Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bad Running...

AWWW, thanks to my "tweezilicous" girl Amanda for this smiley award. It's been a rough couple of weeks, my friends, so anything that promotes a genuine smile is right up there in my book! I don't know if you've been feeling it or not, but it seems there are just so many bad things happening right now. Sometimes we can ignore this fact, and distract ourselves, immerse ourselves in our very busy schedules, routines, and tasks that require our attention from sun-up til sun-down. But eventually, we have to stop and face the truth. The truth may mean that something is not right in our own lives. Or it may mean that we are being called to minister in someone else's life. But in either situation, running (because that's what distraction really is, right?) won't work anymore and you will be halted.
Sometimes this is a voluntary halt, however, more often than not, GOD roadblocks us and drags us into solitary confinement in order to get our attention. Or at least that's how He often gets my attention. Of course, by now you know how much I love running, and unfortunately, I carry that over in all areas of my life.

So what kinds of things does He use to slow us down? It usually is something subtle. A speedbump or warning. For those of you using the 1-2-3 Magic way of disciplining, this is our 1. It can show up in way that causes us to feel inadequate or troubled in our spirits. This is the Holy Spirit saying, "Hey, your focus is out of whack. You need to put your eyes back on GOD, my friend." So, at this point, all you spiritually mature people, realize this, confess it, move on and grow in your walk. And all you other people out for your morning run with me, trip over the speedbump and bumble on down the trail. Not good, my friends. Because right there, you are directly disobeying. However minor it may seem, sin is sin, and it is not unnoticed.

"Be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23

My mother might as well have branded me with this when I was a kid. "You just tell your friends that whatever bad stuff they have in mind, you can't participate, because YOU WILL GET CAUGHT!" And I did. More times than I can count. There is no hiding, or covering up with fig leaves, because GOD sees it all--even if Mom didn't. So He nudges again. This time a little harder, or from a different source. He reiterates that He needs your attention and more importantly your obedience. "Why GOD?", we argue back. "Why now? Just this once can I please just do this my way?" Of course, we wouldn't actually SAY these words, but we passively just ignore HIM--again. So that was 2, my friends, and a time-out is coming!

I'm embarrassed to say that in my life I've fought GOD many times for my own way. And sometimes---He's let me have it. He's handed me over to my own desires, and I can't tell you the pain I've endured by trying to run things my way. There's that "R" word again. It's in my blood I tell ya! So what does getting your own way look like? Oh, I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it looks great! You feel in control, and you may even look like you're in control. Everything is going just the way you planned it. But wait? What's this? Something you hadn't planned? Wait! God, maybe I do need your help. What am I going to do?!

And this is where you hit the rock bottom, of a very. lonely. time-out hole. It will be one of the most humbling times in your life. It is often times very public. And is usually punctuated with many, many tears. For Jonah, his time out was spent over a period of days in the belly of a fish. God had plans for Jonah's life that seemed so much bigger than than he could imagine, with tasks so much harder than he thought he could possibly accomplish-plans that he just outright didn't want to follow. Much like Jonah, I reacted to some of God's plans for my life in much the same way-- I high-tailed it outta there. And where did this land me?

Fortunately, not in the belly of a fish, or in jail, or the hospital, or any other number of bad places. But I did suffer from depression, a feeling of separation from GOD, and isolation from my friends and family. I was humbled, embarrassed, and broken in spirit. More than these those, I was repentant. In Isaiah 66:2, God tells us that He esteems the heart that is humbled and the spirit that is contrite. God esteems me. He thinks I have value, and He is willing to discipline me so that I can do great things in life to bring HIM glory! Can I get a hallelujah, friends? God thinks we're worth spending time on! (p-stranding sentence, ignore it and move on, my English major, buddies :0)

Hebrews 12:6 tells us that our Father disciplines those He loves. And just like my kids, I hate being disciplined, but it's worth enduring to know that God is doing it out of His great love for me. The same love that meant the sacrifice of His own son to save the world. How awesome is that? So if you've run from GOD and are currently suffering in your own fish belly, God is seeking to restore you, my friend. Humble yourself in sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. He can also use your story to restore others and to bring glory to Himself. And for those of you who may be lacing up your sneaks and planning a nice jog out of town, please don't take the hard way! Obey those nudges from the Holy Spirit and go in faith down the path God has for you. His ways are so much easier than our own, and He promises to never leave us or forsake us along the way.

So it looks like I've gone down my own bunny trail this morning, because this whole blog started with Amanda's "Makes My Heart Smile" award. Grace and mercy. That's what makes me smile today--along with these special ladies.

1. Amanda at Serenity Now-A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane. This girl has really come into her own over the last couple of months and her blogs are rockin!

2. Jenna at Eat, Live, Run- She used to just inspire me with her crazy healthy recipes and workouts, but now I'm grieving alongside her over the death of her brother. Lift her up in prayer, ladies!

3. Chic Runner-the girl is adorable and sweet and totally runs amazing races

4. Nesting Place-no explanations needed. Go there!

5. Kay at Kayotic Kitchen has yummy, yummy recipes and beautiful photos


Friday, April 17, 2009

Now This Feels Like Spring!

First things first, I'd like to welcome the 4 newest babies of the Finch household! I am told the last little egg has also hatched, but we're going to wait a few more days to get some pics. The babies are now cheeping away up there in the corner of the porch. With finches (oh to be a finch!) the mothers sit on the eggs, but when the eggs hatch, mama is outta there!

Mama jets off to a very private bird spa of sorts, and Papa steps in as the dutiful feeder of the loud babies. Mom stops back in maybe once a day or so to yell at him, and tell him that he needs to be feeding them free-range worms and to stop letting them watch so much Noggin, but she tries not to harass him too much in case he decides that he'll hand the job back over.

Anywho, on to more exciting news! Only 2 more days left until Spring Break is over!!! Woo-hoo, I can almost smell the exhaust of the school bus now! It has been a bit difficult this week, what with the 3 days of rain, and daddy working every day. Howeva, today was gorgeous, and we managed to spend a couple hours outside picnicking, planting flowers, playing games, and eating popsicles. Btw, for those of you following a strictly all natural diet (like the DonoMan) I have to recommend Breyers Pure Fruit Pomegranate Blends. Yuuummmy!! Moving on....
So today was immensly better than yesterday which is now referred to as "The Day Momy Survived the Wal-Mart ". That, my friends, is a blog for another day. It is still a bit too fresh in my mind and I may have to ground my children again just thinking about it. Yes, today was full of all the fun stuff that spring is made of. Tomorrow we are off to the Maryland Science Center which I'm sure will be quite the little adventure. I'll be sure to take some pics!
Look into the son, Darling!!
***I must note there are NO preservatives on this plate. It's possible, people; don't be intimidated!! :0)

D very seriously follows the "no shoes on the blanket rule"

"Score for the Wreckity-Girl!!"


Monday, April 13, 2009

It's an honor just being nominated...

Many thanks to my pal Meri for awarding me awesome Kreativ Blogger Award, especially since she is one of the most creative people I've ever met!! Seriously, check out her blogs--you'll love em!

Anywho, I understand the rules of this to be as follows:

1. Link back to the person who gave you the award

2. List 7 things you LOVE

3. And last but not least, link to 7 blogs and let them know you have and award waiting for them on your blog

So, I have to admit that I've procrastinated a bit in posting this, because at this time in my life I seriously don't know too many things that I just LOVE. I mean, you all by now know about my obsession with my conditioner, and my mascara, and all that biz, but really 7 whole things that are to die for? Hhmmmm.....well here's what I've come up with, and I promise that I've really put thought into it, maybe not sweat and tears or anything, but I've definitely pondered it for more than 2 seconds. So without further ado, my 7 LOVES, in no particular order. (Besides GOD & the fam, of course

1. I love getting lost. Not the t.v. show. I love getting lost and disoriented. Maybe it's just because I'm kind of a human GPS sometimes, but I really do love going somewhere new and getting completely turned upside down and coming out unscathed on the right road to somewhere great. I'm thinking a therapist would have a heyday with this, but moving on.....

2. I love running. I love it in the rain especially. My perfect run would be a dark, drizzly, October afternoon with no one out except for the one guy who I encounter sometimes in the evenings. We usually manage to turn onto the same street at the same time, but on opposite sides. And then it's on, baby. We push each other and simultaneously kick each other's bootys for the next mile and then when we know we can't take anymore, we both just turn off onto other streets and that's that. It's a strange love/hate kinda thing with me and Mr Crazy Calves. We've never spoken and though we see each other at local races, it's always just a nod of respect and a look that screams "I'm gonna be ridin' your tail, so watch out!!" Oh my, enough adrenaline in this paragraph.

3. I love GAP curvy low-rise jeans. I know this sounds shallow, but as a girl with an ample backside that won't ever go away no matter how many miles of speedwork or lunges or powersquats I do, I am always on the look out for jeans that won't gap 3 inches in the waist or look like they're airbrushed on. Hence, my love for the curvy denim fit. They are cut a little more "generously"----secret code for you got a big bottom half, my friend, yet the waist is snug enough not to show your rhinestone thong everytime you tie your kid's shoe in the Wal-Mart. What???!! I have no idea where that came from. Strike that.

4. Okay, so number four has to be reading. And not sappy, grocery-store checkout romance novels, although, if that's what floats your boat, knock yourself out. Howeva, I read fast, and I love a book with alot of depth that keeps me thinking long after I've put it back on the shelf. That said, I don't want happy endings, or romance, or any form of sappiness. I don't want to read overly detailed, adjective filled paragraphs. Get to the point already!! And I know this will ruffle a few feathers, but there are very few women authors that I really enjoy. I am open to suggestions, though, so if you know of someone who will just rock my literary world, then please pass it to me!! I will read sci-fi, or crime lit, classics, and fantasy. Most genres I am pretty open to. Check out Goodreads if you are a reader, and find others who have the same literary taste as yours. I double-dog dare ya.

5. I love art. Painting, sculpture, photography, music, you name it. I wish we lived closer to some great galleries, so that I could just wander the halls and absorb all the talent and energy. I think that in "my old age" I have a much better appreciation for these things, since I've realized that they don't come so easily to me. Sure, I like to dabble in a few things and some of them I've even sold, but it's not without great effort and a sacrifice of time on my part. Being around the talented people I know, (pssss, that's you MOPs peoples) keeps me inspired and makes me want to try new things. You never know what secret talent you may have inside of you!!

6. Which brings me to number six. 30. I LOVE being 30. I truly do. There is such a freedom that 30 brings. Something that frees you from the body-image and career stresses of your 20's. The "I've gotta get it all figured out before I turn 30" mentality is no more. So what? I'm 30. I'm certainly not dead yet. No, I don't look awesome in a 2-piece bathing suit anymore, but it's because I bore 3 healthy, amazing children, and I'll take them over a that hot little paisley bandeau any day. Okay, most days. And although it can be a little discouraging to know that your life isn't on the same track that you thought it would be 10 years ago, rejoice, because at this stage in the game you should have more confidence in yourself to try new things and make the best of the path that you're on. So, embrace your 30s. Love your 30s, my friends, and remember that you are "fearfully and wonderfully made" no matter what age you are.

7. Finally, I love my MOPS moms. I truly do. Those who know me best, know that I have social anxieties, and that I've never been a real "girl's girl". I find it hard to relate to most women, and I feel ill-equipped in social situations. Seriously, I would rather have a pap smear, then have to walk into a party where I don't know anyone. My youngest sister, social-butterfly of the family, thinks this is hilarious and reminds me often that there is no way we can be related. Not so hilarious. But anyway, I tell you this to say that it was nothing more than an act of GOD and obedience on my part that brought me to this group of 80-some women, and then a year to be upfront as part of a co-ordinator duo. GOD has shown me in a most humbling way that I do in fact need people. This came as a shock since I've always been self-sufficient to a fault. However, as I began to serve and in return be ministered to, I found a comraderie with these women. Women of all backgrounds, races, and social statuses. Women of multiples and those who were awaiting the birth of their first little ones. Women who just want to feel appreciated and affirmed and loved, and to know that they aren't alone in this sometimes very lonely journey of motherhood. We've learned to laugh at ourselves and to cry on each other's shoulders and to pray for one another's trials. Sheesh, I hate all this sappiness :0) So, MOPS girls, if you're reading this, I love you, I thank GOD for each one of you. You have all taught me something valuable these last 2 years; some lessons I would rather not have learned, but all used to grow my faith. Thank you, thank you, and I can't wait to come back as your coordinator next year!!

And now for 7 inspiring women:

1. Suzanne at 4 boys and us

2. Meredith at small steps of faith

4. Angie at Bring the Rain

5. MckMama at My Charming Kids

6. Emily at Me and the Guys


7. Emily at The Webbs