Daves Highway

Apparently I’m a little late jumping on this train, but these kids are amazing!  Their harmony is beautiful and their love for Jesus is, well, obvious!

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First Day Pics

This morning when I opened the back door to feed Lucy I was greeted with something wonderful, something beautiful, something unexpected.

Fall.

 fall trees

No, it’s not late September – it’s the end of July, I had to remind myself. I stood there for a minute (only a minute because I had a hungry dog doing her breakfast dance in front of me – it’s extremely distracting) and let the cool breeze float past me, whisking away all the memories of this past weekend’s blazing heat and humidity.

And I swear I think I felt – chilly. Could that be? In Alabama? In July? Am I sleepwalking????

The subtle cool breeze brought to mind memories of my children starting school each year. Yes, it’s usually blazing hot (who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to start school in the south at the hottest part of the year?) but about late September (if we’re lucky) or early October we finally receive the blessing of Mr. Heat Mizer letting go of the tight grip he has on the south.

And then a little movie played in my head. It looked like a cartoonist’s drawings before they are put into action – you know, where you can flip the pages quickly and it looks like a character is running or jumping – that kind of movie. Only it was a movie of all the first day of school pictures I had taken of my children over the years.

And each picture made me smile a little (and tear up a little). As the movie played I could see how they had changed physically over the years, from toddlers to confident elementary schoolers to awkard pre-teens to overly confident high schoolers. I thought about cheer practice, basketball games, studying for tests, projects made and field trips taken. Precious, precious memories – all of them.

Those pictures in my head reminded me of how we would start each year excited, full of hope and expectations. And I thought about how each year my children both achieved and failed – because that’s life.

And so another school year is upon us (almost). For those of you with kids still in school (or grandchildren nearby) my advice is to go watch them in whatever activity they do as much as possible. Doesn’t matter if they spell a word to win the Spelling Bee or miss a 3-pointer to win the game – go watch them. You’ll never regret all the memories you accumulate, and you’ll need those when they go to college. (Now don’t go all helicopter parent on them – that’s definitely not what I’m saying. Just go. Watch. Be there.)

And pray for them – daily. Lord knows they need it with what they face at school every day. Here’s a couple you can throw at them as they walk to the bus or as you drive them to school:

“The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7, 8)

“You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.” (Deuteronomy 28:6)

Oh the sweet blessing of fall. Thank you, Lord for a little taste of that season today and the memories that come with it.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Do I Talk Too Much?

Monday my whole house was quiet starting at about 7:30 a.m. I spent about an hour talking to Jesus – it was an awesome time of reconnecting. This summer has been quite hectic to say the least and I have missed that time of just dishing out everything including the kitchen sink to the One who loves and understands every bit of me.

And at the end I got to laughing as I thanked Him for always listening. See I love my husband and as husbands go, he ranks up there with the best. But let’s face it ladies, even if you have Mr. Almost Perfect at your side, you can – at times – talk him to death.

It’s no surprise most men tune us out after 20 minutes – or less. A study by the University of Maryland’s College of Medicine found that on average, women speak about 20,000 words per day. The average man only speaks only 7,000 words per day. What’s a man supposed to do with the extra 13,000???

Yes, Jesus was a man. But He’s also the Son of God so thankfully I can’t talk Him to death. He listens to every single solitary word I say. He never gets the “If she would just quit talking for a minute” look on His face. He never tries to look over my head to see the Top 10 plays on ESPN. And for you guys, Jesus never lets his mind wander to which outfit He’ll wear to dinner or think about that awesome pair of wedges He scored on sale. (And no, I’m not talking about golf wedges. Shoes, men – wedges are shoes.)

 Wedges

When you talk to Jesus, you need to imagine Jesus looking intently in your eyes the whole entire time you are talking, because that’s what He does.

It’s almost too much to wish for.

But we don’t have to wish because it’s who He is. “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 146:18)

Go dish it to the One who listens and cares about every single word. And today I thank Jesus for listening to every word I say every day – all 20,000!

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Confessions of an Obsessive Planner

Saturday’s devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young hit my upside my head like a 2 X 4. And that’s how God seems to get my attention when a thump on the back of the head doesn’t seem to work.

My husband and I had spent some time looking at our fall schedule which quite frankly made me freak out a little. It looks like it will be busier than the summer, which I thought wasn’t possible. But it is.

So yep, the calendar filled up with pretty colors. But each color means a commitment of time and money. And each color means details that must be figured out.

Enter the obsessive planner.

It’s not that I don’t trust God to show us how we should spend our time, provide for us or protect us in the craziness of life. It’s just that I’m an obsessive planner (somebody has to figure all the details out, right?) so I have an insatiable need to know how it’s gonna happen, when it’s gonna happen, who it’s gonna happen with and so on. Obsessive planners like me need all the details so they can be in control and manipulate all the pieces of the puzzle to fit together so that everyone gets where they need to be when they need to be there with all the stuff needed. (It’s also called being a momma. It’s what we do.)

God love my husband. We plotted out the next few months, he shut down his iPad and was off to watching American Ninja Warrior with my son. Me? I stared and stared at iCal as if God was going to create an 8th day just for me and sync it with my color coded calendar.

calendar_clipart_by_Etenar

He didn’t.

So back to Jesus Calling. This would be the line that jolted me out of my master planner mode on Saturday: “Vast quantities of time and energy are wasted in obsessive planning. When you let Me (Jesus) direct your steps, you are set free to enjoy Me and to find what I have prepared for you this day.”

I know I do it. I know I spend way too much time planning what might happen instead of enjoying what is happening.

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Making plans is OK – I can’t just go through life wandering from one day to the next with no plan at all. The problem isn’t in planning – it’s in obsessive planning.

So I’m going to try to dial it down a notch in the planning department (which will both delight and frighten my family). And I’m looking forward to rejoicing in today instead of obsessing about tomorrow.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Sheets

Last summer I thought it was a lot of work last year to get an 18 year old girl ready to live in half a dorm room. It was a lot of work, but I knew my reward would come when the next year rolled around (that would be now) and I would laugh with glee knowing I already own everything a college girl could need.

And then that college girl decided to move from half of a furnished dorm room to a 4 bedroom unfurnished apartment. No gleeful laughing here, my friends.

So on August 15th we’ll load up the SJGT Sprinter van (those tweets will be precious – just wait) with a full size sofa, a fabric covered headboard (yes, made by my daddy), a queen mattress and box springs and enough decorative pillows to make Martha Stewart green with home decorating envy.

So my dream of having all the necessary items she would need at college died like a wiggly worm on the hot August pavement. I’ve bought dishes, pots & pans (are they actually going to cook anything or was that a colossal waste of money?), pillows (did I mention how many freaking pillows?) and sheets.

See there’s no possible way she could have one size bed her whole life – that would make this moving business way to easy and a lot less expensive. At home she has my childhood bed, a double. In the dorm it was a twin XL. In the apartment it will be a queen. And so help me, I just know next year if she lives in the sorority house it will be a plain ‘ol twin.

 bed sheets

But I’m convinced at some point I will defeat the black financial hole known as “necessary linens.” I’ll own every size sheet available, no matter where she moves, no matter what size her bed – I will have a sheet to fit! What a sense of relief and accomplishment that will be!

And just like a college student must collect housewares and furniture and linens for years to furnish each place they live, we must continue to collect spiritual truths as we move from place. We collect a verse here, a prayer there, a soulful experience that all combine to fill our spirit with the necessary things to live as Christians no matter where we are in life. And God is so good – He always provides exactly what we need when we need it (if we ask Him)!

“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:2, The Message)

That’s a pretty awesome verse for a college student – and for you and me.

Our God is so faithful to provide everything we need, every day.  And so very often He provides more than that – He blesses us with our wants as well.

Today I just want to own every sheet size she needs.

And thanks be to God – I’ve accomplished that!

At least until she buys a California king….

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Golf Momma

I’ve been a golf girlfriend, a golf wife (thankfully I still hold that title) and now I’m a golf momma. So I’ve walked an unknown amount of golf holes, driven countless golf carts and watched hundreds of rounds of golf. But here’s the funny thing – other than the driver and the putter, I could no more tell you what club my son should or will hit on a shot than I could explain the theory of relativity to you at any given moment. My job on the course is simple: provide food, encouragement, and sometimes a little verbal spanking when necessary.

In the last two weeks alone I’ve watched approximately 24 hours of golf. That’s one whole day of my life walking (for the most part) and watching. And I can just tell you walking four or five hours a day will 1)wear you flat-out in 1000% humidity-infused southern summer and 2)provide you with a whole bunch of time without anyone else around. So I prayed. A lot.

golf flag

If a cartoonist had drawn a conversation bubble above my head, you would have seen these prayers:
“Lord, please let him make this putt.”
“Lord, thank you for his abilities.”
“OK, Jesus can you help him find his ball over there in the woods so he doesn’t get a penalty?”
“Lord please send a breeze so I don’t die out here on #15.”
“Please, Lord help him continue playing like this.”
“Lord get us off this course asap. Please.”
“Jesus help him with his attitude.”
“Lord thank you for giving me this time to watch him.”

It was sort of a roller coaster prayer session, because as I tweeted last week golf is a funny – and a not-so funny – kind of game. But God’s will for us is consistent prayer in every situation, as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We don’t always have hours by ourselves, but we can release little balloon prayers up to heaven all day long no matter what we are doing because consistent prayer is God’s will for us all.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Give Me Pizza!

Friday night got a little messed up in the dinner department.  I had a meeting that ran way longer than I thought it would and I didn’t make it to Publix to get whatever I was gonna have my husband throw on the grill.  (It was Friday.  I don’t cook on Fridays.)

My daughter and husband wanted to go out, my son and I wanted to stay in and just order something.  No problem.  Let’s make everybody happy.  So off they went and we called in a pizza and a sandwich to pick up at the nearby pizza joint, which will remain nameless.

 pizza

I call and it’s gonna take 55 minutes to cook a pizza and prepare a sandwich.  NBD I think – it is Friday after all.

So we drive to the pizza place at precisely 55 minutes past my phone call (I always work on a schedule, you know), and I go in to pay.  And then I wait… and I wait… and I wait…

I ask how long it will be until my order is ready.  I get the standard “5 minutes” response.  And I wait… and I wait…

And then the worst thing happens – I get hangry.  I don’t know if you’ve ever come down with the hangries, but its when you are hungry and angry at the same time which makes you hangry.

So I march myself up to that counter, debit card in hand and do my very best to control my hangriness as I ask the cashier for a refund so I can go next door and get something to eat before I pass out.  She tells me they are boxing it up right now.

And I wait… and I wait… And I mutter to my son, “If that pizza doesn’t show up on that counter in 2 seconds I’m gonna…”

I see the look of fear in my son’s eyes because he knows what’s coming next, and it ain’t pretty.  I’m just being real, here – I’ve had a problem with outbursts in the past.  Fortunately for everyone involved I kept thinking in my head, “Jesus wouldn’t go off on this girl.  She’s trying.  They are working hard.  Jesus…wouldn’t…go…off…”

So I didn’t.  (Whew! That was a close one!)  Now she could tell I was perturbed, and she apologized profusely.  And I admit my actions weren’t totally Jesus-like (except he did go nuts on those money changers that one time…).

Anyway, the point of the story is we never need to get over-confident and think we’ve conquered a certain sin, because Satan can throw out a situation at any given time to try and get us sucked right back in.  I know if I hadn’t spent as much time as I have reading Scripture, praying, seeking to grow in my faith I would have gone all postal on that girl, all because of a stupid pizza.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will fell from you.”  (James 4:7)

A walk of faith consists of a few leaps and hundreds of baby steps.  You gotta take ‘em both.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!