ministry family

It Is What It Is

Do you know what I would love to do?

I would absolutely love to sit in my Mama Bear’s lap like when I was younger and just listen to her breathe and talk. My ear smashed up against her chest as it slowly raised and lowered my head.

That. Was. Happiness.

Attempting that today would be comical for so many reasons – mainly my *clears throat* size.

Our house has been our home and the school and the office and the church sanctuary since March. Friday the 13th to be exact. We needed a break. We are on a family road trip because we just needed a change of scenery. In addition to our normal travel bag of snacks for the road, we also have a travel bag of masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, wipes, and cleaners. We even found toilet seat covers, soap sheets, and compressed towels in case our bathroom stops were lacking supplies.

New travel essentials.
Love these little compressed towels. Just add water!

We don’t have much planned while away because, like I said, it’s more about the change of scenery for us. No worries! There will be lots of mask wearing, social distancing and eating in. Also, I have this great new accessory that is keeping me from being great.

This is my new friend for the next four months.

This road trip is much different and I expect that future road trips will look the same. Just like me trying to lay on my Mama Bear’s chest as an adult wouldn’t be comfortable for either of us because we have both changed, we have to come to grips with the fact that Rona has changed what life will look like in the days, months, and years ahead. It is what it is whether we like it or not. Rona is a hot mess and she doesn’t care about my feelings unfortunately. However, I DO get to choose what happiness looks like for me in spite of her.

The bad news? Your happy isn’t going to look the same as it did pre-Rona.

The good news? You get to design what happiness looks like for you during and post-Rona!

I’m choosing to soak up an enormous amount of family time away from home with Poppa Bear and the cubs for a few days. How are you choosing to create your new happy?

They make me happy!

Mama Bear

birthdays · holidays · ministry family

Well, hello there, 45!!!

I’ve been alive for 45 years. Wow.  I really didn’t think that I was going to live much longer than 40 years old (long story for another day), but I am thankful for every birthday that God has allowed me to see since.  I put together a list of 45 things I’ve learned during my first 45 years.  They aren’t in any particular order and these are MY realities, so you can disagree with them, but keep it to yourself. Okay? Okay! Enjoy!

1. Be still and let God handle it. He doesn’t need my two cents.

2. Family is everything.

3. No one loves me like my mom.

4. No one loved me like my dad.

5. No one loves me like my cubs.

6. No one loves me like Poppa Bear. Marry your best friend.

7. A couple of good friends are worth the time and energy.

8. God is so good.

9. I can never be without a church family.

10. Pray about everything.

11. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and that’s okay.

12. Talking to a counselor at least twice a year should be required by law.

13. Communicate.

14. The gift of discernment is good and bad.

15. Laughing makes everything better.

16. The toddler years are the BEST years of parenting.

17. Nothing draws me closer to God than a sick cub.

18. Putting a smile on my kids’ faces? Priceless!

19. Taking my anger out on someone who didn’t cause the anger is so dangerous.

20. Keep myself clean and clean up after myself. Figuratively and literally.

21. Identify the encouragers in your life and cling to them.

22. Those in service professions, sadly sometimes are the least cared for.

23. Teachers don’t make enough money.

24. Get a midnight hour friend.

25. Make a friend who doesn’t look like me.

26. Make a friend with someone who is my total opposite.

27. Share.

28. Smile more.

29. Cry every once in a while.

30. Take care of my parents.

31. Never lose contact with family.

32. Tell people what they mean to me.

33. Don’t go out of my way to get someone to like me.

34. Learn from the lessons that life teaches.

35. Prepare to make mistakes – public and private ones.

36. Stop to smell the roses.

37. Enjoy food, but don’t stuff myself to the point of miserableness. Ugh!

38. Play nice with my friends.

39. My job should match what I love to do.

40. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

41. People put on a good show, but they have their issues, too.

42. Pay attention to who sticks around for the stormy AND sunny days.

43. Losing a loved one hurts…really hurts.

44. Appreciate my grandmother. Her wisdom is unmatched.

45. Keep myself spiritually fed.

I wonder what will be added (or revised) as the years continue? Whatever is ahead, I welcome the lessons wholeheartedly because it simply means that I. Am. Alive. Thank you, Lord.

Mama Bear


being thankful · birthdays · depression · ministry family

These Are Days To Remember

Well, I made it through the day without turning into water works.  We attempted to celebrate another birthday during #coronacation and although Cub 2 had planned to spend his Sunday afternoon at Dave & Buster’s, he had to settle for another day with us instead.  We tried to make it memorable and decided to focus on his love for food.

Cub 2 L O V E S food.  His choice of food and places to eat almost never matches ours, but today was all about him so we did the adjusting for our new 16-year old.  He chose Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  We approved.  We are a Krispy Kreme family, but Cub 2 doesn’t like them.  He likes Dunkin Donuts’ double chocolate and chocolate glazed donuts.  He loves all things chocolate.  He even had a special chocolate cake baked and delivered by his big cousin.  We also have a favorite pizza spot, but Cub 2 prefers Papa John’s pizza.

Cub 2 is at the stage where money is the best gift.  We had our family and his circle of church friends send happy birthday messages that were put together by  I also had everyone within the family write down affirming words that I stuck inside of 16 balloons.  He spent part of his day popping those balloons and reading phrases like

“You are funny.”

“You are loved”

“You are a fighter.”

A fighter for sure.  Cub 2 battled more than most at the beginning of this year.  Something that we couldn’t save him from and something that he couldn’t pull out of on his own.  This birthday is special because we weren’t sure he was going to experience it. As always, God showed up in such powerful ways during that time.  One day Cub 2’s testimony will change someone’s life.  It has changed mine just from walking alongside him.

We have three more weeks of school and just like every other year, we are counting down to the official start of our summer!  Are you making plans for your summer these days, or are you waiting to see what happens next, or a little of both?  Certainly these are days that we will never forget.

Mama Bear