Thursday, May 26, 2011

On My Mind

When I went to treatment, I was told I needed to put my sobriety before everything.  Even before my family.  I said NO!Nothing comes before my family.  I was told that was a lie because I had been putting drugs and alcohol before my family for a long time.  They said, anything you put before your sobriety, you will lose.  Meaning, if you don't stay sober, you are going to lose everything.

I was thinking about this as it relates to my relationship with Christ.  When I put things before my relationship with Christ, I don't lose it, but I do deprive myself of the sweetness that comes from walking with Him.  I lose the fellowship that He desires for us to have. This isn't easy for me because I get distracted all of the time. Constantly I am catching myself putting some thing or some person before the most important relationship I have. Some of the things that I put before my relationship with Him are Jason, the kids, my appearance, Facebook, my house, TV shows, reading blogs (even inspirational ones) and the list goes on.  I wonder how many times God is looking at me saying, "Payton, come spend time with me and quit worrying over wordly, unimportant nonsense. And why do you care what those ladies in New Jersey are doing?" 

The only way I can have the joy and peace that He desires is by putting Him first.  And He wants me to have joy.  (I am currently studying Philippians and Paul is full of joy despite his circumstances.)  And He wants me to have peace.  So what does "putting Him first" mean?  To me, it is not one specific thing.  Just like my relationship with Jason is constantly growing and changing, so is my relationship with God. Practically, this is what I strive for.  I get up early, before my kids, to spend time studying the Bible.  Not a book, but actually picking up my Bible.  I also try to journal my prayers, read a devotion, and just talk to my Heavenly Father through out the day.  When something is bothering me or I find myself not loving others, I stop and pray about it.

When I am in constant fellowship I am able to examine my heart and my motives.  Am I doing this unto the Lord?  Am I loving the people God has brought in to my life (when my heart goes unchecked I start judging, not loving, and it is not pretty)?

So, what do you let get in the way of your joy? 

Love this post.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Tomorrow is the last day of school.  Yea!  (I think.)   
2.  I am having 33 people at my house this Saturday to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. (Jay was born 2 weeks before her 80th birthday.  He can always figure out how old she is by taking his age and adding 80.)  My cousins from Alabama and Mississippi and their families are coming, and my New York babies, of course.  I am not stressing and totally plan on pulling the "we just moved" card.  We might get one picture hung on the wall before Saturday, but probably not.  It is about spending time and enjoying the family I don't get to see very often, not what my house looks like.
3.  I like your catchy song Rihanna, but I am not prepared to explain S & M to my 10 year old so I have to change the radio station when it comes on.
4.  Oprah is killing me.  I have been crying for over a week now.  Even her last episode commercial, the one that shows all of the other shows ending, makes me tear up.  The updates of her favorite guests is really what has been getting me.  She knows how to tell someone's story.  No matter what you think of her, you can't deny that she has done some amazing things with her life.  I will miss her
5.    Did you see Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga on SNL?  It was really good.  He is talented and as much as I don't "get" her she is also very talented.  I hate when the SNL hosts don't commit to the skits but JT and Gaga committed.  You can tell they are both workaholics.  That is one -holic I am not familiar with at all.  (I could write this entire ten on TV shows.  May sweeps totally pull me in.)
6.  It's really too late for me to be writing this.
7.  For real, I am going to bed. 
8.  Check on Thursday. 
9.  This makes me laugh and if you were here you would have laughed too.

10.  This makes me smile.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  How cute is Packy teaching Nana and Ma how to use an iPhone?  You know they have no idea what he's doing. I love to see a 4 year old teaching a couple of 90 year olds.
2.  I just realized that I have been posting a Ten on Tuesday for a little over one year.  The very first time I did it I posted it on Wednesday.  Kind of a sign of things to come right?
3.  This is a prayer calendar made by a great website called Inspired to Action.  It gives you a different thing to pray over your child each day. I am laminating mine.  I love to laminate. And I love to pray for my kids.
4.  The Christmas miracle is over.  My passenger window rolled down and now it won't roll back up.  This problem is worse than my ghetto, non- rolling down, driver's side window.  Rain in the car is unacceptable.   So I took my car to the shop and asked them to fix the passenger side.  I can deal with the driver's side. 
5.  My mom set the bar really high this weekend.  She cooked a big meal for my Dad's birthday and it was delicious.  Jason had talked to my mom on the phone and he told me she was making something like an Oprah Winfrey dinner but another person's name.  What? And then it clicked.  An Ina Garten dinner? Yum.  I love her and she's not mayonnaise-y like Paula Deen.  So we had roasted root vegetables, roasted brussel sprouts, couscous with pine nuts, a pork loin, and some delicious lemon glazed pound cake.  That is what I'm talking about.  After eating such a delicious dinner I was inspired to cook again.  So Monday I made crab cakes and cocktail sauce and a field green salad with warm (and by warm I mean fried) goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.  It was good.  Really good.
6.  Sunday we had nothing to eat after church.  It is a goal of mine every week to have Sunday lunch ready.  It never happens. So we went to Jeneane's (meat and three restaurant).  Jason was already grumpy when we got there. (Sometimes it takes everything you got to get through church with the distractors sitting beside you.)  We were seated quickly and even got our food quickly.  The problem started when I spilled an entire glass of ice water in my own lap.  I was trying to pass Emory her plate and I tipped it.  Jason watched it happen in slow motion.  I was soaked down to my underpants.  What can you do but laugh when you soak yourself?  The problem was Packy.  He got upset because a couple of drops got on his Croc's.  Sometimes when he gets upset it's hard to reign him back in.  (This is where Jason started to lose it.) Emory got upset because a couple of  drops got on her American Girl doll's dress. Every child cried at some point during the duration of the meal. Jason left with the "why do we take them out to eat....ever?" attitude.  I was really at peace.  Was it relaxing? No.  Was it entertaining for the people around us? Yes.
7.  Summer is almost here.  I used to have a daydream view of summer.  Sleeping in, playing outside, reading books, taking naps.  Everyone getting along. Drinking lemonade.  The reality is by the second day of summer vacation everyone wants to know what are we going to do now?  So now I plan.  In June we do some camps.  The month of July is Tybee with Betsy and the girls.  The first part of August is getting ready to go back to school boot camp.  Each day I try to have some kind of plan.  Even at the beach.  Believe me when I say that my kids can get bored at the beach and of the beach. This summer the plan will include multiplication (3rd grade is hard), journaling, and reading.  I will be that mom.  Jay has been warned.
8.  I love to read.  I had dreams of reading to my kids all of the time.  The truth is I don't.  I started strong with Jay but now I play the too busy card.  I was really challenged by someone recently about reading out loud to my kids.  Jay and I started last night reading Frindle.  Emory read out loud to Packy.  (Note to self: You could use the time you waste on the computer to read to your children that will soon be grown.)
9.  I am currently re-reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  It is so good and inspiring.  Read the book and then watch his lecture online.  If you can't read it then make sure you watch it.  You can watch it here.
10. I had some other things I was going to say but I was just handed this note:
You are so right sweet girl.  I should not hurt your heart.  I love you so much.  And once again, Mama is sorry.
11.  I loved James Frey from the beginning.  Loved every one of his books.  Thought Oprah was way hard on him 5 years ago.  Happy to see that she tried to make it right. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just for Fun

It makes me happy to see him happy.  Today, he was super happy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday AKA Ten on Maybe Before 10pm on Tuesday
(If I had my assistant I could probably get this done on time.  No one applied. No one.)
1.  This fat little baby is 10 today.  How did that happen?  I remember having him like it was yesterday.  I was so blinded by new mother love that I did not even notice the GIANT hematoma on his head.  In my eyes, he was perfect.  I never knew that this little bundle of joy would teach me how much I needed a Savior.  How I can't do it on my own.  How much patience I need to do the work that God called me to as a mother.  And how the blessing of seeing him grow up would make me happier than anything I had previously experienced.
2.  Macon is infested with 13 year cicadas.  They have been here a couple of weeks now and I am totally grossed out.  First of all it sounds like a car alarm is going off somewhere close and it never stops.  The cycle of the 13 year cicada is as follows: 1. Come out of the ground. 2. Shed skin. 3. Sing to attract mates.  4. Mate 5. Lay eggs or Die (males).  We are at the singing, mating, dying stage.  It is so loud.  Packy is starting to notice that some of the cicadas are "stuck together" (ewwww).  And our driveway is now a graveyard for male "already done it" cicada bodies.  We have made up some games which involve throwing balls up in to the trees to see how many fly out or hitting a branch with a golf club for the same reason.  Did I mention they have creepy red eyes?
3.  These are some of the parenting phrases I have been using this week: 
You are not a bad person.  You just made a bad decision and now you have to deal with the consequences. (This helps when people are super dramatic when they get in trouble.)
If it is not inside your hula hoop, you don't need to worry about it.
 (Basically this is another way of saying mind your own business.  You can be concerned about things happening in your life, but if it is concerning other people (like your other two siblings) then it is outside of your hula hoop.  I also like this phrase because it says hula hoop and you know I love my hula hoops.)
4.  I gasped loudly today at The Fresh Market.  This is a habit of mine that drives Jason crazy.  He assumes that a loud gasp automatically means something awful has happened.  It doesn't.  My gasp can mean something awesome has happened and today that is exactly what it meant.  I was walking up the soda isle when I saw a NEW ITEM sign and there were my favorite, previously not sold in Macon, Blenheim ginger ale bottles.  I literally was online yesterday contemplating $16 shipping in order to get some of this ginger ale.  Lee used to bring it from Charlotte and I would fight to drink them all.  I just found out that the Fountain of Juice sold them but now I can buy them myself.  Fresh Market now has my favorite taffy (thank you to my sweet friend who knows how much I love the taffy and is even willing to hide it from my kids so I don't have to share) and my favorite ginger ale.  Love you Fresh Market! (This ginger ale is not for everyone, it has a kick.)
5.  Jay and Emory both let their mouths get them in to trouble this week.  Jay used his in anger and said something that got him in to trouble.  Emory used hers to say something she didn't know the meaning of and because it was inappropriate, she had to have a sit down talk with her mama.  Thankfully, God has a answer to both of these situations.
Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Matthew 5:37
Words are so powerful.  I have often used words as a weapon and it's just as bad as actually injuring someone.  This verse helps me (and the kids) to remember that I need to mean what I say, don't say something I don't mean, and certainly don't say something if I don't know what it means.  And if you let your mouth open too fast, you will have to make right what you said by whatever means necessary.
6.  Tamra is really skanking it out.  Alex and Sonja are proving to be crazy.  And Bethenny really inspires me.  If you don't know what I am talking about then go on living your Bravo-less life.  (At least I don't watch Y & R anymore.)
7.  This is the effort put in to Jay's birthday so far.  I made him a birthday sign out of plywood after the kids went to bed and Jason hung it on the school fence at 9 something last night.  Today I bought Nutty Buddies for his class and took them to the school.  I made him a homemade lasagna  for his family party (which was 17 people).  The lasagna required two different grocery stores (blessing in disguise with the ginger ale). I got his favorite mint chocolate chip ice-cream and made brownies to go with it for dessert.  The smile, that I did not see leave his face all day, was worth it for me. (I also enjoyed the feedback from the labor intensive lasagna.  I wondered half way through if I should have just bought a Stouffers.  Glad I made the effort.)  I hope his Friday party goes this smoothly.
8.  If I could review my parenting over the past 10 years (scary thought) I wonder how many times I disciplined because I was inconvenienced.  How many times were the kids just getting in the way of what I wanted to do and not really needing correction?  How many times did I snap at their childish irresponsibility and claim that they were not being respectful?  Things run so much better when I am present enough to know when correction is needed and when I am just tired and people are getting up on my nerves, and yes there is a difference.
9. When Packy jumps on the trampoline he looks like he is going to break his neck every time he does a trick.

10. I often have said to Jason that I think that some reality TV is actually real.  And then I observed my kids when a video camera is around.  This cleared it all up for me.  People do not act like themselves when the camera is rolling.  It becomes a show even if it is just some backyard jumping.  They start talking weird and narrating what they are doing.  I still want to believe a little bit.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Sunday was Bow Tie Sunday at our church.  How cute are these guys?  Most of the men at our church wore one if they had one, old and young.  The pastor made sure that visitors knew we were not a cult and that you did not have to wear a bow tie to come and worship with us.
2.  While Betsy was here, riding around with me, I had a revelation.  I need a personal assistant.  Someone to make calls for me while I drive, stay in the car with the kids so I can run in and out, hang out with me while I get dressed to go out.  You know the drill.  I'm sure New York mom's have them. All of the Real Housewives have assistants.  It would just make things so much easier.  All interested applicants send your resume to my Facebook page.
3.  The new house is great.  I am starting to feel like it's really mine.  One new thing is new bugs.  Gone are the Ingleside roaches and it's place are ticks, spiders, beetles, and random bugs I can't identify.  I will gladly take these bugs over roaches any day.  The ticks are a little yucky because every other day someone has one, but I'm a picker so I can deal.  (If you don't know what a picker is, then you aren't one.  If you are, you know.)  Roaches are the worst.  Well, rats really are the worst but I can't start that conversation right now.
4.  This weekend was the kick-off to golf tournament season.   I was not mentally prepared.  I did not take the advice I gave here.  By Sunday I was spent and this tournament was a legitimate golf event (meaning not a beer on every hole type tournament, and Jason was home every night). It should have been easy but it wasn't.  I kept trying to take a nap and couldn't fall asleep.  I wanted to organize all of the stuff in the garage but I got too overwhelmed.  I needed a plan and I didn't have one.  Next time, plan.
5.  I was talking to someone this morning who had one of those mornings.  You know, the ones where you feel guilty about sending your kids to school because you lost it with them.  I have cried before at how I talked (screamed) to them right before they were about to get out of the car.  The guilt is overwhelming.  I always want them (Jay) to have the best possible start to the school day.  I think one of the best things I can do for my kids is to tell them I messed up. Telling them I am sorry about my behavior and that I need Jesus as much as they do is the only option I have on these occasions.  (Maybe even drive back up to the school to let them know this and give them a big hug.)
6.  I didn't anticipate a learning curve for walking around the new house but I can not tell you how many times each day someone has tripped or stubbed something.  This includes me.  I have banged my head on a low ceiling, fell up some stairs and jammed my finger, and crashed my hip into the island.  Packy and Emory are right there with me.  I guess we haven't learned the flow of the house, depth of the stairs, or when not to bring our heads up too fast.  The three of us are bruised up.   
7.  The jasmine and gardenias are blooming at my house.  Gardenias are my favorite and I have always looked for them as a sign if I was looking for a house.  This house has tons of gardenia bushes. I didn't even know until the blooms started popping out. God is so in the details. 
8.  ‎"If you are not in the Word, then you do not have the *luxury* of self-examination." KJ the DJ  Love this Kari Jo. 
9.  During the move process, I got out of my morning routine.  I wasn't getting up early, having a quiet time, or reading my Bible.  When I get out of my routine spending time with God I start looking at the faults of other people.  I loose my compassion and humility and become judgemental.  I let other people take up space in my head and worry about things that are none of my beeswax (and since I started reading Facebook again there is a lot of new material I can over think). Basically, I lose my serenity.  Guess who got up early today and had a much better day?  Starting my day with the Lord is always better than not.
10.  I am really excited about my cousin John and his wife Janet's new project.  They are building a community organic garden at our church.  Families will be able to help with the garden and benefit from the results.  Janet said she really wants children to know where food comes from.  I love that.  Food does not come from the grocery store in case you were wondering.  Another member of our church owns Deer Creek Farms in Forsyth (look him up on Facebook) and he has the BEST strawberries ever.  An afternoon picking strawberries is a good activity for any kid.