A Beautiful Hot Mess

Love love love this! I’m determined to teach children about this every day. From the book, Braving The Wilderness.

So then…I might be scared sh%#less about my own continuing education but so happy it’s part of my journey. ❤️


Ouchie Lotion Devotion

Experienced something like this at school today. A huge care taker in this classroom…magic as a matter of fact. And I have to say, it is so fascinating to watch the children approach this thing with such confidence. Heartwarming to say the least and it made me realize a few things that must be happening in their young minds.

First, they have to know about this comforter. ~ someone must tell them.

Second, they have to believe in it. ~ someone must show them.

Third, they have to decide to use it. ~ someone must encourage them.

Yeah, I'm talking about the ouchie lotion. But honestly, don't we all need a good ouchie lotion? Sure, modern medicine cures many of life's ailments but this stuff…it is magic for everything you can imagine. Look! 🙂

How stinking adorable is this? These littles know it, believe in it and use it with unwavering trust. And I'm here to tell you…it works in amazing ways.

How we all wish there was such a thing as ouchie lotion for every hurt. Ouchie lotion is a perfect example of how these littles have faith.

Half the battle of faith is having pure childlike belief and unwavering trust.

Psychologically speaking, that kind of childlike belief calms the mind and immediately does the work of helping the hurt. It's not really magic, it's spirit.

Out of the mouths of babies:

I fell down and hurt myself so I put on the ouchie lotion.

I put on the ouchie lotion and now it will feel better tomorrow.

This is my favorite part about today. I'm calling it ouchie lotion devotion.

The Greek word is parakletos which means; called to the side of another. A comforter, counselor, encourager, advocate, helper. Someone constantly supporting and encouraging. For the Christian, our ouchie lotion is the Holy Spirit.

A few things must be happening in our minds though.

We have to know about this care taker. ~ scripture tells us.

Second, we have to believe in it. ~ scripture shows us.

Third, we have to use it. ~ scripture encourages us.

Reading scripture takes patience. It also takes the help of the spirit to teach us and speak to us as we read. I'm still reading passages over again and will undoubtedly re-read again. It's easy to get confused. Listen to the spirit and you'll never be alone. In scripture or in anything. ❤️

Not to mention strong convictions grounded in the only real ouchie lotion. Not man made.

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:16-17

Loved By Grace,

My favorite quote at school this week.

Failure feels final but it doesn’t have to be an ending when we make it a beginning. ~Author unknown


Needed Most

This much is true…the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most. But they are also the ones we need the most to change the world.

First week, first grade, first class of the school year. The kids were on day five so they were one step ahead of this first day’er right here. Routine is uber important when you have a class full of first graders, close to thirty of them to be exact. Day five…well routine is still a work in progress so it keeps things interesting, this is for sure. Could be a beautiful hot mess. 😉

First day’er has about ten minutes to read the plans for the day then it’s time to roll with it. Fly by the seat of our pants, an official part of the job description.

In walks E with an immediate hug for Mrs. J. and a warm welcome to his class. It was my first time meeting E but I briefly learned about him in the ten short minutes to read and inhale my coffee. He complains of ongoing tummy aches but this was about all we have pinpointed about E on day five of school.

A few minutes later sure enough, E was complaining his stomach hurt. This carried on throughout the morning, during good news pawsitive behavior, carpet time and writing without tears. I kept reassuring E it was going to be okay. E made it to music and PE but when he came out of PE (gym) he said he was going to throw up. I’m not sure at this point if tummy is truth or tummy is trouble.

We made our way back to the classroom but E threw himself down in the hallway directly in front of the office. A few minutes spent at the office to get things checked out and E was back in class.

Summary from the office. E is having a hard time telling the truth and making good choices.

It was time then my friend to work… which sent E in to a fit of rage. We now had crying and throwing himself down on the floor yet again. This went on for several minutes with no change. Hoping E would make good choices while the rest of his first grade colleagues covered their ears or put on headphones to concentrate was clearly not alleviating the situation. His rage was escalating, we now had kicking feet and reaching toward others.

E came back from the office a short while later that morning. He immediately came to sit on my lap in the rocking chair as we read in a group. Most of the time this out of our seat thing is against a teachers rules, they all need to be sitting in their assigned spots. It’s part of the system, part of the routine. But I let E sit with me because I could see he needed it most. It’s not always fair but routine does not feel fair to E. Because E is not going to meet all of these rules no matter how many times we try enforcing them and half the time it just makes him feel bad about himself.

Here is the thing though. When he became too full of rage for those of us closely around him, I had no choice, it was time to enforce a boundary. He had to understand there is a too far but that too far is not final. Not for this seven year old, not if there is anything I have to say about it. We can figure this out together E.

The amazing thing about this is that E came back in to the classroom and sat directly on my lap. Whereas we might expect more anger it drew him closer instead. He listened to the book we were reading together and he had the chance for better moments. If that meant breaking some rules we were doing it.

I know as a teacher the children who will not, try to with all of their might but simply can not conform to conventional rules. I also know as a teacher we try so hard to make them do it. Not because teachers are not loving but simply because we are managing a large group of children. But I also know we can damage in to adulthood. There is no perfect formula though. For E, sitting on my lap, standing up and doing his math by my side instead of at his desk is happening. In between making bad choices towards himself or others he will feel the sting of absolute rules. But then we try again.

He was so angry with rage when he had to leave the room and certainly unhappy with me, the teacher. But he came back a different kid. We went through the same cycle in the afternoon but not as intense. He stayed in class, he worked hard on math. This is progress. Might seem small but it is progress.

E is still feeling a connection and that my friends is good news.

I’ve been with E now for a few days and I know this child struggles. He struggles with fitting in to norms and rules and expectations while the rest of the world pushes back on him. A driving force is E’s inability to manage his emotions. It’s a delicate line for him.

I am definitely not a perfectly equipped person for this calling, it tests patience to the maximum degree. But show me a classroom full of children and I will find the sweet faces who need it most. I can’t help it. They can be the most uber frustrating little people on earth
but in turn the very most loving.

I love these teaching moments beyond any words I could ever describe because they also teach me about Jesus. We all go too far with something in this life. But our teacher is patient. He knows we won’t learn unless something stops us in our tracks. Jesus loves us too much not to stop us. We might scream, have fits of rage and refuse to go to the office but He always lets us come back and try again.

And so…it’s been a happy first week of first grade so far with many new faces. E hugged me goodbye at the end of the day and asked if I happen to keep a husband around. To which he boldly replied “oh man” so I’m not sure if he was planning to propose or what…so stinking cute.

Another little man to adopt if I could.

Loved By Grace,

My Lifeguard Walks On Water

Certainly many of us humans must feel nature pounding down relentlessly these past few weeks. I've seen many Irmageddon references and I'm not sure I can personally count how many people I love who are facing the path of the current storm. Some have evacuated already, some have not.

The potential destruction and the destruction already experienced is terrifying. What a helpless feeling but how worse it must be without hope.

Scripture warns us full well what to expect. Jesus spoke on this in Matthew 24, or Luke 21 as an example. Now, I'm not saying this is indeed Armageddon times but we are certainly getting glimpses of it. It's all right there in scripture. Not warm and fuzzy to say the least.

But what is also there is my Jesus, your Jesus, our Jesus. ❤️

It is hard to wrap our minds around how God can watch and allow horrible suffering from natures destruction but the fact of the matter is that is the consequence of our humanity. Death is all our destination, good or bad, like it or not.

But He promises life after the storm, triumph over death for those who believe.

We are funny beings and I willingly present my small little mind as exhibit A. Which, I'm now taking a few friends down with me from this story but we laughed at our conversation about this so I'm certain they would agree. Anyhoo, we were discussing a slightly irrational, not likely to happen, but could happen kind of death scene the other night. This of course around the idea of being blown up at the arena while serving drinks since the security was on a high alert. One friend said we really don't want that to happen girls but if it did we will be with Jesus and He says heaven is the BEST thing ever. To which friend #2 and myself respond that we aren't so sure and she definitely would hate to be toast without the rest of her family. Heaven can not be as great as living to see grandchildren people. Apparently it supposed to be girls. To which we all said heaven needs to wait, we just aren't quite sure Jesus.

Jesus must shake his head at these antics of ours.

Storms like this remind us heaven or hell can call any time. How comforting to know our destination even when we can't quite wrap our minds completely around it.

Prayers for the people in the islands already hit and the storm approaching behind it. Prayers for the south where the storm is headed and for our immediate family who are not leaving.

Our lifeguard walks on water. ❤️

Loved By Grace,

A much better rock party…This right here all day long.

Many prayers for southern friends and family in Florida. You are on our hearts & minds.


Confessions of the Beer Cart

Yesterday might have been the craziest night working the concert circuit, otherwise called confessions of the beer cart. First starting with amped up security measures becoming more and more increasingly similar to air traffic control homeland security.

Apparently there were protesters outside and concerns of altercation sparked by the celebrity in town to take the stage. Sadly, this is a reality of the times. I did not see the protesters since staff security commences at the back of the arena. However we could sign a petition outside to legalize marijuana. Which in case you've never been smacked straight in the nostrils with a contact high in or around a stadium,
…signing or not signing is a futile point.

I'm not really sure where I land on the spectrum of this population demographic as it was quite varied. But I was less than impressed with Kid Rock. Perhaps I belonged outside with the protesters, I don't know, I guess we land somewhere in the middle at the medal detectors.

The patrons were mostly happy campers so this always makes for a fun night. I mean, who isn't happy with the beer server celebrating their 21st birthday with them upon verifying a birth year of 1976. That guy came back like ten times although he might not be feeling very well today. Lol.

The 1938 birth year was priceless because we have to card everyone. I must say I was thrilled to see such a young lad at a rap/country/rock concert. You go guy! I was fairly certain he came with his granddaughter who giggled when he finally got his beer…until she leaned in toward him in a much different way. Oops, guess it is NOT a granddaughter! Thank goodness I did not say your grandpa is so cute when she giggled. I'm telling you Loves, never judge a book by its cover. That might have been a mess but one for the book.

We are also therapists at the beer cart in case you did not know. In this particular instance to the tune of a $500 Ticketmaster bill for the floor area only to discover it paid for nose bleed seats. This poor woman was a mess, no shoes on her feet, she just wanted a beer to drown out her troubles. They are working on a refund, no worries friends. We have this under control but we had tears nevertheless and no shoes on the feet. What happened to your shoes?! She ditched them and she doesn't care. You poor thing, we need to have you do a keg stand instead of just one beer. Yep, that will take care of it. Boyfriend had no idea what a keg stand is so then we had an educational conversation about various keg activities. Okay, keg stand, I'm
just kidding. But then she left laughing with her beer so the therapy session was a success and she also might not be feeling very well today.

Now, I'm not endorsing or rebuking heavy drinking. That is between Jesus and the patrons. Our job at the beer cart is to love them either way.

Anyhoo, Kid Rock is very vocal about himself. The first thing he said was this:

You are all here to help fill up my big fat pockets.

Yes, I'm serious. This was his opening statement followed by a political speech ending in Kid Rock for President of the United States. Followed by other statements about the poor and other deadbeats our country supports.

I don't know, we all have different views on politics and that is our right. I get it, we are going to perceive truths based around our life experiences so we can give Kid Rock the benefit of the doubt. He has after all given much to his hometown of Detroit.

However, he lost me personally at filling up my big fat pockets. Which I really like his restaurant we dined at not too long ago but somehow I am no longer interested in that kind of fine dining. Jesus, I wanted to pour the beer over his head so I definitely need forgiveness over that thought. And while I'm at it, the profanity filled derogatory comments about women did not produce kind thoughts on my part either. Insert angry face…

Anything that creates a negative reaction in me I have to ask myself, would we hear Jesus say that? Big fat pockets NO from confessions of the beer cart.

But our patrons were happy and I'm certain warming up hearts is more important than pockets.

Loved By Grace,

Perfect quote from a fellow Jesus girl tonight. So many loving thoughts about this rainbow, it was quite possibly the brightest I’ve ever witnessed.

God’s promise that even when life dumps a storm on you… just around the corner is a beautiful rainbow waiting on the other side of it. ❤️

So true. This is FAITH. This is God in action. ❤️


Calm Before The Storm

The end of summer has arrived and it was definitely time. The calm before the storm. Not that I'm always this way but this year I'm on top of it peeps. Three schools, three forests full of paper,
all complete and ready to go. This girl is ready to teach.

The children however, were in complete melt down last night. I've never seen the spectacle at this magnitude, where have my children gone?! This little guy up here was so upset and nervous for the first day of school. Ten now with a new school has ushered in a strange person in his place. Could it be from his deodorant, someone is smelling manly in here, not so little boy antics? But I saw little boy last night and he is still in there.

We had tears, we had nerves, we were a HOT mess. But remember our talk today little man? Mom can watch your every move on PowerSchool so that's comforting right? You can no longer get away with forgetting to turn in your homework. HA! What was that you told me about this…I'm a creeper. Lol. You want me to be a creeper. That's my job.

Then we have the kindergartner who literally walked out the door running last year for young 5's as fast as he could. Who the heck is Mom? Don't let the door hit you. Yeah, well that guy disappeared and in his place we had can't fall asleep because he just did not want to leave Momma crying and there I am multi tasking between two sniffling boys.

Good Lord don't even get me started on middle school. Thank goodness we tackled puberty fairy mess last week. Poor kid, you are going have to suck it up because these brothers of yours are in shambles.

This is motherhood my friends, you never know what you're gonna get! Many of my fellow Momma friends are sending their kids off to school just like you and me. Many in this tribe it is their first send off. For some it is their last send off. Either way, the emotions are all the same. Letting go of these little bundles of messes is hard. It is exciting but it is mega hard. This is completely normal and that is the good news of the day to every Mom in tears.

As for me, thank you Jesus for saving this spectacle that was my home a few short hours ago from happening last year. You and I both know I would have lost my sh#% in front of these boys, in fact I know I would have lost it. So thank you Jesus for waiting until this moment to test my faith because we might not have gotten out of the rocking chair for weeks. Those twelve short months ago, holding the baby's blanket, reading I'll love you forever would have been a huge mess. I may have adopted a child or a dog or a hamster. Okay, so we may or may not have done these activities in reality…but hey, whatever we Momma's have to do…do it. This is strength.

Mess is strength if we choose to see it that way.

I just prayed about this yesterday on a different topic all together. Nevertheless, still about children. Regardless, when in the midst of a mess, have we taken it to God first? We might still fall apart, lose our sh#% and cry out in shambles but we will always do it with Jesus by our side. Somehow that makes even the worst of messes beautiful and bearable.

Anyhoo, made the fifth grader remake the picture above and that got us back to giggles and I had normal funny little guy back. The kindergartner was happy to get the undivided attention and became less thrilled with Mom after the picture marathon.

That prayer thing really works. Sometimes it is at our expense but step up to the task. Because Jesus is the best, of course.

Now, I'm claiming my house back from Tornado T, Blizzard B and Hurricane H. The fleas are their own kind of pest and I can not love them Jesus. They need to leave. A big thank you to pest control with a little help God… on speed dial. They need to GO.

Loved By Grace,


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