Can you believe tomorrow is SEPTEMBER?

While I’m jump-up-and-down-slap-me-silly happy about it, I am also in shock. Shock. I swear school just ended last week. Didn’t we just start two-a-days two days ago? *and by we I mean the Wild Boy since he drives himself and all that now*

Speaking of driving and the Wild Boy. Ever since he and His Father decided that the Red Jeep, which I spotted on the lot; the one that I said to Brett’s Father, “yes! I’m positive that I want a Jeep to drive every day,” the one that had the Sueszoo license plates on it until one day I went out to get into it and the license plate read “2WRANGL” … that Red Jeep that suddenly has become The Wild Boy’s Red Jeep. Anyway, ever since the Wild Boy got that “the Red Jeep is mine” twinkle in his eye, he has been pestering His Father to “lift it.” It already has huge tires on it and I have to step on the running board and grab the hand thingy and pull myself in. Apparently when you are six feet twelve hundred like the Wild Boy, that just isn’t lifted enough. But I put my foot down. Hard. And stated emphatically that before any more gear arrived for any one’s vehicle, I was getting a new couch and the living room was going to be painted. Period.

The new lift kit was delivered yesterday.

 No couch, or paint in sight.

I suppose I should be happy that I got a new iPhone a few weeks ago and, in fact, was reminded of this when I mentioned the couch. Men just Do. Not. Get. It. An iPhone and a couch and painting the living room are on two totally different planes of the universe. I mean, really.

Back to September, though, school starts on Tuesday. Junior year for the Wild Boy. PSAT, SAT prep, attempting to get some game footage of him together, college visits. It is going to fly by. I’ve been really weepy about it all. I have run into some football moms who look at me like I have three heads when I say how much I will miss all of this when the last one moves on to college. They can’t wait for their last one to move on out. I just don’t get that. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to go to college, and get on with it all, but I will miss the hustle and bustle, tripping over football gear (just as I miss tripping over baseball gear and volleyball gear and soccer gear), the extra 5 kids in the house at any given time eating all of our food, laughing and cutting up and calling me Mom. It is unthinkable to believe I will actually look forward to being an Empty Nester.

So I’ve decided I’m not going to do it. Sarah still lives here and goes to school and works. Shawn is moving back into the house come graduation this December. And the Wild Boy, my baby…he ain’t leaving. Period. I’m putting my foot down. Hard. And stating emphatically…


Lots of Planning…very little Succeeding.

I’ve always been a big planner. I love making lists. I love paper and purple pens and using both to jot down thoughts, ideas, notes…plans.

My journal is full of my plans.

I always imagine I hear a whisper of a laugh when I write out all my lofty plans and ideas and lists.

One of my Jesus Calling scriptures this morning was Proverbs 16:3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

“Boo-ya,” I thought to myself. This is what I’m talking about. I will plan [and scheme] and finish off with, “In Jesus’ name I pray” and all my plans will succeed.

Six verses down I had, in a previous prayer time or study, highlighted verse 9: In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Trumped by the Word of God. Again.

It’s my attitude, you see. My “all about me” and if I just do [this and that], it will all work out [aka…I’ll get my way].

I pulled my journal back out this morning. It’s a new journal…first date in it is August 12, 2012.

Yet it is already full of “To Do’s” and “Today I will…need to…and Lord, help  me with’s.”

I thought about it all and discovered that I know the following is true (see?…a list):

He always hears my prayers
His plan is to prosper me, not harm me (and those I love)
When I ask for His guidance, He provides it
His plan, not mine

After reflecting on what exactly “commit to the Lord” means, I pulled up some different translations to gain insight:

New King James: Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

Amplified: Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.

The Message: Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. 

And it all became clear. It’s a circle. I pray and I receive my plan from Him. I pray and I give my plan to Him. I pray and my plan is really actually His plan. If I accept that it is actually His plan and not my plan…my plan, which is really His plan, will succeed.

Easy peasy!

Bottom line…pray in everything. How simple is that?

Chat soon. Love you guys.   


September is just around the corner.

September is my favorite time of the year. Especially since having children. Oh, I definitely cried the first day of kindergarten and the first day of first grade (Kindergarten is half days around here so it was like sending them off to preschool still.) Cried when they all started Middle School but that was mostly out of fear…never been impressed with the MS in our pyramid. Absolutely cried on the first day of 9th grade. Our High School has been awesome. Sending the Big Boy off to college…I waited to cry 15 minutes after we drove away. That’s how long it took me to get over him basically kicking us out and never looking back (hey…that’s OUR job to do, not his.) *I totally realize we did our job really, really well by how easily he let us go and transitioned into college life* And today, I had a little cry fest as My Girl started back at our Community College. For realz this time. *so proud of her I cry just thinking about it*

The Wild Boy starts his junior year in high school next week. Or as I like to think of it, “in a week he’ll be graduating and moving away to college.” Junior and senior years just Fly. By. Now that I’m over the entire “he’s second string Varsity and not getting play time” thing…I think I’ll enjoy these last two years of his at home. In all honesty, I love that My Girl is home, going to school, working and oh! I forgot to tell y’all…this week she starts mucking out stalls at a local Therapeutic Riding Stable! First step towards becoming a riding instructor there, is the plan. She and I used to take lessons together. I rode on and off since I was kid. I’m hoping she’ll get some riding time in while working there. I would also love to start riding again. Maybe work that into my fitness plan?

September also marks my wedding anniversary. This September 10 we will be married 29 years. I look at that number and think, “how can that be?” Twenty-nine doesn’t sound old as an age, but as a numberofyearsmarried…wow. Since it’s one of those “off” years, we don’t have anything planned. I’ll be in Roanoke the weekend before, but plan on coming home the day before our anniversary. We might go out to dinner. If he’s in town. That’s our life lately.

I always thought that when the kids were in college, Russell and I would have some time to stand down. We are doing more together. And feels like just more, period. We are realizing that we still like each other, still like to do things together and for that I am thankful. But man are we busy. His job is wicked and he does a lot of one day travels. On purpose…he likes to be home and sleep in his own bed. I actually enjoy some down time while he is away but, shhhhh…don’t tell him that.

September also heralds the arrival of my favorite time of year…Fall. The weather cools down; the leaves change colors; I need a sweater with my yoga pants on the back porch for my morning Quiet Time; we go apple picking; I pull out my French bread board and do more baking; we bundle up to watch the Wild Boy play football; Christmas is just around the corner. Yes, I said Christmas. While I totally dislike the Christmas stuff being out at the same time the Halloween stuff is out, I do love all things Christmas. The music (already playing it…take THAT, T.); the gifts (my love language); wrapping; annual trip to the same tree farm we’ve been going to for 20 years; decorating; cards; parties; stress. Oh, the stress. This year *every year* I tell myself I am not going to be stressed by the Holiday season. This year is the year to NOT be stressed. Watch me. Gonna happen. No. Stress. Holiday. Season.

September always seems more like a new year than January to me (when it’s dark and cold and dreary and that’s just my birth day). September is like starting  anew. I think that even after all the kids are out of school completely, I will still feel that way.

After all, the old has to fall away before the new can spring forth.

Love y’all…chat soon.

It’s Friday…it’s kind of random.

turns out it is really random and I use really a lot in it

So you might or might not have read my post office complaint on facebook earlier this week. I’ve been waiting for days for The Hunger Games DVD to arrive from Amazon. On Tuesday Amazon tracking showed it out for delivery! Par-tay. My Man was out of town again…Timbuktu this time, I think, and it would be the perfect night for me to stay up late and watch The Hunger Games. Especially since Flo has my entire first season of Downton Abbey (it really is time for me to watch it through again…it’s been 2 months, after all.)

Anyhoo, so I waited and waited and…no small brown DVD box showed up in my mailbox. I rechecked my tracking page and sure enough….11:33 am…DELIVERED. Um…that’s a big fat negatory. I called Brett, he and I searched high and low and above and beyond and finally…gave up.

Long story short, I gave the post office until today, in my mind, to find my movie and get it delivered to me. I figured they misdelivered it. This afternoon, after the mail came, I went up to post office and, thankfully no one was in line, which is really, really weird at our post office. So, this is what I discovered about the post office in general. The mail carriers are always really nice and chatty; the people behind the counters at the post office…you know the ones who are truly the face of the post office, are really not nice and definitely not chatty; and the supervisor dude behind the brown door in the lobby is really really nice and helpful and chatty. My movie turned up today. When I got home from the post office it was sitting on the counter. Brett neglected to mention it had come this morning.

Tonight? We’re watching the Nats, of course. I’m okay with it. I want to watch The Hunger Games and I don’t want to watch The Hunger Games. I loved the books. I hated that they ended. I’m afraid to watch the movie…what if I hate the movie version after reading the books? What if I love the movie and now I have nothing to look forward to?

These are the things that keep me awake at night.

The other day I emailed my small group of girls to apologize for being such a butt-head at lunch the day before. Not a single one emailed me back to say, “you weren’t a butt-head.” One, who wasn’t at lunch texted me and asked me what I did to make me a butt-head at lunch. This is why I love my small group of girls. One. I was comfortable acting like a butt-head with them. Two. No one called me out on it at the time. Three. When I apologized for acting like a butt-head, no one disagreed with me.

I love cheese, as a rule; but I passionately love English Cheddar.

Now and then I convince myself that I need a tablet…an iPad or Kindle Fire. Tonight I compared them and also threw in some other tablets. Again I decided I don’t really need one. I have my iPhone. I have a laptop. I have an iMac. And I love the feel of real books in my hands. Russell’s wallet wins again.

I’m extremely competitive. I like to win. I like my children to win in whatever sports they are competing. When Shawn didn’t make the baseball team as a freshman, he told the coach he would be back the following year (he was the last one to be cut). He came back. Two days into tryouts the coach realized who he was and couldn’t believe the difference. He made the team. He hated the politics. He didn’t go out for Varsity although coach told him there was a spot on the team for him. Sarah was a setter her freshman and sophomore years even though she really wanted to be a hitter. They held her on jv for 10th grade because they needed a setter on jv and had one on varsity. She struggled with confidence as a junior on varsity. Was benched. Came back. Helped them win Districts and made the all district team and and district tournament team. Brett started on freshman football and jv football and scored lots of touchdowns. On varsity this year he is scoring a lot of bench time. I have to admit that I have been struggling with it. I have really, really had to have some major sit downs with God about all of it. What is my real reason for hating it so much? Does Brett really hate it so much? How much is this going to matter five years from now? Two years from now? Tonight, for some reason, it all came together for my thinking on this. I was sitting here minding my own business (comparing tablets) and I heard the whisper on my heart. It won’t even matter come December. Yep, he wants to play but for him, it’s not the end of the world. Jeremiah 29:11 popped into my brain: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Suddenly it was all clear. Yep, if Brett wants to play football, I want to support him and I want him to do his best. And I think he is. Other than that…it’s time for me to stand down. Focus, come September 4, will be on academics. Even if he decided to play football in college, academics will again be the main focus. 

Sometimes, it takes 30 years for This Girl to finally get it. 

It’s all…or nothing, baby.

My sweet friend, Joanne Heim, had me pegged years ago and, if I had the time, I know I could find the email she sent to me that stated this, but I am an all or nothing kind of girl. And a people pleaser to boot. Definitely a wicked combination. It’s why I struggle with writing; music; relationships; life.

I don’t want to get side-tracked by this opening paragraph and maybe I’ll explore it a little deeper at a later date, but I wanted you to know why I don’t write as much as I should and why I have avoided…nay, slammed my desire and need to write more often about the spiritual side of my life. This morning during my quiet time, however, I realized that by ignoring the foundation of my being and not writing about it is denying it. Flat out denying it and Him. A random comment one day stopped me in my spiritual-writing tracks. If you read my journal (and you never will as my husband, children and bff’s are all sworn to destroy all of my journals the second I pass, on threat of life-long haunting), you would think that I am nothing but a spiritual writer. I need to allow God to define my writing voice, instead of trying to control it myself. And, if you have read any tidbit of my blog, you would know I struggle mightily with the issue of control. But I digress.

So really, really, really stepping out on a limb this morning…a limb that is hanging over the deepest crevices of the Grand Canyon, I’m going to share some of my journal writing with you. Something I journaled this morning, actually.

August 23, 2012
You are Holy. You are Mighty. You are Able.
Your silence is unbearable. Your love, overwhelming.
Forgive me my over-reactions; my reliance on my knee-jerk emotion. 
It is not of You.
How many lessons will it take? 
How many times must I fail; sink; throw myself into the miry pit; before I get it?
Yet, as soon as I sink to the bottom, I look up and see your hand; your arm. Reaching down to pull me up. To pull me out. The dust settles; the fog clears; and there You Are. 
Calm. Comfort. 
Holding my worry and pain and fear and hurt in the palm of Your hand saying,
See? I’ve got it.
See? I’ve got you.
See? All is well.
Even Andy; our pain, our hurt, our bewilderment, our heart. There he is…healthy; well; at peace; his amazing smile blinding, as always. And You prove to me again,
“Before they call I will answer; While they are still speaking I will hear.” – Isaiah 65:24
Before you call, Susan, I will answer; While you are still speaking, Susan, I will hear you.

Lion of Judah, help me to remember.

Thursday Randomness.

It’s time for another round of Thursday Randomness. Grab your reading glasses and try to keep up!

  • I have a ton of bible translations but the NIV study bible is my favorite. How about y’all?
  • Deep in quiet time prayer this morning, Her Evil Highness skimmed across my foot, rubbed her head all over me and promptly coughed up a hairball. 
  • We are moving my father-in-law into assisted living tomorrow. His new apartment is tiny, tiny, tiny but I think this is the right decision. 
  • Great news on my momma…her oncologist said, “see ya in 3 months.”
  • Keep my dad in your prayers…back surgery is scheduled for Sept 7. Recovery going to be tough.
  • Smith/Secrist Beach Week 2012 is just a faint memory. So faint, I feel like it never happened. There is just something about the ocean that I love. I’m sure I’m the only one…
  • Those annoying, tiny ants are taking over my kitchen. I just can not get rid of them. I am sure I am poisoning all of us with my annihilation efforts. Today I’m in search of a more healthy and safe extermination substance….Ortho looks like they make one. 
  • Big Boy heads back to Longwood tomorrow for his last undergraduate-degree semester. It’s going to be a tough semester for him…three History classes, work, and his internship. These three things will severely cut into his video-game-playing-time. PRAY.
  • My Girl starts back to NOVA next week and soon after begins a new job teaching preschool! Soooooo stinkin’ excited for her and proud of her. 
  • The Wild Boy has his first Varsity scrimmage tomorrow night at WSHS against McLean. Come on out…starts at 6:30. Not sure he will see any playing time, but this heralds the true arrival of the 2012 school year. He has had two-a-day practices for two weeks now and we have been taking him dinner around 7:00 every night. My Man wants to know why we never eat this healthy and well when it is NOT football practice season. I have no explanation.
  • Our long-time Pastor, Wayne Jenkins, is retiring. His last Sunday at SRBC is August 26. He has not only been our Pastor, but also my boss (he hates that word, by the way), a mentor and our friend. Right now, he and Carolyn (who is also retiring!) are staying in the area.
  • But things are not slowing down at SRBC…we have lots of fun things coming up. Bible Studies will be resuming in September. Youth and children’s activities. Come on by and check it all out on September 15…our Annual Family Fall Festival. Here is our web page: South Run Baptist Church. (This is not a paid advertisement.)
  • The Annual Beth Bryan Foundation Swim-a-thon is scheduled for Sunday, September 2 at Orange Hunt Pool. Go here for more info. We miss you, Beth! Every single day.
  • Did I mention that I ditched the Droid and have my beloved iPhone back? Oh. My. Word. I can’t tell you…it was like coming home to an old friend. Wild Boy dropped his Droid while on Mission in Puerto Rico and I saw this as a sign an opportunity to give him my new Droid and get a new iPhone 4S. If I were a cat I would be purring…
  • And seriously…how spoiled am I?
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of Thursday Randomness. Catch you on the flip. Hugs!