Time and Texts….Oh the Mystery

Time and Texts….Oh the Mystery

I can’t believe how quickly October is flying past.  While it will be remembered as one of the worst times in my life, it is also God’s mercy that I look back and realize that weeks have slipped by without my noticing.

When that happens I always think of those newborn baby days that seem soooo long then you realize your baby is 6 weeks old and you can’t imagine how that is possible.  Time is a weird thing, huh?

This past weekend I took my three girls to the beach for a weekend of encouragement and refreshment.  We had been planning it for a couple of months and while we missed our sister, it was a wonderful time for the four of us.  We watched DVDs from the True Woman Conference and talked about what God is doing in each of our lives.  I loved hearing how each girl was being blessed by the teachings and what they were learning.

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One of the conference sessions was about the history of feminism and it was so funny to hear the different perspectives from the four of us.  For my girls it was a fascinating history lesson but for me it was a flood of memories.  I remember hearing “I am Woman Hear Me Roar” over and over on the radio.  I remember Virginia Slims telling women that they deserve their own, thinner cigarette.  I used to roll up strips of paper and pretend I was smoking…..”I deserve this,” I would think as I took a long, pretend draw on my symbol of adulthood.  Oh how things have changed!

But the main focus of the conference was about putting our eyes on God and not ourselves.  Embracing who we were created to be instead of fighting for our freedoms.  It was amazing and the timing couldn’t have been better.  All four of us walked away with a sense of knowing that we are safe in the arms of a loving Father who leads us with a wisdom that we can’t fully understand.

And to watch it all with the ocean waves splashing in our view……that made it perfect.

God knew exactly what we all needed.

Of course.

My boys were at home fending for themselves (aka eating nachos and playing wii) and texting me constantly.  “Hola Mamacita” and “Where is the ketchup?” kind of texts.  One of my boys really loves to text with me, but he doesn’t really get text etiquette.  He will say something to me, “What are you doing right now?” and I won’t see it or reply right away.  After about three seconds he will text again, “Hello????!!!!”  But if I am driving or running or sleeping I still won’t see it.  So three more seconds, “???????????????!” and so it goes for 20+ more texts from him.

But in typical homeschool mom fashion it has led me to mentally develop a class on texting, phone calls and other social interaction.

Bam!

Some challenges are much easier than others.

This week I am frantically finishing up the last of my book to send it to my editor for feedback.  All of this family drama has put me behind, but God knew this was coming and He has given me this extra week to say what He wants to say in the book.  I only THINK I am writing it.

Have a great week and may God minister to your heart the way He has mine over the past few days.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook for more encouragement!

 

 

The Hardest Post I Ever Wrote

The Hardest Post I Ever Wrote

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So, this is gonna be hard.  I don’t want to write it and I wish I could just hide instead of sharing.  I am sure the post will end up being too long and really difficult to read.  I am sorry for that.  If you don’t want to see inside my very wounded heart then I recommend that you go ahead now and click through to somewhere else.

I am too raw and hurting to be delicate.

In telling you about what is going on here, I want to try to share my own life with you without exposing others.  Their story is their own to tell.  I can only tell you mine.

OK….so here goes.  {deep breath::::feel like throwing up}

On Wednesday, September 24th my life was changed forever.  My 18 year old daughter left home.  She gave us no warning, no signs that it was coming.  She didn’t try to talk to us about it or work with us.  She, with the help of my parents, just left.  And with her she took pieces of my heart that had been torn to shreds.  I cried harder that day than I ever knew was possible.  So hard that it scared my little boys and I had to go in my closet and put a pillow over my face to muffle the sobs.

We have spent the past 11 days trying to make head or tails out of what happened.  Why did she leave?  How can we help her?  What will happen next?

We got no real answers.  Only more confusion as some of the circumstances unfolded.  We discovered that my parents had been planning this with her without telling us (as you can imagine, an additional part of my grief is not only the loss of my daughter but the total end of the relationship with my parents).  We also learned that she has been telling exaggerated stories about what is going on inside our home to a godless woman who has been giving her foolish counsel and encouraging her to deceive us and get out.

These decisions our daughter has made are unimaginable to me and completely out of character from the girl I know.

Believe me, James and I are all too aware that we are not innocent in this.  We played a part in this problem.  We made mistakes and we have apologized to her, genuinely repented and are asking the Holy Spirit to guide us through this.  It feels impossible to think rationally so we have sought counsel from men who give us Scripture to build us up.  We are taking each step carefully and trying to hold on to the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.  I don’t want to paint myself as perfect here.  I am as imperfect as I can imagine anyone being.

We did have a meeting with our daughter about a week after she left and it became obvious when we agreed to give her everything she was asking for that she did not intend to come home.  She had sent us a list of things she wanted to change at home, but because we agreed to all of the changes and she still won’t come home….it seems there must be something deeper there that she isn’t telling us.

I ask myself, “How can I help her if she won’t tell me the truth?” 

And I beg,  “Lord, please help me forgive the betrayal and react with your righteousness and love.”

Yesterday she came and got all of her things.  That tore out more of my heart and if I am being completely honest, threw me into a tailspin that it feels like I will never recover from.  I can’t stop crying and I can’t turn off the thoughts of pain and desperation.  Sleep will not come; I don’t eat; I can’t focus.

But I know the truth.  That I can recover and become stronger with God’s help.

I know that He loves us all so much more than I love my daughter.  I know He is guiding all of our paths and even though I don’t see it now, He did prepare me for this.  I know that His promises are sure and He will never leave me or forsake me.

Not for one second has my faith wavered or my trust in God been lost. 

Not that I feel sure that she will be fine or that she will ever come back or that I will ever see my parents again.  I know that none of that may happen.

I also grieve the selfish loss of wanting my life to be a certain way.  A happy family, loving one another, all of my children that care for each other and respect their parents.  That is gone for me.  I may never have that and you know what?  It’s OK.

May He be glorified through my suffering and loss. 

My morning walks have meant more to me than ever as I pour the broken pieces of my heart out at the feet of God.  He picks them up and gently puts them back in place.  Then they fall apart again….over and over and over.  I know with certainty that one day those pieces will be all put together and they will stay right where they belong…..glued with the grace of a Father that loved me enough to sacrifice his own child for me.  Oh, that I am now experiencing one thousandth of that same pain.

So this tragedy is now a part of the story of my life.

I pray that the glory of God shines through all that I do even in the midst of trials.

His Word has been a healing balm to my soul and given me strength to get through each moment.  It pushes out the despair and washes it away with love and peace and wisdom that I can trust with every fiber of my being.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

I would so appreciate your prayers for not only my heartbreak, but my other children as they cry and constantly ask me why this happened and endure their own betrayal and pain.  Watching them suffer through this has been even more painful than my own struggle.  Their precious lives will never be the same either.  And please pray for my husband as he finds the strength and wisdom to lead a sobbing wife, grieving children and a lost daughter through this horrific event in our lives.

Thank you for reading and praying.  I would appreciate your sensitivity if you choose to leave a comment since we are grieving.   Please refrain from offering your thoughts on 18 year olds and their rights or what you think of our parenting choices.  Believe me, we do not want to keep anyone in our home that doesn’t want to be here.  This is not about whether she should be here or not.   It is about treating the people you love with honesty, honor, respect and dignity.   Any comments condemning our beliefs or criticizing our daughter will be deleted. 
I Don’t Care If I Look Like a Hillbilly If It’s Free

I Don’t Care If I Look Like a Hillbilly If It’s Free

The big event here has been the new family member we have welcomed into our home, also known as my iPhone6.  It came to live with us last Friday and has pretty much taken all of my attention since it had to be practically nursed into usefulness.

Being technically challenged, getting my new phone to act exactly like my old phone only better feels impossible.  But I do have the advantage of having several teens who think it’s SO fun to teach their old mom new things.  If they didn’t know I would punish them with brussel sprouts for dinner they would probably pat me on the head while transferring my contacts.

Another issue besides the technology obstacle was the case/cover.  Those cases cost upwards of $30 and no way am I going to spend that much unless I completely love it.  So I decided that I would make myself a cover until they come out with one I want.  I got a plastic bubble envelope and some washi tape and made one.  It is actually working pretty well for a free, temporary solution.

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Sure I look like a Hillbilly.  I’m OK with that.

In other news, I am leaving this week to spend a few fun-filled days in Nashville with my peeps at Thomas Nelson.  I’ve been writing for them for over a year now and I am so, so excited to meet these friends I have made online.  It’s amazing how close you can get to someone you have only communicated with through Facebook and email.  Well, of course, we’ve also built a relationship around Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.  ;)

You will like my latest post there all about how to keep it together when your kids can’t.

I got out my suitcase yesterday and started planning what to take.  Now that I am exercising in the mornings I have a harder time trying to squeeze everything in a small carry on.  The running shoes alone take up half of the space and even though I shove underwear and hairbrushes in them, it is hard to make myself sacrifice an extra pair of adorable wedges.  The price you pay for health and wellness shouldn’t involve a choice between ugly shoes and your favorite sandals.

Having so many trips between now and mid-November, I will be planting my suitcase on the trunk at the foot of my bed and leaving it there during the week, refilling it, then whisking away again.  Normally I would be worried about getting too tired, but I am all oiled up and ready.

What are you up to this week?  Anything fun happening?!

 

 

What Makes You Smile?

What Makes You Smile?

There are three things that always make me smile….always.

1. The sound of my kids laughing together
2. Big, white, puffy clouds
3. Any movie with Doris Day in it

What is it about Doris Day that just makes you happy?  And her clothes….oh man I don’t even care that they are all 60s and outdated….I would wear any of those things in a heartbeat.

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Our weekend was beautifully simple.  One of my daughters & I went to the city on Saturday to return her friend to the airport and see a movie.  We previewed “Dolphin Tale 2″, which I really liked.  For sure we will rent it when it comes out.  I doubt we will see it in the theater though….taking 11 people to the movie is too expensive.  It would come down to a choice between Dolphin Tale 2 or paying last month’s electric bill.

But I should go ahead and add dolphins to my above list because I always smile when I see dolphins.  They are just so happy!

Since James had a big tax deadline on Monday he was kind of “gone” all weekend, so I took advantage of the time to myself on Saturday night by taking a simple course about Facebook marketing.  I think it will come as no surprise that I ended up with a great big old headache by the end of the evening.  Insights and statistics are not something I catch onto easily.  I went to bed, but the headache rolled over into Sunday morning and by the time church was over I was ready to dunk my brain in a tub of ice water.

A friend at church asked me if I was feeling OK and I told her I had a headache.  “Oh,” she said, “”Do you think it’s allergies?”  “No,” I replied, “It’s Facebook.”

I came home and instead of the ice water trick I rubbed myself down with essential oils.  There’s a great headache remedy that I really like and wish I had thought of it the night before.

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I used the oils and laid down on my bed and watched a movie with my good friend Doris in it.  Headache-gone.

Today I am all better and I hit the ground running,  Literally.  I went for my morning run at 6:30AM.  The problem is that it’s dark now at that time and I am going to have to rethink my mornings.  The possibility of getting hit by a car is not worth staying in shape.  So I am looking for some new exercise DVDs.  I love my TTapp, but I’d like to try something new so I can alternate.

This is my last week of peacefulness before the storm of travel hits.  For the next 5 weeks I will be either traveling or having guests or my kids have activities.  Our family calendar looks like a scrap quilt of appointments and plans.  So my plan of attack is to sleep this entire week and hope for the best.

Have a good one!

 

Five Women and a Flat Tire

Five Women and a Flat Tire

Because I can’t let a drama go by untold, I have to share with you the flat tire incident from Tuesday night.

My friend Sara and I took two of my daughters to the city to pick up their friend from the airport.  We shopped and we ate and we went to Costco….you know.  City stuff.

We stayed all day and into the night for a meeting hosted by Young Living.  We dropped the girls at the mall (a first for us!) and Sara and I met another friend and went to the meeting where we stood in the back of a very crowded room. It was loud (people wouldn’t stop talking to each other) and hot.  So we decided to slip out and visit for a while instead.  Sitting and talking is always better than standing and sweating, at least in my book.

After a nice visit we left to pick up the girls, make a couple of quick stops and then head toward home.  We were looking forward the extra hour’s drive to talk a little more.  Really, it’s all about getting our words out for the day.

We were having great fellowship when it happened.  We had a full fledged blow out going 75 MPH.  I wasn’t speeding, that’s the speed limit on the highway here….about 30 miles down the road it changes to 80.  Tell your kids.  It can count as a geography lesson for the day.  “Which state has 80 MPH speed limits?”

It was after 10 at night, so dark doesn’t describe it.  More like pitch black.  Well, except for the Mack trucks and SUVs racing past at 75 miles per hour creating flashes of scary light.  And our cell phones which we were using to find things we dropped in the weeds.

Now I think the last time I had a flat tire I was in college.  I drove a Cutlass Supreme and the spare was where all spares belong, in the trunk under a flap of carpet.  It seems that all of the improvement over the past 30 years had led to a move from the trunk to who-knows-where.  Turns out my spare is up UNDER the van and the way you release it is through a hole between the driver’s seat and front passenger seat.

You know, I have always wondered what that 2″ circle of plastic was for.  Now I know it’s to fit a long socket thingy that looks nothing like the picture in the manual to unscrew a mystery spare tire holder that, unless you are lying flat on the ground under the van, you can’t get it out.

Nice.

I might also mention that we had to unload our entire van full of groceries and various other items onto the side of the road to get to the tire changing tools.   We looked like modern day Clampetts minus the gun and dog.

After half an hour of figuring out the spare tire situation a sheriff pulled up behind us.  He was so nice and he actually ended up changing the tire for us.  Of course, we had already done all of the hard work in locating the spare through the mysterious hole in the floor.

An hour or so later, we loaded the groceries, luggage, shopping bags and 5 tired ladies back into the van and agonizingly drove only 55MPH all the way home.  The sheriff had explained to me that you can’t go faster than that on a spare.  We finally made it home around 11, which in Lisa time means WAY past bed time.

The next morning I asked my oldest son if he would take the van to the tire place and get it all fixed back to the way it was before any of this ever happened., which he did.  I do realize that sounds like I don’t do any work, but keep in mind I spent 20 years raising him.  Not dealing with tire cleanup is is my reward for years of diapering and nose wiping and hurting my back pulling him in a wagon.

Have a great weekend!

Oh…..and be sure to check out this week’s YouTube video!  In it I talk about not letting your emotions control you (a concept I used on Tuesday night for sure!)

 

I’m Keyless

I’m Keyless

The conference this past weekend was a great family activity.  The kids especially loved seeing their friends and hanging out at the conference hotel until 2AM Saturday night playing games and singing.  I do not especially like staying up until 2 in the morning since it makes for a very grumpy mom, so I was in bed by 10:00.  Oh the joy of having kids who can drive themselves home.

We heard a lot of great speakers and ate a lot of hamburgers.  I got salad with chicken, of course, but the kids ate their weight in burgers.  For some reason they didn’t want to go home and eat leftovers when their friends were all going to Fuddrucker’s.  I agree really….the fellowship is the best part of these conferences!  But I’ve eaten enough Fuddrucker’s to last me a year.

We also had a family staying at our house so that meant people coming and going all day long.  I tried to run back and forth between home and hotel so my older kids could just enjoy the weekend.  It would have been nice to spend more time at the conference, but laundry waits for no man.  We invited different families over for meals during the weekend also, so that really kept things hopping.

On Sunday there was a church service to wrap up the conference and our whole family went, but I wasn’t feeling great so I decided to leave right after the service with the little boys and go on home, letting the rest of the family linger and say their goodbyes.

Here’s where I should tell you that I don’t carry a house key.  I really never need one because there’s always either someone at home or a pre-arranged hidden key (don’t bother looking for it….it’s a very complicated hiding process).  But I didn’t think about it yesterday so when I got home I realized I was locked out.

This is not the first time it’s happened.  And before you tell me how simple it would be for me to just GET A KEY, we have tried that.  But every time I go make myself a key something happens to it, someone borrows it, I forget it….the list of keylessness issues goes on and on.

I have thought before of getting one of those keyless entry locks, but two things stop me.  1. They cost like $100 and 2. They are ugly.

I may go back to trying to carry a house key.  But I think we can all see how that will go.

I did manage to get into the house.  I won’t tell you how, but just know it involved a metal bowl and some gardening shears.

One thing I especially loved about the weekend was that the rains brought cooler weather.  It was in the 80s all weekend which pretty much equals heaven in this part of Texas in September.  There’s nothing like a 100+ degree drought to make you glad for the teeniest bit of cool moisture.

We are looking forward to a quiet-ish week of normal-ish activity.

What do you have going on?!

Boys Can Be very Helpful

Boys Can Be very Helpful

It has been a full few days with furniture rearranging and friends and dental appointments.  I may need a whole day’s nap to recover.

Last Saturday my girls decided to go out for some thrift store shopping, so I was left alone with the 4 younger boys.  It was either going to turn into a Lego-fest or I could use their future man muscles for the greater good, so I decided to have them help me rearrange some furniture.  I promised them the whole afternoon to themselves if they would help me.

I needed to use some of the junk I bought recently so we brought it in the house to figure out where to put it.  While we were at it we cleaned under the couches and dusted everything.  The amount of dust in this house could fill a king sized mattress.

I had an old fridge (don’t ask me why I bought this….it just spoke to me) and a worn section of fence to put somewhere.  So I would point, “Let’s try it over here” and we kept moving things until we got it how I liked it.  This is not only an opportunity to help Mom, but a lesson in future husbandness.

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We put the old fridge in the corner and hung our metal letters over it.  We are keeping blankets in the fridge.  The irony is not lost.

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I moved one of the couches back to make the room seem bigger.  I used old footstools behind it to keep it from pushing back against the window.

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Over the other couch I hung a fence section.  I like putting something extra big over that couch.  It makes the low ceiling feel taller.

Using junk to fix up a room!

When James saw the fence he immediately said, “You paid money for that?!  We probably have everything you need to make one in our trash wood pile!”  Yes, but for $10 this one is done.

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To make room for the fridge I had to remove some things and put the TV on a dresser that was a little short.  Plus I needed a place for the DVD player and Wii.  So I had one of the boys throw a little shelf together with junk wood.  It’s perfect and James is happy we used the wood pile.

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The piano stayed where it was….it just got a little accessory update.

Having the boys help rearrange the furniture!

The rest of the house got picked up and straightened too and we settled into Saturday afternoon all relaxed and ready for the week.

On Sunday after church we drove to Austin for my parent’s 51st anniversary.  We hung out at my sister’s house for a few hours then headed home to get ready for a day full of company the next day.  It was fun to all be together.  With the kids all growing up we don’t go out as a whole family much anymore.  Our 15 passenger van was wondering why we hadn’t taken it out for a joy ride for so long.

Monday was a simple time of friends and burgers on the grill and kids running around making too much noise.  Everyone left by 9PM because I had to get up early the next day for a dentist appointment.

I’ve been dealing with some tooth issues for a couple of weeks, so I had been anxiously waiting this day.  He thinks he figured out the problem and I am, hopefully, on my way to a pain free mouth again.  Dental problems stink.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Let’s talk about junk and furniture again.  It’s a much happier subject!

This next weekend our family will be going to the Forge Conference.  It’s great teaching, wholesome families and great fellowship.  I’m looking forward to it!  If you decide to attend please find me and say hello!!!

Have a great day!

 

Do You Have a Dream?

Do You Have a Dream?

I have been about to BUST to tell you my big news.  But I waited, because patience is a virtue.  Also because I am a person who holds in information in case it doesn’t actually happen.  A little insight into my sad, sad personality.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time you know that I have dreamed of writing a book.  In fact, I did write a short one last year and planned to turn it into an ebook.  It was in the works when God, in His beautiful way, flipped that plan upside down and used that ebook to get the attention of a literary agent and then a publisher.

And now that all Ts and Is have been crossed and dotted I can tell you…..I am writing a real book.  One you can hold in your hand and buy in a store.  Even as I type it out I have to pinch myself.

I thought about waiting a while longer to tell y’all.  It was a favor to you really.  So you don’t have to keep yourself from asking me constantly, “Are you REALLY writing a book? Because I haven’t seen it anywhere!”  It turns out that the process takes much longer than I ever thought….in my case about a year….before it will actually be on a shelf.  But you all are amazing and kind so I overcame my hesitation.

My book will come out next fall, in 2015.

However, I have discovered that it is next to impossible to keep up with 3-4 blog posts a week AND write a whole book.  I simply can’t do it without ignoring my kids and all efforts to eat healthy.  So until my December first deadline I will be posting just once or twice a week and occasionally re-posting some content that you might not have seen before.  I am also considering letting my girls write for The Pennington Point once in a while.

I didn’t ever dream this would be a reality….honestly I am blown away by God’s grace.  He has been my guide and comfort all along the way.

If you get anything from my big announcement let it be this: Whatever He planted in your heart long ago, He will lead you to that.  It will probably not happen the way you expect or even look the way you thought it should, but don’t ever stop going for that goal.  I have dreamed of this since I was a child and here I am….about to turn 50 (another thing I can’t believe when I type it out) and it is just now happening. Never give up!!!!

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My book doesn’t have an official title yet, but it is all about joy and gratitude and giving thanks in all things.  I promise you will love it.  As soon as I finish writing it.  And we design a cover.  And all of the other details that I can’t even think about or I start to hyperventilate.

It will be based on my most popular post called,20 Ways to Reset When the Kids Are Having a Hard Day.”  It’s a beautiful, freeing concept that I have a lot more to say about plus tons of very funny stories to share with you!

Our whole family is blessed by what God is doing through this.  Despite my pitiful fear of shouting it from the rooftops.

What’s your dream?! 

 

Everything I Know About the Military I Learned from 70s TV

Everything I Know About the Military I Learned from 70s TV

Now that we are back to a full school schedule life has taken on a busy, yet semi-predictable turn.  No more lets-do-whatever mornings.  It’s back to the military style of living where Mom blows the bugle at 7:00AM and demands pushups for anyone that doesn’t hop-to.

I realize I shouldn’t make military analogies since the only thing I know about it is what I learned from Gomer Pyle, Hogan’s Heroes and M*A*S*H.  Probably not 100% accurate.

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After a week of school we were all glad for Saturday morning when we could relax a little.  But only until 7:30 because some of us wanted to go junking.  Six of us spent a few hours trucking around looking for junk to bring home and reclaim into furniture and décor.  Who needs Pottery Barn when you have trash piles and a good imagination?  I found an old bed spring and some various yard salvage that I plan to use for my fall decorating.  So stay tuned.

After a nap I spent some quality time with my pool net, skimming for leaves and dead algae.  “You boys want to swim?!  Hey, I have a better idea…..Let’s clean the pool!” For about an hour I scraped the bottom of the pool while the younger boys hung around the edges.  Sure they wanted to swim in the middle, but that would have stirred up the scum so we played “Who can stay away from Mommy?”  Elijah won.  So he’s my new favorite child.

On Sunday it was the usual….go to church, come home worn out, sleep, play games, lie around and do nothing.  But there was a small hitch in our plans.  In getting the boys dressed earlier that morning I found in their drawers a pigsty of clothes and socks and belts that don’t fit anyone.  So the later part of the day was spent cleaning that out.

Didn’t I JUST do that?  How did it get messy again so quickly?!  I’m about to whittle everything they own down to what they can fit in a foot locker and while I’m at it I might just bounce some quarters on their beds in the mornings.  How long do you think the clean drawers will last this time?  I am taking bets and whoever loses has to clean the bathrooms with their toothbrush.

Another little incident Sunday was that I got a couple of emails from people who ordered something from my shop and never got their order.  It turned out that someone opened a shop on another site and used my shop name, photos, products, everything.  It was almost exactly the same.  People placed orders and, of course, their orders never came.  They couldn’t find anyone to contact on that shop so they searched and found me, assuming I had a second store and they came irritated about not getting their orders.  I am sure!  I would be irritated too….except they never ordered anything from me!  It was a scam.  Trust me, when you order from my real shop you will get your order promptly and can always reach me if you have questions!

Where’s Radar O’Reilly when you need him?  I need a guy who can get things done.

Salute!

(My apologies to any military people reading this.  I have nothing but mad respect for everything you do!!!!)

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

I am writing my Monday post on Tuesday because, well, I’m tired and it was a long weekend.

I remember in college I could stay up all night for a week then recover with a nap and some cold pizza.  Now I require three days of sleep and chicken soup (without the noodles) to get over staying up until midnight.  Which I did on Saturday night.  You would think I’d learn not to do that but I was hanging out with some of the most amazing women and I decided it was worth the sacrifice of being coherent for the next week.

On Friday I drove 8 hours to Oklahoma City for my husband’s law school graduation ceremony.  I didn’t tell y’all I was going because I didn’t tell him.  It was a huge surprise.  It’s not that I don’t trust you all and I am sure you would have kept my secret, but I couldn’t risk it.  My 9 children already knew about it and just keeping them from spilling the beans was all I could manage.

I rented a zippy little red car and drove myself to Oklahoma.  Considering a 15 passenger van has been my mode of transportation for the past dozen years I felt like I had been released from some kind of prison.  I was all in and out of parking spaces like I hadn’t a care in the world.

James was so, so surprised and it was fun to pull it off with my son.  The graduation ceremony was beautiful and I am so glad I went.  It was better than any church service I have been to in a long time.  On Friday night after the first part of the ceremony each graduate took a turn sitting in a chair while the faculty prayed over them.  How often do you see THAT at a law school graduation?!

On Saturday after the actual graduation I went to a meeting with the Winter Summit planning team.  I hope y’all will go to the Summit in January either in Texas or Oklahoma!  It’s going to be an incredible weekend of refreshment and encouragement.  You do not want to miss it!!

Then on Sunday came the dreaded 8 hour drive home.  It was rough.  I got about 2 hours down the road and it felt like I couldn’t drive any more.  I kept stopping and walking around then I’d drive another hour or 2.  Stop.  Walk.  Repeat.

I finally got home around 6:00 PM and was so glad to see my family that I fell asleep.

Have a great week!

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