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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Church Visiting

DISCLAIMER:  I'm going to be honest. I am not naming "church" names. I do not mean to be offensive or hurt feelings and I'm sure I'm going to be over critical but that is not my intent.  If you know me, you'll understand this.

I don't know any other way to be than real and truthful...I'm going to try really hard not to God talk...that's honestly a HUGE turnoff for me.  Here's the truth, I know God is with us.  I know God has called us.  I know God will never leave us. Those are not thoughts or even doubts for me.  But the reality of it is, even knowing those things, life happens and sometimes it sucks and is not great.  I wish Christians would be more honest because their honesty does not indicate a mistrust or a betrayal of who God is and what's He's done. It's been very refreshing to share honestly, the pain of our move with our Texas family.  We are all still hurting over our transition. Quite frankly, if Levi could have left his position as lead pastor and we could have maintained our life there, that would probably have been choice #1 but that was not a realistic, feasible option.  So, here we are and life is progressing in a total different way.  One huge hurdle is finding a church. What we had at Catalyst was so unique and lovely. It will be hard to find that.  So, that leaves us with visiting churches.  The first week, Levi was here and we tried a church that is a satellite church.  I loved the  music, seriously it was amazing.  Top quality and top notch musicians and vocalists.  However, it's a satellite church which means the pastor is not right there an we watched on video.  The message was quality and great but just felt weird not being able to talk to him.  Then, we missed a week due to vacation.  Then, it was just the kids and I.  We went back to the first church.  They had a live speaker that week and I thought it was good.  The music was killer, again. This church definitely has a cool vibe. Today, we tried a new church. The pastor was not speaking so it was not a normal Sunday. The kids loved their classes.  The music was current but was not as phenomenal by any means as the first church.  I'm not sure how I felt walking away today.  It will be good to go back to see the pastor do the teaching and see a more "normal" week.  It will also be good to go back with Levi. I think we will try a few more churches.  I know I will not get a perfect church and truth be told, Catalyst was/is not a perfect church.  We are going to have to find a church that fits all of us the best.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Change Sucks

I know such language right?  I don't know any other way to say it.  Change just absolutely stinks and I hate it.  So, it's been almost a month since we left Texas.  Levi resigned from Catalyst, our church.  There was nothing wrong...no moral or ethical failures, just needed a change of pace.  That feeling for him had been building for a long time.  The weird part for me is that I could have stayed.  I loved our life, our friends, etc. However, I love my husband more.  We moved to Newberry, Florida into a manufactured home (a pride issue for me).  We live on my parents' 30 acres and when we open our front door, we look out over 25 green acres with beautiful horses.  We have chicken coops behind us and hear the rooster crowing A LOT.  My kids can walk down the dirt road about 1/2 mile and walk into my parents' backyard.  I love that my kids adore my parents and vice versa.  That part is fabulous.  I will never get these moments back with my parents and I am savoring these moments.  I've said this all along, I don't know how my heart can be so happy and so sad at the same time.  It's been almost 4 weeks now.  I've been okay until this last week.  Levi has been gone for a 2 weeks now and won't be home for a few more days.  So, we're out of our routine without him but also with all the change.  The kids and I have been pretty lonely.  We've tried a church and the kids love it but I'm not sure we'll stay there. I think we're going to try a couple of other churches.  So, that's another area that is out of whack for us.  It seems like nothing is settled.  I know that once school starts and we get into a routine and the kids and I make friends, things will get better. I know that in my head but that's not helping right now.

I know that this is what our family should have done and I know it will all be okay.  Just hoping our hearts heal. Sorry for the negativity but wanted to share where I am.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mowing

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Yesterday I mowed the yard. I was doing it as an act of love for Levi. He’s been reffing trying to earn some extra money. I didn’t want him to have to come home after reffing in the hot Texas sun for 6 hours to mowing the yard and the neighbor’s yard. Another story in itself…anyway. As I was mowing, I kept thinking the mower wasn’t cutting the grass short enough. At one point, I reached down with one hand to move a lever which didn’t move so I just kept mowing knowing something wasn’t quite right. I mean, it was cutting the tall pieces of grass but it didn’t feel like it was short enough. When Levi got home, he was very appreciative that the grass was mowed. I told him that I thought something wasn’t right. He had mowed our neighbor’s backyard a week ago and her grass was really high. He put the blades up and didn’t lower them. It made perfect sense.
I can see a spiritual correlation here for myself. I work hard, I try to do the right things but come up feeling like something's not exactly right. I try to tweak something but it's still not right. I don't want to live that way. I want to live fully engaged with all blades going. Sometimes I feel that way and I've realized it's a phase and kind of cyclical. I feel that way when I'm tired I've struggled this last week with reading my Bible. I can really tell a difference in my actions, reactions, and compassion for others when I don't stay connected, not just in reading but also in praying too. I'm going to make an effort this week to be more consistent. We've got a lot going on this week and I'm already tired....I know the week hasn't started.

HELLO!!!

Well this new job thing is definitely cramping my style.  We are now almost to December.  So, what I'm on a monthly blog entry schedule?!!  I realize that I want to blog when I'm aggravated and usually my aggravation comes from FB. How stupid is that??  I've really considered ditching fb for a while.  I just haven't had the guts to do it yet. I don't to be even more disconnected with my friends.  Lame, I know!!  I'm trying to figure out how to be able to see my groups, events, and messages without looking at all the status updates...those are what get me.  I've started a Beth Moore Bible Study on Daniel with my Life Transformation Group.  We're only a couple of weeks in but I'm really enjoying what we've done so far.  In the study, Moore talks about us relating to the Babylon culture in Biblical times and how we are conforming to society's norms and pressures and trying to live up to that.  And how the surface and outward appearance and how we're perceived is what is most important.  She also challenges us to fast something during part of the study as a way to focus ourselves and remind ourselves to stay true to Christ in the midst of living in a Babylonian culture.  Facebook was the first thing that popped into my head. I haven't decided but I need to. Since I've been working, I haven't been on FB nearly as much and it's actually really nice and refreshing but this week off, I've been on a lot...it's just annoying to me.  It's like a train wreck though, I can't look away;)  How's that for mindless blogging about something with very little significance or meat???

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pain Relaxers

So....I've been having pain in my back since I began working.  I blamed it on stress.  Well, this morning, it moved to my neck and was pretty bad. Levi made me a last minute appointment with our doctor.  He couldn't even "adjust" my neck because it was so tender.  I did get some good meds that have got me pretty loopy and saying some crazy stuff.  I called them pain relaxers....and I guess in part, that's true.  I am thankful tomorrow is Friday. It has been a long week and I am ready for the weekend!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Excuses, Life Change, & Sucky Times

I've had some thoughts brewing in my head and I'm not sure how to even get them out or if this will make any sense but here goes.

So, this past month and a half has been a bit of a transition for our family with me going back to work full time.  I don't want to make any stay at home moms mad but being a stay at home mom was cake FOR ME in comparison to working full time and still being a mom and having all of the mommy responsibilities (kids' schedules, my schedule, hubs' schedule, laundry, etc).  I am so blessed I got to stay home for the 7 1/2 years that I did.  I treasured those days but my hat is off to you moms who work and Mom at the same time.   I do have to give props to my husband who has been killer at helping around the house and adding a lot more "home" responsibility to his plate too.

With that said, one of the things I grieved (maybe over dramatic) about going back to work was my time with my friends and keeping up with them during the week. I so miss that now.  I really worried about staying connected.  My friend, Shelley, told me a few months ago, "You and the other friends will have to be very intentional about that.  You can't be responsible for both sides."  I really appreciated that and I'm learning that it's very true.  At the same time, I do miss being on facebook and meeting up for lunch.  I really enjoyed those things. I've dropped the ball a bit with connecting with some friends and others I've tried to connect and felt like I've hit a brick wall.  It's such a tight rope walk for me some times.  I'm trying to give myself a break and listen to Shelley's words and let others respond or not and not take it personally either way.  Life changes and things change and that's okay, it really is.  I'm trying not to be too hard on others and give grace, that's hard for me at times.

This past year has been filled with challenges and in some respects we survived some really hard times.  I've been thinking alot about Galations 6:2, Help carry each other's burdens. In this way you will follow Christ's teachings.  I've definitely felt like I've had friends who have helped do this for us and they did it so well.  They came along side when we needed them most and loved us and carried our burdens with us.  I'm so thankful for that.  I also felt like we had some opportunities to do that with others and it's such a sweet bond that is formed when you do that (on either side).  I'm realizing that if I stay in my little safe bubble where no one knows what is really going on with me and I act like everything is fine, I miss out on so many authentic life experiences and relationships.  If I stay comfortable and safe and with my "church" friends, I miss out on what God has called me to.  Busy-ness is no excuse....we were never promised easy or clean or drama free living.  And I'm thankful. I pray that God would continue to call me out into relational living and out of my bubble. 

This last month or so has been hard in regards to scheduling and being tired but it hit me today that I have to be intentional about my relationships and staying connected, I have to carry the burdens of others when life sucks, and I don't want to make excuses as to why I can't do and be who God has called me to be and the things He has called me to do. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Random Thankful Thoughts

I'm sitting in a quiet house tonight just reflecting on my life....I have a lot to be thankful for. I love it when all of those thankful thoughts hit me during the same day.  I feel very lucky.

I love that my husband will do small tasks that mean a HUGE amount to me, like vacuuming and picking up the kitchen.

I love coming home and seeing a well manicured lawn.  He's so good at that and I'm thankful for the extra energy that he puts into it.

I love having my friend cut my hair.  She and her husband mean more to us than they will ever know, we try to tell them:)

I love meeting friends and shopping and feeling like part of their family when mine is so far away.  I love when they treat my kids like their own "grands."

I love that our neighbors who are teenagers will come hang out at our house and play with our kids.

I love that our neighbors will add a forgotten grocery item to their late night shopping list and deliver it. 

I love that our neighbors who are teenagers will ask us to borrow random food to make a dish they are craving, even when their parents tell them not to "bother" us.

I love that my kids love to sing and dance and don't care who is watching.  They love to roll the windows down and turn the music up.

More than ever before, I'm trying to savor the thankful moments that I have.  I'm reminded that time is fleeting and precious and I want to enjoy these moments.  I want to have an attitude of gratitude (cliche as it sounds).