Thursday, December 26, 2013

Today Is My Birthday!

Another year has passed and a lot has happened....some good, some not so good; but I am grateful for everything. Through trials of this past year, I have learned so much and gained so much as well. Through the not so good times, some relationships have been forever damaged; but I've made so many wonderful relationships and many of my existing relationships have grown so much deeper. And that has been amazingly good. There are some very daunting yet exciting things that God is leading me to, and without some of the changes that have occurred; I don't think I would have been given this opportunity or maybe I wouldn't have been so open to listening. Either way, I'm so thankful that He is trusting me with His thankful! This past year has definitely brought about a new perspective for me. I've realized that the negative things have emphasized what is important in life and some of the things that have happened, although painful, were definitely for the best. God brings good from every situation, and I have seen a lot of bad...really bad; but the good has been worth the suffering. It has changed my perspective on many things but especially on what I focus on. The bad things that have happened are a blip in the grand scheme of things, and are small compared to so many other problems people face. It doesn't mean it hasn't been hurtful and hard, but it means that it's by no means the hardest thing I will ever endure; and spending time fretting over things I have no control over is a waste of my precious time. Our time on earth is a blink, and I am choosing to spend mine in gratitude and love. Happiness is a choice and circumstances can delegate that emotion, and after much prayer and soul searching I have chosen happiness. Joy is found in our God, and He has been faithful in providing so much joy for me! I am so grateful for this past year and how present God is in my life. I have recently learned I may be facing some more trials, but I am confident God will be with me every step of the way. I am His daughter, and He wants nothing but the best for me! I praise Him and thank Him for showing me the way and will always praise sunshine and in storms! AMEN!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jesus Has a Great Sense of Humor

Last year when Elli was in kindergarten, I signed up to be a reader in her class.  I got to bring books and read on the designated day.  It was about 30 minutes of pure joy.  I LOVED it!  This year when the sign up sheet was out again, I quickly signed up.
Pause right here and insert the following information....there are a few things that make me cringe:
   *the noises people make with their mouths while eating, drinking
  * the feel of a newspaper
   *listening to the same five early reader books, that my kindergartner/1st grader brings home each  
   week for 7 days in a row
Now back to the story....Imagine my disappointment when I received the email that said...
"Thank you for signing up to listen to the class read.  Your designated time will be every Wednesday from 8:45-9:15."  WHOA!  Wait a minute.  LISTEN?  I signed up to do the reading.  I didn't sign up for that kind of reading.  I signed up to come once a month to read the books I chose, not to listen to kids read those stinkin' early reader books.  But I didn't have the heart to tell Elli's teacher I didn't want to do that, so I went.  The first few times, I didn't mind it nearly as much as I thought.  I listened to a few sweet little girls read their early readers to me, and it was pretty painless.  Then last week when I went, again the same sweet little girls read to me; and they read much faster (I must be doing something right) ;).  There was some time leftover, so the teacher sent out a little guy.  He sat down, opened his first reader and began reading.  As he read, he would pause and interject his own explanations of what he was if I wouldn't understand the story otherwise.  His big brown eyes would look straight into mine with such conviction and passion about what he was telling me.  I found myself smiling the entire time and wishing for more books from him when he was finished.  I think Jesus thought about my resistance and decided that the opportunity I would have in meeting this little guy and those sweet little girls face to face was worth me being a little irritated in the beginning.  He knew how this was going to bless my life and He moved forward with it....even though I was not one bit thrilled about it.  It's such a wonderful thing for these children to have some one on one time, with an adult, who really listens to them while they read.  But really it has blessed my life 100x more than I ever thought it would.  I'm glad I didn't back out, and I hope I get to hear more books from the sweet little guy with the big brown eyes!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Happy Happy

I know I've talked about this before, but I truly believe happiness is a choice.  Circumstances in your life or the lives of others can delegate happiness or unhappiness, but I believe that you can make a conscious choice to be happy even in the midst of pain.  When I look at the things in my life that are good, there are an abundance.  My life is not perfect, and I struggle with many things....some that I have not revealed to anyone but God; but I learned a long time ago to embrace the good and be grateful.  NPayne has taught me so much about this, and I am so very thankful that God constantly reminds me through my husband.    Now I'm going to take this from I to We.....When we step back and look at troubles we are facing vs. troubles of many others, it's eye opening and much is revealed.  I'm not minimizing our struggles and troubles, but it does put a lot in perspective.  Think about all of the children who are starving or dying from lack of food and clean water, all of the children who are slaves to sex trafficking, who are being abused, who are in physical or emotional pain, all of the children who are ill or dying from illness, who have nobody to care for them or show them love, all of the children who don't know Jesus.  I meditate on the following saying often...."Something You Take For Granted, Someone Else is Praying For"!  It's easy to get wrapped up in our own sadness, heartbreak; and I'm not saying we shouldn't....for a time....but then choose happiness.  What I try to remember is that there is a time for everything.....for me....right now, it's time for peace!

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Friday, October 11, 2013


I NEED that....actually I just WANT it.  I haven't had to do without many needs in my life, yes a few; but for the most part not many.  I certainly haven't had to do without needs that sustain my life or ability to live.  NPayne and I live on a tight budget.  When we were first married, we had a savings account (with money in it), owned a house, cars, socialized, looked nice, ate well, etc.  Once we had children, we SOMETIMES had a savings account (usually with not much money in it), owned a house, cars that are really old and paid for, socialized occasionally, looked nice, ate (not always well, but we ate), etc.  Coming to the realization years ago, that we simply can't afford many things was a little challenging; but as time has passed....I have realized even more that stuff and money aren't what make a family.  We have had to tell our kids NO to things, but they still have  A LOT!  We have had to tell ourselves NO to things, but we still have  A LOT!  We are about 3 payments short of paying off our house....seriously cannot believe we are to this point!  We haven't had car payments in at least 7 years!  We can clothe our children...thankfully they are not into labels and brands!  We do have food....not always organic (as I would like) or anything extra special, but then again....having food at all is extra special...isn't it?  As I look at our bank account today, I am thankful that there is anything in it and how God provides.  As I look at my daily email from Anthropologie and all the other specialty stores and discount offers, I realize that it is a good thing that our budget is tight.  I cannot see myself ever spending hundreds of dollars on a sweater, but that doesn't mean that I don't NEED...would like to have one.  Being on a budget has made me that much more aware of money and how we spend it and therefore that much more aware of those who don't have their needs met, because they simply don't have the money.  I hope and pray that my children will really understand the abundance they have...even when they hear me say...."We can't afford that"....and that they will always want to give back.   I am seeing that they do, and that is something you can't put a price tag on; because it is simply PRICELESS!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I woke up, thanked God for another day and wished I had said "No" to a few things on my daily calendar.  It was a busy day today but in a good way....I'm tired as usual, but I'm thankful for the day that has passed. The weather was beautiful, and I rode my bike. Hoping to start a new ministry (or two) at church, volunteered at the pumpkin patch and sold lots of pumpkins, bought groceries, lost another pound, went to the library, got all my kiddos home after school and had nowhere else to go. I was in my pjs by 6:30...thank God for some down time!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Good Life

The good life....what does that mean to you? When you think of someone who has "the good life", what comes to mind? Twenty years ago, my vision of "the good life" was probably different than it is now. Honestly I don't ever remember thinking of any celebrity, in particular, having what I would consider to be "the good life". I do remember thinking in the past .... "If only I had????"  Or "if only ???? would happen". I still often think ... If only thoughts. The difference is that now I don't think whatever that may be will determine if my life is good. I realize that my life is good...really good. I don't think much about what I wish I had or didn't have or even consider those wants as factors in making my life good. I do find myself longing for things like...time, simplicity, quiet, discernment, peace. Those things may sound like easy things to obtain but for me, oftentimes they are not. I have to work at these things, and I am still oftentimes unsuccessful. What I have learned is that sometimes I have to give up something really good or that I really enjoy to obtain one or more of these things that I long for, and that's okay!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Me & Blogging

I have missed blogging.  I haven't had time to write out my thoughts lately, and they are all jumbled up in my head.  I am going to have to sit down and WRITE soon!  I'll be back very very soon....maybe even later tonight.  So much is happening in my head, heart, with where I'm being's so EXCITING, OVERWHELMING, WONDERFUL, INTIMIDATING!  I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28th....The Best Day of 2003!!

Happy Birthday Bryna Mae Payne. My most favorite 10 year old. I love your sweet carefree spirit, confidence in all you do, the joy you have in your heart, your ability to always make people smile, your obsession and love for music and performing, your smile...oh that smile, and that you NEVER EVER EVER forget to kiss and hug me goodbye, goodnight or just because. Your entry in this world was rocky, and I was so thankful when we were able to bring you home. I cannot imagine my life without you! I adore you crazy fun loving 10 year old!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September day of 2006!!!

Happy 7th Birthday to my baby girl. My child who looks most like me but whose personality is a little bit of everyone. My child who is sweet to the core obedient, gentle and kind. My child who has my dad's eyes. My child who is the baby but is independent, organized, tidy and self motivated. I love to watch you perform in whatever fashion show, musical, singing competition or video that your sisters orchestrate. I am grateful that you are such a wonderful friend, sister, daughter and person. Elliot Ann Payne....SEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY! Elliot meaning "The Lord is my God" and Ann meaning "Grace or Favour"! You bless my life! I adore you!