Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Lessons from the RV... my parents

I literally can NOT tell you how many times this past weekend that I thought, "I am SO blessed to have the parents I have."

These two!!!!  They are AMAZING parents!!! They started this parenting journey when they were just babies themselves:

They weathered tough things and grew up together and NO MATTER WHAT have ALWAYS put their children's needs (and most of the time our WANTS too) before theirs.

Fourth of July weekend was the MOST relaxing time I have had in a LONG time. I spent a TON of time getting some MUCH needed exercise:  walking all over, biking here and there, crunching and pushupping and STRETCHING.  I sat at the pool and soaked up some rays. I read a book (practically cover to cover). I watched my babies having a blast. I sat by a campfire and breathed in the yummy aroma. I connected with my family and ate yummy stuff and laughed and laughed and laughed.... (can you say, "Rickshaw?")  All of this made possible by my AMAZING parents.

One day as we sat by the pool, I told my mom I couldn't remember the last time I felt this RELAXED.... she said, "That is just priceless to me."  And I realized.... this woman.... would give ANYTHING she could to make my life better, to make me happy, to see me fulfilled and successful.

This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for parents who have stayed together through thick and thin.... who love me and my children and my husband to distraction.... who sacrifice everything they have for me. And I'm thankful to the God who made these two amazing humans my parents.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lessons from the RV... God's opinion

Happy Monday y'all!  What a WONDERFUL, BLESSED, RELAXING holiday weekend I had!  My parents recently got an RV and have become seasonal campers at Westward Ho campground "up north" (not so far though) in Wisconsin.

This weekend we celebrated my dad's retirement and 4th of July up at the RV and it was AMAZING!  I spent A LOT of my time here:

soakin up rays.... reading a book... just RELAXING! During these quiet, relaxing moments I prayed a lot too.... And God spoke some reminders to my soul which should give me plenty of blog topics for a few days :)  So here's my first installment of Lessons from the RV....

God's Opinion 

Right now, I'm in the WORST shape EVER. Years of caring for the needs of others at the expense of my own needs have left me HEAVY, weak, inflexible and cardiovascularly SHAMEFUL. As I laid at the pool, it was hard not to feel sick over how I look and worry INCESSANTLY about "What people are thinking of me." I worry SO much what people are thinking of me at almost ALL times.  I worry about people thinking I'm fat. I worry about people thinking my house is a mess. I worry what people are thinking about my children, my husband, my marriage, and on and on and ON.

So this weekend as I was WORRYING about what people think again, and I felt God whispering to me, "You've forgotten about MY opinion."  See the ONLY opinion I should care about is God's.  Even the opinions of those I hold most dear:  my husband, my children, my mom, my sisters, my friends.... the importance of those opinions fades to NOTHING when held next to what I SHOULD be focusing on:  God's opinion.  I'm pretty sure that God doesn't care too much about the extra large size of my mumu-like fat-girl swimsuit.  I am quite confident that God isn't too worried about the cleanliness of my kitchen floor. He isn't sitting up there shaking His finger because my child had a melt-down or because my mini-van makes that WRETCHED noise.  He cares about MUCH deeper and more important issues:

*Like is my HEART in the right place when I'm cleaning up yet ANOTHER of Auntie Marge's poo-capades.
*Like how do I handled my child's melt-down... with patience and grace or like a maniac screaming and threatening.
*Like why am I wasting SO much time worrying about what others think of me when I could be PRAYING for others, or sowing His love through kind words and actions, or just CONVERSING with Him.

So I guess the first lesson I downloaded from this weekend was this:

re-focus on God's opinion, Jami, and let all the rest fade into the background....

I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Stay tuned for more Lessons from the RV.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


My momma taught me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  I believe this wholeheartedly, backing it up even with scripture...

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

However, yesterday during a heated discussion about this topic, the thought was presented:  "if I filter out the negative things I'm thinking and don't say them I'm not being myself." [stick a pin in that one.... we'll come back to it...]


Two days ago I got this fabulous idea. Before I thought it completely through, I tweeted. (mistake much?)  See I thought:  each night I'm gonna tweet #whatGodsteachingmetoday

Not so bad... see on Sunday God WAS teaching me to keep my eyes in my own fence.... Throughout the day, He convicted me that my time is MUCH better spent looking in a mirror to see what I need to fix than looking out my window worrying about what others need to fix. I figured how hard can this be??? and Maybe someone else will benefit from #whatGodsteachingmetoday ???

Fast forward to last night.... I didn't wanna do it. I didn't want to tweet #whatGodsteachingmetoday....  See earlier in the day, I opened my BIG, FAT mouth and let nagging FLOW from my mouth... practically giving a 3-point sermon on what my hubby needed to fix.... (in retrospect, I coulda just applied Sunday's lesson...) So I didn't wanna tweet #whatGodsteachingmetoday because it was embarrassing.  It was supported by this verse which put me in an oh so NOT flattering light....

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 25:24

But finally, in spite of my reticence, I tweeted

[Okay... another quick pin in that thought.... I'm fixing to tie this together soon.... I PROMISE!]


Final piece of the puzzle, as I sat at the table this a.m. filling med containers a snippy retort SPRUNG to my mind, and I BIT down on my tongue to keep it from flying out. (See I'm no dummy.... I didn't want to have to post ANOTHER humiliating tweet tonight.)

And then that thought.... that disagreeing rebuttle to my if-you-don't-have-anything-nice-to-say-don't-say-anything-at-all sermon popped into my head.... "if I filter out the negative things I'm thinking and don't say them I'm not being myself"... see THIS is what John was talking about when I gave him my 3-point sermon on positive thinking!  If we bite our tongue and filter out our negative retorts, suppressing negative words, saying only the "good things" aren't we denying our true selves? Are we being authentic? Don't we risk turning into something we're not? Are we setting ourselves up for a crisis when we hardly recognize the person we've become because we're biting back so much?  and THAT's when God showed up!  that's when he whispered to the recesses of my mind, "YES!  and that's the goal.... to become MORE like Christ and LESS like you." ouch!

Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.
I John 2:6


Okay folks, I think I'm finally ready to land this plane now.... Ready to remember all those pinned thoughts???

All these things tie together into these thoughts on employing a filter. I am a HUGE proponent of employing a filter between your brain and your mouth. I do NOT believe that everything we think has to come flying out of our mouths. I think we should practice what my momma taught me,  "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." 

It used to be a part of my positive thinking mantra:  your words have power.... think & speak positive into your life... blah blah blah.... but today I realized there is MORE to it....  by filtering out the negative.... by denying myself.... by holding back my snippy retorts.... I am allowing CHRIST to become more as I fade to the background!

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

Now I'm not promising this is going to be my #whatGodsteachingmetoday tweet tonight.... the day is so YOUNG and there are SO many convicting moments yet to be had!  But I just wanted to share this right away in case anyone else needed to hear.... it's okay to filter yourself.... it's even okay if you become someone you hardly recognize.... as long as that someone you are becoming resembles our Savior.

Have a GREAT day everyone!  God bless.

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