{what's in a name}

April 21, 2014

I have always loved names.
I've made lists for as long as I can remember of what names I would give to my children.
{I was a young teenager trying desperately to avoid fitting into a mold.}
My second son was named Saylor for about two weeks when he lived in my uterus.

Ultimately, I ended up with 
Karli Blayne 
{She's named after my godfather.}
Drake William Elie 
{ He's named after Freddie's 2 grandfathers.}
Brant James Lee 
{ He's named after Freddie Thomas James and Freddie's parents- both who have Lee as a middle name.}
Aubree AnnaLynn
{She's named after my grandmother and my godmother.}

Their names are very significant to me.
Their first names are names that I liked. 
Names that settled into a place within me that just felt right.

I have always taught my children to treat their names with respect.
Especially their family name.
My boys need to be certain that they give that name to the right girl.
Their names are significant and special and important.
When their name is spoken, a thought will be come to mind.
It is important to make sure that those thoughts are honorable.

Maybe, they will do so much with their life here on earth 
that their names will live on like many others before them.
Abraham Lincoln.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mother Theresa

But what if they don't?
Will their name fade away into history, 
etched only onto a headstone never to be spoken again?
I believe that no matter how long their names, 
or mine,
is spoken of here on earth
it will never sound as sweet or mean so much 
as when our name is called in Heaven!

I will hear Jesus present me to His Father one day by my name.

"Conquerors will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life. I'll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels." Revelation 3:5



April 7, 2014

  1.  i LOVE that i have a very fun and entertaining birth story to tell
  2. i LOVE that I KNEW you were a girl no matter what any ultrasound may or may not have said
  3. i LOVE that you have blue eyes, just like i prayed for
  4. i LOVE that you have way more self-confidence than i could ever pretend to muster
  5. i LOVE that you have a personal and strong relationship with GOD
  6. i LOVE that you trust me
  7. i LOVE how self-motivated and driven you are
  8. i LOVE that you are trustworthy and responsible
  9. i LOVE that you work hard for the things you want even though they don't come easily
  10. i LOVE that you call football uniforms costumes & correct anyone who calls a turn a spin
  11. i LOVE that you have grown into a girly girl who loves all things glittery & high heels
  12. i LOVE our relationship & i treasure you
  13. i LOVE when you put your feet in my bath and the talks that naturally follow
  14. i LOVE how wise you are beyond your years
  15. i LOVE the beautiful YOU that God so graciously has shared with me!
Happy Birthday, Karli!
{and many more}


{time marches on}

March 26, 2014

I sit here.
One week before teenager #2 joins our family.
How did I get here?

He asked me last night,
"Mom, on a scale from 1-10, how attractive am I?"
I look at him in a different light.
The boy { MY boy} becoming man, too fast.
Pure perfection..
In this moment my heart smiles at the rare memory I have of him as a "baby".
His dirty blonde hair and big, brown, curious eyes.
I remember always thinking how gorgeous he is.
the TORTURE of having an older sister

I don't know why, but I cannot recall very much of him as a baby.
I remember once, breastfeeding Brant-
I think that kid was constantly hooked up to the milk jugs-
Anyway, I was hooked up to the baby and I turned to my right
and there was my little, two year old Drake sitting on the floor
about ten feet from the rocker I was in
moving his hands to his mouth holding the BIGGEST butcher knife I had in my house.
Needless to say, Brant was very rudely and abruptly ripped from his feeding post and
all but thrown to the floor as I darted to rescue the inevitable disaster that was about to ensue.

Another memory I have of baby Drake is when, once again, I was feeding Brant
and I could hear Drake down the hallway in his bathroom.
Curious, I managed to finish the meal and sneak in to see what was going on.
My little boy was in the toilet with nothing on but his diaper
having a fun little "bath" with the baby soap.
It's one of my favorite stories to tell.

One other time, I must have made Drake really mad because
he ran away from home to my mom's next door.
Poor little boy.
Once he realized what he had done and that he actually had to return home
he started to panic.
He didn't want to come home to certain discipline,
but he knew he couldn't stay at Grammie's forever.
Let's just say this was definitely one time that his amazing good looks came in handy.

"9.9", I tell him.
And he smiles.
Satisfied with the result.

I whisper a prayer that he will always believe me.
I pray that God always lets Drake's ears hear His truth about who he is.
I never want his heart to be confused with any message that the world might feed him
that would contradict the Word of God.
I want my son to walk in confidence and the knowledge that he is SO loved!

Time is constant.
It is not slow.
I knew this day would come.
And I knew it would come quickly.
I am grateful that I have been blessed to be present in so many of the moments
that make up the years.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16


{reality check from a six year old}

February 19, 2014

I'm driving home from dancing.
The dancing class where I wait 3 hours for my girls to both finish.
Two of the three hours I sit with an antsy and energetic 6 year old.
Okay. Driving.
From the back seat I hear Karli yelling at correcting Aubree about how
"if it wasn't already broken it certainly is now";
referring to the DVD player.
Freddie recently ordered two DVD player head rests for my van.
They're very nice. It made our vacation car ride much more bearable.
I've been enthusiastically telling Aubree for a few months now to leave the DVD player
and DVD's alone because she broke the last one by kicking it with her feet.
Furthermore, I don't think there is one single DVD,
including the ones they just got for CHRISTmas,
that is not scratched from improper care.
So, hearing the skirmish from the backseat,
I offer a few loud words towards Aubree about the matter.
Then I find out that the DVD player that Karli was talking about
was the one that we have already established is broken.
It was in the seat back pocket.
God only knows why I haven't thrown it away yet.
Okay. Fine.
Now, here's where I'm going with all of this:
Aubree then, full on whimpering for the most effect, proceeds to inform me that
"you need to say sorry, Mom, because you really hurt my feelings!"
And so, I did.
I have {we all do} taught my children to offer apologies when they hurt someone else
or when they do something wrong.

Why do we not treat each other the way we expect our children to?
When we say something that is un-thoughtful, rude, or unkind to someone
why do we not just apologize for hurting them?
We all make mistakes.
I know that I tend to react poorly when I'm stressed, tired, or grumpy.
There have been many times where I have said something thinking it was going to be funny
and it turned out to really hurt someone's feelings.
We need to just say sorry.
It goes such a long way in preserving relationships.
Don't let pride stop you.
That's just Satan wanting to divide us so that we are weaker.
Take a stand and commit to take care of your friendships.
Make them important enough to put your self aside
and tend to the heart of those you care about.

"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt." 1Samuel 18:1-4

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17


{it's raining, it's pouring}

February 4, 2014

It's where I've purposed to live this year.
But the funny thing is, God is full of surprises.
I thought that I was going to be the only one exercising my heart.
And then, He sends the showers to drench me, violently and swiftly~
everywhere I turn it's thundering and lightening with those who rain {LOVE}.
What a blessing it is to know that I am {LOVEd} by the Creator.

Sometimes it's hardest to {love} yourself.
Or to let yourself be {loved}.
I'm learning that it may be one of the most important parts of being able to {love} others well.

I find myself in a season that I don't particularly want to be in.
It's a hassle.
A change.
An awakening.
And as soon as I reach out for help, just the tiniest bit,
I've got an army of girls, armed to the teeth,
standing at attention, ready to go to the Throne on my behalf.
They empty their hearts of {love} all over me.

This is a lesson.
I must mark it down in red and underline it.
Even the smallest gesture I can give in {love}~
Like an encouraging word,
Or an earnest prayer~
Can make such an impact and help to lighten the load of the weary.
It's that simple.
Who would've thought that this journey would begin with me receiving what I've set out to give?

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us." 1John 4:16-19


{love} on purpose

January 28, 2104

So, in my last post, several weeks ago, I promised to reveal my new
"Word of the Year".
Seems simple.
We all have the instinct to love.
I love my kids~ fiercely.
I love my husband~ passionately.
I love my parents, family, & friends~ faithfully.
But I don't always {love} well.
It's very easy to {love} my kids when they are being nice to each other.
How can I not {love} my husband when he pays me a much needed compliment?
I {love} the lovable.
It's in the shadows of a cranky mood or selfish intentions
that I am challenged and tested to push through in {love}.
I want to begin to {love} on purpose.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31

We are COMMANDED to {love}.
To {love} God. To {love} everyone else. To {love} ourselves.
Not just a little.
We are to {love} with ALL that we are and ALL that we have.
No other commandment is greater!

How do I {love} God?
Sometimes it's like a comfortable relationship; the {love} is always there,
but the passion may be on simmer.
Other times I feel like I can't even come up with the words to express how intense my feelings of {love} are for Him.
In reality, if I am to {love} on purpose, it must start with my {love} affair with Jesus.
He is the only example of true, real, pure {love}.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." 
John 15:13
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." 
1Peter 3:18

The Bible is full of examples of how Jesus loved those that were deemed unlovable.
He lived {love} on purpose!

That's what I want.
I want it to flow through me, naturally.
I am so not there. 
It's actually scary to think that this is how I am going to focus myself this year.
I cannot do this on my own will power.
I must rely on the strength that comes from Christ alone.



January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

November called for Thankfulness.
December called for Giving.
January calls for Resolutions.
Have you jumped on that bandwagon and
made a list of things that you want to accomplish
just to realize that in a few short weeks 
you'll be slapped in the face with the reality
that you may have been just a tad too ambitious?
You'll find that you're in way over your head
and you'll abandon The List 
and promptly begin beating yourself up
because you're a failure.

I'm all for growth, progress, & change.
But I also know that I am human.
Don't fall into the trap of setting yourself up for disappointment.
Am I saying that you shouldn't try to lose those few extra pounds that found you last year
or try to shake off that character flaw that you're not happy with?
No. Not at all.
I'm saying that you should go about it in a different way.

Here's what I'm trying to say...
I totally believe that God has sent the Holy Spirit to us~
To guide us and speak to us.
It's not magic, and it's not out of reach. 
It's not something that only happens for other people.
God will totally meet us where we are and give us all that we need.
We just need to listen.
I have discovered that God wants us to accomplish things in a certain order.
We may not be ready for some things before others.
For the past several years, 
as I have made a conscious effort to grow closer to God,
I have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit within me 
telling me where I need to focus my energy.
I've dedicated each "new year" with a WORD 
that I've been given to purpose toward.
Whatever your word is, you should write it down
somewhere, anywhere, everywhere!
And then begin to seek out God's will in your life through prayer.
{I've learned that when I am sincere in lining myself up with the will of God, my prayer life bears more fruit. It's one of the most powerful things I've ever experienced.} 
Make yourself available to opportunities that stretch you in that area.
Educate yourself on what the Bible says about it.
Exercise it. 
And pretty soon, you'll find out that 
you've wandered into a space you've wanted to be all along.
Everything starts falling beautifully into place.
Those challenges start to become smaller 
and you can more easily discern & conquer what doesn't belong in your life.
Then, without fail, you'll hear another whisper.
Oh, the places you can go!
It's a precious journey and the thing is, instead of getting weary,
each "new year" finds you eager for new challenges.
And it's because you fall into God and let Him carry you where He leads.

Stay tuned...
I'll tell you about my new WORD soon.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35