Friday, July 25, 2008

I have a quote above my desk that I read almost everyday.

"Wise are they who have learned these truths: Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube." William Arthur Ward

Think about it. It's really true.

Tribulation is a test tube...our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are test tubes for a combination of things; what we chose to put in there, and what is put in there for us...choices and circumstances.

My faith is the key. That is what helps me see beyond my temporary circumstances and know that God is working through everything.

I've had a week. Not really a good one, not really a bad one. I've had a good attitude and dealt with what has been thrown my way as best as possible. I guess I've finally decided, again for about the 10,000th time that sometimes a good attitude and your faith are the only things that can get you through. It doesn't change life's circumstances, but it does give you some power to persevere.

This week I've watched my kids and realized how blessed I am. I think watching my granddad slowly decline more each day has made me realize that. He won't be here much longer. No one can really say, but there isn't much more that can be done for him. That's just blah to me...blah, blah, blah. I won't even go into that now.

I took my kids to the park tonight. I layed in the grass and watched them play on the monkey bars. I watched my determined 6 year old daughter to make it across the "big" monkey bars. She wouldn't give up. She amazes me. She would talk to herself and coach herself at how she was going to make it across there to the other side. It was so cute. I thought about myself. I thought about my determination to make it, and my drive. I always thought Nathan was the driven one. He was so smart. He was always the one who would find a way. I thought Madi's independence and determination that she's always had since the day she was born came from him. It may have taken me 28 years to find that determination and independence within myself, but I found it. God has made me that way, and I'm sooo thankful! I use it EVERYDAY in EVERYWAY. There are still some things that I face, just at everyone else in this world faces that just aren't fair. There are things that my kids face that aren't fair either. I'm just really tired of trying to make sense of it. I am making a conscious effort to let go of that need for understanding. I am choosing to believe with all my heart and with all hope that all of the bad has a purpose, and will somehow be made right. I don't know how, and again that doesn't matter. I just want to have the faith and belief...belief in MY God.

It's funny...just when I think I can't be pushed anymore...I get shoved. Don't really know why...don't really care. I just want to believe.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We survived...or I survived! The kids did great. I had plenty of help and it was good to see them in that kind of environment. They are growing up!!! Here's a few pics. Finally, one of my hair. I dedicated myself to no make-up and ponytails all weekend, so I look pretty pasty. Kyle keeps asking me when I'm not going to have black hair anymore. Ha! Anyways...have a good week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I looked up the definition of insane to see if my picture was there. I didn't see it, but maybe I should wait until Sunday and check again.

I am taking my three children to Ruidoso this weekend. No, not by myself, but kind of. I'm going with my class at church for the weekend. And I don't know if y'all remember, but I'm not married, and my imaginary boyfriend will not be there either. There will be other kids, but mine are the youngest. They insisted that I come and bring them along. They all said they would help, but y'all know how that is. I'm sure I'm the one who is just the most nervous about it.

I think it will be good though. It's been a long while since my kids and I have ever been able to go anywhere together. They need this. I want them to be able to enjoy things too.

So say a prayer for me...I might need it!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My granddad

My granddad had a heart attack yesterday, but is doing much better. He may even get to go home today. The plan is to treat him non-surgically. It was kind of scary though for a while. Thanks for all your prayers. I know him and my grandmother are getting old, but they're not supposed to!

I left work at 3 yesterday because Mason started running a fever. By the time I got him to the Dr. it was 103.5. He has an ear infection. He's doing a lot better now.

Needless to say, yesterday was kind of crazy. I passed out last night!

I hope y'all are having a good week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Change is in the air...

I am officially no longer a blond. On a whim I bought a box of color and I am a dark brunette now and I love it! Everyone says it brings out my eyes. It's actually darker than my natural color, and I've never had it this dark, but I just love it! I almost don't recognize myself when I look in the mirror, but I'm growing accustomed to it. I'll take a picture soon and show off my new look.

I had a really good weekend. Friday night SuzAnne and her kids came down and Ashley came over and we just all hung out. It was good to just chill out.

Saturday the kids and I went to the park and had a picnic. I told them I would push them on the swings for a while, but I also wanted to have some fun too. So I swang really high while they got mad at me, because I was scaring them. I jumped off the swings, even got a hole in my shorts acting like a 6 year old. I'm amazed at how therapeutic that was! You should try it! I think I will be doing that more often.

Saturday night I went out with a friend. That would be a girl friend for all you nosy people. I've decided to no longer speak of any dating relationships I have in the future, for completely obvious reasons. We went to Las Brisas. I had never been there before. We sat out on the patio until somewhere around 1 in the morning. It was so fun and SO needed! I kind of paid for it today, because I'm exhausted, but we still managed to get up for church and spend the day at my parents house.

I'm going back to counseling and I'm so excited! I had been thinking about doing it and then Dr. and Mr. Brown "highly suggested" I do so as well. Just calling to make an appointment was like a breath of fresh air to me. I'm not embarrassed at all to admit that. I believe it's in the best interest of anyone who is human to routinely get mental health check ups. We all need a sense of direction or someone to bounce things off of at some point...single, married,'s good for everyone.

I've come to the conclusion what makes this part of my life challenging is that when I was getting divorced I basically had a checklist of things to do.
1. file
2. wait
3. child support
4. finalize

While there were a huge stream of emotions that went along with all of that, I felt like I had a goal. Right now things are very abstract, and I feel like I'm in such uncharted territory. I just want to do things right. And furthermore I want to keep from repeating mistakes. So I don't know when my first appointment is yet, but I just can't wait. I love talking to King Buchanan. He makes things so simple that I as a person tend to make complex.

My head really is full of so many thoughts, all of which I just can't think of right now. Thanks for all your support though. As I was driving home after my night out Saturday night, I just thought to myself this thought...I'm not always sure of what I'm doing, but everything I am doing is part of me becoming ME.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My thoughts...

I really should not be blogging this late. It's past my 10p.m. bedtime. You know they say don't drink and dial, well being tired and blogging kind of do the same thing to me. But here I am...and we'll see how this goes.

I said life is is good. But it's been hard. I guess there's just been a whole lot of life this week and I've kind of taken the "fake it til you make it approach". I always want to have the best attitude, and therefore try to be as positive as possible, but's been challenging.

A friend warned me that when coming back from Emmaus that satan will do whatever he can to get you down. I didn't believe him. I kind of do now. There's not just one particular thing that's been hard, it's just been all of it combined.

I was talking to my mom tonight and I was telling her that I've just kind of had a pity party this week. I can see where satan just wants me throw in the towel and say, "yup, this is just too hard". And then I look to God. I've said before how there was a time in my life pre-divorce where I was just spiritually unsatisfied. I was really wanting to commit more and know God on a deeper level. And I let that be known to Him. Today at work I was thinking about that, and I literally said to myself, "I said baby showers, cooking for funerals, teaching class...not being a single mom". Did God give me a divorce? No. Divorce is man made. I still struggle with that though, especially this week. I know that the work that is done through a person by God is what gives Him the glory and makes the "story", but sometimes it's so incredibly hard for me not to say, "why me, God? I didn't ask for this". That's completely selfish and short sighted on my part, but it's where I'm at, and it's honest...brutally honest.

I've had several people tell me that I need to write a book. I have tried. I don't know how to start a book. I can write a blog, that's easy to me. I guess when I started writing blogs though, it was kind of difficult and then I just grew into it. I never really cared what people thought anyways. You can read what I write and like me or think I'm crazy for the stuff I say on here. Either way, it's still me. I think though I found a beginning for a book. I kept thinking before that I couldn't write a book, because I wanted to wait for my happy ending. And I've just decided that there isn't a happy ending on this earth. Sure there are great moments that make us laugh and smile and help us to enjoy this life, but the happy ending isn't here. It's when we leave this place. So, I'll never write the book if that's what I'm waiting for. I think I'm going to start that project...because you know, I don't have enough to do to fill my time. :p Goodnight...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ask and Trust

Got this from my daily "Insight for Today" emails by Charles Swindoll. I've read and re-read it and I love it. Thought I'd share. All emphasis is mine. I posted an update below it.

Read Esther 2:12--18
God does not mock us with the things He includes in His Word. He isn't in the business of making His people squirm under some unrealistic expectation that they can never attain---something that is totally unique to one person but remains for everyone else a frustrating and unreachable challenge. But I must quickly add, you cannot become these things by taking your cues from the world. That only brings defeat and frustration. You, as an individual, have your own pressures, your own difficulties, your own unique circumstances, but God offers ways to handle them and become His special person. The question is how?

First, ask God. Ask Him to cultivate character within you. Ask Him to give you a discontent for the superficial and a deeper desire for the spiritual. Make yourself available to His strength, His reproofs. Seek His counsel for the things you lack. Allow Him to help you set reasonable goals. Record them in your journal so you will have a written account of your prayer to Him.

Ask God to give you that kind of authenticity. To place more emphasis on what's happening deep within your heart and less emphasis on the externals, the superficial, the temporary.

Second, trust God. Trust Him to control the circumstances around you---those very circumstances that you perhaps are using as an excuse for not being the woman you want to be. Don't wait for your circumstances to be perfect. Remember Esther. At the height of competition, surrounded by sensual, greedy, superficial women, Esther stood alone. And, amazingly, God gave her favor in others' eyes!

Ask God. Trust God. We are completely dependent on Him for eternal life, for forgiveness, for character, for security. His light in our lives gives us a growing disgust for things that merely satisfy the flesh. It shows us the importance of character, the incredible change that can come by standing alone on the things of God. He alone can give us grace and winsomeness and keep us from becoming squint-eyed, cranky Christians. It is His working in our lives that uses us even in the harems of life to make a difference and to model a charm and a beauty, a dignity and an elegance that cannot help but cause people's attention to be drawn to Him and His power. Ask. Trust.


It's been a good week. I'm getting pretty accustomed to the life of 8-5. The transition for me has actually gone pretty well. I work in a great place, so that's a huge help. Kyle is still not real happy about daycare, but I think that just may be his personality. Madi has always been so independent, but Kyle has always been a little bit more clingy. He will probably be the child grabbing on to my leg when I leave him for Kindergarten. Madi was more like, "Bye mom! See you when I graduate!"

My funding FINALLY came in for daycare. I was not aware that there is a program to help low income families with daycare. I know now. It finally came in on Monday, so I will actually see part of my paycheck. Y'all know how expensive daycare is for one child...multiply that by three and that is what I've been having to pay for over a month now. I am soooo relieved, not to mention grateful for the assistance!

Have y'all seen the show The Baby Borrowers? The show where teens who want to have children watch babies for a week and see how it goes. It's so interesting! I'd like to volunteer my children for a week. I'll take a vacation and give some ignorant teen couple the best birth control EVER! In fact, I'm sure there are some parents in Lubbock that I could volunteer these services to for their teen children...everyone wins! :) Let me know if you're interested.

Life is...good. Still working through some stuff, but I'm doing alright. And as I've learned, you work through it, persevere, and on the other side is the prize. So I'm making a deliberate effort to work through it.

Anyways, that is about all for now. I need to go do the dishes...blah. I can think of about 10,000 other things I'd rather be doing. Oh well, such is life.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Have y'all ever seen that movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow? I love that movie. I haven't seen it in years, but it is a great movie with an excellent point. Fate...or God (I prefer God) will find you no matter which path you take. Our choices and decisions are own free will, but God is still working in spite of the things we choose for our lives.

Life is constantly changing. I think when you're in your 20's and in college you somehow look at life and think that when you graduate you will get married, have kids and somehow you have "arrived"...quite the contrary. I have learned that when you find that you have "arrived" there may be a great big piece of humble pie waiting for you around the corner. And sometimes that's not always deserving, that's just the way it is.

Lately I've found that my life is in a place where I feel I need to completely redirect everything. Not necessarily take a new path, but focus more on what God wants for me. I haven't a clue what that is, but I do feel very spiritually convicted about certain things.

I'm trying really hard not to do it kicking and screaming. I don't wanna...but I'm pretty sure the reward is great. And really, I'll get to the reward, it just depends on how long I want to continually do the wrong thing, before I finally get the point. And THAT is my decision.

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." Unknown

I really, really want to grow.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th

My life is now complete...Jenny has a blog. All my best friends in one place! And no, Cheri it's not the dark side that I've brought you all to! (I saw that comment you left on Jenny's blog) :)
I'm so glad to have a long weekend. I enjoy getting to be home. My mom is over here now. She's sorting through the massive pile of children's clothes that is overtaking my garage. My kids are growing too fast!
I was thinking about last July 4th...I remember it vaguely. I know Madi and Kyle were with Ned and Neva for about 2 weeks, so I think I was just at my parents house with Mason. I remember being very tired and just wanting to go home. When he went to bed that night I remember sitting on my front porch (as I do most nights) with some sadness and thinking about this July 4th...wondering what I'd be doing, where I'd be, and how different life would be. Once again, so much changes in one year.
Okay, so Celeste requested that I post Sheila's letter. I didn't hear any complaints from you, Sheila when I thought about posting it, so I hope you don't mind. It just reminded me so much of our friendship and you brought back memories I hadn't thought about in a long time. Generally when most people start bringing up memories of me, they go something like this, "remember the time when you..." (you can fill in any assortment of things that probably ended up getting me in trouble) but Sheila really encompassed what our friendship has been all about, and did it so well for me.

When I first met her, I wasn't a fan. Justin had brought her up to L.C.U. for the weekend to scope it out and she was staying with Kristen C. She was so quiet and I really took that as her being snobby and stuck up. I remember thinking, "oh I probably won't be liking her." Ha! Now, she truly is one of my dearest and best friends, and has been for a number of years! She is also the roommate that I lived with the longest. To me Jenny, Sheila and I had a great roommate/friend relationship. I know that not everyone is blessed with that kind of experience.

So here's her letter:

Dear Larissa,

First, I want to apologize for typing this letter. As a general rule, I am opposed to typing personal letters, because typing is not personal. I'm only doing it, because I have to email it in order for it to get to you on time.

Second, I have to tell you that you are an amazing person. If I had one prayer for you this weekend and for the rest of your life, it would be for you to realize your worth. If you could see through my eyes, I'm not sure you would recognize yourself.

Surely you remember when we lived in the dorm together. Of course there are the fun memories of biscuits in the toaster oven, hanging out on the roof and me yelling at all of you to shut up, but those are not the most significant times in my memory. What stand out to me are the mornings (I usually woke you up) when I would come in your room, sit on your bed, and get free counseling. In case you don't remember, I had a 7:30 class (First Aid &CPR) with ***** whom I was dating while hopelessly in love with John. Every morning, you listened to me whine, deliberate, and cry. And every morning you affirmed my worth. You comforted me when I was depressed, you supported me when I screwed up and you helped me laugh through it all. I think that those mornings sum up our friendship. You are the friend that I can always count on. I still call you when I'm depressed and you still make me laugh (friend cards :). When I screw up, I know I can talk to you about it. And you're still a friend I call when I have an important decision to make.

You are a strong, independent woman. You have thrived in life with rare courage and dignity, in spite of the unfair blows that you have been dealt. You have taken care of your children-- working hard to provide for them, but being wise enough to accept help when that was what they needed. Most impressive, you have shown your children that when things get rough, you turn to God. Rather than watching their mom shut down or become bitter and cynical, they watched her praise God through the storm. And they have seen God protect you and bless you. Against great odds (including chapel), you completed your degree, made sacrifices so that you could stay home with young children, and jumped right back into the work-force when it was time. I am amazed at your resiliency and grit.

In short Larissa, I think you kick a** (since you're sort of at a church camp, I feel obligated to censor a bit). You are a dear friend, inspiring mother, and remarkably strong woman. Reread that if you need to because I mean it and I want you to believe it. I am proud of you and I hope that you are having a life changing experience. Your friendship has certainly changed mine.

I love you.

Your friend,

Sheila Brown ******

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Oh, and I added two new blogs. One of which I will be DELETING soon if she doesn't update. Yes, I'm talking to you Dr. Brown!!!

The other is my friend, Elaina. She was my divorce care leader. She's a wise woman, and I can already tell her blog will become one of my favorites.


I'm having major writer's block...worse than I've ever had. I'm more of an impromptu writer. Hence all the ...'s and incomplete thoughts. I think part of it is that a blog could in no way encompass what this weekend truly was all about.

I do feel like a different person. I feel like my experience left me with something I will never forget. And once you understand that and talk to someone who has also been a part of Emmaus, they completely understand too. It's a very bonding experience.

From the beginning when I got there, I just saw God's hand in it all. I was kind of nervous when I got there. I literally knew nothing about what I was going to encounter over the next 3 days. I got to my room, and my roommate was a girl who also went to LCU. She was younger than me and I knew of her, but never really knew her. Her sister was also there and she was part of my group that you in particular grow close to. My roommate was recently divorced and a single mom. A lot of you know her...she was just a precious soul to be with.

My table group, also known as St. Sarah, was wonderful. We were all different ages, different personalities, different occupations, but it was a wonderful mix. Carolyn, if you're reading, your favorite periodontist in Lubbock was my table leader. She is a wonderful lady!!!

The entire weekend was just so God filled. I've never seen love like that. If I tried to explain what I did over the weekend it wouldn't make sense. It's an experience that when all put together it just blesses you, and I wouldn't want to ruin the experience for those of you that will be a part of the experience one day.

By mid day Friday, I was having a great time, but I was really wondering what my purpose in being there was. I thought that it would have really been more beneficial to me if I had been able to go during my divorce or something, because you know "I'm healed" now and all. (There's some sarcasm in there in case you didn't catch that.) Diane, our spiritual director prayed this prayer for us many times, "may this three days be for the one who needs it the most and also for the one who thinks she needs it the least." I think I was that girl who thought she probably needed the experience the least. Life is crazy sometimes, but you know I'm managing things well. I think sometimes I get into overdrive trying to "manage" and forget about other things that are important.

By Saturday morning it just hit me like a ton of bricks. My "aha" moment was me realizing that in the process of managing things I had put my walls up so high that sometimes I don't even let God in. There are still very tender places in my heart that hurt. They're the places that I'm afraid to ever share again with anyone. And if I can't truly share those places with God, then I sure can't expect to share those places with a man again either. So...I'm working on that.

I also learned that I am BEAUTIFUL! There's kind of a joke behind seemed as though there was an invisible sign around my neck that said tell me I'm beautiful. I don't know, maybe I needed to hear that. I guess more so, I need to believe it.

This weekend really just changed my perspective about everything. I had mixed emotions about leaving. I missed my kids so much and I wanted to see them, but I was afraid of leaving this safe place, because I didn't want to head back to the "real world"...I knew what was waiting for me. However, I came back with a new resolve and new attitude. I am so blessed. And my life has great purpose. God has great things planned for me. And that's the thing, He has that plan for all of us.

I learned a thing or two about humankind this weekend too. Everything has purpose. Every...single...thing. Every relationship, friendship...none of it is coincidence. I have learned something from them all, and am better for it. And hopefully have added something to their lives as well.

By Sunday I had applied and reapplied mascara way too many times. It wasn't tears of sadness though, really of just joy. If you ever get the chance to go, do it. I promise you there will be someone who will sponsor you, and God will make the perfect time for you to go. I see now where my time there was to never be about me "healing" through my divorce, but about me moving on, moving out, and moving up. It left me with a great new confidence in myself, but more importantly with my God. He is truly amazing. I just can't say enough!

Emmaus is a very personal experience. Everyone walks away with something different. But we all have in common the fact that God loves us so much and shows us that everyday in so many ways.

Thank you so much to all of you who wrote me letters. I started balling when I found out I even had a bag of letters. They were all so touching. I will keep each of them forever and remember you and this time with such fond memories! I may post one of my favorites was from Sheila. I loved what she said, but she's also so poetic. I JUST HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY EVER! I had some letters surprise me, and was just touched. Eric and Roxanne, you made me cry. After I saw y'all, I started crying. I didn't know y'all were going to be there. It means so much to me that y'all were there and that y'all are still my friends.

There were just blessings all weekend long that I won't ever forget. There are still blessings! I think one of the neat things is that they don't just send you on this and then leave you. They are a real community of people. All past members that are still involved in helping with the walks are part of the Emmaus community. They get together once a month for communion and they also have reunion groups that meet. I'm looking forward to being a part of that.

Like I said, I just can't say enough about it. Turns out I think the girl who thought she might have needed it the least, perhaps needed it the most.

If you're interested in learning more about it go to

Amazing is all I can say!!!

I'm thinkin...

I'm mulling lots over...trying to decide how and what to post about my weekend. I'm kind of stuck...but as soon as I become "unblocked" I'll post. I will say, it was absolutely amazing. I was blown away. Later...