A post about how God talked to me

Yesterday I posted a video on Facebook to tell all my FB friends about an experience I had a couple days ago with God. After I posted it, I was made aware that some couldn’t get the video via facebook and I have a hearing-impaired friend who wanted to know what it was about. So, here’s a written version. 

I was mopping my floor the other day during nap time and listening to my podcasts like I do. Cleaning and listening, every day. Mostly. The particular thing I listened to was the most recent episode of Mom Struggling Well with Jordan Watts as the guest du jour. At the end of each episode, the host, Emily Thomas, gives related advice and encouragement. She was talking about connecting with God and said something along the lines of “If you feel like you don’t hear from God or He doesn’t respond to you or you think you maybe just don’t know what He sounds like or how He speaks to you, just ask him to tell you something. He knows how to communicate with you so just tell Him you don’t know if you can hear Him and ask Him to tell you something.” 

*Let me make a note here that this is not about asking God to change a circumstance, even though you can do that, this is just about asking Him to talk to you in a way you can perceive. Assure you of His presence.*

So, I was just feeling this way. Even though I have experienced God so many times and He has been so good to show me miracles and answers to prayer, about five minutes later, I forget and feel like I don’t connect with God and He doesn’t talk to me. 

Sometimes when I think I’ve heard from God, I start talking myself out of it. Like, that was probably just my own thought and then I built it up in my imagination and how would I know if it was Him or me?

I thought I should pray this. Just ask God to tell me something so I can know I heard from Him. But, I wrestled with it for a minute
because then I thought “what if I don’t hear anything?” That can only mean one of two things: 1) He doesn’t want to talk to me and I just couldn’t stand the thought of that rejection or 2) He isn’t really there. But, I prayed it anyway
and I told God about my fears and reasons for not wanting to pray it. So, I get
done mopping and it’s time to fold laundry. Normally when I fold laundry I like
to turn on Netflix and chill out while I do it. But, I thought since I had just
asked God to speak to me, I better be quiet and listen. So, I kept it quiet and all through the folding, I’m just going “Come on, God. Please. I’m all ears here. Ready and waiting. Whenever you’re ready.” But nothing yet.

Well, earlier that day, right before I started mopping and listening to that podcast, I had received a package from UPS. Straight to my door and everything. I had not opened it so when I got done with the laundry
and the kids were still asleep, I decided to check it out. It was two sets of
three different devotional/Bible study books. I had made a deal a few weeks ago with a literary agent to read and review one of the books and give a set of three away. (Which I will be doing in about 10 days or so if you want to check back here to enter the giveaway.) Well, out of the three, I chose the one called “Praying with Power.” I sat down on my bed and opened the book and there was my response from God.

Of all the books I could’ve opened right then, and all the things that could’ve been printed in it and of all the whole entire Scripture
that could’ve been there, here is what I read. Right in the intro, before I even get to lesson one, the author (Patsy Clairmont), says “God listens to you.
He will answer you.” So, that brought a little grin, right? I’m thinking that’s
cool. I turn the page and the first thing at the top is Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to
me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do
not know.” Then, I knew that this is how God was speaking to me. The whole rest of the chapter was filled with verses that confirm we should pray and God hears
and He responds. I was so touched that God would answer little ole me in such a sweet way for nothing more than to reassure me in my neediness. I also realized
that God had orchestrated all this before I prayed the prayer. He had that certain book delivered to me right when I was going to need it.

I know in my mind that God is there. I remind myself of it frequently. But my wandering heart sometimes forgets. Sometimes I think, “But what if it’s not even real? What if He’s really not there?” So I made the video
for me and for my friends as a simple reminder that He is there and He loves us. This situation is not unusual, really. I could start reminding myself right
now of all the times He has shown Himself to me and come up with a list. But,
it’s easy to forget. So, I made this Ebenezer.

Here are the other Scriptures found in the lesson I read in case you want to read them too. Obviously, I was captivated from the start.

Psalm 50:15, Exodus 23:13, Psalm 5:2, Psalm 116:10, Psalm 17:6, Psalm 42:8, Psalm 116:2, Psalm 65:2, Psalm 86:7, Psalm 91:15, Psalm 143:1, Colossians 1:11

I’ll come back and link to the video later when I get a chance. 

Go. Ask. Seek. Knock. 

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I

 cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 

but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! 

Psalm 66:16-20


Guys, I started a podcast. It is taking up every second of my life (other than the seconds my kids already get). I will probably never blog again!! Okay, maybe that’s extreme. I don’t know how long I can keep up with the pace of a weekly podcast, but for now, that’s what I’m doing! 

I would love for you to subscribe, listen (on any podcast app) and review on itunes! 

Just search for Stuff You Missed in Sunday School or follow the link below!


I’m from…



I’m from jelly jar drinking glasses and  taxidermied deer, bass and pheasants on the wall.

From Chevy pickups with no air conditioning and water beds with mirrored headboards. I am from muddy ponds and mostly dry creeks.

I’m from the single-wide trailer house with brown carpet and wall-papered kitchen  that sat across a cattle guard down a long, gravel road.

Sweet tea, freckled noses, Dwight Yoakum and Clint Black Killin’ Time.

I’m from the place where the tall prairie grass grows between the stands of black jack oaks. Pipe and barbed-wire fence that needed fixed every so often.

I’m from dominoes and story telling and ever-resourceful jacks of all trades.

From grandmas and grandpas and mom and dad and sister and brother and uncles and aunts and cousins.

I’m from hunting and farming and back-slapping and loud laughing.

I’m from “We don’t waste food” and “Quit crying before I give you something to cry about” and What a Friend we Have in Jesus.

I’m from porch sitting, guitar picking, stick whittling and snuff dipping. Oklahoma and America.

I’m from homegrown squash, potatoes and okra, fried. And deer meat, also fried.

From divorces and remarriages and all the spectacle that comes with splitting homes, money, kids and lives, except it mostly wasn’t a spectacle, just a time to get through.

I’m from practicality and getting work done.

Quilts and crocheted names, photos of successful hunts, horseback rides, livestock shows, sister’s races, brother’s concerts and graduations on the wall or high up in the closet.

I’m from hard, hard workers. No harder workers ever existed. Tough like the land and the weather and the rattlesnakes and mosquitos. Not scared of nothing except laziness and the devil.

Having fun and running wild with one or two of a whole childhood’s worth of doggy friends

I’m from the sounds of football and Nascar races (God bless #3) on Sunday afternoons and from Mash and Baywatch and Johnny Carson with my dad.


Dang, y’all. I never knew -or at least I had forgotten- how country I am until I wrote this. Not a city memory in me! Never forget where you come from, my friends. If you want to try your hand at this writing practice, you can check out the place I found it, Wendy’s blog (Wendy, by the way, is a precious lady), and find the link to the worksheet at the bottom of her post. If you do, please share a link in the comments here or email me if you don’t want to publish it to the World Wide Web, as they call it. I’d love to read what you write about where (and who and what) you’re from.



Indulge me in a confession

fashion-1031469_1920I’m about to tell y’all something embarrassing.

A few weeks ago I was really excited for the Declare Conference and thinking about what I was going to wear and hearing about all the sweet deals at the Nordstrom anniversary sale. And I found out that Nordstrom card holders got early access and also I had no money. So, I felt like this was a winning combination.

I mean, there was a slight concern and a voice saying “don’t do it,” but I was able to stuff that down real quick with my dreams of an olive green utility jacket and Sperry duck boots. I want you to know that I literally do not have a coat other than the ski coat I bought at American Eagle in high school. My body has changed slightly since high school. So, it’s not like I don’t actually need to spend probably $500 and invest in some quality clothing. However. I do not need to go into debt over it. I’m pretty sure. This has been my philosophy my whole life and the borrower really is slave to the lender and I do think Dave Ramsey knows what he’s talking about so hence my guilt and shame.

This is the month where Spencer is switching jobs and we do not have steady income for a couple weeks. This is also the month when we have two birthdays, my tooth cracked ($875) and Spencer had to have new tires. So, like much worse timing than usual.

Anyhow, in a moment of weakness, I applied online for the credit card. And it said there was a problem with the system and not to try to reapply yet. So I waited like a day and did it again. I know. So scandalous. And also scandalous was the fact that I did not mention this idea to Spencer. Not because he would’ve argued or told me not to do it but mainly just because of the shame. I knew it was not a wise choice. But my lust for new fancy stuff overcame me. Which is weird because usually I’m able to be content about material things. Like not having a coat that closes or looks decent to wear in public. See? But the second time I applied, it flat out rejected me. Said I didn’t qualify.

I found this more than a little insulting because as I mentioned, I’ve never had a debt issue. I have always managed my payments well and have had a great credit score. So I was pretty put out with this situation and was waiting for my credit report to come in the mail expecting to see that someone had stolen my identity and I never knew it because I hadn’t applied for credit in years.

But when the mail came, after I got back from Declare and after the #Nsale was over, it said there had been an error and I did in fact qualify for the card. It advised me to reapply. But the temptation was gone by then.

Thank you, Lord, for protecting me from myself. Forgive me for giving into my fleshly desires instead of doing what I knew was right.  Please help me to be content with what I have which is so much more than what so many others have. Amen

Now, everyone save your money up and we will shop like never before next year.

To the mama who doesn’t know what she’s doing



Hey, Mama Who Doesn’t Know What In The World She’s Doing. Want to start a club? We could also accept dads who don’t know what they’re doing, single professionals who don’t know what they’re doing, empty nesters who don’t know what they’re doing, etc. It could be called the Clueless Club. I could be president.

How long is too long to have a standoff with an almost two year old about eating one bite of chicken? And how many times do I have to do it? Don’t answer that.

On Monday Jack had his first dentist’s appointment and I was relieved when it was over because I was scared to get into trouble that he was still sucking his thumb. (I hate taking my kids to the doctor because I feel like there are parenting things I should know about and no one told me and the doctor is going to be mad at me. Is this weird?) I didn’t get in trouble and the dentist reassured me there was only so much I could do (not much) but still, it would’ve been nice to get that pat on the back for having helped a child overcome an addiction. That would be funny since I can’t even help myself overcome my own addictions. (Like maybe a need for someone to pat me on the back?)

Praise God he not only can but  wants to help us.

Anyway, after the appointment, I thought I’d be a nice mother and take them to Chick-fil-A to pass some time since it was 100 degrees outside. Plus I was starving.

The boys went to play while I ordered the food. It was packed. As soon as our food came to the table, the boys came running to eat. I took this as a good sign because Case seems to never really eat. It’s a big day for me when the kid chews up and swallows some protein.

So he devoured his side item. Ok, waffle fries. I didn’t get the fruit cup, okay? And I told him he had to eat some chicken then he could go play. He refused. And he knows what it means. And he likes chicken. So this was not cruel. With Case you get one of two things: a chirpy “Otay, mama!” Or a tight-lipped brick wall. That day he picked brick wall. And I started to sweat. Because once I’ve told my kids something, I do my best to stick to it. I’m not sure if this is an Approved Parenting Tactic according to the Internet Judging Club but it seems like consistency and I read somewhere that consistency is THE KEY. So if I say you have to eat chicken before you play and you don’t eat chicken, we might as well all have a seat.

Jack ate his chicken and went to play because he’s already been through the terrific twos standoffs and he has realized he has more important things to do with his time.

Case waited me out. I asked sweetly. I reminded calmly. I stated firmly. He tried flopping. He tried screeching. He tried sneaking off.

And eventually we packed up and left Chick-fil-A and Case did not get to go back to the “play drownd.” And I only wondered a few times how many women around me were thinking I was mean or who thought I did the right thing. I didn’t wonder about the men. I don’t know why. Probably because I assume they could care less about whether I get my kids to eat chicken or not. But the moms care. Because that’s how they figure out whether they’re doing it right or better or worse.


So we drove home and I was analyzing my mothering as I often, I mean always, do. And I heard a mean voice hiss “You’re doing it wrong.” And, y’all, the great thing about this moment was that it was a mean voice in my ear but it wasn’t  my voice. My voice responded “no, I’m not.” I’m praying and listening to God and I love my kids and I’m trying. That’s the only “doing it right” that there is.

And it’s fine. He goes before me and comes behind me. When I make a mistake, God can and will redeem it when I hand it over to Him. So it’s fine. I’m fine. My kids are fine and it’s all fine.

So, Mama Who Doesn’t Know What You’re Doing? Chill out, sister.

I love you, your kids love you and Jesus loves you. Power to the people.

List of things you probably don’t need but might like

I am gearing up to leave for Declare Conference on Thursday and I could not be more excited. Spencer has been an eye witness to my enthusiasm and yesterday morning said “I’m happy for you and your conference.” 😏

Ever since blogging was invented, I’ve had a blog. It has always lacked direction and focus and okay, also polish, but that’s because I didn’t know what else to do. I am hoping to leave the conference with a plan and a project to work on. I need something besides laundry. 

But, while we wait for Thursday to roll around, I thought I could share a few things I’m really into right now and you might want to be too.

1. First of all, #nsale. That is the Nordstrom anniversary sale and it is insane. I’ve never known about it before but this was NOT the year for me to discover it (#oilfieldprobs). Basically, you can buy fall stuff at deep discounts. And after fiveish years of pregnancy, breastfeeding and lying to myself about losing “the baby weight,” my wardrobe is so seriously lacking. So, my plan is to save money for this specific purpose this year and have an outstanding fall wardrobe next year. I may plan a trip just to shop in person. It’s that serious. 

2. Next up is my two shows I’m into netflixing right now. One is Crazy Ex-girlfriend. It was a CW show and it is really smart and very funny. I try to squeeze it in at nap time while I fold laundry or lay in my bed and eat cheetos in peace. It makes me feel cheerful. 

The other show does not make me feel cheerful. In fact, Spencer and I usually watch it before bed and it gives me nightmares sometimes. I know I’m way late on this boat but I was busy being out doing things in the world when it aired. And that show is Lost. I really see what all the hype was about now. If anyone else hasn’t seen it, start now and we can have a series finale watch party together.

3. Book Bub. It is a daily email that lists ebooks that are on major discount sale or even free. When you sign up you can set your preferences so the results you get are tailored. I am not typically one to read books on devices because I don’t like to involve complicated technology with simple pleasures but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. 

4. The first book I found from Book Bub is so so good. I think it was $1.99 and is called The Nazi Officer’s Wife. It’s an autobiography of a Jewish woman during WWII who disguised her identity and married a Nazi officer. It’s fascinating and at times eerie in the familiar conversations we hear Americans having today. Someone read it so we can talk about it.  But I’m only on chapter four so don’t get too hasty.

5. Yall know I love podcasts. I always listen when I’m doing my nap time chores or driving without Jack in the car. Or when he’s asleep. Because he’s a big conversationalist. If you want a list of podcasts to check out, holla at your girl. But my newest one I like and have never mentioned here is The Pop Cast. It’s about pop culture and is hilarious. And the female host reminds me of Jillian, one of my favorite and best friends who I never see or talk to. 

This is a lot of material for me to be consuming. In my current life stage it’s hard to make time to read or watch a show but my spirits are surprisingly improved when I have topics to discuss besides the weather and how I can’t get my kids to eat. 

6. Voxer is a voicemail app that is kind of like using a walkie talkie. So, you know how you have friends and associates who you want/need to talk to but your schedules are different and also you hate talking on the phone? Use Voxer. It’s very handy. 

7. Okay, I think this is the last one. Touch Retouch is a photo editing app that you need! It’s not free but it’s only a couple bucks and it is so cool because you can delete things from your pics EASILY. Really. With just the swipe of your finger, you can remove unsightly power lines or that guy in a speedo from your family vacation pic. 

Okay, my loves. That was more things than I anticipated. Everyone have a Monday that feels like not-a-monday and let me know your thoughts and feelings on all these great discoveries. Now I’m going to mentally prepare myself to take my children to the library and then the grocery store. Prayers are appreciated.  

Declare link up

​Hey, good lookin’! Guess what I’m doing in less than two weeks…going to Declare, a conference for digital evangelists! That is to say, a fun couple of days with Christian women who do stuff on the internet. In order for conference attendees to “get to know” one another beforehand, the conference organizers have come up with a few questions for us to answer in a blog post. 

So here they are.

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? (job, family, career, ministry, where you live … share whatever details come to mind)

I stay at home with my two boys, Jack and Case, who are almost four and almost two. I say we stay at home but we actually do that as little as possible because we go crazy when we do. My husband, Spencer, is the best person I know and is an engineer who sells hydraulic components. Very technical. Before kids, I had my dream job of being a lobbyist here in the great state of Oklahoma. I studied communications and political science in college 67 years ago.

As my kids are getting out of the baby stage and I get a reasonable amount of sleep, I feel like I’m beginning to have real thoughts and ideas again and I look forward to finding an outlet for those.

I’m not confident in just what that will look like yet, but God is moving and I am watching and listening. I’m hoping it includes enough income to hire a babysitter because I’m the worst ever at working when I have kids with me. 

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?

Funny or otherwise emotionally-moving stories about real things that happened to real people. Which mostly means I write about myself because other people don’t usually like their business being shared for the public’s amusement the way I do.

3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? (If this question is too broad for you avid readers, what’s a favorite book or blog you’ve read lately?)

I am not going to cop out and say “the Bible,” but I really do love to read it chronologically so I can see it as one big story rather than in choppy and disjointed bits. My favorite author is John Steinbeck and I love classic literature but I can appreciate many different genres and stories. 

4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Lay in bed as long as I wanted, drink coffee while I spent morning time with God, hang out on the beach, eat some good food, socialize with a bunch of people, take a family photo where we are all still, smiling, looking at the camera and I’m not sweaty, lose thirty pounds, go shopping and get a massage. 

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?

Here’s what I love about my blog: it’s always here when I need to share some words with a few hundred of my closest friends. I can pull out my handy dandy phone and type my heart out, click a button, and it’s out there and I feel relieved. Unburdened.

Here’s what I would change: the design and set up on the backside. I did it all myself with no understanding of WordPress and I don’t fully understand why I pay Blue Host  $160 every December. Someone help me. Example: the answer to the first question is in a different font and I can’t understand why but I also don’t care enough to try very hard.

6. [Lightning Round] Would you rather …

  • Read on Kindle or paperback? Paperback all day, everyday, no doubt
  • Drink coffee or tea? Coffee or iced tea. Hot tea is gross to me.
  • Go to a musical or a movie? Movie. Musicals are also gross to me.
  • Vacation at the beach or the mountains? Beach
  • Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? OUT. PLEASE.
  • Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? I like college football. Ok State Cowboys fan!

Also, they wanted a recent pic. I’m sorry about the selfie but I haven’t trained my kids to take my pic yet. 


I just feel like this needs to be shared. (Clearly, I feel like everything needs to be shared. Always.)

It is the story of the day Jasby, the precious miniature horse whom I love, tried to kill us all. While she did not succeed in killing us all, she did manage to humiliate me and possibly emotionally damage a few others.

One hot day a week or two ago, Jack begged me to please get in his kiddie pool with him while Case was napping. I put on this terrible tankini style bathing suit from WAL-MART fall-apart and hopped on out there. Now, in case you are not a woman with a large bosom (or if you are and you didn’t already figure this out), women who have a lot of chest acreage to fence in, CAN NOT wear Wal-Mart bathing suits in public. They are not made with the kind of skill and quality craftsmanship it requires, much less the sheer amount of material.

But I was in my back yard. So, when Case woke up and we had a snack, I put the boys in the car so I could drive back in the pasture and unload my mini horse and chicken feed I’d purchased earlier that day. Well, as I drove through the gate, Jasby came out of the gate and into the yard. Being that Jasby is generally very hungry and very lazy, I didn’t imagine she would do more than mosey around to the front yard and sniff the grass up there. Actually, I was surprised she didn’t follow my car out to the building where I was dumping the feed.

So I got done and since she still wasn’t back, I grabbed her halter and lead rope as well as a feed sack (for luring purposes, in case you’ve never had to capture an escaped farm animal). I drove us back up to the drive way where I expected to see her rotund body milling around, but no. 😮

I drove to the road and looked both ways, trying to determine which direction she had gone. I was still expecting to see her ambling along the ditch. Actually, she was on a distant hill to the north, just trucking as fast as her short legs could carry her (which is actually quite a lot faster than you might imagine).

I’m not sure where she thought she was going or why but I have to assume she believed there was a miniature stallion or an ice cream truck or something down the road. Maybe there was. We will probably never know what Jasby the dreamer was chasing with all her miniature heart. Anyway, I took off as fast as I could toward her, praying she would stay to the side of the road (she really didn’t at all). When I got pretty close I stopped the car and got out and tried to call her to me but after she stopped and snorted at me, she just took off again, as fast as ever. A person or two had driven past at this point but I can’t describe them to you because I was looking at the ground hoping not to be recognized because I was wearing an ill-fitting and wholly inadequate bathing suit while chasing my mini horse down a road with a 1-year-old and 3-year-old who was in his whitey tighties roaming around freely in my car. And my body would not be described by anyone as “summer-ready.” But that’s really a small matter in the whole scheme of what was happening at that moment.

Eventually, when I was starting to get nervous that Jasby might make it to the highway (and, oh, yeah, I didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t call for herding help), a kind and generous woman stopped and asked if I wanted her to head Jasby off for me.  I hesitantly and half-heartedly told her she could try but I really didn’t believe it would work. Well, she put that ford taurus in gear and whipped around quicker than you could say “yeehaw.” She ripped down the road and pulled some kind of stunt-driver in a cop movie move where she pulled sideways across the road and actually did head Jasby off. So Jasby turned and ran down a long driveway that blessedly had a cattle guard. So, she stopped, turned around and looked at me,  and dropped her head to start grazing. It was all very nonchalant at that point and I honestly was a little offended that she felt like she could pretend it was no big deal.

I walked up and she waited while I put her halter on. As I bent over to pick up the feed sack near my feet, I caught a glimpse of my chest. I noticed the left side in particular because it was not covered by material. At all. I adjusted myself, took a deep breath and stood up to wave and shout a “thank you” to the woman and her two passengers. I need to find her address so I can send her a sympathy card for what she must’ve seen.

At this point, you may think the circus was over. It wasn’t. Now I had a pony on a rope and a car with two little bitties and I was about a mile from my house. And it was really hot. I ran through my options rather quickly (as there weren’t many) and realized I couldn’t walk Jasby home and come back for the kids and I couldn’t take the kids home and come back for Jasby. We all had to go together at the same time somehow. I was wishing I had a trailer hitch so I could tie Jasby’s lead rope to it and lead her behind the car that way but I didn’t. And I might take this moment to say that Jasby is very calm but she is not so sure about being right up close to a running, moving car. So, basically, I had to hang my arm out the window and slowly slowly slowly  (she was tired from her journey) drive home with the kids going nuts (this was an exciting moment for them) and try not to get my arm ripped off because it’s very hard to match your car speed with that of a mini horse trot. I can only thank the Lord above that no cars came flying down the middle of our road on a hill as is not unusual. However, a car did come behind me and they did ride my tail (which I don’t blame them for because I was driving at a snail’s pace) but then I had to stop the car and get out and lead Jasby to the back of my car so they could pass so that was just one more person who got to see the Wal-Mart suit and the pale overflow.

I think I have to move away now.



So, this is a typical adventure with the three amigos. When we start getting bored, look out! That has always been my downfall and I may have passed that onto my offspring. One of them for sure. They start beating on me and wrestling like way too much and then I can tell I’m about to freak out so I look on the internet for something to strike our fancy. So, today when the restlessness began to turn to chaos, we went to “Tadpole Time” at the Noble library which sounded precious this morning and now just sounds absurd and annoying.

I remember taking Jack to these story time things when he was Case’s age and even when Case was a newborn. I’ll be honest, I felt like an awesome super mom those days when I could discreetly nurse a baby while helping a two-year-old do a craft. They were few and far between, believe me. But now that Case is getting bigger and can understand more, we are venturing out to do some fun stuff again that isn’t just a playground. Man, I get tired of playgrounds! Anyway, when Jack was younger, he wasn’t so big on the story time and would usually wander around the room but he liked the singing and the crafts. Well, the door was not shut for Tadpole Time and Case kept leaving. Or laying on the floor kicking when I didn’t let him leave. And Jack kept saying “I don’t like story time. I want to go play with the toys out there. This is boring.” Like, not in a quiet voice. So, we went out to the kids area so they could play with toys while I picked out a few books. Well, apparently someone has taught Case to read (maybe it was that Tadpole lady) because he kept running to the “quiet area” and squealing as he ran through rows of books while Jack chased me (as I chased Case) with some possum puppet he had found and was biting my butt with it. So, I gathered up my tadpoles and tried to pay my fines and get the new stuff and I was sweating as I retrieved Case from behind the counter where the probably terrified librarian sat.

So, at this point, I’m starving and felt like we might as well keep the fun going. A couple years ago when I was 8 months pregnant, we met a friend at the Noble library and then she suggested we walk to Kendalls and eat INSIDE. I was shocked (because she had three littles) but also intrigued at her boldness. So, we went. And I sweated an awful lot and breathed heavily and thought it was six miles. But when we got there, they had a blessed toy area in the back! So, I thought we’d do that again today. I’m happy to report that the


walk as a non-pregnant lady was surprisingly short and all the dogs who tried to eat us on the way were confined by fences. But, alas, when we arrived, they were closed. JUNK! I could’ve eaten my arm by this point. Of course, the boys were well-stocked in snacks so don’t worry about the little angels. However, Jack was very concerned that we would now be forced to eat somewhere that didn’t have toys. Which we did, and that place is called Sonic and we have one of those in Purcell.


So Tadpole Time+Kendalls= BOOOO. I would like to know where is the kids time where they have a child proof fence and they have races, climbing, jumping and wrestling with adult-friendly good food. I also need it to be free and climate-controlled. Is that a lot to ask?

Happy in the hard

We had a bad morning yesterday. Nothing too crazy, just a lot of whining and arguing and by nine, I was about to lose it. I could feel myself losing it. Little eruptions that are only indicators, warnings, of the major disaster.

“Get in the car!” That’s it! I’m panicking now, fight or flight and all that. We have to go somewhere. We have to reset or something, break the circle of this messiness that keeps doubling back at us like a snake held by the tail, fangs flashing. We are all in danger together and I’m the mom and I have to save us and all I can think of is to yell in an ugly voice “Get in the car!”

But, it’s better than what might happen if we didn’t get in the car, all strapped and secured not touching each other and hopefully distracted by the scenery even though it’s the same we see every day. Once we were in the car, I had to think of somewhere to go and it had to be quick because the questions, I knew, would keep rushing like a flooded river trying to drown me until I did.

“Walmart.” Tuesday is my normal grocery day- ugh I have a grocery day- but Jack didn’t have preschool because of voting so I might as well make it Monday and take them both this week. I don’t know why I thought that was a good activity to calm us all down. They had one of the carts that holds two kids and I thought our luck was really changing now. It had little seats that faced each other and seat belt straps like the ones in cars. “Ages 2-6 only,” it read on the safety label. Well, Case is almost one and a half and he’s tall and as I’ve said before, a genius, so that doesn’t apply to us.

We made it and it was hard and stressful and I tried not to threaten too loudly but just loudly enough that my fellow shoppers knew I was handling my business and not spoiling my boys. There’s a lot of pressure parenting in public. And in private.

And we had the slowest cashier ever. She read every label on every item. She seemed like a lovely woman but Case was climbing on my head and breaking the sticks on those little balloons on a stick and Jack was grabbing every plastic candy contraption and showing it to me and I was sweating. One day the evil, cold-hearted guy (yes, it’s definitely a guy) who puts all that crap right there at the checkout where you’re hemmed in by carts and bound to stand waiting will have to answer to an Almighty God for what he has done and I would not want to be him at that moment. No, I would not.

So, we head back out to the car and my gosh darn La Croix canned sparkling water falls off the bottom of the cart and the box breaks open and they roll everywhere and one gets a hole in it and sprays a fountain of cherry lime carbonation all over the place. And at that moment, as I am picking them up so we can hurry and get out of the street, and as Case is standing up on the seat, a passerby who I am sure is a precious, sweet person (really, I think she is) said “It’s a shame they can’t stay this little forever.” And all kinds of unholy things went through my mind but I managed to just eek out something corny like “boy, I sure would be tired.” And I got in the car and I wanted to sob but I didn’t because I have a three-year-old who still thinks big people don’t cry and to be honest, I just didn’t have the energy for that life lesson at the moment. Mercy, it feels good to write this.

The reason I wanted to sob is because (besides being mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted from a mere shopping trip) what I heard in her words was “life is worse when they get older.” Which is obviously not what she said as she peacefully pushed her cart after peacefully buying groceries alone and prepared to get into her car and turn on whatever she wanted on the radio and probably drink a delicious Coke without sharing and getting kid slobber all over the straw.

And also, no “Mama, you’re my best fwiend,” while little arms circle your mama thighs. And then we came home and they took a nap and everything was fine. There are so many sweet times and they are so so precious. I know them as well as they can be known right now, don’t I? And I love them more than I can express. I would kill for them. I would die for them. Please understand I do not take them for granted. But in ten years when I look back to these days, I’m afraid, terrified, really, that I won’t even remember them because I’m just so tired from all the trying. Which is why I know it’s God’s grace that I have them now in the days of Instagram so I can preserve their sweet faces because He knows I would never finish a page of a scrapbook. And I just described to you how intensely I can feel stressed on one beautiful spring morning when nothing in the world is wrong because I want you to know that even then, I know I’m on Holy Ground. I know I don’t get these days back.

And the hardness has made me softer and the difficulty beyond myself has forced me to Jesus. I have learned to kiss the wave, and all that. I have purposely gotten up at five am to have time with God. I sure never did that when I was handling things myself. I didn’t know my own need until I became a mom. I thought I did but I had forgotten Him in times of abundance (Deut 8:11). This is sacred time and I know it deeply in my bones. I didn’t know it until recently. Probably because I’m not in the hardest part anymore, when they don’t sleep and your hormones are a mess and you don’t know why they’re crying and you have spit-up on your shirt and your nipples hurt. Even when I think I’m going to drown, I know I’m not because I didn’t before (or I did and He raised me up better than I was)and this isn’t as hard as then. For me. It’s different for different people, I guess.

So maybe when I’m the older lady and I see a mom with kids climbing out of the basket and her third-day hair in a mess on top of her head, I won’t imply her life is going to get worse. Maybe I will say “Hang in there, honey. Jesus loves you and one day you will grocery shop in peace. Your children are the cutest I’ve ever seen and you look so thin!” Or maybe I will have a flashback and need someone to hold me. Or, maybe my kids will still be with me and I will still be threatening them. You really never know.