.

On the Horizon

Well, I’m a terrible mom as I did not get any photos during VBS week, nor did I get any of swimming lessons.  Honestly, I did good to get the vacation photos.  LOL!  Whoops!  At least I got those to share with you.

On the horizon:

In my last post I mentioned that I was able to do my 3 day labs and would go back for 21 day labs.  I am happy to report that 21 day labs are done!  Yay!  Hopefully this will be the end of the lab work for a while.  I’ll go to visit with my Dr. in a few weeks, and I guess we will go from there.  I’m just happy to have finally been able to get these labs done!  I was visiting the Dr.’s office so much that I was about to start asking for them to pay me.

Coach has somewhat of a lead on a temporary, part-time job, which is exactly what he is looking for, so please be in prayer that he gets this.  The hours are more than perfect for him!  Of course the job is not a necessity, but it would be nice, and would really help us reach our goals.

July will be a little slower for us in terms of sports, but it will be a big month for myself in terms of MOPS planning.  July is retreat month for the steering team so we are working on getting all of that together.  I am very excited for this year with MOPS and MOPSNext!  I watched our group and leaders DVDs today, and God is already working on my heart.  How incredible is that?!  MOPS did a great job with the theme this year!  I know it deals with some issues that I, personally, need to hear about.  Isn’t amazing the way God works for us!  He always knows what we need!  Most days, my house is a mess…many days, my family is a mess….and every day (at some point) I am a mess.  But God has taught me that the mess is beautiful.  I am so ready to learn what God has to say about me and my beautiful mess this year!  If you’re interested in learning more about mops, or finding a group that meets near you, contact me or visit the MOPS website.

Let me just say…I am so excited for the 4th of July!  I’m proud to be an American and truly love to celebrate our great nation.  I made some decorations for the house in celebration of the holiday, so I’ll post some photos of those soon.  I really enjoyed making them.  I actually got to pull out my cricut and use it for the first time in months!  You have no idea how happy that makes me!

Happy Tuesday!

Orange Beach, AL Vacation

I can not tell you how wonderful our vacation was!  We needed it so much more than we ever realized!  On Sunday morning we dressed Riley Grace in casual clothes, which immediately raised a million questions and concerns.  “This isn’t what I wear to church,” is what I heard at least a dozen times.  Once we were ready to go I had Coach occupy Sassy for a minute so I could get in the car and video her getting in and being surprised.  When she got in the car she knew something was up and asked where we were going.  I told her to look behind her.  Her eyes lit up when she saw all the stuff.  I told her we were going to the beach.  “Yes! I knew it!” she said.  She was so thrilled.  It was great to be able to surprise her and video it.  Unfortunately it was on my rinky dink phone…otherwise I would have the video right here for you to watch.  I swear..I will get an iphone soon!  LOL!

We arrived to our condo Sunday about 4:15 or so.  It had been raining that day, but lucky for us it had stopped.  Once we unloaded we went out to the beach.  The tide was pretty bad so there were red flags up.  Once we left the beach, we took Sassy to the pool.  The pool was her favorite thing about vacation.  We couldn’t keep her out of it!  On Monday it was raining so we spent the first half of the day at the Pensacola Naval Museum.  We’ve been two other times, but Sassy was too small to remember it.  She really enjoyed seeing all the planes, and wanted photos of every single one; most of which she had to pose in front of.  By the time we got back to our condo, the rain had stopped.  We ate lunch and took a nap, then went out to the beach and of course the pool until dinner time.

Here is what our daily schedule looked like:

  • Wake up/Breakfast
  • Beach
  • Pool
  • Lunch/Nap
  • Beach
  • Pool
  • Dinner
  • TV Time/Bed

At times we switched it up, and even went crabbing one night, but for the most part this was it.  It was by for the most relaxing vacation of my life.  It was so nice to have Coach really be there with us…no ringing cell phone every few minutes, no constant texting through meals and into the evening, and no where to be. Vacation offered us a chance to reconnect as a family.  It opened our eyes to things, and made me realize that we are just way too busy in our everyday life.  At one point, we were sitting in our beach chairs under the umbrella as the sun was going down, just watching Sassy play in the sand, when I looked over at Coach and asked him a question that haunts me more days than not. “Do you ever bad…guilty even…that she doesn’t have a sibling to play with?”  I didn’t even get the words out of my mouth before he responded, “all the time”.  I swear we were thinking the exact same thing at the exact same time. It was nice to hear that my concerns weren’t mine alone, but it brought tears to my eyes. Then the words came out like word vomit…”What would you say to adopting a sibling group?”.  Coach just looked at me.  “I don’t know,” he said. I had no idea where the thought came from. I felt a little crazy for even asking my husband this. “How many?” he asked.  “I don’t know…2 or 3 maybe,” I responded.  “So we would go from having one child to having three or even four….or more…all of the sudden…”  I wasn’t sure if he was thinking out loud or asking.  I simply confirmed that thought, and explained to him that no matter what, Sassy would always be at least six years older than any baby we would have/adopt.  She will never really have someone her age to play with or go through things with.  If we adopted a sibling group of children ages 3/4 and under, she could have that. I could see he was pondering the thought, but the conversation ended there. Here we are thinking about fertility treatments vs. adopting an infant, and now we are talking about adopting multiple children. You talk about a whirlwind. Is that God’s will for us?  I honestly have no idea!  When I figure that out, I’ll let ya know.  But…I guess it’s an option for us.  I know that in the right time, in the right way, God will lead us to his answer.  Sometimes the waiting seems unbearable, but I know the answer will be worth the wait.

I promise that is as heavy as the conversations got during vacation.  I am thankful for that, really.  We have far too many heavy discussions in our daily ‘real’ lives.  It was nice to catch a break.  I haven’t gotten all the photos uploaded from vacation yet, but when I do you know I’ll share them.  We ate all our meals at our condo, and ate out at Lulu’s one night.  Sassy loved it!  Again, we’ve been before, but she didn’t remember it.  Vacation was easy, relaxing, and fun.  I can’t tell you how many amazing memories were made last week.  We saw dolphins and sting rays, and found some awesome shells.  Pictures to come soon!

June Update

Can you believe we leave for the beach in 3 days!!  I am so excited!  This has been the longest week of the year for us!  No, seriously.  Today was the first day I have been home, other than to sleep.  It has been crazy!  I am so ready for a much needed, relaxing vacation!  Sassy has been loving VBS and swimming lessons this week.  Tomorrow is the last day for both.  She’s a little bummed about that, but excited to be able to show off for us at both.  Sassy still does not know anything about the vacation.  We will tell her on Sunday morning when we leave.  However, that little turkey is so smart…I’m pretty sure she knows.  I’ve felt like she knows for a couple of weeks now.  I guess we will see!
 
I’m super happy to report that I was able to go do my day 3 labs this week!  Finally!  I’ll go back in a couple of weeks for my 21 day labs.  I’m excited that I will actually have some results this time around.  Although it’s going to cost us over $400.00, it will be nice to see what’s going on with my hormones.  I’m due for annual visit in July, so the timing is perfect to be able to really sit down and talk to the Dr. about my results and plans for the future.
 
On Tuesday the other MOPS coordinator and myself met to discuss plans for steering team retreat, convention, and the new year.  We are very excited!!  We’re hoping to do some growing this next year, so look out moms…you might just get recruited.  LOL!  Please be in prayer for us, as we are excited to be the new coordinators, but we are also a tad nervous.  Leading a group of women is a wonderful opportunity that we do not want to take for granted, and certainly don’t want to fail at.  Please pray that God will lead us in every decision we make for our group, and that our hearts will be obedient to him.
 
Coach is looking for a part-time summer job, so if you know of anything in the Central La area, let me know!  As I am writing, he is loading the basketball team on the bus to head back from their games.  (They won both!)  Right now he is running between softball and basketball in the evenings a few days a week, but other than that, he is free and willing to work.  Same here really….I currently work two days a week, but would like another part-time job just for the summer.  We hope to be able to use our summer wisely in building our savings and paying off those debts.  I do NOT want to spend twenty years paying on student loans!!
 
Housing Update:  We were hoping to purchase something this summer and get moved, but we are just too busy right now to even think about it.  So, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.  That’s okay, though!  Everything in God’s perfect timing.  We didn’t want to have to rent for a year, but we aren’t too far from November at this point, and frankly, we’re just thankful that we aren’t paying a big mortgage on a home we never get to enjoy anymore.  Because when I say we are never home….we are NEVER home!  My prayer is that that would change soon, and as it does, God would provide us the perfect home for our family and lifestyle.
 
Hopefully I will remember my camera tomorrow so I can post some photos of Sassy from VBS and swimming lessons!
 
Hope you’re having a great week!  God Bless!!
 
P.S. – We have some friends who will be traveling to Guatemala at the end of the month to do some missions work in the form of good ole fashion hard work, so please be in prayer for them and their trip.  I also have two friends who will be delivering babies within the next week.  Please be in prayer for these moms and their families.  I am selfishly praying that a certain little girl makes her appearance before we leave for vacation!  LOL!!