Happy Go Stuckey


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One Second. (#Write31Days)

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

Day 21/31 (only 10 days left in October!)

“Okay sweetie, just give me a second and I’ll be right there.”

I say that a lot.

Somedays it feels like it’s ALL I say. Or the many varied versions that put off the given request to a more convenient time.

Let’s be clear, I struggle in this area. 

Most days it is because I am outnumbered. And the requests pile up a little bit faster than I can fulfill them.

And it’s me– trying to be there when they need me and not be stretched in too many directions of my little taffy-pulling sweethearts.

Yes. I struggle to not say it all the time whenever asked “Mommy? Will you…?”

I also struggle with the struggling, because although I REALLY want my children to know I’m there for them, always there for them–

I do not want to raise self-absorbed, demanding little humans.

And there is a definite balance.

And some days I think I might have a hint of what the secret is–

and other days I absolutely do not have a clue.

But this I do know.

This time– this time of parenting very small ones who need some kind of help with just about every.thing. It won’t last.

It’s Oh so temporary.

It is the season of all seasons that will quickly morph into, “I got it mom.” “No, really Mom– I got it.. Can I have the keys and 20 bucks please?”

And to be truthful, that feeling is slightly encouraging some days–

But most days it just makes me want to do nothing but spend all my seconds coloring with them, while having tea parties and dressing up.

They won’t be these little sparkly- tu-tu’ed fairies forever.

And when they no longer need help every other second of the day– it is exactly these days right here, I’ll be reflecting on.

Sitting with my morning coffee– and remembering how sweet this time really was.

 


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On Fear and Cancer.

Your voice wavered on the other end of the line as you paused to collect yourself and a softball of dread dropped into my stomach. Bad news. The lump rose in my own throat.

Cancer. You said. And I cried right then and there in that parking lot. I listened as you told me what your Doctor’s plans were. Swift course of action and then two weeks of waiting to see if they got it all.

It feels as though I’ve been carrying around a backpack of bricks since then– and I don’t know if your burden feels any lighter, knowing so many who love you are carrying it with you. But I hope so. 

And friend, dear friend who has meant so much to me these last few months. Who makes me both love and hate my spin bike three times a week as you encourage us all to just keep going– It’s our turn to be your coach.

It’s our turn to cheer you on. It’s our turn to tell YOU you can do this. It’s our turn to be there. And we will be. We will be there to remind you that HE HAS THIS. Because He most certainly does. He has this. He has you– right in His healing hands.

You’re the one whose name is on that medical chart, but we are all a little bit scared.

When the outcome is uncertain, the future is a little scary.

So here is what we do know:

Cancer stinks. The FEAR is big and it’s real and it can choke the truth out of what we know sometimes. We cannot let that happen. We need that truth  to guide us through these next few days. So if you forget, let us remind you.

Because even when our fear is awfully big, OUR GOD IS BIGGER.

And not for one moment on that operating table or any moment after will ever HE leave your side. 

We are praying for the Doctors, we are praying that they are swift and merciless with that awful stuff that threatens your health. But we know that at the end of the day, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

So go bravely tomorrow. And today and every day after, we will remember–

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3,4

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No-Bake Granola Bites (#Write31Days)

Day 18/31

The word is Taste and Ya’ll. You have to taste these. They make a fantastic snack, a perfect choice to take to a new mom who needs quick calories, a delicious and sneakily healthy dessert for little ones, or the perfect thing with your afternoon coffee. Ask me how I know.

This recipe is one I have tweaked from pulling several other recipes together. Some called for things we didn’t care for, so we just substituted ingredients we do like– and you can totally do that with these– make them your own!

Granola Bites

No-Bake Granola Bites

  • 1 cup of regular dry rolled oats
  • heaping 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of honey (you can sub maple syrup– both are great.)
  • 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup of toasted wheat germ (you can double the flax if you want to avoid the wheat germ)
  • 2/3 cup of coconut
  • 1 tbs. chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (heaping)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt

**Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Then roll into balls, I used a tbs. size disher– and keep refrigerated. Sometimes they are messy to roll, wet your hands and it will be a bit easier.

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

Don’t forget to enter the Away We Go Co. Giveaway over here— only a few more days to win a set of their beautiful prints for your home! 


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The Good Kind of Long Days (#Write31Days)

Day 17/31

Our family has been needing a little rest and refreshing together, so we found a little cabin in the Georgia Mountains and jumped on it. We packed our cozy socks, fleeces all around, no-bake granola bites, and the ingredients for chili and hit the road last friday afternoon.
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We picked big beautiful apples, which turned into a pretty unforgettable memory of standing in a torrential downpour while our girls wailed at the top of their lungs, but standing out there in that huge apple orchard with absolutely no outside noise and only the smell of all that fresh fruit was surreal.
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We rode the railway into TN and ate Ice Cream Cones on the bank of the river in perfect 70 degree weather. We spent three full days just enjoying together, with very little distraction.

One afternoon the girls rested and Lance and I sat on the back deck and drank piping hot lattes (because you should never leave home without an espresso pot and a milk frother,) and read real books in total silence. And it was in that moment that it hit me– how much more DAY is left when you slow down long enough to watch the minutes pass.
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The quiet was so thick, you could almost hear it– and as the wind whistled through the rapidly falling leaves, I am pretty sure I heard the sound of my own stress and striving melting away with the deep exhale of remembering how to breathe.

The days felt so much longer because there was so much less in them. However, they were far from empty– but rather felt more full than all those days that burst at the seams with hurry and a 3 foot long to-do list. I need more of that in my life. Every day cannot be spent at a cabin with no internet and barely enough square feet to keep everyone from being on top of everyone else– but still. Quiet is so healing. 

It was good for the younger members of our party too– instead of a slightly over-full playroom, there was a small stack of coloring books gracing a sunny spot on the floor by the back door. They laid there on a blanket and colored and giggled and had plenty of silly moments– and it was more than enough. For all of us, it was more than enough and all that we needed. 
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HEY!!! Don’t forget to enter the Away We Go Co. Giveaway over here!!! Only a few more days!


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Adjust and a Fun Bloggi-versiary! (#Write31Days)

Day 16/31

Today is my 400th Blog Post!!!!! I know– how fun?!?!?!? However, a small disclaimer– I’ve been blogging in some capacity for 7 years. So when you think of it that way– it’s not really all that great!!! HA! BUT, most of those posts have been in the last 18 months. Before that I was all, slap a photo up every three weeks and call it a wordless wednesday, or wordless monday or whatever. (please don’t go back to my earlier archives. It won’t be pretty. Actually, it might be very pretty because it will mainly be pictures of the children.. with very little constructive thought. :)

But around the summer of 2013, I began to write more frequently with a renewed purpose and defined passion. It quickly became something I couldn’t not do. This last month of the #Write31Days challenge has been tough, I can not lie. From being on a 2-3 times per week consistency to publishing every single day– whew! It’s been quite the adjustment.

I have gotten up earlier, stayed up later ( a few times,) missed out on things I wanted to do, conversations I wanted to have, places I wanted to go– but the trade off has really been worth the sacrifice.

Just the exercise of writing something every day has been freeing. After October is finished, I cannot imagine I will continue posting more than my usual schedule of 2-3 times per week– but I have learned that I need to be doing some type of writing every day. In a journal, on a document, on a post-it, even. Just something.

Emily Freeman said,Sometimes I write because I have something to say.. and sometimes I write because I need to remember how to see.” 

So true. The principal of paying attention is something I need more in my life and this month, just knowing I needed to write every day has given me a renewed sense of opening my eyes to all around me. To paying better attention. 

And though I feel as though I have had to simply adjust many things in my day to allow for the time to write daily, it has really been so much more than that– as the exercise and the discipline of it has adjusted my vision. 

I hope I keep my eyes wide open long after October is over. Thank you for coming back every day and sticking with me!

2-31DAYSMEDIUM


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Life, no matter how brief. (#Write31Days.)

15/31 2-31DAYSMEDIUM

Sitting in that waiting room was perhaps the longest wait of my life. We were brand new in town and newly pregnant with our 2nd child. Well, we had been pregnant with our 2nd child. By the time I could get an available appointment as a new patient, I was quite certain we had lost the baby. This day was to confirm what I already knew in my heart.

20 minutes after checking in, a nurse called me aside to discuss the results of my test. Except it really wasn’t to the side at all, we were just off from the waiting room and her loud voice could surely be heard by just about everyone sitting nearby. She tossed her blonde hair over the shoulder of her scrubs and looked down at my chart,

umm. just one thing.– you aren’t pregnant.” she said and looked up at me with this *brand new information.*

Yes. I know I’m not. I’ve just had a miscarriage.” I said as quietly as possible. (This was my CHILD we were talking about so casually.)

Uh, No hon. You’ve got a UTI. There were red-blood cells in your test.” She continued flippantly.

No. I was pregnant and I’ve had a miscarriage. I do not have a UTI.” I said flatly and looked across the room at Lance who saw the need to rescue me and began to get up.

Ok.” she said, “Well, either way– the Dr will see you when it’s your turn.”  She gave me a false sympathetic glance and turned and walked away. I walked over and found the couch beneath me just before my legs gave out.

My sweet guy comforted me and we both rolled our eyes at the uncouth-ness of such a person.                                                                              And then we had to wait again for a whole hour.

During which I nervously flipped through an old Good Housekeeping Magazine and tried to read an article about spring-cleaning your closet. The glossy, scented pages did nothing to distract me from the shouting thoughts in my head.

“Did I get it wrong? Was the test a false-positive? What about the 2nd test? The 3rd test? All false positives?” 

I sat there in my grief which now had the added pressure of utter foolishness added on top.

“But wait? I KNOW I was pregnant. I had symptoms. I felt the loss when it happened?!!!” 

By the time I entered the exam room of the kind man who would deliver our Abigail, I was in tears.

I told him what happened with the nurse and he frowned for a long time.

I told him I knew I had lost the baby– and frantically asked him to just please confirm that I had been pregnant. Just tell me the life WAS there. Please. 

I had already dealt with losing a baby to miscarriage. I could not handle being told he or she was never there in the first place.

He did. He told me I had lost the baby right around when I thought and that my body was already beginning to heal.

He was kind and apologetic and told me I could try again.

And my smile through the tears came without warning.

Because it’s very difficult to celebrate life (even ever so brief) if we never acknowledge its’ presence.

Four years later, my heart is full to bursting with the love of two little girls– both given to us as gifts. But I still remember. I can’t not remember. I have to remember. Every now and then. Life is still life, no matter how short.

And we do the sanctity of life a huge disservice when we try to be BRAVE and gloss over and pretend we FOCUS on what we DO have all the time— and not ever really, truly– REMEMBER.

Because that child of ours– he exists. In heaven, with the One whose image he reflects. And he already knows things about my God that I have yet to see with my own eyes. And I will not forget. I will remember with absolute Joy and celebration– but I will not forget. 


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Away We Go Co. & a Giveaway! (#Write31Days)

Day 14/31

Earlier this summer I sat in a dimly lit ballroom in Texas with a few new friends. We chatted, sipped decaf coffee and ate pie. The lights came up on stage and a video began telling the story of a young family who were church planters in Amsterdam. The screen filled with breathtaking photographs of a city half a world away– a city filled with so much culture and for many young girls, so much pain.

Chris and Cassandra Kuykendall of Away We Go Co. (formerly ckdesignmission,) came to the Declare Conference to share their mission and their artful design prints. Their mission is to share hope with the people of Amsterdam through church planting and cultural renewal, helping rescue young girls from the red light district. I sat there transfixed with their testimony and suddenly felt very small. Here stood this Mom & Dad, with two little girls just like mine– willing to take their babies clear across the world– to rescue someone else’s little girls. And here I struggled with much smaller forms of obedience. _MG_7460

Long after my cup of coffee was gone and the presentation was over, their story stuck with me. Their mission struck a chord with me and I wanted to help. I came home with two prints to hang in my own house hoping my small purchase would help out. God doesn’t call everyone to Amsterdam, but He most certainly calls us all to something. Sometimes we wonder what our obedience measures up to alongside someone so brave– but here’s the truth:

They need to be sent. And we can help. We can pray. We can give. We can follow their family’s story right down the streets of the city they love so much.

When we purchase one of their gorgeous prints, we cover our walls with an encouraging, tangible reminder of what we really can do to help. At the same time, our purchase provides a steady stream of support for their family and their mission.

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I treasure the beautiful prints I bought at Declare this summer, and I hope that each time I pass them by, I think to pray for the Kuykendall’s and the people of Amsterdam. If you would like to purchase some of these prints for yourself (or a Christmas gift!) you can check them out here!  You can order a print shipped to you in three different sizes, or can choose an instant printable option as well.

**** Guess what, friends?!  The lovely owners of Away We Go Co. have offered a very generous giveaway of TWO 11×14 Prints to one HappyGoStuckey reader!!!

–The only thing YOU have to do to enter is to go HERE and sign up for their mailing updates (scroll down to the bottom left,) and then come back here and comment below to tell me you did. 

– You can also earn bonus entries, if you share this giveaway on Facebook or become/ are a HappyGoStuckey follower (Leave one comment below for each entry.) 

Giveaway will close one week from tomorrow, 10/22

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