Saturday, December 10, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Trying to create more hours in the day by cutting back on sleep doesn't work. All it does is make you sleepy and unable to complete the simplest of tasks the next day.....like putting your shirt on right side out.....
I guess the silver lining would be that you become so proud of yourself for any simple task that you can complete (such as the ability to dress yourself), even if not done properly.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
First, the race is in the morning. I am not a morning person. This isn't a mental thing, it's a medical one. I have thyroid disease and am borderline diabetic, I have to take meds every morning one hour before I can eat anything, so I have to get up extra early (yawn). My thyroid and sugar levels are the lowest in the morning, so running is just not something I typically do early. I always run in the evenings.
Then there's the course, it's "hilly"....oh no. I am not surprised, I mean this is southwest Virginia, everything is hilly. The trail I typically run on gets pretty steep, so I'm hoping I'll be at least a little prepared.
My goal is to finish in 50 minutes....who am I kidding, my goal is just to finish!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I do believe she did it (I have a lot of other pretty bad feelings towards her as well, but what's the point in going into all that?). Although it makes me sad that this little girl won't receive justice here on earth, I know justice will be served one day by the only truly Righteous Judge. Her murder will not go unpunished.
With that being said, I keep hearing people's angry comments towards the jury. I don't think it's solely the jury's fault that she was found, "Not guilty." They had to have proof "beyond a reasonable doubt." If a guilty person is found innocent, it may not be only the jury at fault, it may also be that the prosecution didn't do their job effectively. I think there are a lot of factors here and that there isn't just one person to blame.
Regardless, it's sad and horrible beyond words and prayers are needed all around.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I finally did it.
I finally succumbed to peer pressure.
Okay, no one really pressured me, but many of my friends are runners. I would look at their status updates and posts about how far they ran, how much fun they had and I would think, “I am so proud of them and happy for them, but I’m just not a runner.”
Nope, not me. Not a runner. Okay, maybe if someone were chasing me. Or if I were eating a really great cupcake and someone ran past me and swiped it, I MAY run after them, but probably not.
Then, one of my friends from church told me about a group she was getting together to start running a couple days a week and asked if I would be interested. I answered before I thought. I said, “Yes!” I think God pushed that word out of my mouth before I had time to think about my self doubt and turn her down because as soon as I said it I thought, “You idiot, you don’t run!” But, several of our mutual friends were going to do it, so I’m sure it would be fun. Maybe.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. The group had already started but I missed it because I was on vacation. SHEW....I had an excuse, and maybe, just maybe, by the time I returned they will have forgotten all about this running thing. Nope. My friend had posted an update when I returned about meeting at on Wednesday evening. Darn. I was hoping I could escape.
So I went. I know it sounds crazy, but I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt nauseated. I was scared to death of running! What?? That makes no sense! I use to be a firefighter and an EMT and now, after two kids, I can’t handle running? Suck it up, Donna!
As I walked to the trail with another one of my friends and saw the group of friends ahead waiting for us, I really did think I was going to hurl, that all of my butterflies were going to come up out of my stomach and fly out of my mouth. What on earth was wrong with me?
I had downloaded the Couch to 5K app, so being the planner that I am, I had already gone through and looked at each day and what would be expected of me. Day one was simple, something like “Walk 90 seconds, jog 60 seconds.” Okay, I can handle that…..I think.
But then, I heard the instructions for our group. We were going to walk four minutes and run for two! We were going to do four intervals of this for a total of 24 minutes! WHAT? Oh sweet Lord, help me. I’m going to fall out right here.
So then we started walking. Okay, I walk all the time. I can handle this. One foot in front of the other. Okay, all good. After four minutes, it was time to run. I started running and much to my amazement, I didn’t vomit. I didn’t fall, I actually ran. And it felt good. Then something really amazing happened that I didn’t share with my friends. I had a flashback. I had completely forgotten that when I was younger I WAS a runner!! It’s the weirdest thing. It’s like when I started running, all my memories came back to me. I didn’t just run, I was a pretty good runner and I absolutely loved it! I have many ribbons and awards that I won when I was a kid up through my teenage years. I use to LOVE to run….and I was FAST. I thought I would never forget the first time I outran my Dad when I was 12. I thought I would never forget how I felt the first time I won a first place ribbon in hurdles, relay, 50 yard dash and the mile.
I realized that especially after having kids, I forgot about the fact that I too, use to be young and do things just for me that I truly enjoyed. My focus became solely on my family, my children, my friends to the point that my own life, the things I had done and loved that didn’t revolve around them, had gone totally out of focus.
So, this thankful Thursday post is dedicated to Liz. I never, ever thought I would be thankful for running, but I truly am.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Happy Birthday my sweet boy, is it possible that another year has come and gone? I can’t believe it. You are truly a big boy now; you need two hands to show how old you are. Six. Wow. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
How is it possible that every day I love you even more? It’s true, my beautiful son. You are an amazing blessing to me and those around you. Your heart continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Even your teacher at school comments on how you like to help your classmates. When they don’t understand something, you explain it to them in a way that helps them to understand. You have such a giving heart.
What a year it has been for you, sweetie! You finished preschool at the end of May, and then in August you started Kindergarten! You weren’t nervous in the least! As usual, Mommy cried and you sped forward with much enthusiasm! I’m so happy that you love school and your enthusiasm has not waned!
Then you started playing your first organized sport! You played soccer with the same enthusiasm as you tackle everything else. I was a very proud soccer Mom. Your team was the Cavaliers (can you believe that my little Hokie?) and your number was 5. Perfect, because you were 5 years old!
Your next sport has been teeball. We just started the season, but son, I believe we have found your sport! I can’t even put into words how happy I am for you! You are EXCELLENT at teeball! You now play for the Nationals (Go NATS!!) and are number 9. Isn’t that something? You were born on May 9th (5/9) and your first two jersey numbers were 5 and 9. How about that?
I have also seen you grow into your roll as a big brother with so much love, compassion, patience and yes, enthusiasm. Again, there are no words to describe how joyful it makes my heart to see you and your brother playing together. To see the patience you have with him and how you love teaching him, my wonderful son, makes my cup runneth over. Just as I am blessed to be your mother, Caleb is blessed to have you as his big brother!
And how can we forget your first helicopter ride? How fun was that? You got to be the co-pilot as we flew over Myrtle Beach. I remember reaching from the back seat to hold your hand when we took off, just in case you were a little nervous. You only held it for a few seconds and then there was nothing but exhilaration as you, Larry and I took in the breathtaking views!
As you grow, I also see your faith growing. Like the time you were sick. Poor thing, you had a stomach virus and were throwing up constantly. As you had just finished being sick, I was wiping your mouth and you said to me, “Mommy, we need to pray. I need God’s help to make me better.” We stopped right there and prayed. There have been other times you have had challenges or just needed a little extra courage or help and have stopped to pray. You know who to turn to, who will always take care of you. The One who is more important than Mommy or Daddy or anyone else - Jesus. I am so very thankful for the fact that you turn to Him. I also love that you always remember to pray for others and to give thanks for your blessings. My loving son, a mother could not be happier.
Our church Christmas play this year was “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” You played Linus and remembered ALL of your lines, even the long monologue where Linus explains to Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas! I was amazed!
You also won a photo contest this year. Parenting Magazine had a funny face photo contest on their Facebook page and you won! How wonderful that your silly face got to make thousands of people smile, giving you the opportunity to touch the lives of those who never met you.
As you can see, son, it has been a great year! I will close my annual birthday letter to you by telling you something you already know, but think it’s important to say anyway. I can’t imagine my life without you, Nicholas Gabriel. I love you more than all the stars in the sky!
Happy Birthday, my big boy!
P.S. You can read past birthday letters here: A Letter to my Son - 2010
And this son, is my wish for you:
A birthday video for my son. I love you, Nic. This is my wish for you.....
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I’m reading a book. Nothing shocking there, I read books all the time. Here’s what surprised me, what I got from this book has nothing to do with why I read the book.
God is definitely trying to tell me something. He has shown me, once again, that He is with me and has plans for me. I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to work in children’s ministry, seriously my whole life…….even when I was just a little girl myself. He has poked and prodded me throughout my life, but lately He’s been SHOVING me. Even when I doubt it, even when I don’t feel like it; He’s there showing me that this is what I should do.
When growing up (and still to this day actually), my parents did not attend church. My grandmother took me to Sunday school EVERY Sunday. That is where I learned about the Lord, that is where I learned about love. Sunday school was the foundation for the rest of my life. Sunday school is how I became saved. This is one of the reasons why the children’s ministry is so important to me today. I know, first hand, the importance of children’s ministry.
We so often (and rightly so) focus on the importance of the foundation elementary school builds for the rest of our children's lives (reading writing, arithmetic), but focus on the foundation for our children's ETERNAL lives doesn't always get the same focus. Shouldn't it be just as important?
I’ve been teaching Sunday school for a couple of years now. I LOVE it. About six months ago, I was asked to help organize the children’s ministry. WOO HOO! I went in eagerly! I was thrilled to help! I can Shepherd, teach, schedule classes, teachers, etc., no problem.
Fast forward a couple of months. I’m deflated. Turns out, not everyone is as excited about teaching Sunday school as I am. I was shocked to hear all of the complaining and how hard it is to find people who are willing to volunteer to teach. I often felt like it would be easier to just ask everyone to pull out their own front teeth and hand them to me. That would be better received. Then there are the people who are willing to teach, if ever single condition of theirs is met. Ummm….friends, I think you’re missing the point. I can’t imagine Jesus, while ministering to His followers saying, “Yeah, I’ll teach you about my Father today, but you better make sure that the lesson is written out for me and all my supplies are provided.”
Ifelt defeated, I felt STRESSED. I would walk in to church Sunday mornings worried if I would have enough teachers for these precious children. A lot of times, someone just doesn't show up and I’m left scrambling. I’m exhausted by the time I leave church. But, just when I was about to throw my hands up, God showed me that I shouldn’t.
I came to church one Sunday seriously thinking about quitting the children’s ministry, feeling like I wasn’t really making a difference and maybe someone else would do a better job. I sit down and the sermon begins. Know what it was about? Missions. Children’s ministry is my mission! Hey, God’s trying to tell me something here! I leave church remembering that the best missions are not easy. I leave remembering how God has never quit on me, so I shouldn’t quit on Him. Think about Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I know that children’s ministry is the race God has marked out for me. I was letting others hinder that. Satan will work to obstruct any of God’s plans and it was made obvious to me during that sermon that this is exactly what was happening. I decided not to let others dampen my spirits when it came to children’s ministry. I decided that no matter what, I will not quit. I will joyfully serve the Lord and know that He is using me to help these children and to make a difference in the rest of their lives.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we do have some great children’s programs at our church. We have many people who are very dedicated and work hard for our children and without their help, I just couldn’t do it. But, as a whole, I worry that our children are not the focus they should be. Not just in my church, but everywhere. So, I’m working to change that.
Oh, back to what I was writing this post about....the book! Another way God has told me to keep at it. Last night, I was thinking about children’s ministry while reading the book, “Heaven is for Real.” The book is written by a Pastor and while reading it, this popped out:
And right after it, came this:
“Over the years, I’d had to fight to get people to sign up to teach Sunday school. They would give me the verbal stiff-arm, saying, “I did my turn last year,” or “I’m too old for that.”
“…..I lovingly reminded people that Jesus clearly viewed children as precious-and that if He loved kids enough to say that adults should be more like them, we should spend more time loving them too.”
Finally, I can see that I’m not alone! Other churches have this problem too! I thanked God immediately for showing me, once again, that He is with me and I’m not the only cookie in the cookie jar.
And, isn’t he right? I mean, Jesus does tell us that we need to be like little children in order to enter the
There are other examples I could list of how God has been showing me to stick with it when it comes to the Children’s Ministry, but in the interest of time, you’ll have to take my word for it.
What are you doing to help the children at your church? What are you doing to help minister to youth beyond your church? Make the time, it will be worth it!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Ican’t believe that you are one. Happy Birthday my precious little one. You are truly a joy, a blessing from above. The past year has been the fastest of my life. I am in awe.
Of course, that may be because you are the fastest baby I’ve ever seen! You must do everything your way and do it quickly. Even if it gives your parents a heart attack.
From the very beginning, I knew you were going to be more like a force of nature than a quiet little bundle of softness. Even though “they” say it’s not possible, I felt you move inside of me at 12 weeks. It wasn’t gas. Yes, my beautiful boy, you started moving and did NOT stop my ENTIRE pregnancy. Every single day, starting at 12 weeks you used my uterus as a trampoline. I tried to warn your Daddy that we were going to have our hands full.
Then, when you were born, you wanted to make sure to keep us on our toes. Your pulse kept dropping; you came out limp and blue, there was no crying. Daddy and I were terrified. But, after the nurses stimulated you, you let us know you had a voice! You haven’t stopped using it since.
And how can I forget the feedings? My poor baby, you developed such a horrible case of reflux. It would take an hour to feed you a bottle and it was like a wrestling match the whole time. When you were having 8 bottles a day, I would spend 8-9 hours JUST feeding you. Or, I should say, wrestling you. It was like being tortured every 3 hours, every single day. You also had to have the most expensive formula on the market. It’s the only thing that let you keep down at least half of your bottle. But, we made it through! Once you started on solids, things started getting easier. You always seem to want to move forward quickly. Once you tasted solid food, you weren’t too interested in the bottle anymore. By 5 months, you were using a sippy cup. By 10 months, you had no more bottle (except at bed time).
Yes, you flew past those early stages with lightening speed. You were sitting by 4 months, crawling by 5 and had taken your first step at 9 ½ months. By 11 months, you were walking. I was shocked. Your brother didn’t take his first steps until he was 13 months and walked at 14 months, so I thought I would have more time. But, you want to keep up with your big brother. You both love each other so much. It amazes me that you can play with a 5 year old and keep up with him!
You are, in every sense of the word, TOUGH. You are the very definition of a rough and tumble little boy. Remember the time you fell down the stairs? Yeah, probably not. Well, the door to the basement was shut, just not latched. You managed to pry it open with your fingers. I saw you open the door and as I ran from the sink to the steps, I grabbed your foot as you started your downward descent. Only, you slipped through my hands. You went face first down the entire staircase. Your brother and I were flipping out. We were terrified. You get to the bottom and within seconds, you are laughing. Not a scratch on you. I’m pretty sure you have a guardian angel and I’m thankful because son, I think you are going to need it.
Oh, and your vocabulary. I’m amazed at how many words you can speak and use properly. When you see someone, you say, “Hi!” When I sneeze you say, “Bless!” When you drop something or do something you know you shouldn’t, you say, “Uh Oh!” You can say Mama, Dada, Nic and about 10 other words at least and almost everyday you say something new.
Caleb Nathaniel. Your first name means “Faithful,” your middle name, “Gift of God.” That is what you truly are to us, my beautiful boy. You are our faithful gift of God. For more reasons than you could possibly know. This first year has been full of surprises, lessons, tears and laughter. You have made our family complete. We love you, our little monkey! Your smile really does light up a room, your laughter is contagious, your life a blessing. I can’t thank God enough for choosing me to be your Mama. I love you, my precious, precious child.