Monday, July 29, 2013


I love things that have been around along time.

I find comfort in them. From jewelry to furniture, chances are if it's been around along time I'm going to love it.

In that spirit of loving old things, I'll confess that I have two  giant bath towels that I've had since college.
I received them both as a graduation gift from a sweet family I'd known since I was a little thing.

If you saw them you'd know how old they were just from the colors.
That's right, peach and sea foam green.  They matched my  lovely Laura Ashely bed set with stripes on one side and a pretty floral on the other.
There was nothing as trendy as Laura Ashley and sea foam green in the summer of 1989.

(I've been seeing sea foam green making it's comeback and it makes me smile)

You should know that The Hubs does not use these towels. They are strictly mine.

You should also know that our bathroom has never been those colors the entire time of our marriage, and you should also know that yes indeed we do have newer/nicer/matching towels.
That I rarely use.
I love 'my' towels.

A few weeks ago, when The Hubs was bringing me 'my' towel (after he'd warmed it up in the dryer-isn't he awesome?!?!) he asked the dreaded question.

"Why do we still have this towel? Wouldn't you prefer a newer one?"

No. No thank you.

He just shook his head, and while I can't be certain, I'm pretty sure he was wondering about the crazy he was married too.

See, as you can imagine, those towels are pretty thread bare at this point. Any fluff has been stripped away over the years of use. Both are frayed around the edges and one (I can't believe I'm admitting this) has a giant whole at the bottom.

Really, they don't do their job very well anymore.
Yet, I can't seem to let them go.

I could say it's because I'm frugal or because I don't want to be wasteful, but really it's because I find some sort of comfort from having something around that's been with me so long.

I think sometimes in our lives we do that as well.  We keep doing the same routines; perhaps staying in the same church long after we should have moved on, keeping  the same job, sending our kids to the same type of schools, we know it's time to let go, to move on, but we can't or don't want to because it's comfortable.

We know God is calling us to better things but because that would have us leave the comfort of our situation -even if like my old towels it's no longer doing it's job-we simply refuse to budge.

Maybe it's ministry related, job related or something I can't even fathom of, that God is calling you to walk away from the comfort of something so familiar yet is no longer fulling it's purpose in your life.

(BTW, I'm not talking about marriage-God is NOT calling you to leave your marriage. Please don't read this and then go tell your spouse "Angie said it's ok for me to leave")

We settle for the familiar , even when really it's no longer as comfortable as we'd like to pretend.

We settle for what we know, instead of getting to know something new and fresh.

Even if what we know, is now frayed, wholly and thread bare  and no longer capable of doing the job we need it to, we'll take that any day over the unknown- the unfamiliar .

It's a hard choice.
Do we settle for the comfortable, or do we follow the calling to the unknown.

When choosing, I think it's good to remember that while what's familiar may appear more comfortable, like my aging towels, really what we think of as comfortable is really thread bare and itchy.

We've just gotten used to things feeling that way-and calling it comfy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Short Cuts

We went hiking a few times this past week.

( Please don't get the wrong idea. . .by hike I mean a couple of miles on some trails, not forging our way through rugged terrain for mile upon mile. We are not that family, but for us it was an adventure.)

Sunday we packed up to head home, and can I be totally honest? We were all just a bit grumpy.

Well I say all, but really just four us, the Princess was still going strong even though she was just as tired as the rest of us was  and her typically sweet self.

We had said we were going to hike that day but with the four of us being surly . . .well, let's just say we were trying to get out of it and just get the heck home.

But, being reminded that we PROMISED, we hit the trail.

At one point we came upon a short cut that was looking mighty fine to most in our group.

That's when the Princess piped up and said (and trust me when I say, I have no idea where she got this)


Well, you can't really argue with that can you?

Here's the thing though. . .

I've been looking for some short cuts lately and in all sorts of areas.

Want to be blessed and be a blessing, don't always want to do the hard work required. Or at least not all of it.

And this  Mama Warrior has felt  pretty tired and worn down lately and in the middle of that tiredness

a short cut can start looking mighty fine.

Mighty fine.

And make no mistake our Little Warrior could be found looking like this 30 minutes before we headed out.
Doesn't exactly look like she's ready to conquer the trail, does she?

But, as soon as it was time to hit that trial, if we heard it once we  heard it twenty times that day. .


Her spirit was contagious and by the end trail the four of us less enthusiastic participants  had come around, we were all actually ENJOYING each other not just tolerating.

And if we'd taken the short cut? Well, we would've missed  coming eye to eye to with a deer.
It was an almost sacred moment in the stillness of those woods, a memory will be able to talk about for years to come.

It has gotten me to thinking about how much I miss always trying to take the short cuts in life.

No matter how tired I am, how much I rather prefer to lounge in the shade and take it easy, I'm going to keep reminding myself . . .


Want to join me taking the long way around? It is so much easier doing it together!

From one Warrior to another,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Remember When

We went on a little camping excursion last weekend with the family.

On the way home, Hubby decided to take the back roads-and you may not know this or believe me, but there are parts of Missouri that are so breath taking.
No mountains or beach, but there is a familiar beauty there that can sometimes take my breath away.

I also have an affinity to round hay bales. They make me happy.

My grandparents old farm house had a field behind it, and when we'd visit at the right time it would be full of round hay bales. My uncle (who was only 10 years older than me and who I was pretty sure hung the moon) and I would go out and play and climb on those bales. He would even take me to his favorite 'secret' pond out in the middle of those bales.
I loved those adventures.
He died tragically when I was 16, and over the years of missing him those round hay bales have become a sweet reminder of the love and kinship we shared.

So, while we were driving home Sunday and I was taking the beauty in around me, Hubby was quick to point out a field of those treasures to me.

Remembering can be such a good thing.

These past few weeks have been filled with some painful and challenging moments.
And when we got home from our camping adventure, I was faced with another huge disappointment.
In my humanity it would have been easy to wallow in the discouragement and disappointment.

But instead I choose to remember.

Remember where I've been, and a God who has carried me every step of the way.

Remember that even when the path was rocky and hard to navigate, I never had to walk it alone.

Remember that My Savior promised to not only save me, but to love me, guide me, protect me.

That He only wants good for me. To prosper and not to harm.

Yes, I chose to remember instead of wallow.

Wallowing is easy. Remembering can be difficult.

Because it's easy to remember all my failures. All my regret. all the disappointments.

That's when I must turn my remembering off of myself and onto The One who created me, has set my feet upon the rock and has promised good to me.

I love these verses from Psalm 77

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (vs 10-12)

Yes, I will remember and in the remembering I will praise.
And in the remembering I will give thanks for all that He's brought me through and all the things that are yet to come.
Good and Difficult, but so blessedly thankful never alone.

Remember today, who's you are, where He's brought you from and what He's brought you to.

Praising and remembering today,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Salty Winner

Congrats to Jess who won the copy of Sophie Hudson's great book.

Appreciated each comment and thanks for playing!

Happy Monday,
Friday, July 19, 2013

A Salty Little Giveaway

I adore Sophie, AKA, BooMama. She's one of those "Friends in my Head".  (Please don't judge the crazy!)

In honor of her first book and our imagined friendship I'm giving away my copy of this sweet, funny  book.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below about your favorite family memory.

For a second chance come like my page on Facebook-Lessons From Aisle 12, and if you already do, just share this link on FB, or  you can retweet. (Score-look at all those opportunities you have to win!)

I leave the comments open until Sunday night at 9pm, then notify the winner.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Day it Rained and the Sun Shined

Because of our middle child's health battles over  the past few weeks we had to cancel our vacation plans.

Sadness abounded, but we have tried to make the best of a yucky situation and explore our city, enjoy each others company and just be thankful he's not in the hospital.

Yesterday we did one of the things the kids (and us too) typically enjoy which is stop at our favorite convenience  store, grab a drink and snack then hit the road. We take turns on who get to pick whether we go left or right.  Each drive turns out differently and you just never know where you'll end up.
We all love a road trip, so typically these often make the highlight reel of our summers.

I don't know if it's because we've spent ALOT of time trapped together dealing with J's illness or not enough sleep or what, but about an hour in yesterday I had just about all I could take of one of my sweet children.

You know that moment when there's a dull throbbing behind your eyes, a crick in your neck because of the tension you're storing there and you wish you could stretch your arm long enough to the back row to pop 'em in the leg.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about because  your kids are always sweetness and light. . .well, then. . please no judgements from you.)

We did make it home with no bodily harm done and no one being left on the side of the road. (It's the small things ya'll) We had some lunch, grabbed our swim suits and headed to the pool.
About the time we pulled into the parking lot a summer thunder rolled across the Kansas sky.
It wasn't raining, but because of the thunder the pool closed.


Let me say, at that exact moment the thought of getting back into the car with the kids was not something I wanted to even consider.

So since there was a park near by we wondered over to check it out. While 2 of my children went to play the one that had been driving me nuts stayed at the table with The Hubs and me.

I decided that if I wanted his attitude to change, perhaps mine needed to as well.

So I began to ask him questions. . ."If you could close your eyes and open them and be anywhere in the world where would you pick?. . .If could have a super power what would you choose?. . .Favorite thing in the whole world to do?. . ."

It was insightful and fun, and tore down some serious tension that had been building between the two of us.  He began to ask us questions to and eventually brother and sister joined us as well.

By this time lightening was cracking the sky, so we ran for the car.

The thought of heading home was just not appealing, so we drove around for a bit, and like Kansas is prone to do, in about 45 minutes the clouds parted and the sun  shone.
We were just passing  a city pool we'd never been to, so we pulled in and were all so excited to try it out.

In the end we had a great 2 hour swim and we all enjoyed each others company.

If I've learned anything in parenthood over the past almost 15 years, it's that some days it rains and some days the sun shines.
But either way, it's how I'm handling both the sunshine and rain that matters.

Sweet Momma, if it's raining on you today, give yourself permission to take a time out and get yourself together.
Do not believe the myth that if it's 'raining' on you there is something wrong with you or your kiddo.
The sunshine comes, and if it's anything like Kansas, it'll blow in when you least expect it too.

Praying for Sunshiny Days for all of us today,
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Worn Down

Summer is supposed to be a carefree, relaxing time. . .but I know for many of us this particular summer is not turning out like we thought it would.

Maybe you're worn down.

If I am totally honest; my nerves are frayed, my heart is heavy, I am exhausted  and I'm worn down.

Sometimes, when you're worn down so far it's hard to lift your head up to even see what there is to hold on to.
Maybe you're in that place today.
If you are, know that you're not alone and that I'm praying for all of us who are feeling worn today.

Keep holding on. . .the struggle will end, and redemption will win.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Holy Moments

A  favorite author that holds  a special place in my heart because of how her books have touched my life and heart since high school when I began reading them and because of how she lives her faith out so openly and seemingly without fear, gave some advise the other day to a question I had posted on Facebook regarding writing.

While she gave me great advice about writing, she also told me enjoy the 'holy moments' with my family.

I've been thinking on that so much this week for a couple of reasons. . .

because of who the advise was from

 and because it's felt a wee less than holy around here.

Truck that needs repairs, kid that is so sick, cleaning out on overstuffed neglected basement. . .there may be nothing that feels less 'holy' than unpacking a box covered in spiderwebs. . .

Ordinary sight had overtaken holy insight.

Truck repair being paid for by nothing short of miraculous means, clutter being driven out of the dark places and loving a sick child that doesn't often hold still long enough for me to snuggle.


Sometimes, I think it's so easy for the seemingly mundane things of life to crowd out the miraculous -the Holy-the little things that make up the grand picture, that in that crowd we lose sight of our goal.

My life is lived so that I can point others to Jesus.

(I can use an awe inspiring story of how our truck is being repaired to do this)

(I can do this by giving away much of what we have in excess that just taking up space in our house)

It's lived to show my kids how much the God of the universe cares for them. Every hurt, every tear, every sickness.

(Oh how comforting a sick boy can bring that home)

Laughter. Team work. Togetherness.


I pray that when the ordinary, the difficult, the mundane begins to crowd out the Holy. . .
my focus is shifted back to these treasures I've been given.

Not a book deal, not a full calendar of speaking opportunities.

An ordinary life complete with husband, 3 kids and a beagle, smack dab in the middle of the USA,

A Holy High Calling to love.

If you are changing a diaper today or changing a load of laundry, nursing a sick loved one or just mowing the yard or laughing with a friend, I pray you and I will see the Holiness in each of these moments.