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Space Stalker

It is possible to control ones reactions and feelings even when one is faced with frightening hardships. The psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl has been credited with the following:

Between a stimulus and a response there is space.
It is in that space where we find our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Many call what I do for a living the behavior super hero’s. I don’t know about super hero but I do know we hold this space mentioned as sacred. We are some epic space stalkers. Major ninjas and we wear black on Friday’s. Just kidding we wear flannel Friday, it’s almost Fall.

We are space stalkers because we will keep you in this space until you get it right. Whatever “right” might be that brings about meaningful change in the persons lives.

Not going to lie, sometimes people get super pissed. I mean, don’t we all want this space to ourselves? I know I do! Do not space stalk me and error correct me when I’m doing it wrong. WTF right? Then it means I have to change. That’s too much work. No thank you. Insert scar on the arm and bruise on my elbow from the past week.

You know what? Jesus space stalks all of us when we let Him. It might even feel like He put our sweet little selves on extinction when we aren’t getting it right. That is a fancy word for ignoring. Nobody there, yep crickets. But the minute we try it His way Jesus is right there beside us. Actually He never left. Perhaps we were just escaping the space stalking? Food for thought.

One of my kiddos learned this escape trick the hard way. Yes, the consequence was horrible. She was probably thinking WTF? If I don’t escape this space stalker lady it means I have to change and that is too much work. No thank you! I’m out of here.

You are probably curious what happened? Well…she stood up to run from the work, fell down mid escape over a chair, landed on her wrist to brace the fall and fractured it. All while we were trying to help her in this space with the different choice. This happened about six months ago and while her broken wrist healed quickly, the memory of it remains for everyone involved. Today she is learning to ask for what she needs by asking for a break instead of trying to escape. Which essentially is her learning that asking for help in this space can be life changing. At the very least it is a heck of a lot better than the six weeks in an arm cast.

Instead of broken bones she has healing.

I often think of the scars on Jesus when He chose the cross. Jesus also had a choice in the space and He chose to heal us. It takes work to let the space stalker change us. In fact we might escape to a few broken bones until we learn differently.

When we accept the help and no longer engage in the escape…Jesus will be our space stalker.

I don’t know about my super hero title in people’s lives with ABA but I do know the super power of Jesus. If we embrace our imperfections, I know love will do the rest. ❤️

Proud to be a space stalker.

Loved by Grace,

Aimee

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Red Hair Don’t Care

A few weeks ago I colored the hair red. Well, I should say my friend colored my hair red because I asked her to change it. Mainly because I was just super excited for Katy Perry in concert so I thought why not? But I’m also in the business of rejecting societal norms these days. The shock value is just an added bonus!

BUT…the funniest part has been my ten year olds reaction to his mother’s antics. He HATES the hair and I do mean HATES it. To the tune of many lectures about my decision making. So much so that I put hair extensions in the next evening because he wanted to refuse family night out together which could have been because he has seen one too many sugar plums dancing or the red hair…I’m not really sure. But it was epic taunting material at my finger tips.

Lucky for him it was only temporary color. He does not like change. Who does right? But I suppose that is why I colored it. Life has taught me that we become better people when we don’t resist change. Because just maybe, what we think is the only way isn’t really the only way. But learning that the hard way is not failure, it is just a step. Most importantly, it’s the time to time to ask God to forgive us for the limited perspective until life taught us otherwise.

My mothers on the other hand love the hair! How about that for this beautiful hot mess of a flip flopped sandwich generation? YES!

But for real, what I do with my hair is nobody’s business but my own. Much like like blogging is for many, the freedom of self-expression. What we choose to see of it is our choice. Which is exactly what I used to teach my son. From the red hair don’t care mom squad. 🙂

Ps – We like funny videos…and peoples…I would have done purple but it is Christmas so red was in order. Plus I’ve had some good laughs tormenting my son. HA! It has now faded though which I’m sad about this week. DARN! I should have done permanent. However, there is always 2018!

Merry Christmas! Hooray it’s Christmas vacation! 🎄❤️🙏🏻

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Khali’s Story

Khali's is a story of healing and a story of faith which I could not be happier to see written out in her words. Love you babes.

It was one of the biggest days of the year for Khali. It was the day of Dance Masters Great Lakes Regional dance competition. This is Khali’s favorite dance competition ever.

“It’s my favorite dance competition ever because only certain dance studios can go to it,” Khali says to her Grandma while sitting on the warm couch cuddling with her blanket. Later Khali says to her mom as they are walking out the door, “Let’s go let’s go let’s go I can’t wait any longer to get there,” Khali says to her mom as they are walking out the door.

“Ok I'm coming,” Khali’s mom says trying to catch up to Khali. “On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most eager and one being the least, how excited are you for today?”, Khali’s mom asks but knows the answer.

“TEN of course I've been waiting for this for five months and I have been excited since the beginning,” Khali informs her mom as she is in the car drinking her Starbucks. Soon Khali and her mom arrived at the High School.

“Yesterday it was fun but I'm more excited for today,” Khali says to her mom as they are walking in the long hallway to reach the dressing room. “What is my order of dances?,” Khali asks her mom while sitting on the dirty choir room floor waiting to know what costume to put on first.

“Ballet team first next is Jazz team third is your solo and last is your duo,” mom says while in the middle of writing a checklist for me. Khali goes over to her bag and finds her fairy dream ballet costume. “I hope we do good,” Khali says to her mom as she puts her purple and dark green ballet costume on.

“I hope you do well too sweetie,” mom says before she kisses Khali on the forehead. “Love you, I have to go to the audience now so I won’t miss your dances,” mom says as she leaves the choir room to enter the stinky hallway. Next Khali touches up her hair and makeup and gets her wings to her fairy costume on. While Khali is backstage ready to go on she stretches and goes over the dance. A few minutes laterKhali is off stage now and her mom is still watching. Next Khali gets her sparkly and shine gold jazz costume on. Khali loves this costume because it’s like a gold sparkly flapper girl costume. Next Khali dances her jazz dance. After her jazz dance she has to go back to the stinky dressing room and gets her Lyrical solo costume on. “I like your solo costume because of the very flowy skirt and the sparkles,” Hannah, Khali’s best friend says to her.

“I like it because of that too Hannah,” Khali says to Hannah as she looks down at her dress and waves it around. Next Khali goes out in the stinky hallway and practices one of her tricks. “Lets go backstage now,” Khali says to Hannah after she does the trick.

“You are going to do great,” Hannah says to Khali as she gives her a hug. Khali goes onstage and everything is going well until Khali fixes her costume because it was in her face.

“I did so horrible I fixed my costume on stage,” Khali says to Hannah and starts crying. Next Hannah helps Khali find her mom and her mom and Hannah comfort her and tell her everything will be ok.

“You got to go get ready for your duo with Hannah now babes,” Khali’s mom says to her and helps her with getting her costume on.

“I already know I am going to make a mistake in my duo and let Hannah down,” Khali says to her mom shaking her head and looking down.

“Hey look at me you are going to do just fine babes,” Mom says to khali as she lifts her chin up. “The only time you’ll do horrible is when you tell yourself you are going to do horrible,” Mom says to khali and gives her a big hug.

“Thanks mommy I feel more confident in myself now,” Khali says to her mom as she wipes her nose.

“Now how about you go backstage with Hannah now,” Khali’s mom says to her as she gives her one last big hug. Now Khali is backstage with Hannah. “Thanks for helping me and always being there for me,” Khali says to Hannah as she gives her a hug right before they go onstage. Next Khali is thinking that she is going to have a good time when this happens. As Khali ran to the back for the ending she fixed her hair. When they get off stage Khali says “I fixed my hair as I ran back and the judges totally saw it,” Khali starts crying again and Hannah gives her a hug and says I'm sure the judges still thought we were amazing. Next Hannah helps Khali find her mom. “Why are you crying what happened?,” Khali’s mom says confused when she sees Khali crying. “I fixed my hair when I was running back and it’s my fault that me and Hannah will get the lowest score for duos. Next Khali’s teammates are walking down the hallway and they ask why Khali is crying and Khali tells them of her mistake. Next they start comforting her and telling her she did amazing. “I am sure we aren’t going to get something special,” Khali says to her mom in confidence.

“Well we don’t know for sure until you go to awards,” Khali’s mom says to her. “We’ll see,” Khali says. Khali is so nervous when she is at awards. It is almost Khali’s solo number. Then they announce that Khali got platinum and Khali is in shock. “I can’t believe I got platinum!” Khali says to Hannah as she goes back to sit down with excitement. Then Khali’s duos got platinum and high gold and Khali knows why. Now it was time for the placements and it was 15 places for each category. Khali didn’t get any of the 15-10 for her solo. “I know i’m not getting placed,” Khali says to Hannah. Then they announce that Khali’s solo got 5th place out of 15 dances. Khali was once again shocked. Khali was so happy with her solo now. Next was the duo placements. It was down to the top 4 and Khali new that Hannah and her weren’t going to get placed. Then she heard their duo name for 1ST PLACE! Khali was in even more shock and her teammates push her up there on the front of the stage and Khali’s face was still is shock. “Is this even real?,” Khali asks Hannah. “Yes this isn’t a dream,” Hannah says to Khali. Then awards ends and Khali and her teammates find Khali’s mom. When they finally find her Khali goes running down the hallway and gives her mom a huge hug. “Thanks for everything mommy and I am so thankful for you,” Khali says to her mommy and starts shedding tears of happiness on her mom's shoulder. “Now these are tears of happiness,” Khali says to everyone.

“I always knew they were,” Khali’s mom says to her as she squeezes her tighter. Last Khali goes to all of her friends and thanks them for not giving up on her when she was feeling blue and then Khali goes around to everyone and gives them each a hug. Later as Khali and her mom are walking to the car Khali’s mom asks Khali if she had the best day of her life or not. Khali responds like this. “Believe it or not this was the best day of my life even though there were a lot of tears,” Khali says to her mom.

I learned that things don’t always end bad.

 Theme: Just because you believe something is wrong doesn’t always mean that it is wrong.

Khali, 12 years old

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Pick Me Up Jar

This is one of my favorite of favorites of FAVS photos of all time. Now on year four of this journey is mind blowing. It is your journey sweet girl but my job is to clear away the voices of the world that diminish anything other than the truth of who you are in Christ.

You are currently sleeping soundly this morning from overload which is understandable given the week at hand. I know you want to homeschool and this might very well happen at some point in time but for now you are handling the balance of life with grace. It's good for you because it is teaching you how to be true to yourself in a world that doesn't understand belonging is not about being just like everyone else. And in turn it just might be encouraging others to do the same.

However, sometimes we fall…doesn't do any good to pretend otherwise. Not the poster child for the rise and fall message but the amazing thing is Jesus tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal. Which means this girl right here is pretty good at the fall, working on the rise. Which also makes me a messy grace advocate. There is a teacher however who shows us messy grace perfectly and his name is Jesus.

Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough." ~ Luke 5:31-32.

You'll be very unhappy about this photo but will forgive me a later time when you are once again needing a rest day with a cup of hot chocolate at Christmas. It will remind you of these memories and you will smile.

Because this is the stuff memories are made of right here. I asked you the other day if you think you will remember moments when you got something, you know, brought something home with you.
Or if you will remember the moments you connected with simply the memory of being part of something. You responded with the second statement.

It can be a hard lesson but so very true.

Rest and remember who you are in Christ matters exponentially more than any voices, internal or external to the contrary.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13 ❤️

The pick me up jar.

  1. Be still, my soul, the Lord is by thy side” KatherinevonShlegel
  2. Fear not, I Am With Thee, be not dismayed, for I Am Thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, I will uphold with the right
    hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10
  3. Wait on the Lord, be of courage and He will strengthen thy heart. ~ Psalm 27:14
  4. Keep trying, keep trusting, keep believing, keep growing. Heaven is cheering for you! Today, tomorrow and forever. ~ Elder Holland
  5. See the good in yourself! ~ Elder Holland
  6. We are infinitely more than our limitations and our afflictions. ~ Jeffery R. Holland
  7. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. ~ Jeffrey R. Holland
  8. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
  9. Never give up on anyone, and that includes giving up on yourself! ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  10. God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  11. When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.
  12. Rejection is Gods way of saying “wrong choice dear”.
  13. Come what may and love it!
  14. Don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness.
  15. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
  16. God sometimes takes us into troubled waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us.
  17. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
  18. Think positive, be positive.
  19. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  20. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss.
  21. Pray More, worry less.
  22. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than when we realize how well we know our Father in Heaven and how familiar his face is to us. ~ Ezra Taft Benson
  23. There are far, far better things ahead, than any we have left behind. ~ C.S. Lewis
  24. You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.
  25. It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop. ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  26. Courage, dear heart. ~ C.S. Lewis
  27. The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style. ~ Maya Angelou
  28. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. ~ Maya Angelou
  29. All flesh is in my hands; be still and know that I am God.” D&C 101:16 30.
  30. We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ~ Frederick Keonig
  31. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. ~ Helen Keller
  32. Happiness is a state of activity. ~ Aristotle
  33. It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. Look to me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not.” D&C 6:36 39.
  35. Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.
  36. If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
  37. It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
  38. for I Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.” 1 Nephi 1:20
  39. Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
  40. Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. ~ Mandy Hale
  41. Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  42. Bloom where you are planted.”
  43. I am encircled about eternally in the arms of His love.” 1 Nephi 1:15
  44. But the Lord stood with me, and gave me strength.” 2 Timothy 4:17
  45. 5 Simple Rules to be HAPPY 1) Free your mind from hate 2) Free your mind from worry 3) Live simply 4) Give more 5) Expect less
  46. Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little and are thankful for the little things in life.
  47. He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
  48. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~ Psalm 22:6
  49. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
  50. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Perfectly Imperfect

I love moments when I have opportunities to reinforce this with our daughters. Because the truth is the world will always tell us we are not good enough. It is our job to remind them of Psalm 139:14.

The person you give the beautiful painting to constantly points out its flaws. How does that make you feel?
We feel small.
We feel less than.
We feel weak.
We feel flawed.
We feel incapable.
We feel unworthy.
We feel angry.
We feel sad.
We feel defeated.
We feel imperfect.

There are 2 billion women with girls on this planet who have not heard of Jesus or do not know Him. Perhaps having the same feelings about the painting He has given to them too.

Perfectly imperfect is God's reality about you and me, my sweet girls. Imperfection is and always will be perfectly enough for His love.

We want to follow Jesus but doubt our ability to do it. Well of course given what we see above. But what if it is not about doubting our faith. What if it is that Jesus has faith in you?

Perfectly imperfect in Jesus's eyes.❤️

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

I’m Fine

I don't know about you but this week, this month, sure feels like a huge gigantic shit show. I would like to tell you that I'm drawing on the strength in Jesus, strength all us Christians have exponentially. While this is true, I am drawing on His strength, it is also true that I am not feeling fine.

How can we be fine with this? How can we just offer empty words that everything happens for a reason to someone who has lost everything? Whether it be from a hurricane, from an earthquake, from ever changing policy or opinion or at the hands of another human. This is horrific.

Everything happens for a reason is not a comfort to us. It might be eventually in our heavenly fathers presence but certainly not now. What does God want us to do when we just don't understand? When we can barely see past the tears struggling to hold on to our trust in Him? When we are angry and scared from tragedy and from things out of our control. What are we to do?

We can do one of two things. We can shut down our own humanity or we can pour our hearts out to Jesus. I'm not talking about the nice, well written, well spoken all positive prayers we think we should be saying to God. We can certainly speak those positive prayers and we very well should be thankful for many moments. But to pour out is to give Jesus ALL of our emotions. The good, bad and the ugly. Whether we speak them or
not we can not hide any thought from Jesus.

And the truth is I'm not very happy with God right now. I don't get it, I don't understand and I just want to make it stop. He could make it stop and He hasn't yet! None of this makes any sense! Yes, I have told Jesus every last emotion I've felt this week. He can handle it.

Shutting down our humanity because of shame instead of pouring it out to Jesus only subjects us to a life of sadness. Jesus lived in a human body, He knows humanity in its most intimate sense and while He did not succumb to the evil of shutting out good, Jesus sure faced it head on. Just like we do in all of life's tragedy and mess.

I truly believe what must be happening when someone loses touch with their humanity is they shut out good until gradually all that is left is the lie in their head that all they are is bad. Reinforced by the shutting out of good, reinforced by opinion around them, reinforced period. Once that lie is in place…why not the unspeakable or anything else for that matter?

One of the things that haunts me the most with all the news coverage of Vegas is that the shooter called his family just weeks prior to make sure they were not harmed in the wake of hurricane Irma. I don't want the focus of my blog entry to be on the shooter because his actions are horrific. But this piece of the coverage is not an indicator of someone being all evil. Yet evil prevailed in them just weeks later.

How did things go so wrong Jesus? I don't understand. I can't accept throwing our hands up in the air and directing people straight to hell. It's just not in me to give up on good.

Rewind back to school earlier this week. Children have an amazing way of restoring hope in humanity don't they? This is going to be a good day. At times I get the opportunity to work individually with at risk children and this was one of those weeks. If I had my choice this is what I would do full time, I just adore them.

In walks E who I've known for a while because I taught him last year a few times. The para and I weren't sure if he would be in to see me today since Mom has had to find an alternative way of getting him to school. You see E was suspended off the bus for behavior but he is here and we are to work on writing. This is E's fourth grade writing story so far…

"The kids are at recess and there is a bully with them. The bully has a brick, throws it at the kids and hits a kid in the head."

E needs to add more detail to finish the story. What happens after the bully hits the kid?

"The bully tries to run away from them."

Who is chasing the bully E?

"The teacher guard is chasing the bully to try to catch him."

What was happening at recess to the bully, why did the bully want to throw the brick at one of the kids? Were they hurting the bully E?

"The bully threw the brick at the kids head for fun," said E.

This right here is heart breaking. This is a child who is emotionally at risk for shutting down his humanity and in some cases is already doing it. But here is the thing, we can not assist him in shutting out the good. We can not give up. We can not let the lie of bad win.

I'm also reading a book currently which I should possibly set down because one more tragic tale is just about one too many for the week for this girl. Why did I think this was a good idea? I'm not sure. Nevertheless my reading brought me to this family's story. Perhaps I'll do a book review in more detail but it is about differing opinions in which not all supports the others choices. At the same time they are desperately hoping this loved one will accept Jesus as their savior before death. At the end of the day, it didn't happen. They passed on not believing in God.

OH EM GEE, I can't take this sweet Jesus. What on earth am I supposed to take away from all of this? After hyperventilating for a few days pouring out to him I think I finally get it. We have to be very careful about winning hearts for Jesus and while we think we are speaking truth as God might want us to speak, we are in an equal position to reinforce love. When in doubt, choose love over anything else because it is the only way to win hearts for Jesus. He would rather have us in heaven then lose us from shutting down our humanity. Which means he will take us as we are, no other emphasis needed.

At the end of the day, it is an individual choice and therefore our impact toward others is not to be taken lightly.

Mental illness is one of the biggest killers of humanity. The gun, the brick, the bomb. Whatever tool used is the culmination of human experience screaming to say, you were right.

Satan is not right. Those at risk children throwing bricks for fun are the same children who reach in the closet for their snack, pull out two bags, hand one to the teacher and say "I want you to eat with me because you need to have food too."

We can all say…WHERE IS THE KLEENEX BOX!

Good is always there for the taking and we must do everything we can to have it win in us, for us and for our children's future.

Constant prayers to all lives lost, comfort for their families and loved ones even if it is just one breath at a time with peace only Jesus can bring.

Psalm 34:18 ~ The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

The Struggle Is Real

Something slightly profound hit me this week. No, I'm not talking about any divine prophesy such as the one the twelve year old asked me yesterday. Unfortunately I do not know when the end of the world will happen but I do not trust it will be on Saturday. Apparently, the middle school demographic in town has its sights on this weekend. To which I say no freaking way! I have a beach to go park myself on and never leave. Good luck with dooms day darlings.

Anyhoo, I draw my answer from devotion this week…only God knows this answer, we are not God and thank the Lord for that because I do not need to know everything! Hallelujah.

Back to my profound moment on this road of personal evolution. Seeing as though Saturday will probably come and go just fine.

Self clarity 101…I've spent a good part of my life accepting suffering solely from a powerless perspective. And for me, the experience and reaction to powerlessness was learned through abuse in childhood. When we are not in control and yet dependent on others who are not honoring our well being, we are powerless. Therefore suffering equals powerless and powerless is always negative.

When I say this I mean intensely UBER negative. Suffering naturally then, is to be avoided at all costs. Not just for ourselves but for everyone around us. Insert hashtag, #hyper-vigilant. Which I think is normal human reaction but even more so for those who have lived with abuse or neglect.

But in order for us to understand grace, we have to understand we are utterly dependent on God. That dependency however is a positive one.

And so, I've been tackling this issue of powerlessness at therapy. This week I used my boys as an example and the countless times I have looked at them and thought, I could not live through witnessing this kind of struggle in their life or those they grow up loving. As if somehow avoiding suffering for them wills myself to an amount normalcy in my own life.

Normalcy…what exactly is it? Another writing topic all together for some other day.

Avoiding suffering of any kind could be looked at very differently. Yes, most mothers would never wish suffering on their child. I would argue most mothers can cause themselves a great level of anxiety thinking about all the bad things that can happen around us. But that doesn't change the fact that suffering happens.

In many cases though, suffering brings us directly to God. Our struggle so often becomes a crossroad to the cross. A stronger faith and a closer relationship with Jesus. So even though we are powerless, we trust that Jesus isn't! Because, He is the best!

Suddenly that isn't so negative.

I don't think I would have truly understood this without struggle. I would never trade Jesus for anything. Would I be at this level of faith without it? Would I be a witness to Christ without burden? That is a much different way to think about a beautiful hot mess.

Therefore I need not avoid suffering, for myself or others. Perhaps even the absence of or minimal experiences of suffering serves as a liability to faith.

It's the way we learn that He is God and we are not. ❤️

Now if you'll excuse me, decompressing from the kindergarten cop title of the week. The ten year old talking to me about the fact that he has dark hair growing in places…was not quite what I had in the decompressing mind. Oh buddy, fifth grade means health class this year and talks about puberty. This is normal okay. But yes, you can talk to Mom about it any time but really? On the expressway in a traffic jam? Well, dark hair is growing on my big toe.

Lord help me! Thank goodness God is God and I am NOT!

Now one more time…if you'll excuse me, I will be on the big lake with a book. No household responsibility, no littles to keep alive and perhaps a few adult beverages. Invitation declined…said no Mom EVA!

And we all said, A to the MEN!

Slow down enough to see and hear God's voice. ❤️

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

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,
Aimee

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,

Aimee

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