Tuesday, November 23, 2010


this is a post that i have been meaning to write for months now!
if you live in the charlotte area or ever visit this area you MUST check out one of our favorite little getaway spots!  right up the road from our farm is a beautiful place called kilburnie.  as you wind down the country road and approach craig farm you will immediately be captivated.  the first time i saw it i wanted to hop out of my car, roll around on the thick carpet of perfectly manicured grass, run down the flower lined trails into the woods and retreat there for a week (or until someone came looking for me).  i still think i might try that.

joey and i spent a couple of days at kilburnie - the inn at craig farm - this past august and i have been dreaming about going back ever since.  we've visited a lot of bed and breakfasts all over the country but this is one of my very favorites.

our host - johannes - the gracious innkeeper at kilburnie - was delightful.  in my opinion he maintained the perfect balance of being attentive and friendly while also giving us privacy and a chance to truly get away from our regular hurried lives.

the history at kilburnie is rich and johannes can share some amazing stories with you (and also cook up a really mean southern breakfast...yum!).  if you ask 'pretty please' he will also load you on the golf cart and take you on a tour of the entire property and even let you sneak a peek of his own beautiful place across the road...a gorgeous home that is the perfect marriage of old south country charm and big city glamour (he used to be a high profile chef in new york city!).

if you need rest for your soul in a setting that truly inspires visit kilburnie...and let me know what you love about it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

front row seat

as i was driving into work this morning i heard a question posed on the radio station i was listening to:
'parents are often proud of their kids.  but what makes you proud of your parents?'

i was fascinated as i listened to call after call of folks who shared stories of the ways that they had witnessed their parents overcoming struggles in their lives that ultimately led to redemption and restoration.  i could hear and feel God's glory revealed in these stories...many of which were told through tears.  stories of failed marriages, lost jobs, terminal illnesses...

this is what made children proud of their parents...
the authentic demonstration of God's transforming power in their less than perfect life.  
the admonition that they are weak and He is strong.  wow...fascinating...

it reminded me of a great book i've been reading -
Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community (The Orange Series)

in this book one of the authors, reggie joinier, says this:"God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. No matter what your family looks like or how limited your capacity might be, you can cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God."

last week was a tough week for me as a mom.  i was home alone with the kids and we were all SICK.  we are also going through a lot of transitions as a family right now and that puts added stress on everyone.  

i've gotten in the habit of stopping in the midst of the craziness of a day and getting down on my knees and asking God for help.  even if everyone around me is crying.  even if there is something boiling over on the stove.  even if one of my children is covered in food from head to toe.  i stop, i get on my knees, and i start praying out loud for peace or for patience or for  understanding...really just pleading with God that my weakness would be replaced with his strength...and RIGHT NOW please.  

i think my kids sometimes think in crazy.  especially on weeks like these when i am trying to get the words out in the midst of sobbing.  
my 2 year old comes over and stands in front of me saying - 'mommy - you sad?'.  'yes,baby, i'm sad but i'm asking God for help.'  
i don't know exactly what is going through her little mind.  
sometimes she hugs me.  sometimes she proceeds to throw another temper tantrum.  sometimes she breaks out into 'God our Father' {this is my favorite}.  
whatever is going through her mind i hope that she really is getting a front row seat to God's transformation of my far-from-perfect life.  i hope what she sees doesn't just make her proud one day but I hope that it makes her BELIEVE that our savior can transform her life just as she has seen him transform mine.

{for more parenting wisdom from reggie joiner and the rethink group visit one of my favorite sites - orange parents}

Sunday, November 14, 2010

today i showered

today i showered.
today i have spent more time out of the bed than in the bed.
today i consumed something besides grilled cheese, soup, and sprite.

these feats are actually monumental considering i did none of them yesterday...or the day before...
i don't like being sick.  i especially don't like being sick when joey is out of town.  and i have discovered that i downright hate being sick while joey is out of town and my kids are sick too.  it's enough to make you go crazy.

you always hear that cliche - 'God won't give you more than you can handle.'  over the past few days i think i might have slapped anyone who said that to me {of course i would have felt terrible about it afterwards}.

thankfully God does know my limits and he did bring my husband back home to me before the real highlight of the week happened...
i wish i had pictures to show you because words certainly will not suffice.  but the truth is - i never even thought about a camera because it took every bit of energy in my weary body to drag myself out of bed at 7am friday morning and up the stairs where joey handed me my precious 2 year old daughter whom i proceeded to strip down, stand in the shower, and begin scrubbing.  apparently she has really gotten into that finger painting they have been doing at preschool so, being a resourceful little booger, she used the contents of her diaper to paint all over herself and her bed and her wall and her curtains...like i said...i wish i had pictures.
this was a two man job - me cleaning the child, joey cleaning the room - as terribly sick as i felt doing my part i just kept saying...thank you God that joey is home.  honestly, friends, you would not be reading this blog post or another other one in the near future if i had been up all night with my croupy baby while nursing my own strep throat and then waking up to a poop explosion that i was responsible for cleaning up all by myself...they would have had to commit me...

that day i decided i didn't want any more children.  today we are all feeling better and there hasn't been any disgusting incident, so i've changed my mind...for now...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

the gift of an hour

today will be a busy day.  when you work at a church you find your sabbath on other days...not sundays.  
there is a lot of work to be done on sundays.  
in addition to my regular preschool ministry duties i am also taking some time today to meet with parents who will be dedicating their children at a special service next week {i love supporting parents as they begin the journey of teaching their kids to know and love jesus}.  
i am teaching at our student ministry gathering tonight {let's see how this resident preschool expert handles a room full of teenagers...yikes}.  
and finally, i am helping new charlotte observe orphan sunday along with hundreds of other churches around the world {i think you know my heart on this one!}.

as i was getting ready for bed last night i thought of all the responsibilities ahead of me today and i began to feel overwhelmed.  all of these areas of ministry are important to me but i started to question if i could handle all of these responsibilities on one single day.  {not to mention my kids and husband are not granting me a vacation day from my duties as mom and wife}  

God reminded me of the verse i am teaching our preschoolers this month - 
'my God will meet all your needs' -philippians 4:19

and he did something else...he gave me an extra hour!  what?!?!  you got one too?!?!  wow...isn't that awesome?  for a few brief moments this morning i am showered and ready and able to spend time in prayer and preparation for my day.  {thankfully when he granted me this extra hour he didn't tell my kids...they are still snoozing...}

this morning i prayed for my hurried heart...that it would slow down and be filled with his peace.
for the families that i serve alongside at new charlotte...that they would experience his strength in their weakness as parents and spouses.
for the fatherless around the world {and in particular the ones whose faces i just saw and touched in haiti last month}...that they would feel our Father's love for them today.
for rachel and the haitian mommies and all the other precious people who serve the orphans of haiti...that their spirits would be renewed and their lives blessed beyond measure.

well...my hour has come and gone...the kids are calling {mommy - i all done with my nap!  i stay all dry for my nap!}  
it's amazing what an extra 60 minutes can do for your soul...
how will you spend your hour today?