Sunday, December 27, 2015

My name is Shame.

For years I struggled with the weight of shame. I stole for so many years and I wanted freedom but shame was this wet blanket that wouldn't let me move and was suffocating me. I know people who wanted to change their ways, who wanted to walk in freedom but couldn't speak out because they were so worried about what someone would think of them.
Years ago when I was in my early teens I stole a ring from a relative. I enjoyed it for about a min and then spent the next 20+ years thinking of ways that I could get it back to her without anyone knowing. I was so shameful of my actions that it completely hindered my ability to make things right. I would hardly pray about it because it would admit to my self what I had done. God already knew but I wasn't ready to talk with him about it. Finally I got to a place where it was do or die. I knew I had to confess and live with the consequences. I told my husband and he was so loving and understanding. That was only half the battle. I still held onto the ring for another couple of years. I then told my sister and sent my aunt and her daughter a Facebook msg. I told them I had something to tell them and it needed to be in private and face to face.
We set up a time to meet when I went back home to Alabama. I first met with my mom and dad and had one to one time with them and confessed. I was so embarrassed of my sin. I was so ashamed of what others might think of me. See the thing is, I had been free of stealing for so many years. I had giving my life to Jesus and when I got re-baptized with the understand that I was a new creation all temptation to steal was gone. I had not stolen in over 10 years but I was still carrying around this burden, this shame. I did not want people to see me as someone they could not trust. It was not at all who I was now. But remember it was do or die. I HAD to make amends. I had to make it right. I had to confess. 
I went to my aunt's house and in a back bedroom I poured out my heart. I cried from the years of heart ache. I cried at the thought that maybe my cousin had gotten in trouble for "losing" this special ring. I cried at the thought of ruining one of my favorite family relationships. But I had to tell. 
The most amazing thing happen. They laughed. They forgave. They thanked me. They said I probably  kept the ring safe for them all these years because she probably would have lost it her self. 
It was the biggest showing of God's love that I had ever seen. I was finally free. Now I can tell my story with power and excitement. I tell it with joy and freedom. 
I know what it is like to be stuck. I know what it is like to be free. Freedom trumps being stuck any day.

Today I turned on the tv and it was on channel 45. TLC. I never watch this channel anymore so I am sure my oldest was watching "Say yes to the dress" 
Anyway I kept it here because some of the Duggars were on there (19 kids and counting). This was a new episode and they talked some about how the birth of this new baby was a good distraction from the season they were in. 
I finished watching the show and later on in my room I was praying and thinking about this whole family. I though about how sad it was that shame had so covered their son Josh to where he "lost his voice. He got to a point where he quit fighting. The first line of a poem came into my head (as poems usually do for me) and I had to write it down. I prayed about how to finish it and came up with this poem. 
Here it is. 

My name is Shame

Shame has claws bigger then any monster under the bed. 
It yells  "BE QUIET, YOU ARE ALONE", and it is exposer that you dread. 

Shame is the hot lava that flows from the sin. 
It tapes your mouth shut making you feel this battle you will not win. 

There is a tug at your heart to tell someone you love,
But shame punches you in your gut and knocks you over with a slight shove. 

Shame is deceiving, it makes you feel like you are friends,
All the while it is shredding apart relationships and bringing them to an end. 

Shame wants to block out the voice that says " There is still hope" 
You hear it whisper " You can have victory and not just get by and cope". 

Shame wants you to feel hopeless like you have no tools with which to heal. 
But your mouth is your biggest weapon if you speak to someone and your past you do not conceal. 

There is someone who can help you remove the tangled net of shame. 
They will walk with you, pray with you and never cast blame. 

God already knows you inside and out. 
He sees your heart and hears it crying out.  

Open your mouth and find words and use it to fight. 
Speak out for the WIN, It is your only life. 

You are already loved by God 
But shame tries to make your forget. 
But stand up and take ground and change your mindset. 

Tell yourself you ARE worth the fight, you ARE loved, and this battle you WILL win. 
At first you may feel like a failure but lift up your weary chin. 

Whisper if you must but do not give in to the temptation to quit. 
Speak life over yourself until both your heart and mouth can admit. 

That you are set free from shame that is the monster, that is attached to sin and tries to steal your ability to conquer. 

You have got this my friend, you will come through the battle with some scars to show. 
Shame no longer makes the decisions, it has no place here and must pack up and go. 

Shame will try to come back and look for empty space, so you must fill your heart with God's word and slam the door in Shame's face. 

-Charlene T. December 27,2015 

I know what it is like to live with shame and I know what it is like to be free of shame. I can honestly say it is never better to stay on the side of living with shame. The freedom is like no other.
If you are walking with the weight of shame then find someone ASAP that you can talk to. Find some one who can pray with you. You can even msg me. I can walk in agreement with you and your fight for your life. Do not let shame win its place in YOUR life. 

*the ring was returned in January 2011. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A gift for the homeless.

I am one of the people that have a heart for something and then sit back and do very little about it. Life, time, and money get in the way making it hard to follow though with a great idea. I will spare you the long stories of my few times I did walk out an idea and today just focus on this one.
A week or so ago I thought how great would it be to make little stockings for the homeless people ( who sell the newspapers) and put a little gift inside of it. I wanted Ava to draw some lovely picture of a Christmas tree and then we would put some candy inside and -in a perfect world - we would have a gift card to some food place. 
Today I started on the stockings. They were horrible...No good....throw away....What the crap are those...stockings. So i changed it up and did a different shape. I am much more pleased with this design.

  I have a few sewn for tomorrow when Gabi and I go out. If anyone has any ideas of more stuff to go in the bags please let me know. 
I wanted the stocking to be small but bring happy memories and Ava's picture to be used as their own tree if they have no place for a real one. 

I mentioned all of this to Jerry and he suggesting writing a poem to add in. I prayed about what to write them and wrote this.

Don't forget 

It is the season to remember....but it has been a hard year. 
They say "Take time to count your blessings" but you can hardly do that though your fallen tears. 
Life has thrown you some curve balls and you had to learn to play the game. 
It has been a challenge and now walking though life doesn't look quite the same. 
I pass you all the time and I can recognize your weathered face. 
But I don't know your name or your story or how you got to this time and place. 

I want you to know that as I pass you I pray,
For protection, and for blessings, and for joy each day. 
I want you to know that you may feel like you are unseen 
But you are loved by a God who sees you as his child who is worthy and can be redeemed. 
The Christmas season is the celebration of a child's birth 
He is Jesus, God's son, sent from heaven to earth. 
So to the poor person reading this who may live on the streets or the wealthy person seeing this as the prop up their tired feet,
You need to know that to God you each are the same and he wants to capture your heart  and He already knows you by name. 
Charlene Turney December 22. 2015. 

Is there an idea that you have been thinking on but haven't walked out? Maybe this is the season to do just that. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

A boy and his heart

Last weekend we had Caden's 9th bday party where he invited lots of his friends from school. I rightly assumed he wanted everyone to come but was pleasantly surprised when he specifically asked to make sure that James knew he was invited too. They have been in the same class for 2 years now and Caden has told me many times that James is one of his best friends.

See the thing is James has special needs and from an outsider like my self it seems just about impossible to communicate with him. I am always amazed at the thought that he is in the 3rd grade and learning right along with the other kids.
All the kids in the class, even in the school, do not blink an eye at James' difference. They see him for who he is. James

I sent out an invitation to the class and later realized that their email was not part of this group class email. On the last possible day I ran into his dad at school and was able to personally invite them.
James' mother and I emailed back and forth and they looked forward to the chance to come play.
She warned me ahead of time that it may take some time for him to get used to the new place. I told Caden about this and he said "James will be fine, he knows me". Caden was right.

James and his mother arrived around the same time other kids were getting here and we all just hung around outside playing until James felt comfortable to venture inside. The weather was perfect that day for just that thing.

After a bit of time inside everyone went out to the back yard and played and James joined them. His mother was very happy that he was so comfortable being in the new place. I said maybe it felt like recess at school because all of his friends were here. They were able to stay for over an hour until things got a little overwhelming.

I later told Caden that I was very happy he is friends with James. I said he is very good with him even though you can't really communicate with him. Caden interrupted me and said "Oh you can communicate with him, it is just hard" I stopped and thought about that. I was so impressed with the matter of fact-ness to his statement. Caden has learned and understands that even though it may take an extra minute and even  though it may not look the same he can have a friendship with someone who is different then him.
This picture here is James communicating with his helper what he is looking forward to this Christmas season. He was able to read what was written (after he choose what to say) The class was so wonderful and gave him their full attention.

I have thought about this family a ton over the past week and I love the lesson that is so intertwined to our families.

We as humans are all different. We grow up in different cultures, we grow up with different religious beliefs, we discipline different, we talk different, and we even communicate different. Being different does not always mean wrong it just means different. It means it might be a little harder to communicate but if we all took the time like Caden and so many of his class mates and paused for a moment to "listen" to a "James" in our life I am confident we will be blessed because of it.
James' words to not work like ours but there are so many people in this world who's words do not work like ours, they do not sound like ours but his heart is the same, his smile is the same and when we can look past the differences of those around us we might be surprised to see their heart too.

This is my mother in law. She is Korean and most defiantly does not communicate the same as us. Her culture is so much different then mine but I love her! Her heart is so big and so giving and kind. She is always willing to serve and help if you need her.

This is the group we had here for Thanksgiving. There were a few different languages and cultures here. It it so much fun getting to learn how we are all the same and hearing how we are not the same.

Do you have some things or some people in your life that you need to "learn" to communicate with?
All 5 of my kids are unique and I am having to continue to learn how to talk with them. If I stopped solely on the fact that they don't act like I do, I would miss out on so many amazing things. Not all the things are easy, some are flat out hard lessons to learn but well worth it.

So thank you Caden and thank you James for being friends and thank you LynnMarie for coming to our party, it was a joy.  (thanks for the party pictures too)
This picture is of James loving on Caden monkey pillow at the PJ party friday.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday. Post 5.

Comparing. Why do we do it? 
It's funny, we do this when their story looks just like ours and we do it if their story looks nothing like ours. We look at their path, their adventures and look at ours and compare. 
There is such a fine line between this being something that helps you grow and something that stops you in your tracks. 

Having people that you look up to is great. If their life causes you to strive to be a better parent or spouse or even a better person then looking at their life can be good. 
If looking at someone's life causing you to get bitter at your lack or angry at your spouse bc of their lack or even angry at life because they are doing "nothing" and getting everything better then you..then that type of looking (comparing) is very bad. 

A week or so ago Jerry and I had to go pick up our van from the shop. We left our house at the same time, got on the same road, and headed to the same location. 
We drive totally different so by time I got there he was already parked and inside talking to the person to get the van. 
I thought about how all the bullet points would have looked the same on paper. 

*leave house at 11:00
* drive I-440 to I -65 to cool springs. 
*arrive at tire store  

Our goals and agenda looked the same but the details were very different. We drive at different speeds and we get stuck or by pass different obstacles. 

We can never compare our personal path, goals, or agendas to someone else's bullet matter how much they look like our own. 
Each person is so individual which makes your path be so individual. 

Enjoy your path. Enjoy the speed you are at. Don't get so focused on looking at their "driving" that you aren't seeing what's in front of you. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday. Post 4 shadows are not the real thing

This is Wednesday. I am aware of this but I am going to pull the sick card for this one. We are battling a virus and strep throat that is lasting about 1 week per person. No fun.

Anyway back to my Thoughts for Tuesday....on Wednesday. 
Awhile ago I was driving on the interstate and this HUGE shadow goes over the whole road. The shadow was from a plane but it was so large it felt like the plane was just mere feet above the ground. I looked up and saw it was where it should be, thousands of feet in the sky. It had simple been placed at such an angle that the shadow seemed larger then it was. 
It got me thinking about how the enemy does that in our lives or maybe even a bully at school or an abuser. Their position in our lives, either by our placement of them or their doing, can be angled in such a way that it seems huge, overpowering, and even scarey. 
If you have things in your life that cast a big shadow over you maybe you need to pause and see what is causing the shadow. Many times you will find that the object itself isn't really all that big or scarey. 
If it is a bully or abuser causing the shadow then remember that you are worth the fight it takes to remove it. Shadows do one thing, they block the light. Make sure that you are taking the effort to re-angle your self or the object to remove the shadow. 

This picture was taking a year or so ago and is a great example of things looking different then they actually are. This is my daughter with a book bag on. She just happen to be standing funny but it looks like a large roach or some bug. Shadows are simple a distorted view of something. Do not get blinded by the false image of something. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday. Post 3. tools to stay sharp

Awhile back I bought some lip liner that was perfectly sharpened. It worked as it was meant to for a long time. When it got dull I realized I had no idea if I had the tools to sharpen it again.

I thought about how we do this with things in our lives. We get something new and we go all awesomeness and have happy thoughts while it works perfectly. Once all the newness is gone we stop using it. 
I thought about how people go to a conference or a church service and they learn about Jesus. They get full of excitement and awesomeness and happy thoughts. That last for some time and then things get dull and it gets set aside. 
Just like my make up, we need tools in our lives to keep things sharp.

 For a walk with God we need a daily walk with him to stay sharp. We need to talk to him, read his word, and be part of a church that teaches His Word. We need to be part of a small group that allows us to be real, to talk when we hurt, and to ask for help when we fall. 
Don't get something new and forget to get the tools to keep it going. Find the tools you need and use them. Ask for help if you have no idea how to activate the tools because having tools and not using them is just as bad as not getting the tools in the first place. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday. Post 2 Green onions

Green onions.
What could I possibly have to say about green onions?

I am so glad you asked. 

Last week I used some green onions for dinner and saved the ends with the plans to put them in my garden and grow my own. 

I set them in a small, empty flower pot and left them. 

I added about 1 tsp of water so they would not dry out until the next day. 

A few days go by and I forget about the green onions ( off to the corner, busy get the picture) 

Saturday night I see them again and they are growing 

Now overall that is pretty cool. I can still plant them and have my onions...BUT...
It got me thinking of an anology. Of course it did, I see everything in pictures and anologies :) 

I thought about our lives and sin. I thought about how as we are growing in areas and wanting change we remove some stuff in our lives that are not helping us get to that goal. 
It might not even be related to sinful things, it could simple be you wanted to get healthier or to focus more on your family, or even learn more with your career. We set goals and then we change things up or remove them all together to help us get to that goal. 

The original thought was how important it is to remove all sin from our lives. The growing of the green onions with just a drop of water was the perfect example of how things can still grow if not completely removed. 

When we choose to better our lives by removing the things that hinder us, we need to FULLY remove them. 
You can't struggle with over spending of money you don't have and plan on keeping that one secret credit card....just in case. 
You can't struggle with infidelity and keep that one last hook up ....just because you are now only friends...,and it is just on Facebook. 
You can't struggle with porn and plan on keep that one site unlocked....because you don't go there anymore
You can't struggle with anger and plan on reserving that one out break for that one time someone does ......(fill in the blank). 
When things left untouched like that and are not fully removed from our lives they grow just like those stinky green onions did. 

You may wonder how the heck do you fully remove the things hindering you from your life. You may want full freedom and may even have victory for a while only to find out it was secretly still there and you can't seem to shake that temptation. 


Being accountable to friends, leaders, and mentors will help you see all those hidden spots. There will be things you didn't even realize was a problem but someone else might see it. And I mean fully accountable. Not just "i am good" but you are not telling them about the hidden credit cards just in case, that one friend on Facebook that you still send msg you can catch up, the one inappropriate site not locked...because you never go to that. 
You have to be open and allow friends to see you..truly see you. 

Back to the green onions. 
They were pushed to the side. 
They were not causing any harm. 
They went un-noticed and grew
I have 7 people in my family but no one was helping me "look" for things out of place. It is totally ok to have friends that are just there and don't know all your secrets but make sure that you have friends who see all the dark corners and can ask questions like " hey did you mean to leave this here, did you want this to be growing" 
The only reason to not have friends like that is if you are not really ready for change. 
Find friends, pray about finding mentors, who have your back and can help you up-root anything that might hinder you from growing into a stronger you! 
You are so worth it. If you feel like no one will understand the junk you need to remove then the enemy is doing exactly what he wants to with you. He is tricking you. You are not alone!! Holy cow my story alone is full of thousands of secrets that I felt I couldn't tell. Now that I have victory and can openingly talk about those hidden areas...I have found so many people who went though or are going through the same things. 
You are not alone and you most definitely are not the first person to struggle with whatever the heck you are struggling with. There have been others and if you allow God to work, he will bring people into you life who can help. 

Update: I wrote this Saturday night and here it is Tuesday. The green onions still sit on my counter and have grown another inch or so. The roots are getting intertwined with the base of the flower pot and I have made the decision to just go ahead and add dirt to the roots so they can grow there.  

This is also very similar to how we do things in our lives. We have sin in our lives that we don't fully get rid up and then the roots start growing. The longer we go without addressing the issue the longer the roots have time to go deep. Eventually we just except the roots. Eventually we just except the sin. We give  them a place in our lives and accept that it is just the way I am. I have been like this for so long. I don't remember not having these roots ( this sin) as part of my life. I must just be an over spending. I must just not be one who can be faithful to my spouse...I mean I am only human. 

This is a lie. Sin never needs to have a permit place in our lives. It is true, we are all human. We live in a fallen world and we have all sinned but it does NOT have to take root. Jesus died for you. He died for me. He is the Son of God  His death and resurrection has ALL power to uproot anything that has a strong hold on you or in you. 
This is only possible though knowing that and a believing that and accountability to others. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday : post 1 needing others around you to help set the pace

A while back I was driving at night to pick Gabi up from church. I was happily driving with hardly any other people on the road. After some time a car passed me going very fast...or so it seemed. I checked my speed only to find I was going 7 miles below the speed limit.
I ,of course, quickened my speed to "catch up" to the normal range.  I found this humorous and quickly thought of how this anology apples to our actual lives. When we go though life it is important to be aware of who we are spending time with. We seem to naturally fall into a pace of those around us. For me, I personally applied this to my walk with God. For others it could be applied to their jobs or talents. If we are spending most of our time with someone who is not where we want to be then we may need to reevaluate the amount of time we spend with them. 
I am not saying to chuck all your friends out the window who aren't making the income you want to make or drive the car you want to drive. I am saying that if they are lazy and maybe have the "I couldn't give a crap" attitude then maybe spend less time with them. 
If you are wanting to grow deeper in your walk with God and you are spending a huge portion of time with people who are comfortable where they are then remember you will naturally fall into a  pace that the majority of the group is going. If you want to change your pace then pray about changing your majority. 
Seek out friends, leaders, and people to guide you.. who are where you want to be. 
When left on our own we tend to do like I did driving.....feel like you were right on track only to find out you were off when someone sipped passed you. 
Having a group you are part of keeps you accountable and helps you stay at a safe pace that allows you to grow and move forward. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

When good things distract.

I had a very eye opening moment the other day. It caused me to re-evaluate how I pray about many things.
On Thursday I had terrible pain in my ear and I prayed about it. I again had terrible pain and prayed about it...and this went on about 5 more times. I prayed every time there was pain and I thanked God for my healing. It took about 7 times but I was healed. No more pain. The next day I thought hmmm, I will just do the same thing for my arms and legs where the eczema is. I will thank God for my healing every time I thought about it.  So I did. I prayed about it...and my back starting I added that to the prayer.
Friday afternoon I was driving home and a guy ran a red light and I hit him as I went through the green light.
No one was injured but throughout the rest of the day I could feel my back starting to hurt more and more. I knew I wasnt hurt but was confused on the pain. I then realized it was because I slammed on brakes so hard and kept my foot there for so long that the muscle were just very tensed.
Saturday morning I get up and my back felt a little better but was still so stinking sore at the hip.
I pray for my back, my hips, and healing in with my eczema. I told my self "The devil wont win, I will thank God for my healing all day"
I felt that the enemy was distracting me from my healing with eczema by trying to have other things flair up.
As I spent only a little while praying and thanking God for my healing I got a huge revelation. The enemy did not distract me with one injury to keep my from another, he was distracting me by allowing me to focus on ME.
It had only been a few moments but I had already set my mind to thank God all day for MY healing. I had made the resolve matter what...thank God for what he has done for ME, what God is doing for ME, and what He will do for ME when it comes to MY healing and MY health.

Monday nights we have a church wide women's bible study. We are doing the Beth Moore -Daniel- bible study.
She has been talking about how our culture now days still has the Babylonia mentality. We have the "I am, and there is no one beside me" like it says in Isaiah 47: 8,10

King Nebuchadnezzar built a huge statue for others to bow down to. He had the "I am, and there is no one beside me" mentality.

Now days, we have that same thought pattern. We go though life and it is all about MY job, MY money, MY family, MY home, MY car.

Here was the tricky part and it almost got me. We are to thank God for our healing. We are to thank him for the things he has, is, and will do in our lives. We are supposed to let our full lives glorify him and the words out of mouth glorify him.

I was doing it all right


it was all wrong.

I was having a "I am, and there is no one beside me" I wasn't praying for anyone else. I was utilizing all my words on my self and not a single word on praying for someone else to be healed, to be held by God's grace and love. I wasn't praying for marriages to be saved or for children to grow strong.
I was only praying for me and what I want.

So I changed my resolve. I decided to beat the devil at his game.
I still thank God for my healing throughout the full day.
But, I changed it up.
I thanked God and then on purpose...prayed for someone else's healing.
I thanked God again when I thought about it (which was about every 2 mins b/c my arms itched or my back hurt) and then I prayed for another person to be healed.

I did this all day Saturday and I am continuing this from here on out. I will always double up my prayers and thankfulness for my self with another prayer and thankfulness for someone else.
So far I have prayed for a ton of people that I would have not of been praying for and guess what....
my back pain, hip pain, and ear pain are 100% gone.
I am still walking out healing for the eczema but in the mean time I will being pairing it up with other people's prayers. 

Are there things in your life that may be all right but still wrong? Are there things that the enemy has done such a crafty job and tricked you into having a "I am, and there is no one beside me" mentality?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I knew I was about to be on TV.

This morning I am at the YMCA with my best friend and I see a woman walk in that looks familiar. I think to myself " I bet she is a news lady and I am going to be interviewed" I laugh at this thought and then carried on with my work out. 
Mary and I moved on to the weights and I head over to the leg press. My twin and I talked about it yesterday and she can leg press something like 350lbs. 
I wanted a go at this limit. 
I walk over and the thought again comes and I was like, man this is where I am going to be interviewed. I don't know why I thought it but I just knew. 
I know I can't do the same weight at Melinda ( who rocks) so I set it at 50lbs. It was to easy. I move it to 90 lb. Easy as pie ....yummy, but we can't talk of pie...I have goals to reach....I then move the weights up to 150lbs... That was somewhat of a struggle and so I mentally pulled my back injury card and told myself I need to be gentle and not push it even though it did move.....some. I set the weights down to 120 and found the perfect place. I was getting my jam on and around the corner the news lady pokes her head and says she is with News 2 and would I be ok with some pictures of myself going on tv. I said sure I was ok with that, and then they said " it might just be your legs, we don't need to get any faces." I said ok but let me back up some for this part of the story. 

This summer when we went to Washington state I ate some pineapple and had an allergic reaction. This then triggered some type of eczema or psoriasis on my arms and legs and has since given my tons of problems. I am very self conscious about the redness on my legs and look forward to colder months because of pants and the cooler weather bc the heat makes it hurt more. Because it is a new thing I am still working out how I want to approach it and right now I am using how I eat to prayfully help and heal from the inside out. 
This morning I change out of my exercise pants because it had a small tear in the seam and I made the choice to put on shorts. I had pants to put on but I thought maybe if I can get victory over this being self conscious thing maybe it can help someone else have victory too. 
I chose shorts 
I go to gym. 
I get interviewed and they only want video of my legs. 

"Lord, that is funny. I am not feeling the victory yet, I am just choosing to walk it out and now they will be possibly all over News 2 in the next month." 

They ask for permission to do full video and ask me my thoughts on storing my phone inside my sports bra while exercising. I told them I don't because I have heard it can cause Breast cancer. So that is on camera also. The camera guy ends it with video of how much weights I have used and I had moved it down to 90lbs at this point. I later told him that if I had known he was going to get the amount I would have moved it up to 200lbs.  Hehehe. 

When they asked to interview me I said ok but that I was a hot mess. She said we can give you a few mins if you would like. I told her it would not help. 
Here is my selfie from working out. 

I get very red. 

My lesson I am learning is everyone has something to hide. For many of us it is a physical mark or how we feel about our bodies. For others it can be a past regret they want to hide and even others it could be a heart issue or sin they want to hide. It could be a dirty room or the way you yell at your kids or spouse. So many things get hidden and if we all just agreed to bring things to the light then it makes it less scary or shameful. 

So if you seeing me being brave and wearing shorts or a shorter dress maybe it will help you be comfortable to bring your hidden things to the light. Share it with me and we can have victory together! 

My friend Mary and Melinda both said to be thankful that I have two strong legs to walk on. So I am blessed. I am happy. I am still self conscious but grateful for the ability to move. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mothers in all countries.

This Labor Day weekend has been packed full. We had a four day weekend and used every inch of it for play time. 
Friday night we did our mock camping. 

We were supposed to head out of town for an actual camping trip and when that got canceled we decided to go ahead and camp in our own space. It was wonderful. We did s'mores over our little fire pit and listen to the crickets ( and helipcotors, firetrucks, and police cars) throughout the night. We woke up with the sun and played in the yard even before going inside for breakfast. I would love for every morning to start with outside play! 

That afternoon we went hiking and exploring and Edward Waren Park. 
In between some bickering and complaining everyone had a good time. 

We went to mckays after that before heading home. 
Sunday Jerry and I got to go to some friend's home and pray over their new home. We got to pray with them and over them for God to bless their new season. 
Monday we got to go swimming with our sweet Finnish friends. They are here in America for one year and we met last school year ( March 2015) when our daughters where in kindergarten together. The kids had lots of fun. We haven't been swimming that much this summer so they were glad to sneak in another swim before cold weather gets here. We ended the night with one last tent sleeping and s'mores. 

Today miss Ava had a play date with a new friend and I got to hangout with the mom. We all had a wonderful time and then ended the day with more friends coming over for dinner. 

Throughout my weekend I got to hang out with 4 different moms. Including myself,we were from different walks of life, different age groups, and even different countries. Some were new Christians, older Christians, and figuring out what that means-christians. We all looked different and sounded different but despite all the differences we were the same. We are moms. God has giving us all the awesome responsibility to care for children. We want to be all the God has called us to be and we want to be all that our kids need us to be. We want to have a clean home and clean kids. We want to provide good meals for our family  and a peaceful place for our husband to come home to. We want to shower without someone knocking on the door for the immediate answer of "Can I have some goldfish?" 
Haha. I just had to throw that last one in there bc it is so true
The thing that so brightly stood out this weekend are that cultures can be scary and they can be unknown. Words can go misunderstood because of a language barrier and it seems easier to just skip over that conversation or better yet that person because it is to hard to talk to each other. Beliefs and standards are different based on where someone grew up and this cause us to embrace those differences or to avoid them all together. It is easier to avoid. 
It is easier to stay in our own group, with our own language, with our own belief group. 

God does not want us to stay. 
He wants us to talk to that mom who looks different then you. He wants you to make a play date with that mom who's speaks another language, it may be hard...but it may not be. You are both learning, so be kind about it. They are ok with you saying you don't understand what they said. 
All moms need other moms to be friends with. 
ALL MOMS need to know they are not alone. 
They need to know that their child throwing food on the floor is not the end of the world (or the food for that matter if you go by the 10 second rule ) 
Being a mother is such a gift from God.  Whether we are a mother through adoption or birth our hearts are the same. It is one full of overwhelming love for our child and that looks the same in our countries. 
Make friends with a mom who looks different then you and you will find you have a lot more in common then you might have first thought. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

It is finished.

How many times do we get to say it is finished? Or do we usually say I quit or I am moving on, it isn't for me...
I have many unfinished projects around the house and ideas that never get put into action. I have thoughts and sentences that never get finished and dinner plates half eaten. I have papers sorted but have yet to be filed and laundry yet to be put away. I even have raised garden beds already purchased but still waiting to be put together. There is also a pile of fabric to be sewn and canvas to be painted. 
I believe we get so busy that even though we start out with good intentions we end up having to drop something because we are over booked. 
I am super great at starting lots of things but I don't usually get to see the finished product. Some of  this is just life and others are because of time management on my part. 

The thing I actually did finish is simple but it means so much to me. 

I LOVE everything about new journals, pens, and office supplies in general. The problem with that is i have a handful of half used journals....all of them amazing. 
I have one for my personal bible time and another one for my church bible time. 

Of course I would, I love journals. 

This summer while traveling I took only one of those with me and when we got back in town I misplaced the other one. 
I decided to go all crazy and just finish out the one journal. *gasp

With school starting back up I have been getting up early and daily writing in my journal. I have prayers in it, scriptures in it, ideas for skits written out, and just plain old doodling in it. Yesterday I fully finished out the journal. I used 100% of the pages. Front to back is filled to the brim and I love it! I am proud of my self for finishing strong. 
It is along the lines of setting a small goal like my exercising 7 times this month. I wanted to finish out this book and I did. 
I happily have many other journals to choose from and finishes those out ( one of them being my new Spider-Man journal) 
Today I started a new -old- journal. There will be many prayers in there and possibly some skits that might one day get used. The bigger picture with this is that I finished something. The bigger picture is what goes in the journals. The bigger picture is the lessons learned and lessons taught from these notes. 
It may just be a journal but it is something that years from now my kids and grandkids will be able to pick up to read and truly see the heart of who I was. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

It is ok to take time

Like millions of other people, jerry and I live very busy lives. We have multiple responsibilities that take us all over the place. It is a normal day for me to go from one title to the next. I am a mom, wife, sister, child, leader, minister, teacher, photographer, house cleaner, chef, and business partner with jerry for cornhole and Advocare. 
I think as moms it is easy for us to get lost in the titles we hold. They sometimes block our view of what is important. It doesn't mean the titles are bad, it just means that we have to -on purpose- set them aside and keep our vision focused. It may look different for some moms depending on what you believe and how you live your life but it doesn't change the  fact that without focus our "vision" gets blurred and we stumble. 
I have not yet fully mastered this habit in the summer when alarm clocks do not wake but during the school year I choose to wake up just a little earlier then needed to put God first. 
You have probably heard this before so hang with me if you have but imagine a bucket where you have to fit a few large rocks, sand, water, and small pebbles into the bucket. If you add all water first then anything else that you add will simply make a mess. If you add sand first and fill it up you won't be able to add but maybe a few pebbles and a small amount of water. When you do it with the right balance you can add it all in. You can add the important things first, for me it's God then family. Then you can add it the small pebbles, things like sports or even servicing somewhere like your kids school or church. Next you add in the sand, things that are just simple- no important things ( I won't even out examples bc it can be so different for each family) The last is the water, when you keep your priorities in order it all works out. If you are having a hard time knowing which is the big rocks and which is the water then ask friends that your trust, pray about what to keep and what to drop. God is always faithful in helping me see what is the big things in life. 

I have also found that because I give so much of my self to those other titles that I easily lose the one I started out with. 


I have so many things I love to do. When I don't get to have me time I can feel the stress build up. I can feel the bitterness creeping in. I can feel the depression settling like a fog. At first I don't know what it is, I see my bad attitude. I am aware of it at times but don't always see the cause of it. Now that I am getting a bit older I am more skilled to see when things start to shimmy its way out of order. If I don't put God first then things splash out of the "bucket" making a mess. 
I also have to take time to do what I love or I become I mess. My down time is just that...downtime. 
God did not give each of us these fun giftings and desires to just have in the back of our mind behind all the titles we hold. He gave you those things that bring you joy to do just that...bring you joy. The shocking thing is this - it will bring others joy as well. 

Happy people are beautiful. 

Tonight after the kids dinner of....wait for it....
Cinnamon toast ( see Instagram post) 

I came to my room and colored. I love art and I love poetry. That is a gifting of mine and it brings me joy. I can guarantee that my family will also have joy as I have ME time. 
I may still be tired tomorrow but I am refreshed. I chose God first thing this morning.  I chose family today and after school. I am choose me this evening and all order is in place. 

Is the order of what goes in your "bucket" a work in progress or do you already have it with a pretty good system? I would love to hear how you help balance out your titles to keep your vision focused. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A page from my journal

I post this because I don't think I am alone. I love where I am and where my family is on their walk with God. But I don't want to stay the same. This is my prayer for my family as we we grow. 

August 16, 2015 
#1 goal in my life - a continual growing relationship with Jesus. 
I want to be full of joy, grace, kindness, wisdom, and knowledge for the things of God. 
I want my children and people who see me/know me - to know that I love Jesus. I want Godly advice to come from my mouth when I speak. I want wrong responses to be at a minimum and my loving responses to be at a high. 

I want my wants to be more then a want. I need it to be the cry of my heart. I need it to be my prayer, to be my walk, my life. I need actions to go with this prayer. 

Lord, I pray that in times of frustration that I choose joy. I pray that I have a Godly balance to things that need grace but not so much that I allow myself to get ran over by eyeryone's good intentions. 

I pray that I do not speak empty words. I pray that my words have power to hold up the hurting and broken. I pray that I choose kindness over speaking angry. This may require me to take my eyes off of the offense and choose to see/find something good. Help me to do that Lord. 
I pray that I take/make the time to talk with you daily. I pray that I read your word daily. I pray that my kids see this example. You have chosen me to be their first example of Christ on earth. You chose Jerry and myself to be their first teachers. Help us to teach them the things that matter. Help us to start in the areas we may have missed. Help us to teach kindness by being kind. Help us to teach joy by having joy. Help us to teach patience by having it ourselves. Help us Lord to show love by responding in love in all areas, to all people. 

Lord, I want so many things right now, today, immediately. Help me to see the small victories as well as the big ones. Help me to rejoice in them. Help me to also learn from the failures and use it as a stepping stone to keep moving forward and upward. 

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for loving and protecting my family. Thank you for providing. Thank you for sending your son and for calling us your child. Help me to do your will - always 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Another week bites the on how to survive

Can we get a shout out to this lovely day of the week? 
Hey there Friday! It is so good to see you! 

The kids have survived their first week back to school and we have big plans for our first weekend. Rest and relax! 

I imagined my time this week to be filled with lunch dates, cleaning house, and quietness. Instead it has been filled with cutting fabric, marking line, sewing, and finishing filling over 100 cornhole bags. It has been filled with painting a large order of boards for the computer company Intel and more for another company. 

I am one very tired mama and the kids are very tired as well. My two littlest ones are mama babies and friday are particularly hard after a full week of being gone. 
When Caden was in Kindergarten I noticed that by the end of the week he was full out in brat mode. He deserved a spanking but what he needed was quality time with his parents. 
Now that Ava is in school and she also thrives on that quality time with her parents it is vital that we make time for them. 
Keeping an eye on our kids behavior and knowing what their little love language is can be life changing in the response to all areas of their lives. 
Here are a few tips I have learned over the years to help adjust to any new season. 
1: when we are needed to wake up early I always wake them up about 30 mins before the needed wake up time. For example, my elementary kids need to be to school at 8 and since we live close to the school they can wake up at 7. I then choose to wake them up around 6:30/6:40 so they have that free time to slowly stretch and get out of bed. I have found this to be helpful my myself and for them every. single. morning. They are not the best morning people and that extra time helps meltdown be at a minimum. 

2: we have one set place only for school clothes. There is one spot to place the dirty ones and another to grab the clean ones. This way there is not the rush of searching for that perfect outfit. 

3: figure out your child's love language immediately. If you have no clue then think about ways that they like to bless you. Do they want to sit with you while watching a movie, or hold your hand while walking? Do they stop wha they are doing to give you a hug? Do they make you birthday cards or get well soon cards? Maybe they tell you your hair looks nice, or that you did amazing on that song. How ever they show love to you may be the way they need to be told they are loved. Once you figure this out pour it on them All the time. 5 minutes here and there make a huge difference. Make every moment count. 
This week I have been emotionally spent. To be honest I don't want anyone talking to me or needed anything from me but that is not life. I am a mother to five amazing children who need me every day. So instead of hiding and rest by my self I chose to hug them at every possible chance. I told them I loved them and missed them this week. I watched a movie with Kori because we are watching through all the Harry Potter movies, we are on the 2nd one. I asked them all about their day and I listened.  Was that painful? Kind of. Was it worth it? In the long run, absolutely! 
This week is in the books and tomorrow is no school. As we say 5 days on two days off. Tomorrow we enjoy our two days off by going to spend the day cooking out with their grandfather for his Birthday. 

Did your children start school and did your week go as planned? Do you know your kids love language and what ways to you plan to fill those little hearts this weekend? 

Daddy and Caden twins and Caden getting some loving. 

Waking up is hard to do. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The battle between homeschooling and other options.

My oldest daughter is now 17 and in the 11th grade at a public school. She didn't start out in the public system though, I home schooled her until the 3rd grade. My son even had the "privilege" of having me as a teacher his kindergarten year.

I was supposed to home school them, I am a Christian, it is what we do right? 

I never even prayed about if I should do it. I just did. 

I ordered all the kits that others suggested. I wrote out a lesson plan to follow and even had a cute little school room. 

But I never asked God if he wanted me to home school. 

Everyone was doing it because everyone I knew were Christians....and that is what we do...we home school. 

There was a problem though. 

I hated teaching kids to read. 
I hated the books we used, the lesson plans I wrote and was daily so angry at my kids that we avoided teaching so I didn't hate them too. 

I not once seeked advice about what to do. 

I did not register them into an umbrella school and for 4 years carried around so much guilt of all I was doing wrong. 

I never prayed for grace to get through each year much less each day. 

I don't really know if it was or wasn't God's will for me to home school them during those years because I didn't ask. It might have been but because I never truly asked for help i was choosing to do it in my own strength. 
I imagine it to be like a toddler learning to tie their shoes. The parent is standing right there waiting to help the little one but the toddler keeps trying and trying, all the while getting so upset because it isn't working out right. When In fact, all the toddler would have to do is ask for help. 

When we finally decided to put the kids in school we chose public schools.  Gabi had already finished 3rd grade but we chose to have her do 3rd again to have a sort of free year and catch up on things I didn't teacher her (like.. everything) 

I said I am never homeschooling again.
I loved the idea of it. I loved the purpose behind it. For us it was about giving our kids a good foundation to start off on before they hit the real world. 
I still 100% love and support everything about it but it was not for me. 

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to again home school one of my kids. 
I said "heck no God, we have talked about this. I am never homeschooling again, remember?" 

For about 3 months I prayed about it and even my husband said no way. Not going to happen. 

This time we did pray and we did seek advice. 

I had my third child home, being her teacher for 3 months and then I could not believe it....I knew I was supposed to put her back in public school. 

I felt like I would look like a failure. I felt like a failure.  

Now here I am 8 years out from my first homeschooling experience and 2.5 years out from my second. I have learned some things. 

1.always prayer about decisions and then continue praying for guidance, grace, joy, and creative ideas to make it fun. 

2. Not all Christians are supposed to home school. 
-if all the Christians were home schooled then there would be no Christians in the public school systems telling others about Jesus. Gabi has told so many people about Jesus and how He loves them right now where they are. She is leading bible studies and always inviting friends to church with her. 

3. Just because God says yes to homeschooling this year doesn't mean that is His -one time- answer. 
-with homeschooling Kori for only 3 months I couldn't figure out why until about a year later. She craves structure and thrives in it for school work. That is not something I can naturally give. 
She did however need mom and daughter time. Her toddler years of life was filled with me giving birth to the one baby at 5 months, being diagnosed with MS 7 mths later, getting in a car wreck a few months after that, getting in another car wreck one month after that ( neither one my fault), and then losing Caden's twin a couple of weeks after that. Her entire toddler span was filled with attack after attack on our family. There was no real bonding time. It was only survival time. 
The three months of teaching her were amazing. She did awesome. I did awesome and went from saying I would never do it again to being open to what ever the Lord had for us. 
Putting her back in after the 3 months (only one semester of teaching) was very hard. I now see that if I would have ignored that and kept her out longer, we would have hit a path that would have put us right back to where we started. 
She need to mom time and then she needed to get back in the structure of school again. 
Homeschooling her for that short amount of time gave her a full three months with no other big kids here to interrupt her time. Out relationship is so much better for it. 

Homeschooling is hard and hats off to those mamas who chose to do. There will be days that you want to call it quits and you may even cringe at the thought of school starting again for one more year.
But, if you have heard from God that this is what you are supposed to do then there will always be grace for this path He has set you on. 
Picture it as God's grace is like oil for an engine. With it everything runs smoothly, without it the engine can only run for so long before it shuts down. 

Tomorrow my 5 babies have their first full day of school and right now I am happy where we are but open to any changes the Lord may have and that is a pretty good place to be. 

My two high schoolers. 

My middle schooler. 

The elementary babies. 

What ever path you choose, own it. Don't be ashamed of your path if it is different then those around you, it may be different because you are paving the road for those coming behind you. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Is this the end?

Thousands of words.
100's of pictures. 
A ton of thoughts. 
48 post. 
Just one voice-putting all I have out there. 

The summer is done for us. School starts tomorrow and I started off the summer wanting to write a blog every day about being thankful. I have written about my family, my alarms, comfy beds, a pregnancy loss and another loss, this time Cadens twin. I wrote about being diagnosed with MS, free vacations, each of my children, cooking new meals, and how Jerry and I met. I wrote anologies about God's love for us and how the enemy will put things in our path to slow us down. I even wrote about our travels and spending time with great friends. 

I am so thankful for this summer of the thankful blog. It has caused me to daily look at my surroundings and be thankful. It has caused me to think more of how my words have power and words are not all created eaqually. 

The summer is finished so essentially the blog could be finished. But, we will make  this  the end of the summer of thankfulness blog and the start of just normal. I enjoy writing and some people have said that they enjoy reading my blog. The habit has been formed and that was a goal with the daily writing. 
Thank you to those that have read and those that commented. It has meant a lot. 
Tomorrow we go back to our school normal and we have high hopes of getting better organized. I might even post some tips on how the heck we figure that out. 
So until then you can enjoy post of life as the Turneys know it and see how we navigate 5 kids, being full time ministers, having a cornhole business, photography business, Advocare business, and even Real Estate. We are crazy busy but we love each other and have learned a few tips along the way. 
This blog will continue being a record of my story. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pick a day and just start.

I love new beginnings. 
I need new beginnings. 
Tomorrow starts the -back on track- food beginning. 
Any time I make a change I have to pick a day and just start. 
In 2010 when I started to train for the half marathon I picked a day and started. 
When I juiced for 10 full days, to help heal my body from a messed up gallbladder, I picked a day, went shopping, and just started. 
Today I have picked a day and will start. 

Jerry and I both want to detox from our traveling and I am dealing with some eczema on my arm that I am pretty sure can be healed by cleaning up my eating. 

Last year with it being my first year for everyone to be in school I felt for sure I would have tons of time to get to the gym. I just knew that this was the year to get in shape and that by my 38 bday I would be looking #greatby38. 
Boy was I wrong....time slips away with a blink of the eye and I went to the gym a handful of time. I did not hit my goal with even the slightest tap. 

This week the kids go back to school and I will again have all this free time to hit the gym. 
Ok. That is a lie. 
I will try to make time to go to the gym.
 I will however exercise at home. 
Yesterday at Aldi's I spent $10 on this bad boy. 
It is simple and it is awesome. I can do this while I watch tv or in-between cooking. I can set a time goal and the best thing is it is easy for my back. 

It was yesterday that Jerry and I picked our day to start and that gave me today to get it all set up. I went to the store and now my fridge is prepped and ready to help us win. We are adding juicing and salads into our daily food intake. I am excited to keep track of our eating and see how it effects our health. 
I am curious how long it will take for my eczema to heal up. 

Starting something new can be a challenge. It can take some time to get all your ducks in a row. You may need to map out and organize a plan before you start. No matter how you have to do it, just do it.

What is something you want to change in your life? 

Take the time, pick a day and just start. 

The Turneys are ready for tomorrow. We are in charge of our health and we are worth it. 

You are worth the change that you want to happen. If you feel like it is out of your hands then your change could simply be praying for God to be in control and then immediately thanking God for being in control. 

You can do this. While you have breath in your lungs and your heart is still beating you have time to change.

  Be a better you!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trying new foods: a hit or miss?

A while back I told you about my cookbooks I bought from McKays used book store. I got tons of Food & Wine cookbooks for around .50 cents each.

I also wrote how I learned that setting big goals will at least help you have something to aim for. This seems very basic but it is new for me to actually want to walk it out for my self.

One of those goals is to try at least one new recipe each week.
Tonight, we had two! I am posting one of the recipes below. I would love to know if you end up makeing it and what you thought of the soup yourself.

The first one was only something I can guess why with the name of the soup. 
The second meal was a Curry and Yogurt- braised chicken thigh. Maybe I will post that recipe another day ( I was nervous about the yogurt part of it but you actually can't taste it at all) 

Sweet Potato, Chipotle, and Apple soup.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (i used olive oil bc it is what i had on hand)
    plus 1 cup for frying
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 Gala apples - peeled, seeded, and chopped. (i used whatever red apple i had)
1 celery rib, thinly sliced crosswise
 1 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced. ( i just coarsely chopped everything bc it would all be blended later)
1 quart chicken stock
3 cups water
1 small canned chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and minced ( i did not have this and left it out, it still tasted great)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper. ( i am just now seeing that it said white pepper as i read this, i used black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 yellow corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

-if you are new to cooking then my tip is to have everything out and pre-measured and chopped before you even get started. It makes things so much easier-

1.In a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook over low hear, stirring until softened..7 mintues.
Add the apples and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 min.
Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until fruit and vegetables are very tender, 45 minutes. Stir in the chipotle.

2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. ( i used an Immersion blender so i kept it in the soup pot)
Season with salt and pepper, return to pot.

3. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in a mediun skillet.
Add the tortilla strips and fry over high heat, stirring until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. 
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls and garnish with fried tortilla strips.
-recipe by sue torres.2009 food and wine cookbook

I am thankful for a used bookstore where I can expand my food knowledge for pennies on the dollar.
I am thankful that Food and Wine printed cookbooks.
I am thankful that I am able to afford groceries for my family.
I am thankful that it turned out yummy and was not a waste of food.

I would love to know if you try this for your family.
This is a gluten free meal also so that is an added bonus