Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hello there, it's been awhile!

I have no idea where to even start an entry right now, other than God is SO GOOD.

In other news, I'm not so good... at blogging! Ugh. Now Facebook, I can do.  A lot.  Pinterest, I'm totally and completely addicted.  But blogging is harder for some reason. I guess it takes more time and thoughtfulness, both of which I'm lacking!

So it's been a few months since I've updated the ol' blog, so instead of filling in the gap, I'll just update where we are today, and I'll fill in the blanks another day. HA!

So I am happily taking care of our kiddo's along with a 6 month old sweet baby boy, Jacob.  He gets here every morning around 7am and is picked up by 5 each afternoon.  It makes for a long day sometimes but I enjoy it and I'm able to make a little bit of money while staying home with my littles so I'm thankful the Lord provided this "job" for me.

Jeff is now the associate pastor and student pastor at our church, The Gathering @ Brock. It was a series of unbelievable miracles that brought us to this place. God has us in an AMAZING season of life right now and I'm so thankful for everywhere He took us that led us right here! It's so much easier to look back and see how God was with us every step of the way that got us here, than it was to understand when we were in the middle of it. There were so many times in the last few years (that's documented on this blog!) when I was terrified, sad, confused, etc, etc about where we were, where we were supposed to be, why things were happening.  But now looking back God knew what He was doing and I can't imagine it any other way!

My parents and sisters are coming to church with us, also! Well, my dad comes occasionally. He has a really good job working with a buddy doing dirt work (gets paid well to work on super duper nice machinery with heat/ac and radio) but it's almost 3 hours away and right now while the weather is nice they're working 7 days a week!  I think the Lord is giving him a break, which is understandable, and there's no rush!

Anyway, not much else to report... oh yeah, the kids...

Calling the ENT specialist in the morn for Hattie. Tubes, tubes, wonderful tubes.  4 kids, 4 sets of tubes... why can't they just put them in when they're born!? OBVIOUSLY it's genetic, people! My mom and dad had ear infections, my husband and I both had them, and now all 4 of our kids have had tubes.  I think I see a pattern.  Other than the ear issue, she's the most precious, dramatic, adorable, perfectly squeezable little princess ON THE PLANET. She's my love. I dress her as girly as I can until she's old enough to tell me no! Although she hasn't said "no" yet, she has mastered "uh-oh, thank you, momma, da-da, and Hattie." :)

Noah has started guitar lessons and is absolutely loving it! He had his first recital last Monday night and it was wonderful.  He played Hot Cross Buns, Are You Sleeping, and The Tonkowa Song perfectly, as usual.  He is also representing the 4th grade in their school's spelling bee! Again, not unexpected. He's hoping to win it all this year! We shall see...

Max. Hmm.  Not much going on with Max.  He played soccer again, that's 7 seasons in a row now, but when we moved to Tyler the team he had always been on fell apart so now that we're back we had to start over.  If this team stays together they could be really good, so hopefully they will!

Last but not least, Benjamin.  My buddy.  He's a pretty bright 3 year old, ADORES his big brothers, tattles on little sister all day long, and loves his mommy and daddy :).  We're really wanting to put him into some kind of 2-3 day a week preschool.  Noah and Max were both in preschool at this age because I was working at one so it was free.  Now it wouldn't be free, but Ben would LOVE it.  I try to do a few papers with him everyday (he's learned his colors and shapes, about to start on patterns and letters/numbers) but I have to wait till both Hattie and Jacob are sleeping so it's tricky.  He would also love the social interaction with kids his age.  He loves the nursery at church... almost every night he asks if when we wake up in the morning are we going to church to play with his friends :( He loves his friends...

That's all for now... not looking forward to getting up early in the morning after this wonderful Thanksgiving break!! Must stop pinning ;)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Shortest Never Ending Summer. Ever.

Ok, so 3 months without a single entry?! OMG I'm a slacker.  It's not like we moved and I've been home with 4 kids during summer break or anything.  Talk about a long summer that went by REALLY quickly! I know that doesn't make sense but it's so true! It's like the longest summer, EVER, but I can't believe the kids start school on Monday! Yaayyyy!!!!

Meet the teacher was tonight. It is such a blessing to know that the Lord hears our prayers and to experience it when He answers.  It was just amazing to meet Max's teacher and see that she's young, energetic and sweet... the exact words I use when praying for his future teachers.  They MUST have energy and plenty of patience.  Then Noah's teacher seems PERFECT for him... outgoing, very intelligent and organized!  We have been so incredibly blessed with awesome teachers (except one of Max's... She wasn't completely horrible, but there was definitly room for improvement! There's probably a prior post about that!) ever since they started pre-k 6 years ago!

To quickly recap the last few months, the move went great.  Back in the house I grew up in.  Back in the schools I grew up in.  Back with all the friends and family I grew up with.  It's been so odd... several times I have referred to things that happened 2 years ago as "last year", almost like the year we were in Tyler didn't even happen.  It's mostly odd because we went into that move assuming it was for forever!  When we made the decision to move (as well documented on this very blog) it was based on our future.  Our future was in Tyler.  And.... now we're back, and it's like we were never gone! Instead of it being our new home, it's just "the year we lived in Tyler."  It's sooo weird! 

When we moved back it was based on a more secure job with a similar salary. Well that was too good to be true I guess.  Jeff's first pay check was about 500 short of what we had been told it was going to be and his next was 300 less than that! Yeah, I was angry, scared, upset, worried, etc.  Then I went to the Lord and as always He gave me such a peace, a peace that all the money in the world could never give me.  Since then Jeff has been able to start his own concrete company on the side and has even applied for a youth pastor/assistant pastor position at the church we've been attending.  (Oh yeah, the church issue.... I'll have to save that for another post! Long story short, the Lord led us to an AMAZING church, it's tiny but we LOVE love love it.)  We should be hearing in the next couple of weeks if they're going to offer him the job or not.  Either way, I know we are where we're supposed to be and will always be taken care of!

That's all for now. Oh yeah, I start my new job, watching a newborn sweet baby boy, on Monday morning also! Getting the big boys to school will be an adventure!! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Perspectives

Last week at church our pastor made a comment about Lent that hit me awkwardly.  We come from a very different background than this pastor, which is awesome because we're getting a new perspective which can be eyeopening, and also make us dig a little deeper into why we believe what we believe. This week I dug a little deeper and love what I found!

Lent is a time of prayer and fasting leading up to the Passover and Easter season, to commemorate the time Jesus was tempted in the desert before being crucified.  When Jeff and I began observing Lent, about 10 years ago, we decided to participate because we wanted to be able to put aside things our flesh long for and long for the Lord and His Word in place of it.  It's incredible how much time everyday we spend on the computer, watching TV, eating, playing sports, etc, etc, compared to how much time we spend in prayer and in the word. I am not at all judging anyone, this is a personal decision entirely.  I'm also not one of those super hyper religious people who think you have to begin and end everyday in the word and spend the rest of your day in thoughtful prayer. I don't believe that's what God asks us to do.  He asks us to be IN the world, not OF the world.  In other words, live your life, go out and eat and play and fellowship with your friends and family, but don't let those things shape who you are. Let the Lord shape who you are so you can be IN the world and not conformed to it.

Anyway, I've always seen Lent as a time to put aside at least one of those things like food or a hobby I really love to focus more on my relationship with the Lord. If it's scrap booking I give up for those 40 days, then the time I would have normally spent doing it, I'd spend reading my Bible.  Or if I gave up sweets, anytime I got a craving, I'd go pray or study the Word for awhile. It's really an amazing time for 40 days every year. I usually complain a little, but I'm human!

Our current pastor obviously doesn't observe Lent, and for the first time I see why someone wouldn't want to.  He sees it as a time that people use to try to "fix" something or just to make their lives better. Like make up for the time the rest of the year that they haven't given to the Lord. Some people think that if they give something up for the same 40 days every year that it makes them a better person or will make up for something they feel guilty about. Wow! I've never ever thought of that before. Too many Christians are trying to live up to a standard that no one can live up to.  They think that if they do something special it will make up for their sin.  Jesus paid the price, people!!

I'm a Christian because I want to be.  Not because it makes me better, different or weird. I'm a Christian because I know I'm horribly imperfect and I need help on a minute by minute basis to live life to the fullest. Not because I'm striving to be perfect.

If Lent or even Christianity ever become ordinary or simple then I'm doing something wrong and my heart is not in the right place.  It's not about results, it's about relationship. Whether you're fasting during Lent, or for a week in the middle of July, it's about drawing closer to the Lord... it's about having the utmost faith and hope that I can ever muster up, and then hoping a little more!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Living on the High Rock

It's amazing to look back at where the Lord has lead us and is still leading us.  I think it's the only reason I even attempt this whole blogging whatnot. 

This time last year Jeff had accepted a position at the block plant where he had worked since he was a kid when his dad owned it. It was a great opportunity to slowly move up the ladder to a great paying position. About a week after he accepted that position, the opportunity out in Tyler came up.  It was a similar position, but with more than double the starting pay, so we prayed and decided we couldn't pass it up.  I wrote about it on this blog in fact, in this entry: The Move Is On.  Well now, after a year of bliss here in Tyler (we've been so incredibly spoiled... more on that to come), Jeff has been offered the same position at the block plant, but with the same salary he's making at the Tyler job. So.... he got the job he wanted all along, for the pay we need.  How cool is that?!

Today the Lord led me to Psalm 27.  The entire psalm is about the Lord protecting us during hard times or when our enemies are attacking us. Verses 4-6:

       The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.

I believe with all my heart that the Lord moved us out of Weatherford precisely to get us away from the whole church fiasco my parents and sisters had to go through. It was so crushing to my dad, I wouldn't be surprised if he never goes back to church again.

"He will place me out of reach on a high rock."  I feel like Jeff and the kids and I have been on a "high rock" for the past year, watching the devastation all around us.  When we moved to Tyler, we accidentally picked a house that was in the best elementary district in the city.  Out of 18 schools, we accidentally picked the best. When we moved, Jeff and I were so burnt out from working too much with the church that we made a conscious decision not to sign up for ANYTHING for at least a year, and we haven't! The Lord led us to the church where he wanted us and that wasn't going to push us into service. It's such a great feeling on Sunday mornings knowing I don't have to work in the nursery! I know that sounds so trivial, but it's been such a huge part of my life for almost 20 years. Did I mention that we've had a house keeper and lawn service!

Anyway, has someone been a tad bit spoiled? Yes. We've been so totally blessed, which is why I'm ok with moving back. I know that even when we're under attack from the enemy, we're totally and utterly protected. What an amazing way to live...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy 7 Months, Hattie!

Have I mentioned lately that I have the most beautiful little girl on the face of the earth???

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Life is weird.  It seems unending at times, and like it's flashing before your eyes at others. I have to remind myself constantly that I only have a limited amount of time with my babies, but that I don't need to rush them bc they have the rest of their lives to figure things out.  It's very strange.

When we moved to Tyler, Jeff and I had talked about how we thought it might be temporary. Just a feeling, but we have LOVED it and would have been happy to finish raising our children here in this simply beautiful area.  The trees are just awesome.  And the foliage is so green and gorgeous! Apparently we're in a drought, but  you'd never know it. The Lord also led us to an amazing church where we have met some of the best people who welcomed us into their "family" and we have felt right at home.

And now we're moving.  Again.

I have such mixed emotions.  I'm so sad to be leaving our church.  My kids LOVE it.  Ben wakes up on Sundays running around squealing in delight about going to "play with my frinds!"  Three of our new friends are expecting babies, and I'm not going to be here to see them and make them meals :(  It makes me so sad.  There are trails here, beautiful, clean trails that we have literally spent hundreds of hours walking in the past 9 months we've been here.  Hattie had her first walk on the trials at only about a week old. Not to mention the fact that we just moved into a bigger house with a great backyard for the kids, only to turn around and move out of it 3 months later...

On the other hand... I feel like we're going "home."  Our family and lifelong friends are all there. The boys' still call their friends from W'ford their "BFF's." I know the area like the back of my hand, and have so many memories from there.  We have the possibility of buying my parent's old house, the house I grew up in, the house I moved out of when I went to college.  It's almost in foreclosure which has made both of my parent's devastated... they put so much work into that house.  It would be amazing if we could keep it in the family. 

Another bittersweet issue is church. The church I grew up in has changed and isn't where we are supposed to be anymore.  How do we go "home" without going back to our "home church?"  It's going to be hard going to other churches in such a small city, less than 50,000.  Everyone knows everyone... there will be people we know at every church, and they will ask questions, questions I don't feel like answering over and over. I have faith that the Lord knows right where we need to be and that we'll get there sooner or later :)  Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Reason for the move: I won't go into all of it bc I'm still rather angry and don't want to hurt anyone (this is a public blog with our real names, and even though I've never "advertised" it, anyone can easily find it), but the plan when we moved out here was to either buy the company or for Jeff and his dad to start their own. The current owners of the company are running it into the ground.  They are still making their ridiculous salaries, but the guys actually doing the work have had their checks bounce, twice.  It's infuriating for Jeff.  These are his guys, and they have families they're trying to feed, and Jeff can't promise they'll be paid week to week, so he and his dad decided it was time to act.  Well...  to make the story short, because of divorce issues and people who still have unforgiveness and bitterness in their hearts, we weren't able to use the money they were planning on using, so Jeff's old company has offered him a job with similar salary/benefits, and the position is one where he will be moving up to the top.  It's really a great opportunity.

That's about it.  It feels good to get it off my chest! I haven't really gotten to talk to anyone about it yet... waiting to finalize all the details, but Jeff gave his 2 weeks notice yesterday so there's no going back now!

On to another chapter of life...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Sunday

This weekend didn't go as planned, but turned out to be pretty great anyway! We had Hattie dedicated at church this morning, so at the last minute Jeff's mom and my mom and sister came into town on Saturday.  We all went over and looked at the new house (just the outside/yard, will pick the keys up in the morning) then went driving around the Azalea district looking at all the beautiful homes and their amazing yards beginning to bloom.  Spring is so gorgeous!  Then this morning we all went to church together. Hattie was by far the most beautiful baby there, and preformed wonderfully, i.e. no spitting up, screaming or crying. :)

After church we gave our moms a tour of the new Fresh store, followed by nap time! I LOVE SUNDAYS!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here We Go Again!

We're moving!! Same town.  Better house.  Bigger house.  Bigger yard.  Lower payment.  YAY!!  Have I convinced you it's worth it? It's definitely worth it.  We knew when we moved to Tyler and chose this house that it was temporary.  A family with 4 kids can't live where there is no yard.  And in a house with wall to wall carpet.  It is maddening trying to keep the carpet clean.  Who has ever heard of carpet in a dining room??

All that said, I'm going to miss my big closet terribly.  And my big kitchen and garage. And we're going to miss Jack Elementary, although I hear Caldwell is a great school as well!  Mixed emotions for sure, but when all is said and done, we're on the right track.  We're where we are supposed to be and the Lord is blessing us abundantly because of it!  Now I reeeally need to get off the computer and start packing while the boys are all at soccer practice and Hattie is snoozing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh Sugar

Today was Fat Tuesday.  Which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  Which means tomorrow at sunset is the beginning of Lent.  Which means I need to actually get my butt in gear, pray, and decide what I'm fasting.  UGH.  I'm not one of those "oh yay, I love the blessings the Lord bestows when I fast and seek His face" kind of fasters.  I'm one of those "ugh I hate almost every second of this, I need some chocolate NOW" kind of fasters... Yes, that's a bit exaggerated, I don't really have that bad an attitude, and honestly the Lord does amazing things when we fast and pray, but man.  It's not my favorite. Last year I fasted TV, and it actually wasn't too bad.  I realized I don't watch that much anyway, and we always take Sunday's off (Biblically it was the day of feasts and celebrations, so they didn't fast on Sundays) so I would catch up on anything I actually did care about thru some DVR action.  I was tempted to do the same thing this year, but you're really supposed to give up something you care about.  Something that you are putting before your relationship with the Lord.  Something that has a stronghold on you.  SUGAR is my downfall.  I reeeally like sugar.  Mostly in the chocolate form, but I'll take it in the ice cream, fruit, cheesecake or cinnamon chip form as well.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mommy Randomness

Ok, I'm not making this up...

This morning I was walking around the house picking up, when I came across a package of underwear we bought last night so Max could dress up as Captain Underpants in his school's parade of favorite book characters today. I put the underwear under my arm, grabbed a cup with my right hand and a plate with my left and took them to the sink. I noticed the dishwasher hadn't been emptied so I emptied it, filled it and started it. Then I heard the washing machine stop spinning. Right now there's something wrong w/ it, and when it drains, if I don't run in there and turn it on and off until it's empty it overflows. So I turn it on and off about 4 times till it has drained and then I hear Hattie crying. I go check on her, she's fine just bored so I put her in her jonny-jump-up and start picking up all the toys she was playing with. Then I noticed Ben had been quiet for a while, never good. I find him in the bathroom brushing his teeth! Pleasant surprise. I look in the mirror and realize I'm still carrying the underwear under my arm.

Seriously? I'm just thankful I didn't go out in public! Geeze.

Well, now on to the reason I sat down to blog... some pics of course :) Here are some of the happenings as of late...

Noah got the award for "Special Teams Co-Player of the Year" at their football banquet!! And Max got his Super Bowl trophy!! #1 baby! Ben used reverse psychology and somehow convinced me he didn't need his paci anymore, so he still has it.... I dunno, don't judge... Hattie got to swing for the first time! Thumbs up for sure! Noah came in 5th in his school spelling bee (he was the youngest in the whole competition!) and Daddy bought Hattie her first Valentine's Day outfit :)
Meanwhile a couple things I have done: helped Noah with his solar system project, complete with a space satellite, solar flares, and a black hole (that was not a spot where little brother got ahold of red paint and made a big mess)... braved the zoo with all 4 by myself, and had lots of fun with my little girl :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Field Trip!

To the zoo! The Caldwell Zoo actually. And are now official Zoo Members!
This is the part where Jeff, my husband, not son, announces that it would be funny if the "daddy tiger ripped one." Classy.

Love Max with all my heart, but he's probably not the smartest of our bunch.

Is that not the cutest thing ever?!

Ben makes friends everywhere he goes :)

Oh and apparentely squirrels don't only eat out of my bird feeders...

And yes, it was 75 degrees today. Next week they're predicting snow. Texas....

We Can't All Be Perfect

Well just to follow up on the bully post, I calmed down and didn't say anything to the teacher.

We got an invitation to the kid's birthday party, scheduled for today, but I obviously wasn't going to send Noah to his house, let alone buy him a gift! But last night he called and asked to talk to Noah. He proceeded to ask Noah if he was coming to his party because if he was, he'd be the only one coming. Immediately I tried to put myself in his mom's shoes. We've never had this problem. We have such large families, and church families that we've always had to cut the number of friends to invite down, not call and beg anyone to come. My heart began to soften towards Bryce, thinking about why he's a bully. I firmly believe it starts in the home.

How serious was God about the whole "love your enemies..." stuff??

Ugh, well I let him go. Jeff took Noah and Max, I stayed home with the littler two. I'm so glad they went. They had a blast, it was a Myth.Busters theme, so they spent 3 hours doing experiments and such. Jeff said the step dad sat on the couch in the living room the entire time and never said a word to anyone. *Red flag* The grandparents did all of the work. The mom took a few pictures here and there, and Bryce ordered everyone around.

I don't want to jump to conclusions, but he's probably not a very happy kid at home, even though he gets everything he wants. Guess it's time to put the whole "pray for those who persecute you" into action. Why is it that the biblical truths that I learned at such an early age are the last things I actually do in my life?! If I did those things first, before freaking out and calling Jeff and almost calling the teacher, I'd probably get better results, and sooner.

Guess I have to have at least one fault.....


Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Have a Situation...

A bully situation.

Now not nearly as bad as we've seen in the news lately, but when it's my little boy being bullied, I'm going to be angry no matter the severity.

There's this kid, Bryce, in Noah's class. He's a smart kid, they both go to Target (GT) together and Bryce barely beat Noah in the class Representative race. I guess Bryce probably sees Noah as his biggest competition.

Well last week Noah mentioned to me that at recess they were playing football, Noah was the qb, on the 4 yard line, he said hut but his line didn't move (that was the designed play, lol) and the defense rushed. Noah prides himself on knowing rules and enforcing them, the most annoying characteristic of an 8 year old but he is his father, I can't change him. So Noah proceeds to tell them that that's offsides, 5 yard penalty, touchdown. He's wrong on a technicality, but Bryce doesn't know that. Bryce then "bans" Noah from playing anymore.

WHAT? Apparently the football is Bryce's so he gets away with banning kids from playing if they beat him.

I let this one slide, even though this kid is now on my "list."

Then on Monday when I pick the boys up from school Noah tells me that Bryce threw snow balls at him twice that day. Once walking into Target, and again walking out. I ask him if it hurt... yes. I ask him if he was doing it to be mean or funny.... I don't know. I ask him what did Bryce say?... I'm going to hit you with a snowball. Boys are not the most informative creatures.

Now I'm getting seriously ticked.

Then on Wednesday Noah tells me that Bryce's newest thing is picking up snow in his hand, and slamming it into Noah's chest, acting like it's funny. He tells me that it doesn't bother him because it doesn't hurt.

Then this morning (Thursday) Noah comes up to me, obviously nervous, and says "Yesterday I helped Bryce get a higher score on his AR test."

Ok, now I'm furious. I ask why and he says that if Bryce didn't pass it he would miss recess and then they wouldn't have a football. I stay calm and explain to him that that is cheating, and that he and Bryce would both go to the principal's office if the teacher caught them. He obviously understood because he almost immediately said his head was hot and he felt like he was going to throw up. Tell tale signs of a nervous little boy :)

So now what do I do? I want to talk to the teacher so bad, but I'm afraid if Bryce finds out that he'll be even meaner, and I don't want to scare Noah from telling me things like this again in the future. Noah was in tears this morning, afraid that I was going to tell Jeff and that he would call the school. Of course that wouldn't happen, he's only in 3rd grade and it's just an AR test. The cheating isn't even the issue. It's that Bryce seems to be running the show and kids like Noah are paying the price. I'm so thankful that Noah doesn't punch Bryce in the face like he would do to his brother if Max even THOUGHT about throwing a snowball at him. But at the same time, it breaks my heart picturing Noah just walking away.

Before I dropped the boys off at school I told Noah that Jeff would not call the school, but that I was thinking about emailing his teacher, not to get anyone in trouble, just to make sure Mrs. Terrell knows what's going on, if she doesn't already know. I called Jeff and he said just let it slide this time but if it happens again that we'll say something.

I don't know....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Update in Pics

First day of winter... only in Texas...

Baby girl got her toenails painted...

...and ears pierced :)

Merry Christmas!

Bring on 2011!

One Step at a Time

*So I officially stink at blogging. (If I haven't mentioned that before.)

*It's a Saturday morning and I'm up at 7. Ugh.

*Ready for this weekend's cold weather! I need it to feel like Winter so I'll welcome the Summer!

*Reading through the Bible in one year. On day 8, I'm already behind...

*Thankful for the holidays!

*Thankful the holidays are over!

In closing,

My Prayer for 2011 ~

My prayer for 2011 is that I will grow in the area of giving. I've never been a "giver." It makes me so sad! My love language is "quality time." I will sit down and listen to someone talk for hours if I know it's what they need. I'll play a puzzel with Max, or read a book to Ben or just listen to Noah talk about WWII, because I know how much it means to them. But the thought to give them a gift, just because, never even enters my mind!

Jeff loves to give. He gives to people standing in the street holding signs, something I've always been nervous about doing. He doesn't care what they're going to spend the money on, that's not of his concern. He prays that the Lord will use that money for His good, and leaves it at that. He also is always buying other people's lunches! Drives me nuts! And don't get me started about the Salvation Army people ringing the bells outside of Wal Mart during the holidays. I'll give to them if they quit ringing those stinking bells!! But Jeff loves to let the boys put in what seems like 10 dollars in change so we get to stand out in the cold listening to those LOUD BELLS while their little fingers try to get a million pennies into that tiny slot. See? I've got issues.

I (obviously) need to change my heart on this issue. I'm always so focused on what I need for MY family, that I rarely even think of giving. And if there's any left over, my automatic reaction is to save it for MY family at a later time. I need to have faith that the Lord will provide then like He is providing now and has always provided! I want to be blessed so I can be a blessing! And it's going to have to be a choice. It's not just going to happen.

What I love about giving is that it can change a life without much work. When I'm listening to someone talk, I have to listen and give my (always genius) insight. Or if you have the gift of hospitality, you have to think ahead and prepare so the person you're helping feels welcome and comfortable. But with giving, just giving someone a gift, smiling and walking away it can completely change their day!

The Lord has already given me a couple opportunities in this last week to give. I failed miserably the first time (our neighbor is an elderly lady who HATES us, and I had the idea to bake her some cookies and send the boys over to her with them, but I reasoned myself out of doing it), but thankfully learned my lesson and did it the second time with a cheerful heart! One step at a time, right? :)