Long time no see! I really can't believe it's already the last day in March!! Where does the time go?? The past couple of weeks have been a blur, a beautiful blur but, still, a blur:) Since I've begun the blogging process I know I've kept everything pretty light and, for lack of better words, shallow. Not shallow in a negative sense but just not very deep or heavy. That's really what I inteded it to be, an online version of my scrapbooking outlet that I have dearly missed. I love how it helps me keep up with other blogging friends and a time to just sit for a second and look back over a week's worth of memories made with my sweet and so loved family and friends. However, the past several weeks have been anything but shallow and are worth a little more documenting than just my usual surface skimming.
For anyone who knows me, you hopefully know that my God, my husband, my children, my family, friends, church and work are the most treasured parts of my life and literally are what make up me and this life I lead. Since I was a little girl my hearts desire has been to grow up to be an actress and maybe one day marry my prince charming and have a couple kids. Little did that little girl know that all those things would happen AND happen a lot more quickly than I had planned. Prince charming took his cue a little early and came riding in when we were in middle school. I married him a year out of high school, had Christian within a year, pregnant with Sunny 8 months later and, as soon as Justin finished PT school in '04, we packed up and headed to ATL. I signed with an agency within 6 months and was on the set of my first feature film with Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds and Toby Keith within weeks. Not long after, we started teaching in the youth at our church, Christian and Sunny started school, Justin opened his own practice, moved into house #2 and I crossed off movie #13!
During this past decade, there has been an abundance of happy and sad tears, physical pains, growing pains, full bank accounts, empty bank accounts, firsts, lasts, beginnings, endings, unanswered prayers, beautiful blessings and enough life lessons to write a book. And just when I think I have it all figured out, God has a way of gently saying, "Oh no you don't." As difficult as it is, at times, I love it. I love that God cares this much to have a plan for each of our lives if we'll just look to Him and not ourselves. It's liberating and encouraging to know that in good times or bad, His ultimate plan for our lives is good and He loves us more than we could ever comprehend and if we just trust and rest in that, He promises to "direct our path" and "give us the desires of our heart," as long as we "delight ourself in Him first." We truly don't have to worry. It's in His sovereign and all powerful hands.
He loves his Daddy's burgers from the grill:)
Our talented grill master:)
About a month ago, there were several factors that led me to the realization that God wanted me to take some time off work for a while and just rest in my role as a wife and mother. If you know me, you know, sadly, this is so much easier said than done. I don't really do "rest" and "time off." See "my mother" for example and origination:) It was a moment during prayer not to long ago that the fact that the work roles that were coming my way lately were glorifying no one but myself. And my little wife, working mom, etc etc balancing act was about to topple over.
I won't lie to you, the past several weeks have been challenging. I'm used to hitting the ground running at 6:30am, making lunches, kids off to school by 7, clean house and catch up laundry for an hr, dressed and out in 30 minutes for auditions all day to be back for kids by 2:45, start homework, get a snack, run to basketball, baseball or gymnastics etc, come home make dinner, spend time as a family, kids in bed by 9:30, spend time with Justin-who is usaully out for the count first-so I proceed to catch up on work emails etc, turn in around midnight and start it all over the next day. And if I'm working on a film at the time..that's a whole other story!
So, needless to say, it's crazy. And for what? At the end of all this the only things that are lasting are what's most important and what we hold dearest to our heart. On my scales, I realized I was putting just as much emphasis on my quality time at work as my quality time with my children. God gave me these children for a reason, countless reasons that I learn more and more of everyday. He knew I was someone who needed those little anchors to help keep me in check and keep this journey in perspective. They keep me grounded and humble and give me purpose when everything else is falling apart. The black and white of it all was that I could slow down, God has been gracious enough to make it to where I don't have to work as much as I do. And that's no coincidence.
It was hot, hot, hot!
Justin and Chichi
Christian about to hurt himself:)
Since yielding to His will in just a month's time, God has been so kind to encourage me with residual checks, beautiful future projects in the making and spiritual eyes to be so thankful for the health of my family and love and support of my friends that, at times, I have taken for granted. It's been so cool to literally rest in His will and plan and not my own. As silly as it sounds, it's been so neat to just sit down and play wii for a couple hours with Christian or take a walk to the park for the afternoon and do nothing but swing with Sunny. That profession will always be there. That tiny little hand that fits inside of mine and that carefree 9 year old laugh won't. It's all about personal perspective. And, if we take the time, God has specifics planned out for each of us that are ever changing so it's a daily process to seek Him. Believe me, I've veered off and learned that the hard way so many times. I've shared a few pictures from the past couple weeks. This past weekend Justin was out of town for a golf trip so the kids and I had movie night, slumber parties, pedicures for me and Sunny with Katie while Christian was with a friend, cake baking and a granted #1 request of fish sticks every night for dinner:)
Sunny's "groovy" toes:)
The best part of the cake..the batter!
The others are trampoline water fights between Sunny and her BFF Anna during the heat wave last week and a little grillin' out and a game of pick up baseball with my 2 favorite boys one afternoon:) I know I've been all over the place and thank you for sticking with me through this deep diary entry journey. I think the biggest thing I have learned so far through this is sometimes the things we've been doing our way for the longest time are the exact things God wants to change in order to show us it's not about our plan and us being in control. Right now my mind is empty of my next step professionally. But, my heart is full and running over at what God has graced me with personally. I have unanswered questions and prayers both professionally and personally but the awesome thing is that He has all the answers and each time I look to Him and not myself I always get confirmation that He, my heavenly Father, always knows best.