Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Really WAS Thankful ....

So, on November 1st I said I was going to blog every day the things I was thankful for ... and I knew.  I knew that I wouldn't make it to day 5.  Because my track record ...

Here's the thing I'm learning.  Grace is a good thing.  But giving myself grace is HARD.  I've come to realize this blog really is only for me ... for me to write on the days my heart needs to speak and for me to read on the days my heart needs to remember.  Y'all are welcome to read, but I write for me.  And, some days, much like Jerry Seinfeld chose not to run ... I chose not to write.

But, November. It is almost over. It was both the hardest and sweetest of months. I have grieved for a friend. Celebrated littles in my class learning how to read. Sold our house. Missed my girl. Found a new place to live. Changed church campuses. Prayed (often) that I would represent Christ well. 

These are the things that November has taught me. In the goodness and the hardness, Jesus is enough. 

(I found this draft on my blog posting thingee a year after  I wrote it. Why didn't I publish it a year ago? Who knows? But there is so much truth in it I am hitting the publish button on 11/1/15 ... it totally spoke to me and the journey I have been on. And, this blog is for me ... and clearly today my heart needed to remember.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beyond Thankful

Y'all.  I am crazy about this chick.  She is one of my greatest blessings.  And I cannot believe God found me worthy to be her mom.  

She is in love with Jesus.  She is smart.  And hilarious.  She is a hard worker.  She is loyal.  She is kind.  She is quick to forgive ... even when it isn't deserved.  

She is currently living in Aggie Land ... and loving every minute.  She has surrounded herself with a sweet group of friends.  She is studying hard.  She is not sleeping much ... ahhh.  College life!

I love getting texts from her ... even the ones that ask if she can wash certain clothes together!  My favorite one today?  Her asking when we were going to come and see her ... it took everything within me to not jump in the car and zoop up there!

So today ... she is the cry of my thankful heart.  Well ... not just today.  Everyday.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thankful for 22 Years ... and Counting!

I think we can all agree that there are things in our lives that we would do completely differently given the chance. So many things. Because for one ... my wedding dress would have had a longer train to swoop around me for the pictures.

But I digress.

There is one decision that I would never change. And that would be saying "Yes!" to Dean when he asked me to marry him.

There is no one I would want to go through life with. Ups and downs. Good and bad. Hard and easy. He is my rock. He leads our family well. He provides for our family well. He is an ah-mazing father ... Tors is one lucky girl. He is hilarious. He gets my crazy at the beginning of the school year. Shoot. He gets my crazy all during the school year. He is a "fixer" ... wagons and other things. Torrey and I both know we can call/text him about a problem and he will have it fixed before we can think about it again. Case in point? Tors amazing class schedule next semester ... all him.

Y'all. I am lucky. He was worth the wait. And worth trusting God for His best for me. And I'm not only thankful for him on the 2nd of November ... but every day before and after.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A November of Thanks

I woke up this morning and it was not only November, but it felt like November.  55 degrees in Houston?  I'll take it!

There was a time when November was all about Thanksgiving.  Today?  Not so much.  We seem to skim over Thanksgiving to get right to Christmas.  And Christmas?  Somehow we have forgotten the whole meaning of Christmas because TINSEL! LIGHTS! PRESENTS!  I am challenging myself to blog everyday for the things I am thankful for.  I want to focus on God's blessings instead of the noise going on around me.

I lost a friend Thursday night.  Until she retired in May, she had taught across the hall from me for 7 years.  Her death was shocking and sad and devastating.  But Friday morning I needed to be back in my classroom with 18 littles ... who needed me to be normal.  

Y'all.  Friday was the hardest and sweetest day of my teaching career.  

There were many times I whispered over and over and over, "Thank you, Jesus."  Because my class of littles? They were healing.  They made me laugh.  They hugged me HARD ... not because they knew I was sad, but because they love me.  They brought me little happy's ... just because (A&M jello molds and a mani/pedi ... yes please!)  And they were not thrilled that my Halloween costume was the "lady who hands out candy" ... but when they found out Dean was going to be the "man who hands out candy"?  APPALLING!  Because WHY were we dressing in the same costume?!

Y'all.  I laugh HARD on a daily basis.

I wish I could post a picture of them ... but, well, I just can't (or won't).  I sobbed when I got my class list in August ... because my class is just that amazing.  I did not see Thursday night on that day, but God sure did.  And He gave me this class for Thursday night, for Torrey going off to college, and for days when didn't I think I would be able to smile ... He knew this year and He gave me 18 amazing littles.  More than once I have told Him that I know how much He loves me because of these kiddos.  

So on November 1st (and every day before and after) I am thankful for my class of 18.  I am thankful that I get the privilege to be their teacher ... I may not change their lives this year, but they have already changed mine!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I am Learning Lately

There are seasons in my life that I love.  And there are seasons in my life that I despise.  I'm not sure how I feel about this season ... but, y'all, I am trying to embrace it.  Ok ... and maybe squeeze the life out of it.  You got me.

Last Thursday truly summed up the season I am in.  I went completely out of my comfort zone and found myself sitting in the stands at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics.  And, by comfort zone I totally mean out of the AC.  I was not created for outdoor living.

I snapped this one for Tors and Gabs when we first got there.  I am positive it is when we first got there because they aren't dripping in sweat.  Who was the smarty pants who decided to have a track and field event in Houston in July?! At one point Dean muttered, "Even my eyelids are sweating!"  He got in trouble for making us laugh ... because it was too hot to laugh!

We endured the heat because Torrey's bestie, Kirsten, was running the 2000M Steeplechase.  This was her fourth Junior Olympics, and we just knew she was going to win it all.

When it was time for her race, the girls lined up, they shot off the gun and immediately shot it again because someone false started.  The girls lined up again and this time they were off without an incident.  We weren't sitting where we could see the start line and as the girls came around for the first lap, Kirsten wasn't in the group.  We started asking questions and quickly learned that she had false started and therefore was disqualified from the race.  Just like that she was done.  No second chance. No do over. (New rules ... please feel free to write a letter to whoever.)

There were tears ... by all of us.  Because we knew how hard she had worked. She gave up a lot for that one race.  She was ready.  She should have won.  But that was not what happened.

But, guess what?! Today in Des Moines, Iowa, she ran again.  In another Junior Olympics.  Same race.  Completely different outcome.  She won the whole thing and is coming home with a gold medal.  Y'all.  I know an Olympic gold medalist.  

Please pause with me and ugly cry because when I got that news I did just that.  A little bit because I love Kirsten as if she were my own.  And a lot a bit because THAT is the season I am in ... one of trusting God to restore.  

Last Thursday was devastating.  It was terrible.  The worst.  But before we even got home, we had a text from Kirsten and in that text she gave it to Jesus.  In the midst of her hurt and frustration and anger she knew that He had a reason and she trusted Him.  

Y'all.  I want so desperately to be like Kirsten.  In the midst of the hurt and the anger and the frustration I want to completely trust Jesus.  I want to know deep within me that He has a purpose for it and that I will learn something good from it.  I don't want it to be just words ... I want it to be real.  This is my prayer for me  ... that I will flat out trust Him no matter where I land or what situation I am walking through or what hurt I am living.  

Because the hurt and the anger and the frustration and the fear do not have to last forever.  Restoration comes.  Or, maybe not.  Restoration or not, good or bad, AC or heat stroke ... I just want to live in complete trust that God has got my every "this".

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Post in Which I Share Why Going to the Library Wasn't Such a Great Idea After All

Y'all.  I just won an award.  For the longest title on a blog post for a blog that no one reads.  

But, seriously, I maybe shouldn't have gone to the Library after all.  Because I finished one of the books in less than two days ... all 483 pages.  (Kate Morton does not disappoint!)  But, there is a price to pay for reading a book in less than two days ... and I am paying that price today.

10 loads of laundry.  That is my price.  I now know what it must be like to live in the Duggar household.  There are 3 of us ... how could we possibly have enough dirty towels to justify 2 loads of laundry in just towels?!  I'm a little scared now to read the next book.

Our weekend was quiet.  Torrey spent it with friends in Galveston.  Dean and I planned to go down the street and sit on the golf course to watch the fireworks ... and then the monsoon hit and I assumed they would have been cancelled.  Nope.  We watched them from our front door.  And promised that next year we would definitely be on the golf course ... except if it has recently rained.  Because I am funny about sitting in wet grass.

The dogs were not amused with the fireworks ... Dean and I took to calling the 4th what our dogs must call it ... "Night of Terror".  We were so thankful for our neighbors who shot off fireworks until 1am.  Every year.  By the end of the evening ALL of us needed to be on Prozac ... or something stronger!

Y'all.  Summer is almost over.  I have one month to go before I have to be back to school and I have a list a mile long of things I want to get done before that day ... I'm either going to have to wave the white flag or give up the Library for good.  

I'm now off to fold more laundry ... but I must admit ... the other Library book is sitting there begging me to pick it up (20 pages in and I am hooked ... I think we all knows what that means for the rest of the laundry!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Where We Are ... again

I feel like every time I bring back the blog I have to write a post about where we are ... because things just naturally change in 6 months time. And, while I once believed people actually read this thing ... let's be real.  Who am I kidding?  This is solely for me ... and I do go back and read what I have written quite often. Remember I told the Librarian I have been reading?  I didn't tell him WHAT I have been reading.

Torrey just graduated from High School.  Y'all.  It was just yesterday we were handing her off to her Kindergarten teacher and now here we are.  Senior year is a ball full of fun and stress.  I feel like we spent our year in the waiting room ... waiting for your college acceptances is not for the weak of heart!  Torrey applied to five school - Auburn, Alabama, TCU, Baylor and Texas A&M.  She got acceptance letters from five schools ... and will be attending her dream school in the fall.  A&M she is coming for you!

For the past 18 years she has been my sidekick.  There is not much I have done without her by my side. And I am asked a lot if I am OK with her going away to school.  My friends are legitimately scared for my sanity.

Listen, y'all ... we tried to get her to apply to THSU.  But she did not want to attend Townsend Home School University.  I know.  I don't understand why either.

But, here's the thing ... God is amazing.  We know He alone is the reason she is attending A&M ... and that would have been enough of a gift for me. We have watched Him work out every detail ... from her housing to her roommate to her classes.  But, He didn't stop there.  He has given me peace AND joy in sending her.  I am reminded daily that she is ready.  She is excited.  It is hard to wallow when you see your child so excited. I have been feeling lately like her going to college isn't going to ruin our relationship, but rather it will be strengthened.  I can't wait to see what the next four years have in store for her ... I know they are going to be amazing!

Dean has been concerned that we will need to find a hobby ... because evidently college students don't want their parents just appearing at their door every day.  

Is drinking coffee considered a hobby?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hello ... again!

I may have told Torrey today that I was going to revive the blog today ... due to the fact that it is July 1st and all.  My morning had me feeling all full of myself.

Y'all ... I went to the Library.  And checked out books.  For the first time since September 2007.  The Librarian may or may not have made a little bit of fun of me.  He had the right.  I felt the need to let him know that I HAVE been reading ... I'm not sure he 100% believed me.  He was a little shocked that I appeared back at the desk with books to check out ... which was all the motivation I needed to actually read the books.  Hopefully he will not need a book report to prove I did indeed read the books.  Because that is where I draw the line.

So my morning ... it involved Starbucks, a pedi, the Library and coming home to a clean house.  It was perfect.  I almost forgot it was July 1st ... but, then I remembered that I had a nightmare the night before about the first day of school. This happens every July 1st ... I kid you not.  

Torrey did inform me tonight that on Friday she would have 50 days to go until "Move In" day.  She got the death glare ... and totally deserved it.

I may need more than Starbucks, a pedi, Library books and a clean house to get myself through bringing her to college ... and leaving her there!