Six Months

Don't let the adorable little smile on the left fool you. People tell me it's terrible that I call him "fat boy" but- c'mon, can you blame me? When he outgrows it, or starts to understand what I'm saying, I'll stop, I promise. Fat Boy celebrated six months on Wednesday. As sweet and precious as he is 99.9% of the time, this kid has a shrill shreik of a scream that would taunt even the scariest of wildlife living in the jungles of Africa. And all it takes to really set him off is for him to be about half asleep and ticked off about wanting food in the middle of the night.

We had reached a point where he was sleeping through the night. Then, as all crazy babies do, he grew again... (what is he thinking?) and for about 2 weeks now I have been up religiously again at 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30. (though to give him credit, sometimes he'd sleep through the 2:30 feeding. How generous, right?)
I want to say to him - "You know that your sister slept through the night from the day she was born, right?!? Take a lesson!" (People told us that because of this, we weren't really parents the first time... lol)

And I know that there are all sorts of people out there that think I'm nuts for not starting this sooner- but a doctor my family really trusts advises to wait to give a child anything but mother's milk until there is a presence of teeth because the presence of teeth indicate that the body has started to secrete the digestive enzyme necessary to properly digest food. So- while they haven't completely poked through yet... you can see they're very close... and Mama and Daddy's sanity is at stake... so here we are.

And while I know you may have a hard time believing it... this kid took right to eating. :) And slept a glorious TEN hours last night. (Thank. You. Lord.)

And just so the Reese Cup isn't left out... enjoy a nice little giggle at what she and a couple of buddies conjured up after dinner last night. (Hope this little guy's daddy doesn't kill me for this- but he was ALL too eager to line up for this shot!) Love it!


Allow Me to Translate

Reese decided to write me a note today. When I asked her what it said, this is what she told me. (Feel free to read it for yourself.) :)


Bring on the Cheese

Compared to the church that I grew up in, I am now privileged to serve in a ministry that is quite, what some may think of as "progressive"... Our theology is sound and Biblical, but our methods, well... we do what works for the area that we live in, and I love it. I am however, beginning to wonder what they're teaching our preschoolers about Christmas...

Our three year old daughter came out of choir this past Sunday night eager to tell me all about the new song she'd learned from her teacher. Here's how it went...

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive more cheese... Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven-n-a-manger sing, let heaven-n-a-manger sing..."

As brilliant as this mind of hers is- we're still learning what's smart and what's not when it comes to getting yourself stuck in Mama and Daddy's footboard. This would probably make the 10th time I've pulled her out of this in a week.

Just a little insight into the world of the Reese Cup. :)


An Attempt at Unloading My Brain before I'm Late for Connect Group...

Well now... let me begin by saying this. It has been a pretty rough year and a half. It just has. Let me tell you something though... the sun is out. (you say- yes we know, Heather. It's October and it's 90 degrees. We know that the sun is out.) No, I mean- in our house, the sun is OUT! It is good to be a W in TN!

But you know, sometimes my brain just frustrates me. I have so many things that God has taught me over the course of this past year and a half, and holy cow I want to tell someone that needs to hear it so that it can make an eternal impact on their lives. I just can't keep it in anymore, and I figured this may be a good place to start. Cause usually if I try to talk about it, it just gets all jumbled right about the spot where my neck meets my shoulders, chokes me up, and it never quite makes it out of my mouth very clearly. So frustrating...

I've learned something about myself though- the Lord revealed it to me back in the spring. It's been one of those revelations that basically every shortcoming in my life gets blamed on ever since I discovered it about myself. :) Ready for it?

I'm pretty sure I'm one of the most insecure people that I know.

Even NOW, I mean this VERY second... I'm asking myself- is what I'm typing clever enough? Will someone read this and think "man, that chick is hilarious..." And then I come back and say "girl. Just think. clearly. don't let anything cloud your mind. type until your spirit says 'yep, that's what I was trying to say.'"

Most of the time my mind gets so thick with concerns of every little thing going on around me, or of someone's opinion of me, that for a while it just become easier not to engage with people at all. Where church is concerned, it is far easier for my mind to make a b-line for whatever room my kid is being taken care of in, pick them up, and drive home to the safety of our four walls than to stop and have an intelligent conversation with someone.

Surely there's a label for this, wouldn't you think? :)

Couple this problem with being the wife of one of the pastors of a 2000+ member church, (who isn't afraid to talk to anyone at all) and let me tell you something else. Living a life of never feeling like you know how to act or being so afraid of what someone will say about you is ex-HAUS-ting. And absolutely fruitless.

And I really wanna be finished with it...

It's actually very empowering to realize and own the fact that I am a child of God, and that I can be completely fulfilled and secure in this relationship if I will just let myself believe it. Believe that at my fingertips are limitless resources of power from the Spirit of the living God.

For the place in life that I'm in right now... I think about it this way. Let's say my realtor just called- they wanna show the house in an hour. The kitchen is a wreck because I'm in the middle of making dinner, my bedroom has no sheets on the bed, three baskets of clean laundry to fold, and two more piles in the living room waiting their turn in the washer, and my daughter is up to her beloved ears in dress-up clothes and toy dishes amidst every book, block, crayon, and puzzle piece that she has strewn around her bedroom floor. My 5 1/2 month old is screaming because of those horrible bottom teeth that just won't break through.

But sure- I'll have my house clean and perfectly staged for you to walk through it in five minutes and then decide you don't wanna buy it. Bring 'em on... :P

All of the sudden- my sweet husband walks through the door to my rescue. "Hey babe, got the call about the showing. Thought you might need some help getting everything together."

You mean- I don't have to take care of this myself? I don't have to handle this load? You're gonna lead us through this crazy moment and save the day?

Yep... my heart stops pounding. My head stops swirling. Four-letter words stop trying to make their way across my lips. And my mind can rest. Because I know that I don't have to do something my mind tells me is impossible, or if I attempt it, won't be good enough anyway. Because while I'm good at cleaning up the filth of a home- my man is waaaay better and faster at dealing with the clutter. He's gonna handle it for me.

I. am. secure. The task is taken care of.

I am the same child of God as every hero and heroine of my faith. The same power that drives their ministries is readily available to me as well. And let me tell you- that power doesn't come from me. It comes from the One who lives deep within me.

Can somebody breathe a breath of fresh air with me?

Folks- insecurity doesn't just make you look weak and unsure of yourself. It breeds sin. and hurt. and turmoil. and just plain devastation.

But that's a blogpost for another day... and beyond that- it's time for Sonic and church. :)


Eat Pray Love... Reviewed and Redefined...

Wow, this movie made my brain swirl. I knew beforehand what I was going into... or had an idea anyway. A woman on a yearlong trip through one european country and two asian countries (Italy, India, and Bali) to "find herself" essentially... Even so, I just wanted her to get it. And by it I mean an answer. Well, not even just an answer, but THE answer. Probably because it was Julia Roberts. I don't know "Liz" at all, (speaking as if I know Julia Roberts... lol) but what American woman can't identify with at least one character Julia Roberts has portrayed in her sensational career... people just love to watch her on the big screen, and this definitely leaves nothing to be desired as far as her acting is concerned. ReMARKable performance. Two thumbs up, absolutely. Obviously if you're not as a big a fan of her acting as I am then you'll feel differently, but the sole fact that she was the lead role in this movie was all it took to get me there to see it. Needless to say I'm a fan, and speaking from a spiritual point of view- whatever quest her character was on... I found myself wanting Julia to find the real answer to what Liz was looking for.)

From a Biblical perspective, any effort to give any good answers to the purpose of life or the idea of “finding yourself” was sorely wasted. (Not that I was expecting anything different.) The movie pretty much bombed in giving anybody any real answers, let alone the right direction to head in. Well, I’ll take that back- she set out on a quest to find herself, and she at least started by seeking to find “God”, though he is never defined as the God that I know my Savior to be, but rather leans more towards the idea of everyone being their own god... something is actually quoted as saying once he dwells in you, he becomes you, or some kind of nonsense along those lines. (The scene where she kneels in her bathroom and cries out to Him regarding her failing marriage- wow. The veins were popping out of her head as she anguished with tears flowing from her eyes.) But since this quest didn’t lead her to Jesus, well then... bomb. Liz can’t seem to be happy, no matter what she does... divorce, an extramarital relationship before the divorce is finalized... nothing gives her “peace” or gives her fulfillment... she’s not satisfied. Positive- she seeks out something “spiritual” to help her achieve it. Negative- nowhere near finding the one and only God who could truly satisfy what she’s looking for. (Let me pause for a moment to say that I absolutely could relate with this woman in this aspect of being constantly dissatisfied... and I very much disliked the horribly selfish person that it was making me to be. Not as if I'm working to change it because of something I decided that I liked or dis-liked. It's the amazing hand of God who will not let those that He calls His own be any less than everything He wants to make them... not and be happy anyway. Life is miserable outside of God's plan. I’ve been on a similar journey, but unlike this poor girl, I knew immediately where the Answer lied... I just had to make the effort to own it for myself and make the effort to be obedient to His word.)

From the perspective of one who still endeavors to see the world... wow again. Especially the scene where “Liz” is taking a taxi through India. It maybe lasted a minute to a minute and a half, but the way the videographer captured the chaos of a busy city in this crazy country was incredible. I instantly felt like I was in the backseat of one of many Chinese taxi’s I’ve ridden in, except the chaos was times 10. My spirit was instantly oppressed, however, and burdened by what I saw in this country, and remained that way until her time in India was complete.

Message behind the title... find these three things and you’ll achieve balance and peace in your life.

Eat- (Italy) Seek and experience pleasure... fill yourself up with things that make you feel good, and nourish you, body, mind, and soul... whatever those “things” are. Here, in the end, they
were family and relationship. And great Italian food. :)

Pray- (India) Find yourself... meditate... understand who you are

Love- (Bali) Relationship; intimate human interaction and connection

Obviously the middle one is what has thrown me into such a conundrum. Like I said earlier, I’ve battled a similar battle. I used to write off any notion of “knowing yourself” as some kind of new-age garbage, but I now whistle a slightly different tune. (Only slightly, mind you...) What I’ve discovered is that “knowing yourself” needs to be about asking God to identify your weaknesses... the places you are most prone to fail Him and dishonor His name, many times bringing the consequences of sin onto yourself and many times your loved ones... and then asking Him to make you acutely aware of ANY and EVERY time Satan rears his ugly head to try to use these things to attack you so that you are ready to defend yourself. (ie, using the Armor of God as found in Eph. 6.) Therefore, knowing yourself, isn’t about knowing yourself at all... but rather knowing God, and more specifically Jesus Christ, who YOU are in HIM, and the power that is available through Him to live victoriously. It’s the ultimate security. I am HIS... when you can truly own that for yourself, the security that takes over your mind is indescribable. It takes over every decision, every emotion... everything. I’m a daughter of the Most High, forever under his protection, and LOVED in the most COMPLETE possible way I could ever need. Nothing that any person could say or do to me, no matter who it is, no matter how closely knit my relationship is with that person, even if they hurt me in the worst possible way, can ever change my worth to Him or my place in eternity. This was indeed the missing message that burdened my heart for this woman.

I actually really loved this movie. In many other places it made some really great points, and I’m dying to see it again... hopefully soon. Being able to see all of the places in the world that you’re able to see is really exciting to me. And Julia’s famous fun laugh and beautiful smile resonate in several different places... you catch glimpses of pretty woman and the runaway bride a couple of times... :) But it leaves an ache in my heart. It speaks SO closely to the heartstrings of what just has to be hundreds of thousands of women, if not more, in regards to the emptiness that they must feel when their life is void of a Savior... (though they misinterpret that void for something else... something more tangible.) They’re going to relate to this woman, whether through their own divorce experiences, or maybe a myriad of other addictions or heartaches that Satan has used to wreak havoc on their lives, and since this movie seems to leave you believing she’d “found herself” or her “inner peace”, then in an effort to fill that emptiness, so many are going to follow her example. I want to grab them all by the shoulders and invite them to know my Jesus. I’d probably ask them to redefine the title a little something like this...

Eat- Seek God’s Word. I Peter 2 tells you to study it as if you were eating it up just like a newborn baby craves milk. It will fill you up and nourish your mind and spirit.

Pray- Talk to God. Pour out your heart to Him. Ask Jesus to be Lord of your life, and ask Him to bring people into your life that will help you know Him better and how to live for Him. Then spend quiet moments listening to His voice. The Holy Spirit will speak to your heart and give you guidance.

Love- Do just that... Love Him. With all your heart, soul, body, spirit, and mind.

I’ve found then that the peace of God that is absolutely impossible to describe, will set up a guard around your heart and mind. The security you’ll find is so freeing. A victorious life is inevitable.

Hmmm... my brain feels better now that all of those thoughts are on “paper”. But my heart still wishes the message of this movie would direct people to Christ...


My Not-So-Green-Thumb

I've done everything that's been asked of me in regards to "staging" my house to sell it. I've loved this house. If it had some more space, I'd buy it all over again. For some reason though, after over three months, we're still the proud owners. From painting over my beloved red kitchen, to taking down all of my family photos, to storing one of my couches to open up my living room, to leaving fresh baked cookies on the table for a potential buyer (and not to mention the cookies giving it that nice "homey" smell), I've done it all... or so I thought.

According to my realtor, who is aparantly a feng shui expert now, I need red blooming plants in my house. Now I thought feng shui was all about the "flow" of your home... (whatever.) To quote her email, however, anyone who has placed red blooming plants in their home has sold it within a week of the next person that looked... At this point, I'll try anything.

So... meet my red blooming plants.

The problem is... my fingers do great things to your neck, shoulder, and feet muscles, a computer keyboard, and my piano, however- they've never been super successful at keeping these things alive. Thanks to lady at Lowe's for her encouraging advice...

"Try these. They're annuals. They're gonna die anyway." :)


Question for the Big Nanny...

So everyone knows that VBS starts tomorrow. I'm teaching theatre in the mornings, games in the evenings, and piano in between for a couple of afternoons this week. Dinners for each night of the week are prepped and in the deep freeze, ready to be thawed each morning and popped into the oven when needed. My house is cleaned and will be ready to show at a moments notice. I've spent the evening organizing my week down to the very last detail, and in the end, this is what will be assisting me in keeping my sanity...

Whoever thought of sticky notes for your desktop was an ABSOLUTE genius...

So (cue musical intro) my question for the Big Nanny is this- (enter Taylor Hicks solo...)

This is what we dream about, but the only question with me now... is, Do I make you proud??

(Though I'm sure your desktop is much more decorated than my own.) :)



Confessions of a Health Food Junkie

Does anyone else think it's weird that I got super excited over my lunch today?
Starting at the top and moving clockwise, we have...
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Broccoli
Hi. I'm Heather. And I love healthy food. I spend my "nursing time" flipping between Food Network and the Cooking Channel, and get excited over organic cookbooks and cooking magazines. I could read them for hours. Today was the first time I'd ever made quinoa, and it pretty much made my day...

Phew... glad I got that off my chest.

On a side note- this just in from Reese... (I got her dressed today, but apparantly shorts and a t-shirt weren't enough. The leotard needed to go over the outfit.)

"Welcome to Handy Manny's School for Tools. Today- we're learning how to make a dress! It will be SO beautiful..."
(I bet Manny would be thrilled to know what a great seamstress he is at our house...) :)


A Saturday Well Spent

I could very easily become addicted to this game... And yes he beat me- but I had the lead after the front 9! (Somehow that's not the score that counts...)

My Little Drama Queen

"Mama... I fink I just need to wee-wax..." she says, crawling into an empty tub with her clothes

...tell me about it.


Things I Plan to do in July

  • Keep finding ways to pour myself into my relationship with Christ, my husband, our kids, and our ministry
  • Put up sweet corn in my deep freezer... enough to have an ample amount for dinners, not only for my family, but also to share with friends... probably about 15 quarts or so
  • Enjoy warm evening walks with my love
  • Finish the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart"
  • Pack up my house so I can move down the road in August
  • Spend time with a few teenage girls that have stolen my heart
  • Golf with my husband, brother, and Dad
  • Play with my kiddos and catch lots of those moments on video
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Drink lots of carrot/beet/celery/lettuce and apple juice (freshly juiced I might add)
  • Get a pedicure... maybe with Cathy if she didn't spend all of her money at Cedar Point and on her new boat :)
  • Go to Gatlinburg with our awesome TSC Staff Family
  • Become a cottage/romantic/shabby chic guru- and decide how I will decorate every room of my new house to suit that taste


Song of the Day

Toot-ed, Toot-ed, Toot-ed, Toot-ed, Toot-ed swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah? Who did swallow Joooo-nah now?


Back in the Saddle Again...

And this is the little hoss that's putting me here...

Though instead of putting the saddle on this 5 1/2 week old hoss, (that's into size 6 month clothes I might add) I'm carrying him around. Currently all 13 pounds and 24 1/2 inches of him. Not that I'm complaining... you think I'd be a champion weightlifter after carrying him around since July of last summer... and frankly I'm beyond grateful to be carrying him with my arms as opposed to my abdominal muscles and, well, you know, all that goes with that...

All that to say- Mama's bloggin' again. And with him and his 2 1/2 year old sister (that seems to think she's running the show around our house) Mama's bound to have lots to say.

Then again- I'm finding that half of what Miss Thang says these days really may not need to be published online. (Oh the joys of raising Reagan's child. lol I think his mother and sister will appreciate that...) I think she is living proof of the incredible sense of humor that I believe God has. I wouldn't be suprised if He didn't carefully and specifically place children with personalities and thought patterns like her own directly into families that are in full time ministry... just to keep their parents on their toes. Because who doesn't love to see and hear the potty-training pastor's kid that is all too eager to talk to ANY and EVERY person about everything she's discovering in her 2 1/2 year old world?!?

What a treat. We'll leave the rest to your own imaginations.