Book review : Mission of Mercy – By Nancy Alcorn

I love to read. That is normally how these reviews start right? Well I do love to read but my biggest problem is I never make time to actually do it. I will sit down with a book and read the first paragraph only to have to read it all over again because what I was really doing was making a list of all the things I need to clean in my house or buy from the grocery store.

As a mom who gets easily distracted and who ends up laying on the couch for two hours after putting the kids to bed only to leave it to crawl into my own bed, I do not actually do much reading. So when I do. I like to pick a book worth while. We were given a book for free called “Mission of Mercy” : Allowing God to use YOU to make a difference in others. – Written by Nancy Alcorn. It is an inspiring book about a ministry that has made life changing impacts in many young women’s lives. I felt honored to even read it.

I grew up in a very stable and loving family and we went to church each week. I knew I was loved by my parents and by the God who created the universe. When I was younger I had a hard time understanding why people would make such horrible decisions in their lives that would cause them to end up in awful situations. Drugs, Alcohol, sex, prostitution, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and even teen mothers? I mean how does that happen? How do you end up there? Just say “No”. right? Wrong.

This book really gave me an attitude reality check. I, without meaning too, was totally judging people who struggled in these areas. I did not know how to relate and would often approach the relationship as if I was Better or even Superior than them. Wow. Gross. I am truly embarrassed.

Mercy. I learned that Mercy is something we all need. The stories in this book are inspiring and the author shares the girls stories from their perspective and then from her own. I was brought to tears numerous times and I actually genuinely laughed out loud. I learned so much about myself while reading it and also learned where I need to grow. 

I recommend this book to anyone who needs Mercy. In other words, I recommend this book to Everyone!

-Lion

Helpful or homework?

Today while I was making lunch for my family and cleaning the kitchen at the same time (like I normally do) I spent some time thinking about some interesting blog posts. I grabbed my cell phone and jotted down some ideas for topics on the “note pad” application. I noticed how good I am at multitasking. Toot Toot! (Well if no one else is going to compliment me I better do it myself.)

It is kind of ironic when I think about how much I hated writing in high school and I would literally dread having to write a term paper or even a short essay. I probably did not enjoy writing them because all my hard effort never got me more than a “B” and most of the papers topics were boring and irrelevant to my life. I never thought I would ever need to write again after university. I figured I would be done. But I realized that I spent most of the last 11 years writing. I wrote a children’s story (still in the process and is top secret), I wrote journal entries to my children during both my pregnancies and on through their first years of life. Then my sister and I started this blog.

This blog has been a great outlet for me. My brain is always spinning with ideas and thoughts that this blog helps me organize. It does start to feel a little like a homework assignment when I have not posted in a while and have run out of inspiring topics. But its a good feeling when I finish writing something and someone comments on it or shares it with friends or even just sends me a message telling me they loved what I wrote.

It is very vulnerable sometimes when I chose a topic to write about that is personal but I am not the type of person to let that feeling stop me from sharing my thoughts. I am a person who loves to be honest. I really get annoyed when people are fake. life is to short to pretend you are someone you are not.

I know my sister and I both hope this blog is inspiring, encouraging, and interesting for people who read it. although it feels like homework sometimes it is nice to know that if one blog post is a flop we will not get graded and ultimately fail. It will eventually get lost in the cosmic internet universe. Right?

-Lion

Mommies night out

I quickly snuck away while my children were greeting their dad as he stepped in the house, after coming home from work. I raced up stairs to my washroom and barely got my socks off before hopping in shower. Tonight I get to go out! Tonight I get to go out before the sun goes to bed. I get to go out even before my kids go to bed! This is a glorious night. Nope, its not a holiday or even my birthday. It is something more important. Girls night!

The wonderful thing about my best friends is that we are all in different stages of life and yet when we get together we can talk for hours and feel like it has only been ten minutes. Girls night is all about getting away from our lives for a few hours and spending it with the friends who helped us get to where we are today.

This girls night was extra special because we were dedicating it to the celebration of one of us becoming a mom. There are already two moms in our group and now we are adding another! I am one of the moms, obviously. What better way to welcome a new mom into the club than giving them words of wisdom and advice and a few warnings. Most of all, prayer. Nothing beats the power of prayer. “Where two or more are gathered”, right?

As I was driving to our girls night I started to brain storm what words of wisdom I was going to impart to my dear friend. I have been a mom for 2.5 years and I have two beautiful children, I should have a lot to say. I should have a lot of advice. Like I normally do, I started to say my pretend speech out loud while driving. First I turn off the Raffi CD that I just realized had been playing since I pulled out of the drive way 10 minutes ago. My thoughts became clearer as the lyrics to 5 little ducks slowly faded from my head. Hmm… How should I start?

What can I tell this new mom that will be of any help? What advice will she actually listen to? how much advice did I listen to until I started tuning every advice-giver out? She is probably at the stage in pregnancy where she would give anything for someone to ask her a question that didn’t have to do with her big belly and the impending baby that was on its way. I remember thinking “would people just leave me alone already!!!” I mean how much advice do they think I need. Seriously.

On that note, I said a little prayer for myself and my obvious issues that were coming up regarding annoying advice giving strangers. I also said a little prayer for my friend and her journey into motherhood. I lifted up her marriage and her relationships with family and friends as she has to learn to set new boundaries and look out for a brand new life. I mean, no pressure or anything!

My prayers distracted me for the rest of the ride to my friends house and as I pulled into the drive way I realized I still needed to put on my make up and take the scrunchy out of my hair and actually run that brush through it. I keep a brush in my diaper bag for just an occasion like this. Yes, my diaper bag is also my purse. deal with it. who has time to switch their wallet from their diaper bag to a regular purse that is buried deep in their hallway coat closet (which actually acts as my secret “stuff everything out of site” closet). Or is that just me? I am too busy trying to duck out of the house before my 16 month old realizes I am going.

A great thing about my amazing friends is our “no need to knock” kind of friendship. even though this was my first time at this particular friends new house since she got married I felt no need to knock. I walked in there with my mommy hair and half done make up and quickly checked my shirt for food stains in the hallway mirror. It was so nice walking into a house where no child has tarnished its surfaces. Although my clumsy nature sure loves to hang out among those little monsters who wreck everything, always. I better hold on to my wine glass a little tighter and eat my appetizers over the hard wood instead of the nice white carpet. I just recently noticed that when I step out of the house without my children that I feel a little naked. I have no one to blame spills or breaks or even to have an excuse to leave early for. wow. sorry kids. I didn’t realize how much I hid behind your … what is that even called?…. toddlerness?

After exchanging hugs and compliments on outfits and jokes on how hard it was to sneak out of the house we grabbed our wines and a plate full of delicious adult food and settled in the living room.

Have you ever watched those kid shows where every main character is the opposite of the others. One is sporty, one loves fashion, one loves nature, and one loves animals. You know that show:) These characters seem to have nothing in common and you wonder how they even became friends in the first place? That is how I feel some times when getting together with my friends. We are all so different and are each so amazing in our own way. I learn so much from them. Best of all, we can talk for hours. I mean we never run out of topics. We are each so invested in each others lives and stories that each get together is like the next episode of our own soap opera. We spend our time getting filled in on the latest boy drama, newly married romance, toddler horror stories and pregnancy Annoyances. I love our friendship. I need our friendship. I have been friends with them all since I was 13 years old and they have been there through so much and still love me.

God sure set me up for success when he placed these ladies in my life. Girls night has gone from more than just a night out with the girls or a night away from my family, or even some cute picture of me and my friends on instagram to show people that I do more than just sit in my pj’s on a Friday night with my husband eating chips. I actually never get a chance to take pictures because we kind of have an “ignore your phones except if it is your husbands regarding your babies” policy. Girls night is a night where I get encouraged. Where I come exhausted and leave refreshed. Girls night is a night where I can dress up or dress down and no body cares. (they do care if i come with food in my hair tho. you must draw a line some where.)

Surround yourself with people who make you feel loved. Find those precious souls who bring out the best in you and love the side of you that needs a little work. My best friends are all different in so many ways but the one way we are the same is that we all LOVE Jesus with all our hearts and are following the plan he has for our lives. We are able to support each other in our walks through life. My friends are awesome and I love them more than any words can do justice.

-Lion

#sundaymorningselfie

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New trend! Are YOU ready for church ?!
I kind of had to be because I am doing announcements and interviewing a member on stage today. So I need to make sure I don’t have spit up on my shirt 🙂

-Owl

Last Minute Decisions are the BEST!

So we actually did it. We actually decided to go through with it, no turning back now. My husband and I booked a 7 night stay at an all-inclusive resort in MEXICO! It doesn’t seem super crazy, but the fact is, we are leaving in a week. I still am a little shocked. We found a ridiculous deal to stay with flights included, figured the best time to go was now before my jobs adds more hours, as well as our son is 11 months old, so he is a prime age to leave with someone (sleeps 13 hrs at night, still has 2 naps, and is chaseable). I am super excited, and I am looking forward to being bored, sleeping in, wearing my mom bathing suit, and being with my husband.

I know it will be difficult not seeing our owlet but I know I won’t regret going. It is our 5 year anniversary this summer and what an awesome, crazy, hot, fun, spur of the moment way to spend it.

– Owl

Thankful for the summer

I know after a few days it’s hard for people to enjoy the sun. The first day it’s obligatory to go outside, soak up the sun and be happy your hot. The next day, your still thankful. By the third or forth day the critics come out! Seriously, in the lower mainland it rains a lot. Let’s try to enjoy this summer:) be thankful it’s not raining, we have lots of water parks. You can YouTube how to make an air conditioner for 20 bucks.

I am thankful for summer, but, I am also thankful for my basement.

-Owl

It Is a Calling

I have heard growing up with my Dad in sales that it is a “lifestyle” . You can’t just go to work, come home and have it separate.  Just like sales, I feel that lots of jobs have this all the time work ethic thing happening, but we just call it being a “workaholic”.  yes I agree, there are a lot of people who do obsess and work 24/7 when it is not needed. BUT what is needed in youth ministry? someone who only works the hours that they are being paid (for me that is 24 hrs a week) or, should I be on call?

I love my job. When I am at the Church, in my Office all I want to do is smile and plan the next event, revamp what we want to do in the future, and make sure I am communicating properly with co-workers. I enjoy my job, and sometimes I feel like I am not suppose to. Sometimes I feel like I should be complaining more, that I should already feel burnt out because I see my youth ALL the time. I want to invite them into my home whenever they want, I want them to take ownership of the youth ministry at our church and take it not just in the building but everywhere they go. We are a family, and some of the youth are seeing it and are really enjoying it as much as I am.

So why is it so weird for people to see that this is a choice I am making that I love, My husband , son and Student enjoy! I know it is something for extended family and friends to get use to. for example, I was going to have a friend come over,and three girls were here at my house. I told them they had an option of helping me clean up my house and feed my son or they need to go home. They all stayed to clean and asked me politely to hang out in our basement and watch netflix while my friend was over. I said no, not because it would be work to have them stay, but I need to respect friends who come over and are not expecting to have teenagers at my house.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that being a Youth Leader is for people who are okay with expanding there personal life into a mission. Isn’t that what we are all called to be? missionaries?

 

– Owl

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