Think Dirty, it’s good for you!

  

So what is it that has “You got me thinking dirty” to the tune of Riding Dirty running through my head all day? 


Why is it that thinking dirty is constantly on my mind? How can I make myself stop thinking dirty? Where will I find the answer to all of this dirty thinking? And WHO is it that got me thinking dirty all of the time?

 

Well, let me start with the Who! My Sister first started this whole dirty thinking. For about the last year (maybe longer), I have been changing things in my life. I began to replace products that were not satisfying me with new products that will leave me feeling good about myself. I often talk to my sister about these changes, how they make me feel, what I am doing differently and how it is affecting my life. We discuss things that work for each of us and make suggestions on how to implement them into our lives. 

 

Many times I have found myself trying something new, the latest and the greatest, the next big thing. However, I am always left wanting more. I find myself wondering if this is the best that it gets. There has to be a different way. Something better, something I can rely on. One of the benefits of being single is that I can try all of these different things and I don’t have anyone to roll their eyes or to tease me about finding something else or my excitement over this new technique or method. I don’t even have to tell anyone that I am experimenting if I don’t want to!

 

Are you curious as to what I am talking about? I am sure you are asking yourself what I am trying to get at. I am talking about what we put ON our body that goes IN our bodies! 

 

I have started to go beyond just thinking about what kind of food I eat and where it comes from, to what am I putting on my body and on my face and is it staying on my skin or is it invading my body? What is in this stuff that I have been putting on my body and never thinking about the potential consequences of?  I even went through a season where I stopped wearing makeup because suddenly I was questioning why I trusted these things that I buy and never think about the long term affects. I am not talking about the effects of aging. I am not worried about getting older. I am however concerned about my health. I am healthy now, I don’t have any signs that I could be entering into an unhealthy time, but that does not mean that I will not face that day at some point in my life. It seems that everything is causing cancer! I don’t want cancer! I want to avoid everything in my control that could potentially cause this awful sickness.

 

So, if I am so concerned about what I put IN my body, why have I not been concerned about what I put ON my body? The honest answer is, I don’t know. I had never thought about it. So, once I did think about it I began to make changes. I swapped lotion for coconut oil (I even tried to make it once which was an epic fail)! I started using coconut oil as a deep conditioner, I researched different ways to make my own shampoo and conditioner and until now I have not attempted that change, the jury is still out on whether or not I can adapt to natural hair cleansing, but I am sure I will make a decision sometime in the near future. I started to make my own deodorant, that has taken some time to perfect, but I am finally happy with a recipe. I buy soap from a local soap maker who I asked about 10,000 questions about where her product comes from and what she uses (orange peel for the scent? Um yes please) and the actual process of making it and finally felt like it was worth trying (I am going to attempt to make my own sometime soon). The one thing I have not found that I feel good about though is makeup!

 

Make up is why I started to THINK DIRTY! How in the world can I wear makeup and look the way I like to look and feel good about it? My sister and I had an entire conversation on the different ways that we could make our cosmetics. We still have not come up with a plan, but she did introduce me to this great app called Think Dirty


Lily Tse, the founder of Think Dirty, has been affected by cancer in her family. Her own personal story and watching The Story of Cosmeticsprompted her to begin her consumer revelation, you can read about it Here Leanne stumbled upon this app and sent it over to me. I have been scanning and checking as many products in my bathroom as I possibly can. I was shocked by how “dirty” my bathroom was. I had products in there that were a 10 on the dirty scale! I do not want to be a 10! I want to be a 1. 1-3 is green and that is good! I do not want to ever think about putting dirty products on my body ever again! I choose to eat clean, I am now choosing to apply clean! 

  

 

There is so much to think about and so many things that can affect us and our health. Many of those things we have no control over, so why not begin to control the things that we can? I don’t choose to live in fear of the things around me. I live life. I go out to eat, and try really hard not to think about how the food is made or where it came from, but I do eat. I do not live under a rock or grill the server about where the food comes from. I eat at home as much as I can and then I enjoy the time when I am out. I don’t think it is realistic to think we can cut everything out of our lives that can be harmful, but if we can make small changes for the good of our bodies, I definitely want to find what those are. The Think Dirty app has given me the feeling of having a little more control over what I put on my body that is being absorbed into my body. 

 

I would encourage you to check out the app. My understanding is that it is only available for the ios system, but I read somewhere that there is an android app coming out in the near future. 

  

 

**I have not been paid for this review nor was I asked to review this app. These are all my own opinions and I just chose to share them.**


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Jesus is still loving me

Two years ago today I wrote a blog post. I remember exactly why I wrote it, exactly what had prompted the post, and exactly how I was feeling. My life is drastically different today than it was two years ago. I am living far more free than I was then. I am not tripped up by the same things that have tripped me up in the past. I am stronger, more steadfast in my relationship with Jesus. I am not trying to orchestrate things, I am letting Jesus orchestrate things because He is honestly better than I am at it.

I still have slip ups, struggles, challenges, moments of fear and distrust, but He is so faithful and full of love and I would be pretty thick headed to not see just how incredible Jesus is and how much he has worked in my life.

I love how cool Jesus is. I needed to read what I wrote 2 years ago. I didn’t need to read it because I am going through the same thing I was 2 years ago, but because reading it reminds me of just how much He has saved me from! I needed to read it to remind me of where I was a short time ago. Mostly I needed to read it to be reminded of how faithful Jesus is and that I am sitting in victory today instead of shame!

I am re-blogging this in the hope that someone will benefit from the words I wrote 2 years ago. God loves us through our messes 100% of the time!

Re-Blog from March 2, 2013

It is amazing how the enemy works. Satan sure is a dirty creature and no matter how much I know that he is out to steal, kill and destroy, I still find myself falling for his dirty tricks on occasion. The beauty in it is that although I may not always choose the right path, I find myself turning around a whole lot faster. Instead of sitting in the mess of it, I repent and move on. Now, that is not to say that I don’t think about it at all anymore, but when I do I know it is the enemy trying to push me down and drown me. I am getting stronger and learning how to combat those lies with truths. I am learning that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be willing. God will refine me. He will make beauty out of ashes. He will knock on my heart gently and remind me that he loves me where I am at. He isn’t surprised by my slip ups because he has already paid the price for them. How awesome is that?

God has been showing me His love and teaching me how to love others by loving me. This has been such an awesome journey and I am so excited about Jesus. I am beside myself with joy and overwhelmed daily by just how amazing Jesus is. I am believing and professing that this is the year of change. This is the year of big things (it has already begun)! God is going to use all of the junk in my life for His greater glory! I know that He has great things planned for my future and it is not by accident that I am blessed with my church family or where I am right now. I am blessed with a beautiful roommate who is so encouraging and willing to serve. I have an abundance of friends who are genuinely amazing in their own ways. I value each and every one of them and wish that there was enough time in life to be able to foster each one of those friendships daily. God’s provision for me and my household is nothing short of miraculous. I want for nothing.

My quest for a husband will not end until I am married, but it is powerful to rest in Jesus and learn to trust that He has that person for me. Through the process Jesus has shown me what a perfect husband He is. He is gentle, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, and patient. He is the provider. He is a perfect gentleman and never forces Himself on me. He knocks on my heart just to tell me hi and that he loves me. He brings me flowers every day, well sometimes it is cactus, but they are pretty too. He longs to spend time with me, but doesn’t get angry when I forget about our date. He reminds me that He wants to pour into me and spend time with me, but he is patiently waits for me to be ready. He is not a pushover. He is strong and mighty. He will war for me at all times. He values me and makes sure that I know it. He protects me and keeps me from harm. He embraces me when I feel lonely and comforts me when I am feeling down. I still have so much to learn and so much more growing to do, but His love has not gone unnoticed.

Friday night then vs. Friday night now

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It wasn’t so long ago that my Friday nights looked very different than they do now. Lil on Coyote Ugly said it best when she said “Jim, Jack, Johnny Red, Johnny Black, and Jose; all my favorite men. You can have it any way you like it, as long as it’s in a shot glass.” Those were the days! Loud music, lots of dancing, men for days, and never an empty glass.

The lead up to Friday night was always fun! Laughter, excitement, the question of who I was going to meet would linger in the air, it was time to pick the right outfit, choose the right make up, style the perfect hair, nails done, shoes on, money and ID in my pocket and off we go. Music blaring, windows down, not a care in the world, I was off with my friends to enjoy the night that would carry over into whatever restaurant was open in the early morning hours to satisfy that drunken stomach begging for some delicious greasy food to soak up all of the alcohol.

Show up, to the bar, scan the crowd, make eye contact with the attractive man across the bar, laugh with friends, dance a little, flirt a little, play around a little. The night would sweep me away and make me feel like there was nothing else in the world except for the moment I was in. I was invincible… until the sun came up. As soon as it was light out appeal of the night was lifted and suddenly I found myself right where I had left myself before getting caught up in the hustle of the game. My house would feel quieter than it had the day before and I had to struggle to remember exactly what was so fun about the night that left me feeling empty. Saturdays were a drag as I would miss the intoxication of the night before.

Sometimes the high would carry on into the week as I chatted with and got to know that person that I had met while I was out. The thrill of the game of getting to know Mr. X was always fun. Flirting, harmless banter, plans to meet up later in the week. It was all fun and games until it wasn’t. No matter which scenario I found myself in, like any drug the high would eventually be gone and I would be off an looking for the next great thing to fill my time and give me the fix that I craved.

Friday nights look so much different for me now, they are filled with reality. Real life relationships. Friendships that don’t provide a temporary high leaving me empty and looking for something better. I don’t wake up Saturday morning feeling like I find myself right back where I left myself. Tonight was filled with more fun than any Friday night the party days offered. I was surrounded by friends, we laughed so hard that we had tears running down our faces, we talked about real things, we played games, ate food and created lasting memories. There are no more temporary boosts to my ego, but life giving moments in my life. Fridays are no longer spend with Jim, Jack, Johnny Red, Johnny Black and Jose, but they are spent with people who will still be in my life and adding value to my life tomorrow. I am no longer feigning for the next fix because the people in my life don’t leave me feeling like I am empty and needing a something stronger.

I have been filled to full for a few years now. Who knew that life could be so much fun without the assistance of the bottle and the game that so many of us have played? If you had told me 4 years ago that my life would look like it does now and that I would enjoy it, I would have laughed all of the way to Scottsdale. I would have still been laughing as I was dancing at the Revolver and working on my buzz. I would have told you that you were high and that you should probably move out of my way. I thought I was having fun.

There is something pretty cool about having friends who are my friends through everything. It is pretty amazing to realize that I have not looked at or even thought of my phone the entire time I am hanging out with my friends. I find myself surprised when hours have gone by and not only did I not realize that it truly has been hours, but that I was having so much fun I didn’t even think about being anywhere else. Probably the most awesome part is that I always leave my time with my friends feeling even more full of joy than before I spent time with them. Even better than that is that the next day feels better than the one before. There is nothing empty about my days. There is no false high or disappointment that follows.

I will choose my Friday nights of now over the Friday nights of then every single time!

Whoever said that church people could not be fun has never met my church people because these people are real and more fun than I could ever have imagined!

The man of her dreams…

Almost 5 years ago Sarah met the man of her dreams. There was no way to know then that this man literally would be the man of her dreams. He seemed so real. So alive. His eyes were a window to a future she had never given herself permission to wish for. Being in his presence excited her in ways that she didn’t know were possible. He could see right through the tough exterior and to find the real person inside. It was tantalizing, scary and exciting. He was everything she could ever want and more. Such a strong, kind, loving, and protective man. He was a warrior, a fighter. He was perfect. She was afraid that if she blinked the dream would be gone and reality would be mocking her for allowing such a dream to unfold.

Then one day, unexpectedly, it happened. She blinked. Everything she thought that she was going to experience slipped through her fingers. She didn’t know at the time what she could have had if only she hadn’t been so afraid. She had taken for granted what she thought was in front of her. She let it go thinking she would never look back. Only, she never actually looked forward. She has mentally stayed in that dream adding to it and living it and experiencing it as if the reality of it could come back to her.

Sarah often imagines the day that the man of her dreams will surface again and be real, free from what keeps him locked up in her mind. It’s feels like a constant fight, like the dream world is so close and could be so tangible, but every time she begins to get close enough to enter, the real world shakes it up and it feels far away again. She wonders how she can move on. She wants to move on. She knows that she will not be able to survive like this forever, but she is stuck in the fog of the dream. There are seasons where she puts the dream on the shelf expecting it to stay there, but unexpectedly the dream man will call out to her, promising her a lifetime of love. He tells her how much he loves her and how she is the only one who he has opened up to. He tells her that she is everything he wants, yet he keeps his distance teasing her with empty promises and tempting her with everything she longs for. Occasionally, he gently kisses her lips and caresses her just enough to bring her back to life and awaken every part of her body whispering to her how much he loves her and how he thinks about and fantasizes about the day that she can be his.

It is a twisted game, a game of control. It is a game that Sarah loathes and swears time and time again that she will not fall prey to, but this dream holds her captive. Every time he calls her name, she is powerless to fight. He has become her drug. She needs him to survive. He has her soul and carefully and gently he manipulates it in ways that she does not understand. It is exhilarating and infuriating at the same time. She loves the control that he has over her, it is a new and foreign experience. At the same time she hates this control because it is destroying her heart.

Often Sarah finds herself lost in her dream wondering how this man gained the power to dominate her. How is it that he subtly snuck in? How did she not see this happening? No man has ever been able to penetrate the wall that she keeps up. No man has ever been able to control her. She has always held all of the cards in her hand. Somehow, without looking, she let go of the deck and gave the dream man the all of the cards.

It would make sense if she regretted it and wished to take the control back. Who could blame her, after all it is just a dream, but the thought of losing the dream is scary. If the dream is lost, then she would have to face reality and accept the rejection. She would have to admit that she has lived in this place that could never be real and held on to the hope that it could be knowing that it was just a dream. Losing the dream is too much to bear. It is heartbreaking and she isn’t sure that she would be able to recover from it.

Slowly, Sarah feels the dream dying. With every power play that the dream man uses. With every sudden disappearance leaving her spent and alone the dream dies a little more. Sarah is holding onto every string she can find trying to keep the dream alive because she cannot imagine a life without it. She cannot imagine a life without the power that he has over her. It is a constant tug of war in her mind, that she knows will someday come to an end. The question remains, will the dream live or die?

OvErWhElMeD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO overwhelmed right now!!! I had the greatest week of my life last week and I should have been prepared for the fall after the high, but I wasn’t. I figured I could ride that life high for a while longer, but I guess that the universe had different plans for me.

There is really no reason or direction for this post except that I needed to take a minute away from work and just write. Write something. Anything at all!

As I write this, another person has walked into my office to give me yet another “gift” of work. Ugh… just a moment that is all I need. One moment to write. Just to write something. Anything at all!

If I could be anywhere right now, I would be cuddled up in a cabin in Montana overlooking some mountains and a lake. In my mind, I am sitting on a couch with a book and piping hot cup of coffee with the fireplace crackling in the background and smells of breakfast wafting in from the kitchen. Looking up from my book, I can see the beauty of nature out the huge window. I know it is cold outside because I can see the snow, but it is warm and comfortable from where I am sitting. There is not a care in the world as I sit in this cabin because I have nothing but time. I have a stack of books waiting to introduce me to new places. The great outdoors are taunting me to explore them and to be enveloped in their beauty. It is not lost on me how small I am in this great big world. It feels good to be so small. It feels good to know that everything outside of that cabin can wait because the truth is that in the grand scheme of things, most of the “big” things in life are really quite insignificant.

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Now, to mentally stay in the cabin as I return to the mess sitting in front of me. *Sigh*

Dear God, where is my husband?

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We portray this image of perfection online and in social media. It isn’t often that a blog, instagram, facebook, or twitter post is raw and real. Even the raw ones generally are edited. There is always a thought in the back of our minds. The what if’s. I know that often I think my mom is going to be reading this, or my sister, or a friend from church. I am going to have to face someone I know who read my blog and what if they think lesser of me? What if they don’t understand. What if they judge. How do we get out of that? I want to be candid, raw, and honest, because the truth is that although most of my days are great and most of my days leave little for me to complain about, I still have feelings and emotions that eat away at me. I still have things that are stuck inside of me that I want to get out and getting it out in a notebook just isn’t good enough sometimes. I lock it in my prayer closet, I take it to God, I pray about it, I think about it, I meditate on it, I chew on it, I push it aside, I write it in my journal, but it is still there nagging at me begging to be let out!

But what if… What if I were honest and said that my heart is longing for something different? What if I said that I am having a hard time containing my desire to be with my forever person? What if I said that sometimes I cry when I see another couple in line at the store laughing, cuddling, even fighting because I want that? What if I said that I feel my singleness in a way that I never have before? Would you judge me? Would you misunderstand what I am saying as being desperate, lonely, or discontent with my singleness? What if I said that I like my life as a single person? What if I told you that I enjoy the time alone in my house? What if I told you that I like to be able to make a last minute decision to do something with a friend after work and not have to check in with anyone? Would you call me fickle or confused?

All of those things are true. My heart hurts. I desire to be in a relationship so badly and not because my life is not great, but because it is great. For the first time in my adult life, I do not NEED a man. Financially, I am doing good. I may not have a lot of extra, but I sure can pay my bills and I have some left to enjoy. I have a house that I love and have been in for a while now. I have a car that does not break down every other day. I can take care of myself. I am great at this single mom thing. I can juggle all that is thrown my way. I am not misguided in thinking that things are working as wonderful as they are because I am some kind of super human, but because I have learned to lean on God and let him be the man of my life. I love that! I love that I do not have the struggles that I once had and I love that when I say I want to be in a relationship, it isn’t because I am lacking in some area and I am expecting a man to come in and rescue me.

My heart literally aches to share my life with someone. I am at a place of feeling like I am begging God! When is it my time??? What more do I need to do? How do I get to have that part of my life given to me? When will you give that to me God? I know there is more work to be done in my life, but there will ALWAYS be work to be done! Isn’t that the case with all of us? What more do you need from me? Do you want my house? My money? My food? My clothes? My car? What is it that you want from me? What more do I have to work on to get to the next journey of my life? I will do it! Just tell me!!! I feel like I am relentless in asking, but clearly I am not relentless enough! Do I need to shout it from the mountaintop? Do I need to ask every person I meet to pray with me? When do I get to that point of sharing life with my someday husband?

I have people tell me that maybe the man he has planned for me isn’t ready yet! I don’t want to hear that, common God, send an army of God fearing men in to surround him and build him up! Do we need to do Chinese torture to get him to submit and stop making me wait? What is the plan here! Please at least give me the cliff notes!

I don’t have any desire to be married today. Like I said, I like my life. I kind of like the idea of living a double life for a while. I have half the week with my kids and I like that and want to keep that to myself for now, but the other half, I would really like to spend some of those days with my man ya know? Maybe next year we can do the whole combining lives thing, but for now let’s live like we don’t have kids when we don’t have them!

The moral of the story is that I want to freely love someone (not anyone, but someone) and for them to freely love me! I want to make mountains move with someone and watch the kingdom grow! I want to serve Jesus next to someone and live life with someone. My heart aches for this!

The level in which this post makes me uncomfortable by putting this out there is off the charts, but I am choosing to be bold this year. I am asking for my husband! Not because I am desperate or lonely, but because I am ready!

Goodbye 2014 and Hello 2015

goodbye memories

Oddly enough, I am a little sad to say goodbye to this last year! I have had a year chalked full of blessings! I feel like I have had one of those years where I was daily given another opportunity and it is SO cool! For that reason it is a year that I am not ready to run away from. However, I do believe for more in the upcoming year. I believe that this year will make 2014 jealous!

goodbye life

So, what was so great about 2014? So much! I was about a month into my new job when 2014 started. I could never have imagined just how perfect this would turn out. Never in a million years would I have predicted that this would be my future or that I could see myself landing here for a long time. I walked into a mess and I wasn’t sure that I would ever find my way out, but I did. God knows exactly what he is doing and exactly how he will orchestrate it. A few months into the year, I experienced some crazy heartbreak, but through that came healing and taught me a lot about myself and just how much God loves and protects me. In May I bought a new car which had been a dream of mine for years. I had always wanted a Honda, but I had never purchased a car myself. My grandfather has blessed me on more than one occasion with a new car. When he died, my car decided to begin dying as well. I am not sure why, but that is what happened. I do not have super spectacular credit and I was pretty sure that I would never qualify to purchase a car, but again… God showed up and was incredibly gracious in giving me the car that I wanted. Not only did I get a Honda (which I specifically prayed for) I found one that was a manual, and I LOVE it!!!

In June, I had the opportunity to take my kids to California for a week. We had a blast! We spent time with my mom, went to the beach, enjoyed Lego Land, had fun at Sea Life, spent time with my grandfather, saw more family, relaxed, laughed and made wonderful memories. It had been a few years since we took a family vacation and it was perfect.

In August, my kids started a new school. The school they went to previously closed down due to low enrollment and we were all so sad about it. The boys were nervous and I was nervous. The first day of school there were parents fighting over a parking spot, a police officer was at the front gate (I later found out he was a parent), I wasn’t allowed to walk my children to their classrooms, I had to drop them off at the gate, my youngest was starting kindergarten and I was a wreck as a mom. I could not believe that I would never experience another first day of kindergarten with my kid again, but the first day of school ended up being wonderful. The boys loved it and have loved every day since. My older son has made a sweet friend who he really enjoys (he has never had a close friend, so this is a BIG deal). The teachers are wonderful and I have met a couple of moms that are great! My daughter also got married in August and her little turned 1. Big things happened this month!

In October, I was promoted at work, which is HUGE! I do not have the educational qualification for the position and I do not have experience in this specific area, but the people who I work for saw something in me that made them willing to take a chance on me. I have a huge challenge ahead of me, but I love each moment of it. I am learning and growing and mentoring and just enjoying the new season!

In November I turned 40. That is a big number and I lived a lifetime in my 30’s, so I am very welcoming of the new decade. I was able to celebrate my birthday with some of the people who have greatly impacted my life. People who I cherish and love and then I finished the night off with those closest to me. Also in November, my family spent Thanksgiving at my house. It was a blast to have my mom, my dad and his wife, my brother and his family, my sister and her family, my daughter and her family, myself and my 2 littles creating memories and laughing and sharing the day together. It was a joy to have everyone in the same place being loud and crazy.

December… Here we are. It is the end and not without happiness. Christmas was at my house just like Thanksgiving we had a few less people including my littles, but memories none the less. More laughter and joy. Having my mom and youngest sister stay in my house for almost a week was great. We had long talks and cherished moments. This is a year that I won’t forget.

Those are just highlighted moments, but there are many more incredible moments sprinkled throughout! Times with my sister (http://www.beingjaneblog.com/) who has become one of my best friends this last year. A couple (yep a couple) of raises. Unexpected visit from my best friend and so much more. I wish I could remember them all, but if I did, I would be writing all night long.

goodbye is hard

I am believing that 2015 will bring more joy and more blessings. I believe that love will enter into this year and that the foundation of life with another person will begin. I believe that I will increase financially even more so than I did this year. I believe this will be the year that I begin to pay off my student loans and start saving to purchase a home. I believe that big things are coming this year!

If you ask not, you have not. So, I am asking. I am asking for big things. I am believing that 2015 will be the best year of my life!!!!!!

What are you believing for in 2015? I encourage you to write it down and put it away. Have your family do it too and then at the end of the year, pull out the list and see just how much of what you were believing for happened. I did that this year and wow, when I opened up that envelope, I was blown away! God truly showed up!

Have you ever had one of those days?

This morning! Oh my goodness, it did not go as it had planned at all! I am off of work this week and my kids don’t have school and I had a plan for the morning. In my mind, I was going to sleep until 8, wake up and have my coffee and relax before beginning the lovely cleaning process. I had already set the precedence that today was going to be a no TV day and that we were going to be productive in the morning before we had fun this afternoon. Ugh! EPIC MOM FAIL!!!!!!!!! I should have known that without Phineas and Ferb to babysit the kids I would never have a peaceful moment.

In my mind, my day went like this. Naturally wake up when my body wakes up (which is always before 8), lay in bed trolling through facebook and instagram, check my email, vox my sister and BFF and THEN get up. I imagined the house still being calm and quiet, making coffee, sitting down on my couch with the Christmas tree lights on, worship music in the background, read my bible, maybe blog and then start cleaning.

sleeping peacefully

     What my day really looked like… 6 am my son wakes up and begins to shake the bed in an attempt to wake me up. It is dark and I know I do not want to be up. I try my hardest to pretend I don’t notice but eventually I have to acknowledge his presence. He informs me that he has cleaned his room and wants to talk. Ugh… I love these moments, but seriously, can we wait until 8am? A few minutes later my other son comes in and jumps on the bed laughing and joyful. Of course this begins a game with the two boys wrestling and laughing. I am trying really hard to enjoy it, but really all I wanted to do was sleep. Enough was enough. I pretended to cry and begged the boys to let me just have until 8 am. That kind of worked until I heard the fighting, yelling and crying. Oh. My. Goodness! I am a patient mom, but for a moment I was NOT patient. Not even a little. I heard myself yelling for them to get in my room and when they got in there, I was very clear on my expectation for the morning. They quietly left the room and nicely played a game. Except that I wasn’t able to relax or go back to sleep. The guilt set in. I was not feeling any level of peace. Okay fine, I am getting up. I walk out of my room which turned out to be a major mistake. Immediately “mom. Mom. Mooooom. Mom, can I have some chocolate milk? Mom, can I have something to eat?” OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! I am yelling in my head again, but out of my mouth came “boys, I am so sorry I yelled. I was wrong. I am feeling impatient this morning, so if you want to have a good mom I need to spend some time with Jesus. If you want a yelling unkind mom, then lets just keep this up”. Out of my sweet 5 year old mouth comes “Mom, I really want some chocolate milk. Can you please get me some before you spend time with Jesus?” Of course that is exactly what I did, but for some reason that simple task was a challenge for me. My morning was nothing like what I thought it should look like!

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     Finally, I was given 20 minutes to read my bible and pray. Honestly it was not enough time. I really could have used much more, but God is so good. His grace is sufficient. He gives me what I need when I need it. He will bless that small amount of time with him. The boys and I were able to get the house and car cleaned up in a little over an hour with laughter and without any fighting. I needed that time. Of course things have not been perfect. There has been a lot more fighting among the kids and many challenges (and it is only 11am), but the beauty is that the boys, without my prompting, have chosen to spend their own time with Jesus when they realize that they are fighting too much and getting too frustrated.

At this moment I am writing and they are playing nicely. Laughing and enjoying each other. I am enjoying listening to them and so thankful that God is giving me this moment. I woke up with a choice. I could have allowed my day to run me and to have a day of frustration and annoyance. I almost allowed that to be my day, but instead… I chose to let Jesus have my day. I put my expectation aside and chose to be grateful for this day. No matter how it turns out. I chose to ask Jesus for peace, patience, joy, patience, patience, patience, oh and did I mention patience? The day is still early, who knows what the rest of the day will look like, but I know that every moment that begins to spiral out of control I will stop and ask God to to handle it and change the direction of my heart in that moment. If I forget to do that, my kids will for sure step in and remind me. They already have a few times this morning.

his grace

     I will never get this moment or this day back. I don’t want to waste it with impatience and frustration. I don’t want to miss out on moments with my kids because it does not fit in with what I expected my day to look like. I wish I could say that I am excellent at seizing the day and embracing the moment, but that is not the case at all! Someday … hopefully!

How do you handle mornings that are different than you expect them to be? What do you do when the day seems to take control of you? How do you put yourself in check when you realize that you are not being the best parent that you can be?

It’s days like today…

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It’s days like today that I feel the void of that person in my life. Days like today when I sit down and reflect upon my day and I want to be able to call him up or sit down next to him and talk to him all about it, but “he” isn’t there. Nobody is. Not true. Jesus is and I love the comfort of that, but I really want that person that is physically on the other end of the phone or next to me. I long for that.

It’s an interesting place to be. I am so content with my life and in some ways, I don’t want any part of it to change. I enjoy each moment with my kids and I enjoy the alone time just as much. It is pretty incredible to feel that way. It is awesome to honestly and truly love my life. It is because I love my life so much that the void is so great sometimes. I want to share my life with him. It is too good not to share. There is so much love, joy, excitement, silliness, and fun to not experience it with someone. Today was a day worth sharing.

My day started way too early. Earlier than any other normal day. My kids were wonderful about it. No complaining or whining, just up and ready for the full day we had planned. We went to church and I had the amazing opportunity to be in a small Christmas production along side my older son. It was pretty magnificent to experience this with him and then to sit in church with him. It seems like yesterday that he was just this little kid who was wild, rambunctious, and would not leave my side. Watching him today and doing something that we both love together was a blessing. After church, we went to lunch with my sister and her family. There were moments at lunch where I just would look at our group and think “wow, this is cool”. We are all grown up with families of our own and sharing life together. I am blessed. Lunch ended and the boys and I came home, played games, and watched a movie before meeting up with my parents, my brother and his family, and my sister and her family to go and see the lights at the Mormon temple. It was crowded, so it was a little difficult to really take it in, but just so great having the family together. The night started to come to an end with dinner. Once we were home, I had the opportunity to lay in bed with my older son and talk about the day. It was incredible to hear him talk about the sermon. He is eight and not a fan of sitting in “big church”. I didn’t even think he was listening, but I was proven wrong. He heard everything and told me all about his take away’s. I laid there listening to him and thinking wow, this kid is growing up and I am so proud of him.

While cleaning up after the day and making lunches for the week is when the overwhelming feeling of being alone hit me. It happens at the most random moments. Like one time, I was walking out of a coffee shop and was physically feeling alone. Like there was something missing. It was weird. I do things alone all of the time. It never bothers me, but occasionally I feel the void of my other half. It is breathtaking. Like I can actually feel it. I can feel it so strongly that it stops me in my tracks. It isn’t followed by sadness or loneliness, it is just a wave of awareness. I don’t know if I can actually describe what I am feeling, but sometimes I wonder if those moments are so strong because “he” is feeling the same thing at that exact moment.

I know this, I am not ready to be married. There is too much of my life that I enjoy in my singleness, but I am for sure ready to have somebody in my life to share the good times (and occasional bad times) with. I have been ready for a while now, but it is getting stronger! I don’t know that I would say that I am impatient with the wait, but I am getting a little antsy. Like when will my time be?

2015 is going to be an awesome year. This year has been one of the best, but I just believe that 2015 will be even better! I am getting that itch, the itch to see great things happen. Will 2015 include Mr. Forever? Sigh… I sure would like to know.

love and husband

Loving differently

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Do you ever have those super cool moments when you are talking to a friend and stuff comes out of your mouth that you didn’t even know was in your head and then you look around like “who said that”? When you realize that you said it and it came from your brain, it is like the best moment ever. A total download from somewhere of the most brilliant information! Okay, maybe not the most brilliant, but pretty great anyway.

So, my friend and I were talking about men and life and love and what we want from men, life, and love. We were reliving the past and talking about our messed up choices and how we really haven’t made great relationship decisions. Thankfully we have both grown a lot since then and know more of what we want and we are smart enough to have things in place so that there are safe guards with the intention of not having any more “I would like to pretend that never happened moments”, and that’s when it happened!

I came up with this description of what I want my relationship experience to be like and I think it is pretty cool! In the past, like so many of us do, I have jumped into a relationship without ever taking time to enjoy all of the moments leading up to the commitment part of it.

Here it is… we all like the beach right? Any time I go to the beach the entire experience is what is amazing. From the moment I drive over the hill and see the ocean the whole world is just different, the air feels different, there is something about the ocean air. As I get closer, the weight of the world begins to lift, finally I park, get out of the car and start walking towards the sand. My toes touch the sand first, as my foot lowers and I feel the sand going through my feet, it’s a wonderful feeling. I can feel the sun kissing my face and shoulders. It is perfect and comforting. I walk towards the water anticipating the chill of the ocean. There is excitement knowing just how magnificent the ocean is. The ocean is strong, powerful, awesome, unpredictable, calming, beautiful, and intense. I stand there letting the water run over my feet, taunting me and encouraging me to come a little closer. I respond to its call and I go a little further into the water. It is cold, I squeal in delight and there is a small part of me that wants to run away because of the unknown. I don’t know what’s in the water. I am unsure of what I will be surrounded with so I take my time getting comfortable. I let myself get used to the water and the strength. I watch how the water treats the people who are already in. I take the time to experience and enjoy the moment all the while inching farther and farther in. Before I know it, I am far into the ocean, diving in the waves, riding the waves to shore and going out and doing it all over again. Since I don’t live by the beach any more, and I certainly didn’t appreciate it when I did, I don’t take advantage of the beauty of it when I am there any longer. I soak it all in and when it is time to leave I find myself in a state of bliss. I am spent from a day being pampered by the sun and water.

I don’t want to jump in with my whole body any longer. I want to enjoy the sand and enjoy the walk down to the water. I want to enjoy the water touching my toes. I want to get excited about the water going over my ankles. I want to feel the cold rush. That screaming, giddy fun, run in, run out before I totally commit to jumping in the wave. I want to enjoy all of the little things before I completely jump in. I want a story and memories and life. I want it to be slower than it has in the past.

ocean-of-love

This is how I want my relationship to start. I don’t want to not appreciate each moment. I want the slow intentional steps. I just keep thinking how awesome it would be to have a relationship be like a day at the beach. From the  moment I drive over the hill and see him the whole world will change. The anticipation and the excitement of getting out of my car, house, where ever and that first moment of breathing the same air as him. I would hope that every time I see my forever person I choose to experience that moment as if it were the first time that I realized that I was in love with him and I want him to feel the same. The walks through life would be like the sand on my toes. The small gestures are like the ocean taunting me to come closer and to trust. There has to be trust to allow the water to carry you to shore. I may not know what each moment has to hold with my forever, but as we slowly take our time getting to know each other saving the final jump for later, it is exciting just knowing the magnificence that will follow.  I realized that in the past, I just jumped into a relationship both feet first with the mentality of lets see where it will go, what have I got to lose? I had a lot to lose. Pieces of my heart were lost. Pieces of me. I have carried those feelings with me. With the end of each relationship, I became more jaded and less able to love. Thankfully, by the grace of God, that is no longer the case. I have healed from a lot of the wounds and now I know that I don’t want to jump in and fully submerge myself into the ocean (relationship). I want to experience it all. I want to lay in bed at the end of the night in a state of bliss from enjoying every part of my life.

This is an image that I have held onto since I first thought of it. I plan to remind myself continuously and keep people in my life who will remind me. I guess they will be like the life guards in my life, there in case I forget that I have to embrace the process, ready to pull me out from the currents if they get too strong before they should.

I am so excited for this journey to begin! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me!

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