Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Weekend What?

Rumor has it there’s some sort of wedding this weekend? Hmm. We’ll my baby girl has a birthday party. She gone be FIVE. Chew on that Kate and Willie. CHEW ON THAT.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brogan’s Blog

My baby girl turns 5 in 6 days. I’m torn between being so excited for her and being so sad for myself. She’s my angel baby. She is the wittiest kid on the planet. And sassy. And smart. And beautiful. She loves to laugh and smiles about everything. She adores her brother “even when he bees mean to me”, she says. She is an extraordinary child. She’s my firstborn. She asks me to tell her that I love her more than I love Swaid. I cannot. But I do tell her I’ve loved her longer. Technically, it’s not a lie as she is 28 months older than him. This pleases her. She’s a special, special girl. And she knows it. She will introduce herself as “Brogan Elyse Puckett” or “You can call me Princess”. True story. Ask her what I’m thinking and she’ll tell you that it’s “that we love her so much”. She knows. She has her Daddy’s heart in her pocket. She is my sidekick. My compadre. She loves when I paint her “poetails”. She loves to listen to her “mustick” on her iPod touch. She’s 4. And has an iPod touch. She thinks I’m pretty. She says she’s going to marry her Daddy when she grows up. Her favorite food is carrots with ranch dressing. And “choppy” milk. And a ham sandwich on whole wheat with mustard only. No cheese. She will share with you. She puts food in her pockets at school snack time and brings it home for me and MP. She loves taking pictures. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is getting a digital camera for her birthday. She talks with her hands and EVERY! DAY! IS! THE! BEST! DAY! EVER! to her. She is very animated when she speaks. But she’s quiet. She does not like loud noises. She runs fast. She will unfriend you if you wear the same shoes as her. Or if you "scribble scrabble" on paper. "We do not scribble scrabble, we COLOR like big girls", she'll tell you. She must have her blankie with her. Blankie’s name is “Blankie”, but Blankie has a cousin, Madeline. Madeline will not do when Blankie has been requested. She loves her Leon. We still don’t know if it’s a bear, a lion, or a monkey. I do know we paid $16.01 for it at Pottery Barn Kids in 2007 and she hasn’t let him out of her site. She loves him. Blankie and Leon are in most of her school pictures. They are family too. Brogan appreciates everything. She thanks God for flowers and for Disney World. She thanks God for us and for her brother. She loves her grandparents and her cousins. She always, ALWAYS asks if she can “just spend the night, like 5 days?” She loves Show and Tell at school on Fridays. And Tot Ball. And Computer class. She uses an iPad like it was made for her. She’s tech savvy. She speaks a little Spanish and counts in French. She’s very sensitive. A stern word goes a long way with her. She is perfect. She's my Princess. She is never taken for granted. She is mine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fake Plastic Birds

 On my drive to work this morning, I noticed the coolest looking bird ever. He (well I assumed it was a “he”- I didn’t ask. It’s rude) was just sitting on a yard ornament in someone’s yard. But I noticed the closer I got the more odd this bird was. THEN I discovered that it wasn’t a real bird at all, it was actually a metal bird silhouette attached to the shepherd’s hook it was “perched” upon. At first, I felt silly that I actually thought it was a real bird, but it was early and I had only had about one cup o’ joe. I need two to three cups to properly function, you see. Plus, it was rainy and foggy so I felt a little better about my distorted vision. No sooner than I laughed out loud at myself, it became apparent to me that so many of us are just like that bird: Real looking from the outside, but fake on the inside. Ouch.

For a long time, I was that bird. From the outside I was picture perfect, in a picture perfect marriage with two picture perfect children, and living in a picture perfect house. I sang in choir and we led Sunday School. I loved the Lord and truly knew Him as my Savior, no doubt, yet my eyes were not fully on Him. I treated church and bible study almost like a High School reunion. Like, I was genuinely excited to see all my friends and couldn’t wait to show off: my new outfit, shoes, highlights, etc. Vanity and worldly things always seemed to come first. Now, I loved the Lord - Don’t mistake that, but my focus wasn’t on my relationship with Him. My focus was on myself. God may have been Number 1 on my “checklist” on the outside for all of the world to see. But inside, I was a fake bird perched upon worldly desires.

No mas, my frands. No mas.

That fake bird reminded me of all the world’s hypocrisies and frivolousness. The only thing that truly matters in this life is our relationship with Christ Jesus and our desire to truly know Him. We are called to seek Him first and to serve Him. I mean, we are born destined for Hell. And He saves us. Think about it. How do you adequately say “thank you?” Words fail me. But is there any greater form of gratitude than worship? And if not, why do we tend to "worship" the world while proclaiming that we worship Him? Because it is our human nature to be fake birds perched upon worldly desires. However, we cannot serve two masters. Matthew 6:24 says so. And do you know what happens when you obey and stop serving two masters? When you fully commit to be the hands and feet of Christ?

He gives you purpose and direction. He provides blinders in order for you to stay focused. He becomes the Light to your darkness. He pours out His favor upon you. He allows you freedom. And He might just send you to Africa. :-O

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mission: Not Impossible

Last night, MP and I did something crazy. We sent our kids off to my MIL’s house to spend the night and we went out to dinner. We ate ribs. And corn nuggets. They were good. Now on to the crazy part…..

During our meal, we discussed an opportunity that we’ve just been presented: a Ug*ndan Mission trip. For a week. In September. 2011. Um, you guys, that’s in Africa. It’s like, eight (8) thousand (,000) miles away. And it’ll cost about $3,500. That’s three (3) thousand (,000.00) five (5) hunnerd (00) dolla dolla billz, y’all. What to do? Pray. Fundraise. And for everything else, there’s Visa. I kid. But not really.

Yes, we can see and feel the Lord working through us right now. It’s unexplainable, but our spirit was been moved for orphans. It’s a terrible epidemic here in the States and while we are saddened about the US orphans, our heart is literally broken in two for the orphans of Ug*nda. See, in the US, being an orphan is not a death sentence. In the US, we have government assistance programs like Medicare and Medicaid. We have free healthcare, food-stamps, WIC, and CHIPS. We have free education though grants and scholarships. We have government funded Foster homes. We even have Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.

Q. You know what Africa has?
A. Squat. And typhoid.

On this Good Friday I was reminded of this: We live in the greatest country in the world. In 2009, this country donated approximately $25 billion for foreign aide.

We live in a country that, in 2010, spent the following:
$11.4 billion on medical supplies and over the counter medications
$19.53 billion on food
$14.11 billion medical care
$3.65 billion on grooming

For our pets. I tell no lie. That’s an estimated $48.69 BILLION spent. On our pets. And it was estimated that we’ll spend $50.84 billion in 2011. OMG. Say it with me, ON.OUR.PETS. When children everywhere are hungry. *guilty*

We live in a country where we like to boast about Amendments and the “right to bear arms”, yet we deny our freedom of religion. We get mad when the “gubment” wants to mess with our healthcare or raise taxes. We protest against protesters and we got fighting mad when the “Tanning Bed tax” went into effect. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about, and yet we have no “Tea Party” fighting for God in our schools. We live in a country where we pick and choose which part of the Constitution we can say aloud. We pick and choose the Amendments and Bible verses that best accommodate our needs and then we justify our actions to ourselves. For Peet’s sake, we live in a country where our PRISONERS have more freedom that most free citizens of other countries. And yet so many of us take it for granted. *guilty*

Regardless, the US has been blessed immeasurably. God has poured out His favor on us, Sodom’s undeserving sister. I say this to myself because I have been so selfish with our “stuff”. We’ve been called to act. That’s a fact. Yet, I ask myself, “What if I just don’t? What if I like having extra money and extra time? What if I don’t want to share my family or our wealth or our resources? What if I consider vacations and deer camp as necessity rather than luxury? What if I’m not ready to give up more of ME for someone else?”

Ezekiel 16:49-50 *blink*gulp*blink.blink* I don’t like the answer.

MP and I have reached a place in our lives where we cannot sit idle any longer. Not when we know we’ve been commanded to act. And certainly not while knowing that so many children suffer. Like, these children seriously consume me. I cannot work without thinking of them. I cannot speak without speaking of them. I cannot love on my own children without wanting to love on them too. I have never wanted to hold and squish and love and kiss on a little black child so much IN. MY. LIFE. It’s borderline insanity, really. But you guys, they need love and if you know me at all, you know I’m all about showin’ some LUB! And great hair. But I digress.

So, what is the purpose of this post? Well, prayer. Pray for our safety. Pray for our kids. Pray for Africa. Pray for orphans of the world. Pray for the USA. Pray about your role. As Christians, we are ALL called to aide orphans and widows. It’s right there in the bible:

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17

And again:

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27

See? I told you so. But, “What can I do?” you ask. Oh, my friends, that’s easy:

“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”  2 Corinthians 8:12

The Lord only asks to do what we CAN do. For some, that’s GO. For some, that’s PRAY. For some, that’s GIVE. I only ask that you pray about your role in God’s divine plan.

MP and I would truly appreciate your prayers right now. God is so good and has called us to take action. For that reason alone, we can’t NOT go. We are willing and able. The timing is right. The selfish part of me says, “What about my own kids?” I’m ashamed to admit that I almost said no to this trip because I would miss them so much. I told myself it was because I loved them so much that I couldn’t leave them for that long. However, this morning I was convicted about my selfishness. I was quickly reminded of these verses:

“ Then He said to them all, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take us his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family. Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”” Luke 9:61-9:62

I realized I need to go BECAUSE I love my children enough to be faithful to God’s call. Ouch.

Please understand that this post was not intended to be a guilt trip. Or even a pan-handling letter; however, donations would not be declined. :) But if my words made you feel convicted, then good. SINNER! I kid. I pray that this speaks to your hearts. I pray that by this, I am using my God given talent as a tool for God’s glory and that He would be lifted up. And it is my sincere hope that you are all moved to action.

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In Him,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour"

Recently I have discovered the blog entitled "Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour" or I don't know if that attached the link or not because although I am super cute, computer savvy I am not. Regardless, I highly encourage you to check it out. Lately, I've been feeling the pressures of the "full time wife/mother/employee-hood" and it just doesn't seem like there's enough time to get everything done. Personally, I blame the weather. Ever since Spring sprung, I just wanna be outside, playing, and not inside, cooking, cleaning, or grocery shopping. Plus, I'm lazy so there's that to consider....

BUT! I discovered this site week before last and I am currently on week 2. You guys, the food is really, really good, relatively healthy and the kicker? My husband AND kids have liked everything thus far. I even ate MEATLOAF for the first time IN MY LIFE! Bonus: It has made grocery shopping so easy that it almost seems criminal. I still take my coupon binder about once a month and stock up on everything I can, but this new system is working really well for us.

Seriously, request a free trial week from her and lemme know what you think!