I think you'll be able to see in these pictures the pure joy my girls felt at GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! : )
Monday, August 31, 2009
I think you'll be able to see in these pictures the pure joy my girls felt at GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! : )
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Poor Littlest Princess. She is her mama all over again and it drives me NUTS!!!! : )
My mom used to send me to clean my room and find me an hour later engrossed in a novel I found under my bed.
Mrs. Hall, my fourth grade teacher, lovingly called me her little "absent minded professor." I could never go out to recess because I would be stuck inside finishing the art projects everyone else finished long before the bell rang.
I really frustrated my dad. He used to say I was "slower than a seven-year itch."
I've always been slow, deliberate, dreamy, and so easily distracted.
And now I'm paying for it! That little sweetheart of mine will go upstairs for shoes while the rest of us are waiting in the car to go somewhere, and I'll have to come inside and hunt her down because she wandered into the Family Room and started watching cartoons.
Shoes? What shoes?
"I'm sorry, Mommy. I got dis-twacted!"
(Side note: She has made such huge strides in her speech work. The only problem sound left is "r". I know it is a good thing, but I'm going to miss her sweet way of saying things when she gets it all fixed.)
Genetics are amazing! I think God uses her on a daily basis to keep me humble and to remember how easily I get distracted. I'm really working on it.
Oops. I planned on going to bed an hour ago. What am I still doing on the computer? I'll go to bed after I check email and Twitter and ...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Maybe it's the kid in me, but I actually LIKED the Hannah Montana movie. (Huge step up from Barney)
Oldest Princess is reading books I read at that age. Remember Encyclopedia Brown?
And Youngest Princess has a new addiction- Nails. : )
For some girl fun Monday evening, my mom and I took the girls to the mall for a real manicure. At the time, it seemed like a harmless, fun thing to do for only $7 a piece and the girls had so much fun. Especially Youngest Princess.
As the manicurist was doing her nails, Youngest Princess said, "I'm the only first gwad-uh in the WHOLE world who gets to have a medicure."
Ha Ha...think she got manicure and pedicure combined in her mind.
But now, all I hear from her is, "When are you going to give me a pedicure, Mama?" She's asked at least 7 times today alone.
She's in the bath right now with the promise of painted toes when she gets out. Oh my, that one's going to be my little fashionista.
Oldest Princess was mildly impressed with the experience, but I think she'd be happier with the whole thing if I let her paint a dog's toenails rather than her own. : )
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
If you have any suggestions to make W.O.W. more fun, please let me know in the comments section. Also, what do you like that you wouldn't want to change?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Click and Read 1 John 4:7-21
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. - 1 John 4:16a (NIV)
I was afraid to ask.
In my personal Bible study I came across this prayer of King David's:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV))
I wanted to pray it myself. I wanted God to search my heart and let me know if there was "any offensive way in me" so I could fix it, but I was afraid of what the answer might be.
I've always been a pleaser, an achiever, and never one who took criticism well. But after four consecutive pregnancy losses, I was broken and ready to know why God was punishing me, why He had stopped loving me, and why He had abandoned me.
So, I steeled myself and waited for His answer. I waited for the list of all of my offenses to come, motivated to get to work on them. I was ready to make things right between us.
His answer shocked and humbled me. He spoke to my heart and told me this:
"Becky, do you want to know what is in your heart that offends me the most? That thing that hurts me to the core? It is that you have doubted my love for you. This is where I want you to start. Start by KNOWING I love you. Be assured of that fact and stop questioning my love for you. This will be the foundation I want to grow you from. The foundation of absolute assurance of my love for you."
Once again, I had waited for a laundry list of to-dos. Once again, He went straight for my heart.
Life would never make sense without that assurance. I would never have anything to offer this world without that assurance. Without complete confidence in God's love for me, I would be stuck. It truly was the place to start.
Are you confident of God's love for you? Do you doubt it? Confess your doubt and ask Him to fill you with a fresh assurance of His love for you. Ask Him to help you "know' and "rely" on that love.
Thank You that You are love. It is Your very nature. Before I can share Your love with this hurting world, I need to be absolutely assured of Your love for me. Forgive me for doubting Your love for me. I know Jesus paid the ultimate price to demonstrate that love for us all. I will trust in Your unfailing love.
In Jesus' Name I pray,
More of God's Word:
1. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Friday, August 21, 2009
Random.org chose #4 as the winner of my latest giveaway.
Andi from Here's the Deely-O was the fourth comment:
oh - oh Pick me - Pick me!! I want to win!
I promise it was random, I wasn't even swayed by the begging, I promise. : )
Congratulations, Andi! I hope your sweet girls will enjoy reading their new books!
Stop by and congratulate Andi for me. : ) And thank you to Zonderkidz for their generosity. It has been so much fun reading these great kids' books this summer and having the privilege of giving them away.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I just finished creating my speaker bio sheet tonight. It was one of those things that was hanging over my head, and it felt so good to finish something tangible after the conference. I'm ready to take a giant leap of faith now and step out toward something that has been growing in my heart for years. My first speaking event is on the calendar, and I'll be sending out the bio to local churches.
I feel inadequate and scared, but ready to point hearts to the One I love. It's all about Him anyway.
I'll be drawing for the giveaway tomorrow morning when I get done cleaning my neglected kitchen. : ) There is still time to enter if you haven't already.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It reminds me of January, when I was stuck in this fog. I've just been blue and discouraged and overwhelmed.
But today, I'm feeling more hopeful and ready to fight the blues.
So here's my prescription for myself:
1. Read the quote on my blog banner. CELEBRATE the beauty in my ordinary, but WONDERFUL life.
2. Gratitude: If I'm intentional and really look, I'll see gifts from God EVERYWHERE! Count my blessings one by one...I think it's time for another edition of my 1,000 Gifts posts.
3. Quit wasting so much time online. I am embarrassed to admit it, but in these blues, while feeling lonely and bored and restless and stuck on the couch, I've spent way too much time surfing the net, email, Twitter, my blog dashboard, Facebook, etc. searching for connection with the world, for friendship, affirmation, and validation of the things I came home with in my heart after the conference two weeks ago. Remember that old song?
Looking for love in all the wrong places...
4. Movement and fresh air and sunshine. I've been stuck inside and immobile this week with a back injury, so now that I'm healing, I really need me some endorphins. Even if that just means walking around the block.
5. Prayer time and Worship. Time to get my eye off of me and on to Him.
I'm ready for some fresh perspective, and a cheerier blog post next time. Thanks for indulging me tonight. : )
By the Way-
Don't miss my latest giveaway from Zonderkidz ~
And not to use manipulation or anything, but comments ALWAYS cheer me up. Hee Hee. : )
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I've been a little concerned that Prince Charming isn't "talking" like his sisters did at this age. Then I saw this video:
I decided to give the guy a break. This is proof that women are just born to talk! How's he supposed to get a word in in this household of three women anyway???
See, King Charming. I can't help my babbling. I was born that way. : )
Monday, August 17, 2009
- Do you have beginning readers in your house who are ready to try a chapter book?
- Any fans of Junie B. Jones?
- Want to win a set of three books that would be "just right" for these readers?
Let me tell you about the Natalie books.
I have to admit, when I began reading the first book of the series, I thought Hmmm seems a little TOO much like Junie B. and maybe not quite as funny. Not sure if I'm a fan.
- My girls loved Natalie as much as Junie B. and laughed their way through the whole book
- Nat 24 as she calls herself, has a conscience and remorse that Junie seems to be lacking
- I loved the message of God's forgiveness in the book
- Perfect reading level for my beginning readers
Do you know kids at church or have friends with kids who would enjoy these books?
5. Become one of my followers on Twitter (@EverydayBecky) Or you can do it from the sidebar on my blog.
Told you I was bribing you all! Shameless, I know! Hee Hee
Sorry, my budget will only allow me to ship to the Continental United States.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Love you all my trusty prayer warriors!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I've wanted to make Littlest Princess a fabric covered bulletin board for awhile so when I spotted an old bulletin board in my friend, Jessica's, trash pile, I begged her for it.
(At least I think she was planning on throwing it away. If not, the begging worked. Ha Ha! Thanks Jess!)
I brought it home and looked through my sewing scraps. I had some batting from a pillow I made awhile ago and leftover fabric to match the "It's Not Perfect, But Who Cares" valance I made. The problem was I didn't have enough fabric to cover the whole thing.
I remembered this Nesting Place blog post, so I ripped up an old sundress that didn't fit the girls anymore and VOILA I suddenly had enough fabric.
Here's proof that I'm cured of perfectionism:
I just put the batting across the bulletin board and hot glued it down in a few places. Then I stretched the fabric across and stapled it in the back with a staple gun.
Didn't cost me a thing.
Got to be creative.
Littlest Princess is happy.
Moral of the Story: Check through your friends' trash. You never know what treasures they may be throwing away. Hee Hee.
Just kidding...kind of... : )
I'll tell you about my next freebie decorating project when I finish.
Inspire me with your own freebie projects in the comments section, please. : )
Please remember to pray for Noelle while she is in surgery today.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Four years ago, at the age of 2 1/2, this sweetie pie came home to her forever family from China and took up residence in all of our hearts.
So technically she's not "our" Noelle, her parents are Jennifer and Joel, but as you can see from the photos below. She's pretty special to us. Family.
When Jen and Joel were given the referral for their daughter, they knew she would need immediate heart surgery to save her life. One month after coming home, she went in for open heart surgery.
We love you Noelle!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
There is a beautiful new place on the Web. You can find it at www.incourage.me
I had the pleasure of meeting Holley and Stephanie, two of the women who dreamed up this new site, and I just love their heart.
Here's how they described their vision for the new site:
When we asked ourselves what kind of place we were building, we finally came to see it as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.
Doesn't that sound like a place you want to hang out? I do!
They asked readers to write a blog post about what encourages them. You couldn't have asked me that on a better (or worse) day. I am not feeling particularly encouraged today.
I've been grumpy, hormonal, and bent over with back pain. I think I'm experiencing a little let down after my mountain top experience in Charlotte last weekend. If I'm honest, I'm experiencing a LOT of let down.
So, I made a list of what encourages me. Here are a few that showed up on the list:
My beautiful family
Hanging out with girlfriends
Going to Bible Study on Wednesday morning, feeling so loved and connected and learning so much
When my baby boy crawls up to me and comes in for a sweet, open mouthed, drooly kiss and then puts his curly haired little head on my shoulder.
When I dream about heaven and know I'll never have to know hell.
When my daughters find me for a kiss and hug before they leave to play.
When I get to stay up late talking and laughing with King Charming.
And of course I always feel encouraged after a GIANT CUP OF COFFEE! : )
The list could go on and on and on. But I realized there is a common theme. I feel the most encouraged- or (in)couraged- when I learn to appreciate and seek joy in my everyday, ordinary, unspectacular life. I have to choose it. Especially on days like today when I'm feeling anything but spectacular.
It reminds me of the reason I started a new blog and named it Everyday Becky. I needed to refocus after a long, long line of disappointments and loss. I needed to face a future that was different than I expected by embracing and celebrating the miracles in my right now. My right now is beautiful, and I'm grateful.
I hope you'll stop by www.incourage.me and find other reasons to be encouraged.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I resisted for a long time, thinking I did not need another excuse to be on the Internet, but I have never been able to stand knowing people are having fun without me.
So yesterday, I signed up for a Twitter account because I know the world just has to know what I'm doing every second of every day. : )
I'm trying to figure out the difference between a Tweet and a Twit. And still praying about whether or not this is a wise thing for me being the computer addict (a.k.a. junkie) that I am. The connections I've made through my blog and Facebook have been so good for me, but I do need to set boundaries for my compulsive self.
Any other tweeters out there??? Come find me. : )
Thursday, August 6, 2009
That was the title of my blog post on Tuesday.
You see, Saturday night while we were at Mom and Dad's, I decided to do a little finishing touches on my book proposal for the conference. As I researched for the "competition" section on my proposal, I made a startling discovery. Guess what I found.
The two editors I had made appointments to meet with, the two I'd prayed over so much, represented publishing companies that had just released their very own books on the topic of- you guessed it- miscarriage.
At that moment, I knew that I would be wasting their time pitching competition for books they had just published on the same subject.
There I was:
- 10 hours away from home
- Four days away from the conference
- Totally and completely prepared to pitch a book I now knew they would not want.
I did what any girl would do.
I spent the entire day Sunday mourning the loss of that particular expectation and dream. I had felt the weight so much of being a scholarship winner for the conference. I knew there were so many women who wanted the gift I was given, and I was determined not to waste it. So, I was so ready. I had handouts, sample chapters, a beautiful proposal, and then- nothing.
As I cried it out on Sunday, I learned something. I had wrapped up so much hope in getting that book published because I was counting on the book bringing meaning to our loss. God had to show me that the beauty He was and will continue to bring out of our hurt had nothing to do with me or my book.
He also showed me I was relying on myself. I wanted to be ready. I wanted to be prepared. I didn't leave any room for miracles, so He took away the crutches I was leaning on.
That night I made a crazy decision. I have a novel I've been working on, and I decided right then I was supposed to pitch that book instead. It wasn't ready though. So I didn't sleep for the next three days, worked all the way home in the car, spent hours on the telephone with my amazing dad editing what I did have, and then had to leave Thursday morning far less prepared then I would have ever wanted.
While we were in the air, my friend Rochelle handed me her devotion book she was reading. I read the devotion, overwhelmed and grateful that it was a message just for me. Here's an excerpt:
Streams in the Dessert
July 31 With skillful hands he led them - Psalm 78:72
When you are unsure which course to take, totally submit your own judgement to that of the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door except the right one. But meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His will that your are on His path. And as you continue down the long road, you will find that He has gone before you, locking doors you otherwise would have been inclined to enter. Yet you can be sure that somewhere beyond the locked doors in one He has left unlocked. - F.B. Meyer
I knew God wrote that devotion just for Becky. You see every day this plays out in my house.
Prince Charming still has not figured out how to crawl right. (And he doesn't listen to his mommy either when I tell him he'll never be able to read because of it!) But man can he scoot! He's fast!
His sisters keep forgetting to close doors behind them, so when he sees an opportunity, he looks me in the eye and it is almost as if he says The race is on Mommy!
He scoots as fast as he can, trying to beat me to the bathroom door before I can close it in his face.
It dawned on me. How often do I do that with the Lord? How often do I try to race Him to a door before He closes it?
He's a loving parent, closing those doors I might be inclined to walk through but one day He's going to leave one open for me. It will be the "JUST RIGHT FOR BECKY" door and instead of just leaving it open for me, He'll come and lead me by the hand through it together.
Stripping away my security of being able to pitch the book I felt comfortable pitching opened doors for miracles. And those miracles happened all weekend long!
I just happened to run into just the right people to help bring me peace, to show me new ways of doing things, to encourage me and teach me, and I was able to present BOTH books to editors and other people who took my proposals and one sheets. Now I'm just waiting to see how God leads for the next step in writing and speaking.
I made friends that I'm so thankful for and spent time praying in the prayer room with a sweet lady named Charlotte who will never know how much God used her to touch me.
I felt so blessed and so loved by God. I wish I had the ability to explain it all, but it would be impossible.
Thank you, Lord for loving me. You are so good to me!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
After a weekend of learning more than my heart and mind could contain, and doing it all on very, very little sleep, I was slightly loopy as I went through the Charlotte Airport on my way home. My airheadedness along with extra grumpy airport employees was NOT a good combination. : )
First was my trip through security.
My too big, overstuffed carry-on, held everyone behind me up. I had to dig out my laptop and open it, and I could feel the impatience radiating off tne people behind me.
Rushing through the metal detector, I almost ran into a mean looking man with his arms crossed.
"Ma'am step back through the metal detector!" He boomed at me.
I hopped back through as fast as I could.
"Your shoes!" He said with disdain, pointing at my feet. Red in the face, I slipped my shoes off quickly and threw them on the conveyor belt.
Just as I was going to step back through the detector, he yelled at me, "Where is your boarding pass?"
"Uh, it just went through the x-ray with my purse. Was I supposed to have that?" I asked, hoping a smile might melt him a little.
"I'VE ONLY BEEN TELLING YOU PEOPLE THAT FOR THE LAST 10 MINUTES!" He bellowed.
Everybody was looking at me by that point. I slinked over to the other TSA agent who was waiting to see the boarding pass I DARED to send through the x-ray machine. I could hear Mr. Grumpy Pants behind me yelling, "The next person who walks through here without their boarding pass is getting tossed in the fish bowl."
(Anybody know what the fishbowl is? I think I narrowly escaped it.)
There were other ladies from the conference there who started laughing at me for being such a trouble maker. I must have had a big red target painted on me, because my mistakes continued to bring out the mean in people all the way home.
Like the lady scanning my boarding pass as I walked on to the plane. When I handed her the pass, my giant carry-on fell over on the floor which I of course planned to pick up and wheel on to the plane with me, but she didn't give me a chance.
"PICK UP YOUR BAG MA'AM," She grouched at me. Not, "Oops, you dropped your bag." or "Could you pick up your bag please." Just Pick it up, you dummy.
By that time, I was really getting teased about being in trouble.
In the air, the flight attendant was wheeling the cart down the aisle passing out drinks and snacks. When she got to me, I asked for coffee and then she said, "You want snacks?"
Not, "Would you like a snack?" Just a tone like "Do you want a snack or what lady?"
I said, "Sure. What do you have?"
To this she stared at me like I had three heads, rolled her eyes, let out an exasperated sigh and said, "PEANUTS-PRETZELS-AND COOKIES!!!!!!!"
I humbly asked for the cookies as I heard her behind me saying, "I just get so sick of saying that over and over again, PEANUTS-PRETZELS-AND COOKIES!"
My luck continued from there. I was accused of trying to use the bathroom in the First Class Section which is not for peons like me. But I'm denying that. : )
And someone who looked like me may have forgotten to put her seat back in its upright position during landing. And that same person may have mistaken the male flight attendant for a woman. But I'm definitely denying that!
I was very happy to get home to my nice, friendly West. I'm not sure if they'll allow me back in the Charlotte Airport. I might have to drive next year. : )
Monday, August 3, 2009
It was that same feeling of finding out company is coming over and you are desperate to clean up before they arrive. : )
I arrived home after my life changing weekend at 1:00 AM and didn't have time to do the "blog cleaning" I had hoped to do, but I wanted to say welcome to all of my new friends who are stopping by!
And I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to my faithful friends and readers who prayed for me while I was in North Carolina this weekend. I'm in awe of how much fun I had and how inspired I am walking away from the experience.
I think it will take months to unpack from my trip.
The clothes will go into the laundry right away and of course I’ll need my bathroom supplies and make-up so they won’t stay in the bag for long either. : )
But the “stuff” I’m bringing home in my heart and in my brain, I will be “unpacking” that for a very long time.
I’m absolutely exhausted, but more in love with Jesus than ever.
Saturday night on the elevator, I told the Lord, You go ahead and bring it on, but I’m beginning to wonder if I can take one more blessing or miracle this weekend. I just might explode with joy. : )
I don’t want to forget all of the ways Jesus showed me I wasn’t lost in this crowd of 600 amazing women. There were so many ways He let me know I know your dreams and hopes. I want you to know I see you and love you and have plans for you.
I wish I had time to tell you all the stories RIGHT NOW, but my family missed Mommy and I'm in high demand at the moment. As I “unpack” my full to overflowing heart and brain, I'll share them with you. I think I will start with what a trouble maker I was in the Charlotte airport. : ) Stay tuned!