Oh. My. Goodness.

Just when I had forgotten how much I truly, honestly, really detested moving, we moved. So, to save you the trouble and the back/shoulder/leg/feet/head/arm/stomach/fingernail pain that I am presently enduring, here are a few tips:

*Take some time off when you move. Don't go directly from job A to orientation at job B within one week. Especially if you aren't finished packing. Double especially if job B is 144 miles away and you will have to actually begin job B while still living in city A. Follow?

*When debating whether or not to either find money to hire movers vs having a group of drug addicted homeless men pack load your truck, go with the paid workers. Get it?

*Refill your Xanax prior to leaving your town. Seriously. I can guarantee you'll need it.

*Ask for adult help. Don't ask a 6 and 8 year old to help. I put way too much responsibility on them because I needed the help and now I feel a lot of guilt for it. I totally suck at asking for help, but really am realizing that I need it.

*When the nervous breakdown comes -- and it will -- call a friend. Don't take it out on your husband. It just really sort of screws up the whole mood of the move experience.

*When packing clothing, make sure you keep track of where your good stuff is. It is not easy to finally get moved in on Monday evening and have to be at work Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. and have absolutely no clue where anything remotely "business casual" is located.

*And along those same lines, make sure you know where the blow dryer and flat iron are. Otherwise, you'll show up at your new job and sit for your ID badge that will look something like this:

*Prepare to spend way too much money on takeout food and hotel rooms. This will be necessary if you arrive at your destination (in south Louisiana, in June, for goodness sake) and find the a/c in your house is broken and it's 95 degrees inside the house.

*Don't move until baseball season is completely over. This will save everyone angst. Especially when it appears that one of your child's teams is likely going into the playoffs.

*Keep in touch with your friends, your family, and God. When you are already suffering from loneliness, nothing hurts worse than moving 144 miles from familiarity.

*Above all, know that time will make it all easier.


Missing Bibles

My children.

They are not always the most respectful, obedient, or humble creatures I've ever met. Actually, they are pretty far from it. And as a mother, I have struggled with how to teach them what Jesus says about these topics, as well as so many others.

Growing up, I learned that the Bible was a guidebook for life. And it truly is. I've always known it to be true, and I live with it at my side, knowing if I'm ever in doubt or troubled, this one book has the answer to it.

Yet somehow I've failed to teach my own children that incredibly important truth.

When they talk back I say, "what would Jesus think of that?" and I tend to get blank stares.

When they fight, I say, "do you think God likes when you treat each other like that?"

Again with the deer in the headlights look.

When I asked one of them to get their Bible and look up what Jesus said about obedience, I was told "I don't know where my Bible is."


We live at seminary, kids. You have to know where your Bible is, don't you?

I got a (complimentary) copy of What Did Jesus Say? from Tyndale House about a month ago to review and read through it while sitting in carpool line. I love the simplicity of it and how it speaks to young people in their language. In ways that they understand and can appreciate. Take, for instance, the intro to the section on "humility":
Here's a news flash: life is not all about you....Jesus had a lot to say about that.
What follows is 2 pages of scripture teachings about humility.  It teaches it better than I ever could, and the reason is that it is straight from the Bible. You can't go wrong.

So while I feel as if I've failed my kids on so many levels, I am still (thank you Jesus) a work in progress. It isn't too late to start over today. With God's help, I know my children can be all He created them to be. to find those Bibles....

Oh, Lucille...

I recently reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson Publishers and all I could say throughout the book was "Oh, Lucille..."

Bless her heart, she had a troubled upbringing. She had her superstar son when she was a teenager, she married young, and she had difficult relationships with the grandparents who raised her.

Not so different from millions of girls today, right? (Well, except for the superstar son part.)

But instead of serving up godly wisdom and advice, Ms. O'Neal dishes up a lot of bad excuses, rationales, and a sense-of-entitlement-gone-wrong.

She went from poverty to extravagant wealth, thanks to her son Shaquille. She writes arrogantly about the opulent lifestyle and excessive drinking she and her husband indulged in with other wealthy celebrities and celebrity moms.

I have always wished that people with money and privilege would recognize their ability to inspire and help others in a positive, God-inspired way.  Not saying that Ms. O'Neal doesn't help -- she writes often of giving charitably. 

But where does lifestyle evangelism come in? Where does practicing what you preach come into play?

Lucille, getting a divorce just because you feel you've outgrown your marriage is not a Biblical or reasonable reason. If it were, I tend to think that everyone who had ever married would be somewhere in the throes of divorce proceedings.

Marriage is tough enough in the real world without seeing bad marriages played out in the news and in books (like this one). With Al and Tipper, John and Elizabeth, Sandra and Jesse, Jennifer and Brad (yes, I'm still bitter that Brad left Jen for Angelina).....what we all need --- especially what young women need --- are true life stories of marriages gone right.

What is your best example of a "marriage gone right"?

It's summer. Where did my patience go?

Holy this-is-gonna-be-a-long-summer, Batman!

They've officially been out of school, what? 2 weeks? And already I'm losing my cool.

Maybe it's because we're stuck in this itty bitty, teensy weensy apartment. They've no room to "roam".

Maybe it's because they're used to being around a big group of other same aged kids for 7 hours per day with scheduled non stop activity and fun-ness.

Maybe it's because _____________ (insert whatever excuse you can conjure here).

Whatever the reason, school doesn't start for another 71 days.

Yes, I've counted.

In the meantime, we have to move. I have exactly 23 days until I start my new job and I have not even packed a single box. Nor have I secured a house for us.

And here I sit at 11am sipping my 3rd cup of coffee, still in my pj's.

While the kids run amok.


Thanks to my friend Gretchen, I am going to post my very first...

1. I am gladitudinally glad to have met Gretchen during my safari through Daniel. I am convinced we are sisters from another life.
2. I am glad that my kids had a fantabulous school year and finished off their first year of out-of-home-schooling better than either Pablo or I could have expected, imagined, or envisioned.
3. I am glad that we signed the boys up for baseball. They love it, have made great friends, have awesome coaches, and are actually pretty darn good at it.
4. I am gladaciously glad that I have a new job. It will be different for me to be working full time, but I think it will be a great opportunity for me.
5. I am glad that in all this, I am really learning to cast my cares on Him. Even though my first instinct is to panic and worry and try to come up with a "plan B", I really can see progress in my faith-growth. I find myself thinking "if it's His will, He will take care of the details." And I know He will.
6. I'm glad for friends near and far. Really glad.
7. I'm oh-so-glad for my husband. Pablo rocks.
8. I'm usually glad for my kids. (kidding, people! of course I'm glad for the little heathens that are presently acting like they belong in a locked down ward of a psych hospital.)
9. I'm glad for the AMF Kids Bowl Free program for the summer. Not that we've used it yet, but I printed off my coupons today.
10. I'm glad for Sudafed. Summer colds suck.

So....what are you glad for today?