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

 

 

Weekend Recap with Some Monday Musings

Mornin’!

It has poured all morning long.  I’m not going to lie.  The couch is calling my name and all I want to do is take a nap as I listen to the rain fall.  But.  Laundry.

If you follow me on social media, you saw my post about my laundry.  I have laundry coming out of everywhere.  I am so bad about getting behind.  I can stay on top of it for a couple of weeks and then an out-of-town trip comes up and I get behind.  When I get behind it takes me weeks to catch up.  Am I the only one that this happens to?

I did choose though, to not stress about it.  A clean house and caught up laundry doesn’t define who I am.  Life is busy and crazy and sometimes the laundry piles up and the dirty dishes stay in the sink for a couple of days.

So today, I am planning on finishing it all up.  We just got a text letting us know that softball games are cancelled and this is our first week without football practice.  So that means a night in for the Eternos.  We will be working on laundry if you need us!

Speaking of football.  We finished up our season this Saturday.  It’s always bittersweet to see it end, but we are ready for some basketball around here.  Jojo has been taking lessons during the off-season and this year we are playing with our tournament team in a local league.  It’s our first year that we won’t play with the rec dept.  I’m going to miss watching all of our local boys play this year, but I’m excited to see Jojo continue to grow on the court.  He improved so much last tournament season and I can’t wait to see how he does this year.

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Our CrossFit gym celebrated our ONE year anniversary with an awesome scavenger hunt.  I think we ended up running five miles total after it was over.  My team came in first woohoo!  We are so thankful for our community.  They have made this an amazing first year.  I am also thankful for our friends Rob and Staci.  Going into business with friends can be a bit scary, but we’ve said it from the beginning that our friendship is number one.  We’ve had a great time and have grown closer.  We love you guys!

Saturday night we finally spent some time with our friends who we have missed so much this year.  The boys had a blast and even the girls got in on the fun by coming to “boo” the boys.  I am so thankful for this group of boys and their parents.  I didn’t have this growing up and I am so blessed that my kids do.  I love that their friends’ parents are our friends.  I can’t wait to see them grow up and go through all of the milestones together.  Before we know it, we will be watching them play high school ball, going to homecoming and prom….ahhh I better just stop talking now because I’m going to have a breakdown if I don’t.

On Sunday we went to church.  We started a new series called Unlearning Religion.  So so good.  I also wore my new shirt I bought from one of our local clothing boutiques, Polished Chic.  The material is soft and you can dress it up or down.  I wore it with my jeans and new leopard shoes from Old Navy.  Isn’t it so fun!?  #ilovefall

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After lunch we went to the gym to make up workouts because it’s competition month and we need those points ha!

We ended our night with all of us sitting at the table eating dinner.  This doesn’t happen very often because we are so busy.

We started our Virtual Bible Study yesterday.  Make sure to go to my Facebook page to see the video and join in on the discussion.  You can also read my post from yesterday here.  Y’all it’s so good.  You don’t want to miss out.

This album has been on repeat this weekend.  The worship team sang the song Grateful from it and it spoke such truth to my heart.  Since dad passed, worship has been hard.  For a long time I couldn’t sing along during worship.  I couldn’t even mouth the words because everything inside me was trying not to lose it.  Each week it gets better.  This Sunday I really did feel like I was finally able to worship in a way that I had not since dad passed.  I just keep thinking to myself that as I stand and worship, that is what my dad is doing at that moment.  He is worshipping too!  Face to face with Jesus.  Ahhh….chills!!!

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And last but not least, today 17 years ago, my hubby asked me to be his girlfriend.  I can’t believe we’ve spent that many years together.  I am so thankful that God chose Joseph for me.  He is my best friend.  He is my person.  My constant in this crazy life.  We’ve had highs and gosh we’ve had some lows, but through it all we have stayed together.  He has taught me how to love selflessly.  He makes me brave and encourages me to shoot for the stars.  Thank you babe for loving me and all of my crazy.

 

And that wraps up this Monday blog post.  It was a little bit of everything.  I hope you have a wonderful rainy Monday.

 

-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

Lessons From My Daddy

***I wrote this a couple of years ago while dad was in hospice.  I went back this morning and read through it and thought of so many of my friends going through hard times. My dad was such an amazing man who could always see the good in every single situation.  Even in his death bed-he saw good.  Oh how I miss him, but I am so thankful for his legacy and all of the lessons he taught me.**

Waiting on the Wave

I stare at the blank page trying to find the words.  I type and delete, type and delete.  But the truth is, I have no words.  I try to put the situation out of my mind, but I can’t.  My dad is on my mind the second my eyes open in the morning and he is the last thing I think about before they close at night.
I want to thank all of our friends and family for your love and support.  Thank you for your prayers, encouraging words, texts, calls and financial support.
Dad’s health is deteriorating rapidly.  His hospice nurse has told us that based on his symptoms the cancer is now in his liver.  That’s not good.
Last night we watched some of the USA vs. Panama soccer game with dad.  He began to talk to us about seeing God’s miracles even in the worst situations.  As he spoke I watched how he wiped his forehead and pinched his nose.  This may seem like a weird observation, but it’s something that he’s always done.  Going through this has made me value even the things that may have seemed insignificant in the past.  His gestures, his mannerisms, his laugh.
Dad continued to tell us about God’s miracle for him that day.  He woke up in a lot of pain.  Pain so strong it scared him because he couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from.  He begged my brother to not leave and to call the nurse.  Mom and Josh called the nurse and she instructed them on what to do.  It wasn’t working.  They called again and the nurse said she would be there within the hour.  She dropped everything and came to be with dad.  She helped mom get the pain under control and made him comfortable.  She did not leave until dad assured her that he was ok.  He said “That my children is the miracle from God.  That the nurse came when it wasn’t her day to come and she stayed with me until I was better.  Many in my situation would just look at the bad, but we can’t do that.  We have to see God’s miracles.”  He then told us that he feels hands on his shoulders and shared with us that they remind him of a song we used to sing at church.
“I feel His hand on my shoulder to let me know that he cares about me.  I feel His hand on my shoulder, letting me know that he is always with me.”
Even at his worst, my dad still looks for God’s miracles.  Even at his worst, my dad still quotes scripture.  Even at his worst, my dad still tells us how good God is.  Even at his worst, my dad encourages me.
He encourages me.
Dad has made me see what living for Christ looks like.  He has shown me that even through the worst of situations, God still loves us and God still cares for us.
I feel like I’m in the ocean staring at a huge wave that’s headed my way.  The sky is turning dark and the wind is picking up.  This wave is growing in size and strength and I know it’s coming, but there’s nothing I can do but brace myself for the hit.  I’m scared and I know this wave will take me under, but when it passes I know I will float back up to the top. Why?  Because I’m not in this storm alone.  I’m not swimming in the ocean by myself.  My God, My Lord is there and He will not fail me.  As the lyrics in the song Oceans say,
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine”
As I brace myself for what’s to come, I rest in the fact that if my dad can see the good in everything then I can too.  If he can worship and praise God even in his death-bed then I can worship and praise God in the darkest of valleys.  Even when the hurt is more than I can stand, I can rest assured that God still performs miracles in our lives.  Miracles that I may miss if I’m not seeing the good in every situation.
So this morning I encourage you to choose to see the good in all situations.  Rest in His arms knowing that He will not fail you.  He never has and He never will.  As the storm gets scarier and the wave gets bigger don’t let go.  Hold onto the One who will bring you back to shore.

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-Maggie

Friday Favorites

Good morning friends! Can you believe it’s the last Friday of the month?  Where has the month gone?  I am looking forward to October and hopefully some fall-ish weather, please Lord yes!  This heat is awful!  Not to mention the pesky bugs.  The little bitty ones that you can feel but not see?  Ugh.  Anyone else feel like they are crawling up their nose and in their ears?

This Friday I am linking up with Erica, Narci and Andrea for this Friday’s Favorites. I’m calling them by name like they are my friends ha! But after reading their blogs for a couple of years and following them on Insta, I feel like I know them! Anyways. Every Friday they share their favorite things for the week. You can link up and join them too. It’s a great way to find new blogs to read.

ONE

Isn’t this the cutest little unicorn you ever did see? I think this is by far my favorite costume she’s ever dressed up in for Character Day at school.

Let’s not talk about the fact that this mommy almost forgot about book character day! Thankfully another mom posted something about it on Facebook and I saw it just in time. Wooo! Mackenzie is not happy when one forgets something. This girl knows how to turn on the waterworks.  She can be a little dramatic-not sure where she gets that from :).  Off I went to Target and found this adorable unicorn costume. #targetforthewin

TWO

My sister introduced me to It Cosmetics CC cream last summer during our beach vacation.  The coverage is amazing.  I don’t wear make up everyday, but still want/need something for coverage.  This works perfectly and is SPF 50.  I’ve been mixing two shades because on months when I am not tan the tan is too dark.  I mentioned this to my sister and she told me about their new shade, Medium Tan.  It’s the perfect shade.

THREE

These shoes!

During my unexpected trip to Target for a book character costume, I came up on these shoes.  Aren’t they adorable?  I love slip on shoes for everyday outfits.  I paired them with my J. Crew shorts I bought on clearance and a Gap T-shirt.  These Gap shirts are the best.  They are soft, light and come in a variety of colors.  I am excited to transition these shoes into my fall wardrobe.  How perfect would these be with cropped jeans and a cute plaid shirt?  Oh, and they were $24.99!  You can’t beat that!

FOUR

Two years ago when we first moved into our house I looked for two planters to put on each side of my front doors. My hubby, the frugal one, thought our money would be better served elsewhere. I was patient and waited on a better time…not my best attribute but I try!

While on a Home Depot trip to pick up paint samples, I asked Joseph to help me pick out some mums for our front door.  And there they were! The planters I wanted for my front doors! He agreed it was a good time to go ahead and get them, but he thought they may be too big.  Not me though, I knew they would be perfect.

I couldn’t wait to set them out. I was right, they WERE perfect. You know you are an adult when you get excited about planters ha!  Now to get some pumpkins-I love fall!

FIVE

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook memories.  Yesterday it reminded me of this picture…

It’s me and my daddy doing what we did for so long.  He would preach in Spanish and I would interpret.  When I first started doing this I was probably in my early years as a teenager.  Honestly, I didn’t really like doing it at first.  As the years went by we started to get really good at it.  As he finished a sentence, I was already starting it in English.  We became in sync.  It became OUR thing.

SIX

If you knew me in my early years, then you knew me as Maggie with super curly hair.  Angels from heaven sang when I first discovered what a straightener was!  During the last 10 years I’ve worn my hair straight 90% of the time.   A lot of friends who didn’t know me back in my curly years didn’t even realize my hair was naturally curly.  My hair is thick, coarse, frizzy and has a mind of its own.  My sweet Mackenzie definitely inherited my curliness.  This morning as I was getting breakfast ready, AKA putting frozen pancakes in the microwave because balance, she says to me, “Mommy why is your hair so cray cray?”

This curly hair is no joke.  It is hard to tame and really it has a mind of its own.  My good friend Mary, who also does my hair introduced me to some pretty amazing products.  We call her “The hair whisperer” because she totally is.  Her hair is just like mine so she knows exactly what she is working with.  I mean we have to set aside two hours and sometimes more for my hair.  Thank you Mary for your patience! I get asked all the time, especially from ladies who knew me back in my curly days, what I use.  And this is it.  Y’all I have tried everything.  I’m telling you EVERYTHING.  These two products work amazingly together and keep my hair in place.  I put the Redken Frizz Dismiss on first.  And then I spray the Keratherapy on.  I comb it with a wide tooth comb and sometimes let it air dry through the night. The next morning I blow dry and straighten.  This morning I coached the 4:45am class so I didn’t have any time to fix it!

If you are looking for something to use for frizz, these are great!  Thanks again Mary for helping this girl tame “the beast!”

And that wraps up my first Friday Favorites!  What a fun way to reflect on the week.  I hope you have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.

 

-Maggie