Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where God Leads, I Will Follow

I discovered at an early age that I had a voice.
I could sing.
I could mimic other artists, too.
My favorite's (listening to my parent's music at a young age, of course) were The Judds, Dolly Parton and Crystal Gale.
I still carry a soft spot in my heart for 80's country music, and especially for these three (well, four since the Judds are two people) artists.
I wanted so badly to do what they were doing.

In high school, I didn't have the confidence to stand up in front of people and sing.
I'd always been told I was fat.
I'd been told I was ugly.
Singers couldn't be fat and ugly so I just didn't even try.

Then when I got out of high school, I moved away. I still wanted to sing, but had no opportunity to do so.
When, after a long hard year, I came home, the dream still burned inside of me.
But it wasn't until I was 25 years old that I sang semi-professionally.
That was ten years ago.
The venue was Johnnie High's Country Music Review in Arlington, TX.
I sang "Fancy" by Reba McEntyre and, according to Johnnie High himself, I "sang the hell out of that song".
I was bitten.

I recorded a demo.
I traveled North Texas from Mesquite to Ft. Worth to Turkey, TX (home of Bob Wills) and everywhere in between.
There was something about being on stage.
Something about closing my eyes and letting the deepest part of me flow out of my heart through song.
Something about the lights, the sets, the applause.
My goodness . . . The applause was intoxicating.
Then . . . I quit.
I found out I was pregnant and I quit to raise my child.
For a while I did a few Karaoke shows here and there, but never had the glory I did on stage.
Then I got married.
And had another baby.
I decided that my marriage, my children, and my education would take a backseat to my music.
But I missed it.
For ten long years, I've missed it.

I've been praying about it, and I feel that God is leading me to do this again.
So I'm going to make a comeback.
Well, as much of a comeback as a non-famous person CAN make.
I may never be famous, or have a recording contract with RCA.
But that really doesn't bother me.
But I want my children to be proud of me.
I want them to look at me and say: Momma followed her dream.
So, I'm going to go for it.
And wherever God leads me, I will follow.

Miss Independent (Or Not)

This is what just transpired in my kitchen, and what inspired this post:

My daughter (7) decided this morning to make her own bowl of cereal without ANY assistance.
She struggled to pull a chair from the dining room to the kitchen, 
Climbed up the chair 
Losing her beloved "Lambie" on the way
She got the big bag of cereal down
Knocked over a few items on the counter getting down.
She carried the cereal to the table, went back to retrieve the chair.
She went back into the kitchen again to get a plastic bowl.
She brought the bowl into the dining room, opened the new bag of cereal, poured herself a bowl (and overfilled it, spilling some cereal on the floor and table).
She carried the cereal back into the kitchen, to the fridge
Then got the almost-full gallon of milk out one handed.
Grunting she hurried to the counter to put her cereal down, then her milk.
She then proceeded to pour her milk over her cereal - splashing some on the counter and floor.
She then carried her full cereal bowl back to the table, and sat it down gingerly.
She returned to the kitchen to retrieve a spoon.
Then ran into me crying:
So much for Miss Independent . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Because Sometimes a Girl Just Needs a Great Pair of Glittery Shoes

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Worry About the Rapture

It would appear that a Christian group has made a very bold statement that states that they have predicted the end of the world. According to this group, the rapture will happen this Saturday, and the end of the world will happen on October 11.

I have been trying to approach this biblically, and have tried to NOT "point and laugh," but it would appear that this has been introduced to my children as well. While I am all up for a good witnessing session (I love to spread God's word as much as the next person), when my child comes to me upset and worried that she's going to be "left behind" when the rapture happens . . . Well, that's when I have to step in with my own doctrine - steeped in truth.

There are many out there that are worried about the rapture - when will it happen? Will I be taken? Will I be "left behind". But in my reading and research on the subject there are a few things that I've noticed. So, today I will share them with you dear readers - this is why you should not worry about the rapture.

1. (This is going to be an unpopular statement) The rapture is NOT biblical. Many rapturists will quote scripture to back up their claims. The problem with this tactic is that you have to be using scripture in context for it to be valid. For example: Matthew 24:30-31 is often used to prove the rapture is biblical. If however we look at this verse in its complete context, we will find that there is an whole other series of events that is to take place before Christs followers are taken into heaven. Essentially, the Earth will not be a pleasant place for Christians. Other scriptures that should be looked at in context are 1 Thessalonians 4:16-7; Matthew 24:40-41; and Revelation 3:10-11.

2. The rapture was not taught as a doctrine until the 1830's. According to the Biblical Eschatology Blog, the revelation was a concept brought about by delusional "visions" of an ill woman involved in a religious cult. Rather than looking at things biblically, some ministers decided to take this idea and run with it, taking scripture out of context and twisting it to fit their needs. Weather the rapture was meant as a comfort (don't worry, we won't be here when all the bad stuff is going to happen) or a scare tactic (you'd better be good or you'll be left behind) is hard to say. But it certainly was (and still is) an effective method for keeping parishioners in line.

3. If there IS going to be a rapture, if you are a true believer in Christ, you don't need to worry anyway. The fact is, weather or not there's a rapture is of little consequence. If there IS - Christs followers will be the ones taken. That includes those that don't believe in the rapture.

4. When we get into heaven, chances are, we will remember none of our earthy tribulations, and if we do, it will only make us appreciate Heaven more. In the coming times, Christians will be oppressed, tormented, mocked. The end days for Christians will be similar to the Holocaust for the Jews, according to Matthew 24. The good thing for us is, when we get to heaven, we will be surrounded by all the glory and majesty of God.

5. Chances are good that the second coming will not happen until many, many years from now. In fact, it is quite plausible that it won't happen for hundreds or thousands of years from now. The bottom line is, weather it happens on Saturday or in 378 years, no one knows (Matthew 24:36).

Jesus tells us in the Bible to not worry (Matthew 6:34). Rather, we should spend each day as though the Second Coming were tomorrow - Our focus should always be on God and teaching other's about Christ's love and God's amazing grace through our actions and words. Believe. Let Christ shine through you. Don't worry.

By the way, I am sure that the people spreading the Gospel about the prediction of the rapture are good, wonderful, and devout in their beliefs. I in no way believe them to be false prophets and in no way do I make the judgement that they are foolish and/or delusional. I feel that their love for Christ is so strong and they long so deeply for His return that they really and truly want this to be true. My heart and prayers goes out to them and I pray that they continue their ministry, even after May 22 and October 12 have come and gone.

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - What I Did This Weekend

This weekend my husband and I and a few friends went to Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX.We had an amazing time, as we do every year, and can't wait to go back. Here are some of the highlights:

The Trees Coming Into Camp

Lake Bardwell at Sunset

The Foliage Around our Camp at Night

King Henry VIII

My Sister, My Niece, Our Friend, and Rhianna the Troll

My Best Friend and Her Younglings and Rhianna the Troll

Noobler the Tinker Gnome's "Moon Dial"
(it doesn't work during the day time)

The Highlight of Every Visit to Scarborough Faire, Twig the Fairy

There was one other thing I did this weekend . . . Something very important:


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Happened to My Life . . ?

It's inevitable in most families . . . 
The morning will be going well - everyone's quiet and sweet.
Then suddenly . . .
all h-e-double-hockey-sticks breaks loose. 
One child is on the floor crying because another child pushed them out of a chair.
Another child is crying because they can't get their shoes on.
Another one is yelling at the first crying child because they wouldn't "get out" of his/her chair . . .
And this always happens as I you are trying to get them out the door.

I used to be a morning person.
I used to love to sit with my coffee and my bible, read every morning, maybe hop on the elliptical.
Not lately.
Now I dread every second because I am fully aware that as soon as those kids wake up, my peace and quiet is over.
I used to be able to watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Now it's SpongeBob and Bubble Guppies
I used to sing - I was on stage on many country opry's around North Texas.
Now I know every song in every kids show that airs today.
And quite a few from the past five years.

I remember how many hopes and dreams I used to have.
I wanted to sing professionally.
I wanted to act.
I wanted to be a photographer.
Now I'm lucky if I get through all the housework in a day.

I often sit and wonder . . .
What happened to my life?

Then my three year old walks up to me.
Wraps his little arms around me and says:
"Mama, I yuv yoo"

"Oh, yeah," 
I think as I squeeze him back, my heart filling with joy and love . . .
"THAT'S what happened to my life."
And I wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Resentment . . .

One thing that I have realized about myself is my tendency to hold grudges and to be resentful to people.
I could list names, but as this is the internet, I don't want to air my "dirty laundry".
But I've also realized that these resentments are unhealthy for my relationships.

We become resentful for many reasons.
Perhaps our husbands have wronged us in some way.
Maybe we have a child with special needs.
Perhaps a psycho-ex that's hovering in your life for one reason or another.
Maybe we were abused by someone we cared about and trusted.

Whatever the reason for our resentment, it's important for us to learn to let it go.

The bible tells us in Hebrews 12:14-15:
"Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fall from the Grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby made defiled" (KJV)

Letting go of our bitterness and our resentments will bring us closer to God.
We cannot possibly fill ourselves with the beautiful light and love of God if we are filled with the ugly darkness of hatred.

This fact is something that I struggle with daily.

Jesus tells us that we we are wronged we should 
"turn the other cheek
(Matthew 5:39)
 and that we should forgive others 
"seventy times seven
times over 
(Matthew 18:22). 
And he also tells us to
 "love one another as I have loved you
(John 13:34).

It's hard to let go.
It's hard to forgive.
It's hard to forget.

But there is one thing to think about when we feel the ugly green bitterness rising up within us to consume our hearts:

Jesus loved us so much that he died for us.
God loves us so much that he will forgive ANY sin of us.
Now I know, we're not Christ. And we're not God. But it's good to remember these things as we struggle so that we can remember just how insignificant our "issues" are in the larger scheme of things. 

One day, not one iota of these problems will remain.
They won't matter. 
They won't even exist.

If God can forgive us our sins,
Shouldn't we take a moment to try to forgive others?


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Today marks a very momentous occasion for me. 
This is the last day that I will ever walk into a class on the Texas Woman's University campus 
as a TWU student.
It's a little bittersweet, actually.

I've made a lot of really good friends at TWU. 
And aside from facebook, I'm afraid there won't be as much contact with them after graduation. 
I will miss seeing them twice a week.

For the past two years, I have had the same instructor every semester.

I had him for French History.
I had him for Senior Seminar.
I had him for Renaissance and Reformation
I had him for Religion in an Atlantic World

My kids know that when I talk about 
"my teacher" 
that I'm talking about Dr. Blosser.
He's an amazing instructor and I have enjoyed his classes immensely.

I have had classes in the same building for the past four years at TWU.
The good old A&S building, right across the street from the Human Resources building 
and the commuter parking lot.

Most of them have been in the same three classrooms: 
101, 102, and 103.
Although this semester they decided to switch it up a bit by putting me on the second floor.

I will miss the hour long drive on 380, 
listening to Ira Glass talk to people on This American Life, 
which fills my mp3 player right now.

I will miss going onto campus, hearing the hubbub.

I will miss the library, the bookstore, the clock tower.
I will even miss the stupid elevators in the CFO building.

I will miss TWU

Now, a new chapter of my life will begin.
But I don't know what I will do.
For the past 15 years - well, longer if you count elementary, jr. high, and high school -
All I've Known Is School
Where will I go?
What will I do?
Will I be able to find a job I like in this economy?
Will I be able to find a JOB for that matter?
And if I do, what will happen to my children? 
What if I have to commute every day?
What if my babies need me during the day and I can't be there?

I guess I can finally admit this now.
i'm scared
i feel like my security blanket is being ripped out from under me

Monday, May 2, 2011

Death of a Monster . . .

Nine years, two months, ten days.
That's how long it had been since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers, the pentagon, and the attempted attack on Washington (assumed).
For almost ten years America has nursed its wounds.
For almost ten years families have mourned losses.
For almost ten years, we have been looking for one man.
That man has been found.
That man has been killed.
That man is Osama Bin Laden.

He was a madman.
A monster.
An evil genius hell-bent on killing all Americans and anyone that supported them.
As the president said in his address last night, "Justice has been done."

But excuse me if I'm not feeling very celebratory right now.
You see, with his death, a whole new set of doors are going to open.
More attacks will probably be made by his followers and supporters.
More death and destruction will come from this.
This war is far from over.
It's only just begun.

What will this mean for our future as a country - as a planet, for that matter?
What will this mean for our children?
Will they be left to pick up the pieces ten years from now?
Will they be left to finish a war we started?

I have said the same thing over and again -