I got this link from a friend on facebook about these Christian tees for women. Check it out on the bottom of my site! :) I don't know about you, but I've been searching for these. They are hard to find, your average Lifeway and Family just aren't going to have them. So finding this treasure is such a treat! I have a wishlist now, the only problem is picking which one I want first! There are so many to choose from! Do I pick based on the verse, the style, or the color? Hmmm, decisions, decisions. For someone who cannot make decisions, this is sooooo hard!!
Check them out, support these hard working moms who love God, love people and dress yourself in His word. Sounds like a good plan to me!
I promised to talk about things from my list and I will-after I share from my heart about my experience on the playground today. A dear friend called this morning and invited us to the park for a picnic and playdate. The cool thing is we haven't been able to do this in forever because our dates never work out and the other cool thing is this friend is one of Nathan's "girlfriends." The other cool thing is that this friend is one of those very few people I can totally be myself with, I have a hard time doing that with everyone. It's not about them, it's all about me, you know the stinky old self image deal. Aims is about the only one I let myself just "be" with. So it's nice to have someone like her around here. BUT, I woke up having one of those really down days where I wanted to just stay in bed and cuddle with two little monkeys. I guess God made her call me or I would still be in my sweats without a shower right now (Jim's so thankful for her!). I got a move on despite my funk, worked out despite feeling like it's useless right now and actually got to the park only 10 minutes later than planned. Nathan was so excited to see his girlfriend and eat his BK lunch, don't think he's even had one before. Brady was excited to have my fries and his apples and his nuggets! They ate quickly and voraciously attacked Springwood Park. Fun, fun, fun! Brady doesn't think there's anything that he can't do, he'll even tell you that. Some of those climby things freak me out, his legs just don't stretch that far-geez, mine have a hard time stretching that far!!! He was in that tubey thing trying to go up because he had seen Nathan do it and if Nathan can do it, Brady will try his best to do it. So there he is, trying hard to do it when three older chicks stand at the top of the tubey thing look down at him. They then proceed to slide on down, right over my Brady. I'm standing right there, HELLO?!! Brady just lets it all pass, no sweat, he's used to falling and getting right back up, right? He tries again, this time his big brother has noticed the big girls (about 7-8 years old, why aren't they in school?) so Nathan is behind him and his girlfriend is behind him. Nathan is trying to boost Brady up and the big girls slide down AGAIN. My crowd again is not too phased, I think I have smoke coming from my ears, but I try to let kids manage playground stuff. Brady tries again with Nathan giving his bottom a boost. The now titled MEGs (mean elementary girls) stand at the top of the tube and starting laughing. One even says, "Let's make fun of them and laugh at them." WHOA, now that's just not nice. And Nathan tells them they are not being nice. They continue laughing and my crowd continues pushing. Finally I crawl in the tube (no laughing at the image created with that one!) and begin to push a bum up the tube. MEGs come back and start laughing until they see me and I respond with, "Must be easy to make fun of someone half your age." I finish pushing my two bums up and Nathan's girlfriend makes it up on her own. The MEGs continued to laugh at my boys throughout our time at the park until my friend and I were just done and ready to go. Hate leaving a park because of three little mean elementary girls. Seriously, now they will grow up to be mean adult women who treat others rudely. Unless someone intervenes and changes their hearts which leads this brokenhearted mama into her discussion on ORANGE! In a minute, though. I must confess that I am SOOOO very proud of Nathan for standing up for his brother and his friend by telling those older girls that laughing at them was not nice. He's one pretty amazingly awesome wonderful kid! I'm blessed beyond measure to have those two guys. And just this morning Nathan and I were talking about others and how we treat them. My pastor talked a while ago about a classmate of his named Leonard and I was sharing that with Nathan. The essence of the Leonard story is that there will be different people in this world; some will dress differently, wear glasses, smell funny, some may not walk well, some may be in wheelchairs, some may not be good readers, some may be have different colored skin, hair, eyes or no hair at all. But, God made each and every one of them and He has called us to love them and treat them the way we want to be treated. No matter what. Love God, Love People, that's what it's all about. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I got tons of support from my facebook friends. But starting my day off in a funk and having my sweet, precious boys picked on is not great.
Yep, it's a great, cheerful color, one of Jim's favorites and it can speak volumes for your ministry! Last year our youth and childrens ministry team went ORANGE and tried to share that vision with the church. I thought I had the vision, I understood it enough to explain it, but it was not in my heart. It was not my passion, it was not transforming me or the way I want to do ministry. If you're reading and thinking, oh, I'm not in ministry, this doesn't apply to me, you're wrong. If you have children and you want to grow in teaching them to have a relationship with Christ, then you may want to read a bit more, I have a great tool for you. After attending the ORANGE conference last month I now have the vision, I am transformed, I cannot wait to make it a contagious force within my church. I want my entire church (and yours) to capture this ORANGE vision and create a change that will strengthen families.
The ORANGE Conference is about bringing children and youth leaders together to guide and direct them on leading our children to Christ and a relationship with Him. I just had a typo where I had REALationship. Hmmm, not quite a typo is it? Sorry, got distracted there. I don't know about you, but there's nothing I want more in this world than for Nathan and Brady to have a real personal relationship with Him. When they were first born I struggled with singing classic children's songs or Christian songs or reading Christian stories over secular stories. I know, it shouldn't be that big of a deal, but I'm weird like that. I realized two things. 1. If I make sure God always has first place in their lives He's going to take care of everything else in their lives (from the alphabet to their future finances). 2. He's going to take care of everything so we'll do a good mix of both! So far, I think it's working. :)
I experienced an amazing time of worship (love Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill and Phil Wickham) and Francis Chan totally knocked my socks off! I had breakout sessions with some people who are doing church in ways that made me say, I want us to do that, how can we do that??? My brain started going on overdrive and it's not slowing down!! SMC watch out! I heard some great speakers and bought a book that I'm slowly devouring. I bet if I enjoyed my food as much as I enjoy this book I would lose some weight! It talks about what ORANGE is all about. I'm only on page 91, yes if you know me I normally read a book a day. The entire Twilight series in 4 days anyone? I'm taking this one piece by piece because it's meaningful for not just our ministry, but for my family. My prayer while at ORANGE was that I would be a better parent. I came home and felt like my prayer had been immediately answered. There was so much peace in my home. That peace has slowly dissolved and I need to get at the heart of what created that peace and how it can be a constant. I feel like that can be found in this book because this book is about families and making sure our connection to God is our top priority. Or maybe I just need to get away again... It will be available for purchase soon, it's called Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide. It's "about two entities partnering to make a greater impact or to create a better solution."It's good, well, the first 91 pages are and if you only get something out of those pages, you've spent good money. I think my highlighter is spent from those 91 pages!
If you ever have the chance to attend an ORANGE Conference or a Catalyst Conference, GO! I was hesitant because that means leaving my family, but this was beyond worth it! I'm so thankful my church thinks enough of me to send me. I'm hopeful I can give back a little something of what I gained there. We're off to a great ORANGE summer. If you have any ideas of any ORANGE things, anything no matter how whacky or outrageous they may seem, send them my way. ORANGE foods, ORANGE games, ORANGE skits, you name it, if it's ORANGE, I want to know about it! Also looking for some ORANGE clothes, my one ORANGE t-shirt from last summer may not make it. If you see something that looks nice on sale in the area, let me know so I can grab it!
Oh, and what does ORANGE mean? Here you go, if you haven't heard it, I hope you love it as much as I do! We all know that red and yellow together make ORANGE. Imagine the church being yellow (the light of Christ) and families being red (the heart). Put it together and you get ORANGE. You get the heart/love and the light of Christ in one as it should be. They weren't meant to be separated. Be ORANGE.
I have SOOOO much I want to write about but I'm going to have to take a couple days, weeks, months, years; well, you know, to get it done. So I'll just briefly tell you what's to come so you'll have something to look forward to. Consider it a sneak peek! :)
1. ORANGE rocked my world and I don't know if I'll be able to put it into words. This may be it. Nah, I really want to attempt to explain my ORANGE fever to you guys to help you understand where my brain will be the next few months. I am beyond grateful for Jim for being totally cool with me going and being such an awesome dad who LOVES staying home with our boys. He's really amazing. Can I just say chocolate covered hot dogs?
2. Some health issues. Nathan's starting to dislike PT. Yikes. He's in it for the long haul. Nathan's first dentist appointment with the great Tracy Edwards. Oh yeah, my little guy being brave, at least trying to! :) No cavities! Then there's the great praise---Brady went to Dr. Weiner at Duke for his LAST visit Friday. Everything's great, here's the quote, "No one will ever even know he's had surgery." Well, this mama hopes no one's really looking. Mama's are supposed to feel that way! And for me, the scale FINALLY moved down a full 2 lbs. after not budging for two months. That's nice. :) I've also been headache free for a while. I had one while in ATL, but that was from no sleep and some really awesome (loud) worship music. BUT, my headache prevention meds cause me to have some memory problems. For instance, today at girl Lowes (that would be the grocery store vs. the home improvement store, man Lowes) I ran into someone and called him by his father's name. He was so embarrassed and told his dad who was quick to correct me. SOO embarrassing. Then tonight at church I called one of our pastor's kids Makayla and her brother was like, it's Makenna. These are things I KNOW, but my brain is not able to process that info. Or you'll ask me a simple question and my brain may not be able to open that drawer to get the answer so we both end up frustrated. It's embarrassing because in those short passing by conversations you can't tell someone that your meds make your brain a little loopy sometimes so they just think you're loopy. Jim says he prefers me to not be in pain over being able to remember things. Since I've been without the pain for a nice (lovin' it) time now, I don't remember if it's really that bad. It was, wasn't it?
3. In the past few weeks, I've had some incredible words of encouragement said on my behalf. They have been sparked by God so He's either preparing my heart for a time of heartache when I'll need those words or He knows how much those words have been a balm and a much needed spirit booster, perhaps a bit of both. Two newish friends. I say newish, because I characterize my life as BH and AH. Before Harris and After Harris. Odd, I know, but I am a different person that I was as his mother. So these are AHers. Sweet, dear women. One of them worked with the great Fafa (that would be Sarah Apel, my nurse/angel/friend/support) so she knows probably more about the ins and outs of Harris than I can remember. The other one I met last year and she is just so sweet. Anyway, they both said they admire me. I've never considered myself worthy of admiration so it took me completely by surprise. I'm still kinda stumped. They are both awesome women I adore! Jolene and Sara, if you come across this, I hope you know how much your words have meant to me. I also have to tell you about this incredible note of affirmation I got from a link leader and a student...but not now! Ooo, it's so perfectly wonderful!
4. Did I say I was psyched about kicking off ORANGE at SMC? Jarm's allowed me to take over Huddle Times with our link leaders on Sunday nights. This is a biggie for lots of reasons. But the big one is I LOVE it! Sorry Aims, I just said biggie! Anyway, I love my volunteers. Anyone who willingly signs up to spend hours with middle and high school students each week to love on them, encourage them, pray for them and pour their lives into them is my hero (lucky me, I'm married to one of them, too!). My first week BOMBED! More about this later.
See, you're just getting tidbits here. Just wondering if anyone other than my precious Aims is reading and really interested in getting more here!
I've also had quite a few philosophical questions that pop into my head. You know the ones that come right as you've just applied the shaving cream to your legs and the kids come barging into not just the bathroom, but burst open the shower curtain. Yep, those thoughts. So, if I'm able to remember any of them, I want to ask them and get some thoughts. Here's the first highly philosophical question of the day:
Do you think I should cut my hair much shorter? HAHAHA Sorry, just had to throw that one out there. Okay, here goes with a bit of a background.
Our Bible story for tonight was on Elijah and Elisha. To begin with, I'm sure this was confusing the gibblets out of Nathan. I was confusing myself. Why couldn't they have named them Elijah and Boomer or something a bit easier to distinguish? I'll be up reading a bit deeper into that story tonight! But the lesson was about having a mentor, a strong Christian to follow (much like my fabtabulous link leaders). To be a better Christian by surrounding yourself with those who have walked with God longer. I asked Nathan whom he admires. He answered God. Admirable and wise answer. But I think he's on to our Bible story time and thinks all of our questions must end in the answer God. Sweet, but not genuine, you know? So I started digging deeper. Finally got Daddy out (YES!) and we talked about his church class leaders who are a young couple who are so devoted they are there every Saturday night and have been for the past two years and our pastors. That got me thinking about who I admire and do I let them know it enough? Sometimes I think my pride gets in the way of doing that. Weird, stubborn pride, can't explain it. I think it's because if I'm truly honest with myself it's disappointing to be lacking the qualities those people possess. But now that I've figured it out, I can fight it! So, now I'm thinking not only WHO I admire, but WHAT qualities do I admire in those people? Those are the qualities I want for myself and my own children. If I can't have them for me, how can I instill them in N & B? Here's your actual question(s): Who do you admire? What qualities do you admire in that person/those people and why?
I'm the incredibly blessed wife of Jim and mom of one angel in heaven, Harris, and two on earth, Nathan and Brady. I am a stay at home mom most of the time and get paid (a blessing that I don't want to call a job or work) to have a ton of fun working in student ministries at St. Mark's Church. God has blessed our family so abundantly. I am humbled by His love and grace.