Friday, October 28, 2016

Why do I have to do it every. single. day???

The other day I brought a pot of dirt inside the house. It had been outside for months and I wanted to plant my basil in it to keep inside. The problem is that the dirt was bone dry. I set it in my sink and soaked it with water and let it drain. I did this at least 4 or 5 times so that it would get all the dirt wet. I wanted the basil roots to really flourish once I planted them.
I grabbed a spoon and started to dig in the dirt to get it moved some for the plant. I was surprised to find that it still had so much dry dirt in it. I had soaked it sooo much and yet, it still had major areas of dryness.
It was only when I dug deep and up rooted the dry dirt, bringing it to the surface, and than soaked it, was it able to fully get wet. I had to dig, soak, dig, soak, dig, and soak to fully saturated the soil.

As I was doing this I thought of how this is such a good analogy to so many Christians walk with God. We go to church on sunday. We get soaked. We come home, go about our week, and never water ourselves. We go to church again on sunday and we get soaked in God's presence with scripture and worship. We come home and live another week with a lack of victory in our lives. We do this week after week. We feel that this soaking on sunday was enough to get to all our dry places but just like this pot of dirt, we have to dig deep and uproot all the areas of our life to get it full saturated. We have to dig, soak, dig, soak, dig, and soak to have long lasting change.

If you hear a great msg and want change and you go home and make changes and than wonder why it doesn't seem to may have some dry places in your heart that are killing these newly planted roots.

 How do I practically soak those dry places you ask?

I am so glad you did.  Find someone who can walk with you, who can ask the questions about how you are doing. Read your bible daily and then talk with someone about what you are learning. Pray daily. You dont have to be weird, you can talk to God throughout your day as if he is your best friend sitting right next to you. Worship God. Make choices to listen to music that is uplifting.

To get this pot of dirt fully saturated it took me many times of watering.
Do not think that one time at church or a conference, or revival is enough.
Do not think that one week of daily bible reading is enough.
It is an amazing start but imagine if I got the dirt fully soaked, planted my basil, and than never watered it again.
The basil would dry up.

We need to stay watered, stay in God's word, stay in his presence, and dig up those dry places in our heart so that we can heal and live a life of victory.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

"If I can just distract her, I can make her forget"

-My youngest child is wonderful in all of her ways and can even be a little dramatic. Years ago she fell down and scraped her knee....scraped....her....knee. She did not break anything and there were no need for stitches and there was hardly any blood but Miss Ava could not walk. She cried so hard and the idea of walking was to much for her little self. I am not joking when I tell you it took half a day to get her up and walking again. She was doing everything she could to avoid using the injured leg. By the end of the day it had gotten so ridiculous that I had to re-train her and distract her. We held hands and "walked" up and down our hall. When I say we walked...what I mean is I walked and she hopped the whole way. I showed her that bending the knee was ok and I had her standing on both legs to teach her that it in fact could work. We started out very slow where I was making her use both legs and by the end of our "training" I was running so that the only thing she could do was use both legs and run along side me or fall and get pulled behind me. She ran. She laughed at finally being healed and being able to use her full body again. Funny enough, this was not the only time we had to distract her, she had to do the running along side me a few more times to learn that a scraped knee was not the end of the world.

This was a good reason for distraction

-Gabi and I have this joke and any time one of the younger kids have any questions about drugs, where babies come from, or what does a word mean we always say "Who wants ice cream?" I always answer the question but the joke is all about distracting them so they think of something else.

This was a funny reason for distraction.

-Jerry and I love to surprise each other for our birthdays and special holidays. One year I invited lots of friends to come have dinner with us but not to tell Jerry because I wanted to surprise him. I told him part of the truth....because we all know the best lie has some truth to it. I told him that I invited one of his best friends to come into town for dinner and they were not able to make it and that just he and I were going out to dinner. I told this story with tons of conviction b/c it was truth and he believed. We got to the restaurant and walked to a side room near the bathrooms and lots of his other friends were there. The surprise worked b/c of the distraction with the half truth. He never thought to look for the real truths.

This was a sweet reason for distraction.

 -A girl was walking down the street and sees someone fall, she stops to help and gets jumped from behind. The person falling was a distraction.
-A car is broken down on the side of the road with a woman standing beside it. Someone stops to help and gets attacked by a person hiding in the woods. The lady was a distraction.
-I made a goal on Monday to not have sweets until the weekend but Ava wanted ice cream after her drs appt and Gabi wanted a starbucks after her appt. So did I. Those things were distractions.
-A person makes a decision on Sunday to do better and spend more time with God but this week was hard, they are exhausted and just want to watch the new episode of Scandal. These hangups are a distraction.
-You used to go to church but haven't in awhile. It is ok though, you still make good decisions and think about God. You don't feel bad, in fact, you feel pretty good about where you are in your walk.
Contentment is a distraction
-You started a new diet and this is the year for you to make changes that matter. But, you got yelled out today by a stranger, your car got a flat tire, and your job just cut back your hrs, and oh ya,  you have a cold. You only want comfort food now and so you tell you self it is ok, you deserve it, it was a hard day, except so was the weeks before. Life is a distraction.

These are derailing distractions.

-You are done, your spouse has ignored you one to many time. You vent to your co-worker and a friendship builds and you entertain the thought of a relationship with them. Maybe you married the wrong person and this is your true soul mate.
-You accidentally click on a link and it pulls up porn sites. You explore out of curiosity, until the next time.... when you explore bc you choose to. Now, you are looking at the sites daily and it is the only thing you think about. It is not a problem though b/c you get your work done, you are not cheating on your spouse with an actual person, and it is not hurting anyone.
-You are in charge of the petty cash at work and no one ever uses it. This week you spent your money on a new jacket and you are only borrowing the money until you get payed again so you can pay your water bill.
-Bills are so tight this month and when you have extra money you give some to God for tithing but now it just seems impossible. God understands, I mean you have to eat right?

These are the enemy's distractions.

We are ready for a big fight. If someone takes our child, we fight. If someone tries to kidnap you, the natural thing to do is fight back. If someone steals your money, you work at getting it back. If someone stole your identity, you get the authorities involved and clear your name. We are quick on our toes for the -bold, in our face- fights. The enemy knows this and for many situations he doesn't do that. He is slick and a master of distraction.
My last blog was about setting goals, even if they are baby goals. We sometimes need tiny steps to keep us moving in the right direction. There will always be distraction and many times even with our eyes wide open we fail to see it but the good news is you can start new each day. Each morning wake up with a thankful heart that you woke up and get to try again.


Jesus died for you so we have already won 

The enemy of this world will distract you with every trick of the trade so that you do not know or your forget that we win.  If you do not start each day with the mind set to keep your eyes on Jesus and the goals you have for your life than you will always be swayed by life's distractions and never get from point A to point B.

Do not let distractions prevent you from having victory in your life. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

When did we give up?

Every year most people start out with goals for their lives. We make big plans to get things back on track and do things better. Many people reevaluate their lives at the start of a new season and even the start of each month or week. We all have big dreams of doing more and doing it better than the year before. So, I ask the question, When did we give up?  Why did we quit?
For so many people this thing called LIFE gets in the way. That pesky little thing, it does that from time to time.
How many of you set a goal to work out more? What about the goal of spending more time with family and friends? Did you set a goal to eat better, make more money, be happier, travel more, read your bible and pray more?
How is that going for you? We are almost done with this year and for so many of us we are back in the same loop as the year before. The same habits that we have done year after year after year we are doing now and our dreams, our goals, are a major thing of the past.
 Maybe you know this and can skip this part but maybe you don't know are worth it, you are strong enough to change, and you matter. No matter how crappy you feel b/c another day went by and you didn't do your to-list and no matter how defeated you feel b/c someone keeps telling you that you are a waste, you are worthless, you need to know that it is a lie. You might have even laughed at that but it is true. If you feel anything less than valuable, worthy, amazing, and wanted, than you are believing a lie.
You set goals and have dreams b/c you want more for your life and everything in the entire world will feel like it gets in the way to keep you from those dreams coming true but keep at it. Don't stop my friend. A baby step in the right direction is better then sitting on your butt moving in no direction. 

My youngest parked her self on the sidewalk the other day and was done walking. She was mad about something and tired from the long day and was done. She was not going to walk another step. But, just like life does with us, I kept on moving leaving her behind. She eventually got up bc the idea of staying there all alone was not something she wanted to try out.
How many of you stay there though? How many of you get tired from the long day, the long season? You get mad about how things are going or maybe hurt or scared and you just want to give up, you are done. Life keeps moving though and you have let your emotions stop you in your tracks.
It is ok to pause for a moment to catch your breath, to get your barrens, but DO NOT STOP!

This fall break we went to Gatlingburg and did the hike Cling man's dome. Once again, this little lady, the smallest of the crew, did not have the strength to hike up this huge hill in one swift walk. Many people around her were giving it their all and reaching their goal way before her. We all had the same goal, get to the top, but for all of us it looked different. Caden, kori, and my self got to the top with little trouble but Ava had to make many, many stops along her journey. The key to her victory is that she DID NOT STOP.

She made big strides and rested, she made little strides and rested. She stopped all together and had to get motivated  by her peers (aka daddy and siblings) and she got back up again and took baby steps. She kept moving and rested when needed but finished her goal.
What are some goals or dreams that you have set to the side that need to be picked back up again?
Did you want to exercise more, eat better, have coffee dates with more friends, read more books, or just rest more? If setting a huge goal is not working it is ok to set baby goals and hit those. If you are not exercising at all than set a goal of 3 times in a is better then nothing. If you goal is to eat better and you eat out every meal then pick once a mth to plan, prepare, and cook a meal at home.
You can do this with any goal you have. Give yourself the chance to have some victories and don't you dare tell your self that you cant do it. Even if you believe you will fail, don't tell your self that. We all get concerned about what others will think of us but really the opinion that speaks the loudest is our own thoughts. Tell your self you can do it, even if you failed. Get up and keep walking bc you are worth it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My kids just ate brussel spouts and didn't even know it.

I know all about how eating healthy can heal the body and I stay on point for a big part of my life.

But, getting my kids to eat the right things is sooo much easier said than done. Their school provides free breakfast and free lunch for everyone. It is some program with no kid goes hungry and it last for about 3 years, I am pretty sure we are on the last year for the program. I feed the kids breakfast at home but there is still food for them at school that they grab. The free lunches just saves us tons of money so we just let them get that. I am pretty sure I will be starting to make their lunches on tuesday when they go back to school

Their eating sucks.
 Miss Ava just finished her 3rd round of antibiotics for strep throat and I am pretty sure it is not gone yet....I am fed up with the way they eat and starting tonight we are cutting tons of things out of their diet. Since they have a few more days on their fall break it will be easier to monitor what they eat. I have giving my kids fair warning that we were changing the way we eat. For example, last week we finished off the last of the sweet cereal and we are not buying more.
This has been a battle for a long time, Jerry thinks it is fine to have it just on the weekend and I want it gone forever. I am fine with a balance but it seems that there is always something sweet to eat and it blends right into the weekend with crap cereal. I think he is seeing the need for change.

I wanted to start our healthy eating asap. I do not want to take Ava to the dr one more time. I want to heal her with prayer and food. Tonight's dinner was the start of that. It was a soup packed full of nutrients.
I made a soup because it is one of the easiest ways to get veggies into my kids.  I had left over chicken and homemade chicken broth in the fridge. I also found some Brussels spouts and had an idea. They are packed full of vitamin C and we need that right now.
I already took some onions, garlic, and bell peppers and sauteed in a dutch oven. I chopped off the end of the brussel spouts and tore off the top leaves. I, then chopped them in half and threw them into a food processor and added a bit of olive oil.
I pulsed into it was fully chopped and threw it into the dutch oven and sauteed and stirred into all heated through. I also add one sweet potato and salt and pepper. When it was all heated I threw in about 6 cups of broth and brought to to a boil until potatoes were soft.
I transfer it in batches to my vitamix and pureed until completely smooth. -be careful b/c the steam will be very hot-

In another dutch oven (bc I still had un-pureed soup in the other) I added about 2tbs of butter, a bit of diced white onion, and diced one white potato (this was simply for texture in the soup) and stirred to heat up.
All the pureed soup got poured on top (through a strainer) and again brought to a boil to cook the white potato.
When fully done I added the already cooked (left over) shredded chicken. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, herbs, and/or old bay seasons to your tasting
I also took some gluten free bread and toasted it and chopped to make homemade croutons.

Gabi went to the grand parents for the night but all the other kids ate it all!! I told them I don't even care if they eat the chicken and potatoes in the soup but that they had to drink all the broth. 
This may be a tiny step but I am happy we are moving in the right direction. I will be updating here on how it goes. Ava and kori will no doubt be my most challenging kids. They are extremely picky eaters and veggies are far from the "yes" list.
Pray it goes well...mmmmkay

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Clingman's Dome and views worth any hike.

Today we got a late start and changed our mind a few times on what we wanted to do with our day. We settled on Clingman's Dome because it was closer than other options.
We drove up the mountain and the temperature dropped 20* Say what??? It felt awesome though.
I took lots of pictures with my phone and real camera and will post the best of both.
The hike to the top was 1/2 a mile and a super steep incline. Caden and I got to the top first. I was pretty happy with myself.

When I pause and think about the fact that I had major back surgery 6.5 mths ago and went a few weeks with some paralysis in my foot and severe nerve pain for mths and now I am hiking up mountains....I am blessed and feeling so much stronger.

Here are pictures from today. Since I am breaking from posting so much on facebook and instagram I am using this blog as a place to write about our day and post the pictures.
I am so happy we did this vacation this week during the kids fall break. Yes, the kids complained but all in all everyone had fun together and made memories.

This morning started out great with late sleep ins, worship music playing while breakfast was being cooked and the littles did their devotionals.
We then packed up and headed out. The drive was so beautiful and we wanted to stop at every single pull over spot..but we didn't.
Here is our day in pics.
Miss ava did not feel so well after the curvy drive.

 My boys....being boys..
 Lots of names signed to mark their place in time.

You would never know by this picture of me and Gabi that she didnt want to take a picture with her mama...on top of the mountain...
 After our mountain adventure we headed back down and went straight to Pancake pantry. We got there 7 mins before they closed. 
Ava some how managed to eat her chocolate chip pancake without going through the edges. 
We then walked around and looked for a cost efficient place to play with our large family. 
We settled on Treasure island putt putt golf. 
Girls against boys....boys won.
                                                      Winner Winner chicken dinner!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A look at the Turney's on the Biltmore Estates.

Miss Gabi, my sweet first born is almost on her own and it breaks my heart. Soon she will be in college and fall break vacations will not work with her school schedule. This could be her last one with us. I pray it is not.
Caleb, my first son. He is the person who taught me about unconditional love from a male. He is one of the funniest people I know. His ability to mimic accents and sounds is like no other in our family. He should definitely seek out a job using this skill

Kori, is the most detailed person I know. Her ability to notice things around her and her creativeness is beyond what I could ever do. She sets goals for her self and hits them. I see a bright future for her.
 Caden, my little miracle surviving twin boy. He is the sweetest talker, he tells me daily how amazing and beautiful I am. If a flower is called wonderful, he responds.."like my mommy" What a gift he is to my sou.
Ava, the cream of the crop, is the perfect add on to our family. She is loved by every single one of us and has a sense of humor to match all of ours. She has big dreams of dancing, singing, and being a gymnast one day. She will do awesome at all those things.
So blessed God gave her to us after 2 losses and major health problems, she has changed us for the best.

Jerry, my sweetie of 20 years. We are so different and the enemy likes to get it my thoughts and wants me to focus on all those ways. But, when I remind myself that his differences are the very things that I totally suck at and would never thrive at, I am reminded at how blessed I am. God always knows what he is doing when he places you with someone. You will be very different and that is so together you can fill in each others weaknesses and together, with God, can be a strong force. 

We all had a really good time at Biltmore today....except for the end when I thought kids might be lost and spent forever looking for them...and didn't have cell service to call and check. They were not lost...I was apparently.

 These two pictures here are from the gardens. There were tons of mums here.
 And one final shot of the full Turney crew.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Put on the brakes, it is fall time!

Fall break is here and we have a full 11 days off, this counts the weekends, the full week, and the extra monday off from school. We are excited about spending time with the kids by doing some fun adventures. Last year for our anniversary Jerry bought two tickets to go to The Baltimore Estates in Ashville and we then used that price and applied it to a year season pass.

This allowed us to take the kids for FREE! With 5 of those little sweeties I love a good deal and free is about as good as it gets.
The trouble with this season pass is the 5 hour distance it is from our home. This is the reason we are almost back around to our anniversary (nov 1) and have yet to use it......until now. This week is our week to dream of a 1,000 acre farm, a pool and bowling alley in our home, and fireplaces so big we could stand up in them. The kids will learn some history and see things that our pictures from last year did little to show the amazement of this place.

In my perfect world I would own lots of land that had a creek running through it and lots of trees to climb. I would have a large kitchen with a full window seat and sitting area for friends to chat with while cooking them an amazing meal. I would have a huge stone fireplace and brick walls and an old farm table that was the perfect height for little ones to help make bread. I would learn to make bread and never need a recipe book.
In my perfect home I would still have the kids share rooms but the rooms would be a little bit bigger with Jack and Jill bathrooms. I would have big closets and little hidden nooks to play in. I would have my own art room that never got used for storage and I would paint and sew and create new things often. In my art room there would also be space for a photography studio.

My perfect world looks very different from my real world. There are times that I get super frustrated that I am a grown woman and have the ability to change my surroundings and yet my two worlds still look so different.
It is during those times that I have to be very purposeful about my words and my thoughts.
I can wake up and see a pile of papers that have been sitting there for a week and it just makes me mad......even though yesterday I was totally fine with it.
I can walk out into my small yard and just be so bummed that it doesnt have trees for climbing and building tree houses.
I walk into the kids rooms and get physically angry at how messy they got it again and that it is too small or that the closets are so tiny b/c its an old house.
I could look at my real life and my real world and hate everything about it because it doesn't match up to the beautiful art I have painted in my head. 

Or, I could thank God for the amazing location of my home and the amazing price we got it for years ago though a miracle of God. I could thank God for the small rooms being big enough for bunk beds and dressers and precious children playing. I could thank God that my yard is big enough for a perfect size garden that my kids and I have truly enjoyed taking care of this year.

There will always be things in our lives that we would like to change. Some things will be able to look different as we work on them and somethings may never happen. If we live our lives in angry about all the things we can't have or can't change we will be miserable people to hang out with. If all you do is complain than you might not be someone that people want to be friends with.  Constant complaining smells like poop and no one wants to sit and listen to poop talk. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Changing your mind set may be hard and feel super foolish at first but when we choose to be thankful it opens our hearts up to peace.

I look back at the last few years and see things done in my home now that were just dreams back then. I have dreams and goals and they seem so far fetch but I have learned that baby steps to any goal is so much better then the complainers on the side lines taking no steps at all.

Are you a thankful person or a complainer. Do your words smell sweet as your talk or more like poop? What are some things in your life that you can choose to be thankful today that maybe you were a bit ungrateful for yesterday? Try putting on some praise music and start thanking God for the very thing that drives you nuts. Ask God for wisdom on how to change it but to have peace while you are in that waiting stage. God is always faithful to help us when we ask.

I shall leave you today with this pic of my twin and I with our daddy. It was prob our first time in the mountains.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

17 times.

17 is at least the number of times that I thought about going to facebook, instagram, or snapchat today. I actually thought it would be closer to 400 17 is great. Any time I step back from something it always surprises me how much it comes to the forefront of my mind, how much I thought about it, and how much of a habit it is. This time does not prove to be any different. It was through prayer and the desire to find a balance in my life that I decided to change things up a bit. Some people say I have giving myself too many loop holes by still allowing some media time. But the goal is not about cheating and sneaking social media in, the goal is to find peace, put God first, and minimize things in my life. I have peace about this decision and that is part of the goal.

I talk big talk about wanting my family to get rid of games and tv, yet when I ask myself, am I ready to do that, I dont have a clear answer. I figured I need to start with me and let it bleed into their lives later.

I am not posting on Instagram so I figured I would post pictures of our day here on the blog.

Fall weather is starting to show it's face and the little ones are enjoying playing outside. They made a map and searched for all kinds of treasures and monsters. In our garden we have some old kitchen things for them to play with and they enjoyed making some pretend nature salads.
 Ava and Kori are my chefs in the making and even outside Ava is mixing and stirring up ideas.

Caden found some berriers (yes, they would told not to eat any of the "food") and those got used for all kinds of meals.
Today around lunch time we headed out to Centennial Park for the Celebrate Nashville festival. There were tons of people, venders, and great food places to try. 

Our kids have got it so easy, yet they complained about the tiniest things. They were hungry, they dont want that food, they are hot, they are cold, they have to pee (oh wait, maybe that was me) they want to buy this, their feet hurt, and the list repeats.
How many times do we do that with God. He brings us to a place in our day, our life, our walk and wants to bless us and we just complain.

He gives us a job, we complain about the pay, the co-workers, the hours, or the distance.

He gives us an apartment, we complain that it is not a house, the neighbors are loud, the rent it so high, or it's not big enough.

He gives us a house, we complain about the yard work, the house payment, the maintenance, the broken toilet, or the H.O.A fees.

He gives us a spouse, we complain about their clothes on the floor, their bad habits, their snoring, their inability to read your mind, or all the things you used to love that you now cant stand..for one more minute.

What if we just took a moment and paused? What would we notice? How would our attitude change?

What if my kids paused for a moment and took in their surroundings today? What if they accepted the idea that this is a chance to learn about other cultures, that this is a huge part of daddy's job When he talks to someone for 20 mins it is purposefully about making friendships and future connections, which could lead to that person learning about the loving Jesus.

I am a very -in the moment- kind of gal so I dont have much trouble being thankful for the moments I am in. But what if I looked at each day as little pockets of God planning out fun filled days for me to see new things and meet new friends? I think if I did that, it would change my attitude on a few things.

How do you see each day? How can you get better at being in the moment and being thankful for the days God plans out for you?

I will leave you with this pic from the fair last week. Caden, my sweet Asian boy, who is wearing the same shirt today as he was in this picture. This mama might need to do the laundry more or go buy some more clothes. :)