Monday, August 20, 2012

Check Yo-self

I really tried hard yesterday not to go to church.  I was tired.  My head hurt.  Stupid allergies were flaired up.  The boys needed a bath and Pat (master child bather) wasn't home.  But, I made myself get up and get ready and off to church the boys and I went. 

I love my Sunday school class.  Love them.  Feels like a really dysfunctional family dinner, in the best way.  We always have tons of laughs, and even though we rarely make it through our whole lesson, we still learn something every week.  I love knowing that I am not alone in my trials-whether it being a parent or a spouse.  Sitting there amidst all the laughter and Christian fellowship yesterday, something was said that smacked me right upside the head.  We were talking about why we didn't always talk to God about things in our life.  I chimed in that I figured God was tired of hearing it.  Same old story, different day.  Some situations in my life have remained a source of frustration and I've quit talking to God about them because I just assumed He was tired of hearing.  I'm tired of talking about it, so how could He not be tired of hearing it??  Then one of my classmates likened our relationship with God to the one we have with our children.  Do we ever tire of listening to their concerns, fears, worries, ect?  Nope.  Whoopsie.  Maybe things weren't changing in my life because I had quit talking to God about them.  How could He give me peace, compassion and hope if I wasn't bringing my problems to Him?  Point taken, God. 

After class, I headed upstairs thankful and already feeling some of  the weight that has been on my shoulders lifting.  Thinking to myself how glad I was I came to church this morning and how I really needed to hear my lesson today. And now I was ready to worship.  Welp, God wasn't done with me yet.  And I'll be daggoned if Pastor Mike didn't preach a message right in my ear.  The title of his sermon was, "Getting it Right When You've Done it All Wrong."  Sounded harmless enough.  Nope.  Smacks me right in the face.  Sometimes it just takes hearing something out loud for you to remember how true it is.  Even something as small as acknowledging what sin is.  Sin is knowing what we should (or shouldn't) do and doing it (or not doing it.)  Hello, Pastor Mike.  Glad you decided to just talk to me today.  =)  He went on to talk about three points and they all were things I knew, but really needed to hear. 

     1.  Face the facts.  Stop trying to place blame or make excuses.  Acknowledge your sin and pour out your heart to God.  We are going to be wrong, we just need to be ready to fess up.
     2.  Ask God to change you from the inside out.  For me, this meant quit asking God to change the other person, I want the change to come from me.  Pastor Mike said you can fool people, but you can't fool God.  Yep.  I want to be made new.
     3.  Accept God's forgiveness.  Out of all three of his points, I think this one is the hardest to do.  I can imagine God's frustration as we keep beating ourselves up over things that HE has already forgiven us for!!  Jay got upset yesterday while we were getting ready for church and said, " I wish I had no parents and no little brother always telling me what to do!!"  I explained to him how teaching him what to do was mine and his daddy's job.  God had given him to us to raise and teach how to be a good boy.  I went on to tell him how he needed to think about the things he says and how they may hurt someone's feelings.  Long story short, he was distraught for hours thinking he had made me sad.  I kept telling him that I accepted his apology and it was fine.  Now I am picturing God saying, "I already forgave you yesterday, a month ago, a year ago!"  Another point taken, God. 

Didn't mean to go all preachy on my blog, but just felt so much lighter after yesterday that I wanted to share with someone what God will do if we let Him.  Have a great week!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh, babies!!

I have been slacker when it comes to blogging, but with good reason.  I've been knee deep in gold spray paint, hot glue and ribbon!!  I've spent the last four weeks doing preparing for a baby shower in honor of one of my favorite people on the planet, Laura Charles Damron.  We go way back - so far back that I couldn't tell you when or how we met.  She's just always been a part of my life! Right around Christmas, a prayer was answered and she found out she was expecting...then a couple weeks later, expecting twins!  Then a couple months later, twin girls!!!  OMG.  I cannot wait.  I love babies and am so excited for these girls to be here. 

Laura is always beautiful - no joke, everywhere we go someone is always telling her how gorgeous she is.  Annoying.  =))  And the most unfair thing is, her pregnant is RADIANT.  It's disgusting.  I love her, but jeez.  How can someone be pregnant with twins and still look amazing???  She does.  Even crazier, she is just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.  She has the sweetest, kindest heart.  So I really, really wanted her to have a shower that expressed how much she is loved.  She has worked so hard for everything she has in life - she deserved a day to be showered with love and well wishes from all the people that love her.  Her sister, Sarah Coleman, and I worked and worked.  And poor little Lynlee Jackson.  I've killed her with crafting.  LOL!!

Yesterday was the shower and it was amazing.  All the hard work payed off and it was beautiful.  But, it still paled in comparison to the guest of honor!!  Enjoy these pictures!! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Well, what happened to you?

If you know me, then you know my kids.  And if you know them, what follows won't suprise you at all.  A couple of years ago, Jay and I were shopping in Target.  While waiting in line, he turns around to see/talk to/bug the person in line behind us.  It happens to be a mother and daughter.  The daughter is obviously injured, reclined in a wheelchair with a halo attatched to it.  Jay looks at her for a minute and then says, "Well.  What happened to you?"

I was mortified and fumbling for words, but the mother was very sweet and explained to Jay that her daughter had been in a car accident.  He listened for a minute, then said, "Huh.  Hope you feel better soon!"  And grinned at them.  I felt the need to explain that his uncle is in a wheelchair and that he just doesn't see it as a big deal.  I didn't know whether to be proud or embarrassed of my precocious four year old.  I'm thankful that my kids don't see their uncle as different.  He's pretty awesome and his chair honks and gives them rides.  What kid wouldn't love that??

I just read an article about my brother-in-law that made me smile.  (I'll post the link below, if you haven't read it, do it!)  When I started dating Pat, Dan and I had an immediate friendship.  Probably because we're about the same age, we liked a lot of the same music, and both had the same dumb sense of humor.  He has embarrassed me more than once in front of other various family members...and cracking me up while doing it.  The first time I met all their aunts, Dan asked if Pat and I had french kissed yet.  And should I mention that this was in a small hospital room, filled with people I'd never met, and that I turned so red that I looked like I had 3rd degree burns???

Another time when Jay was just a baby, Pat and I were having a disagreement about whether or not he should wear shoes.  I said that he couldn't walk, so there was no point in him wearing shoes.  Dan looks at me, doesn't crack a smile and says, "Well, Nicole.  I can't walk either, but I still wear shoes."  Deadpan.  Then him and Pat die laughing.  Hilarious. 

Thank you, Uncle Dan for making us laugh and inspiring us all in the same breath.  You rock.   Link to article about Dan

Friday, April 27, 2012

Making a bed for Jesus...

Learning life lessons from Henry.  =)

Sweet Henry Thomas, 4 years old
I grew up in church.  I was raised with, and by, a church family.  All of my grandparents were Christians.  I've been to all different denominations, worshipped God in lots of different ways.  I realized early in my teen years that I was blessed to be surrounded by such Godly people.  I've felt the power of prayer and seen Jesus move in my life and my family's life.  Yet somehow, my 4 year old, Henry, is teaching me all kinds of things about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God. 

A child's prayer is always touching and sincere.  And I'm often moved by my boys bedtime prayers. Their love for Jesus is so pure and their faith so sincere.  A couple of months ago, Henry started asking some questions about Jesus.  "Now, Mom, how is there 3?  Jesus, a Holy Spirit, and his dad??"  I've laughed more than once at how he words his questions and what funny things he comes up with.  He was with me at work one day and was bragging on him for being such a good boy.  He just grinned and said, "Mom - that's just the Holy Spirit in me...making me be good."  Talk about a proud Momma! 

Just two nights ago, after we'd said our prayers, Henry started with the questions.  "Mom, does Jesus have feet in Heaven?"  I told him I was sure he did.  "Well, does he have a bed?" he asked. 
"I don't know, I guess he does.  Why?" I asked him.  "Cause, if he had one, I was going to make it for him,"  he told me, like I should've already known.  Okay.  Jeez. 

What have I done for Jesus lately?  Seems like I expect an awful lot.  Seems like I sure do ask Him for things all the time.  I expect Him to take care of my family and listen when I pray...pretty sure I could be doing some things for Him in return.  I really gotta work on that. 

Thanks, Henry, for putting your momma in check. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hillbilly Happenings

The things we do for our children!!

I hate crowds.  I really hate crowds that smell bad.  I am terrified of ferris wheels.  TERRIFIED.  So how did I find myself in the middle of the smelliest, crowdedest (pretty sure that's not really a word) place in Pike Co??  My dang kids. 

First things first - I know that Hillbilly Days is a fundraising event for the Shriner's Hospital.  For that I am glad to support this craziness.  Shriners is a wonderful place that has helped so many children, several that I know personally.  So for that, and that alone, I try to embrace the madness that is Hillbilly Days.  I know this is making memories with my boys that they'll look back one day and appreciate.  Seriously, they'd better.  =)

My oldest, Jay, LOVES the carnival.  Loves it.  I, on the other hand, felt like I needed a tetnus shot by the time we left.  When he was just three years old he would say, "Mommy, the carnivale is coming!"  I had to break it to him gently, "Baby, this is Hillbilly Days.  It's not that fancy, it's just called a carnival."  I still laugh everytime I think about my super-excited little boy wanting to go to the carnivale!  This is how I ended up on a ferris wheel.  Lord, help me. 

I am terrified of heights.  I instantly have vertigo and see myself falling through the air.  My heart races and I start sweating.  However, I love roller coasters.  As long as I'm moving, I'm fine.  Ferris wheels terrify me.  Terrify.  Literally, I was shaking.  But I thought, time to face some fears for the sake of a little boy that will only be little once.  While we were waiting in line, the big, old rusty ride started to make some awful noises.  I was ready to bolt.  Jay just laughed.  The carnie even laughed at me.  Crap.  I'm getting laughed at by a seven year old and a carnie.  So, against my better judgement, I got on this death trap.  As we started moving upward, I was a little relieved.  It wasn't so bad.  The breeze felt nice.  Jay was smiling.  And we slowed down.  Then stopped.  Oh my word. 

The air quit moving.  And wouldn't you know it, Jay started coughing.  I screamed at him, "Stop coughing, don't move!  Don't breathe!!  Hang on!"  He just looked at me like I was crazy.  I'm holding on to the sides of the cart for dear life.  He wants to laugh, but knows better.  I was so relieved when that thing started moving again.  Jay finally started laughing and somehow that made this whole ordeal worth it. 

We paid $2 to look at some snakes, $18 for two corndogs and some fries, $5 for a snow cone that Henry promptly dropped on the ground, and $50 for carnival rides.  By the time we made it home, we were sunburned, filthy and tired.  Henry looked down at his legs and said, "Mom, I got all kinds of boo-boo's!"  No, honey.  That's just the $5 snow cone that splashed all up your leg.  =) 

All that said, we will probably go back next year.  I keep telling myself it's for the children.  Both mine and the Shriner's.