We throw off the lie of perfection and cling to our identity in God as we strive to be whole, healthy, and fit. Our goal is wholeness, not perfection.

Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

12/28 Challenge – Will You Join Me?

I love how God can use anything and anyone to spread His message.  Especially social media.  A woman named Audra (met her in October at the Refresh retreat) posted in the Facebook Refresh Summit South group about a verse memorization board kit, I contacted the Kisja (a mom blogger and creator of the kit), and here I am sharing her challenge with you.

The 12/28 Challenge

The 12/28 Challenge

So what is the 12/28 Challenge, you ask?  I could quote Kisja word for word, or you can click here to go directly to her site where she explains it beautifully.  I’m excited about the challenge because my son is off from AWANA until January and we can use some verse memorization motivation.  And although I’m not a Pinterest kinda girl – well, to browse but not to attempt recreating people’s pins – I do love “easy to” crafts and the kit looks like it’s Reina proof.

Is memorizing verses something you do?  Do you think you’d be more likely to do it if the verses were posted in your living area?  Do you think you’d remember more verses if they were set to music?  I’d love for you to join this challenge with me and to hear your tips for memorizing scripture!

Disclaimer: I still have to choose my memory verse.  I want it to be related to my ONE WORD for 2015 but I haven’t chosen that word yet and don’t want to rush into choosing one.  So as soon as I choose my ONE WORD and my verse I will post accordingly.


Amateur Juggler (October 4th)

I need to take care of myself.  What does it look like to you to take care of yourself?  There’s basic hygiene, water, nutrition – you know, the basics.  I’m just wondering how other full time working moms take care of themselves.  I remember doing it when my son was a toddler up until the time I got pregnant with the twins.  I did it with the help of having a membership to the Y, and then being a group fitness instructor.  So that kept me accountable because if I didn’t show up to class then class didn’t happen.  But now that I have twins and I’m back at work, I don’t really know what it looks like to take care of myself during this season.

I know sleep is a huge priority (as I yawn).  I know that spending time with God is a priority, but it seems like it’s something I don’t ever get around to, not how I used to, not how I’d like to.  I haven’t worked out in a really long time and I can feel my body craving all the good chemicals I get from working out.  I know I need to go out on a date with my husband.  It feels like it’s been forever since we went somewhere that wasn’t church or with family.

I know there are things I can do to take care of myself, I just don’t see how to juggle it all.  I’m missing margin in my day.  I need white space.  I need…how do you clear things off of your calendar and to-do list when all of the stuff has to be done?  I have a friend of mine at work who used to joke with me “Reina, all you need to do is get yourself a wife.”  All I know is I feel overwhelmed and spent.  So if you’ve got tips or suggestions on how to refocus energy and time, I’d love to hear them.

What In the World?!? – Response to 2014 VMAs

I knew I couldn’t handle watching the awards show live so I recorded it.  I had to watch it in two sittings.  My senses couldn’t take the show in just one.  It can be difficult enough listening to lyrics that celebrate debauchery, but to watch the choreography that goes with it can be a bit much.  I just finished watching it and feel like I need to take a shower.  Yuck.

I don’t even know where to start.  It was a parade of flesh.  Specifically big bare booties.  As in practically naked booties.  I remember when Madonna rolling around on the floor in a wedding gown singing about sex made everyone gasp.  In comparison, the women performing this year made Madonna in 1984 look like, well, THE Madonna.

As gratuitous as Nicki Minaj’s “dance” moves were, I was most offended by Beyonce’s performance.  How can any woman prance on stage like a stripper, treating herself like an object, and dare to call herself a feminist?  I’m not a huge fan of the feminist movement, especially what it’s become in mainstream media (future blog post).  But I found her use of the word to be ridiculously hypocritical.  Laughable, really.  You don’t want to be exploited?  Exploit yourself before someone else has the opportunity.  You want to be in control?  Use your body and your sex appeal to show ’em who’s boss.  Yuck.  And the adoration she received from the audience?  Super yuck.  The fact that her baby daughter was in the audience watching her mom on stage made me want to cry.

THIS is why I teach my 7 year old, and will do the same with the babies, that he is to treat EVERY girl as a lady, even if she doesn’t act like one.  I remind him that he may be the only person to show a girl that she is special, not because he thinks so, but because God does.

THIS is why I feel called to work in ministry full time with girls ages 11 to 21.  To walk alongside them and speak life and truth over them.  “You are loved.  You are beautiful.  You are a princess, the daughter of the Most High.  Your body is not your own.  It is not yours to throw around like a piece of meat.  You were made for more than this.”

Stepping off my soapbox now.

Did you watch the MTV Video Music Awards?  If so, what did you think?

First Day Of Daycare

I officially return to work tomorrow.  The twins are starting daycare today, though.  We are trying to create a new routine so our mornings are as stress free as possible.  Also, I need a day to be away from them before I have to be at work all day.  Although I’m not dreading returning to work as much as I was, say three weeks ago, I still feel I have a bit of mourning left to do.  Today will be an opportunity to process this new chapter without the fear of crying in front of my colleagues.

My prayer today, and every day for the foreseeable future, is that when I get choked up by thinking of them, that God would replace my sorrow with gratitude and joy, and that I can live each day intentionally, as to not waste any time I get to spend with them, our oldest son, or my husband.  I will also pray that God allows me to leave the world of 8-5 (fellow teachers, let’s just all make believe for the sake of this post, okay?) so I can be as present in the lives of my children as my heart desires.

I'll Miss These Smiles

I’ll Miss These Smiles

ps – I’ve got no idea what we’re supposed to pack for the boys, so as soon as I finish my PiYo workout I will be calling to get that info.  So much for today being a stress free morning.

On My Heart

Airplane landing

Our seven year old son flew out of Charlotte by himself yesterday.  I don’t know how I feel about it.  I am overwhelmed with a slew of emotions when I think about him flying across the country and spending two weeks with my parents (one week per set of parents) – alone.

I wasn’t worried about the flying part of the trip.  He’s been traveling to California since he was nine months old and has flown at least a dozen times round trip since then.  I know that he’s mature enough to fly solo – he knows how to behave on an airplane.  I guess it comes down to me being a little freaked out that I have a seven year old who is mature enough to fly solo.  In all of twenty seconds my thoughts race from flying solo to him going to middle school, high school, and then leaving home for college.

During our nighttime prayer and cuddle time I cried as I prayed for traveling mercies for his flights and his time in California.  He comforted me as best he could when I told him that he’s growing up too fast.  “I’ll still love you when I’m older,” he said.  “I know, but it will be different when you’re big and out of the house,” I replied.  “That’s like eleven or twelve years away, Mommy.  And I’ll come visit you every day.”  I cried harder, because I knew he meant it.  Just like I meant it when I told my dad I would always hang out with him, no matter how old I was.

I don’t have any poignant ending to this post.  I just wanted to share what’s on my heart.  I’m not familiar with the readers of this blog, yet.  I don’t know who’s in the audience.  But if you can relate or have any  words of wisdom to share, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Play Ball! (6/24/13)

My xis year old son, DJ, played in his first kickball game yesterday.  I had the pleasure of refereeing the game.  The game was our opening event for anew ministry at church – Fit for Jesus.  But that’s a blog entry for another day.

The players’ ages ranged from 5 to 12 years, with two 17 year olds as captains.  It was the most beautiful display of organized chaos I have had the honor to direct in quite some time.  The three adults present, myself being one of them, assumed that every child knew the rules of kickball.  Even if they had never played before, they had seen, or participated in baseball before.  Right?  We must have all thought that because we kept saying “It’s just like baseball”.

We (the adults) would intermittently need to yell “Time!” in order to explain, and in several instances re-explain, the basic rules of the game.  I must admit that it was very difficult to control my tongue and tone and not sarcastically ask, “Really, y’all?  Didn’t you hear us JUST explain what happens when someone catches a fly ball?”

The first couple of innings DJ didn’t get to kick because he was seventh or eight in the lineup.  A sense of pride swelled up inside of me when he finally stepped up to the plate.  His first kick was a strike.  He made contact with his second and took off running.  Unfortunately, it was a foul and he had to return to home.  But his third kick was good and I cheered for him while he ran to first.  With the next player’s play, DJ was able to advance to second.  While at second he couldn’t contain his excitement.  He danced on top of second plate, and again when he made it to third.  The third out took place before he could make it home.  But he didn’t care, and neither did I.  I enjoyed watching him run from plate to plate and how he danced while waiting at each plate.

During the second to last inning DJ scored his first run ever in a kickball game.  I called his name from across the field and we gave each other a long distance air high-five.  Now before you cry favoritism, I cheered on all the kids.  I may not have given them all a long distance high-five, but hey, it was his first time scoring in a kickball game.

DJ’s team was losing but the game became close during the third inning.  The game ended in the firth with a 16-16 tie.  While several of the kids were disappointed, DJ was pumped. It was his first kickball game and his team didn’t lose.  We lined the kids up and had them do the “good game” walk.

Earlier this morning it dawned on me that ht experience I had watching DJ play in his first kickball game is how God views our lives.  He watches with anticipation as we attempt to do something new for the first time. He cheers us on as that first kick is a strike, and even when the second one is a foul ball.  He screams for us to run when our kick is good.  All the while His heart swells with pride.  Not because we’re doing particularly well, but because we’re enjoying the experience and giving it our all.  And when we look confused about the rules of the game, He doesn’t have to force Himself to hold his tongue or watch His tone.  He doesn’t grow impatient, or become sarcastic.  he lovingly reminds us of His commandments and promises, and pats us on our bottoms as He tells us to get back in the game.

I am stepping up to the plate in my own life, doing things I have never done before – this blog being one of them.  Strike, foul, or home run; win or lose; I will walk in the blessed assurance that my Coach is cheering me on.  He is watching from the outfield, filled with anticipation, His heart swelling with pride simply because I’m giving it all and trusting Him with the outcome.


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