How to Live in a New Year

1. Let your life shine {in color}-

You only get one chance to live your life. Don’t be afraid to live it out loud.

2. Open your arms wide to the unknown-

Don’t be afraid to step into uncertainty. Leaving room for Him to show up is called faith.

3. Chase what matters-

The pull to live like everyone else is strong. Go after what’s really important-

you’ll never regret it.

4. Test your wings and try something new-

You never know, you just might love it!

5. Follow the winding paths, even the ones that lead to valleys-

It’s in the low places that we learn the lessons that  carry us to the mountain.

7.  Capture the beauty of the desert places-

Often we rush through the rough patches and long for tomorrow. Enjoy today. It’s all we truly have.

[On our long, long journey from the bottom of Texas to the Top this week, we stopped to dance in the 51 mile per hour wind!]

Happy New Year!

My Kids are More Spiritual than Yours

My kids have an obsession with The Nativity, especially  the youngest.

I’m okay with that.

I’m pretty sure that, statistically speaking, this fact reduces the chance of life in prison. Maybe.

My kids worked for hours on a Lego Nativity one rainy December day. SpongeBob and Anikan were involved:

While at the farm, a pitstop on our way to visit my sister-in-law in the hospital, my kids spent some time with the cows. They like to name them. One ended up being Baby Jesus.

(Sidenote: At the risk of losing the title of having spiritual kids, I will tell you that my son named one cow Crusty Nuggets. I’ll leave you with that word picture.)

But my favorite Nativity by far was the one constructed in the hay barn with help from cousins. I give you: Mary and Joseph, Baby Jesus and an angel (cousin):

Notice the ethereal glow:

(she was posing just like Baby Jesus in our Nativity at home)

The minute we walked into our Amarillo hotel room, she claimed the luggage rack as a manger for “Baby Jesus #6):

See? I told you: Spiritual. Having bumper stickers made immediately. It will be the latest rage!

Happy New Year!

WFMW: 2010 Reflections

If you could tell people just ONE THING. What would it be?

With a New Year just days away, I thought it would be a great time to link up THE ONE post you want people to read instead of a regular tip if you’d like (or if you have a tip ready, feel free to link it).

Pull it from your archives or write something new…what is it?

What do you want to say??

For me, it’s this post. (I still think about this constantly).

Happy New Year!

Don’t forget next week’s THEMED EDITION: What Doesn’t Work For Me?

What Matters Most

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was peaceful, simple and good. Oh, and it was vegan.

I don’t kid about meat, people.

It’s a long story, but the short of it: my hubby is a new diabetic. He was diagnosed a month ago. I cried. For days, I could only think about his sweet sister, my dear friend and her terrible, current journey as a diabetic.

We’ve devoured books and tried to understand the complicated world of diabetes. He was determined to try and control his blood sugar by controlling his food intake instead of taking four medications. One way to do this? Going vegan: no animal products (that would mean no meat and no dairy). His doctor gave him 90 days to see if it would work.

Um, yeah. You might recall my inlaws run a cow operation and I sort of have a special relationship with butter and consider myself a Chick Fil A employee.

We are on day 20. He’s lost 15 pounds and has controlled his blood
sugar!! I’ve lost a few, too and have recurring dreams about chicken. But I’m seeking counseling.

So. Christmas dinner was different. But supporting my husband is on
my what matters most list. And sweet tea is totally vegan!

We had planned on spending New Years at the farm with my hubby’s family, but a phone call on Christmas Day changed our plans.

My dear sister-in-love was admitted to ICU with kidney failure, due to diabetes. It’s in those minutes that you’re reminded of what matters most. We packed up the car and stopped by the farm overnight and will go on to visit my sister-in-law tomorrow, now that she’s stable.

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and every day God reminds me of what matters most.

And apparently, it’s not meat at the moment.

P.S. Works for Me Wednesday will go up at 10 pm CST. If you don’t already have a tip, I thought it would be fun for everyone to link up the ONE post from 2010 that you really wanted to be read!

WFMW: Capture the Years

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is taking a similar picture of my kids each year.

I put it in a simple frame and set out the collection of frames from all the previous years:

Our frames all hold a picture of my kids with Santa. But it could be under the Christmas tree or in the snow…

I just love looking back at how they’ve changed over the years. I also don’t like it at all.

Here’s our new one to add to the collection (MY BABIES ARE GROWING UP!):

Capturing the years in themed pictures works for me–WHEN IT’S NOT MAKING ME CRY!

P.S. Mark your calendars for our January 5th themed edition: What Doesn’t Work for Me

Merry Christmas!

Why I Love {Family} Worship

I closed my eyes as the song wrapped around me. It was Sunday, the week before Christmas and I was at peace.

My hand tugged: My daughter happily gesturing at the holiday song being sung-the one she was learning to play on her flute.

Then I understood the unspoken completeness in my soul, my children were lined up in a row…

worshiping God with us.

Just as they had for the last 8 Sundays, notebook and Bible in hand.

I spent the first ten years of my marriage as a Children’s Pastor.

I loved it.

But once my children turn a certain age (it’s different for each one-our youngest is still in classes at 4), I find myself longing to experience worship along side them.

Eight Sundays ago, we made a family decision to attend worship services together.

A scripture was read and instantly I recognized it as a verse that we recently learned as a family. We added crazy hand motions to help us remember and with a side glance to my kids, I saw them doing the small gestures. It was all we could do not to laugh and burst into spontaneous made-up sign language!

But inside? I was marveling.

The glimpse into my children’s hearts as they listened and learned and loved: it was good. It was like unwrapping The Gift of Christmas together.

I know there is a need in their spirits to learn and grow with kids their own age. So, yes to that.

But I want my children to see my eyes brim with tears when God comes near.

I want them to learn to worship by example.

I want to experience God with them…

P.S. when the fidgeting starts-tic tacs help

My Birthday Lesson

Yesterday was my birthday.

I turned 38. Since 40 is the new black, I feel okay about that.

My hubby got me these.

I got myself a new heating pad.


I started thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned through the years of birthdays:

  • I’ve learned you can’t hide vitamins up your nose because they melt and cause your parents to FREAK out (age 4)
  • I’ve learned that even your dog won’t eat the fried liver from your plate (Dad’s favorite meal growing up) (age   8
  • I’ve learned when your Mom requests prayer for your sick dog, the pastor might laugh. This is a problem. (age 10)
  • I’ve learned that when your best friend sneaks Dirty Dancing (the movie) to you at church, you will accidentally leave it at the sign in table and have to go in front of the entire youth group to claim it (age 14)
  • I’ve learned that just because you can drive, doesn’t mean you have a car and just because you can date, doesn’t mean you will be asked out (age 16)
  • I’ve learned that the first boy you meet on the first day of college could actually be THE ONE. (age 18)
  • I’ve learned that not discovering above lesson could cause you to date the wrong people. (age 21)
  • I’ve learned to balance my checkbook or call home for a loan. (age 23)
  • I’ve learned not to participate in public speaking events when I’m on a fertility drug (age 27)
  • I’ve learned that all those rejection letters from book publishers really do develop character (age 29)
  • I’ve learned that being a mom is the hardest and greatest job I’ve ever had (age 30)
  • I’ve learned that it can happen to you (age 33)
  • I’ve learned that pregnancy after 35 is WOW. Oh, the droopage. (age 35)
  • I’ve learned to turn around and walk away from my tween’s messy bedroom (yesterday)

My big birthday lesson this year: My plans aren’t nearly as good as God’s and they are called LAUGH LINES not crow’s feet. thankyouverymuch.

What have you learned this year?

But what I’m really asking is HOW OLD ARE YOU??