When We Bloom

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Nothing compares to springtime in North Florida. We had the chance to go back to our hometown for a quick visit then, and the timing could not have been more perfect. It seemed as if all the trees and flowers were in full bloom.

One tree, in particular, caught my attention—the dogwood. Dogwoods are beautiful and a popular choice for landscaping. Feeling a tiny bit homesick, I wondered if there was a way to take this bit of Tallahassee back to Atlanta with me. Despite my categorically black thumb, I decided to research where to buy a dogwood and how to move it to my yard.

A quick internet search resulted in dozens of sites teeming with detailed instructions. You have to wait until just the right time of year to plant the sapling. You have to find just the right spot in your yard and prepare the soil. You have to dig a hole just the right size and at just the right depth. You have to spread the roots in just the right way. You have to water it just the right amount.

It was obvious that any dogwood tree coming home with me would be in immediate, mortal danger.

The next afternoon, while driving through my parents’ mostly wooded neighborhood, I spotted glorious white dogwood blossoms through some dense stands of pines and oaks. I had never realized so many dogwoods grow wild just down the street. They completely blend in with all the other trees around them until those few weeks each spring when they explode into bloom.

God used that moment to whisper a sweet encouragement to my heart, and I’d love to pass it along to you…

Have you ever felt yourself longing to leave a mark on this world? Have you ever struggled to find your calling? Please join me at The Glorious Table as we share some thoughts on calling. 

Facing Down Your Gorillas

One of the benefits of homeschooling my kids is that once I’ve recognized my sanity is at the breaking point, I can spontaneously declare a field trip day. On one such day, when nothing seemed to be going well, we ended up at the zoo for the afternoon. It seemed all the baby animals were also over it and the mamas were reaching their own breaking points.

When we came to the gorilla enclosure, we were treated to a show. Two juveniles were having the time of their lives. They wrestled, threw dirt at each other, and chased each other in circles around their mama. My kids loved this big game of mischief and could not be happier watching those two get into trouble.

After a few warnings, mama gorilla had finally had enough of their antics. (Solidarity, mama.) The big silverback jumped up from where she had been trying to get some peace and quiet and lunged after her rowdy kids. Everyone thought it was hilarious—except my two-year-old.

All Abby could see was this angry gorilla charging full speed right toward us. Terrified, she pointed and screamed, “IS COMIN’!” She called out for her daddy and instinctively reached for his hands, practically climbing up his legs, trying to get to the security of his arms.

To find out what happened next and read how we all have to face down our own gorillas sometimes, click through to The Glorious Table here:
http://theglorioustable.com/2017/05/facing-down-your-gorillas/.

 

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What About Saturday?

Nothing helps you realize just how much you don’t know like a child’s questions. The approximately 1,200 daily queries from my ten-and-under set certainly keep me on my toes. If your role in life has brought you anywhere near young children, I’m sure you know what I mean.

My kids tend to ask their most philosophical questions after we’ve said our bedtime prayers and I’m on my way out of the room.

“Mom? What if you wake up tomorrow and realize you’ve been asleep for seventy-five years and your whole life has been a dream?”

“Hey, Mom? Do you think there’s Chick-Fil-A in heaven?”

“Mom! If I tell God a joke, do you think he’ll laugh?”

One night we were talking about the upcoming Easter weekend. I explained Maundy Thursday, when Jesus and his disciples shared the Last Supper and Jesus was arrested. We talked about Good Friday and all the events of that sad day when Jesus died on the cross. Then we wrapped up with the celebration of Resurrection Sunday when Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave.

“But, Mom? You talked about Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. What about Saturday? What happened that day?”

To continue reading about the truth that question brought to mind, please join the conversation at The Glorious Table. Click here: http://theglorioustable.com/2017/04/what-about-saturday/.

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Dare to Bare (It May Save Your Life)

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On the way to my appointment, I had the radio on the 90s station. (I almost always have the radio on the 90s station because I’m apparently old now and the 90s qualify as nostalgic oldies music. When did that happen? That’s a whole different post.)

Remember that song Baz Luhrmann addressed to the Class of ’99? Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)? There are fantastic words of wisdom covering all aspects of life but the one piece he keeps coming back to—wear your sunscreen.

Hearing that song again now that I’m older and wiser (or maybe just older), I wanted to jump up and down and high-five that man about his sunscreen obsession. As I drove to my appointment, I couldn’t help but notice how the timing could not have been more appropriate for a “yesssssss” moment.

I had been dreading the next hour for weeks but it was finally here. I took off my clothes that day. In a room full of strangers, I took off all my clothes. In my worst nightmares, my mind doesn’t play out that level of humiliation.

This body that I love for the life it has birthed and I often hate for the way it refuses to cooperate with me was exposed for all to see. To have all the Too.Many.Inches not just glanced at, but really stared at and analyzed is one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life…

To find out why it’s so important for me (AND YOU) to regularly bare it all and how I got the emoji-shaped scars on my arm, join me over at Atlanta Area Moms Blog for the rest of the story!

 

Telling More Than Time – a JORD Wood Watches Review & Giveaway

JORD wood watches tell more than time

JORD wood watches tell more than time

{I was thrilled to partner with JORD Wood Watches for this sponsored post. We received a complimentary watch but all feedback, thoughts, and opinions are my own.}

JORD Wood Watch for a deserving nurseSee this guy right here?

Yep. That one.

This is the hardest working man I know. Not only is he a fantastic husband and incredible dad, he is the greatest nurse who cares for the most critically ill or injured children in our community.

He is kind and generous. He takes the time to notice others and really see them.

He’s the kind of guy who learns the life story of the bathroom attendant and then brings him a round of his favorite beer.

He is devoted to his family. Everything he does, he does with us in mind.

He is completely selfless and puts others above himself every time.

So when JORD Wood Watches contacted me to see if I’d be interested in a beautiful timepiece for my husband to try out, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

As a homeschooling mom of three with no personal income, I was so excited to be able to give this man of mine a beautiful anniversary surprise. This gorgeous Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood men’s watch from the Conway series was just perfect for him.

Strong, steady, classic. Timeless.

JORD Wood Watches come in a beautiful package.
JORD Wood Watches come beautifully packaged in a gorgeous wooden keepsake box.

 

The JORD philosophy could not be more on point for my husband and our family.

The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.

-JORD Wood Watches

JORD Wood Watches measure moments.

I could not think of a more perfect gift for someone who tries to make every moment count for something bigger.

The time he spends caring for his patients and comforting their frightened families.

The time he spends with our children, experiencing the world through their eyes.

JORD Wood Watch moments

The time he has spent putting up with me over the last 14 years. =)

All those moments add up to so much more than minutes. And JORD has revolutionized the way we think about the passing of time with these beautiful reminders to make our time count.

JORD Wood Watches measure moments more than minutes.

I wish everyone could carry this reminder with them.

And JORD does, too!

That’s why they want to give one of you a $100 gift code to go towards the purchase of a gorgeous timepiece of your very own.

JORD offers a great variety of both men’s and women’s watches, and you’ll be sure to find a beautiful and unique watch to fit your style.

Enter here for a chance to win! Everyone who enters but doesn’t win will still receive a $25 gift code as a consolation prize.

Click here to win a $100 gift code for a JORD wood watch!


Wooden Wrist Watch

 

What My GPS Taught Me About Trust

pexels-photo-134643I recently celebrated a major victory. It felt monumental. I almost expected the world to pause on its axis to acknowledge my accomplishment.

I made my way home without using my GPS.

I know this may not seem like a big deal to most people, but having lived in the Atlanta area for only a year, the GPS on my phone is always on. Without it I would likely end up crossing the state line on my way to the grocery store.

When we first moved, every outing sent me into planning mode. A simple trip to the park found me researching my route, pulling it up on my phone, and familiarizing myself with all the street names. I like a plan. I feel more comfortable when I know what turns are ahead.

After getting stuck in a few of Atlanta’s infamous traffic jams, I tried a new GPS app. It offered real-time traffic updates and promised to keep me on the best route. It was perfect. The first time I used it, I pulled up my destination, studied the route, and got comfortable with the directions. I had my plan and away I went…

To see what happened when the GPS lady went off the rails and what life lesson she taught me, click through to read the rest of the story at The Glorious Table. http://theglorioustable.com/2017/02/gps-taught-trust/