Tuesday, February 23, 2010


So, last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday... which means we are almost a full week into Lent.

As card-carrying members of the Baptist church, we don't traditionally participate in Lent, but I sure do like the idea of removing something of importance to me for 40 days to move my focus back to Christ and prepare my heart for the sacrifice and celebration of Easter.

Can I be honest and say that I STILL haven't figured out what I'm giving up or adding in for Lent?

'Tis true, tis true.

Don't judge.

My first thought was to de-activate my Facebook account, but then I thought, "What if I accidentally cancel it all together and then I have to go through the torture of asking all those people to be my friend again?"

No thank you. I don't want a do-over in Junior High 101.

Perhaps reading Beth Moore's new book So Long Insecurity might help with that. Costco, Barnes and Noble or Lifeway can hook you up. And it's totally ok to take off the book jacket or maybe put the book in your cart with the title facing down if you don't want people to know you are reading a book about insecurity. I'm just sayin'....

And then I thought about giving up sugar. But you know, that is not a pure-hearted choice because I have ulterior motives of changing the way my clothes fit, not changing my heart and my focus.

I don't like chocolate or soft drinks enough to give them up and I've been so sporadic at blogging that I don't think it would be much of a sacrifice to stop that for 40 days.

So, I'm going a different direction this year. I'm adding things into my day instead of removing them. My good friend, Michele, planted that radical idea in my head last year. She's great like that.

Two primary needs for me to be the Wifey and Mom ALL my boys deserve are my time with God and my time working out.

One changes my heart and my attitude and hear me clearly, I DON'T LIKE WORKING OUT...but it sure makes the Fruit of the Spirit a bit easier to accomplish. Can I hear an Amen?

So, before I can jump on my computer for any reason other than work-related stuff, I need to have those 2 things taken care of for the day.

I know it seems small, but for me, it comes from my desire to be the gal God truly wants me to be.....and honestly already thinks I am.

Now that I've outed myself, I'll be starting my 40 days tomorrow. Thanks for the accountability!

In other news, we had snow flurries today for a total of 28 minutes. My sweet children have GOT to see real snow in the near future. At the mere sight of white condensation, they were asking for snow hats and pictures to be taken. Bless them.

I obliged and this is all we got.

Please ignore the sweatshirt. He bought it with his own Christmas money.

For the love.

Oh, and one last thing. If you didn't give up desserts for Lent, you have got to try Bakerella's Peach Crumb Cake. My friend, Becky, brought that sweetness to Dinner Club and I thought we were all going to make a vow to wear elastic pants to have another serving.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Heart of the Matter

We have a phrase in our house which can be heard when anyone resembles Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh....or when the bottom lip is protruding over the top....or when those sweet faces are carrying a scowl that could scare off Cruela DaVille.

That is a 'Why-are-you-so-downcast-oh-my-soul' moment.

The kids don't really appreciate the wit but my man does, and let's just be honest, laughter is what gets you through the day sometimes.

That's been me the past week or so.

Downcast oh my soul.

Lately, it seems like no one can catch a break. Not for me personally, but with certain people we know and hold close to our hearts.

Tray's Young Life Leader, the one completely responsible for him coming to know the Lord, was healed and called Home after a hard fought battle with brain cancer. His two sweet boys will hear of his legacy because it is both deep and wide.

A friend from college just discovered she has an aggressive form of breast cancer and her insurance company is being rather fussy about her treatment.

Another friend from high school whose husband's cancer is back. He's in the middle of a daily chemo treatment this very week.

My little friend, Witt will have open heart surgery tomorrow as another sweet little one is one day closer to Eternal Healing from a cancer that is taking over her little body.

A precious college friend whose 5-month-old baby boy has several surgeries in his future, and several already under his belt.

My list looks a bit like yours, I'm guessing, because each one of us has someone fighting a battle of their own today.

And that is when it becomes extremely obvious that extending intentional grace to those around us is incredibly important. Hard at times? Sure. But oh so important.

When we hear their stories of raw honesty and faith, put faces with those stories and we get a tiny glimpse into their lives, we are granted the privilege to learn from them as they hope, question, live out this current season of their lives and then cling to God as He is the one that is sovereign over it all.

It turns our focus to something far bigger than ourselves and the daily frustrations that we give way too much energy to.

I don't tell you all this to make you sad or for you to feel sorry for them.

That is not what any of them would want.

Instead, try viewing today through a different lens. Be present today with your family. Let something that seems gigantic in the moment, roll off you like water to a duck because in the grand scheme of things, it won't be gigantic long-term. Heck, maybe not even within 2 hours that very same day.

Perspective is such a gift. Don't miss it...I know I have been guilty of that in the past.

In an effort to change my focus yesterday, Fun Laurie showed up and made red velvet cake balls with her two cuties. About 10 minutes in when our hands and countertop were stained red from said red velvet cake, I swore off ever making this sounds-good-in-theory recipe ever again.

But after I got the kids in bed and figured out the best way to achieve ample chocolate coverage without the balls totally breaking apart, I realized they weren't so bad after all.....not to mention the finished product was pretty darn tasty. Gotta love those 600 readers' comments below the actual post. Women are a wealth of knowledge, I tell you, and we aren't so shy in sharing, are we?

And it was while reading those comments that I happen to see that you can make the same recipe using chocolate cake and german chocolate icing.

Oh sweet mama.

I'm SO making these cake balls again. And a batch of these for good measure.

Because a sugary treat can brighten any day.....even when it is 100% chance of rain.