I cannot even begin to describe the busyness of the last few weeks (I just spelled that "business" and then had to do a double take) but I can't complain because I know every person in the world is just as busy as I, just in different ways. Plus, my busyness probably involves way more fun things than you so I'm really not going to complain!! This last week was one of the most hectic weeks I've had in a long time, though. June 24 and 25 we were hosting our first ladies retreat at church. Because I was the one that pushed for us to do it this year, I became one of the ones in charge of the whole thing, as well as a special singer and speaker. But I really, really, felt it was important for us to do it so I am incredibly happy I was able to be a part of it. The last couple of months have been filled with several late-night meetings between me, Cindy, and Peggy, but I really enjoyed having that girl time with them - even with all the kids there at times! Leila and Jennifer came into town so that Leila could babysit while Jennifer and I ventured out to the retreat.
But first, we had other pressing matters. Last Thursday was Hunter's 9-month doctor's appointment (he was actually 9 months old today, I just realized) and he was stellar. He was 18 pounds, one ounce and 27 inches or something like that. I can't remember now. I have no clue what Bri was at that age, although I know I have that information somewhere and I know she was a lot smaller! Jennifer (my sister-in-law, not my sister) went with me to that doctor's appointment and got a taste of what it's like to go to the doctor's office with two kids. Brianna is absolutely no problem, except as we were leaving she started yelling that she had to go to the bathroom, and.... well, when you gotta go, you gotta go! I'm glad that she told me she had to go, but my goodness, it was such a drama! Hunter cried when he was being weighed and measured, but not for anything else. So in general it was a very straight-forward, unspectacular trip in my book, but for an 18-year-old who swears she is never going to have children, I think it was a bit tiring. Well, Jenn, if you thought at that point you didn't want children...
The very next thing we did was meet up with some friends for Chick Fil-A! But not just any friends, oh no, friends with lots of children! Mwahaha! All in all it was myself, Brianna, Hunter, Jennifer (SIL), Jennifer (sister), Claire, Evan, Carrie, Riley, Baby Boy In Utero, Brooke, and Anna In Utero. So five kids two and younger and two more babies on the way! By the time we left I think Jenn was ready for a hysterectomy. Hahaha!
Friday night was our Praise & Worship night of the retreat. It was from about 7pm to 10pm. We had some special singing and testimonies. Two of my amazing, incredible friends, Lora and Meagan each gave their testimony and it was absolutely mind blowing. Then we had guest speaker named Alicia who told us of a story that happened to her last May and there were a couple of times that I was so entranced in her story that I literally was getting lightheaded and realized I was listening so intently that I had forgotten to breathe. Seriously. I am not trying to take anything at all away from her story, but the short version is that her son (5 years old at the time) fell over 20+ feet down an elevator shaft, only to have the elevator go down on top of him after that. He was pulled free and airlifted to the hospital, where he died three times. He was transported to different childrens hospitals, and now here is the good part - every time they transferred locations and did new Xrays, they kept finding out that his body was healing itself. For example, when he was pulled from the elevator shaft his arm had obviously dislocated, as it was hanging on his back in a way that is just not possible when your shoulder is located correctly. When he arrived to the first location, there was no shoulder injury whatsoever. Things like that kept happening to this little boy, and within 24 hours of the Facebook page being started for him for prayers, there were about 5000 followers. Five days after that he was home from the hospital. They showed pictures and everything and it was so heart-wrenching. But the funniest part of the story is that she went on to talk about how she felt the need to start Matt 6, which is a local organization (well, Lee County) which formed to help tornado victims in April. Matt 6 is the group that we did all of our donations through. Isn't that so funny? I love how God works, and I love how small a world this really is!
Saturday we had special singing and classes from 9-4. Our first speaker was so awesome. Her name is Audrey and she talked about our purpose in God, and how we can glorify God in everything we do. Her talk was really on James 1:22 which speaks about being doers of the word and not just hearers, which is such a huge problem for us all, let's face it. She talked about ways that we can glorify God in everyday things. Like at work - are you working for your boss or are you working for God? I mean, I would definitely work harder if God was sitting next to me than any boss I've had. When you choose not to do something that you know you aren't supposed to do, that is glorifying God. Honoring your marriage vows glorifies God. Honoring your other relationships glorifies him. The list goes on. And one thing she said really struck me, she said, Do not let your heart get crowded. That is huge for me, because I am always running, running. I have to actually schedule my devotional time into my day because otherwise I would push it off or forget about it. That's just how I am. But I've got to make sure that my heart and mind aren't so crowded that I don't have time to absorb things that God's trying to teach me.
We had another awesome woman, Virginia, who has been a missionary for 40 years to Brazil. She was such an amazing speaker and she had such a wonderful personality! She showed us all kinds of things from Brazil and told stories that made all of us just sit on the edge of our seats! When she was done we wanted to hear more stories, that's for sure. She made me want even more to go to the mission field. (So far, my husband hasn't agreed to this...)
Cindy spoke on anxiety and depression. It was really great to hear something spoken about that I knew probably affected a lot of women in the room. Cindy is the perfect person to speak on that because she is frank, and she is unapologetic for speaking the truth, and she brings humor to it all! Although next time I will remember not to be best friends with one of the speakers because she kept using me as an example...
I spoke on finances and tried to add scripture in my talk, but also real-life applications. I asked everyone to write down things that concerned them about their finances and it made me just feel so awful and yet relieved to know we are all in the same boat! Everyone was worried about something, whether it was credit card bills, a low savings account, hospital bills, college tuition, or retirement, among other things. I hope some of the things I said were really able to help people.
Among everything else I am still working one day a week at my friend Allison's store, Classy Paci. We are getting ready to change locations so she is so scattered I know. I love working out there because it gets us into a change of scenery and the kids have a ball! It also gives her extra time with her children that she wouldn't get otherwise.
Brianna and Hunter have always played well together but they are just so much fun to watch now that Hunter is able to do more things. He has been pulling up for quite a while and will walk while holding onto things, so he will pop up at her when she's sitting on the couch, for example, and they will both howl with laughter. I absolutely have fallen in love with this age difference, and I am very sad to think that I was pregnant with Hunter when Brianna was his age, and I am definitely not pregnant right now, and according to Stephen, we have no immediate plans for pregnancy. Haha!! But I do have a handsome young nephew who will be born very very soon, so hopefully I can kidnap him enough to take away some of this baby fever!
Okay, this has become long enough! I will upload videos and pictures soon too!