Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moms of Preschoolers and Other Wonders of the World

I've had the privilege of getting to speak at lots of MOPS groups

(MOPS= Mother's of Preschoolers)

and gotten to know a few of the groups pretty well, and we've stayed connected through social media.

I also have lots of friends that are still in the beginning/middle of the baby/preschool years.

So, I see lots of posts and hear lots of stories about tantrums, sleepless nights, and general chaos that comes during those years.

Sometimes when I read them, I want to chuckle, or I want to reach through the screen and hug them.

If you and I were sitting down right now over chocolate and Diet Coke what I would say to you Dear Sleep Deprived Mommy is,

You're doing a great job!

Even when your precious three year just threw themselves down in the middle of the aisle at Target because you had the audacity to say "No". . .

Even when your kitchen floor is covered in cereal. . .

Even when the laundry is piled high with no hopes of being folded today. . .or maybe even tomorrow. .

Even when you haven't shaved your legs for three days. . .

Even when you find poop behind the couch left by your darling little one your trying desperately to convince that the potty will not eat them when they sit on down.

You may feel like you're doing it all wrong.  You may feel that these days will never end.

That surely your kids were supposed to have someone different, better for a mom.

Nope. It's you Momma.  You're the one they need. You're the gift they've been given.
They are your treasures.

Every last fit throwing one of them.

Here's what I know:

These long days WILL end-

Your kids will all use the toilet properly.
You will be able to walk into the store without anyone throwing a fit.
You will regularly be able to shower.
(However, I make no promises about the laundry, because they just get bigger and so do their clothes.)

I know the days drag on and it can sometimes feel like you might be missing out on the 'important' work.

Don't believe that lie.

But, they will grow up. Faster than you can imagine.

And you'll wonder how did it happen, where did the time go.

And just when you don't think you can watch more episode of Veggie Tales and you're pretty sure you might kick Dora the Explore if you saw her in real life, sing one more verse of If You're Happy and You Know It, read Good Night Moon one more time, you'll look around and no one will be asking you to.

You, Dear Momma are in the hardest, longest  days of your life.
You really do deserve a medal-or at least a bubble bath, but instead you'll sweep up the cheerios, convince the three year she will live and that a band aid can fix just about everything, and change diapers that would make a weaker person weep.

You really do make the world a better place, even in your pj pants and uncombed hair.

Just hold on, they'll take a nap and wake up ready to go to  high school. . .

So go eat a piece of your hidden stash of chocolate-You've earned it!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For My Daughter and Yours

My Dear Isabelle,

You're 7 now and you began first grade last week, and Daddy and I couldn't be more proud of you!

We think you're smart, funny, kind, tenderhearted, loving and beautiful.

But, now that you're in school full time we won't have has much time together for us to tell you and show these things.

And because I've been on this big planet lots longer than you I know hard days will come.

Somebody in your life is going to be mean, a test will be hard, you'll doubt your beauty.

You'll be exposed to things that will make you cringe and then will make you wonder if that's the way you should be behaving as well.

As you get older getting attention, whether good or bad, will feel like it's maybe the right thing to do. That somehow this is how you make your mark.

You'll see people you've admired on television  seemingly lose their minds and embarrass themselves by doing all sorts of vulgar things on stage(I'm looking at you Miley) .  You'll see adults who should've known better than to let them go right ahead (I'm looking at you Robin Thicke and producers of the VMA's).
And you'll wonder if that's really how a girl has to make it in this world.

I pray you realize that, even when it feels like you're so small and insignificant, that you really do matter and you've got nothing to prove to anyone.

Daddy and I will always be here and love you. no.matter.what.  But there will come a time (hopefully not longer than a day or two) that you won't believe that.

I pray on those days that you doubt, you can still remember who you belong to and who gave you your worth.
It wasn't daddy and me.  No, it was the God of the Universe who says, "I made you, I know you, I understand you, and you are absolutely perfect just the way I made you".

I also pray that when we say, "No you can't wear that. Or no, we're not going to listen to/watch that."Or any number of things you might think we're being unfair about, that you won't be to mad for to long.
But, here's the thing, even if you are- It's OK. Daddy and I can except that anger.

Our job isn't to make you happy.  Our job is to keep you whole. To guide you to Jesus. To teach you, that no matter what the world says, His way really is the best way.  And in the end, even when it doesn't always feel like it in the beginning, it's always good and right.

So, someday you may slam your door or pout about some shorts that are to short, some show that's to trashy. . .but you'll survive and so will we.

We love you Dear Little One, and if I could, I'd keep you innocent and carefree forever.
But, I can't.
So, even if you getting tired of hearing it, I'll never stop saying it. . .you're so smart, you are absolutely beautiful just the way God made you, you're the kindest most loving person I know, use every gift and talent God gave you all for Him. He's the only audience that will ever matter.


And, Hey Miley all that stuff I just said-that goes for you too. You've got nothing to prove.
Be who your Creator intended, use your talent and platform for him. We've all done things we're embarrassed by, you can turn this around. . .I'm praying for you.  I pray you'll find a safe place, a person to tell you the truth and that you'll know how valuable you are, not just some object for the people in your life to use. That someday you'll realize you're worth more than some side show act for a middle aged man.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

9th Grade Miracles

Today's the day.

We sent this guy off to high school for the first time.

High School. What the What??  I swear I was just playing Rescue Hero's with him. . .

He was so nervous and excited last night.

As he was getting ready for bed we prayed together, thankful for new beginnings and exciting new


As countless memories came flooding back, one in particular was standing out.

See that big guy up there was a very sick baby/little boy.

In and out of doctors/hospitals and ER's.

The incident I couldn't get out of my head was when he was about 15 months old and he had been so sick and had stopped breathing.  We were in the ER of our local children's hospital and they couldn't get an IV started because he's veins had just collapsed.  Where they had tried to begin a line it hadn't worked, and he was just laying there starring up at me with blood dripping down his chunky little arm onto the floor.  For as long as I live, I don't think I'll forget those moments.
When they were finally able to get a blood sample they came back with news that was far from good.

We had a very long journey that ended with heart surgery when he was in Kindergarten.

There were many times along the way, that the thought of him being a relatively healthy teenager was so far out of scope we couldn't even have imagined it happening.

The fact that he walked through these doors this morning whispering under his breath, "Mom do NOT cry",  is a testament to just how good God really is.

I live with a walking, talking, moody, funny, smart, handsome, teenage miracle.

I've pleaded with God over the years to 'heal my boy', to 'just let him be Ok Lord'. And today I get to praise him with remembering all the waiting rooms and sleepless nights He's brought us through, all the miracles He alone has done.

Even when we can't see it, He's at work.

Even when we don't feel it, He's at work.

Even when it feels so desperate, He's at work.

When you feel like you're losing it all, hold on to His promises.

Miracles still happen.

I should know, I've got one who calls me mom!

Blessed to remember and praise,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Back to School Eve

Twas the night before school began and all through the house,

Everyone was scurrying about.

First Grader so thrilled to return, "I can't wait to do homework", she said with a happy grin

Making one of her brothers groan and shudder in fear.

The Fourth Grader can't decide how he feels, one minute he's jolly with thoughts of recess and P.E.

Dancing through his brain

The next he's glum at the thought of sitting still most of the day.

And then there's the big boy, a Freshman is he

Off to high school for the first time and nervous as can be.

What do I wear? Where do I go? Did you see that cute new girl, Mom?

He just doesn't know what to do

Excited and nervous -a ball of hormones.  Makes you want to hug him and lock him up tight  in the

span of five minutes-OH! What a delight!

The alarm clock is set, backpacks by the door, clothes laid out and camera ready to go-

Because everyone knows the first day of school doesn't happen unless posted to Facebook and Twitter.

And now we join with  parent's everywhere, as they  high five themselves that they made it through

another summer without doing to much harm and

take a deep breath as the craziness of the school schedule is about to kick in

Go kiss your babies while they sleep

Because tomorrow. . .

Homework, it's back to reality.

Happy School Year to All!
Friday, August 16, 2013


There is nothing like the internet to make you feel small.

Especially if your dreams are big.

On this Start Experiment journey I'm on, one thing I'm noticing is that although my little corner of the interwebs may be small, together all our goals and dreams add up to something that is really quite big.

When you feel small it's easy to hide behind your fears.

When you feel small it's easy to convince yourself what you have to say doesn't matter.

When you feel small it easy to fail once, convince yourself you never need to try again.

And if you've just yelled at your kids, lost it with your husband, asked God "DOES THIS REALLY MATTER AT ALL", messed up in so many ways, you begin to feel even smaller.

And once we feel small, it's so easy to convince ourselves we are useless too.

But, when you're part of something bigger, your dreams can no longer hide.
Your voice becomes louder and although you may fail, you have others around you to pick you up, dust you off and set you right back on your path.

The power of community is an amazing thing.

And here's the thing, no matter how small we may feel inside, we have the God of the Universe backing us up, cheering  us on, setting those dreams in our hearts and giving us the vision to carry them out.

Maybe like me you feel small today, like what you have to say and do just doesn't really matter at all.

Listen, I'm just an ordinary girl from Kansas, but I serve the powerful King of everything. . .

And you can't get any bigger than that, so I tell that nagging voice that says "You're to small to matter",
to step aside, I have a King to serve.

And that, My Friends, is no small thing.

In His service Always,

I'm linking up with Five Minute Fridays today. Stop by and check them out!

Five Minute Friday
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Audaciously Ordinary

I wrote yesterday about joining Jon Acuff's START Experiment  and our challenge to think audaciously about our goals and pursing them vigorously over the next 24 days and really taking a risk.

And, I'm all in.  I have big dreams that I feel have put on my heart by the Lord and I want to follow him wholly with abandon.  I have certainly let fear hold me back on pursuing some of the bigger portions and am trying to embrace the risk of really stepping out in faith over the next weeks.

Taking risks, putting myself out there.

But, I was thinking today about how sometimes the risk lies within the ordinary.

My life looks very ordinary from the outside.
Stay at home mom to 3 kids.
Married for 21 years.
Schedules, menus, laundry, taxi service, grocery store, referee .  All so  seemingly very ordinary in family life.

And yet. . .

There is a Momma tonight sitting outside the door of her two years olds room trying desperately to keep them in bed while not losing her temper. She hasn't been able to shower yet today and her risk is to not lose it or to drown her anger in a bottle of wine.

Risky. Very Risky.

There's a teenager about to push his parents over the edge and instead of responding in anger, they love him where he is.


There's a family that's decided to choose a different education path for their kids, perhaps Christian school, perhaps homeschooling- people shake their heads and call them crazy or worse …

I call them trailblazers who refuse to settle for the ordinary path for their family.

Audaciously stepping out of their comfort zone.

A husband choosing to work hard and love his family. Ordinary? Perhaps.

Life changing for the people who love him? Absolutely.

Sometimes I think it can become easy in the pursuit of our BIG dreams to want to shun the ordinary or at least push it aside, but there is something audaciously bold and risky about loving your family well, following Jesus whole heartedly- that may look incredibly ordinary, but can be one of the biggest risks you'll ever take.

Yes, I do believe one of my risks over these next few weeks is to see 'ordinary' family life for what it really is. . .the biggest risk a  person could ever take.

Love your people audaciously,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Diving In the Deep End

I've jumped into an experiment for the next 24 days that Jon Acuff is heading up.

(and let me just saying joining an online group for something like this is WAAAYY out of my comfort zone)

We were given the assignment to pick something reckless we were going to focus on completing over those next days, along with daily assignments from Jon.

Yesterday our assignment had to do with the word "Audacious" and what that mean in our lives.

My only real  understanding of that word had more to do with fashion and attitude than anything else so I did what a modern girl does and goggled it.

Audacious- here's some of what I found:

intrepidly daring : Adventerous 
 recklessly bold

 marked by originality

Can I just except for maybe the third one, I typically don't fit the definition of that definition!

Maybe I used to, after all I did move to Germany when I was barely 20, unafraid of what the future held. . .little did I know it held a really cute Airman man from Texas who I was recklessly bold in marrying six months later. But that was 21 years ago.

Maybe it's been time or motherhood or a combo of both that has made me more cautious. . .

But, then I began writing a couple of years ago, and let me say that takes some daring to put your heart out there for the world to see. 
Then I began working on the Women's Ministry Team at my church. . .totally stretching past the preschoolers I'm much more comfortable with serving.  What an adventure that has proven to be.

And with a combo of those two things, speaking opportunities had begun popping up, and not only that be what I feel has been a clear and unmistakable tugging from the Holy Spirit, that I have indeed have a calling to encourage and uplift women.

That feels so recklessly bold to say.

And while in some ways it is bold to say 'I have a calling', in other so many other ways, I want to be like a turtle, poke my head out and say it then crawl back inside my shell.

But the pulling, tugging, straining at my heart just can't be ignored any longer.

So, over these next 24 days I will audaciously be putting my self out there.

I want to follow Jesus with reckless abandon in doing what I feel so clearly he has called me to.

I want to face my fears head on.

Yesterday my little one did just that.
Seemingly out of no where, she looked at me and said "I'm going off the diving board. I'm ready"

(She can swim, but deep water scares her and add the hight and pressure of everyone watching you at the pool and let's just say it hasn't been something she's wanted to do. She COULD do it mind you, she just let her fear stop her.)

So, she did.

With a smile on her face, she looked her fear in the face. . .



With arms open wide in pure reckless daring

She went for it.

Oh to be like that. To jump into the deep in, knowing it's scary, but going for it anyway.

That's my adventure for the next 24 days.
The goals I have set for myself are:
Completing 3 more chapters of book I've been writing.
Sending out info on Lessons from Aisle 12 to 100 churches/women's groups.
And when someone asks me what I do, to not be embarrassed by saying I'm a writer and speaker for Lessons From Aisle 12. To live in that calling.

Thanks for following me on this adventure!

What about you? What fear is holding you back from diving into the deep end?

Facing them together,

Friday, August 9, 2013


Today instead of focusing on grey hairs and laugh lines, I thought I'd list 42 I'm thankful for and love.

Except for the first four they are in no particular order.

1) Jesus. Without him and the grace He gives everyday- nothing else would matter.

2) Dear Hubby of mine.  He's loved me for over half my life.  Good, Bad and Ugly we've seen it all and we're still here. Love you, Dear Hubby, thanks for letting me be me.

3) Three beautiful miracles who call me mom.  Seriously, even on the really hard days, there is nothing better. I love you three more than you can possible understand right now. What a privilege it is to be your mom.

4) My Dear Parents.  What gifts they've poured on me.  But, my favorite is watching how they love my kids unconditionally.  I sometimes have people ask if I know how lucky I am to have   parents who not only love my children, but ENJOY them.  Yes, I am a blessed girl indeed!

5) My church family.  Simply.The.Best.  Not perfect. . .but God has used them in my life and blessed me by them in more ways than I can count. Pushed to grow and loved when it's hard. I love this group of people.

6) Girlfriends. I have some of the best.  There are not many people in this life who you can be your honest self with (It can be scary sometimes) But I've got some girls who aren't scared off, who know where I've been, know every flaw every weakness and love me anyway.
I blame most of my laugh lines on these girls-and I wouldn't trade a single one of them!

7) Music. Just about all kinds. . .I'm so thankful God didn't wait until heaven to give us this beautiful gift.  I am the girl who could burst into song at any given moment.

8) French Pedicures.

9) Cute shoes. Yes, I am that shallow.

10)  My kids school. It's not perfect, but neither are they so they make a good match.  I appreciate how they push them to excel yet love them where they are.

11) Good books. Books become like friends to me. I've been known to cry at the end of a book. Not because the ending was sad but because I had to say goodbye to the characters.

12) Farmers Fields with round hay bales. Never ceases to make me teary and remember where I come from.

13) Road trips.  I LOVE a road trip!

14) Camping.  I KNOW I KNOW.  But, since we purchased our little pop up camper a few years ago, I've learned to love it. . sitting around a campfire, looking at the stars. . .if you've never done that with your kids, I dare you too.  It'll change your family dynamic faster than just about anything.

15) Really Great Hotels.  Hey, I am no fool.

16) A really talented hairstylist. My great friend went to beauty school a couple of years ago and by her following her dream, she filled a huge void in my life. :)  Love Hair Salon Day!

17) MU Tigers.  I love my beloved Tigers (although I'm still not thrilled about the whole SEC thing, but I'll get over it)

18) Beth Moore.  This lady changed my life.  I can't wait to get to heaven and tell her without sounding like a gushing fan. Life. Changing.

19) Bible studies.  They get a separate category from Beth because not all the studies I do are Beth Moore.  I love digging deep into God's word and seeing things from a  perspective I never considered.

20) My i-phone.  Yes, I really am that shallow.

21) When all the laundry is done, folded and put away. It doesn't happen often, but oh I LOVE it when it does!

22) Medical care.  My kids have each been through much in regards to their health. Without modern medicine . . .well, I don't really like to think about what would've happened to them.

23) Peanut Butter.  Mmmm, I love peanut butter.

24) Fountain Diet Coke with a splash of cherry from Quick Trip or Sonic.  Seriously, one of life's simple pleasures.

25) Flowers.  Love these little gifts from heaven with all their bright colors.

26) Football.

27) Riding roller coasters with my kids.

28) Movies. I enjoy just about all types of movies, but I especially love the classics and anything with a superhero :) or a musical soundtrack :)

29) A great piece of jewelry . . not expensive, but fun and unique, I'm in!

30) Social media.  Yes, it can be annoying and overdone, but it's allowed me to stay in touch with friends across the world, become closer to others and get to know some new friends.

31) Sunny days with nothing to do or anywhere to be but the pool.

32) Having a great party.

33) Chocolate.

34) Max the Wonder Beagle. He can drive me NUTS sometimes, but he is the very definition of unconditional love.

35) Boo Mama and Big Mama. If you haven't read their blogs or books you should.  They are funny gals who helped me inspire me to write. In my head we are all friends. (Yes, I am that crazy)

36) The Ozark Mountains and Tablerock Lake. My happy place.

37) My extended family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. . .love those people.

38) A Freshly popped bowl of popcorn, lightly salted and buttered. Mmmm. By far and away my favorite snack.

39) A jar of dirt from my great grandparents farm.  I have it on the shelves in our family room. I love it and it reminds of my roots and those who've gone before me.

40) Sharpies.  I love writing with a Sharpie.

41) Sitting outside on a lovely evening playing hide and seek with the kids in the dark and chasing fireflies.  Some of my best days. They are to fleeting, and I am thankful for the gift of each and every one of them.

42) YOU.  Yep, I'm thankful for you. Thank you for stopping by and reading, leaving comments and sending me encouraging emails.
When you write, it's like you are letting strangers peek into your soul just a little, that can be difficult and scary at times. I appreciate the time each of you has taken out of your busy lives to stop by my little corner of the interwebs.
So yes, I am thankful for YOU.

Love xoxo,

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I am often asked 'how to' questions about blogging and speaking.

The other day I was having a lovely conversation with a lady and her basic question, which is the one I get the most was, "But what do I write about? ".
She clearly knew what she wanted her new blog to be about but was unsure about how to go about writing it all down.

Listen, I'm no expert. I'm clearly not an English major.

But, there is one thing I know.

Tell YOUR story.

YOUR journey.

People want to hear what's true and real and authentic.

Discretion is also something to really remember, hard as it is to believe lots of people don't want their business all over the interwebs . . .go figure.

One of the best things I ever heard that has stuck with me over the years is this quote from Beth Moore,
"God never waste a hurt.".

And, OH! How I believe that is true!

If the the stories, the testimony, of my life can help just one other person along the way, can bring me closer to Jesus, well then it's all worth it in the end.

 Whether you blog or not, telling our stories is a vital part of life.

Don't hide from the world.  I promise wherever you are on your journey, you're not alone and someone else has been there before.

The world might just be an easier place to navigate if we realized that we're all in this together.

Everyone has a story to tell.

What's yours?

Thanks for reading and sharing mine,