Random Reflections- IT”S CAMP WEEK!!

lists

It’s camp Week!!!  What does that mean exactly?

That Means two things

  1. the majority  of our children were at camp for at least part of the week.
  2. I am at our camper–Alone.  It’s actually day four of everyone’s time away.  and tomorrow  it’s all over when hubby goes to pick up the last two kids at camp and makes the long drive west to pick me up!

This has been a different sort of camp week for me.  Usually I come and read and write and write and read .  There is usually  a lot of writing going on.  But over the last few months I have to be honest I have been struggling.

Struggling to know what to write and even how to write.  As writers we go through dry spells.  Once upon a time I could link a dry spell to not being it’s God’s word, But that was NOT the lease this time.  This dry spell was different.  So yes I posted two blog posts right at the very beginning of the week BUT that was a book review and just Kinda an easy post, which I love but I have not written a  substantial meaty blog post in quite some time. AND I’m not sure why, and ya know what THAT’s ok!

So lets  get on with my 5 Random Reflections from this week

  1. Here are the state of the children and their counselors when we dropped them off at camp!  They look so happy including the random child who thought it was his job to photo bomb all pictures.  How do I know that he said so!

Camp

This guy only did a half week of camp, because he already did a full week of special needs camp.  He rocked it but he was ready to come home mid-week.  Looks like he might just go to regular camp!  He has made huge strides this year!

crazy 1

This is old hat for Ladybug.  It’s her last year in this age bracket and she turns 12 in less than a week and a half *SIGH*

Crazy 3

And this little guy…it was his first year at cam pAnd he had a ball. Minus the fact he over did it on candy and got sick BUT he didn’t have to come home.

2. One thing I didn’t mention above about my week at camp is I almost always bring art supplies of some form. The last time I was here I brought jewelry stuff and this time it was some water colors.  For the last coupe of years I have been teaching myself via Youtube videos and the like how to use water colors.  Todays break was a 20 minute art Challenge from the Creative Sparks ebook.  I had to set a timer and do an art project in 20 minutes.  a  mama robin I have been watching all week was my inspiration

camp break

I have never painted a bird before so that was all new territory

3.Usually I walk away from this week away with a bunch of writing done, and a bunch of reading done.  I almost become a writing machine and that didn’t happen.  I told hubby about a week ago thatI was considering giving up blogging.  For various reasons.  But the biggest was that I was not sure where God was directing me.  wWe discussed it. and then didn’t mention it again.  But I knew in my heart That this week would be a defining week for me and my blog. And then I got to camp and for four days…NOTHING. Not one blessed thing. And then last night a couple of things happened.  I started reading a new ebook. and I had a phone conversation. And then I woke up this morning late. and I read some more from that ebook and the wheels started turning. and my heart and mind were flooded with experiences and sights and sounds of 38 years in CHURCH.  I didn’t use any specific example because it’s not specific to any one church.  Unless you make it a cumulative American Church sort of thing.I have been in churches from Vermont to Utah and two churches  half way around the world. It just kinda made sense. Check out that post here.

And then something else happened…I had an IDEA!!

4.  For the first time ever I will be having a guest writer every Thursday for what we are gonna call Theology Thursday.  So stay  tuned.  In the next few weeks I will introduce said  writer.

5.  Another thing that is different for me on this trip is  I have this massive list.  It’s kinda reminiscent of the concept of a brain dump.  It’s a list making technique used to unclog your brain. And in all honestly I think I would really need a milk truck dose of Drano to unclog this think tank of mine!   This list contains some pretty crazy stuff.  Stuff that books suggested a question my mom journal thing asked that Got my wheels turning but still don’t have an adequate answer for and so on.  (OH and things that the speakers said! Ha that promises to be an interesting post for sure!)

When it comes right down to it.  I have grown.  just not in the usual expected ways.

and lastly there is a big announcement coming in the next week or so.  Some already know it, and let’s just stop some rumors before they start:

NO I’m not Pregnant

and

NO we aren’t moving!

have a blessed evening!

 

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Bucket Lists, Strange Movie, Finishing What I Started-Random Reflections

lists

This post has been three days in the making! No joke.  I have had this post open and slowly coming up with what to write about. But as we have been talking about things this week we have been talking about a few things over and over and over again.  This  post has been born out of our conversations,.  Conversations about a certain bucket list we have.   We aren’t normal in the terms of bucket lists.  Yes we have places we would love to go  and see and do BUT we have some odd lists. And this week, the conversation has centered around one in particular.  Then this morning I was telling hubby about this strange movie that I listened to.  It was weird. And lastly there is the topic as this week has been a week of finishing things I started last year.  I will go into this a smidge more in another blog post coming this evening.   LET”S JUMP IN!

Bucket Lists.

So yeah I guess you could say we have bucket lists.  Like we would love to continue the Trend  we  started on our honeymoon of visiting presidents homes.  Since we have been married  we have visited  something like 11 or 12 presidents homes.  We have visited the Eisenhower’s estate in Gettysburg. Montpelier, (Madison’t home) Ash Lawn (Monroe’s Home). Mount Vernon ( Washington’s home), Monticello (Jefferson’s home) James Buchanans home.  The home of both Harrison’s, Home of Woodrow Wilson, Abe Lincoln’s Birth home, Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville and I am sure I have missed some or two !   Not all of those were done on our honeymoon. Lincolns and Jackson’s were done with very small kids on our family vacation in 2009 to Franklin and Nashville Tennessee and Kentucky.

Another odd little bucket list is battlefields centered around the civil war..  We have been to Gettysburg , Antietam, Appomattox Courthouse and the Canton House in Franklin TN.  (out of those Canton house is the CREEPIEST). Even though there aren’t any others on this list to speak o (That we went to see)f we wouldn’t necessarily turn down the opportunity either.  (There is this ongoing threat that the hubby and the oldest man child are going to take me back to Gettysburg to read EVERY. SINGLE. MONUMENT. -if you have been to Gettysburg, you know how serious this could be, we may never make it home again!)

But the bucket list we have been discussing all week is concerts.  After being to our second Newsboys concert in two years and a Mercy Me concert in October,  we are discussing what’s next.    There is one man child who wants to see Mandisa (I’m with him). And there is one Man child who wants to see Toby Mac ( I’m with him). and there is a hubby who wants to see Casting Crowns (I’m with him). HMMMM I think I can’t loose!   I would then add Francesca Battisstelli., Chris Tomlin, Matthew West and Brandon Heath and Jamie Grace.   I’ve been scratching concerts off my list for a LONG time, so these  would. be icing on the cake. (oh and since I just got to see the  Old Sschool  Newsboys- I can now hold out hope for a DC Talk reunion concert ..hint hint hint!!)

Strange Movie

So often times while I am working on house work I will have a movie playing in the background.  Yesterday I pulled up  PUREFLIX and scrolled through some movies.  and I landed on a newly added movie called  THE LIST.   There are actually two movies called this and I had already listened to the other one.   This particular one starts out in colonial times (Remined me a lot of the NATIONAL TREASURE movies. ).   It has Christian themes and  gets really weird.  Basically a young man gets caught up in a secret society/ cult.  And there is spiritual warfare BUT they aren’t really forthcoming with info needed to explain what exactly is going on.  The focus was on Prayer and breaking free from the grip, but from what?  It was just an odd movie, and if you didn’t know what was really being said  ( as in an unbeliever or a baby Chirstian). you would be severely confused!

Finishing What I Started.

In the next blog post (Five Minute Friday ). I will be talking about the one word prompt for today : STUCK.  And that is exactly how I was feeling from November  of 2017 til March of 2018. It didn’t seem to matter what I was doing, I felt like I was dragging a 250 pound weight behind me.  And yes I was completely immersed in play season for two of those months but generally I can still manage life along with the Christmas play for church.  Well just over the last couple of weeks I feel like I have finally had my head come up above the water.  And in the last few weeks I have completed some things I started last year.  Like my One Thousand Gifts Study, The Hebrews Study I had been working though and I finished the Lies Young Women Believe study.  And I am really on track for finishing this years first Study of Esther and completing the study portions of Hello Mornings (my review book from the beginning of the year).

I also want to finish up the women’s leadership video  series that I started last year on Right Now Media.

When these things are all caught up I will begin tackling my rating list for 2018.  Let’s be honest I know it’s not all going to happen AND THAT’S OK.  The point is to grow, not perfection.  But it was really important to me that I finish these things.  I want to be a woman who is known for finishing well.  Finishing well isn’t a time frame either.  It’s not gauged by years but by doing your best with what you have .   This is all part of the reason why I evaluate my goals so often because sometimes goals need to be taken off the list.  It’s just not what can happen in this moment of time.

Well That’s about it for this week!  I hope you  have  have a wonderful weekend.  What are some of your Random Reflections from this week?  Share them in the comments below!

April (Snow) Showers, Leave of Absence, Let. It. Go.- Random Reflections 4-17-2018

Random

April (Snow)  Showers

So while scrolling through Facebook the other day I came across this meme and since there is snow falling today I thought it might be fitting to share:

“April Showers bring snow plowers”.

There was a huge snow plow plowing through feet of snow.    though there are no feet of snow, or inches of snow, I did go to bed to the sound of a snowplow last night salting the roads. and this is what I woke up to this morning….

those little white specks in the air are you guessed it snow.  And we have had quite the heavy snow showers this morning. now it’s not sure if it wants to be snow or rain.  It’s been doing both. I struggle with the cold and gray of New York.  As a girl from Pennsylvania. I am not used to winters like this even  after living here for nearly 17 years.

Leave of Absence

This last week I took a leave of absence from the pregnancy center.  I love it and my clients, but for the time being I need to  deal with smoother things. Somethings good, somethings hard, somethings just a must. I will miss everyone and hope to be back very very very soon.

Let. It. Go.

Our ladies Bible study will be gearing up for it’s next study.  We picked the book a few weeks ago Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman.  I have already read the book but I think it is time for a revisit.    The subtitle is How to Stop running the show and start walking in Faith.  All I can say is DID YA READ MY LAST BLOG POST?

I’m looking forward to diving into this study soon..

I know that’s not very much but it is what it is.  I hope you have a spectacular day and if you live where it is warm and sunny go out and enjoy some vitamin D for me

 

Dots, Finishing, Overnights, and Skunks: Random Reflections 2-26-2018

Random

Happy Monday Night!! I had some things that had to be done this morning and afternoon AND I have two sick pre-teen boys.  As in the stomach kind of sick and boy am I glad they are not little  and missing the bucket!

And now that I have totally grossed you out, let’s get on with this past weeks Reflections.

#1 DOTS

This arrived today. We have been in state of busy-ness over the last 6-8 months. And what once worked (chore charts broken down by days) no longer works so after much searching and countless conversations about how to simplify…and our system was pretty simple, we came upon this little gem.  I will be honest it was pricey.  BUT after researching materials I couldn’t make it much cheaper.  So this all inclusive system will be tested out.  This is not a sponsored post.  I need to add the pictures of each family member to the top row.  BUT outside of that it is pretty much complete.   It comes complete with everything you need except scissors and glue.  The Whole family is excited to give it a try .  It moves away from an allowance system and goes more towards a family store (you can still incorporate concepts of tithing and giving).  Be watching for my honest review of this in the next month or two- and updates as we work out the kinks and make it useable for our family .  You can check out Family Do Dots here.

#2- Finishing (well)

At the end of this last year….ok so if I’m honest it started when we got home from our last vacation in August, I struggled with some …eh…not sure what you would want to call it, but I had some tasks that I wanted to accomplish and they just never got finished.  As the new year rolled around I began my annual goal setting routines and I hit a road Block.  I kept coming back to those unfinished tasks.  So as I am planning for upcoming months I have decided to finish up those goals.  I think I really struggle with  time frames.  I think that if I haven’t finished something in my allotted time I just give up and move on.  This year I have realized that it does not have to be 6 months or 12 months.  They are my goals, so what if they don’t happen in the  12 months I thought it should take.  I am my own worst critic.  So this year I want to not put so much pressure on myself and finish some of the goals I stared last year and have less goals overall this year.  I want  to remember 2 things 1) Progress over Perfection and 2). It only matters how well you finish not WHEN you finish.

#3-Youth Group Overnights

I have loved youth group overnights since I was a teenager and our church did lock-ins.  I have very fond memories of playing water balloon volleyball in the gym of my middle school where I attended (amongst other crazy games courtesy of my youth leaders Robin, Brenda, Gerry and Jennifer) and for the last couple. of years I have had the privilege of helping lead the youth group and now am co-leader with my hubby.   Usually a couple of  things lead to crazy sleep deprivation like not being able to nap before the overnight.  I just couldn’t I would lay down but nothing would happen. I would just stare at the ceiling.  Then I would either be up all night or most of the night, come home and have to leave again for some long scheduled  meeting or something.  That happened on the lsat 3 or 4 overnights . SoI end up being awake from Friday at 5 or 6 in the morning til Saturday  at 7 or 8 at night.  The result is almost a half week of just wanting to sleep all the time.  Well this time was different.  This time I peeked in a four hour nap.  Stayed up ALL night with only 1 cup of coffee.  I came home and went to bed at like 7:30 or 8 am and slept until 1:30.  Great right HA! One would think But just like that newborn coming home from the hospital my days and nights are mixed up.  I still love overnights and I will continue doing them  as long as I can.  And to be completely honest I can deal with my days and nights mixed up better that just being exhausted for a week!

#4- Skunks

I know I have said it before but we live in the middle of nowhere.  Wildlife is a part of our life.  Deer, rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys, ducks, geese, raccoons, ferrel cats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, pheasants, frogs, turtles, rats, bats, mice, opossums, foxes , snakes and skunks.  We have them all, and who knows there could be some other fun creatures lurking around our house.

But this last week some poor soul hit a skunk right in front of our house.  I woke up to this terrible smell and blamed the dog.  I was wrong.  Our WHOLE house wreaked of the striped nocturnal beast. Hubby wonderfully moved the skunk from in front of our house to the woods.  Some comments were made about it looking like it was digging a hole in the middle of the road (only my brothers and dad will get THAT  reference)  We have had some skunk activity BUT wow.  Then two nights later I needed something from our truck so I opened the front door and I was hit with tear inducing stench.  SERIOUSLY!  There was no dead skunk this time BUT some poor soul, or animal met with the wrong end of that variegated vermin, and I wasn’t’t about to be victim  #2!

I chuckle to myself as I thought back to a camping trip as a teenager.  In a matter of a couple of hours we had seen 20-30 skunks.  we called it the year of the skunk.  My brothers and I ran into one at dusk  that resulted in a three stooges moment where the first one stopped dead in his tracks and the other two of us ran into the one in front of us.  Then on the way back to the campsite (my brothers ditched me) in the dark armed with nothing but a small flashlight heard something in the underbrush next to me .  I flashed the light expecting to see a deer or bear but instead was met with the beady black eyes of a skunk just a few feet away.  I ran.  I got to the campsite where my parents had been watching skunks (yes Plural) at the edge of the forrest.  Mom and I ran into yet another skunk as we headed towards the shower house before going to bed and upon returning we found my dad in the van…..a skunk ran across his foot.  Sometime in the middle of the night my dad and I were  awakened by the most hideous noises I have ever heard while camping.  we went to the window of our TENT and saw the biggest raccoon (he had to duck to get out from under the picnic table) and a bunch of skunks fighting over the watermelon seeds we had spit onto the ground at dinner.  I whispered “dad what happens if they spray”?  My dad  whispered back “We go home”.  In all of the skunk sightings we never once got sprayed, we finished out our vacation with not another skunk sighting.  Funny how smelling that awful  stench brings back such funny memories!

How about you?  What randomness has happened in your life this week? and I look forward to sharing again next week!

Thrive, Job, and My Planner- Random Reflections

Random

Welcome to this weeks dose of randomness!  It’s been a couple of weeks but a lot has happened during that time.   I have been pondering about what t has happened and I think I have kind of narrowed it down to  3  reflections of randomness!

Reflection #1. Thrive

Our church is going through the book Thrive by Mark Hall (the lead singer from Casting Crowns).  It is my second or third time through this gem of a book.   My first encounter with this book was when I reviewed it  in April of 2014 (you can find that review here– but don’t judge it was one of my first reviews!). My husband is leading it in two connect groups and I am leading it in the ladies connect group.

As I have jumped into this book again, I am simply amazed by the new insights  I am seeing.  One thing that struck deep this last week was this quote:

“I discovered this is how we pray for people.  When somebody is dangerously sick, we pray for ‘God’s will,’ not for healing, Because we’re afraid the person won’t pull through and we don’t want to stick out our necks in public.  But if it’s my kid, I’m not praying for “God’s will”.  That’s my boy and I am begging God to heal him!  Our just-in-case prayers tell us something about our view of God.”

My response: OUCH!!

It’s true.  Every.  Single.  Word.

So I want to pray differently.  I don’t want to communicate to myself or others that I only think God is capable of  healing someone I want them to know that I have full confidence that He can.  Yes He may not choose to.  I need to drop the easy Christian-ese phrasing and pray with confidence!

Reflection #2 Job

Ok it’s time for a confession- out of all the books in the Bible Job is my least favorite.  Some you who know me really well might be shocked by that because Job struggled, and I have struggled.  Not like Job necessarily, but most people are stunned when they hear my testimony.  And through that God has blessed abundantly.  But I find Job arduous.  There are points when you want sock Job’s friends for being so…….uncaring ( that seems too tame). And then there is Job who can seem whiny, and even at points puts himself on the same level as God.  And when God steps in I feel like standing up and cheering “YES FINALLY!”  but as I have embarked on reading through the Bible chronologically I have also chosen to use a different translation..though it’s not a translation but a paraphrase.  You know what, It is what I needed.  AND it’s ok.  REALLY.  And I am learning things from Job and kinda enjoying it along the way!  I have even posted quotes from Job to my social media!

Reflection #3 My Planner

I am on a hunt.  a hunt to see how I can take my every day planner and utilize it more with prayer.  I already have a Franken-Planner.   That term means I have created my own take of a Happy Planner. NO JOKE. I have my regular planner (but only  6 months worth and then in the second half I have another planner (my blog planner- the same 6 months.) I am still getting use to the set up, but I am trying to streamline what I’ve got in my bag.  So I wan to implement my prayer  thing (I don’t know what to call it)- into my actual planner.    If you have any thoughts feel free to share below in the comments.

And that’s all I have for today.  How about you? What have you been reflecting on over the past few weeks?  I’d love to hear from you!