Snow Day in Texas

I’m supposed to be teaching today, but we had a “bad weather” day (aka “snow day”/ice day).

Let me back up…..about 2 weeks ago I decided I wanted to go to Illinois sometime soon to visit my “camp family” and see my friends from CCC. I also really miss cold weather/snow, so I was hoping to see snow again ( I haven’t seen it since we left Illinois two years ago).

Well, I got my wish, early….and in Texas.

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Our “palm tree” leaves outside our front door…..

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The grass near our front door

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Our car

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Me by the leaves. Yes, I’m barefoot; it wasn’t that cold (only 25)!

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Our back porch….

So, no school today. It’s not because of the snow; it’s because of the ice. People in Texas have no idea how to drive in these conditions, and I feel we are much safer INSIDE, than outside on the road. But, no worries. Our high tomorrow is 62!

The bummer of it all, though, was that I was still awake at 6:45AM this morning!!! So, it’s naptime for me!

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Justification

In February of 2013 I wrote this blog:

I wrote it to whomever reads this blog….and to myself. It was a challenge, and I failed MISERABLY!! Here’s an excerpt from that blog that I wrote:

“I struggle with the idea of saying NO because I want to honor that relationship that I have created (built) with that particular individual, and I’m scared that they will think less of me, if I say NO.

But, serving another in need should come from a free choice, not out of duty or coercion. When serving no longer is a free choice, it creates exhaustion, resentment, and in reality, a relationship is damaged because love is not part of the equation anymore. It has been replaced with coercion and guilt.”

I wanted to learn how to say NO this year…..and I did, but not without cost.

If you know anything about our personal life you know that, for me, 2013 was a H-A-R-D year: emotionally, spiritually, in ministry, in marriage, in friendships….I spent a majority of the year trying to justify my actions (both good and bad-depending on the judge), whether it was to Paul, to people at church, to my friends, but most of all, to myself. If I could just justify why I did (or didn’t) do something, then I thought it would make everything right. It made for a very emotionally exhausting year, 300+ days of trying to “right the wrong” or “explain myself.”

I’m hoping (and praying) 2014 will be better. More free-ing. And, this year, despite my complete FAILURE last year, I’m going to learn how to say NO and that’s it–no explanation needed. (Keep reading for further explanation)….

Along with the idea of service, is the idea of justification. For many people (myself included), if we do decide to say “no” or make a particular decision, we feel the only way to accept our own decision that we just made is to justify it. We second guess ourselves….we questions ourselves….we talk ourselves out of it…..we talk ourselves into it….it’s a constant stress circle that can certainly heighten coercion and guilt, as mentioned above.

Here’s some words of wisdom:

Stop trying to explain yourself….to yourself. You’ll drive yourself crazy!!

And stop trying to justify your actions to anyone!

Besides….

“What other people think of me is none of my business.” -Wayne Dyer

As I said in this post, I am a “people-pleaser”—it’s true. I hate, more than anything, to make someone upset with me or with a “situation” that I might’ve caused/created. I want to please others. I want to be liked. I want the praise.

I have lived most of my life concerned about what people think and try to give explanation for those feelings.

Here’s an example:

{We lived in Illinois for 3 years, 2009-2012. During that time I made certain “friends” on FB because we went to Jazzercise together. Well, about 6-8 months after we moved to Texas (mid-summer 2012) I “cleaned” my friends list on FB, unfriending some of those from Jazzercise. Well, it turns out, this other girl who I was still “friends” with unfriended me right after that (which I didn’t even notice).

Then, about 6 months later, in January of 2013, she messaged me and said, “I hope we can be FB friends again. I’m sorry I unfriended you before. I was just hurt that you unfriended _____and _______ right after you moved….Hope all is well, ________.

My response: “_______, Please understand I had no intentions of hurting anyone’s feelings (yours, _____, or ______)….. I think each of us have certain “chapters” in our lives where we live, work, play and when we move, that “chapter” is over. Our local Jazzercise program was part of the chapter of my life in Illinois but not here. So…..it was not personal at all (towards you, ____, or ______)–it was just that I guess I thought I was really (just) “friends” with them on FB because of Jazzercise….. Anyway, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I did not mean to at all. And yes, it’s fine.}

(I know that was a really long, boring story, but the point is…..)

I had to justify why I unfriended someone on Facebook. Really?!! I just felt like I was a teenager again, trying to make-up with my friend, after a fight. Hello! I’m 33 years old; I think I’m old enough to be able to make decisions without having to justify my reasons. (and, I still stick by my reason—it hasn’t changed).

I just made another big decision this past week (at least it’s a big decision for me, in my life).

I quit the Children’s Committee at church. (gasp)!

Yes, I quit. Mid-year. Just quit….but let me tell you, this was NOT an easy decision. I have been thinking about it, talking about it, praying about it, JUSTIFYING it, since November.

In November I wrote this e-mail to a friend….

“….I am going to quit the Children’s Committee (a volunteer position that I’ve had and I’ve been ‘in charge of’ for the past year and a half). Paul and I both agree that this is what is best for me (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY for our marriage) but I am so nervous that I won’t be able to handle it–NOT being on the committee. I have a VERY STRONG personality when it comes to wanting to be in control and in charge….which is what some of the problem is of me being on the Children’s Committee because I do everything-pretty much by myself, without help. Anyway, could you pray for me? I know it’s the best decision for our marriage and our ministry together but it’s hard….and the hard thing is do I give up EVERYTHING I do or just being on the committee?)

This was written on November 23rd, and I just quit this past Thursday, the 9th of JANUARY!! It took me 6 1/2 weeks to quit. I spent 6 1/2 weeks talking myself out of it, talking myself BACK into it, reasoning why it was a good idea, reasoning why it was a bad idea, etc. I went AROUND AND AROUND by myself, with Paul, with friends, with GOD, praying, talking, crying, etc. and finally I just DID IT! But, I’m still justifying it, and it’s so hard….

As Christians who WANT to serve and DESIRE to serve, we often try to make appearances to the people around us. (We pretend and we wear a mask, disguising the fact that our ministry for the Kingdom is suffering). We are also faced with many decisions that can result in people judging us or having influence on our choices. It’s very easy to sometimes not make your own choice, and instead do what others want you to do allowing yourself to not be confident with your own decisions and cultivating an unhappy lifestyle. (BINGO)!!

So, because I FAILED MISERABLY with the idea of saying NO last year, maybe this year I’ll work on not worrying about justification or explanation along with being OK with saying NO.

Here’s what I think:

  • People who explain things often spend too much time waiting for approval from others or gaining enough permission to make his or her choices. (that’s me, that’s me)!!…..Since that person does not have the confidence to stick by their own choices, they end up having other people guiding their lives. This can result in missed opportunities, a lack of independent actions and unhappiness.
  • You have to trust yourself and stop finding the need to justify your actions and decisions to others. (Remember: “What other people think of me is none of my business.” -Wayne Dyer)
  • Learn to accept that people will see you for both your strengths and weaknesses and that is fine.
  • We often feel the need to justify our feelings, like everyone outside is watching and forming judgments. The truth is they often are.

But, Romans 14:10-14 (The Message) states, “So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

‘As I live and breathe,’ God says,
every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
    that I and only I am God.’

So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.
Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.”
So, let’s do each other a favor and stop “questioning” one another, and instead, rejoice with one another, blessing each other in service and in love.
And, to end here’s another exrcept from the blog earlier this year….

When I’m asked to take on another responsibility (whether it’s a one-time thing or a new role in life) I have (slowly) learned to ask myself:

  • Is this of God?
  • Do I have the time and the resources?
  • Am I doing this out of love or guilt?

If by all means you feel like it’s the Holy Spirit and you are entering into it with gladness, then SERVE!

But, if not, then simply say NO.

There is freedom in that word.

(This is a good reminder as we start 2014)….

Year in Review

Because I was gone for six days (between Christmas and New Year’s) I missed my opportunity to do a “Year in Review” before we rolled over to 2014.

So….it’s a little bit late. Here are the highlights for 2013:

January:

I got a ticket: 😦

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I also wrote a couple of good posts: here and here.

February:

I wrote quite a few posts during the month of February that I’m proud of: here, here, here, and here.

March:

I am proud of my husband here.

April:

I wrote this blog post.

This was my FAVORITE month–I got to go to Illinois!!! (Where my heart lives)!!! 🙂

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Andi and me

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Jeremiah and me

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Paige and me

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Rebecca, Andi, Hannah, and me

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Jeremiah

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Shannon and me

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getting pedicures with Ember and Shannon

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Ethan

DSCF4762Jacob, Rebecca, Andi, Hannah, and Ethan

I am SO READY to go back!!!

May:

I wrote a few blog posts that I love: here, here, and here.

We spent a lot of time lovin’ on kids at church….

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Brooklyn, Mason, Heath, and Walker

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Walker and Mason

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Heath and me

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Brae and me

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We also went to San Antonio for Alika’s graduation from Basic Training in the Air Force:

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Me, Alika, and Paul

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June:

My life was CONSUMED with Vacation Bible School!!!! There’s no way I can recap that–trust me, it was fun, rewarding, exhausting, and worth it!

We also went to Youth Camp: here, here, and here.

July:

My other favorite month of the year (besides APRIL)!! We went on Mission Trip–

We met life-long friends (Kris and Heidi) and I got to Jamie and his family….

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Emilie, Lauren, and Morgan

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Jasmine and Macie

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Paul and Aubrey

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Paul and Aubrey

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our group from FBC Giddings

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Heidi and me

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Paul, me, Heidi, and Kris

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Stephen, Teddy, Elizabeth, Jamie, Chris, and me

Oh, we also moved in July….directly after getting back from Mission Trip and before going to Pre-Teen Camp:

August:

We started August (ended July) going to Pre-Teen Camp

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Paul and me

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Paul, Lindsey, Victoria, Catherine, and Taylor

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Victoria and me

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Lindsey, Taylor, Victoria, and Savannah

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Right after Pre-Teen Camp, I turned around and went to Children’s Camp.

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Luke

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Sierra

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Hanna and Ellie

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(August was a hard month for me, in regards to ministry at the camp–Children’s Camp was terrible for me and I really struggled in ministry during that month)….

August was also my birthday! We went to San Antonio for a little “mini vacay”

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September:

I wrote a couple of good blog posts:here and here

We went to a Baylor football game with Heidi, Kris, and Aubrey. They beat Buffalo, 70+ to 13, I think. It was also 110+ degrees outside!

We also immersed ourselves in all things football: Middle School football, Freshmen football, and Varsity football…..

October:

One of my favorite posts:

We had National (Texas) Night Out at church and Fall Festival (another rough month of ministry for me). The Children’s Committee ALL work full-time, everyday, so it was up to me (and Paul) to do the entire Fall Festival by myself….it was hard and not something I look forward to again.

November:

November was a SLOW month in “bloggy world” because I only wrote ONE POST!! I can’t believe it…..but, here it is:

December:

Between November and December, I spent a lot of time going to Waco….4 times in a one month period, to be exact

Thanksgiving was so late that those pictures ended up in December….

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Loved seeing the Derrick’s, as always! 🙂

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The original Tanner 5: Donna, Susan, Paul, David, and Mike

IMG_20131129_105239Paul cleaned out his old room–never know what you’ll find! 🙂

I worked twice at Lights of Tej*as

serving dinner with Lillie and Lindsay

serving dinner with Lillie and Lindsay

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Paul and me

We had our annual Christmas hayride and then went to San Antonio for a mini-vacation, just the two of us! 🙂

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"Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas"

“Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas”

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“Holiday Show”

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The Majesty of Christmas

in front of Christmas Trees at Santa's castle

in front of Christmas Trees at Santa’s castle

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in front of the Christmas tree

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San Antonio Zoo

Then, Christmas with the Fam came…..

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Paul and me

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Leslie, Marcy, and me

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Scott, Leslie, Marcy, me, and Paul

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Dad, Leslie, Mom, me, and Marcy

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Leslie, me, and Marcy

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The whole Hubbard clan–missing 3

2013 was kind of a rough year for me, in ministry and in marriage. We laughed a lot, we learned a lot, we (I) cried a lot, we prayed a lot, we cared a lot, we fought a lot, but, we survived and came out better on the other side!

Here’s to 2014!!

 

 

 

Christmas with the Fam 2013

Well, we survived Christmas…..I’ve been gone 6 days (Paul was only gone 1), so I’m just now “catching up” despite 2013 being over….

This post is just full of pictures…..

On Friday (the 27th) we drove to Waco to my parent’s house. Marcy and 2 of her kids, along with Leslie, Scott, and their 2 kids were there.

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Grady’s favorite thing at Grandmama’s house is the hammock. It was not “out” but he got it out of the storage closet and put it up himself!CAM02235

Mom and Dad under the tree…..

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Playing a little “Gin Rummy”

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Drake, Kainoa, Kainani, and Grady (4 out of the 5 grankids–Alika is missing)

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Scott, Leslie, Marcy, me, and Paul (we’re missing Jeff)

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Drake, Scott, Grady, Leslie, Kainani, Marcy, me, Kainoa, and Paul (we’re missing Jeff and Alika)

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Leslie, Marcy, Kainani, and me (all the girls)

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Paul and me-Christmas 2013

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Santa stuffed our stockings full (at mom’s house) so we were all digging through stockings–chapstick, pens, almonds, klennex, Starbucks gift card–very important gifts as an adult!

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All playing Ticket to Ride (we played 3 times)!!

While the “bigs” were playing Ticket to Ride, the 2nd cousins were all together: playing outside, watching movies, building forts…

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Along with my sister’s and their families, my aunt/uncle were there (in Waco) as well as my cousin and his two kids.

Paul, Dustin, and me

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Paul and Dustin (being cool)

Random thing….while we were at Mom’s house Kainani found a tree bark that was shaped just like Texas!

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On Saturday Paul drove back to Giddings and I went to East Texas with  my parents and the rest of the crew…..in total, on Saturday, I think we had about 30 people there at Tom and Charlene’s house….

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Kainani riding the horse, Ace. (She LOVES horses)!

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Meagan (Carla’s oldest), she’s 12.

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Judson, Dustin, and me–all talking

IMG_1824Some of the “grandkids”/2nd cousins–Stephanie (13), Drake (14), Kainani (14), Kainoa (16), Grady (9), and Ryan (16)

One of the crazy things we do when we all get together in East Texas is take pictures outside. It’s wild and crazy with too many chiefs (and not enough Indians) telling everyone else what to do…..the best thing you can do is to keep your mouth closed, stand where you’re supposed to stand and smile when they say “1,2,3” 🙂

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Our family–minus 3 (Jeff, Alika, and Paul were missing)

Dad, Mom, Leslie, Grady, Scott, Drake, Kainoa, Marcy, Kainani, and me

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The original Hubbard Five-Dad, Leslie, Mom, me, and Marcy

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The 3 Hubbard girls–this one is my favorite! Leslie put this one on FB, and many of her friends thought Marcy and Leslie could be twins! (Apparently, I’m the “adopted” one)!

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Mom and Dad with 4 out of their 5 grandkids (Alika is missing)

Kainani, Mom, Kainoa, Drake, Grady, and Dad

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Ryan, Stephanie, and Dustin Hitt

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Uncle Johnnie, Aunt Ila, Ryan, Stephanie, and Dustin Hitt

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The original Hubbard cousins (7 of us all together)

Marcy, Dustin, Leslie, Carla, Judson, me, and Tom

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Cousins with their spouses or significant others

Mike, Carla, Marcy (missing Jeff), Dustin, Scott, Leslie, me (missing Paul), Judson, Mica, Tom, and Julie

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All the “grandkids”/2nd cousins (missing Alika)

Drake, Stephanie, Jonah, Michelle, Kainoa, Clayton, Hannah, Meagan, Clint, Kainani, Grady, and Ryan

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The “outlaws” Mom, Johnnie, and Charlene

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Dad, Mom, Johnnie, Ila, Charlene, Tom

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The original Hubbard 3-Dad, Ila, and Tom

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The Hubbard’s

The Coffee’s, The Hubbard’s, Tom/Charlene, and The Hubbard’s

IMG_1856The whole Hubbard “clan” (minus 3–Paul, Alika, and Jeff)

While we were there the Drake became “countrified” and got “gently used” cowboy boots from Judson, and then Judson bought him a pair of Wranglers and a shirt….

IMG_14139221548667Looked good in East Texas, but I’m not sure Michigan can handle it!

(On a side note, my mom made this blanket for Drake for Christmas)!

IMG_18408499747090If you remember, Paul cleaned out his old room at Thanksgiving. Well, his brother, David, was a big UT fan so he had a bunch of old Texas t-shirts in his room. So, I took them, gave them to mom, and she made Drake a t-shirt blanket! He loved it (and Paul’s dad was super impressed)!

I came back to Waco on Monday with Mom and Dad. On Monday night we went to the Baylor Boy’s basketball game. It was pretty empty (with “open seating”) because everyone was in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl.

IMG_20131230_181425Mom’s first “selfie” with me….

Still being apart from Paul (:() I spent New Year’s Eve watching the Texas game, painting my nails by the fire….

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New Year’s Day Dad made black-eyed pea soup (that was REALLY good)!!

CAM02261On New Year’s Day night Marcy (with Jeff) and their kids came BACK to Waco to stay until Saturday. I, however, left yesterday to come home. Six days was enough for me!!

Now, I’m home….starting at a Christmas decorations that need to be put away and a duplex that needs to be cleaned!

Happy New Year!!