Friday, May 31, 2013

Claustrophobia Vs. Courage.....

Marked one off the old Summer Bucket List yesterday!

Last year's bucket--note to self--get new bucket this week.
you get the visual.

We went to Chattanooga for the day yesterday! We have not been in about 3 or 4 years. Presley was in a stroller the last time we went, so it has been a while.

It's always been one of my most favorite trips! It never gets old. Ever.

Here are some memories from our trip.

First Stop: Incline Railway at Lookout Mountain
YES, this is steep! One mile up the mountain! Deep breaths...
we made it safely!

Maw Maw is the reason this whole trip was made possible. :)
thank YOU!!!

yes, we are THOSE people

my favorite tree! a Canadian hemlock

some nice folks offered to take our picture. Rock city ROCKS!

STRONG kids holding up a big rock!
Last but not least--Ruby Falls.

Okay, I would be a little remiss if I didn't tell you this: I did not go through Ruby Falls with everyone. Nope. Couldn't do it.

Let me explain...I have this little thing about tight spaces. No entrance, no exit, dark, and many people. And caves.

I am pretty sure the diagnosis is claustrophobia. Yep, that one.

We all took the long elevator down into the ground of Ruby Falls. I was prepared and prayed up to go through with it. We exited the elevator, and suddenly my chest felt like an elephant was pouncing on it. For real.

I stayed for a few minutes, and quickly told my family that I had to get out of there. Now.

The tour guide was super sweet and quickly led me back to the elevator. She told me as we rode back up to light, air, and wide spaces....that it happens a lot. They call it the "short tour".

Reassuring. Or at least she tried to be.

So, I was a member of the "short tour group". Probably even the President.

The advantage? We received a refund for my ticket. Yay.

The last thing I remember when I was running back to the elevator to find air, light, and wide spaces was Joseph saying, "Summer of Courage, Mom! Remember!! You can do this!"


I said back to him: "Claustrophobia overrides Courage. Every.single.time."

Yeah, that's it.

What's on your Summer Fun Bucket List?

no more caves, darkness, or underground trips for a while,


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer of......

It's Summer time!

A friend said that she and her children started a "Summer of..." this year.

Well, this stuck like glue to me, because I love any kind of traditions!

Joseph and I decided on:

"Summer of Courage".

We both liked this idea because we wanted to encourage each other to step out and do something we normally would not do. Something it would take lots of courage to do!

Several things have already come up that have challenged us in this area---and we LOVE the challenge!

As we were getting dinner ready a couple of nights ago, we decided we would also incorporate the
"Summer of Culture"into our meal times.

I want my children to be well versed in different foods and cultures. This has always been important to me. Joseph went to Italy with us in 2009, and the things that he learned while there have never been forgotten. Presley keeps reminding us that it's HER turn. :)

We began our Summer of Culture last night with Mexican Night. Tacos, black beans, corn, and churros were on the menu. Of course, the kids had orange drinks made in Mexico as well. Danny had a Fanta Orange because he was a last minute show-up after tennis practice. He was happy to oblige the Fanta Orange. :-)

We spoke some Spanish words as we ate, and I got out the globe and showed the kids where Mexico was. 

Tonight, in keeping with our Summer of Culture, we had Italian Night. Spaghetti, salad, and pretend-mineral water were on the menu. If you order water in Italy, they automatically assume you mean mineral water in a bottle. You have to be very specific and say "no gas" for regular water, OR you say "with gas" for mineral water. {see, we learned something there} :-)

The kids have already requested a Chinese, Japanese, and American night in the near future. 

I've got some research to do on some other countries and their foods and culture in the meantime. 

I have to say that this reminds me SO much of the things my Momma would do with us! She was the MOST fun Momma! She would make homemade biscuits and shape them into little animals. Everything was fun when we were little! I hope and pray my kids will remember these little things just like I remember all of the fun details that we did as a family. :)

Mexican Moustaches by Presley ;)

moustache kids

spanish olives

chips and salsa

Danny's sign <3 font="">

finally, time to eat! couldn't wait for Daddy and Joseph!

homemade churros and whip cream
{my version--breadsticks, melted butter and cinnamon, and bake in oven--yummy!}

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Just Be Scared....

My new favorite quote! 
I challenged my kids to do this every single day last week. 
Get your heart racing, be BOLD, be courageous!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Walking, Talking, and Drinking.....

I just took a walk. It was after dinner, and my soul was craving time with the Lord. Outside, walking, in the beauty of His creation.

My head was spinning, I needed to hear His Voice.

We walked together, He and I. I talked, I shared my heart, I thanked Him for all that I saw. From the birds nest hanging delicately from the pine tree, to the tip top of a tree that had broken off and was just pointing heaven-ward.

I noticed the neighbors dog walking in front of me. Gleeful and playful was she. Not a care in the world. Blissfully unaware of danger or worries, or anything really.

I was jealous for a moment. Lord, why did you make us humans with this brain and all of the complexities? Why do we have the capacity to worry and to be shaky in our Trust and Faith?

No answer. Just birds chirping.

I kept talking, sharing my heart and claiming my stake at the Cross. The stake that He gave me when He died for me.

"I will walk forward, Lord. I will lead women to You through Your Word. I will not look to the right or to the left, but straightforward. I will walk strong, arms by my side, not walking too fast or too slow. Just straight forward. I will lead women to Your Word. You have called me, and I will answer the call. I will not shrink back when I see the snake in the grass {the enemy} hissing at me to stop in my tracks. Telling me lies, and telling me danger lies ahead. I will not listen to him when he tells me to be safe, stay where you are. I will keep walking. In fact, I will step on his head and wipe him from my shoe. I will keep walking, strong arms, strong legs, strong heart beating for You. Beating for You."

I said these words to Him. I vowed these words to my Lord. He spoke these words through me to be spoken aloud to Him.

I then turned my face upwards to the heavens and felt the lightest rain falling on my face. It sprinkled my skin and even tingled.

"Drink of me, daughter. Drink of my Goodness. Take as much as you want, it's always there. Feel Me on your skin. Drink of my Love."

My eyes burned with tears, a lump formed in the deepest part of my throat, and I surrendered to Him.

I will drink, Lord.

I thought of the manna that He sent the Israelites. While they complained daily, He still fed them, nourished them. Dare they complain that it wasn't enough?

Dare I complain that He's not enough?

I surrendered the steering wheel that I never had control of. I pictured myself a child in the back seat of a car with a fake steering wheel. Actually believing that I was driving the car.

It's false. I never was driving the car. He has been all along.

The Blessed Controller of the Universe.

I'm safe.

He created me for His Purposes. I will live in His calling and His purposes for me. I will not shrink back in fear of what is to come, but I will walk tall, leading, eyes straight forward. My armor is impenetrable. His armor protects me.

Perfect love drives out fear. Fear is the opposite of faith.

I look around and see the Glory of my surroundings. Getting a glimpse of what the dog sees. Just pure bliss. Bliss.

I turn the corner to walk up the drive-way up to the house. I see something out of my peripheral.

It's beckoning my attention.

I turn to the left, and see a yellow flower, all alone, standing tall in the ground.

Surrounded by nothing, but grass and weeds, this yellow flower.

Yellow, my favorite color.

Standing tall, among the weeds of the world. Vibrant. Brilliant. Glorious.

I took my gift. My gift from Him.

And thanked Him.