Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Shack

I finally finished it. I'm a little bit mellow right now. In my experience it's a book that you have to think about and process. Keep leaving comments with your numbers and I'll do the drawing on Friday to give it away.

I can't tell you the number of ways this book touched me. I read it at exactly the right time in my life. If you don't win the drawing, I encourage you to read it anyways.

I've mentioned that I've been going to counseling. That's pretty private, and so I don't talk about that. One thing I will share though pertains to this book. I asked King if he had read it. He had, he refers it to many clients. He wanted my take on I told him. He said that he thinks that we all have a "Missy". He asked me who mine was. I had never thought about that. But I immediately knew my answer...Nathan. Not the Nathan I see or know now or hear about, but the little boy who is about 6 years old and can't see that God has an abundant amount of grace for even him. That kills me.

That is very, very personal for me to share, but I do because I do think we all have someone like that in our lives or will have someone. Does that mean that I don't want to lash out in anger...oh, believe have no idea. I can forgive, I have for what he did to me...but man, you want to talk about something that makes me angry? My kids...the hurt they have, and will have. Forgiveness for what he did to them is...well... as I discovered while reading this book is something I need to keep working on. I guess maybe though, I need to let go of that and realize that they will have to work on that, and if I can't forgive him for that, then how will they have a good Christian example if they don't see that in me?

Heavy, heavy stuff...

I didn't want the book to end. It was just so enjoyable, while also spiritually heavy. Ya know though, it doesn't have to end, because we can all have that kind of relationship with God. It's right there!!! You just have to reach out and take it. So many people look for it in the wrong place, and I can't say I blame them. I've been there. I've done that. I guess maybe when you're stripped of EVERYTHING and the only thing you can reach IS God, you don't have a lot of choice. I just wish for so many people in this world that they would come to realize the truth. You're not going to find what you're looking for in your backyard, your car, your job, or your Jimmy Choo's.

Ahhhh...I won't give up though. God is good!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I said I wasn't going to blog until I finished the book, but I just can't help it. I've got a few chapters to go, and I was really tired last night. Like many others who have read the book, I am also going to give it away. So leave me a comment with a number from 1-100. I'll give it to the person closest to my number. Even if you have already read it and want to give it to someone else to read, enter the drawing. (As many times as you want.) I believe it will change your life. Please, please, please...even if you have never left a comment on here before. Don't be scared!!! I promise I don't bite. :)

I got a quote in an email yesterday by a man named Larry Crabb.

"We seem more interested in managing life into a comfortable existence than in letting God spiritually transform us through hardships."

I can't agree with that more. It's like I said earlier, who wants to be uncomfortable? We are always seeking to feel good. However, I have found some of my biggest moments of growth have come through hardships.

Yesterday I confirmed some news that I was already suspicious of...and it wasn't good news. I was kind of angry and sad all at the same time. I had to make a choice though. I could look at the situation for what it was and focus on how unfair and wrong it was, or I could take that energy and use it for good. I am faithfully trying to use it for good.

God looks at things so differently than we do. I see a mess, He sees beauty. What I label as bad, He uses to make good. He never told me how long it would take, but He did ask me to trust Him that He is in control of it all.

I think one of the best lessons I have learned from The Shack so far is that I'M NOT THE JUDGE. I do see where labels have their place, but those are man made. They're not God made. He said to "guard your heart", but He never said to pass judgment on someone for the choices they make. He said to "trust Him with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, (because Larissa you will never understand) acknowledge Him, and He'll make it right." I see a mess...God sees beauty.

I know God is sad for what has happened. I know God is sad for my kids. I know He's sad for my friend who lost her mother to cancer, or my friend who lost her baby. He understands that more than anyone. He watched His son die on the cross and made the ultimate sacrifice, but HE KNEW the bigger picture. HE KNEW all wrongs would be made right.

Yesterday as I sat and thought about what my next step was, I just had the biggest sense of peace that only God can provide come over me. There will be resolution, in one way or another and it will be made right. That resolution may come with some pain, but the end result will be worth it.

With God's grace I will make it, and so will my kids. I will chose to see the blessings that I have instead of the obstacles to overcome. And I will have the faith to know that God is in the middle of it all. God and only God makes all wrongs, right.

Don't forget to comment with your number!!! I'll give it away sometime next week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Almost There...

I'm almost done with The Shack...and I'm not blogging until I finish it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Hopefully I'll finish it in the next day or so.

Oh, and if you don't know is my sister, SuzAnne's birthday. Happy Birthday!!! She's 29. Which is odd, because I'm 30 and she's my older sister. Strange how that works. :) Love you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

Mason...pre-ear infection
He loves to "clean" this cabinet.
My big first grader.
They love each
I can't believe Madi started first grade today. I took her up there this morning and helped her get settled in. She was so excited to learn! I can't wait to hear about her day.
I took Mason to the Dr. this morning and as I suspected, he has ear infections in both ears. I stayed home today. He still had fever at lunch, so that was just the best option for me. It's kind of been nice though to be home in a clean and quiet house. He's napping now. I'm fixing to head that way too and take a snooze before I go pick the other two up. It's been a nice day getting to spend it at home with him. He is the happiest sick baby I've ever seen in my life!
You are all right in what you said in your comments on my last post. God's grace is sufficient and I know that. I've never stopped believing that, there are just some things I don't get sometimes. I haven't finished reading The Shack yet. I gave it to my mom to read on Sunday. Kind of wish I had it today, it would have been a perfect day to finish it up. I think part of my thinking has come from that, and then just a whole bunch of other stuff lately. Mix all that in with being tired...and voila...there you have it.
I do believe. I don't question that. I don't know...I can't really explain it right now. I guess I'm just human and struggle with life questions like we all do sometimes. But I DO know how redeeming God is. I do know what all he has already done for me, and just because maybe He's not working on MY time table, doesn't mean He isn't working and has forgotten about me. You know what they say, "God's timing is perfect." Hahaha...see, I even say the one liners. I really do believe that. I just need to have patience.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You know as a mom you kind of have that intuition when you know you might as well go ahead and get the coffee ready, because most likely at some point during the night you're going to need it. I'm thinking that tonight it might be one of those nights. Maybe I should go to bed NOW to get a head start.

We didn't go to church this morning, because Mason was a little feverish...really low grade, but still I don't want to take my child to the nursery that way. All you Monterey mom's can thank me. :) I thought maybe it was just his teeth, but it's gone up this afternoon and evening. I'm suspecting that we'll be going to the Doctor tomorrow. I could be wrong, but like I's intuition.

The only thing I hate about that is that I don't have any vacation days or sick days until January 1st. I fortunately work with wonderful people, but bothers me. And of course this is the greatest time of year, because tomorrow is my mom's first day of school's every one's first day. So the options are a little bit smaller for me right now. Anybody wanna watch a cute baby??? Oh well, I'm not the first single mom this has happened to, and I won't be the last.

Okay, so next topic...I was thinking today. Forgive me for a moment here, because I'm going to play devil's advocate and sound completely pessimistic. People have these phrases..."Everything happens for a reason, timing is everything, everything has a purpose..." You can add anything else in there you want. You get my point. Anyways, sometimes I wonder if we don't say those things to make ourselves feel better. People aren't comfortable with being uncomfortable. They want some sort of understanding or explanation so they say these things to somehow make themselves feel better, when sometimes things just suck. Does that make sense?

Sometimes it can be hard to hear those "one liners" from people, especially when the pain is still fresh. I guess that's why I'm so careful when I try to comfort someone who is going through something tragic. I remember one of my old realtor friends saw me when my divorce was so fresh and she knew the entire story and she piped in (with good intentions) "well, everything happens for a reason." I wanted to knock her out.

I think what I've come to believe that yes crap happens and it hurts. It's what God is able to do out of that crappy situation that makes His story. I don't know...that's just what I think. I don't pretend to know everything. I think, however, one time I did pray for wisdom. Sometimes I think I regret that decision. Just like patience, you pray a price for wisdom too.

I was reading this blog the other day of this (single) dad and he was telling the story of how his wife died. She had been on bed rest for 5 weeks. She had a c-section and 27 hours after the babies birth she got up out of bed and walked over to the baby to see her for the first time. She collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism. So now here is this guy raising his daughter by himself. My initial thoughts were, "oh my gosh, I can't imagine raising and infant by yourself." And then the other half of my brain WOKE up and said, "hey dummy, that what you just did and you have two other kids." I just started laughing. It's amazing how much I forget. How much I've come through and don't even realize it. I'm doing this all alone! I don't have the luxury of every other weekend off or Wednesday evenings off, or whatever standard possession order is. See, I don't even know what the standard possession order is, because it's not part of my life! I'm not saying this to look for pity...I say this because sometimes I just don't get it. I don't get why God thought I was so strong, because I have to be a ROCK. Yes, most definitely with the grace of God...only with the grace of God. But still, I don't understand what God saw in me. I struggle with that sometimes, I really do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just thinkin'

I really can't think of a whole lot to say that would be meaningful in any way. I've just been drawing a blank. Things for me have been really good though. There's not any certain reason why, it just seems as though things have been leveling out nicely. I have gained a lot of wisdom and insight into myself and the way God created me and why. I think that has been the biggest blessing of all over the last several weeks.

I could probably fill you in on a bunch, but I just don't feel like gabbin' right now. I will, however, recommend a book. The Shack...I'm reading it. I'm a little over half way through it. I encourage you all to read it. Maybe it's just where I'm at, but I recommend having some Kleenex. It's the good kind of crying though that stretches you. The kind we all need.

Anyways...we have meet the teacher night tonight. Madi is so excited, because she got the teacher that she wanted; Ms. Brown. (What a great name!) And Hallie will be in the same grade and at the same school as her. Brooke tried to get them in the same class, but Madi's was already full. I think that's neat though. Cheri was Hallie and Madi's first babysitter, and now they're in school together...small world.

School starts Monday! Ready or not...I'll post pictures of the big day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Caution...woman at work

My blog was giving me a I'm working on it. I'm making all the changes myself, so I hope I don't hurt myself. I know, I know, I know...hell must have really froze over, because it's purple right now. I'm just wanting a little more serenity, and nothing too LOUD. However, this is entirely too I will have to come up with something soon.

As for myself...just haven't been real bloggy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Food for thought...

I was looking for a particular "Sex and the City" quote, and I found a lot more that I liked.

Guy: This floor is non-smoking!
Carrie: I have an addiction, sir!

This one just makes me laugh really hard.

Miranda: Do any of you have a completely unremarkable friend or maybe a houseplant I could go to dinner with on a Saturday night?

Again, makes me laugh out loud. I hope I don't ever find myself saying this.

Carrie: I'm good at crossword puzzles, not people puzzles.

I'm so there!

Mr. Big: Nice dress.
Carrie: Meaning?
Mr. Big: Nice dress.

It it were only that simple. That is men and women for ya!
Aidan: Don't take this the wrong way, but this place could use a little work.
Carrie: I know, but I can't afford it.
Aidan: You've got 8,000 bucks worth of shoes over there.
Carrie: I needed those!

Just makes me smile.

Carrie: I'd like to think that people have more than one soul mate.
Samantha: I agree! I've had hundreds.
Carrie: Yeah! And you know what, if you miss one, along comes another one. Like cabs.

So true...timing is everything. I need to remember that. Life doesn't end, in particular love, just because a relationship doesn't work out.

Carrie: That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore.

Very interesting thought...

Carrie: Despite the fact that there are over eight million people on the island of Manhattan, there are times when you still feel shipwrecked and alone. Times even the most resourceful survivor would feel the need to put a message in a bottle, or on an answering machine.

Yup, been there...sometimes still am.


This is the quote I was looking for...

Carrie: Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you back somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.

I think that just speaks for itself. And that's where I'm at.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Carrie gave me this award. I met Carrie in college. We were in Kappa together, so of course there are lots of fun memories there. I also taught with her sister and mom at Vandelia for a while too. So I got to know her family some. Carrie is a mom to three precious kids, who are way closer together in age than mine. (bless her heart!) And she has the MOST beautiful alto voice! I love to hear her sing!!! Although Carrie and I don't see each other often or talk on a regular basis I do know that it's been a tough year for her and family as they lost Pam (her mother in law) to cancer. I second what Lauren said about her. Carrie is a strong woman, and she probably is stronger than she believes herself to be.

You can go to her blog and read the rules. And like I usually do, I'm breaking them. I'm only nominating one person, and I'm not saying her name. I'm not trying to be secretive, I just know that not everyone blares their soul to the world like I do. So, in an effort to respect privacy...I'm being discreet!!! my friend. I could just cry about how great she is...maybe a smile would be better. :) She's awesome. She is the epitome of a strong woman. She has been through a lot, still continues to go through a lot, but carries herself with such class and dignity that I only hope to emulate. She has taught me how to move out, move up, and move on. AND know you're better for it.

God most definitely placed her in my life for a reason. She has helped me grow, but she has also been an example to me. By me watching her, I have learned to much about myself and in turn so much about life. My life is blessed in many ways by her very presence! YOU make me smile, and I thank God for you!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


First I want to say congrats to my dear friend Dr. Brown. I was honored to attend her Texas Tech graduation this weekend and see her receive her PHD in Education. I am SO proud of her! She's been working on this for so long, and I just can't believe it's done at the young age of 29! Kudos to you!!! :)

I recommend you all going to read Dr. Brown's blog. There are two blogs posts in reference to labels and feminism. It shouldn't be much of a surprise as to who it was that called me a feminist. I've been thinking about this topic more. It has struck a nerve with me. Not a bad nerve, a good one in fact. It's made me think a lot, and so much of it is relevant in my life right now. I started thinking about being a woman and what that meant for me.

To me being a woman means:

-being completely girly
-being able to rough house
-dreams of playing in the WNFL...even if I'm 40. :)
-being a mother
-being comfortable with myself physically, sexually, emotionally, spiritually...any other lly words there are
-loving myself despite my flaws
-liking myself
-being able to express myself
-being able to change my mind
-loving the color pink
-loving chocolate
-having a girly living room
-loving make-up
-doing what I want
-respecting men
-respecting women
-above all loving Christ and desperately wanting to be a godly woman

Okay, so this is the VERY short list...but I think you get the point. Right now for me, me being me...which I am a woman, encompasses me being comfortable with me and my decisions. It's not just about me standing up for myself, but me liking the person that God has made me and continues to make me.

I firmly believe that everything that has happened to me all makes up a picture of what God wants for me. Have I gone through some pain to get there? Most definitely. Have I made some some bad decisions? No doubt. Have I stuck my foot in my mouth? More times than I can count. But I'm not living my life for anyone else but me. Yes, first and foremost I want to live my life for Christ, but what I mean is that no man, woman, friend, or family member has to live my life, but me. Are they affected by my life? Yes. They see me happy, sad, confused, frustrated, elated, name it. But in the end, it is my life.

My whole life I have been a people pleaser. I have wanted to make everyone happy. But can you make everyone happy? No. There will always be someone who is hurt, mad, disagrees. You may even lose people you love over it. But if you are living the way you feel is best and what God wants for you...then does it matter? I found a quote by Dr. Seuss that simply put, explains it all:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

That's the absolute truth to me. I am labeled and judged for my decisions, actions, thoughts, and desires. I am judged because I choose to attend a Church of Christ. You might think that I think you're going to hell because you don't attend the same church as me. You might judge me because I'm a single mom and am divorced. You might judge me because I don't stay home with my children. You might judge me because I have decided that I would like to get my nose pierced, but won't because I'm not ready to explain that to my 6 year old...or boss. You might judge me because I have two tattoos. You might judge me because I want a boob job. You might judge me because I go to counseling...or might think I might need it, b/c of everything I've You might judge me, because I got kicked out of LCU for not going to chapel. You might judge me for a LOT of things I did while at You might judge me because of the things I say on my blog.

Then again, you might you might judge me because I've tried hard to be a good mom. I tried hard to be a good wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin...etc, etc. I've tried to make good decisions. You might judge me because of all I've overcome and continue to face. You might judge me for deciding to go back to work when I felt the time was right for my family. You might judge me for a lot, that maybe I don't know or recognize about myself.

Judging doesn't always have to be negative. I think it just seems that way. And I do it everyday. I label others. I am one of the worst. People judge all the the time.

People are going to continue to judge me. I feel like sometimes my life is lived under scrutiny for what I do and don't do. This may seem silly, but sometimes I feel like people are just waiting for me to fall off the deep end. You know the conversation would go something like this, "Hey did you hear what Larissa did? Yeah, I knew it would happen eventually." That may seem pessimistic...but sometimes as people I think we almost expect the worst.

Why not see and expect the best? Why not believe that each and every event in this life, those good and bad, are making us who God wants us to be. Why not believe that the pain has purpose? Why not thank God for every moment we have, and not worry about the rest?

I can honestly say that EACH and EVERY moment in the last 6 months (I say 6 months, b/c as I've explained before I'm a 6 months kind of girl) has pushed me to be where I'm at. There is so much that has gone on in my personal life that I haven't mentioned, and what has taken place doesn't matter. The point being that as Dr. Brown said, "My ideas, beliefs, and attitudes are not all the same today as they were yesterday or as they will be tomorrow. I find that comforting and exciting." There is true excitement in that for me. And that for me is the biggest lesson I have learned of all. Live your life, make your decisions, and be confident in those decisions. Be confident in the person and WOMAN, God has made you to be. Even if people don't agree with who that woman is.

In other words, "Nobody puts baby in the corner." Dirty Dancing

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This and That...

We are so dead at work....SO DEAD. With Tropical storm Edouardoooo...or whatever his name is in town some of our ports are closed. And cotton season is over as well. Which makes for lots of down time. I read on Beth Moore's blog that she thought they should have named that storm something a little more appropriate for the Texas coast...something like Bubba. I agree completely. Of course I can't think of any hick "E" names.

All that being said, I would like to thank those of you that put blog updates on your side bar. That way I can read newly posted things and then I can also go back and read your blog for about the 10,000th time, because I'm sure I missed what it said the first 5,000 times I read it. I am really THAT bored. I still love where I work though...the people are great.

Not a whole lot is going on. I can't believe we are already almost a week into August. Time is just flying. Pretty soon Madi will be in 1st grade, which I'm not sure how I feel about. It's just so much older than Kindergarten. And it seems like once they get into 1st grade it just goes so fast from one year to the next.

In reference to my last post...I'm not bitter. Not in any way. I just think there's such a double standard for guys and girls. I suppose if I had different sex organs I would be considered cool. :p is what I think about that!

Monday, August 04, 2008


The last week or so have been a little odd. I would say I've had some really bad luck. I call it luck, because I really don't think it has much to do with me, but instead with the others I've dealt with. I'm a little embarrassed about it all too. I could laugh so hard about it, that it makes me cry. I could also cry about it and make myself laugh. All in all I believe that the events are making me what God wants me to be. That literally is the ONLY explanation I have.

I've discovered a few things about myself. I have a backbone, we all do. Some of us just don't use it, and that is a decision we make on our own. I've used my backbone a lot in the last week or so. It's felt good. Sometimes we need some practice in using our backbones. And if we are criticized in the process, then they never really mattered anyways. It is my prerogative to be who I am and live the way I chose. I am after all the one who has to answer for the decisions I make. As long as I'm doing and living the way God wants me to...then my life is my life.

I was talking to my of my dear friends the other day and she told me I was beginning to sound like a feminist. (She is a self-proclaimed feminist as well. ) I first of all thought I would never have a best friend who was a feminist and I certainly thought I'd never be one as well. I'm not sure I like that word. I just have a negative image of the thought of feminism. I think I prefer "strong woman" instead.

I think I'm just tired of the game. I'm tired of the bull. I'm tired of standing at the gas pump and being told that, "I'm making the air smell really good." Seriously, no lie...this man told me that a few months ago. I was like, "ummm...thank you, I think. Please don't follow me when I leave." (I did say thank you, but I didn't follow it up with that last part.) I can accept compliments, that's not what I'm talking about's much deeper than that.

I realize that this world is so sexed up, but I AM NOT. I AM a good girl, a nice girl, I have a brain, and a backbone. AND just because I don't want to talk to you, date you, be with you, marry you after only knowing you for 24 hours, or have your child, does not mean that I'm a witch. It means that I have a prerogative to do what it is that I want, and will do whatever it is that I feel Christ is leading me to do or not do. That doesn't make me a makes a girl who knows what she wants and what she doesn't want. When did that ever change in this world? And what is so wrong with that?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Kyle

My big 4 year old!
A Nemo party for the 2nd year in a row...Kyle is a big fan!

Me and my beautiful babies!
Madi, SuzAnne and Ryder
Mason, Mom, and Sydney

Tomorrow is Kyle Jackson's 4th birthday. We had his party tonight. It was really nice. Just a few friends and family. I can't believe he's four years old! It still seems like yesterday that I found out I was having a little boy. I never thought I would have boys. I thought I was a "girl" mom. He has most definitely been challenging. Just the other morning I went to wake him up to get ready and he was asleep with the toilet brush. :) I have absolutely no explanation why that would make any sense in the world. Boys will be boys, that is for certain!

He has been such a joy to me. He loves his momma so much and always has. He never misses an opportunity to pick me flowers. I have been so blessed by having him in my life, and I never realized how much joy a little boy can bring into his momma's life. I look forward to watching him grow into a man. Ahhhh...I'm going to make myself cry if I don't stop! kids birthday's are a little hard, for me that is. They don't even get it yet. But what can ya do...c'est la vie!

Happy Birthday Kyle Jackson! I love you sooo much!