Friday, February 7, 2014

iF:Gathering in Lebanon

Today I am going to gather with women from out my community to think over the question If God is real, then what? 
This event is taking place in Austin, Texas and we are participating in the simulcast here at First Baptist Church.  I am excited and nervous and anxious and seeking all at the same time. I know this weekend is going to be a time of reflection and vulnerability. Shedding off my outward appearance and working on who I am as a daughter of Christ. Joining with ladies in the raw and brokenness of our lives. We each have things we deal with, things we hide and things we struggle with that only HIS grace can change. 

"We exist to gather, equp and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose"
      -Jennie Allen. 

So why am I doing this? 
      For one because I am a doer. I have a natural flaw for overworking and over committing myself but in that I find solace. I am a continual grower and some of the women speakers have been a vital role in that process. Two, I am seeking answers. God moved big in my life and know I am searching and praying for what those next steps are going to look like and I hope this conference will help me with some of that. Three...because I love my fellow women and I want them to experience this growth and transformation too. 

How is this going to work? 
     We are meeting at First Baptist Church today at 4pm and going to join together to watch the simulcast. We will break for dinner and conversation around 6:30 (or whenever our stomachs start to growl) and will then join back into the simulcast until we call it quits. 
Then we will meet again Saturday at 9am, break for a lunch around town about noon and then rejoin for the afternoon sessions until about 4/5. 
 Will all the technology work together-who knows! I hope so and I am praying for it, but ultimatly it's up to him and our Internet connection! 

How do you prepare? 
   Pray, humble yourself and be prepared to be real, authentic time together. Each women is bringing a soup or a snack on Friday. Make sure you bring a bible, some type of item to journal with and wear your yoga pants as we prepare to lay it all out there! 

I am going to be utilizing #ifgathering to share our weekend and I hope you join us too or find a if:gathering near you! 


Monday, February 3, 2014


I am an only child. My idea of siblings came from idolizing my cousins when we were all playing together and watching TV shows like Little House in the Prairie and Full House. I thought for sure that if I had a little sister I would have taken care of her just like DJ did with Michelle and we would have had matching outfits {complete with awesome hair bows}and tea parties together. This reality quickly was dashed when Gene and I were married and became a blended family and both J and S would play the "She's touching me"..."No, I'm Not"; "Shes looking at me"...."No, I'm Not" game {you know this game too???} But that was short lived and now these two are like two peas in a pod. Seriously, they are each-others best friends.
Fourth of July 2004...what cuties!

Showing off their matching blue Niagara Falls Jackets! 

 Well, I sometimes wonder if N had the same dream like thoughts about siblings as I did. You see, N came into our family being an only child. He does not have any siblings but what he did have was 20 and then later 50+ children twenty four hours a day, seven days a week surrounding him in the orphanages.  He knew how to interact with others but he had no idea how to be a sibling. Life in an orphanage had taught N to rely on himself and to fight for his needs to be met.I don't know if he wanted to have brothers and sisters or what his idea of them was. {Maybe he too wanted a sister like DJ too}

(This should have been our first sign) 

What that did mean though is that he came to our home ready to fight for anything and everything. He did not understand what sharing was. Because he had not had any toys he wanted everything. He is really into fairness and equality. Our youngest daughter K is seven years younger than the older two. She too had not really had to share all that much and was use to having all the toys to herself as she has gotten older. This made life very hard in the beginning. N's natural instinct was to grab anything he wanted because he may never get the chance again. That meant, even if it was a bubble gum wrapper, he wanted it and he wanted it then. If someone got in his way, so sorry for them. We had lots of tears and frustration on both the Little's parts as far as sharing and taking turns. But slowly, we are making strides. We role played and prompted over and over and used the same statements time and time again to help the kids adjust. We used timers and practiced constantly. If they threw a fit, we would re-do and try it again. This was not with out tears and yelling {many times on my part} but, we started to see a change.
Our first short and sweet few minutes of dreamlike introduction...
 Are we there yet, looking like a modern Little House on the Prairie? Absolutely not- we still have arguments and are using that consequences jar I told you about in the last post- thank you Courtney!  But, we are getting there. Now N and K can play outside together with out me having to intervene and regulate. They can build a tower of Lego's together and are even starting to read books together! In fact, they get along so well sometimes they have started pulling one-overs on us. I foresee some mischievous years ahead!  

{Insert amazing sibling pictures I have taken the past 4 months that
 disappeared with my phone-alas, these will have to do... }