Frankly Friday [v. 5]

I couldn't resist. I wanted to do both today. Especially because I have the happiest Frankly Friday ever; at least, for myself I do. So I'll begin with my link up for Frankly Friday. Amy at Taking Steps Home hosts this link up and if you don't already know her, you should! She's sweet, genuine, and just an all around great blogger to get to know. That said...

For this, I have to say that my daughter is the cutest! The video that follows will prove such :) (I'm not biased at all.) And frankly, I'm pretty sure I'm one blessed mom! I'll take all the bad and good days with her. The one thing I hate is that I don't have an updated video. Here's what I mean: Zoë has been all over learning animal sounds. When I took this video, she had clearly learned duck (I'm honestly not sure where she gathered that one as it hasn't been a frequent sound correlation I've shown her and it isn't in the book we've been reading), cow, dog, and cat. The latter three have been frequently practiced because of a really cute book we're borrowing from the library: Hello, Day! by Anita Lobel. She now will do elephant with a ridiculously cute arm trunk (this was learned between her Little People Zoo Talkers Zoo - which I LOVE, by the way- and me showing her :) and has added rabbit, too. (The book says "The rabbit says 'Pr Pr Pr.'" Cute, huh?) Anyway, without further adieu, here's the video:

Life isn't always easy being a mom. Any mom can tell you this. Actually, any good nanny can tell you this. If you've worked with kids consistently, there are plenty of times you want to join them in their pity party. (Or is that just me?) There are many times you can find yourself wanting to succumb to feelings of anger, frustration, self-doubt, incompetence, you name it and throw in the towel.
And yet, when you don't, when you choose to look at the many, many blessings that come from all the hard work, you remember how worth it is. You remember that the gift of having a tiny human blessing far outweighs any bad days you may see. And that is one reminder that keeps me going at the end of the days I want to throw in that towel hard.


A Little About Me

So I found some questions online just so you could get to know me a little bit better. The answers to many of these may be floating around my blog, but I thought it'd be fun to have it all in one little area of my site :)

1. Were you named after anyone? Yes, but my family is no longer in touch with her and I didn't keep the name. And it wasn't anyone famous.

2. When was the last time you cried? When I read my sister's post about my two nephews, her older boys, met their little brother.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Sometimes, though apparently it's unthinkable that I don't per many people's comments.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? I'm not sure. I'm not the biggest fan of lunch meat, but I guess if I had to pick one it would be roast beef. Honestly, it changes. One week I want smoked turkey and the next I want roast beef.

5. Do you have kids? Yes. One precious 14 month old girl and one angel baby.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I think so.

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Mmmm...it depends on the moment. I do but it isn't the general cuts someone down. It's kind of stupid, silly sarcasm. i.e. "Zoë, I don't think you like that strawberry shortcake. You're not licking your lips or anything..."
8. Do you still have your tonsils? Nope. Nor my adenoids. And I'm so grateful because if I had both I could possibly be dead and if still here definitely would be a "mouth breather" and snore like no ones business.

9. Would you bungee jump? Only if the hubs wanted me to have the experience with him. I've told him I'd venture to sky dive if he wanted. That would be a story to tell. I'm afraid of heights...
10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes. Always. It bugs me to go to put my shoes and find that I have to spend time untieing them.

11. What is your favorite cereal? Cinnamon Toast Crunch
12. Do you think you are strong? Hmmm...physically - no. Emotionally - maybe, but not in a "I don't show any emotion" kind of way; to me, that is stronger than not showing emotion.

13. What is your favorite ice cream? You're asking me to pick my favorite? Seriously? I can't pick one. Does that tell you anything? I like cookie dough. Moolineum Crunch. Coffee. Pralines and Cream.  Phish Food. Cherry Garcia.
14. What is the first thing you notice about people? I watch facial expressions and try to figure out how well they match up with their tone of voice. On a simpler note, I notice smiles - does it reach their eyes? Is it a facade?

15. Red or Pink? Once upon a time, I would have said red, but now I love pink.

16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself? How much I struggle to no interrupt people when I'm talking. I feel like I interject way too much and somehow miss that the person wasn't finished.

17. Who do you miss the most? My family. I feel like wait, we are spread out across the world. Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and currently Turkey. My siblings are not a hop, skip, and jump away :(

18. What color shoes are you wearing? I'm not wearing any. If I'm indoors, at home, I generally am not wearing shoes. I only wear them when I know I'm headed out somewhere.

19. What was the last thing you ate? popcorn. Of course, it's popcorn. Ha!

20. What are you listening to right now? Steve Martin talk about working on the set of Father of the Bride, Part 2

21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Flamingo? I don't know. There's way too many to pick from. What if I don't want to be one color?

22. Favorite smells? A good home cooked meal greeting you when you walk in the door. (aka I love crock pot meals because that's when I get to smell that since I'm our cook :])

23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? my husband. I don't talk on the phone much.

24. Mountain hideaway or beach house? Mountain hideaway, hands down.

25. Favorite sports to watch? Baseball, ice skating, gymnastics, speed skating.

26. Hair color? Brown. And I love to tell people it's never been touched with dye. And I may never touch it with dye. Not sure what I'll do when I go gray.

27. Do you wear contacts? Yes. And glasses sometimes, too. Laser eye surgery - anyone had it? Have any thoughts on whether I should wait or if my vision should stay the same once I get "older"?

28. Favorite food? Umm....popcorn? I don't know. The answer to that changes a lot too. I do love lasagna.

29. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings. I can only watch scary movies every now and then. Usually I stay away because I end up with horrible nightmares. (read: I'm still afraid of under my bed and the shower sometimes because of a horror movie I saw in my sophomore year of high school.)

30. Last movie you watched? Father of the Bride, Part 2

31. What color shirt are you wearing? Red

32. Summer or winter? Winter. I am no fan of hot summers.

33. Hugs or kisses? Hugs

34. Favorite dessert? Good grief. Apple pie with vanilla ice cream? Turtle cheescake? Homemade toffee? Are you getting the picture that I love sweets? A little too much? Thankfully, we generally don't keep that kind of stuff around the home, though mother's day kind of ruined that as my husband bought me a few sweet things. Yikes!

35. Strength training or cardio? Cardio. I'm not a fan of strength training, though I can enjoy it using the Wii Fit. I borrowed my parents when we lived in Baton Rouge. I now think about purchasing one.

36. Computer or Television? Probably the computer. I've lived without T.V. before but I'm quite attached to my computer.

37. What book are you reading now? The Beginning by Karen Kingsbury (the link is to Amazon where it is currently free for Kindle. I think it's only on Kindle.)

38. Favorite sound? Currently it is when Zoë laughs. She has the sweetest, genuine giggle. Love it!

39. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles

40. What is the farthest you have been from home? When we lived in Little Rock, I went on a mission to Trinidad which is 8 miles off the coast of Venezuela.

41. Do you have a special talent? I play the piano.

42. Where were you born? Baton Rouge

43. Where are you living now? Houston

44. What color is your house? We rent an apartment that has neutral colored siding. If we owned a home, I would hope it was painted a neutral color. I'm not a fan of colored paint on the outside of a home.

45. What color is your car? Silver


Praying for Him: His Sexuality

Over the next 30 weeks, which I started with an intro on May 1st, I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband, wanted to incorporate the book, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.)  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made. I'll keep a list of links just below this on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy!


I'm staring at my computer.

I mentioned last week how I knew this week would be difficult.

And I'm still not sure where to go with this. Partially because I don't even feel ok asking Ben if I can share these personal details of his life and mine on the internet. For everyone to see. Let alone if he was ok with me sharing. I'm not sure that'd I'd want to.

Not because there are many demons in this closet for us, but because I believe it was something created to be between a man and a woman and occasionally discussed in a trusted couneslors office, but even then I'm not sure how much is actually shared. There are also very close friends that some information may be shared, funny or serious, but even then it's a rare occasion.

One place my mind continually goes with this that I do feel ok sharing is this: I earnestly pray that I never hinder that precious part of my marriage because he isn't giving me something I think I deserve; I pray I don't withhold that precious need from him because of some offense I hold against him; I pray that this private part of our marriage blossoms and grows to be something that glorifies God, because as crazy at that sounds, He created it and as such it is glorifying to Him when it is used within the means He designed for it to be.

By the way, you read that word "need" correctly. For men, sex is a need, which is why mother's of sons should fiercely pray that they remain pure sexually until they enter a marriage. (I could write another whole post on why I believe purity is of utmost importance prior to and in a marriage. I'm not sure if I'll address this further on my blog or not. And by the way, I believe girls have the same struggle for maintaining purity but it comes out of a need for affection. Anyway, like I said, it's another post, maybe one day. Just know I'm not randomly throwing this out there.) It is why wives should fervently pray that this aspect of their marriage remains pure. (No, purity is not something that needs not be asked of God once married. It is a life time character trait always hanging in the balance of choices made.) Though I obviously am not able to speak to the male thoughts on this, I have heard stories of men who did some crazy stuff when this part of their marriage was left to rot.

As I keep staring at my screen with a little something coming to mind every now and then I realize how inadequate I feel to talk about this. Mostly because I'm not sure that I have anything worth bringing to the table about it that I feel free to share.

I guess the best thing I have for you this week is this:

     1) If you are married, pray that God would bless your marriage bed. Pray that Satan would not be given a foothold in any way in this area, because once it is lost I have heard it is one of the hardest to mends and it affects so many other areas of marriage, too. Pray that you would not withhold sex from him unless it is mutually agreed on and you are fervently praying together (see 1 Corinthians 7:5). (Also, it is understandable for it to not happen after baby or when one of you is ill. I'm talking about there is no reason you shouldn't be having sex.)

     2) If you are single, pray that you would remain pure. If you have already stumbled in this area, God has power and ability to help you become "pure" from your past. Not that you can take back your virginity, but God can help you to "erase" the memories created by the past. He can help you commit yourself to being made new (see Revelation 21:5). If you ask, He will do this for you. He has already promised.

And so I leave you with that. It isn't much, but it was what I felt I had to share. Next week we'll be looking at my week of praying for his affection.


A Revelation

Not that it's some great revelation, but I thought I would share.

So back a couple weeks ago, I went on a slight rabbit trail in my Power of a Praying Wife post.

Here is why: that week while I was praying for Ben, one of my times with God was spent at my kitchen table. In that moment, I found myself looking at the empty chair in front of me and praying as though He were sitting right there. A good friend listening to me and letting me lay bare my heart.

When I did that, praying clicked with me for the first time.

Now I will say that I don't always feel most connected to God through sitting and staring at a chair while I pray. However, I do want to point out that in that moment I realized the importance of learning to converse with Him every moment as though He is the good friend who is the listening ear for you.

Sometimes it is harder than others. I found it very difficult in the midst of my miscarriage. I find it easy when everything in life seems to be kicks and giggles and all seems right.

Anyway, this small enlightening I had was something I wanted to share.

I don't know much about prayer, but I do know that God delights in our heartfelt, honest prayers becasue it is then He can begin working on our hearts to mold us more into His likeness. Find that place that allows you to comfortably converse with Him. Tap into it so you can learn to make it a part of your everyday life, even if it's not exactly in the same way you first learned to tap it. I am learning it is well worth the time and "practice" it takes.


Memory Monday: Memorial Day [v. 19]

My weekend was nothing but normal: grocery shopping, a date with the hubs, lounging around, enjoying the outdoors. Nothing to really share about; at least, I can't think of much.

However, I still have this picture engrained in my mind: as I walked into Walmart for my grocery shopping trip, I was greeted by an elderly man who handed me a fake flower. The years seemed to have been kind to him. Yes, I could tell he was elderly, but he had a bright, welcoming smile and such a sweet, aged voice. On his head he wore a navy ball cap proudly displaying he was part of a service community for vets, he himself included in that number.

I don't know if he saw wartime or not; he might have, but that is not my point, nor is it the reason that I have the image of him engrained in my mind's eye at this moment.

I am so grateful to those who have served our country, fighting to give us and keep our freedom. Without them, I might not know many of the liberties I know: to openly worship my God and King, to freely go to and from a store, to vote for the laws instigated in our country. It is because of men and women like him I am able to even write this post without any fear of it being used against me.

I see men and women like him or soldiers who are in uniform and, suddenly, I'm overcome by a sense of pride in my country. I see the flag boldly making it's statement in a clear blue sky, or even sometimes  a storm, and my throat begins to feel tight.

And it is because of this sense of pride and this so special holiday to me, both because of the freedom I am endowed by their courage and choice to protect our country and because I have family who has served our country, I cannot get that sweet man out of my mind.

Hopefully, we all remember those who have fought and died for our freedom more than just this one time a year. For without them, we would not have the opportunity to so freely do the many other activities and live the lifestyles we have.

To those currently serving our country, THANK YOU!


I know that I am forever grateful for them.


Frankly Friday - Bullet Style

You guys, it's late, but I feel like writing. Well, bulleting. Or maybe it will become a post. I'm not sure. However, either way it goes, I know this is going to be a "frank" post so I'm linking up with Amy from Taking Steps Home.

  • I have been extremely tired as of late. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not keeping a regular bed time or what, but I feel like I could sleep. A lot.
  • I've contemplated blocking all my social media accounts and not keeping up with many of the blogs I follow because babies seem to be popping out left and right like we're rabbits. (Sorry if that offends anyone. They're just EVERYWHERE!) Sometimes, I'm not sure if my heart needs to continually feel the pain in order to heal or if it's just making it worse. Because not only are people getting pregnant or having babies left and right and being announced via social media and blogs, my sister just had a baby (Yes, I love my nephew! Doesn't make me want to steal him though...just kidding...sort of...) and there are babies and pregnant people all over Walmart. And Aldi. And the mall. And EVERYWHERE. Did I say they were everywhere? My heart seems to crumble every time.
The hard part of it is that I genuinely want to be happy for these people. New life is such a huge     blessing, but that is also part of what makes it so stinkin' difficult to watch - my heart craves to know that I'm nurturing a little life inside of me right now. And sometimes I'm just not sure if I can take it anymore.

Then I realize that if I were to remove myself from it for a time, I'd just have to reenter it again in the future, so why not work through it now. It isn't the easiest of realities and it floods me with many emotions. Yet, I am grateful for a God who heals and who has given me scripture to cling to - His very words through those divinely inspired.

I may still battle with this decision. I may feel led to be absent for a while, but at this time, I'm not going anywhere.
  • I'm loving interacting with Zoë these days. She is growing so much and really beginning to understand the spoken word. She shakes her head "no" to so many questions. She also loves loves loves to talk as though she were really communicating. Unfortunately, it's all just a bunch of baby garble. It's going to be a lot of fun when she truly realizes she can't actually communicate whatever it is she's saying. I'm sure some tantrums are going to come out. She is very particular and wants to get stuff right. (Boy, oh boy, is she my child...Yikes!
  • I know people say not to push your child when it comes to walking (before I get farther, let me say I'M NOT!), but I am loving watching her learn. She loves walking. As such, she frequently will come up to me, point to my hands, grab hold of them (fits are pitched if she can't get just. the. right. hold.), and proudly start walking with her arms above her head to hold on to me. Also, though I want her to be independent of me, I am loving just how much she wants me to be with her while she learns. She refuses to practice on her own, couches or other objects are no longer good enough. And if she has a choice of me or her daddy, she chooses me every time. Not that I don't want her to get that time with her daddy, I do. (Almost every day I suggest he take her outside to practice if he'd like. Then I'm not in the way and he can spend time with her.) And not that I don't need a break, because I know many times the words come flying out of my mouth, "Why do you want me?! I've been with you all day." But even with that need, I find myself enjoying knowing she wants me, that as horrible a mom I feel at times, I'm obviously doing my best to care for her and she knows it.
I think that about wraps up what's going on in my mind right now. I hope everyone enjoyed their Friday. If you are traveling, I'm praying for your safety!

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, everyone!


SSMT 2013: #10

This post is a bit overdue. By a bit, I mean that it should have been up and going last Wednesday. But I'm a bit strange about posting more than once a day. I only like to do it every so often. I'm not sure why. I just have a weird tick? obsession? idiosyncrasy? Well, whatever you call it, I'm just not into posting more than once a day with an occasional two posts on a given day.

Anyway, I can say it is by God's grace and strength that I'm still plugging along with memorizing scripture. Some days it's easier than others. But I am loving how He is bringing me the verse I need at just the right moment and then it ministers to me over the two weeks that I'm honing in on it.

I'm even finding the old ones popping into my head so long as I revisit them on a weekly/biweekly basis.

And so without further adieu, I give you my SSMT 2013 verse #10:

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:24 NASB

SSMT 2013


Praying for Him: His Treasure

Over the next 30 weeks, which I started with an intro on May 1st, I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband, wanted to incorporate the book, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.)  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made. I'll keep a list of links just below this on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy!

Week 1: Intro     Week 2: Starting with Me     Week 3: His Identity

Let me start with being honest about this past week: I competely dropped the ball. I prayed, but it was almost as though I was back to my old self. This last week was rough; spiritually, I didn't make it.

It was just one of those weeks.

Maybe that's why I feel as though I have nothing to bring to the table for this post. Maybe that's why I'm staring at my card, and all I can think is I've prayed about this before. I pray about it on a regular basis.

I think I'm trying to justify my lack of fervor for prayer this week. I'm trying to find a way to say it's ok that I didn't pray about what Ben's heart prizes the way I did for myself or for his identity.

I am not saying that I am not forgiven for my down fall this past week. I am saying that I cannot sit and justify it and excuse it with whatever reason I find. If I do that, then I will find myself giving in to the runner's stitch in my side.

As I sit typing, I immediately thought of running. Likely because I ran cross country in high school and wish I could get my derriere up off the couch so I can work on actually running 5 miles easily again.

I'm reminded of how you can want to win so bad that you start too quickly. Eventually, that unpaced start catches up with you; you're left with a stitch in your side. Then you find yourself wanting to walk. And if you give in, you may never pick up the momentum you need to win. Likely you've already fallen too far behind to place well so your motivation is lost to really give it your best. And at that point, you have to make a dire, extremely personal decision: give in or give it your all?

This past week leaves me feeling like I've already made it to that crucial point. And honestly, there is part of me that wants to give up. Part of me that wants to say, "I will never be a prayer warrior. So why try?"

But God. He is a good God. He is good.

While my fingers are typing out my thoughts, I am immediately brought back to a scripture, that applies to how I feel and to what I was to be fervently praying for Ben this week: that God bless his finances but that he would treasure God more than anything.

"Not that I have already obtained it [In the preceding verses, Paul was talking about knowing Christ, being like Christ, and fulfilling all that Christ wanted him to be] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12 NASB (notes in brackets mine)

This verse brings me two places right now:

     1) It gives me hope that as long as I willingly admit where I tried to live in my own strength this past week, He will see me through and build in me a heart that earnestly converses with Him. A heart that is constantly learning to pray without ceasing. It reminds me I am not striving for perfection in my own strength, I am striving to grow in His likeness, which He has promised to do as long as I seek Him first.

     2) It reminds me to pray for Ben's finances from a heart earnestly desiring he seek God above riches.  Not because I don't want Ben to see the fruit of his labor, but because a heart that chases earthly treasures is corrupted easily and not seeking it's sole delight from the only true source.

And so while it might have been a "take two steps back" week, I'm grateful that this journey isn't over, and my God does not give up on me or ever leave me.

Next week I'll be talking about praying for his sexuality. I'm not really sure what this will look like, but it's the next topic in the book, so I guess we'll see where it leads; of course, it will be within reason.


Literary Junkies [v. 3]

It's that time again!


What am I saying? I haven't really participated in the link-up for Literary Junkies that frequently. I've only done it two other times. So I don't think I'm entitled to start with the sentence I was going to.

Anyway, I am going to be linking with Taylor and Lesley for the LJ post this month. And since I've got a brand, spankin' new library card, I think I may join in on their book club if I can nab a copy of the book their reading, though who knows if I'll actually be able to read through the books. I may be up for the challenge. I'll let you know!

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1) What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.

Well, I'm going to be s.l.o.w.l.y. working my way through The Power of  Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. If you follow my blog, you already know this. For newcomers, you can read the posts I've written so far by going here

Oh and by slowly, I mean I won't be finished with it until the end of November.

However, it's worth it to me as it's encouraging me to commit myself to praying for husband on a daily basis with a focus for each week.

I love how Stormie writes because if she isn't sharing her own story she's sharing someone elses. It helps remind me that I'm not the only one who needs her words to help jump start my lacking prayer life for the hubs. (Honestly, in general.) She gives some very practical, down-to-earth advice on what to focus on within each topic. And it is all biblically based, which is of utmost importance to me. I love how she saturates what she's bringing to the table with it. Good stuff.

I'm also reading...hang on...I can't remember the title becauase I never looked at it except for when I downloaded it.


I had liked a facebook page for Gospel eBooks a while back. My older sister had told me they daily post great deals on Christian literature along with free books, too. This book happened to pop across my feed one day so I decided to download it.

It if a farely easy read, but it has completely captured my attention. I'm not sure if it's the stubborn, hot-tempered Madeline or the sweet, going-against-the-grain Devlin who have captured me more, but whoever it is, I find myself wanting to pick up my Kindle even when my inner being is crying for me to hold paper. Though it is farely predictable, I'm ok with that as my daughter and I are finally on the other  side of mending from being sick off and on between the two of us for almost a month now. And even with its predictability, I find that the characters invite you in, making you feel as though you are the fly on the wall, which I love. Entering another world is one of the many reasons I enjoy reading and this book offers just that.

2) Summer is just ahead and my fav thing to fantasize is laying in a hammock with a good book. What are you top 3 fav "summer" reads?

Oh my. I'm such a reader that I'm not certain I'd really go back to reread anything. Even if I loved it. So I'm going to pick the first three that come to my head.

First up, is Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I just love how he wrote from the standpoint of Satan's workers trying to lead astray a Christ-follower. Plus, C.S. Lewis has so many great insights scattered throughout and the way they are said captivates my mind.

The next book that comes to mind would be The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Very interesting book. It's been a while since I've read this one so I can't really give you a synopsis on it, but if I reread books, I'm know this would be in my stack.

And finally, but most certainly not least of any of these, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It's also been forever since I've read this one. I know that it follows a criminal and essentially gives you a look into his thoughts. Aside from that, I can't really remember. I just know I am continually telling my husband how much I enjoyed reading it in High School, would love to read it again, and that he needs to read it because he never has. So there. Ha!

3) What are your top 3 summer "to-reads"?


I have no clue.

If I had to guess, I will say these three, in no particular order:

     1) She's Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barnhill - Yes, I struggle with anger. Yes, I find myself working over-time to keep from taking it out on my child. No, I'm not joking. Yes, I'm going and doing something about it. No, I've never harmed my daughter, but I know that if I don't do something about it, I am just as capable as any other human to lose their temper and doing something I would deeply regret. Only by God's grace. And I know I'm not the only one who struggles with it. (Hence, the book. I think if I was the only one, I wouldn't have that book for help.)

     2) 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp - I'm waiting on the copy I recently won to arrive in the mail. I cannot wait to read this book as I've heard nothing but great things about it. I also love that it's entire point is to hone in on all the gifts we are surrounded by and how they all point back to a God who loves to lavish us, even in the seemingly trivial and small things that we take for granted. (Heck. I take for granted the roof over my head. That is not small or trivial. But I digress.)

     3) START. by Jon Acuff - I am already in love with this book. You see, my sister had a Blissdom exclusive copy when I went to visit her early in April. (I actually like her copy more than my husbands because its my favorite type of paperback binding. Weird? Maybe. But I'm not a big fan of hardback. Anyway...) And so while I visited her just a few short weeks before it was released to the less fortunate (aka those who didn't go to Blissdom), I found I just. couldn't. put. it. down. Seriously. She was always finding me with it in my hands if there was any silence to be spared. Or even if a ruckus was being made. I was trying to soak up as much of its goodness as could be. I didn't have enough time to finish it, but since I pre-ordered my hubs copy, we also have a eBook copy. SCORE! Oh you bet that sucker is being read before summer is over. Can. not. wait!

4) What book do you wish they'd make a movie of?



Though I know they've made some great movies that do a decent job of capturing the book and I love (read: Harry Potter), I never have found myself sitting around hoping they will make a movie based off of a book. Because, generally speaking, the book wins. Every time. And many times, after I've read the book, I can never watch the movie again (ie Born Identity). It's a rare case for me to watch the movie again. And so I don't have any books I wish they'd make into movies. 

The end.

5) Has your favorite author published a book lately or going to publish a book soon? Tell us about it.

I'm not sure who my favorite author is.

But since I can definitely pin point my favorite children's author, that is for young children, ages 0 to 5/6, I will share that with you.

Our favorite children's author is Sandra Boynton.

Oh, and I had to ask Ben what her age range is. His answer: "0 to 85." She's that good guys. They're catchy, so they're extremely easy to memorize.

You think that last piece of info is bad? It isn't when you have a toddler who turns the page every .5 seconds. You can recite the entire book as she flips through it 10 times in a sitting.

Plus, they are either plain silly, silly with a good lesson to learn or way to teach a topic (letters, numbers, opposites, animals, etc), or a cute way to teach a lesson. Wait. They're all kind of silly. But either way, they're all stinking cute! I find myself hoping that Zoë brings me any of the Boynton books we have. Ha!

Now, back to adult convo...favorite author...

You know, I'm just going to go with Karen Kingsbury because I own a ton of her books. And honestly, I wouldn't have a book to give you guys if I didn't choose someone current because my other favorites have long sinced passed away. (Fyodor Dostoevsky and C.S. Lewis. I seriously love both of their writing.)

And she just released a new book:

Since I know absolutely nothing about it, I'm going to copy and paste the synopsis up on her website (the source for the image takes you there):

"The Chance is a heartwarming story about childhood friends, broken lives, and a long ago promise that just might offer the hope of love for today. In The Chance, Karen delves deeply into a theme that resonates with us all: It’s never too late for those willing to take a chance.
Years ago, the day before Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other, and sealed them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later and read them. But now, as that date arrives, much has changed. Ellie, bereft of the faith she grew up with, is a single mom living in a tired apartment trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches television to catch a glimpse of her old friend —Nolan, now an NBA star, whose terrible personal tragedies fueled his faith and athletic drive in equal measure. But Nolan also suffers from a transcendent loneliness that nothing has ever eased.
In their separate lives, as Ellie and Nolan move toward the possibility of a reunion at the oak tree, Kingsbury weaves a tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only love can heal."

Knowing how much I always find myself sucked into her books, I'm guessing this one will be nothing less.

I'm a bit surprised at how much I was able to crank out for this post. I guess if you get me talking about books, I can go for a while. Only proves that I love them!



Honesty. I'm all about it.

And right now, I've got nothing. I'm legitimately sitting here staring at my blank blogger post screen wondering what on earth I can write about, because as much as my heart is pitter pattering over the fact that I'm sitting to type, it isn't getting anything out.

Nothing worth reading, anyway.

Nothing funny.

Nothing serious.

It's just blank.

I think I'll go curl up under a blanket. Sleep? Read? Watch a movie?

I don't know, but curling up under a blanket sounds more appealing than wanting to write and having nothing.


Praying for Him: His Identity

Over a 30 week period, which I began on the blog with an intro on May 1st (so, 31 if you count the intro), I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband and wanted to incorporate the book, especially because I'm new to specifically and fervently praying for my husband and had no clue where to begin, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Stormie challenges wives to do a chapter/day and there are 30 chapters.) Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes constantly and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made but also keep it within reach. I'll keep a list of links on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy! (Oh and please NOTE: anything about Ben has been ok'd by him to post before I ever do. If he isn't ok with it, it never meets your eyes.)

Week 1: Intro     Week 2: Starting with Me

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" - Jesus (Matthew 16:26 NASB)

As this week seemed to be wrapped around my husband's identity (aka his work - I'll explain a bit more later), I thought it only appropriate to start with this verse.

(But because my mind seems to be ever rabbit trailing these days, I'm going to interject for a moment. Yes, I'm interrupting myself. Very uncouth. I'm aware.



I'm gonna get back to the topic at hand and will write a seperate post with an awesome experience I had while praying this week. I'll try to get it up sometime next week. And back to the original intent of this post.)


So I thought it appropriate to start there. Why?

Well, one of my initial thoughts in praying for my husband's job wrapped around this idea: I've heard people confess before that they are afraid to pray for the job because they are afraid asking his job be blessed means wealth and wealth will be their undoing. I've also heard people confess the exact antithesis of my first sentence: praying for their husbands job because they want a lot of wealth and to be free of any financial difficulty (read: selfish gain). And honestly, I've been guilty of both. 

This was not what I wanted to be doing after I read the title: His Work. (I must admit I am loving how Stormie keeps the chapter titles so simple. Easy to remember!) I also knew that after reading the intro and first topic this was likely not where Stormie would be going with it. At least, the intent behind actually praying would not be for selfish gain and thus it would trample out the fear to be praying his job be blessed.

I treaded lightly into this week wondering what I might learn, asking God to open my eyes to how this might truly benefit my husband. And in just a few short paragraphs, I knew that I would constantly be thanking Him for the gift of His Spirit who intercedes for me with words when I have none (see Romans 8:26).


I guess you need a bit of a back story, so let me be open with you: I married a could-be-workaholic. (read: it's a constant battle. One that seems to win at times, but not at others.)

One of the many fears I battle was and is to have a workaholic husband, who though loved me and my child (and any subsequent children) greatly, loved his work more. Maybe out of fear. Maybe out of enjoyment. I could really care less the reason, but it has always been one of my greatest fears because in my mind a marriage can only go downhill from there. I'm not quite sure where I ever got this mental image, but I have it. And I constantly have to set it at the foot of the cross trusting that He has a far greater plan than what I may be able to see at the time.

And before you get any ideas, please understand: Ben is a wonderful husband. He knows that he could become a workaholic. We're open and honest about how we're feeling about that. We revisit the topic on a pretty frequent basis. No, we don't beat a dead horse with a stick. We just make sure we're on the same page and both feeling good about where we are with it. He does his very best to make sure that he shows me he cares and loves both me and Zoë more than his job. He does his best to battle that drive in himself. (read: he prays about it. And from the prayers he has said with me, I'm guessing he prays about it a lot.)

So I treaded lightly. (And in the back of my mind, and heart, I can hear 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.")

But, lo and behold, Stormie must have been lighted on by the Spirit when she wrote this chapter (Umm...at least it seems she was for me in this time), because only a few paragraphs in I read this: "What causes a man to go to either extreme [laziness vs. workaholism] can be, oddly enough, the same reason: fear. That's because a man's identity is often very tied up in his work." (PoPW p. 50)

You guys, call me crazy, but I had another "light bulb" or "Aha!" moment when I read this. Not because I haven't heard this before, but because in that moment I knew what I would be praying for when it came to my husband's job.

Yes, I would (and will) be praying that God bless the work of his hands.

Yes, I would be praying that he find the balance between laziness (I'm not sure that I really ever fear seeing him as lazy, but it's still good to pray against it) and workaholism.

Yes, I would be praying that he constantly seek God's will in his work. That he would be living so deep in the heart of God he would not waiver in knowing that he was fulfilling the purpose God had paved for him.

But most importantly, I would praying for his identity, and that he would find it in God. Not his job, because above all of the other details I would be praying for, if Ben doesn't find his identity in Christ, he will lose the battle he faces with working his hind end off.

And the fear I had of praying it be blessed and what we would do with money should it come flowing in one day or the selfish gain that cluttered my heart when I did find myself brave enough to pray dissipated. No, I'm not perfect. Yes, I will still struggle with both I am sure. Yet, greater than the fear or selfish gain is a desire to see my husband pursue his First Love, to find himself only when he is in Him, and out of that love for God would be a worshipful attitude exuded in and permeating his work.

Thus in essence, I would be praying for his job. I'm beginning to see that prayer is very cyclical. It's all wrapped up in one minute, yet heavily profound, detail: finding identity in God.

On a bit of a lighter note, I was also reminded of two needs guys typically see their job as a means to acheive: appreciation and winning.

Though I haven't talked with Ben about whether he feels appreciation and a sense of "winning" from our relationship recently, I do know this: I want him to feel more appreciated and like he's won at home than at work. And even greater than that: in his relationship with the Lord. So I found myself praying and asking God to help me see how I can make him feel appreciated. And how I can make him feel a sense of "I'm winning."

Funny, I found myself walking in on tip-toes and leaving feeling like I just finished a good ocean plunge. You know the one: you're out deep in the surf allowing waves to wash over you and you just bask in that feeling of letting go. Fear mixed with adrenaline. (Well, I describe it like that because I've met some pretty crazy waves in Tobago - a tiny island 8 miles off Trinidad's coast - and I've been pulled by the under tow of a huge Florida gulf wave only to see my life literally flash before my eyes as I wonder if I'm going to make it for fresh air or if my time has come.) Yep. That's how I'd describe it.

Quite a thrill. Much more than I expected, and boy am I glad it was.

Next week I'll be talking about my week of praying for his finances. Who knows what that will look like. God is continually surprising me.


That's Awkward

*Update: I also noticed (literally just noticed...yeah. I'm not sure where my brain has hidden itself.) that today should be SSMT 2013 #10. I may or may not get to that later today. Looks like I'm gonna have a two post day around here somewhere. Cest la vie.*

Oh yes. I couldn't resist. And so I'm moving my PoPW post to Thursday. If you've been following that, don't worry. I really will be posting it tomorrow. If you haven't, you can catch up here and here.

Anywho, I wanted to link up with Amy for her The Awkward Years link-up. Too fun to pass up.

*Side note* Is it just me or is even the word "awkward", well, awkward? *end Side note*
I have no clue exactly how others are doing this, but I thought I'd share a couple of photos. Only one of them is slightly embarassing to mass produce (read: post online for anyone to see). The rest were bits and pieces of me that I found awkward through my middle and high school years.
So, let's get to it.
First up:

The arrows are all pointing to me. (How unfortunate! Ha!) Let me explain the numbers. (Oh and by the way, I defaced everyone because I didn't stay in touch with most of these people and don't know if they'd want this displayed on the internet. [aka I spared them the embarrassment :)])

1) I still had bangs. This was the 90s so maybe that still kind of fit in back then, but out of all those marked out faces, I think only 3 of us had bangs. Yeah. I was behind the times. (Though I'm pretty sure at this point I had already been pleading with my mom to let me grow them out. We still can't figure out why it took so long for her to get on board me as both my younger and older sister had grown theirs out. Weird.) (Also, I know bangs are coming back. I just am no fan of them for myself and wanted off that band wagon a long time ago. Nothing against them, and many people rock them, they just aren't for me.)

2) Ummm...that outfit. Yeah. I think it speaks for itself.

3) Notice out of all those feet I'm the only one rocking keds knock-off shoes. And colored socks. You guys, for F.O.R.E.V.E.R. I had to have socks that matched my outfit. Thankfully, I'd bypassed my sock rolling years by the time this photo was taken. (I'm talking literally rolled down. Not just folded over. *face meet palm* And no, I have no photo to show you. Betchya my mom does though.) Unfortunately, I missed the "pull your socks as high up as they go" band wagon. I liked to fold them over. Don't ask. I don't know. And I will forever only buy my child no-show socks for summer time. She can find some other way to embarrass herself. (read: embarrass me...I'm already asking God for the grace to let her be her own person and not worry about how that reflects on me. Within reason, of course.)

Oh boy! Was that a gem. And on to my next piece of black mail. Umm...yeah. I hope I never find any of this used to black mail me. Just sayin'.

So for this one, the photo itself isn't too embarrassing. I'm wearing clothes that I still wear today. (No. Not the actual clothing. Just the type of clothing: jean shorts and t-shirts. I don't think that will ever go "out of style". Not that it's really a style. It's just good ol' comfy clothes. 'Nough said.) 
However, the early 1900s called and they want my glasses back. (I'm not kidding. Check out this page on eyeglass history.)
I mean, really?! I still to this day don't know what I was thinking. I will give myself this margin of error: it is RIDICULOUSLY hard to find good looking glasses for my tiny face. Seriously. You, again, can ask my mom who has been with me many times. I'm pretty sure we go through about 50+ pairs every. single. time. 
Here's a little story on how difficult it is for me to find adult glasses that fit my face:
Just a little over a year ago I was looking for new glasses. The girl working was really sweet and trying to pull different frames for me that she thought would work. This one pair of kid sized frames fit my face really well but, boy, did I look like I was in high school. I quickly pulled them off. She asked me what I didn't like about them and I told her. She asked me how old I was. When I told her I was 25, she stared at me and apologized. She thought I was 18 and told me they were kids frames.
Yeah. It ain't easy finding a good pair of glasses for me that don't make me look 16.
I'm not complaining that I look young. I just don't need help in that department. I already get glares like I'm too young to have Zoë. Ha!
Sorry this one is fuzzy. I had to crop it so you could really see what I'm talking about for this one. The picture itself looks normal to most people. However, to me, it's embarrassing because I know that I'm not really smiling. I couldn't stand that gap between my teeth. I know it doesn't bother many people (I'm talking those who have a gap); I'm also well aware that many people never noticed mine, even if I was showing it. My parents paid a pretty penny to change my smile; they paid a pretty penny for me to feel comfortable truly smiling. The picture before this was a rare one in that you can see the gap I always covered when I smiled. Maybe not too awkward to some, but I find it a little strange that I worried about my smile. I am glad that I have the smile that I do now though :)
That about wraps up my post. I sifted through the pics I have and these were really the only ones I had stuff I could talk about. I know there are more, but they are all four hours away from my in a cabinet at my mom's house. Hope you enjoyed these gems! And click the button if you want to see other's posts they linked too!


This Weekend, I [v. 4]

I was going to write another memory down, another gift to cherish but my mind won't stop racing. Anything and everything flashes across it.

I can barely keep my eyes focused on this screen.

So because my mind can only barely bullet, I'm going to link up with Sar for a nice This weekend, I.

Yes. That sounds wonderful.

This weekend, I enjoyed yet another weekend of Ben being off on Saturday. I'm telling you, if we can keep this up I'm really not going to like when he has to work on a Saturday again. But, hopefully that will be a long time coming. Hopefully.

This weekend, I went on a "date" with the hubs. Yes, he asked me out on a date. This means we spend intentional time together after Zoë goes down because let's face it: we're not raking in the dough. We're just starting off. (Sometimes, I feel weird saying that because we have a baby. It's almost like that weird pre-teen stage where you wanna say you're a teenager but you're really not. Yeah. That's kind of how it makes me feel. Classifications. They're funny things.) And so we played monopoly. He really wanted to do something more, but after he realized we have 0 candles (yes. shoot me now! we've lived in too many homes that didn't allow them and now we have no room for them.)...well, let's just say he's planning a romantic home dinner for another day and time. Props to him for the thought though!

This weekend, I enjoyed relaxing around the home and watching Ben interact with Zoë. It's always fun for me to see her interact with him.

This weekend, I was given some of the prettiest Orchids that will hopefully allow me to enjoy them for many years to come. I'm all about a gift that keeps giving, especially when it comes to flowers.

This weekend, I was given a pretty hilarious mother's day card, which helped me find the sweet part of the day for myself. It was a very bittersweet day for me.

This weekend, I went grocery shopping. That's actually kind of a norm. A little boring? Maybe. But Ben and I enjoy doing it together and making it a family outing. It definitely makes it more enjoyable and easier for me because: 1) I am no fan of grocery shopping and 2) I have another set of hands to keep Zoë occupied. I might need to change that up a bit, though I would hate doing it at night because parking here is ridciulous (read: if you arrive in our parking lot after 5 pm, you might just be walking a mile from the back of the complex.) and sometimes I'm just no fan of taking Zoë with me. It takes twice as long and I already don't like it. Clearly, I need to get over one of my hang ups here. Clearly.

This weekend, I, on more than one occasion, found myself whispering these words to my Zoë: "I'm so glad that you made me a mommy." Another priceless positive I clung to when I found myself becoming sad.

This weekend, our entire little family was invited to enjoy lunch with some new friends we've made at our church. I'm so excited that we are starting to get plugged in. I also love this family. The mom is so sweet and I really feel like I could connect with her. Also, they have three boys which always makes me giggle inside to see them interact. It gives me a slight glimpse into the future of Lindsey with her three. (Baby Tyler, we cannot wait to meet you! You will change us all for the better.)


Twitter Provoked Thoughts

Linking up with Amy from Taking Steps Home for Frankly Friday. :) (And if you don't know who she is, you should check her blog out. I love reading her posts. She's so honest! Maybe that's why she started this little linky party ;])

"Whatever your job may be, when you're a Christian you ultimately work for Jesus as an act of worship and a witness to others." - Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark)

"If you're waiting for your sin nature to surrender, you're dreaming. It's a fight till death." - Louie Giglio (@louiegiglio)

These are two tweets that came across my scroll (I don't know what to call it. And I like the sound of that. Ok? Sounds good to me.) the other day.

Both left me thinking.

Thinking about how I sit around thinking about all I wish I was as a follower of Christ. But doing nothing about it.

Of course, this goes more with the fact that I idolize those who are "in the ministry". You know: pastors and worship leaders and christian writers. Those who I feel, at least outwardly, live daily working a job that is for Jesus. Not that they aren't living it inwardly, but the truth is, many of them I don't know from Adam. So I really don't know if the inside meets road with the outside. Oh, and I often don't know what their actual daily life looks like.

I've idolized those people who must be living for Jesus because their job says they have to. (Oi! Are my thoughts full of fallacy or what? Good ol' lies straight from the pit.)

My job certainly doesn't seem to fit the bill. (That is by worldly standards.)

Clean the house. Change diapers. Make sure food is there and ready and/or accessible for all meals. Read Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day 100 times. Change diapers. Stack and push over blocks 2,300 times. Run errands. Play with Little People. Put the toddler down for a nap. Redirect a curious toddler 2,324,304 times a day. Read Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton 230.5 times. Change diapers. Put the toddler down for a nap. Clean dishes. Play with the light switch for however long it entertains. Watch Praise Baby. Crawl on all fours. Change diapers. Discover the taste of a magnet. (Do we remember this subconciously? Is that why we don't put the magnet in our mouth when we could remember how it tastes?) Wash laundry. (Did I mention change diapers?) Listen to my husband who is eager to tell me about his day. Put the toddler down for the night. Wrap up whatever it is I didn't get to before then. Hit the sack.

And it repeats itself with slight variations on a daily basis. (You know, throw in a bible study, play date, library time, zoo trip, whatever it may be.) (Oh. And please do not read into how I wrote that list. I am not mumbling it off like I hate reading to my daughter or listening to my husband and begrudge that I have to do those things on a daily basis. Yes. I am human. I have my bad days where I want the world to revolve around me, but generally, I am very happy that I get to do most of that on a daily basis. And the parts that I haven't learned to love, well...I'm praying I will.)

I find my mind bogged down believing that there is nothing holy about this mothering/home keeper job. That certainly this isn't a higher calling on my life from the Creator of the Universe.

But it is. Because it is here in this time and place that He has directly placed me. It is here in this time and place that He brought me and my husband to believe it is the best, most God-glorifying act for our family to have a sole provider and a sole home manager and day-time child caretaker.

This is no mistake.

It is as He planned.

Which is probably why I battle those horrible lies:

You are not enough.

She is not getting the best mothering that she could.

You could do a better job of ______________. (Yes, that truly is a has-a-million-different-answers fill-in-the-blank.)

If only you would do _____________, then your home would be truly cared for. (Another multi-faceted fill-in-the-blank.)

You didnt do _______________ and your husband noticed. You let him down. Big. (And another. I think I'm seeing a pattern here...just maybe.)

There are a million different lies on a million different days that I am sure have flashed across my mind. That, like Louie Giglio stated so well, I will be battling until death.

And I can only believe that it is because this job that I don't always treat as the higher calling it is truly is a higher calling.

This idol I've made of "ministry" jobs, those jobs that just happen to be called so by our world, must die. I cannot serve God the way I should if I'm believing this isn't as great as those jobs. I will only sit around thinking of what He asks of me rather than doing what it is He's called me to here and now.

Which can include diaper changing. Did you know that?

What is it He has called you to? Do you fully embrace that it is your calling? Or do you find yourself believing the lies so easily slipped in by the Enemy?