Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Are You Ready

I've watched the endless news coverage, witnessed hordes of people wipe out grocery stores & gas stations, seen them trim trees, place sandbags, & secure outdoor furniture. Hurricane Florence is own her way.

Are you ready?

This storm is being labeled "The Storm of a Lifetime". Its no joke.

Are you ready?

We are much more fortunate than previous generations. More often than not, they had no clue something deadly was lurking around the next corner. They paid with land, livestock, many times, their lives.

I'm thankful that we have advance notice so we can prepare for emergencies. I'm thankful for scientific discoveries & equipment that give us hours, days, & sometimes even weeks to prepare.

We prepare for unforeseen disasters all our lives. Storms, financial ruin, sickness. We make our homes safe. We save money. We purchase insurance. All of these things we set up "just in case".

Just in case something horrific may or may not happen.

Just in case disaster wipes out life as we know it.

Just in case we never experience a single hardship.

Still, just in case.

Are you ready?

We've heard about a storm unlike anything we have ever experienced. We've heard about a day that will change everything. We've heard about a returning that will one day take us home.

But yet we ignore those warnings.

Jesus Christ is on His way!

Are you ready?

Just as we prepare for Earthly storms & disaster, we need to prepare for Eternal life.

Do you know that you know that you know where death will take you? Do you have your reservations set up in Heaven?

Are you ready?

Eternity is too long to base it on "I hope so". Its too long to base it on "I think so".

Are you ready?

Have you checked on your family? Have you checked on your neighbors? What about the stranger down the street? You wouldn't let them drown in a flood if you could help, would you?

Why would you leave them to fend for themselves for all eternity?

Are they ready?

There's a storm coming!

Are you ready?





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

You Are More

I was recently talking to someone where they said "I am a professional ... "(fill in the blank however you see fit). It got me to thinking.

Some people know exactly what they want to be from day one. And that's great. Those people have found their passion & have fought tooth & nail to make those dreams come true.

Some people bounce back & forth between ideas, schools, & jobs, yet still they have no clue what they really want to do in life. They just end up working whatever job pays more. And many of them are happy that way.

Some people start on one path in life only to be derailed or rerouted somewhere else. It's not what they expected, planned, or even wanted, but they learn that the new path is just as good, if not better,  than the original.

For so many years, when asked about what I do, I found myself saying "I'm just a mom" or "I'm just a substitute teacher". When asked about my life, I usually end up talking about my kids or my husband. Afterall, who they are or what they do seems so much more interesting than what I do.

But I've realized that I am more! I am more than just a mom. I am Austin, Makenzie, & Logan's mom! Someone else might be "more qualified" or more efficient. But no one could ever love them more! God handpicked me, ME to be their mom.

I am more than just a preacher's wife, a paramedic's wife. I am Justin's wife. God joined our hearts together 20 years ago so we could walk hand in hand through this journey.

And although I still may just be "the sub" for the day, I absolutely love my job. I love so many of those kids like they were my own & I know they love me as well. Where else can you walk through the door & get bombarded by teenagers happy to see you? Certainly not your own house most days.

So whatever your title, whether it be a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Trash Collector, a Maintenance Man, a Mom, a Dad, wear that title with honor & know that God has a plan for your life. He has handpicked YOU to do things that NO ONE else can do.

I'm thankful that God has allowed me to be a mom, a wife, & a sub. It may not mean anything to you, but it sure does me.





Friday, August 17, 2018

It's Game Day Y'all

In towns all across America, people are gearing up for tonight. Months of hard work will finally be showcased tonight. Those hard working men (& some women) will finally be able to show off what they've learned, how they've grown, be seen under the lights, & have their names echo from the stands. And for a few moments, those ordinary, everyday youngins can feel like stars!

Those Friday Night Lights are legendary, especially in small towns in the south.

We are gearing up for our 11th football season. It takes over your time, your money, your car, your laundry. It takes away your voice, takes away your breath, & steals your heart.

As always, we start every season with hopes & dreams. Hope for a good season, hope for no injury, hope for success, & dreams of championships & glory.

This year is a little different for us, well for me anyway. I start this year with the same hopes & dreams, but mixed with anxiety, concern, & trepidation. (For the record, I'm not sure where the word trepidation came from. I'm not sure I've ever used it before, but as this post was flowing through my head, so was the word trepidation. So there you go.)

It was only a year ago that I watched, helplessly, as our family went through the biggest trial we've ever experienced. All because of a stupid decision during opening week of football.

I can't help but worry.

Even though I've seen my son grow. I've seen him change. I've seen him walk away from fights when I know his temper was boiling. I've seen him break up fights so others wouldn't get hurt or in trouble. I've seen him hit the altar at church with tears in his eyes. I've heard him call home from church camp absolutely broken about how good God has been. I've seen him make hard decisions that I know at the time he questioned. I've heard "I'm sorry for the hell I've put you through mom".

I've also heard the laughter return to his voice. I've heard joy & excitement when he talks about things. I've seen more friends coming back around. I've seen him opening back up. I've seen less worry & stress on his face. I've seen his eyes light up.

I can't help but worry.

After last season, he swore he wasn't playing again. My heart hurt. It hurt for him. It hurt for me. It hurt for missed opportunities & making memories. It hurt for regrets.

We have a brand new start this year. A brand new year, a brand new team, a brand new number (oh mercy kid, pick a number & stick with it), a brand new coach, a brand new set of plays, a brand new principle.

A brand new hope.

Don't mind me. I'll be the one praying fervently, screaming my head off, & ringing the cow bell for all I'm worth.

So here's to another football season & those Friday night lights.









Thursday, August 9, 2018

I’m Thankful for Smoke Detectors at 2am

Have you ever be woken up in the middle of the night by your smoke detector? It’s kind of a weird feeling. You’re sleepy, you’re disoriented, you’re heart is pounding, you’re scared of the unknown.

That sound at that time is usually one of a parent’s worst nightmares. That might usually be the case, but it wasn’t mine. At least it wasn’t last night.

Last night, when my smoke detector woke me from a sound sleep at around 2am, I couldn’t help but smile a little.

I smiled because I smelled a familiar smell about 45 minutes earlier. And yes, that smell woke me up as well.

As I opened my bedroom door, through the smoky haze, I see one teenage boy asleep on the couch, oblivious to everything around him, I see one laughing hysterically on the floor, and I see my oldest son frantically fanning the smoke detector saying “sorry Mom”. It was 2am, they are teenagers, and they were hungry. They set the smoke detector off cooking a pizza (which reminds me... again... I really need to clean the oven).

So today, I’m thankful for friends, food, and working smoke detectors. But most of all I’m thankful that these boys were at my house texting girls & eating everything in the house instead of being out somewhere getting into trouble.

I would much rather be woken up from laughter & smoke detectors than from worry, fear, & dread. I pray that they always feel comfortable enough to walk through my doors without knocking & to help themselves to the junk food stash like its their own.

Lord, keep them safe, it’s a hard world out there.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fear is a LIAR

I've never been a person to always look at the black cloud or to sit and worry about senseless, useless things that might never happen, ...
but then I had teenagers.

Having children is a pretty frightening ordeal in & of itself, but teenagers take it to a whole new level. They take the normal everyday fears that all parents worry about & they wad it up into a ball, bounce it off your head, set it on fire, & drop it off a cliff.

I'm talking FEAR people!

There's sex, drugs, social media, drinking, bad influences, driving, countless illegal stuff, & that just barely scratches the surface.

If you have teenagers, you better be praying constantly over them. If you are close to having teenagers, you better start praying now as well. If you've already had teenagers & everyone made it through without too many incidents, will you please pray for the rest of us?

I'm talking FEAR people!

My anxiety is at an all time high here lately. I'm trying so hard just to rest in the Lord & His mercies. Trying to rest is His promises.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


This has got to be one of my favorite songs out right now. 
Have you heard it?


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

1st Annual Girls Weekend

I had the honor of watching my beautiful daughter perform in her first cheer competition this past weekend. Their squad didn't even place, but I was beyond proud.

So many of them had never cheered competitively & a few of them had never cheered at all, ever. So for them to throw a routine together in just a few short weeks, get out there with very little mistakes, hold their heads up as they realized the weren't going to win, & walk out of there smiling & laughing. Yes, I was proud.

But my favorite part of this weekend wasn't the competition. It wasn't hanging out with her friends (& moms) after. It wasn't the fact that we went to the beach afterward. It was the journey itself. It was going somewhere with just her, focusing on just us having fun. No fighting for attention from everyone else. No arguing over the radio. No "are we there yet?" or "he's touching me!".

It was just Makenzie & me, doing exactly what we wanted to do, on our time table. Stopping for out of the way adventures & eating at "hole in the wall" places.
*For those of you that don't know me well enough to understand the importance of the hole in the wall, think of it as your favorite local restaurant that most visitors don't know anything about, the place that has very little advertisement, but amazing food. You can have your chain restaurants & stores, give me a local cafe anyday.*

I can remember taking trips with my mom, grandma, cousin, & aunt when I was little. Oh the fun we had.

I hope the girls weekend trips become a regular event. And I hope she looks back on them with as many fond memories as I have!




Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I will survive, right?

I have thought so many times lately that I need to write, I want to write, but the words won't come. They're right there, floating around in my brain, but I can't put them in the order they need to be. And when I do get my thoughts together, I can't help but think, why bother. It feels like the same ole struggle and the same ole worries with the same ole outcome and quite frankly, that just sucks.

Why do so many of my heartaches involve my teenage son? Oh mercy, I feel so much older than I actually am. And why do so many of his issues involve girls?

I'm trying so hard not to meddle, really I am. But its hard when you sit there and watch your baby become so much less than you dreamed they would be. So much less than what they are capable of being.

He has been lying about everything. His grades have severely dropped. He argues with everyone around him. I can't help but believe its all about a girl.

Isn't it always...

Then he fights constantly with the girl & gets defensive if we say anything about it. 

I am so utterly clueless with this parenting thing.

I'll try my best not to constantly depress you with our struggles, but that's the stage of life we are in right now.

Tell me that we will survive this.


Are You Ready

I've watched the endless news coverage, witnessed hordes of people wipe out grocery stores & gas stations, seen them trim trees, pla...