Corona Virus.

Someone said this is history in the making. Something we will be talking about for years to come. A season of life we likely won’t soon forget. They said to write about it. Put feelings down on paper to share with others eventually.

So, here is my lame attempt to put thought to paper. 

The days are weird.

People are over buying lots of things, especially toilet paper. 

The NBA shut down.

The Masters Golf Tournament is postponed.

Local school sports are cancelling their seasons.

I may have some more time with my kids in the coming days—it will bring back all the homeschool feels. Hopefully no one gets hurt.

Someone sneezed at Chick-fil-a and Mack came home to take a shower because “she could have given the whole place Corona Virus!” {I was safely in my car waiting on the children. I am old; they are young and can handle it better than me. Don’t judge.}

Churches are cancelling live services and moving church online for a while.

I have gotten emails from the kids’ school, Academy Sports, Chick-fil-a, Kendra Scott, Publix, voice teacher, GNC and more about what they are doing in response to the COVID-19. 

Josh no longer checks in on stocks. Ignorance is bliss? Maybe.

The kids have had quite a few questions about all of this. One question being, “What does toilet paper have to do with the virus?” I saw there was an article about the reasoning behind the hoarding of toilet paper; I didn’t read it. But I can assume it is the fear of not knowing when this will all end. Fear is a powerful emotion that can make you do some pretty crazy things. We told our kids that #1-God is in perfect control. He upholds the universe by the word of His power. He is not surprised by any of this. #2- We aren’t scared. We are taking some precautions and preparing by stocking up on a few food items…and we are washing our hands and staying out of crowded places as much as we can help it. #3-We have to trust God with the timing and with all the change of plans. Are we sad for the seniors who won’t play their last season of baseball? Absolutely. AND we trust God. Are we sad that we have to be stuck at home for a while and not enjoy our days out and about doing all of our regular things? Absolutely. AND we trust God. 

I find myself wandering in the kitchen looking for yummy things to eat even when I am not hungry because I stress eat. I don’t want to do that. I will try not to do that. I will drink AHA instead.

I do find myself a bit tense while driving or even while cleaning the house. I have to remind myself to breathe. IIIIINNN. OOOUUUUTTT. IIIIIIINNN. OOOUUUUTTTT. Repeat. It helps.

And I will pray. Pray for the virus to not spread so quickly. Pray for those countries in much worse shape than we are in. Pray for doctors and nurses and elderly people. Pray for the anxious or scared or depressed that are overwhelmed by it all. Pray for those grieving their lost ones from the virus. And look for ways to be a help. If that’s staying my butt at home for a while, so be it. If that’s giving my neighbor some toilet paper, that’s what I will do. Taking extra time to comfort my kids? I will do that, too. 

And I will spend time in God’s Word. In the midst of a ton of unknowns, it reminds me of truth that I can know and depend on and lean on and dwell on. 

Just this morning I read Psalm 121 “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord Who made Heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.” 

And I read in Hebrews 2 that God put everything in subjection to Jesus and, “He left nothing outside His control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him…..” In other words, even when it doesn’t appear to my human eyes that things are under control, I can be assured that God/Jesus is in perfect control. This is a chance to exercise my faith muscle. And, like Jesus, I can learn obedience through suffering. I can go through the hard time that I would rather not have and cast my cares and concerns over to a powerful God who is in perfect control. A God Who sympathizes with me in my suffering. A God whom I can approach with confidence and can receive mercy and find grace from to help me in my time of need. 

That’s all I’ve got for today. And that’s all I need.

what to write?

After a calm morning with my coffee and my Bible study, I took the kids to school. Upon arriving home, I’ve scrolled through instagram, written in my journal, done some laundry, cleaned a few bedrooms, ate breakfast, and perused the internet for decorating inspiration. I am putting off actually writing something. 

I love to write. I love to read. I love to post on the blog. But I am not sure of what to share today. I could tell you about one child and the messy room and makeover, but that could be embarrassing.  {This kid told me that he/she didn’t like making up his/her bed but that when they come home from school and it is made “it is like magic!!”…..I would love to hear more about this “magic” you speak of. I suppose clothes are “magically” washed, dried and folded and dinner is “magically” bought, cooked and served, etc, etc} I could tell you about the one kid of mine that forgets something every single day of the week and how yesterday was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, but again, that could bring shame and embarrassment, which I don’t want to do. Or I could tell about some encouragement I found in another kid’s room that lives here, but that news is personal even if it makes me extremely proud.

ho-hum.

So what to write? I dunno. 

As a general check-in, life is good. School is rocking along and nearing the end of the third quarter. Josh’s job is going well; he enjoys what he does and that is a huge blessing. I am continuing to love my schedule, even though I spend so much time in my car. The time I do have at home in the quiet or with friends at coffee or hosting Bible Study each week is well worth running the tires of my car to death. 

This month Mack turns thirteen, and I will have three teenagers in this house. I suppose this would be a prayer request more than anything else. 

So there you have it. Stories galore in my heart and mind, but none that can be shared at this time. I could start blogging under an alias and make up new names for my kids and then I could tell all the junk and crazy stuff and encourage moms that they are not alone. I won’t be doing that—so just take this as my hug to you to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN YOUR CRAZY. We are all dealing with crazy and madness at some level. We just can’t broadcast it to everyone. I hope you have a friend, a sister, a mom or an aunt you can call to blab away to. I am thankful for those people in my life that I can share my stuff with and be received with laughter or graciousness or wisdom…and always with acceptance. 

Happy Thursday!

I asked him to take his mecidine before we left for school.  It’s still sitting on the counter.

I encouraged the girls to eat a breakfast bar and pulled a couple out of the basket. The bars are still sitting on the counter.

I have told the girls several tricks to fixing curly hair. They still think they know best—never mind that I have worn this curly head of hair for more than twice as long as they’ve been alive. 

I seem to give out advice and instruction out of genuine concern for the well being of each of my kids. I believe I have some wisdom to share. And many, many times they turn away from the words I impart to them. Sometimes it is just ignoring me in general. Other times it is to deliberately disagreeing and choosing opposite. 

As I watched Mack stand out in the cold temperatures this morning because he wanted to be dropped off outside while the girls went inside for their praise band practice—a practice he is welcome to come inside the warm buidling for—I just shook my head. They boy is stubborn. The boy thinks he knows best about most everything these days and it is just about to do me in.

After the girls got out of the car and I began driving away, it was like the Lord just set a question in my mind. “What words of advice or words of encouragement is the Lord giving you that you are ignoring?”

hmmmmmm. Well, why’d He have to go and get so personal?

 It put me in the same exact position as my kids. God is my loving parent with words of love and wisdom to share, and He has my very best interest at heart. I am the distracted, arrogant, floundering kid trying to do it all on my own.

So when I got home, I sat down with my Bible and a pen and notebook and asked God, “Is there anything you have been trying to tell me that I have just not been willing to hear?”

And guess what? He told me. It was a very simple thing that did require an email to be sent. But it freed up some money every month and it freed up my mind from the constant feeling that I was wasting money and wasting the opportunity. Living within God’s boundaries allows for much freedom, and I am so thankful He convicted me this morning and spoke to me about what to do.  I want to ask this question on a more regular basis. He is the leader. I am the learner. Listening is key.

Maybe one day soon my kids will feel the same way about me, but I am not holding my breath.

DO YOU HEAR ME?

Mack is growing into a young man. I remember wanting to freeze him as a 9 year old boy. He was so helpful and listened so well and loved me so very much and showed it unabashedly. I do NOT want to freeze 12 year old Mack. Nope. If 9 year old boys are precious and kind, 12 year old boys pretty much take every opportunity to reveal the opposite of that. I still love him with every fiber of my being—don’t misread me. But I am ok with the passing of time during this 12 year old year. 

I am often telling Mack things to do. And at first they start out sweet, but direct. “Hey, Mack. I need you to take those clothes to your room and put them away.”

(Much time passes and I notice they are still folded in the basket sitting in the living room.)

“Hey, Mack. You may not have understood me before, but I want you to get those clothes, take them to your room, put them in the drawers they belong in, and I want you to do it now.”

(It’s bedtime and we are shutting down the living room, turning off lights, straightening up, etc and I notice the basket of clothes still sitting there.)

“MACK. I was nice enough to collect your nasty, stinky clothes, take them upstairs and wash them, move them to the dryer, fold them and put them in the basket for you—-THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS OBEY ME. I AM NOT YOUR MAID. I KNOW IT SEEMS LIKE THAT FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT I ASSURE YOU, I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT. SO GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND TAKE THESE CLOTHES TO YOUR ROOM. DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?”

He then proceeds to act like I am a raving lunatic and asks me why I am yelling. He also says, “And by the way, I really don’t like when you ask, ‘Do you hear me?’ It makes me so irritated.”

I mean, this is hysterical to me. You don’t listen and obey me, but you have the audacity to tell me you are irritated by my, “Do you hear me?” Please, tell me more about what I do that irritates you. I would love to know.

In church during worship last Sunday I was aware of the many circumstances that make my life seem complicated, chaotic, out of control, too much to process and too much to handle here on earth. (I am a 9 enneagram, so I greatly value peace and calmness.) I closed my eyes and it was like I saw a line between earth and heaven. Crazy, chaotic, disorder down here on earth and then right across that line was calm and peace and stillness and order. His presence in any situation brings peace that passes understanding. I need His presence.

Sometimes in my life I find it hard to hear God’s voice. There are an abundance of distractions here on earth. Lots of things to do, people to talk to, lists to make, instagram stories to watch (insert eye roll). We need some quiet in our lives to hear from God. NOT because He can’t be heard in the middle of crazy and chaotic. He can. But the quiet helps us lean in and listen. Don’t you think? 

This morning I woke up and walked my tired self down the hallway and into the kitchen where coffee was hot and ready thanks to my awesome husband. I was sleepy. My muscles were sore, and I wanted to stay in bed. But not more than I wanted and needed to hear from God. I need His Word, His perspective, His presence, His peace. And I got it this morning.  I studied Hebrews 4:14-5:14 and was reminded that I can boldly approach His throne of grace and find grace and mercy to help me in my time of need.  And I had some needs. 

And God’s voice was so clear and firm and loving and comforting. He said, “Do not worry.” He said, “Remember my faithfulness to you over all of your life.” He offered this: “Rest in Me.” He reminded me to “Look at what you can’t see. I am always working. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. My ways are higher than your ways. Trust Me.” I wrote what I heard down in my journal. 

And then, before I closed my journal and moved on into the day before me, it was like He said, “Do you hear me?”

Like I do with Mack when I am saying things but he is not acting on them—God was encouraging me to pause, take in these truths, believe them and put those beliefs into action.

Maybe you find yourself dull of hearing today. What are the truths God is speaking to your heart? Do you hear Him?

 In The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh, he says, “In prayer we offer our ears and whole selves to God, in all of life’s contingencies, whether we’re in a quiet chapel or a noisy crowd. We do not have to fight for particular situations or seek out the perfect atmosphere for listening. Listening is not required for the spiritual aristocracy. Listening is about more than straining to hear voices; it’s about preparing the conditions of our hearts, cultivating an opennes inside us. In this way, listening is a posture, one of availability and surrender. We don’t control how or when God will speak, but we can control the acoutstics that receive the sound. We want to prepare an inner place that is open and hospitable to God’s voice. That inner place requires humility, patience, attentiveness and trust. We must have hearts already surrendered in ourder to recognize his voice when he calls.” (page 81,82)

Just as Mack has a responsibility to hear and receive what I, as his mom, say to him, I have a responsibility to hear and receive what God says to me. Is the soil of my heart soft and pliable and ready to receive the seed? Or is the soil filled with thorns that choke out His needed Word in my life? 

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9

What song are you writing?

Inspiration comes in many different ways, through various types of people and at all sorts of times.

This afternoon, I was driving and listening to The Habit podcast that The Rabbit Room had recommended on Instagram. The guest was Heidi Johnson, who wrote Choosing Love that I bought my girls for Christmas. Heidi mentioned Adorning the Dark, a book by Andrew Peterson, which I read not too long ago and, as a result, was greatly encouraged to make beautiful things in this broken world. Well, Heidi mentions that Andrew acknowledges his wife, Jamie, with absolutely beautiful and inspiring words in his latest book. She shares the words, and then I went home and found them for myself. 

“Finally, my deepest thanks go to Jamie, whose unflagging affection has given me courage for twenty-five years now. She’d never claim to be an artist, but she’s one of the most creative people I know. Her song is our family.”

HER SONG IS OUR FAMILY. 

Well, stick a fork in me. 

What a beautiful sentiment. 

HER SONG IS OUR FAMILY. 

As someone who loves to write and even senses there is purpose behind my love for writing—though I am not sure exactly what that is supposed to look like—it can feel like if I am not actively writing, contributing to other websites, making plans for a book, etc, then I am not being creative and using my gifts. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

How I love and respect Josh, how I love and train and encourage the kids, the ways I make a home, the ways I welcome people here can be a song I sing to God.

MY SONG IS MY FAMILY. 

May the Lord give me the energy, the discernment, the overflowing joy, and a deep sense of purpose as I create a song here in my home with the people I love so dearly—all for His great glory. May that song be taken with us as we leave this home and go out into this broken world that desperately needs to come in contact with beautiful things that point to Jesus.

Lift up your feet!

I am well into Exodus at this point in my Old Testament reading, but I cannot move on to write about Exodus until I record my thoughts on Genesis 29:1. It’s simple. It’s basic. But it is beautiful.

“Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east.”

In the margin of my bible, the reference section gives another translation on the first little bit of this verse, and I love it.

It could read: “Then Jacob lifted up his feet…”

I’ve had seasons where lifting up my feet seemed impossible because of a heavy heart. I have had seasons of real sadness that seemed to linger. I would have to give myself a pep talk to put my feet on the floor and get out of bed! Just these last two weeks I felt a temptation to focus on the heavy things in life, the unknown things that threaten to weigh me down and derail me. I even wrote in my journal, “I sense a deep sadness close by and wanting to settle in. It’s 5:30am—a little early for attacks, it seems.” It would have been easier to not move forward…go back to bed even! But I didn’t. I got up, putting one foot in front of the other and did the day. And I have sensed the Lord with me in real ways this week. He’s sent others to encourage me. He’s given me perspective. He’s given me endurance. He’s given me patience. He’s given me what I need for each step I take. He’s carried my burdens—He promises to do that, you know.

I don’t know what is weighing you down today, but I know that God is the One who helps us lift up our feet and take the next steps into our day. They may seem insignificant—steps up to the laundry room to wash clothes. Steps through the grocery store to buy food. Steps around the block to pray and clear your mind. Steps over to give a hug to someone. Steps of obedience even when you aren’t sure where you’re going to end up. All these steps add up to a life walking hand in hand with the Lord, a steady trail of faithfulness as we lift up our feet and walk with our Creator. 

Don’t miss where He wants your feet to take you today. 

For me, my feet are taking me upstairs to the laundry room. Happy stepping. God is with you!

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19 YEARS

It’s been 19 years since I dropped my middle name like a bad habit and slid my maiden name in it’s place—like a good southern girl— and proudly became Mrs. Kristy R. Dorminy. (Hoke was my middle name…so southern tradition or not, it had to go!)

Josh and I are both 42 years old. Our kids are almost all teenagers. He is usually quite busy with his job. I am usually driving our kids this way and that and doing laundry or cooking. It’s a busy season of marriage, and we need reminders to think of each other. I don’t actually forget Josh, and he doesn’t forget he has a wife. I am talking about truly putting yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Truly trying to understand each other’s stresses and joys, challenges and victories. Thinking about his day and all that it entails.

When he walks through the door in the evening, am I at all aware of the load he has carried all day? Is it because I am painfully aware of my own load so much that I don’t have time to consider his? One may think these are elementary teachings of marriage. But I know I need to be reminded to turn towards Josh. Enter his world. Understand him as best as I can in order to love him well and meet him where he is….even, or maybe especially, after 19 years of marriage.

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I am super grateful for a husband like Josh. He is so good for me! I think we make a great team, and I hope we get to play this life out together for many, many more years. Happy 19th, Joshua Lee.