Monday, May 23, 2016

The Business Boutique experience

We all are bombarded with conference choices right and left; Mommy conferences, blogging conferences, life balance training, church weekend retreats. They all sound lovely and I'm one of the many who would like to attend everyone of them, but let's be honest. Spending the time, money and effort to attend is just plain daunting sometimes! Unfortunately, it has been difficult enough that 6 years has flown by, since I've taken a weekend to invest in myself. What?!
Well, how many years has it been for you? How long has it been since you've let your self dream, not just the small stuff, but the big, scary, exciting dreams? Do you find it hard which part of your life to nourish? Spirit, soul or body?
Fall 2015, was the first I heard Dave Ramsey speak of this conference designed for the woman/mom entrepreneur. It was so intriguing and up until the day before it started (true story) I really tried to figure out who I could just hop in the car and run away, I mean, drive to Nashville, even inviting myself to sleep on the floor of an acquaintance who lives near the venue. There was something about it that seem to resinate with my gut, but then I resolved it was most likely just another conference to get me excited about what my life was not going to be able to look like.
You know what I mean, we who are in the day to day grind. Beautiful little faces to engage with, toilets to clean, mounds of laundry to put away (not my strength), and strong(willed) minds to fill with foundational math facts. Of course, that barely scratches the surface for most of us. None of this negates the blessings, truly that fact we have children, indoor plumbing and at least clean water to wash our clothing, means we are abundantly rich. In spite of it all, to whom much is given, much is required. We have seeds of hopes planted in us and as we learn from what life needs to teach us, we can't help but wonder if there is 'something more'.
This is the year. 2016 is the year for you, for me, for our dreams to get nurished, inspired, refined and even defined. The Business Boutique conference refueled and affirmed my spirit, dreams, passions; as well as 1600 other like-minded women. It was powerful, y'all. The expectation was high, but it was met and surpassed in surprising and longed-for ways. Incredible women filled the speaking platform, not just giving inspirational words, but giving actual tools, and resources to go achieve whatever mountain we needed to climb. Every page of the conference workbook was filled in and today was spent go back over just to help digest the bulk and it will be my go-to as big changes happen these next few months.
GO! Yes, there is still a chance during the fall of 2016 to attend the best place to spend your hard earned money, vacation or whatever sacrifice you need to make to be a part of this movement. It sure would be fun to experience this together!
Christine Caine delivered the powerhouse finale Friday evening

Do you detest groupies? I totally did until I became one, once I realized the speakers would actually take a minute to talk to you!  Annie F. Downs was the Emcee for the weekend and she was HILARIOUS!

Christy Wright was fantastic. Got to admit I'm jealous about how cute she looks pregers, but she had some great content. Why wasn't I that smart at her age? Did I mention I convinced my mother-in-law to attend with me?! It goest to show, no matter what stage you are in life, this conference is for you! 



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Opportunity

There is always a story behind the picture. Good or bad. I wrote this post over 2 years ago and thought I would finally push the send key.
Life is full, it is rich and it is busy. Always striving to be intentional, sometimes unintentionally crams our schedules to full capacity. Juggling housework, homeschooling, school, speech therapy, two part time businesses, and allowing for 'slow' cooking (a term I picked from this great book) is a lot. We all have a lot. So you can imagine my distress; after a 40 minute, tense, detour filled drive, when I found out I had mixed up the week my Bible study was meeting. Grrrrr. Completely my fault. Frustrating because I kept thinking of laundry I could've been catching up on instead of my expended effort for a nonexistent event.
 To top it off, as I was reeling from my mix up, the children's director at our church started talking to me, but she had actually mistook me for someone else. Not sure who, but since I serve on the team, I suddenly felt not so memorable. You know what I'm talking about. Seems a little self focused, but we all like to think that we are known on some level with people we interact with on a regular basis. Thankfully, one of the sweet childcare workers sensed my distressed as I picked up my boy 2 minutes after dropping him off. She mentioned maybe I should go do something fun with him since I had been given this extra margin.
Well, I took a few moments to readjust my thinking and decided to head to our local children's farmstead. I realized I never had taken the time to drive out there with just my little man. We had such a special time of course. Completely unprepared & unplanned, yet exactly what we needed to do.
'Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.' Eph 5:15


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Girls!!

Wanted to post a few pictures from our quick girls weekend in Des Moines. A little less than 24 hrs of pure fun for the three cousins. So grateful to see the three of them share a friendship that is inclusive of one another at all times. 
We are looking forward to making this an annual tradition!

Contentment

Such a first world problem and yet, an age old problem.
Honestly, if we were in a third world country our mindset would be mostly about survival. I am sure there still is a struggle with jealousy. Yet, some of the most content, joyful and truly happy people though I have met in places that seem so hopeless, empty of the luxuries that you can I experience everyday.
What is the secret?
I share what is on my mind, not because I have it figured out, but simply because I am here. Again.
I say again, because when I was younger I couldn't wait until I could go off to school and have my own adventure. When I was having grand adventures I was envious of those who were getting married and happily settling down. When I was getting married.... well you can fill in the blank. The pull of grand promotions, babies, houses, Pottery Barn furniture. You know what I am saying.
In the first years of our move to Kansas City, I saw the Lord really hammer contentment into my heart and I felt it transform my life. What peace, happiness and true joy I experienced no matter the circumstance. I still walk in that. Every once in awhile, I just have to remind myself of some simple truths. Heb 13:5 "Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have." Rom 12 :15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Heb 13:15 "Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God." Notice, it says to offer it through Jesus, not out of our own strength or ability.
So, we are at the stage again where transition is happening for our close circle of friends. Grand adventures, job favor, even their kids are experiencing promotions in life. It is easy to get restless, wonder if we are missing something, maybe even envious of what our 'neighbor' has. Chances are that our life might even cause someone else to wrestle with discontentment. We are so blessed and life is so good. Psalm 119:74 "May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word." May I be continually reminded of where my hope is found.
Then I am reminded that the things in this world, that bring us happiness, is just icing on the cake compared to the joy to be found in Him and in the life to come.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Miracles

My pastor mentioned once, that at any given time we are just finishing walking through a crisis, about to head into one or in the middle of what we see as a trial. I would venture the same is to be said of miracles.
I'm in need of one now. Really, I could use a few.
How often do the bigger needs take our eyes off the small victories?
Just a few weeks ago, we drove to my in-laws in Iowa. Only about a 5 hour trip, but we were bringing the very important Jack Stack ribs and beans for dinner! This was an easy drive, just our youngest with us, we were carefree and fun. We made it just in time and the whole gang was waiting for the food, er I mean, our arrival.
We headed out later that evening with friends, to go look at favorite places around town and hear memories from my husband and his friend of 25+ years. As we pulled back up to the house we noticed that our van, which had sat in the drive way since we arrived earlier that day, had a very flat tire. What a bummer! I wanted to moan over the money & time that was about to be spent, but I found myself saying something that surprised even myself. What a miracle that it happened after we finished our drive, instead of somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
So true. Certainly, I am far from a saint and can easily count it all joy, but I let myself think about my response. In many ways, this could've gone down differently that would have changed the whole scenario. I personally, have experienced a few inconvenient flat tires in my life.
I was truly grateful that the tire went flat when it did.
Learning gratefulness, practicing gratefulness. Eventually, hopefully, experiencing gratefulness in the fullness of how our Lord desires.
Until that time, I choose to meditate on the ones that I have already journeyed through. The reality is, I can't even remember half of all that I've been given and I'm confident that when I get to heaven, many will be revealed that I hadn't noticed here on earth.
I wait. You might be waiting as well, but in the meantime; see and experience the miracles of the everyday.
A very special miracle story & if you haven't read this you must! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

This one

Can't you just hear his motorcycle sounds?

We spent 5 hours, yes, 5 hours at Legoland.

A new favorite. Aren't boys so much fun??

This is one precious moment of him, trying not to smile as they sang 'Happy Birthday'.
So grateful to be the mom to this one. All boy and constantly keeping me on my toes. Full of life and ready to take it on. 
May the Lord always lead and guide him, keeping him safely in His hands.

Quite the week I'd say! Back to school, a 4th birthday celebration, and three blog posts; just to name a few things.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And so it begins!

Three months ago as the beautiful, lazy summer stretched before me I could not possibly imagine excitement for the next school year. I loved the thought of having my kids 24-7. Molding every thought, answering every question, allowing endless imaginative play, sleeping in. All this in tandem with making frequent trips to the pool in order to survive the steamy temperatures.
Yes, most of that did happen; among many road trips, multiple visitors and probably hundreds of time-outs. Ah, the joys of sibling togetherness and summer indulgence. We did embrace every moment, grew more in love with each other and even managed a nice tan in the process.

Did I say I couldn't have imagined being excited for a new school year? Well, as is meant to be, the last few months have reminded me how grateful I am for our Christian education that we sacrifice for, so we can have the luxury of having another gifted human being enjoy our children a few hours a day, four days a week.
He'll be doing 1 day of preschool, but has already begun speech therapy (he loves both!!) 
A lot of miles will be put on the 14 year old minivan, many projects finished last minute, hundreds of (ok, at least 50) books read, lunches packed, and lost patience as we try to get out the door on time. So much is required in our unique parent partnership school, but it is so worth everything; right at this moment.
1st day of 1st grade. Loving her ensemble!

1st day of 2nd grade! She's already in love with her teacher. Tired smile from no sleep because she got too excited.
And so it begins! I know I will forget to cross all the 't's' and dot all the 'i's', but I will fall more in love with my children, enjoy 3 hours of kid-freeness (is that a word?) a week and once again build up anticipation for our next summer together.