April 30, 2009

Time Out

I never subscribed to the whole Time Out thing when my boys were young. I don't necesarily have anything against it, I just didn't do it very much.

I do, however, totally believe in taking Time Outs myself. Putting myself in Time Out saves my little family from all kinds of grief. I go, sit on the chair in my room, and think about my actions. I don't get to come out until my attitude has changed and usually there is someone I have to apologize to for acting like a maniac.

There's been a lot going on lately around our house. I have tried several times to write this post and am very sensitive about not coming across as a spoiled brat. Yes, my children and husband are healthy. No, we are not in danger of losing our home. Yes, I am blessed to have the kind of job that allows me to help out financially right now. No, my man's job loss has not driven us apart. We are truly blessed.

In spite of the blessings, it has been an overwhelming 8 or 9 weeks. In the last week, my mood has been all over the place (thank you hormones). Needless to say, the chair in my room was not far enough away for mom's Time Out this time.

Thank you frequent flier miles........I am visiting a friend in Tampa for a couple of days. Honestly? I got off the plane feeling refreshed.......as long as the people wearing masks didn't allow my mind to go nuts over the swine flu thing.

Many times God has put me in Time Out Himself. I usually go to the chair pouting and throwing a tantrum. Sit there with my arms crossed not willing to admit that I need some discipline. He usually keeps me there until I have an attitude adjustment and can behave like a child of God. I can almost hear Him saying what we, as parents, have said a thousand times, "When will she ever learn?".

I am thankful for the short time away. Thankful for a husband that encouraged me to go (you should have seen how quickly he loaded my suitcase into the car), and kids that still miss me when I'm gone even though I've been cranky lately!

April 27, 2009

Friend Making Monday

I have been taking myself WAAAAY too serious lately.  In an effort to lighten the mood around here, I'm going to participate in Friend Making Monday, thanks to Kasey!  Never mind that I think this is a super fun topic!!

(Please know that if you never hear from me again after this, it's because I was either electrocuted by my computer in this torrential rain, or our house floated away.  It is CRAZY storming outside right now!!)

We are taking all 5 senses and naming 4 things about each that we love and 1 that we dislike.

I love Cheese Chile Rellenos from Chuy's with creamy jalapeno sauce poured on top.  It is heavenly.........
I love Diet Coke.  If I'm splurging, I get a large Diet Coke with Lime from Sonic.  
I love popcorn with M&Ms thrown in.  
I love birthday cake.......buttercream frosting only, please.  I'll take the corner piece with the huge flower on it.  

(Notice not a veggie or fruit in the list.........that may explain the extra 20 pounds I'm carrying around in the form of a muffin top.  For the record, I do love a good salad, and almost every kind of fruit there is.  I'm just being honest here.....)

I dislike mystery meat.  That means any kind of meat that is brown when it could be white (chicken) or parts of the animal that could be donated to a fellow animal in the organ donor program (no livers or hearts for me.....UGH).  I don't like shredded chicken, ground round (what part of the cow is the Round?), meat with fat still on it, ligaments, or veins still attached.  All of it is mystery meat to me.

I love the sound of my boys laughing.  This usually means someone in the near vicinity has burped or pooted, but I love it all the same.
I love 80's rock and good praise and worship music.......all kinds! 
As a Speech Therapist, I love hearing a patient speak when they have been robbed of their communication by an injury.  More than once, I've had the privilege of calling a wife or husband on the phone and holding it up to my patient so they can utter one or two words.  
I love silence.  When I'm home alone, I don't have the TV on....rarely do I have music on.  I just like the quiet.

I dislike the sound of parents ridiculing or humiliating their children.

I love to see my boy's faces when they are sleeping.  
I love to see a boarding pass in my hand.  That means I'm going somewhere and that makes me happy!
I love to see my house clean.  When I tell you that I come unraveled when it's messy, I mean completely UNDONE!!!  That would partially be the reason for the 20 min crying session in my closet this past Sunday.  Throw in some hormones and feeling overwhelmed and it was ugly...
I love to see storm clouds rolling in for a chance at a good stormy day!

I dislike seeing any movie that involves war of any kind.

I love the feel of my mom's hand or cheek on my face.  There's just nothing like it.
I love the way clean sheets together with freshly shaved legs feel.  HEAVEN!!
I love the cracking open of a spine when starting a new book.
I love feeling two arms wrapped around me......whoever those arms might belong to!

I dislike touching bugs of every single kind.

I love the smell of a pot roast in the crock pot.
I love the smell of newborn babies.
I love the smell of fresh off the beach.
I love the way my man smells.........ooohh baby!

I hate the smell of poop.

Ok, there it is.  I will think of all kinds of different things tonight that I didn't think of while sitting here wondering how I'm going to get my boy's home when our street is flooding........hmmmm.

April 25, 2009


C3 was amazing!!

We had over 300 women total at the event and the entire evening flowed smoothly.  We were in awe as women poured into the building for an evening of fellowship and fun.  Never mind the incredible cupcakes we serve.  They are just ridiculous!

Kelly Minter spoke.  If you have never heard of her, she wrote the study No Other Gods.  You must get a group of friends together and do this study.  It is published by Lifeway and even has recipes at the end of each week that you can prepare for when you get together for group discussion.  This study will rock you to your core.......what things do you have in your life that you look to for fulfillment?  Those things are gods.....plain and simple, because you are not looking for fulfillment in the one true God.  

We have a committee of about 25 women and they all work their hineys off to make this event possible.  It is an incredibly cohesive group and I don't take that for granted, at all.  We were all tired and frustrated by the time we got together last night, but we stood in the entryway to the room that would hold all of those women, and we held hands and prayed as a group.  Then we prayed over every table because we knew God wanted to do an incredible work in the lives of the women there that night.  

Bottom line, what we knew all along was correct.  God was victorious.  He was honored.  He deserves all the praise. 

I love that I don't have to skip to the last page in these chapters in my life to see who wins.   I can fight the good fight, maybe come out with a couple bumps and bruises, but I know who the ultimate victor is going to be.  Even with the knowing, life can be a nail biter.  Thank God for faith and trust!

Now, I'm going to take about a week and do nothing but sleep..........yeah, right.

April 24, 2009


I am at war.

Not with anything in this world.  It is much scarier than that.

I have never personally fought in a war, but I know enough to understand the constant need to be on your guard.  How tense your body can be when anticipating an ambush.  The complete focus it takes to escape unscathed.  The incredible loyalty bubbling up within you that drives you day after day to be victorious.  

Tonight is C3.  A women's twice yearly event at our church that God has entrusted to me to lead.  There is a ton of planning and prayer that goes into an event like this, and most of the time, it's a lot of fun.  Until several days before the event and satan starts implementing every scheme he can think of to discourage, frustrate, irritate, and annoy me and my team.  

I remember the first time I read This Present Darkness.  It completely changed the way I prayed.  It made the reality of spiritual warfare very concrete for me.  As Christians, we do have an enemy.  There are many who don't like to talk about satan and his schemes - it seems too "out there".  That's like walking into a war and having no idea who you are fighting, what kind of weapons they use, or their plan of attack.  

I am just flat out tired of him.  I get so mad at myself when he is victorious in manipulating my thoughts.  I get mad when I allow him to use circumstances to frustrate and discourage me.  I am mad.

Let this post serve as a warning.  I already know Who is the ultimate Victor.  HE wins........every.single.time.

God gave me armor and it's up to me to put it on.  I can cry out all I want about feeling defeated, but if I choose to not put on the armor, I only have myself to blame.

Breastplate:  I will put on the breastplate of righteousness because it is what protects my heart.  The place where my security rests.

Belt:  I will put on the belt of truth because it will hold the breastplate in place.  The Truth will conquer all that threatens my security. 

Footwear:  I will put on footwear so I am ready to go where God leads me.  Anywhere, anytime, I am willing to be moved.

Shield:  I will hold up my shield of faith.  It is my unwavering belief that anything thrown at me meant for harm, will falter.  I will be protected.

Sword:  I will fight with the sword of the Spirit which is God's word.  Nothing will cut down my enemies like speaking the word of God.  I can claim His promises as my own and remind satan who is the true victor and Lord of my life.

Helmet:  I will put on the helmet of salvation.  It protects my mind from self-doubt in who I am as a child of God.  I belong to Him and Him alone!!


April 23, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

Scot's interview went great!  He was there until well after 6 (the interview started at 2:30) and will be traveling to New Orleans next week for round 2.  Unless there's another employee death of some kind............
Thank you all for your prayers!

Today is Scot's interview. He received a phone call from the HR Director of the company yesterday letting him know that he didn't need to fly to New Orleans for his interview. There had been an employee death, and the President of the company would be here in Houston to take care of arrangements surrounding The Death, and Scot would meet him here.

All I heard was "employee death" and "arrangements". I immediately start asking Scot questions......why is the President flying in for that? Did the guy die on the job? Is is a cover-up of some kind? Is this place even safe? Was it some kind of conspiracy? Do the "arrangements" involved concrete blocks, a bridge, and some deep water?

Noone has ever accused me of NOT having an active imagination, and a love for the dramatic.

Scot said , "Maybe it was just someone that was well loved in the company and the President is the kind of man that felt it was important to come pay his respects."

Oh.......ok, then. Good luck baby!

I am praying that God will speak clearly to Scot. That he will know when he leaves the interview if this is a good fit for him. I pray that Scot will find honor among men.

Rhonda, a shout out to you, my bloggy friend, for your sweet note this morning. Thank you for taking such good care of my family during your prayer time!

April 20, 2009

Schizophrenic Hair, Mowing, and Being Lost

We had a beautiful weekend here in Houston.  Saturday it poured down rain all day long.  It was dark and stormy - perfect for procrastinating and curling up in bed with a book.  My problem is that I am currently trying to work my way through a very long Russian novel and kept falling asleep, but it was glorious!  

Sunday it was all sunshine - no humidity.  That means I got to morph from curly hair on Saturday to straight on Sunday.  I love it when the weather allows me to have schizophrenic hair.  

Sunday was also a right of passage day for G, our 10 year old.  He officially mowed the yard, front and back, for the first time under the watchful eye of his dad.  It was not completely voluntary since he is working off what he owes Scot for losing some of his tools.  

Apparently one day, the empty field near our house was calling G's name so he gathered up a gaggle of friends, some of Scot's tools, and off they went to play their own version of Mythbusters.  Can you really dig a hole to China??   Um, yeah, they made a gallant effort, but much to their dismay, there was no sign of a rickshaw at the bottom of that hole.  Unfortunately, the project was abandoned before tools were returned to the garage so now G is faced with the reality of paying his dad back.  I tend to have a much softer heart for these kinds of things so I had to back off and let Scot deal with it.  Now, leave a bunch of dirty socks and underwear on the floor?  That's when the curly haired me comes out.........watch out!

We seem to have a new member of our family.  At least temporarily.  There was a very sweet dog wandering around Saturday night.  She was still outside yesterday and spent all day playing with the neighborhood kids.  We ended up volunteering to keep her in our backyard until we could find her owners.  As we were walking the dog to her temporary digs, it was all my neighbors could do to not start chanting, "Dead dog walking".  Some of you may remember Buddy and his ultimate demise.   I promised that this sweet dog, that has been named Abby by my youngest, would live to see tomorrow.  Help me Jesus.  

If you have been reading this blog for anytime at all, you know that I just flat out can not help but read into every day situations.  Be grateful you don't live in my head......it can be an incredibly noisy place!

My heart just bleeds for these animals that are lost or orphaned.  I have felt the same way so many times.  Wandering around from place to place, trying to fit in and look cute, just so someone will choose me.  Take care of me.  Love on me just a little bit.  I spent years looking for my security in everyone's approval of me.  I don't like conflict and even surrounded by friends, my day can be ruined by one person's disapproval of me.  

It was about a year and a half ago that I got a real talkin' to.  

When will I be enough for you?

That one question continues to resonate in my head.  Is He really enough for me?  If all my friends turned their back on me tomorrow, would I wander around hoping someone would take me in or would I know that He is enough for me.

My sweet Jesus, you are my portion and my strength.  You are enough for me.

April 16, 2009

Next Thursday

A week from today, Scot will be in New Orleans interviewing for a new job.  The job is located here in Houston, which makes this girl VERY happy.

The funny thing is that none of us in our little family of 4 are jumping up and down over it.  Don't get me wrong, we are excited that an opportunity has presented itself, but we have loved having Scot home.  It is a job that would require international travel, which Scot has a ton of experience in.  In fact, he's a member of Continental's Million Miler Club.  

I can honestly say that we have found joy in this trial.  We had to go looking for that joy, it did not come naturally, but we did find it.  It will be 7 weeks tomorrow since Scot lost his job.  We have watched in awe as God has provided for us.  I had recently given up my Tuesday/Thursday job at the hospital and the speech therapist that took those days over, generously gave them back to me indefinitely.  Amazingly enough, we are getting a good size refund on our taxes this year.  We have even received a Free Pizza coupon in the mail from Dominos.  Every one of those things are examples of God's provision.

Please pray for Scot next week.  Pray that he will find favor with the President of this new company.  Pray that God will speak clearly to both of us about Scot's next step.  Pray that we can persevere so that God can grow us through our circumstances.  

I thank each and every one of you for your love and support!!!

April 14, 2009

Friend Making Monday......on a Tuesday

There are a ton of Theme Days floating around out there in blogger world.  This is one I really like the idea of.  Kasey over at All That Is Good came up with the idea of Friend Making Monday.  Now, I am very aware that it is Tuesday, but stick with me here.  Kasey comes up with an idea or question for everyone to write about and then we all post our blogs on hers and we can go visiting each other.  It's fun because the topic is different every week, it keeps things interesting.

Last night I decided to jump in on this since one of my most favorite people participates.  I sat down at the computer with a peanut butter egg and a glass of water.  iTunes playing in the background, I crack my knuckles and wait for the inspiration to descend.  The theme this week? 
Tell about one of the best pieces of advice you've ever received.

I have been on the receiving end of some really good advice in my lifetime so I start writing.  The post gets longer and longer and I realize I am rambling.  It's not funny.....not even particularly inspiring.  I did something I never do, I saved the post so I could re-read it today and post it. 

After reading the craziness I wrote last night I officially settled on the best piece of advice I've ever received.

Think before you speak.

Groundbreaking?  No.  Will the blogger people go nuts telling all their friends to read my incredible piece of advice because their lives will be forever changed?  No.  We have all heard it before.

In fact, if you are like me, you probably heard this the first time you got busted in the girl's bathroom at school for talking trash about someone who then proceeds to walk out of the stall and catch you red-faced.  This piece of advice has been hard learned for me.  I have spent a lot of time walking around with an adorable slingback heel sticking out of my mouth.

I now preach this to my boys and practice it a lot with everyone in my life.  I do continue to slip-up, but have definitely gotten better.  Last night is one example.  You should all be thanking God that I "saved" before I "published".  I am.

April 10, 2009


Some of my very favorite conversations are about scars.  Even the most uptight person will roll up their pant leg or pull up a sleeve to reveal the coolest of scars while retelling the event that led to that particulare injury.  It is very likely they will even embellish the story some.....just to make it more exciting.

This is G's elbow.  I have no idea what exact event led to this scar.......there have been many unfortunate encounters between his elbow and the pavement outside our home.  We have lived in this house for 5 years which means he learned to ride his bike without training wheels, learned to ride a scooter, rollerblades, skateboarding....all out in front of our home.  The finer points of tackling were practiced in our front yard (our grass has scars of its own) and I've never seen a good 'ol fashioned game of Red Rover turn into a Band-Aid fest like it does around here.  This poor elbow has seen its fair share of Neosporin, I promise you.

This is Scot's leg.  It was a "I-don't-want-to-admit-I'm-getting-older" pickup game of basketball that led to that scar.  He crashed right into the post holding the basketball net.  I guarantee you his story would be much more dramatic.  A rebound at the last second with a turnaround layup that let his team to victory and landed him in the ER.  God bless him, I think it was nothing more than him tripping and crashing into the pole.

This is my wrist.  I had a cyst removed when I was in high school because it affected my drill team skills.  I couldn't bend my wrist or even put weight on it so off I went to surgery.  The scar is much more dramatic than it needed to be........not that I'm complaining!  I have another scar under my eyebrow that I got when a good friend nailed me in the head with her racquetball racquet........that was a good story.  Blood everywhere, 3 stitches with a nice black eye.......it was great!!   

Today is Good Friday.  I chose to read the account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in all four gospels because they each tell slightly different accounts of that day.  Some of the details are the same.

He was innocent.  He was beaten and mocked.  He wore a crown of thorns.  His mother was there.  He was nailed to the cross.  He died.  He was buried.  He was raised from the dead.

In His complete restoration, the nail scars and the scar in His side were left intact.  In my mind I see my resurrected Savior without the dried blood matting his hair, without the dirt and mud caked on His body, without parts of the whip left in His back.  He was given a new body, but the scars remained.


There was Thomas who doubted the man before him was Jesus until he saw the nail scarred hands and feet.  There were many others who believed the lie that soldiers had removed Jesus's body from the tomb and there was no resurrection,  until they saw for themselves the undeniable scars.  

Those scars represent redemption.  They represent forgiveness.  They represent the love for mankind that our Heavenly Father and His Son bestow upon us.  

Our scars mean the same thing.  I have had wounds that are more than fleshly wounds.  They are wounds left from hurtful criticism.  Self-inflicted wounds from insecurity and little belief in my self-worth.  Wounds from bad decisions in my past.  Every one of those wounds have left a scar.  Those scars can ridicule and haunt me about my past unless I forbid the enemy to use them that way.

I choose to see my scars as a representation of redemption.  They represent forgiveness.  They represent the love for me that my Heavenly Father and His Son bestow upon me.

I can roll up my sleeves or pull up my pant leg and show the world where I once was wounded but have been healed.  My scars have a really cool story behind them of being saved, forgiven, taught, and loved.  Stories that don't require any embellishing at all, they are perfect stories just as they are.

April 07, 2009

No Wailing and I Mean It!!

A bit of randomness for all of you today........

I have a patient at the hospital that reads my blog.  I saw her today and she said, "Man, you really had a meltdown, didn't you?"  In reading the last post back,  I realized that I used words like "wailing" which very much indicates a meltdown, but I also used words like "Savior" which very much indicates hope.  But, just for you, Mrs. C, today is going to be all about random things that have happened around our home.

1.  G was outside on Saturday when our neighbors drove up in their truck, laden down with flowers.  Since the median age of children playing at the time was 8, our very grown-up 10 year old decided to ditch all of them for some manual labor.  He will often help out our neighbors because they are older than we are......and the man fishes and hunts and G thinks he's very, very cool.  After spending the better part of the afternoon helping to brighten their front yard, they very generously gave him $5.  

He came running into the house and handed me the money.  "Look mom, I just made $5 for our family!".  He gave it to me and ran back outside while I stood there trying not to "wail".  Sorry, Mrs. C.....no meltdowns, I promise!  

Honestly, I was very touched and proud of him at that moment.  Sweet boy!

2.  In a weekend where all the moons and stars must have been aligned, N decided to go above and beyond his posted chore chart and help me clean the bathroom.  Now, I am not so naive as to not realize an 8 year olds fascination with toxic cleaners.......but I do think it was sweet of him.  So I told him so....

"N, you are the best!"

"Yeah, I get that a lot."

Ok, self-confidence.....Check!!  

Moving on....

3.  For some unknown reason I have issues with inviting people over for dinner.  Don't ask me why.......I don't consider myself a perfectionist, at all.  My house is very often a mess and I feel no driving need to be in tip top form when leaving the house.  I'm not above comfy pants, hoodie, and visor.  I just feel the need to explain why I don't have 5 appetizers out, why the family room is a mess.......stressing the entire time hoping everyone is having a good time.

I obviously just need to get over myself.  In an attempt to do that, we had friends over for dinner.  It was a gorgeous evening and we had a great time.  Come to find out, it can be unsettling for others the way Scot and I banter about his unemployment.  Duly noted for the next unsuspecting family we have over.  

It was a wonderful evening.  The kids had a great time, the adults were just......comfortable.  We had burgers, cheese fries, fruit salad (yummy, yummy), cookies, and ice cream.  It just doesn't get better than that!

As you can see by the posing, these are not shy children.  
And Scot does a double darn
good job at being the yard guy.  

April 04, 2009

I've Been Rejuvenated!

I don't even know where to start.

God did it again.  If you were in the Houston area around 4:00 yesterday afternoon, you may have heard some strange wailing sounds coming from the NW side of town.  That was me.  Face down on the floor of my room having a tantrum in front of God.  I was scared to death of facing 100+ teens and women.  I was questioning everything I had prepared for those girls.  I was mad at God because He thinks it's funny to tweak the lesson THE DAY OF, when time is running out to be rehearsed.  It was ugly........in a somewhat restrained way because I had splurged and had Jessica blow out my hair and so it was ugly in a "respect the hair" kind of way.  

In all my begging for God to deliver me, He picked me up.  He started speaking softly to my heart and I knew that He needed me to be totally empty of myself so that He could shine through.  A painful process for me, necessary for His will to be done.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I know exactly ONE teenage girl.  I was a little bit intimidated, but my heart was so full of love for every one of them.  The ones that are in leadership, the ones that are new to the label of "teen", and the ones who have moms that bought them a ticket and forced them to go.  

I'll just say that once again, God's peace descended all over me and I just went for it.  I made it all the way through without crying, although I came close more than once.  I believe so strongly in what I was trying to share with them that I was afraid of not doing the message justice.  I have to trust that God took something, anything, I said and planted some seeds.  

Do NOT let your relationship with God be all about head knowledge.  Experience who He is, fall in love with Him, nurture a heart relationship with Him.

I had the privilege of meeting some adorable girls last night.  One of them sat down with me and poured her heart out about some real hard stuff.  It honestly made me mad.  It made me mad at satan for picking on these sweet girls, for picking on me, when at an age where you are still too innocent to know when you're being attacked.  I begged her to fight back.  Please, please, please don't let our enemy steal who you are in Christ Jesus. 

Today I am mellow.  Relieved?  A little bit.  I'm sad it's over.  My human side is wishing I had done and said some things differently.  

Most of all,  I feel so honored that for some reason God picked me, a flawed, insecure woman, to talk with His girls.  I honestly don't feel worthy.

Rachelle (the Director of Girl's Ministry at our church), me, and 3 of the most adorable teen leaders you've ever met!

April 01, 2009

April Fool's

This morning both boys were in the kitchen.  G was in the pantry - his favorite place to be, and N was eating breakfast.  I told them that their dad and I had made some decisions last night. Given the state of affairs around our house, that is no small statement and I immediately had their full attention. 

I stood there with my serious face on and told them that we decided it was in their best interest to go to summer school this summer.



Well, because it will give you guys a jump on next year so we are signing you up.

They both immediately burst into tears and G said something along the lines of "you are ruining my summer".  I quickly told them "April Fool's" and G wrapped his arms around me so relieved it wasn't true.

I have to admit, I felt a little bit bad about it.  The other side of me was very proud of my cleverness......until I went to take a shower and realized that every one of my hair products had been removed from the shower and put in some unknown place.  

Those little boys are much more clever than they look.  And I had to go to Bible study with hair that had not been washed since Saturday night.  Seriously.  It's Wednesday - you do the math.

What makes it better, is that one of my friends actually complimented me on my hair today.  Isn't life funny?


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