Monday, February 28, 2011

Rocked

I am usually the kind of person that sees the glass as at least half full. I am married to a man who tends to have a leaky, barely half-filled glass.

This past weekend though, I saw that, like many men, his cup has compartments. And his forgiveness and unconditional love compartments are over-flowing. I guess, I would have to say that I learned that while I do not compartmentalize, my cup does not "runneth over" in these areas.

Our family was rocked to its very core this weekend with news that no one was expecting. Let me say that my immediate family is fine. I will not get into the details of it all as I am not at liberty to say, but just know that the walls of my family came crashing down around me so fast that I blinked and found myself standing among the heaping rubble of crushed dreams. These dreams brought down by the monsters called Lies and Secrets.

Lies and Secrets love to rear their ugly heads and drag down unsuspecting people into their deep, clenching grasp. They don't let go, usually when they have hold, they simply dig their nails in and hold you down. I have been doing the Bible study, "Seeking Him" lately and have just finished the honesty chapter. Very ironic---if I believed in that--I do not. I know God is an all knowing, all-powerful God who crafts every thing in HIS time. It is no coincidence that I just finished the honesty chapter and God showed me what not being honest looks like.

In my response to the events of this weekend, I found myself go through many emotions. Fear. Shock. Anger. Outrage. Sadness. I wanted answers and no one had any for us. I turned to God and screamed...why? What now? Where do we go from here? What if...

My life. The life I was living. The life I was planning out did not include this news. Rocked to my very core is an understatement of how I felt and am feeling right now. I am not able to handle all of this.

And my God knew that. He knew I could not deal with this in my own strength. And so He gently began to remind me what I am to do in my times of trouble.

"He is the Rock, His work is perfect;For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He." Deuteronomy 32:4

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

"For You are my rock and my fortress;Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me." Psalm 31:3

"He only is my rock and my salvation;He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. " Psalm 62:2

"But the LORD has been my defense,And my God the rock of my refuge." Psalm 94:22

"Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one." Isaiah 44:8


We have been rocked this weekend. But we are clinging to our Rock, trusting Him to bring us through on the other side. All Glory to God.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

What???

So I got my haircut on Tuesday. Well, not much was cut, mostly the gray pieces were covered up. But, due to a scheduling mishap, I had to take Will and Caroline with me (I know...horrible!). I told Will to save his homework to do while we were there and I had Caroline bring markers and paper to color.

I was sitting under the heater/dryer thing and she brought over a cute picture of the family that she drew (she had to edit the picture though because she left me bald...) and then she brought this to me:

Me: What is this one? (I was thinking a heart...)

Caroline: (she smiles real big, takes a deep breath and says...) It is a man's head and it has knives sticking out everywhere and that red is the blood.

Me: (I think I may have gasped and then looked around to see if anyone heard her say that, and then I said...) Honey, I am not sure that is what we should be drawing (I am screaming in my head, "WHERE DID THAT COME FROM??).

Caroline: (without missing a beat...not even half a beat, shrugs her shoulders and she says...) OK. How about it's a tasty apple?

and she skips off to draw more family pictures.

WHAT?

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday and a Guest!!!!

Time to link up with Lindsey for What I Wore Wednesday. It is a fun accountability group to keep us busy women (and sometimes men) out of too many comfy clothes--though I do love my comfy clothes!!!! Join us...it's lots of fun and lots of people are doing it.... :)


White shirt: Old Navy
Dress: Matilda Jane
Skinny Jeans: Ann Taylor
Boots: Madden Girl
Hat: FunkyVintageKitchen
Scarf: Pleated Poppy

Striped Shirt: Belk
Jeans: LOFT
Shoes: TOMS
(I feel like a sailor)

Shirt: Belk
Jeans: LOFT
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips

(Really dirty mirror--sorry)
Tank: Daisy Fuentes
Shirt: LOFT
Pants: LOFT
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Jewelry: Silpada

Shirt: Chicos
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Boots: Madden Girl
Jewelry: Silpada
My favorite accessory during the work week is that coffee cup...just thought I would give you a close up! Makes me laugh that it looks like it matches my shirt...they were not a match set, I promise! :)

GUEST APPEARANCE

My friend Julie!!! Julie has been my friend for about 12 years! She knows a lot...she's seen a lot. She has pictures of me I would never want to see make an appearance here... but she is back (she was here on this post). One thing you should know about Julie is this: that smile on her face is always there and it almost always comes with a laugh that is so contagious you can't help but be in a good mood when she is around.


Tank: Old Navy
Sweater: Old Navy
Jeans: Express
Boots: Frye

Thanks Julie! You look great! Hope y'all all have a super Wednesday!!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get out of the Boat with your Five and Two

We have had some pretty powerful sermons of late at church. I don't know what title our pastor has given them but in my notes they are titled:

"Get Outta the Boat"
&
"Five and Two"

"Get Outta the Boat" was on Peter walking to Jesus on the water. I think in my preschool Sunday School brain, I had this boat Peter stepped out of as a small, life-raft kinda boat. My respect for Peter grew leaps and bounds when I realized it was a big fishing boat, kinda like the ones on the Discovery Channel show, "Deadliest Catch". And the waves were probably very similar to the storms on that show as well. Peter wanted to be with his Lord, though. He wanted so desperately to be with Him that He asked Him to call to him and tell him to come to Him. I think most of the time I think about Peter as the doubter because he began to sink once out on the waves, but the faith he must have had to even utter the prayer out loud for Jesus to call to him.

I often think, "I wish Jesus would call to me and I could walk on water with Him." But the truth of the matter is that I am often too scared to actually ask Him to call me to join Him on the water. See, Peter wasn't on the shore and gradually walked out with Jesus, holding His hand. I am pretty sure I could do that. He was in the middle of a body of water though; a body of water that was being tossed to and fro in huge storm-induced waves and he wanted Jesus to call him THEN! Not to mention, his 11 friends were sitting in the boat with him, terrified, and probably saying, "Peter! Are you crazy? You can't walk on water! What are you doing?"
Now, I do not need friends to tell me I am crazy to try the things that God calls me to do, I say it to myself. I talk myself right back down on that bench seat on the boat and don't move.

Why?

Do I feel like God really can't help me walk on water? Do I think He won't?

Sermon two came roaring at me like a tidal wave. Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children with fives loaves (which I learned were really like the size of biscuits) and two fish. Five biscuits and two fish! Did you catch that? But in order to have the five loaves and two fish, a little, probably insignificant boy, had to offer them up to the Savior of the world. Jesus asked his disciples what do we have to work with? They, too, thought it would never work...there were too many people to try to feed them all...send them home and let them eat and then come back. But Jesus looked out at the crowd. And up walked a boy and gave all he had to Jesus.

Jesus did not laugh at him. He took his offering, his small offering and fed the crowd AND collected leftovers---12 baskets full.

When you give your meager five and two to Jesus, He takes it and makes it so much more than it could have ever been on its own.

Stick with me a little longer...I promise it will be worth it...

Now, all of that said, I was having a conversation with one of my sisters on Sunday afternoon. She was telling me about a friend whose cancer had come back and how she was praying for her the other day. She said she prayed something to the effect of, "Lord, please be with her. I know you probably won't heal her, so please comfort her." Then it hit her...what kind of prayer is that?

A prayer of doubt. A prayer, we, as Christians, have unfortunately become comfortable praying. A prayer that says, "I know you can but you probably won't cuz I haven't seen it very much (or at all) in my life." A prayer that keeps us in the boat or keeps the crowd hungry as we listen to Jesus because we don't think what we have to offer is worth it.

I think too often we forget that the CREATOR of the universe, the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God wants us to walk with Him, on the water, through the storm holding tightly to His hand and offering up our five and two along the way.

Take a minute to listen to the words of the song below. Don't be concerned with the video...close your eyes and listen to the words. They are powerful. They are true. And they can change your life if you will listen and apply them..."He will move heaven and earth to come to you when you call..."

WOW!




Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hurtful

Have you ever had someone say something to you that was so hurtful it left you speechless?

Have you ever been that person who caused the hurt?

Sadly, I can answer yes on both accounts. I am not speaking that because I am proud of it. I often speak before I think and I often say exactly what is on my mind. You usually do not have to wonder how I feel about you. And if I am quiet...be afraid.

Unfortunately, that is not what I want to have to say about myself. I want to say that I can speak love no matter to whom I am speaking or about what I am speaking. I want to say that everyone feels welcome and loved in my presence.

But that would be a lie. As I have gotten older, I have been more able to hold my tongue in certain circumstances and refrain from giving my opinion on everything. I can listen to an opinion opposite of mine and not completely lose it and I can pretend to be nice when I feel not so nice about someone (though my mom tells me it is clearly obvious how I really feel).

Lately, though, someone I care about has been on the wrong end of hurtful words. That old adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." is a big fat lie. Words have the ability to cut to the core, but they also have the healing ability to build and edify. I have seen, as a teacher, how important words are in building or killing a child's self esteem. And as adults, we are not much different from the children I teach...we can be built up or torn down by other people's words.

I have had the desire to tear down the person who has hurt my sweet friend...but then I would be just like her, wouldn't I? Instead, I am learning by example, from my college-aged friend as she silently removes herself from the situation so as to not create a divide in the Bible study group in which this is happening. So much maturity from someone who has been hurt deeply.

God is teaching me, however, that I have probably caused this kind of pain in my "just being truthful" way of speaking. It makes me sad to think that I did that and it makes me want to be a better speaker from now on.

So, if you are around me anytime soon and I am quiet...don't be afraid. Just know I am trying to choose my words very carefully.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:13-14

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It is time to link up with Lindsey again...

I have a weird deer in the headlight look in some of the pictures...I apologize. Got no other explanation and so I just apologize. :)

Purple sweater (that looks black): Ann Taylor
Pants: LOFT
Boots: Naturalizer
Scarf: Old Navy

White long-sleeved shirt: Old Navy
Light Brown shirt: LOFT
Jeans: LOFT
Jacket: Ann Taylor
Boots: Madden Girl

I totally look like I am in all black...but I am not.
Shirt-that looks black: Belk
Jeans-that look black: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips...yes I know that they are hard to see...but they WERE there.

Happy Valentine's Day! :)
White Long-sleeved shirt: Target
T-shirt: my friend made it for me
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Leggings: Gap
Socks: Gap
Boots: UGGS

Caroline begged me to braid her hair last night so it could be "wavy"...oh my. I was praying this would work. It did. Yeah. As I was taking the braids out she got this huge grin on her face and I realized that even though my fingers hurt from all the braiding, it was worth it!

Happy Wednesday Yall! Link up with us!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love this man!

So glad that I get to spend all my Valentine's Days with him!

And with these two crazy people too!

Hope you are surrounded by love today!!!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It is Wednesday again! You know what that means. Time to feel all weird and awkward while posting pictures of yourself and telling where you got the clothes! :) Linking up with Lindsey... you should give it a try!

PSA--Anonymous, you will notice that the laundry baskets are back in some pics...sorry to disappoint. Kristin, only ONE picture with camera in front of my face....I am trying! :)


Pink shirt: Old Navy
Sweater: Kohls
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Ariat
Jewelry: Silpada

Red Turtleneck: Gap
Sweater: Ann Taylor
Pants: Loft
Boots: Naturalizer
Jewelry: Silpada

White Turtleneck: NY&Co
Sweater: Ann Taylor
Pants: Ann Taylor
Boots: Uggs
Jewelry: Silpada


Long-sleeved white shirt: Gap
Other shirt: Kohls
Jeans: Loft
Boots: Frye
Jewelry: Silpada


White Shirt: Target
Pink Jacket: Chadwicks
Pants: Ann Taylor
Boots: really old
Jewelry: Silpada


Shirt: Belk
Pants: NY&Co
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Scarf: Old Navy
Jewelry: Silpada


Link up, leave comment or do both! Can't wait to see what everyone has on today!!!

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

He is here!

This God I serve--He is an on-time God.

In the midst of utter chaos and confusion--He is there.

When all hope has slowly drizzled away--He is there.

As faith turns to doubting--He is there.

As anger rears its ugly head--He is there.

When tears spill so hard and so fast they cannot be stopped--He is there.

He is there. He is HERE. He is waiting for His children to turn to Him, to listen to Him, to follow His way.

Sometimes it feels like He is no where to be found. Sometimes it seems like we are battling all alone. But we aren't. He shows up right on time and His glory and power are revealed.

I don't know what is going on in your life today--I do know mine has been all over the grid this weekend--but He reminded me during this crazy, upside-down weekend, that He is in control and He is here.

His peace is like a cleansing wash that starts deep in the heart and soul and bursts out in uncontainable fashion. I went from panic to calm yesterday in about an hour because He reminded me--"I am here, Paige. I've got this. Do what I told you to do and then let go." And the peace came. And it wasn't a small trickle. It was a raging waterfall that washed over everyone involved.

He is an on-time God and I am so glad He is here and in control. I cannot wait to go to church this morning and praise Him for His faithfulness and love--shown even to this often doubting child of His.

"Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Passion or Glory?

I spend a lot of time in my car.

Any of you know what I am talking about?

I feel like we go, go, go all the time. We are off to school, sports, church, birthday parties...our TV in the car? It broke. A long time ago. We have been listening to lots of music and talking.

Now, on the positive side of this, we are at least passed the phase where we have to listen to The Wiggles...but for Caroline we are stuck in the Taylor Swift stage. Whew. We may or may not survive this. For Will, it is music with a good beat, cool lyrics, or just any song he can sing along with...he is so easy. :)

The other day, as we left the house looking like this:


headed to the gym for basketball games, Will requested a song that would "pump him up" for his game.

So I, of course, chose "Eye of the Tiger". Dun. Dun-dun-dun...you know you love it. Anyway, we were just singing along...all pumped up and ready to rise to the challenge and then I heard a line in the song that caught my attention.

"So many times, it happens so fast-You change your passion for glory."

"....you change your passion for glory..."

Passion..."an outburst of strong emotion or feeling"...we all have things we are passionate about. What are your passions? I have strong feelings toward college basketball...I would probably say it is a passion for me...

I can remember a time when I had a passion for serving God. I made promises to God. I made promises to myself. I was on top of the world. Then, I don't know, life got in the way, I guess. Or maybe...

I changed my passion for glory.

There isn't much human glory in serving. No one remembers you as the servant. No one wants the servants autograph. No one even knows the name of the servant. Behind the scenes doesn't really get noticed. And everyone wants to be appreciated and noticed, right?

So we change...we start to "make a name for ourselves" and we enjoy the small spotlight. I mean, who am I kidding...I teach school. No one asks me for my autograph...I am not Teacher of the Decade so my name is not known around the world. But my selfish nature says I can at least be known in my small sphere.

But why? I don't really like the spotlight brightly shining on me...maybe cast me a little light to the side every now and then, but what is the purpose? To bring ME glory? Unfortunately, yes. And then I realize that the line in the song is true...I changed my passion for serving God to glory for me.

And let's face it...my glory isn't helping anyone...I think it might be time to let go of the small glory I seek and go back to my passion...

So, what is it for you...passion or glory?

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not a What I Wore Wednesday

Not posting a What I Wore Wednesday post today. Instead, my heart is breaking for the McRae family.

Have you heard of Kate McRae? She is pictured below with her family. She is that precious five year old sitting beside her mom. Next to her big sister, Olivia. Two down from her brother Will and her dad.

This picture was sometime before June 2009.

(photo from caring bridge site)

In 2009 she was diagnosed with a very malignant, aggressive brain tumor called a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor or sPNET. She went through treatment and seemed to have this whole thing under control.

This family has just been told that Kate's brain has unidentified spots on it and that her cancer is most likely back.

They are devastated. And this go around, sweet Kate understands what is happening. Her question, asking her daddy why Jesus hasn't healed her, is so heart breaking.

I don't know this family personally but my heart has been burdened for them for since June of 2009. Maybe because their Kate reminds me of my Caroline. Maybe just because it seems so wrong that a sweet five year old (at the time of her diagnosis) is having to suffer through such a battle.

I don't understand it. I never will. But I am not made to understand it. I am made to trust the One who does have a plan- the One who holds the whole world in the palm of His hand and holds little Kate too. He is on His throne. He is still loving and kind and caring. And He is still powerful enough to heal Kate.

She recently celebrated her 7th birthday. Her dad wrote on Twitter, "Time to celebrate #katemcrae birthday .it's gonna be crazy, I never had parties like this BUT I never had this much to party about"

(photo from Twitpic)

Will you join me in praying for her and her family today?

(photo from caring bridge site)

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