Things got quiet here all of the sudden but I promise you they are anything but.  It’s looking like the new website will be ready very soon!  I CAN NOT WAIT!   I’m going to take a little break in order to keep working on all the details.   I’ve got a couple of giveaways and some other fun things planned for the relaunch so I hope you’ll join me on that happy day!

C U Soon,

Lisa

Two Boys and the Only Girl just got home from a week spent with Grandmama and Papa.  I never thought I would say this with such enthusiasm but OH My GOSH I am so excited to have some NOISE up in this house again!  Those of you with multiple kids probably understand how unsettling it can be - albeit more peaceful – when all the chickens aren’t under your own roof. 

I had a fabulously long list of things I was going to do while they were all gone.  I didn’t accomplish a single one.  Sew/Embellish The Girl’s plain white curtains to match her comforter?  Still in the package.  Get caught up on laundry?   Significantly lower but still piled.  Pair all the socks in the overflowing, makes-me-twitch, sock basket?  Still digging for a match. Write a book chapter?  Outlined but approximately 500 words away from a suitable conclusion.  BUT, I’m proud to report none of these things got done because Luke and I spent a great deal of time together with Boy Three doing things like fishing, swimming, and eating a slushy-a-day from the new Froggy Freeze stand in town.  {My Homies, if you haven’t been there yet you simply have to try it.  SO yummy and SO cheap.  Need I say more?}

Speaking of fishing, I’m not a fan.  I’m not sure if my being the most impatient person on the planet is a factor or if an aversion to slimy, dead, stinky things is what pushes me over the edge.  Boy Three, arguably the toughest of the bunch, even screams like a girl when he tries to get a fish off the hook and it flips on him.  I don’t consider that a weakness because seriously, anyone  who acts like they enjoy touching all that stuff is flat out lying.  I should clarify by saying that I really do get a kick out of  the catching part, but unless I can reel one in every 3.7 seconds then the ADHD kicks in and I find I need to move on to getting a fresh Diet Dr. Pepper from the cooler or sticking food in the guys’ mouths so they don’t have to touch anything with their grody (how do you spell grody?) hands. 

It’s my angling ministry.

You should know I did catch one fish but it wasn’t without great support staff.   All the credit goes to Luke who took care of all the baiting,  untangled my line from a tree limb, and from that point forward made all my casts  so he wouldn’t have to do it again.  And then – when I hooked a lively 6-incher - got it off the hook and threw him back to swim another day.  He fared better than the other fish who swallowed the hook. Luke had to use the pliers to get it out wreaking havoc on the poor thing’s intestines.  I’ve never been an animal sympathist, but I have to admit I was a little bothered by that whole scene.  Imagine how much better I felt when my fish was barely snagged on the lip.

Whether I personally enjoy fishing or not, the pond one of our church members invited us to use was just beautiful (Thank you, Mr. G), the covered dock a cool shelter from the blazing sun, and a day with two of my favorite guys on earth one I won’t soon forget. 

I might just go again.

As long as I don’t have to touch anything but the snacks. 

Hope y’all have a great weekend filled with doing things you like with those you love! 

Lisa

After hours of tutorials and much gnashing of teeth, I finally made something. :)   So tell me, do you like the one in the header or this one better?

bloghead1

This week has been pretty quiet around my house.  Three of the four kids have gone to their grandparent’s house in Georgia for a week of eating all manner of delicious food and generally getting spoiled rotten.  Poor Boy Three had to skip the fun because of baseball practice but I’ve just loved having the one on one time with him.  Not many people know this about him, but inside that fierce exterior is a boy who loves his momma.  Knowing that warms the cockles of my heart.

Wherever those are. 

You would think I would spend all this free time getting my house cleaned.  That hasn’t worked out for me but I have gotten some writing done poolside which is the best place for contemplative thinking outside of McDonald’s.  I took a break from that and went to the church today for the first installment of Terrific Tuesday – a summer program our children’s ministry intern, Julie, is running.  I’ve not mentioned Julie yet I don’t think?  She’s a fabulous 19 year old girl who feels God calling her as a Children’s minister and she is serving our congregation for the summer.  Our kids have all fallen head over heels for her.  She has some serious game playing skillz and I’ve never met anyone who could keep a completely diverse group captivated for such a long period of time.  We are seriously hoping to snag this girl for year-round but college may prevent that reality.  Either way, it’s going to be hard to imagine a time when she’s gone.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.  Or not.

Anyway, I used the time at church today to get our phone tree set up.  That’s one of those calling devices for sending out reminders to the church population for upcoming events.  After I got all the computer/hardware set up, it was time for Luke to make his recording.  If our church members could have witnessed the Barnum and Bailey way we approached it, a U-Haul would  most certainly be in the driveway tomorrow.  

You just have to know Luke.  We are total opposites in personality so his phone voice comes across as very, well let’s say, unexciting reserved.  I’m thinking when you are promoting a Family Fun Day, you should sound enthused about it. So, after hearing Take One of the recording, I suggested he do it again but told him about a tip I’d heard once that he should smile as he was talking into the recorder.  

He might have said something like, “Would you take your ‘tips’ and get out of my office so I can do this?” while I howled uncontrollably.  

I said ‘might’ have. 

He may also have been interrupted a few more times by my peaking through the window and making faces at him while he was working on Takes Two through Fifty-Seven.  But only a completely Immature Preacher’s Wife would do something so lame.  It would be kind of funny if that’s how it really happened though.

At least Cheryl thinks so.

After we got the machine going, Luke, Cheryl (our secretary), Julie, Boy Three and I went to lunch and loaded Julie up with dating advice.  I’m so sure she appreciates having three more parents in her life.  With a full belly and a free afternoon on my hands, I came home and decided to take a short nap.  That was about 4 p.m.

Now, I have no idea why my husband didn’t wake me up but when it was time to go to ball practice but he says I was sleeping so well he hated to disturb me.  So, he and Boy went to practice and left me at home.  I slept. 

And slept.

And I woke up.  It was pitch black and in my brain fog, I was certain it was about 4 am.  I’d forgotten all about practice, etc. and was sure my family was safely in bed.  I focused in on the clock. 

8:47 p.m. 

I had been asleep almost 5 hours.  Luke and Boy came in shortly thereafter ready to hit the bed and I’m ready to hit the town.

Which is why I’m typing this post at 12:53 a.m.  Wide A Stinkin’ Wake.

I think I’ll jump off here now and see if sleep is a possibility.  It isn’t looking likely.

Who knew you could be jet lagged without ever leaving home?

 

 

   

Have I mentioned how I love being back on WordPress?

One of my favorite features is the Dashboard that tells you everything about your blog you’d want to know in one snapshot.  I’ve always gotten a kick out of reading search terms people used to my site but I rarely ever looked at them on my old stat program.   Imagine my mild amusement when I saw that people found my blog by these googles:

1. My mom is a loser.          Boys, have y’all been sneaking on the computer again?

2.  Grumpy Greek Men.  I’ve got some grumpy.  I’ve got some men.   But Greek?  Notsomuch.  However, Luke loves rolled grape leaves and baklava.  Does that count?   

3.  Preacher who can raise his wife from the dead.     Have y’all seen the part of Fireproof when Kirk’s wife is sick and he goes to Chic Fil A, brings her something to eat and loves on her until she’s better?  That scene made me bawl because it’s totally something Luke would do and has done.  Thankfully though I’ve never given him opportunity to practice his resurrection skillz.  He’s good, but he’s not that good. 

What are some of the weird ways people have found your blog?

One more little update:  I saw the header of my new blog design and it’s great.  I’m so excited about relaunching this site to hopefully a whole new level of fun!  In keeping with the last google search, sometimes you have to flat out kill something to raise it. 

I think I’ve accomplished the killing part.

Lisa

UPDATE:  I fixed comments so you don’t have to fill out a name and address.  Sorry! :)

Quite some time ago, I asked you girls some questions about a project that was and remains heavy on my heart.  Now that most of the edits are complete on Cute Shoes, it’s time to begin committing thoughts and research on this next subject to screen. I’m officially working on (as in I’m almost complete with an Introductory Chapter) a submission package in hopes it will find a publishing home.  (Wink, wink, David C. Cook friends:)

This book- complete with Bible study application- is about coming clean and  allowing the sometimes terrifying yet always liberating  light of God’s Word to invade the dark abyss of conscience.  It’s facing the secrets we all keep and embracing the freedom that comes from telling the truth.  It’s finding a community of believers with whom you are safe. (And yes, I realize that is easier said than done and therein lies a big part of our problem.) It will be a guide to living a fully disclosed life through the refining power of the Holy Spirit.

My first invitation is for you to respond to the following poll:

Now, I’d like to repost the original questions I asked and encourage you – if you feel compelled –  to answer them now if you didn’t get the chance in the past.  Please note that I intend to pull quotes from these responses to include in the book so you must answer anonymously in order for those to be used. 

Seems a little counter-productive for me to be writing a book on confession and telling you to be sure to remain anonymous, doesn’t it?   I’m really not trying to offer you a beer before I give you an AA brochure.  It boils down to permissions difficulties if I know your name.  Crazy, huh?    

With that said, here are a few questions to consider:

1. Do we try to keep our secret from God?  (There have been times I mistakenly thought if I didn’t word the issue to Him, it somehow didn’t exist.) Or perhaps we are just in denial with Him about the way it truly affects our relationship with Him and others.

2. Do we always have to tell it? Is there a time we can confess it to God, stop it, release it, process it through Scripture and then walk away?

3. What are we afraid of? Who are we trying to protect by holding on so tightly?

4. To what lengths are we willing to go to keep it? Will we become a habitual liar to keep people from knowing we lied once?

5. What does it feel like when we do some truth-telling? To lay still and let God open us up and do a little secret-otomy. We know we can trust God to still accept us, but can we trust what people will do to us with the information? Can we handle it?

6. What kinds of things do we lie about? S*x, Infidelity, Money, Abuse, Addiction?

7. Does our secret even have to be something “big”?  If who we claim to be doesn’t add up to who we are in reality, does that make us a pretender? I love the meaning of the word conscience – it means, “to see throughout, transparency”. Is there consistency between our hearts and our hands?

 

Obviously there are many other facets to this topic and I welcome any and all of your thoughts.  I’ve been particularly vulnerable in this area because of my role as a minister’s wife and as a woman’s minister myself.  God has done a great work on me and my heart’s prayer is to be able to outline concise steps to living a completely disclosed life. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Lisa

Friday night we headed to the Drive In for some cheap family fun.  Believe it or not, you can still watch a new release for $10 per car – no matter how many people you have crammed inside.  Just one of the advantages of living in a town that isn’t much evolved from Mayberry.  I love doing things that make me feel like a good mom – like packing a cooler full of snacks and inviting a friend along and bringing plenty of blankets to make a comfortable pallet for the kids.  It was a textbook summer evening.

The double feature was Night at the Museum and Land of the Lost.  Thanks to you who advised us about the typical Will Farrell nastiness of the latter.  But to be fair, since it didn’t start until 10:30 p.m., our fuddy duddiness would have kept us from staying awake that late  even if it was a documentary of Will’s salvation and subsequent call to missionary service.    

Okay, maybe I would have stayed for that but I definitely would have worn my pj’s to the show.

Would you like me to get to the point now?  Okay.

We absolutely LOVED Museum. 

I wish I would have had the forethought to write down some of my favorite quotes.  Here’s just a few of the best things:

1.  The Pharaoh with the lisp, Kha Mun Rah.  He was fabuluth.  Loved him sitting on a pile of treasure he’d found in the Smithsonian basement and saying, “Who ever you are Archie Bunker, you have a very comfortable throne.”    Also cracked up when he dissed Darth Vader. “You have too much going on.  Asthma and a cape?  I don’t think tho.”

2.  Conceited General Custard while brushing his golden mane:  “In some countries, my hair is considered currency.”   Also loved him trying to figure out Sacajawea’s name.  Hysterical.

3.  The cherub boy band.   So New Kids on the Block.

4. Ben Stiller’s opening struggle with the Smithsonian night guard.  “It’s pronounced Brundon.”

5.  The Einstein Bobble heads.  “Are you saying yes or no?”

Okay, obviously I’m reliving this for myself but I hope you’ll take away a hearty thumbs up on this flick.  Two cuss words the whole time.  Both of the the D-word.  Have no idea why they couldn’t have left them out but I’m sure it was the studio being rebellious. 

So next I’m hoping to see Up.  Have y’all seen it?   Thumbs up or down?

(Pun intended)

Lisa

Last week I shared with you girls that I totally wonked my blog by deciding I could re-do it myself.  Not a smart move.  Well, The Amies of A Woman Inspired Conference fame have taken pity upon me and come out of blog design retirement to rescue this doofus in distress.  I can not adequately express the depth of gratitude I’m feeling towards those precious girls right now.  With that said, I’m TOTALLY stoked over a re-launch that will be happening soon with a website that will hopefully be a full on resource for ministry wives as well as maintain the personal community we have with one another. 

In the meantime, I’ve discovered a fabulous free trial  of Photoshop CS4 that I just happened to run across during my design dilemmas.  I’ve just begun scratching the surface of it, but I’ve already realized why I had no success with Paint.net.  It is just a joke to work with once you have experienced the real thing.  What’s even better are the free video tutorials on the site.  They are very helpful and satisfy my need to learn visually instead of figuring things out by written instructions.  My goal is to be able to design my own headers once The Amies have my basic site up and running.  That much I can do.  I’ve learned my lesson on trying to tweak templates. 

It’s definitely not my spiritual gift.

Anywho, if you are interested in taking a look at the Photoshop Trial, go here. (Actually you can have a free trial of any product for 30 days.  Just figured that out!)  Heads up, it takes a little while to download but well worth it. 

Happy Editing!

Lisa

p.s.  Check out The Woman Inspired site for info on the upcoming Parenting and Home Educator Conference!

During summer break, one of the ways I retain my sanity is to make sure my kids are enrolled in every VBS within a 30 mile radius.  Our church held Boomerang Express last Monday thru Friday and this week they are going with some friends to a VBS Boot Camp.  Summer Camp is in mid-July for two of them so at this point, I figure if I hit it just right, I’ll have at least 2 hours of peace and quiet per day until August 11th when those wonderful educators at our local school throw those blue doors wide open and declare it’s time for the children to return.

So, I’m exaggerating. 

A little.

I’m not really looking for ways to get rid of my kids though there have been years past on vacation when we’ve threatened to drop them off at a local VBS so we could afford to go to a really great restaurant instead of Backyard Burger.  

You’re welcome for that money-saving tip.  I’m full of them.  Really. 

Actually, we’ve been having a great time together since May 22nd thanks to all the swimming that’s been going on.  We have some besties with a pool who are gracious to invite us often and when we aren’t there, it seems there is some water-related event to attend.  There have been pool parties, water balloon fights, water ride parties, and the occasional water hose war in the back yard just in case there isn’t enough liquid squishing out of the kids’ heads.  Summer just isn’t summer without at least one raging case of swimmer’s ear.

This post has no point whatsoever other than to say we will most likely be doing a couple of short vacation trips this summer instead of an extended one.  In case you haven’t heard, apparently our economy is in the toilet and it now appears North Korea is about to bomb Hawaii so those plans are out.   We were also considering a quiet visit to Tehran, but  all those people shooting one another in the streets would keep me awake at night.  I’ve never been able to sleep through gunfire, dadgummit.  So, considering our entire planet IS ABOUT TO IMPLODE, it just feels like a good time to stay close to home. 

I want Jesus to know where to find us when He comes back.

Some good friends at church told us about this place that looks fabulous and I know the kids would love it.  I’m going to call to negotiate some better pricing though.  I twitch at the thoughts of paying rack rates.  We are also planning to see the Rome Braves on a cool giveaway night and throw in a trip to the local drive in for good measure.  And yes, we still have a drive in!  It’s $10 per car and they have the best hamburgers EVER.  Tomorrow night is a double feature of Night at the Museum and Land of the Lost.  Have any of you seen LotL?  I’m dying to see what they’ve done with it since I used to camp in front of the television to watch what happened to Marshall, Will, and Holly on their routine expedition.  BUT,  I have this sinking feeling Will Ferrell will insert non-original content so that it won’t be appropriate for the kids.  Have y’all seen it?  Does he talk nasty?

Sooo…  here we are at the end and it just occurred to me I should ask you to share with me some fun one-day adventures you’ve taken with the fam?  Where did you get the most bang for your buck?

Oh, and I just wanted to say I’ve missed y’all. :)

Peace Out,

Lisa

I’ve shared with you that I’ve been taking a little break. A mental vacation of sorts from any and all optional obligation. The beginning of the year through May was crazy busy with different teaching opportunities and at the time, I kept telling myself if I could just make it until summer that I wouldn’t read anything but my daily devos, Beth’s Esther study, and maybe some good fiction during the kids’ summer vacation.  The thoughts of mindless days beside the pool with nary a deadline in sight were what kept me going. It’s not that I didn’t love what I was doing – I just got a little overwhelmed and a lot scared about the pace. My sufficiency issues run deep and I’m also prone to be one who – when a thing seems to be snowballing out of control – will slam the brakes altogether in hopes of a do over. I thought coming to a screeching halt would set things aright.

That hasn’t worked out for me so much.

I’m not trying to be dramatic and there is certainly nothing wrong with me other than I’ve discovered I’m a little heartsick. When I began asking the Lord to show me why exactly, He brought to remembrance this passage in Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian is climbing Difficulty Hill and sits down to rest in the Arbor but falls into a long sleep instead. When he continues on his journey, he doesn’t realize for quite some time that he has left his Scroll (The Word) behind. He is greatly distressed when he has to backtrack to locate it. Here’s what happens next:

“He went thus till he came again in sight of the Arbor where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of sleeping unto his mind. {Rev. 2:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-8.} Thus, therefore, he now went on, bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O wretched man that I am, that I should sleep in the daytime! that I should sleep in the midst of Difficulty! that I should so indulge the flesh as to use that rest for ease to my flesh which the Lord of the hill hath erected only for the relief of the spirits of pilgrims! How many steps have I taken in vain! Thus it happened to Israel; for their sin they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea; and I am made to tread those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight, had it not been for this sinful sleep. How far might I have been on my way by this time! I am made to tread those steps thrice over, which I needed not to have trod but once: yea, now also I am like to be benighted, for the day is almost spent. O that I had not slept!”

I think I’ve told you in the past my favorite devo book is called Daily Light for the Daily Path. Each day has a morning and evening reading of topical scripture strung one after another. Such a wonderful book and it never fails the topic that comes up is dead on. So, as if reading this part of Pilgrim was not enough, my devos for the last three days have been all over being watchful, being awake, being alert for the time that the master will return. Of not being lazy. Of not growing weary in well-doing.

Okay, Lord. I think I get the point. I love you for remembering I am dust and being willing to send the quadruple affirmations I so need.  Thank you for missing me enough to call me back to deep study.  Thank you for commentaries and key word study bibles and blueletterbible.org.  I’ve missed you all so.

I never cease to be blown away by my God, but He put a thought on my mind that I can’t quite get rid of and I wonder if it applies to any of you girls, too. “Lisa, your calling isn’t in the walk. It’s in the run.” And that’s when it hit me. He knows me. He knows I thrive in chaos. He knows when I’m busiest and most obligated, I am happiest and most productive. The long sleep may be what my flesh craves, but my individual Spirit was created to ‘go nimbly’ up Difficulty Hill. That may seem like no big deal to you, but that little piece of self-revelation was just what I needed to wake me from the slumber of the seemingly delightful yet deceptive Arbor.

“But who can tell how joyful this man was when he had gotten his roll again?” I can tell because in some small measure, I’m feeling it with him. There’s no time for grieving lost days or thinking how much farther down the road I would be had I not slept. Today, the smile on my face comes from knowing there is a God in Heaven who has asked me to participate in what He is doing in the lives of people here on earth.

And He doesn’t mind pushing me out of bed to get me rolling again.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

Lisa

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