Dads & Daughters working together – it’s special

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Oh she eats her Daddy up. And working with him is one of her favorite things to do. He lets her take the roller in hand and stain the entire back porch while he bends down and smooths out the gloppy parts. Every single stroke. It would be easier for him to do it by himself but he invites her to join in and do the work. And for that she loves him all the more. They take their breaks together and get back on it. I find it funny that when working with her Daddy she takes on a “work language” with tough girl hard working accent as if she had a wad of chew in the side of her mouth. But no Red Man for her today. Just Dad’s hard working side kick.

This brought back memories for me and I told Randy today, “Oh, I think every little girl likes to work with her Daddy.” My Dad loved to work and I loved to work with him. I remember going down to the basement and trying to help him organize his space as a little girl. He taught me how to scrub the garage floor, wash cars, do yard work, paint and much more. But the thing we all remember was when I was trying to be ‘just like Dad’ and painted the garage door – royal blue! About 5 vertical strokes into it he realized what I had done. I love that he took a picture of me with roller in had and the random strokes of blue paint. Occasionally as a family we’d gather in the game room and have a slide show and somehow this picture always made it in. I thought that was totally epic.

Dads, never ever underestimate the power of working alongside your daughter. Teaching her patiently. Letting her make mistakes and even taking the long route just so she can be involved. She will hold on to those memories for a very long time.

Interrupted – by Jen Hatmaker

You will laugh. You will cry. You will ask, “Are you allowed to say that? You’re a Pastor’s Wife!” These are just a few responses to expect while reading Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. I love this girl. She is hysterically blunt and has a passion for loving others right where they are for the purpose of showing them Jesus. Here’s her heart cry:

“When a Christian consistently treats someone with compassion or demonstrates integrity at work, the gospel wins a hearing. We can continue to invite unbelievers to church, but we must first invite them into our lives. Have them over, go to dinner, welcome them in. Create a safe place for them to belong without agenda; they needn’t worry about following our Christian rules yet (or pretending to in front of us). We must become their advocates, embracing them as dear friends so they might one day feel comfortable belonging with us. This is not a strategy for rapid church growth, but the patient hard work of love is the way of Christ.”

Jen helps us understand our role as a follower of Christ as it relates to unbelievers – and Hello – this is why we exist really. Not to make us happy and feel good (don’t even get me started) but to bring glory to God by sharing his love and Truth to the world around us and even the world not around us (ie: supporting missions). The idea that we must reach our community for Christ by not expecting them to come to us but by us going to them. And loving them and treating them normal. Not pulling out weird Christian freakisms like, “Hi we love Jesus and want you to love him too and by the way we think Halloween costumes are wicked.”

Jen and her husband left a very large traditional type church setting after feeling the stirring of God in their heart. Her husband was a pastor but they were feeling God call them into something different. Isaiah 58 had a huge role in their lives being “interrupted”. If you have never read this chapter oh please do so. I will always remember where I was when I read Isaiah 58 for the first time. It was about 8 years ago and it absolutely astounded me. God takes so seriously our taking care of the needy and the poor. And this chapter reminds us so clearly of that.

So Jen and her husband and their family packed up everything and started an entirely new approach to church. They are church planters in Austin, Texas where they do life with the homeless, addicted and the marginalized. They feed the hungry and build homes for the homeless. They throw block parties. They help schools. They go to the people in their community and love them. And they speak the love of Jesus after they have shown the love of Jesus. Many of these people end up coming to their church. So yeah, it’s not like the Hatmaker’s are anti organized church. Their understanding of scripture wouldn’t allow them to go there. It’s just that “church” goes on all during the week by the people of their church. Sundays they come together for a church service and then disperse and do it all over again.

We all have heard of Jen Hatmaker’s books and especially her book “7″ which is not fun to read because it’s so stinkin’ convicting. Don’t read that book. But in her own words “Interrupted” is her heart cry and what she wants people to read. Her husband, Brandon Hatmaker, also has written a book called Barefoot Church” which is pure awesomeness. I want everyone in our church to read that book. So good!

Interrupted has reopened my eyes and heart to serving the marginalized. It has been the perfect book for me to read as our church dives into an upcoming community outreach at a neighboring park. I love how our church is taking baby steps to being the outward facing church that Jesus has called us to be.

Have you read Interrupted yet? If so, what did you come away with? 

Um No

 

 

 

Um No

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00-6OyXVA0M

Red Hot Faith – A Bible Study Give Away

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I am so excited to be telling you about a Bible Study called “Red Hot Faith” taught by my friend Cindy Bultema. I met Cindy at a conference a few years ago and it was an instant connection and love for this sweet woman of faith. She has an incredible testimony of God’s grace in the midst of tragedy. She is an overcomer by God’s transforming power and she is the greatest encourager I know. You will love her too!

Red Hot Faith is an 8 week dvd based Bible study on the church of Laodicia. It is a practical study that engages your heart and helps you flesh out what it means to have a red hot faith. I came away with a new understanding of what it means to be hot or cold for Jesus Christ. It’s not what I thought it meant all these years!

Okay, so I have an extra copy of her Bible Study to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment about how awesome I am, tweet it, instagram it, retweet it, snapchat it, take a picture of you eating a red pepper AND stand on your head. That’s it people! And you could be the winner.

Kidding. Although it would crack me up to see some of you standing on your heads.

Just leave a comment below and way to contact you so that when we do the old school drawing ie: all the names go in a hat and the chilrens draw a name, I can contact you for further address information.

If you don’t win this drawing and would like to order Red Hot Faith hop on over here to order yours.

An idea for Grandparents

I wanted to share an idea of something my Mom did for Mitchell and Sophie that has really meant a lot to them and to us. In efforts to keep my Father’s memory alive for them she created a keepsake box for both Mitchell and Sophie filled with special items from my Dad. He always kept a wooden box with little treasures in it. Sophie got her box over the summer and was beyond thrilled to have it.

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She loved the wordless book, the monkey carved out of a peach pit, the little flashlight and the stop watch and the tiny knife. She listened as my Mom told her why each thing had significance. My Dad has a fabulous Case knife collection and so knives were always something he loved. In honor of that she got Sophie a pink lady’s boot pocket knife of her own. She was beyond thrilled. So yeah, my seven year old carries a knife. No, she doesn’t. I’m kidding. It stays in her special Grandaddy box.

My Mom said she looked for a long time for the right wooden box for both Mitchell an Sophie. She went in to countless antique shops and various stores trying to find what she was looking for but really anything could be used. So if you’re a Grandparent wanting to build a treasure for your Grandchild consider this idea. I know she’s my Mom and it’s my Dad and all ……but I still think it’s a great idea.

 

My Mom is the bomb!

There’s nothing better than pulling off a fabulous surprise. And that’s just what I did for my Mom’s 77th birthday last week. My sweet husband was in full support of me taking off early Saturday morning leaving behind a house full of yellow and black decorations from a bumble bee theme party the night before. No food in the house and dirty laundry. Bless him up one side and down the other because he not only held the fort down but he actually cleaned it up. I don’t deserve that kind of awesomeness.

I conspired with my sister and brother and so they had my Mom thinking she was having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my sister on Saturday night but instead it would be me. Of course there had to be some drama before it all went down and it involved a very scary make over that left me looking like I needed to be walking 14th street downtown Atlanta in fish net hose and spike heels. I was so excited to be seeing my Mom that I exceeded the speed limit to the tune that I was an hour and a half early. So I decided to kill some time by getting my make up done at the Lancome counter. The make up artist worked on me for about 45 minutes and used approximately 13 different brushes. You’d think that might clue me in to the fact that I’d be looking “layered” for sure but I was so tired from driving and relaxed that it never occurred to me I’d be wearing more make up in all my make up wearing years all put together. It wasn’t until she handed me the mirror that I realized I didn’t recognize my own self. My eyes looked like raccoons – thick dark black layered eye liner and several layers of mascara. Sparkly stuff on my eye lids and color tinting on my brows. I could see my mascara without looking in a mirror. That ain’t right. You’re not supposed to walk around with a black halo effect in both your eyes because of your make up. I didn’t want to hurt the lady’s feelings so I just thanked her and paid for the make up and ran, I say RAN, to the closest bathroom. But as soon as I got there I realized I only had 5 minutes before meeting my Mom. I grabbed several wads of toilet paper and started taking off layers of the make up. I just hoped my Mom would know who I was.

The waiter and hostess at Cheesecake Factory were all in on the surprise and saw a picture of Mom and were expecting her. As soon as she came in they escorted her to the booth I was sitting in with my back to her. As soon as she was about to sit down she saw it was me and took two steps back, gasped in shock and turned to the waiter and said, “Oh my goodness, that’s my baby.” She filled up with tears and we hugged. I couldn’t help but think, “how embarrassing –  a 42 year old baby that looks like a hooker” As soon as Mom sat down the next thing she said was, “Your eyes.?” So I started splainin’. She actually liked it but I had to remind her I had taken off a ton of layers. We had a good laugh about it and talked about all the fun surprises we had planned for her over the next few days.

The greatest thing of all happened on my trip back home. I was halfway home when my Mom called to tell me that at her Dr’s appointment that morning they told her she could come off the oxygen she’d been on for a few months. This was a direct answer to our prayers and the perfect book end to a wonderful surprise birthday visit. God is so so good. I shared this testimony in church today because so many of our church family had been praying for my Mom to come off the oxygen and they praised God with us over His perfect timing in answered prayer.

Bee Your Selfie – Girls Back2School Party

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Our school puts on a Back2School Party for the 4-6th grade girls and boys at the beginning of each school year. This year our theme for the girls was a bumble bee theme and centered around the thought you should “Bee Your Selfie” but not be consumed with your selfie.

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The food and games were fun. We did another digital scavenger hunt where the girls had to go around town getting pictures of their group doing crazy things. The ultimate was when their computer teacher dressed up as a bumble bee and was standing by the honey at our local grocery store waiting for the girls to find this year’s “Mystery Person”. When they found her they had to sing “I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee….” which we had to teach most all of them because nobody knew it. Shut up about how old that makes me.

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Tshirt idea came from a brain storming session with “The Moms”. My creative hubs designed it and once again got some great response from the girls as they really seemed to like them.

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One of “The Moms” spoke to the girls about the importance of knowing who they are in Christ and gaining confidence from Him and not from surface things like the amount of “likes” or comments on Instagram. The girls had some good conversation and were able to share their thoughts on this topic. We went to the scriptures to see what God had to say about these things.

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Do you see that adorable custom made necklace that says “bee your selfie”? A friend of mine hand made 28 of these for our group. As in she stamped out each letter and put the necklace together and then polished them and bagged them up for us. The girls loved them. Could it be any cuter? Should you want to see more of her work go check her out on Facebook at Alodie Blossom Designs. Maria has awesome jewelry with a unique flare. I love her work.

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It was so.much.fun. decorating for this party. Thanks to the other Moms we had some cuteness stuff like jars with special labels and polka dot garland and fun headbands. A great team to work with  for sure.

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So the grocery store knew we were coming but had no clue what they had really signed up for when four groups of excited little bumble bee’s came busting through the doors. And then there was Mrs. Brower in her bee costume pretending to be very protective of the honey aisle and threatening to sting anyone who got near it. Ha! She really got into it and the girls loved it.

 

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I look forward to throwing this party every year. I’m already thinking about next year’s! You know it’s bad when you look for reasons to throw a party. I’m like, “Oh, you got a detention? Well then we should throw a ‘don’t you dare get another one’ party and decorate in all black and not have any fun and memorize Bible verses about having self control. Ha! Kidding. We don’t throw parties for detentions around here.

Have a great weekend friends and don’t forget to just bee yourselfie!

Worst prank ever

Tonight I was cooking dinner and sent the kids outside to play. I gave them options since at times they only think they’re capable of watching TV or gaming. Jump on the trampoline, shoot air soft guns, walk the dog down the street, scale a tree…..just get your fannies outside and play.

A few minutes later I look out the window and see a splotch of blue through the trees walking way down the sidewalk with his sister in tow. I didn’t think much of it until I saw the dog at my feet and glanced at the back porch and saw no guns where they’re usually laying when they’re shooting. Signs of trouble. I could feel it in my bones.

The phone rang and it was Randy. I said, “Hey, is it a big deal if the kids are walking down the street carrying air soft guns?” He said, “Probably not but they really shouldn’t do that.” I didn’t think it was a good idea but I just wasn’t sure how big a deal it was.

I hop in the van and drive down the road and sure enough….there are my two vagabonds roaming the streets with an air soft assault rifle in hand and a pistol. They were shooting at trees. I slowed the van down, gave the evil eye and pointed with my finger for them to get in the van. They were all like, “What’s wrong Mom?” I gave them the lecture about treating air soft guns like real guns and walking in public with real looking guns and how they could get arrested if they pointed that at someone and it looked real. Besides they didn’t even ask if they could leave our yard with them.

We got home and I told them I understood they didn’t know not to do that but to never do it again. I made them put up their guns for the day and said we’d try again tomorrow. All was good.

I texted Randy a few minutes later to tell him what happened. He said, “Take a picture and then arrest them.” I texted back and said, “You should call the home number (knowing Sophie would answer) and pretend to be the police. Ha! Ha!”

A few minutes later the phone rings while Sophie is setting the table. I hear her say Hello and then she runs into the living room and says in sheer panic, “Mom, I think it’s Dad but I’m not sure.” He had just said in a disguised voice, “Hello, this is the Police Department looking for the two kids walking down the street with air soft guns.”

Knowing it was Randy and what he was doing I said, “Nah, honey, I think Dad’s in a meeting.”

This is terrible. Really it is. What happened next is nothing but the truth.

Her face literally went ashen, she throws the phone at me as if it’s a hot potato and runs up the stairs wailing, “Mitchell! Mitchell! It’s the police!! They saw us! This is the worst day of my liiiife”

Randy was on the phone laughing so hard because he could hear everything. I was about to wet my pants. I was in pure shock at her reaction because you can’t usually pull anything over this child and I’ve never seen her so rattled in my life. We were both taken back by her response.

I quickly yelled upstairs for Sophie to come downstairs. Oh bless her. She came down, still clutching the four knives she hadn’t yet placed on the table and she was bawling. I said, “Honey, it was Dad on the phone not the police. He was just kidding with you.”

I hugged her and held her tight and felt like the biggest piece of scum for coming up with such a scheme. She kept crying and I said, “Honey, what was going through your mind?” She said, “That we were about to get arrested.”

Oh.my.word!

So what kind of Mom were you today?

Family is a gift

We had the best week with our families last week! We got to meet new family members (sweet little Lily and her big sister Addie) and spend time with family that we don’t get to see often. It was really such a wonderful visit.

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We could not wait to hold Lily!

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And what would a trip to Atlanta be without a Krispy Kreme run? Thanks to Randy’s Dad we enjoyed one or five… or maybe twenty four? Speaking of 24…..did you see the final episode last Monday? We got sucked in again. (wow, that was quite ADD-ish of me to switch from donuts to TV all in one breath)

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Girls night in – pajama party….did nails, had popcorn and watched Princess Diaries. That’s my sister-in-law on the left, my sister next to her and then Sophie and then my Mom on the right. Love ALL those girls so much.

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And there’s nothing like riding your bike barefoot in the rain around your Grandmother’s neighborhood! I honestly think this was one of her favorite things of the week.

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While we were there we celebrated 21 years of marriage! Randy and I had a special night out and went to one of our favorite places to eat – Stoney River. Then we drove around and reminisced about our dating years which took place right in that area. We drove by the church where we grew up and got married in. Our friend, Alan Chambers, has a tradition with his wife on their anniversary of having their picture taken on the steps of the church they were married in. I LOVE that idea. But for us it would be a picture on the steps of a bank since the church got torn down a while back. So sad.

What I appreciated so much about this trip was that my brother and sister took some special time with our kids and did some fun things with them. My brother showed Mitchell all of my Dad’s guns and how to load and shoot, etc. Mitchell loved this. Then he took them to the park and let them ride their bikes. My sister took the kids to the creek and let them play and hang out at her house. Mitchell caught a baby snake and he watched Dr. Who with it in a jar right next to him. Hog heaven for that boy. It traveled back with us – all six hours. NOT hog heaven for me.

We had a great visit with our families. My Mom is my hero because of her strength and selflessness. She is struggling with COPD and is on oxygen at nights and during the day when she walks or stands for more than 15 minutes. This has been a huge adjustment for her the last two months. We are praying this is temporary and she’ll be able to come off the oxygen soon during the day. I would love your prayers for her as well. She’s a mover and shaker and can’t usually be slowed down but I see how this last bought with pneumonia has affected her stamina. Still, with all this, she never really stopped going. I hope I have that much strength when I’m her age which I won’t state since she would spank the living life out of me.

P.S. I’m addicted to Candy Crush! I thought I was all smarty pants for making it to level 14 until I found out both my Sister-in-Laws are like in the hundreds level! One of them helped me get out of the whopping 22nd level and on to level 23. Whoo-hoo! And that music that goes with it…..oh my word…..bang my head against a wall! I turn the sound off but then end up missing calls because I forget to turn it back on.  Yeah, I’m totally gaming ya’ll! Ha! Ha!