Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nitty Gritty Mom

I have have been a mommy for a little over 2 years

That's 28 months

Which is 876 days

Or you could say 21,024 hours

When broken down like that it doesnt seem all that long.

But I feel like it was a lifetime ago that it was the two of us. Before Ethan.

Now to warn you I'm about to go all mom on you... So if you are a guy this may not be entertaining... If you have no interest to face the reality of being a mom...Or if you don't want to read my mom confessions....

Then this post is not for you ::smile::

I'm laughing here... Oh boy...

So I was doing laundry...I noticed my underwear.

They are quite... Eh worn

I told J I really needed to get some underwear.

He asked when was the last time I had gotten any new ones...

I had to literally sit down and think. Think. And think.

Oh moms...I really hope I'm not alone here.

I have not bought new undies since I was pregnant with E.

What in the world is wrong with me?

I started to think... When did I by last bra?

Two years ago!?

When did I buy my last pair of decent shoes?

May 2014... And they were a present.

When was the last time I had a professional hair cut?

Summer... Over 9 months ago


J was all, "that is going to change" "you need to take care of yourself" ....

All I could think of was the book party coming up and how I was going to budget for Ethan to these great alphabet cards... And he needs bigger shirts... J needs some more t-shirts

You see the pattern here?

I know I'm not alone. I seen my mom do these same things.

She would wear her Ked's until they were sporting  holes.


This is a picture of  my family (minus my older sister) circa 1993-94.

This is one of favorite pictures.

Guys, I had a great mom. I wrote a whole post about her in my post I am determined

We as moms are born with this drive to do the best for our kids

When I see my mom in this picture I see a mom who made sure everyone got their matching outfits
Perfect hair
Fanny pack

Then there was no desire to make herself look perfect or there wasn't enough time. If I remember correctly we probably had new clothes on for the vacation and my mom is wearing one of my dad's older shirts.

My mom is beautiful isn't she? She still is.

But as I've been working on this blog post a scripture keeps coming to my heart

Mark 12:30-31
Love the Lord with all your heart
Love your neighbor as yourself

When Jesus says this I don't think he means be haughty or prideful.

But to realize your worth in Christ.

Your made in his image... He loves you.

You are a priority to him!

Listen, I get it...I am one of those moms that my kid is my life. Josh and I enjoy him so much. We adore him.

But I want him to see me love myself so that he has a healthy view of what a mother and wife look like.

Moms... It's okay to buy ourselves underwear or get a new bra. Stop feeling guilty.

Invest in yourself.

If that means needing a morning away so you can spend some time in the Bible or in prayer

If that means going to counseling ... Having a mental wellness day

Sometimes that means saying no to all the "stuff" your kids do not need

It's important that we see our value... Our sons, daughters, niece's, and nephews are watching.

So this Valentine's day love yourself single, married, in a relationship... Love yourself... Than do as Christ says go shower love on someone else.

My love to everyone!

Aunt LaLa

PS Check out J's YouTube channel "Sometimes I Say Things" .... Video below is a collaboration with us talking about one of our favorite things....food! Top 5 burgers and sandwiches with special guest Aunt Lala


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Moving Forward

I admire my cousin. She lost her husband last year. His birthday was this last month.

In a post she wrote that she wasn't moving on but she was moving forward.

Life continues, it doesn't stop for your crisis, grief, problems, delays... It just goes.

It is really inconsiderate like that.

I think one of the most difficult things to process for me this last season of my life was that very thing- moving forward.

I dug my heels and refused to move until I was ready.

Which trying to do that with a toddler that is one of my greatest joys in life is almost impossible.

I felt guilt for not thinking of Little Bit...Or being happy.

Then there are times when guilt comes because I have not "moved on" or "counted my blessings"

This journey has been more difficult in some ways than losing Hope... And in someways it's been easier

It hurts my heart that I have two babies in Heaven. Not just hurt... Its broken... But it's held together with love.

Wow that does sound cheesy... But it's true.

Love.
Being loved.
Loving others.

Love has been my lifeline.

It's been difficult at times when no one seems to remember Little Bit. Which I know they do... But it's not the same for parents who lost.

Everyone around us is in love with our E.

He just shines so brightly! His personality keeps us laughing.

But there are times when I miss our two little angels.

Times when grief snuffs the laughter I had just moments before

Times when tears pour down my face

I recently took out Little Bit's ultrasound. Held it close.

It is the only tangible thing I have of Little Bit.


Over this last month I've been working on coming to terms with moving forward.

It is tough.

There has been so many emotions to work through.

But last Sunday at the alter I really feel like I was able to heal a little...

Then at Monday night prayer someone shared with me that as I hold and protect Ethan is what my heavenly Father does for me. As I love Ethan is how God loves me...I needed that more than anyone knows.

God loves us more than we can imagine...

There are other things that are moving forward but more on that in another blog.

My love to everyone!

If there is something that I could pray for or stand in agreement please message me!

Xoxo



Friday, January 27, 2017

Reprieve

Happy Friday!!

For the last 21 days I've been apart of a fast... 

What is a fast? 

Glad you asked...

To me personally it means to set aside something that I enjoy. A sacrifice. In place of this thing replace it with prayer and time with God. 

I feel it is like an extra "umph" to my prayers and petition with God. Like shooting a flare gun to Heaven...

I am not a scholar and that my friend is the best I way I can explain it in layman's terms.

It's not something to treat lightly...Or to get attention ( Jesus teaches against that in Matthew 6:5) 

It's a personal thing between you and God. 

At the first of every year of church does this fast together. And we see God move in such a mighty way.

He honors our sacrifices. 

But it's been painful too... At least for me. 

As I replaced my idol time with time in the Bible and praying there were things in my spirit that were not pleasing to God. Certain things that had to be dealt with

In John 3:30 it says "more of him less of me"

That can hurt. I'm not done by any means... There are several things I'm working through. 

It has been so refreshing. Not dealing with the pettiness and self absorbed world of social media. 

Let's just say it was perfect timing with the transition of Presidents...

I want more sustenance in my life... And be present for my family. 

If you want to know more about fasting this was an interesting post:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fasting-for-beginners


Here are some scripture reading:
1 Corinthians 7:5
Acts 14:23
Esther 4:16
Luke 2:37
Psalm 69:10
Luke 4 (Jesus fasting)

Just a tip read these scriptures in context... Read the before and after. 

If you have questions or want to know more feel free to contact me

If I can help pray for anything I'm here

Xoxo
LALA

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Is this the answer?

My last post was not a happy one or really all that joyful was it?

When I wrote No Answers I was in a rough place.

This has been a trying year. A year of death, loss, trial after trial.

At one point we owned three cars and not one was dependable. It was like a comedy and we were the punch line.

Honestly with December came this feeling of hopelessness.

I felt desperate to feel some sort of soothing balm to my open wounds.

I have seen my sweet cousin lose her husband, Brian. 

A young woman who was 25 die of cancer leaving three young children behind.

We lost a pillar of our church, a man well into his nineties. He was and is dearly loved.

A little child burned

Children taken from their mother

My sweet husband has lost two aunts and an uncle this year....

My sister was in a car accident and if not for the wonder of Doctors would have been permanently paralyzed...

We lost our Little Bit, and a few months earlier a cousin lost her baby

I know I am not alone in saying 2016 has been a rough year.

The final straw that broke me and made me feel defeated were the wild fires here in East Tennessee.

This is my home. There was so much loss, death, and devastation. I cried for two days. We have so many memories in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I felt there was devastation all around me.

There for a minute (more like a few weeks) , the enemy had me. He had me believing there was no use, he had  me doubting everything I stand for, he had me wondering what is the point?, that I was never going to feel happy again...

I think the most awful feeling is being disconnected with God.

Doubting him. and not just a thought here or there but it started to take root.

I was standing in Sunday services and crying because I just needed God's help. I wanted to have these weights off my shoulders and legs.

I had a baby boy watching me and a husband who needs me. I could not abandon the one thing that has always sustained me...

Then something happened.

Our church put on a Christmas play, and it was actually written as a joint effort. Everyone collaborated and added their own take on the character they were playing.

I wrote two scenes toward the end of the play.

I wanted to write something that would be meaningful since I was playing the Christian trying to encourage others during a tragedy. The scene I wrote involved a the principle who was an atheist because of her being sexually assaulted as a young girl... she wondered where God was... this is a snippet of that scene...

DEVILLE: Then you explain to me where God was when I was just a young girl? When I was brutally attacked? Where was He then? I’ll tell you, He was nowhere and my innocence was stolen. I knew after that there was no loving God.
 MRS. LAWSON: I am so sorry that happened to you. I cannot tell you that I understand God's ways. His ways are not our own. But there is evil in this world and sometimes we come in contact with darkest of it. But when I lost my baby...
 DEVILLE: Your Baby?
MRS. LAWSON: Yes, my baby. I felt lost and hopeless. I questioned everything. But I was reminded of Christ and his disciples. And all they suffered in the name of God. Not turning their backs when they face persecution and death. Then I remembered all the other times I had seen God's hand in my life.
 DEVILLE: I heard the scripture that Janice quoted, has it been like that for you?
MRS. LAWSON: At first it wasn't but God restored my heart. And once I took the step toward healing, only then the burden of grief and heartache was replaced with peace and joy again.
DEVILLE: I do want that, but I just don't know that I’m ready and quite honestly, I don't know if God will even want to hear me.
MRS. LAWSON: He still loves you, he has never left. He is waiting for you and all you have to do is ask him

My dear friend played Deville, and I was Mrs. Lawson. Both of were telling real stories and real feelings... and we were both in tears. The moment this scene happened I felt something deep in my soul. When I made the proclamation of giving it to God and in return he gave me peace and joy again... I felt the weights leave.

It was a powerful moment for us both. And I know God ordained that moment... not only that moment but the whole play.

At the end of the play characters came to surrender their lives to Christ at the alter... which moved others in the audience to come as well. At the alter it hit me... I felt God healing me heart. I felt his presence around me. And he sent a friend to pray with me and I felt renewed again.

James 1:2-7
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 

I felt HOPE.  This scripture is one I've heard a million times, I have taught on it, I have qouted it. But as I felt God show me what to write he brought some things to my attention. One very big thing.. in verse 6 it says if you have doubt you are like wave tossed by the wind... I was feeling that way. The doubt and hopelessness I felt made me feel lost... a wave has no aim it is just moved by the wind.  Here and there. No purpose.

That is how I felt...

But not anymore!

Did you know my grandfather was healed from cancer this year?
Did you know someone gave us a car this year?
And when that one did not work God opened a door for us to get a great SUV?
Did you know that my brother got engaged to a wonderful girl?
Did you know that my non verbal autistic nephew asked for me?!
Did you know that I watched my 8 year old niece pray for her dad?
Did you know that our very dear friends are going to foster to adopt?
Did you know that a little girl is safer now?

He has provided, healed, delivered, saved, rescued.... Yes we faced some tough stuff. But even in the darkness he is our light.

Does it still hurt? Yes. Will I still cry? Yes.

But oh my dear friends, I have never been more thankful than I am this Christmas!

We have a savior who offers us so much more than this world

Merry Christmas my readers!!! I Love you! I really do. I pray 2017 would be better and you would be closer to him who saves us.... in him is where our HOPE is and forever will be!

He is my answer to this life. He can be yours too.

All my love,






Thursday, December 22, 2016

No Answers

Last year around August I started bringing up the subject about having another baby.

At first Josh was not keen on the idea. For several reason, those are not mine to share. When January came around so did Josh.

We decided after an appointment with our Dr that we would try to get pregnant.

We did. Then we lost our baby.

I write this because I really pray for God's guidance in my life.

Yes, I am one of those people... I actually believe God cares about my life and my decisions. And he has something to say about them too.

I have been trying to do my devotional every morning before Ethan wakes up. I'm usually successful in finishing praying.

I really felt like God wanted us to try again. And I really prayed hard.

We went through so much with Ethan after he was born and I did NOT, let me express this again DID NOT want to have to go through that again. NO.

I was scared the entire time I was pregnant. Then after he was born, we almost lost him.

Today while I was fixing E breakfast I had a thought...

Why, if I was just going to lose Little Bit, did you want us to get pregnant again?

That made no sense to me.

I can honestly say over coming my anger has been difficult. I have really felt disgust.

I have no answers...

It does seem cruel to me.

I am just being honest.

Angry...hurt...bitter...broken...alone...

All feelings that I have tried so hard to battle....But God had his own lesson for me to learn and he taught me through our Christmas play at church...

I started this post before our Christmas play at church... and so this is just part one. I plan to post the second part to this on Christmas Eve.

Please read it. I know that God has all this interwoven together for a reason.

Before I end this I am going to leave you with this scripture... a scripture that is tough to swallow.


James 1:2-8New King James Version (NKJV

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nine Years

Today I celebrate an answered prayer. 

I started to pray for my future spouse at fourteen. That may seem young to you and it was young. 

But from a very young age (obviously)  I dreamed of my prince Charming...to feel those butterflies that all those romantic movies gave me with a real person. 

As I grew older I desperately wanted someone to love me... 

I wanted someone who would take care of me, who loved me for me.

Not what I could give them. 

I wrote about how Josh and I met and you can read all that HERE

Today it has been nine years that I said 'I do' to the Love of my life. 

We had a whirlwind romance and it swept us up and carried us quickly to the alter

Four months actually from our first date we were on our honeymoon. 

I know that there were naysayers, and I know that some had doubts. 

That is okay. 

Because Josh and I knew we were meant to be. We knew God put us together. 

We have went through some really tough stuff. 

We have lost jobs... friends... our babies...

We have been victorious and gained better jobs... our precious son... greater relationships

But here we are on the other side of our trials and joys and we stand strong. 

Through our greatest trials we have clung on to each other and most importantly we have kept God first. 

I pray that my single friends and family find this kind of love that we have. 

But be prepared... fight for it... learn... communicate...compromise

Josh is one my greatest blessings. I love him and he is my best friend... 

He encourages me in all decisions, he works hard to support his family. 

He is gentle but manly all in one. 

I kind of adore him. 

I love his jokes that usually no one gets to hear 
I love the way he pesters me - mostly
I love his bear hugs
I love spirit
I love his commitment to God

He is an amazing daddy. 

And after this year I am not taking anything for granted. 

I really and truly can say that 14 year old girl back in 1999 got her prince Charming...

Happy Anniversary my Love!! oxoxox




Thursday, November 24, 2016

He knew what I needed

Happy Thanksgiving readers wherever you are.

As your reading this I'm celebrating with my family.

I said in my last post that I was working on a post about how God once again let me know "his eye is on the sparrow"

A couple weeks ago I was honored to fill in singing on our worship team. I love each opportunity that God gives me to use the gifts he has given me

Right before service started I stopped to talk to a young lady who often comes to our church. She had brought her newborn niece with her. Instantly I asked if I could hold her.

The moment that little girl was in my arms, something inside me broke. Not necessarily in a bad way but more of a wall grief had come crashing down.

In that instant I knew I wanted a baby again.

I want to hold our baby in my arms and cover her face with kisses.

This overwhelming feeling had me in tears... Struggling not to sob I headed to the stage and worshipped. I sang with all my heart.

After church I told Josh what I felt. We cried and held hands. Talked it out.

We decided that day we want to have another baby.

No matter how that happens. It may through adoption and it may be me becoming pregnant. All we know is that we want to continue this journey and one day give Ethan a sibling.

That day we met my in-laws for dinner at Cracker Barrel. After dinner we headed to the store part. As I'm looking one if the employees was stocking and I was looking these beautiful shirts (wishing I was a little richer)

The employees commented on how beautiful they were and I said something about wishing they were cheaper.

We began a conversation about her wanting to marry a man with money... She had been single for a number of years...that led us to talking about God's perfect timing.

She said that her son that she had given up for adoption found her five or so years ago after searching for her after thirteen years.
With big tears her eyes she looked at me and said, "God always works things out in his perfect timing"

I agreed with her, and said I've learned that many times.

She gave me a big hug, and I told her that we lost our baby and it's been so rough.
She had been there and said

"No matter big or small, 6 weeks to giving birth, that was your baby. He will work it, in his way his timing"

I walked away from that conversation feeling like God was saying "I see you, I hear you, your important to me"

I'm not a second thought to God! I'm important to him, I'm a priority to him.

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful that I'm a mommy to my baby boy. I'm thankful for my husband is such a great man. Dad. Husband.

I'm thankful that I have my grandfather still with us after a very hard year health wise. And thankful for my grandmother who has had to fight along side of him and be the caretaker.

I'm thankful for my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my aunt's and uncles, cousins...

I'm thankful for my church family

I'm thankful for my readers, your 
comments and messages keep me writing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! ❤❤❤❤