Monday, May 23, 2011

Pie Anyone?

Hi! Have you missed me? Blogging hasn't been much of a priority these past few months, but I thought today that I needed to update this page! It's been quite a while!

My life is a pie. :) This is what I've come to learn over the past few months. There are many pieces in my life pie. God, husband, children, home, family, friends, ministry, work (ecm, zumba & pool) are just a few examples. I've never been busier in my entire life with these things, but I think I've finally discovered the key to happily living and maintaining a successful BUSY life.

Portions. That's the key.

I've set boundaries, limits, and goals for each "piece"of my life pie and I've made sure that each one is realistic, goal-oriented and productive. When a piece seems to take up too much room, it's evaluated, prayed about and sometimes shrunk to keep balance in the pie shell. When I see that a piece is becoming neglected, sloppy or unproductive, I look to see where I can put more enery toward it.

Sometimes it's meant saying "no" to things. Sometimes it's meant having a babysitter for nearly the entire day. Either way, there has been such peace in our home because of finding this balance. And that's how I know the balance is working!! When there's peace!

My toenails stay painted. Our marriage is still fun and exciting. Our kids are growing and becoming exceptionally smart (Ella is speaking in full sentences & Aaron can solve simple algebra problems!). Our house stays clean. The ECM is thriving. Zumba classes are exploding (I have over 40 Punch Cards sold). WSC is 100% ready one week in advance of opening day.

So here's my encouragement to matter how many pie pieces you have! Find the right portions for your life. Write down your pieces. Catagorize them by priority. Sometimes it's best to catagorize them by the most time first, then by priority. Example-How much time did I spend with our children today as opposed to being on the computer? Ouch. Then, you will see which pieces need to shrink, and which ones need to take more priority during your day/week.

Then, write down goals, dreams and desires for those pieces.
Example :: I want to have a "date night" each week with my husband. (This can even mean take-out and redbox after the kids are in bed!)

Be resourceful, be productive and make the most of your time. I promise that you will feel at peace in your mind and will see good fruit when your life pie is organized . And, I believe that God honors order, goals and not being complacent with where you are in life. Always be moving up, making things better and staying HAPPY.

Be blessed today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Forever and for always

This weekend, Thomas whisked me away on a romantical overnight getaway.


"La Hacienda Rach" - Our favorite!!!

Sometimes I can't believe we have been hitched for 6 years...That seems a long time! But I refuse to think of ourselves as old boring married people. The "newlywed phase" doesn't have to go away! He still gives me butterflies when he winks at me from across a room. He'll buy me flowers for no reason at all and sit on the same side of the booth with me at a restaurant. I still keep my legs shaved in the winter and wear fresh perfume for when he gets home from work. I believe even silly little things like that can keep your marriage feeling fresh.

When you date someone, your pursue them. You flirt with them. You are constantly trying to win their affection and attention. I think it's so sad when married couples start to act more like roommates instead of lovers. With the busyness of life, children, jobs, and even church, it's so easy to get caught in the trap of "just living together".

Don't forget to flirt. Don't forget to wink. Don't forget to SHAVE YOUR LEGS. ;) Those little things can equal a happy married life!

Be blessed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Go on a diet TODAY!

What is the #1 New Years Resolution in America? Duh. "Lose Weight".

I went back to the gym after 10 days of being sick and the YMCA was noticably more crowded. It's to be expected of course, but it still took me a little off guard!
And it got me thinking.

As a believer, all of us should have that same resolution. Lose weight. Baggage. Turmoil. Heaviness. What a perfect time to throw off the rearview mirror and set your eyes on the bigger window, new path, and new year ahead of you!

When you lose weight (physically) people can't help but notice! A sweet friend of mine recently lost over 30lbs and every time I see her she looks better and better! She has always been gorgeous, but when the literal pounds came off her body, she lost emotional "weight" with them. She now carries herself with more confidence. More purpose. It's obvious!

Lose the weight. Leave it in 2010. No matter how deep your hurts were, how frustrating circumstances have been, take this opportunity to shed it off and start fresh.

It will feel so good! And unlike having to shed pounds physically, it can fall off when you decide to let it go.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Be blessed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the little things

God cares about the little things. I have no doubt in my mind about that fact.
In seasons where I've felt pressure or frustration (which we ALL have), He always gives me little surprises or seeds of hope that remind me that He never abandons or forgets about His kids. The important things always are taken care of, but what blesses my heart even more, is when He gives attention to the tiny, seemingly insignificant things....and those moments are priceless.

A"Papa Loving on Me" moment happened today...can I share it with you?

Every girl loves to smell pretty. I ran out of perfume about 2 months ago and have gotten by with some cheap body spray that was a stocking stuffer from about 3 years ago. My thinking was, "I'll wait until Christmas! I can get by just fine until then!" We weren't broke or anything...but we have been on a tighter budget, and with the holidays approaching, I put a few "wish list" items on hold.

It really wasn't a big deal. It's not like I would wake every morning with this cloud of doom over my head because I didn't have perfume! Did I go to the mall and mooch a few samples from the Dillards counter? Absolutely. I almost caved one day and used my husbands cologne ...but I thought that might send the wrong message to some people!

Today was a normal Sunday. Get up. Get the kids breakfast and dressed for church. Out the door by 9:00. Prepare for service.

About 5 minutes before service started, a sweet friend caught me in the hall. She reached in her purse and with a sparkle in her eyes, she handed me a dark purple perfume box. Her only words were, "I just want to give you this." She didn't know my need/want. She heard from her Father...and followed through with His idea. I was taken by surprise and thanked her, but after she walked away, tears filled up my eyes. I felt so loved.

He cares. What's important to you is important to Him. I like to think that in those moments God is saying, "Baby girl, I'm taking care of every little thing. This is how much I love you. You wouldn't ever ask me for something this trivial, but I care enough to show you I see the little things."

So I don't sweat the big stuff. Do I have moments of fear, frustration or anxiety? Sure! But they are moments. I immediately remember all the hundreds of times that my Father came through for me. It's all in His hands and I trust Him 100%.

Be blessed!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


*A simple study was conducted to discover the effects of a fence around a playground and the consequent impact it would have on preschool children. Teachers were to take their children to a local playground in which there was no fence during their normal recess hour. The kids were to play as normal. The same group was to be taken to a comparable playground in which there was a defined border designated by a fence.
In the first scenario, the children remained huddled around their teacher, fearful of leaving out of her sight. The later scenario exhibited drastically different results, with the children feeling free to explore within the given boundaries.
The overwhelming conclusion was that with a given limitation, children felt safer to explore a playground. Without a fence, the children were not able to see a given boundary or limit and thus were more reluctant to leave the caregiver. With a boundary, in this case the fence, the children felt at ease
to explore the space. They were able to separate from the caregiver and continue to develop in their sense of self while still recognizing that they were in a safe environment within the limits of the fence.
* (above is from an online article)

Imagine a flat Texas prairie with tall wheat shifting in the wind. The hot air rushes past dried Mesquite trees and blows a wisp of hay from a nearby leaning bale. A few black cows are standing in the shade with mosquitoes buzzing around their eyes. The mixed smell of manure and fresh crops fill your nose with a strangely comforting aroma. Now turn your eyes to the fence. It could be a crickety picket fence that is just barely in place. Perhaps it’s an intimidating electrical barbed wire fence. Maybe you see solid wooden posts set securely in position. Any way you see it, it’s made to keep the cows inside and protected from the terrain beyond the fence. These fences seem inconvenient and pointless to the cows because they have no idea what kind of trouble they could get into past the boundary. Perhaps there is nearby raging river rapid or a steep cliff drop-off. Whatever it may be, the point is that the rancher is protecting the cows.

Now, I would never refer any child to an animal, so please don’t read this and compare your precious one to a slobbery cow. I am simply taking some invaluable information and applying it to parenting. You might be surprised at just how much we can learn from these cows. I asked a local Rancher to tell me everything he could about fences, boundaries and cattle behavior. Here are some key points I want to touch on.

“Before I let the cows in the field, I make sure my fence is secure”
Parenting can begin before your child is even conceived. You can begin to determine the standards and principles on how you want your child raised.

“The first thing cows do when placed in a new environment is check the fences.”
The cows literally walk the entire fence line to see exactly what they are up against and how much space they have to move around in. If the cow discovers a weakness or gap in the fence, she would probably go ahead and walk right through it. This is why a lot of ranchers these days have electric fences that send just enough shock and pain to the cow that they remember not to push their boundaries.
Apply it to parenting:
Children will push to the limit you set for them. My term of “limit” is when action starts and discipline begins to take place. If your limit is when your child begins kicking and screaming while thrashing on the floor, then you can pretty much expect that happen quite frequently. If your limit is the first defiant “NO!” then for the most part, that is as far as a temper tantrum will go. This is your responsibility as a parent. I’m not going to tell you where you need to “build your fence”. That’s up to you. I encourage you to keep in mind that children will rise to the standard you set. If you have high standards for them, it may take a little longer for those standards to be set in place, but after consistency, it will stick.
Public consistence is crucial. If you child knows that you are a softie at a restaurant or in front of your friends, then the second you step out of your fenced-in home atmosphere, they will feel free to break through those weak "public atmosphere" fences. The same rules, principles and boundaries should always apply in every place, circumstance and setting.

“Smart ranchers check their fences often”
Fences get damaged a lot. A routine part of ranching, is checking on the fences. Cows may look boring and stupid, but this Rancher was quick to tell me that it doesn’t take long for a cow to notice a broken fence and plow right through their escape route.
Storms play a huge factor in damaged fences. High winds may displace a once firmly set post. When a storm hits, the rancher does not spend all his time staring at the storm cloud, but quickly gets to work on how he can protect his cattle and his land.
Apply it to parenting:
We all have storms in our life. Stressful work situations, family issues, a locational move, or even a family illness or death. These storms can easily sway us from our firm and consistent parenting and cause our fences to move or even fall down. Watch and keep your parenting fences fresh and sturdy.

Happy ranching..err..parenting!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I met a precious friend about 6 years ago on a cool, crisp fall evening. Her fiance and Thomas were close friends at the time, but us girls hadn't met yet. The minute I met her-let's call her Sarah- I knew we would be dear friends. Sarah was the most genuine, joyful and absolute sweetest girl I had ever met. Her laughter was contagious and her smile could light up the room. She could tell a simple story with such passion and glee. Tender encouragement was always coming out of her mouth. I was so intrigued by this young girl, only a year or two older than me, and longed to have a deeper friendship with her. We didn't live close, so our friendships stayed at the "let's keep in touch" level.

Three years or so later, Thomas and I met up again with this precious couple. We met for breakfast one morning, and as we began talking, I started noticing something about Sarah. She was talking happily and smiling, but something was strangely different. Her guard was up. Her smile seemed too thought out. I noticed she chose her words very carefully during our conversations. I could see hurt behind her eyes and her smile was masking what I discerned was....pain.

As we finished up our small talk about children, ministry, family, etc, we started asking more questions. How were they doing? What they shared next truly broke my heart.

Sarah had just come out of a very tough season. Several women in their church began to confront her about her personality. They just plain didn't like her. Whether it was triggered from vicious gossip, jealousy or anger, it didn't matter. When Sarah asked what she was doing that was offensive, they just beat around the bush. The only thing they ever specifically put their finger on was this: Sarah smiled too much.

After hearing that, I was ready to fly to their hometown and slap some ladies for their cruelty to this precious gem! If they only knew the damage they caused to her heart. The Lord had given her such a unique, beautiful spirit and someone had the nerve to try to subdue that. Thankfully, Sarah's heart and ears turned toward what her Father had to say. She walked in forgiveness and moved on. I've seen her once since that breakfast conversation and her smile is back. Her real smile. I can see that protective shell around her heart has broken away, and once again she walks in joy and genuine passion that never should have been abused.

Why that story?

I hadn't thought about Sarah's story in awhile, but yesterday the Lord put it on my heart and started speaking to me about it.

I've heard my Pastor talk about the church being "one body." In a body, there are hundreds of parts. Feet, hands, eyes, and even armpits! A church filled with feet would not be effective. A church full of eyes would go nowhere.

Think of all the Pastors, Teachers, Preachers, Speakers and Ministers you know. What vast personalities! Benny Hinn, Lisa Bevere, Billy Graham, Kay Arthur, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen. Bold, bubbly, humble, tender, direct, gentle.

God created you unique. You will not be like anyone else. Some people may not like you for who you are. Some may try to intimidate you to try to change your personality. A mentor of mine told me once that "...even Jesus got criticism and He was perfect. It is only when we meditate on the criticism that it becomes a problem. If we are quick to give it to Jesus and let Him teach us what to learn from it, we remain tender. Some criticism, even if we don't like the instrument, is for our growth. Other times, it is from the enemy to harden our hearts. Taking it to Him and letting Him sort it out is the only healthy way to deal with it."

What wisdom!

Grow where you need to grow, be open to correction, but be free to be who He created you to be. Guard your actions and your spirit from tearing down someone just because they aren't like you. Listen to what your Father has to say about you or another person. That's really all that matters anyways.

Hope this stirs your spirit! It does mine! :)

Be blessed.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, if we are friends at all, then you already know about my newfound hobby! :)

On a whim, one Sunday afternoon, I opened up YouTube and searched "How to make a Hair Bow". I watched it once, headed to Hobby Lobby the next morning, and haven't stopped since.
I've discovered the breath-holding moments of trying to tie the thin embroidery thread just right, the burn of hot glue sticking to my finger and the giddy excitement of finding my favorite ribbon is plentifully stocked and ON SALE!
At first I wasn't sure how to start! I knew this was something that I enjoyed, and knew that the demand for quality & affordable bows is high, but I felt a little frazzled about where to begin. After settling on starting with a Facebook page and, I have been very pleased with the results. A friend told me to avoid eBay because of the billions of products available for dirt cheap and sneaky fees they attach after your item sells. Etsy hasn't had any selling action yet, so not sure how long I'll stick with that. Facebook, surprisingly, and word-of-mouth have been the easiest and most effective tools in selling my bows. I've sold several to friends, out of town and local, and recently a local high school cheerleading group placed an order to match their cheer attire. That's gonna be a fun and BIG project!

My encouragement for YOU: Don't hold back on any dreams you have! It could be photography, painting, jewelry-making, writing, singing, teaching or baking. Your unique talent may bring in thousands of dollars, or be an incredible encouragement and inspiriation to those you reach.

Be blessed!