Look and Live

Today is a perfect morning. I slept in until about 6:30 am. It’s Zoe’s last day of second grade and it’s Blaire’s 20th birthday! No more teens in the house (for a while anyway!) This week in June is always full of emotion in our household. I’m embarking on another birthday in two days and I’m still embracing them. One more year older but another year closer to God. My perfect morning also includes Scott napping on the couch after his morning run. Blaire is up and journaling and I’m sitting in my morning reading chair with my morning devotion and my new favorite book Look and Live. With the back screen door open I can hear the birds chirping and feel a wonderful cool summer breeze. Blue skies and sunny. Just like it was the day Blaire was born.

As I sit back and reflect on the day of her birth I also fast forward to where I had hoped she would be today. Blaire and I didn’t always see eye to eye when she was growing up, but that was her finding her independence. Sometimes, us moms try to get in the way of this and push back when we are afraid of where they might be headed. It’s easy for a mom to second guess her every move and decision when her kids are growing up. When do I let go? When do I step in? When do I tell her she’s wrong? When do I sit back and watch? I remember squeezing Blaire’s hand so tight while crossing a busy street because my little Miss Independent wanted to run everywhere. Blaire has stepped out, spoken out and stood out most of her life. She has exceded way more than our expectations.   Scott and I look in awe and thank God we could be apart of it. I hear parents worry about their kid’s futures all the time.  What will happen when they go to high school?  What will happen if we move?  How will they handle college?  We don’t know.  That’s the beauty of it.  Going through life’s milestones can be exhausting and I don’t just want to ‘go through’ life.  I want to take it in.  I want to enjoy it and I most definitely want to see God’s glory in everything.  I can’t say enough about the book I’m reading called, ‘Look and Live’. It excites me to move from mundane and lift my eyes.  Today I read, ‘ Father, your plans are better than my expectations.’  That’s my message to my kids.

When I think about my childhood it involves a lot of family. But I have been out of my parents house for 26 years now.  Blaire has been engaged for 26 days and I’m counting down the days I have with her and cherish it all. Days heading to the gym, after work movies, early morning runs and lunch dates. Blaire is beautiful inside and out and now I get to help plan a big day she has dreamed about her whole life.

So summer break officially begins today.  Birthdays, vacations, interacting with new and old friends. I don’t just want to entertain my kids or myself this summer. I want to encounter Jesus. Purposeful moments. Look and live.


Love won’t let me down

It’s a special thing when your kids grow up, move out and come back and hang out with you. My son has been married for 18 months and he and his wife live across the country.  We just had a week like that.  Having all my kids around the dinner table is a very fun moment. I find myself go quiet. I don’t talk much because I’m taking it all in and getting emotional. ‘Thank you Lord’, I whisper.
My blogs have taken me from the here and now to reflection. I like my age. I like being 47. In fact, just today I had to go to a local running store and claim my recent 5k third place age division prize. I owned it when I had to the tell the 20 something clerk that I was in the 45-49 age bracket.
It’s a snowy day today and the house is quiet. The internet is not working so no music, no tv, no computer. I’m sitting in my morning reading chair and decide to reach for the newly placed photo albums (still unpacking boxes after 6 months in the new house) and decide on opening my firstborn’s baby album. The one that poses my husband and I as kids having a kid. We were 25 and we knew nothing.
As I flipped through the pages I became painfully aware that I had no clue how my child would turn out. I didn’t know if my high school education would suffice to teach my son what he needed to know for a successful future. Who defines success? Wealth? Getting Married? A University degree? A parent wants what’s best for their kids but what determines the best?
I keep turning the pages and I’m laughing at my sick scrapbooking skills and at all the smiles. People who God surrounded us with in the early years. Wonderful godly grandparents and aunts and uncles. Cousins to play with and later confide in. Hand me downs, vacations, family pets and the many houses me lived in. But again something was very apparent in every picture. Love! Not just an obvious love a parent has for a child. That love scared me. I didn’t know I could love that much. I’m reminded of the Bible words, We love because He first loved us. Oh ya! The same love was bestowed on me since I was born. A love from God that since I was His creation he loved me unconditionally.
I’m at Jacob being 11 months old in the scrapbook now.   We went on a mission trip to Trinidad for two weeks with friends and he was fantastic. I wasn’t lucky to have a great kid. I was given books and God lead me to godly women who shared with me how I wanted to raise my kids.
I learned that giving my kids everything they needed was not showing them love.
I learned that putting Scott and our marriage first was better for my kids and therefore, showed more love when they witnessed us going out on dates and taking vacations without them.
I learned that sleep is so crucial for their well being, and mine, so we had boundaries and naps times and quiet times.
I learned (and have seen the huge benefits) of reading to my children.
I learned quickly that even though i didn’t know everything, I called the shots and didn’t let my kids walk all over me. I’m the parent. (They will thank you later)
I’m also amazed at how God gave Scott and I the strength to adopt at the age of 42. We weren’t lucky that we got a sweet, teachable girl that loves life. We did what we knew what we knew how to do.
We set boundaries and surrounded her with godly families who poured into her. Did you know that when you adopt your agent will tell you to stay home and allow your child to adapt to their new surroundings?  Don’t go on vacations right away and let them get used to who is in their immediate family.
Well our regular life is to have people over all the time. Needless to say we didn’t heed this advice.  Zoe got welcomed home to a crowd of people ready to hold her and love her and we had a different set of relatives come to visit every weekend! I know all kids are not the same but I think we sometimes make it all too difficult. Let others watch your kid. They won’t get sick if you expose them to the world right away. We did life with our kids and so glad Zoe is up to that lifestyle.
Love is definitely my word for 2018. Moving has brought new people into my life and it’s a challenge to find time for all of them.   I guess i just keep hearing God say, ‘Just love who is in front of you for that moment.’ Sometimes I make love too stressful. Jesus was surrounded by crowds and he loved the masses, yes! But He took the time to look into peoples eyes who needed Him most in the moment. If I’m honest with myself, I whisper all day long, ‘Who is it now, Lord?’


‘Love Won’t Let Me Down’ is a great song by Hillsong Young and Free


It’s good to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Just having my perspective on life is comfortable but no help to those around me. You see, my shoes don’t seem to get very dirty. They are shiny most of the time. I complain when they make my feet hurt and if I get them scratched up, look out. I’ve been wearing the more sensible pair these days. A pair that suits me for every day. I don’t need the flashy pair or the pair to impress.

I always seem to want a new pair of shoes though. Maybe it’s for a special occasion or just because. Sometimes a new pair is good therapy, isn’t it girls? Maybe I’m bored and want to try something different. Maybe this reflects how I view my life some days.

I literally just went through all my shoes as I moved into my new closet. Some are classic and will barely go out of style. At my age, I don’t care if my favorite ‘go to’ pair really is out of style. Somewhere along the way, comfort took over and I think that is coupled with age and confidence. I do secretly admire the women who can pull off high heels in the city. I sometimes watch their face and try to notice the grimace and pain that is masked with the strut and poise they try to walk with. This choice is often covering up real feelings.

Then there’s my running shoes. I’m a runner and shoes are really the number one article of clothing you need to invest in. I mean $150 is about the most I will pay but that’s every 4 months or so. A smart runner will follow these guidelines to avoid injury and problems that will sneak up on you at the most inconvenient time.

Shoes isn’t what I really wanted to write about. I was contemplating life this morning as I sit and pray for my daughter’s first day of school. My youngest, Zoe, begins second grade at her new school and I’m reflecting on how fast life goes by. Since we still have boxes around in the new house I may have recently spent some time reading some stories and journal entries from my oldest when he was in sixth grade. I don’t wish to go back but I’m always trying to figure out how to move forward without missing one thing. To have a good attitude and to learn from every experience.

On the flip side my parents just celebrated 60 years of marriage this weekend. Sixty years together! They have been through many highs and lows. They have seen the world go through crazy disasters and changes and all the while clinging to the promises God gives in His word, the Bible. More and more carrying this perspective is how I want to walk. Standing firm in something solid and unshakeable. Stilettos will not cut it. Not gracefully anyway. The future is never for sure, but it’s how I live every day, that counts.

With no cue, Zoe just woke up, walked down the stairs,  slipped my husband’s shoes on and marched them right to the door. She clearly wanted to park them where we put our shoes and she stumbled while she clumsily tried to not fall.

We can’t literally walk in someone else’s shoes. We can walk along side them, guide them along their path and hopefully be someone to lean on.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

I’m reminded this morning that my blog is titled, your journey matters. Looking to meet new people and get into their mess definitely shows love. It helps take the focus off me and notice all the beautiful shoes that are all around me.

Today I wear my shiny black converse looking sneakers. It’s past Labor Day so I can’t show my toes or wear white and I’m walking Zoe to her new school today so I’m feeling young and good about myself. Knowing that I was born with a purpose,  I can find the proper pair of size 7 shoes that are practical and help me get through the day.