Since losing Jonathan, the anxiety has reared it's ugly head again and it's just plain awful. No other way to put it. This time around I have learned to depend on the Word to help me through it. That's why I love the Jesus Calling devotional. Almost every day it talks about fear, worry or going through a trial. Who can't relate to that? I hope if you are reading this and dealing with fear and worry, that this will speak to your heart.
I've heard it alot over the last month or so and every time I have heard it I feel the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart. It got to the point where I just couldn't listen anymore. I had to act on what I was hearing. That was made easy for me this past Monday when Brian and I took the girls to our church to help with an event to serve homeless men in our community. It's called Room in the Inn. Our church and other churches in the community have helped out with this program for years. In fact we learned that night from the director that they have an annual budget of $2400 to provide food and clothing for these men. That's it. If it wasn't for the help of churches they wouldn't be able to make it.
Our Sunday school class was in charge of this night and my friend Brandi headed it up. We all chipped in for the meal we would provide and for duffel bags with blankets and toiletries for each of the 12 men that would come to the church. They would not only get a hot meal, but they would get a shower, haircut, and a warm place to sleep. Most importantly they would each get their own Bible.
I can tell you that my life has been forever changed by sharing a meal with these men. To be honest, I've always kind of had a bad attitude toward the homeless. Of course I feel sorry for them, but it was kind of like, well I'm sure they're on drugs or have been in jail and they brought it on themselves. They deserve to be where they are. I'm sure that that is the case alot of the times, but shame on me for thinking this way about them. Who am I to judge them?
The man that sat at our table, we'll call him "Mr. J", changed my thinking that night. His story was not one of drug abuse or drinking, but one of sadness. His brother committed suicide and it rocked his world. That's the event that pushed him over the edge, that and the fact that he had lost his job. I got to realize that we are all one step away from that tragedy that could send us to that same place. It can happen to any of us at anytime.
Mr. J went on to tell us that he got saved and baptized last year. He has a job working for the carnival when it's in town. He's doing the best he can and I was honored that he shared his story with us. I was thankful my girls could meet him. Sydney kept saying to me, "Mommy, Mr J doesn't have a home. He really lives on the street? Mommy that's so sad". Yes it is my sweet girl, but what's even sadder is the fact that we just pass him by. We don't do anything to help "the least of these".
Well, no longer. I just can't stand by and watch the pain in the world anymore and pretend that it doesn't exist. I can no longer live in my comfortable home with my girls and let them grow up thinking it's all about them. It's got to change. I'm actually nervous typing this because in my heart I know God is getting ready to do something big and that's scary to me. Maybe you are where I am right now. You know the Lord is calling you out of your comfort zone, but you are too afraid to jump. I want you to know that I am here for you and will take that leap of faith with you.
I will be sharing a way you can get involved in the next few weeks. I don't have all the details worked out, but I know the Lord will help me figure it all out. Until then, I ask that you be in prayer as to how the Lord can use you to help those in need.
It worked like a charm. So if you have a squeaky door in your house, go to your pantry and give this a whirl.
I'm so glad Brian got a chance to get away with his brother Eddy, but I am glad to have him home for sure. It is tough being a single parent. If you are a single mom, I give you serious props. I respect you so much and I truly mean that. I don't know how you do it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed being with the girls. We had a great time and for the most part they were pretty good, but I was exhausted every night. As soon as the 3 of us cuddled up in my bed we were out. Yes when Brian is gone the girls and I all sleep in the same bed. It's easier that way for me so I don't have to get up in the middle of the night when one of them wakes up. Anyone else do that? I also realized it's lonely without my better half. I miss the adult conversation and our nights together after the girls go to bed. That's our only real time to talk and catch up on the day.
In the next few days I will be sharing with you all an experience we had tonight that was so incredibly eye opening for me and I hope for my husband and my girls. I was humbled and brought to tears and will post about it soon. I promise. For now though, I am gonna go snuggle with my family on the couch and enjoy the sound of the rain coming down on the windows. Night Night.
I immediately got back into my car and drove to their school. I also called my dad, since he lives just about 5 minutes from the school, because I knew he could get there before I could. I got to the school and Papa was holding Syd. She wasn't crying, but seemed content sucking on her heart sucker. They got the bleeding to stop after awhile and they had put a band aid on her forehead. I called my doctor and they told me to bring her in right away.
After the doctor inspected her cut, he determined he could glue it instead of stitch it. The cut was deep enough that something had to be done, but it wasn't long enough for stitches. It would only take one stitch and then she would have the two dots where the needle went in and since it was on her face, we didn't want to go that route. Thank the Lord! She handled it like a trooper and I took her to Old McDonald's, as she calls it, for an ice cream cone and to play on the playground. I truly am so thankful to the Lord that it wasn't any worse. That she didn't catch her eye on the fence when she fell. That it wasn't deeper and bigger that it required stitches. Thank you Lord for your hand of protection on my sweet Sydney Kate.
Holy cow, are we busy?
getting milk, paying bills
wishing lost socks found
Could we just have one night,
not as parents, not as friends
or grand kids or mourners
trying to make amends,
Just a guy and girl,
just for tonight,
no worries at all
just for one night.
Not as accountants or salesmen,
Or moms or bloggers
Not as 'cookers' or cleaners
Or swimmers or joggers
Just you and just me,
sitting here holding hands,
no need for thinking,
no need for big plans.
Just a guy and girl,
just for tonight,
no worries at all
just for one night.
Tomorrow's for thinking,
for stressing, for kids fighting,
There'll be time for working,
Just not for tonight(-ing)
We've come along way,
Ten Valentine's tonight,
No crying about Janet Jackson tix,
Will that be alright? :)
Just a guy and girl,
just for tonight,
no worries at all
just for one night.
Last night, I got to take two of my three favorite girls to a dance. (Krista got her Valentine’s date on Friday.) This was Brooklyn’s second Daddy-Daughter Dance, and Sydney’s first. Throw in two cousins and a neighbor, and about 200 other 3- to 12-year-olds, and you got yourself a party.
Brooklyn was the old pro, and told Sydney Kate and their friend Grace everything they could expect at the dance. Punch, cookies, dancing, and colorful balloons were described in detail, although I think Syd only made it to cookies before she got too excited to concentrate.
Having two girls this time was easier and harder than last time. Syd is an explorer and was all over the place, so I had to try to chase her down a few times. It wasn’t till the end (when she started getting tired and the sugar was wearing off) that she wanted to dance with just me. She and Brooklyn entertained each other most of the night, with a few dances with daddy thrown in. Otherwise, it all cousins, screams, and sugar cookies.
This weeks delivery was an easy one. I knew right away who I would give the flowers to. One of Brooklyn's preschool teacher was having a "big" birthday this week and I wanted Brooklyn to bring her flowers. We love her teachers and they work so hard to get the kids ready for kindergarten. I can't believe my baby will be in kindergarten in the fall. Tears..
Anyway, we love Ms. J and we hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday. Because of the snow, Brooklyn didn't get to have the party for her, so they will be celebrating her birthday and Valentine's Day on Tuesday. She is so excited.
Hubby and I are celebrating Valentine's Day tonight with dinner at a steak house and a movie. I think we're going to see the King's Speech. We've heard it's an awesome movie.
I hope you all have a great weekend. Remember to link up to this post with your story of your flower delivery and you can enter to win the $50 Target gift card.
I met Tsh at Blissdom when she signed my book and she was delightful. Go check out her blog at Simple Mom. It's chalked full of great ideas for the family. I highly recommend that you go buy her book. I purchased mine at Borders, it's where I buy all of my books, because I can use a coupon. It retails for $16.99, but I had a 33% coupon, plus another 10% for being a Borders Reward Plus Member which made it a great deal.
Here is why I love the book so much. It's not your average organizational book. Don't get me wrong, it does give step by step process for cleaning and decluttering every room in your house, but she goes much deeper than that. She gets to the heart of living simply. There is a quote in the book by Will Rogers that stopped me in my tracks. It reads:
"Too many people spend money that haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like".
Does that hit home for anyone else? It knocked me upside the head I tell ya. I want to share with you something she wrote that really convicted me. Tsh writes,
"When we have more stuff, we usually have less time for relationships with other people. How many times have you wanted to invite another family over for dinner and games, but didn't because of Mt. Laundry on the couch and the food scraps stuck to the kitchen counters? Or did your son recently want to invite a playmate over for an afternoon of Lego building, but instead he needed to suit up for ball practice in between piano lessons and his sister's ballet class?
"Our homes and our calendars are filled to the brim, and someone has to take care of those things. Responsible adults do their best to keep their homes sanitary and to honor their commitments. But it's a bummer when being responsible means being chained to your stuff and your schedules, instead of enjoying relationships in a slower-paced way."
I don't know how many times Brian has said to me, "Let's have so and so over. I can call them and see if they can come by for dinner". This is usually my normal response. "Are you kidding me? Look at this house. It's a disaster." I have missed out on what's really important, relationships with others, because my house is too cluttered with all of the stuff. I also don't want my schedule to "own me". I want to live simply. I want my kids to be kids. I want my family to spend quality time together and not time spent cleaning the house.
I heard a statistic yesterday that said the average woman spends 40% of her day picking up and cleaning the house. There are days where I think, for me anyway, it's more like 80%. Well enough is enough. My girls deserve better than that. They deserve me 80% of the time. So they are going to get their mommy back.
The past 3 days I have gathered almost half of what we own and sorted it into 3 piles. Goodwill, stuff to sell at consignment and another to donate to Room in the Inn (ministry for homeless men). I can't tell you how good it feels to purge. I want to love and care for others instead of loving and caring for "My Stuff".
One last note: Don't forget to pick a deserving person this week to do Operation Project Vase. Link up on Friday to share your story. I will be drawing a winner on March 1st to receive a $50 gift card to Target. Be a blessing to someone this week.
(Tsh did not ask me, nor pay me to endorse her book. She doesn't even know I am writing this review. I am just simply a fan of her book and her message and wanted to pass it along to my readers.)
On a sad note, Brian flew to Indiana to say goodbye to his grandma today. She passed away last Monday at the age of 92. She was an amazing woman. She always seemed to make us laugh. She loved to hear Brooklyn whistle. She couldn't believe a 4 year old could whistle like she did.
Nanny Yi loved to sing and play the piano and she was good at it. I remember the last time she came to our house when she was 90. She got on the baby grand piano and just started playing and singing away. We had our neighbors over, who are producers, and they played Sydney's little drum and we had a little concert going at our house. I am so glad we have that awesome memory to hang on to.We love you Nanny Yi and you will be deeply missed. So glad you are singing with Jesus tonight.
As we got out of the car, the girls were fighting over who would hold the flowers. I was so afraid they were going to drop them. Mandy opened the door and just smiled and said, "Oh my gosh those are so pretty". She was so excited. She had read my blog and she was secretly hoping I would pick her.
Let me tell you why I picked Mandy. We've known each other for about 11 years or more. We met when she was working publicity for us (when my sisters and I were in the Christian Music) and we became instant friends. We got along great and even became roommates. Although that was short lived, because I met Brian just a few months after she and I had moved in together. Mandy moved out and Brian moved in after our wedding. I was thrilled to be married, but sad that we wouldn't be roommates any longer.
Mandy has always been one of my best friends and someone I go to when things are rough. I know she will love me through it and be a source of encouragement for me. She was by my side at the hospital when I was induced with Jonathan. She even left a meeting early to be with me. She sat and held my hand while I laid in the hospital bed waiting to deliver my son.
She was the one who helped me redecorate my dining room when I needed an outlet for my grief. We talked and emailed each other a few times a day and I can truly say that I could feel a little bit of happiness in my despair. She continues to pray for me and feed me truth when I am feeling hopeless and discouraged. I love you my sweet friend. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you the most. You are a Godsend.
So now it's your turn. I can't wait to read your stories. I'll be honest. I'm always a little worried when I do a MckLinky because I'm afraid I won't get anyone linking up. So I'll put my pride aside for a moment and turn on the MckLinky. Ready, set, go!
Have a great weekend and stay warm.
I hope you all have someone in mind for Operation Project Vase. I will be sharing my story and putting up the MckLinky tomorrow morning. Link up your blog and your story for a chance to win a fantastic prize. The MckLinky will close on Monday, so you will have all weekend to link up to my blog.
I know money can be tight right now in this economy, but I wonder if you could consider giving up one Starbuck's coffee a week? Ok, maybe you don't drink coffee. Can you take your lunch to work one day instead of eating out? Maybe you're a stay at home mom, like myself. How about using some extra coupons at the grocery store to save some extra money? Just think about the smile you will receive when you hand over the beautiful flowers. There is nothing better than showing someone you care.
I really hope you will take some time to join me on this fun surprise operation, even if you don't have a blog you can still enter the contest. Just send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your story and a picture.
Here's what you need to do:
1. Pick a vase, from the stash you have around your house.
2. Go to your local grocery store & buy a small bouquet of flowers. (You can do this for under $5) 3. Have your kids draw a card or use a note card you already have lying around the house.
4. Deliver your flowers to the friend you know could use a little "pick me up".
5. Take a picture and blog about your experience
6. Link to my blog on Friday and share your story with us.
Remember there is going to be a fabulous prize drawing at the end of February. For every Friday you link up, your name will go into a hat. You can have your name in the hat a total of 4 times. It's also a great way for other people to check out your blog.
Can't wait to read your stories.