Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Being "Weird" and liking it

If you're like me, you want to fit in.  You want everyone to like you, and not make a wave.   Avoiding conflict at all costs, is your middle name.

So you sometimes compromise on your beliefs.

At least I know I have.  It's a conscious, true effort everyday for me, to not just follow the crowd, and be "normal".

We are walking through my church's "Weird" series, in my lifegroup.  It really changed me when we went through it at church last Easter, and I am loving sharing it with my new friends in my lifegroup.  This week, Craig made a really neat video that I want to share, that impacted me greatly.

It's never too late to stop what path you are on, and just turn around and go the other way.  It can make all the difference.

Enjoy.  and oh, happy leap year day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Self doubt

It occurred to me, as I was reviewing my life, as I am apt to do on Fridays, that I don't have much to show for myself.

The masterpieces of my life, are my girls, and they, of course, are magnificent.  Thankfully my progeny surpassed anything I have been able to do in my life.

Now I'm not looking for "att-a-girl"'s.. I am just stating fact.

I don't have a job that is fancy.

I have debt out my wazoo.

I live next door to my mom.  (which has its perks)

I haven't had a date in almost 2 years.

My yard is  a worn out, weeded out mess, compared to what it used to be.

I ache more days than I don't.

My memory is iffy, at very very best.

But, even in spite of all this ridiculousness, I know that I am God's girl and my life is magnificent.

Sometimes I just lose sight of that, in my lack of accomplishments.

Thank the Lord, my God is bigger than any self doubt I have.  No wonder I used to make so many ridiculous mistakes... for when I had this self-doubt, I attempted to fill the void with the worldly crap that doesn't work. All that did was cause me to get my heart broke, and a whole closet full of shoes I never wear.  

Only through Him, and Him alone, I am made new.

Oh, Glorious day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not a thanks big enough.....

We are so close to Kip's fundraising goal, I can see it happening within the next month.   It is awe-inspiring (to say the least) to realize that through the loving help of friends and family we raised $15,000 for our Kip's amazing race.

When she told me, WAYYY back a year ago, she wanted to do this, and how much it would cost, it boggled my mind.  Then she told me that her friend, Erin and her husband Drew had managed to not only raise $15,000 but $30,000, for BOTH of them to go.... I knew that through our loud mouth, enthusiastic bodies, we would be able to make it happen for her.

And we are so close, I can smell it.

So many people helped us.  People donated, people prayed, people gave monetarily, people volunteered, kids wore bracelets, it was all God's doing.  Every. single. bit. of. it.

I have a list of people I want to thank, and it's scary to do this because if you gave me stuff, and I leave you off the list.... you might de-friend me on facebook.  And I take that very seriously.  :)

But SERIOUSLY.... people.... we put out the call and you rallied.......

MONTHLY DONORS TO THANK   You rock my socks off.
 ($11/11 mo. and most giving more than $11)

Michelle Johnson
Beverly Cope
Tawana Cheshier
Janet Harbolt
Abby Webster
Katie Begley
Ryan Merriman
Nona Merriman
Cathy Stephens
Kayla Jobe (and I will remember this as you trek out on your WORLD RACE)
Lana Burgess
Mike Moore family
Brad Grigsby
Lindsay Jackson
EVERY SINGLE MONTH you guys made it happen for her....... You rock my face off.

SINGLE TIME (and  some even more) made it happen.   Your belief in her vision took it from dream to reality.

Brian Jackson (words cannot express how much this really made it happen)
Amy Astle
Shanda Moody
Mallory Moore
Holley Izard (you rock so much I can't even tell you)
Nina Geschwind
Kathy Santino
Tom Junk
Millie Self
Richard Smith
Jaclyn Dunn
Amy Ritchie
Jessica Fay
Janis Young
Primo's LLC
Darrell Cheshier
Joshua Law
Robin Holland
Kathryn Law
Laura Cuellar
Stephen Bowen
Jackie Cullum
Darla Gragert
Edward Jordan
Jimmie Hallili
Katie Lemons
Pam Hatchard
Jerry Sanders
Lavonne & Nancy Smith
Robert & Angie Smith
Sheena Guillot
Sharon Tanner
Andrew Crain
Jessica Campos
Kelly Mayfield
Marisa Boyd
Andrea Barnes
Mike Gaffney
Theresa Asbury
Kellie Meiwes
Jessica Balderas
Kelle McEwen
Josh Cope
Jessica Kinney
Alex Lancaster
Caleb King
Jessi Sutterfield
Justin Kunz
Lori Souder
Molly Brown
Randi Rex
Leah Riley
Jackie Foos
Rachelle Metcalf
Allison Grimes
Jamie Beckel
Amanda Blackwood
Cassie Allgood
Clara Mann
Lacy Edwards
Paula Milligan
Preston Kunz
Grammie Jackson
Carl Deaton
Dora Sue Robertson
Grandma Nell- Michael D's gma
Donna Deaton
Katy McLaughlin
Annette Deaton
Rose Falk
Rosa Falk
Carrie Ward
Dr. Bill Deaton
Sheila Allgood
GE/Lila Jackson
Sherri Jackson
Grandma & Grandpa Deaton
Julie Humphrey
Mike & Kim Dellavecchio
Carrie Schwartz
Kendal & Judy Schwartz
Mike & Diane Pine (They donated to the hoard as well)
Norma & John Easley
Darlene Berkovsky
Mary Zuech

And I have to tell you, these people cannot be ignored either.  Because of them, I have hit an entire new level of hoarding in my home.

Rick & Teresa Favors
Kayli Favors
John & Ashley Willeford
Barbara & Andrea Wiley
Malena Trulson
Jesi Conder
Danielle Conder
Jessi Sutterfield
Ashlee Ethridge
Sheree Cordray
Kari Scott- Kiker
Brandy Snow
Kristen Martin
Trish Hawley
Shannon Ward
Krystal Watson- Skeens
Abby Webster
Betty Deaton and her Sunday School class
Juretta Thomas and Sandra Fine
Jemma Stemmons
Gina Pine Hodges
 and last but not least
Cyndi Bracy & Yolanda Runnels...I COULD NOT have done the clothes sale without you two to organize me and help me cut pin and sort.  FOR THE LOVE.  That was hard earned money, but Fun because of friends.   LOVE YOU ALL.

and alllllllll the people that donated clothes, and garage sale stuff...people I didn't even know donated.  I thank you all.

They say it takes a village to raise a child.   Welp, our village rocks.  Our village sent a child around the world on a once in a lifetime adventure and I am so thankful for you.    There aren't enough words in my vocabulary to thank all of you.

We are a very blessed have you all in our corner.   Love and thanks.   

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hunger Games Mania

I believe that every single person and their dog has read this series. 

I have singlehandedly talked about 20 people into reading them.  The first question is usually "What are they about"???  Which leads to a moment's pause, because, clearly, if you start to tell someone what they are, they will shut you down.  Think about it... "Well there's this girl and this guy and they have to go into this arena...".. no wait....  "There's this cool girl and she has to fight..."  uhm...  No way to talk about it until they've read it, am I right?

So trust me, don't ask questions.  Just read them.

For three solid days (yes I am fast, ridiculous reader) I read the series.  One right after another, lapping it up, dreaming about sleeping in a tree, totally immersed in District 13's drama.  It was glorious.

Of course, like in every good book, there is a love triangle, and in this book, it does not disappoint.  I liked Peeta sooo much, but come on, GALE?  are you kidding me, what can't you love about Gale? Ah, teenage love.  on steroids.

I love the casting for the movie (YES, it's going to be a movie, coming out in March....COME ON MARCH) and I'm totally loving the way the people played out.  I pretty much envisioned all the people exactly how they casted it.  All but Rue...she surprised me.  I envisioned a small elfish blonde playing her, and she is total opposite of that.   And Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.....oh my cow, you are killing me.  How perfect.

I've got mixed reviews on the third book "Mockingjay" but seriously, how ELSE could you have ended it??  I re-read it (like the 5th time) and I like it more everytime I read it.  I think once the initial shock of all the loss of that book wears off, it grows on you.

If you haven't read them, you might be one of the only people on the planet left that hasn't.  All I can tell you, though, is get ready.  You might be prone to grab a bow and arrow and go sit in a tree.  My dogs thought I had lost my mind... 

Highly recommend this delightfully different series.  But I'm warning you, you can't put them down, and they have to be read in rapid succession, so just buy all three when you get started.  

This will make total sense to you once you read these.  I work out, therefore I am prepared.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whirling thoughts

I have so much swimming in my head, I'm not sure where this will go, or if I will be able to wrangle into one single thought.

We are talking about Godly men at church.  It's almost Valentines Day (excuse me, Singles Awareness Day), and  Whitney Houston has died.

How in the cat hair of america can I make sense of all of those three things???

Godly men.  I know they are out there.  I see scads of them at church with their families, loving their wives and children.  I know they exist.   The man I thought God had sent to me, just asked another woman to marry him.. because you see... it wasn't that he didn't want to get married...he just didn't want to marry me.  I've come to terms with it, since it's been a couple of years, and in knee jerk fashion, I immediately wondered what was wrong with me, what shortcoming I have....and it always comes back, in the small voice of God in my head..... "The plans I have for you are perfect, and that wasn't part of the plan."   So, I congratulate him in my head, look onward and upward, and move on.

Whitney Houston is the perfect example of losing sight of God, and letting the world take her over.  She started as a wide eyed beauty... I'll never forget her singing that first time I saw her, and I was just taken away  by her grace and beauty.  And her love of God was so evident.   Then the world, stepped in and she was blinded from her walk with God, and finally, in the tragic end, lost her life.   What a cost.

It's so easy to get blinded and sidetracked by worldly things.  So. Very. Easy.

I told you, I didn't really have a point to this, except just to vent... I don't understand why things happen.  Grandbabies are taken from you, your kids get sick or hooked on drugs, your spouses cheat on you, you lose your job.... I don't understand this world.  The only thing that I understand, and PRAISE GOD THAT I DO, is God NEVER leaves my side.

Take the world, but give me Jesus.  He is all I need.

Friday, February 10, 2012

World Race Amazingness

I look so forward to reading blogs from the racers.  They are all on such a wonderful journey that sometimes the words I read from these "kids" bring me to tears.

On one of the blogs, Dusty Dills shared this video and I want to share it with you guys because it is so powerful. I have seen it before, at HERO camp this past summer that Hallie attended with her Hembree siblings.  It knocked my socks off there, and this one really knocked my socks off.

I am always amazed at how some things move me.  I am so willing to to see God's work in my life (instead of pushing past it) that things like this just penetrate me through to my bones.

See if you can make sense of the skit..... Imagining Dusty (in red sash) as God, and creating his "daughter", giving her life and love....and how the temptations of life, money, sin and destruction come to take her from Him, and how He never leaves, Never EVER gives up on her, and pulls her back to Him....and ultimately stands between her and destruction.....

Through Him...............We are Made New.

Click on this link and enjoy.  I'm so proud of these racers....just amazing.  And the beautiful Swaziland mountains in the background just add to the loveliness.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hugs and Stuff

I'm not a hugger.  I wasn't raised in a huggy/demonstrative family so it's way out of character for me to jump all over you and hug you.

So, when I married into a hugging was a revelation.  What?  We're hugging?  Over a cookie?  just because we passed each other in the hall?  What??

I'm sad to say that I didn't hug my oldest daughters a bunch as they were teens....well....because they were teens.

The thing is, I had amazing teenagers.  They were good girls that tried to do the best at everything they did.  In spite of their unhugging mother.

Now, when they were babies, that was a different story....

Why is it that is so easy to kiss and love on a baby?  Because they just ooze yummy??  I will kiss a baby I don't even know in the is just ingrained inside of me that babies are .....Good and Yummy.  There's  not a baby I've met that I didn't immediately love.....  And that's a fact.

But as they get older and develop attitudes and require more constant parenting, I find myself not doling out the love and hugs like I used to.  In fact, we can go a week or two (or three if I'm really honest) and not even touch my kids.  Life steps in and hugs step out.

And that's a shame.

So, yesterday, when I picked up Hallie, I told her I was implementing a "Three Hug a day Rule" in our house. She looked at me like I had lost my mind, and then laughed all the way home.  I told her I was serious, and she said  "You're kidding, right?"  I told her.....  Nope...we are going to hug each other three times a day....and because it was late in the day, we were going to work in three hugs before bedtime just so we wouldn't slack off.

It's amazing how feelings of animosity toward your loud mouth obnoxious little pre-teen flow out of your body, when you hold their warm sweet body next to yours  (In my case, she is tall as me, so it's a bit discomforting that I've let so much time pass)

One day they are this.....

and before you turn around twice they are 

I'm not missing any more hugs.  The "three a day" rule will stand.... and both of us are going to see a difference.

Make time for hugs.  It will change something inside of you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A comment on my Comment Experiment Blogs from July

That was way fun.

And I stopped doing them because....well....i can't remember.

Which is a problem when you're 50.  That stuff starts happening all the time.

You can't remember squat.

SOOO, I'm going to start randomly talking about my friends again.  I loved it, and I know you did too.

You'll need to show up on my page to remind you that you are alive and kicking.

Because my brain is 50.

And if you are 50 you will understand that statement.

Be watching....I'm going to talk about you soon.  Pretty sure.

Musings on Humpday

When I posted this on my facebook wall.... it was totally all about me.  I've made so many stupid, big, horrendous mistakes, that sometimes it's overwhelming to me to believe that I am forgiven through my father's mercy and grace..... It's harder for ME to forgive myself, than for My Father.  

Then people starting "liking" it.  And sharing it on their page. Lots and Lots of people.  And it hit me, like a big fat ton of bricks.... 

I am not the only one that has screwed up.

Somewhere, down the road of your life, you've done something less than stellar.  And the beautiful thing is, through Christ...all things are made new.

And to me, that has made all the difference.

First, ask God to forgive you.
Then, forgive yourself.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spiritual Seatbelting 101

Yesterday at church, it was UH mAY ziNg.  Lifechurch loves to do fun stuff.  And when they do fun stuff, they do it big.  There is no other way.  So we had hotdogs  (Someone may have had three) and nachos and sodas and ARANDA, full blast for Super Bowl sunday at Lifechurch.

It was da bomb.

I had some of my dearest friends with me yesterday, my girls, and a new friend I made on Sunday from Craigslist.  Yep.  You read it right.  Some random person bought something from me on Craigslist and I was compelled to invite her to church.  Turned out she was just a great gal, and it was a blessing to meet her.  And she got her face rocked off at church.  I love it.

Keeping with the super bowl theme, Craig talked about commercials.  "Thirty second theology".   And just hammered us with wonderful scripture that spoke to my heart in every way.

But the thing that shattered me (other than the car commercial with the little girl driving and the dad handing her the keys, FOR THE LOVE) was the seatbelt commercial.

He had already talked about ... 'What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes"  James 4:13-14

Followed by  "remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered-- how fleeting my life is."  Psalm 39:4

.."be careful how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity....."

SEE why I LOVE my church?  I love solid applications that I can immediately use in my life.  It happens EVERY single WEEK for me.  

But the thing that got me right in my heart, was this commercial.  I had never seen this... but it brought me to tears. 

Hang on to your hats....


Do you know someone that is driving right for destruction?   It should be your heart mission to help them with their "eternal" seatbelt.

"Oh, I don't know enough scripture."  "Oh, I wouldn't know what to say".  "Oh, I don't want them to think I'm weird."

Jesus didn't pick preachers and scholars to spread His love.  He chose normal, everyday people.  Like you and me.

Don't let someone you love drive into the wall.....

Be brave.  Be Bold.  Be someone's Eternal Seatbelt.   I know I want to be.

God is good, all the time.