March Madness…for several reasons

March brings showers and April spring flowers…or something like that.  I enjoy seeing green!  It’s a sign of new life after cold temperatures.  Actually our winter here in this part of Texas was so mild, that I blinked and it was spring!

With that burst of new life comes new energy, new ideas, and some busier schedules.  College basketball tournaments are about to start as well…have no idea where the term March Madness came regarding that! Outdoor recreation kicks into high gear, people begin to spruce up their yards and homes, and vacation planning for spring break is in full force!

As a realtor, this is the time of year that we begin to see people plan on buying their first home, or selling what they have and upgrading to a larger space.  Here is a quick newsletter from the real estate team that I’m apart of: http://imprv.co/awel

Take a quick read and let me know your thoughts and questions about real estate.  Read More »

Trusting God With Your Children

cross I can remember dressing both my babies in their Sunday best for baby dedication.  Both Protestant and Catholic churches have their customs for bringing their children before the church.  Some call it baptism or christening, and we call ours dedication.  It comes from the verse in I Samuel 1:11, where Hannah had pleaded with God to give her a child since she was barren.  If God fulfilled her prayer, she promised to dedicate her son, Samuel, to God. It’s also found in Luke 2:22 with Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the synagogue 40 days after his birth and dedicating him as the custom allowed.

Standing before the church, our minister asked us if we would do our part in rearing our children in a godly home.  At the time the answer seemed easy and of course we agreed.  Now, as I parent a preteen and an elementary aged child, I see how much our world has changed and the challenges and dangers it presents.

In this day and age of online predators, international terrorists, school shootings, cyber bullying along with so much more, raising kids in this generation is tremendously difficult.  I often watch the evening news and wonder what will their world be like when they’re adults?  What will our economy be like?  What will our environment be like?  I hear the broadcaster announce, “nuclear deal reached”.  Hard to imagine a peaceful existence for their future.

The hardest part for me as a Mom is not worrying about my kids.  I don’t think it ever changes.  I know moms whose children are now parents themselves well into their forties.  These moms still worry about their adult children.  Yet there comes a point when you can’t control everything and have to hand it over to God.  Trusting Him with your child.  How?  When?

Trusting Him to place my child with the right teachers.  Trusting Him to guide them in making the right friends.  Trusting Him to help them catch that fly ball at the baseball tryout, or nail that tumbling sequence at a dance recital (yes I prayed really hard for that one, because how horrible to fall in a dance recital!).

There are always going to be big and small decisions concerning our children. I have learned that when I start to worry or fret,  it’s time to stop and pray.  When I do, I can hear that still, small voice say “Trust Me”.  And why wouldn’t I?  We can run around frantic and concerned, or stop and remember that the very one who knew us while we were being formed in our own mother’s wombs (Jeremiah 1:5), knows our children just as well and has a plan for their lives.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lords, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

My children have a future in Him.  I have reminded them that there are people who will try to convince them to follow other beliefs, pursue other interests, and take other’s advice, but to follow Him is what I agreed to help them do as infants.  Continuing that promise is something I can’t falter on.

I remember a song I learned as a child, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”  It may not seem like it with the chaotic worldwide headlines, but He does have it.  He has our family.  He has my children.  And I am so thankful to have HIM.

Grocery Store Dread

Dread is defined as “to anticipate with great apprehension or fear; to be afraid of, worry about, be anxious or have forebodings, unease or angst”.  For example, “Jane was dreading to visit her in-laws”, or “The thought of a cramped elevator filled Bob with dread.”  For me personally, the idea, the very notion, and the ever gnawing feeling of hunger is prompting me to do the one thing I really dread…going to the grocery store with my kids!

Yes it’s summertime and all but inevitable that they will have to accompany me to the store.  Normally, when school is in session, I have time to work around their schedules and mine to make a quick trip without having two voices constantly interrupting my train of thought.  When I go to the store alone I have my routine down pat.  I enter and grab a disinfectant wipe and wipe down that disgusting cart.  Did you know that grocery store carts and movie theater seats are some of the worse carriers of germs?  Anyway, disinfect first and then I make my way.  I go through the produce first, quickly scanning for deals and avoiding the unfortunate mark up of organic.  I wind through the seafood section glancing at the lobsters and wondering who pays for these things?  I do, but not at $15 a pound!  Then it’s through the deli section and through the meat and chicken.  I dodge through processed food aisles with cereal and snacks which I try to avoid (except for the occasional box of Lucky Charms, because they really are “magically delicious”).  I continue to make my way, check items off my list, quickly charge through the frozen foods because it’s always too darn cold, and make way back up to the checkout lanes.  If I’m organized and stick to my list, I can easily make it in and out in less than an hour.

Yesterday was a different story.

I had to go to the store.  The shelves in our pantry were slowly diminishing to down to cornstarch and a can of pumpkin.  Sigh.  The kids were coming with me.

Now at the store I’m trying to stick to my plan but I have two little beings who are constantly pumping me with questions.  “What are we eating for dinner tonight?”, and “Will you buy me candy if I’m really good?” I always laugh at that one.  Trying to work my way through produce, one of my munchkins insist on picking out their own fruit and weighing it, while the other one is whining about me not letting him push the cart.  I remind him that I would like to keep my achilles in tact and at the rate he clips the back of my feet, I’m going to lose.

As we wander through the aisles I feel defeat approaching.  My plan is starting to unravel.  I pass other moms in the aisles with the same looks on their faces.  We’re not enjoying these trips to the store.  We’re trying to survive like POWs;  prisoners of war whose grocery carts are like work wagons that we’re pushing.  Once in a while I will bump into a mom I know and we exchange the look.  The look that says, “How did we get here?  It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating 21.”  I hear a cry that jolts me back to present time.  My kids are fighting over which brand of macaroni to buy.

Each aisle produces new sorts of questions and ideas.  “Let’s buy lemonade and do a lemonade stand!”, and “Yes, and let’s get cookies and brownies too and we can have a bake sale.”  In 95 degree heat and humidity that feels like a hot, wet blanket?  Think again kiddos.

Finally, I’m beginning to see a light.  It’s the frozen food section and I realize I’m almost home free!  A few quick passes grabbing milk, and ice cream, I begin to make my way to the checkout lanes.  I hear voices behind beginning to cry about why we’re not stopping to try sausage samples, or why am I not buying the dog more dog treats, but I AM NOT STOPPING!  I quickly search for a couple of checkers that I know are fast or don’t do the “small talk”.  You know those who always ask annoying questions like “How is your day going?” and “Did you find everything you needed?”  I usually say “fine” but I really want to respond with “How do you think it’s going?  My kids won’t stop talking and asking my to buy things”, and “The only thing I need is a pina colada and a nice quiet beach to enjoy.  Does your store carry that?”

I see my old friend, “what’s his name”, and he quickly checks us out.  He’s retired and has zero patience with kids and he sees I want out quickly.  No coupons, no ice, no help out to my car…just give me my receipt!

He tears off the receipt and I go for the exit.  The glass doors slide open, the sun beats down its warmth on my face and FREEDOM!  We’re done.  We made it.  Groceries are loaded, kids are in the seats with belts attached, air conditioning is blasting, and we head home.  Pulling into the driveway it feels good to finally be over with it.

Sigh…now time to unload.