Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Friday

The day has finally arrived for a wedding of royal-fashion.  While some could care less, I am personally excited to see this event as it unfolds.  The dress, the shoes, the entourage, the hats, the CAKE....oh my!!  It's almost too much for this romantic heart to endure....(enough for me being melodramatic).  At the end of last year, I wrote about my own royal appointment.  Since it may be possible that I will be glued to the TV watching along with millions of other viewers, I will share my thoughts from my previous blog post:

Recently I heard a friend describe her memories of her mother’s daily quiet time.  She told me her mother would make time for prayer and Bible reading each day.  If her children would whine about her leaving them to go be alone, the mother would simply - but confidently tell them she had “an appointment, --an appointment with The King”.

There is much talk about the upcoming Royal Wedding that will take place next Spring.   I hate to admit this but Royal weddings have always interested me.   Imagine for a moment receiving an invitation to the Royal wedding next year.  If it were my invite, I'd be instantly thinking about what I was going to wear, who would be there, would I have a spot of tea (though I'd prefer a cup of java) with the Queen?  
Of course this is silly but my ever wondering mind ponders scenarios like this from time to time.   After amusing myself with this non-sense I immediately remembered the Royal invite that I (and you) have been extended on a daily basis.  The King of kings has extended an invitation to spend time with me (and you) at HIS THRONE at any given time.  He is not just a king but THE King.    Yet, often I am guilty of neglecting my royal invitation on a regular basis as I hurry on to things that are temporal. 

 Oh how thankful I am that the invitation has been extended.  We are invited to enter His courts through prayer to tell Him our deepest fears and our most painful struggles.  We can even enter His royal court and just cry, if needed.  He is always there to meet with us and He eagerly awaits our time together. 
Will you join me in being intentional with our schedules and appointments - especially with the daily Royal Appointments?  
And just for fun on this Royal (and fun) Friday, if my man and I planned a big royal style wedding (or vow renewal) this would be my dream dress:

photo from Dizzie Lizzie

Linking up with my buddies at Company Girls over at Rachel's blog.  

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Monday, April 25, 2011


I’ve been trying to read more lately.  If it wasn’t for words, I’d like reading.  Words.  I don’t much like them.  I’ve said before if we could communicate in pictures life would be easier for me.  

My issue is not really reading but more comprehending and remembering.   I like to read-- I just don’t do it well.  I do it very slowly.  **Insert Dr. Phil moment here – I remember being placed in the First Grade Red Bird reading group (Advanced Readers) only to find myself weeks later in a meeting with my mom and teacher in which I was re-assigned to the Blue Bird Reading Group (slow readers)**.

Obviously, I’m not at a lack for words.  I can write my random musings in a novel  fashion.  Shoot--I could carry on a lengthy conversation with a wall.  Proof in point, I am now rambling.....

Back to reading.  I am currently reading a few books at one time (and yes, that can get a wee bit confusing at times).   Currently, I am reading books by Francis Chan, Angela Thomas and Ann Voskamp.  

I have almost finished reading “One Thousand Gifts” (by Ann Voskamp).  I have found it intriguing.  Ann's writing is deep, wordy and descriptive yet heart piercing.  I am slowly making my way through the book and it is challenging me to be more grateful in all things in life with the end result being joy.  The website explains more but a quick summary from the site says:
One Thousand Gifts is a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude 
Each Monday on Ann's website people link-up to share their list of gifts (working toward a list of 1,000).   Last week, I started a One Thousands Gifts journal.  I plan to keep most of my journal personal for my own reflection, however, on this Monday following Easter I want to share some of me weekend's gifts of gratitude.  I am grateful for:

  • My dad seeing his great grand-daughter Easter Sunday through Skype

  • Another Easter shared with my amazing husband (who delivered a powerful sermon of Truth yesterday on Easter Sunday)

  • Receiving a phone call Sunday afternoon from my daughter asking me if it had snowed in VA?  Reason being, she woke up and took her baby girl to church (by her own choice and not mom making her) to celebrate the resurrection .  

  • My baby girl who is WAY taller than her mom.

What is on your gratitude list today?

"The feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving."  ~T. Peckover

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Silly girls full of joy and hope

(I am linking up with my buddies over at Company Girls today.  I missed them last week.)  

A week ago I was traveling to Lynchburg, VA with a group of 25 women from my church.  We went to see Priscilla Shirer at her Going Beyond Conference.  It was a truly amazing weekend. We were challenged by the powerful Word and we left changed women.  

I was bummed that I didn’t get to meet Priscilla, but some of our group had their picture taken with her Friday night. (**funny how they didn’t bother to tell me they had met Priscilla until I SAW this picture on Facebook!  Thanks friends!! joking, but I'm jealous. Lol)
photo courtesy of Jennifer Hasty

We did meet her brother and Worship Leader, Anthony:

After the Friday night session, we all had a chance to visit Sweet Frog in Lynchburg. (It was yummy but Maggie Moos still has my heart captured). Fatigue and too much sugar can leave a group of women a bit punchy by the end of the night.  

photo courtesy of Jennifer Hasty

We even thought we witnessed a frog pulling someone's hair.....(most certainly too much sugar THAT night.)

It was a blessed time to get away and have girl time with some amazing Christian ladies to praise The Lord and receive a word from Him together. Yep, we laugh and we cry a lot last weekend.  I do know one thing for sure after our weekend retreat:

Amazing Worship + Dynamic Bible Study + Fatigue + Too much sugar = a lot of silly church gals.

Oddly enough, this silly state may not be the result of too much estrogen at a women's conference, or a sugar high from fat free yogurt (it was fat free, right?) but it may be an answer to a recent prayer of mine.  

At the beginning of  the year I shared about a book I was reading called Brave by Angela Thomas.  On page 208 of the book, she writes about her grandma Ima. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Angela describes her grandma.

She writes:
Grandma Ima was a woman of hope.  The Spirit of God danced all about her. …nothing stole her joy.  She trusted Him even when she couldn’t see.  She was a beautiful combination of reverence and fun and silliness. 

"The Spirit of God danced" around her.  I love that statement!  I have actually been praying lately while thinking of this description of this precious woman that The Spirit of God would dance around me too!!  I've prayed that nothing would steal my joy.  Prayed that I would trust Him more no matter what.  Have I really been praying to be silly?  Nah, I've already got that covered.  I do pray that my life will scream Jesus's love, joy and hope to all.  Angela said her Grandma was a "woman of hope".  I believe that is the key!


The source of joy is Hope.  Our source of joy.  Do you have hope?  I have Hope.  His name is Jesus.   He is alive.  He is NOT dead.  As we reflect back to the cross this weekend and think of His blood that was poured out for us, we can have joy.  We have Hope.  I am cleansed because of what He did for me on the cross.  I have hope that three days later the grave was found empty.  Hope  that I am only passing through this world. It is not my final destination.     I have the promise of eternal life with Him.  

On this Good Friday I celebrate in the fact that because of Christ, I am free. I am FREE!  That alone makes me want to dance!

Speaking of dancing, I may not be doing The Hopperana this weekend but I may dance along Sunday morning as I sing one of my all time favs:


If that didn't get you up off your feet singing and dancing, then this video may just have do the trick.  It might even find you jumping and shouting praises to Him:

I pray you will rejoice this weekend as you celebrate this holiday.  Have a blessed (and silly-in-a-reverent-way) weekend!! 

Happy Resurrection Day!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today is her big day!

It's time to light the candles....well, maybe not all the candles but just ONE candle.  It's time to celebrate.   

Happy Birthday to my precious, miracle grand-baby!  Today is her 1st birthday.  Yay. clap, clap, clap!

I don't know where the year has gone but I do know her Mimi (that's ME!!!) LOVES her and misses her tons!! (Our baby is many states away but thankfully for Skype, I can at least watch her open her presents today.  Maybe I'll have some cake and ice cream while I her honor of course! *grin*)

Happy Birthday Miss Jaelynn Isabella Rivera--also known as Mimi's little Pepita.   You have captured our hearts and we are thankful to Jesus for you and your life!  

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

If you met me (I'm always running behind)

I'm always a day late and a dollar short as they say.   I have been interested in Gypsy Mama's 5 Minute Fridays for a while and am finally going to take the plunge (a day late....*sigh*).

 1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minuter who linked up before you.

Okay, so here I go.......

This week's topic:  If you met me:

If you met me you’d know I love people.  I love to make them feel loved.  But beware, I’m  a HUGGER!  (I realize some people are not and it does create for an awkward moment.).  If you met me, you’d see I LOVE to have fun and silly always rocks in my world.  And laughing is my favorite.  I think I’m a kid stuck in an adult body as I love ice cream, watching silly movies and simple things.  I still wish I could color with crayons (maybe I should take a painting class).  If you ever met me then you will know I cannot SING a lick but I can do a mean church-lady-voice  imitation and it is always out of tune.  (If you met me, I’d sing Happy Birthday to you loudly and in my best church lady voice on your special day!!)
 If you met me you’d know I love to dance.  I dance around the house and whenever the mood hits me.. (I have to be careful because I have a bad back…so if you ever met me and saw me dancing, you might see me grab my back in pain and laugh at the same time.) 'Dancing Through Life' is the ringtone on my phone.  
If you met me you would realize I do not have everything together and I get insecure and have fears (too often more than not). 
If you met you then you would know that I love Jesus.  I adore Him and though I love fun and silly I always want to be reverential to Him and His ways (but I think He likes to dance too!)  If you met me you would understand my odd sense of humor and that I really do think Jesus dances. Lol.    

STOP!  Time's up.  What would I learn about YOU, if I met you???

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Are You My Mother?

Amanda was five, Jordyn was a newborn.  Me?  I was at my wits end.  

In obedience to what The Lord had called me to do, I had just quit a promising career to be a stay at home mommy.  I can remember thinking that unlike the song, mama NEVER told me there would be days like these.  On that particular day 19 years ago, nothing had been accomplished and a shower and make-up was only in my dreams for that day. 

My first born is the typical strong willed child.  At that season in her life she thought “mommy” knew everything, so she tried to ask me everything (as opposed to the teen years when they think mom knows nothing).  Every question that came to her mind she would ask, and each question always started with “Hey mom.."

I had about hit the wall and after hearing “hey mom” umpteen million times that morning, I turned to her in a frazzled state and loudly declared:

“My name is NOT mom!!”

Amanda:  “Yes it is!”

Me:  (in my best ‘I-can-act-five-years-old-too’ tone) I hollered:  “No it’s NOT!”

Amanda: (laughing hysterically at her mom…which made mom even more frazzled) managed to ask through the laughing:  “Hey mom, what’s your name?”

Me: (in tears at this point) “My name is not mom…my name is…um…my name is JOE! I’m Joe.”

Amanda, never missing a beat, pushed her glasses up on her nose, tilted her head in amazement and said very confidently, 

“Well, okay…..Joe, I want some more juice.  Thanks Joe!”   and she skipped off to her room.  You guessed it, for the remainder of the day (and weeks to follow) she started all her questions with “Hey Joe…”

As you can see, I survived that day and many more frazzled mommy days that  followed.  (Speaking of frazzled stories, have any of you moms ever initiated a game of hide and seek with the kids just so you could hide and have a few minutes alone?  Yep!  Me too!!)

All this reminiscing brings me to share this ad that I recently saw in a  local magazine:

The ad was not for a local gym but for a plastic surgeon. Really???  Wow. 

I have threatened to change my name but never my body as a result of being a mom.  Let me be honest and say that of course my body has changed as a result of being a mom, but it has also changed as a result of eating ice cream every night. I am certainly not going to blame either for the changes. 

Like every woman I know, there are things that I dislike about my structure. Yet underneath it all I realize and understand that this body reflects a seal of proof to motherhood:

I embrace my silvery stretch marks as a badge of honor that represent life. Two lives to be exact. The two that I carried in my womb. 
I laugh at the sagging skin (that goes lower with every passing year). What now sags was ever faithful night after night as I rocked and nursed my baby.     
My aching hip reminds me of the times I carried my chubby little toddlers on my hip because they were "too tired" to walk. 
The wrinkles and grey hairs remind me I have raised two teenagers (I’m half joking…if you don’t have a teenager yet then you will understand this one day) and how many times I have laughed with them and cried with them. 
These cracking knees remind me of the many afternoons running behind a bike as the girls were weened off their training wheels.

My waning eyesight takes me back to memories of reading books hour upon hour with them (of course, we enjoyed our fair share of Dr. Seuss and Bernstein Bears books).

Amanda sent me this picture today of Jaelynn reading one of our family favorites,  "Are you My Mother?"

My forgetful mind is full of mommy memories: 

Kool-aid kisses, all night prayer spent with a sick child, hours upon hours of Barney videos, dust bunnies that grew to enormous sizes while we spent time outside swinging, innumerable quantities of popsicles we devoured every summer, Spaghetti-O's stained clothes (theirs, not mine), lemonade stands, bubble blowing, bike rides, dress-up, skinned knees, tea parties…….

I’m thankful for what I see in the mirror.  While some may see their after baby body as disgusting and needing repair by a surgeon’s hand, I see it as a beautiful thing. A beautiful reminder. The beautiful imperfections that represent the many years of joy, happiness, frazzled-ness (is that a word?), bewilderment, tears and laughter that only a mom can know. 

I am thankful to My Lord for the privilege He gave me when He entrusted these children to me to raise in His ways, and for His glory. Through the years I have constantly remind myself that my girls do not belong to me. They are His and He loaned them to me. Thank you, Jesus, for the honor.  

In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time. 
 ~Author Unknown

I am linking up with Company Girls for our weekly blog party!!  We'd love for you to join us.

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Monday, April 04, 2011

TuTu Much

It is hard for me to believe a year has gone by since I wrote a post called "grandma fever" sharing how I had made a TuTu for my grandbaby-to-be.   I was so excited at my crafty accomplishments and the anticipation of my future grand-daughter that I enlisted a baby doll do the posing for the finished product:

March 2010 

A year was worth my wait to receive this text picture from my daughter showing me THE real doll baby posing in her 'hand-made by Mimi' Tutu:

Jaelynn blowing kisses!  April 2011

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