Welcome

Y’all what a crazy 24 hours. I had to share.

We arrived home safely yesterday from our trip to Missouri. We made real good time on the drive and had no issues with vehicles or stopped traffic. Except around St Louis and that wasn’t but a few minutes.

Pulling into town, we saw a storm forming right above our house. We pulled in to a down pour! But we were happy to get in our own doors. We turned the air on and started to unload the car. “We may just get all of our clothes unpacked tonight!” Was a thought I remember going through my mind. Until the fridge….

See we have this big fancy fridge that we bought couple years back. Thing is, the ice maker isn’t so fancy and it hasn’t produced ice is some time. So we thought, let’s take everything out of the fridge and unplug it while we’re gone. Then the ice maker and all of its components could officially thaw. I washed out the fridge but I shut the doors before we left. So we came home to mold in the fridge and freezer! Stop unpacking and get to pulling parts out and literally soaking them in the tub with bleach water. It’s 85° in the house.

We were making progress with the fridge when I went around the corner to my bedroom. You know when a kid shouldn’t be doing something they jump out of the spot they’re in? Well my Leah did just that. Then she cried out. “It’s bleeding Mommy” We stop what were doing and take her to the kitchen to get a better look. We have a wood boiler to heat our home now because before that it had baseboard heaters and the old one is still along the wall in our room. She sliced her heel open. It doesn’t need stitches but it needs bandages, and of course cleaned. So I ran out the door to Dollar general. Hard to keep a Christian attitude in our dollar generals around here. They are poorly stocked and poorly run.

Coming home we got the heel all bandaged up and the fridge back in order. All the while my husband says he doesn’t feel well. We took his temp and he had a 101 fever. He’s congested and believes it’s bronchitis.

Waking this morning, I find Leah with a cane to get around. And I find my husband pretty much down on the couch feeling pretty poorly. My Abigail’s rash has gone down but she still has no energy and seems like she lost her best friend all of the time. I’ve chalked that up to adolescent attitude and behavior. Then my phone rings…

It’s the doctor from Missouri who saw abigail when the rash was flared up. She says some of the tick borne panels have come back and she’s positive for Lyme’s. Crazy rash explained.

Once we got the details hashed out, I told everyone we need to sit down and simply pray. We prayed. It helped. And went about our day. Two girls down, one with fatigue and the other with limited mobility and a husband who just wants to curl up and sleep.

I flew out the door for groceries to fill back up the emptied fridge. My brain was going 500 miles an hour. I’m trying to process the Lyme’s disease. When did she get bit? How did I miss it? Will she be ok? Did Leah get a tetanus shot recent enough? Does my husband have Covid? I drove to the wrong store. Then turned around and drove to the right one.

I get to the pharmacy for the antibiotics for abigail, I look at the pharmacist and say, “one more thing and I may burst.” She says to me, “One more thing and I may just cry” she says this with tears in her eyes. I tell her hang in there. And off I go. Shopping I think to myself I should have been there for her. Said something about God to her. Witnessed. Did something! Oh well, too late now. Besides what shape am I in at this point anyway?

As go to unload my groceries, the young man ringing me up has this….

He thinks I’m odd when I ask to take a pic of his arm lol. But it’s God telling me this. I just know it.

How many times do we sit and go on and on about how we have it bad? How many ways do we assess a situation, to find out no matter what we do, the outcome will be ultimately in God’s hands anyhow? How many times do we see hardships and think we shouldn’t have to endure them because we pray and seek God? How many times do we see a full on attack from the enemy and not do anything about it?

Silver Dollar City

Well went on discount day. Thursday’s down here in Missouri, you can get tickets for 50$ at participating stores. Regular price is 74$. So we thought we were in like Flynn…well everyone else gets those tickets too! They only are available for Thursday. The park was packed. Three times we got in line for a ride only to be turned away after waiting bc the ride was down.

We went to guest relations once the frustration was kicking in. They gave us free tickets which we used today. Got our money’s worth today. The heat down here in the south is something else! Hey Stu, I met a nice young man (16 years old) from Shreveport, Louisiana. Good kid.

Along our vacationing, we’ve been baffled by a strange rash that my middle daughter has been dealing with. Since last week she’s been having odd looking circular patches throughout her body. We emailed our Dr and he thought one thing. But over time of a few days, the rash changed its looks so we took her in here in Branson. No fever. No itching. Just rings that are not scaly or oozing or anything. They took bloodwork to rule out tick stuff. But the other idea is a drug eruption rash. A delayed reaction from antibiotics she had to take for a bout of cellulitis a month ago. It’s finally starting to fade. But we sure would like an explanation. We go home tomorrow and she will see her Dr Monday.

Ever seen anything like this? Comment if you have

Nationals in Branson

Our time competing is over for the week. We lost our second game Tuesday morning. My daughter was in tears. But that’s okay. Why? Because, really if you think about it, she gets to experience winning and losing some.

I spoke with other coaches and parents about today’s society and what they’re doing to our children. If you sign up your child for baseball or soccer you pay a good amount of money to allow them to compete. Every child competes whether they know what a ball is or not. I believe in giving kids opportunity to compete, but it needs to be just that, competing. When you were young didn’t you have to try out for baseball or soccer to “make the team”?

I heard a mom tell me that she paid for the soccer uniform and for a trophy. Your child gets a trophy whether he earned it or not!

It was hard to see Abigail’s tears today. Equally hard to deal with some parents and what they thought I should have done differently. But at the end of the day??? My child and myself learned our life lessons. Abigail’s lesson was she doesn’t get handed trophies and ribbons. She earns them. She has also been learning to cheer on others even when she’s losing. My lesson? A soft answer turneth away wrath. I was able to keep my mouth shut in a stressful situation. And I was able to do that over the past few months.

We went to see JESUS at the Sights and Sounds Theatre tonight! Wow! What an awesome experience. Phenomenal.

Pretty smiles
Not so pretty smiles
We visited the Dewy Short Dam on Table Rock Lake
Go carts
This is the inside Lobby of the Chateau…look way up on the top balcony. The kids loved riding the elevators to the top floor

Nationals in Branson

Well we made it to Branson in one piece. Beautiful down here. You can certainly tell we are from the North because my mother in law, all 3 girls, and I saw a blue tailed little lizard by the pool and we’re super fascinated.

Heading around St. Louis

We got in Fri night. Saturday night we checked in our teams and found out our times and opponents to quiz. There are 77 teams in our division competing. 5 teams came from our state. We had placed second at our state finals so we become Indiana 2 here at nationals. They do a random drawing for what is called the matrix…if you’re not familiar with that term, it’s a bracket system using double elimination to dwindle down the competition until there are 2 left competing for the coveted first place.

Top half of the round in bracket

This morning, Sunday, we played our Indiana 1!! So it was Indiana 1 against Indiana 2. We lost. So that is our one loss. We will get another chance to play Tues morning. We will play either Alabama 1 or Texas 5. So we shall see.

Our condo…hop and a skip from the pool.
The Chateau on the Lake
This is where the competition is being held.  (Image found on the internet)

Beautiful place isn’t it?

I’ve been, as always, trying to learn a lesson or two along the way. One that I’ve learned is that those coaches and coordinators that went before me had alot more on their plates than I had realized. Now, being in their shoes, I see things in a different light. Being a coach of a team built out of your child along with other’s children is tough or touchy at times. You do not want to appear to be favorable to your own child. And you do not want to offend other’s children. And you certainly do not want to offend the parents.

I had to make a few tough decisions this year along the way that I know made me stronger. Because I’m one that wants to please everyone and the decisions I made would one way or another “bother” a child and/or a parent. All in all, it went ok. And I’ve been asked to coach again, lol, so I must’ve done some part of it right.

My other life lesson….well I’m still learning it. How many of you can testify how challenging it can be to travel with family? Seems like each year our family goes on vacation we have a few hairy days in the beginning. The drive… hairy. The unpacking…hairy. The constant togetherness…hairy. Everyone talking and speaking their wants at the same time…hairy!

Being the mom, I wanna fix and control the environment and boy do I try. I keep reminding myself that this happens every time and that it smoothes itself out after a couple days. Okay…any time now y’all! I look inside myself during these times wondering if I’m the cause. Is my attitude somehow controlling the whole attitude? I don’t know. But I will get up and try again. We humans can be so wired in what we want, how we feel, what we think that we end up bulldozing those we love the most.

Inside the Chateau

Abigail: “Mommy, what’s that thing called again?”                              Mommy: “a gazebo”        

Amy’s Lonely World

Aren’t I pathetic? Lol. My two kiddos went to church camp for the next 4 nights. What torture it is for the parent. As much as we parents long for a break, we forget that that break comes with a price. Four nights away from my children. Ah sweet relief….so you think. But to have them 2 hrs away can be hard for a mama. All the things that could happen roll through my big imagination.

Luckily they live stream the morning and evening service so can get a glimpse of them. Makes it easier.

We will be going to Branson, Missouri this weekend. We will compete among 75 other teams at a national level for our bible quizzing team. I’ll try to blog our progress and the sights and sounds of the land of Missouri.

I learned something yesterday from my ever so wise mother in law that I’d like to share with you.

She said the bible speaks of baring one another’s burdens. We were talking about how God has been helping me to remove myself from listening to other’s problems. When I say that, I mean in a daily aspect. Having someone or a couple someones, texting or talking to me about their lives, their burdens. Recently, I put myself in a situation where I ended up hearing way too much of a friend’s life, daily. This friend does not call on the Lord and doesn’t really know how. She doesn’t seek His face. I got bogged down over time of hearing these things but not really seeing any results in her situations. She wasn’t seeking advice either, but I’d give anyway.

I have been in the set of mind that I’m to help others. Sometimes at the cost of my family. Spending time saturating myself on the phone or whatever to help other individuals. I’m a fixer as one mentor always called me. I didn’t see anything wrong with that…until this recent friendship.

Back to my mother in law. She says, “You know where it says in the Bible that we should bare one another’s burdens? I don’t think it means to have to hear other’s burdens daily. We aren’t meant to have to listen to their daily minor life struggles. I think it means that we have a Christian duty to help those in real need. A family without food. A person needing a ride.”

Y’all, this statement took a weight off my shoulders! Growing up like I did, where I was the parent and my mom was the child, made me a confused child and adult. It’s called becoming parentified and it is hard on a child. The roles are reversed and the child grows up parenting anyone around them.

Lastly, I will be doing some revamping to my blog over the coming months. I will be slowly taking down posts of my childhood and adulthood struggles. As I do, I’ll repost each one before I take them down for a last chance to read them. Comments aren’t really necessary but if you just can’t contain yourself in a positive manner, then bring ’em on!

One of the latest throws I made for a friend. Gave it to her on the 4th of July.
Bernat blanket yarn makes a beautiful throw, if you’re willing to use a huge needle. It’s a workout on the hands.

Love

Oftentimes we are looking for something to fulfill a need or a want. We humans are so good at fixating on something and going after it. Whether it be a medal for a sport, an award for an accomplishment, an atta boy for a good deed….the list goes on.

For many it’s about material things. A new car, new house, the newest clothes or newest technology. The usual mental talk is usually the same for everyone…”If only I had that house, then life will start.” “If only I had that job, then I’d be getting somewhere.”

I posted a story about a man who had a near death experience where he came out of his body and stood over it. He described as demons from hell were trying to pull him down, which they thought would be easy since the man had always been an atheist. At that moment a warm light fills his space and grabs him away from the evil ones and nurtures him.

He is shown his life almost like on a big screen in front of him. He is now surrounded by angels and he can feel what they feel. One of his meetings with a student shows up on the “screen”. His lack of sincerity to the student causes him to feel disappointment in the hearts of these beings or angels that are holding him up showing him his life. When his achievement in a shotput competition is brought up, he feels indifference from the angels. There are no positive or negative feelings. What he thought was significant in his life did not seem to matter. One night, when he was younger living at home, is shown on the screen; he sees his sister in her room very upset. He goes to her and wraps his arms around her. Then he feels warmth and love coming from the angels.

What if we went about our daily lives, the best we can, remembering this? Have you really grasped the idea, the thought, that what God wants from us is love? Our love for Him, yes of course. But love one to another as well. It is the golden rule after all.

I know how simple this is. How universal and almost antique it may sound. But if you put that aside, you’re left with the realization of it. Less time chasing things, dreams, and plans and more time just simply being there for others. Loving them. Reminding yourself daily of God looking upon you as you make that choice. Will you serve self or will you serve others?

Coming from a family that did not show love or express it, I can say that this concept isn’t something that comes easy to mind. Think of those “out there” raised in similar and even harder circumstances. Every man for himself is the motto these days. You do you and I’ll do me, is another. And don’t forget, it is what it is. These sayings come from hardship. These sayings are ingrained into society. On t-shirts. On memes being pumped through all the social media outlets.

If only we could all experience what that man experienced with the angels. And for the sake of argument, let’s say he didn’t have the experience. Let’s say he was hallucinating or the brain’s response to trauma came up with his story. Even if…..it is still such a good take away.

I feel this revelation or thought has been the missing part to something God has been speaking to me about. I know we are all learning new. Always changing and growing. But since I read that story, my heart asks me, “Did that thought come from love?” “Is this a way to show someone love?”

Hold the door for the next person coming into the store. Even if they have a foul look on their face. Even if they don’t say thank you, I bet God is saying thank you. Put the grocery cart back in it’s little parking lot house. Shake a hand or two at church, even when no one is coming your way to shake yours. Let the lady with 2 items go ahead of your loaded cart, even if she’s the lady that comes in every week and talks to herself.

Love is action. It is NOT being a doormat. Boundaries can be put on love. You can show love in ways I mentioned without being taken advantage of. There are many people that see your action of love and try to monopolize on it. They think if you’re willing to do this or that for them then they can cash in on your generosity. Just remember, the Bible speaks of getting wisdom by asking for wisdom. As Him, He will guide you and protect you.

God’s Temple

Today was an easy day. I rolled out of bed at a shameful hour! Lol…but I assure you part of it was just laying in my bed googling facts about the Titanic. (I do that from time to time)
The girls were at the art table while I was eating breakfast. I called for them to see if they wanted to play “ask me anything” I totally made that up in that moment with the intention that we could play throughout their coming years. They were intrigued!
They asked several different questions. How come we can’t do this or that kind of questions.

I was honest as I could be because that’s what the game description said…Ask me anything. At almost 9 yrs old, my youngest had the more silly questions. But for my 11 going on 12 going on 17 daughter, this is what she’s been waiting for!

Why can’t we watch YouTube? My answer, because some things cannot be unseen and it’s easy to see many things you shouldn’t see. I elaborated and gave examples.

Why did you guys cancel Netflix over one show? My answer, because that one show Netflix was okay with was showing young girls about your age as being sexy and showing way to much of their bodies. You may have had to give up a few shows, but so did Dad and I. We really liked that “Lost in Space” series. But we’d rather just not know the ending to that show than to give our money to Netflix. I also warned them that Hulu will be going from our home soon too. The Ads, the younger generation calls them, are full of homosexual couples kissing and greeting each after a hard day’s work. There is even one where “mom” is brushing her teeth with kids hanging about her legs, while “mom” number two is poking her head out of the shower. Ridiculous.

She went on to ask me why do we wear only skirts? Many of you readers may not know it but I’m Pentecostal. And if you know what that means then you know we choose to wear skirts. We also choose not to wear super short sleeves or tank tops. For my girls, they know nothing else but wearing modest clothing because of the choice I made for them since they were babies. Many think the church makes us wear skirts. Nope not at all. I explained that to the girls. But then it was, “But why Mom?”

I showed them pictures of women in too tight of shorts and jeans. They’ve seen this stuff before. We do hit the Indiana Beach, a local amusement park and water park. Many sights that you cannot unsee!! So they’re not unaccustomed to seeing how the majority of the world dresses.

I explained how there is barely anything covering the women in the shorts. I explained how the sucked tight to your body jeans did nothing but reveal every shape and curve of the body. Things only you and someday your husband should see.

I then showed them a picture of a woman in a nice shirt and a sensible shirt. No holes cut out of the shoulders. Why they do this is beyond me. Looks like someone came to rip their sleeves off but got tired of it and left before they were done ripping it completely off! Lol

My curious daughter asked why other girls they’ve seen wear tank top dresses without anything over or under them. Why Mom? What’s wrong with that? There’s plenty wrong if cleavage is sticking out for all to see. And don’t forget the armpits! Keep em covered.

About an hour later, my 12 year old came by on her way to the other room. I didn’t see but her little sister saw! And she says as loud as she can, “Abigail why are you wearing that?” Nothing else was said and I went back to my dishes and making lunch. When lunch was ready, I hollered for Abigail to come get her soup. She blows by me in a big hurry and says, “Hold on I’ll be right back!” But she says in in that almost teenager, the whole world’s after me, kind of way.

I see that she has on a tank top dress. One her her favorite comfortable dresses. But she has nothing on under it or over it. This dress’s neckline plunges very extremely low.

She goes in her room, I follow and ask nicely what are you doing? Her response is that she wanted to be comfortable, but she’s saying it in a way as if she’s been hurt. She wants me to leave her room at this point so she can get dressed. I remain calm, God only knows how. I explained she will need a bra on and a t-shirt under the dress. She gives me an “I know” but it’s a more sour than a lemon kind of retort.

I go back to my dishes and let the child be for a minute. Dishes and showers are where my best thinking happens. It dawned on me…she was trying out the tank top thing to see what it would be like, like the other girls. She couldn’t understand my answer earlier or didn’t agree with it so she tried it. This is what your kids will do. When you’re against something and you explain til you’re blue in the face…they’re most likely still going to try it. Especially at this age.

I asked her to meet me in my room. She was in tears and embarrassed. I did nothing to embarrass her, y’all. I knew what had happened. She had put that low-neck-line dress on thinking it wouldn’t feel any different. But God lives inside of her and He dwells in the temple of her body and He had a problem with it. He convicted her. It probably went something like this at the speed of light…Child do you feel right? Child do you think this is the way to feeling comfortable?

I asked her if that’s what happened. Did it just not feel right? Did she feel like she needed to cover up right away? Is that what sent her speeding past me in her way to her room? Her answers were yes. I told her I was happy for her. That I was proud of her. She looked at me like I was crazy. Why would I be proud of her when what she did was something I didn’t agree with.

Many girls who grow up in a Pentecostal church sometimes may not know why they dress the way they do. Many probably think, well mom dresses this way and so does Grandma and so do I. But today, the conviction of God’s spirit spoke to my child and my daughter chose for herself. Not because mom said so. Not because she’s being made to. But because she listened to the Lord.

She smiled and we hugged. I am so very happy and excited to see God moving in her life and in her heart.

I’m turning the comments off this piece because I do not want to debate this. I know what you will all say…times are changing, skirts and dresses are old fashioned. You’ll say that it’s wrong for me to chose for my daughter; to let them choose for themselves. (But isn’t that exactly what happened?) You’ll say surely a woman wearing pants will still make it into heaven. Maybe. But what if that woman’s clothes or the lack thereof causes a man to stumble? What if her clothes say more than she really wants them to say?

Amy’s Slowing Down, Speeding up World

As soon as you read that title do you think of the car you get stuck behind that does that very thing? You’re driving down a two lane back road highway, moving at a good clip when you come up on a Sunday driver. This person seems to not have a care in the world. A no passing zone sign comes and goes out your left window. You look at the speedometer, and you’re behind someone who is doing 45 in a 55. You sigh, you fidgit, checking all your mirrors. At this point, you come to terms with the fact that you’ll be doing 45 in a 55 as well. So you sit back and you relax.

As soon as you’re okay with being behind this snail of a car, it speeds up. And being you, you speed up too. Now we’re moving, you think to yourself. And just when that is okay, that car is slowing down again.

That is what life has felt like around here. Go, go, go for the past I don’t know how many months, to slowing down and enjoying the moment.

It takes a while for a body to adjust from busyness to plain relaxation.

Here is when I noticed that my body caught up to the speed it was supposed to be going. This is an interactive side walk outside our library. Very rarely do we use this side of the building to enter in. The girls would catch a glimpse of it and beg me to stop so they could “do the sidewalk” but I was doing 75 in a 55 and there was no time for such things.

Until this day two weeks ago. I could tell that my spirit had settled down when the girls were about halfway into it. When they got in the car, Abigail said, “Thanks Mommy for letting us do the sidewalk.” Biggest treat ever for them. Lol.

So much slowing down I finished the lapghan I made for my mother in law

So much slowing down, that Leah created these sock dolls made from her socks out of her drawer.

You know how they say to give a starving man a fishing pole?…well give a creative kid a needle and thread!

But then VBS came along. I was in charge of the snacks portion. I could start to feel that drive to get ‘er done stirring in my bones

Then we grabbed one of the outside kitties to move in. My time at night when the kids go to bed is now filled with this kitten clinging the furniture and clawing at anything she can find. Silly I know, but this is my time. She has since realized this, so I think, and disappears during my time. We shall see

Since my mom’s memorial, the past week has been spent taking care of my middle daughter. She had a fever, aches, and pains but I could find no reason for her to have this fever. And it would go away in the morning, leading us to think it must not be anything too big. On Monday she showed me a big red rash on her upper thigh. I spent Monday night fretting over the rash and fever thinking Lyme’s disease. Tuesday morning I broke the news the we could not go to Indiana beach that day because she needed to go to the doctor. 85 in a 55…

The doctor said it was not Lyme’s disease. I was so relieved that I was thanking God and the doctor in the patient room. The doctor looked at me oddly and remarked, this is still serious. It was cellulitis. Said her excema probably flared up and she might have scratched that area to the point of opening the skin enough for bacteria to get in.

All week I’ve been so worried over her. My youngest and I would pray at the table while Abigail would lay on the couch. She is doing better now that she’s had a few days of antibiotic, but I have never seen her so sick for so long.

Yesterday we made the decision to stay home from our next Bible quiz tournament this weekend 3 hours away because traveling can run a healthy person down, no need to make Abigail’s body work harder to fight the infection than it has to. I thank God she’s okay, but now I’m a bit run down for having to speed up and worry and fret.

I suspect that life will slow down and stay that way when the kids are older. And yes I know, I’ll miss these days. But for a person who grew up in unpredictable circumstances these types of events can throw ya for a loop…not knowing if the car in front will speed up or slow down.

This cat has many names. Muggly after our previous neighbor’s cat. Tuxie because she’s what’s called a tuxedo cat. But mainly we call her kitty. Don’t let that cute face fool ya!

Wow!

That is the moon. I took this tonight at 1am. I used night vision on the camera of my phone.

When your mind goes to imagining Jesus riding on the clouds, does it always play out with Jesus coming in the sparkling sunshine of the day? What if it’s night when he comes? He does say, “I will come like a thief in the night….”

If he were to come at night, I bet the sky will look like this. So absolutely beautiful.