Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jewels in the Mud…

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In my world, Sundays are crazy.  I run around like a crazy person for 8 hours.  I get sweaty, I lift a lot of heavy things, I deal with a lot of paperwork.  I get done and am completely drained.  Like, “can’t feel my legs after I sit for 20 minutes” kind of drained.  I battle with my perfectionism, my natural traits of seriously rude bossiness, and I pull out of the parking lot reflecting on at least 50 things I could and should have handled differently.  Sundays are hard for me in a myriad of ways.  Mainly because after a Sunday, I am really hard on myself.  My exhaustion during the day causes me to be less like Christ than I anticipate.  It’s difficult for me to find myself in places where I am made aware of how hopelessly human I am.  Sundays are those days for me.

But then there are moments like jewels in the midst of mud where I realize that the work is worth it.   I hear deeply personal stories of families broken by divorce and watching God restore them.  I see the people finding community among each other; sharing their triumphs and trials of the week.  I watch people laugh together, drink coffee together.  I watch people cry on each other’s shoulders.  I see people in tight huddles with heads bowed aching for Christ and helping one another find Him.  I can stop and look around the room and see the “why”.  The people are the “why.”  Each individual story of how they found us is the “why.”

Every week as we drive to church, I pray “God, show me that it’s worth it today.” Every week, my husband and I share our “worth it” moment.  It always moves me to tears.  God’s beauty in the midst of my sloppiness.  That in the midst of my hustle, people are finding love.  That God will take the time to show me the jewels in the midst of the mud.  It makes the “why” so entirely worth it.  It makes waking up completely sore and downing protein drinks every Monday worth it.  I’m grateful for this season.   I’m grateful that I serve an awesome, loving, gracious God who will take people out of their way to find the lost sheep.  I’m grateful for the “mud”; that God is willing to look past my humanness and use me to help the jewels find Him.

Dear Parents At Disney World…

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My husband and I are HUGE Disney fans.  We got engaged at Disney World, we have gone every year since, and within 4 days of officially being Florida residents we excitedly bought our Disney World Annual Passes.  We love the magic, the wonder, the rides, the fun, and the food.  Every aspect of Disney is inspiring to us and we love our time dilly-dellying around the parks.

But since becoming Annual Passholders and getting the opportunity to take the parks at a slower pace, there is one outstanding issue with Disney World.  Parents.  You thought I was going to say kids, didn’t you.  Nope, the parents are the problems here.  So here are my tips for parents at Disney.

Dear Parents at Disney World…

Please Don’t Skip Nap time!!

I am so tired of watching warn out toddlers being pulled by the arm to meet Cinderella and looking at mom with a death grip saying “We spent so much money, you are going to go!”  Do you really think that a picture of your puffy-eyed screaming toddler with Cinderella is the memory that you want around?  Do you think maybe your kid is going to remember it as a “mommy-made-me” moment than meeting the fair princess?

Believe me, I get the expense part of Disney World.  My parents were pastors and if it hadn’t been for my gracious Grandparents, I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience Disney until I was in my 20s.  But trying to do it all, see it all, be it all is just going to keep everyone (including you) from truly enjoying the trip.  Even when it is just me and my husband, we took nap breaks because it can all be so tiring.  Don’t skip nap time!

Please Know Your Kids Limitations.

My baby sister (baby meaning 16) loves Disney with all her heart.  But she also shuts down in heat.  Her fair skin makes her bake instantaneously and she gets hot in 80 degree weather.  So even though she loves Disney, going to Disney in June is not going to be the best thing for her.  It’s going to keep her from getting the most from the trip.  What I would encourage you to do is assess what your child’s limitations are.  Do they get scared of Santa? Maybe don’t do meet and greets with characters.  Do they get hot easily?  Go in October or January – March (November and December are too busy.  Don’t bother.)  Does your 4 year old get tired of walking just around the mall?  Rent a stroller.  Know the limitations and don’t try to push them.  It’s too much money for you to spend to not get the most out of it.

Please Know the Rides Height Requirements.

I’m so glad I have figured this one out before I have kids.  There are so many rides that I love because I have great memories on them.  I can just imagine talking these rides up to my kids only to arrive at Disney to find out they aren’t tall enough to ride on it.  I have seen this happen over and over again (particularly on Splash Mountain).  Parents outside the ride are trying to console a devastated child.  All of the rides have height requirements posted online.  I highly recommend looking these over and measuring your kids before you start telling them how fun something is going to be.

Please Have Fun!

I am convinced that the families making the best memories are the ones who are letting loose and having fun together.  One of my favorite memories of my first trip to Disney was sitting in the Polynesian for breakfast and my dad and uncle singing along to every song.  I watch several families who are making similar silly memories as they dance together in Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor or sing along with Anna and Elsa.  Those parents look like they are enjoying the trip that they planned and budgeted for as much as the kids are enjoying it.  I think that’s what Walt intended; fun family time.

So parents, I know you’re doing a lot to get your kids to Disney.  I know that there will be meltdowns that are out of your control.  I know that you are doing a great job 365 days a year at being a parent.  Just don’t push the envelope.  Let it be fun for the whole family!

The “No Resolutions” Post…

Can’t we all just have New Years Resolutions that involve Netflix marathons and eating more burritos?  Cause I could totally jump on that resolution train since in the 3 days of  2015 that’s basically all I’ve done.  I mean, what do you expect?  Friends is on Netflix now!

Happy  2015 guys!

Happy 2015 guys!

Anyway, I have never been a “resolution” person.  Like many of you out there, I have made resolutions that have fallen by the wayside before February.  I think resolutions have a place in the lives of determined, well put together people who are really good at self-discipline.  I am not that person.  So every year I make goals.  I do think this is different because the goals that I make are long-term.  I mean, those determined well put together people probably get to December 31st after a year of accomplishing their resolution and think “I should keep doing this!”  But, again, I know myself.  If by some miracle I did get to December 31st I would probably be more likely to be like “Yay!  I did it! Now I’ll eat all the cake!” and everything I worked for goes away.

“But Bekah! Once you start eating healthy, you won’t be able to stop! It’s so great to feel great…”

Blah blah blah whatever.  I’ve been there.  I ate soooo healthy and worked out sooo much for 6 months straight.  I felt great.  Lost weight.  And lost all motivation to continue the lifestyle.  So it’s totally possible to go back to cake, guys.

I’m getting off track, again.  So this post is my “No Resolution” goals.  This is a list that I want to work on this year and build upon every year for the rest of forever.

Goal #1:  Read 26 books.

You can see my running list of must read books here.  It’s already pretty full.  Why 26 you might ask?  It’s a book every other week.  It made sense.

Goal #2:  Cook more with other people.

I really enjoy my time in the kitchen.  I love to try new things and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I make something for the first time (like the great Indian food day of 2014) is incomparable and mildly weird.  You can find out the recipes I’m hoping to conquer this year here.  But I haven’t shared my food experiences with people (other than my wonderful husband) because I’m always scared of what will happen if something doesn’t work out.  I want to learn to be ok with a dish not being perfect the first time and still be willing to present it on a plate to others and know that they will still love me.  I’m a recovering perfectionist after all.  I think this is a good step.

Goal #3:  Set some career goals.

You can laugh, it’s ok.  Right now my “career” has looked like “Get a Masters diploma and hang on the wall*.”  There are lots of things I want to accomplish that actually use my Masters in Christian Ministries (gasp!)  I just think I need to outline it a bit and…just… figure it out.

Goal #4:  Write More.

I really enjoy writing.  Like, really really enjoy it.  So I decided that I am going to replace 3 hours of pointless web browsing with writing each week.  (Don’t judge me.  You know you do it to!)

Goal #5:  Eat more healthy food than unhealthy foods.

So, here’s the thing.  Before we moved to Florida, we ate really healthy and both had a workout routine.  Then we moved to the land of sunshine and palm trees and instantly began eating like we were on vacation.  And since I wasn’t following my healthy foods plan, I began to make all the foods that I missed all at once.  I went from lettuce wraps, fish tacos, and zucchini lasagna to jalepeno popper mac’n’cheese, enchilada casserole, and baked pasta.  And it shows.  Big time.  So My goal is to cut the unhealthy meals to once or twice a week and bump the healthy meals back up to the majority of the meals.

So that’s it.  These are my 2015 goals.  Nothing too pretentious.  If I’m totally being honest, most of these are things I would do anyway (like reading 26 books).  It’s just a matter of determination.

I think I’m going to check in on this with you guys every once in a while.  I’ll let you know my progress, or lack thereof, and we will work through this together.  Sound good?  Great!

Now tell me, what are some of your goals?  Are you one of those put-together people that has actual resolutions?  What books should I add to my list.

 

*if I’m being completely honest, 6 months later and I just got the diploma in a frame… which is currently laying on the office floor.