Tag Archives: Austin

Take That Flat Tire and Shove It

4 Mar

“Don’t live like God can do anything; live like He WILL.”

“If I truly believe in Jesus, I have to know everything will be ok.”

2 things I desperately needed to hear.  2 statements that I can throw in the devil’s face when I feel him creeping on me.

When we first moved to Austin, I was surrounded by new and this caused me to live in fear.  I seriously thought every time my phone rang it was a cop letting me know Brandn died.  It took a few months but I got over that ridiculousness.  Well the last month or so, that fear came back.  I’m a stay home mom and so this fear would hit everyday about 3pm if Brandn wasn’t home from work yet.  I would start to think he was in a car wreck and dead.  How would I breath?  What do I tell our girls?  I would have to go back to work.  How do you do that when you just lost your husband and your daughters just lost their dad?  What do you tell the interview person when she says “I see you were a stay home mom, what made you decide to come back to work?” “My husband just died and I have 2 kids and bills and a mortgage to pay” doesn’t exactly scream I’m awesome, hire me!

I was at a women’s conference this past weekend.  Lisa Harper was talking about being brave and she said “Don’t live like God can do anything; live like He WILL.”  She did a bravery alter call and I went up.  I knew it was time to kick this fear thing in the butt.  I knew it was time to let go.  You see, the devil tells us lies that are laced with truth which makes them oh so easy to believe.  The devil knows that fear is how he can get me; and I had had enough of it.  It’s time to be brave!

Well, you know what happened next?  I got to my car, it was after 9pm, I was in the back of a parking lot, it was freezing and starting to ice.  I had a freaking flat tire; are you kidding me?!?  I can’t change a tire.  I’ve tried.  I’m not strong enough to loosen the lug nuts.  I made a bold move to conquer my fear and within minutes, the devil tried to knock me down…that pissed me off.

The next day Christine Caine said “If I truly believe in Jesus, I have to know everything will be OK.”  She said she came to this realization when she was waiting 3 weeks to find out what stage her cancer was in.  She has a husband and 2 girls and she realized it was going to be OK if she died.  She spends her life serving God, and she knows that her God, her Jesus Christ, will make it ok no matter what.  MY.JESUS.WILL.MAKE.IT.OK.

I so needed to hear those 2 sentences.  I wrote them down.  I have memorized them.  I believe them. I know exactly what to tell the devil when fear starts rising up in me.  When I make a stand against the devil and he throws something in my way, like a flat tire, I have God’s truth to stand on and I will tell the devil to take his flat tire and shove it!


Miles of Calfs

16 Feb

February 15, 2015.

The day after Valentine’s Day. Exactly 10 months after I pushed an 8 pound, 7 oz baby from my body.  It’s also the day I ran my first Half Marathon!  I say “first” because I.WILL.DO.IT.AGAIN.  My friend ran the full marathon, she’s crazy, she’s also pictured below.  I ran the half, therefore I’m only half crazy.  Logic enough…moving on!

It was so amazing.  15,000 people gathered in downtown Austin to run, sweat and cuss together. I felt pretty darn good around mile 6 and I thought maybe I won’t turn off at mile 10 for the half and I’ll keep trucking along with my friend and run all 26.2 miles.  This was a fleeting thought and then I came to my senses.  I gave her a hi-5 at the split and went on my jovial way to the finish line….duces sucker!  I say that with love.  She knows I’m in awe of her and think she’s awesome!

When I run, I look at the road about 10 feet in front of me.  So this means I saw 13.1 miles of calfs.  All kinds of calfs show up to run a marathon and for your reading pleasure I’ll give you a glimpse into my mind while staring at them:

-Wow, those calfs are shiny.

-She has perfect calfs, I wished my calfs liked like that.

-Ewww, he needs to wax.  I wonder if his bed is covered in body hair.

-Those socks are awesome.

-What a cool tattoo…I want a tattoo.

-I don’t get that tattoo.

-I think those are the biggest calfs I have ever seen.

-That chick is barefoot.  She looks like a hippie, she needs a hula-hoop.

Don’t judge me.  I was running and the blood was flowing to my legs not my brain.  After 10 miles I was tired so it was perfect timing when I saw my husband and girls right after the split; their cheering was a very appreciated boost to finish the last 3 miles.  I saw my daughter waving at someone other than me and I thought who in the world would my 7 year old daughter know running in a marathon.  It turns out her teacher was in front of me and I spend the next 3 miles stalking the ladies with long brown hair; I never found her.

Take a look at your calfs.  They are yours and no matter what thought is running through your head, I hope you find them beautiful.  We are so judgmental and usually our toughest critique, I know I am.  You may look at your body right now and think you’re too big or thin and want to change it.  That’s ok!  There is no harm in wanting to be healthy but first we have to get our brains healthy.  We have to be able to look at ourselves and not hate what we see.  We have to love ourselves before we can truly love others.  You are beautiful.  Smile and be happy today.



Getting a hi-5 from my daughter at mile 10.  Photo cred to my husband.  I told him if he takes a pic I better look good and not shlumpy and gross...he did good. lol

Getting a hi-5 from my daughter at mile 10. Photo cred to my husband. I told him if he takes a pic I better look good and not shlumpy and gross…he did good. lol

After Marathon


Thanks for allowing me to share  my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Over Achieving Parents

2 Jun

We did it!  We survived the school year and today is the first official day of Summer vacation!  (Insert happy dance here, course, we’ll see how long this excitement lasts, by the end of August I’ll be banging my head on the wall and counting down the days till school starts again.)

We started off the school year with a bang.  I looked in her “red folder” every night and initialed the day’s activities and we did homework.  I’m not the kind of mom that is satisfied with the assignment so of course I added more every day.  Every week I looked in her “Thursday folder” and read all the take home papers and signed and dated it each week.  Her lunches were pack with care and every effort was made to ensure she had something from each food group.  We woke up early every morning so we had plenty of time to walk to school.  We were all smiles, quite the happy little family.

I had a baby in April so school stuff got put on the back burner.  Now, before you check out and call me a bad mom for not placing value in my child’s education, let me tell you she’s in Kindergarten so it’s not like she was missing much.  I think we did homework every other day…maybe, I signed her Thursday folder but the papers got placed in a pile and were recycled without being read.  Forget walking to school.  We were lucky to get her there on time.

Every grading period there was an award ceremony.  She got an award for Reading and Math every 6 weeks but she never received the perfect attendance award, not once.  Her school district allows kids to miss 17 days before they send parents to jail so we took full advantage.  There were kids with perfect attendance for the whole year, seriously!!  Mine missed the first Friday, we didn’t even make it one week before we ruined her shot at perfect attendance.

Perfect attendance has nothing to do with the kids and everything to do with the parents.  I’ve decided kids who have not missed a day of school have over achieving parents.  Most kids would rather stay home so it’s the parents that make them go.  (I guess perfect attendance will increase their chance to get into a good college or something, whatever.)  A kid at school everyday means they went sick at least once; probably the one that made mine sick who then had to miss 2 days till her fever went down, thanks alot!   She missed several days due to Strep throat and also for fun stuff stuff like camping and a hockey game.

Well, it’s summertime now; lets see how this plays out.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Big and Little…Let’s do Both!!

27 Dec

This past weekend, my church did it’s annual Christmas Outreach where we load up the trailer and head downtown to the homeless community and hand out backpacks (stuffed with socks, wash rags, bandanas, food, oranges, water, juice, chapstick, bus passes and hand sanitizer) along with breakfast burritos and bottled water. This started 3 years ago with the thought of “This isn’t right and we have to do something.” Each year it had gotten progressively bigger: 38 backpacks the 1st year; 50ish backpacks the 2nd year and 100 backpacks this year!!!! Not only is the number of backpacks increasing, so is the number of volunteers and children that show up to help.

When they told me this year’s goal was 100, my stomach was in knots. You see, I count the money and I knew how much this would cost. I’ll admit it; I didn’t think we could do it. With 3 weeks left we still weren’t even half way there and I was stresses out. Well God proved Himself faithful once again and ALL the money came in…big shocker….why do I doubt? I don’t know.

This was big, this was a church event. I believe that churches should do events like this. Most churches have the resources to hold events; they have volunteers, time and money. Even if your church is small, my church is small so I get that it’s hard, it still should do something. If your church has events, I strongly encourage you to participate and get involved.


After the Outreach, we went back to church and held service. Our praise and worship team did “Little Drummer Boy.” During the song, something hit me. All I know about this boy is he’s little, he’s a drummer, and he’s poor. Even though he’s a boy; he gets it. He gets something that most of us adults – including me, don’t get.

Some lyrics: Little baby…I’m a poor boy too…I have no gift to bring…that’s fit to give our King…I played my drum for Him….I played my best for Him…Then He smiled at me.

This little boy didn’t over complicate it. He didn’t think his song wasn’t good enough. He was fearless. He knew his abilities. He knew what he had and he acted on it. This little boy gave Jesus ALL he had to offer…a song. And then Jesus smiled at him.

I’m not fearless. I find myself looking at a need that is so great I easily get discouraged and think what I can offer isn’t good enough, so I don’t do anything. The lesson to be learned from this little drummer boy is: give what you can.

What can I give? A smile to THAT co-worker. Yes, we all have one and when we see them walking our way, we get up and pretend to be needed elsewhere. ..An extra hug to my husband whose love language is touch. ..An extra 10 minutes to my daughter even though I desperately want to finish mopping my very light colored tile floors after a storm and 2 muddy dogs have run across the entire downstairs…Waiting 5 minute to reply to someone who has just made me mad so my response isn’t ulgy…Being less judgmental because who am I to judge?

Even though I believe we should be involved in the big events, we can’t depend on those alone. There are countless small ways to make a difference and show love. The little drummer boy played a song and Jesus smiled at him. I want my daily actions to cause Jesus to smile at me and honestly, I know a lot of them don’t.

I’m going to work on this in 2014. My New Year’s Resolution is to make Jesus smile. I encourage/challenge you to join me!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…..welcome to my brain.

What is Worship?

6 Nov

Worship…how do you define it?  My free online dictionary defines is as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.”   Disclaimer – I have done absolutely no scientific research here, but I bet most people would define it as singing, you know, praise and worship songs.  I would define it as how you live your life.  You can show adoration to God by what you do or don’t do. You know, by NOT yelling at the guy at Austin Shoe Hospital who tells you it will cost $120 to fix your shoes and when you say no I can buy a new pair for $78 and a child in need will receive a pair of shoes as well, he then tells you he can’t find your shoes even tho you have a ticket with the number on it…hypothetical situation of course!

Anyway, lets talk about songs.  Worship music is  powerful.  Shutting out the world, lifting you hands in a sign of surrender and praising the God of the universe.  It’s even more powerful praising God when you’re in the middle of the storm.

Here’s my story – several months ago I had a miscarriage.  I was depressed for about 6 weeks; some people knew, most people didn’t.  One Sunday we did this song at church…listen to it!  As I was singing “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive” I broke down, I realized that I wasn’t living alive.  I was living in a state of not really living.  I would cry all the time, I would do what it took just to get through the day.  I was so focused on what I had lost that I didn’t see the greatness in front of me daily; I had allowed myself to steal my joy.  God revealed Himself to me in that moment.  I knew He saw my pain and I knew He felt my pain as well.  That was all it took.  I allowed myself to pull out of my funk; In that moment, in God’s presence, I found my joy again.

Chairein (pronounced Kie-rain) – is Greek; it means “joy to you.”  I LOVE this.  It will be my next tattoo and I want it to be our child’s middle name….Brandn has vetoed this, but I’m stubborn and still fighting for it.  For me, it’s personal.  It’s a reminder that joy is not found in situations but in God.  Joy is my (your) birthright from God and no one has the right, including myself (yourself), to take it away from me (you)…I’ll say that again…Joy is your birthright from God, and no one, absolutely no one had the right to take it away from you.  That’s good, let sink in.

Situations can flat out suck, people can suck.  They let us down but God never will.  It’s hard to praise and worship when your heart is ripped out.  It’s hard not to be mad at God when things happen we don’t want or understand.  God is big, He can handle us being mad at Him.  He created the universe so I don’t think the fact that I’m mad at Him is gonna knock Him down.  He’s gonna meet me where I am, stretch out His hand and help me up.  Talitha Koum (also Greek) means “I say to you little girl, get up!”  Also a future tattoo and a future blog.  If you want to know what I’m talking about click here.

People think the Bible is full of rules…I see it’s full of promises.  like this one:

Psalm 126:5 – Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.

I experienced this one personally.  I cried more tears than I ever have.  I was on the floor broken and couldn’t get up by myself.  I opened my heart to God and He showed up, like He promises.  I got my joy back; I started living again.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you….welcome to my brain.

Support My Crazy Friend!

2 Nov

If you know me, you know clean water is something near and dear to my heart.  Water is a valuable resource that I take for granted so I’m doing my part in trying to conserve what we have here and by sending what money I can to organizations that dig wells.  I’ve decided I don’t need to take full pressure showers and that, if it’s just pee, the toilet doesn’t need to be flushed every time.  Too much info? Sorry.

This February is the Austin Marathon.  My crazy friend is running the FULL marathon, that’s 26.2 miles.  I can’t comprehend this.  26.2 miles is like running to a different city.  Heck, 26.2 miles is longer than Rhode Island is in certain parts.  I was planning on running the HALF marathon, 13.1 miles, until I found out I was knocked up.  I decided that 13.1 miles and 7 months pregnant don’t mix.  I ain’t gonna lie tho.  I had full intentions of starting out with Chantel and then yellling “peace out” with a huge smile on my face as I made the turn to finish knowing full well she wasn’t even half way done yet….hey, what are friends for right?  So instead, I’m stalking the “volunteer” section of the website so I can sign up to hand out water and cheer her on as she runs past.

Why is she running?  Well she is running on the World Vision Team (one of my favorite organizations) for clean water.   The following is her blog.  Please read it and then pull out your debit card and sponsor her….PLEASE!!!

Clean Water, Marathon Training and the Madness

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/27/2013 08:30 pm by Chantel

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It could be said of me that I have lost my mind. I’m one of those weirdos who watches marathons on TV, gets a bit awe struck, laces up my running shoes and says dumb things like “some day”.

Well, that day is February 16, 2014. 

Me, a good pair of running shoes, my favorite city and 26.2 miles. This when the dream becomes a reality. The training is hard, early and makes me ask myself what could I possibly be thinking. This is no joke. The day I clicked to register, I had massive butterflies in my stomach. “Do things that make you nervous”, they say. It’s not the first time in my life, so why not a marathon (after talking about it for 4 1/2 years).

I have a purpose for this impractical madness.


We know the reality and the numbers. The amount of people with little to no access to clean drinking water is staggering. Don’t let the large number of need lead you to inactivity.

I’m running to raise money for clean water projects for Team World Vision. $50 provides clean water for one person for a generation. My goal is to raise $1300. That is $50 a mile. I’ve got a lot of miles to run. Partner with me. I’m doing this crazy, impractical thing. I’m asking you to do something practical. Partner with me, and leave the running to me.

First request – I need prayer. This is a lot of hard training, the cause is great and I want to do this well…both the fundraising and the race.

Second request – I’m asking you to sponsor a mile. Any donation helps. Let’s do this!

– go to my fundraising page http://team.worldvision.org/site/TR?px=1389840&fr_id=2220&pg=personal


Help me raise money for clean water projects in Africa.

God Knows What I Do Not

25 Sep

It’s no secret I’ve been ready for another child for several years now. When Brandn and I decided to move to Austin I knew my baby plans would be put on hold. I’ve blogged about the frustrations of how my plans didn’t line up with God’s plans. I’ve blogged about watching family members and friends having sweet little babies and being happy for them, but sad for myself knowing it’s not my time yet. I’ve blogged about the pain of having a miscarriage.

Now, I finally get to blog about the excitement of being 10 weeks knocked up!! That’s right, I said knocked up. The only thing I know about this baby is that it’s the size of a small strawberry, has eyelids and little knobby fingers and toes. I have no idea if it’s a boy or girl. I have no idea when we’ll finally get to meet baby. I have no idea what baby’s passions and frustrations will be or what will delight and break baby’s heart.

But I find great comfort in the fact that God does. God knows everything. God is love, and He loves our sweet little baby. God knows when baby will come screaming into this earth. God knows what baby’s name will be. (I have my names picked out and I have 7 months to convince my husband he likes these names…wish me luck.) He knows what will get baby’s heart racing both out of excitement and fear. He knows what baby will blow off and what injustices baby will fight. He knows if baby will be healthy or if we will endure the pain of watching our child be sick knowing we can do nothing. He knows if baby will be smart, funny, full of attitude, a musician, horrible at sports, kind hearted or a royal pain in the butt.

I know none of these. I have my hopes but I don’t know what the future holds. I know that God is in control and I find peace in that.

Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
God has a plan for this baby’s life and I’m honored to be along for the ride.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.