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Monday, October 15, 2018

An Umpire Story: You're all outta here!

When watching the MLB Play-Offs this week I noticed there was a point when the umpires were huddling up for quite some time to discuss a call, as they tend to do from time to time. The fans were losing their minds both in the stands on my tv and also on the sofa in my living room. There was much ranting and raving and all manner of righteous indignation. It occurred to me that I always thought that the most stressed out person in a baseball stadium was the mom of the pitcher. But I have changed my mind on that. I think the pitcher's mom is out-stressed-out by the mom of the man in blue. 

Over my many years in the bleachers, I have run into every sort and type of umpire. We've had those who barely whisper and so subtly motion their strikes and balls that you have to look at each other and try to figure out what in the heck is going on. We've had those that scream at the top of their lungs and have perfected their 3rd strike call with such theatrics that you'd think they were auditioning for a Broadway play. One of our favorites was the New Yawker who called the high pitch "upstaahs" and the low pitch "downstaahs".

And then we've had those who have left us all shaking our heads and wondering if they are living in the same universe as regular every day human beings. We had such an experience a number of years ago and it has become a legendary story among my baseball posse.

Before I tell you this story, I will point out that I am all in favor of respecting umpires even when it takes all your will power and a big dose of the Holy Spirit. I don't condone arguing with the umpire. Mainly because it's rude and obnoxious, but also because it doesn't do you any good. It doesn't matter whether you think the batter wasn't out. If that's the call, that's the call. Never in my entire life have a I seen an umpire change a call based on Mrs. Baseball Mom's or Mr. Baseball Dad's opinion. It simply never occurs.

Still, umpires are people, too, and sometimes they do make mistakes. Sometimes really bizarre, baffling mistakes that send the fan base into a tizzy. Such was the case on a rainy day at the ball field years ago. And in retrospect it was pretty hilarious, made all the more so by the magical invention of the GIF.


Friday, October 12, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: October 12, 2018

Happy Friday, Friends. 

It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick. 

Well, I'd say that last weekend was perhaps one of my favorite weekends in the history of weekends. We had lots to celebrate including marriages, birthdays, college acceptances, and a gigantic football win which gave me an embarrassing amount of joy. Here are some highlights.

1. A Perfect Wedding

We had been looking forward to October 6, 2018 in our family for many months as it would be my niece's wedding day and I can tell you that the day did not disappoint. Joe was home for the wedding meaning he was also home for his 20th birthday which also happened to be October 6th. My boys all wore ties and jackets that didn't have Under Armour or Nike labels on them. There were aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents of every age dancing up a storm to Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars. There were gorgeous gowns and beautiful bouquets. There were vows and prayers and blessings. There were drinks and donuts. It was an emotional, magical day and I went to bed that night thanking the Lord for showing such favor on our precious family.

2. Dicker the Kicker

I will start by saying that I never thought I'd live in a universe in which I would type the word "Dicker" on my blog. And yet, here we are.

The young, tiny, baby freshman kicker for the University of Texas Longhorns is Cameron Dicker . . . a guy who will go down in history as "Dicker the Kicker" and also the kid who made all our dreams come true with a last minute winning field goal in the Texas-Oklahoma game on October 6, 2018. I had to listen to the last 3 minutes of the game in the car on the way to the wedding so he's also a boy for whom I prayed as if he were my very own flesh and blood while I gripped my steering wheel so tight my fingers went numb.

And will you please just check him out on the sidelines? That young man had no doubt.

You love him with your whole heart, don't you? You want to make him a grilled cheese sandwich and take him to Dairy Queen for dessert, right? Oh my word. How cute is that kid? And what a hero.

3. Dianna Platform Sandal by Naturalizer

Y'all, I'm just going to be honest with you about my shoe game these days: It's a struggle. I love shoes. I love sandals and boots and sneakers and flats and heels. I want all the stilettos and pointy toes and wedges and straps. But, the truth is that my feet hurt a lot lately because they've held me up for almost 50 years and I find myself wearing my running shoes almost all the time lately. Which is such a bummer. It makes me think I need a fanny pack and a visor, too. I don't know why. It's just a visual I've created in my head.

Anyway, I had to buy some shoes to wear to my niece's wedding and I didn't think my Nikes were going to be appropriate. I was certain that whatever I wore would have to be chucked off mid-way through the reception. But the Lord is good and worthy to be praised because I found these sandals at DSW and they were so comfortable that I didn't even think about my feet the entire night. Ever. Usually at the end of an event like this, I will toss my shoes in the backseat as soon as I get in the car, but I wore these things all the way home, friends. It was yet another reason to celebrate October 6, 2018: the day all my strappy sandal dreams came true.

4. Remember God by Annie F. Downs

Honestly, after such a fun weekend, the week was kind of a letdown. I didn't really feel like doing much so I kind of holed up on my sofa to read. I finished A Place for Us on Sunday. Then I started this book and finished it in a couple of days. Annie F. Downs is one of my favorite authors and speakers. In this book she tackles some really difficult ideas in regard to trusting that God is who He says He is even when life does not at all look like you imagined it would. She asks some really tough questions - the main one being, "Is God always kind?" I loved the fact that this book doesn't shy away from asking hard questions. It doesn't even end with Annie getting everything she asked God for all packaged up beautifully and tied with a bow. It's about being disappointed and mad and sad and still showing up to wrestle with Him because He can take it. It's about choosing to believe in that which we hope for, but cannot see, even while realizing we might not see in this lifetime. I really learned a lot from this one.

5. It's 55 Degrees And It's Time for Plaid

Today the high temperature is going to be 20 degrees less than it was yesterday. Thank the Lord. It's been muggy and hot and disgusting outside most of the week. That means it's time for plaid flannel, jeans and boots and real football season weather. Speaking of, Kyle and I are making a trip to Austin for the Texas vs. West Virginia game in November and I think this Classic Ex Boyfriend Shirt by Madewell might just be the  perfect color combination for cheering on my Horns in person.

I also found this one for much less cash from American Eagle.

The thing is that I don't really need either one of these shirts. I have so many plaid shirts I could clothe a village of lumberjacks. But, I don't have a Texas Longhorn plaid shirt which seems like it might be a significant void in my life. So, just like the blessed Mary I'm going to ponder these shirts things in my heart.

I'm studying the Gospel of Luke right now. I don't know what else to tell you.

I wish you a very blessed weekend with no significant voids, Friends. Have a good one!

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Friday, October 5, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: October 5, 2018

Happy Friday, Friends. 

It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick! 

1. War Room

As I've mentioned before I'm in the middle of a Bible Study based on Priscilla Shirer's book, Discerning the Voice of God. I'm really learning so much from both Priscilla's teaching and from the women in my group. I remembered that Priscilla had starred in the movie, War Room, which I hadn't seen so last week when Steve and Drew were away at a baseball tournament and Kyle was at the Homecoming Game, I decided to rent it.  (It's available on Amazon Prime) To be honest, sometimes the acting in these movies is less than stellar and the dialogue can come off as kind of cheesy, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that this wasn't bad. I loved the message and the idea of creating a War Room. This one is worth your time.

2. Dry Shampoo

I was skeptical about using dry shampoo because as a Texas girl fully committed to the process of creating an appropriate 'do, this seems like an unfair shortcut that couldn't possibly work out. Despite that, I picked up this Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo a month or so ago after reading some really good reviews on it. Turns out that this stuff is really great if you're a busy woman in a hurry and don't have time to deal with the washing, conditioning, moussing/gelling, and blowdrying of your hair. Also, to be honest it's also helpful when all you really have planned for your day is to stay in your house in your pajamas alternating between writing words, wandering around your house trying to think of words, looking for words in the fridge, and asking your dog what another word for "amazing" is. I recommend it.

3. A McDonald's Diet Coke

For many days and nights our community has struggled through the renovation of our McDonald's. It's been difficult, but we know we were never promised a life of ease, so we thank the Lord for sustaining us through this dark time. This week the Promised Land finally reopened. The teenagers whose cars seem to automatically end up there after school everyday are rejoicing with song and praise. And although I generally do not partake in the sophisticated cuisine there, there really is no better Diet Coke in all the land then the one they mix up at McDonald's. This fact is a mystery that we might not understand this side of heaven, but I feel no need to question greatness. When I pulled up to the window with my $1.06 and saw the sweet lady holding my Large Diet with extra ice, it was pretty much exactly like those viral videos of dogs welcoming their owners home who've been away at war. I'm sure it wasn't awkward for her at all.

4. The Berkey Creamery at Penn State University

The Berkey Creamery is a famous institution on the campus of Penn State University where they make their very own ice cream and boast some pretty unique flavors. Joe and I went yesterday and I had the Grilled Stickies flavor. I had never heard of Grilled Stickies in my life until Joe went to school at PSU, but apparently they are famous in State College as well. They are basically a cinnamon roll type of pastry thingy. Anyway the ice cream is cinnamon bun flavored ice cream with pieces of sticky bun dough and cinnamon streusal swirl. I don't think I need to say another word to explain why this made the list this week. Except this: you can order online and they will send you ice cream packed in dry ice and all of your best hopes and dreams for the United States Postal Service will come true even if you never knew you had hopes and dreams about the postal service.

5. This Boy

All of the bedrooms in my house were full last night. I went to get Joe at Penn State yesterday to bring him home for my niece's wedding which we are thrilled and excited to celebrate tomorrow. It will also be this little chubby cheeked boy's 20th birthday. 

This morning I wish I could go back and talk to the scared first time mom I was when this picture was taken.

Hey, Girl. Remember that time he ripped up that Clifford the Big Red Dog book at Pre-School and you got a note saying "we do not destroy property that does not belong to us."? Calm down, sister. That did not, in fact, indicate that he would end up living the life of a destructive vandal like you thought. Or that time when he came home from kindergarten wearing a paper bracelet indicating that he had not turned in his library book? This was not a foretaste of his career in grand larceny. Guess what? Just because you forgot that one time out of the seven million times you've reminded him to say, "Please and Thank you" does not mean he will become an ungrateful, entitled pain in the world's butt. Trust yourself. Trust him. For the love, can you just have a little bit of trust, dummy?

One day he will be 19 and 363 days old. You will pick him up in front of the apartment he lives in without you and that he found without you. He did it on his own and with his friends at school. He was able to call and get the cable hooked up and make his own food and do his own laundry. He met you outside with his bag packed. He did it himself and he didn't even forget his underwear. He will tell you he'll drive and you'll hop out of the car and he'll take you to a new restaurant in his college town. You'll laugh and share videos and talk about football and his friends and his life and his classes. You'll walk the campus with him and grab some ice cream and buy him a Penn State tie for his birthday. He'll pump the gas in the car on the way home and when you can't figure out how to get to the next episode on the Serial podcast you're listening to he'll do it for you without making you feel like a moron.

You will realize that you could not be more proud of the man he is becoming. You could not be more grateful for the way God has guided him. You could not be more in awe of the way he bulldozes toward his dreams with a confidence you yourself had never known at his age. You could not be more comforted by the example he has become that God heard all of your prayers and all of your worries when you were a terrified, confused mom of toddlers and little kids. And you will be reminded that today and in the days ahead you must continue to follow the command in Hebrews 10:23. You must hold unswervingly to the hope that He who promised is faithful. He was faithful those many years ago, He is faithful today, and He will be faithful in all the days to come. 

The Lord will prove His character, His love, and His trustworthiness over and over and over again to you during the years that you watch this boy grow. You will not believe how great the ride will be, girlfriend. You are the luckiest girl in the world.

I wish you a very happy weekend, Friends. Now I have to go because the last time we had a family wedding I did a whole lot of Elanie Benes style dancing with my boys and my nephew and I fully intend to do that this weekend as well. If called upon, it will be my duty to participate in any and all cheesy wedding dances including but not limited to the Electric Slide, the Cha-Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, and if things get really crazy, The Macarena.

Time to stretch and hydrate. My children would appreciate your prayers. Godspeed.

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Life Lately: Writing, Bon Jovi, HoCo and The Word of the Lord

Alrighty then.

I have some other writing I need to do right now and my mind has gone blank on that topic, so I'm just going to recap my life lately for you, dear reader. Grab some caffeine.

It's October which is kinda weird because September was a blur that lasted about a minute and a half. I can barely remember what we did except for something that had to do with back to school, college football, high school basketball, a zillion days of rain, and a lot of baseball cancellations thrown in just to make it seem like real life.

As I mentioned, while I didn't spend much of September writing in this space, I have done quite a bit of writing in other areas. I'm working very slowly on a book proposal and have even gained a gig here or there which I suppose means that I can call myself a freelance writer. This is a job to which I've aspired and which, based on the fact that I have spent a significant number of hours a day in my pjs, with no make up and my dry shampooed hair up in a pony tail, turns out to be just as glamorous as I always dreamed it would be. Also, there's a lot of this:

 Then usually after a little while there's this:

But then inevitably more of this:

Anyway, last week while I was alternating between searching for words in a bag of jalapeno Cheetos and an online thesaurus, my husband was away for a business trip in Las Vegas. He's been on this trip with his company before and we've often kicked around the idea of my accompanying him for some of the social events, but we always decide it will be too much trouble. In any event, usually they have a special night where they get a private concert performed by an artist of some sort - none of whom I have ever cared about before. Key word: Before. As in, previous to this period of time.

I got a call from Steve when he landed in Las Vegas telling me that the rumor was that the concert this year would be Bon Jovi. If you've read here long enough, you know that JBJ and I have a thing. Jon just doesn't know about it. So I sent my beloved this text.

Anyway, the good news was that while he was watching Bon Jovi and spending some time in the sunshine, I was cleaning out closets to cure writer's block, walking my dog in the pouring down rain, and taking my children to the orthodontist. I really wasn't bitter about it at all.

Gratefully, the weekend came and the sun came out. It seemed like all the schools in the land were having Homecoming including ours. Kyle and I were here alone because just as soon as Steve got home he and Drew had to leave for a baseball tournament out of town. When Kyle didn't have Homecoming functions to attend we had some quality time together during which we watched Texas beat Kansas State and ate Chick Fil A because I have found in my almost twenty years of parenting boys that sports and food will generally keep them in your vicinity for a little while. It might even get you a hug and a "Thanks, Ma!".

(Note: Utilize all your tactics, Mamas. An eight piece chicken nugget and waffles fries with extra Chick Fil A sauce is a formidable weapon in the fight against teen apathy and sullenness.)

Later the boy got all dressed up for Homecoming and as usual, we were concerned about the tie tying portion of the evening with no Steve around, so at one point, he came in my room with this situation. He also was wearing his white basketball shoes.

In the end, he decided against the Run DMC look for which I was super grateful. With a little help from a Youtube tutorial he got the tie knotted up perfectly, donned his dress shoes and shades, and went for this look instead.

I mean.

Life with these boys continues to split us in a million directions so I was so grateful for my baseball mom friends who make sure to send me pictures of my catcher and his buddies.

They won the whole darn tournament.

I mean.

Well, I haven't told you what I ate for lunch yesterday or about the time I got my car's oil changed, but I'd say we'd probably better wrap this up, no?

I'll leave you with a thought the Lord has given me this week.

My friends and I continue to live life with teenagers. We continue to bat around ideas and fears and encouragement and laughter over the  feeling that none of us has a clue as to what we're doing. Our own teenage experiences, our culture, and our media all remind us that there are legitimate fears to have as our children go out into the world. I've written about it a few times in the last month, not because I'm dealing with anything terrible in my home right now, but because frankly if we're watching the news cycle we can't get away from it and my mind has a life of its own when presented with "what ifs."

So God saw that and sent me this verse through a wise friend this week.

"And I am certain of this, that He who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6

Stick your kid's name in there in place of the "you". Settle your mind and rest in the good version of the kid that is living in your house at this moment and in the version that God will complete in them. Don't create a version of your child based on what you think might happen next week, could be happening when they are away from you, or should be happening at this point in their lives, statistically based on that news report.

Rest in who they are today. In your home. With you. With their friends. With their coaches and teachers and siblings. Deal with this present moment.

Do you have hard conversations that need to be had? Consequences that need to be dealt with?

Do that when it needs to be done.

When I looked at my kids this week - the version of them that is real and true right now in front of my face? It looked like talking about life and school and friends and hard stuff while eating Chick fil A on the back deck. It looked like watching football and high fives. It looked like texting funny SNL videos back and forth and repeating the funniest lines to each other and asking what he wanted for his 20th (!) birthday this weekend. It looked like quizzing for a Spanish test over chocolate chip waffles and dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire in the car line.

This is the version of the good work God has created right now. This is not denial. This is being ready and willing to teach and give consequences when those occasions arise, but to not dare miss the joy and fun and the relationship to be had with the human being sitting right in front of your face.

Rest in the good work He has created. Rest in the good work He still has to do. Because the Lord is not finished with them yet.

And guess what? He's not finished with us yet either. He's still got work to do. And for me, that's some really good news. And I'm going to trust He'll do it well.

In closing, Glory Hallelujah and thanks be to God.

Friday, September 28, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: September 28, 2018

Happy Friday, Friends. 

It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick! 

1. Jumpsuits for Fall

I'd like to attribute my interest in jumpsuits to my desire to be fashionable and trendy, but if I'm honest it's more my desire to wear clothes that don't involve zipping, buttoning or confining fabric of any sort or kind. Being that lately the first thing I do when I get home is to rip off my jeans as fast as lightening and put on pajama pants, I think we can go with the second point. Last week I ordered two new jumpsuits from Nordstrom with the very good intention of trying them both and sending one back. You know what they say about good intentions, right?

 This Lou and Grey one is so soft it will make you want to cry. I bought the grey one and wore it to lunch with a friend yesterday with a denim cropped jacket and these Adidas tennis shoes. And then I came home and I never took it off. And then about 10:00 last night I ended up having a long conversation with my college boy while I sat on the floor of my closet/bathroom and honestly, after a gloomy, rainy, depressing week, I think it was the happiest day I'd had all week. I guess the happiness mainly had to do with eating chips and spinach/parmesean dip with my dear friend and also with having a good conversation with my son who I'm missing a whole lot. But the fact is that neither my friend, nor my son is for sale, so maybe just go get that jumpsuit because I believe it has the power to make a gloomy week better.

I also ordered this Loveappella Wrap Top jumpsuit in navy and it is equally comfortable and adorable. I might just wear these every single day.

2. A Place For Us

I mentioned this book last week. I'm about 75% of the way through it and I love it. It's the story of a Indian family living in California before and after 9/11. The characters are very well drawn and the descriptive language is lovely. Following the way this family handles existing in two cultures while dealing with the same issues and dynamics that almost every family does regardless of nationality or faith or culture is wonderfully compelling. I highly recommend this beautiful book.

3. Funny Memes on Social Media

I don't need to tell you that social media has been an absolute dumpster fire this week. A big ol' trash heap of arguing and the most disheartening part is that I don't see how this gets better any time soon. In all the replies to replies to replies, I have never once seen someone say, "That's a good point there, Gladys." Not once. Therefore, I stayed away from it for quite a bit this week, but so appreciated some levity and humor from time to time. Dear Facebook: Give me all your throwback photos of squishy babies and sarcastic, funny quotes. Otherwise, Peace Out, Gladys.

4. Trader Joe's Hair Mask

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I haven't actually tried this hair mask yet, but I'm going to go ahead and list it because I have high hopes that it will make all my hair dreams come true. As if the universe has not already completely exceeded the limit of things I can add to my list of  "Beauty Woes of the late 40's Woman", now I feel like my hair is way more damaged and brittle than it ever has been before. This mask only cost $3.99 so I figured it was worth a shot and I'm going to try it this weekend. Shea butter, Coconut oil, Vitamin E? What more could I want? Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

5. High School Hair Regret

Speaking of hair, it's Homecoming weekend here and this had me thinking back to high school days and Homecomings of yore. It occurs to me that we might have some pretty sure fire photographic evidence here of why I am in search of a hair mask to repair the damage of my misguided youth and the regimen of Aussie Scrunch Spray, gel, tiny curling irons, spiral perms, and the pervasive abuse of innocent hair follicles by my friends and me. Please see Exhibits A-D.

God bless us, Texas girls. We knew not what we did. 

Have a great weekend, friends. May your bangs be high and your heart be full.

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to Post might contain other affiliate links as well.

Friday, September 21, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: September 21, 2018

Happy Friday, Friends. 

It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

On Fridays I share things that made me happy from the week - a photo, a song, a quote, a beauty product, a recipe, a pair of cute shoes, etc. If it's a product, sometimes it's something I actually own and sometimes something I just saw online that gave me a smile. Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's silly. I suppose I believe that God is in the simple details of life and yes, I can even find Him in a tube of lipstick! 

1. The Good Place

I had started watching The Good Place last year and then my Ipad ran out of charge, so I gave up for awhile. I'm super lazy like that. Anyway, I watched the 2nd season last week and now I'm fully back in the tank for this show and ready for season 3 to start next week. It gets pretty confusing at the end of Season 1 and you have to power through the first part of Season 2 (please take a moment here to pray that I might find more important life goals to "power through"), but then it gets really thought provoking and it's also pretty darn funny. Bonus: Kristin Bell is a national treasure.

2. This OPI Polish

I first discovered this polish about five years ago when I went to Joe's freshman year Back to School Night and his Journalism teacher was wearing it. I promptly sent her an email that night to ask her what color it was. I know she was super impressed with the high priority I was putting on my son's education. It's called I Have a Herring Problem and it's hard to find, but I found it here and my nail salon usually has it. 

3. Books I'm Reading Intending to Read

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

My very impressive tv watching skills have gotten in the way of my reading time lately, but I did finish Crazy Rich Asians last week and then started this book which got rave reviews all summer. I'm barely into it yet, so I'll have to report later on what I think.

The Wondering Years: How Pop Culture Helped Me Answer Life's Biggest Questions
by Knox McCoy

I've mentioned The PopCast and The Bible Binge podcasts here one or twenty times and both of them are hosted by Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden. This new book by Knox comes out in October and I'm pretty sure there is no chance I'm not going to love the fire out it. If there is one thing I know for sure it is that I will kill it whenever a pop culture category comes up on Jeopardy. I mean, I will go for a true daily double every single time. I pre-ordered this book last night and I can't wait to get it.

Remember God By Annie Downs

Another podcast I listen to all the darn time is Annie F. Downs's That Sounds Fun. I also have her devotional book, 100 Days to Brave, which is a great daily read. Her new book, Remember God, comes out in October as well. I decided I would pre-order it last night also because Annie seems really sweet and fun, and there is no doubt she is doing some really good work for the Lord. That's my kinda girl.

4. Texas 37 - USC 14
Bonus: McConaughey on the Sideline

Matthew McConaughey showed up. Roger Clemons showed up. Vince Young showed up. Mo Bamba showed up and most importantly, MY TEAM SHOWED UP. And we crushed. Also, if you think I relaxed when we were up by more than three touchdowns you would be wrong. I paced until the last second. But then I enjoyed the sweet slumber of a girl who takes arguably too much joy in a blocked field goal run for a touchdown. The boys looked like a whole different team. The Lord makes all things new. Am I right? Bring it on, TCU. 

5. You Get Some Camo! You Get Some Camo! Every.Body.Gets.Some. Camo!

It's everywhere on everything. It cannot be escaped. I am loving wearing my new camo utility shirt that I got from Stitch Fix recently.

Photo from Super S& D Stylist: Lori Fetterman

Stella and Dot has some great bags with camo patterns this season.

JCrew's camo sweatshirt is 40% off today with the code SAVEMORE.

These camo joggers would be perfect with your burnt orange tshirt when you watch the Texas Longhorns win this weekend.

Here's one last thing for a bonus favorite this week which by the way, I had to let the Lord talk me into this morning.

6. What the Gospel of Luke Taught Me About Teenagers

Y'all. Just stay with me here.

This week I read the 40th verse in the 2nd chapter in the gospel of Luke.

"And the boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God's grace was upon him."

First of all, I'm not equating my teens with Jesus. Not even close. Still the Lord used this passage to give me some clarity this week.

Are teenagers maddening and scary and dumb and frustrating? Yes ma'am.

But we still love them so stinkin' much it's stupid. Often times when we are wringing our hands and borrowing grief from a future that has NOT ACTUALLY happened yet we are forgetting what is sitting right in front of us. And what I have found in front of me are kids - both my own and their friends - who are funny and interesting and smart and inspiring and caring and sweet. They are living their lives and figuring stuff out. They are making wildly ridiculous statements that make no sense at all and in the next breath saying something profoundly intelligent. And when that crazy train of parenting teens gets to me, there is one fact that I need to remember. There is only one thing that let's me breathe deeply and settles my soul.

They are God's children FIRST.

He has given them to me for just a time. And He will set their paths straight and He will pick them up when they fall on those paths or veer off those paths into a ditch because He loves them even more than I do. And this does not allow me to shirk my responsibility in parenting, but it does give me a true North to look to when I realize I have no idea what I'm doing. It does give me a chance to just for a moment remember that these children are a gift. A super-weird, confusing gift, but a gift still the same. And it will be His favor, His love, His grace, His mercy that will rest on them all of the days of their lives even when we aren't around to give them all those things.

Will I trust Him? Will I trust that He will give me the right direction in parenting them through this season? That is up to me. I can trust Him or not. It's a choice.

We get to watch these amazingly wonderful, scary lives unfold right in front of us. We get to know them and talk to them and listen to them and laugh at them. Today, I'm going to take just a minute to stop wringing my hands and look at what He has placed in front of me. How blessed are we to get to love these curious beings in such a time as this?

Have a great weekend, Friends. 

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