Thursday, February 25, 2010

Taxi Cab Mom

Have you ever had one of those days where you felt like a volunteer taxi cab driver who pulled a double shift?

That was exactly how I felt yesterday.

Although I'd consider myself real organized and a well planner, I ended up with way too many appointments on my "to-do" list that were with of high priority and required a lot of miles on my Toyota Sequoia.

My day started real early as I headed out the door for a weekly women's bible study that I teach at my church. I returned home around noon only with enough time to throw some ground beef, hot Italian sausage and Prego in a crock pot so my family would have something to fill there bellies with when dinner time rolled around.

Carson had a dentist's appointment for 1:20pm so I had to dash over to his school, check him out early, and head across town so we wouldn't be late. Carson's tooth had been bothering him and he was scared to death that he'd have his very first cavity. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no fond memories of getting cavities filled when I was a little girl so the "C" word was off limits to both of us.

After the appointment, I met Keith half way home so he could pick up Carson just in enough time for me to swing by Brody's school and pick him up. Brody had a dermatologist's appointment in downtown Charlotte at 3:30 pm. It was raining outside and I knew the traffic would probably be bad...and it was.

The week before I had noticed a couple of moles on Brody's back that popped up from out of no where. One of them looked very suspicious so I thought it would be best to have it checked. I'm so glad I did because the doctor agreed and they did a biopsy right on the spot. We won't get the result for another 10 days but I'm so thankful that I took him right away and didn't procrastinate as I'm known to do at times.

We were late for the appointment and had to wait longer than normal to see the doctor so by the time we headed back home it was 5:15 pm...rush downtown Charlotte...while it was get the picture?

Surprisingly, I made it home by 6:25 pm only for Carson to tell me that his end of the season basketball pizza party started at 6:30 pm and we were going to be late! Oh ya, I forgot to write that down on my calendar. Thank goodness I had the mind to use the crock pot today.

Off we went (once again) in the wild blue yonder to Brooklyn Brother's. My phone was ringing as we pulled up to our final destination and it was my sister. We had been talking on and off throughout the day about my dad. He has been sick for a while now and we were both very concerned.

As I stood outside in the cold rain, looking at all the people inside eating pizza, laughing, and appearing to be having a great time, I talked with my sister about the possibility of admitting my dad into the hospital (more about that in another post). This day really wasn't going the way I had imagined and I couldn't help but think about what tomorrow would bring. Would I have to jump on a plane and head to Houston to be with my dad? I was starting to feel really overwhelmed.

Carson and me returned home around 8:30 pm. As I cleaned up the dinner dishes and barked orders to my kids about finishing up their homework and getting in bed, I realized how completely frustrated I was about my day.

I thought about all the mail that was stacked up on my desk which never got opened, all the bills that never got paid, all the emails that were never responded to, and all the calls that I was suppose to return and didn't. The thought ran across my mind "You didn't get a single thing done today".

I walked over to my favorite chair, plopped myself down and began to silently pout to Jesus. I was rehearsing the verses of that well known "wow is me" song which is on my top ten list and asked Him to please give me a new perspective on the day....and He did.

He reminded me that although I didn't get anything done at my office, I did choose to take care of the important things that matter. He reminded me that family comes first and that I had made the right choices. He also showed me that in the midst of all those errands and running around town like a crazy women, several amazing things happened and special moments had be sprinkled throughout my day that I didn't even notice:

The women in my weekly bible study had really been encouraged by the class that morning. They had a great time visiting with one another and several of them had some great ah-ha moments while we studying God's Word together.

I was able to hug on and comfort Carson in the waiting room of our dentist's office while he whispered to me, "Mom, I'm really scared" and then witness the huge smile on his face a few minutes later when the dentist said "Great job Carson, no cavities!"

Keith and I got to squeeze in a mini-date at Dairy Queen when we rendezvoused half way from home so he could take Carson the rest of the way for me. We also celebrated Carson's no cavity announcement over a chocolate extreme blizzard, chocolate dipped ice cream cone, and hot fudge sundae with nuts and whipped cream.

Brody and I sang silly songs on the way back from the dermatologist's appointment to pass the time and keep our attitudes positive in all that traffic.

I got to hear from one of the mom's at Brooklyn Brothers pizza joint how God is using her to serve in the youth ministry at a local church.

Yesterday certainly felt like a volunteering-taxi cab driving-double shift day but oh the blessings that our family experienced because of it were amazing! I'm so thankful that God changed my perspective and helped me see the day through His eyes instead of just my own. What a huge difference it made!

When you're having one of those volunteering-taxi cab driving-double shift-I'm getting nothing accomplished days, I'd encourage you to take a moment, pause, ask God to change your perspective, and show you the many blessings He's sprinkled throughout your day. I'm quite confident that He will.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's Shared at Panera Stays at Panera

I was in such a rush to get the kids off to school this morning. The school bus doors were barely closed as I headed inside to take my shower and get dressed. I had a very special appointment at 9:00 am and I didn't want to be late. The location of my appointment was a local Panera Bread and I was meeting my good friend, Lisa. The two of us had been planning this get together for over two weeks and I couldn't wait to see her sweet face and give her a big Southern hug. I was in desperate need of some great girlfriend time!

I've known Lisa for many years. We are busy moms that work full time and are super involved in women's ministry. With our demanding crazy schedules, we rarely get a chance to see one another. For years we would always talk about getting together but never did. Last year we decided to get intentional about spending time together. So, once every three months we clear our schedules and meet for a few hours.

We always start off talking about life's everyday experiences.

Kid stuff...

Husband stuff...

Work stuff...

Ministry stuff...

and of course, the need to eat better and exercise regularly!

Yet, it never fails that our conversations always end up heading towards a familiar direction - sharing our personal struggles, dreams, concerns, and pray requests with each other. Lisa knows that whatever she shares with me will remain confidential. I know that whatever I share with Lisa will remain confidential too. Our motto us:

What's Shared at Panera Bread Stays at Panera Bread.

I have a lot of friends that are special to me but very few that I can trust with my deepest personal thoughts. Although women don't mean to, they are sometimes prone to "share" or dare I say gossip when a good juicy story comes a long. Please don't misunderstand me. Not all women are this way but with my past experiences it seems as though gossip is often times built into some women's DNA.

Do you have a girlfriend that you can share your personal stuff with? Someone that you can trust and know she'll keep your conversations confidential? If not, I'd encourage you to pray for one.

When I moved to Charlotte four years ago I had to start from scratch developing new friendships. It was hard and took a long time. I prayed for months that God would bring women into my life that I would connect with and He did. I also prayed that He would bring a confidential friend that I could trust my heart with and He brought me Lisa.

Who is your special friend?

Can you really trust her?

Have you been intentional in setting aside some time out of your busy schedule to be with her?

If not, I can recommend a great place to meet and don't forget...

What's shared at Panera Bread stays at Panera Bread.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hey W.O.W. Girls!

Hey Wow Siestas!

I wanted to share so many details about next Tuesday's class that for fun I decided to do a video for y'all. Call me crazy but I thought it would be silly for a change....

Here's the link:

Love you all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turning 15

Today I'm celebrating my oldest son's birthday. Brody is turning 15 years old today. I just can't believe it! He's grown into such an amazing young man and we are so very proud of him.

As a mom, I'm feeling a little melancholy today. The reality that Brody only has three and a half more years until he goes off to college and starts his own life is a very sobering thought. I feel such a sense of urgency to create a "to-do" list of all the things I'd like our family to experience before he graduates from high school.

There are trips I want to take him on, places I want to show him, people I want him to meet, and experiences I want him to have. More than anything I want him to continue his journey with God and develop a stronger more intimate faith life of his own.

Ever since Brody was a little boy, we've taught him about Jesus. He's had a faith which has been constructed from the faith of his parents. He knows God's Word and would debate someone to the final end if they claimed otherwise. But having a knowledge of God is totally different than having a relationship with Him. I know that Brody has a relationship with God and I'm praying that this year it will grow even stronger.

I'll be honest with you, I almost hesitated to type those words because as I reflect on my own personal journey I realize that my biggest spiritual growth spurts with God came during a seasons of great difficulty or major trails in my life. No parent wants their child to experience trials and difficulties!

I'm trusting God's sovereign plan for Brody's life. He knows what's best for Brody and what will draw him to the very heart of Jesus. As much as I love my son, it pales in comparison to the love his Heavenly Father has for him. I'm choosing to rest in that fact today and the many nail-biting days to come.

Happy Birthday Brody! Love, Mom

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feeling Invisible Lately?

Have you been feeling invisible lately?

Do you have days when you ask yourself, "Does anyone really notice all the work I do around here?" I sure do!

Each day I dedicate hours of my time making beds, washing clothes, running errands, preparing meals, scheduling appointments, returning phone calls, replying to emails but...

No one seems to notice.

No one says "thank you".

No one seems to really care.

I often wonder to myself what would really happen if I stopped doing all these things. How long would it take my family and others to notice? Would they begin to appreciate me then? Would they pitch in and help? Would they say thank you every once in a while?

Honestly, deep down inside I know that my family loves and appreciates me. And, there are many times that they tell me so. I can't allow my thoughts and attitude to be so self focused that I fall head first into a huge pity party while singing the "woe is me" chorus on my way down.

I need to remind myself that I'm not doing these things to win the approval or attention of others. I'm doing these things because it's what God has assigned for me each day. Honestly, I need to rejoice and thank Him for giving me the mental capacity and physical capability to accomplish what I perceive as mundane tasks instead of whining about it all the time.

This morning someone sent me a video that totally changed my perspective on God's assignment for my life.

My assignment as a wife.

My assignment as a mother.

My assignment as a friend.

My assignment as a woman in a world that seldom notices.

I'm praying that if God lead you to my blog today He will also prompt you to take a minute out of your hectic day and watch this video clip below. I'm trusting that He will change your perspective as you listen and watch a woman who believes she's invisible sometimes...just like you and me.

Click on the words below to watch the video...
The Invisible Woman

How do you feel now? I'd love to hear from you :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Who Dat Celebration

I've never been so proud to be a Cajun girl from New Orleans in all my life!

Last night my family sat around our big t.v. screen surrounded by Chinese food, hamburgers, french fries, and Pepsi as we watched the nail biting first half of Super Bowl XLIV. We were all very excited but quite leery about the outcome of this year's game.

Our hearts were for the New Orleans Saints since my husband and I both grew up in the Big Easy. We had watched many games over the years with hopes of singing the "Who Dat" chant at the end of each game but often times our hearts were disappointed with another loss.

Game after game...

Season after season...

Year after year...

When the half time show started I realized that my stomach was hurting and it wasn't because of all the Chinese food I had devoured. It was because I was so tense and nervous about the score. I had to laugh at myself because I'm really not a big football fan. Most of the time I have no idea which teams are headed to the playoffs but this year I had a vested interest. This year I was a committed fan. This year it would be personal.

As the last 60 seconds counted down and the Saints were pronounced Super Bowl XLIV Champions my husband and two boys laughed hysterically at me as I video taped my t.v. screen during those glorious moments. I told them that this was most likely a once in a lifetime victory and I wanted to capture it on film.

My guess is that the mayor of Who Dat Nation has declared today an official holiday. As New Orleans fans celebrate in the streets of the French Quarter, I'd imagine that many of them will be throwing Mardi Gras beads, sipping on cafe au late, and eating fresh king cake while singing the "Who Dat" chant until their throats are sore.

Congratulations New Orleans! It's been a very long time coming and you've fought hard to win this victory and claim your prize.