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When Bad Days are Blessed Days

By on Oct 18, 2017

This morning was awful. We had Zoë’s parent/teacher conference which commenced at 7:30 a.m.! It meant that EVERYBODY had to be dressed and fed at the same time…including me. It meant pulling on the “nice” leggings and a proper fitting sweater to make up for all of the hasty school pick-up’s and drop off’s where I cloak my Pj’s with a coat and don a hat on my head. While the conference about Zoë’s progress garnered cheers and pats on the back from Papa Nevels and I, my attempt to whoo Phil to breakfast to “discuss” our daughter’s success was met with big fat disappointment. He had things to do and people to see. So in an effort to re-shape my day, I opted to check out a local breakfast/coffee spot I’ve been meaning to try with 2-year-old Sydney in tow. Now its important to note that Sydney had been spewing a river of “no’s” at me since 6:00 a.m. this morning (NO! NO, I don’t want to go potty! NO, I don’t want to put shoes on! No, I won’t give you kisses! NO! NO! NO!). But I pushed through. We landed at the breakfast/coffee shop only to learn that a coffee shop should not double as a legitimate breakfast establishment. Both the coffee AND the omelet were awful! Meanwhile, Sydney had unleashed the floodgate of “no’s” again and was not complying in any way to my instructions and gentle reminders. Needless to say, breakfast didn’t go as planned. I paid the bill, grabbed my things (the Toddler too. Though I was tempted to leave her behind with all of the other bad tasting things I’d just experienced), and we headed for home. I was determined to shuttle toss her to bed despite it being 2 hours earlier than her regular nap time. BUT, as we trudged up the stairs of the house, the warm breeze hit me and it occurred to me to read a few stories to her on our porch swing (before the official shuttle toss commenced). So, I grabbed a few books and we settled in to read.   It was the most glorious 2 hours I’ve spent in a long time! She listened and pointed out the images she recognized in the book and afterwards she nestled in so close to me that it prompted me to sing. I hadn’t realized just how long it had been since I’d sung aloud! My most prized and favorite songs flowed out like that river of no’s that just 20 minutes earlier had me on the verge of tears. In fact, by the end of it, I was in tears and Sydney was sound asleep. Both of us peaceful, grateful…blessed. You know, I had big plans for how I wanted to spend my day, but it quickly became hectic and disappointing. Yet, in the midst of that disappointment I can now see that God was gently tapping my shoulder and reminding me to let go. He sees me, is with me, and knows exactly what I need at any given moment. That two-hour stretch filled me with so much joy! It was just what I needed. Can you recall a time when you let go of those “perfect plans” and found that God’s unexpected plans were just what you needed? Share this:ShareClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

Women’s March on Chicago – January 21, 2017

By on Jan 23, 2017

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 I had the honor of joining over 250,000 women, men and children in a march for civil, disability, healthcare, LGBTQ rights and racial equality. It was humbling to see people of diverse backgrounds willing to stand, to march, and cry out against injustices everywhere. The marchers were peaceful, the speakers were eloquent and I left inspired and hopeful about unified change. I was moved when seeing a white man toting a “Black Lives Matter” sign or seeing a young boy wearing his Mexican sombrero and poncho. Seniors and infants were sprinkled throughout the march because everyone can be a apart of change, and everyone is affected by change. It was a beautiful day to be American. Enough said…check out a few photos (or see more at this link: Women’s March on Chicago Photos) Share this:ShareClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

Our Family Mission Trip to Grey Mountain Arizona

By on Jul 18, 2016

We’re home from our Mission trip to Arizona. On Thursday (July 7th) our team traveled 3 hours on a flight to Phoenix Arizona and then drove 3 hours up and through the mountains to Grey Mountain Bible Church. Our overall mission was to support the Grey Mountain Bible church by sharing the gospel with the Navajo community through programing and fellowship, as well as to address the basic structural needs of the church facilities. Grey Mountain Arizona is tough! The extreme 106+ degree temperatures and winds were harsh and unforgiving. Our group slept in tents in the gym, which was not air- conditioned, and used bottled water for drinking and brushing our teeth. The doors to the gym were so ill –fit that a brigade of cockroaches (among other critters) would enter the building at night and scurry in and out of the kitchen. We shared one shower stall (1 for women and 1 for men) and 2 toilets each. The gym floor was carpeted and stained and upon arrival we could actually feel the desert sand circulating in the air with every step. I say this to iterate that the conditions were difficult, but yet our team rallied together to make it our temporary home. We cooked, we cleaned and we began preparation for the community outreach and the construction projects as planned. Some of the projects that were executed during our time at the church included the following: Repairing the air conditioner and the non-functioning toilets in the church, replacing the doors to the outdoor water pump room (which had been frequented by rats and other pests), repairing the hot water heater (our team became adept to showering in cold water), and replacing the ill fitting gym doors which left occupants exposed to the elements. There were also additional improvements to the facility such as replacing fixtures and exterminating in and around the buildings.   We also focused on evangelizing and socializing with the local Navajo community. We hosted a Fun Fair, Movie Night & Discussion, Sports Fest and multiple luncheons where we served food and spent time getting to know one another. The children played together easily and their favorite games included basketball and duck-duck-goose. We also strove to encourage the current pastor (Pastor Toby) and his wife, who has only held the position for 6 months. He’s a welder by trade and is unable to dedicate his full attention to his pastoral work because there is very little money going into the church. The church is dependent upon missionaries who come to serve the community and maintain the facilities. Much of the congregation is comprised of senior members who are unable to work or find employment locally. Please keep the pastor and his flock in your prayers. Phil spent much of his time commuting to and from Home Depot to purchase the equipment required to complete the repairs to the buildings. The lists were long and the commute was 45 minutes each way. It was certainly a test in patience. He also served as our lead basketball player on the courts to recruit young people to come to the sports fest the following day. Despite his training as a fencer, Phil still had a few smooth moves on the court! After prepping for and leading the fun fair, Sydney and I fell ill. I spent the remainder of Saturday recovering from dehydration and heat exhaustion while Sydney battled a fever that sent us on a scary rollercoaster. Sydney’s declining health (high fevers, irritability and unwillingness to eat or drink) required much of my attention for the remainder of the trip. We finally took her to the Emergency Room when her fever spiked 104 degrees and learned that she had developed an ear infection. It was during this trial in which I personally witnessed the body of Christ working together. Not only did our team rally around us to pray for Sydney, but a team member also joined us on the 45- minute trip to the Flagstaff Emergency Room where she remained with us to care for Zoe and Jada so that we could tend to Sydney. In her absence, her responsibility as team cook was managed by two other team members. When I reflect on the book of Acts I can recall instances in which the apostles prayed for one another and supported one another when they were out in the field. Likewise, it was a blessing for me to see such a large group of people (28 total) all working together and serving not only the Navajo community but also humbly serving one another. Another instance of this selflessness is when a team member took it upon himself to be the “bug buster” and ensured that we had very few pests as possible entering into the building. He would patrol and spray the facilities even late into the evening and dispose of the remains of the pests. Two other members were charged with shuttling Navajo attendees to and from their homes so that they might participate in the activities we’d planned. Other missionaries took it upon themselves to refresh the bathrooms throughout the week or to just lend a hand in the kitchen as needed. Many of these acts were done proactively and they were done in excellence. While our primary mission was to share the Gospel, what was most impactful to me was...

What Time Is It? (Jord watch-product review)

By on May 23, 2016

When I became a mother I didn’t realize how much time I would spend on the go. Besides saying “I Love You” my next popular phrase has become “what time is it?” As I rush the girls off to preschool, playdates, museums, swim practices, piano lessons, doctor appointments, and (if I’m lucky) Grandma’s house, I feel as though I’m constantly on a deadline. It’s truly a race against time. There are no rules for Motherhood, well, at least none as glaring as rule #1: Keep the kids alive! But every other aspect of the job is totally impromptu. Even the most visionary of Moms who have mapped out their kids lives from conception to college are forced to improvise. And so, after a long day of cramming in all the activities that I think are required of me as a mother, like clockwork, I collapse on the bed and take my first full, deep breath. But the tide is slowly turning, it just took a super stylish and earthy time-piece to do it. When a representative from Jord Watch Co. asked me to review one of their watches, my initial excitement was due to the fact that it was simply a cool looking watch! When I received the Red Sandalwood & Maple time-piece from the Sully series it was truly love at first sight. Every Jord watch is hand-crafted, hand assembled and made of the most beautiful woods. They’re special, they’re unique, and I’m obsessed. But as I continued to wear it, each admiring glance at the oversized bubbled bezel began to serve as a reminder of just how quickly time was flying by…and my inability to hang-on to it! So I started to make a conscious choice to slow down, breathe deep and enjoy it. The tag-line for the Sully collection affirms that you’re “right where you need to be,” and I’m starting to believe it!” So to my fellow Momma’s out there (and you know who you are), the Momma’s in the grocery line frantically checking out before another kid needs to go potty, the Momma who is running a few minutes late for school drop-off and pick-up, and to the Momma that feels like she should be there already, my hope is that you too can slow down and take the time to just breathe. You really are “right where you need to be.” How do you remind yourself to slow down and breathe? Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly.   <a id=”woodwatches_com_widget_article”  title=”Wood Watch Review”>Wood Watch Review</a> <script src=”//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/mommamina/850/250”  type=”text/javascript”></script> Share this:ShareClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

I’m A SAHM Because God Said So – UPDATE

By on Jan 20, 2016

This past Sunday I was asked to share my previous testimony on how God instructed me (through the Holy Spirit) to relinquish a job opportunity so that I could fully focus on raising our 3 girls. I shared my testimony with my bible study group which is made up of new and seasoned husbands and wives, most of whom are parents. I couldn’t believe how many  women approached me after class to say how much they related to my experience. The decision to buck against a societal construct that invalidates mothers who choose to stay home with their children (in lieu of returning to the work force) has led many intelligent and competent women to second guess their self-worth. For 5 years I too struggled until God revealed to me my purpose in this current season. Here are 3 updates since my revelation: After realizing that being at SAHM was what God wanted me to do, I decided I wanted to be perfect at it. I attempted to manage all things domestic on my own, and in perfect time. I’m sure you can guess that I burnt out pretty quickly. I needed my husband’s help too. We’re a team! God didn’t call me to be perfect nor does he require me to be a one-woman show. Those were false expectations that I put upon myself.   My husband, Phil, is the most loving and supportive husband any wife could ask for. In fact, he’s so awesome, that I actually wrote a song about him. It’s true! I did write a song about him. From the moment I met him I knew he was heaven-sent. It might seem from my testimony that we were at odds with regard to my decision to work. The reality is that I wavered and he was decisive. But I think that the experience lead me to something more profound. I realized that for a long time I’d elevated my husband to god status (with a little g), by primarily deferring to him for wisdom, instruction and comfort (as needed). I now realize just how important it is for me to have an even more intimate relationship with the trinity outside of my husband. Even prior to my marriage, I looked to other people and circumstances for validation because I didn’t know the process by which God validates. Now I know it comes through the Holy Spirit.   Our girls are Happy! They aren’t perfect. They are naughty and ornery at times. Even to the point of being downright mean. But then there are times when they are sensitive and empathetic to one another …and even to me. They are little comedians who love to sing about Jesus’ sacrificial love and are inquisitive about everything. And sometimes, in the briefest of moments, I’m able to see a flicker of God’s light shining through them… and it brings me unspeakable joy. The time I spend with them affords me a real opportunity to develop and encourage them physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m bone-tired at the end of the day…and if you ask Phil he’ll probably say I’m even grumpy… but I’m happy. I’m happy because I finally know what it feels like to know that I’m walking in the Lord’s will. There’s not a ton of upward mobility in my profession. I get paid in hugs, kisses and tantrums. I’ve got a few years of experience and yet I’m still stuck doing menial labor (like changing poopy diapers). But I’m happy to do it for my family… because I’m ultimately doing it for Him. Don’t be a stranger! Follow us here and come hang out on Facebook to get the scoop on the latest news, tips and all things Motherly. Share this:ShareClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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