Posts filed under Life Lessons

What are we preparing for?

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Oh my stars!  It has been too long!  We have been crazy busy.  The last 3 months consisted of seven weddings in 8 weeks, the completion of the barn, a mini family vaca, the barn open house, an adult trip, and working the haunted hayride in the forest.  This weekend has been the first since I don't know when that we didn't have anything to do.  It felt good!

Because KC and I were taking a couples trip to Cancun, I felt a little guilty leaving the boys behind.  We decided to take a mini family vacation to Atlanta the first weekend of October.  We left home on a Sunday morning and drove to my uncle's church in Roswell.   One of the worship songs that morning was "Here I am to Worship".  I have heard it a million times but this time it really got me!  My mind started replaying the weeks prior and the conviction was overwhelming.  I started thinking about how busy I had been and even though I had zero time I still managed to find time to work out and diet.  Why?  I wanted to "look good" in Cancun.  Seven weeks before we left I started a no carb diet and exercising......preparing for the trip.  While the song continued to play, I guilt-ly pondered, "what if I gave being a child of His this much preparation, this much effort".  Now, don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with being fit and doing what it takes to get there.  What I am saying is why do I rush through a 10 minute morning devotional in order to get my day started but spend an hour at the gym.  UGH!  Why will I spend countless hours preparing, sketching, designing, prepping for a wedding but can't find the time to do a two hour weekly bible study?  Seriously?  

Uncle Mike's message was spot on too!  "Because of God's great mercy to us...Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him.  This is the true worship that you should offer."  Romans 12:1 (GNT)  "Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy."  Mark 12:30 (MSG)  I'm pretty sure I have been missing the mark on BOTH of these!  One of the points on his outline was "Worship is my response to God's love".  Then he asked, "What is your daily response?".   OH MAN!  Got me again!  

Preparation is defined as the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.  I want to be ready for HIM.  I want to be ready for HIS use.  Don't you?  So, what are we preparing for?
 

Posted on November 3, 2013 and filed under Life Lessons.

Number 1 Job & Wake Up Calls

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If you follow my blog or know me personally, you already know I wear many hats.  I am a wife, a mom, a nurse, a wedding/floral designer, a blogger (LOL), a seller of treasures, a soon to be venue owner, and of course a big, fat dreamer......just to name a few.  We stay pretty busy around here.  But recently God gave me a little nudge to remind me what is most important or as Lara Casey would say "what matters most".  This week I was shocked when I overheard my son say a certain word.  It made my mouth drop.  He was playing his video game and talking to a friend online.  I immediately called him downstairs and asked him what he had said (I already knew).  It wasn't long before tears were streaming down both of our faces.  My tears were from complete unbelief and disappointment but his were from fear of me telling his daddy.  What he didn't realize was that most of his punishment would come from me.  For now (and possibly forever), there is no longer a PS3 for either of my boys.  You may think that is harsh but I can only think of good things that will come from it not being available to them.  This was only one of his punishments, but I think it is the one that will sting the longest.

Later that day when KC came home, I sat him down and told him what happened.  Some of you may be rolling your eyes thinking "big deal - it's just a word" but for us, it is way more than that.  It is an open door that has to stay shut and locked in our home.  After the hubs had a minute to digest the news, there was another side of the story he (we) needed to hear.  I started by saying to him that we are super, busy people but we can't forget our boys (aka our Number 1 Job).  Our single most important earthly task is raising our kids.  Oops....hold on let me get a tissue................................Ok I'm back!  ;)  I explained to KC, that while I know it was awful what our son said, I also see it as God trying to get our attention.  A wake up call.  A nudge.  A glimpse of a path we refuse to watch our children take or worse we don't see coming because we are too busy to notice.  It was a total reminder to keep our priorities straight so our family can stay healthy and happy.  

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying we've automatically transformed into mom and dad of the year.  But, I am saying we are going to take steps to do better even if we have to be known as the crazy parents that won't let their kids have a PS3.

Our first step to becoming better parents is going to be date days.  We decided each week of the month there will be at least one date.  The first week Reed gets a date with mom and Hunter gets one with daddy.  Week 2 it gets reversed.  The third week is a family date and week 4 is a mommy and daddy date (wink, wink)!

One of the best parenting tips I ever got was from someone who isn't even a mom yet (well at least not to a human child)!   Her tip - scheduling my office hours during the time my kids are in school.  Closing my "office" at 3pm allows me to be done when they are done.  (Thanks Rhi!)  Now, thanks to her and my nudge from above, I'm more encouraged than ever and I have got to stick to it!  Y'all pray for me!

How about y'all?  Any awesome parenting advice out there?  Anyone struggling with the same thing?  Share below.  I'd love to hear!

 

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Posted on July 21, 2013 and filed under Life Lessons.

What If-ville BEWARE!

What a weekend!  From Thursday to Saturday I put in almost 45 hours.  We did a fabulous wedding in Troy, Alabama.  It was gorgeous!  We met some new, awesome vendors and walked away with a happy couple and parents!  I will definitely post pics and stories soon!  But today, it's all about HIM.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a scripture from one of my daily devotionals out of "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  It was Proverbs 16:9.  But when I read it, it was verse 7 that caught my ATTENTION!

7 When God approves of your life,
    even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Far better to be right and poor
    than to be wrong and rich.

We plan the way we want to live,
    but only God makes us able to live it.

Oh, I LOVE IT!!!!  It's so awesome!  How stinking amazing is verse 7?!  What a promise!  When God is on our side NOTHING can stop us!  It's like Romans 8:31-32, "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?".

OMG!  WHAT A REMINDER!  Want to hear something even cooler?  This devotion was on June 18th (last Tuesday).  And little did I know, but God was preparing me for a situation.  This weekend I got a call about a little negativity towards me and The Barn at Pisgah Hill.  I have to admit on most occasions it would have sent me straight into "what if-ville".  What if this happens or what if this happens or what about this or this or this.  But not this time.  I simply said "You know what?  It doesn't matter."  The person I was talking to knew EXACTLY what I meant and simply said, "I know".  You see, I KNOW God has had his hand in this barn from DAY 1.  From the location of the land (295 feet from our house), to the crazy low price on the property, to the easy financing, to the tremendous support and help by family and friends.  Still not convinced, how about the fact that the hubs had almost 3 weeks off because he was between jobs right at the exact moment they were planning on starting construction?  SO, my point is God's favor is there!  It's smothered in IT!  ;)  And if this is true, do I really think he's going to stop now?  Of course not!  Do I think it will sit empty?  Absolutely not!  Why?  Because when God approves of my life, even my enemies will end up shaking my hand!   

Please don't mistake this as me bragging on myself.  This is me claiming what God's word says and how awesome it is to skip the worrying about the what if's and letting HIM handle all of it!   When our mind starts to wander in that direction, STOP and think about these verses.  He gave up His only Son for us (Romans 8:32), do we actually think He can't handle our problems, our issues, our finances, our families, our addictions, our schedules, our hopes, our dreams?  SERIOUSLY?  I have used it a million times but it always seems to fit, "Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalms 37:4)  I told someone recently "God knows my heart and He knows theirs.  I'm going to let Him handle it".  AHHHHHHH!  It's so relaxing, so refreshing!  I don't have to lay awake in bed at night thinking about it and stressing over it.  I can put it in His lap and save my "laying in bed at night" for coming up with more big fat dreams.  ;)  

 

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Practice What You Preach

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Last night I was surfing the web looking for ways to promote my blog.  I will admit I stay up late almost every night working on something.  It can be anywhere from how to increase traffic to your blog, how to take better Instagram pictures (I am so addicted), to sketching a Le Rae Events' wedding (maybe my personal fave), to working on ideas for our "top secret" project (I cannot wait to share with y'all - ALMOST THERE!!!).  I came across NetworkedBlogs.com .  It is a great website that you can join as a blogger or a reader.  If you are a reader, you can follow all of your favorite blogs in one spot.  It's really neat - check it out.  Anywho, in order to add The Le Rae Life blog on their site I had to fill out a form and list what my blog was about.  Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......  I was stumped!  It started out as a blog about weddings.  And while I LOVE posting pictures of our work and gorgeous weddings (which I will continue to do), I have also found I enjoy talking to y'all about my everyday life.....Hence the name "The Le Rae Life".  For me, this blog has become an accountability partner for me.  Ok, so I know some of you are scrunching up your nose and saying "what in the world is she talking about".  It's because I know the world (LOL - ok maybe 10-20 folks) is reading this, it holds me accountable to what I "preach".  Didn't your mama tell you to "practice what you preach"?  Add this to Debbie's (my mom) list of things quoted a million times!  So, thank y'all!  Thank you for keeping me mindful of doing what I say!  

With all that rambling being said, I have a challenge for all of us today!  And once again, I need some accountability.  Romans 12:9-21

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9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.  

11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.  

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.    

17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it."    

20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Oh my!  Please reread verses 17-19.  "Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do."   That's SO HARD!!!  The world screams revenge.  We are surrounded by the idea that if someone hits you what do you do?  You hit 'em back!  In our society, revenge is celebrated and "getting even" is expected.  So, today my friends I am challenging us all to preach the opposite of revenge and to practice what we preach!  Good luck!  I promise to pray for all of you if you will pray for me!  Who's in?

P.S.  Don't forget about the announcement we made Wednesday!  We haven't!  Tune in tomorrow for our first ever GIVEAWAY!  Here's a hint:  It's a 10 DAY GIVEAWAY on things I LOVE!  Join us tomorrow for all the how-tos and info!  See you tomorrow!  MUAH!

 

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Posted on May 31, 2013 and filed under Life Lessons.

The Zone

I am NOT a runner.  As a matter of fact, I don't care for any cardio exercise.  Ok, let's be honest I would rather not move at all (LOL).  But if I have to (which at 36 I do) I prefer to lift weights or do some form of strength training.  This morning's workout consisted mostly of running (thanks to Rick Hall).  For me, there is only one good thing about running, jogging, and/or walking.  I call it the zone.  It's that moment when you push through the pain, forget about the discomfort, and listen.  Listen to Him.  If you are in the zone, it is a great time to hear from the Creator of the universe.  And boy did he get me this morning!  He got me good.....to the point of tears.

Does something ever happen in your life and you ask "why" or you worry about it until your stomach hurts?  It can be the tiniest little thing to those HUGE life altering moments.  Well, over the weekend I found out some sad news (Please don't text me and asked what it is.  They asked me not to share -  just yet).  Nothing terrible like death or disease.  Something that will be hard but I'm pretty sure we all will live through it.  I immediately go into "Rae's big picture mode" and found myself questioning God about things or plans I thought I had; "what about this and what about that and what if this happens and I thought we'd do this and what if and what if and what if".  When I first started running this morning, my mind was once again flooded by all of these questions.  Then I took a deep breath and waited for it - the zone.  I shut up and I listened.  This is what I heard:

Why are you questioning me?  Don't you know I've got this?  Don't you know I have a plan?  Haven't I always taken care of you?  Haven't you heard your mother say - "All things work together for good for those that love Me" - a million times?  I answered, Yes, yes, yes, and oh my gosh yes (A MILLION)!  Then stop worrying about it.  I'VE GOT YOU!

This got me y'all!  I finished my workout in tears.  Thank goodness Rick was exhausted and didn't notice!  ;)  Y'all know I hate to cry and it's even worse when someone sees me! 

I came home and had to share.  Of course I'm still crying but it's good tears.  The kind when you've experienced His ZONE. 

 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

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Posted on May 20, 2013 and filed under Life Lessons.