Beware deadly acorns

24 Oct

Well, everyone, fall has arrived full force in central Oklahoma along the I-40 corridor (most likely in the rest of Oklahoma, too). This morning the wind was ripping acorns from the blackjacks and spitting them across the yard like a shotgun. I got pelted and when I reacted in a completely appropriate way by screaming and covering my head, Jack copied me and now the neighbors probably think he has PTSD or something because he won’t quit it.

Anyway, once I had recovered, I got back to calmly drinking my coffee with Spencer while we leaned against the shed. Jack was playing in the yard and turned around to smile and wave once , then resumed his activities. So sweet. He thought of us in the middle of his concentration and effort to find the perfect rock. He wanted to stop what he was doing just to connect with us for a moment.

And I remembered that while I was doing my morning quiet time (I did it late today). I wonder if it delights God’s heart for us to take a moment out of our busy work and just say, “Hi, God” the way it does a mama’s heart when her baby does it? “I just want to connect with you for a minute, God. I want to remember you.” Don’t you think he loves that? I do.050edit

Hope Spoken link-up

23 Oct

Hey, everybody! Today’s post is a link-up with the other attendees of the Hope Spoken conference so that we can get to know each other a little online before we meet in March.

The leading ladies (Casey, Danielle and Emily) have provided some guidelines for our link-up posts and one of the things they asked for was a picture. Luckily I already had my mom’s good DSLR here because I was trying to take some fall pictures of Jack. But he is too crazy for photo shoots. So, I got Spencer to take a pic for me so that I could post a high quality and extremely recent one. It was pretty awkward but we did it.

Heeeeeeyy

Heeeeeeyy

As for an introduction, it all began on a beautiful day in April, 1984…Just kidding. I have no idea what the weather was like the day I was born. Anyway, I’m 29 years old and a homemaking mama to a fifteen-month-old crazy lunatic boy and wife to a tall, smart, compassionate man. I’ve lived in Oklahoma all my life except for that one summer when I did an internship in D.C. for a US Senator. That’s how I know the big city isn’t my speed. I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural communications (yes, we talk to cows) and a minor in political science and then I got to work as a lobbyist here in Oklahoma for a couple years before Jack was born. I’m pretty much a redneck and I try to embrace that without crossing over to white trash. I am passionate and adamant about the fact that God loves every person created in his image including the pre-born and therefore we should love them too. I don’t think loving people means agreeing with them so that they don’t get mad at you. Originality moves me. So does ice cream.

Now I’m supposed to say something I’m feeling timid or nervous about for the weekend of Hope Spoken. I have a few. The main thing I’m feeling nervous about is that I may not get to go! I already bought a ticket and everything but my husband may have a work trip come up at the same time in Florida and he invited me to go with him. So, I’m really hoping they don’t fall on the same weekend. I’m also a little worried about the money. I feel kind of nervous about spending money for the ticket and a hotel room when our savings account is overdrawn (it literally is).

Something I’m hoping to take away from the conference is inspiration. And new friendships. And maybe some swag. But mainly inspiration.

Now something fun/random about myself…hmmm…but I’m so normal…this is like when you have to say a special talent and you can’t think of one…

Edited to add: I forgot to add something fun/random about myself before I published! I hate being scared and so I stay far away from creepy movies and roller coasters. I’ve tried so many times to see the fun in it but it’s not for me! I’m a party pooper!

Here are some things

22 Oct

Alrighty. Today get prepared for some random getting it togetherness. Here are some things.

1.) I have always, for my whole entire life, had the driest scalp in the county. Whichever county I was in at the time. It’s very bad during the winter. I’m sorry if this is a little too personal for some of you but how can I get my life together if I can’t get my own head under control? So, I need to know remedies. If anyone has any ideas besides using dandruff/scalp shampoo (duh), then I NEED you to share. And if you don’t, then that’s just mean.

2.) I am now an official blogger for World Help which means that at least once a month you can expect to see a post here informing you about a humanitarian crisis and what you can do to help.

3.) I have just come across an organization called Stand in the Gap Ministries which you might want to check out. I’m currently waiting on information about the Life Launch program, specifically, and will share my experience here soon.

Okay! Ponder on all that and get back to me. Thanks, pals.

 

Scheduling chores

21 Oct

Holy moly I almost forgot to post and here we are 2/3 of the way through the month!

What I wanted to post about today was my weekly schedule. I have a love/hate relationship with schedules. I know they make me sooo much more productive but it’s hard for me to stick to a schedule I make for myself. I mean, what am I gonna do, fire myself?

Anyway, I do have a weekly house keeping schedule that I try to loosely follow and it makes me way more efficient the weeks when I really stick to it. You can find all kinds of cleaning schedules on Pinterest but here’s mime as an example.

Monday- laundry and ironing day. I try to do a load every day but I’m not the best at getting it put away so Monday is the day I make sure it’s all in order. I picked the first day of the week so Spencer has something to wear the rest of the week. Ironing is hard because it MUST be done during nap time because of the hot iron and all but as long as I make sure I am home for one of the two naps then it gets done. This is also the day I’ll be going to MOPs on the second and fourth week of each month.

Tuesday- bathrooms and dusting. Also toddler time the first and third Tuesdays.

Wednesday- meal planning and errands

Thursday- floors

Friday- expenses. I do our expense reimbursement bookkeeping for Spencer’s work and I try to do that twice a month so that leaves every other Friday to do any other projects that I want to work on.

Like I said, sometimes I fall off the wagon and forget about my schedule but I’m always glad when I stick to it. One thing I had to learn when Jack was born was how to split up my work into smaller pieces. I like to do the whole thing at once but I soon realized I would never again have a four-hour block of time to devote to cleaning. Now these little chunks work much better.

I encourage you to write out a schedule for any chores or activities that you procrastinate or get behind on. Try it for a week or two and you will feel like you’ve got it together!

I ain’t got nothin

20 Oct

I’m worn OUT. We stayed up waaaay past our old people bedtimes at a friend’s birthday bonfire last night. It was a lot of fun and great to see old friends but we are feeling it tonight! Spencer’s on vacation from work this week so we are looking forward
to some good family time. And winterizing the pool. And shampooing the carpet. Yeehaw! I have no clue what’s on the agenda for getting it together this week but I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

Holla atcha gurl.

Getting my whole entire online life together

19 Oct

I am just a hot mess out there on the internet, people. I’ve got different usernames for every site I’ve ever joined (don’t even get me started on passwords). I’m like 13 different people in the online universe. Going from a single college student to a married working lady  to a stay at home mom changes things and your internet activity sure can get disorganized along the way.

I need to do a little thinking and decide on a way to make my blog, twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts more cohesive. ALSO. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day and I was following approximately 45,987 Oklahoma education groups. That’s lobbyist life, it’s not SAHM with a toddler life. So, I need to go through and clean up a lot of that kind of thing. Basically, I need to gain some focus because I miss out on a lot of the information that’s valuable to me now because I’m following so much that was valuable to me then.

I know to some people time spent on the internet is a waste. And it certainly can be. It can also seem lazy or loserish or whatever. But it can also be really helpful and motivating and inspiring. And real. As long as it’s not overwhelming with crap that is useless to you. So, no time like the present to get it together online!

 

You never know what might happen

18 Oct

Happy weekend, everybody! I had a great day today. My sister and her two nuggets of ornery came over and then my mom came over and then my old friend from school came over and we watched our babies play together. I like when people come over.

Then, I went to my aunt’s 46th birthday party where we celebrated not only her birthday but also her losing 103lbs all through diet and exercise and prayer over the last couple years. Such an inspiration. I love birthday parties and weight loss celebrations and chocolate cake with chocolate icing and nuts and caramel.

Now I’m real tired. And I’m not for sure what I can say about getting it together today but I’m doing my gosh dang post, okay?!

So I scrolled through my Pinterest to see what might inspire me and I thought this would be good in honor of my aunt who, at 46, is looking and feeling better than she ever has. And that’s good because 17 has got to be hard to beat.

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Getting my blog together

17 Oct

This blog has always just been a place for me to throw out to the world the thoughts that are in my head. It’s basically been like a journal or a place to write really long Facebook statuses. When there’s something I want to remember, I throw it on the blog. When I need to talk out an issue and there’s no one to talk to, I throw it on the blog. So, it’s been for my own self-serving purposes. I figured I could write what I felt like writing whenever I wanted to and if some of my friends or family were bored, they could read it if they wanted.

But now, I’m starting to feel like WHO CARES?! I mean, before I never really thought about it like that. I figured if someone didn’t care what I had to say then they just wouldn’t read my blog. I’m practical like that. Through this 31-day writing challenge, though, I’m realizing that I don’t need to have a public online journal. If there are things I want to remember, then maybe I should just keep those posts private.

Sometimes my posts are to explain in great detail my reasons for my opinions or actions. I am terribly afraid of being misunderstood (which I pretty much always feel like I am but I figure so does the rest of the world) and I have lately come to realize that no matter how much I explain, if someone is listening with filters over their ears (and everyone is) then they are likely to hear something different than what I’m saying. I’m learning that I have to be willing to be misunderstood if I’m going to say or do anything.

I’m not sure where this is all going yet but I think I will have it straightened out by the end of the month. Right now, I’m just planning to create a blog which only has posts that meet a certain criteria. Here is the criteria (you tell me if you think of others I should include):

It must serve a purpose for those who read it. Within that category will be the subcategories of:

  • Being entertaining. Something I think others will find humorous and that might help somebody have a chuckle.
  • Being helpful. Meeting a known need by providing information including but not limited to links to resources.

*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my mind 47 times in five minutes about anything I ever say.

Love your face.

 

 

Can’t adopt but want to help the least of these?

16 Oct

Good morning, Friends! I hope you are enjoying your day. I have some things I need to share with EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.

Last night I listened to a talk given by Lindsy Wallace through the Influence Network. The class was on caring for orphans outside of adoption. So, it was basically about how to follow God’s command to care for orphans when you are in a place where you don’t feel like you can adopt. I’m sure anyone who knows me knows that I consider pre-born children who are unwanted by their parents to be orphans just like older children. Many of the verses Lindsy referenced on caring for orphans are ones that I use to understand why we must defend the pre-born (loving your neighbor, caring for orphans, caring for the least of these) and I feel like I can sense something being built, something about to come full-circle for me.

Lindsy’s talk was so helpful and I would encourage everyone to check it out because it will be available in the Influence Network shop at some point for only $10. But, in case you don’t check it out, I’ll share some things I learned from her.

First of all, I really agreed with her on basically everything she said. I think we would “get” each other. So many people have this either/or mentality about the sanctity of human life and, really, we need to have an all-encompassing, holistic approach. When you have the worldview that Jesus loves and cares for every single person, you realize it doesn’t matter if they are pre-born, older, American or African. We should be defending life AND caring for children in orphanages (group homes). We should be helping children at home AND abroad.

Lindsy also pointed out that orphans do not exist in a vacuum. Something happens in a child’s family that leads to them becoming an orphan. If we can begin to look at supporting families and specifically moms, (crisis pregnancy centers do this well for pre-born children) we can help to keep children from becoming orphans in the first place.

She opened my eyes to some issues I had no idea about. Did you know that there are ministries to help refugees all over the US? I had no idea that there was a need to help refugees- or even that there were refugees- in Oklahoma City! For information on that, check out The Spero Project or just Google “refugee ministry” in your local area.

Another thing I noted was that you can become a mentor to an older child in foster care who is getting close to aging out of the system. Often, when these kids turn 18, they are sent out on their own and they literally have no one in life. You could become a friend to them and give them somewhere to go on Thanksgiving! (Edited to add: Each state offers its own services and I suggest searching online or calling your own state’s offices. In Oklahoma, you can follow this link to go to the volunteer page of Oklahoma DHS.)

My favorite thing I learned from Lindsy was that there are actually programs where you can sponsor families just like you can sponsor individual kids. There are moms who want to parent their children but they don’t have the resources they need. We can help them. Have you heard about microfinancing? It’s a loan program to help vulnerable families get on their feet. While we are on the subject of moms who want to keep their kids, awhile back I learned about adoption ethics. I think it’s an important issue for everyone to think about. I’m not telling you what to think, I’m just saying everyone should be aware.

Lindsy suggested two books: “Orphan Justice” and “Orphanology.”

Orphan Sunday is the first Sunday of November. Go here for resources on that.

Fellow bloggers: Look into blogger programs with Worldhelp, Compassion or Lifesong  to help raise awareness in your circle of influence.

I know that a lot of times we aren’t even aware of the needs around us. And sometimes when we are, it just seems so overwhelming and we don’t know what we can do. I hope you will look into some of the links here.

Everyone can do something. And Christians are commanded to. 

The last thing I want to say on this topic is that we all need to be praying for orphans and their families. We need to be asking God to show us and help us to do our part. And the devil isn’t going to like it so we better cover it all in prayer.

Mission: Have a Mission

15 Oct

As a stay-at-home mom to a little one, I have struggled over the past 15 months since he’s been born to figure out how to have some purpose and direction in my life. It is so easy to just stay in my pajamas, scan the internet and drink coffee (in between feeding, playing with and bathing Jack) until five minutes before Spencer gets home and then go into a cleaning (myself and the house) frenzy.

Now that I think about it, it’s kind of like summer time as a kid after my parents got a divorce. My mom started working and so us kids would just sleep all day and make messes and eat and then right before she got home we would scramble to clean everything up and do our chores. It’s actually really similar to my current life.

Clearly, I need a mission. I need projects. And I’m sorry, but laundry and dishes just don’t get my motor running. Anyway, that’s pretty much what this whole 31 Days of Getting it Together is really about.

So, imagine my excitement when I ran across (purely by accident, I was not searching for any of this) a blog that offered an e-book called Mission Statements for Moms. It seems so cheesy, I know. But. At any job, the company has a mission statement. The employees have specific job duties. They know what their purpose at work is. This is what I need. I’ve never been good at free-styling it.

Once I had a creative writing class and the teacher (What up, Ms. Brewer?!) told us to just write something and she didn’t give us any guidelines. I whined that I didn’t know what to do. She told me to think outside the box. I told her I needed a box because it was way too overwhelming to try to organize and pick out of the tornado in my head. She told me too bad. I wrote something begrudgingly. I’m sure it was terrible. That’s kind of how life has been. I need some guidelines. I need some way to focus back in on what I’m doing instead of passing my days just waiting for Spencer to come home.

So, I have written a rough draft that I really like and I’m going to let it simmer for a few days and then maybe I’ll share it. No matter what  you are doing in life right now, if you feel directionless or stagnant, think about a mission statement for your own life! You don’t even have to tell anyone about it (you chicken!). Even though the title is Mission Statements for Moms, I think it could be a helpful resource for anyone. It’s really not mom-specific. In fact, I’m sure there are countless resources out there on the internet to help you write a mission statement.

Give it a try! And, if you do, I’d love to hear how it works out for ya.

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