Thursday, March 15, 2018

spring break things

Happy Thursday!  It's spring break week around town, and we have also partaken in that tradition and enjoyed our moments of not doing much of anything. 

Our week got kicked off last Friday, when we had a bunch of family and some friends over to celebrate three out of our four sons' birthdays.  Fifteen years ago when I was pregnant with twins, I was huge and completely miserable, and basically unable to breathe, so when my doctor offered me two dates for my c-section (March 10 or 17), OF COURSE I picked the tenth.  Because twins, and miserable, and breathing.

That was me the night before they were born, and yes, it looks like a giant beach ball was stuffed in my shirt.  I assure you, it was babies, though, huge little twin boys that would make my doctor gasp when she saw how big they were (Jonah was 7 lbs and 2 oz, Noah was 6 lbs and 2 oz).  So you can now understand why I picked the sooner date. 

The only problem was that the next day was Graham's birthday.  It's okay, though, we just deal with it each year, but it does kinda take a toll on the old pocketbook. 

So, all of our families came over and some friends of the boys came as well, and we celebrated the three birthday boys.  We had hot dogs, chili, buffalo chicken dip, veggies and dip, and delicious chocolate cake from Costco.  It was a really fun night. 

The next day, I made the fifteen year old's pose for a picture.

And Sunday I posted this from a few weeks ago of Graham, my nineteen year old.

Because it was Sunday, and we all run around like chickens with our heads cut off on Sundays. 

Drew will have his party soon, when his birthday comes on April 3.  He will be eighteen.

It's a whirlwind of a few weeks, but we are surviving.

After the celebrating, on Saturday night I started this movie, which is still my favorite movie.

I never got to finish it, though, but I can't remember why.  I think I went to bed early, too, when I got interrupted, because I had to be at church at eight thirty the next morning.

I decided to take a break from Netflix after last Friday, and I've been reading instead.  I've finished almost three books this week so far, from my Netflix break.  (I did watch part of one episode of something last night, because when I went to bed my stomach was killing me and reading doesn't put me to sleep as quickly as Netflix does.) 

And right now I'm almost done with Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes. 

This author is my favorite author of all time, and I've been reading books by her since I was a teenager.

Somehow I've lost two of the books and ended up with two copies of one of them, so today I'm going to make a trek to our little used bookshop here in The Ville, and see if I can rectify that.

I have had such good, quality time with the Lord each morning this week, enjoying the fact that I can linger for longer than usual.  I'm currently reading the bible chronologically, and I'm reading in 1 Samuel and in John.  Chronologically we are in Deuteronomy right now, and I am loving it.

Also this week, I have cooked a lot, and had everything eaten.  No leftovers this week!

Last night I talked to my sister for an hour or more.  I talked to another one of my sisters on Monday for about thirty minutes.  I love our "phone dates" because we're far apart.

I have spent sweet time with friends twice.  One was on Tuesday, when Jonah detailed my friend Teresa's car.  She stayed and we visited the whole time, and I made us lunch while he worked.  Then later that day, the group of us who did book club together went out for dinner.  It had been forever since we'd been together!

My kids have had friends over.  They've gone and played a lot of basketball, they've gone to the park, and they've chilled upstairs and played x-box. 

Today I have grand plans of going to Costco, then the bookstore, and tonight we may be buying a new chair!  I'm so excited.  If that happens, I'll post about it tomorrow.  Maybe. 

I hope your week has been great.

Love to all!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for this blog post. 

This was a really good week, with a lot less rain, so in my book, that is a win.  I've actually been able to let the dogs out in the back yard again, at least for a couple of days. 

I only have a few things to talk about this week, because it's been pretty mundane around here. 

This polish is my favorite top coat and I've shared about before, but it bears repeating.  When I used to do my own nails all the time, this was what made me able to do such a good job with them.  This polish makes them shiny and they dry almost instantly.  My only complaint is that when the bottle gets about to the halfway mark, it gets gunky and no longer works.  I ordered mine off of Amazon last week, and it came with two bottles, so I kept one and gave one to my friend Abbey, because we love to paint our nails.  (Well, I do my toes, she does both.)

Seche Vite.  You can buy it from anywhere, including Walmart, for about six dollars a bottle.  I paid seven on Amazon and got two bottles.

Another thing I've been using again is this to take off my makeup.  It is, by far, my favorite and least expensive makeup remover, and it's really great if you have dry skin, like I do. 

My mom gave me this a few months ago, and I used it for a while, then stopped.  My skin has been really dry again, so I started using it again this week.  It works great at removing makeup, especially eye makeup.  Last night I didn't have makeup on, but I wiped off my face with a clean warm wash cloth, then rubbed some of this on my face as moisturizer and went to bed.  My skin felt so good when I woke up this morning!  I think this comes from Aldi's.  You can buy any brand, though.  Tonight I'm going to melt all of this and put it into a smaller, more shallow dish so it'll be easier to get out each night.

It's great as lotion, too. 

And in brownies.  (I mean, it makes them taste like an Almond Joy!)

So I've been doing a bible study on the book of James, which is one of my favorite New Testament books (but I always say that), and this week, we finished.

It was SO GOOD.  This was part of that book, written out.  I love doing bible studies, and I did this one with two friends, one of whom has never done a bible study before.  Isn't that exciting?!  I started doing these in my mid twenties, and I have loved bible study ever since.

Lastly, is about my dining room.  This is my least favorite room in my house right now, but yesterday, I spruced things up a bit in there.  It's painted green, and a few months ago, I took down the curtains that were hanging in there.  They were torn, and just felt really heavy in that room all of a sudden, so these windows have been curtain-less. 

But at four something this morning, it dawned on me that I had some curtains I could try hanging in there.  These were bought with my bedroom in mind, but the minute I put this first one up today, I was so happy with how it looked.  I hung the second one, and they're definitely staying put. 

They need to be ironed, but that'll be another day.  They're sheer white and very thin and light.  I love them.  I also still love that buffalo check print table cloth on the dining room table, and I love the table even more when it's without the leaf in it, making it round again.  There's a hutch in here too, that holds Christmas and wedding dishes, and there's a dog kennel in the front corner, but I can overlook the things I don't like now that these curtains are hanging.

I bought these at Homegoods for twenty dollars.  I think technically, two panels should hang on each window, but I just wanted one panel per window instead.  Two would be too much, at least in my opinion.

That's about it for this week!  It's been pretty low key around here, but not for long.  Tonight we are celebrating three out of my four kids' birthdays with family and a few friends.  Jonah and Noah turn fifteen tomorrow, and Graham turns nineteen on Sunday.  Where did all my babies go?!

Drew doesn't turn eighteen until April third.  It's a busy time of year, with all these birthdays, plus our two dads and Resurrection Sunday and long choir practices, but it'll slow down again eventually. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

how I spent my Wednesday

Yesterday was just a normal day, but I was already feeling really productive that morning, so after I had my quiet time, I got up and started cleaning out and organizing a few areas in our home that get really cluttered really quickly.  (We do not live in a huge home, it's a normal three bedroom, two and a half bath, one playroom -turned bedroom- house, so with four boys, I always had to be creative with space.)

(Also, I say that like I'm complaining, but I promise, I'm not.  I love our home, and I don't want one any bigger than this one, because it is hard enough keeping this one clean.  Our home is a blessing, and it always has been.  James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.) 

Additionally, I have a few mom friends who have asked about keeping things organized with lots of little ones running about, so this is about that too. 

The first area I tackled yesterday was the closet under our stairs.  It's appropriately named the tornado closet, not because of an impending tornado, but because it always looks like a tornado went through it.  (That made me chuckle.)  There are so many things in that closet, including school supplies, bibles and bible studies that I've gone through over the years, coats, paperwork, extra stuff (like solo cups), Crash's dog food container, and all our electrical equipment for the tv in the living room.

The shelves always get really messy, so I straightened those, then I pulled everything out and vacuumed.  Lots of stuff needed to be thrown away, or just put somewhere from where it had fallen.  I went through the coats that are hanging and neatened up all of those, and added some more from a couple areas I'll mention in a minute.  Then I put everything back neatly and parted with other stuff. 

I found an over the door hanger, so I added that for a purse I might use soon and the bag I take to church on Sundays to hold my bible and journal and such.  I hate the way those shelves above the coats look, but it's out of my hands.  Those are the wires that allow us to have our tv mounted above the mantle.  My husband created an outlet for the tv (several years ago) for the tv, then he ran the wires under the beams in the living room back to the wall behind the couch, which is where you see them now.  We have a remote that works, even with the wires behind us. 

Here is the floor.  The dining table leaf is in here, cords and such in that basket with the fan on top (to use when it gets too hot in there), an electric griddle, art supplies.  There's more, you just can't see it.

The shelves that aren't pictured are where I keep all the school supplies, batteries, games, and on the top shelf is where all my bible study books are.  Some are work books, some are held in notebooks, some are just notes I've taken as I've read, but the shelf is filled and overflows into a few other areas in my home. 

On keeping things organized, the only way to do it is to do what I did yesterday.  Just pull everything out, go through it all, and decide what to keep and what to toss.  I no longer keep a lot paperwork from the kids, because they will not want it someday.  They do have folders with some things, but it's not much.  Boys are not sentimental about things like that.  If something is in there we haven't touched in a year or more, I donate it.  There is no sense in holding onto things we may or may not someday use.  I know several would argue this point, but I hate clutter. 

Here's another spot that we use all the time.

Two sturdy peg racks.  I think my sister Lisa gave me these years ago, but they are anchored to the wall so they can hold a LOT of weight.  I always hated backpacks strewn all about, and coats, so we hung these to alleviate that.  I cleaned this up significantly yesterday, it was in sad shape.  Atop this are all our movies and a few other things.

I'm all about usable space.  We use every inch of space we have, we always have and we always will.  This was one way we were creative with what we had to work with.

Even with that peg rack, we still use our coat rack as well.  Todd brought this home for me a long time ago, and I cleaned it off yesterday.  With all these boys, comes all their friends, and they need a spot to hang their stuff.  This gets used all the time.  I considered getting rid of it at one point, but I couldn't let it go, it's way too useful and practical. 

I always have spots for all the things.  That was what I always told the boys.  I made sure they had a spot to put everything.  Being able to actually put things away was important to me, because again, I hate clutter.  I taught the boys that same thing and that is how my house always looks decent.  It may look clean, but it's not always, I promise. 

I always do a little bit at a time, so I never get overwhelmed with tons of junk we don't use.  I take it a room at a time, sometimes a closet at a time.  The kitchen gets messy (the cabinets) and these areas I wrote about.  Also our bedroom and bedroom closet can get that way too.  I had done a big clean out before Christmas in our room and closet, but when we had those rooms painted, it got messy again, and stayed that way until yesterday.  After I was done with the downstairs, I headed to our room and cleaned our closet again, got rid of some clothes we don't wear, and switched our things in the dresser and lingerie chest we have in our room.  I gave Todd the dresser, because most of my things are hung, and he needs more space for t-shirts, sheriff's department stuff and such, and now I'm closer to the lingerie chest, so I'm glad to have my stuff there again. 

So the big take away tips and tricks are this:

Just jump in, even if you're overwhelmed.  You have to start somewhere.  Take it one small space at a time.  Whichever is most important to you, start there.  For me, it's always my kitchen.

Make a goal of doing ONE area each week.

Have a plan for where to take the stuff you'll donate.  (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Disabled Vets.)

And then take it there, or arrange the pick up.  For me, when I'm done, we store it in the garage until we can drop it all off.

When you have stuff laying around, put it away.  (Coats, mail, paperwork, whatever.  For us, mail is another issue, so years ago, I purchased a "mail container" that we keep ours in.  I've added another cute box to that as well, one that is shorter, so we never have it just laying around.)

Keep the kitchen clean.  Always.  The counters, the sink, the table. 

Make your bed.  That helps me stay motivated.

Do the laundry, dry it, fold it immediately, and then put it all away.  You would be amazed at how much that helps. 

Practice self control.  If you don't have room for it, don't buy it.  If you buy one thing, make it a rule of thumb to replace it with something else you don't need or want.  For me, this is books.  UGH.

I hope this inspires you to do a little spring cleaning!  I'm going to tackle another catch all today: our laundry room. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for this post. 

It is GLORIOUS to see sunshine today!  It has been so rainy and dreary here the past few weeks, with just a smattering of sunny days in between.  I am so ready for spring.  I can say that, now that it's March. 

Speaking of Sunny, does anyone love The Today Show puppy with a purpose as much as me?!  This one might be my favorite, as of yet.  Their first one was Wrangler, then Charlie, and now Sunny. 

I'm not sure what the deal is with me and dogs all of a sudden, but this little guy is precious.  My little angel pup is sleeping away on a blanket with his favorite toy as I write this. 

If you have never heard Bob Goff speak, you should watch him on YouTube.  He's probably considered a motivational speaker, but he loves Jesus and he loves people.  He has written his second book, which releases mid-April, and it is called Everybody Always, as in love everybody always.  There are so many quotable images from the sneak peak I had at the first five chapters, but I loved this one and snagged it to share on social media.  His first book, Love Does, is one of my favorite books of all time. 

I was cleaning out my tiny purse this week when I realized I had a slight problem.  I love lipstick!  I always have and I always will.  I don't use anything expensive, except for my foundation by Clinique (and it's $30, which isn't horrible), but these Revlon lipsticks have always been my favorite. 

I have tons of colors!  These are a blend of dark pinks, one bright pink, one bright red, a violet color, and a bronze color.  I like to blend them together.

My sister Debi bought me my favorite t-shirt of all time.  It's Ruby's Rubbish, and is incredibly soft.  Also, I love this hymn.  I think these shirts would make a great gift.  Mine was for my birthday last year. 

I made one of my favorite meals last night.  Lasagna, by the Pioneer Woman.  It is delicious, and you should consider making it for your family. Anytime I take it to an event, people rave over how yummy it is. 

Favorite pens (Papermate Flair), favorite little five year spiritual journal, favorite quiet time tools, with my She Reads Truth bible under my open journal.  I was having some late night quiet time on Wednesday while Todd watched a show I didn't care much about.

 I posted this on Instagram Wednesday night, and apparently, it's a favorite picture of a lot of people I don't know.  These guys are Farm Truck and Azn from Street Outlaws, and Azn himself liked it on Instagram.  Because I used #streetoutlaws people keep liking it who don't follow me.

My boys love this show.  They were in town a few months ago, and Graham, Jonah and Noah got to meet them, thanks to the perks of Todd's volunteer job with the sheriff's department.  Drew didn't go with them.

I had dinner out with one of my favorite friends Tuesday night.  Christa and I went to where the salsa was.  Because salsa.  Chips and dips are our love language.

I mean.  Cutest puppy ever.  My Chip is so much like Andy was!  It's weird.  He's my favorite.  He's so smart and knows how to sit, shake, jump up, stay, and lay down.  Jonah is teaching him to spin around and we want to teach him to roll over, but we're not sure how. 

I'm starting the search for graduation pictures, and these are a couple of my favorites.  How is that Drewby is graduating in a few weeks?!?!  Insert that crying face emoji here. 

I keep thinking it'll get easier, and then all of a sudden, a wave of emotions hit and I'll cry at the weirdest times.  Babies really don't keep.

Well, I have laundry waiting to be folded and dog hair that needs to be vacuumed up, so I had better run.  I hope your weekend is great!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

doing life with others and sharing the love of Jesus

If you attend a church service, you hear the term ministry thrown around all the time.  At my church, there are some amazing ministries that people I know and love have and/or participate in.  This one sweet lady gives bibles away to people.  She keeps them in her car and readily hands them out.  Another friend goes and visits people in the hospital and makes sure they know where they're going when they die.  I have a young friend who lives in North Memphis and has foster kids come and go, plus all the neighborhood teenagers.  She provides snacks and bible study.  Others I know go on mission trips often. 

And if you're anything like me, that all sounds so good, but it also seems a tiny bit overwhelming.  I always wonder, what can I do?  I'm a stay at home mom.  I homeschool my kids, which means I don't go to all these places where I can really focus on sharing Jesus with others.  I go to church, I see my (believing) friends, I am always around family or friends. 

And yes, I often fall into the horrible comparison trap.  It's hard not to when you hear all these cool stories of what other people are doing.  And if I'm completely honest here, which I say that I am real and open all the time, I do not have the spiritual gift of evangelizing.  It's not my gifting, but to an extent, we're all called to do all the spiritual gifts at some point.  When it's your gift, though, it just easily flows and is almost supernatural, it can be made to look so easy.  (I'm thinking of two people who have this gift, as I write this.  One is a young man at our church, and the other is our missions pastor.)  So for someone like me, who does not have that gift, it's hard for me to start up a conversation where I can share with them the gospel. 

Sometimes I feel a twinge of something about this, but I'm not sure if it's conviction or shame.  Conviction is good and from the Lord.  But shame is NOT from the Lord.  He will never make us feel ashamed of something we've done, or not done. 

Does anyone besides me ever feel this way? 

I always pray about this, and I always ask the Lord to use me as I go about my daily life.  When I prayed this on Monday (for the umpteenth time), He gently reminded me of a couple of things, and I wonder if anyone else needs to be reminded of something similar as well? 

One is that sharing the love of Jesus with others looks different for different people.  For me, a non-evangelizing type person, it can look like encouragement.  I love to talk to people when I go places.  (Costco, Kroger, Annie's nails, the hair salon.)  Exhortation (often called encouragement) is one of the spiritual gifts, and it is in my top five.  I am a very quiet, reserved, introverted person, but for some reason, I love meeting new people and striking up a conversation.  Sometimes they don't want to talk back to me, though, so I make sure and make eye contact, smile, maybe offer a helping hand, and then sometimes if we're in line and they don't want to talk, I will pray for them silently.  I do this with the people checking me out, as well, because sometimes you just cannot get one word out of them.

About this gift of exhortation, it doesn't JUST mean encouragement.  It also means that if I have a friend who I can see struggling with a particular pattern that could be harmful (like being too busy, or gossipy), I know that I need to say something.  This gift goes both ways, and I have to both.  (I only do this with people who either ask me for advice, or ones I'm close enough with to be able to speak my mind lovingly.) 

Also, about this particular spiritual gift, the Lord showed me a long time ago, that I need to always look the part of someone who would love to be approached.  For instance, I tell students (and my own boys) all the time that when the Lord so drastically changed me all those years ago, He changed my countenance.  I used to walk around looking mad all the time, before, I had someone tell me that.  So I asked Him to change me.  And now?  My "resting face" is one that looks like I'm smiling.  I'm not always, I promise, it's just another piece of evidence of how the Lord transformed me.

I had an incident happen on Monday while I was getting my nails done.  (Real life, hello.)  I love the place I go to, and I love those dear people who work there.  I talk to them all the time, but sometimes the owner isn't as friendly with a new customer as one would like her to be.  A lady next to me was asking her all kinds of questions about colors (I love nail polish and naming all the OPI colors is my super power), and I was able to help her a little, when the owner wasn't answering.  That one small statement I made struck up a twenty minute conversation between us.  Her name was Lisa, and she and her husband moved here from Dallas for his job, but their grown daughters live in California.  She asked me questions like what was there to do here (not much, unfortunately) and why I had this certain look about me.  She was super kind and said something about how I seemed to be glowing.  As sweet as that was, it was a tiny bit embarrassing, but I thanked her for her kindness and said, "Well, hopefully, you're seeing the love of Jesus that is within me."  And I invited her to church. 

Friends, that is one small way that the Lord used me this week, and normally I wouldn't think that was a big deal, but He reminded me that He gave me that opportunity and I could have just brushed it off, but instead, I talked about Him. 

(Please don't take this as me being boastful...I promise, I am only boasting in the Lord and His goodness.  He gave me brevity I usually don't have, and He directly answered a prayer for me that day, because I had asked Him to use me.  I pray this everyday, and most times I do not see an answer like I did on Monday, but I know He hears, and I trust that He is always at work within me.)

The second thing He reminded me of was the gift of prayer.  (Remember yesterday's post about how I sometimes am so tempted to skim over that part of my quiet time?  That is the enemy trying to weasel his way into my life and way of thinking.)  Well, I love to pray.  The Lord has used several people in real life who have taught me on this subject.  One is my friend Denise.  She loves to pray and encouraged me to get a prayer partner and to meet weekly with her.  I did that a few years ago, and though Abbey and I haven't been super consistent since last summer, we are on a three week streak of meeting again, and I am so glad. 

Another lady who taught me on this was Denise's friend Ann.  Ann taught me that praying for myself is also crucial.  It's like the airline stewards who tell you to use oxygen first for yourself, and then go and help others, if the plane is in distress.  If I don't pray for myself and my own heart and junk I often have going on, I'm not sure if anybody else will.  Also, I don't always tell other people my junk, so if I didn't pray for that, I know nobody else would. 

I used to keep a prayer notebook and I would use it almost everyday.  I do still use that every once in a while, but sometimes it seems too overwhelming, and I don't always have a whole hour to spend in prayer.  When I don't use that, I pray according to the acronym ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.  Thank you, Jason Holmes, for that.  He's our student ministry pastor.  The people who know me are good about reaching out to me for prayer, so when they do, I usually stop right then and pray.  If I don't, I'll forget.  I text them prayers, sometimes, like I did with a friend on Monday night, and sometimes I will call them and pray over the phone, because I don't know what else to say or do for them when times are so hard.  When you ask me to pray and I say I will, I promise that I am true to my word.  I usually will write it all down in my journal so that I won't forget.

I wanted to share this, because I know there are other people like me, who wonder what they can do, when it comes to sharing your faith.  These are just a couple of really practical ways that are easy, and that the Lord showed me this week.  I pray that these words are an encouragement to you as you go about your daily life.  There is nothing too small that you can do to make an eternal impact in someone's life, if you're a believer and follower of Jesus like me.  Don't let the enemy try to get you to think any other way. 

Thanks for reading, friends.  Love to all. 

(About that picture at the top: sometimes displaying all the fruits of the Spirit are what others see in us, as well.  All those things represent Jesus, and if that evidence of His presence in our lives is missing, I believe that it would make one wonder about our salvation.  The way we act can be a stumbling block for someone who is not a believer and follower of Jesus.  So, that's just one more thing to think about, and it's one other way I pray, for the Lord to display ALL those qualities in me as I go about daily life.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

when God answers

In case you didn't know, and I can't remember if I wrote about this or not before or during Christmas, I was in a bit of a slump with my quiet times pretty recently.  I think it started when we got Chip, our newest pup, because he would wake up at three or four every morning, I would get up with him and then just fall back to sleep on the couch with him in my lap.  Because of all that, I am so sad to say that my quiet times were almost nonexistent for a few weeks. 

And then one day, it just dawned on me that I had let that go.  (It can seriously happen to any of us, and we have to guard that time like nothing else.)  I was in a bad mood more often than not while I was at home, I was tired, I think I may have been even a little down in the dumps.  (I wouldn't say "depressed", but definitely just down and very discouraged.)  I will add here that this is where the enemy most loves to work against us in our lives.  I don't like to give him too much credit, but when he sees that we are not firmly planted and rooted in the word of God, he will definitely attack us in ways that can only be described as spiritual warfare. 

When I started back, I had to pray and ask God to help me.  I had gotten out of the habit, and to stick with it again and start fresh, I desperately needed His help.  Throughout this time, I would still pray and worship the Lord, though, because how could I not?  But I would pray and then I wouldn't follow through with the obedience part.  Or I would read the bible and skip the prayer part.  It was all very scattered, though.  I would read for a day, and then I would skip three. 

But the Lord is always so good, and He did help me.  I wasn't very consistent with the time of day that I would do this, but I figured something was better than nothing.  Once I let go of the time of day, it got easier.  My new normal right now is that I get up super early to deal with the dogs.  This morning I was up at 4:30, because bless Chip's small bladder.  (We all went upstairs by 11:30.)  I always fall asleep with him again an hour or two, then I get up and feed them, have coffee, turn on the news, and right as the boys are all waking up, I am sitting down to have quiet time.  I am fully awake by then and I am able to grasp more of what I am reading in the bible at this later time.  I pray throughout the day, all day long off and on, but I concentrate the most on this before I start reading the bible.

The reason I share this is because I know this happens to everyone.  Maybe someone needs to be encouraged today.  Maybe it's something you've been neglecting as well, or maybe you're being too hard on yourself about this and being all legalistic on times and places that you sit and read and pray.  I was that way too!  Legalistic, I mean, because I was used to getting up early, getting my coffee, and then sitting down right away to pray and read.  But then real life hit when the new puppy came, and it all flew out the window.

Don't give up, though; the enemy wants you to do that, and nothing would please him more.  I once did a bible study on the armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, and in that she suggested that our prayers are what is holding off the battle going on in the heavenly realms that we don't see.  I believe that with everything in me; as much as the bible talks about praying continually, I know those words are there for a reason.  If this is you, if you need some help, or if you have a question about where you could start in this, will you please reach out to me?  I'll include my email, so you don't have to comment for others to see.  It's  A lot of you are friends in real life, so text me!  Or message me on Facebook.  I don't claim to know a lot about anything, but I know what it is like to struggle in this, and I am full of good ideas that others have handed down to me over the years.  I promise, I can give you some suggestions. 

I would love to help you out with this, and point you along in this way.  The one thing I can say now, for you to start, is to ask God to help you.  If you know you SHOULD BE doing this and don't have the desire to do so, ask Him for the want to.  I've prayed that very thing myself, and many times.  And I'm sure that some day in the future, I will pray it again.  I promise, He will answer you in this prayer, because He wants us to know Him more and He wants us to want more of Him.  And we get that by praying and in reading His word. 

Thanks for reading today.  I pray that the Lord uses this and encourages the ones He means for it to reach.  Love to all. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  It's been a weird and rainy week.  Anyone else experiencing so much rain that you keep seeing GIANT earth worms everywhere you look?  My puppy has tried to eat one or four.  BLEH. 

Rain is NOT my favorite, and I am ready for it to move along, now.

I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post.

(I was not kidding about those earth worms.  One was almost a foot and a half long the other night, and I was convinced that what Noah saw was a snake.  It wasn't.  It really was a giant earth worm.  Todd brought it inside to show me.)

I have some favorite moments from this week and a few other favorite things as well. 

Monday was one giant blur.  I think I took three naps.  D-Now recovery is no joke, and I felt like I'd been in a wreck.

Tuesday was nothing worth noting, other than a giant trip to Costco.

Wednesday was my favorite day!  I had lunch with a dear friend of mine, and we sat there for almost two solid hours catching up and just getting to know each other better.  I love times like that.

Wednesday night was also when my husband started feeling really sick, so while he rested on the couch, I finished my library book, then started this one.

I've had it for about a month now, and I've been putting it off because I knew I would love it.  (Anyone else do that?)  Sure enough, I finished it yesterday afternoon.  It might be my favorite so far, in 2018.  I'm trying to read more. 

Then, I started this one last night.

I love Agatha Christie, and can't help but wonder why I've never read her books before.  They remind me of adult versions of Nancy Drew.  I devoured all those books when I was a teenager.

Reading is my favorite. 

I came across this article via Facebook the other day, and loved it so much that I thought I'd make it one of the favorites for today.

Click here to read it.

It's about growing up in the eighties.

Also, most of you know how much I love Travis Cottrell, and today he has a new album that releases.  He advertised it this morning, with a link to this song you can find on YouTube.

Just know that this one will be on repeat for a while, and that it's my new favorite worship song. 

My sweet hubby stayed home yesterday because of how bad he felt, and we enjoyed a day of being lazy together.  He sat on the couch all day, and I read, in between making the bed and doing the minimal amount of laundry.

I love days like that.  It was cold and dreary and pretty perfect.  Except for this weird eye thing I have going on again, but whatever.  (I look like someone punched me in my right eye, and it feels like there is sand in it.)

Well, speaking of making the bed and laundry...I need to get to it.  Have a great day and weekend!  Here's to hoping we don't need an ark to get around in this weekend.  All the rain has just situated itself right here in Memphis, it seems like, and is not going away soon. 

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

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