Monday, February 29, 2016

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Being Uncomfortable

A friend posted this quote several weeks ago, and I have thought about it every single day since then. It was just what I needed to hear, right when I needed to hear it. Maybe you need to hear it today, too?

But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.  -Mother Theresa

We each have this one life. What are you doing with yours? Do you trust God enough to do what feels uncomfortable? Do you have enough faith to know that He will be with you? 

(For the record, I ask myself these questions every day. To be honest, I am trying to get to the trust wholly part. It's scary. I'm working on it...I pray that I will get over my own insecure, selfish desires to follow the path He wants me to take, trusting Him all along the way.)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lu Leftovers

A few "Lu Leftovers" (aka Midweek Randoms, aka Brain Dump) as we roll through the week...
  • I realized I never shared (part of) the Christmas gifts we gave our parents this year. Like most grandparents, our Bammy/Digby and Nana/Pop love personalized gifts, particularly those pertaining to their children/grandchildren. I decided to create two special pieces for them, depicting them with each of their grandbabies. Happy tears were shed, which always makes this Momma's heart happy. <3

  • One word: Ebates. I mean, y'all. Come ON. Why aren't you using this yet? This isn't a gimmick. It is seriously FREE money. I wouldn't lie to you! If you only shop, all you do is click through the ebates link to get to the store where you are intending to shop. That is IT. No fees, no strings, no nuthin.' I have made several hundred dollars from shopping online simply by using ebates. Basically, they give you a percentage of what you spend, just by clicking through their webpage. I have done this for a couple years now, and you should, too! Here: give it a try!
  • I also wouldn't lie to you about Rodan and Fields. As I originally promised, I have refrained from saturating your social media pages with millions of R+F posts. Don't you see enough of that already? I do. And I don't want to be one of the masses. I also REFUSE to be someone who assures you that ALL R+F products work AMAZINGLY WELL. They don't. Many do. But, to be completely and totally honest, some don't. I am more than happy to give you the truth about this stuff that is E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. if you want a non-BS version of it. Just send me an email or Facebook message, and I'll answer any and all questions you may have. Cross my heart. 
  • My cousin is getting married at the end of April. Last weekend, my aunt and uncle (who live in our 'hood!) hosted a wedding party for them. It was so fun and meant we got to see lots of family members, from near and far, and have a fun grandparent/sibling/cousin sleepover at our house. A blast! Next stop, wedding shenanigans! 

  • I started this book about a week ago. So good. So, so good! I mean, For The Love, is still my all-time favorite (so funny! so real! so honest! soooo good!), but I am liking this book so far, too, for different reasons. So, if you are looking for a few good reads, try out (1) For The Love and then maybe (2) The Best Yes. And then reward yourself by reading Carry On, Warrior. :)

  • For Christmas, Banks received Family Dinner Questions, and it is so fun to bust it out from time to time and prompt some really interesting and telling dinner conversation with the kids. We have dinner together as a family every single night, and I treasure this special part of our day. Throw in a game AT the dinner table? Score! 
  • Speaking of Christmas, I gave my hub a Big Green Egg for Christmas and shooooey, does it make yummy food! He has already used it multiple times since receiving it, and I know it will be our Spring/Summer staple for dinner meals as soon as the temps consistently warm. Any favorite BGE recipes out there? 
  • She rarely naps these days. And she is sneaky. She will try to briefly escape her room during nap rest time and steal away to the playroom to confiscate toys to bring in her room. She will push her little face up against the bottom of the year and yell out to me, asking if nap time is over. But no. Two hours--she must stay in her room for two hours and do as she sees fit, whether that be nap or play quietly. The other day, I went to tell her she could come out and found her like this. Sweet girl was just waiting patiently by her door for the okay to come out and just couldn't hang: 
  • I <3 Pure Barre. Have I mentioned that a time or two? I have been going regularly for the past year, although admittedly, my attendance dwindled to 2 to 3 times a week over the holiday months. But now, I'm ready to throw it into high gear in prep for warmer temps and bathing suit season. A couple weeks ago, I attended a Pure Barre intensive class, which was 90-minutes instead of the usual 60, and even more, well, intense than the usual classes (which is saying a lot). OhmydearLord. I may still be sore from the awesome lift-tone-burn session. Whew! 
  • My baby boy is FINALLY getting more of his bottom front teeth! He has been rocking two little bottom teeth for nearly a year, but now has two more coming in (and yet, funnily enough, he already has two of his molars with two more coming in). This kiddo just grows chompers at his own sweet pace. :)
  • I am a one sport/activity per kiddo, per season, kind of momma. Not only because I don't want my children nor myself to become overwhelmed with too many extracurriculiar activities, but also because I so value family time, especially at these impressionable young ages. But we will have an overlap of practices for a few weeks as winter basketball ends and spring flag football begins. And dance classes also march on. Whew! I am definitely thankful this will be a short-lived overlap.
  • Last weekend, my hub ran in an 18-mile race with F3. As if that wasn't hard enough, they had all kinds of crazy workout stops along the way (think TONS of push ups, sit-ups, burpees, etc.). My little trio surprised their daddy by making special posters and showing up along the race route. We were so, so proud of our guy!

 Leftovers consumed. Onward we go!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Being A Mist

I love to fly.

Last month, as my hub and I were traveling home from Arizona (Go Tigers!), I let my mind wander while staring out the airplane window. Two things were immediately apparent: This is an enormous world, and I am a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty little speck of a person. I am just one small being amongst billions. We all are. 

We flew across the U.S., over millions and millions of people's homes. I was thinking about each of those people. How every single one has their own thoughts and feelings and lives and priorities, hopes and dreams, struggles and successes. And yet, each of them, each of us, despite feeling our own lives are so BIG, are really these teeny, tiny, itty, bitty little specks on a great big earth.

So. Why are we here? Why was each of us, each little speck, uniquely and wonderfully made, with a plan crafted for our lives before we were even gifted our lives on this earth? What is the purpose and point? 

I don't know. 

I do know that I believe in God. And there was a specific reason he created you and me. I believe that one day we will understand the reasons. 

I also believe that, given that we are teeny, tiny specks among billions, and we are here on this earth but an instant, we should:
  • Use the time we have wisely. To pursue God. To encourage others to do the same. To be good examples for others. I think this looks differently for different people. And whether someone is brand new to the world of Christianity, with questions and confusion and uncertainty, or well-established in his/her faith, each is a beautiful walk, with none being better or "more right" than the other.
  • Realize that we are all sinners, daily, and spend less time judging others for their sins and instead focus on making fewer sins of our own. I tell my children all the time to stop tattling on their siblings and instead focus on making better choices themselves. I think we adults should do the same. I am a sinner. You are a sinner. We should turn our focus inward on bettering ourselves, rather than constantly judging those around us, so that we can be better stewards of our faith.
  • LOVE those we are lucky enough to have in our lives. And forgive those who have hurt us, even when it feels as though they don't deserve forgiveness. Over and over and over-we should forgive. I see hurt and pain around me and often wonder, 'How would he/she feel if their loved one or friend suddenly passed on? Would he/she feel regret over how he/she treated the relationship, over the love and forgiveness that went unshared? Or would he/she be okay knowing how things ended?' When I, myself, selfishly don't want to forgive, I ask myself what would this world be like, what would heaven be like, if God didn't extend the same courtesy to me? If He can forgive me for my multitude of sins, shouldn't I forgive others, even when the sentiment goes unreturned or unnoticed? I want to know that, when my loved ones' times come to an end, and mine as well, everyone in my life knows how very much I love them. 
I don't know why we are here, each of us, each our own itty, bitty, teeny, tiny little speck in an enormous world. But. I do know, at the end of my life, whether that be today, tomorrow, or many years from now, I want to be able to say that my speck of a life was one filled with love for God, pursuit of a better me, active attempts to make the world better by being a disciple of Jesus. I want to be able to confidently say that my family and friends know how very much I love them. I want to be a forgiving person who also seeks forgiveness from others. I want to be able to say my speck of a life, my short time here, was one defined, first and foremost, by Christianity. Do you think you'll be able to say the same?

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  James 4:14.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Isms, Part 23

It's been awhile. Time for a few Friday Funnies to kick off the weekend :)

Raleigh: "Do you know that my "Pledge of Allegiance Girl" that Bammy and Digby gave me is my sister?
Y'all. Her American Girl doll. She is talking about her American Girl doll, who is also, apparently, known as her "Pledge of Allegiance Girl."

(While gazing out the car window on a road trip...)
Raleigh: "Mom, the moon is going with us!"
Sweet innocence. <3

Raleigh: "I want to take these pants off 'cause they're hotting me."

(While listening to the Christmas classic that starts out, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...")
Banks: "A turkey and some missing toes?"
A turkey and some MISTLETOE, my friend. 

Raleigh: "This is a good Christmas day."
Banks: "Especially when we are together."
Not funny. Just melt-a-momma's-heart sweet. 

(During bedtime reading...)
Banks: "Mom, I'm curious. What does this story represent?"

(After searching forever for a lost toy and Momma wanted to throw in the towel...)
Banks: "You have to keep looking. We're Lutons. We don't give up."
Atta boy [insert muscle emoji]  ;)

Raleigh: "You just have to try so hardly, Banks! You just have to try!"
Try hard. Try hardly. Tomato, Tomahto.

(While watching Tangled, specifically the scene where Rapunzel cuts off her hair in an attempt to save her love, Eugene, and is crying at the time...)
Raleigh: "Mom, she's sad that she doesn't have long hair anymore."
Banks: "No, she's sad because Eugene died."
Clearly, having long hair is EVERYTHING in Raleigh's world. :) :) 

(When Momma had the worst ear infection ever and was trying to clean the kitchen...) 
Raleigh: "Mom! Don't clean! I'll clean for you!"
Oh, my sweet, sweet girl. <3 

(While wandering around the playroom...)
Harrison: "Oh dear!"
Oh my heart. 


 Have a great weekend, all!