So Long, Farewell

Winter Break 2018 has come and gone and it’s so hard to believe! As I sit here and write, my hubby and my oldest are anxiously watching the Championship college football game. And by anxiously I mean their team isn’t slaughtering the other . . . as is the case most of the time. Seems as though they should be watching opening game day, not the end! Even though it is hard to believe that 2018 is over and we are 7 days into 2019, I am pretty excited for a new year! Time for new goals, new adventures and new memories.

This break we did experience something new! We experienced the delayed joy of the tummy bug. (Can you tell my excitement?) I will say that it was a short lived bug. It would have been nice to have all gotten it at once and been done, but about the time one person was through and the house was all clean the next person then started. Four out of the five of us experienced this lovely gift with me being the only one to not have the privilege. What that meant was that I had the privilege of brushing up on my deep cleaning skills. The joy is all mine! And thank you to all the fun smelling cleaning products that made my job a delight. (Yep, I still use chemical products. Haven’t joined the all natural band wagon as of yet. This girl has taken a microbiology lecture and lab and seen too many germs grow so easily in petri dishes to take a chance.) On to fun memories….

While not sick, the Rushes went to the movies twice. The kid focused movies out right now are SO GOOD!!! If you haven’t grabbed a balloon and taken flight, I suggest you do. Or, for a movie that hits on friendship, take your children to see the extent one friend will go to to make the other friend happy and how it all spirals out of control but is restored in the end. GREAT MOVIES! I can’t forget our movie nights (yes plural) of the Sound of Music.  What a great way to end a year! We had some little additional outings but really tried to keep it low key.

Craig and I both embarked on really good books and tried to keep our noses pinned for as long as we could before a little human needed to be fed or problem solved. Only then, would we complete the task at hand and then resort back to our spots on the sofa in front of the fire with book in hand.

One of my personal goals for 2019 is to read more. Yeah yeah yeah. . . I know, we all say that right?!?! I saw a friend post a picture of an actual stack of books she is attempting to read during 2019. Genius! What a way to quantify and solidify a goal! So, like my friend, my goal is to read 19 books in 2019. This is a BIG goal for me. I’m still working on my list of books, and some will be ones that are recommended from others or we do as book clubs or bible studies at church. I’ll keep you posted on what exact books I am seeking to accomplish this year. The book I started during break is Sacred Parenting by Gary L. Thomas. PARENTS: READ THIS BOOK! I’m halfway through and already floored at the information my brain is soaking in. It is changing my thinking, all in positive ways!

A second goal I have for myself is to continue my health journey. I FINALLY started taking care of me this past July. From mid-July til end of year I lost 30 lbs. I wish I could say that I accomplished this goal because I was sweating like the devil from exercising, but it just wouldn’t be true. I did use a great program to help me jump start my journey and help reignite in me a flame that has been out for a very long time. My journey continues into 2019.

This time, my goal is to achieve a healthy mindset and attitude toward food (while using real food as my fueling source) and finding a form of exercise that I enjoy without obsessing about it and/or it taking over my world. This goal alone is one that is a major deal for me. Like many women I know, we carry extra baggage when it comes to food, health and exercise. And by extra baggage I’m not just talking about the pounds we found while growing a human or the ones that wouldn’t leave once we deposited that human into the hands of a doctor or midwife or whoever it was that was ready to catch. The baggage I speak of are the wounds from lies we have chosen to believe and are deep seeded into our thoughts and hearts. Almost like they are interwoven into the threads of our life and whether we acknowledge it or not, the wounds run deep and lies are still untrue and satan has accomplished his goal instead of God getting the glory of a victory that is found in bondage no more! (ugh, sorry that’s heavy stuff . . . maybe too heavy!)

To help me keep my focus on truth, what better way than to look to the source of life. Truth is truth is truth and will always be truth. That’s it. All there is to it. TRUTH! And what truth I choose to cling to in this season is from the book of Mark chapter 5 verse 34. And it says this,

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34 (NIV)

I leave you with this, focusing on truth is so easy a concept yet so hard an action step to put into place. Like Ryan Leak mentioned in his sermon this past week, ” You can’t keep squeezing God into a messy schedule and expect growth.” I choose growth for 2019. . . so long farewell 2018. You were good but the best is yet to come!

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

If you have watched the movie “Sound of Music” with Julie Andrews your mind probably continued to sing the song. . . “it’s a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C. When you sing you begin with…” ok you get the point. That movie is one of my favorites of all times. I think it’s something about a musical that just draws my little heart in. I have been around music my entire life. And I mean that in the literal sense.

My paternal grandmother has a masters in Music Education. She taught private piano lessons in her home until she was like 80 years old (or older) and was the organist for our church for, what we think to be, 55 + years. She won’t tell anyone the exact time and since the original staff that hired her is no longer around, it’s all a mystery! See what I mean, music has been in my life from the time I was in the womb. By the time that I was three (3) years old, she would stack book upon book on the piano bench just so I could reach the keys. I learned how to play octaves and chords before I learned my ABCs. I had even made a newspaper debut while sitting on said stack of books before I entered kindergarten. She is known for her amazing ability to ignite the heart of a child not only for music but just in life. That is what she and my grandfather did (once he retired).

They would have school aged kids in and out of their home. You never knew who’s bus was stopping or who would be getting off. (Their house was a place of safety and comfort, a place to congregate and to laugh. To sing and dance.) My Papa would feed snacks and talk life with children while waiting on their turn for a piano lesson or for a parent to pick them up on their way home to end the day. During those times with her students, my Mimi really did consider it her mission in life to find what it was that motivated a child and then use it to help develop their musical ability; as well as the child as a person. My Papa loved having reoccurring conversations with my Mimi’s students. Asking what they wanted to do in life, how were they doing in school, and what the latest was in their family. You name it, it was probably discussed. There are several of us “Ms. Dot piano students” out there that even learned to play a mean game of solitaire and maybe even more than one way to play it. Hang with me, I have a point in all of this rambling.

This week my children and I have been out of school for “Winter Break”. With break comes lots of time for movies and fun. Friday night the kids and I started watching “The Sound of Music”. One of the musical movies that my Mimi and papa would watch with me over and over and the memories begin to flood my mind. You see, I can honestly say, that it all does start at the very beginning.

My daughter, Evelyn, started Kindergarten this year. Boy oh boy was she excited for a new adventure! She could finally attend the school where her big brother attends. She could ride the bus that he rides (this is the part she was most looking forward to) and she would be making more new friends that are her age. (The girl is an extrovert just like her mother! A social butterfly that is.) But what she underestimated was the amount of work it would take to learn her ABC’s and the respective sounds. Yes we had worked on them at home and had started learning them, but she just wasn’t ready. Nothing enticed her to want to commit it to memory. Until, we discovered her love language. SHOES! Yep, you read that right. The girl has a SLIGHT fetish for shoes. Any shoes. All shoes. She adores SHOES!

This fall when I attended Evelyn’s parent teacher conference, it was brought to my attention that Evelyn was struggling. Not quite sure if it was something more than her lack of interest in the subject matter, her teacher and I set out to motivate Evelyn. Just as my Mimi would do with her piano students. It didn’t take much thought to figure out what it would take to encourage her to attempt to have her letters and sounds learned, SHOES! Date circled on the calendar, prize selected and the hard work began. I am happy to report that Evelyn accomplished her goal and as her reward she choose a pair of light up sneakers. Glitzy and glamorous, the girl has got the bling!

Just as Julie Andrews sang, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C. When you sing you begin with do-re-mi.”

The beginning really is a great place to start. Whether it’s the beginning of a story. Beginning of a friendship. Beginning of a new adventure. Ask yourself, what defines beginning for you? Maybe the beginning is investing in the life of a person no matter where they find themselves in life. Or maybe the beginning is being the landing pad for a child or even just a listening ear. For me, like my grandparents, the beginning occurs daily, time and time again, for any person that I cross paths with. The beginning is just that, a place to start, a place to continue, or maybe just a place to end.

Come On In

Hi there!  I’m so thankful you have taken a moment to join me on #raising3rushes(andsometimesa4th) in a perfect sinful world.  That’s a mouth full right and yet pretty thought provoking.  Think about it.?. My 3 E’s are my little human’s and the 4th. . . well, you get the idea! (yes, the 4th has totally given me permission for the title and does not find it disrespectful in the least!)  In fact, he has said “well if you don’t call it what it is, then who will?”  That brings me to ME.  Who am I?

I’m just your down to earth, home grown Louisiana girl living a big Texas life. Jesus is my Savior, Craig is my husband, and Elliott, Evelyn, and Everett are my 3 E’s. My filter is missing and my husband is a pastor! This makes for a fun and interesting combo. Hope you enjoy your time at #raising3rushes(andsometimesa4th) and that it brings you laughter and draws you a little bit closer to the creator of the universe! Truth is, we do live in a perfect sinful world!

SO, sit back, relax and join in the conversation. . . memories are being made and hearts are being tugged, all of which is part of the journey!

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21

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Photo by Sara Wether on