Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Better Write This One Down

I have words of wisdom for you today. Words that are so eloquent, I can't believe they haven't been said before. Todd found them in a friend's facebook post. I have no idea who originally coined this phrase, but I've scratched it into my subconscious. Enjoy your advice for the day:

"Putting a pretty shirt over your muffin top doesn't make you a cupcake."

If you know me, you know how I feel about cupcakes. So, here's my idea-- let's all do exactly what this sage advice is asking us NOT to do. I think that a world filled with people who resemble cupcakes sounds just a bit sweeter. No?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Use Your Voice

Have you ever thought you could change the world? OK, maybe not the whole world, just the one you orbit through each day? Could you change that one if you wanted to?

I tend to think we can. In fact, I think the greatest change we can make comes from the smallest of our actions. The words we choose. Those that are said in passing, those that are spoken with concern or even anger, those that are said with love. On the surface, they are only words. But hidden down deep, words, our words, can change the world.

I see the world through the window of how I can write about it. That's just how my brain runs. Words are the fuel. I love them. For me, words carry weight. Every day, I think of all the ways I could combine them to give life to my thoughts. Written words can be powerful.

But, what about the words that are spoken? Especially those we give to the ones we love the most? Often times, those are the words that we are careless with. And yet, they are the most important.

We regulate what we say in public, we screen what we say at work or at church, and we are ever careful with the words we choose when we meet someone for the first time. But, within the framework of those we love, those who are woven into our every day lives, we are too comfortable. We are no longer as careful and selective with the words we choose. I don't think it's intentional, it's just our nature to settle into the every day living part of our lives.

What if we could flip our mindset? What if we could take more time to think about the words we use with those we spend the most time with? Those words, spoken to the people we hold in our hearts, they are the avenue for change.

Changing our world starts by using our voice. In offering words that build and comfort. Words that give acceptance and offer grace even when it's hard to give. In the intentional slowing down to choose those words that offer the most love. Easy to do? No. But the harder we work, the greater the effect.

May we start today. To give words that matter. Ones that will echo within. Word by word, we can change the world.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A New Record

I'm about to tell you something that will take your breath away. You should be sitting down for this. Are you ready?........It's been 31 days of school and no one has been called into the principal's office! Did you catch that? 31 days!

Last year we made it to day 17 before I got the first call (yes, the FIRST). Now that we are at day 31, I'm over the moon. I think I might make a cake to celebrate. Should I light 31 candles, or is that too over the top?

What do families do that have normal kids? When do they make cakes to celebrate? I wonder what life is like for those parents who don't hibernate the fear of a phone call from the school? Their lives are probably peaceful and filled with obedient children. I bet they never get the chance to make cake.

I'm going to try and remain humble about our new record. The second I get cocky and let my guard down, that's when the phone will ring. For now, I'm crossing my fingers and praying. A lot.

Oh, and I'll be eating cake.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spread The Happiness

Smile more.
That should be the goal. To smile. More.
Because, let's be honest, that smile, that one right there, oozes happiness.

Maybe we could spread our own happiness.
Just by smiling.
Just by starting at home.
With those we love.

Begin today.
Smile more.
Spread it 'round.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Best Advice?

I have a friend who has invented my favorite mom-phrase. "Same crap, different day." Do you ever feel like you wake up each day only to repeat the crap from the day before? Yup. I know you do.

I've been deeply entrenched in a same-crap-different-day cycle. It's irritating and its made me cranky. So, today I recalled the best advice I've been given to date: "Never do a job so well, it goes unnoticed." I heard this statement as a young mom, and I've held it in my subconscious ever since.

Maybe I'm doing my jobs too well. Maybe I'm barely doing the ones that matter. Or, maybe I'm ignoring the right jobs and focusing on all the wrong ones. I haven't figured all that out yet.

But, I've decided that these 2 statements connect somehow. One affects the other. How about, "Different day, let the crap go unnoticed"? Or, what about, "Same day, do A (singular) job well"? They both sound mighty fine.

So, what's the best advice you've ever gotten? Tell me, I wanna hear. I just might adopt it for my own.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When Love Has Roots

Love is a mystery. Not because it's hard to understand, but more because it contains it's own life force. It grows and expands. It takes roots that bury it deep. It can also dim and grow stale, and even spread wide to encompass more room. You see? A mystery. One with a heartbeat.

But yet, we ride at the helm. We can direct love's flow. Not always. Sometimes love's life force takes it's own shape without our say so. But, for the most part, we can stear the course. We can't control it completely, just simply nudge it in the right direction.

We can not captain love's course without looking at what stands out front. Love requires eyes. Ones that see, truly see, what sits within our grasp. It looks, really looks, at those who weave into our daily lives. They are there so often, they can become ordinary if we don't keep vigilant vision. Love sees beyond the common day-to-day. It tends to capture what we need in our heart, not what we catalog in our head.

Take inventory of your love. Sit in the quiet and explore it's roots that have grown within you. Find the holes that need filling and offer words that carry love to ears. This life force has the ability to offer grace and peace. We simply must be willing to see where it resides and where we want it to grow.

Let your love take shape today. Let it fill your soul and warm your heart.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Scenes from the weekend, on a Monday

Am I the only one who wakes up on Monday morning and wonders where the restful weekend went? I would even take a few 'restful hours'. Can you buy those somewhere? Is there an App for my iphone that I can download to use for a slow and melancholy Saturday/Sunday combo?

With a family of all girls (plus a dad), I never expected my days to be filled with so much sports and sweating. And yes, that is Todd in Austin at the BYU/UT game. And no, I didn't join him. Someone had to stay home to yell at the kids. I drew the short straw.

Enjoy your week. I'm going to try and figure out where to buy myself a weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Now A Learner's Permit

Happy 15th (15th!) to this daughter I adore.

Birthday Wishes to my favorite athlete.

You are my heart.

For always.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hurry, Make One

I got the idea from here. While making this, I overheard my kids saying, "this is fun". Those words don't spill out of teenager's mouths very often, especially when spending time with their family. So, maybe you should try making one at your house too.

Instead of making individual time capsules, we combined everyone together in one (Walmart) jar. And my kids were right, it was fun.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The word 'brave' is a heavy word. It's full and carries weight. It holds an echo in it's center that sounds in your memory. I don't think I've ever been brave. I've been strong. I've been determined. I've been stubborn. But, never brave. It's a cloak I've yet to wear.

I've seen brave and watched from the sidelines. I've seen people I love take brave and wrap it tight around their shoulders. Those are the examples that echo the loudest. The ones who hold onto brave despite the fear.

I know a family who is brave. Each and every one. It's an honor to love them. This week my thoughts have been with them, while they are here:

Hearts are only one of the many items that fill their Brave List. Hearts with new valves. Cancer is on their list too. But so is faith and courage and tender mercies.

If I could hold brave in my hands, I know exactly where I would reach today. Oh, how I wish it wasn't so far.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Everything's Bigger

These are mushrooms. In my front yard. Is it natural for them to be the size of a dinner plate? Maybe these are 'Texas mushrooms'. Or maybe this mushroom is confused and thought it was supposed to be a stool for a toddler.

I'm thinking about plucking it from the ground and having the family eat it for dinner. Good idea?