Under My Nose

Distracted.  That’s the way so many of us live our lives.  I know I do.

So much on my mind, from finances (or lack thereof), to parenting, to school, to work, to marriage, to theology and more.  I get so overwhelmed with my life that I walk around in a daze, unable to focus on any one thing for the cacophony of things that need my attention.  And then there are the “on purpose” distractions like social media or blog reading that  I do to just get my mind off of everything.  Ironically those things usually add to the volume of my mind’s congested grid-lock.

This week I was reminded to stop.  Stop.

Stop and NOTICE what is already here.  Quiet my drive toward what I’m trying to produce and actually experience what’s already around me.

How sad.  How embarrassing, really, that I get so stressed out about paying bills that I completely walk past three miracles living in my house.  Three beautiful souls with names and hearts, and lovely faces.  Three little human beings who were formed inside me.  I forget to notice what’s ALREADY THERE.

Today I will open my eyes.  I will breathe in the cool air and notice it’s cinnamon scent.  I’ll drink in the heat from my coffee cup and revel in the blessing of a full fridge and pantry.  I’ll wake those lovely faces and look at the miraculous eyes light up with sleepy/happy fun.  I will notice what I already have, and when the tide of crazy comes in, I’ll remind myself to take a few moments a few times through the day to realize where I am, what I love, and how good it is to be alive.  I’ll put down my phone and be present in my great big wonderful life.  I’ll refuse to let what’s over my head make me forget what’s under my nose.


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I’m Baaaaaaaack!


Hello, world!  It’s been a while…. too long since I posted.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

20130219-211739.jpg20130219-211833.jpg  Christmas in Florida with mom and dad.  Our whole family was together and it was AMAZING!

20130219-211915.jpg20130219-211957.jpg  We brought Mom back from Florida with us.  We crammed as much special as we could into her visit!

20130219-212036.jpg  School started again.  I’m running study hall and a social studies project!

20130219-212052.jpg  MARDI GRAS!!  My sister and her kids visited for the first weekend of Mardi Gras.  It was EPIC!!

20130219-212122.jpg  A costume party was attended by this really groovy couple…

20130219-212218.jpg  My baby turned three.  I now have a fifteen year-old, a ten year-old and a three year-old.  Blessings upon blessings upon blessings!!!  Heaped upon my head (literally!)



20130219-212250.jpgFat Tuesday came and went.  We celebrated in the rain and went home and took a nap.


I have a quote taped to my desk that says “We feel inadequate because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

So. True.

Above you’ve seen the highlight reel.  The behind-the-scenes would reveal some pretty intense stress, an emotional breakdown or two, a few lessons learned, and no small number of mistakes made.  Ever seen that episode of “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel work on the assembly line at the candy factory?  If not, check it out here.  And THAT’s the way the last several weeks have REALLY been!

So nope… not a single New Year’s resolution.  Not a solitary Christmas musing.  Super Bowl was held in my town and I said nothing.  Silence about the Mardi Gras season in its entirety.  I may not have found a moment to chronicle them here or write profound words about them… but I DID live them!  So I’m back and perhaps better for the crazy rush of the last 8 weeks.

Happy ChristmaNewYearMardiSuperBowlGrasBirthdayValentineBeginningofLent to you all!!!  Hope your parties were fun, your joys were many, your sadnesses were lessened, and your lives enriched.  Ours certainly were!  More to come…


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Last Saturday while at the library with my darlings, I picked up a little book, The Art of Imperfection. Those of you who’ve cheered me on during my struggle to let go of perfectionism are raising your eyebrows at that choice. You’re fervently hoping I don’t find a way to be perfectionistic about being imperfect. I promise not to do that.

The book’s main idea is that being perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, that our little idiosynchrasies are actually what make us more lovable to those who really care for us. When I think on it, that’s true. Take my husband for instance. He’s nearly perfect in the physique department, and I could indeed go on at length about his beautiful eyes and olive skin and… you get the point. But there are these little wrinkles right behind his ear and just above his neck that are so incredibly perfect for kissin’. Few would notice that little quirk but it’s so endearing to me.


I gotta tell ya when it comes to idiosynchrasies and imperfections, I’ve got plenty of ’em!

Just last week, I wrote a note to my son’s teacher, specifically designed to get her to call me. One problem: I gave her someone else’s phone number! She wasn’t amused, but you’ll love me for it, right?

I have this weird thing with napkins. I need them. I hoard them in my vehicle. I find them balled up in my fist hours after I’ve eaten. But need to sneeze in a public place? I won’t have a napkin on me anywhere!

Sometimes random words come out of my mouth and they have nothing to do with the conversation at hand. My thoughts just get on the wrong train. I once yelled out “Winn Dixie!” to my kids in the car for no apparent reason. They’re still laughing at me for that.

I hide a tatoo under my sophisticated businesswoman costumes. I have a weakness for all sweets but an abhorrence for skittles and tootsie rolls. I drink my coffee black unless I haven’t eaten breakfast… then I add enough cream and sugar to trigger a tremor in my hands for the rest of the day. I sometimes skip my kids’ bathtimes and let them behave like this in a restaurant: (Note, one of those kids belongs to my sister, she does this too!)



I sleep through my alarm at least once or twice a week. I sometimes stay distracted for days and can’t get motivated. I recently called my beloved counselor in such hysteria all I could choke out was “You pray. I can’t talk.”

I love the smell of new Bibles, old churches, rubber tires, and Yankee Candles’ leather car jar. I have three pregnancies’ worth of stretch marks and coloring my hair is no longer something I do just for fun.

I have a great life. There are a bunch of people who are crazy enough to love me for the shortcomings listed above. The art of imperfection is about learning to love life when things go your way and when they don’t. It’s about laughing at yourself and living in the moment. It’s about letting go of the idea of perfection enough to see the wonderfulness right in front of your face.

It is, however, an art. One I’m practicing with enthusiasm.






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What’s the Deal With The Pitcher?

My friend and former sister-in-law, Sandi, gave me one of my favorite things.  It’s a “Rebekah Pitcher” she made.  It lives in my kitchen window, often holding flowers picked by my boys for me.  It never gets put away because it’s a reminder to me of who I am and what God wants me to do.  Go with me here…

Rebekah of the Bible (Genesis 22) was walking along one day, headed to complete the chore of carrying water.  I can picture her (ok, in my mind she looks like me, especially for the purposes of this story, only she’s workin’ a type of B.C. style of clothing and footwear) with her pitcher perched on her shoulder, moving forward with the business of the day.  The pitcher might have been heavy.  She might have been in a hurry.  But there was a man at the well, and when she saw he had need, she quickly lowered her pitcher and watered his camels.  He didn’t even have to ask!  Little did she know the man had been sitting there praying that the girl who agreed to water his camels would be the one God wanted him to choose for Abraham’s son, Isaac, to be a matriarch of the nation of Israel.  She wasn’t looking for a meal ticket, she just helped a guy on the spur of the moment, but she ended up opening the door to quite an adventure.  Through that one act of compassion, Rebekah became Isaac’s pride and joy, practically a queen, and gave birth the the house of Jacob, thus becoming part of Jesus’ bloodline as well.  Imagine that… a random moment where she simply acted like a daughter of the Most High, doing something pleasing to Him, and lo and behold she walks right into His plan for her!!!

What has entrenched itself in my mind is the idea that Rebekah quickly lowered her pitcher and offered herself to help another, without thought of her schedule, her future goals, or her bottom line.  God took care of those things.  She just lowered the pitcher.  She clearly had things to do and was in the midst of accomplishing her daily tasks, but evidently had the kind of freedom in living that lends itself to the impromptu lowering of one’s pitcher to participate in an act of kindness and compassion alongside another person.  She wasn’t too busy, wasn’t in too much of a hurry, and wasn’t so wrapped up in herself that she might miss a moment of life’s joy shared with someone else.  If Rebekah were around today, I imagine she’d have a constantly running coffee pot, a lot of miles on her vehicle, and a lot of smiles shared with those she’s touched along the way.

Sure, ol’ Bek had her faults.  She showed favoritism between her sons, deceived her husband, and it seems she could be pretty demanding at times.  She didn’t always get it right.  Still, the way she lowered her pitcher to help the man at that well with such immediacy and ease speaks volumes about her.   I imagine that she lived with her head up, eyes open and expectant, looking for the next opportunity to “lower her pitcher” and experience the joy of helping, serving, encouraging, or interacting with another person.  That’s the Rebekah, or  Rebecca, I want to be.

God has definitely given me a “pitcher” (we all have one) and I want the contents of mine to be used by Him.  That means I have to be willing to lower said pitcher and share the contents.  That’s the reason for this blog.  Pouring out what God has given me to share.  That’s the reason for my life.  That’s what living out God’s calling means to me.

And that’s the deal with the pitcher.


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