Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Summertime Steadiness

Is anyone else having trouble finding routine in the craziness that is summer 2020?

I am a planner. Yes, I still carry around a paper planner. I have a dry-erase calendar on the wall for my family. I like to know what to expect and when to expect it. I cannot remember a time in my life that was so up in the air, so uncertain, so scary.

There is so much uncertainty about our future. So many decisions for parents to make about school... Virtual school, private school online, Send my kids to brick and mortar that's open, homeschool them? Decisions about activities in these last few weeks of summer-- Do we go on vacation? If we go, we have to wear a mask 24/7, how will that be fun? Can we swim in the resort pool or go to the beach without wearing a mask? Will it be safe to put my children at risk? Do we stay at home? How many more times can I hear the kids favorite movie? How many times do I need to remind the kids to do their daily responsibilities?

I have so many mixed emotions. I'm sure you do too. If you don't, you must be a robot of some kind. While I am uncertain, one thing I do know, is that God knows what the future holds. He also told us that we will have trouble(John 16). So, what did I do to ease my stress? I started diggin' into my bible to see what God tells us about being steadfast.

1Corinthians 15:58 says Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

And one of my all-time favorites--
Phillipians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything  by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I also was reading in Ruth about Naomi- and it struck me differently this time. I love the story of Naomi in the bible- and how her story encourages me to remain steadfast in my faith.  Her story encourages me to rest assured that God provides for the restoration and redemption of all of his people.  Naomi wasn't naive to her bitterness- She told others, showed us through her story, and even blamed the Lord and said that "He has afflicted me; the Almighty as brought misfortune upon me" (Ruth 1:20-21)

But, in the end, what happened? God didn't snap his fingers and change her life-- he restored her  and redeemed her through the laws and faithfulness of his people.

I believe that this time in history may be one of the hardest our generation goes through... and God may not snap his fingers tomorrow and make it all better. However, I encourage you to trust in Him. Believe in His truth's. With thanksgiving, put your trust in him and let God know what you need. If I have learned one thing about trials (and believe me, I have seen my share of hard times), God doesn't always answer my prayers in the way I want.  He does, however, always shows himself. His blessings overcome the hardships. His ways are better than my own, and I know my life would be so much harder without His Peace and Joy that He instills in my heart.

So, I encourage you-- When you struggle making plans, when you can't fill in your calendar the way you like, and when you're discouraged... SEEK HIM. Hold tight to his Steadiness. Be steadfast in your FAITH. God never waivers, never fails, and always has a plan--even if we can't see it clearly.

And if you're in a season of waiting, hold onto your babies. Watch The Greatest Showman for the 2,427th time. Eat some chocolate. Drink some coffee.

And for goodness sake, hold on to your faith my friend. Hold on tight.

Monday, June 22, 2020

In His Shadow

The past 15 weeks, we have been under "Stay At Home" advice from our government.  State, City, and County officials have all told us that Shelter In Place is best for us.  Face Masks are required here in our city to go anywhere.  Stores are making sure people social distance.  We finished up the School semester at home.  Summer is different than we've ever experienced. Our life is not normal, but there is hope.

The bible tells us in Psalm 91 that "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty".  

This brought a specific visual to mind. 

 The day was Halloween 2019. We were trick-or-treating with friends in a neighborhood a couple blocks away. This neighborhood is a giant circle and they block the street off every year for trick-or-treaters. Most are families with little kids, but intertwined are teenagers and adults with scary costumes.  I had the wagon, and Paxton (my youngest) was in it most of the time. I got him out to walk up the driveway of this large house that was lit-up well.  I was walking right behind him, smiling and giggling at his excitement to get free candy. He wasn't quite 2 years old and everything in the world was exciting and fun to him. He had no fear of danger at all.  

As we got closer, what I thought was a "scarecrow" was actually a person dressed up and standing still to scare kids that came up to the house.  Pax turned around and immediately grabbed my right leg and while he held on for dear life, we kept walking to get candy.  He walked in my "shadow" and held on tightly because he knew he would be safe with me. 

We grabbed his candy and he turned around and reached up and said "Hold You".  He had his candy and was done with the "scaries".  He never questioned for one second that he would be safe with me. I am his Mommy. He trusts me.  He has no reason to fear as long as he is holding onto me and walking in my shadow. 

When I read Psalm 91, for the first time during this pandemic, I couldn't help but cry.  I thought of The Lord, My Abba Father, My protector, my leg to hold onto.  I was so thankful that even though I didn't know what the future held, He does.  I trust him. 

This time of uncertainty is hard for many people. I'm sure you may have struggled at some point during the last 15 weeks or so.  I don't know what your needs are, but rest assured that HE does.  Seek him and hold onto him. 

Rest in His shadow.

Friday, July 26, 2019


I'm so thankful for this blog.

I sat down this morning to start a new blog. Then I decided I'll just be authentic with you all.

There are so many times I've said "I'm going to start writing again". Life happens. The writing doesn't.

I don't regret anything. This blog is a the story of our life. Some was written, some wasn't. This is testament to our life, the Story God has written for our family. His goodness and blessings are poured out in the posts. Pain and sorrow, lessons learned, and crazy and/or thrilling life changes have been documented.

There is a vulnerability in writing. Once it's written, it's there.

I have been writing in journals consistently, and I may start copying them into this blog.

For now, a new season is here.

My three big kids will be heading back to school in a couple of weeks. It'll just be me and the tiny dude. I'm not even sure if I posted about him! We have FOUR KIDS now!

I'm praying and hoping that writing consistently will help me continue to fulfill my purpose.

My hope (through the blog) is that somehow, the posts on this blog will inspire, uplift and encourage. Uplift people who are hurting. Inspire those who long to create. Encourage those who want to move forward, fulfill their purpose and nurture their relationship with Christ.

Thanks for those of you who still subscribe and read this ole' thing.

Welcome to those of you who didn't know this existed. May you be blessed!

Cheers (with a coffee mug in hand) to this new beautiful season.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Creative Mama Podcast

I had the pleasure and honor of being interviewed by Creative Mama Podcast.  If you are stuck in the mundane tasks of motherhood and need an uplifting word of encouragement or, if you would just love to hear our story, I know you'll enjoy the podcast. I hope and pray it's a blessing to you. Have a super week!

**Click the link below**
Creative Mama Podcast

We've Moved to FLORIDA!

What?! You read that correctly! We are now residents of Florida. --and that's not all that's happened... We've added a new bundle of JOY to our family! It's been way too long since I've written, but I feel the Lord calling me to document our lives again.  I have a passion for helping Women (mom's especially) find Joy in the every day moments of Life. Hopefully, this blog will help some mama's along the way find that JOY.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dear Mom to a Toddler...

It's Christmastime. Go easy on yourself.  Don't think you have to do EVERYTHING social media tells you to do.  Don't think you have to create every recipe on Facebook that looks amazing.  Please, for the love of everything that's right and pure, do NOT make every kind of Christmas craft with your kids that you've pinned on Pinterest. They won't remember it anyway. 

When you take your kids for an ice cream treat and your toddler picks the blue ice cream, don't freak out that she might ruin her clothes.  And for the Love, when she decides (after eating half of her ice cream) that she instead wanted the orange one, don't loose your cool.  It's not worth it.  If you do, it is OKAY. Your child will still love you anyway.  She will also love you if you don't give in and let her have the orange ice cream as well.   

When you check out at the grocery store and she wants candy or gum, or whatever else the store puts at her eye level, you CAN SAY NO. She will survive. I promise you that. And guess what!? YOU WILL TOO. What's that? She will scream or cry?  That's okay. I guarantee your child won't be the first one who cries in Walmart because she didn't get her way.  

Don't be too hard on yourself when she cries all the way home because you had to buckle her in her car seat, then throws a fit because you take her out of her car seat and she wanted to DO IT HERSELF. She is only two.  She is not a reflection of your love or parenting. She is learning limits.  She is figuring out she has a "will". She thinks she has an opinion.

When she opens a present under the tree. Re-wrap it. Put it back. Make her wait for Christmas. She will learn good things come with patience.

DRINK A CUP OF COFFEE or wine, or whatever your poison may be.  Eat yourself a piece of chocolate. Count to ten. Do whatever it takes to cool down. 

Love your child.  They will grow out of that stage. I promise.  I have witnessed it.  YOU will survive.  Sometimes, you don't feel like it-- but I promise you, you will.

And for the Love, put the tv on for your child and take a shower!  You need it!

This parenting stuff isn't easy.  Toddlers are just down-right hard.  Let's just all admit it to ourselves. Let's help our friends out. Encourage one another. Stop the mom-shaming people.

And when you're trying to write a blog, and your toddler needs your arm for a slide for her hotwheels to roll down, just take a break. She will only be little for a short time.  Play cars with her.  Have a tea party next to the Christmas tree. Let her have the Christmas washi tape you purchased for those cards you didn't send.  Let her stick it to the table.

And above all else...

Give yourself a break. Keep your Joy Mommas!

**Disclaimer, no children were hurt in the writing of this blog. These examples may or may not be true life examples from my life. You decide. #hazelwashere

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hey Hillary!

When I was 16 years old, my dad came up to me (i was sitting outside writing in my journal).  He said to me, "Honey, don't ever write anything you don't want anyone to read. One day we will be gone, but our words will be left.  Your great grandkids will read everything."

This was the age before social media, before emails were used daily.  This was before texting and video chatting, snapchat and instagram. 

Pen to paper.

Regardless the era  circumstance, that statement full of wisdom made an impact on me. 

I have never written anything I wouldn't mind people reading.  When our home burned 4 years ago, I mourned the loss of all my journals. I had my quiet time journals, journals for my kids -i wrote down their milestones and the funny things they said. I had blessing journals. Journals where I wrote thanks to the Lord for providing in unusual ways, little blessings I didn't want to forget.  I guess a part of me wanted my kids to read those one day and realize how influencing The Lords presence was in our life.

Anyway, Since that day in 1998, I never wrote anything I didn't want people to read. 

Hillary, you may want to heed this advice.  First of all, it's thousands of emails.  Not just one email.  And supposedly, they are things that could incriminate you.  Did you really thing no one would ever read your emails? Oh wait, I guess you did because, YOU DELETED THEM. Really?   I'm not sure I want a president who is so naive and careless.

I guess it's not up to me, but people let's take my dad's advice...

Teenagers, don't text things to one girlfriend you don't want the other girlfriend to know.
Husbands, don't text inappropriate things to women who aren't your wife.
Wives, don't text complaints to your friends about your husband.

 PEOPLE, for the love, Don't write things in emails you don't want people to read, then delete them.  That seems pretty simple.

      Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
  • The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    Ecclesiastes 9:17 (NIV)
    • The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

Summertime Steadiness

Is anyone else having trouble finding routine in the craziness that is summer 2020? I am a planner. Yes, I still carry around a paper planne...