Monday, May 30, 2011


So my daughter came home from a birthday party the other day and starts singing "I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world, My BOOBS are plastic, oh so fantastic!"  I'm sorry... whaaaaaa?!?  So, naturally I took some time to correct her on the lyrics that I thought were more appropriate (and mark that friend's house as off limits) and then to discuss why we don't listen to music like that.  Clearly, I'm not that cool mom who lets their child listen to pop culture radio in the car.  Sue me.  My kids haven't ever really been exposed to it... or to anything for that matter.  The way I see it, up until now they really haven't been missing anything.  We don't have cable so my kids' television time is limited to playing the Wii (also very limited- to like 4 games including Pac Man, sports, and dancing games... call me lame) and DVDs (of our choosing).

 We had cable for a while a few years back and I can remember sitting in bed with my husband, having one-sided conversations with the side of his face... you know, because the deodorant commercials or the Nick at Night or whatever else he was watching was so much more important and more valuable than "us" time.  No, that's not the way he really felt, but that is definitely the impression I got- and it hurt.  More than anything it irritated me because I'm selfish and gosh darnet, if I'm talking, SOMEONE better be making eye contact with me to signify that they are, in fact, listening.

During this time, my kids would also come home from school and zombie out on sponge bob (gag a maggot) or some other lame idea of television rather than playing outside or reading or heaven forbid- doing housework. :)  Soooooooooo, we ditched the cable after a "come to Jesus" meeting (that's Christi talk for fight).  And since then we've been relatively selective on what we watch and what we allow our kids to watch on DVD.

So then Kyle and I were on a date the other night.  We went to see a movie that was recommended to us by several friends (and my dad) as HILARIOUS! And "A MUST SEE!"  And then one good friend said "It's inappropriate, but definitely funny."  I decided to go against my better judgment and watch this hilarious movie.  During the course of the movie, I actually lost count how many time FEMALES were dropping the "F-BOMB" and using profanity like I use water.  They were lude, crude, and beyond inappropriate.  I still don't know why we stayed through the movie, but we did (maybe because I'm cheap and didn't want to lose the $9.50 I paid to see it?)

During the movie, I kept wondering to myself- what ever happened to ladies being ladies and gentlemen being gentlemen?  What ever happened to sex being sacred, not a point of humor?  What ever happened to movies being good and entertaining?"  We became desensitized.  Movies were enough to make us laugh for a time, but then someone in Hollywood who was looking to make more money from more laughs pushed the boundaries a little more.  They figured out that a little more shock value and more laughs from the shock are what draws people to the theaters by the millions.  I mean, everyone wants to laugh, right? They made certain curse words acceptable and then they were no longer curse words- but, rather, a normal place in everyday conversation.  They made sex a point of humor and not a beautiful time shared between a husband and a wife.  They took everything good and pure and made it bad- but to the normal person, it's "just funny" not, bad... 

I am not going to lie and say I sat there stunned the entire movie.  I laughed at things I shouldn't have... and then I blushed.  I wrestled with wanting to find enjoyment from this movie and embarrassment for having dragged my husband to this hideous display of what feminism has done to "ladies".  And then I got mad.  I realized I have become desensitized to so many things.  I'm not some goodie-two-shoes.  In my own life, I let curse words fly on occasion.  It used to be a point of humor for me and then it became a point of ignorance- as if I could honestly think of no better word to say than the "s" word or one of its cousins.  I gossip sometimes.  I laugh at inappropriate things and make equally inappropriate comments.  It's really a struggle for me.  But I have to ask myself- what example am I setting for my kids?  Just because I don't let them watch or listen to certain things doesn't mean they won't pick it up.  They repeat my actions as words as if they were parrots... no, seriously, it's annoying.

Several scriptures come to mind for this issue, but a couple of my favorites: 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off EVERYTHING that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us and run with perseverance the race set before us."  Hebrews 12:1-2


"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  Philippians 4:8

God knew we'd struggle with our thought lives.  Heck- I feel like I am constantly at war with my brain.  I wrestle with trying to focus on the things I should, but then I go and see movies like the one i saw last week.  In Hebrews, we are told we should throw off EVERYTHING that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us... EVERYTHING.  Seeing those images, hearing those words, those don't help- they hinder.  Allowing my thought life to be perverted by the things that I watch on Internet television or certain movies isn't exactly throwing off the temptations... it's making the temptation so much worse.  

I can remember when I was a newer mom.  I would be doing housework or on the phone and Trinity would tap at my arm to get my attention.  I would immediately respond or I would get irritated by the constant nagging.  Now when they come and tap me on the arm or try to get my attention, I barely notice them- as if I am almost immune to them.  I have become desensitized.  In the same way, our society in general has become desensitized.  I can remember when Clark Gable said the "D" word in Gone With The Wind.  I remember hearing about what a controversy that was... and now?  Yeah...

Think about it.  "Fix your thoughts on what is TRUE, and HONORABLE and RIGHT and PURE and LOVELY and ADMIRABLE... PRAISEWORTHY."  I don't know about you... but I didn't feel admirable after watching the movie the other night or other movies like it.  I didn't feel honorable and the thoughts I had afterward were anything but pure...

So I'm taking up arms for my family.  I'm taking a stand against all of the crap.  I am re-sensitizing myself and my family.  I hope you'll join me... because frankly my darling, I DO give a daRn.

"Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, my God... and renew a right spirit within me."

No Longer I,

The real life mom

Sunday, May 22, 2011


The best part of wakin' up... should not be Folgers in your cup (or at least, not in MY cup).  In fact, I had gone for quite some time without any caffeine but thanks to the mini-muhles, I found myself in need once again.  So here I am, chest pains and all, regretting that coffee I had this morning. 

No, I'm not in need of an ambulance, but I think it's very clear that I should definitely not have any more of this wonder drug.  My heart does not seem to like caffeine (and all of it's parents- ie, sugar, Excedrine, etc) so I've been home all day trying not to add any stress to a clearly agitated heart...  So here we go again! 

I was thinking to myself how uncomfortable these pains are.  Part of me considered calling the doctor to make an appointment for a check up, but another part of me resisted.  I'm 100% positive that these chest pains are caused by caffeine.  Even still, I know I SHOULD get checked out, but still I wrestled with this thought.  I'm sure the part of me that resisted was the part that's afraid of some terrible diagnosis.  I think secretly I'm afraid the doctor will say something to me that will forever rock my plans for whatever I thought was in my future.  I amuse myself because at times I honestly think I can make the issues like this one go away by making a choice- like not making a doctor's appointment.  I like to think I am in control... but I'm not.

In the same way, I think a lot of people resist allowing themselves to get close to God.  I think at times we are all prone to the fear of what will surface when we surrender or open ourselves up to Him so we run.  We hide behind things- like ministry (ironic), work, family (all noble things, but all things we can hide behind, none-the-less).  Opening yourself up to God can be uncomfortable, painful even. Trust me when I say, I understand the desire to hide.

But you know the funny thing about going to the doctor?  It's where the healing begins.  I know for a fact that when I go see the doctor and he checks my heart, no matter what the diagnosis (even if it's just caffeine induced arrhythmias), I will have direction for moving forward to prevent further issues.

In the same way, when we go to God, He can help bring healing.  He can free us and give us direction, peace in the midst of trials, joy in the midst of pain, and hope where there seems to be none.  He can move the mountains we face every day and carry us when the storms of life would otherwise blow us over. 

So why do we hesitate doing the very thing we know we ought to do?  Why do we resist the healing? I'm not sure, but I do know that first thing tomorrow morning, I'm making this appointment and I'm going to do my part to ensure that I can get the help that I need from the doctor to let the healing begin.  Because if God so chooses, I want to be here to see my kids graduate from high school... and college.  I want to be healthy and active enough to be here when my children get married and have children of their own.

So here's to health, to life, to walking in freedom.  Here's to doing the very thing that scares us the most and finding peace on the other side.  Here's to surrendering and walking with Him, in His strength.

It's time.  Let the healing begin.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The "Gift" of Gab

"Many people think they are listening when in fact they are simply reloading their verbal guns."  Gary Chapman.  Ouuuuuuuuuch...  So I read this on my friend's facebook wall a few weeks back.  Immediately I became super paranoid...  because yes, I'm aware I talk a lot.  I can remember being about 7 years old, in daycare one summer, and one of the teachers says to me in a rhyming sort of way "You talk too much, and you never shut up."  He then proceeded to serenade me with this song for... every day for as long as I can remember.  Clearly- not the best choice for a daycare teacher, but everyone's got to make a living, so...

Fast forward a few years.  By this time, I'm a senior in high school in the car with my youth pastor and a few other friends.  My pastor is talking about something and I keep replying "I know..." and adding my ignorant thoughts.  He says to me "Christi!  You DON'T know!  That is selfish conversation.  It's not always about you."  I should have listened, but... nah.  I ignored this comment because, of course, I thought I knew everything, right?  Wrong.

Then a few years ago another friend says to me "Christi, you don't have to say every thought that comes to your mind."  Yeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh...  that one stung a little.  But he was right.  I was overshadowing everything  everyone else was saying because I felt the selfish need to respond to everyone else's comments with my own comment- almost trying to one up or show off what I thought I knew. I was "listening" to others and subconsciously reloading my own word gun.  I wanted to be the funny one.  I wanted to be the wise one- ha!  (got to love the irony there).  I wanted to be the one with all of the answers... clearly, not my place in life.   No, really, I'm humble... ish. 

Then the other day I was visiting with a friend that I respect and admire and he challenged me.  He says to me "Do you honestly think that Kyle will ever become the man he is supposed to be if you are constantly overshadowing him?"  A good word.  A wise word.  A word I needed to hear.  Kyle is an AMAZING man (for those of you who don't know, Kyle is "the hottie".)  :)  He is brilliant and funny and has some really deep thoughts to share- but no one would know. 

I spend too much time talking for him (and likely others) and not allowing him to really find his footing. But Kyle was so insecure when we first got married that I spent the majority of social time trying to cover for his insecurities by "helping" him- or so I thought.  I thought answering for him would help take the pressure off of him feeling the need to try to think of something "cool" to say.  I never actually took in to account that he might have some awesome thoughts of his own.  But he did... does.  When we are alone, he cracks me up!  He says some of the most profound things I've ever heard, but in front of others, he's gotten so used to me filling up the "dead air" space with my own selfish words, that he never really speaks out. 

I feel like we, as a couple, are called to leadership but I also feel like we won't ever reach that place as long as I keep preventing him from becoming the man God intended for him to be.  I kept waiting for him to step up, but the problem was, he couldn't- because I was still in the way.  So I'm working on moving.  I'm taking the challenge from my friend to back off and allow the hottie (and others) to share their opinions and grow more confident in their own abilities.  Who knows?  In my own silence I might actually learn something (because news flash, I don't know it all, and I'm not always right...). 

So it's not that I won't share my thoughts, but I won't continue to reload the figurative word gun, waiting to aim and fire at the first sign of dead air.  I'll "be quick to listen and slow to speak..." (James 1:19) and I'll look forward to watching as the hottie steps out from underneath my overshadowing and people start to see the man that makes me swoon. Because, trust me- he's so much more than a pretty face.  ;) 

No Longer I,

The Real Life Mom

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hi ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work I NEED to go.

So, I have to find a job.  I'm definitely not opposed to working.  I'm a hard worker and happy to do it, but I really don't know how it will all play out.  I know childcare is INSANELY expensive and gas isn't exactly cheap right now soooooooo...  I'm trying to reinvent the wheel.  I'm trying to create a job (that isn't selling cosmetics, jewelry, or Tupperware) that I can do from home or closer to home than downtown.  I'm open to suggestions.

I'd love to write, to teach (like Beth Moore style- teaching women and girls, definitely not little people).  I'd love to do anything artistic, or anything administrative.  I'm completely organized and completely passionate at the same time.  I just need direction.  A friend suggested I advertise myself as a virtual assistant.  So what does that even look like?  How does one get started with that?  And what would I do to market it?

It seems almost ironic that I'm writing about wanting to write but it's not like those jobs are just falling from the sky.  So here I am.  I HAVE to do something, ANYTHING to help out.   In a few weeks the hottie will start his classes and we will lose income from his work on Saturdays and then he will have to cut back his hours to make sure he gets to classes on time.  I need to make sure he has enough time to study and not stress about these classes or about the cost of life.

So remind me again why being a housewife doesn't pay?  (Well...  not for THIS kind of housewife, anyway).  ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To The Wives (Part II)- Just Laugh

You know that feeling you get when you can't stop laughing?  It's that moment when something little tickles your heart and for some reason- even insignificant things make you laugh... and no, I don't do drugs. 

Last night Kyle and I both got so tickled about something Jacob was doing.  We laughed and laughed, then we put the kids to bed and laughed some more.  Seemingly meaningless things would set us off and then we would both get the giggles all over again.  I was laughing because he was laughing and he was laughing because I was laughing and this continued for close to three hours until we both finally gave up and went to sleep (yes, I know we're a little dorky, but... who cares?)

The thing I enjoyed most was that we were wrestling and laughing and having fun like we did when we were dating.  I have been missing that.  We used to have towel popping wars and chase each other around trying to "one up" the other with our mad towel popping skills.  But then life got uber serious and caught us off guard.  We stopped playing and starting planning.  We stopped laughing and started  arguing.  Somehow we lost who we once were- the thing that made us so magical in the first place.

So last night, when I got a glimpse of that- of who we once were, I got excited and sentimental at the same time.  Then he (the hottie) says to me: "I've really been missing you."  Wow.  I haven't been gone, but his playmate- the friend- the woman he married- she's been in hiding, only coming out from time to time when life is easy.  Right now, life isn't easy.  It's actually really difficult, but finding time to rediscover each other seemed to make life that much easier- even if it was just for one evening. 

So I woke up in the middle of the night and after getting some water, I sat in bed and watched him sleep (in a non-stalker sort of way).  I was thinking about why I was so attracted to him in the first place.  I remembered the way he used to look at me ( a look that used to make all of my friends jealous).  I remembered how much fun we used to have...  then I committed in my heart to not stop playing.  I want more of what we had yesterday.  I know next year will be difficult while he's working and going to school full time but I think what will help get us through will be the choice to laugh.

Yesterday we handled business and discussed things that needed to be discussed.  We weren't ignoring them- we just weren't focusing on them and letting them steal our joy. 

And to any wives who would ask, I would say- keep playing.  Keep laughing.  Keep trying to make it fun.  (Even when it seems impossible).  Fun doesn't normally just "happen".  Your attitude is your choice, so when you can, choose to laugh a little more, lecture a little less.  You might be surprised at his response...  and you never know- you might just rediscover your long lost best friend. 

As for me, I'm going to keep finding new ways to flirt and to keep life from creeping in and making our marriage stagnant.  Because sometimes, recognizing that thing that first attracted him to you is still so very important and so sometimes, you've just got to laugh. 

So here's to all of the wives, and to making life fun and reinventing the marriage wheel.  And here's to 50 more years of laughter and a love not forgotten.  Proverbs 17:22 "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones"

Dedicated to my grandparents who were married for 50+ glorious years, laughing all the way through...

No Longer I

The Real Life Mom (and wife)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Juicing, Day 15

So, I've derailed from the course a little.  I had a couple of full blown meals with my family- more for the sake of having a meal with my family than because of temptation.  But the thing is, I felt gross after eating something that wasn't good for me.  I felt sluggish and grumpy (probably mad at myself for not sticking to this 100%).  But I decided that I prefer F&V (That's Christi talk for fruits and veggies) to anything.  I feel INCREDIBLE when I juice.  I feel clean from the inside out. 

I know I still have weight to lose, but it definitely feels better than it did.  I divorced my scale for a time so I can't tell you how much I have or have not lost, but I have lost.  My clothes are starting to feel different and I just know that I'm headed down a good path.

So as I was juicing yesterday, I got excited because I wasn't juicing out of a need to please people or out of obligation.  I was juicing because I wanted to.  I WANTED TO!  :) 

On another note- Out of all of the devices I have borrowed, I have fallen in love with the NINJA.  It's like a cheaper version of the Vitamix and there is no more compost!  I am getting 100% of the vitamins and minerals from the skins and seeds because this little blender completely demolishes anything you put inside of it.  It's like something Jack Bauer would use for a threat of torture...  just sayin'. 

Check it out!

And good luck juicing!!!

The Bait of Satan

An invitation. It was an invite that everyone else got....  except me.  (This has actually happened a lot lately... do I smell?)  But I let it offend me.  Actually, I let something that silly hurt me.  I am such a female, I know.  I struggle with approval and acceptance.  I was sharing with a small group this week that one of my greatest struggles is the need for approval of man.  It comes in waves.  Sometimes it's not even an issue- other times I let it become an issue.

In many ways, instances like these show how much growing I really have to do.  They also show how insecure I am prone to being at times.  I wish I didn't let things like this bother me, but I do.  I am in love with this booked called THE BAIT OF SATAN: LIVING FREE FROM THE DEADLY TRAP OF OFFENSE.  The author discusses how Satan can and will use the CHOICE to be offended to steal, kill, and destroy relationships.  The gist of the book is that we have a choice to allow the enemy to work in our lives or we have a choice to battle that by not allowing the offense into our hearts and minds.

Luke 17:1 "It is impossible that no offenses should come."  And they do- they come, sometimes two or three a day... or many more.  We all get offended- I've probably offended you at some point...  I mean, I hope not, but it's likely.  I'm pretty straight forward.  My offenses come from my husband, from my children, from my friends.  They come all of the time.  What's important is my response.  I could gossip about the offender, I could cry or whine about it, or I could learn to lay it down.

"Many are unable to function properly in their calling because of the wounds and hurts that offenses have caused in their lives.  They are handicapped and hindered from filfilling their full potential."  (John Bevere-The Bait Of Satan)  It's true.  As long as I allow little things like this to offend me, I'll never be the friend, the wife, the mother, the woman that God created me to be.  I have wasted much time worrying about these things rather than surrendering them and walking in freedom. 

So my response today?  I'm laying this down.  I choose not to worry about this.  I'm laying this weakness at his feet and I'm going to learn to let things like this go- one at a time.  I want to be the woman He created me to be.  I want to grow up and learn to let these things go before they kill me or any of the friendships I hold so dearly.  So here's to a day lived one step at a time- walking down the path toward freedom.

No Longer I,

The real life mom

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Juicing, Day 9

Well, folks, it's been a fabulous week of juicing (although we did take mother's day off for a wonderful dinner- thanks to my hot husband).  That aside, we have been juicing and feeling GREAT!  I'm not very hungry (which is a HUGE thing for me).  I have very few temptations for fast food and the things that used to call out to me at random points during the day... liiiiiiiike Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, and even... Chipotle.  :)  In fact, NOT going to those places and binge eating during the week has helped me get rid of close to ten pounds (so far). 

So anyway, throughout the process of juicing I have tried two different juicers: The Champion and a Jack Lalane.  The first- the Champion was great, easy to assemble, disassemble, and clean but a little frustrating when the rinds get caught around the blade and slow it down.  The Jack Lalane may be more difficult to assemble and clean, but it's a great juicer.  It gets mixed reviews.  People say they like it for juicing because it has a powerful motor (I totally agree).  The downside is that the motor wears down quickly during your juicing sessions and often needs a break to cool down.

After trying these two courtesy of some precious angels, I started doing some real research.  I have been asked now by at least 15 different people which juicer I would recommend.  I'm no pro, but I do like to read, so I read a lot of pros and cons, likes and dislikes about all that is available today.  My findings concluded that Breville makes the best juicer, but I wanted something that wouldn't just juice.  I felt like I was wasting a lot of food in all of the waste that comes out during juicing.  So I dug deeper and I found my next project to save for.


It's the vitamix juicer/blender.  You get everything: the seed, the pulp, the rind- all in the juice.  More and more studies are linking fruit and vegetable rinds and seeds with insane amounts of health benefits (like cancer prevention, heart health, and sooooooooo much more! 

So, pour me another!  I'm in love with juicing!!!!



Friday, May 6, 2011

DAY FIVE. Feelin' So Fly!

Day FIVE.  That's right.  Today is day five of our 21-day fruit and veggie cleanse.  (Sorry to keep you out of the loop on the previous days, but I felt horrible, so this is my first blog all week).  Anywho, this coming Monday begins the juice-only portion of the cleanse, but I HAD to take a moment to share this.  So a friend of mine completed this 21 day cleanse.  I asked her about it (because, you know, I'll try ANYTHING to feel better) and she told me about this website:  I went to the website, expecting to have to pay a bunch of money or buy their supplements, but no.  It was a free program. They send out daily e-mails with tips, recipes, and encouragement during your fast.  The first week is just fruits and veggies.  The next two weeks are juice-only.

So I enlisted the hottie.  Because he is trying to get into shape for the fire academy, I knew he'd get on board.  He was a little skeptical, but I told him if he did this with me, I'd be a thousand times more likely to succeed than if I did it on my own.  So we jumped in together with both feet.  We got up Monday and made our juice (mine was more of a puree mixture because I ate the remnants that came from "the other end" of the juicer. Sounds gross- looks even worse coming out of the juicer, but it tasted great!  So then we made a healthy dinner and day one was done.  I wasn't really tempted and I didn't feel that bad. But then day two came.  I wasn't tempted yet, bu the caffeine and sugar withdrawal headaches started... and didn't stop until this morning.  That's right.  I had a migraine for almost four days.  I had no energy.  I felt like a Mack truck had run me down.  Yesterday I was weak- not physically, but emotionally.  I was tempted the entire day... by everything.  At lunchtime, even Jacob's food and Shepherd's snacks started to look good, but I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.  I pressed in to God to help give me strength from temptation and SOMEHOW I made it through yesterday.... somehow. (thankyouJesus) 

So then after four days of feeling blah, I expected to wake up feeling okay today, but I woke up feeling AWESOME!  Today is the first day that I really feel good.  No migraines, no bloating (HALLELUJER!), no sickness, no soreness, and I have energy- like natural energy. I used to be a big ball of energy, but as of late, it's taken caffeine or Monsters or other incredibly "bad-for-you" drinks to get me going.  This morning I was energized from the moment I got out of bed and it was amazing!  It's like a breath of fresh air! 

So,  I say, to God be the glory!!!  I am anticipating more struggles, but also many more successes.  I have 16 more days left and am looking forward to being able to look back on this time and see God's footprints as he carried me through to the end! 

A week ago I felt like God was telling me that May 2011 was the time.  Like THE TIME.  The time He would use to free me from these chains, the time He would use to change my outlook and deepen my understanding and relationship with Him, the time He would use to bond Kyle and I closer than we ever have been before, and the time that he would use to bring His name honor and glory as He purified my soul from the inside out. 

So now when I am tempted- I pray.  When I am tired- I pray.  When I am hungry- I drink water.. and juice, and I pray.  When I feel like I am at the end of my rope- I pray.  When I feel like the enemy is creeping in to attack us during this precious time- I pray.  And you know what?  He answers.  He has shown up in a mighty way each and every time.

So, for now, this is me- the real life mom saying- thank you Lord for your strength and for your encouragement to get through this.  It is by your name and for your glory that I declare- NO LONGER I.