Friday, March 30, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Gift

Today I am linking up with the Gypsy Mama...she hosts "5 Minute Friday."  This is where "we set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."  I like that, I really do.  What a concept, write for you, not for anyone else.  Didn't we all create our blogs for us, for our families...so that's what I am doing today...writing for me!

The word for today is...GIFT

My Molly girl is a huge gift in my life.  Over 10 years ago I was told I wouldn't bear any kids, sad news to a naive 15 year old.  My then boyfriend, now husband, and I decided after we got married we would try anyway.  And now you can see the marvelous work our creator did and made...Molly.  Molly, although for the longest time looked like my husband, acts every bit like me.  So much so I find myself often trying to change her.  I don't want her to experience the heartbreaks and heartaches I did and still do.  I want her to be a free spirit, not a conformist, I want her to grow and love without hesitation, without judgement, without needing to how or why.

She is definitely a performer, an actress, a lover, a peace maker, a people pleaser, a little artist, and my gift.  Molly was my best friend for the first 3 years of her life.  We did everything together, we went places together, tried new things, she grew and I grew right along with her.  Then came Lucy, and I love her just as much as I love Molly, but it's different now.  It's different caring for two versus one, but it's also a gift to be entrusted with two lives, to raise two girls, to love them both equally yet in different ways according to their needs.

When I look at Molly I see her as a testament to faith and hope, an odds breaker, and my true GIFT from God.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Resignation Part 2

During the decision making process of my resignation I clearly heard God say "follow me."  Now sometimes I question myself, like was that God or was that my subconscious.  I truly believe it was God because everywhere I looked, read, things I heard all said the words "follow me."  So, no coincidence, it was God.

I kept asking God to say it to me again, speak it to me one more time, so I could find comfort in knowing I was honoring him.  When I gave my official resignation I felt completely at peace and I was calm.  Things I am usually not when making tough choices and meeting with people to deliver news.  I usually get all nervous and make no sense, but all the words flowed right out of my mouth and peace swept over me.  I was on a spiritual high for a couple of days, then all of a sudden I had that "OH MY WORD...WHAT DID I JUST DO?!" moment.

Again, I am not one to leave something without a plan or something else lined up.  But I had nothing and still have nothing.  All along I heard God whisper "follow me."  At times I have said okay God, I am following, I don't know where I am going, but I am following.  Faith is one of my spiritual gifts, but I gift it to others, not myself.  I believe God will do and can do awesome, amazing things, but sometimes I have trouble believing that for myself.  I know he can work in your life, but in mine, wow, that's hard to believe sometimes.  So this whole blindly following thing is really hard for me.  I want to be obedient to God, but I also know I need to be proactive on my end.  So it's a tough balance for me.

Two weeks ago I was mulling through things in the car, and out of nowhere in my head I heard "don't you trust me?"  I was like whoa, where did that come from, and again "don't you trust me?"  It was the Lord again, hitting me upside the head, hello, why wouldn't he take care of me?!  So I had to sheepishly answer, yes, Lord, I trust you.  I told you all this has been hard!

I feel like through the resignation process I have also gone through the whole grief process, too.
 D- denial
A- anger
        B- bargaining
        D- depression
        A- acceptance
I have hit every single ones of those and repeated some.  The denial for me was, sure I can do this job, just suck it up and keep working.  I lied to myself for a long time, and put on a show for others, but really who was I kidding, no one.  I was angry more with myself, feeling like a failure.  I would look at other ministry couples and think they can do it, why can't we?  I would get mad at myself for not trying harder, not getting enough done, for forgetting simple things.  I would beat myself up over and over again.  Bargaining probably was the one I didn't do too much of, because once I realized I needed to be obedient to God, I didn't try and pull okay I will do this for you, if you do this for.  I don't play that game with God.  Depression...oh yes, my good friend depression.  I am not your typical depressed person that can't get out of bed.  I am a functioning depressed person if there was such a thing.  I can do the daily tasks and chores, but I am not joyful, nor am I really pleasant to be around.  I yelled at my kids, I would cry all the time, I would get down super easy.  I am actually still dealing with this one, but the good days have been more then the bad the last week or so.  And finally acceptance.  That's where I am I at today.  I have completely accepted the fact that I am no longer on staff at a church, that I truly feel that I did what was best for my family in the season of life that we are in, and more importantly, I have totally accepted that I did what God wanted me to do.

For me I am also grieving certain memories of my job.  When I took this job I gave up my full-time stay at home mom position.  I left Molly in order to do this job.  I had a terrible miscarriage while doing this job, but I also got the surprise of my life when I got pregnant with Lucy.  All while I was doing my job.  Okay, not like I got pregnant doing my job, but you know what I mean :)

So it's not just the fact that I walked away willingly, or that I will miss the kids, my team members, and parts of my job, it's that my life still was going on during my job, and we had lots of memories, hit lots of milestones all while I was doing this job.  That's what grieves me the most.

Sometimes doing what God asks of us is really hard, I am living proof of that, again I am a wreck.  But I look at it like this, God is wrecking me for some greater purpose, for some reason that hopefully one day I will find out why, but if I don't, at least I can be at peace knowing I did exactly what God asked me to do.  As David Crowder once said "there always seems to be a ram in the bushes when you are obedient."  I hope my ram comes soon, but if not, I am still following God.     

 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Resigned, Now What? Part 1

For those of you that didn't read my post yesterday, about 6 weeks ago I officially resigned from my position as the Director of Early Childhood at our church.  I took the job about 2 1/2 years ago.  Although my resignation happened 6 weeks ago, my heart has been stirring for awhile now. 

Back in December another pastor's wife asked me while we were eating lunch together, "how long do you see yourself doing your job?"  I instantly chimed in with "as long as they will let me!"  Then God said, welp, time to mess you up!  Well, he probably didn't put it that way, but that is what's been happening in my life, I am messed up.

Let me just put this out there for you all, I by no way was forced out of my job, I was not going to get fired for anything, no one was or is mad at me, my resignation came straight from a direct act of obedience to God.  I love parts of my job.  I think we all, working, staying at home, we all have things we don't like about our "jobs."  And for me it was coming to a realization that God did not gift me with all the talents and qualifications for my job.  Certain things about the job stressed me out, like terribly.  So I felt like a hamster running in a wheel at times, and other times I felt like I was living the dream.  The challenges of both Eric and I working for the same place also seemed to weigh heavy on us.  We have no family here to take the girls for us, and we have some great "almost like" families up here, but a lot of them had to be at the same meetings as us.  So that part was stressful.  Which usually if one of us had to miss something it was me.  Which honestly, I didn't mind, but it still stunk, you know. 

So God really began to wreck me, I know I have mentioned it before in my posts, but really, I am a wreck.  I am more emotional then I have ever been before in my life, and trust me, I am about the most emotional person you will ever meet.  I may not cry in front of you, but I am a true bleeding heart.  I feel more for people then they probably feel for themselves!  So God has been opening my eyes to a lot of things.  I see our ministry differently, too.  In a good way, in a way that makes me want to change some of the things we are doing now, how we reach and connect to people, how we are making a difference in our community, and in our own neighborhood. 

At the beginning of the wrecking process I read a tweet from Matthew Barnett's book..."your dreams need to die in order for God's to take root."  At first I was like that's nice, move on...but I can't, I can't move on, the Spirit keeps bringing it back to me. 

So I would love to say that I have things all planned and thought out.  I don't!  I have never, like never ever left a job without a plan, or something else set up.  This time I have got nothing!  I am scared out of my mind.  But I also know the same God that told me to go, will also bring me something to go towards. 

So that's all for this post...I didn't want to overwhelm you all, or spill my guts in one BIG post!  Tomorrow I will tell you how I am really doing...

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Time- Miscellany Monday with Carissa at lowercase letters!

Today is my first Monday linking up with Carissa at lowercase letters.  I have come to love her blog and she is so sweet, her kids are adorable, and she is a real mommy like me, which I truly appreciate!

I figured Monday's are crazy anyways...why not do a meme that allowed for the craziness to ooze out!  Here we go...

1. My in-laws came for a visit this weekend...we ate lots, played cards, watched the Ohio State Buckeyes win and make it to the Final 4!

2. Friday was my wonderful husband's birthday.  This is Eric's last year in his 20's!  Next year I want to do something really special for him, so I have a year to plan! 
3. Saturday night was Molly's dance recital.  I was a parent volunteer back stage this year.  It was fun helping get the girls all ready, change their shoes, and watch their excitement as they get to go out on our high school's big stage with lots of lights.  Lucy was not as excited however, Eric and his dad had to leave early because Miss Thing was a wreck!
  4. Yesterday was my last Sunday as the Director of Early Childhood at our church...yep, I resigned about 6 weeks ago.  I will have more about that later this week, but needless to say it's been really hard, like imagine the ugly cry numerous times a day, yep, that's been me.  But I know God was behind this decision 100% of the way, so I know I was obedient to him when I made it. 

5. So now I am left to pack my desk up, gather all my belongings, and get the heck out.  Just kidding, but really I am packing it all up.

6. When the days are hard, and the answers are not known yet, I have these two faces to cheer me up!


 Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lately...

I know I am going to sound like a broken record, again...but the weather has been insanely gorgeous here!  The downside-we need another hard freeze to kill some pesky bugs, but I am hoping it doesn't freeze because my tree outside my living room window is about to blossom, and last year it almost blossomed, but we got a late freeze and it all died.  So blossoming tree or dumb bugs...it is a toss up!

Last week after I took Molly and Lucy to the zoo we came home to lay Lucy down for a nap and I really thought Molly would be "resting" too, but no such luck, this kid was full of energy!  So we went outside to play just Molly and mommy. 

We drew hopscotch on the driveway...
Rode our 10th generation hand me down bike, 
that is a little bent, ha!
Not kidding, she is the tallest girl in her class, right up there with all the boys!
Lucy is learning to color, she loves crayons, and she likes to eat them :)



This is her saying "cheese!"
She is starting to look like me a little :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Has Sprung! And a DIY Wreath

One day last week Lucy and I decided to do a little shopping while Molly was at school.  Sometimes it's just easier to get things done with one kid instead of two.  And for us it doesn't matter which one, just as long as it's one.  So when I can go with one {or none :)} I always try and take advantage of that time!

Lucy and I decided to run into Joann's after we finished our other errands.  I initially went in looking for St. Patrick's Day bags to give the teachers at school a little treat and I walked out with so much more.  This happens to you, too, right?!  Thankfully I got a gift card for my birthday! 

Once inside I realized how long it had been since I could just browse the aisles.  Lucy was set in the stroller with a snack and I was intent on looking at everything.

Suddenly I found myself collecting items to make a Spring wreath...and some other little things.  I also found these two amazing robin's egg blue lanterns.  There were two of them on the clearance rack and at first I just kept walking.  Then I walked around that clearance rack like 15 more times, and finally I told myself to just get them!  They are so cute and I knew I would use them over and over.

On Friday afternoon I spent some time putting together my wreath. 
 What I started with...
 How it ended :)

Sorry there are no in between pictures, I just started and didn't stop till I was finished.  I learned two things while doing this wreath, my first Spring wreath...
1. My front door and screen door are too close together to put a wreath in between, so we hang our wreathes on the "beautiful" {insert sarcasm here} wall beside our front door, but my tree colored wreath blends a little too well with our wood wall...but I think the brighter wreaths, like the straw colored ones might be too bright, maybe.
2. When assembling my next wreath, hang it up, then decorate.  I stood over the top of it the whole time and then when I hung it up and was like, hmmm...maybe I should have placed some stuff differently, oh well! 

I love this big glass globe I got at Goodwill about a year ago.  I decorated it last year for Fall, Christmas, and this year for Valentine's Day.  So for Spring I was asking a friend what she does with her globe.  She told me how she puts a candle in hers, she grabs some cute garland and winds it up, then she puts it in the globe and voila.  I think I am way too OCD for that.  It didn't unwind nicely.  I kept playing with it over and over.  Finally, I just had to leave it and be okay with the final product.    

 Next the mantle...sorry for the blurry picture, not sure what happened!  Here are my lanterns I got...


 I got the little tree and eggs at the Dollar Tree, seriously, cute. 
 I used left over garland that I cut for this vase, I love the white!
 I originally got this pink bird to put on the wreath, I still want a bird or 
something on it, but I thought it looked cute in here. 
 My two shelves that I decorated, very sparsely!  Eric's motto is less is more...
aka...don't junk up our stuff!
 I got this little train at Goodwill, I think it's cute and vintage, 
and reminds me of a cute old grandma!

We are having incredible warm weather here, today it's supposed to be 80!  Hello, it's March, I live in Wisconsin, it should be 40's!  So seeing all these cute, colorful decorations just makes me so happy.  How do you decorate for Spring?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Hostess with The Mostess!

I love anything that will help further a greater cause...I really do!  That's why when I buy something or give a present, I am okay with spending a tad more because I know it's for a good cause.  That's why today I want to invite you to a special online party for my friend, Rachel.

Rachel is a fellow Pastor's Wife, has two sweet, sweet boys, and she is as precious as they come!  Although I have never had the privilege of meeting Rachel in person, we have talked on the computer for the last {almost} two years.  We are in a virtual community group together, all through Leading and Loving It.  Rachel is a stay at home mommy, which most of us can relate to, but she also just started selling Mary Kay again.  She is on her way to meeting all of her business goals and in the process helping women redefine true beauty.  See, Rachel is more about the feelings on the inside then the outside.  She gets true, God given beauty, even though her business is make up and beauty on the outside, she is far more about the beauty on the inside.  Rachel has a heart of gold, and it takes about .05 seconds to see that.

So here are the details of the party...if you or anyone you know loves Mary Kay, listen up...

You are invited to my Online Mary Kay Party all day on Monday, 3/19!
You'll love the fabulous products and personal service 
you'll receive from my wonderful Beauty Consultant! 
Visit her website any time on Monday...
When you place an order, please put my name 
in the comments box at checkout so she 
knows how awesome I am for sending you all!

There are some fun discounts for you too!
Orders placed on Monday, March 19 -
12 am - 8am ~ 20% off entire order
8:01 am-12pm ~ 15% off entire order
12:01pm - 8pm  ~ 10% off entire order
8:01pm - 11:59 pm ~ 5% off entire order

Shipping/Delivery is ALWAYS FREE!
http://www.marykay.com/rachelpereira

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just so I can remember my blessings...

This is a post more for me, just so I can remember all these blessings God has pour out on me.

We have been having incredible weather for it being March in Wisconsin.  Like record breaking weather, in a good way.  We hit almost 80 today, well I guess the day is not over yet, but at last check it was 77 degrees!  What the what?!  Usually we are dealing with snow, slush, just plain ugly weather.  We keep going back and forth from 50's, 60's, and now today 70's.  I love it, but I am worried this summer will be like 120, and you all know I hate the heat. 

Today I took the girls to the zoo with another lady from church and her son.  Molly and the other little boy are the same age, so perfect match.  They ran around and we chased them, I sweated, we laughed, Lucy rode in the stroller, ate packed lunch, we saw all the animals, some times two, and we ate ice cream. 

Tonight we are grilling out, and playing with sidewalk chalk and taking a walk.  Molly and Lucy have been having a ball riding in the Barbie jeep this year.  We took the governor off the engine, so Molly can now go 5 mph, trust me, that's fast when trying to walk behind them.  I think I could get my half marathon training in running after them.  Lucy down right loves the jeep, her job is to play the pre-programmed music on the radio.  She does her job very well.  So well in fact she will throw about a 20 minute fit when we take her out of the jeep.  Lucy is getting really good at being sassy and throwing fits.  I am a little terrified for the future, not going to lie.  Like we have people commenting on how well she says "no."  She uses such force and emotion behind it, what a drama queen, ha!

We signed Molly up for "summer school."  More like kindergarten prep our elementary school offers, it's a 7 week program this summer that will help her with maintaining what she has learned so far.  It was only $10!  She will go two days a week for 3 hours each day.  We are excited and so is she.  She loves school, so anything we can do to keep that attitude we are all about. 

It's just been a good couple of days...lately it hasn't been, but I think the weather just puts you in a good mood.  We have our windows wide open, we are breathing in fresh air, everything is grilled for dinner, so that equals barely any work for me.  I am getting ready to decorate for Spring/Easter, I love all the colors that represent this season.  So that makes me truly happy!

And lastly, most of you know I hate the heat, I already referenced that in this post...so I could never live any where say Florida, where you have to keep your legs shaved daily and toes painted all year round.  But today I did just that, hey, in Wisconsin no one cares if your legs are shaved under your snow pants or what color is on your toenails under your snow boots, so anyways, I shaved my legs and painted my toe nails, and it just makes me feel more ladylike and pretty :) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy 15 Months to Miss Lucy and a check up

Last Friday Miss Lucy turned 15 months old.  I sometimes have to remind myself she is over a year old, I keep thinking she is like 9 months old or something.  Crazy how time flies!

Today we went for her 15 month check up and shots.  You know you have an incredible nurse because Lucy only cried for 1 out of the 3 shots, and within 20 seconds of her last shot, the one she cried for, she was laughing at the nurse.  Our doctor and nurse rock!  Lucy is happy and healthy and I am so thankful that God has blessed her with health. 

Lucy is here what you are up to...
-Weight- 29 pounds 2 ounces...greater than the 95% :)
-Height- 31 1/2 inches...80%
-Head- 25%
-New words in the last couple months- a ton of animal sounds! Neigh, meow, woof, moo, oink, she also is saying thank you, here you go, there, Myme (Molly), all done, down, milk, more, and lots more.  These are the ones we actually can make out.  She jabbers constantly!
-Lucy is always on the go, last week she was standing on top of our kitchen table!  You can not leave her alone for a minute.
-Lucy loves bath time, like will throw a knock down, drag out fit when you take her out of the tub.  Lucy just loves water in general, she also cries when you turn the faucet off.
-Lucy is still wearing mostly 3T clothes, although we have to roll most of the pants, she needs the extra room in the waist :)
-Sleep comes and goes, some nights Lucy sleeps for 13 solid hours, other nights we are lucky to get 8 hours.  For the most part Lucy still takes 2 naps a day, I am trying to drag this out as long as possible.
-We haven't really met any food Lucy does not like other then grilled cheese, which I find hilarious!  She loves bread and cheese, just not together. 
-Lucy and Molly still love each other so much, it's so cute. 
-Lucy loves to read books, she will go through a stack a day, she will hand you a book and then turn around to back up to sit in your lap.

Lucy is hilarious, cuddly, ornery, shy, friendly, and so sweet.  It's been a crazy 15 months but we have loved every minute of it!








 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flashback Tuesday

I was looking through some older photo cds and came across pictures from my senior year of college.  Let me give you a back story...

Eric and I went to a Bible College in Knoxville, TN.  It was heaven on earth, located at the foot of the Smoky Mountains, beautifully placed, just gorgeous!  Each year we had an event on campus called "The Preacher Grand Prix."  Each class would build a little race car, have 4 runners, a driver, and race around the PW building {main building on campus at the time}.  I am sure some of you are thinking boring, and maybe it is, but to us, we loved it.  We had some friendly competition with each class, and it was just a fun thing to do.  Hey, we were poor college kids! 

Our senior team took a lot of inspiration from the people of Knoxville...aviators, cut off shorts, and Dale Earnhardt :) 

Enjoy!

 The team gathering
 My oh so handsome husband, fiance at the time
 The Senior boys
 Getting introduced...our best friend, Eric
 My Eric
 The boys

 Our driver, Tiffany, bless her heart for riding in that car!
 After the race
 We won :)
 Everyone involved from building the car, 
racing it, and our senior leaders
Aww...good memories!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Encouragement {Day 5-Be You}

The little piece of encouragement I want to pass along to you today is this...just be you.  I am sure some of you are like, really, that's it, thanks for the after school message.  But I am serious.  The one thing {well one of the many} God has been teaching me in 2012 is to be me.  He created me, he does not make mistakes, I am who I am, just accept it and move on.  I am messy, emotional, sarcastic {God might not have made that in me :)}, empathetic, hospitable, and other descriptive words.  I sometimes try to be who I am not...extrovert, crafter {although I have fun trying}, multi-tasker {hard one to accept}, professional chef, and many others.  So I finally had to stop trying so dag-um hard.  I need to focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses.  Once I start doing that I feel that much more fulfilled and I am following God's plan for me that much better. 

Sometimes being a mom and a wife seems so trying, and you are left thinking, "really, God..."  At least I do.  I feel like a failure more often then not.  But I have also been learning a lot, like when I feel like a failure because I just yelled for the 100th time that day...it's usually because I am trying to cook some recipe that Rachael Ray couldn't even make, I am trying to check Facebook, I am trying to text my BFF, and act like an attentive mom.  It's just not going to happen.  So once I fall flat on my face, cry because I feel awful, I realize God didn't create me to do all of that.  He created me to love my husband, love my kids, and love my neighbors.  Plain and simple. 

I am not saying don't cook for your family, don't talk to your best friend on the phone, let your kids rule your life.  I am talking about recognizing your gifts, your strengths, your talents and run with them.  Run fast, far and wide. 

The common theme that God has been revealing to me over the last 2 months is that "I made, I created you, I wired you, now go."  As long as I seek him first in ALL things, I know I am using all those gifts and talents to worship and praise him with my life.  I am not perfect, and trust me I had a HUGE epic failure this week.  But I am more open to learning and changing from all these failures.

So again, my encouragement to you is to be you.  Don't fake it till you make it, cause let me tell you, you are never going to make it.  Once your friends and others in your life see the freedom you have by just being you, they will want that freedom, too.  It truly is an awesome feeling just being you.  It's scary, too, but you start to get used to it.

And because today is Dr. Seuss' birthday, I think this quote really hits home the point...

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”      

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Encouragement {Day4-Resources}

What, day 4 on time?!  That's right.  We have a play date after school today, so I need to be on top of my game, ha!

Today I want to share with you some resources I use for encouragement, via worldwide web, and books.  I know there are tons and tons more out there, but these are my usual go to suspects for sources of strength, normalcy, and encouragement.

Click the links to go to the websites to get more info...

Incourage- "home for the hearts of women"...this is an awesome resource!  I subscribe via email so I can make sure I read their posts daily.  Seriously, get hooked up with this if you are not!

Leading and Loving It- For any lady in ministry or pastor's wife...this resource has literally been a God send and a life saver for me!

Focus on the Family- Here you can find articles, podcasts, advice on anything.  It's all Christian based and really helpful.  I like to listen to their radio show while I unload the dishwasher or fold laundry.  

The Better Mom- I love anything encouraging that has to do with being in the trenches of motherhood!  Again, I subscribe here via email so I know I will read the posts, since I don't always have the time to get on and check blogs.

Women Living Well- Again, more faithful encouragement on living a "well" life in Christ.

Proverbs 31- I just love me some Lysa TerKeurst, and she is the founder of Proverbs 31 ministries...great, great resource!  You can get daily devotions from them, listen to their radio show, etc...

Life As Mom- More encouragement, helpful resources, recipes, etc.

I also read different pastor's blogs like Stephen Furtick, Perry Noble, and Pete Wilson to just name a few.  I follow a lot of people on Twitter, so I usually find some great resources on there, mainly for me all of this involves ministry or mommy related things.

Some authors I love, love, love are Gary Thomas, Jen Hatmaker, and Lysa TerKeurst.  

As you can tell by the resources I use the most I am trying to be a better wife, mom, and ministry leader.  

I pray one of these links brings you some encouragement today!