February 25, 2013


Long time no blog...yeah yeah...the story of my life!  It is SO sad that I use Facebook and instagram to "journal" our lives!  WHY do I do that? 
Anyway...I digress...
I am thrilled that I jumped on the opportunity to carve out a weekend of our regular, busy schedule to go to the dotMom Conference in Frisco this past weekend!  (THANK YOU BRAD!)
 I went with some great friends and we just had a BLAST! 
Megan, Ellen, Me, Ashley & Blythe
Me, KELLY!!! & Ashley
One of the highlights for me was meeting Kelly Stamps!  I didn't want to "stalk" her but I just HAD to say hello (FINALLY) on the last day!  Ashley was just as excited as I was because I referred her to Kelly's blog when her daughter Caroline started having some hearing issues like Kelly's daughter Harper.  The Internet can be such a great thing...Kelly has ministered to me in more ways than one, as I know she has to SOOO many!  She is such a testimony to a Godly life and I was thrilled to meet her IN PERSON and she is just as sweet as she comes across on her blog!
dotMom was just what I needed.  I've been feeling worn thin, stressed out, overly tired, SO BUSY, emotional, 'at my wits end', struggling with my impatient with my children, unkind to Brad...just BOGGED down with life...like SO MANY Moms do!  It is amazing how you can go from this state, to just having ONE weekend away and spending time with Godly friends: worshipping, eating, learning, talking, shopping and eating some more and walk away feeling refueled, energized and encouraged as a wife and mother.  Travis Cottrell lead worship...we heard amazing words from Angie Smith, Vicki Courtney, Priscilla Shirer and many others in break out sessions.  God was present, worship was sweet and I just felt like "WOW" so many of these woman are in my EXACT shoes! 
Before the conference I finished Melanie Shankle's book Sparkly Green Earrings and laughed OUT LOUD on one page and BAWLED my eyes out on the next.  I think because her Caroline reminds me of my Anna Claire and I have felt frustrated with her lately and then feel such guilt because it  feels like my mothering years are "slipping away".  I learned this weekend that I am far wrong!  I will always be mothering her, but in so many different ways as she goes through different stages....I just have to be aware of those stages, her needs and what God has for me as her mother in that moment.  Sometimes I'm NOT going to like her, but I'm going to LOVE her and continue to "press on towards the prize" so to speak.  Melanie and Sophie(BooMama) were the emcees of the conference and it was SO FUN to see them in action!  Loved that...
I think that I am such a "planned out", OCD type of personality that I forget to allow GOD to be the leader.  I read my bible, I pray, I teach my kids bible stories and scripture, I go to church, I pray with my husband, I pray for my friends, you'll be added to my prayer list in a heart beat if you need it, I LOVE JESUS...but, do I TRUST Him?  And the answer SLAPPED me straight in my face this weekend, that NO.I.DO.NOT...

These children I'm raising are not mine.  They are HIS.  That is a HARD thing to grab hold of.  HE has gone before us, HE knows the number of their days...I just get to be their guide along the way.  BUT, I'm not going to be an effective guide if I am NOT listening to God and allowing HIM to shape MY heart...or kicking and screaming if things go wrong...ouch. 
Some things I heard this weekend..."My children are NOT an inconvenience to me...do I show them that through my sub text?"....OUCH!  "My husband is not my last priority...am I making him feel like my life is all about the kids?"...OUCH!  "Life is not a fairytale...I am not supposed to be living my life for the opinions of others...making my children a show piece or my house, or my hobbies or anything else."...DOUBLE OUCH!  "My son needs his Mom to love him through physical touch, active love, clear & direct communication.", "My daughter needs relationship, communication, consistency and boundaries.", "My parenting needs to be clear and intentional."
It was A LOT to take in...a lot to "own up to"...a lot to confess to the Lord, but it needed to happen.  I know God can bring beauty from ashes...I am a true testimony to that, as are so many, and I need to allow myself to be used by him and quit holding back because of guilt or image or insecurities or whatever!   I have struggled with friendships, where I fit, why some people don't love BIG like I do, but in the end only GOD is my everything.  And with HIM...AMAZING friends...diet vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic...hugs and smiles from my kiddos...kisses and reassurance from my wonderful husband...chewy sweettarts...desperate calls to my Mom and sister...and lots and lots of laughter...
I'm going to be a pretty good Mom! :)
This quote stood out to me this weekend:
Only one life,
'twill soon be past,
Only what's done
will last.
And finally, the last song of the night was In Christ Alone...that is ALL we really need isn't it?
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in AllHere in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sins curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in deathThis is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
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