Thursday, September 29, 2011

What is Most Important to You?

Eric and I were visiting a church of our friends' (miss you Stephen and Mary K!) a while back and the pastor issued a challenge that has stuck with me.  He said something along these lines,

"I want you to think about what the most important thing in your life is. Something that you spend a lot of time doing or thinking about doing.  Look at your pocketbook and your calendar and that will probably give you a good answer.  I challenge you to ask a person close to you what they think is most important to you right now."

So naturally, I wondered what Eric would say was the most important thing in my life right now.  So I asked him. (This is always a little scary to do for obvious reasons.....I tend to get a little defensive.)  But, I already knew what I would say about myself, I just wanted to know if it was that obvious to others.  It was. 

My time.

My life absolutely revolves around my quiet times.  I live for them.  Ain't nobody gonna mess with my nap time or my time after the kids go to bed.  I loathe phone calls, interruptions, chores, tasks, basically anything that takes away from time to do what I want to do. 

So, notice I keep saying "MY  time."  That's exactly how I view it.  But, what if I started to view it as God's time?  What might I accomplish in the amount of time I have?  Because it really does amount to quite a bit if I add it up.

I would love someday for someone to say that the most important thing to me is "others."  But, I know I'm not there or even close to being there.

In a recent sermon in our church, Mother Teresa was quoted as saying,

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

This may be one of my favorite quotes.  There's just such a rich truth in it.  I am at the place right now where it hurts to love.  It hurts because I have to give up some of my time to love.  My weekends, my nap times, my evenings. 

You'd probably have to put me in the crazy house if I didn't get some time to myself, but this challenge made me realize how much value I place on that time.  Too much.

Yesterday in my devotions I read this verse and it spoke to me like never before,

"A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

So how will people know I'm a disciple of Christ?  The verse doesn't say:

By how much money I give....
By selling all my possessions and giving them to the poor...
By how many people I share the gospel with...
By all the church activities I get involved in...

As the familiar song goes, "they'll know we are Christians by our love."  All these things listed above can manifest themselves in love, but we really need to begin with loving.  And for me that begins with giving up some "me time" and turning it into "others time."  And it's gonna hurt.  But, what a wasted life, to be defined as someone who values time to herself. 

I want to be defined by loving others.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Idea of Romance

After 10 years of marriage this is what melts my heart.

Not flowers
Not beach vacations
Not expensive gifts

But folded underwear in the right piles.
Austyn wears Elmo's and Dora's.
Rylie wears princess and fairies.

Not only does my husband help me fold laundry,
He knows who wears what - down to the last detail.

Ahhhh...romance in it's finest form.

What's your idea of romance?

This Week's Verse:

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:28-29

What an awesome God we have!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Trip of Firsts

Being a small town Kansas girl, my Caribbean trip allowed me to see and do a few things for the very first time.  That's the beauty of vacationing right?  For instance...

Have you ever been to a nude beach?
I can now say that I have.
Welcome to St. Maarten.

I can assure you there were no butts this high or firm on the beach.

So, no camera's were allowed but I couldn't help myself.  The immaturity still runs deep, however, props for me because I didn't start to giggle until I returned to my beach chair.

A couple questions still linger in my mind after this experience.

Do you really need a tan there? Really?

Should nude beaches have a
 "One Must Actually Look Good Nude"

Half of the island of St. Maarten was French, hence the no-shame attitude.  Not only were there public nude beaches but also public restrooms shared by both men and women.  It is a little unsettling to see a guy standing at a urinal when you walk in the bathroom...

Welcome to the beautiful Antigua rain forest. 
We ziplined here.
Easily one of the coolest experiences of my life.
Besides the fact that I almost passed out. I think I was pushing my little baby to the limit!

Have you ever kayaked in the Ocean?
Thank the Lord we didn't tip over.
They don't call them "divorce boats" for nothing.

In St. Croix

Here we are snorkeling with the sea turtles in Barbados.
We didn't see any turtles though. 
We apparently weren't fast enough or ever in the right place at the right time, figures.

And finally, our last "first" of the trip.
We said we were going to get tattoos for our 10th anniversary.
And we did.

Okay, so we chickened out. They're fake.  I would like to think we would be a tad more creative if we ever get the guts to take the plunge.  Maybe we're still afraid of what are parents would say....:)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fantasy Land

To officially celebrate our 10th anniversary Eric and I went on a Caribbean cruise last week.  It was....amazing.  As I return to responsibilities, chaos and a noise level I just plain forgot about, I find my mind somewhere about right here.

And I'm thinking about what I'm going to order for supper about something like this?

Oh wait...I have to cook tonight.  Mac and cheese anyone?

Do you miss me St. Lucia?
I miss you.

Don't worry, I'll be back.
Probably several times a day.
Until I wonder if you were just a fantasy to begin with.

This week's verse:

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tea with the Queen

One of our favorite books to check out at the Library is this one:

(Actually, it not my favorite, it's gets quite annoying to read over and over but the girls LOVE it.)

The gist: 

Ruby gets an invitation in the mail to have tea with the Queen and in the end "the Queen" ends up being her grandma.

These are some pics from Grandma and I'm guessing this is why the girls love the book so much....

They get invited to have tea and to party with the Queen often.

All dressed up with Grandma for a Fancy Nancy event.

A Queen indeed.....does it get anymore special?

This Week's Verse:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20

Friday, September 2, 2011

A "Yes" Day

A couple weeks ago I took Rylie for a day out.  We had plans to go school shopping and then see The Little Mermaid at the Music Theater.  She was so excited to have a day with mom all to herself.  Made me realize I should make an effort to do something with the girls individually more often.

I remember growing up I loved spending time alone with my mom.  (Still do actually!)  With 4 other siblings, these times were very few and far between though.  I remember feeling lucky to be the only one with braces because mom would take me to my appointments alone.  And then we'd get a chocolate shake afterward. My love for chocolate shakes has not waned in case you're wondering.

So Ry and I had a mommy date.  It kind of turned into a "yes" day.  And I loved having a positive day.

"Mom can we eat at Quizzies?" (This is what we call Quiznos in our house, it worked out well for me that my favorite place to eat is also hers....brainwashing - it works.)

"Mmmmm...sounds good, yes!"

"Mom can I have Root Beer to drink?"


"Can I pick out a toy while we're school shopping?"

"Ummm....maybe."  (We all know "maybes" turn into yeses")

"Ohhhh, this purple dress is so sparkly and pretty!"

"Well, it's on sale.  Let's get it!"

"Mom why are you letting me get what I want today?"

"Because today is my special Rylie day."

Unfortunately my memory card broke and I lost all my pics from our night out but here is a pic of Ry in her sparkly dress.

It feels good to say "yes" for once.  I feel like I'm all "no" and negative with her sometimes.  It was fun to get her away from the daily grind and see her excitement over having special time with me. Although we won't be able to afford too many dates like these, I see it's time to start pulling her away for a chocolate shake every now and then.
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