Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Dream Lost? or Found?

I have had this dream.  I have had it for quite a while, actually.  It never fails though happens...and my dream falls through the cracks.  It doesn't completely go away however... every once in a while, I feel this twinge of hope that it is still around somewhere.  It's happening as we speak.  That spark of light that could fuel a flame, IF everything was at the right place at the right time.

Do you ever feel that way?  Has God placed something on your heart?  Maybe an idea or a project, but then get in the way?  I am often left wondering if putting something else on my plate is the right thing to do. I can't help but feel however, that He is leading me in that direction.    So I have to push through I guess.  Pray about it some more.  Pray "circles" around it like Mark Batterson talks about in His book, The Circle Maker.  I will have to work hard not to forget it this time.  I have a choice and I want to let those sparks be a catalyst for something God worthy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Psst...I am still here.

Maybe I should remind myself of that.  My goal of writing a few times a week, got side track this past just happened...again.  October 1st, we connected with Practice Hospitality's Whole30 Cleanse.  While the last few days at officer's councils did not go as well as it should have with the eating, I am happy to report we have definitely made changes to our food that will carry on past the 30 days.  Although we have not been able to follow everything to a T, we are on our way to a better, healthier eating lifestyle.  I still crave the nightly bowl of cereal, but having my husband on board has helped a lot.

My mom came in to watch the kids while we were away, and I am so thankful that family has been close enough to watch them during those times.  Its hard to be away from them.  I feel like I miss a lot, but with Skype and Facetime it has made being away a little easier.  I also have gotten to spend a few extra days with my mom, and that doesn't happen very often.

The next few weeks start another busy season for us, as it does for all of you Sallie*Moms out there.  If you have any ideas for Christmas Parties, organization ideas for Angel Tree or Kettles, make sure you post on the Facebook Page. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One of Those Weeks

We all have them every once in a while.  One of those weeks that you are burning the candle at both ends.  Last week was one of them.  My husband was gone on a well-deserved trip with his dad.   Somehow we all made it through unscathed...well almost.

The bus did get a flat tire while I was picking up kids for youth activities.  Thank goodness we are all safe.

I had to be in three places at once on several occasions.  Thank goodness for great leaders and a wonderful mother - in - love who wasn't afraid to take home a route for me.

I had planned several big events this week...I will think twice about that next time.

I over slept one morning after staying up way too late working on things...thankfully mother-in-love was here to take the kids to school.  

Have I told you how awesome my mother-in-love is?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Works for Me Wednesday - Electronic Filing

works for me wednesday at we are that family

As I am venturing out into the digital world (you know I love my gadgets), I am loving that I can merge my minimalist - no clutter lifestyle (well I try anyway!) with my planning.  There is a handy app named Evernote that keeps me organized.  I can take a picture of notes I have taken, Agendas of meetings and file it in a electronic notebook that is accessible on my tablet, phone, or computer.  I can even email documents and emails I have received to certain notebooks in my Evernote Account.

All though I am certainly not an expert yet, I have loved getting to know this great app.  (I have no affiliation with the Evernote people, I just love to use it).  When I am emailed or given an Agenda for a meeting, I simply send it or snap a photo and file it in the appropriate notebook.  Then I don't have to take a ton of papers with me!  I can even take notes at the meeting and file them in the same way.  (I have a wireless keyboard for my tablet or I can use the keyboard provided on the tablet as well.

I have used a paper planner for a long time and it has been hard to let go, but having these apps have certainly lessened my need for the paper planning.  The tablet or smart phone fits in my purse so I have also lightened my load! 

It works for me!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Friendships and Haircut...two bits....

As a Salvation Army Officer, we move around quite a bit.  One of my concerns after a move is always about my children.  Will they like their new school?  Will they find activities that they enjoy?  The big question is:  Will they make new friends?  The answer to that has always been yes, in our experience.   Praise the Lord!  It is always around this time, however that I begin to feel a little lonely myself.  I have always enjoyed having friends in my life.  These women have gotten me through some pretty rough stuff!  But when the kids start school, and we begin to settle in to routine, I have found myself again longing for friendships.  I am sure I am not the only one who feels like this so I thought I would put together a few ways to find friends in your new appointment.

Your Corps:  Now this may seem like common sense, but sometimes this gets neglected. We have great women in our corps.  Get to know them and let them get to know you!!! 

Divisional and Territorial Events:  If you are moving to a new division, make sure you get to know your fellow officers.  They will be the ones that you call on to ask about policies, and will know the heartbeat of the divisionCamp assignments, divisional local officer trainings, and soldiers rallies are great events to attend.  Some divisions even offer a New Officers Orientation.  This is a great way for you to get to know the divisional staff officers and employees.

Civic Clubs:  As an officer we have the opportunity to meet others in our community who have a desire to help those that are in need.  A civic club can help connect you to people who not only are great partnerships in ministry and social work but in friendship as well.

Your Neighbors: Our kids are pretty outgoing so that has helped a lot.  They are not shy about inviting themselves into the houses, but we have a rule that they are not allowed to enter into a house until we have met their parents.  This serves two purposes.  One of course is safety!  We wouldn't want our children to go into a home of a stranger or someone we didn't trust.  Number two, it gives us the opportunity to meet others! 

Your Child's Sports Team:  Thing 1 loves baseball.  With at least one practice and one or two games a week, we had the opportunity to talk to the parents that are cheering their kids on.  I met one of my dear friends at those baseball practices and struck a friendship that lasted way longer than the baseball season!

Birthday Parties:  Thing 2 was invited to two birthday parties this weekend.  Because of a conflict we were only able to attend one.  It was really awkward at first honestly, going to a party and not knowing anyone, but I knew it was important for me to put myself out there!  Don't be afraid to step out and meet new people.  No one has to know that you are using the party as an excuse to talk to other moms! 

Your Child's School:  This has worked well for me in the past and probably the number one way to meet women who are at the same point in life as you are.  You automatically have some things in common as far as your kids go.  Volunteering for events in the class or at the school also gives you a common goal to work toward.

A Great Haircut: I know what you are thinking.  How in the world does a great haircut help?  Believe me, if you would have told me this before yesterday I too would have said you were crazy.  Yesterday, as Thing 2 and I were heading to the car from lunch, a woman chased me down.  She just loved my haircut and wanted to know who my stylist was.  (Thanks Melissa at Bella Si!!)  We struck up a conversation and I was even able to pray with her right on the spot!  God uses things, even hair cuts, to help us connect to others!  We have a few things in common and I look forward to getting to know her better.

The great thing about making friends in your appointments is that they can stay with you even through a move.  It can be kind of scary to meet new women, but I can tell you my life is much fuller because of them.  In each appointment I still have those special friends that keep in touch and even visit from time to time.  With Facebook, Skype, and FaceTime our kids have the opportunity to stay connected to friends and that has really helped them, especially though this last transition.  I cannot close without mentioning the friends that have stuck with me since high school and college and I am so thankful for them.  They are truly how I have gotten this far.  Friendships whether they are old or new, are how I am able to function as a person!  I am grateful for all of the connections that God has given me over the years!  Here's to many more!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Works for Me Wednesday - Scritpure Memorization Cards

works for me wednesday at we are that family

We have been pretty faithful in our family devotional time, and recently have taken some time for Scripture Memorization with our kids.  Last year I was browsing Craigslist for some Bible curriculum and came across these cards and now we are using them in our memorization routine.

I think I paid around $1  for them!  Each card has a Bible Verse that starts with the corresponding letter.  Our family is doing one or two letters a week and we are now through letter H!  So in a few weeks time we have memorized 8 verses and will know 26 by the end of the set!  We are so excited and the kids are having a lot of fun.

These particular cards were published in 1975 as a part of the A beka curriculum.  You can order a set here or browse Craigslist and Yard Sales like I did. 

We have seen how an intentional devotional time has benefited our family and are pretty sure it will benefit you too!  It may not be for everyone...but these cards work for us, and they just might work for you too!  Happy Memorizing!

Disclaimer:  I do not have any affiliation with A beka.  I just really like their cards. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Absence Makes the Heart Grow...Fonder???

After weeks of camps, TMI, and TYI, we are all finally back under one roof. That means that we are sharing living space again with each other. It means that we are doing laundry for four people (and a dog) instead of just ourselves.
It means cooking full meals instead of "grabbing what we can."
After four weeks of separation, we have to learn how to navigate between the piles of laundry, the library books, and dog toys without stepping on one another. It means that family meal times are back in play with devotions, and soon homework time will fill our table with pencils, paper, protractors, and rulers! My husband and I have to relearn how to share bathroom space, coordinate schedules, and tiptoe around each other when the other is sleeping. In fact, I have had to find a new place to blow dry my hair.
Although our world on this side of the tunic is chaotic, I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Appointment...New Vision...Same Awesome God

Since my last post...I am sure my few readers have abandoned me for bigger and brighter pursuits, we have seen much change since February 2013.  March and April were busy with school activities, Divisional Music practices, and reorganizing.  It seems that the looming late April date of marching orders calls always puts me in a mood to organize and purge "just in case" we get a call.  This year, we received the call.  We were moving from Music City (Nashville, TN) to a small town named Ashland, KY.  May and June were filled with packing, more organizing and purging, divisional weekend camps, and many hard goodbyes. 

We have done quite a bit of goodbye - ing in our 11 years of ministry, but Nashville Citadel, being our longest appointment (4 years), was a hard appointment to leave.  Our children were hit hard and many prayers were said along the way as we struggled to deal with heartache and nervousness.

June and July were spent unloading, unpacking, and wrapping our hands around a new town and corps.  We were very thankful for the week we were given to explore and allow our children to acclimate to their new surroundings.  We are learning a lot already and are excited to see what God has in store in Ashland.  

School starts tomorrow and Thing 1 and Thing 2 are looking forward to meeting new friends.  This will be the true beginning of their adventure here as they begin to make connections that will last a life time.  How do I know that is so?  Because we have friends from 5 other appointments in our ministry and they are still strong today.  We may have a new house and a new town, but God has stayed with us and given us people to love and love us along the way!

Here is to another appointment filled with love, laughter, and service together in His Name!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When Sickness Prevails...

I have been struggling to keep up with writing, but hoping that some new found motivation will keep me on a more consistent path.  The last few months have been filled with meetings, kettles, Christmas, a trip to South Carolina, and more recently...sickness.  First Thing 2, then a week later Thing 1, a week after that it was my turn.  Being sick or taking care of sick kids can wreak havoc on a ministry that depends on you for guidance and implementation.  Thankfully, in our current appointment, I have some fabulous leaders that can step in, in a pinch.  Of course, it doesn't stop my husband from hyperventilating at the thought of running things by himself in my absence. 

The past few weeks were a good reminder that developing leaders for all of our programs is essential.  There are many appointments, where this may seem like a huge feat.  In fact, it might be impossible.  So what happens when the kids are sick, and your spouse is left to fend for himself during youth activities?  I asked my friends in the Sallie*Mom Facebook group and they come up with some fabulous suggestions.

Create a "Sick Bay" for your sick kid to hang out in, perhaps in your office or other room in the building.  If your children are too young to stay in a separate room on their own, this may not work, unless you can find a responsible teenager or adult to watch them.  This would be perfect if you are short staffed and the sick one is responsible enough to stay in the room.  When Thing 1 got sick last week, my husband was in charge of the guitar class.  I had no alternate teacher.  Thing 1 was able to stay in my office and watch a TV show through the internet until the guitar class was finished.  I was able to take over activities from there, and they were able to go home for the rest of the night.

Find a Sitter.  This may not always be possible, but would be beneficial if the child is too sick to even venture out doors. 

Stay Home.  Sometimes you just have to stay home with the kids.  It may require some creative solutions on your part to get your activities done.  Last week, we were short staffed, so we made a decision to have movie night for youth activities.  It kept the youth entertained and contained! 

The important thing is to do what works for you and your family!  In what ways have you had to creatively provide for your sick kids?  What things do you do, when you find yourself short-staffed for activities at the corps?