How I Became a Rock Star...for about 30 profound seconds

A few years ago I ran a series of 5ks. During one particular race, after all of us runners had been dispatched to the starting line, the event coordinators gathered the spectators (mostly friends and loved ones of runners) around a bend in the course and instructed them to cheer as we passed through. They did. We had no idea (or maybe I was the only one who didn't know) until we turned the corner. As I ran through the throng of people clapping and cheering me on, David Crowder sang How He Loves Us in my ear and my eyes welled with tears and I couldn't catch my breath. It was amazing. To this day I get emotional thinking about that moment.

I love Hebrews 12. I love that the writer spent the eleventh chapter reminding his/her readers of all the deeply flawed people who lived out their faith and accomplished God's will despite their sins and struggles. And then he/she says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so easily, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Every time I read those verses, I think of that race. I think of all the preparation I did. I think of how sweaty I was and how labored my breathing was. And I think about how beneficial it was for me and how glad I am that I did it.

As I run my spiritual race, I find myself holding onto "weights" and "sins". They are heavy and they really do hold me back while I'm running. So I'm in the process of shedding them. And while I am less encumbered in a lot of ways, in some ways I haven't made the progress that I would like.

So whenever I feel discouraged I read Hebrews 12 and I think of Samson, Abraham, Sarah, Rahab, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Samuel, Gideon, and Barak standing on the sidelines cheering me on as I run my spiritual race. I imagine turning that corner and seeing all of their faces...having been exactly where I am...and hearing them call out my name, raise their hands to high-five me and point me to the Savior. And my eyes refocus on Jesus and it's like a breath of fresh air, a burst of energy. I correct my running form and pick up the pace.

I love Hebrews 12. :)

(BTW, a super big thank you to Michael for helping me refresh my layout! I love it!!)

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On the Eve of My Son Becoming a Teenager

Tuesday I will become the mother of a teenager. It seems so strange to say that. I am way more emotional than I thought I would be. I'm not really sad that's he's growing up, I guess it's just that I'm thinking of all the things I want him to know and all the things I wish I had said and done or at least done better.



In some ways it seems like yesterday that Caleb was born. And in others, it seems an eternity away. I feel like a completely different person.

I was 20 when Caleb was born. 20 didn't seem extremely young then, but now, thinking that if Caleb has a child at 20, I could be 7 years away from being a grandparent...20 seems incredibly young. I still feel like a fraud on Mother's Day. I can't imagine becoming a grandparent in the next ten years. But it very seriously could happen.

The next few years are going to be really important. I don't know what they'll bring, but I know my God. 

 From a fleshly standpoint, I want him to have friends and be successful. I want him to go to college and get a good job and marry a nice girl, if he wants to, and have some kids and never have any problems.

But my spirit knows it can't be that simple and wants God to wreck him. Because I would rather him have Jesus than a degree. I would rather him be a disciple of Jesus (in the true sense of that) and lead a life of poverty than be distracted by this world and the things it has to offer. I want peace for him, but I want the peace that passes all understanding. I want God to do whatever it takes to mold my son into the image of His. 

The things that that could mean are scary. And they might be painful to watch. But I know that God is good. I know it. And I will spend a lot of time on my knees.

I have no delusions that he will be sinless. But I am thankful that Michael and I are learning to put away our sins and I pray that we do and our kids will see that and know that when it comes time, we can help them with theirs.

I just love him so much and I just want Jesus for him. I want him to seek God with all of his heart. I pray that in the next few years, God will direct my mothering steps and send people into his life that will lead him there.


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The Day I Witnessed Superman Being Clark Kent

I think that super hero stories have their roots in the sometimes magnificent transformation a man can make from home to work.


My brother is super quiet around people he doesn't know. But the first time I witnessed him excel in a sales position in a department store...it was like he had stopped in a phone booth on the way to work and transformed into his super hero self  It was like he was a completely different person. He was confident and FRIENDLY. HE WALKED UP TO COMPLETE STRANGERS AND STARTED A CONVERSATION.  

Maybe they're super heroes at home and turn into their super nerdy alter ego when they are at work. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, it's pretty neat to witness.

Michael is an IT contractor for an international law firm in downtown Dallas. He keeps the lawyers computers and other technology working properly so they can serve their clients thoroughly.

I don't usually get to see him "in action". In fact, I guess I've never really seen him at work before. Which seems weird, but it's true. But with his current position, he takes a week out of the month to be "on call"...which means that lawyers all over the world call him for help with their laptops and smartphones. So he gets calls at all hours. 

I have to be honest, I didn't know where Abu Dhabi was until this weekend when he had to get up in the middle of the night and go to his office to help a lawyer practicing there. 

Anyway, so last Friday night he got a call from an irate lawyer who was locked out of his computer. This man is dropping F bombs and poop euphemisms like they were bread crumbs leading him to the Promised Land. Michael patiently listened and then calmly and confidently affirmed his feelings of frustration and then redirected the conversation to finding a solution. Over. And over. And over again. 

I was totally impressed with how professional and kind he was to this man. I got to see Superman as Clark Kent or maybe it was Clark Kent as Superman. Either way, I got a little glimpse of the other side of the magic...and I am in awe. :)

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Itchy Armpit

(I couldn't come up with a title so I asked one of my children to provide me with a title. Thus, Itchy Armpit :)

Our family endured through 6 years of public school.

We made the decision two years ago to bring our oldest son home for schooling. The public school system was not working for him and honestly, I was done trying to make it work.

Gradually over that school year we brought two more of these wild indians home for schooling. And while the two who remained in public school were doing well in that environment, we decided that home schooling is best for our family right now.

Am I saying that our kids will never go back to school? No. I don't know what the future holds. But for now, we're happy with the decision we've made, and here's why...

1.) They have more free time to learn. WHAT? Yes. They read and research and play outside. They spend some time in book learning but it takes them a few hours and then they have the rest of their day to do chores, do internet research on a topic of their choice, do crafts, go to the library or visit the Perot Museum.

2.) I like being able to do stuff with my kids. I love that they are with me all the time. I love that if a friend is moving, I can load up my minions and help out. I love that if we decide to take a vacation, we can do it while everyone else is in school. We're going on a cruise in September because we got a super great deal...we wouldn't have felt free to do that if they were in public school.

3.) I want my kids to be free to learn the way they learn best. IF they need to do a round of burpees every few minutes to keep them focused on their work...they get up and do burpees every few minutes. I can find literature units on books they love. I can adjust their work load based on how their brain works...I tell Elisabeth to do 2 problems instead of 20 and she ends up doing them all anyway. It's just hard for her to focus when she's overwhelmed. I love being able to do that.

4,) I want my kids to understand that it's okay to be different and to think differently and to do things differently. God didn't make us all to be the same. Different does not equal wrong.

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A Mother's Day Tale :)

I was born in a little "Indian" clinic in Cuba, New Mexico--a little town about 80 miles northwest of Albuquerque. We didn't actually live in Cuba. In fact, we didn't live in any town at all. We lived in the (literal) middle of nowhere...they hadn't even run electric or telephone lines and we didn't have indoor plumbing. My parents moved there to do mission work.

My favorite picture of my mom (which has mysteriously disappeared) is one of her standing over a washboard scrubbing clothes...because in 1982 they didn't have electricity and thus no washing machine. They had put the washboard on the tailgate of a pick up truck so she wouldn't have to bend over her swollen belly. The best part of the picture? The enormous smile on her face.

You would have thought that a pregnant woman, living in the middle of nowhere, who didn't have the most basic luxuries (like using an indoor bathroom instead of an outhouse) that all of her friends had  would not have many reasons to smile. But she did. Because what we have and where we live does not determine who we are or our level of contentment. It's a heart issue.

What I do with what I have won't change when I have more. The widow didn't say, "well, I WOULD give more if I HAD more".It's a heart issue. If I can't be happy living in the middle of nowhere, with no electricity and no indoor plumbing then I won't be happy with a mansion on a hill and a flushing toilet. It's a heart issue.

Sometimes I moan and bellyache because life isn't easy or because other people's lives seem easier than mine. But you know what? It's the hard moments, the crunch times, the days where I just don't understand how I'm gonna make it through that change me the most. Those are the days I'm the most happy and thankful for in the end.

I can say yes to God with what I already have and then approach the situation with a sense of adventure and watch as God blesses me with creativity and a learning experience...setting me up to be better prepared in the future...OR I can dig my heels in and resist every inch of the way and be just as overwhelmed the next time.

Tough decision?! It shouldn't be, but it is for me. Because it really is a heart issue. One that I'm praying for and submitting to God to change.

God is good!!

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Answered Prayers

So, I get a lot of questions and comments from young moms about how overwhelmed they are with whatever number of kids they have and how they don't know how I handle 5. I typically say something like I don't handle it well and that having 5 isn't much different than having 2.

But that isn't true. I've believed it when I've said it, but it really isn't true. When even ONE of my kids goes elsewhere it feels like a mini vacation. Regardless of how well behaved the kid is or how well they get along with their siblings. I really do love being with my kids. Please don't take this to mean that I don't.

I love my kids. I'm so glad they're mine. But I can't help thinking that I wish they had a better mom.

I have not been a good mom. Someone really should have called CPS on me. For real.

I was not emotionally or psychologically healthy during my childbearing years. On top of that, after Lilla was born I developed my thyroid issues and was barely functional...and I was so unhealthy in the first place that I didn't even realize I was sick. My thyroid was overworking so much that my muscles began to break down...the body was not made to function in constant 'fight or flight' mode and bad things happen when it does, If I was sitting on the floor it was EXTREMELY difficult to stand up. Walking or any activity for any length of time made me nauseated and sick...I literally threw up from doing normal every day activities...the way I would from a difficult workout.  The massive amounts of adrenaline pumping through my body constantly (from the over producing thyroid) made it extremely difficult to sleep, which presented problems of it's own. I went to the doctor once and my resting heart rate was 200. I was laying down and my heart rate was 200.

I was literally a mess. I needed help. But I was too unhealthy to ask for it and nobody knew to give it...so I didn't get it.

I eventually got the medical help that I needed but it was years before I was 'normal' again. Things gradually got better and better. Through many different avenues God has done so much work on me. It's really amazing and mind boggling to think about what my life looked like 10 years ago versus how it looks now. It's DEFINITELY not perfect, there is a lot of room for improvement, but it's better.

Recently, God has brought a lot of the darkness in my life out into the light. I've come to realize that there really isn't something wrong with me like I've always thought there was. I'm not inherently evil. And everything bad that happens in my life isn't, and never has been, my fault. I've come to recognize a lot of unhealthy behavior that I had always thought was healthy, both in myself and in others. And I've come to understand the root causes of my particular sins, addictions and unhealthy behaviors.

And sadly, I've come to understand that some relationships just can't ever be what I want and need them to be. Other people face their own problems and issues and sometimes, for whatever reason, the damage done to them renders them incapable of giving me what I want from them. And I need to stop expecting the relationship to be different or keep thinking that if I could ever just be a good enough person that things will change.

I've said all of this to say that the culmination of all of this is a lot of prayer. I pray on a daily basis for my kids and my husband. And lately, I've been asking Him to teach me how to love my husband and children and how to be kind and pure and self controlled and a manager of my home. And to give me relationships with older women who can teach me these things.

And you know what? He's done just that.  Over the years and through many different people. This past Saturday I attended a training seminar at my church for a women's ministry that will begin in the fall. It's based on Titus 2 and it's designed to be a structured environment where the older women and the younger women can get to know one another, the older women can teach the younger women the things they need to know and offer them the support they need.

BOOM! Exactly what I've been praying for!!! God is sooooooooooooooo good. Isn't he?!

It is stinking amazing how God works. He is so good. I am so thankful for His grace and the work He's done in my life to take the utter mess that I am and change me into something better...all for His glory!

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Mr. T Saves the Day!

So my favorite employee at my local Walmart happens to look like Mr. T. He just...really looks like Mr. T. Like, really.

Sometimes he's a checker. And if he is, I ALWAYS go to his line. Even if it's the longest one and all the people in front of me have shopped like their lives depend on getting their carts as packed full and over flowing as possible. Because, I just like Mr. T. He makes me happy. It's like Holly Golightly's deal with Tiffany's...nothing really bad could happen to me if Mr. T's around. :)

I've been feeling...grumpy and emotional. I won't go into why...I just neeeeed you to understand the power of my favorite Walmart employee and how much one Walmart employee can change the world. Because believe me, he DID change my families world. Did I mention I've been grumpy and emotional? :)

So tonight I went to Walmart to pick up my favorite healthy snack. I picked up my items and headed for the checkout. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the person at the register...my family was waiting for me in the car so I just looked for the line that gave the most promise for getting me to the front the quickest.

 So I'm standing in the line in all my grumpy and emotional glory and I look up to see...Mr. T at the register. Okay, that's not his name, I think his name is something like Reggie but for my purposes...Mr. T.


I've never actually spoken to this man other than him telling me my total and saying thank you when he's done. I've wanted to start a conversation and somehow work in a vehement "I PITY the fool!" but I never work up the nerve.

Anyway, when I saw him the next logical thing was to think of this...

And my mood was (and is every time) lifted. :)

I walked into Walmart with a long face...I walked out laughing.

Thank you Mr. T...um...I mean Reggie!

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