Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A few more pics from Mexico

I have yet to actually talk to my son, however, the beauty of Facebook is that I get to see a bit of his trip through my friend Darrell's facebook. He tells me that they are having an amazing time, that God is moving and using our kids to do some great things. Nick is working with a college team, and yesterday was involved in helping to build a home for a family in Ensenada.

This is where the family is presently living. The concrete slab is the foundation for the extension of their new home. Can you imagine?

This is the family being interviewed about what this means to them.

More to come later.....I guess.....I'll have to wait on Facebook and my friend Darrell to tell me what is happening. Thank you for all of the prayers of protection and favor that you've prayed over Nick, Darrell and Britton. Please also remember our friend Sheril Brasher. I don't think I ever realized all that she does with that ministry. I live in such a bubble sometimes. I am so proud of her. She is a young woman of God with a heart for God's people. That is so evident to me now. She could have done anything and she is serving each and every day in a place that does not have any of the comforts of her home. Those 'things' that she lived each and every day with. Wow...I complain and get grumpy when I sleep somewhere that has a bedding with a thread count less than 300. Sad....

The Sheep and the Goats - Matthew 25:31-40

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nick is in Mexico!

Nick left on Saturday for Ensenada, Mexico. He is with some dear friends of ours participating in on a mission trip. One of our friends from church, Sheril Brasher is a director for YWAM in Ensenda and because of her, they have an awesome opportunity to see how God moves and works in a very different place than they one in which they live. Its a far cry from Hoover. I have yet to talk to him, but I have heard from the adult he is traveling with that he is having a remarkable time already. My prayer is that he hears from God this week. He is getting close to the age where he wants to feel a direction as to what he should do once he graduates high school. I can't believe that will be next year! Please pray that as he serves and seeks God this week, that he will hear something specific for his life. Please also pray for protection for Nick, Britton and Darrell Garrett as they travel together within Mexico. Please also pray for favor and wisdom as Darrell leads the worship services for this mission trip this week.

This is Nick getting ready to go through security.

This is his buddy Britton.

I've been so anxious to hear something from Nick. However, I know that I won't get near the updates that I would like to have. I guess that is just part of having a teenage son. Or at least for me. Nick doesn't always want to 'fill me in' on everything that goes on!

This is Nick with Britton and Darrell. These friends are really family to us - we love them and I can't think of a better way for Nick to experience this trip.

As I said I am praying for the Lord to speak to Nick - and though I am dying to know what he is thinking and feeling....I'll have to rely on messages from Darrell during the interim. Here is one I got from him today;

"You would have been so proud of our boys last night. They had to stand in front of 150 teens and leaders and introduce themselves as staff, and the college staff loves them. They went right to work, even went to a late night staff meeting. They were tired:) During the service last night they told me they wanted to skip college and come do this. It's going to be a great week for them.
Ill keep ya'll posted."

Lord, I am praying your word today, Psalm 37:22-24 (New International Version)

22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be cut off.

23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jesus In The Garden, by M. B. Giles

Before you read this story, grab a cup of coffee - or just get to a quiet place in your day somehow. This story is written by an old friend of mine that I grew up with. We enjoyed the same youth group at Roebuck Park Baptist Church. Oddly enough, we've connected again through Facebook and I was humbled that she shared this story with me. I've asked her permission to share it...and she graciously agreed. So, Libby - thanks friend. I know this will bless many! This is a copyrighted piece that she is allowing me to share here.

Jesus In the Garden - as told by the voice of an angel.

Jesus leads the men down the empty street; he walks at a determined pace one or two steps in front of the others. The men languishing behind him are talking among themselves. The men are not worried about losing Jesus they all know he is walking to the garden where they spend many a day. It is not unusual for them to gather there; but it is unusual for them to go this late in the night.

Jesus’ steps are sure and strong but his face is strained. The small group of men follows Jesus to the brick wall that surrounds the garden of Gethsemane. He pauses a second; then moves forward without looking back,

“Peter, James and John come with me.” Jesus lifts the metal latch on the rote iron gate. The conversations of the men stop. They recognize urgency in Jesus’ voice. The gate gives a quick, metallic whine as Jesus pushes it open. He continues to walk with purpose into the outer garden area. The night is warm but a slight breeze occasionally blows causing almost a cold chill. Jesus hears one of the men push the whining gate closed and hears the metal latch lock. The sound of metal hitting metal sends a chill through Jesus that has nothing to do with the breeze.

Stopping, Jesus turns to face the three men. Even in the darkness the men can make out the expression on Jesus’ face. The four men stand for a long moment; Jesus seems unsure what to say. When he finds his voice he almost chokes,

“My soul is crushed by sorrow to the point of death.”

Jesus can hear the strain in his own voice. Seeing the alarm that floods across the men’s faces he tries to regain control. Faking a quick cough he says,

“Stay here and watch with me. Watch and pray.”

Jesus turns before the confused men have a chance to speak and walks away quickly.
Turning a corner he walks the few yards to the inner garden entrance; he falls into the gate. His hands, shaking, fumble with the metal latch holding the gate closed. The rusty latch gives stubbornly and Jesus pushes the gate open and closed in one quick motion. The sound of the gate slamming shut echoes through the empty, dark garden. Jesus, his heart racing, stands looking into the garden where he and his disciples have spent many hours. Feelings of foreboding and terror are becoming overwhelming; frightened that his shaking knees will give under his weight he leans back against the stone wall that fortifies the garden. The realization that he is safely within the garden walls gives him a slight moment of peace; but staring into the darkness, even this familiar garden seems ominous. Dark shadows slide through the garden as the moon plays hide and seek with the clouds. His breath begins coming in short anxious gulps, fear again overtaking him.

Staring into the dark abyss Jesus tries to remember the garden in the brightness of the sun. Surely, he thinks, this is the very same garden in the dark that I have admired in the day. Every inch of this garden I have loved and always felt very comfortable within the garden walls. But it was no use; the garden – this garden - so brilliant and pleasing when bathed by the sun has an eerie feel tonight. This night Jesus will not be admiring the flora and fauna of the garden at the foothills of Mt. Olive; this night Jesus comes to the garden to find a peace that is evading him.

Clouds slip past the moon, once again allowing only intermittent flickers of light to escape. In the shadows crawling through the garden Jesus sees a large rock in the middle of the garden. The rock. Jesus feels a rush of energy. Jesus spent countless hours leaning against this rock; his followers sitting on the grass around him. By this rock Jesus and his disciples shared words of advise, laughter, dreams, wisdom, and even sorrows. Tonight Jesus comes alone with his burden. Alone into the garden -- to the rock. There is no one who can help bear the sorrow that weighs upon his soul.

Jesus is suddenly aware of the exhaustion his body feels from holding in his emotions all evening with his disciples. The weight of his own impending death terrifying him. Tears he held at bay will no longer be ignored; Jesus begins to weep. His tears come fast; Jesus leans on the garden wall, his hands over his face, sobbing. Pushing off the wall with his back Jesus tries to walk toward the rock but manages only to stumble forward a few feet; blinded by tears and grief. Taking another step or two Jesus reaches the rock and falls upon it; then slides awkwardly to the grass. Jesus places his forehead on the bend of his arm that is now on the rock.

Sobs cause his body to convulse; he gasps for air that will not fill his lungs. His heart pounds uncontrollably, his body shakes as much from the sobs as from fear.

“Abba. Father. Abba. Father. Abba!”

God alone could make out the words Jesus gasps in terror. Using the rock for support Jesus tries to push himself up; again, he falls on the rock; this time he catches himself with outstretched arms. Leaning his full body weight on his arms; his chest heaving Jesus pushes himself up slightly, throws his head back and screams angrily,


The sound of his shrill, scared voice bounces all over the garden. He holds his head back for several moments letting the moonlight shine on his face. Only 33 years old, in the moonlight his face flooded with anguish; Jesus looks more like a man of 60. Tears glisten on his cheeks, his beard. Jesus closes his eyes and allows the memories and the thoughts he buried for the last few days and hours to flood him.

Joseph teaching him to hold a hammer; Mary holding him and singing him to sleep. Running and playing with his brothers and sisters; Mary and Joseph smiling down at him, their faces filled with pride and love. Celebrations, joys and even places he traveled in his lifetime. Brilliant, beautiful memories of family, friendships, laughter and love; faces of those he cherishes strobe before his eyes like lightening lighting up the darkness.

All he has dreamed. All he has accomplished. All he still wants to accomplish. All the people he has held and comforted; people who can not comfort him now. The quick moments he took for granted fly through his mind like a flock of doves. Moments fly by at an overwhelming speed.

He feels the weight of his future and the weight of the sorrow that so many will feel when he is gone. He cries for them and the paralyzing sorrow and pain they are about to face. Pain he has no control over; sorrow he can not stop. The thought of the physical pain he must face and the feeling those he loves will feel watching it is too much. Surely, no soul should ever endure this much pain; this much loss. Again, Jesus screams to his Father, a cry that is almost animalistic,


His scream is a plea; a plea for acknowledgement from God, an acknowledgement from his Father. Again Jesus’ voice is the only sound echoing within the garden. Jesus falls again upon the rock in despair. Why will God not answer his prayer, surely, God hears the cry of his heart, his soul – his very being?

Hearing a noise behind him Jesus jerks his head up and looks over his shoulder toward the garden entrance. He stares into the darkness and sees nothing out of the ordinary Jesus remembers the men waiting for him just outside the garden gate. With a surge of adrenalin based on the thought the men have entered the garden, Jesus stands and walks swiftly toward the garden gate. As he opens the gate and steps out into the outer garden the adrenalin turns to anger. There on the ground are Peter, James and John sound asleep. Peter is even snoring. Jesus walks to their sides and kicks each of them roughly with his foot.

“Wake up! Peter, James, wake up, John!”

His voice is harsh as Jesus calls each of their names. The men wake, startled; rarely have they seen Jesus this angry. Even in their grogginess they are embarrassed. Standing up each mumbles an apology and an excuse but Jesus does not hear them,

“One hour? Pray for one hour. That is all I have asked of you. And even this is too much?”

As he screams he feels badly knowing that the men have no idea why he is so angry. He closes his eyes and tries to take a deep breath.

“Just one hour.”

The anger leaves Jesus’ voice, now he simply sounds hurt. The men drop their heads in shame, unable to look their Master, their teacher in the face.

Jesus does not wait for an answer he turns and walks back through the garden entrance. As he passes the archway his hand grabs and pushes the gate; he hears it hit hard and lock. Walking into the garden he is still mumbling out loud,

“Only one hour, I need them to pray with me. I need their strength. Am I to be allowed no support, no comfort in this hour?”

The feeling of loneliness floods him and the tears that were gone for a moment have reappeared. Again he kneels by the rock. This time folding his hands and looking toward the sky that is now clear and drenched in moonlight. Jesus sits for a long time; focusing his full attention on the moon; on God. Jesus silently begs God – wills Him - to give him a sign – any sign that his prayer is making it to the throne of God. Jesus’ intensity causes sweat to bead on his forehead and run down his checks into his beard. When a drop falls into his eye, Jesus reaches up and wipes his forehead; he looks at his hand. It is covered in blood. Blood, not sweat, is forming on his forehead. Jesus stares in disbelieve at the blood on his hands. Holding his blood covered hand toward Heaven, Jesus begs,

“Father - Please allow this cup to pass from me. Please, Father. Please, Father.”

As Jesus begs to have the death sentence lifted the overwhelming terror returns. Jesus has a thought, a thought that might work. He could run. Simply leave. The simplicity of it makes him smile for a brief moment. It is perfect, really, no one has any idea what is supposed to take place or when. No one would ever know. If he walked away from the plan God held for him; he could leave and not face the horror set before him. Jesus runs his fingers through his thick, dark hair,

“No, no, no. This thing must be done.”

Again he turns to the dark sky.

“Father your will be done.”

As an afterthought he adds,

“But if at all possible please let this cup pass from me.”

The night seems so still; the silence deafening. Why is there no answer? Why is there no comfort from his disciples, no comfort from God Himself? Is he, Jesus, the son of God not worthy of comfort?

“Why is there no answer?”

Again there was a noise behind Jesus. He looks around quickly, fully expecting to see an answer to his prayers. But there is only a slight breeze flowing through the garden; the leaves of the olive trees rustle ever so slightly. Jesus stares into the darkness being sure his followers have not come into the garden. He feels badly again for yelling at them. They will know soon enough why he was so distraught; they will live the unthinkable. This thought makes the tears catch in his throat again. Jesus lays his head upon his folded arms and he allows the sobs to overtake him once more.

I lay my hand gently on the back of Jesus’ head. I smooth the curly, tousled hair on the back of Jesus’ head; the head that will soon bear blows of anger, the spit of the godless and eventually the crown of thorns. The sorrow that engulfs Jesus will allow him to neither see or feel me standing beside him. Tears well in my eyes as I watch the son of my God hurting; I want desperately to spare him the task that he alone must fulfill. But I know there is no other way.

I am not the only angel here; others, many others are with me. We were gathering long before Jesus even asked for comfort. God knew he would need us. A few of us were here when Jesus first entered the garden, but more angels arrived as Jesus prayed more fervently. I look out over what is now a sea of kneeling angels, only their iridescent wings visible. Together the multitude of angels are an impenetrable circle around Jesus; row after row of angels making an amazing glowing wreath of wings. If only Jesus could see these spiritual warriors surrounding him. The angels kneel not only in reverence and honor to the son of their God; they kneel in sorrow for the overpowering pain Jesus is experiencing.

I look down again to Jesus, I still stroke his hair. It is a shame that he, and all those in human form, are so unaware of the amazing army surrounding them. Even though we feel the grief of Jesus we come with the spirit of God to surround him. Each angel present would love to destroy the burden that lies so heavily upon Jesus’ soul; but we know this is the way it must be. Angels can only bring a message of love, peace and courage from God; we can not alter what God has ordained. Often, as in this situation, peace, love and courage seem to make no sense, it is unexplainable. That is when faith is born.

Continuing to smooth the hair of Jesus; I close my eyes, even though there is peace within me the tears roll, untouched, down my cheeks. Long moments pass and there is no movement in the garden. Jesus does not move; nor do we. All the angels pray for Jesus to feel an end to the feelings of despair and heartbreak he now swims through.

“Why? Why? Why?”

Jesus whispers; even as he knows the answer. He knows there is no other way; it does not make the burden any lighter, nor make the horrific task any more bearable.

I look again into the brilliance of the angels; not all are kneeling. Some rows of angels have risen up on their knees -- their eyes focus on Jesus, their hands raised to God. Directly behind those on their knees are legends of angels, standing, arms linked. The entire angelica realm in the garden has formed a protective, perfect circle around Jesus. Hundreds and hundreds of angels, unseen by Jesus himself. We have encircled the one we love so deeply. With him we pray – even beg - God to let us, the spiritual warriors, carry the burden that is too heavy for a human soul to carry alone. God’s love, courage and peace is flowing through us and it is beginning to fill the garden. I know it will not be long before Jesus will feel the power of our prayers. I lean toward Jesus,


“Let this cup pass by me.”

His heartbeat has slowed again, the memories too. I focus all the soothing power I have toward Jesus’ heavy soul.


“Abba. Father.”

I lean closer to Jesus’ ear,

“He is here. We are here.”

In this moment I no longer see Jesus, the son of God, I see only his soul. A human soul that is burdened and hurting.


“He loves you, Jesus.”

Quietly at first the angels on their knees and the ones standing begin to whisper,

“Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord God almighty.”

Those still kneeling, only their wings visible join with me in my prayer,


Placing both hands on his head I whisper with the others,


The whispers of the angels are blending into a song, a song growing stronger and louder with each utterance. Jesus raises his head. I walk around the rock; I am looking into his face; his eyes look around the empty garden. Surely he heard something. I, smile, he senses we are here. I cup Jesus’ raised face in my hands, leaning in closely I look into the eyes that can not see me,

“God loves you Jesus.”

Jesus glances up; did he finally hear me? Did he recognize the voice of his Father’s messengers? I realize Jesus is looking at the moon; it has returned yet again, the clouds no longer covering it. The look on Jesus’ face softens ever so slightly; the brightness of the moon somehow comforts him.

Jesus breaths more deeply and his heartbeat is normal again. He is exhausted from crying, but feels renewed – even stronger because he let out all of the feelings he has been repressing.

“Courage, Jesus, Courage.”

His face still cranes toward the moon; he looks out of the corner of his eye into the empty garden. He knows without a doubt someone is with him in the garden but why can he not see them? I look around the garden; it is glowing with the presence of the hundreds of angels that encircle Jesus. The scene is breathtaking, I only wish Jesus could see it; could see the love and support that surrounds him. The light of the angels pulsates around him with a life of its’ own. Surely if Jesus could visibly see the powerful angels surrounding him then he would most certainly be regenerated. But this can not be; instead he, like all flesh, is unable to see the spirit-realm.

I smile down at him,

“Peace. Jesus, Peace.”

All the angels in the garden begin to say the same making a chorus of voices more musical than any manmade instrument.

“Courage, Jesus, courage.”

The voices grow stronger fed by the love and strength of God.

Moments pass - Jesus stands slowly buoyed by his renewed strength. Every angel in the garden stands too. Stronger, rejuvenated Jesus again has his faith and focus. He looks around the garden; it is beautiful again, no longer frightening as it was earlier.

We watch with anticipation as Jesus takes a second sweeping look around the garden. He turns from the moon, the rock and me and walks, calmly and slowly, head held high through the pathway the angels are making.

The angels bow deeply and reverently as he passes; the up and down movement of the angel wings make an iridescent rolling wave from the rock to the garden gate. . I smile watching Jesus walking boldly toward God’s plan for him.

This time the gate shuts quietly, the angels linger a moment then begin to return to other angelic tasks. Soon I am alone in the garden. I look down, reach out and touch the rock where Jesus knelt only moments ago. I lovingly touch the wet spots on the rock; the places where Jesus’ tears fell. The rock is hard and cold but I can still feel the wetness of the teardrops.

I see the drops of blood Jesus sweat; this too I touch. Still warm even on the cold rock; the blood is sticky. I hold up my hand and look at the redness on the tip of my finger. Tears well in my eyes when I think that this one drop of blood is nothing compared to the blood that will spill soon.

This thought causes me to close my eyes and whisper,

“Father, surely this horrible thing should not happen.”

I feel something brush past my finger. I open my eyes and see that where the blood and tears were on the rock there are now red and white rose petals. I smile softly and scoop the petals up in my hands; raising them to my face I breathe their scent in deeply. The smell is sweet and powerful; it reminds me of something I had forgotten just moments before. God alone can take horrible pain and unspeakable hurt and turn it into something beautiful, with a fragrance that is sweet.

Maundy Thursday

In Celebrating Easter, I thought it would be appropriate to mention Maundy Thursday. Growing up Baptist, I never really experienced this day of Easter Celebration until I met my husband. As the son of a Methodist Minister, he was very familiar with the Maundy Thursday Service that typically takes place on the Thursday night before Easter. I am so thankful that through his family I've learned to love this Maundy Thursday.

This day, Maundy Thursday (also "Holy Thursday" or "Shire Thursday"1) commemorates Christ's Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you." It is the first of the three days known as the "Triduum," and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside... (OK......I cut and pasted that last paragraph.....but you get the meaning right?)

It is somewhat of a somber feeling to put yourself back to the 'Thursday' or night of the 'Last Supper' in the upper room when Jesus sat with his friends. He knew it was happening.......the reason he came. He sat with friends, he was comfortable with them in that room - leaning on them the scriptures say. It probably felt great thinking of 'living life' with that group of friends.

He gave all that up for me. For you. He faced the most incredible situation and pain because he loved us more than any fear could separate. So, today - as we approach the dinner hour......it feels different today. I want to be mindful of that dinner that my savior shared with his friends. It marked the beginning of the weekend that would change the world. So....what do I do with that? I share his love with others and aim to live as he did. I will praise him for saving me and making up for all that I do wrong. For paying the price. For loving me when I am unlovable and dusting me off when I've fallen for the 100th time.

Jesus, thank you for saving me and paying the cost of my sins. Thank you for your grace - that you make me whole. I can never be good enough on my own, this I know. But you graciously and never tiringly offer me grace each day to start anew, mercy and love flow from you each and every day.

Thank you Lord for the cross.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

BOYS!!!!! I love being a boy mom!

I truly do love being a boy mom. Sometimes I do see my friends with daughters and think...."oh....that would be so fun". But I always have that reality check once they share with me how they deal with the drama queen moments. We don't have too many of those! However, there are things that seem to be the norm around my house that might not seem ok to my friends who have girls. These things include, but are not limited to the following; * The BB gun that stays ready in our kitchen just in case someone wants to shoot a squirrel that might be stalking our bird feeder. This means, squirrel tails here and there tacked up on a wall like trophies. I know.....I know..... * The BB gun that stays close to the window in our bathroom in case there are dove that need to be shot off the tree branch. This means that yes, they clean the birds and they've cooked them. I cannot believe I just typed that.....but I wonder...if that happens at other houses too. PROBABLY NOT....but I just told everyone how redneck we really are! (who knew we could hunt in our backyard!) The weirdest thing that happened around this topic was Nick asking me for one of my headbands so that he could glue the dove wings to the headband and have a crazy hat. I could not respond. I think I just gave him a look and quietly said..."No". * The grouping of trees that still seems to serve as an extra bathroom in our backyard. Why go inside???? Um....BECAUSE ITS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. :) Ok...next. * The pile of weapons my boys have created with duck tape, sticks, nails etc. Everything....even a spatula can be 'turned into' a weapon with the right rigging. * The fact that our trampoline wears out almost yearly because they keep moving it around the backyard to see what they can jump off of to get the highest bounce. I could go on, but you get the point I am sure. All of these thoughts flooded my mind because of a video that a friend of mine, Tyra passed on to me today. It was classic! I felt it could have been taken from our video vault somewhere in the Johnson archives. Take a moment and watch this. Seriously!

I literally laughed out loud in my office! That was great!! I could share some personal videos of my boys...but I'll save those for another day. Actually...if I had them with me, I would have added them today, but we'll have to wait!

If you are a boy mom....enjoy the days and the humor they seem to provide. Here are just a few more pics that another friend passed on to me a while back. Gotta love being a boy mom!

This sweet boy really thinks he can make it! :)

Just like Nick and his buddies really thought Scout could make it down 'suicide' hill on his bike with training wheels and no helmet. Oh....I won't forget that day!

No need to explain this one...

You know, I will NEVER forget being at Rich's Department store and watching my mom burst into laughter. We had Nick and Scout with us, but Scout was a tiny baby. Anyway.....Nick had taken a keen interest in one of the mannequins. I DIED. I'll leave that to your imagination, but I did say..."Get your hands off that!" Then, I burst into laughter as well. That was a realization for me that life was going to be interesting as a mom of boys.....and it has yet to disappoint!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Countdown has begun.....

Wow! So I'm being quiet this morning, drinking my hot coffee and wondering how my day will turn out, when it hits me! I have 24 days left in my 30s! Wow...is an appropriate word. Not that turning 40 is this magic number and everything will change. That is not what I mean at all. Its just that it finally happened. In all honesty, I can tell you that I love my life. I love where I am, what I've become (though I know I am still changing into who I need to be) and what I have. There is a song that Point of Grace sings, and a line that always catches me is 'Have what you want...but want what you have'. I love that line. I feel like I do...for all practical purposes, I am a content and happy woman!

Something happened this past week that did challenge my view of myself, that seems appropriate to share. You know, we all have a picture of who we think we are in our heads. Sometimes, we are dead on...other times, we might need to look again at who we are or maybe how we are perceived. I think I'm pretty snappy. I mean, 3 boys at home - two are teenagers and Kevin and I are both under 40. We feel like pretty cool parents and I think I look like a pretty cool chick on most days. Well, if you know my 10 year old Max, you know he has his own opinions. I sadly found out, that though he loves me and thinks I'm awesome. He doesn't necessarily think I'm awesomely stylish. I'll tell you what I mean.

He and I visit DSW, totally a favorite store for me. I needed a new pair of black pumps because my pretty sassy Ellen Tracy pumps were worn out. They weren't Aerosoles....or Easy Spirits...they were pretty cool shoes. ANYWAY, I needed another pair of black pumps. So as I'm looking, I find a pair of cute Steve Madden's and Max says something that changed that whole shopping trip for me. He said, "Um, Mom...those are a bit too flashy for you....I think you need to look again". WHAT????? I laughed and asked him to find a pair that were more like me. I SHOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT.
This is what he found for me.

Ok...not that this shoe is bad. In fact, with the right pant suit...I would wear this shoe. But then he shows me this one and tells me it would be 'right' for me too.

He says some people like to be stylish...other prefer to be comfortable and that is ok. HA! If he only knew the times I stumble through the day....toes all hunched over because I had to wear the uncomfortable red heels with my black suit. Maybe he had never noticed. Hmmmmmm. Just who did he think I was? His mom....I guess. :)

Well, after that eye opening conversation, I kind of went on a frenzy through the store. I came home with;

A pair of these in black for everyday stuff;

A pair of these because my black suit will look great with them!

And I got these......because I'm almost 40 and still love to be stylish....AND COMFORTABLE and these do both!

I will tell you Max was in favor of all but the last pair. He told me I got a little too crazy with those...but I will love wearing them!!! But seriously, have you ever done something so crazy....just to prove you still got it? Is that why some people go and buy expensive cars? Houses? Well, I guess I can be glad my total was not too crazy! I guess Kevin is glad too. HA!

Anyway.....as I said, the countdown has begun! Bring it on....life is good. (and so is shoe shopping!)