Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Honestly, I can’t believe it’s Friday again.  These weeks are flying by.

And just like every Friday, I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci to share our FAVORITES from the week.

ONE

Sunday night I introduced Jojo to the show Survivor.  Joseph and I started watching it when Jojo was a baby.  Jojo really got into the episode and asked if he could watch it with me again next week.  It’s crazy to think that we began wactching the show when he was only a couple of months old.  Almost 10 years ago!  Now he’s sitting with us watching it and enjoying it!

TWO

On Tuesday we went to a Patriotic Concert for Mary’s 4th grade class.  Jojo was never big into singing in front of people so he opts out of those events.  But Mary was totally in it.  I wish I would’ve gotten a video of her singing.  My girl was in the front row and sang her little heart out.

THREE

On Wednesday, we went to our local frozen yogurt spot, Swirlees for Mary’s End of the Year Softball Party.  This was her first year playing softball.  We were blessed with wonderful coaches who were patient, encouraging and taught Mary a lot.

FOUR

It was a bit chilly this week in Georgia.  I took advantage of the weather and wore my new boots from Target.

Here’s a better picture from their website.

You definitely need these!  Such a good shoe for fall and winter.

FIVE

So I tried something new this week.  I went to a girl who does lash extensions and decided to give them a try.  I’ve only had them on for about 48 hours, but I love them so far.  I know not everyone likes them and has the time for the upkeep.  I can’t really say since I’ve only had them on two days, but I will let you guys know how it goes.  I have really short lashes so I am loving the longer look.  And I’ve loved that I don’t need mascara!

SIX

My sweet bug is loving Math.  She is learning multiplication tables on her own just because!  Last night she came in the bathroom while I got ready for bed and showed me a new math problem she made up.

SEVEN

Last night we had the big kids’ Art Show at school.  I love love love buying their framed art.  The pieces I have so far are in our media room.  I can’t wait to add these on the wall.  I love how the school does this each year and how they use the same style frame.  It really makes this OCD momma happy!

EIGHT

I am still loving Church of the Small Things.  I am hosting a Virtual Bible Study using the study guide, but I’m also reading the book.  This paragraph really stood out to me this morning.

I can totally relate to her.  I spent so many years wishing and dreaming I had certain things.  I always lived in the future and I missed what was right in front of me.  I missed the blessings God had for me right then and there.  It’s ok to plan and look to the future.  But it is super important to live in the now.  To love and be intentional now.  Even if life isn’t great right now, God is using that time to teach you something.  Maybe it’s something that you will use to minister to others in the future?

And that wraps up this week’s Friday Favorites.  We have a super busy weekend ahead.  I’ll be honest, I’m already tired thinking about it.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of lots of family time and fun.  I’m hoping to start putting up our Christmas decor this weekend.  It’s super early for me, but we are ready!

-Maggie

We are Created for a Reason: Session Two

Good morning everyone!  I am so thankful for this week.  This video session spoke so much truth to my heart.  If you have not watched it, go watch it now.  If you didn’t sign up for the study, you can watch it too.  Let me know and I’ll send you the link.

I don’t even know where to begin.  Everything Melanie talked about resonated with me.  I love how she reminded us that we are God’s masterpiece.  He made us carefully and thoughtfully.  We each have a purpose in this life.  If you are alive and breathing, there is a reason you are still here.

We go through life wondering if we are significant, wanting to be accepted.  We spend our time looking for meaning and purpose in all the wrong things when we know that Jesus is the “thing” that fills us up.  All the other things only bring temporary fullness.  But with Jesus we are eternally full.

But life is hard.  And finding acceptance in the worldly things brings us instant pleasure.  Sometimes filling up on Jesus means being patient and going through hardships.  It’s not easy to choose Him over things that bring us instant gratification.  I know I’m guilty of it daily.  It requires discipline.

Sometimes it means going through a period of time where we find ourselves in the “pastures” of life.  Seasons where we feel lonely, forgotten and insignificant. Those lessons are some of the hardest.  Those seasons are tough.

Melanie talked about how God sometimes teaches us the biggest lessons through obscurity.  I looked up the word obscurity and it means unknown, unimportant.  How often do we go through life wondering if anyone even notices the things we do?  As moms, I know, this is big.  We do so much for everyone and at times it can be exhausting.  We go through life making sure all of our children’s needs are met.  Wondering at the same time if we are even doing a good job.  We have different things pulling for our attention every day.  Work, bills, laundry, lunches, homework, deadlines…

But friend, God sees you.  He sees you in those hard, lonely times.  When you feel lonely, unworthy and like you can’t measure up.  He sees you trying your best to balance work and home life.  God sees us even when the world has forgotten us.  And it’s in those seasons when God is preparing us for the big things in life.

God called David to be king.  He wasn’t even in the line up when his dad presented his other brothers to Samuel.  He was a shepherd.  He was ordinary.  To the world probably insignificant.  But to God he was perfect.  He would use this ordinary shepherd to do extraordinary things.

Before David became King, he spent his days as a shepherd in pastures.  Probably alone with just the sheep.  I’m sure he had moments of feeling forgotten, insignificant and alone.  Wondering if anyone even noticed him.  My sweet friend, it’s in those pastures of life where we grow and come to know God in a more intimate way.  If you are like me, I tend to pull away when moments get hard.  I pitch a fit.  I really do.  So this reminder was huge for me.  To know that God sees me.  He hasn’t forgotten me.  The Bible says that in this life we will have troubles.  We will.  But God tells us to find peace in Him.  He tells us to take heart because He has over come the world.

God has a calling for your life.  And no calling is insignificant whether it be public speaking to a sold out crowd or washing dishes and laundry.  He has a purpose for each of us.  Going about your day, working hard in your job, being nice to the new kid.  All of those things are callings.

But maybe God has called you to something that you are not quite ready for.  Maybe you feel that uncomfortable feeling.  That feeling of wanting to say, “no Lord you chose the wrong person.”  The feeling of wanting to run away and say, “why don’t you call so and so.  They would do a much better job.”  Or maybe you know your calling, but God is asking you to be still and wait.

And the waiting….oh the waiting is sometimes the hardest part.  Melanie said something that really stuck with me.  She said that we are called to be faithful and trust even when we don’t want to.  That was such a real and raw statement to me.  I know there are days when I just don’t want to trust.  I don’t want to be faithful.  I want to fix things myself because some days I feel that will bring a quicker result.  But then that would be settling.  Settling for something under God’s plan.  And if we settle sweet sister, think of all that we are missing.  God has big blessings for you.  But when we settle we miss out.  Our pastor said something on Sunday that has stayed with me this week.  He said that God calls us to aim higher.  God doesn’t call us to settle.  Aim Higher girlfriend!  Shoot for the stars.  Embrace the woman God has made you to be and aim higher.  Don’t settle.

This was a hard post for me.  I started writing it on Monday and just felt like it wasn’t finished.  I let it sit for a couple of days and God turned it in a completely different direction.  Maybe someone needed this encouragement today.  Maybe you are in a lonely, feeling forgotten season of life.  Take heart.  God is there.  He sees you sweet friend.

Or maybe God has called you to do something you don’t want to do.  Aim higher and do it.  Experience the blessings God has for your life.  And if you are in the waiting season of your calling, be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, but slow down and be still.  Enjoy life, even in the waiting.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Take heart friends and experience His peace today.  I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

-Maggie

 

 

Virtual Bible Study: Recap of Week One

Hi there!  I am super excited that you have joined me on this bible study journey.  I believe there are about 20-25 ladies who are signed up and are following along.  This is so awesome y’all.  I look forward to hearing from you during the upcoming weeks.

Each week I want to take some time to recap what we’ve learned.  I will post a short video and a blog post to share a little bit about what resonated with me during the week.

I went ahead and bought the Church of the Small Things book along with the study guide.  You do not have to read the book, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I read chapters 1-3 this week.

Throughout the week we talked about a couple of things.  The first was about remaining in Jesus and what that means to us.  I believe that remaining in Jesus goes along with trusting Him.  When we remain in Jesus we bear fruit.  We make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Many times when we are doing the small things we find ourselves frustrated, angry and just really fed up.  Remaining in Jesus keeps us focused.  It reminds us to be joyful in all things.  This week tested me.  I had a bad day where I let my frustrations ruin my day.  I had a bad attitude and really had to fight hard to change it.  I went back to reminding myself that the small things matter, but they will not make a difference if I am grumpy doing them.

In the book, Melanie Shankle talks about Abby Wambach.  She played for the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  Gatorade aired a commercial as a tribute to her and in the background she says these words, “Forget me.  Forget my number, forget my name, forget I ever existed.  Forget the medals won, the records broken, and the sacrifices made.  I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward, where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered.”  (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

Wow.  What humility.  She had great success, but all she wanted was to make sure that those behind her accomplished great things as well.

But I agree with Melanie when she says that it’s hard to forget those that have come before us.  When you have lived life to the fullest, taken advantage of every opportunity, enjoyed the small and the big things and “you have carpe diemed the heck out of who and what God has created you to be, you leave an incredible mark on the people around you and on those who will come long after you’re gone.” (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

We leave an incredible mark on those around us.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s the small things that make the BIG difference.

I think about my dad and the legacy he left behind.  You know, my dad was not perfect.  But he did take advantage of every situation to show God’s love.  Whether it was our waitress at a restaurant or the cashier at the store, he always took the opportunity to tell them God loved them.

He did those small things and those small things impacted the lives of many.  It took me to a memory I have of him growing up that I shared in the video.

I hated storms as a kid.  Especially the ones with loud thunder and crazy lightning.  One night during a storm, I woke up in the middle of the night and cried out for my dad.  To my surprise, he was already laying in the floor beside my bed and he let me know he was there.  “Aqui estoy hija,” he said.  (I am here my daughter)

That small thing that he did, to come lay on the floor by my bed, will be something I will never forget.  All of the little, daily, mundane tasks we do each day, they all matter.  We may go about our day thinking nobody notices, but they do.  You are making an impact on everyone around you.

Nothing is wasted when we look at it through the lens of what God has for us.  Everything we go through, everything we do is all part of who we are.

“For some, that may be a public role on a big stage, but for the vast majority of us, it’s about being faithful in the small stuff: going to the grocery store, volunteering in our kid’s classroom, befriending the new girl, coaching a Little League team, showing up for work every day, being kind to our neighbors.” (Church of the Small Things, Page 25)

What we do is important.  Big or small, it matters to those around you and most of all it matters to God.

We go through life looking for that big moment.  We pray and ask God to show us what His will is, what His purpose for our life is.  We desperately need Him to show us that big thing that we are waiting for.  But we forget that life isn’t made from just one thing.  Life is in all things, every single moment of our life.  That is where life is.  The small things may seem insignificant at the moment, but they are making a big difference in the lives of those we encounter every single day.

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, or one huge success.  It’s created moment by moment, often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own but are the very fabric of who God meant for us to become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors, and simply be who he created us to be; nothing more, nothing less.” (Church of the Small Things, page 15)

We finished up the week reading Ruth chapter one.  Ruth and Naomi were embarking on a journey on their own.  Naomi had lost her husband and sons.  She told both of her daughter-in-laws to return home, but Ruth chose to stay with her.  She took a risk and chose to be loyal to Naomi.  She was faithful in one small moment.  As we go throughout the study we will see how the story unfolds.

Sweet friend, you may be going through life, moment by moment wondering if what you do truly matters.  I want to tell you that it absolutely does.  I know you are probably tired, exhausted and worn out, but hang tight.  God is using you right where you are.  You may think your life is small, but the impact you make each day is big.

Live each day to the fullest.  Choose to be faithful in all things because one day our kids, grandkids and great grandkids will be talking about all the little things we did for them and what a big difference it made in their life.  Just like my dad coming to lay beside my bed is something I will forever remember, your kids will do the same.

Love hard.  Offer grace.  Enjoy every moment.

What resonated with you this week?  How did this week impact your life?  I would love to hear from you!

-Maggie

 

 

Friday Favorites

Oh my goodness, can I get a TGIF?!

Y’all.  This week.  Gracious.  We had SIX softball games in Four days, Football practice three of those days and we hosted small group at our house.  Today, we have our school fundraiser for the big kids and my crossfit team is doing our weekly team workout.

Not to mention, laundry is piled up, bedrooms need cleaning and my sink has not been empty all week.  #momminainteasy

But it’s Friyay and that makes me happy!

Today, I am linking up with Erica, Andrea and Narci to share some of our favorite things from the week.  Grab your coffee, take a breather and get comfy.

ONE

I was looking through old pictures and came across this one.  Can we just take a minute to look at my sweet girl?  We’ve had a rough week y’all.  She has been extra whiny and emotional.  She cried one morning because I started to fix Mary’s hair before I did hers.  It’s been rough, but then I see these pictures and it reminds me that my baby isn’t a baby anymore.

I normally try to space out having lunch with the kiddos at school.  It was Jojo’s day, but she cried and well…I made it work.  Jojo has “brunch” at 10:55 so I went to Hardees at his request ha!  Chicken biscuits for him and his buddy.  Then I left a little early around 11:20 to go back to Hardees and get this sweet thing some chicken tenders and fries.  She has lunch at 10:32 so I was cutting it close, but I made it! img_7154

TWO

Mary went on her first overnight field trip to Jekyll Island last week.  She had a blast, but we were so happy to have her home.  I felt like a “bad mom” because I didn’t go with her, but she was well taken care of by all of my sweet momma friends.  I think it really helped her to do this without me.  Earlier this year, she struggled with anxiety and some minor panic attacks.  I was so worried that it would all come back, but thank God it didn’t. Mackenzie missed Mary!  As much as they fight, they really do love each other.  Mackenzie made Mary a sweet card while she was gone.

THREE

I am loving my new Halloween booty shorts and sports bra by Born Primitive.  You can read all about this awesome brand here.  Ladies, if you are looking for a new sports bra-check them out!  Use my BFF’s code: Sanders15 for 15% off.

FOUR

This week was lunch with my kids week.  I try to do this a couple of times during the school year.  The weather was beautiful this week so we sat outside.

FIVE

It’s competition month at our crossfit box.  We are celebrating our ONE year anniversary all month-long.  Here I am #meanmuggin representing my #teamnumberjuan.

I love watching our morning crew interact with the evening crew, athletes lifting heavier, running faster, jumping on a box and rope climbing for the first time.  We’ve had a blast!  If you are looking for a community of athletes from all different walks of life and fitness levels, come see us!  You don’t have to be “in shape” to come.  We help you get there.  All of our workouts can be scaled and modified to fit your fitness level.  I promise you can do it!  Check us out on Facebook!

SIX

My sister-in-law dropped off some goodies at our house this week.  In the goody bag was this awesome, big jar of squash relish.  Oh my.  Y’all.  This stuff is so good.

SEVEN

My sweet Mackenzie made me this card at school.  Gosh I love that girl!

EIGHT

On Sunday, we decided to go to 12 Stone Church.  We are “in between” churches I guess you can say.  After dad passed away, I wanted nothing to do with church.  We didn’t go for over a year and then couldn’t get in a good routine of going.  On Sunday, our schedule was a little off so we opted to go to 12 Stone.  I’m so glad we did.  It was exactly what I needed.  We started a new series that you can watch here.

What I have loved is that each day, they have a devotion that goes back to the message from Sunday.  It’s really challenged Joseph and I this week.

Here’s Day 1.  There’s links to the following days at the bottom if you want to follow along.

If you are a praying friend.  I know not everyone prays, but if you do will you pray for us?  We have struggled to find a church home since dad passed.  Pray that we can find a place that will challenge, encourage and help us grow in our walk with God.

This Instagram post spoke such truth to my heart this week.

NINE

I am hosting a Virtual Bible Study and would love for you to join me!  We will start this Sunday.  You can read all the details here.  I’ve worked on it this week to get a head start and it’s going to be so good!  It’s already encouraged and challenged me so much!

img_6975-5

TEN

A couple of weeks ago I spotted these cute shoes at Old Navy.  I am a sucker for leopard print and love that it’s back in style this fall.  You need these shoes!  Pair them with some jeans and a plaid shirt for a fun fall look.

lepshoes.jpg

And that wraps up this week’s Friday Favorites.

We have a busy but fun weekend ahead. It is finally feeling like fall around here and we’ve been blessed with some beautiful days.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

-Maggie

Hanging by a Thread

 Anyone else feel like they are hanging by a thread and about to completely lose it?  It has been such a crazy, emotional week in all aspects of life.  Weeks like these often leave me wanting to press the pause button on life, sit in a corner and cry. What’s crazy about it is that it’s not one big traumatic event. It’s just life. It’s the little things that can be so overwhelming.

I think about how we are about to begin a bible study about the little things in life and I know that it’s not a coincidence. It’s God. He is preparing my heart for all that He has in store for us through the next couple of weeks.

And as much as I want to throw my hands up and just quit, I am pressing on friends and I encourage you to do the same.

We’ve had some deep conversations in our home the last couple of days and it’s forced me to really examine my heart. To look at the small things like the laundry, dishes, carpool and packing lunches with gratitude verses looking at them like they’re a burden. They are ways that I bless my family and I am guilty of doing them with bitterness and resentment.

So today I’m asking God to do something big. I’m asking Him to change my heart. And I’m asking Him to help my unbelief because honestly I’m having a hard time thinking He can do it. Did I really just confess that to y’all?

Ugh. But it’s true. Do you ever feel this way? Doubt that God is strong enough to do something. I am working on trusting and believing. Will you join me? What can you ask God to do in your life that you don’t believe He can do? Ask Him to do it. Choose to believe.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed like me and you are ready to throw in the towel because the daily mundane tasks are weighing you down, I want to encourage you to stop.  Take a deep breath in and out.  Now name Five things that you are thankful for and think of someone that you can bless today and do it.

Being thankful and serving others always helps put my heart in the right place.

I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday! We’ve made it halfway. The weekend is almost here. Be encouraged my sweet friends. What you do matters.

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

-Maggie

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

You know those moments when you feel like you have it all together?  When you look around and your house is picked up, laundry is caught up, the sink is clean, the kids are getting along and you’ve cooked dinner every single night?  That was me a couple of days ago.  I felt like I was finally getting my you know what together and winning at this mom thing.  I was wearing my supermom cape proudly that’s for sure.

<Insert hormones here>

We all know the drill.  Once a month those pesky hormones come in and completely ruin everything.  Am I right?  We are crying one minute and then raging mad the next.  Our pants are a little snug because bloating and all we want to do is sleep and eat chocolate all day long.  Sorry boys.  If there are any guys reading this post you may want to go ahead and click on the x button.

You have been warned ha!

I had a hysterectomy a couple of years ago, but because I still have my ovaries I still experience the hormones.  Some months are pretty good, but every now and then there is a month where I turn into an evil monster.

<Insert evil monster here>

I’m not even going to lie.  The last couple of days have been hard y’all.  I’m taking the mask off and I’m just going to be real.  My kids were awful.  I was awful.  I was angry for no reason and so unbelievably tired.

Jojo completely broke down on me because he didn’t want to go to basketball lessons which in turn made me break down.  I was crying y’all.  Crying.  Both of us in the car crying!  And then Mackenzie gets upset telling Jojo to stop stressing Mommy out because she is going to end up in the hospital.  What in the world?  Where does she get this stuff?

I almost skipped out on small groups that night because I had nothing left.  I was exhausted physically and mentally.

But I am so glad that I went because I needed that time more than I realized.  Through our leader’s story I was reminded of God’s goodness and how he takes us where we are and restores us.

I’ve mentioned that we lost my daddy two years ago.  My daddy was the patriarch of our family.  He was an amazing man.  As I left small groups I cried.  I realized that on top of the hormones I really missed my dad.  I longed for a hug from him that night like I’ve never longed before.

Death Sucks.  Cancer sucks.

The night was a little better, but I let my feelings of defeat as a mom take over.  I started to feel guilt over the way I behaved towards my kids and my husband and then those feelings ruled the following day.  Instead of waking up renewed and restored, I woke up feeling guilty and exhausted.

Hormones are inevitable but my actions are not and I let my emotions of anger, bitterness, exhaustion, defeat and guilt take over my mind.

Why do I do that?  Why do I allow my circumstances to dictate my day?  I laid in bed wanting to feel angry for no reason.  I wanted to wallow and pout.  There was a struggle in my heart and I was fighting it as hard as I could.

Since my dad passed away, I’ve had to work hard at believing God is good.  I know that may sound awful, but when you lose a parent it crushes something inside of you.  Especially to see my dad, a faithful servant of God who fought to glorify Him until his last breath.  A man who worked tirelessly for the Lord through sickness and health.  Why isn’t he still here?

Brick by brick.  The wall was going up.  What was I thinking trusting God again?

As I drove home I began to listen to the words to the song that was playing in the background…

“And His heart is good
He is always kind
With a cross He proved
He is on our side

We are the sons we are the daughters of God
No matter where we go
We’re close to the Father’s heart
And though we stumble He will not let us fall
We are the Lord’s and He will never forsake His own
We are the sons we are the daughters of God

When the lies speak louder than the truth
Remind me I belong to You
When I can’t see past the dark of night
Remind me You’re always by my side”

And then I lost it.  I was allowing the lies to speak louder than God’s truth.  I was shutting him out, closing up my heart and building my wall.

But the song is true.  God is on my side.  I am His daughter.  My dad is no longer here, but God is.  And the painful truth is that God is enough.  As much as I wish my dad was here, God should be enough.  And I prayed and cried and asked God to heal my heart.  To forgive me for doubting His goodness once again.

As women we are stressed, tired and busy.  Between making sure the laundry is done, dishes are clean, dinner is cooked, field trip is paid, homework is done, everyone is where they need to be, uniforms are set out, lunches are packed and kids are wearing the right thing for spirit week.  The house running in order falls on our shoulders and if something doesn’t go right, we blame ourselves.  Insert mother nature and hormones and then add in some hard circumstances and we have a formula for disaster.

It’s during those moments of feeling completely overwhelmed when we begin to doubt.  We doubt His goodness because nothing seems to be going right.  We let the lies take over our mind and we forget about God’s truth.

Girlfriend, you may not think He cares about you being overwhelmed about the laundry, but He does!  The bible says that even the hairs on our head are numbered.  You are so important to Him and He wants you to bring to Him the good, the bad and the ugly.

Whatever your burden is, take it to Him.

We are not alone in this crazy world.  He is with us.  The Holy Spirit is a gift to us.  It is the seal of God upon us to help, comfort, encourage, strengthen and empower.  It is God living in us.

He is the source of joy.  All we need to do is ask for it.  He carries our burdens and turns our sorrow to song.  He proved His love to us when He sent His son to take our place.  He loves us with a love we can’t understand.

Maybe those pesky hormones have wreaked havoc over you this week.  Maybe you are going through a difficult time of grief over the loss of a loved one or someone you love is fighting a sickness and you are so close to giving up.  I urge you to cling on to Him.  Remind yourself of His promises.  God didn’t promise us a life free of the hard stuff, but He did promise to be with us every step of the way.

We can live a life of freedom because He has overcome the world.

Stop bottling up those feelings of fear, guilt, unworthiness and confess them to Him.  Take every thought captive, the Bible says.  Find a girlfriend you can share with and ask her to pray for you.  Don’t fight this battle alone.  That’s where the enemy wants us.  Alone in the dark completely giving up on everything.

 Choose to trust God.  Choose to love and choose to believe in His goodness.  Because He is good.  He is.  And if we have a hard time believing it we can ask Him to help us believe.

Rest in Him today sweet friend.  Give Him the good, the bad and the ugly because He doesn’t care.  He loves you anyway.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalm 100:5

-Maggie