Jul 31, 2008

I'm just saying ...

If you have SONIC in your neighborhood, you just may run into me and the kids on any given day of the week between 2:00-4:00 for Happy Hour and 1/2 priced drinks and slushes. We have practically been to every location w/i a 25 mile radius from home.

With the 100 degree+ days we have been having, it has been the best 50 cents I have spent all summer.

Jul 30, 2008

Right between the eyes

Renee Swope, Proverbs 31 ministries, posted this video on her blog yesterday and I couldn't stop crying.

My cardboard testimony:

Trying to pleasing everyone around me

Thank God, I did NOT have to perfect for God to change me and use me!

Jul 28, 2008

I've been gone but not too far ...

I have been at my women's conference and my kids have been here with daddy with a few sniffles and dry heaves.

I missed my crew and will post later about having 3 boys and 1 man around the house when sickness abounds.

Some of you already know where I am headed .....

Jul 22, 2008

Working vs Staying at Home (My story)

I am not writing today to debate who should work and who should stay at home. I think that is a discussion for husband and wife to pray and make the decision.

I have worked since I was 16 ... even while I was in college. I have not always had a great paying job, but God has blessed me with the income I needed to pay my bills, now whether I paid them or not IS another story. :)

When D and I were dating, he often talked about me staying at home and I always agreed with him. We said we would live off one income even before we had children so if either of us ever needed to stay home, we would be able to survive. We both agreed when we had children, I would stay home.

When I got pregnant with Ethan, life did NOT allow me to stay home because D was in between jobs for a while and when he got one that" fit", the benefits were great for one person, but not a family. We also needed a larger place and some new things around the house for the baby and boy o boy those "cute" little things we said we would do, you know ... me stat at home? - - went straight out the window.

We were NOT living on one income and in fact, we couldn't if we tried at that point. God allowed me to have a state position in the same city where we lived and I only had to drive .5 miles to get to work AND D could walk to his job if he wanted to and sometimes he did just that. My brother's homeschooling sister in law and her husband were planning to move here and she agreed to keep Ethan and the timing could have not have been better. Carla lived around the corner from my office and she had young children and Ethan soaked it all up.

Life was good. Real good. So of course, we didn't talk about staying at home anymore until Carla wanted to go back to work. Again, God orchestrated things where I did not have to come home, but this time Ethan stayed w/ Carla's mom and she took excellent care of him for a year or so, and again - - we put off the talks of me coming home.

You know where this is going. By now - - all plans of me coming home were gone and we incurred some more "items" and by now we needed both our incomes.

My job was always flexible so it wasn't a bad situation by any means and we didn't start thinking about me being at home again, until we got pregnant with Denham. By now I was working in the healthcare field providing services for seniors and I really enjoyed the work. When Denham died, I immediately went back to work to get my mind off what had just happened. 6 months later, we were pregnant with Austin.

D and I started talking about me coming home to be with Austin, but on paper, it just wasn't going to work. By now Ethan was sick and we had to make some decisions fast. So I stayed home for 4 months and went back to work. I needed to work, not only for money, but for my sanity. If I had stayed home, I would have gone into major depression. Ethan's situation at that time was unexplainable and very hard to deal with.

The people I worked for were GREAT and allowed me the time I needed to take care of Ethan and Austin and carry flexible hours, plus I really like helping people who for the most part are not considered important by many people in our culture. I identified with the company's motto and wanted to work there as long as was able to do so.

As most of you know Ethan had his surgery last year and I knew then I could not work anymore. We could not see into the future and we didn't know just what was going to happen. I knew he needed me to work with him and help him in school and learn how to live life all over again. I knew he needed to be with me.

The company I had worked for had been so wonderful and I felt like I was letting them down by leaving. I had built a relationship with many of our patients and our staff and didn't want to stop serving them, but my family needed me and they always come first.

So over the last three years, I have battled what to do because I did not want to be at work, uphappy thinking about being at home and did not want to be at home, unhappy and wishing I could work.

There are many aspects of working and staying at home that provide pros and cons. I have been home for the last solid year and have enjoyed it A LOT! When I was asked if I could do some work these last two weeks, I jumped at the chance, besides, the boys summer camp schedule worked in my favor.

The first week was rough for me, because I had settled into a routine at home and now I was all off. We ate late, got up late and nothing at home was like I like it. I didn't like the way I was feeling. At the same time I enjoyed being back at work, jumping back into my old job, and getting a feel for some new things.

Week two was rough again, but I felt like I could get adjusted, because we have been talking about me going back to work at least part time. Some things have changed around here in the last month or so and we need to make some decisions.

These last two weeks were rough because I was out of my comfort zone and didn't think I was gonna be able to do the job and do the job well and I will admit, I missed being home. BUT I decided to be a big girl, tough it up and work. Things would get adjusted at home, but I had to set the tone.

I thank my husband for working so hard (he always has) which allowed me to be home on and off for the last 3 1/2 years, but I don't want him working himself in the ground or working 3 or 4 jobs and where my children NEVER see him. My boys love and miss him and NEED to be with him, so I will work and I am glad I can work somewhere I enjoy working and work for people who need someone who cares. (Our seniors)

I believe we all have seasons in our lives and my season right now is to work a little, BUT I am thankful and blessed by God to have a flexible employer who is willing to work with me and all my "issues".

In the end it is all about balance. Whether I am home or not. If I don't make home and family a priority, I have failed miserably in God's eyes and I don't want to do that.

Making sure I follow my golden rule ... God, family, and then work.

Jul 21, 2008

In the company of Women

I have not been able to get to any of the Deeper Still or Going Beyond conferences this summer, but I was NOT going to miss Desperate for Jesus in Dallas for nothing in the world.

Priscilla Shirer, Patricia Ashley, Iris Blue and Vicki Yohe singing .. man o man ... I am NOT gonna miss this.

I have not always enjoyed being around women ...... Now hold on before you throw your shoe at me. I have not enjoyed friendships with women, because the relationships were so fake, so unreal, so catty, so "stab in you in the back, while I smile right in your face" kinda relationships.

When I was in high school, I was a cheerleader and had a lots of fun and traveled, but I really never really fit in with the other girls and did not really feel like they wanted more than just to cheer with me. I tried hard, but I never felt the "connection". They were nice girls, but no connection.

When I went off to college, I joined a church near campus and jumped right in with my servant attitude. I attended church most Sundays and wanted to get to know some ladies I could hang out with, study with, laugh with, but nothing ever worked out. Again, nice girls some of them anyway, but no connection.

Then I joined a sorority and made some new friends, but had to leave school the next semester because my mom was VERY sick and I wanted to be near her. When I came back home, the girls I knew growing up had outgrown me or had a different agenda I could not get with or wanted to be a part of therefore, I was labeled "stuck up".

Then I joined the church away from the church I grew up in and made a few friends only to later find that I was being talked about being my back on a regular basis. I had a hunger for Jesus, but no one around me could "get me" ya know? I was the weirdo, the religous fanatic, the Jesusfreak.

BUT one day, God introduced me to present circle of friends and my present church and things have never been the same. We are all Desperate for Jesus. Desperate to hear from Him, learn from Him, lean on Him. We want to celebrate Him. My new friends laugh, love and cry together. We can vent, scream, yell, encourage, support and love each other no matter what.

I have wanted to attend Women of Faith, Deeper Still or Going Beyond with my friends for a year now, but the timing was never right. When I read the blogs and stories of what wonderful things God allowed, I envied the women who were able to attend. (Just being real). When I look at the pictures, you just know God showed up at these arenas and these women were blessed.

But then God said, "I have something for you, Jai, just for you" and he is allowing me to attend and experience my own time with Him and spend time in the company of women where I can enjoy, cry with, and pray for women at this conference and have some girl time.

I pray in advance for the women I will hang out with, the women I will meet and that we will be obedient to what we will hear this weekend. I want a fresh word, a new word from my Lord. Thank you that what You have for me is for me. I want to be content with this life and the friendships you have given me. I want to be careful not to take them for granted.

I thank Him that He has allowed me to come full circle and not only enjoy being around women, but He has given me some friendships that I will treasure forever and ever and couldn't imagine my life without knowing these special ladies.

Way more than I ever intended to write today ...........

Jul 12, 2008

People need the Lord

The original version is by Steve Green. This version by Chonda Pierce and Bonnie Keen.

Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?
On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?
We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who's lost?
Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For people need the Lord.
People need the Lord.

Join Amy and the other ladies who post each Saturday w/ TSMSS over here!

Jul 9, 2008

Fire !!! (doom, doom, doom)

Are you married? Thinking about it? Do you have good marriage? Are you in a bad marriage? Do you want a better marriage? Are you tired of the status quo? Is your spouse your friend or your lover or both? Do you feel like roommates? Is God IN your marriage? Do you want to see a radical change in your love for your spouse or their love for you? Is God a part of your marriage?

If you answered YES to any of these questions and even if you said NO, mark your calendars for a great Godevent, September 26, 2008.

We are making a date of it and bringing a few friends. I promise you WILL NOT regret it!

Jul 5, 2008

God Bless America!

My family continues to pray for our country and the men and women who are serving in the military fighting for us.
We praise God for allowing us to live in the US as we celebrate the ultimate freedom in Jesus who died for us and the freedoms God allows us to have in this country!
I have always loved this song and wanted to share it with you this weekend.
Lee Greenwood - God Bless the USA!

Jul 1, 2008

Terrible Tuesday ...

Well not really, but can I just say two words? Stinky diaper! DeClan has started taking off his own diaper shortly after ... shall I say ... making a poopy. After taking off his diaper and dragging it all over the floor THEN he tells me .. oooowwwee .. mommy ... and points to his b**t ...

So it has been a good day although I have spent most of it on my knees, but my floors are cleaner than they have been in a good while.

Make it a stink free day :)