Thursday, November 7, 2013


For the past six weeks I have been co-leading a team at our church women's Bible study.  We have been working through the study called "Gideon: Our Weakness, God's Strength" by Priscilla Shirer.  After 30+ years of knowing the Lord, there is still so much to learn! My grandfather used to say that you should learn something new until the day you die.  He meant it in the context of the Bible, and to be honest, I wondered how he could still be learning after so many years of serving God.  But I finally understand.

There are three short chapters in Judges on Gideon.  You may have read them.  I had.  But I had read PAST them.  I remember thinking "wow, the old testament is violent" and just kept reading.  But the truths embedded in those three chapters have profoundly impacted me.

As a mother, I think we are quick to spot our weaknesses.  One friend told me, "I fail at least ten times  a day at being a great mom." I totally understand what she means.  How sad that we focus on those ten times and not the ten thousand times we support and encourage and love our children.  But God's word reminds us that it is IN those weaknesses that God is able to shine.

Gideon was a coward that was hiding from the enemy.  He questioned God.  He doubted even when an angel appeared to him! Yet the Lord was patient with him and still led him to defeat the Midianites.  He had a mighty calling! The Lord was able to move through Gideon's weakness.

If you are a mom, in the trenches of bringing up godly children, remember this: YOU have a mighty calling.  Do not be lulled into thinking that your calling is any less significant than Gideons.  Priscilla Shirer says that mothers are anything but ordinary.  YOU are extraordinary! You have been called by God to raise your children to love and follow the Lord.  YOU are the single most important influence in the lives of your children at this short time of their lives.

Also remember that even mighty warriors question and doubt and fail.  God is still faithful.

So when your kids "forget" to pick up their stuff, or make messes and don't clean them up, or leave you without toilet paper for the umpteenth time, it's good to remember that we are still a work in progress too.  We aren't finished until we get called home to glory.

Lord help me to raise children that love you, and show grace (but if you could remind them to put their shoes away, I would be even more grateful). :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Confessions of a Kindergarten mom: Take three

You would think that on the third time around, I would be a pro.  But let's be honest.  When my first went to kindergarten, I had a potty training two year old and teething 5 month old at home.  I didn't cry.  I was grateful that she was finally getting the stimulation her little brain needed.  It was full day kindergarten but we didn't know any different.  She was my big kid.  So I embraced all the newness of her school adventure.

The second time around, I didn't cry either.  I still had a 3 year old at home, and it was only 3 hours.  Honestly I barely had time to get home, start a load of laundry, and make a snack before we were headed back to the school to pick up my middle little.

This time....I am a hot mess.  Hot.  Mess.  I haven't even taken her to the first day and I get a lumpy throat every time I think about it.  Not her though.  She has been counting down for almost a year.  She has been wearing her owl backpack for almost a week straight.  She's so excited to FINALLY be in school with her sisters.  She reads chapter books and can figure out multiplication.  She is ready.  But me? I'm not ready.  Yes, I have filled out the forms, bought new shoes, and planned for lunches.  But truthfully, I want to hang on to her littleness just a while longer.

Maybe it's because she has been with me every second of every day for over five years.  Maybe it's because she has been my only buddy and my helper for two years.  She has gone everywhere I have gone.  She was with me when I argued about permits at city hall.  She has emptied the dryer and folded clothes for me.  She has sat in every shopping cart of every store I have gone to.  We shared treats that we "didn't tell sisters about" for the last two years.  Maybe it's because she has been the golden age for me.  She's potty trained, buckles herself into her car seat, likes to do things for herself but knows when to ask for help, and she still loves to snuggle.  Maybe it's because her kindergarten is all day. All. Day!

Maybe it's because, for the first time in 10 years, I will be alone.  Each year that I have experienced the first day of school, I have left the campus with someone in tow, holding my hand.  But this year when I leave campus, I will be alone.  It's not that I will miss my sweet baby any more than I have missed my other two, but it's different.  It's the end of an era.  There's an episode of "Friends" where Rachel is moving out of Monica's apartment and they start crying because, "It's the end of an era!"  That's how I feel.  It's the end of an era.  An era of having my babies at home. None of my kids attended preschool.  I figured I could prepare them for school.  And honestly I didn't want to share my precious time with them with anyone else.  I'm not the mom that counts down the days until school starts so I can have a break.  I love when my kids are home.  I love being with them.

With each job I had before I had children, I felt like something was missing.  It wasn't my true calling.  But 2 seconds into being a mom, I knew I had found my purpose.  My purpose isn't changing because my kids are going to all be in school, but it's different.  There's a feeling of "now what?" The girls keep asking "what are you going to do all day?" I jokingly tell them I am going to be at school everyday, all day.  Truthfully, I'm not sure what my day will look like.  But the fact that I have 6 hours without anyone asking for a snack, or working on worksheets, or doing crafts, or playing makes me sad. I will still grocery shop.  I will still do laundry.  I may talk to myself.

Many moms have said this is the best time of life because the girls are still young and with all of them in school I can pursue my own interests.  I can also volunteer at school.  My grocery bill will probably go down because I don't have any little ones with me asking for items not on the list. So, yes.  There's that.  But why am I sad? I think it's because even though it's kindergarten, it's the beginning of letting go.  I'm not sending her to college yet but it's out there.  I can't stop time.  So I'm trying to embrace it.  I know there are good things to come.  Children cannot soar if you always hold their hand.

My prayer is that school will be everything she has hoped it would be.  I know learning will take place, but I pray she also feels valued and smart and amazing.  Because she is.  I pray she gets hugs and high fives and gets to laugh.  I pray she remembers all that we have taught her at home about being a good friend, a good listener, a daughter of God.  I pray that the other kids treat her with kindness (cause if they don't, her two sisters will take them out!).  I pray that she loves school.  I also pray that at the end of the day, she comes home and tells me every single detail of her day.

I pray that as we walk into her classroom tomorrow that she will walk in confidently.  I also pray that as she lets go of my hand, that I will smile and.....let her go.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting to know our wild neighbors

There are a number of things I love about our charter homeschool, but my favorite are the projects that encourage kids to get out and DO something.  For the month of May our homeschool days were filled with a project associated with a nationwide contest.  You can read about it more at  This year's theme was "Get to know your wild neighbors."

Reagan decided she wanted to enter the photography portion of the contest.  She isn't a big fan of the outdoors, so we brainstormed about what we could do that she would enjoy photographing.  We settled on Seal Beach down in San Diego.  When we lived down there we used to go more frequently but it had been a while since she had actually visited. It was perfect weather and she captured some amazing shots!

Years ago this beach used to be called "Children's Beach" because it sits in an area of San Diego that is protected from the current and waves.  But, somewhere along the way, seals moved in and made it there home.  For years there was a heated debate about kicking the seals out, or letting them stay.  Even just a few years ago I remember animal rights activists forming a chain across the beach to keep people from harming the seals or forcing them out.  Such drama! Somehow they reached a legal decision to let the seals stay but also allow people to go down onto the beach at their own risk.  Seems to be working for now. :)

She amazes me with her knowledge of animals.  At one point we saw a few sea lions and she went on to tell me how seals are different from sea lions.  I honestly had no idea.  Enjoy her captures!

The next few are sea lions.  Apparently they can use their flippers for much more than seals can!

Hope you can get out and enjoy God's creation too!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where you been?

We're gonna pretend it hasn't been five months since I have written a blog post, mmmkay? ;) It's not that I haven't been writing.  I have been writing every week.  Except it hasn't been for our sweet lil ol' blog.  I've been writing for money (yay!) but not for fun (woh! woh!).  I was offered a job as a freelance writer in December so I've been able to write a few articles a week from home.  The real kicker is that I also bought a business in December.  (What?!!) So life has been a little busy.  But in a good way.

For the past three years I participated in a twice-yearly children's consignment sale in our area.  I was also part of a sale back in Virginia when my biggest little was born.  Loved it then and loved it even more when I had three beauties to clothe.  I grew to love the ladies that were running the sale out here so I was honored and surprised when they asked if I wanted to purchase the business.  Their kiddos were growing up and they felt the Lord calling them to other endeavors.  After praying about it, we decided to go for it!

It has been a roller coaster in every sense of the word! But we just had our first sale in March and it was a success- yay! Our next one is in September so I'm enjoying the reprieve for a few months.  It's more work than I ever imagined, but I definitely feel like I have been preparing for this position for years.  I'm able to continue to stay home with my girls, and contribute to our family finances.  God is so good, isn't he?!! I've been baptized into the world of small business owners and I'm still learning as I go.

It was so fun to see my family pitch in and help in any way they could.  Brian's dad even flew out to help us.  He was our handy-man, personal shopper, and keeper of the kids for us! He even said he would come back in September to help again. Woohoo! My parents were at the store or keeping the girls everyday, and my sweet husband took off work during the four days of the sale (and the day after the sale to move everything to a storage unit).  At the risk of sounding like an Oscar speech, I couldn't have done it without the support of my awesome family and friends.  Who else would stay late to help me scrub floors, arrange toys, put clothing racks together, or bring me coffee? I am blessed indeed.


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