It's FRIDAY and....

The first day of fall. It is actually cool outside. I am exhausted because it is the end of a very busy week. Waiting to wake up because I know another cup of coffee really won't help. LOL. But it sure is tempting.

I attempted to snuggle with Griffin in our bed this morning, but he's 2 1/2....
I guess you can figure out how that went. LOL.

What are your plans this weekend?It's another busy one for us. Looks like it will be Sunday before we get some downtime....I love vegging out, taking a nap, turning everything electronic off for a while, or just letting the TV do our thinking for us some nights.

It is essential to living in this world to have downtime. Especially now when everything is "viral" and at our disposal 24/7.

I'm addicted to my smartphone. I admit it. The other day I was looking at facebook in the car while waiting at a red light....I got to thinking....I wonder what I did to occupy my time (the whole THREE minutes) while waiting for the light to turn green....I mean, I spent twenty plus years driving with nothing but the radio or a CD, or a friend or loved one, to occupy my time at a three minute stop light.

I wonder if we would have to have so much downtime if we weren't so "globally" and "electronically" wired these days. I mean, really, did the pioneers have to crawl into their beds once the kids went to sleep and veg out on Friday nights to recoup from the busy week. Yeah, I didn't think so.

I think is is all about moderation. It is a saying a strictly believe in. In fact, moderation is hinted at in the Bible...

"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything
is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians

Another verse that I like to go along that is found in Ecclesiates 3, vs. 1

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens...

Now, does that mean I have free reign to do whatever I want? Of course not. I believe we live in a digital age for a reason and a purpose. You can use these things for good or evil. I hope I'm choosing for good.

Of course, checking facebook a gazillion times a day is not always beneficial. I am talking to myself, here, no one else.

I know some people who completely turn off electronic devices for 24 hours at a time. I know people who "fast" from certain things they consider are distracting them from their real purpose. I have fasted from facebook for Lent. It was hard. But, it was easier than detoxing from coffee for two weeks, let me tell you that!

Then I know people who completely shy away from facebook and twitter. They find reasons like marriages failing, affairs occurring, friendships broken up (you just think you deleted that email from facebook but they got the notification in their personal email inbox...oops).

I don't know what they answer is. I just know that sometimes a break is good. Facebook and Twitter are definintely being used for good (and can be used for evil). I prefer to stay on the good side.

If you are interested in learning more about advancing the Kingdom using modern technology, I highly recommend reading "Sticky Jesus", written by Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong.

To learn more about being "sticky" using social media, check out THEIR website!

Using all this stuff in moderation, being intentional and "sticky" and taking a healthy break. Yep. I think I will try this out and put it into practice. How 'bout you?

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"One More" Awana Conference

I had a great time Saturday in Cordova, TN at the West Tennessee Region's Awana conference. Greg was able to go with me and we left on Friday night and had a beautiful gift basket waiting for us at our hotel as we checked in from TJ and Kathy Sipes, the Awana missionaries for that region.

We started bright and early Saturday at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, which is right across the street from the famed Bellevue Baptist Church. Everyone was super friendly and accommodating and we had some great discussion in our sessions!

If you have an Awana program in your church did you know that you can get the Family Time Training live presentation to the parents in your church at NO COST! NCBP and Awana have a special relationship and because of that relationship NCBP is able to have this amazing offer.

It was a whirlwind weekend, but I was honored to have had the opportunity to speak at this conference!

Crazy, busy, hectic, AACCKKK kind of week ahead!!!

I am asking for thoughts and prayers this week!

I have two busy days at work on Tuesday and Thursday, very full, which I am thankful for, but then Friday I leave for Memphis to speak at an Awana Conference on Saturday. I am so excited to be speaking and feel privileged to have the opportunity. But this week it will be a battle of balance and sanity for this mom.

There is a lot to do, a lot to prepare for. Depending on whether or not Greg comes with me (we are still figuring that out) I may have to pack up the boys too. I wish I was one of those kind of people who didn't get frazzled. You know who they are. Nothing ever frustrates them. They take everything with a grain of salt. Life could be turning upside down and they are always, like, "whatever". Me, I get frazzled. I hate it.

So, the best thing I know to do is call out to friends and family and ask for thoughts and prayers that everything gets done, that I can prepare to speak and all the other things in life will somewhat cooperate, and if they don't that God will calm this frazzled mom in the midst of the chaos!

Thank you!!!!!

Billy Graham in Quotes- book review

This is my first book review and the book I chose was Billy Graham in Quotes, written by Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.

My first impression of this book after looking it over was, wow, it really is just quotes. After the introduction everything you read is categorized by subject and it is from a direct quote from Billy Graham either through speaking or written from his books.

I really enjoyed reading the quotes, which kind of surprised me, I mean, it's a book of quotes. You would think it would get boring after a while, but each subject listed was timely and relevant. I also liked the book of quotes because I like to write and I use inspirational quotes in writing quite often. And this book is full of inspirational quotes and truths from Billy Graham, and he uses scripture to back up what he is talking about.

The only thing I would have changed about the book would be to have some small paragraph or two at the beginning of each subject chapter just to break up the monotony of reading quotes. This book does make me want to read other books by Billy Graham. This book leaves you with wanting more. And maybe that was the point!

New and exciting things!

Wow! The past few weeks have been crazy hectic.

my firstborn started Kindergarten. Our first parent/teacher conference is tonight. EEK! She said no worries, but I am secretly worried....about nothing in particular. He has done great, I guess I just am fearing the unknown.

My husband and I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Myrtle Beach. First time there. We went with 2 couples who are our closest friends and we left all the kids (8 between us) with relatives. Woo hoo. The weather was gorgeous. The ocean was fabulous. The time alone with my husband was priceless. We couldn't have asked for more.

Tomorrow, the regular fall activities begin at our church. I am teaching a Wednesday night discipleship class on parenting. It's a 12 week study entitled Parenting is Heart Work. If that name sounds familiar, it is. This is a more in-depth study of the parenting seminar that I do through NCBP. I am really excited as I have never done this study in-depth. I am really looking forward to it.

Tomorrow morning starts our church's mom group, called iMom. It stands for Intentional Mom. If you live in the middle Tennessee area follow this LINK to learn more about iMom.


Last week I was so exhausted. I mean, my brain was tired. We were preparing to leave on this trip. I took too much on, as usual. I say this because I have a fabulous husband who will help out. He just needs to know I need help and there in lies the rub. Do I ask for help? No.

We didn't take our children, BUT, I had to pack for them because they were staying with relatives. My to-do list was two pages long. I had laundry to do, bags to pack, itineraries to print (which didn't get printed, BTW...)....I could go on and on, but if you are a mom, and you are reading this, I don't need to go on because you know exactly what I am talking about. It takes a lot of work to take a family on vacation, or for even just a weekend getaway. And the smaller your kids, the harder and more "stuff" you have to pack.

Then there are the notes to write. You know, the notes about your children that you are leaving for their caregiver for the weekend. For us, it was grandparents. Now, they have already raised at least one child and he or she survived because it is either YOU or your SPOUSE. Surely, we should give grandparents a little more credit than we give them. If they don't know they exact way little junior likes his sandwich cut up I am POSITIVE that junior will survive the weekend.

But, no. On I went and wrote my notes.

So, it's less than 48 hours before leaving for the beach. My notes are very far from being written down. I have barely begun packing. Still had lots to do. And I was very, very tired. Last Wednesday night I headed off to church. I was so exhausted that I stood at our church's coffee cafe and honestly could not make up my mind between whether I wanted regular coffee or decaf. No one was behind me, so I wasn't being rude or anything, but I told the one gal working there that I couldn't make up my mind. They let me think a minute then another gal came up, thinking I need assistance, and asked me what I wanted. I told her the same thing. I honestly could not make a decision. And I just stood there. My brain was not processing that I needed to make a decision.

I was very close to just giving up and walking away. I was so embarrassed and I shared with the two ladies, "have you ever been so tired that you can't make another decision". Now, I was talking to two women. Women who I was sure most likely had families. Children to care for, schedules to keep up with, etc. etc. They looked at me and nodded in agreement.

Then the lady who had asked me the second time what I wanted said, "what about half and half?" (meaning half caf/half decaf for all you non coffee drinkers out there...)

It was like I heard the hallelujah chorus going off in my head. I mean, it was perfect.

"YES", I said. "That is perfect!!!!"

Hahahahahaha......and it was. It solved my dilemma. It wasn't too much caffeine. It was a solution. And the best part, I didn't have to make the decision.

Life didn't get any easier or less exhausting following that. But it just made me laugh. And a good laugh is what I needed at that moment. And a half-caf, obviously.

Next trip, I am utilizing my husband more and putting EVERYTHING down on that to do list. Because if it's not on the list it gets forgotten. Like our itineraries. And the name of the company that I had a reservation with for the rental car (kind of important information, you know, when you need to pick up your car) and other small little things that got left behind or not done.

Life it too short not to ask for help. To prioritize what is important. And, to let go and forgive yourself when you mess up.

As we say, it all works/worked out in the end.

And it does.

The next time you are too tired to make a decision, then don't. Your body is telling you that you are done. Go get your husband. Call the grandparents. Go ask for some help even if it means calling a friend who is just as busy as you and asking them for H-E-L-P.

Do it. Ask for help. You just might get exactly what you need when you do!