Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What am I thinking...

So next week I am doing something crazy.  Crazy for many reasons, not the least of which is leaving my family for a full week.  I know people travel all the time with work or for trips and stuff, but when you're a stay at home mom it's a little nuts to think about just pulling out of the chaos for a week.

I turned the big 4-0 this year and for my birthday I asked to go to this thing called the School of Spiritual Direction led by Larry Crabb.  It's in Asheville, NC at The Cove, which is pretty awesome and fun...especially since it will basically be the only fall or winter I will see all year.  Seriously, there are like no trees in Florida and the ones that are here don't have leaves that change.  It's nuts.

Aaaaaaanyway, the other crazy thing about going on this week is that I can't really describe it.  There are some people who have been that I truly respect and admire their walks with Christ, so I'm really just wanting to be more like them/Jesus.  But I feel like a kid going to YL summer camp..."It'll be the best week of your life," without the money back guarantee.  I am thrilled to be able to hear great teaching under Larry, nervous/thankful for the personal sessions I will have with a counselor there, and excited to wear my fleece jacket.  Most of all, though, I am hoping for some direction myself.  Not that I think I will walk away with a true sense of a new calling (i.e. high paying yet super flexible job), but I am hoping that space will be created so that I can listen.

On the first day that all my kids were in school I decided that I wanted to start things off right so I came home, got my coffee, sat in my red chair and started reading scripture.  But quickly I was moved to begin journaling about the absence of quiet in my life for the past five (nine) years and the deep thirst I had for it that just could not be quenched.  That morning sitting in my living room I could literally HEAR the silence...and it stung my a good way.  Like a cold fountain Coke that burns your throat on the way down kind of way.  It was glorious and refreshing.  That's what I want more of next week.  More space...and cold Cokes.

So wish me luck and pray for me that I will listen well so that I can come back and love well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Been a while...yes it has. Almost a year. That's turrible (said in Charles Barkley voice). Way too much to catch up on, and this isn't a diary anyway so I won't try. I will say, though, that if you heard whooping and hollerin' from the corner of Glenfield Crossing and Eagle Point on August 20th, it may or may not have been me dancing away from the school bus as it took ALL THREE of my kids to school. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

I love those little whipper snappers with all that I am. We had an amazing summer, which I'll get to later, but it was time for school. You feel me, mamas, I know you do. As always, the way we kick off the school year is by yanking our kids out for a few days and heading to Windy Gap for the Women's Weekend. What a blast this year. My mom spoke, and she rocked it! My hilariously talented, insanely goofy, and super hot friend Martha agreed to do program with that was pretty good too. She and I were funny enough but the real show stealer was Maggie. She came up on stage with us on Saturday night, became one of "The Jans" and rapped...yeah, rapped. And not like you might think a little white nine year old girl from the burbs would rap. Um no, she killed it. Well, just here it is...

Sooooo, that's basically what I've been doing for the past year...getting two little divas ready for kindergarten and one not so little diva ready for the big time.  And by big time I mean Windy Gap.  Just praying she decides to "take her talents to the Holy Spirit" rather than South Beach or LA.  Lord help me.

And not to be outdone, Zoe, Tori and the other daughters had a little debut as well:

This year's retreat was even more meaningful than in years past.  I think because my mom, sister, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, and aunt were there.  And my girls got to see some pretty strong, fun, caring and smart women in their lives do some amazing things.  They got to see their Gammy speak about being who you were made to be, they saw their mom act a fool (nothing new), and their aunts read scripture in front of 300 ladies.  As you probably know, my four sweet friends and I started this weekend nine years ago.  There were only three living kiddos between us at that time, but now there are 13!  We've been busy.  Saturday night at club all of our daughters came on stage with me and Martha, but beforehand I sat down and asked them why they thought we did all this crazy stuff.  They answered that we wanted to make people laugh and have fun.  So true.  I was also able to tell them, though, that when we laugh it opens up our hearts and gives us freedom to understand and experience what is around us...that in a way we were unlocking the door to allow folks to really see, hear, and experience the worship songs and the words in the talks.  Then Emma, one of my BFF's daughters, prayed for us and for the ladies at the retreat.  Wow.  What an amazing mom moment for me.

I've never been on the "votes for women" bandwagon, but I have to say that in Young Life I didn't see many women speaking upfront at camp, but even less women doing program.  Women were allowed to be in the "opera" as the frumpy heroine who becomes beautiful at the end when she falls in love (think Grease without the black spandex unitard).  Not a great picture of the Gospel.  Women were just considered unfunny upfront, and to a certain extent that is true.   We didn't need a woman up there just for the sake of having a woman.  It's just that the "right" women were  not being asked.  And there was no one showing us it could be done.  

Things have changed and I'm glad...not because I think things have to look equal, but because I think things should be good.  Really good.  And sometimes that looks like women making people laugh. 

 I'm just glad that through this women's weekend my four friends and I have been able to show our girls that they can do amazing things when they listen to the still small voice of the Lord...even if He's asking them to do something crazy like share Christ with women by filling up a camp every September.

Can't believe next year is our tenth!  I love you Dana, Anna, Shelly and Linds.

p.s. remind me to never cut my hair like that again