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Blog

Choosing Courage

Kimmy LaMee

Yesterday was hard, Like heart wrenching hard,  as I watched my sweet gal struggle to overcome her fear of the water.  I’ve gone back and forth in my mind since last summer about whether or not to even put her in swim lessons again this summer. We had a terrible experience last year but I’ll save that story for another day maybe. I knew I had to sign her up again though. I want Ivey to learn the basics of water safety and how to save herself if she should ever need to. Dan also can’t swim so he’s been pretty adamant that our girls learn!

So Monday she began and it was terrible!! Friends had all warned me it would probably be awful, but nothing prepares you for watching it all go down. The fear in her little heart was so evident - even her toes were curled under and her fists clinched. After the forty five minutes of pure “bliss” ended and we were heading home, she and I had the sweetest conversation about fear and courage and how God can give us courage if we just ask. So she asked God to give her courage.

Tuesday came and on the way, I made up a song about being brave and we prayed and asked God for courage again. It was still tough. While she didn’t scream, she sat on the side of the pool sobbing quietly still overcome with fear, yet obeying her teacher, reluctantly. I praised her on the way home for being a bit more brave, not running away, not screaming, and obeying. She said “mommy, I was a little bit brave today but I’ll be even more brave tomorrow!” 

And today - we prayed again, asking God to help her be brave again and to help her not give in to the fear that was holding her back. 

And HE did!  

As I sat pool-side, watching her begin to relax and actually have fun, I was reminded of a couple things. 

First, As a mama, it was tough watching her struggle. I wanted to rush in and rescue her. I wanted to share all the reasons why she couldn’t and maybe shouldn’t do it quite yet. It’s my “job” to protect her, right?!

But I didn’t rush in...

and today - she saw God working and answering her prayers and she felt the joy of overcoming her fears firsthand! If she would have stopped Monday, she wouldn’t have had today!  Sometimes we need to do tough stuff and we need to allow our kiddos to do tough stuff. And we need to allow those tough things to teach them and point them to a God who loves them and is for them, and of course cheer them on and encourage them along the way. 

Secondly, sadly I didn’t think today would happen... I was not looking forward to it, honestly. I was waiting for another day of screaming and tears and defeat.

BUT GOD...

As we were driving home, I asked her where she got her courage from and she said “mommy, God gave it to me!” (Like duh...)

That’s right Sweet girl....

May I be a mama who believes what she asks for in prayer just like my sweet four year old did today. She asked for courage and she expected God to give it to her, and He did! And she knew it! 

Yes, swim lessons may be a pretty small thing to you,  but to us, it’s not! So today We are celebrating overcoming fear, trusting a God who loves us and is for us, and believing that He hears us and answers us! I pray Ivey remembers this moment, even as a four year old, of choosing to trust God and choosing  courage over fear! 

Especially tomorrow when we go back!  

 sobbing silently on the side, overcome by fear...

sobbing silently on the side, overcome by fear...

 my brave girl, pushing past fear! 

my brave girl, pushing past fear! 

 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Things We’re Loving this week!

Kimmy LaMee

It’s been a “fun” week around here filled with laughter at times and lots of discipline. My “precious” youngest has definetly learned the word “NO” and has used it multiple times just in the last hour...  Which leads me to share our favorite and probably most used book around here, after the Bible, of course!  

Shepherding a Child’s Heart  by Tedd Tripp

I’m re-reading it for like the third time in as many years and I’m continually reminded of the big kingdom picture when it comes to raising our gals. It is so hard some days in the minutes and hours to keep the bigger goals and kingdom picture in the front of my mind when it comes to parenting and discipline. If you are a mama, or a daddy, you need to read it! My prayer for our sweet girls is that we will lead them to love Jesus above all else and that their hearts will be drawn by Him and to Him. 

I also just got this book in the mail!!   

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 Raising World Changers in a Changing World by Kristen Welch.

I'm only on chapter four and OUCH! This might be my new favorite book. This mama speaks straight to my heart! A question she raises has been turning in my heart since I read it, “in light of the superabundance you enjoy, what do you think is your minimal responsibility to the untold millions of lost and suffering in the world?”  How do I (we) begin to even answer that? I’m looking forward to reading more this coming week.

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Sadly, there won’t be much reading this weekend, as we continue working on the screen porch. I have to admit that I’m so DONE! We are so close! The new screen is up and now we have to do the final touches like hang the new doors and put up new lath and touch up paint. Then it’s time to clean off all the yellow (polen) and reclaim my reading spot! My hubby is amazing and I’m so thankful that he not only loves to do this kind of stuff but is pretty great at it too!

And while there has been lots of discipline, there have been sweet memories made too around a simple little thing like strawberries! This week we’ve been learning about strawberries so of course we’ve read a few books, made some fun strawberry crafts, made playdough strawberries and strawberry smoothies. We even got to visit one of our favorite strawberry farms, McDowells,  to help PopPop pick up a load to sell. And we got to pick some strawberries from Green Acres Farm with our friends! What a fun adventure!! 

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I’m also excited about the opportunity that On Mission Moms has been given this week. We were asked to plan and prepare the family prayer room at The Bridge, a community ministry center in the Northside that is led by FBS. It’s holds such a special place in my heart. Dan and I (with the help of a friend to finish up the painting) set up one of the other rooms as a private prayer room and I’ve been able to get up there a few times to simply pray and it’s just a special place. There are several other private prayer rooms and the Prayer Center is always open and available for anyone to just come and pray! I’m excited about leading the effort to get a room that is suitable for families to come and pray together. A room where our little ones can learn to pray, and play and pray. So send me your ideas!!! And if you’re an On Mission Mama you can join us for a sweet prayer time and planning time on May 23rd. 

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How has God been showing off in your life this week? Maybe the hard and ugly or maybe the sweet and simple!  

Going “Old School”

Kimmy LaMee

So it kind of just happened by accident. I was helping my mom one day at their house a couple weeks ago and we found a big book of felt board stories. It took me back to my childhood days of VBS and Sunday school at Holston Creek, sitting around the floor looking at the big green felt board and listening and watching the story unfold before my eyes. And it made me smile... a lot! 

If you know Frances (that’s my mom), you know she has just about every craft supply you could ever need - toilet paper roll, shoe strings, feathers, googly Eyes and more. Of course she would have felt! We also found an old frame that I had bought thinking I would use at our wedding, but didn’t. It was perfect to make our own felt story board! I came home that afternoon and began searching around Pinterest for felt board story ideas and activities that I could use with the girls and there was a ton of ideas! Who knew that felt boards were still a thing!?! 

This morning we had a super fun time playing with the felt board. I shared the story of how Jesus calms the storm - because it’s been raining for like three days now (okay, just two....) and then we talked about the rain and how God sends the rain to make the flowers grow and then the girls had lots of fun creating their very own flowers! (storm to rain to flowers.... work with me here) 

It was at least thirty minutes of glorious fun and creativity this morning and they even started playing with it again this evening!   The whole time they were playing and creating, i just kept smiling and rejoicing that felt boards were still alive and that it was quiet in our house, for just a little bit! (Ha) 

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Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets excited about a felt board!? Did you know it was still alive? I thought it had been replaced by the chalk board, then the white board, and now the iPad... but it’s still alive and well in our home!! and here’s to some great creative time tomorrow too... hopefully!?! 

Things we’re Loving this week!

Kimmy LaMee

We had such a fun week and we have much to be thankful for and lots of things that we absolutely loved! 

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We took a fun trip to Riverbanks Zoo to meet up with dear friends and learn all about the animals. We got to feed the birds and giraffes, pet a snake and lion’s fur, ride a pony and train... whew, it was a fun filled day! It’s been a couple years since we had been to Riverbanks and they have done an incredible job with all of the new improvements!! If you live close by, you should totally take some time to go! But give yourself all day - I felt rushed to get it all packed in before we had to head out early! And it was fun to be on a scavenger hunt looking for animals. 

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Speaking of fun NEW things... the Spartanburg Airport Park is amazing! We visited on opening day and had a blast! There are two separate great playgrounds for the bigs and the littles. There is also just lots of space to run and even pretend you’re an airplane taking off for a fun adventure. When we ask Ivey where she is traveling or going, she always say New York. Our child loves that city and has never even been - one day sweet girl! Way to go City of Spartanburg!!! This park is GREAT! 

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A while back, during “P” week, we were studying at home about patience and planted lettuce seeds with our cousin Pierce, who was visiting from Kentucky. They have been growing like crazy and we have really enjoyed the “fruit” of our labor... There is nothing like walking out your backdoor and picking your lettuce that you need for a salad that night. I’m dreaming of one day having space for vegetable gardens! 

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We started following Dave Ramsey a while back and we are so close... like two months away from FREEDOM! No credit card debt. No car payments... and it really does feel like freedom! Now we are on to the next baby step as soon as our car drives to the end of the road! 

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I can’t wait for our new book to arrive! I posted about it over on my On Mission Moms blog! It looks super fun and I’ve been loving Barefoot books lately and it reminds us to pray for our dear friend Kellee and her family.  Barefoot books has a great international line.   And speaking of On Mission Moms, I would love for you to join our fun group on Facebook, follow us on Instagram or get and/or share some fun ideas over on the blog! It’s such a fun space to connect with other mamas who are intentionallly trying to live on Mission in this world. 

What are things you are loving this week? Let’s rejoice and celebrate those things together!  

Quieting My Heart

Kimmy LaMee

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Yesterday was just one of those days - not bad... just busy and filled with highs and lows. Dan and I spent the morning with dear friends as they buried her mother. The girls seemed a bit tired and a little off their norm most of the day. Ivey had dance which means an early nap and sometimes waking her up early which leads to grouchiness. Thankfully,  she woke up happy and ready to go!

It was just busy!

As the evening was drawing to a close, I just couldn’t shake my need to step away from all the busy and loud to steal some quiet moments just me and my piano and the Lord.  

As I played Be Thou My Vision, Because He Lives and Near the Cross softly, so not to disturb Nora who was just heading to bed, my heart was quieted and stilled and reminded of the Great Faithful God that I love and serve. It was as if it really was just me and Jesus in my front room for just a few minutes - but then the sweetest and funniest thing happened! As I was playing, thinking no one else was even aware of what I was doing, and honestly enjoying some moments to myself, I heard Ivey singing along sweetly from the bathtub upstairs and Nora clapping and yelling “yeah....” from her bed, and the loudness returned and my heart just simply paused and smiled. 

It was just a moment of Jesus reminding me that He is ever present - sitting at the piano softly playing or in the midst of my loud and crazy girls yelling and singing and rejoicing.   

How does He quiet your heart and draw you into His presence?  

I pray you take a few minutes to be still and quiet your heart, even in the midst of crazy and loud and messy and busy.