Monday, September 20, 2010


I am almost finished with another powerful book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Very good read and slightly similar to Radical. The overall theme of the book is that we, as Christians, don't typically reciprocate the kind of love that God shows us. His love for us is crazy, relentless, all-powerful, self-sacrificing, unconditional love!! How lucky are we? Have you ever experienced that kind of love from anyone else? My guess is no. I mean, sure, we all have people who love us, but I have a hard time thinking of someone I've loved that hasn't let me down at one point or another. God NEVER DOES THAT. His love is truly unconditional and He WON'T let you down! Look at all that he has done for us! The typical response to that kind of love, though, is doing as little as we have to to get by. We go to church, try to do the "right" things, and live better lives than those other people. Following the rules of a religion is not what God calls us to do, though. He wants us to follow His lead and LOVE Him, truly LOVE Him! We should be head-over-heels in love with this God who has done SO much for us. When we LOVE as He calls us to, our lives are changed and we can do the "right" things because we WANT to, not because we HAVE to. Easy enough, right? :) All you need is LOVE. Period.

Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37

He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27

I'll even throw in an Old Testament one for you. :)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

So, we are to love him with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our strength, and ALL of our mind! And why wouldn't we want to? By pure definition, we should be OBSESSED with God! Are you?

Okay, so that was the easy part. :) Now, on to something I struggled with while reading, and continue to struggle. (In all fairness, it's all a daily struggle, isn't it? I pray to be obsessed every single day of my life. Some are easier than others, though.)

Chan says that obsessed people are risk takers. Read this excerpt from his book (I totally hope it's okay that I'm quoting this. I mean, I'm giving him credit, right? Oh, Lora DeFore would be so mad at me for not remembering my MLA style here!! Ha!):

"Haven't we all prayed the following prayer? Lord, we pray for safety as we travel. We ask that no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely. In Jesus' name we pray, amen." (HELLO, I pray this like EVERY DAY!)"..........We are consumed by safety. Obsessed with it, actually..........Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes..."

WHOA. Hold up.


This one slapped me in the face. I never really thought about it, but I am constantly praying for safety. Safety for me, my husband, my kids, even my dogs. I left part of the passage out, but what Chan says is that it isn't wrong to ask for God's protection. As people OBSESSED with God, though, we should be more concerned with getting closer to Him than to being safe. 10 years ago, that may have been an easier prayer to pray, but since finding a man whom I love to pieces and having babies that make my heart grow more and more each day, it is HARD, y'all! I mean, really HARD! It shouldn't be, but it is. Stepping out on faith and believing that God is going to protect you and provide all things for you if you put his kingdom first is intimidating to say the least. Think about it....Would you put your family in danger if it meant getting closer to God? Should you? I've begun to be more concerned with praying that my daily walk will bring me closer to God, that His will be done in my life and the lives of those near and dear to me, and that my life will be used to further His kingdom. I still pray for safety, but it is no longer the center of my prayers as it was before. I mean, do we really have to pray for safety? It's not like we won't be protected if we don't pray for it.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Singing Allelu, Alleluia!) Matthew 6:33

I should end it there, but I just can't do it. I know you're all DYING to hear how my little pooh pie is doing. I am happy to report that Charlee went #2 in the potty a whopping THREE TIMES on Saturday, TWO TIMES on Sunday, and TWO TIMES today!!!! I don't think she's pooped that much since she was a newborn! Ha! Not ONCE in her big girl panties!! WHOOP WHOOP!!

Barrett is nearing his 9-month birthday. He has almost been out in the world longer than he was in my belly! SO hard to believe!

An update on my hubby: He's still as sweet as ever and I love him to the moon and back. ;)

Now that I've made you all gag from my mushy-ness (HA!!), have a GREAT week and remember to be blessed and obsessed! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

V'Room V'Room

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the cutest 10-year-old boy I know, my nephew Justin!! Also, welcome to the world, Eli and Zac! You share a birthday with a pretty awesome 10-year-old. :)

The running went a little better today. A LITTLE. I still only got up to 1.8 miles. My phone app told me I was supposed to start the cool down as I was driving away in my car. The app told me I finished my workout as I was leaving the Chick Fil A drive-thru. Ha! I don't know why, but I am always starving after a morning run. I even ate a light breakfast before leaving the house, but still HAD to get some chicken minis. Mmmmmmm. They were good! I mean, I just ran almost 2 miles so I can have them, right? During my run, I was able to push the stroller with one hand (there's a wrist strap in case I lose control so that the baby doesn't go flying if I fall on my face) and pump my other arm. There's just something about pumping your arms while you run that makes it easier! The heat of the morning and the sun beating down doesn't make it very easy when you're used to night running, but I'm confident that these hot days are going to end soon and fall will finally grace us with its presence! Let's hope, anyway. :)

For those of you who are thinking, WOW! That Charlee sure was fast to potty-train! Let me just say that I haven't mentioned it because I'm really hoping that her "accidents" will stop soon. She is just not a fan of pooping in the potty. She goes some, mainly when her daddy is home and I've run to the store or something ~ what the heck is that about??? I, on the other hand, change poopie panties every other day usually. Except yesterday when her teacher got the privilege of changing her. (Sorry, Ms. Chastity!!) We'll continue to work on it.

Today as I was driving along, I started thinking about cars. I was driving, so of course cars would be an obvious thought, right? Ha! Anyway, I was thinking about how I don't usually associate cars as having people behind the wheel. You know, "That truck ran me off the road!", or "Come on obvious retired person's car ~ get out of the fast lane!" I occasionally suffer from road rage. Especially when drivers aren't paying attention to the road. My repayment for my rage was to marry a man who is the worst driver in America. :) I'm really doing a lot better. I really try hard to control my frustrations with other drivers because I don't want my kids to see or hear it and learn an inappropriate way to react. Have you ever gotten mad at another car only to realize that you know the driver? That's the worst! In my efforts to be kind to others and to show God's love, I have almost forgotten about all of the people I encounter on the road every day.

Another thing about cars that I've always had to remind myself of is that we too often make incorrect assumptions about people based on the car they drive. I drove a Toyota Corolla for 10 years before getting a new car. I'm sure people thought I was struggling to make ends meet when they saw me roll down the window to open the door because the inside handle had fallen off. :) The truth of the matter is that we paid that thing off and it was a good car that got us where we needed to go. We could have afforded a new one, but why? Do you know how nice it is to not have a car payment? I do! Another incorrect assumption is when you see someone drive up in that brand new ________ (insert expensive brand of car here.) What do we all think? Come on ~ you know you do. "Wow! They must be loaded!" I realize that some of those people really are well-off, but some of those people are more than likely upside-down in debt and struggle to make ends meet. It always amazes me to see brand new rides pull up to houses in the projects or to trailer parks. Not that there is anything wrong with living in either of those, but it is again an assumption made on my part that priorities are set in the car, not the home. I worked with someone once who drove a brand new high-end car and everyone always said, "Wow! They must be paying her the big bucks!" Turns out she won the car in a giveaway! Dave Ramsey posted a statistic on his facebook page a month or so ago that said that the majority of millionaires, when polled, said they drive a $30,000 car. There are all types of other assumptions about cars that we come up with. Much like assumptions we make about people, these are our humanized minds' way of pushing us farther away from the love we should be sharing with all of God's people. Labels, stereotypes, mis-assumptions. They're soooooo incredibly difficult to steer away from. I pray everyday that God would help me in this area. It is an everyday struggle that will never get easier unless I have divine intervention. I am so blessed to have that intervention!!! How else would I ever make it in this world without becoming like the world?

Off to change a poopie diaper...... :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retail Me NOT!!!

Once again, I was blessed with a wonderful weekend! Friday night, we had a sweet visitor (Grandma Gail) who was kind enough to watch the kids while Chandler and I went out to eat. That NEVER happens, and we were a little weirded out when we started driving with no kids in the backseat. Chandler proceeded to make work phone calls for the first few minutes of our drive. Lovely. He quickly put the phone away, though. :) We ate at Zack Garvin's in Newton, and it was sooooo yummy! I had spicy grilled catfish, one of my favorite dishes, and it was very tasty. I won't even tell you about the dessert because you would be SO jealous! When we left the restaurant, we were planning to go to Lowe's and pick up a few things (exciting date, huh?). On the way, we passed by Hudson's Treasure Hunt. Now, let me just give you a little background of me and this place. I went in one time when we first moved here and literally had to wait in the checkout line for 20 minutes before they moved my line to another checkout line because the register froze. The line they shuffled us into was even longer than the first I had waited in. The things I was planning on buying were pretty good deals, but I was so frustrated, furious, and pregnant that I put my items back and said, "To heck with it!" I vowed to never enter the store again. I mean, I like good deals and all, but that was SO NOT worth the trouble! For some strange reason, as we passed by Friday night I asked Chandler if we could go see what they had. We hit the motherload of a treasure! Ha! I have been wanting a BOB jogging stroller. Well, they had them. For CHEAP! I've also been waiting to find a Britax carseat on sale for Barrett. Well, they had those too. For CHEAP! It was by far the BEST deal we've ever gotten on anything, and it was the two items I've been wanting to buy. You can't beat that! Maybe it sounds ignorant, maybe not, but I really felt like it was a gift from God. I mean, how else would I have ever gone in that store on that night and found the two things I wanted. The carseat was even the pattern I wanted! I am still amazed!!!

By the way ~ my blog post title comes from one of my favorite websites. You can find coupon codes for all kinds of online stores. Just type in the website (,, whatever) and it will pull up a list of recent coupon codes and their reliability. Awesome.

5k update. Prairie Arts 5k came.....and went. I had every intention of at least trying to run even though I wasn't up to more than 2.5 miles yet, but Barrett had others plans for me. The weekend before, he and I went to Houston where we had a fabulous time other than the fact that he didn't sleep much at all. When we got home, much like any other time he's been away from home, he was not all about the sleep either. Finally, the last few nights he has slept through the night for the most part. Only took two weeks to get him back on schedule! So, the week before Prairie Arts, he was waking up at least every 2 1/2 hours throughout the night. I was EXHAUSTED and there was no prayer of me making it even a mile I was afraid. Chandler wasn't ready for the race either, so we decided we will run our first 5k on October 2nd here in Meridian. I've got lots of work to do before then! I haven't run much in the last two weeks because of the exhaustion. My ankle did finally stop hurting, though, so that was a plus for the break I took. Today, I took out the ole (new) Bob and went after it once I dropped Charlee off at school. I haven't run in a week, and man oh man could I tell! Also, running with a jogging stroller is a whole other beast that I have not yet become familiar with. Hopefully it will get a little easier! Barrett had a good time, I think. I ran at Bonita Lakes. It is definitely a nice change from running around my block eighteen (okay, only 5) times.

I haven't updated you on my RAOGLs (Random Acts of God's Love) lately. I have put out several baggies with quarters and my RAOGL cards on vending machines. The first ones I placed were at Winn Dixie right down from my house. I put two out and the next day we went for groceries and one was still there. I was a little shocked that they didn't go fast, but then after thinking about it I realized that I wouldn't take the quarters ~ I'd leave them for someone else ~ so maybe that's what everyone else was doing. The next set I placed at Wal-Mart. My guess is that those didn't last long. ;) I've paid for several meals behind me in drive-thrus, but I've found that I'm not very comfortable with paying for someone if it's a man. I have only paid for ladies. I think it has to do with the fact that I really don't want them thinking I'm trying to hit on them or something. Ha! Also, the whole two-window system at most drive-thrus makes it a little more uncomfortable. I like to get out of there before they realize what has happened, but the two-windows don't really accommodate that! Today I paid for a lady behind me at McDonald's. She must've only gotten a drink because her total was a dollar and some change. I looked back as the lady at the window was handing her the card and she had the biggest smile on her face. I was glad I got to see that because it truly made my day! As I drove off, I realized they didn't give me a straw, but it didn't bother me at all. Giving to others truly makes my attitude better and helps me to not sweat the small stuff. I'm not saying I never sweat the small stuff.....believe me, I have my days, but the more I give to others the more I feel happiness abounding. THAT's a gift from God, too. You better believe it!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday

So, I've never really been a follower, and I'm a big fan of words since I love writing, so no Wordless Wednesday here. We're going to start Word-filled Wednesday instead! Today is devoted to a few simple nouns...












Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You just don't know....

I had every intention of devoting this post to what an AWESOME weekend Me and My Castles (or My Castles and I ~ that's for you Kim!) had. We actually got things around the house done that we've been trying to get around to for eleven months, went to the park to play and take pictures, had a wonderful church service, cooked some pretty yummy food, WATCHED THE BEST MISSISSIPPI STATE GAME WE'VE SEEN IN YEARS (can I get a "Maroon....White....Fight, Fight, Fight...."), won a prize at a very fun night of Bunco, and enjoyed hanging out as a family without the added pressure of "Monday" being right around the corner. It was the best weekend I've had in a while.....until last night.

When I got home from Bunco, I had a message from a dear friend I taught with 3 years ago in Huffman, Texas. She was calling to tell me that on Sunday morning, around the time when I was enjoying a good Sunday School lesson, a teaching partner of ours was in a boating accident along with her 9-year-old son. They were on a friend's boat, a large boat that is capable of reaching speeds of 60 mph, when they hit something in the water and the boat was thrown 150 feet onto shore in a wooded area. My friend and her son were on the bough of the boat at the time of impact and were thrown from the boat. 4 wheelers were brought in to carry the 3 to the Life Flight helicopters which took them to the hospital. My friend was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her son broke every limb and injured his legs so badly that he won't be able to put pressure on them for quite some time. He is still facing at least one more surgery, and I don't know if he knows yet about the fate of his mother. She wasn't married to his father, but he was in the picture. Please, if you do anything today, say a prayer for this precious little boy. Please.

My friend loved her son with all of her being. He was her only child, and she had him when she was 39. Hardly a day went by when she didn't mention something about her son to us. She was so proud of every accomplishment he made, and I'm pretty sure he accomplished as much as he did because of the high expectations she set for him. It is so hard for me to imagine that he has to go on in this life without her. :(

Something that struck me last night as I was remembering my friend was that she had always taken such great care of herself. When she was younger, she was a body builder and she was in such great shape even years later. She always brought food for lunch that was revolting to me. You know, stuff that's good for you? I mean, salad? Really? I was pregnant with Charlee so if it didn't have at least 50 fat grams per serving, it wasn't for me. Ha! I also remember that she brushed her teeth every day after lunch. How many of us care enough for the health of our teeth to do that? I know I don't. Maybe that's why I had to go and have a root canal today. This woman looked to be only a few years older than me and she was almost 20 years older. I remember how shocked I was when I found out how old she was. She was literally in better shape than I have ever been in in my entire life. And she was 45! As I was remembering her, it struck me (and I've always known it in the back of my mind) that it doesn't matter WHAT you do to take care of your human body. You can be gone tomorrow. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO! I have such a heavy heart today because of the pain her son will have to experience, but also because I truly don't know if my friend will go to heaven or not. I can't remember anything about her that lets me know that she was for sure a Christian. But then, I really can't remember anything that would have let her know that I was a Christian......THIS makes me very sad.....

Please say a prayer for the family of my friend, especially her sweet son, and hug your own babies, spouses, parents, whomever, a little tighter today.