A Shameless Plug

A Shameless Plug

So, we have this YouTube channel that we started a couple of months ago.  It’s going really well and I really do like doing the videos as a way to share with you. When my daughter Patience came to me with an idea she had to make a promotional video for me I told her to go for it!  She could just do whatever she wanted and we would follow her lead. It turned out so sweet and I love her style. I had to show you…..feel free to share it with people who you think might be blessed. And it would bless me so much if you hopped over and subscribed to our channel. Out of curiosity, what do you use YouTube for anyway?  I like to watch Tim Hawkins videos and music videos. when I want a break.

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!!!!

 

Facing My Fears

Facing My Fears

Well, I finally turned in my first draft of my book.  It’s been one of those, “Be careful what you wish for” kinds of things.

I have always dreamed of writing a book.  And when I read books it seems so easy.  It’s also easy to sit in my recliner and watch the winter Olympics.  But not so easy to actually do.

It’s been more like an act of service than a living the dream.  But still very satisfying.

Last weekend while the girls and I were at the coast we decided to walk out on the dock across from our house.  It looked so nice from the balcony.  But when I stepped up to it I froze in fear.  It was a very long plank of worn wood with nothing to hold onto.  And by hold onto I mean grip with all my might until my finger ache.

As we started to cross, the girls were chatting it up behind me just skipping and enjoying the ocean.  “No talking. please,” I said,  “I need total concentration so I don’t die.”

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I inched my way across, not letting myself look at anything but the board directly in front of me.  “Don’t look up….don’t look around….” I kept telling myself. When I was a kid I had an extreme fear of water.  A few years of swim lessons helped, but I still can’t breathe when I watch a movie about someone underwater.  I would be the only person in the world to die from holding my breath in a theater while watching “Dolphin Tale 2.”

My friend who owned the house later told me, “If it helps, the water there is only about three feet deep.”

Nope.  That doesn’t help at all.

I made it across the dock, spent time on the pier with the girls watching the birds and talking about life and God’s goodness and then {cue horror music} I had to get back across.  I let the girls go first and after they were all the way across I just did it….one step at a time.  There’s definitely a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

Speaking of dread, today when I hit the send button on my book I felt that same irrational fear of death.  Why?  You can’t die from a bad book.  Wait, can you?

Wait.  Not that my book is bad.  I hope I hope.

Fear is a funny thing.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  God knew that we all would struggle with this.  I read somewhere that fear is mentioned over 365 times in the Bible.  Wowsa!  No denying that we are to fear not by leaning on Him!

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I am learning a lot lately about what I am afraid of and how much I need to put my faith in God and God alone.  I walked all the way across that dock and back again.  I was so proud of myself and my girls clapped for me.  They knew I was petrified and it was a huge blessing to show them that I could do something that really scared me.

Although let’s not get crazy…..I still don’t know if I could have done it if anyone was talking to me.

 

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!

 

 

I Am Brave and Beautiful

I Am Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Click play on the video below that Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces made with other some other beautiful bloggersto see the beauty and bravery displayed.

Me along with 101+ other bloggers from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see others.

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

First I will show you my new headshot, which is one of the pictures we are considering for my book jacket.  My daughter Patience took it.

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So of course, since she’s so wonderful, I asked her to take my no makeup photo.  “Be gentle,” I told her.  It is sad how insecure I felt about this.  I am letting God work on my heart and He has reminded me how much He loves me just the way I am!

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I feel like I look tired.  But the truth is, what am I hiding?!  I AM tired! And I am insecure about being seen without my eyebrows.  I joke a lot on Facebook about drawing my eyebrows on.  But as you can see….I have none!

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Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some, like me, this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

 

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1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

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21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

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74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

Ready in join in? Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple, @Peacefrom6Pieces and @PenningtonPoint if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Some practical, godly tips for women who are struggling with depression, hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.  #parenting #forwomen #christian

Feeling overwhelmed is something everyone experiences….some of us more than others.

I get hundreds of emails and messages from women who are overwhelmed, struggling with depression and feeling hopeless.  I wish I could have each of you over for an iced tea with Sonic ice and some real fellowship.

I’m here to share some hope with you.  This week’s YouTube video has 3 tips for what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and depressed.  I can’t take away your problems, but I can tell you what works for me when I feel that ugly old hopelessness creeping in.

Before you go…..I want to leave you with even more encouragement from the One who CAN take away your problems….

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

John 13:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

Psalm 142:3 “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”

Psalm 61:2 ” From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I am praying for you…even if I don’t know you, God does.

The Next YouTube Sensation?!

The Next YouTube Sensation?!

Guess what!  I have started a YouTube channel and I am so excited about it.

Well, as excited as you can be about something you don’t understand how to do without Googling every-single-step while you create it.

I have been feeling badly about not being able to answer all of the parenting questions I get, so this is my solution.  It’s SO much easier to talk for a few minutes and I think y’all will like these short tips.  Short is the operative word.  I won’t take much of your time.  (now I feel like a Ginsu knife salesman….but I promise I won’t ask for $19.99).

I will be adding a new video every Friday and sometimes they will be, uh, how shall I put this?  Silly.  Fun.  OK, weird.  Your kids will like the weird ones.  But normally they will be simple and mostly for Mom.  That’s what the two that are already there are…simple mom stuff.

You'll love this YouTube channel with parenting tips and faith-based teaching!

So there you go.  I hope you’ll go subscribe and tell your friends to subscribe.  I’d like to feel like I’m talking to more than 7 people.  But truthfully, if no one ever sees them but my children while they are trying to raise their own kids (which they haven’t had yet but I have high hopes for the future) that’s really fine by me.

Thanks!

Don’t miss it!

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

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

The past week has been Texas history week here at the Point. We visited museums and landmarks and walked trails and, of course, ate Mexican food.  It’s Texas law that you have to eat Mexican food a minimum of once a week.  I follow this religiously.  I don’t want to lose my Texas ID card.

On Wednesday, while my girls took a friend to see the Alamo and Riverwalk I parked myself in a fancy hotel lobby and mooched off their internet.  I needed to spend some quality time with my new computer.  Buying a computer always seems like such a good idea at the time, but then you come face to face with the realization that you have no idea how to use the new operating system and somewhere along the road of life you’ve lost the capacity to learn.

I was considering returning it, but thought I needed to give it a fair shot at having the honor of belonging to me.  It must be such a joy to be right in my face every day as I whine about how hard it is to learn new technology at my age.  Excuse me while I stop for a moment and think about how lucky my computer is…..

It turned out to be a good decision to sit for a while in a luxury chair where no one was trying to tell me about their ideas for how to make a sword out of the curtain rod they found in my garbage and just read the computer’s instructions.  After an hour of reading one tip at a time the light started to turn on and guess what!  I can learn new things!  Who knew an expensive hotel was the key?!

I am considering making it a weekly appointment.  Throw in some fajitas and I might even stop complaining about technology.  OK, probably not.

I have decided to keep the computer since I have mostly figured out how to use it.  Although I am still considering paying one of my kids to install the programs I need and set up my email.  No reason to put my brain under too much stress.

This weekend I am heading to Austin for an essential oils class.  I’m looking forward to sharing how much they have blessed our family!  Plus I will get some drive time to finish an audio book that I started over a month ago.

Have a good one.  Eat some Mexican food!

 

Am I Sleep Walking Now?

Am I Sleep Walking Now?

It’s the age old question asked since the cavemen chiseled wheels out of enormous rocks and attached them to sticks: WHY does driving all day make you SO tired?!

I spent all day Saturday and half of Sunday driving home from Kansas City.  My children, so precious, slept in the car so they felt just fine when we got home.  I listened to an audiobook for a few hours, but that started numbing my mind and making me feel drowsy.  Thankfully I had my Sonic ice and Mandisa albums or I might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

When we finally got home I announced that we would take 30 minutes to “speed unpack.”  It was a whirlwind of half eaten packages of food, blankets, dirty laundry and cords.

Oh the cords!  I miss the days of cordless travel.  Now we’ve got phone cords, car chargers, earbuds, computer cords…..plus I travel with an extension cord because apparently hotels haven’t figured out that we need to be able to plug 14 things in at once.  Why on earth do they still just have one lamp base outlet for the whole room?!

Within half an hour we had literally put away every single thing from the trip and, as much as I wanted to hang out with my kids that I hadn’t seen all week, I fell into a nap that even Sleeping Beauty would not have believed was possible.  And I slept for the next 24 hours, breaking only to go for a walk at 6:30 the next morning.

I don’t actually remember it.  I only know that I went for a walk because I found selfies on my phone from 2 miles down the road.  I’m pretty sure I slept walked the whole thing.  I hope I didn’t do anything embarrassing.  Like take my shirt off in the middle of the street.

But the rest time is over because this Saturday we are having a graduation for two of my girls and I have lots of planning and preparing ahead.  We’ll be having 45 people over for dinner on Saturday night plus have a bit of a ceremony.  This is our fourth graduation.  This one will be much smaller than what we did for our son a few years ago.  We try to do whatever fits the personality of that child and the 2 girls that we are graduating this weekend wanted a smaller affair.

After that I.AM.SITTING.DOWN.FOR.A.WEEK.

I may spend all of Monday and Tuesday in the pool.  I have a lounger that has been begging for me to spend some quality time with it.

Have a great week y’all!