Archives for September 2013

Parenting in Bits

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I had these expectations of how it would be to parent older children.  I imagined long talks and diatribes about family values and morals and situations.  I’ve been hyperventilating about The Talk since I found out I was pregnant.  Perhaps I’d watched too many sitcoms in the 80’s and 90’s where everything ended with some wisdom from Mom and Dad.

However, parenting older children is not going the way I thought it would.

I’ll pick them up from school and ask how their day went and one will complain about a friend who wasn’t being nice.  Oh, this is my chance, I’ll think.  “Well, you know, Lexi, we have to treat others how we want to be treated.” There’s a beat of silence and Emma shouts from the other back seat, “Oh my gosh, Ryan threw up right before music and it was SO. GROSS.”  Lexi wants all the details and my moment of wisdom lasted approximately 22 seconds.

Or sometimes, we’ll be walking along in CVS buying some body wash and there’ll be tampons on the end cap and Emma asks me if they hurt.  “No,” I say, “but I did wear only pads for a long time.” And then she sees candy on the next aisle and says, “Mom can I pleeeasse have a snickers bar?”  I say no and we’ve moved on from the mother-daughter bonding.

We’ll be driving to church and Lexi will share a scary dream she had the night before and how scared she was.  I’ll remind her to pray and repeat 2 Timothy 1:7 any time she’s scared.  Angels are protecting her.  “I know, Mom,” she says before continuing, “Can we go to the gas station after church and get a slushie?”  I didn’t get a full lesson on fear and angels before slushies.

That’s how parenting older kids has gone.  In bits.

Sure, we do devotions at night and talk about children’s church from Sunday, but I’ve found most of my teaching has been the crevices.  And I didn’t expect that at all.

It’s ok, though, because in my experience, God parents in bits too.

Sometimes as his children we get a little disappointed he doesn’t come down and lay it all out for us.  We want all the answers to all our questions now and in 12 pt font and double-spaced, please.  But from my experience as his child and as a parent myself, it’s in these bits God reveals his character and his wisdom.

I’ll be driving the kids to school and the sun cresting through the trees catches my eye.  God reminds me he created another day, he’s a beautiful artist and he loves me.  I turn into the car line and remind the girls to take their lunch boxes and thank God for another day.

I’ll be standing at the dryer thinking about how much it stings a friend hurt me and he simply says, “Forgive because you’re been forgiven.”  I find the last matching pair of socks, breathe deeply and decide I will.

I love to stop and study about Jesus, but these small moments when he breathes truth remind me he’s walking with me.  He’s not a God only on the page, but in my heart, going along and showing me himself.  I’m grateful he chooses moments.

And so I realize although parenting isn’t going quite how I expected, it’s beautiful and just how it ought to be.

AmyJBennett.com Reader Survey

AmyjBennett.com Reader Survey

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We’ve never done a ready survey here and it’s about time!  Recently I’ve been trying to plan content but, at times, it’s been hard to make a decision because I don’t have a great idea of who all of you lovely people are.  Knowing a little more about you and what you like and dislike, even anonymously, will help me a ton to plan content and direction.

I have just 17 very quick questions for you to answer.  Pretty please hop over from email or your reader and take just 2 minutes to fill it out.

I’m planning to post a summary of the results next Thursday.

The survey is posted right below or if you have issues, here’s the direct link. Thank you so much!

 

What I Wore Wednesday: 09.25.2013

It’s Wednesday when I share my outfits from the week.

I pair my outfits with inspirational photos.  Read more about that here.

Email and RSS readers need to click over to the site to see the inspirational photos.

 

 

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You know I had to wear my Stitch Fix shirt right away! I paired it with a coral necklace and neutral shoes like the style card suggested.

 

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And just because they entertained me, I thought I’d share some extra shots we took that night.  You can see my silly girls with their silly poses in action.

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I sort of thought we were doing nice family photos but clearly they had other plans.  Welcome to my world, friends.

 

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The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday

When You Think You Have Nothing to Offer

I’m over at Ashley Brooks’ place today talking about writing an e-book.  Even if you’re not writing a book, I think we can all relate to feeling like we have nothing to offer.  Would love for you to hop over and say hello.

 

 

writingpenWhat’s holding you back from writing an e-book? Time? Money? Know-how? 

For me, it was the belief that my e-book wouldn’t make a difference.

Eight years ago I had an emotional affair.  Years after it was over and my marriage was restored, I felt led to write the journey we had taken and lessons we had learned.  I was nervous about sharing my story because no one knew, but I was also convinced it wouldn’t matter.

I told myself my story wasn’t that big of a deal, that I didn’t write well enough to write an e-book, that no one would read it even if I did.  I mean, who was I?

In my head, I imagined I would write the book, my friends and family would learn of my mistakes and shun me and then everyone else wouldn’t care. All that work and there would be no point but more pain.

When it launched, however, I found quite the opposite.

Read the rest over at Ashley’s blog.

Our Weekend and the Start of Something New

Please skip to the end for a question if you’re skimming :)

 

After my post on Friday, I’m glad to report that this weekend was just what I needed.

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Friday night Scott and I were able to have a quick, last-minute date night at one of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte to use up an expiring LivingSocial deal.  We ate fast and didn’t stay long but the food was scrumptious and it was just nice to get dressed up and do something different.

Saturday we spent most of the day with my friend Dani and her family who just moved over an hour away.  The kids totally disappeared for the day to play dress up and choreograph dance routines. We got to catch up the entire afternoon after all our missed coffee dates and enjoy a yummy dinner together.

 

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The sugar-laden kids couldn’t help but photobomb our picture at Sonic

 

Among other things, I think they’ve helped us find just the thing that’s going to snap me out of my poor eating and exercise habits I talked about on Friday.

Scott and I both signed up for 24-Day Challenge (and as distributors) with AdvoCare.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not here to sell you on anything (although I will) but I do want to share this journey with you.

So what is AdvoCare? Basically, it’s a nutritional company.  The idea is to add things like probiotics, Omega3 fatty acids and cleansing products to make your body function properly.  For some, it’s a weight loss program, but for many, it’s simply a way to make your body perform at its highest level.

While I am concerned I’ve gained a few pounds, I’m mostly concerned I’m addicted to sugar and I know I’m not feeding my body the proper nutrients.  If I never lose a pound, I NEED to eat better. 

My family is wrought with cancer and diabetes and strokes and heart problems.  I’m not getting younger over here and I need to be smart about the choices I make.

Plus, I know a lot of this brain fog and memory problems are likely due to the sugar as well.  I just know if I can kick that and add in these products, I’ll be feeling 100% better.

What is the 24-Day Challenge? The 24-Day Challenge is a sort of kick-off to the AdvoCare program.  You can get products and use them without doing the challenge.  The challenge puts a set of products together for you in two phases that puts everything in to high-gear (forgive me, this is my newbie explanation).  The first is a 10 day cleansing cycle and then the second is called the Max Phase where it really ramps up your metabolism.

Can I do this without AdvoCare? Absolutely.  I’ve eaten clean before and stayed on a good exercise routine.  However, this time I need help.  I can’t seem to kick it on my own.  This will put me on a regimen that will keep me accountable and give me extra tools to be successful. 

Scott is doing this with me and I’m really excited to have something to do together.

We ordered all the products this weekend and plan to start later in the week.

 

Here’s my question:

I’ve thought about sharing frequent video updates from both of us as we go on the Facebook page and doing intermittent blog posts to share any progress.  I even wanted to see if anyone wanted to do the 24 day challenge with us.  I know it’s perfect timing for me as I head to Allume next month. We could wait and all start together if so? 

Or, I can just update you at the end and let you know how it went.  I really don’t want to sound sales pitchy and feel like I’m taking advantage of your time.  Although, believe me, if this helps, I will sing its praises.

So, tell me.  Do you want all the nitty gritty details from us as we go or just an update at the end?