The Lazarus Story.

6 Jun

Ghost. I know.

It’s like in my mind, I have this perfect idea of writing all my thoughts down at least once a week and then time flies, and I don’t.

I know. No excuse.

How do people in the blog world keep up?

Any who, I’ve been leading a Bible Study by Jennie Allen (she’s pretty awesome), called “Proven” with a wonderful group of ladies. This study has blessed my soul in so many ways and this week , we discuss Lazarus. It is one of the classic stories repeated over and over again in the Bible, and I mean, can you blame anyone? It’s good stuff!

Man dies. Everyone is sad Man dies. Jesus is sad, man dies. He comes, he raises him from the dead. The end. Right?

Wrong!

I’ve heard the story a million times and I’m sure you have too. But today, there were so many snippets, so much goodness that spoke to my spirit, I wanted to share it with you and go beyond the “typical story” you’ve heard on a daily basis.

  1. When bad things happen, it’s not always about you.
    You pull yourself apart. Wondering what you did wrong, what you could have done differently, and how the circumstances could have been different, but what about thinking, “God what are you going to do with this?” John 11:4  states”The sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of god, that the son of God may be glorified through it”.  Ill tell you one thing, I much rather wonder what God is going to do with a situation then harp on the fact that it’s happening.
  2. Focus on the Light.
    We’ve all been there. Grief. Suffering. It’s not fun. But we must remember to hold on to the light, the good things, our father. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world (John 11:9) God sees, he hears, and he’s there.
  3. Believe in who he is and what he can do.
    God is powerful and to think, he loves us! He even asked Martha if she believed in John 11:26 because the key my friend is in believing. When you allow God to show up to a situation, believe that it is handled because you know who he is, and what he can do. Wont he do it?!? I assure you (in his way and time) Yes, he will!

    Disclaimer: Don’t mistake this as me saying he will give you a million dollars or cure your sickness or illness. Don’t miss this part. I’m saying, I believe God to do everything he said he will do, even if that means not exactly what we are specifically asking for. This lady in church once was talking about two people being healed, one on earth and one in heaven.  I remember sitting in the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference thinking, I’ve never looked at it like that. God’s will is always upheld and done, even if not the way we would like or prefer. Got it? 

  4. Believe in who he is and NOT what you see.
    It’s hard, and this goodness is something I know I’ve struggled with myself. It’s so easy to think about the circumstances, what other people say, and the difficult task at hand, but I assure you God is ALWAYS in control. Not only that, what you see in front of you isn’t what God sees. I love that John 11 constantly reminds us that Lazaraus had been dead and in the tomb for four days. But sometimes when we see Death, God sees life! He hears our doubts, our concerns, but just as Jesus did, He knows who his father is and he holds onto that.

    PAUSE
    This is where some of you need to take a deep breath and just give it to God. Whatever it is. He can’t fix it, if you won’t give it to him. Let him fix it.

  5. Allow People In!
    Sometimes we try and do everything ourselves and carry the weight alone. But God created his people to be there for each other and to comfort one another. Even Mary and Martha were comforted by the Jews on the loss of their brother.
  6. He feels our pain.
    We use to make jokes when I was younger about memorizing bible verses and John 11:35 being the easiest one to remember, but as immature as we were, we failed to look at the power in that message. Jesus wept. He felt pain. His heart went out to the loss of Lazarus and he was there in the tomb weeping with them. Make no mistake, that God feels. He cares and his heart goes out to his people when they are grieving or suffering. He isn’t absent. He’s right there. Beside us. With us. Holding our hands, wiping our tears away, and silently grieving with us.
  7. God is in the miracle happening business. Last but not least, this also means that even if a situation wasn’t handled the way you would like for it to be done, or in the time, God makes no mistakes and just as he revived Lazarus, he can revive you or your situation too. This is the main point we always get from the Lazarus story, but it’s too good not to share it again! Whatever it is, ask him! I love that Jesus simply said, “Come Forth! (John 11: 43)

 

So much goodness in that story. A father that love us and who always wants what is best for us. He can do it, like he did it for Lazarus.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

 

 

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Buy Your Own Damn Flowers

19 Feb

28311863_10101093759165400_811630312_oI can be such a girly girl sometimes. I love Flowers.
I love the way they look, the way they smell, and I love the feeling I get when I’m around them.
Growing up, I found myself always taking photos of flowers, saving them as desktops, phone screensavers and more.
On occasion, I would receive flowers from others and there were many times I didn’t.
My husband once cut flowers that were growing on the side of the house and brought them in. They were beautiful, but I still longed for bouquets, arrangements, etc.
(I know, don’t give me a “side eye”)

My husband is an interesting gift giver to say the least.
Flowers are not one of those things he likes to give, and I get it.
I mean they DO die. They can be ridiculously expensive, and I know some people feel like it is a pointless gift. HOWEVER, this does not change the fact, that I love them, they bring a smile to my face, and there have been so many holidays I waited for someone in my family or him to give me flowers, and then I realized, I had a serious problem.

It was something that I loved, but I was waiting to be “gifted” them.
WHY? Why do we do that? WHY?!?!? When we want to go somewhere, or do something or buy something, why do so many of us wait until someone does it for us?
This is OUR WORLD. OUR LIFE.

If we want what makes us happy, WE have the power to surround ourselves with those things, disregard the negative, and create an environment that radiates happiness.

So you know what I did?
I went to Kroger, found a pretty awesome bouquet (on sale at that), and I put it right on my nightstand by my bed. We bonded. We took pictures. They make me Happy. It was everything.

It was a reminder of one of my favorite quotes from Marie Kondo (I’m a huge fan)

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So here are a few things I want to encourage you to do:

Stop waiting for “them” to call. Go out and date yourself.
(If you don’t know, you’re pretty awesome)

Stop agonizing on if you should buy something because it may be a bit pricey!
If you like it, save up the money, and get it! You will be glad that you did.

Dance and Sing while no one is watching!
(It’s quite fun and makes you feel super happy and ridiculous at the same time)

Last but not least, buy your own damn flowers.

You deserve it right?

Until Next Time Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

 

Labels aren’t for kids

31 Jan

DSC_0349I remember when I knew something was different about my cj but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I knew he was super sensitive to certain situations and surroundings, his reactions to certain things seemed abnormal, and his language and motor skills were quite delayed.

And then I remember when I was told he had Sensory Processing Disorder.

There was a name! There was an explanation (kinda sorta), and there were wonderful people to help us deal. CJ started going to therapy to help him as well as an AMAZING school where they were teaching him new things everyday and he was learning how to navigate through his unique little world.

Ir was difficult somedays not knowing what to expect and trying to learn everything I could to help him. It was also difficult dealing with the “whispers” and sometimes “the looks” not only from strangers but those closest to me.I remember wondering if it would ever get easier and how I’d explain “SPD”, his difficulties, and all that was involved.

Fast Forward a few years and CJ is THRIVING! He’s super smart, an avid book lover, a singer, an actor, and so much more! The little boy who may still struggle with pronunciation has a vocabulary that cracks me up sometimes and he amazes me everyday.

You see, he has SPD, he’s not defined by it.

He is constantly learning, growing, and though he has challenges at times, we keep it moving.

I remember where he was, and I’m thankful for where he is today.

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He’s still doing well in school, continues making strides in therapy, and is super impressed with his book collection! He also reps for an awesome brand, Se7entees,  that believes in spreading positivity with an edge! I love this shirt so much because it is a reminder that kids with all of their “special” traits and different characteristics are uniquely wonderful. We shouldn’t put them in categories or define them by their disorders, syndromes, or anything else! We should love them for who they are and be proud of them for who they are! I know I have my moments, but I’m definitely proud to be this little guy’s mom!

For more information on Se7entees and their awesome tees, visit their website.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

Color your World

7 Nov

We have so much to be grateful for!

Add color to your world.. To your life…

Check out this video, and appreciate the things we take for granted.

Until Next Time, Much Love

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

What a Plus Year!

9 Aug

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Christian with Ms. Christa & Ms. Paige

Today I sit overjoyed.
Overwhelmed. Truly Thankful.
Christian completed his first year with Pediatrics Plus and we couldn’t be happier!
Our story started with Pediatrics Plus not too long ago, yet the place already feels like “home”.

When Christian turned 1, we started noticing things were a little different, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. We went through the Autism screenings and more to only find out we have quite the “Sensational Little Boy”.
You can read about that here.

When someone tells you there is something “different” about your child, you start questioning what you could have possibly done wrong, your “ideal view” (which is stupid by the way) is shattered, and you feel lost. All you wanna do is “fix it” because at the time all you know is that your perfect child seems “broken” because when you have a child with special needs, you initially focus on “what’s wrong” when really there’s nothing to be fixed at all. You, “the parent”, realize that you’re the one that needs fixing, along with the world that has a long way to go in accepting these beautiful extrodinary children for who they are. That’s where I am today and that’s where the team at Pediatrics Plus has been SINCE DAY ONE.

Christian & Jen

Christian & Jen

Christian started at Peds Plus with therapy after he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He was given some of the best rockstar therapists from the start. It was determined early on that he needed a speech therapist since his vocabulary was almost non-existent. Jen took him in and made him work from the beginning. She worked through the meltdowns, the sensory issues, and layed the ground work. Shortly after came Anna. Christian accepted Anna from the beginning and I always told them, “I think he has a thing for Blondes.” Anna and Jen made a

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Christian and Anna!

dynamic team and they did everything in their power to get him to where he needed to be. They both assured me, if I could get him in the preschool, I would see a world of difference, and, boy, were they right! They continued with therapy and we were making great strides, and then after being on the waiting list, Christian was set to start preschool in 2016.

I was nervous. He had been in Soulie (Grandma) school once we realized that traditional daycare wasn’t cutting it anymore. He would be entering a new world, and they were going to teach him, work through the sensory issues, the delays, yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I was told Jen would no longer be his therapist, I was even more nervous. Who was going to keep my son on track, help him with speech, and who would be teaching this superhero 3 year old of mine? Here comes Ms. Christa, Ms. Paige, Becca, and later Mr. Jordan.

All of a sudden we had a team on our side. We had teachers and a new therapist who knew how to work through the kinks (that’s all they are), who knew how to build those skills, push the limits, and push my child to be the incredible little boy that he is. They cheered through his triumphs, encouraged him through his difficulties, and sat with him when leaving mommy in the morning was just a bit too hard.

They kept food diaries, to assist during the time when food textures became too much and he refused to eat. When words became hard and Christian was having a rough day, he had a speech therapist there who was willing to be creative and teach through play, who celebrated when he could say the “ink” in pink, and so much more. (Becca I could go on and on about how awesome you have been) All of a sudden my husband and I weren’t in it by ourselves. We had a team who celebrated victories, who were there at his birthday party, and became a true part of our family.

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Christian with BECCA!

Christian was no longer by himself either. My son, who only had the close family friends who saw past everything, now had friends. He even had his special friends Molly Kate and Emma (love those girls). Christian loves Emma so he tries to take care of her and Molly Kate, well that sweet feisty little girl just loves on my son and I’m so grateful that she’s a part of his life (she has the best family too).

Christian has an increased vocabulary, isn’t as afraid as he was in public environments, works through his sensory issues, loves to read books, and seems to be a happier, full of life, he has the sweetest friends, and super loving little boy.

Emma and Christian

Emma and Christian

So today, My heart is full. I’m thankful for each and everyone of you. You have made such a dynamic team for my son and you’ve forever changed his life.

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Ms. Christa, Molly Kate, Becca, Christian & Ms. Paige

Ms. Christa- Thanks for loving on him when he was having those hard mornings, and assuring me that he was having incredible days just rough minutes ( not even mornings) because they would never last longer than 4 minutes). Thanks for  teaching him so much! I swear he has asked for every book that you ever shared during Circle Time! Thanks for being such an amazing teacher and always reminding me that Christian is extremely smart and he will go far!

Ms. Paige- I swear you were Cj’s First Crush. How many stories have I heard with Ms. Paige’s name in it? How many times did I hear, I’m going to hang with Ms. Page (I guess he doesn’t just like Blondes!, ha ha) Thanks for always being so sweet and soft with him. For always being willing to provide that extra little love in the morning. It made a WORLD of difference for him, and I want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for being an awesome babysitter too!

Mr. Jordan- Thanks for being Cj’s friend. He would always talk about playing with Mr. Jordan and cool things that Mr. Jordan showed him in class. Every kid needs a guy like you in his corner.

Anna- Thanks for sticking with us from the beginning. Thanks for never giving up on my son, for your INCREDIBLE communication and for always willing to come up with solutions. You never stop, no matter what time it is, and you’ve always been so accessible to me. I’m so grateful for you.

Jen-Thanks for being the beginning of our journey. Thanks for laying the foundation and being so incredible.Thanks for pushing, encouraging, and just being you!

Becca- MAN! Thanks for just being you. For your heart. Your Spirit. Your soul. Your love for my son. For pushing him. For never settling for mediocrity. For never giving up. You are a light my friend like no other, and I’m glad to know you.

To my fellow pediatric mommas I’ve become so close with- Whitney-Nikki-Janaye-Thanks for being rockstars. Thanks for being supportive, shedding tears with me, laughing with me, and being in my corner. I can’t forget Mary Lu and Paula either!

To all of Pediatrics Plus Faculty & Staff in Little Rock, thanks for being so awesome and for showing everyone that these children aren’t different, they are “special”. Unique. One of a Kind. Thank you for showing the world, that the kids who go here are dynamic, little superheroes who will change the world one day.

Thank you for being a champion for my kid and being behind me 100%.
I’m in awe of each and everyone of you, and how far Christian has come.
Thank you for being a part of our extended family. We love you all very much.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

 

Easter Remembrance 

15 Apr

It’s that time of year again when all the little girls are  getting ready to be dolled up in brand new dresses and little boys will be running around scuffing up those brand new church shoes. Ladies have picked out their perfect outfit, some with the final touch of a perfect hat, as the men prepare to get suited up  a in their Sundays best. So many of us fixated with our eyes on our appearance, and I can’t take my eyes off the cross.

I always get super emotional around Easter and I just can’t help it. The idea; the thought; the emotion behind someone dying for me, is more than my heart can even handle at times. 

I find myself going through the gospel from time to time  in disbelief, because we all know how flaky human beings can be at times, and even when Jesus asked God to “take this cup from me” he didn’t allow temptation or fear to overwhelm him. He carried out what was set before him and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. 

Today, as we remember the power of the cross and the depth of his love, let us not forget what it means:

1. Jesus died for us because God loves us so much. (John 3:16) Sin was keeping us from the world, and Jesus’ death became the bridge back to our father and that bridge is ALWAYS open, which means nothing we can say or do will keep us from him. 

2. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect ( he is) so don’t put expectations on yourself that God doesn’t even have for you! (I will get into this point more a few lines down) 

3.  God loves everyone ( go back to point one). We aren’t here to justify what is right or wrong, we are here to love and point people to the word, let them see for themselves how much God loves them and discover truth. Don’t let a “view” or “mindset” distort who God is for others. He’s pretty awesome, and here for errybody (yes, I meant it like that).

4. God wants what is best for you. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. Everything works for the good of the Lord ( Romans 8:28) Not some things, sometimes, on occasion, EVERYTHING. So just hold on, he’ll pull you through.

5. God isn’t keeping score. He isn’t condemning  u for what you have done. ((Romans 8:1) There arent bonus love points for being a pastor and news flash, there are no GOOD christians.  There is no such thing. So stop beating yourself up and telling yourself you need to be a “better” Christian. Love him, follow him, and keep his commandments. (And guess what, if you don’t, he still loves you). 

Be encouraged, friends. Stop being so hard on yourself! Oh how he loves us and I’m so glad he does and on this Easter, I just want to remind you what that love means.  It means he loves us when we do good, when we do bad and when we are in the darkest places, his light is still shining, if you look for it. You are never too far from God, and on this Easter, I hope you feel the love our Good, Good, father has for us.

Until Next time, much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

P.S.- I’m so in love with this shirt Lift Her Up Clothing

Your church could do More.

6 Feb

Don’t get offended, it’s the truth.

I know some of y’all are already shaking your head at this post and before you begin rattling off the list of amazing things that your church does for the community, let me explain.

I’ve volunteered with nonprofits for most of my life and have even worked in the nonprofit sector for 10 years (this year!)  Although my experience may be short to some, I can tell you I’ve learned quite a bit in the few years that I have been here and I can tell you or almost guarantee you, your church could be doing more. Let me explain.

You could provide SPACE- Yes, my friends, sometimes simply having a location or space outside of an organization’s very own offices allows them to expand their reach, and serve more people at one time. While some organizations have space to do the types of services and events they do, many of them don’t.

You could provide PEOPLE- In my experience, a lot of organizations could do more if they had the hands to do it! A lot of times when serving the community, you get bombarded with people and I always think, if we just had DOUBLE the amount of people, it would make a difference.

You could provide SERVICES- Yep. That’s right. I know that many of you provide services already, but if you could reach out to people besides the ones living in your neighborhood to expand those services, imagine what could happen!

You could provide TRANSPORATION- This issue is a big one. I have heard from numerous parents and caregivers, that many times they would like to take advantage of opportunities and do more, but they just don’t have a way to get there or the funds to get a ride.

You could provide FOOD- Of course, that is literal for some organizations that feed the homeless, etc. but have you ever offered to provide food for an organization’s event, or for families,. etc? Do you know how many events, meetings, and programs go on, but we have families that are hungry? I’m just saying.

Most importantly, You could provide something OUTSIDE OF THE WALLS that you dwell in. (No pun intended, well kinda) I have knocked on several church doors and have dealt with quite a few church folks in my life, and I will tell you that a lot of them had something in common: They wanted to do good as long as it was in their comfort zone. It’s time churches stopped pushing this “Church” Agenda and became more people centered. Who cares how many members you have or if you have the biggest and baddest choir in the land! What are you doing to reach ALL people? How are you helping our brothers and sisters?  We’ve got some scary times going on right now, and it’s time that churches
focus on what’s most important: Loving God and People. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks, extravagant banquets, or tv ads. You don’t even have to recreate the wheel! There are already amazing organizations out here doing some great things that just need help! Simply, help people where they are and if I have learned anything from growing up in the church to giving my life to nonprofit, that is it.

So you can roll your eyes at this post if you want to and maybe even get a little attitude in your spirit, but at the end of the day, I’d rather you think about what else you could be doing to advance the mission of Jesus.

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27  (ESV)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

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