Friday, April 08, 2016

Looking for Teacher Stories



Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6. I am looking for stories to share on the blog about a favorite memory of a teacher.  If you have one to share, please let me know.

Five Minute Friday: Whole


Welcome to this space devoted to Five Minute Friday, a time of taking a one word prompt and writing for five minutes.  Sounds simple enough.  Just enough time to let words flow. No overthinking. No editing (although the writing teacher in me has to correct mechanics).  Just writing. For me, seeing how God uses that one word.

Ready? Here we go.


I feel like something is missing, that I'm incomplete in some way.  There's no denying what it is.  When I think the reason, I feel the tears coming. I remember what took you away from me.   I never knew you this side of heaven.  Not physically anyway.  But emotionally, in my heart.  That's different.  I was so excited about you. Couldn't wait to meet you and introduce you to your big brothers.  I didn't care if you were a boy or a girl.  I just wanted you.  A healthy you.

But

I'm incomplete.  I'm not whole.

You left us before we even held you. Before you were really able to grow and develop in my womb.

But

You are such a part of me.

Because of Jesus, I have the hope of  tomorrow.  I have the hope that one day, a glorious day in heaven, that I will hold you. I will finally hold you.


I think about today.  We should have a birthday celebration. You'd be two years old.  As a mama of three already, I know what that age brings. What a blessing that age is.  And.....this year is incomplete. Not whole.

But

Because of Jesus, that hole in my heart is filled by hope.  Hope that I will see you, hold you, and be made whole.



Thank you for joining me for this FMF post. Don't forget to head over to my friend Kate's page to join in.  

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Even If Not

Back in August, I was fortunate enough to attend the first ever (and perhaps only) Five Minute Friday Retreat.  I met close to 20 amazing strangers who will forever have a place in my heart.  One of my roommates that weekend was Kaitlyn Bouchillon.  And ya'll, Kaitlyn published her first book this year.  


I have just finished reading this precious book, Even If Not.  And I feel led to share one of my even if not moments with you.

I'm a planner. It's not my job, but I love to plan.....parties, events, life.....putting details together to make something wonderful.  I had a plan for my life: marriage, teaching job, 3 kids (2 boys and a girl).  I had always believed that my plans would fall in line when God's timing was right and I would accept his timing.  That's what I said, and I also said I trusted Him.

After being married for a few years, my husband and I decided we wanted to start our family of 2 boys and a girl.  A friend of ours was trying to conceive as well and she was pretty upset that things weren't going as planned. She struggled to get pregnant.  I told her that the stress didn't help her and that God would make it happen when the time was right.  Words from a nonChristian to a Believer.

She soon became pregnant, and I thought, "See? I told you so!"

Then it was my turn.

After missing a period and taking about a million home pregnancy tests that were inconclusive, I made an appointment with my doctor to find out for sure.  I had convinced myself that if I wasn't pregnant, it would be ok and that it would happen at the right time.  I said I trusted God's plan.

I didn't.

I went to the doctor, took yet another pregnancy test, and was told, "No, honey, you are not pregnant."

My face grew hot and I felt outrage. What???? How could this be? I wanted to be pregnant!  I knew I had to be pregnant. They were wrong. God, why are you doing this to me??? I'm ready to be a mom.

I had always said I trusted God's plan and timing. This was the time to prove it and I failed miserably.  I raced out of that doctor's office, grabbed my husband, and took off for the car.  I was heartbroken. Angry.  Full of unbelief.

I had said that I trusted God even if I wasn't pregnant, and it was a lie.

At that point I realized the disbelief, and it hurt just as bad as not being pregnant.

Truth be told, I was pregnant. God didn't let me know until my first trimester was almost over.  Why? I don't know, but I think it was to help my with my disbelief.  Although I was not yet a Christian, those months were a growing time for me. Those months would shape my thoughts and beliefs for things I would experience later on.

When my second born would be rushed to NICU after birth, I had to believe.

When my third child was induced due to the loss of amniotic fluid, I had to believe.

When my husband was deployed to war, I had believe.

When my fourth pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I had to believe.

Each day, I have to believe, that even if God doesn't follow my plan, that He is still good.

And He is good, very good.

And I believe.


Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing your words and reminding us that we all have a story to tell....no....a story we must tell.  God works in all moments, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the messy.  When we are broken, He is there. When we are whole, He is there.  Even if life is not what we thought it would be, God is there. We tell these stories to share the love of Christ.  We weren't meant to keep them to ourselves. Share we must. Blog it.  Write it.  Tell it across the dinner table. Whisper it in the darkness. But share it.

Friends, get you a copy of Even If Not. Read it. Share it.  Tell your even if not story.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Fever Giveaway Winners


Thank you so much to everyone who donated prizes for this year's Spring Fever Giveaway.  I was thrilled with the response. I am looking forward to next year's giveaway already!  But I know what you are waiting for.....

The winners are...

Day 1
Ann - Carrot Door Hanger from Creations by Bonnie

Day 2 
LeeAnn - Hand Made Dress from The 7 Year Adventure

Day 3
Angela - Monogrammed Towel from Barn Door Designs
Ashley - Monogrammed Shirt from Rachel

Day 4
Cari - 3D Fiber Lashes from Younique
Christina - $20 Gift Certificate from Mary Kay

Day 5
Barb - Bracelet from KEEP Collective
Pam - Necklace from Mustard Seed Market


Congratulations to each of you.  Please check your email for a message from me and how to get your prize.

Again, thank you to all the prize donors.  You are greatly appreciated!



Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Fever Giveaway: Mustard Seeds of Faith


I can't believe it's here.....the final day of the Spring Fever Giveaway.  I seriously hope you have enjoyed reading about some of my favorite people, items, small businesses, and blogs.  I've enjoyed sharing with you and have been saddened that I couldn't enter to win these amazing prizes!

Today, I have two special treats for you......Who am I kidding??? All of the prizes have been special.

Our first prize comes from one of the newest small businesses in my hometown, Mustard Seed Market.  Mustard Seed Market is located on the square in historic downtown Franklin, Kentucky.  The Market features art, handmade items, vintage and one-of-a-kinds along with boutique ladies clothing (and plus size clothing), jewelry and accessories.




When I drive by, my purse is calling out to me, "STOP! You need that ---- in the window!" I even want the lawn chairs on the sidewalk, so bad in fact that I made my teenage son take a picture of them as we drove by so I could tell my husband!


One of our prizes today is this lovely necklace from Mustard Seed Market. Isn't it precious?
You will definitely want to check out Mustard Seed Market on Facebook and Instagram.  


Our last prize is from a dear sweet friend of mine. Krista and I met at church and we both share the amazing calling of being the mom of 3 boys!  I love her dearly and am blessed to know her.  Recently, Krista has become a KEEP Collective Designer.  I'm fairly new to this beautiful jewelry, not sure my words could do it justice, but I do know the pieces are lovely and unique.  


Today, Krista is offering you this lovely bracelet below.





To enter to win one of these lovely pieces of jewelry. Complete the Rafflecopter options below.  Good luck. And a special thank you to Mustard Seed Market and Krista from KEEP Collective for donating today's prizes.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Disclaimer***This giveaway is in no way affiliated with any person, company, organization, website, or other group other than the blog owner and the individuals donating prizes. The Spring Fever Giveaway is just a fun way to get excited about spring. Those donating prizes are NOT being paid and are doing this for fun and to get a little free publicity.  All winners will be contacted with information on how to redeem their prizes.




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Announcing Giveaway Winners


Winners are selected at the end of each giveaway and will be notified promptly by email to get contact information. However, winners will be announced publicly after the final giveaway, possibly as late as Monday.  Enjoy today and Friday's giveaways!


Spring Fever Giveaway: Touch of Beauty


Welcome to Day 4 of the Spring Fever Giveaway.  I hope you are enjoying coming back each day for a chance to win a new prize. I've enjoyed sharing with you!

Today, you have the chance to win one of two prizes.  

Our first prize is donated by Independent Mary Kay Consultant Stephanie McMillan. Stephanie and I go way back.....all the way to cheering for the Rams during Pee Wee football as 5th graders.  Today, Stephanie is offering one of you a.......   


$20 Mary Kay Gift Certificate

And if you are the winner and live locally, you have the opportunity to meet with Stephanie for a FREE FACIAL.

Don't forget to visit Stephanie on Facebook and check out her official Mary Kay page




Our next prize is donated by one of my fabulous coworkers Megan Goodman who is a consultant for Younique. Megan has fallen in love with Younique's products and is offering one of the most popular (and it really catches my attention) items.  

You have the opportunity to win the Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. 


I'm amazed at how this kit transforms eye lashes!

Be sure you check out Megan's Glamour Bar on Facebook and her Younique Page for other great items. 

So there you have it.....two great prizes up for grabs.  Use the Rafflecopter options below to enter. Two winners will be chosen. One will receive the Mary Kay Gift Certificate and the other will win the 3D Fiber Lashes kit.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



***Disclaimer***This giveaway is in no way affiliated with any person, company, organization, website, or other group other than the blog owner and the individuals donating prizes. The Spring Fever Giveaway is just a fun way to get excited about spring. Those donating prizes are NOT being paid and are doing this for fun and to get a little free publicity.  All winners will be contacted with information on how to redeem their prizes.







Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Spring Fever Giveaway: Monograms Are the Thing!


Welcome to Day 3 of the Spring Fever Giveaway!  

About a year ago, I really wanted to get a monogrammed shirt.  I was really nervous about it because most of the girls wearing them were a little younger than me.  So, I asked my husband, "Do you think I am too old to wear a monogram?"  You know that funny look you just got on your face from reading that question? Well, he gave me that look too. He convinced me that this ol' lady would be fine wearing a shirt with my monogram.  So, I ordered one and FELL IN LOVE!  I now have two pullovers, a ball cap, and a rain jacket.  I'm hooked!

As for today's giveaway.....

Make it two!

Yes! 

I have two former students who are providing prizes for today's giveaway. 

First,  I'd like to introduce you to Rachel.  Rachel has recently started a small business making monogrammed items and decals.  She's one of my former students and a former member of our youth group at church, and she's made me proud! I've loved seeing her items posted online. Here are some of her creations....





Although Rachel doesn't have an "official" online business, I can definitely get you in contact with her if you see something you like.  In the meantime....

 Rachel is offering you a FREE monogrammed shirt!


You have the choice of a long or short sleeved shirt. I'm definitely going to need to get me one of these myself!


The next prize is donated from a young lady who was in my class when she was a third grader.  Katelyn is newly married and is the owner of  Barn Door Designs.  Among other things, she also works as a substitute teacher in our schools system. She has an Etsy shop with a wide variety of items.  You will definitely want to like BDDs Facebook and Instagram.  Katelyn is always posting something new and notifying her customers of her sales. All of my monogrammed items came from Barn Door Designs.  Here a few things you can find at the Barn Door Designs Etsy shop:


(I just ordered this today!)



Today, and just in time to get prepared for your Spring Break trip to the beach, Barn Door Designs is giving you the chance to win a monogrammed beach towel.



To enter today's giveaway, complete the Rafflecopter Giveaway options below. Thank you, Katelyn and Rachel for today's prizes. Two winners will be chosen.  One will receive the shirt and the other will receive the towel.  Be sure to note your preference when completing the Rafflecopter giveaway requirements.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***Disclaimer***This giveaway is in no way affiliated with any person, company, organization, website, or other group other than the blog owner and the individuals donating prizes. The Spring Fever Giveaway is just a fun way to get excited about spring. Those donating prizes are NOT being paid and are doing this for fun and to get a little free publicity.  All winners will be contacted with information on how to redeem their prizes.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Spring Fever Giveaway: 7 Year Adventure



Welcome to Day 2 of the Spring Fever Giveaway.  Today, I'd like to introduce you to Anna who blogs at The 7 Year Adventure.  I met Anna just a few years ago when her oldest daughter was in my 3rd grade class.  This amazing young woman is now a college graduate and newly married.  I was reintroduced to Anna after joining our church and was able to spend time with her during my first Bible study.

As for Anna's blog, she says,

"My core purpose in writing this blog is to change the perspective parents have of their children’s teen years. Let’s look at this sector of time as an adventure, something to embrace and enjoy!"
I have enjoyed reading Anna's blog and am excited to share that she has started an Exceptional Teen Feature that highlights the positive things that teenagers are doing.  As a mother of a teen, I love that Anna does this, to remind us all how amazing our teenagers are.

Not only does Anna write, she is also very creative.  And that's where today's giveaway comes in.  You have the opportunity to win a lovely, handmade dress for a toddler.  These are just some of the samples Anna has made.




Each dress is precious; however, this purple one is my absolute favorite and you can have it!


Size 18 months


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you, Anna, for donating such lovely prize!


Don't forget to sign up to receive blog updates from The 7 Year Adventure and follow the blog on Facebook. 


***Disclaimer***This giveaway is in no way affiliated with any person, company, organization, website, or other group other than the blog owner and the individuals donating prizes. The Spring Fever Giveaway is just a fun way to get excited about spring. Those donating prizes are NOT being paid and are doing this for fun and to get a little free publicity.  All winners will be contacted with information on how to redeem their prizes.