Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By all accounts my dad was a stud in high school. He was an exceptional athlete, playing football, basketball, running track. He made all-region and all-state, and some of his accomplishments still hang in his high school gym. He played golf from a very young age, learning by caddying at his local country club. It has been the sport he loved the most I think. Because of his love of sport it was kind of a twist of fate that my dad would have three girls. He swears he wouldn't want it any other way; that once he had his first girl he fell in love and never wanted a son after that. It's a good thing, really, because he would have been disappointed!
Growing up, watching sports was something I did with my dad. It was our way of bonding. Although I grew up around the game of golf - going to tournaments (my dad had friends on the PGA tour), it wasn't until we moved to Florida that I really began to play golf. Dad would often take me and my sister out at the end of the day when the course was really calm, the sun was setting and the temperature in southern Florida was cooling. At first we loved riding on the golf cart, seeing the birds, fish, turtles and the occasional snake or alligator. In high school I worked at the course during my summers and I joined the golf team my sophomore year. Although I had a coach, my dad was really the one who taught me most of what I learned as a golfer. And though I learned a lot about golf on the course, I probably learned more about life than golf during those afternoons and evenings with my dad.
My dad has been to golf tournaments all over the US and the world. He had been to 3 of the 4 "Majors" on the PGA tour, with the only one he hadn't been to being The Masters, which is held here in Georgia. After he moved here we always talked about going, but never wanted to spend the absurd amount of money the tickets go for. This past winter, his company, The C12 Group, hosted a 20th Anniversary event, and my dad met a new member who lived in Augusta, GA, home of The Masters. The member said he would love to have my dad come to the tournament. So last month my dad called and said, "Would you have any interest in going to The Masters with me?" Of course I said, "Yes!" and we made plans to go.
We left early in the morning and made the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Augusta. We had a fun drive talking and laughing. We met his friend easily, even crossing 3 lanes of traffic with no trouble, and got our badges. We decided to try to find a parking spot close to the club. We found a spot almost at the entrance to the club - for free! We walked in amazed at how close to the entrance we got to park. The only dark spot in our day was when Dad had to throw away his pocketknife at the entrance.
As we entered Augusta National, I said to Dad, "This is like Disney World for golfers." It was perfect. Television does not do it justice at all. Not a weed, or a piece of grass out of place anywhere in the club. The azaleas are amazing. We joked that the pine trees are told as they grow, "This is Augusta, your needles must fall straight down under you as to not make a mess," because that is really how they look. It sprinkled rain for the first hour and a half we were there, then the clouds parted and it was beautiful. Just the way they planned it at Augusta, I'm sure.
We decided to see as much of it as we could. We didn't want to miss anything or anyone in the tournament. We walked for awhile then found a spot to sit and watch. That was our routine for the day. We sampled the fabulous Southern food they serve (so economically - sandwiches for $1.50!) and enjoyed every bit of it. (Where else could we both eat and drink for $10?) After lunch we finally settled in the stands at the eleventh green/twelfth tee. We saw over half of the field this way. This is also where we both got sunburned beyond belief! It was so fun to see the guys we watch on tv and cheer on from the living room right there in front of us. We totally got a kick out of watching the greenskeepers come out of the bushes in between groups and blow the needles and leaves off of the green. It was magic coming to life.
After we watched the end of the field come through we made our way to the clubhouse area where we found our souvenirs, enjoyed a peach ice cream sandwich and watched a few players up close on the putting green. I even got to tell T.J. Vogel, who plays for the Florida Gators, "Go Gators! Way to go T.J.!" because we were right next to the golfers! The sun was setting, the wind was softly blowing and we were finally tired.
It was truly the perfect day with my dad. It was one of those days that you almost can't believe went as perfectly as it did. And though we couldn't take any pictures (it's a rule there - no cameras) I know it is a memory that both of us will remember forever. I am so blessed to have my dad - he's an amazing man, but he has always been a dad who loved to be with his girls. He has always wanted us around. So a day like this was icing on the cake for a girl and her dad. The sweetest, fluffiest, prettiest icing ever.
Monday, April 29, 2013
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
I've recently been struck anew by no matter how bad our previous day may have been, God's mercies are new every morning. I am so very thankful for this. Starting over fresh is such a wonderful thought to me. A clean slate to write on once again. This song begins with one of my favorite hymns, "Great is Thy Faithfulness". The lyrics are such a balm to my soul and keeps me focused on his goodness, which is truly so amazing. Waiting on the Lord is not something I am good at. There are several issues in my life, and I'm sure in your's as well, where waiting is not easy. However, reading "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him" reminds me that He alone is enough. Keeping my eyes on Him and his goodness, will help me wait.
What are you waiting for? How do you let the Lord help you wait? Let me know!
Monday, April 22, 2013
This past week has been hard. Even for those of us who don't live in Boston or Texas. Just the pictures and stories and imagining "what ifs" has brought us all to tears. There aren't many easy answers about any of it. I follow a large amount of political reporters and journalists on twitter, and sometimes when I'm on there it is easy to get angry, frustrated and/or fearful from all the information coming at me. And sometimes it is easy for me to sit in my Christian home and my church and pray for "those people", but the truth is God loves the Boston bombers every bit as much as he loves me. I know our human brains have a hard time comprehending that. As a mom though, it gives me a little peek into the mind of God. Very little, but a peek nonetheless. When my children are disobedient, it doesn't make me love them less. Sometimes it makes me love them more because I know they need it. So that has been reminding me this week to not point fingers or get up in arms, even though I am very good at both of those things. This song has a line in it that convicts me every single time I hear it.
"Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers. Let our hearts be led by mercy." People who do everything right don't need mercy. And none of us are perfect, so we all need mercy. Every single day. This song is just a perfect reminder that Jesus came for all of us. The least of these, actually. I hope this helps you remember that too.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Today is the official launch day for The Passionate Mom! I truly cannot tell you what a fun and inspiring experience it has been to be able to read this book and share it with others. My hard copy of the book came in the mail the other day, so now I am going to go back and re-read it and highlight like crazy. I originally read it on my Kindle, and while I enjoy the ease, for books like this I like the real thing.
Susan has some amaaaazing giveaways going on today for the launch. I'm talking trip to Disney World big. Awesome! What mom wouldn't love that? Soplease go over to her site, enter the giveaway and then buy the book. I promise you won't regret one minute of reading this book.
On another note, I used the Random number generator for my giveaway here on my blog and it chose number 8 who said,
I wish I would've really understood how quickly time flies...especially during the exhaustion of the baby/toddler days. I might have complained less and cuddled a tad more. Hard to believe those baby days came & went so quickly. But, dealing that a makes me soak them up a little more these days.
So she will be receiving her very own copy of The Passionate Mom! Yay! Now go over and enter! Right away!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Do you remember learning to write on notebook paper in elementary/middle school (or junior high as it was called back in my day)? Or learning to type essays and term papers in high school? I remember learning about margins. The reason we use margins is to keep things in order, make sure things are legible and easy to read. Margins serve an important purpose. When we don't use them, our papers are messy, the answers aren't clear and we don't know where or what to look for.
I feel like our lives have margins. Boundaries that make life clearer, easier to see, find our passion, listen to the Lord. I often struggle with margins in my life. I am not a woman who does well with being stretched to the maximum with time. It seems that certain seasons in each year stress me out a great deal. This is one of them. Spring is such a sweet time on earth, but for moms, it is one of the busiest. Spring ball, school activities, holidays, etc. make this season very busy. I was talking to a friend about it last night and she said, "April and May are just always crazy." She is right. They are very crazy around here. I know my life is probably not even as busy as some, but for me, it is plenty enough and actually more than enough.
I need margins. Time to be at home. Time to finish things. Time to have quiet. Time to play Uno as a family and just be together. I often feel guilty that I am this way, but I am reminded that we are all made differently and we all have different strengths. My strength does not come by being busy. However, I think we have all bought into the lies of the world that say our children and our families need to do every activity, be at every event and go to everything we are invited to. But it's definitely something I struggle with, and I feel like most moms do. I don't want my kids to be behind on anything, left out, feel like they are the only ones not doing _______.
So, am I the only one who struggles with the margins of life or the lack thereof? Let me know how you deal with them and what margins are easier/more difficult for you. I need some help here! :)
And don't forget about the giveaway post here. The Passionate Mom is an amazing book!
Friday, April 5, 2013
This week I have been reading (actually devouring) The Passionate Mom. I applied to be on the delivery team of the book, not knowing anything about the content of the book, other than it was a book for moms. I know that I need all the help I can get in my journey as a mom so I take everything I can get my hands on! It has been so fun to help share excitement about this book because it has already helped me so much!
The book The Passionate Mom is a fabulous book for any mom in any stage of her journey as a mom. I wish I had been able to read it when I began my journey as a mom, although it has already been a help to where I am now. The book is based on the book of Nehemiah. Susan Merrill says our passion as moms is what will help us find a plan for our role as a mom. She takes 10 P's from the book of Nehemiah to help us in our journey. The 10 P's: Perception, Pondering, Passion, Praying, Patience, Preparation, Purpose, Planning, Problem Solving, and Perseverance really encompass the characteristics we need to be leaders in our home in the same way that Nehemiah was a leader for the Jewish people at the time. Some of these characteristics come more naturally to us than others. She gives us ideas and encouragement to succeed in all of them.
I don't know about y'all, but I get discouraged as a mom. And sometimes it doesn't take much. I struggle with doubt, worry, frustration, impatience. One of the things I loved most about this book is that Susan doesn't act as if she has it all together. She confesses things she has done wrong, or ways she wishes she had done differently. I never felt like she was talking at me, but rather talking with me. I have read books that made me feel guilty instead of encouraging me. This book does not do that at all. I have been inspired, encouraged, challenged and excited to go on and move forward in my role as a mom. I also want all of my mom friends to read this book. It is seriously that good!
The exciting news is that Thomas Nelson Publishing wants to share this book with you! Please leave a comment below and tell me one thing you wish you knew before you became a mom to be entered to win. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Yesterday was a wonderful Easter day. Our worship was great, the time with family was great and even the food was great. But, none of that can even compare to the reason we were celebrating. Our Lord and Savior is alive. Not just on Easter, but every day!
This song touches me so much. It is from The Story, a musical experience of the Bible. This song is sung by Natalie Grant, and is from the viewpoint of Mary Magdalene. It wasn't until recently that I understood what a big deal it was that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection. Mary was obviously a woman, which in that day meant she held no importance. Women were second class citizens, and their testimony wasn't even allowed in a court of law. They weren't seen in public very much, and they could not divorce their husbands. Jesus, however, esteemed women. He valued them. Time and time again he spoke to them and about them lovingly. He forgave them and acknowledged them. So when he appeared to Mary first at the tomb, it was an important detail that is often overlooked. He valued Mary Magdalene, a woman he delivered from seven demons, so very much, that he appeared to her before any of his disciples. So to listen to this song about how Mary knew how much Jesus loved her even though he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is overwhelming.
When I began practicing the song, I had to take a few times and just get choked up and teary as I was singing. I prayed that wouldn't happen to me while I was in church, but that everyone would hear through me the amazing story of Jesus' love for all of us.
I didn't cry and I hope that they got His message through me.