Monday, June 3, 2013

Are We There Yet?

When you were a little kid did you ever go on a vacation with your parents that included a 8+ hour road trip to visit relatives or friends? With only 30 minutes into the drive, did the phrase "Are we there yet?" fall from your lips, followed by a big sigh?

I can remember take a trip with my family to Aunt Lee's house when I was five years old. At the time, we lived in Louisiana and Aunt Lee lived in Arizona. The road trip took 3+ days but to me, it felt like we were riding in the car for a month!

Doesn't time seem to drag on when you're anxious to get somewhere or get something completed? Today, I'm having an "Are we there yet?" moment. It's not because of a family road trip but instead I'm waiting to launch my new website.

I was hoping the big day would be last week but some unexpected techno glitches came up that has delayed things a little.  So much is happening behind the scenes and I'm thrilled with the way everything is turning out. I'm just not being very patient...

Are we there yet?

What about you? Are you anxiously waiting for something special to happen in your life? Maybe a big vacation you've been planning for months. Or, a special project  you've been working on? Are you expecting a baby? Engaged with a wedding day just around the corner?

Are you tempted to ask, "Are we there yet?"

Question: What is that one special thing you're waiting for and what is helping you to be patient while you wait? 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shooting In My Neighborhood

We've had some excitement in our quiet little neighborhood this week. On Monday we were told that Coke Zero would be shooting a commercial at our neighbor's house.

Early yesterday morning the trucks started arriving. Lights, scaffolding, cameras, and even a few police cars began to emerge. By noontime, there was about 100+ people all hustling and bustling around.The activity lasted until 8:00 pm. Then, it started all over again at 6:00 this morning.

Gosh, I had no idea it took so much coordination, camera crew, and green cash to pull off a 30 second commercial. The budget for this project must be pretty hefty.

And, you may be asking...who is the celebrity?

Well, have you heard of Danica Patrick? She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. Or, at least that's what Wikipedia says. Danica became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 in qualifying for the Daytona 500's.

Pretty awesome, huh? And, to think she walked right in front of my very own little yard.Check out the celebrity photos I took while peeking out from my bedroom blinds.
Filming crew setting up for the day
Danica leaving the set. Hint: She's has the GoDaddy green & black racing suit on. :)
Danica getting into her cozy motor coach for some prepping and primping.

She sure is a tiny little thing. Now, here's a woman who is living out her passions and experiencing life in courage ways to fulfill her destiny. I love that!

Now for my other exciting news. I'm launching my website next week!! 
For the last few months I've been working with three amazing women to get my site ready. They are helping me create a beautiful online space where you and I can connect. I've created each page with you in mind so I really hope you like it. 
To celebrate the launch I'm planning some great giveaways. I'll update you with more details next week. 

Until then, have a fantabulous Memorial Weekend and try not to get a bad sunburn, okay? Oh, and eat plenty of hotdogs (turkey-filled of course) and some apple pie a la mode. Yummy!

Question: What are you doing for Memorial Weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

She Speaks With What?

I could see my son up ahead as he walked along with friends, heading towards the designated pick up line at school. I had been patiently waiting for what felt like over an hour. Actually, it was only 10 minutes, but I was in a hurry as usual and the minutes seemed to be dragging on and on and on.

I was still several cars away and prayed that he would somehow look my way but he was too busy socializing with friends. As I waiting and watched, I noticed that Carson was starting to act in a not-so-nice manner towards one of his friends. I could tell from the smile on his face that he thought it was just a playful gesture but his friend didn't seem to be very amused by it and neither was I.

I wanted to hop out of the car and call out his name but the enthusiastic sounds of the students were so loud that I knew Carson wouldn't hear me.  Instead, I sat in the car witnessing the unpleasant gesturing continue, as my emotions rose higher and my blood began to boil.

By the time Carson got in the car I was reeling with anger and I let him have it. Without the skip of a beat, I lit into him with my berating questions. Why did you....?  What on earth were you....? Don't you know....?

With each condemning question, my son slipped further and further into his seat. The weight of my words pressed heavy against his heart and it was showing through in his posture and appearance. He didn't say a word.

The atmosphere in the car grew silent and tense. I was feeling completely justified in my scolding until this verse brushed over my thoughts.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue...Her children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:26,28a

In the midst of that silent yet sobering moment, I realized that I had blown it BIG TIME.

Did I open my mouth with wisdom?  No

Did I teach kindness with my tongue? No

Was my son going to rise up and call me blessed? Probably not

I knew God was reminding me of that verse as a way of softly pricking my heart because I had chosen poorly in the way I corrected my son.  

My words were harsh but God Words were gentle.

I shouted loudly but God whispered softly.

I was teaching condemnation but God was mentoring wisdom.

My next choice was obvious. I quickly apologized to Carson and told him I was wrong in the way I handled the situation. I told him I was sorry and asked for his forgiveness. We talked through what had really happened and discussed what could have been better choices. 

Restoration took place and we both learned valuable lessons that day. 

As I climbed into bed that night, I thanked God for allowing me the privilege of being a mother. I asked Him to put a guard on my mouth so that I would be slow to speak and quicker to listen. I asked Him to help me become a mom who opens her mouth with words of wisdom and teaches with kindness, not condemnation. 

What about you? Are you a mom or a mentor to someone? Have you found yourself in a situation where your words have not been kind, wise, or loving? What is your hardest challenge when it comes to taming your tongue? 

If someone was describing you today, how would they finish this following sentence?

She Speaks with ___________________ .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something Special this Mothers Day

I spent almost an hour yesterday looking through Mothers Day cards at my local Target store. There were so many to choose from.

Cards that were scented.

Cards that played music.

Cards that were printed on fancy linen paper.

But, the more cards I looked through the more frustrated I felt.  Each one had pretty sayings, but they didn't quite "say" what I wanted to express from my heart. 

Quietly, I whispered to myself, I wish I could sent mom a card today. But, since she now lives in heaven with dad and is most likely celebrating Mothers Day "celestial style", that won't be possible.

So, I've decided to send my sister and each of my sister-in-laws a card. I hope it brings a smile to their faces this coming Sunday. I'm also sending a card to my mother-in-law who is one of the most amazing women I know!

What about you? Are you sending someone special a card for Mothers Day this year? If you're a mom, I hope your family showers you with love, hugs, and maybe a little something special to remember. Gifts are nice but often times for me, it words of appreciation and an I love you that makes the daily motherly sacrifices worthwhile. You know... laundry, cooking, picking up clothes off the floor. That kind of stuff.  

Whether you're a mom or not, I'd like to give you a little gift. It's a prayer that I've written with you in mind. I hope it brings joy to your heart, peace to your soul, and a smile to your face. If it does, I hope you'll pass it along to someone else that is special to you this Mothers Day. 

As you read through this prayer, insert your name inside the blanks to make it personal and special for you.

 Heavenly Father,
I pray that you would bless ___________ in all of her ways. I ask that your peace will constantly be present in ____________ heart and that Your glory would radiate from her face. May ___________ be filled to overflowing with the fruit of your Spirit. May _____________ always run to You first and cast her cares upon You when she's struggling and needs help. Remind _________each day how much You love her.  Help ___________ to rest in knowing that You promises are true and may she walk in the light of your Word that guides the path ahead of her. Show __________ in special ways that you see her and will always take care of her, until you call her home to be with you. Give _______________ the assurance of knowing that You will never leave or forsake her. May ____________ declare that with You ALL things are possible and that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength. May the joy of the Lord be _____________ strength so that she can rest securely in You. May __________ beauty come from within, the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious in Your sight. I pray that __________ will know the hope to the calling you have placed on her life and give her the confidence to say, The Lord is my God and in Him I will put my trust.

In Jesus name, Amen    

 Happy Mothers Day...a little early :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

He Was Taken Too Soon

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Too beautiful to attend a funeral but that is where I found myself with my teenage son, Carson. As we walked through the cemetery, there was a cool breeze that blew, yet not a sound to be heard. Even the birds were quiet.

Moments of silence.

Moments of respect.

As Carson took his place, next to his football teammates, my eyes were fixed on the casket while tears streamed down my face. A knot in my stomach grew to the point that I could barely breathe.

How does a thriving thirteen year old boy die in his sleep? 

Lord, why did you have to take Bennett from his family? He was so young and had such potential? 

As the American flag was taken off of Bennett's coffin and handed to his mother, she cradled it as her body gave way into uncontrollable sobs. Sobs that only a mother can birth. Sobs that will continue for months to come.

Last night, after saying prayers with Carson, I lingered by his bedside for a few extra minutes.

Carson, can I give you a hug?

Why, Mom?

Because I love you and because I can. Bennett's mom can't hug him tonight but I can hug you.

Carson smiled and gave me a one of those "thirteen year old hugs" that only a mom of a teenager can appreciate. As he pulled the covers over his shoulders and closed his eyes, my heart whispered...

Lord, life is so precious and fleeting. Never let me take a single moment for granted. 
Question: Have you hugged your child or someone you love today? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Dirty Dozen

One of my least favorite things to do is go grocery shopping.

I seem to always overspend, only to get home and realize I completely forgot something that our family needs right away like bread, milk, or even toilet paper.

Personally, I find the big box stores overwhelming. They have just too many choices and it takes forever to get through the entire store.  "Rice on Isle 198!"

I typically end up at two different neighborhood grocery stores on the same day. One store has great meat, fish, and chicken selections. The other has boxed food (cereal, cookies, pasta, brownie mix) at a much cheaper price.

As a busy mom, I don't take the time to really educate myself in the culinary arts but I do want to purchase and prepare food that tastes good and is healthy for my family.

Lately, I've been seeing words like lactose free, gluten free, range free, hormone injected, and genetically modified. The scary part is that I'm finding these words on food labels in my local grocery stores. And, they're listed right next to words I can understand like sugar, flour, and salt.   

Last week, I was sharing this new found information with my friend, Joanie. She's a mom that knows all about the important things to feed her family. In fact, I'm pretty sure Joanie's name is on the Moms Nutritional Hall of Fame list. She only buys organic fruits and veggies, free range chickens and said something about sharing a cow with a neighbor.

We were only three minutes into the conversation and Joanie could tell by the look on my face, that I was slowly slipping into an overloaded information coma. That's when she asked, "Have you heard of The Dirty Dozen?"

The Dirty Dozen...isn't that an old movie? 

Joanie laughed and suggested that I start simply by reading The Dirty Dozen, which is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide residue. This list is put out annually by the Environmental Working Group which estimates that individuals can reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when simply buying these 12 foods. 

This seemed so doable to me so I printed out the list and now take it with me to the grocery store. I thought you might like a copy of it too.

The Dirty Dozen 

If you want to know more, check out this article by Dan Shapely at

Here's a video for those of you who would rather watch instead of read. VIDEO

Question: Do you think buying organic food is a healthy choice or just hype? Where do you like to shop for organic food? Do you have any healthy food tips you'd like to share on my blog today?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Good Bye Fear (Giveaway)

UPDATE: The winner for this week's giveaway is Cheryl. Please email your shipping address to That way I can send you a copy of "Untroubled Heart" this week. Congratulations! Leah


When I was in my early teens, I lived a pretty sheltered life. I had the mentality that nothing bad would ever happen to me. Then, one day I found myself right in the middle of a really bad situation. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time resulted in a pistol being put to my head. A robbery that was sudden and unexpected, yet terrifying for this naive teenage girl. 

"Don't move or I'll shoot!" The words of my abductor rattled me to my very core.  As I stood there shaking uncontrollably, I could feel the pistol resting against my temple. The hard steel surface of the gun's tip pressed forcefully into my head. As my heart pounded rapidly a repeated thought kept running through my mind, "I'm going to die - my life is over."

Fortunately, that day was not my last and by the grace of God, I'm alive today to share my story. Although I had no physical wounds from that horrible experience, the emotional and mental scars were carved deep into my heart, penetrating to the center of my shaken soul. It bubbled up to the surface in the form of extreme fear that haunted me for a very, very long time.

Replaying the horrible scenario in my mind would keep me up many nights and when I was awake, I would be afraid to go anywhere alone. Or, be left alone.

What if I ran into this person again? What if he recognized me? What if he had followed me home that horrible day and knows where I live? What if he came looking for me?

I didn't feel safe...anywhere.

I was afraid....most of the time.

I worried.... and the "what ifs" haunted me.

Looking back, I realize fear ruled my life and dictated my decisions. My biggest regret is not having God's Word hidden in my heart. If I would have taken the time to memorize Scripture during that season of distress, my fearful thoughts could have been replaced with God's promises of protection.

When the "what-if" worries came, I could have traded those thoughts in for God's truth. For it is the truth of  Jesus that sets us free.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 
Jesus answered, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life...John 14:6

On those nights when I was lying awake in bed, I could have been reminded of this promise:
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. Proverbs 3:24 (HCSB) 

When I worried about my intruder coming back for me, I should have remembered this promise:
Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them (him). For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB)

When I was alone and scared, I would have focused on this verse to calm my heart:

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 (HCSB)

Have you experienced something tragic in your past that has left you fearful? Maybe a situation in your present circumstances is haunting you with "what-if" lies and worries? Do you lay awake at night gripped with fear and anxiety? 

If so, I understand and I have the answer that can get you past your fears and propel you into unshakable faith! Do you want freedom from your fears? I do.

Real and sustainable freedom is only found in Jesus and His powerful Word.

If you don't have God's Word hidden in your heart, you can start fresh today by memorizing a couple Scriptures verses. Feel free to use the ones I've posted above. Speak them out loud and let them mend your heart and soul. Fear comes from the enemy and he can't stand to hear the Words of Jesus. So, speak them loud and clear - it will send him running every single time.

Question: What is your greatest fear? Are you still struggling with it or have you overcome it? 

Goodbye Fear Giveaway
To help you along your journey, I'm giving away a copy of Micca Campbell's book, "An Untroubled Heart - Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears".

To be eligible for the drawing here's what you need to do:

1. Share your comments to the Focus Questions above on my blog.
2. Share today's post with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. (see buttons below)

**Please include your name with your comment. I'll need it in case you're the winner. 

I'm heading to the Living Proof Conference this weekend but will post the winner on Monday. So, be sure to stop by on Monday or check here:

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