Monday, November 30, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On The Love Of A Parent

I have been writing this Mom-ing Through Faith series for the last six months. 

I am a Christian. I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus suffered and died for our sins. I believe that he was resurrected. I believe in Heaven. I believe that salvation is by grace through faith.

I know I am a sinner. I know I am working hard to nourish my relationship with Jesus Christ. I know I have many unanswered questions but even more resounding faith. 

Despite these beliefs and knowledge, I had an epitome last Sunday while in church, one that struck me to my momma core. 

God sent his son to die for us.  

God sent his SON to die for us.

God sent his son to DIE for us.

God sent his son to die for US.

God sent his SON to DIE for US.

As mommas, have you ever truly, honestly, really thought about the depth and meaning of that statement? Oh, sure, we've heard it over and over, but have you ever really thought about it. And not just as some urban legend, not just as some tall tale, not just as some fantastical story. As something that really, actually happened?

Try this: Personify it. Read that statement again, only this time, replace GOD with I and replace HIS with MY. 

I sent MY son to die...

Can you imagine? Can you ever imagine sending your own child to die?

I was sitting in church and suddenly my momma heart ached. The absolute ANGUISH and DESPAIR I would feel if I sent my son, my actual, real son, to die. I thought about the moments I would have with him before his death, knowing that I was the one who was sending him to it, all for the salvation of the sinners. I thought about how unfathomable, how unspeakable, how unimaginable those moments would be, and how I would ache knowing what was to come. 

And, to be totally honest? To show just what a sinner I am?

I realized that I wouldn't be able to do it. I would not be able to send my own son to die, even if it was for the salvation of others. I wish I was a good enough person to be able to say that I could do it. But I am not. I am a sinner. I am not enough.

But you know who is? 


He made this sacrifice for us, the rest of his beloved children. He saved us by sacrificing his Son. Can you imagine? He did this. He faced these very unfathomable, unspeakable, unimaginable moments. And He saved us.

We, God's children, are blessed.

This month, I will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior and will be more aware than ever of the sacrifices that were made for us, the sinners of the world. 


As a momma, I will thank my Heavenly Father every day for his abundant love and forgiveness and feel honored to try and shine his light through my own faith. 

Aren't we all so lucky to have a Father in heaven who loves us even more than we love our own children? It's hard to imagine, isn't it?

Thanks be to God. 

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds, you are healed. 1 Peter 2:24.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cheers To The Weekend: Thanksgiving Edition

Some how, some way, it is already time for Thanksgiving. People told me that the year would fly by once Banks started elementary school, and boy were they right!!! And on that note, on this weekend before Thanksgiving, here's what I'm saying CHEERS to:

The L.W. Rutland Thanksgiving Food Drive. I could not be happier to report that, for the ninth year in a row, many, many families in need (and by many, I mean 80!) will receive Thanksgiving meals thanks to the kindness and generosity of so many of our friends and family. I absolutely cannot thank you enough for making this fundraiser a smashing success. <3

100th Pure Barre class. I may have mentioned a time or two 10,000 times or so how much I Iove Pure Barre. After my hub and I decided that Harrison would be our last baby, I wanted to work hard to tone things back up, while challenging myself mentally and physically and also prioritizing a little necessary "me time" each week to help my sanity. So, earlier this year, I began attending Pure Barre and have gone anywhere from 2 to 4 times a week since then. For me, it is incredibly important for my mental, emotional, and physical health, as it makes me feel like a happier and more energized momma, which is definitely required for me to keep up with my little circus. ;) This morning, at 5:45 am, I completed my 100th class. I am very proud of this accomplishment and am so thankful for the wonderful Pure Barre friendships I've developed along the way, including with the beautiful and inspiring instructors. <3 

Clemson football. As of today, our Clemson Tigers are undefeated, standing strong at a #1 ranking for the first time since 1981. Tomorrow, my little family and I will travel to Tiger Town to cheer on our Tigers in the last home game of the 2015-16 season. Here's hoping we take down the Wake Forest Deacs and bring home the W!

4th Birthday Party Planning. My little lady will turn 4 shortly after we welcome in 2016, which means party planning is well under way! Similar to last year's party, I decided to "farm out" the party, which in this case means the venue, activity, and invitations are already handled by the location where we're having it. That certainly takes a lot of pressure off a momma, and I can't wait for her big 0-4 celebration. :) 

Christmas cards. Our 2015 family Christmas cards came in the mail, and I am SO happy with how they turned out. I did something a little different this year, which I'll explain after they all go in the mail in a couple weeks. :)

Family time. It is incredibly important to my little family of five to spend the holidays with both "sides" of the family. So, as we've done for the last 12 (13?) years, we'll be clocking in hours in both Aiken and Columbia next week, eating our weight in turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole. Yummy! 

That being said, I'll be taking a break from the blog next week to spend time with those I love but will be back the following week with lots of fun posts planned for December, including a little something special for YOU, my dear friends and family. Love you all!

Happy Thanksgiving! <3

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Whew. Wednesday.


Because I use this space to journal the comings and goings in our life, I don't like to neglect it. But. Sometimes life gets busy. And while writing is one of my favorite things to do, and I try to carve out time for it each week, sometimes there are just not enough hours. Regardless, I want to remember this fun and crazy time; so, here is what's been going on around here the last couple of weeks: 

My hub and I had an amazing weekend away in Clemson with our college BFFs two weeks ago, cheering on our Tigers to victory over the 'Noles in a nailbiter. And then cheered them on from home this past weekend as they traveled to, and won in, Syracuse. Go Tigers! We are loving the undefeated seasons of our two favorite teams, the Clemson Tigers and the Carolina Panthers. This may never happen again; so, we are enjoying every minute!

We got to spend a day caring for our sweet, youngest nephew, Wilson, while his parents cheered on our Carolina Panthers.

Banks battled a virus that turned into a 104+ fever that turned into an evening visit to urgent care that turned into his first ever ear infection and kept him out of school for two days. 

Our little family of five hosted our second annual cupcake stand to benefit the L.W. Rutland Thanksgiving Food Drive, raising $233 in the process!

We lunched with Banks, last week's Star Student in his classroom, at school and attended the book fair. I let each kiddo pick out their own book: Harrison chose Peppa Pig; Raleigh chose a princess one complete with hair ties; Banks chose The History of College Football. Nailed it. 

We had dinner and game night with two other dear couples, no kids allowed, laughing and drinking and dining the night away

We doubled dated with some of our dearest at an awesome new restaurant in Charlotte, eating our weight in tapas and enjoying several tasty beverages. 

I snuck out for a night on the town with one of my bestest. 

I also put on my ol' trusty psychologist hat and consulted at church to help a couple of kiddos in need of a little extra help. We watched college football. We got our schedules organized for the next few months. We cleaned and organized the garage and playroom. We worked on Christmas lists. We attended FIVE separate doctor appointments. We hit up Pure Barre and F3. We did daily homework and projects. We played outside as much as possible. We attended dance class. We ran errands. We had playdates with friends. We did some R+F work. And we, well, breathed somewhere in between. Whew, indeed. 

Happy Hump Day, y'all! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Loss

Last week was a really hard one for me, emotionally, for several reasons: the unexpected loss of a young, vibrant, much-loved man; hard health news for others I love; the unfathomable acts of terrorism in Paris. Ugh. Weeks like that are really, really tough. They make my heart ache, my stomach hurt, and my tears readily fall. It is easy to lose faith during such times. 


It is more comforting to hold strong to faith during such times. 

When things are going well, I think it is easy to "forget" about God. But when faced with loss or tragedy or overwhelming sadness, I think we are more apt to lean on Him. And I certainly think that the greatest comfort when faced with such unfathomable circumstances comes from faith. 

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Phillipians 3: 20-21.

I hope that all those who are hurting are able to lean on not only the love of those around them, but also on their faith

That being said, for this week, I have a challenge for all my Mom-ing Through Faith mommas out there. Something that will encourage us to not only rely on our Lord during times of great heartache and need, but also during times of goodness and joy. It is something I started doing about six months ago, and it really helps my day start off on a grateful note, helping to keep what matters most in perspective: 

As soon as your eyes pop open each morning this week, before you reach for your iPhone or greet your spouse, before you climb out of bed or turn on the tv, pause and say a quick prayer to God, one that does not ask for anything at all but instead expresses your gratitude for the many joys in your life. For me, this usually involves saying thank you for my faith, family, and friends; our health; our wealth; the roof over our head; the pantry full of food; a working car to take us places; our education; our freedom; our church, etc. It takes but a few seconds, but it is a daily reminder to pray not only in times of need, but also to praise for all the good in my life. I do not ask for what I want or what I need. I simply make it a point to say thank you, Lord, for everything I have. 

...always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20.

If you are hurting today, I will also be praying for you. Not only for peace and comfort but that you will be surrounded by love and an enduring faith. Amen. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cheers to the Weekend: Clemson Football Edition

In just a few short hours, my hub and I are headed out for a weekend away with some of our best friends to one of our favorite places: Tiger Town! That's right, we'll be headed to Clemson to watch our undefeated, #1 ranked Tigers take on the FSU Seminoles. We are crossing every finger and toe that we can pull out the W, all while having a good time with great friends. But. Before we head out, I wanted to say...


Halloween. Say wha? Yes, I know it was last weekend but we sure had fun, both Friday night at our progressive couples party and Saturday/night, when the Force was with us while trick-or-treating. I think Banks hit up somewhere around 50 houses; so, we are drowning in candy. Not that I'm complaining... :)

33%. As in 1/3. As in 60 days. As in, we are almost officially one-third of the way through the school year. This first year of elementary school is absolutely flying by!  

Magazine photo shoots. Be ready to snag the 2016 Halloween edition of Better Homes and Gardens off the shelves in a year. You just may see a familiar face amongst the pages...

Favorite things. And by Favorite Things, I mean my favorite party of the year! My neighborhood hosts this fun event each year where every party guest brings four of the SAME item, costing $10 or less for the item (so, you spend a total of $40). Each guest's item is assigned a number. All guests then randomly draw four numbers, and you get to take home the four items corresponding with those numbers. Make sense? It really is easier than it sounds. And so fun! This year, the item I took to give away were R+F Mini Facials (one of my favorite things ever!! Contact me if you want to hear more about this magical concoction). :) And I ended up bringing home awesome nail polish and lip gloss, Crabtree & Evelyn products, a gorgeous cowl, and a travel pill case, complete with Advil. :) In fact, I love this party so much that three of my girlfriends and I are hosting our own for our dearest friends next month. I can't wait!!!

Holiday plans. Family gatherings have been scheduled. Holiday parties are written in the calendar. Double- and triple-date nights are ready to go. School celebrations and music programs and neighborhood events are on the horizon. I know this is a busy time of year, but I love getting to see so many I love!

Healthy 6-year-olds. Banks had his 6-year well check yesterday, and I am so happy that my handsome little (big) guy is healthy and well. He is 4 feet, 1 inch tall (95th percentile) and 54 pounds (88th percentile). <3 And I'm thankful that my trio *mostly* behaved at the appointment. ;)

CHEERS to you and your weekend! And GO TIGERS!!!!