Have you purchased it? Have you started it? Have you read it? Have you finished it? Were you blown away? Have you felt a nudge, or did God look you in the eye and gently but firmly say...."YOU....OVER THERE....WHO KEEPS LOOKING THE OTHER WAY....YES! YOU! DO SOMETHING!" I'm just wondering, because that's what He did to me!
There is something that I'm pretty good at, but it took one sad show to make me good at it. I'm not saying I get it right 100% of the time, but I get it right 90%; and I owe it to Josh and his mother. What is it? It's this.... stopping what I'm doing....when I don't want to or have time to or am too tired to....to "play" with my kids. As you read on, hopefully it will become more clear. When my oldest was a toddler, my second was a baby, and I was expecting my third; I watched this show called "Vanished". If you know me.... you know I love who done its, mysteries, crime scenes, etc. I LOVE trying to solve it. I am fascinated by DNA, cold cases, forensics. I easily could have been a forensic scientist except that I don't care for blood and guts, so that was kind of a problem; but I digress. You will also know that I don't watch the news of read the paper and haven't since the Oklahoma City Bombing....except a few times around 9/11. I simply C.A.N.N.O.T. handle it. I can't. After the Oklahoma City Bombing, I became consumed by the whole thing and fought depression. It wasn't the first time I had faced evil in my own personal life or the life of someone I know, but for some reason; it consumed my every thought. I will watch fictional/nonfictional crime scene shows, 48 hours, Dateline, etc.; but I can tell from the start of the show if it is one that I can hang with or not. If not, I turn it off immediately. Anyway I watched this show called "Vanished", and I have never forgotten it. As a mother, it changed me. This show is a documentary featuring interviews of people who have had loved ones disappear. In this particular episode there were 3 boys who walked to a local store to rent a movie, 2 brothers and a friend. I remember the basic parts of the story...they lived in a small rural town where everyone knew each other, one of the brothers' names was Josh, and the mother of the brothers is who I remember being interviewed. The brothers' parents were at a neighbor's house, and the boys had called to ask about walking to rent the movie. The parents decided it would be okay, because it was a "safe" town they lived in. On the way to the store, the boys were ambushed and assaulted. I can't remember if Josh was the only boy taken or if Josh and the friend were taken, but I do remember that Josh's brother was left behind which is how anyone knew what had happened. In the end, it was not a happy outcome. Josh was murdered, and it was one of the most heartbreaking things I had ever watched; and I've watched a lot of crimes on TV. I can't remember anyone else's name and a little of what the mother looked like, but I can remember most everything she said; it changed me. Of course she was petrified when he went missing and devastated by what happened to her boy, but what she said at the end of the show....I have never forgotten. She was talking about the day he vanished, and how he had asked her to play a game with him; and she told him she didn't have time. She then bowed her head and wept and said, "I wish I had played that game with him." Even now as I think about it and remember the total despair in her face, I have this pit in my stomach. From that moment on, I knew that there had been and would be many many many times when I am...too tired....or ...too busy...or...just don't want to....play that game or watch that skit or read that book or paint those toenails; but I remember Josh and his mother....and I am thankful that I get another chance.
I am an orphan. When my mom died in May, I said that out loud a lot. I found myself thinking....I am too old to be an orphan....I've been married for 22 years and have 5 children....I can't be considered an orphan. I also found myself thinking....I am too young to be an orphan....my parents died way too early and at much too young of an age....my 5 children need to have their grandparents....I need my mom and dad. I didn't realize what being an orphan might really feel like until this past Tuesday. If you have lost someone you love, you know that there are ups and downs that go with grief. Some days are perfectly fine and others are just not. Tuesday was just not. My dad died almost 9 years ago, and I still have those "not so good" days. Those don't ever go away, I think there is just more space in between the "good" and the "not so good" days. Tuesday was a day that I found myself needing my mama. I needed to walk in her house and hear her say, "Hi Lo!" I needed her to help me through some stuff, to listen and encourage me like she has done my whole life. I needed to lean in and give her a gentle kiss and hug her frail body. I needed a place to retreat, and I realized for the first time in my life....I didn't have one. I spent my whole day sad and cried most of the day, and for the first time since she died; I pictured her and my dad watching me with broken hearts. I have never imagined anything but joy in heaven, but on Tuesday; I could imagine them crying tears in heaven. I am reminded of what's to come.....and I long for that! He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4
I have a dear dear friend, who is an "orphan" as well. She lost her mom when she was 2 and her dad a few months before my mom. Today she sent me a text that said "Thinking about you missing my dad like crazy today...no idea why!" I immediately responded and an exchange began. Through our conversation, I think we both realized that those days will come and go; and sometimes we will know why and sometimes we won't. We both just really wanted to talk to our mom/dad, and it is difficult to know that can't be done. We realized that we both felt very alone even though we are surrounded by people who love us, but the most important thing we realized is that....we understand each other, we have each other's backs, we support each other, we have an "orphan" bond. It's hard to explain things to people, who haven't experienced them. When my friend, Leslie, lost her 2 boys at birth; I didn't then and wouldn't now ever imagine to know what that was like. She formed bonds with other mothers who had lost children, and I think it was a really good thing. When those bonds are formed, you can just lay it out there and share yourself in the raw and broken state you are in; and God is right there in the middle of it with you. Praise God for the people He brings in your life, for the text message you needed to receive, for brokenness which is where you will leave claw marks by clinging to Him. And praise Him for always being right there in the middle of it.
My oldest had her wisdom teeth removed today. Four impacted teeth that had to be cut out of her mouth with full anesthesia and some sutures. If you know her, you know that she was not in the least bit nervous. If you know me, you know that my stomach was doing somersaults. While we were waiting for them to call her back, I asked her a few times if she was nervous; and she would calmly nod her head in the direction of no. Before the last time I asked her, I started with "I'm nervous, are you?" She gave me the "DO YOU MIND???" look, and then I said; "Am I making you nervous?" She smiled and nodded her head in the direction of yes, and I took that as my cue to shut it up; so I did. All went well, and the laughing gas did its trick; because she was laughing A LOT when I went back to see her....and yes, I did video! ;) We got home, and I got her all settled in on the couch. Then I made myself some brunch. As I took my first bite, she asked if WE could change the gauze in her mouth, because "it's gross"; and I envisioned the gauze.....slimy, icky, soaked through with blood. Needless to say, the eggs went in the trash. I calmly said, "Yes YOU can change the gauze" while I felt an instant panic rising up inside me. My mind went haywire....Is she thinking, I'm going to change that? I can't change that. I can't even clean up throw up, much less change a nasty blood soaked gauze strip. I will need to call NPayne immediately. He will just have to come home and do it. Then I felt my eyes really wide and watery, and I started to get nauseated. The whole time I'm freaking myself out, she is calmly and carefully removing the "gross" gauze and replacing it with ungross gauze. Praise the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever, and He gave Addi the calm, cool and collected gene from her dad! Yes I am one of those rare mothers who has an issue with throw up and blood and diarrhea. People always told me, "It will be different when it's your own child." But they were wrong. Thank God for Neil....he is a rockstar when it comes to cleaning up puke, blood, and the runs!
LOVE LOVE LOVE it...not the bills so much, but the rest is very exciting to me.
Humor me...it just is.
My children love when the mail comes too.
We live in an old house with a mail slot in the door, so when the mailman comes;
IT. IS. A. BIG. DEAL!
They race to retrieve it and see if there is anything there for them.
After they have looked through it, taken what's theirs;
they put it in the very appropriately identified mail holder labeled JOY.
They are perfectly trained and obedient when it comes to how to handle our precious mail.
If a package arrives, LOOK OUT....it is an all out celebration....
complete with wide eyes and excited screams....mine, not theirs.
So imagine our my excitement, when this was delivered yesterday.
I couldn't imagine what it could be....what book had I ordered that I had forgotten about?
The books for their summer reading had all been delivered and most of them already read.
Then I opened it, and SISTER....that's when wide eyed screaming began.
I had responded to this invitation from Jen Hatmaker about a week ago, at the urging of one of my friends; but I had not received a reply.
I assumed I wasn't chosen.
I have a thing for you and it is time sensitive. I have been DYING to talk about this, and today is the day! I will post the whole thing below that is going on Facebook in 3 hours, but I want my EFs to have first dibs. I am launching a blog tour with my FAVORITE BOOK I'VE EVER WRITTEN. I got to revise and expand it, and it is getting re-released in a few weeks.
All the details are below, but if you are a blogger, website manager, or newsletter writer, this is for YOU. I only have 250 spots and then they are gone, gone, gone. I open this up to the world at 5:00pm, so you have three hours to jump on it before everyone else. Read below:
I have the best news and I want YOU to be a part of it! I am often asked:
Most of you read 7, but Interrupted is the book of my heart . It is the prequel, in fact, because without Interrupted there would never have been a 7. I believe it includes the most pressing spiritual issues of our generation, the ones we struggle through and end up feeling alone and crazy if we don’t find the right companions, the right language, the right tribe. It tells of the season when Jesus won me over from stale, predictable religion and captured my heart for the poor, the misunderstood, the outcast, and my neighbor. I realized Jesus was Good News but I was not and sometimes church wasn’t. I’m going to tell you waaaaaay more, but I get to invite you into something special: I got to edit and expand Interrupted (because I’ve learned so much even since), and it is getting a second life in the world this summer! I cannot tell you how grateful and thrilled I am. I so want you to have this book in your hands. More than any other book I’ve written.
And some of you are about to.
Do you have a blog? A newsletter? Do you manage a site? We are giving a free digital download AND hard copy of the new version of Interrupted to the first 250 influencers that respond to this all-call by July 15 that meet a couple of simple criteria. I’m thinking of you as my Launch Team and will have special correspondence just for you. It’s easy: you get Interrupted for free and tell your readers what you thought of it. You can keep the hard copy or use it as a giveaway on your blog.
Criteria: 1. Your site is current, meaning you’ve posted or provided content at least 4 times a month for the last six months. 2. You commit to post your review (and book giveaway if you want!) before August 31st.
We have 250 copies of Interrupted to give away by next Tuesday the 15th, and then they are gone. To get your copy, please simply email:
...with your name, blog or website address, email address, and U.S. mailing address to and we will send you not only the digital and hard copy of Interrupted, but a few other goodies you can use for your blog or website if you want them!
I cannot wait for the moment when you read a sentence in Interrupted and think, “Oh my gosh. ME TOO.” I want to join my heart with yours and nail down once and for all that we are not alone and we are not crazy and God is doing a new, beautiful thing in our generation, like he has done in every one before us, and it is our turn and for heaven’s sake, I don’t want to blink and miss it.
(Don't have a blog or website? I still want you to read this! Preorder, for the win!Even those of you who have read it...I added and edited so very much. XO, EFs...)
When I was reading the enclosed letter, the second sentence baffled me..."As I trust you know from an email to you,".....Email? What email?
I realized I had never received the email she mentions.
So I went and searched for it, and there it was....in my SPAM!
I couldn't begin to tell you how insulted I was, for Jen, that SPAM had claimed her email.
Nonetheless I found the email and am ready to get this party started.
So what does all this mean you ask? It means that I have the honor and privilege of reading Jen's
"newly designed, revised, updated, printed copy of Interrupted" and encouraging you to read it as well. I will be posting discussion questions and my personal reflection on the book on my blog, and I am hoping you, my lovely readers, will participate. Gather a group of friends and order your copy now....I mean right now....don't wait....don't hesitate!
Click the Interrupted icon on the right to save 20% on her masterpiece through July 31st.
Let's do this together.
Let's rock and roll and figure out what is next....let Jesus ruffle some feathers....set us on fire again....and get our wheels in motion.
And remember this post? It is connected to this one, because Jen Hatmaker was a key player in RC and lighting a fire.
For now, I must stick with ambiguity and keeping you intrigued.
I was driving Drew to her friend's house today, and we were chatting. Not about anything in particular...just chatting. Then she told me something that made me kind of sad and a little bit angry. When she was in elementary school, one of the teachers assigned her a project. She researched the project and turned in a very well done and complete assignment. What the teacher did is what made me angry. She told Drew that there was no way a student her age could have done a project like that all on her own. The vocabulary was too advanced for someone her age. She accused her of "stealing" it from the internet. But because it was good, she would would accept it. What Drew told me next is what made me sad. She said for years and years after that, she dumbed down her writing; so she wouldn't be accused of "stealing" from the internet again. It wasn't until recently that she has embraced her great gift of writing. I advised Drew to try to stick up for her work in the future and maybe if that ever happens again, she can ask the teacher to show her where she thinks she "stole" it from on the internet. Then she can assure the teacher that she can give meaning to her work and the vocabulary she used. Honestly I don't think she should have to defend herself. If it's her work, it's hers...plain and simple. Because she has a wide vocabulary, she was ridiculed; and that has impacted her learning for all these years since that day. Remember before accusing someone of something, maybe ask them about the situation first. Now there's a thought. Unfortunately that same teacher is still at our elementary school. I hope that never occurs with one of my other girls...that teacher might be greeted by a MAMA BEAR!
I'm walking out of the library with Callahan and Elliot, after watching Elli sign the back of her new library card and feeling a little verklempt, when I receive this text from Addison: "Have you realized that there was a moment you put me down as a child and never picked me up again?"
My heart immediately skipped a beat and sank into my stomach when I read it, and I immediately replied with: "WHAT? You're making me nervous".... wondering if she is sad that I never picked her up again? Did she remember that day? Was her heart broken? She then replied: "There was a moment when you put me down and never picked me up again."UGH...I thought...I don't want to think about this right now...as you approach your senior year...and I am missing my mama so badly and just watched my baby girl sign her library card.
I replied: "What are you saying? I don't like that thought." "Because I was too big." "I know what it means. I'm just not really crazy about that idea." "I'm just saying it's weird." "Girl...you don't have to tell me that. Believe me I'm grateful you have grown and are healthy, but it's bittersweet; because time has gone by so fast. You grew up good, and I'm thankful."
Then her last reply made my knees buckle: "Keep on holding Elli while you can....(if you can)."
Then I cried.
Time to put it out there for all to hear, read, see, whatever. I, we, us are in the midst of something BIG! I mean huge....the potential is enormous! God put this on my heart in the spring of 2013....well it wasn't actually this, but it was close. Then I discovered He put it on their hearts too...whose hearts?? Theirs, I tell you, theirs. Me and 3 other people, who are very dear to me, are up to something BIG! It's slowly being divulged, but I'm not quite ready to make it completely public yet; so this....as you can see....is a tease. What I can tell you is that:
1. I am officially unemployed....except for my photography business. I resigned from my job without really knowing why, but the more I delve into this; the more I think I understand why.
2. God clearly told me to do this....well not exactly this, but something close to it.
3. God clearly told them to do this too....well not exactly this, but something close to it.
4. I think it's going to be big and good and change people's lives....crossing my fingers.
5. I get goose bumps when I think about it, and I have wept tears of joy several times. It's almost too much for me to take in....not the thing that's going to be big, but the fact that I heard God's voice so clearly. Actually the thing that's going to be big has caused me to weep tears of joy as well.
So there you have it....a whole lot of ambiguous information about what I, we, us are up to.
I'll keep you posted....I promise....but for now just pray that this thing is what God wants it be and glorifies Him in every way!! And remember these 2 letters....RC!
I started journaling several years ago when I realized that I couldn't possibly remember every milestone, cute phrase, wonderful expression, heart tugging word or life changing action that occurs within my own family. I had to face the fact that my brain has become fuller and fuller with each baby born and each day that passes; and now it's overloaded. I find myself having to write down everything from a daily "To Do" list to much more important things like the first time my son kissed me on the lips. I don't want to take anything for granted and chance that I might not remember. I journal in a notebook, in my own handwriting, with the intent and hope that someday my sweet buttercups will cherish having these journals in their mama's own handwriting. I started this blog, because there are some things that are meant to be shared and some things that I hope someone will read and enjoy. Maybe I can learn something from a reader or two as well.
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I am happy to say....
Jesus is my first love!
My children are beautiful, inside and out!
I'm as happy as I've ever been!
NPayne thinks I'm beautiful!
I LOVE vintage!
I live in America!
I let my children get dirty!
I thoroughly enjoy Bible Study!
I'm addicted to linens!
I enjoy watching football on TV!
I live in a house full of imagination!
I pray for world peace!
I support our troops and pray for them daily!
I am VERY sentimental!
My parents were married for 40 years!
I love thrift stores and flea markets!
My favorite room in my house is the nursery!
There are 4 princesses and one prince in my house which makes me a Queen!
I buy organic and eat organic!
We pray together!
I'm a free spirit with an old soul!
My house is covered in photographs of my family!
Four of my five children can make their own breakfast!
I LOVE Saturday Night Disco at our house!
I am shabby chic....maybe a little more shabby than chic!
My children love each other very much!
I wanted a huge family, at least 7 children!
I love making something old into something beautiful!
My wedding ring is an emerald!
I still have a baby in my house!
I have my mother's every day dishes!
I have my mother in law's china!
I try extremely hard not to be judgemental!
My house is 100 years old!
My bed is one of my favorite places to be!
Music often moves me to tears!
I am very easily amused!
I read The Bible!
NPayne and I have a date each week!
I love being a mother with every ounce of my being!
All my babies were delivered by the same doctor!
I have date days with each of my children!
I absolutely loved being pregnant!
I will have eternal life!
I drink a lot of coffee!
I'm a teacher!
I love my church!
I am creative!
I recycle A LOT!
This is my natural hair color (sort of).
I bake with my children every week!
I'm very low maintenance!
I love my girlfriends!
I have good, I mean really good, children!
I'm a believer!
Our family has lots of traditions!
I adore my husband!
My children think I'm the best mom in the whole world!
Add to the madness!!!
Even though we ain't got money....
I'm so in love with you honey!
Read about Fragile X and Autism by clicking on Cal's picture!