Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday something...

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The magical time when I buy the first sunscreen with the purpose of deliberate in the sun time planned. 

We are heading to the beach for my birthday in about six weeks and there is about to be daily doses of sun in preparation. Ahhhhh.

In other news:

the Eucerine shower oil as shampoo. I am not still using it..but I didn't hate it. I also didn't love it. It said it was fragrance free...but ended up smelling like Murphy's Oil Soap to me , after repeated uses. I do love the results on AE's long makes it look very smooth.  

I also got some of the Plegde Multi Surface with Fabreeze. I love the scent (vanilla and lavendar) but the results...ugh. streaky on the stainless steel appliances and filmy on glass surfaces. 

Ah...and LemiShine has proven to be my favorite find....for the hardwater issues in the dishwashwer. It is amazing and keeps things super clean and shiny with no film. 

(who knew you would get product reviews....)

In an effort to avoid the chaos that was last week at dinner time...I have made a menu and done the shopping. This week's menu:

Monday- Loaded potato and chicken casserole (a kid pick from Pinterest)
I will make me a smothered chicken breast to keep it low carb but without have to cook a separate meal.

Tuesday - crockpot bbq sandwiches 
(pork shoulder on a bed of onions, topped with some diet dr. pepper and bbq sauce , cooked all day)
baked beans

Wednesday -Orange Ginger Chicken (another Pinterest pick from the kids)
obviously they want chicken instead of pork chops...
roasted cabbage (no fennel seeds....)

Thursday- Low Country Boil -esk idea...
I will be making my favorite shrimp recipe from Pinterest (only I melt the butter then add a layer of sliced lemon ...then the shrimp and seasonings and bake) 
There will be boiled potatoes and corn on the cob
smoked sausage
cajun grilled fish

Pizza night!  

Here's to a good week! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I never regret the runs...

I woke this morning to cold.

I am not a big fan of cold.
at all.

But I woke.
(which is good)
and it was cold
(which is not good)

and it's a run day.

Here's the thing. I started running about a year ago. It changed a lot about me. I came to running as someone already familiar with exercise. I've used walking for fitness for a long time (walking upwards to 8 -10 miles daily)... but running... was different.

Running called on parts of my body that weren't used...
and it called on part of my endurance that had to be built...
and it called on parts of my determination that I didn't know existed.

And really, it seems almost and exaggeration...that running could pull from a part of me  so deeply.
but  it does.

So I woke.
and I ran.

I didn't enjoy any of it.

My hands were reddened by the cold.
The wind blew at my back, in my face and across my body.

My muscles warmed.

I ran.

and prayed.

I prayed for my friend that is in the middle of a lot of things...looking for a house, dealing with an uncle and brother , both with cancer...looking for answers.
I prayed for a friend that faced yet another recent surgery...and a friend recovering from surgery.
I prayed for a friend, whose brother-in-law is much too young to be facing the diagnosis that was given to him.
I prayed for my childhood friend's daughter...who is fighting , so hard, against a battle no child should face and gets a bone marrow transplant soon.

I didn't pray because I am super holy .
I prayed because I was cold.
And praying while I was running distracted me from the cold...the ache of my fingers...the sting of the wind.

I prayed because as my feet hit the pavement... my heart pumped... my breath pushed
and I needed a focus...

and my friends needed carried.

I ran today.
It was cold.
I didn't enjoy any of it.

I needed every moment of it.

and in the end.
when the run is done.
when the sweat pools...
and my thighs hurt...
as the shower washes away the evidence of the exertion...

I never, ever  regret the runs.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Something...

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Take the mercy...accept the help. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the middle of group...

I joined a running club last week.
Maybe, if you don't know me, you don't really give this much thought.

And if you do know me...
you know that running, at one time,  was not something I wanted to do.

I had a friend on Facebook recently say to me that she remembered when I said I wouldn't ever be a runner.
And I never thought I would be.

But last year , about this time, I decided I wanted to run a 5K before I turned 39.

I started the Couch to 5K running program and off I went.

I need to tell you here-because this is important in a few minutes.

I am a lone runner.

I love to run alone. I love the quiet. I love hearing my feet hit the pavement. I love the mental push of making it to the next landmark. I love the solitude.

So, as I was saying, on Saturday of last week, I joined a running club.

I also joined it with the intention of training for a half marathon in November.

The girl that was never going to run.

But ran.

That is a lone runner.

Running with people.

For 13.1 miles.

I showed up to the appointed place.
It was way early.
I'd had no coffee.
and I generally don't like morning.

(ok, in my defense, it's not that I HATE mornings. I hate rushing into the morning with a lot of activity and words and noise and socializing)

Thankfully, my husband was there...he likes morning...and words...and words in the morning. 

People began to arrive, each clothed, ready to run. 
Some were fit and lean.
Some were solid and strong.
Some were cute and coordinated.
Some were (me) just glad they remembered deodorant.

The leader went over some basics, the idea behind the program, our goals and then we broke into groups.

I found myself in the middle of about ten women.
Our leader.
She was amazing.
She checked on every runner.
She cheered.
She encouraged.
She talked about her first year and how hard it was and how far she'd come.

I ran with the pack for about two miles ...
and that is where my ...I haven't really ran since November... hit me.
I felt a little icky.
and tired.

I dropped my pace and walked for an interval and by that point I had lost the group...
not by a lot, but enough to be on my own...
except for the two new girls who'd never run before.

And that's when, as God often does, used my day to day to speak to my heart.

I'd always claimed I was a lone runner.
Because I'd never run with a group.
I'd never felt that feeling of kinship, because they were taking the steps with you.
I'd never been able to share the road.

And how often, in our lives, do we take it alone?
We carry the weight and worry...
the troubles and trials...
the hurt and hopelessness...
Never willing to share the load.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
Hebrews 12:1

And how fitting that I now have my own 'cloud of witnesses' surrounding me.
They know my destination.
They are there to help me along.
To cheer for me.
To help me when I stumble.

And how good it is of God to give us that in our fellow Christ followers.
People on the same journey.
Walking beside you.
Praying for you.
Catching you when you fall.
Giving grace.

You may never be a runner.
But I hope you'll join the faith race.

it's worth training for...
and I know a great group to run with...

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:14

Sunday, April 14, 2013

a box full of surprises...

one of my favorite things is surprises...
big ones...medium sized ones...little ones...
I love them.

This week I got a nice surprise.

For a little background.
(judge me as you wish)

as life would have it...I went to high school with a girl that now manages a Waffle House.
(be careful with that judging...)
aforementioned girl...
has her Bachelors degree in Science
and is a member of the Master Gardeners Club
and also (since we're attaching labels)
excels in sarcasm. 
i love her.

and this week
she surprised me 
(because, I love Waffle House
and NM lacks very many of them...)
with a box full o' Waffle House goodness.

I really am God's favorite.
and you really should get to know that WH waitress...
she just may surprise you.


Happy Sunday.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

you might be most 40

when every product you buy has the words:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I love social media.
I am not even going to lie.

It's sad to me how we, as women, have allowed a screen shot to determine our fitness as a person.
 We've allowed it to form a barrier between us and someone-that, had they not posted their perfectly- timed -snapshot- of- their- perfectly- planned- life...
 we might consider a friend.

We fill pin boards full of bright colorful meals,  art projects,  gardens and outfits... all  perfection
 and the follow through - fails.

We forget all that is going on -outside of the frame of the photo.

We see cake, the  frosting fluffy ...
but we don't see the sink full of pans and the layer that cracked.
We see the smiling family at Yellowstone ...
but not the yelling or the stony glances on the other days...
We see and Elf on a Shelf, in every imaginable antic, spreading flour, sprinkles and cheer and for a moment  we fall into the trap and judge our success by their standard...

Meanwhile, the Christ, that was on the cross, whispers, "You're accepted..."

A picture may be worth a thousand words-
But that number internally compounds and multiplies (and some of them aren't always nice...) as we look at other's staged and filtered photos from the comfort of our pajamas, 
with brows that need waxing,
and frozen pizza served on paper plates...

The enemy is not Instagram (that Valencia filter is magic on wrinkles)
The enemy is not Facebook (Be real on YOUR status, you can't control other people and you and I both know--NO ONE has a perfect life.)
The enemy is not PInterest. (ah! Pinterest...I just try to keep the ration of my food pins to exercise pins in balance...)

The enemy is the Enemy ...
and the less than feeling he places on you when your plates don't match and your pancakes don't have syrupy smiley faces...
the lies he whispers about your happiness in marriage , when you don't take couple only  trips to exotic locations with 1200 count sheets...
the snarky judgment he pokes when 'she' takes yet another self portrait...
(doesn't she know what she looks like????)

The enemy wants our joy.

and if he can get us to zoom in on someone else's perfection...
then we can get disgruntled in our not-so-camera-ready-mess-of-a-life.

Picture this:
Jesus was never a world traveler. No fancy hotels, ski vacations or cruises- ok, He did walk on water, out to a boat , that one time. ... 

He didn't have status.
or a lot of followers...
and the ones He did have:
One was dramatic and cut off someone's ear.
One was needy and had to touch Jesus' scars before he would believe what Jesus said.
and one he  was two faced....kissing up to Jesus and betraying him with the same lips...

It's time we stop listening to the lies.

It's ok to have great vacations and matching flatware...
It's ok to enjoy cooking and provide a photo essay to prove it...
it's even ok for an Elf to roll your Christmas tree with toilet paper...

What's not ok is to look at someone's picture perfect snapshot of life

and feel like yours is less than...

God created us all uniquely with gifts and talents and tastes , all our own...
Some are crafty and creative...
Some sing or play an instrument...
Some cook and bake and sew...
Some organize and design and garden...

and in that creation process He knew we would need each other...not as standard to compare to...but as a friend to lean on and a person to pray for...

let's start giving each other a break...
let's encourage each other...
let's post pictures of our epic fails...
let's post about the day the carton of eggs sacrificed itself because the two year old was being artistic.
lets proclaim that yoga pants are, indeed, fashionable...
let's admit to days that are rough and when the gourmet meal is Frosted Flakes and popcorn....

and let's give a little grace...
go ahead and click like the next time we run across one of those "perfect pictures"...

because we know the Truth, 

and HE has set us free.

Jesus said,  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
John 8:32

Monday, April 8, 2013

just another manic monday...



Monday has become a day that I try to make nice with , as of late.

I don't always subscribe to the Monday's Stink idea...but I have had a few over the last few weeks that have made me consider the possibility.  With all that was good.

I think it was because I planned for it to be...

I planned to not leave the house...or get out of my pjs....i planned to let the kids sleep in and to start school late...i planned out lunch and dinner and did the prep work to make that happen ... I cleaned some, tidied some, read some, facebooked some... it wasn't a day of sloth or lazy... but it just wasn't a day of crazy.

I won't always have this luxury...
but today I did...
and I am glad.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Believing anyway

What do you do ... when it wasn't what you expected.

we mistakenly view our faith as a guarantee  that life will be good.

Our kids will be safe.
Plans will follow their prescribed course.
Things will move along...smoothly.

We will go to church.
We will send money to needy children.
We will give money to dig fresh water wells.
We will sing on the worship team.
We will read the bible...
and encourage other believers.

Our life will be ideal.

Until it isn't.

Too often, more often than not...

a life of faith
leaves you hanging on by a thread...

part of growing your faith-
is learning to walk in some really scary and dark places...

and part of faith-
is just simply holding on...

Holding on when your heart is broken...
holding on when your child rebels and disappoints you...
holding on when your life, becomes a series of things stacking up, seemingly against you...
holding on when your mother gets Alzheimers...
holding on when your friend walks away...
holding on when the cancer comes back...
holding on...

because, regardless of what our eyes see...
and what our ears hear...
we can trust and believe what our Spirit knows...

That He has a plan-and ultimately it IS good.
That He is with us and will NEVER leave us.
That He is holding our hand...
even when we are barely holding on...

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In the middle of hard water...

Our recent move to New Mexico has introduced me to something...

hard water.

I've never encountered it-and much like the dust storms here-it intrigues me.

Without a water softer  you are likely to find your dishes, fresh from the dishwasher...looking very cloudy, almost dirty...

your hair will do things you never imagined...

and your skin, after the shower, feels dry.

Our water softener was needing a repair and our landlord just got to it on Friday of last the weeks we've been here have been spent, rinsing off clean dishes before we used them.

They were marked.

And it's funny, all a water softener salt.
The salt mixes with some pellets and it softens the water and then you are good to go.

It made me think...
aren't  our lives marked?

we face so much...we deal with frustrations, disappointments, tragedies...
and we wear the marks of it all.
and we spend a lot of time...
in guilt and condemnation.
We spend a lot of time, as Christ Followers, washing and rinsing
trying to get rid of what coats us...

Here's the Truth:

Jesus is the Living Water...
when you give him your life and  follow after Him
you become  the salt
and in allowing Him to mix with you...
He softens you...
He molds your heart...
He changes your mind...
He draws you closer to him...

making you clean...

you are clean...

Did you know, that sometimes, if you notice your glasses and dishes carrying the cloudy residue that it's because the water softener isn't working right ... the salt isn't mixing with the water...and it shows.

and it's the same in our lives...
when we go on our own...
when we face the battles...
the disappointments...
and the choices
when we try to function apart from Jesus , we carry the mark of it...
we're living without the Water...
we're cloudy.

but when you mix with water, the Living Water...
things clear up...
once again
and we are

 in nothing but grace.

Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. 
Eph. 5:2 MSG

[Today and every Thursday I am the blogger over at Middle Places. A great community of women, from all walks of life, living different experiences but all in the middle of something. Won't you join us there?]

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So, I washed my hair with oil...

It's true.
I was on Pinterest and saw a pin about hair ...
since my currently daily pattern is talking myself through daily affirmations go something like...

you are more than your bad hair...
everyone wants hair that's chin length...
lots of colors are good...lots of colors are good...

(heh...ok, listen, brought all this hair stuff upon myself...I had a GREAT stylist and colorist in Georgia, I'm the one that wanted the halo of dark chocolate brown. I'm the one that wanted to cut off 5 inches. ME ME ME ME ME. It's all me.... but anyway...)

So, I'm reading and I come across this pin that said she took Biotin, she brushed her hair nightly, only used the hair dryer on low, never flat ironed and washed her hair with Eucerin Shower Oil . (I can't find the pin now, of course, because I didn't pin it...argh)
Now, I am familiar with the Eucerin brand. I had NO idea they made body wash/shower oil.
The pinner compared the shower oil to the Wen hair products.
It's worth noting I have never used Wen and can't compare my results to what their product would supply.

With that said, I set off to Walgreens to locate shower oil.

Let me also say.
I have decent hair.
It's thick, has natural body and volume and is not oily .
So with that said.

I really liked the results.

The shower oil is fragrance free and it's a low lather. 
I also skipped conditioner (which I use daily and I deep condition twice a week)
but I wanted to get ''true'' results. 
I used it on Anna-Elizabeth's hair last night (she's seven and her  hair is mid length of her back)

My hair feels really soft.
It has that salon feeling ... springy and SUPER shiny.

With Anna-Elizabeth, she also had very few tangles (and we allllllllllways use conditioner with her and we skipped it too) and it's shiny and so very soft. 

I did follow up with my argan oil while it was damp and then used my flat iron.

I am a little surprised how much I liked the results-I kind of expected it to be one of those fails. I mean, who uses shower OIL on their hair? Really? 
I am going to continue to use it , just to see if it continues to work out so nicely but I will be adding condition/deep conditioning back into the mix.

Monday, April 1, 2013




Bible Study...


Recover from the weekend, house tidy...

That's my Monday...

And yours?