We barricaded the living room entry with a recliner. Determined to have some post-holiday, HAPPY NEW YEAR-adult conversation with our friends. They have four children, and currently, we have four children who bring us to a ROARING 8 when we are together which is anything but calm but oh-so-necessary.
Surely we aren’t the only parents who have considered a barricade? Now before any of you, helicopter moms get in a tizz..we could see over the recliner into the dining room where the girls were dressed as princesses (at least I think that’s what they were shooting for) while they played baby in between dance-party breakouts and playing kitchen with lots and lots of Play-Doh. That is, when they weren’t running for cover and SCREAMING because of sudden Nerf attacks, hovering drones or RC gadgets running amuck.
After pizza and wings, and redirecting a couple of monkeys who attempted to climb over the recliner barricade we were alas able to share some quality conversation with our dear friends. (Side note->because of my brain..but if you haven’t read Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, I HIGHLY recommend it. The title was enough for me. For too long, too many of us have worried whether or not our houses or outdoor spaces were acceptable, polished or Pinterest-y enough to share with friends. I broke up with that way of thinking. Thanks, Shauna) Meanwhile, back on the ranch my Rainbow vacuum broke way back in October, a new one hasn’t been in the budget; it’s firewood time which means lots and lots of wood debris, dust and lest we forget we live on a farm, so there is NEVER an absence of various manure tracks throughout the house. Deep breath. And another deep breath because it’s OKAY! Real friends hungry for authentic connection couldn’t care less about the condition of our floors or mantle, which is why we’re friends.
Thankful for friends and my dear, dear husband for entertaining my request to have such reflective heavy-at-times-just-a-wee-bit awkward and hilarious conversation. We chatted through various topics such as their vacation to Disney, to public restroom etiquette and finally, some thought-provoking questions that I found on the internet (thanks, Holley Gerth dot com).
The list of questions was longer than we have time for but I wanted to share five of my favorites as well as my two cents which as it turns out is exactly what it’s worth. I hope you will share the questions with your friends because you should. It’s fun and funny. They are great conversation starters. We have since discussed them with our small group, and I went through them with another friend whom I consider a gem as well as my mom and sisters too! So, without further adieu’:
What went well for you this year?
We saw a slight upswing in 2016 at our little mom and pop feed & garden, so we shouted HALLELUYAH! Thank YOU, Fort Payne and surrounding areas for shopping local and for loving our family so well. (If you’re not local and you want to know more about what we do visit our website –> www.fpfeed.com )
#PrayBig the journal and the movement has done exceedingly and abundantly more than I would have ever dreamed. THANK YOU, JESUS. I’ve loved meeting ALL OF YOU, hearing your hearts and it is my honor to pray with and for you! I am looking forward to another great year!
What did not go well?
When our first foster placement was taken and placed in another home. He left us forever changed, and he will never be forgotten.
When did you feel the most exhausted or drained?
Numbers. Anything with numbers makes me tired and cranky. Numbers and anything remotely akin to numbers makes me lethargic and puffy. I think I’m allergic. No amount of milk chocolate helps. Just no. There will be no numbers or accounting or QuickBooks in heaven. Amen.
When did I feel most in my “sweet spot?”
Other than the obvious of being with my tribe at the beach of course with my low-rider beach chair in the sand where the surf meets the shore my “sweet spot” would be when I’m encouraging you. Whether that is at the local coffee shop, the jail, your living room, fellowship hall or a stage. I never tire of speaking of the faithfulness of God and exhorting you to #PrayBig because with my whole heart I believe when you #PrayBig things happen!
What did God teach me that I want to live out this year?
It’s easy for me to tell others to believe in the faithfulness of God, not to worry or fear because He cares and is Lord over all, but I often struggle to believe my words. I somehow believe it for you, and I REALLY DO but then, when I get in my car, or I find a quiet place at home, or I’m upstairs at the store, I doubt. I doubt and end up dancing with fear and worry when it comes to my personal stuff. And I hate it! In 2017 I am determined to be done with doubt. Jesus and I have already been talking through these things over the last several days, and I’ve told Satan to take the train. I’ll keep you posted.
There were other questions like what did you say “no” to and wish you had said “yes” and vice versa? What do you want to do differently or the same? But too many of those questions got a little too close to the subject of exercise which is something I’m not ready to talk about yet. I am thinking about thinking about it because I know my Barbie friend, Tammy wants me to think about it and I will turn 40 this year. In no way is turning forty a big deal except that it is, and I’m going to try not be a selfish brat and talk too much about my birthday in June because that would be silly because grown women shouldn’t get all wacky about a birthday except that I am but we can talk more about that later. Because it’s only 156 days until my birthday according to Google. Not that anyone is counting.
Oh happy day,
P.S. But just in case…and this P.S. note is mostly for my family or close friends to remind my husband and children. #winkwink
What a chuckle reading this “vivacious” narrative of
life full of adventure, love, disappointment, love, doubt, love, faith, love, love, love…. see a common theme here? You are such a blessing. Thank you for sharing.
Love you, Kathleen! Your loyal readership is just one of the many things I love about you!
Donna Cowart says
Hey Karmen, just hang in there with God’s Promises!
Tammy Lacey says
So it’s the year of the big 4-0! I sympathize because I had a hard time with that SIX YEARS AGO!? The one in four years is making me nauseous but it’s better than the alternative! Yes, Barbie says get your rear in gear and get movin’! Always love your blogs but love you more!? #keepinspiringothers
You’re still a spring chicken!
Peggy Carden says
Hey, Karmen! I really enjoyed reading this and am currently kicking myself for NOT reading your blog sooner! I’m a fan! Praying for your continued success in all your endeavors!
Jannece Blansit says
I really appreciate you, Ms Karen! I don’t know you personally but would love to spend some time and get to know you. Praise God and Pray Big’
Patty Smith says
I enjoyed your blog so much. You are such a reflection of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration to us all. God bless you and your family.