Welcome to my life! It's not always simple, crazy or otherwise spectacular, but it's mine and I love it! I use a lot of "!!!" And I'm ok with that! These are just simple musings from a relatively normal girl. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm Gonna Be That!

Disclaimer: Please be patient with me as I experiment with the look and feel of my blog page. This is new territory for me!

So, yeah. A lot of my post (I dare say most...) are and will be about my children. It's the life I lead. However, even if you don't have kids, you are a Child of God and I hope you can find some encouragement here too.

Recently, I read a blog by Kat at Inspired to Action (Please check her out. Amazing and "Inspiring!") and her question was basically "What do you want your children to be?" I thought about that for a minute before reading further. 
Love God
Love others
Those were just a few things. 

Reading on, she simply said, "Then Be That!" Wow. Truer words have never been written or read. It's not that I've never heard that or contemplated it. I think I was just in the right "place" to hear it and internalize it this time. And as I looked back on the last several months, I began to feel dread. The things that I have been are nothing like what I either want to be or want to pass on to my babies. I can blame first trimester pregnancy fatigue and hormone fluctuation, stress, holiday business and travel or a whole slew of other things. But it basically comes down to my commitment to raising my children and LIVING OUT those things I hope they will become. I'm not saying that there aren't days it's perfectly ok to have a pajama day and not "get it all done." But I am saying if the theme in my home is that, then what habits do I expect that my children will develop over time? 
Here's what I hope they will develop.

Galatians 5:22-26

22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

No small task, that's for sure. But I'm finding that immersing myself in the Word daily and first thing, has made an enormous impact on how our days play out. A personal goal of mine this year (in addition to what I wrote about yesterday in Not Looking Back) is to maintain this practice in spite of pregnancy, hormones, a newborn expected later this year and any other distractions that come along. (Discipline has never been my strong suit.) Now, don't get me wrong, perfection will not be achieved, but it is my greatest desire to grow and to be a Child of God that lives out His character. Let me just tell you how funny God is and how faithful he is in helping me achieve this goal already.

My intention is to get up at 6am and get my study done before I have to get Jackson up for school around 6:50. Today I woke up around 4:50. Really? "Now, God, you know I want to get up at 6 and do my study! Can't you let me at least sleep till closer to that?!" I dozed back off waking again at 5:40. Fine, but I am going to take advantage of the last 20 minutes I have. (Thinking in the back of my mind that I didn't care if I slept past 6 today. Que the oppositional defiant child in me.) Funny how God hears the thoughts in the back of my mind just as loudly as He hears the ones in the front. As I dozed, I began to dream. No idea what it was about, but in the dream, a phone rang really loudly startling me to the point that I jerked awake. Looked at the clock. 5:59am. Seriously. I had to laugh. God answered my hearts' desire and woke me up to get my study done-in spite of my planned defiance to sleep in. He knows I want (and more importantly NEED) that time with Him. And am I ever thankful. After an amazing study of James-through Beth Moore's James Mercy Triumphs study, I am ready to face the day with a smile and a renewed passion to ask for wisdom and believe that He will supply it!

So, what do you want your kids to be today? Who do you want them or others to believe that our God is? THEN BE THAT!

Striving to Be That- In the Meantime

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Not Going Back

OK, so I plan to have a journey this year that tops all others in my life. I plan to know God in a way that I never have before and to really begin to embrace my calling as a wife, mother, and contributor to the greater calling of Christ to speak the truth in love and to leave the past just where it is. Past.
Recently, our pastor spoke on leaving the past behind and the inability to go back. Instantly, I was transported to times that I have glorified in my own mind as being the "good old days." Times when I was happy, comfortable, content-or so it seemed looking back on the surface. No, the "good old days" were not so grand as my romanticized view of them was before I started looking deeper, remembering more.
At the same time as I revisited the good old days, I visited the times of shame, struggle and sin that have been held over my head for years-by my own inability to let go and move on. Now, mind you, I was self-righteously justified in not letting go of these things. I "deserved" to still feel guilt, shame and remorse. I was wrong. I shouldn't get off so easy. Right...That's exactly the type of thinking that gets you stuck in the past and stunts your growth in Christ. There are few greater tools that the enemy uses to hold us back than guilt. I'm done with that.
Through the pastor's sermon that first January morning, I found my verse for this year. My theme, if you will.

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV)

I haven't gotten there yet, and pray that I never do. I want to always keep moving forward. I want to hold to the lessons I have learned and to use those to teach, inspire and help others. I want Jesus to "lay hold of me" and help me to always reach forward. 
I have long told my children when they are riding their bikes or power wheels to look forward. "If you're looking behind you, you can't see where you're going!" And often times they have driven right into obstacles because they were looking back. Just like us when we get stuck in the past.  
What are you looking back on? Is it so important that you are willing to run head first into that tree up ahead? I say the same to you (and myself) "If you're looking behind you, you can't see where you're going!" And I want to see where I'm going this year! God has GOOD things in store for His children and I don't want to miss out on that because I'm looking behind instead of reaching forward to those things which are ahead. Join me this year in putting your eyes both forward and upward.

Looking Ahead,
In the Meantime 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Long way to go

As a pre-adolescent, I, like many my age(12ish), discovered boys. Oh my. And in my infinite wisdom and deep understanding of the Bible, I clung to a verse believing that since I "desired" this boy in my heart, that God would cause said "boy" to desire my heart as well!
Are you familiar with the verse? "Delight yourselves also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 See? It says it right there! All I had to do was to "be happy in God" and he would give me whatever I desired in my heart!
Oh, wait. That's not really what it means is it? Well of course not! Now don't you feel silly?! I certainly do looking back over years of immaturity and discovery. Alas, our past and our mistakes and our successes all play a wonderful role in who we are now. Thankfully, I have grown significantly and am finally becoming what I think God intended for me to be. A student. A learner and an "imparter" of that learning. Sounds fancy, huh? ( Please note that I do temper all imparting with a disclaimer releasing me from any liability in the likely event that I am completely wrong!)
In a recent Bible study, Wisdom for Mothers by Denise Glenn, I was reminded of this verse and was challenged once again to evaluate what this verse, lived out, looks like. Denise was referencing a period in her life in which she and her husband were having to make difficult decisions and felt no clarity from God in it (sound familiar?) She touched on this verse and stated, "How can God give you the desires of your heart if your desires don't meet His?" Boom. There it is.
We must first allow God to place His desires in our hearts by being in relationship and fellowship with Him in order to allow Him to fulfill those desires. Perhaps confusing at first glance. I think going back to the first part of the verse is key. "Delight yourself also in the Lord." What does it mean to delight in something? Once reference says "to be happy about to make merry over"
Matthew Henry's Commentary states this regarding Delighting in the Lord.
We must make God our heart's delight and then we shall have our heart's desire, v. 4. We must not only depend upon God, but solace ourselves in him. We must be well pleased that there is a God, that he is such a one as he has revealed himself to be, and that he is our God in covenant. We must delight ourselves in his beauty, bounty, and benignity; our souls must return to him, and repose in him, as their rest, and their portion for ever. Being satisfied of his loving-kindness, we must be satisfied with it, and make that our exceeding joy, Ps. xliii. 4. We were commanded (v. 3) to do good, and then follows this command to delight in God, which is as much a privilege as a duty. If we make conscience of obedience to God, we may then take the comfort of a complacency in him. And even this pleasant duty of delighting in God has a promise annexed to it, which is very full and precious, enough to recompense the hardest services: He shall give thee the desires of thy heart. He has not promised to gratify all the appetites of the body and the humours of the fancy, but to grant all the desires of the heart, all the cravings of the renewed sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him
 I'm learning the key is to immerse myself in the Word and let it speak to my heart. I need to ask for wisdom and understanding and He will allow this to come to my heart either through a renewed passion, a new understanding or maybe even through a friend and open discussion. I'm no pro at this. Discipline is definitely one of my shortcomings that I hope to improve on. I hope to share with you over time my journey in delighting and immersing and report on God's goodness through it all.
Your heart will begin to desire those things you are taking delight in.
What do you desire today? Me? Well, at the moment, Zaxby's sounds good! Oops. That's not exactly what we were talking about was it?

Delighting-In the Meantime,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Month of Milestones and Car Lines

What a month! As mentioned before, we have celebrated my husband's 40th birthday, my daughter's 3rd birthday and will soon celebrate my 32nd birthday. (Yes, that's my real age. I own it.)

Jackson's first day of school was just a short few days ago. Wow. Part of me just can't believe he's old enough for it, but we've been preparing for this for years, so it really should come as no big shock to the system. When I woke him up that morning, he said, "What are we doing today?" I told him, "It's your first day of Kindergarten!" He replied very sleepily, "Yay!" That's a good start. Today on the way to school, he said, "I can't wait to see what this day will be!" Another good beginning.
I've been thrilled to spend part of each morning reading a devotion and hearing his sweet prayers as we head to school. It's a great routine to be in, but I'll be honest, neither of us are enjoying these early morning awakenings!
As quickly as we sent Jackson off to school, Chloe began preschool. She was thrilled! Happy to be back with her friends and be upstairs with the big kids! (she has been downstairs for the last 2 years in the 2 and under classes) She's a very independent little one and sat right down saying "Bye Mommy! Bye Daddy!
She loved sitting down to her own desk like big brother! She was excited for her first day!
And then sweet girl passed out waiting to pick up Jackson in the car line at school! 

Speaking of car lines...wow. I knew it would be bad, but I had little understanding of the true torture that is the car line. You can't really read anything, too much stop and go (well, that is after the endless waiting while the bus riders get loaded and gone and the first car riders get loaded up.) Can't sleep (the honking cars behind me keep waking me up) Can't crochet (don't know how). Can't watch a movie(Chloe has confiscated the DVD player, smart girl).  What's a bored momma to do? 
I've waited in the car line a mere 9 days now (we have a glorious 171 left to go!) and estimate my useless time at somewhere around 3 hours and that's being downright generous (in that it's probably more than that). So all in all, I may spend somewhere near 60 HOURS waiting in the car line. Yes, folks, that's 2 1/2 days SITTING IN THE CAR LINE! I must get a hobby that doesn't require rapt attention and can be done in stop and go traffic. Seems the secret may be to do what I tried today and wait until school is dismissed before I ever leave the house, and then sit at a dead stop in traffic as someone who could care less that you are already late holds the "STOP" sign to your ever growing side of traffic and the "SLOW" sign to the side of traffic that is nonexistent. (I'll be honest, it was good that Chloe was with me today because I chose to pray instead of hang my head out the window screaming at the road workers!) Sorry, back on point. I arrived at the school and pulled almost right to the front! And I actually picked him up with only 7 minutes of waiting! Nevermind that he was one of only 5 children remaining and was crying because he thought I forgot him. I hardly had to wait at all! Ok, so he wasn't really crying and didn't seem to notice that I was later than usual. But the guilt I felt at not arriving until 20 minutes after school dismissal may lead me right back into the throes of 20 minute waits. Stupid need to be my own version of the great school mom! (Don't tell my kids I said the "s" word please.)
So here we are. Into the 2nd full week of school for my kindergartener, 2nd full week of Chloe's 3rd year of life and Matt's 3 week of being "over the hill." Next up? My birthday! And I couldn't be more grateful for the position in life that God has allowed me to slip into. Just wish He'd allow me to slip into the first spot in the car line from time to time!

Needs a Hobby In the Meantime,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Welcome Back-To Me

So, the last post I made was on the morning of April 27th, 2011. To some, that date carries no meaning, but to many now, it is the day of "the storms". Looking back, I find irony in #3 of my  last post. Well, now I have the trauma associated with storms and have reason to fear them, though I am trying so hard to calm myself and overcome the PTSD associated with tornadoes. I was just not able to get back to blogging after that point. I lost something for awhile. The grief and sorrow for neighbors and friends was overwhelming and still almost 4 months later, I see the destruction in our town and know some may never fully recover. But we've also seen the fighters, the overcomers and the faithful. The stories of heroism and protection are endless and I am strengthened by those I should be strengthening. It's not in us though. It is all in the power and grace of the Almighty.
I'm recommitting to my blog and hope that once I work out the kinks and oil the gears here, you will find encouragement and a few giggles as I share my (often, skewed) view of the world I live in! So, here goes!

This is an historic time in my life. My oldest child, Jackson, will be starting kindergarten in one teency weency little week. Wow. He's ready. He's prepared and I am choking back the tears. We go to orientation tonight to learn just how difficult that first day really will be! (or maybe a relief as he has recently developed a love for commercials and is asking for every thing he sees, or requesting that I add it to "his list." He can quote infomercials and tell me all the reasons that we need to buy such and such. Santa will never be able to fill all the requests. Any takers on that?)
Not only this, but my hubby turns 40 on Tuesday and my baby girl turns 3 the following Sunday! And then, it's the big 3-2 for me at the end of the month! It's a busy (party) time around Ryerson Acres (our affectionate nickname for our 6 acres)!
It's also 6 months from the time that I lost my baby early in the pregnancy.
Many milestones. Many joys. A few sorrows. I've learned so much about relationships and about myself as a friend, wife and mother. God has remained (unsurprisingly) faithful and life has continued by His grace. Soon, I will share more about these last few months. Today, I just needed to get back in there and start writing. So, Welcome back-to me.

Working it out-In the Meantime,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Confession is Good for the Soul

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to confess a few things about myself. There's something very cathartic about getting it out there in the open.  I'll take it easy on you since we are just getting to know each other. So here it is-light and fluffy for our first confessional together.

1. Coffee (highly creamed and sugared) is a happy place for me-even decaf at night paired with a yummy dessert.
2. Hot tea is a nice cozy, warm spot in my day too.(yes, cream and sugar are added in most cases here as well) 
3. Storms make me anxious. Very anxious.(No, I haven't had any traumatic events concerning storms-that I remember anyway. Hmmm, maybe that's the problem. Maybe I've blocked it out and only feel the emotions without having the memory! Remind me to talk to my parents about that.)
4. The dentist office is one of my very least favorite places on Earth-even to take my kids. I feel this needs no explanation...
5. Country living (especially the kind that keeps me close to town) suits me nicely. Just give me a large riding mower, some tall(ish) brush and I'm a happy girl! Love seeing the trail blazed behind me!
6. Putting away laundry is my most dreaded chore-which explains why the kids wear the same clothes over and over. I just keep taking them out of the clean pile and putting them back on them!
7. I feel that by using lots of "!!!!'s" that I am showing you that I am happy, pleased, excited or otherwise feeling positively about what I am writing!! :-)
8. I am NOT a neat freak-much to Hubby's dismay.(although I am far from needing Hoarders intervention, I think.)
9. I am neither a morning person nor a night person.  4pm-8pm seems to be the time of day I have the most energy and motivation. So what does that make me? A late afternoon/early evening person?! (With the right cup of coffee, however, I can enjoy the early morning's peace and quiet! And a good cup of caffeinated coffee can get me through a long night without too many yawns!)
10. I love the Twilight Series! (Do not judge me-ESPECIALLY if you haven't read them for yourself...) I love a good story where the hero and heroin get to live happily ever after. I mean, that really does happen, doesn't it? I'm certainly living my "happily ever after!"

Now, what confession do you need to get off your chest?

Just Being Honest- In the Meantime,

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Very First Blog Post Ever!

Wow. I never thought I'd do it, but here I am...blogging.

I'd like to first introduce myself. I am Heather. I am in my early 30's. I grew up a Mississippi girl and now reside in East Tennessee.(I guess I'm partial to the states with repeating letters. Less to memorize perhaps!) I have been married to Matt since June 2004. He is my perfect match. We have 2 great kiddos-Jackson, who just turned 5 and will be starting kindergarten in the Fall (WAAAHHHHH!!!!!-this is me crying out in anguish at the thought of letting someone else take charge of my precious gift of a boy all with my consent but without my control) and Chloe who is 2 1/2 and a "corker" as my dad calls her! You will understand that more as our adventures are told here.
 I grew up in a Christian home and have chosen to live my life and raise my children based on those Christian principles. I don't have all the answers. In fact, I'm sure I have more questions than answers. However, faith has been the one constant no matter what I've endured(or better said, put myself through). I believe your life can be changed by changing what you believe. (This probably has something to do with the years I put into a psychology and counseling degrees and the student loans that came with them.)
I do love to host and cook and have people in my home. We were blessed with a new (to us) home December 2010 with 6 acres of  land and we couldn't feel more "at home" than we do here.
Please don't expect anything profound to come from these ramblings and know that I do care what you think! So, if you disagree with me, find a constructive way to comment, or just don't comment at all! You don't want to hurt my feelings now do you? :-) 
You may be wondering why the title "In The Meantime"? Well, that's the name of my never to be written book. And since I think it's clever, I thought I'd use it here! It comes from going through situations in my life where I was struggling, hurting, etc. but (refer to the aforementioned faith issue) knew that God was there and that there would be peace on the other side of the situation. My question was always "what do I do in the meantime?" The time between now and then? I think it's appropriate to title this blog as such since it describes what I'm doing "in the meantime" of this life, getting from Point A to Point B. Thanks for choosing to go on this journey with me!
Thankful In the Meantime,