Tag Archives: enjoy the journey

Ready or Not… It’s Summer!!

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Summer love. That’s all my kids and I have talked about for the last, oh, I don’t know, 60 plus days!! It’s our favorite. But then last week it hit me. My kids are about to be home every second of every moment, to which I know I will hear, “I’m bored” or they will hear me say for the umpteenth time, “Off the video games/computer- do something different.”

Last week was such a busy week! My daughter was taking all her finals, I felt really tired & sluggish, we celebrated the life of my brother-in-law because it would have been his 35th birthday and stupid cancer took him way too early, I realized by Thursday night that I should really do end of the year teacher’s gifts because I know what they do is incredibly hard and wanted them to know we appreciated them, my sons shoes are falling apart, holes and the bottoms are falling off, Joel’s backpack is literally not holding things anymore because the zippers been broke, Joel’s glasses are officially broke- arm off, and they all 3 are past due for eye exams and their dentist check up. My mantra last week, “One more week,” and then the one I’ve been saying to my kids all year long, “We can do hard things.”

So as I fumbled through printing tags early Friday morning, running to Wal-Mart for cookie dough (hey, it’s as ‘home-made’ as we’re getting this year), and I baked (yes, it counts) and showered, and tagged and tied, and delivered, and ended up picking my kids up early (hey, it was a major rain storm). I sat for a moment on Friday after the boys had been home for a couple of hours and heard those famous words, “Mom, what should I do?” To which I quickly replied, “It’s not summer yet. I’m not starting it until Monday, You’ll have to get creative.”

I love most everything about summer. I love the smores, the games, the jammies, the laid back schedules, the friends over, the adventures, the smell of sunblock, the watermelon, the beach, the swimming, the BBQ’s.

But I like to be ready for summer, and as ‘ready’ as I am to not make lunches or wash uniforms, or wake up to take them to school and pick them up everyday, I’m technically not ‘ready’ yet.

I was talking to my friend Cindy yesterday and we both feel like we’re behind, as if everyone has already signed their kids up for camps and activities (or at least it feels like it). And I’m not sure about your town, but around here, stuff fills up so fast! I don’t want to overfill our schedule, because I know we are going to be CRAZY with 3 weeks of camps in July for Big Red Ministries, but I also know there are some things they’ve expressed interest in that I would love for them to do.

It’s my personality to like to have beach & pool food ready, have meals planned out, have summer snacks available, have them signed up for a few fun things, have a summer calendar so everyone in the house knows what we’re doing, start the summer with a clean house & laundry done, and to have days for just rest. For some reason in this season, I feel so unorganized! And I like to have a summer reading list and my workout routine, and goals for summer writing/podcasting/speaking. And I want to add into my schedule time to write a book I’m working on. I don’t want to get to the end of the summer and say, “wish I had…” I know, I know.. I have issues.

So, summer starts Monday!

As I was feeling a bit overwhelmed (okay, a lot) on Friday, mentioning to my daughter that I still have so much I want to do before I say it’s summer, she said, “Mom, you don’t have to have everything done and organized before summer can start.”

And she is so right. Just when I feel like I don’t have issues with control anymore (pride, party of one), the Lord uses my 15-year-old daughter to snap me back into reality. I have to be okay with the fact that all my laundry is not folded yet, and that my piles of mail still need to be filed, and that I haven’t scheduled their eye & dental appointments yet, and that I don’t know or have my meal & snack list yet.

For the love.

Learning to let go of ‘the way I think it should be’ is hard, but the more I stress myself out about it, the less fun I am to be around, and the more time I’ve wasted just trying to control everything.  I know I can work on things as I go, and enlist my little summer helpers! And whatever doesn’t get done, well, there is grace for that!! The Lord is also dealing with my heart about lowering my expectations, because when you’re like me and you have so many expectations of doing everything, you end up not enjoying the stuff you are getting to do, because you’re so focused on that list!

Have a list but don’t let the list have you.

The most important thing I can do is this…

Matthew 6:33 (NLT)- Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. This summer I want more of Him. If we get to the end of the summer and I’m closer to my family and closer to Him- all is well. It will be a great way to start the next season.

So here’s to letting go and being okay with imperfect, sometimes unorganized, and still learning… me. The good news is this- when I put Him on the top of my summer list, He redeems the time, He helps me to be present each day, and He brings me joy regardless of my circumstances. He reminds me that the most important thing this summer will be people- Enjoying my family & friends, and making beautiful summer memories right in the middle of the messy.

Repeat these ‘I ams’ after me:

  • I am NOT in control but I know Who is.
  • I am a beautiful mess, but I’m His mess. And He loves me, so that’s enough for me.
  • I am surrendering my summer list to Him. “Lord, your will be done.”
  • I am okay with being a work-in-progress. At least there’s progress.
  • I am going to be fully present this summer- by the grace of God.
  • I am inviting the Holy Spirit to interrupt my schedule.
  • I am all in…. let the games begin!!

What about you? Do you try to be super organized or do you like to just go with the flow or are you somewhere in the middle? What summer prep do you like to do? Are you planning some fun adventures with your kids?

Blessings on you and your family and… Happy Summer!

Celeste

Your Life is a Gift

Celeste podcast
About two years ago, the Lord put it on my heart to start a podcast. And I’ve been thinking and praying about it ever since! At the beginning of the year I felt like it was time to start. Here’s Podcast #1- Your Life is a Gift. And we hope to have them up on Itunes by next week so you can subscribe. I will start writing every Monday and Podcasting every Wednesday. This is new to me, so it is a work in progress! They will usually last between 7-10 minutes. It’s a way to get a dose of weekly encouragement, and to be challenged to be all that God has called us to be (Your best brave). So grab a cup of coffee and your journal, and enjoy! (Would love to hear your feedback- feel free to comment and share!)

I’m 40

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It’s not getting older that scares me. I’m actually okay with that. Do you want to know what really scares me? It’s getting to the end of my race and not making a difference in peoples lives. We were born to make a difference.

Had a light bulb moment today. My husband sent me off to Barnes & Noble for my 40th birthday (he is a good man). I’m driving along the freeway in my mini-van listening to the radio and an old familiar song came on. Just like certain foods can stir up a childhood memory, a familiar song can also bring about an emotion. ‘I don’t want to go through the motions’ by Matthew West. I was reminded of a few years back singing this song with such passion and conviction. And even as the years have passed, I hear it fresh all over again. I don’t want to go through the motions. I don’t want to get through another 5 years and ask myself if I’ve made a difference. Since it’s my 40th birthday today and I consider this a milestone, I have chosen to take some time to self-reflect.

I have been to my share of funerals and weddings over the past few years. I leave both feeling inspired- A celebration of the beginning together and a celebration of a life well lived. It’s the life well lived part that has been swirling around in my brain lately. And let’s just say (hypothetically) I live until around 80ish. Folks, I’m around the halfway mark. I want my life to matter. I want my life to make a difference. And what I’ve come to realize over the years is that we need to imagine how we see our lives in another 20, 25, 30 years down the line and envision what we hope people will say about us and begin to live it today.

Here’s my list that holds me accountable for how I ought to be living today. Some of these things I’m already doing and some of them I’m not. I encourage you to write your own list because if affects how you choose to live each day.

 These are words I hope will be spoken at the end of my race (or perhaps just a birthday party when I’m much older) from my kids, my husband, my friends, and my family:

She put God first.

She inspired me to live for God.

She would always talk about God- not her religion, but her relationship with Him.

She wasn’t perfect, and she showed me that it’s okay to not be perfect.

She showed unconditional love.

We always knew that we were loved.

She was always there for us. We knew we were important to her.

She didn’t take herself too seriously.

She made me laugh.

She enjoyed the journey.

She was real.

She did things even if they scared her.

She pursued God for herself and for her family.

She was so encouraging.

She lived an authentic, vulnerable life.

Her stories made it okay to tell my stories.

She would always steer me back to God’s Word.

Even when she didn’t know how things would turn out, she trusted God.

She always tried to be there for me.

She was a great listener.

She used the gifts God gave her for His glory.

I don’t want to go through the motions. As I was driving in the car, listening to my song, I said, “God, I just want to make a difference, whatever that looks like for me.” I want to push myself and do things I’m afraid of, so that others would be challenged and inspired to truly live this life to the fullest, being all that they were called to be. I want to leave a legacy. I want to be a lover of life. I want to stay amazed at the miracle of life and the miracles that are in our everyday.

We are called to be a light and make a difference. I don’t want to wake up in 20 years with regrets of what I wished I had done. I want to do it- even if it scares the snot out of me. Romans 8:31- What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

So what’s going to be my focus in the coming years? Well, spending time with the Lord of course, but after that? People. Because I believe that just like time with the Lord is never wasted time, time with people is also never wasted time. And honestly, people make my life rich. I love my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends so much. Every time I’m able to have a connection with someone, I feel refreshed. When I speak, I feel such love for God’s people. When I write, I write with people on my heart- to bring hope. When I think about my husband and I having a Ranch, a place of ministry, I think about the people and the lives that God’s going to change. You see, I have my own stories of people that have come into my life when I was a wild, rebellious young thing and the mark those people left on my life. I am forever changed because someone decided to invest into my life. Those stories are a part of who I am. And I hope at the end of my journey that people will stand and say the same thing. “Her story affected my story…”

At the end of this crazy life, I’m not going to wish I had more things to clutter up my house, more cute outfits, a big house or a super nice car. Nope. I’m going to hope that I have made a difference in the lives of others. I’m going to hope that I had valued my family more than all of my projects and made them feel important. It’s the relationships here on this earth that have eternal value, not the stuff, not the projects. Because really, what is the greatest of all commandments? Matthew 22:37-40 (MSG)-Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

…..everything in God’s Law and Prophets hangs from them….

So here’s to the second half of this crazy, amazing, messy miracle called life. May we all love well.

Now get out there and live!

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Psalms 90:12- Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.