Monday, August 30, 2010

Every Little Thing

This morning, I woke up to the sound of rain. I was not thrilled to hear it. It rains a lot here in the Fall. I am not ready for the rain.

My kids were ecstatic. One son couldn't wait to splash in the puddles. Another son wondered about frogs and tadpoles. They all stood by the window watching the raindrops hit the puddles.

As soon as it wasn't raining, the boys begged to go exploring. I smiled at the three brothers, laughing and talking loudly, as they walked down the sidewalk.

It didn't take long. I couldn't stand staying inside any longer. They had been gone long enough for me to know they were enjoying themselves. I wanted to see their treasures. I had to see the smiles.

They caught one frog and one got away. They picked up worms. A little bug aptly named, "Walker" crawled all over my 5 year old. They moved rocks, explored "the swampland" and laughed at hopping grasshoppers.

The sky was gray but the day couldn't have seemed more beautiful.

Little treasures. Little slithering and hopping creatures blessed my day. I was thankful for the mucky mud. That slimy mess brought us together.

I was reminded, everything- every little thing- was created and is amazing.

"How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No, Really, Please Take It

I spent the week getting ready for and having a garage sale - though it was really more in the yard than in the garage. The good news is, my garage is getting clean! The great news is, I made $600! Seriously, that is some
great news. I am super excited.

Garage Sale Lessons learned:

  • Mark more valuable things slightly higher than you want to sell them so you can say yes when the customer asks if you can come down in price.
  • People would rather pay $1 for something than take it free. For some reason, free screams "not worthy" and $1 says "great deal"
  • It is fun to give things to people.
  • It is not fun to watch someone steal. I didn't say anything. But, I would have said, "If it's that important, just take it."
  • I need new sunglasses. Walking in and out of the garage made my eyes feel crazy. The glasses were too dark inside the garage but just right in the bright sun.
  • I feel guilty when friends come to my garage sale. I would rather just give them my stuff.
  • There is something truly gratifying seeing people get excited about items that once meant something to me.
  • Back to the free stuff~ Instead of giving something away, ask for a donation. I tried to give away some misc items (liquid kind) from a friend that moved (her movers couldn't move the items). The first interested person said he could not take it for free. So, he grabbed a handful of items and handed me 5 bucks. After that, I just asked for a donation. It was surprising how much people would hand me for half used bottles of spray paint and caulking.
  • After the sale, offer to give one of your friend shoppers the rest of the loot. This really works with the children's clothes. My friend was so happy, she took bags of other stuff to donate for me. She insisted.
  • Two day garage sales are best.
  • When I am a grandparent (years and years from now), I am going to shop at garage sales. I saw many, many grandparents.
  • There's no shame in asking. I had a customer ask if I had a baby gate. I ran inside and grabbed the baby gate that I had debated selling. It was a win-win situation.
  • Say "yes" to Craig's List. I advertised on Craig's list. I also listed specific items that I was selling. I had a customer thank me for listing my items.
  • Last but not least, make sure you have opportunities for bathroom breaks. I didn't really plan for that. I was smart to make sure my kids were well cared for but I was not smart enough to plan for bathroom breaks. (No worries, no accidents!)
Oh, one more thing, compliment your shoppers. Not because you are trying to secure a sale. Just compliment people.
I don't remember how much she bought, but I do remember the smile on the lady's face when I complimented her flip flops.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Correctly Labeled

I stopped by the school yesterday to check out some food for my son's 1st grade class. We have 2 weeks until school starts and his teacher asked me if I could come in a check out a few snacks. I am really happy with the teacher's proactive, positive attitude about my son's peanut allergy.

All of the snacks she bought were safe. It was easy to check the labels and it made me feel great to be checking labels before school starts.

Reading food labels is just part of life for us. I read food labels every single time I shop. I read them when we are visiting friends. I read them at home. It seems like I read them everywhere. I read food labels constantly. It's just a normal part of food allergy life.

I never imagined I'd find a food label that made me laugh.

I can laugh as a food allergy mom. Sometimes, I need to laugh.

From from Peanut Allergy Mom:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Walking Away - The Choice III

I cannot quit.
My parents drummed this in my brain: I am not a quiter.
. . .

When my husband deployed to Iraq in 2005, I was one busy woman. I was the leader of the Family Readiness Group (that served some 250 families of soliders). I led a group of leaders in a mom's group. I also led a small group within the mom's group. Then there was soccer and Awana's. All of that was on top of taking care of 3 kids, all under the age of 5. I kept busy while my husband was gone. I thought that was a smart way to handle the deployment. It was way too much for me. It led to my blog and the reason for my blog title. That deployment and stint as a single parent was overwhelming. I tried to be super mom. I was tired, frustrated, and over-burdened. I was stretched too thin.

When my husband and I decided to separate, I felt unforeseeable pain. (If this sentence sends you into shock, read this: Separation: The Choice II)

I found myself laying around the house. Overwhelmed. Everything was getting on my nerves.

Obedience, yes. A serving heart, no.

I couldn't figure out what was wrong, except that I felt overwhelmed and frustrated. I was sure the separation was needed but I wasn't ready.

I kept thinking~
"I will not handle this well. I cannot be the PTO President, a leader at my mom's group, have numerous responsibilities at church, and manage my kids. I can. But, I don't want to. It is going to be so hard."
. . .
Then, I realized I had a choice.

I don't want to manage my kids while juggling my responsibilities.

My heart's cry is~ "I can't quit."

I can choose.

I am choosing my dedication to family. My kids. I am choosing my sanity. Myself. I am choosing my faith. Enough time to put God first.

I am choosing to step down, step out, and let go.

It's hard. It's really hard for me to step away from responsibilities. But... I have a peace that I haven't had in days.

The choice to live. That's the choice I'm making.

I am going to live in such a way that we will become financially sound. I am going to live in such a way that I provide for my family before the activities and busyness.

Stepping down from responsibilities makes me feel weak. I find myself hearing the lie: If I were strong enough, I could do it.

I chose to be weak, because it is going to make me strong.

I dread the impression others may have of me after I step away from responsibilities. I know not everyone will understand. I hate letting others down.

I take comfort in knowing that I have my priorities straight. In some ways, I'm excited about the resolve I have. I am thrilled that I am strong enough to make this decision.

I am choosing to walk away from busyness, hand-in-hand with my faith, family, and sanity intact.

. . .
I encourage you to constantly inventory your activities. Make sure that you aren't doing too much. Even great activities can have a negative impact on you or your family if you are involved in too many of them. This is a lesson I am constantly learning.
. . .

This is the final post in a three part series on Choices. To read part 1, go here: The Pain - Choice Part I. To read part 2, go here: Separation - Choice Part II.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Thanks Tank #139

Each week I take time to notice what I am thankful for. I usually make a list of some sort. Sometimes I share a list on my blog and sometimes I highlight one thing I really appreciate. Each Thursday, I dedicate myself to thankfulness, even if I don't feel like it. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Today, I am thankful for little things:

1. My morning coffee
2. Emails from friends
3. Texts from friends
4. Farkle (yes, I'm addicted)
5. Leftovers for lunch
6. Phone calls from my dad
7. Working with my son on math and watching him learn
8. A play date for the kids
9. Getting to chat with a friend during the play date
10. Starbucks gift cards
11. My husband cooking dinner
12. Riding my bike
13. Exercising at the Gym
14. My IPOD
15. Hugs from my son
16. Laughter from my daughter
17. Winning a giveaway: an autographed Paula Deen cookbook
18. Candles
19. the Quiet of the house after the kids are in bed
20. My husband
21. Books from the library

Take time to be thankful today. You won't regret it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Separation - Choice Part II

My husband and I are separating.

The worst part is how it might look. Okay, that's not true. The worst part will be being apart from each other. Or, maybe the worst part will be having to be a single parent.

My husband is taking a job in another state.

Due to several factors, which include school and the house we own, we've decided that he will move on without us to begin with.

I will stay here and mother my 4 kids. He will go and start a new job.

We are choosing the best thing for us long term. Short term, it's going to be a hard year.

I will get my 3 boys started here in school. We are comfortable with our school. My son's allergy needs are well-managed and I have already met with his teacher. The schools where my husband will be working started last week.

We won't risk financial strain because of our house. We owe more on our house than it is worth. The timing isn't right to do anything with it. So, my kids and I will stay while my husband goes.

Maybe it will be until Christmas break. Most likely it will be until Summer break.

Separation is not a choice made lightly.

We are making hard choices. We are praying. We are planning each step we make. While I know that this is not the path I want, it is the path that we need to take.

I prayed, "I will live anywhere, if it helps us get out of debt." I had no idea I'd need to stay.

Sometimes the choices we have to make are hard. Sometimes the paths we have to take aren't easy. We feel the difficulty of this situation. I've been struggling quite a bit emotionally over it. And, while it's hard, I am certain that we are making good choices. We are depending on God- and we are thankful for the job opportunity that he's been given.

Humble hearts that are dependent on God make perseverance possible.

"He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way." Psalm 25:9

Separation for a time. Dedication forever.

. . .
We'd love your prayers.

This is Part II of a 3 part series on Choices. To read Part I, go here: The Pain: Choice Part I.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Pain - Choice Part I

We've been in pain for years, hurting over decisions made early on in our marriage.

We are solid. We never doubt our love, our faith, and our future.

But, we are in debt.

Our debt has created stress. We can't always, often, do everything we wish we could. We can't give to others when we feel led. Our hands are tied. We earn enough but we owe and that takes our excess.

It's painful. Debt. It's ugly.

If we could go back and only buy what we had money for in the bank, we would. If we were just moving to this town, we'd buy a much smaller house. Our lessons learned in hindsight from 10 years ago and from 3 years ago hurt. We chose the path we are on. It's painful to know that.

We long for less. Our longing is painful.

We are honest with ourselves. We are honest with our kids. We aren't always honest with those we know and love because debt is painfully embarrassing.

We have been praying and working to get out of debt. It isn't easy. Consequences are painful. I often feel like a child getting punished. But, I'm an adult and this problem has adult consequences.

This summer my prayers went from "I'll do anything to get out of debt" to "I will live anywhere to get out of debt."

We're facing transitions now.
We have a lot of hope.

Pray for us, our pain, and perseverance as we work to get out of debt.

This is the Part I of a 3 part series on Choices.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life (TTT 138)

I wasn't sure I was going to post today.

But, then someone shared Nick with me.

If you have 4 minutest and 11 seconds, go watch this video

And then, if like me, you wonder where his motivation comes from, watch his video about his faith in God on his inspirational website (Life Without Limbs): His mission

"And I want you to know that no matter how far you are from this book, no matter how far you feel from God's purposes in your life, the victory is when you realize, you can't do this on your own." Nick Vujicic

"I am not here for you to compare your suffering to mine. I don't know what you are going through, but I am here to tell you this, that no matter who you are, no matter what you are going through, God knows it, he's with you, and he's gonna pull you through." Nick Vujicic

I am thankful for LIFE.

This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I see love

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
Edward Degas

Birthday Gifts from My Kids~

My youngest son: He's enjoying a confetti party with mom.

My middle son: He's enjoying flowers with mom.

My oldest son: Mom's riding on an elephant while the sun is setting.
Makes you smile, doesn't it?

My daughter: Dora. Just because she loves to color and she loves Dora.

She brought me this: A perfect 2 year old creation (that she tried to fold it into an airplane).

Speaking of perfect. I'm not.

I am loved.

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Fudgsicle Heart

She stood there, in the kitchen, with fudgsicle running down her leg, looking ridiculous.

We had stripped off her dress to avoid chocolate clothes.

In rare 2 year old form, she stood still. Waiting.

She was a mess.

Her nose, her cheeks, her neck, her hair, her hands and arm, and her legs were smothered in chocolate.

I asked her, "How are we gonna clean you up?"

She simply replied, "Get a washcloth."

I asked if she wanted to wash. She said, "No, you do it."

She knew what she needed. She waited. She made faces. She pushed the popsicle stick around in her mouth.

But, she stood still. She was happy to wait.

When I'm a mess, emotionally, I don't always handle myself as well as my two year old.

I stomp around in impatience. I lash out at loved ones over trivial things. I beat myself up over what I don't like about myself. I hide from life surfing the internet. I mope. I speak or email too quickly. I distract myself with pleasure- tasty treats, books, a cleaning project. I make myself busy. I run around, all the while leaving my emotional state in shambles.

Not today.

I am standing still. Messy, but still. Forcing myself to wait.

I'm praying, even though I'm stretched thin. I'm focusing on the truths I know, even though my day is demanding my attention. I am busy. Noises grate on my nerves. But, I am intentionally focusing my thoughts on God.

It isn't easy for me. I am easily distracted. I read Bible verses. I have hope. I know everything will be okay. And, I wait.

I'm waiting for Him to clean up my heart.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:5

I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.
Psalm 38:15

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Guess who gets to "Expect More, Pay Less" (Nothing)?

She's 28, she's lot's of fun, she has cute kids and a wonderful blog: Mommy's Timeout

Yep, that's right, according to Random

Samantha, you've won a $25 Target Gift Card!!

Samantha is a wonderful mom of 3, who recently coordinated her high school class reunion. She's awesome. She has a fun blog, too. She also has a peanut allergy kid. And, of all things, she lives right here in my town. If you get a chance, check out her blog: Mommy's Timeout.

Thank you so much for helping me celebrate my birthday! For those that wondered, I'm now 37.
I had a fantastic birthday!

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's My Party and I'll Buy If I Want To

I want to give you $25 to shop at Target.

Yes, that's right

to shop at

How to Party (I mean, win the Target Gift Card)~

Do any or all of the following (separate comments for each):

1. Comment: Tell me how old you are. (please, please be older than me)
2. Follow my blog (and tell me you do so)
3. Send someone to my blog and get them to mention your name. (You can tweet, facebook, email or blog about this- all you have to do is get the commenter to tell me that you sent them.)

I'm gonna celebrate my birthday all weekend (or at least try to convince my family to spoil me all weekend), so I will pick a winner on Sunday night and post the winner on Monday, August 9.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

This Blog O' Mine (TTT137)

It's Thursday- the day I focus on gratitude. For 137 weeks now I have been posting my thankfulness each Thursday.

Today is also the kick-off of the 3rd Annual Blog Hop Carnival at Pensieve Me.

What is the BlogHop Carnival?
The blog hop was created as an at-home opportunity for bloggers to meet and greet during BlogHer's annual conference. Bloggers are invited to write a short introductory post about themselves and their blog to introduce themselves and broaden their online community. Intro posts are linked to the Blog Hop site and participants are encouraged to hop around and "meet" as many new friends as they're able to!

Gravity of Motion

Why Gravity of Motion? The reason for my blog title is that I find busyness heavy. When I am involved in too many activities (even great ones), I cannot excel at anything. Constant busyness weighs me down. I struggle with this constantly. My blog title reminds me that constant activity can be a burden. This post explains why I started my blog: The Weight of Constant Activity

Listening, Learning and Laughing

I write about what I hear and learn in every day situations. That includes a little bit of fun from my kids and lessons from Motherhood, recipes I enjoy, challenges and triumphs with food allergies and asthma, and musings about faith and life lessons. I share what I hear and what I learn. I share what makes me laugh.

I write for the fun of it. I write because it's therapeutic for me. I write because I love words.

I ramble. I speculate. I document life.

I'm Thankful

Thank you for stopping by. I am thankful for this little space of the internet. Blogging is what I am thankful for this Thursday. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

I'm celebrating my birthday by giving away a $25 Target Gift Card. If you want to enter (and you do), go here: It's My Party and I'll Buy If I Want To

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's Messy Here

I'm restless.

I am waiting for an answer.

I want out of the unknowing. I'd claw my way out if I could.

The difficult immobility baffles me.

I'm waiting. Nothing's happening.

I'd make something happen if I could.

I struggle with my attitude and my longings. I struggle to pray.

Instead of enjoying today, I'm waiting in the mud of impatience.

I pray.

I wait.

I know I have today.

Today is what matters right now.

I tell myself to cherish what I have but I stomp through my day. I go through the motions, with my boots on, stomping through my impatient mire.

I'm stomping around in the impatience puddles, trying to enjoy today.

. . .

I was thinking about all of this today, when I remembered the pictures in this post. I looked them up as a visual reminder to me:

When you are impatient, it's like standing in a big mud puddle, the more you stomp around in it, the messier you get.

And, after a while, everything is a blurry mess.

Somehow, the pictures and the knowledge, is allowing me to pray more. The prayers are an answer to my prayers.

Matthew 11:28
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Do you know what I'm going through? Are you messy with impatience, too? Pray. Even though you are struggling, pray.