Joy Comes in the Morning!

Joy Comes in the Morning!

“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

I spent the past weekend in the beautiful city of Greenville, South Carolina for the Allume conference.  I think of it as a women’s retreat for bloggers.  It’s definitely not like any other blog conference I have been to.  It’s heavy on worship and seeing yourself through Christ’s eyes and light on SEO and social media tips.

And it was exactly what I needed.

It’s been a month since our daughter left and the grief and shock are just beginning to lift.  The hundreds of emails and comments you all have sent have lifted my heart like you can’t even imagine.  I read them all and share them with my family and we pray for those of you who are going through a similar situation.

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At the conference I got to spend time with dear friends that know me so well.  They have prayed over me and cared for me as I walked through this difficult time.  What a gift it was to be with them in person and just leave it all behind for a few days.  We prayed, we worshiped, we laughed ourselves silly.  I even danced.  Hip hop.  Yes, I am a Diva-in-Training.

I came home with a fresh outlook and today, for the first time in a month, I don’t feel like I am dragging myself through the house pretending to be thinking about something else instead of the grief of our situation..  I truly am finding good in the sadness and I am excited to share the joy with my family and give them something to do besides be steeped in sorrow.

One thing I have realized is that I can’t let someone else’s decisions affect my joy.  It would have sounded impossible to me a month ago, but I have learned that I don’t have to let even something this devastating, a break in one of my most valued relationships, tear me away from living a life filled with glory and joy.

I know.  Easier said than done.  Whew!  It’s definitely a process.

I really, really, really want to give you the gift of knowing that you are not alone.  In your trials and desperate situations, you are treasured.  There is a God who cares about your deepest pain.  There is One who you can always turn to.

And you know what?  I care too.  And so does my family and I am guessing a whole lot of other people.

As I prepare for the week ahead, filled with activity and appointments, I know that I have a source of peace and comfort.  Look around you, it’s there!

For instance, just a few minutes ago one of my boys asked me the funniest question and we both laughed so hard.  That is the good stuff.  My three daughters at home and I have become so much closer through this, isn’t that sweet?  My marriage is becoming a testimony of strength through hard times.  There is so much good in the bad.

 

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Let us pray for you if you need it.  Leave a comment here and many others will pray too.  I just know it.

Be blessed!!!!

 

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!)

 

Open Letter to Extroverts

Open Letter to Extroverts

A letter to extroverts ....

Dear Extrovert,

I hope you don’t mind this food for thought from someone who is very, very different than you.  As an introvert, I do not enjoy being in crowds or walking up to strangers and talking.  But I am worth getting to know, which you will discover if you can just remember a few basic things.

1. I won’t interrupt you, so you will need to stop talking for a minute.  I know you’re interesting and I like hearing about you, but to get to know me you will need to take a breath and be quiet.  Just because I am not jumping in with stories about myself doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.

2. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I am shy.  Not all introverts are shy.  I like one on one conversations and I will talk and be outgoing.  I don’t mind being approached (although approaching people myself is nearly paralyzing) so feel free to come talk to me!  I don’t consider myself shy at all.

3. Just because I am not like you doesn’t make me wrong.  We are different, to be sure.  But God made me an introvert because it’s how I am supposed to be!  I like to be in smaller groups, I don’t enjoy being out among people for long periods of time and I would rather eat glass than go to a crowded theme park.  But I am actually content and I don’t need you to try to change me.

4. I am happy being alone.  If you see me all alone in the lunchroom, you don’t need to feel sorry for me!  I like being alone.  I don’t need you to rescue me from that.  If you want to come talk to me that’s great, but if you have other things to do that’s great too!  I am actually happy sitting there by myself.

5. We need each other!  I need for you to help me approach people and stay close when I’m in a crowd (I might even hold your hand!).  You need me to help you know when you’re being too pushy and to help you build a relationships with other introverts.

I have a dear, dear friend (Roxanne, the director of the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit) who is the extrovertest person I have ever known!  When we first met she got right in my face, all bouncy and excited to meet me and she had lots to say.  I actually took a big step back, held out my arm and said, “Whoa.  You need to stand back while we talk and tone it down a little.”  She didn’t know what to think of me!  I now know that it hurt her feelings a little and I am sorry for that (in my defense, she is VERY outgoing), but my protective instinct kicked in.  She now knows that was just me being Lisa and she loves me anyway (for which I am very grateful!).  We have discovered through building a friendship that we can have a deep appreciation for our differences.  We don’t try to change each other; we bring out the best in each other!

I love my extrovert friends, I wish sometimes it was easier for me to walk up and meet people.  But I know that the challenge is good for me and I do try to push myself out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes.

Let’s do this….you let me be myself and I let you be yourself and we can help each other in our weak areas?!

Sincerely,
Your Introvert Friend

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

On Friday night we went to dinner at a friend’s house and stayed way too late.  This mamma doesn’t do midnight anymore.  My system starts to shut down around 9…..starting with my eyelids.  But we lost track of time.  I should have realized when Levi got sleepy and laid on the couch.  He never goes to sleep before I do.

About an hour before he fell asleep I gave him my phone to play with.  I normally don’t do that, but he was really bored since all of the other kids were significantly older than he is.  After the evening was over and I looked at my phone I was shocked that he had moved all of my apps around.

If you think sleepy mamma is bad you should see sleepy mamma that can’t find her Instagram.  The next morning it took me almost an hour to figure out how to put it all back.  When I asked him why he did that he told me I was too unorganized so he made it better.  OK, he’s 7.  I almost told him he has no business telling me how to organize anything since he hasn’t been able to find his new shoes for 2 weeks.  But I refrained, being so mature and all.

On Saturday I was in Austin to visit my parents then teach an essential oils class with a friend of mine.  It was fun to meet new people and share my love for the oils.  Then I drove home and went almost straight to bed.  My eyelids were still suffering from the night before.

On Sunday after church I was really hoping for a long, hard nap.  God heard my cry because my son Jacob asked if he could take the other kids to see “God’s Not Dead” that was playing at the local Baptist church in the afternoon.  All but 2 of the kids went and those 2 decided to play together and I actually closed my bedroom door and took the best nap ever.  It had all the necessary elements….quiet, cool and nothing to do.  #perfection

Today I am taking my three little boys to a cavern to explore.  I promised them a few weeks ago that we would do it as soon as we could and they have been patiently waiting for Mom to stop her life and go.  Honestly, I don’t have time.  But then, I didn’t have time to go into labor and breastfeed on demand either.  Sometimes you just have to make it happen.

However, they don’t know it yet but we will also be stopping by Costco for a few things.  No trip with Mom is complete without a Costco run.  It’s a boy’s dream day.  But before you feel sorry for them you should know that what I lack in exciting shopping I make up for with frozen yogurt.

Oh….one thing I keep forgetting to tell you about….every Tuesday morning I am a guest on a web show called Mentor Moms with my friend at Hip Homeschool Moms.  It’s at 10CST and I’d love for you to join us!  Here’s their YouTube channel with past shows.

Have a great week!

Can Other People Correct Your Child?

Can Other People Correct Your Child?

Over the weekend my friend Connie asked on Facebook, “How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?”  I thought it was interesting, so I asked it on my page too.  It started me thinking, why do people get so upset about this?

Do you get upset when someone else corrects your child?

First I will say that I not only don’t mind, I appreciate it when other people correct my children.  It doesn’t happen very often because I am almost always right there and I am quick to correct my kids.  But they know that if someone else corrects them they are to show respect and heed the correction.  I also really appreciate if a friend tells me if she had to correct my kids (in case I didn’t hear) so I know how to deal with it later.

The most common response on FB was something like, “I don’t mind unless the other person is mean/grumpy/telling my kids not to do something I let them do.”  The problem with this thinking is it is arbitrary and impossible for other people to know.  Other responses were they get annoyed if someone does it while they are standing right there.  But there are times when this is acceptable.

This is about authority, not feelings.  There are clear times when someone else has authority to correct your child.  If you are in my home, I have authority over some areas, even if you are standing right there.  If your child is drinking his grape juice on my carpet, I have the right to tell him to stop and give him direction for where he can drink his juice.

I will generally tell children some of our house rules when they arrive so they know what is expected.  I understand that people have different sets of boundaries in their homes of course!  But I have actually had a woman tell me, after I just announced which rooms were off limits, “We let Johnny explore. I don’t want him to have boundaries.”  I asked her, “Are you planning to follow him around while he’s ‘exploring’?  If not, then he needs to stay where I told him.”  I have a right to make those kinds of rules in my home and to enforce them. (She later told me that she believes her children should never have to obey anyone but their parents and she has told her children that they don’t have to do what I say.  This woman has robbed her children of a God-given life lesson.  And you can imagine how unpleasant her children are to be around.)

If we are at the park and I tell my kids where they can go, I don’t have a right to expect other kids to follow that.  It’s not my area of authority.   If we are in the grocery store and a child is running their cart into things, I have authority to tell them to stop.  It is against the general rules of the store.  In the movie theater, I have the right to ask the child behind me to stop kicking my seat.

I have been in other people’s homes where their children were jumping on furniture, hanging off balconies and doing things I would never allow my children to do.  But I don’t have any authority to correct them, especially if the parents are right there.  It definitely makes me uncomfortable, but I stay quiet.

But that is not necessarily discipline.  If it’s just something they really didn’t know and not a discipline issue, I like to speak directly to the child.  I feel like it shows them respect and helps me build a relationship with them.  I see telling them not to drink on the carpet as a teaching situation, not necessarily correcting.  It is best if possible, when dealing with a discipline issue, to speak to the mom instead of the child.  This is especially if you don’t have a good relationship with their family.

This gets tricky because, as we all know, moms get really defensive about this.  Look, I get it.  The times I have had someone tell me something about my child or harshly corrected them in front of me I got my back up for a second.  It’s a natural, fleshly reaction.  But I almost immediately make myself stop and realize that I need to practice self-control and maturity.  It’s not an insult or a criticism, and even if it is I can handle that and I want my children to know how to handle that.  Their lives will be much better for it.

I have 2 ideas on this….first, I want my kids to learn respect for others over protecting their own feelings.  If they are corrected and it hurts their feelings in some way, they will get over it.  If they can be respectful and generous to the grumpy person, they have the satisfaction of knowing they are developing a wisdom that is pleasing to God.  Second, you can tell someone that you prefer they not correct your child without turning it into an offense.  Why do we have to get so upset about it?!  It is an opportunity to grow and learn and become better at dealing with problems.

I have, if I have a relationship with them, spoken to a child about a character issue.  But I try to do it in kindness and love with the goal of helping, not criticizing.  It is not always received that way, but then it’s just another opportunity for me to learn to forgive.  We can’t seek a perfect, trouble-free life and ever really grow.

In closing, I want to add that it is never OK to physically discipline someone else’s child.  Again, it’s a simple matter of authority.  Even if someone told me I could do that, I wouldn’t.  There are plenty of ways to teach a child in your care without touching them.

I know this is long and if you are still reading, I really just want to say that my goal in sharing this is that we all become a little less sensitive about letting other people speak into our child’s life.  It is good for them to understand that other adults have wisdom and authority over them in some areas.  And if it’s a gray area then they should be kind and generous no matter what it makes them feel like.

Thanks for hanging in there with me for this LONG post.  :)

Graduation – Check!

Graduation – Check!

A high level of activity over the weekend has put me into a state of joyful exhaustion.  We have been building toward this weekend for the past 18 years.  Graduating 2 of our daughters has been such an emotional ride.  Happiness at being finished with their schooling and such grief that it’s over.  No more days of mommy school outside on the patio, weaving weeds into wreaths for our hair while we learn.  Although I have to admit, we haven’t done that for years.

This makes 5 graduates under my belt with only 4 more to go.  It’s a weird feeling having graduated more than half of our children.  I should have some kind of sash with badges on it for each child.  I could wear it to homeschool conferences.  And Miss America pageants.

We had about 50 people here for a small ceremony and dinner, then ended the night with the worst fireworks display in history.  The founding fathers would have been ashamed of our shabby little show.  Even the sparklers were a dud.

We didn’t do a ton of preparation for this party.  The grass was mowed and the porch was swept, but no big decorations or fancy table settings.

The girls did set up a table with some of their memories and accomplishments.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

My little cuties…..

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

After James and I said a few words the girls thanked Mom and Dad and all of the guests, then sang a song they wrote together.

 homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

We served up some delicious bar-b-que and sides.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

I ordered brisket, chicken, potato salad and beans from a local place and we added chips, green salad and both wheat bread and gluten-free bread.  We also had a trough full of cold drinks.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

The morning before the party we put ice cream into mason jars and put them in the freezer.  We filled little bowls with various candies and toppings so they would be ready to serve.  We made labels for everything and had it all ready to go.  When it was time to serve dessert we put the ice cream into tubs of ice, opened the toppings and it was ready!

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

We had trail mix, gummy bears, dark chocolate m&ms, milk chocolate m&ms, peppermint patties, peanuts, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and whipped cream.  Oh…..and cherries of course!

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

As the sun went down and about 30 the people were still around, we pulled out the fireworks, also known as “an hour of lame”.  I thought I was ready with 2 new lighters and plenty of ammo.  My friend Sara also brought some fireworks to add to the what we bought.  But she and I have no idea what we’re doing when it comes to pyrotechnics and nothing we bought amounted to anything exciting.  Plus the lighters weren’t working right so it took about 5 minutes to light each one, creating a serious lull in the festivities.

I tried to keep the crowd from revolting by handing out snacks, but it didn’t work.  There was quite a bit of complaining, mostly from me and Sara.

Despite the lack of fireworks excitement it was a wonderful evening.  Great friends.  Great conversation.  Kids playing together.  Celebration.  What more could I ask for?

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

Have a great week!

I Simply Can’t Stick to One Subject

I Simply Can’t Stick to One Subject

Well friends, I have officially reached code red status of exhaustion.  As much as I love to travel, it wears me out and takes me a week to recover from.  Add that to the time change recovery period and we’re talkin’ deep sleep deprivement that only a cruise or quiet beach house would cure.

I thought about trying to take a three day nap, but my life of homeschooling and OCD house cleaning doesn’t lend itself to being asleep for days at a time.  I wonder what would happen if I just closed my door and fell asleep at odd hours.  Would my children survive?  If they did, would I survive the state of the house afterward?  Would I have to notify everyone or could I just disappear?  These are the questions I ask myself in my sleepy stupor.

Last Wednesday I was just home from a quick trip to California and spent the day catching up with the kids.  I went though their school work and played games with them and generally laid on the couch while they told me stuff that was in their head.  I learned that Elijah has decided not to become a grocery store manager and now he is planning to become a hurricane chaser.  Boy, you leave for three days and all kinds of changes happen!

On Thursday I went to the city with my 2 best friends for a fabulous evening of eating on the Riverwalk and seeing “Wicked.”  No kidding…this play was so amazing I just sat there glued to every word.  I used to wish for a trip to Hawaii but I am now dreaming of a trip to New York so I can go see more of these incredible works of art and talent.  My dreams change frequently.  Wait.  I am starting to understand Elijah a little better.

Then as if all of that wasn’t enough, I went on Friday to see the new Muppet movie, which I have been waiting for since forever!  Even though I was worn out, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a true Muppet fanatic if I didn’t see their new movie on opening day.  It was so cute….I loved it.  But I’m not objective since I have a huge crush on Kermit.  He’s my kinda frog.

I took my daughter, Hope, with me to see the movie and we talked and talked and had such a good time with just the 2 of us.  I want to bottle her up and keep her in the closet ‘cuz she’s so sweet.  More impossible dreams.

We spent the weekend filling Shop24 orders and trying to stay healthy since several of the kids were getting a cold.  I kept putting essential oils all over everyone and they’re feeling better this morning.  What would I do without my Thieves?!  And lemon…oh and peppermint….I could go on and on….

This week I am getting ready to do a 5K on Sunday.  I wish I could say that I did an intense Couch to 5K training, but I really haven’t prepared.  I am doing it with my sister, so I have warned her that I will be slow and she is welcome to run ahead of me.  I doubt that 5 days of preparation will really help much.

I’m off to try my idea of disappearing and randomly falling asleep.  I’m hoping to get down to a code orange by tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Christian Worldview Film Festival

Christian Worldview Film Festival

Did you know that my older kids went through a film making phase?  My son Jacob made 2 animated movies and entered them into a Christian film festival several years ago and was a semi finalist with one of his films.  My oldest daughter also entered 2 films.  It was such a blessing to watch my kids develop skills that they both use today.  My son is still into animation and hopes to develop that into a career.

So imagine my excitement when I heard about a new festival in town!

Don't miss the Christian Worldview Film Festival in San Antonio TX!

The Christian Worldview Film Festival is coming.  Yep.  It’s right up our alley.  And if you like to see good, wholesome films made with purpose you should think about going.  If the 60 films, incredible speakers, wonderful music (our friends the 4 Proches will be playing live!) aren’t enough….then come to spend time with us!

Here’s a great list of reasons to attend this event!

The festival starts Thursday, March 13 at noon and goes through Saturday night.  There’s also a Filmmakers Guild (which we are super excited to go to!) on Tuesday and Wednesday.  You can buy tickets to just the festival or the whole event.  If you have anyone in your family that is interested in making movies or being involved in the media industry you would be wise to go to the whole thing.

AND if you use the code “PENNINGTON” you will get 25% off of your ticket.  How’s that for an added blessing?

Birthday Week

Birthday Week

I would tell you about my weekend, but it would be pretty much a reprint of last weekend.  Fill Shop24 orders, clean house, then add in some packing for my husband since he left yesterday to be gone all week.  He is taking the Bar Exam in California and it’s an intense 3 day test.  This is the grand finale of his 4.5 years in law school.  I am so excited to have my husband back after all of this.

When I write my memoirs the chapter about these past 4.5 years will be titled, “I Know I’m Married, but Where’s My Husband?!”.

So I will instead tell you about my upcoming week because it’s much more interesting.

First of all….this is my birthday.  Yes, I still like to celebrate despite being old.  If I could get away with having a princess party complete with pony rides I would do it.  My birth certificate may make it seem like I am mature, but on the inside I’m one sparkly tiara and a bowl of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal away from elementary school.

Then tomorrow is my son’s birthday.  So it’s birthday-palooza around here!

I’m gonna have a week long party.  From today until my husband gets home I will be in celebration mode.  I have many plans including a bowl of the best chocolate frozen yogurt on Wednesday night.

Why Wednesday?  I’m glad you asked.  I have had so many inquiries about using essential oils that I decided to host a class on Wednesday night.  I’ll be talking about how I got started and ways to use them; let’s end the mystery.  If you’re in the San Antonio area and want to pop by, I will be at Sweet CeCe’s at 1604 & Blanco at 7PM with some fun oils info and a 20% discount on your yogurt.  Bring on the birthday treat!

An essential oils class in San Antonio....come join us!!  -- The Pennington Point

In addition to that fun, I decided to build myself something for my birthday.  My parents sent me $100, so I decided to use it to build a jewelry holder/full length mirror in my bathroom.  The only problem is that the supplies cost double what I expected.  So I spent Sunday afternoon picking through piles of old scraps and putting some of my purchases back in my van to return.  As God is my witness I will make this project fall within the birthday money budget.

Before I get struck by lightening I will give myself the out that I bought the mirrors a few weeks ago at IKEA and those won’t fall in that amount.  But after that if I have to make hooks out of rusty farm tools I am gonna do it.  I will not exceed this money.

I promise you will be the first to see it when I am finished (hopefully later this week) and I will give you a full financial report.

Have a great week and be sure to stop by and see me on Wednesday night!

Beautiful Summit Memories

Beautiful Summit Memories

I wish I could pour the blessing of this past weekend into each of you.  Just pour it straight over your head so you could feel the love of God for you!!!

But we’ll have to settle for blog posts and Facebook conversations.  I’ll try to get the message across, but it sure is hard to really express how amazing the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is without being able to hug you while I’m talking.

The weekend was filled with laughter, tears, prayer and food for the soul!!!  Oh, and real food too!  The prizes, the skits, the worship, the speakers….oh. my. goodness.

Y’all know I go to a lot of conferences and I really do enjoy them all.  But this was different.  These are my peeps.  My Homies.  My tribe.

It was love, love and more love from the minute you walked into the event.

I got to visit and pray with many of the women there.  What a privilege!  I even snuck in a few minutes to ask for some wisdom from one of the speakers….she blessed my socks off!

I am renewed in my strength to homeschool, raise my children with truth, build my marriage and feed my spirit.

Next year’s Summit will be in Texas on January 16-17 and Oklahoma January 23-24.  Put it on your calendar friends….you do NOT want to miss this beautiful, God filled weekend.

Come read what my friends Connie and Smockity FrocksCandace at Sacred Mommyhood had to say about her weekend at the Summit!s