Another Go

Here I am, once again.  I have such a strong pull to NOT write even though it is in my soul to want to.  Whenever I pray about what to write, I hear:  “Just start writing.”  I cannot tell you how often I ignore the prompting to just open my laptop and write.  Or go old school and get out a pen and paper.  That probably would be better because I tend to waste so much time on Facebook without meaning to.  So once again I’m setting new goals.  One of my problems with my blog was that I didn’t like the look or feel of it and no matter how many things I tried, I couldn’t get it how I liked.  Now, I have found out how to turn my blog into MY blog.  I love it.  It’s important to have an avenue and atmosphere to write in that you enjoy.  Something that brings forth life from your soul.  I have many topics in my head as to what to write about.  The good news is, I’m going to try something new and have themed days to write.  For example, Sundays could be about Children in Mass; Wacky Wednesdays: Random Thoughts, etc.  You get the idea.  The point is to WRITE.  As this week goes on, expect to hear about the goals and dreams Husband and I will be working on the next couple of years.  There are some exciting things to come in the Nutt House!!!!

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I LOVE Chick fil A

There are a million reasons why I love Chick fil A.  From the awesome sandwich to the Polynesian sauce, to the great people that work there.  I have never worked for a greater company, nor will I probably ever again.  I have struggled to voice my thoughts on the controversy surrounding my favorite “quick service’ restaurant.  I have many great friends that work within the company, some that own/operate their own stores.  A dear friend of mine from college has the pleasure of owning a free-standing store in Amarillo.  He is a very devoted husband and father, an amazing man of God and he has been an inspiration in this crazy time.  I have asked his permission to post his thoughts on the issue as a “guest blogger” (my first ever) because he is so eloquently spoken and is living in the heart of the issues.  Who better to hear the scoop from?  Without further ado, I give you Joshua Raef:

I am sick to my stomach at the vitriol being poured out by Christians on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page over our supposed “cave” and our “cowardice”. There are some saying we are only about the almighty dollar.

Let me set a few things straight:

– Most of us have had INCREASED sales since the controversy. We weren’t losing money because of the boycott. So CFA didn’t “cave” because they were losing money.

– Notice that when a company typically “caves” it will give money to the opposite cause. CFA didn’t do that and didn’t say that Dan had changed his mind about the issue.- Chick-fil-A simply clarified its giving, and is not giving to anyone who doesn’t fit their giving profile (things such as education, marriage support, foster care, etc.)

– When CFA gave to Focus on the Family, etc. they gave thinking they were strengthening marriages – they were NOT giving to try to lobby for laws preserving traditional marriage. They have never wanted to be involved in politics.

So Chick-fil-A is simply not giving anymore to controversial groups. What’s so bad about that? What’s so wrong? If you love Focus or Exodus or WHATEVER so much then give to those groups yourself! You’re just as bad as the liberals you decried a month ago for DEMANDING CFA give to certain groups. It’s their money – they can do what the heck they want with it!

And please, Christians, don’t say we’ve given up our values. So you’re going to not eat with us anymore over this? Seriously? Sure, go eat at McDonald’s or Wendy’s or some other faceless corporate giant who doesn’t have the heart CFA does, who doesn’t care about making a positive impact on lives like CFA does, who doesn’t care what is in their food or who they hire and develop like Chick-fil-A does. These places truly do care just about the almighty dollar.

And one more thing, Christians – how do we make a positive impact on society and spread the Gospel if WE ONLY SERVE AND HANG AROUND THOSE THAT BELIEVE EXACTLY AS WE DO?!?! I’ve been told for years by the company that our real value in being a Christian company is showing Jesus’ message through our ACTIONS – great service, being closed on Sunday, pouring our hearts (and profits!) back into our local communities. Then, when people ask us what makes us such a great company, THEN we tell them about our values and the fact that we’re founded on biblical principles. But folks, you can’t do that by alienating half the population through controversial social donations or statements. Remember – Jesus practiced open-table fellowship. He didn’t dine with people like him!!!

I think Chick-fil-A was pitch perfect in their “Who We Are” document outlining their giving and I think they are spot-on for focusing their donations so that we can get back to our core values as a company. I have never been more proud to work for this company and for Dan Cathy’s leadership. Give up our values? Last time I checked our Corporate Purpose was and will always be:

“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive impact on ALL who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” (emphasis mine).

Thank you, Josh, for you words.  Let us all strive to have a POSITIVE impact on all we come across.

Here is the link to “Chick fil A: Who we Are.”

Catholic Homeschooling Mommy

Husband and I have prayed and discerned about home schooling our children.  The more prayer and research we do, the less we want them in public school at all.  The decision is mostly a spiritual one.  We want our kids to have the Faith integrated in everything we do every day.  We are called as parents to be the primary educators of our children and in the Nutt House, we plan to do just that!  Yesterday I realized how serious I was about it when I looked into my purse.  Here’s a list of yesterday’s contents:

1.  “The Confessions of St. Augustine”

2. “Catholic Home Schooling, A Parent’s Handbook”

3. Holy Simplicity Daily Planner

4. A snack cup full of animal crackers

5. Sippy cup

6. one blue hot wheels

7. Two extra pairs of clean panties

8. One disposable diaper

9. Small coin purse containing what my 2 year old calls, “Lippy Lip” (lip gloss and chap stick)

10. A Rosary

11. One bottle of turquoise nail polish

 

Yes, I am a Catholic nerd that has every intention of educating my children.  I also need to clean out my purse.

Dare to Dream!

Husband and I went on a child free vacation to Las Vegas last week.  It was AMAZING!  We created some crazy adventures and imprinted some fun memories in our brains.  We strolled the Strip hand in hand without pushing a stroller, we made lame excuses to the sales people on the streets (something to the effect of “we’re invisible”) and we wore some amazing fake mustaches around the city.  We solved mysteries and saw Beatles’s Love….we lost all the gambling money we took.  I bought some really really really cute shoes. (I could write an entire post on the shoes alone.)  Even with all these experiences and memories, my favorite afternoon was sitting by the pool and listing our dreams together.

Wade has always taken an interest in my dreams.  He has always encouraged me and helped me take steps to accomplish my goals. I had never learned how to express my dreams until he came along.  I have always had dreams and sort of worked towards them, but Wade has shown me how to verbalize them and make progress towards them.   One of the ways he inspires me is by chasing his own dreams.  He always has a full list of projects to work on because he is always chasing and catching his dreams. 

He bought me a book a couple of Christmases ago that I just got around to reading.  It’s called the Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.  A very  motivational book, to say the least.  Kelly expresses that we all have dreams and life does not feel fulfilling unless we are chasing those dreams.  That’s the book in a nutshell.  You should still read it, that wasn’t a spoiler.

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We are all supposed to be Dream Managers of those we love.  It does take some vulnerability and openness to share dreams, but when we start sharing dreams, avenues of greatness are paved.  One of the first questions we should ask people is, “What’s your dream?”  People may not know how to respond at first, but it will at least get the thought process rolling! 

God places dreams on our hearts for us to give life to them.  When we stop chasing dreams, life gets mundane and overwhelming.  We get frustrated and bored and very unhappy. 

I am a very blessed woman to have the love of my life helping me chase my dreams.  We try to revisit our dreams often to keep focused on them…I am usually the one who needs the focusing.  =)  Not only does this build our intimacy, but it gives us goals to pursue together and as unique individuals.  When our children are old enough to dream beyond parks and ice cream my goal is to help foster their dreams into reality as well. 

What’s my dream, you ask?

  • I want to write…which always surprises me that that is on my heart…but when I write…I feel a sense of freedom…my soul starts flying.  And because we have rehashed our dreams in Vegas, I have created a writing schedule and you will see more posts! 
  • I want to go to Ireland someday.  When the kids are older and I can leave them for a month. 
  • I want to write a novel.  The plot is in the making and because of above mentioned writing schedule, I will begin/continue it!
  • I want to save money for something big and I want to take photography classes.  These go hand in hand right now because the first thing I am going to save for is a new camera lens (mine broke) and then take photography classes.
  • I have a few more….once I figure out how to do those fun lists on the side of my blog I will post the entire ongoing Dream list.

So, dare I ask,

  WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?

Martyrdom

Why did he leave out the dishes?  Doesn’t he realize that I had the kitchen clean?  Can’t he learn to do the dishes after he cooks breakfast?  Ugh….why does she have to drag every single toy into the kitchen to be near me?  Can’t she realize that I’ve spent all day cleaning up after her?  Oh, and now the other one needs to nurse again, great.  Like I have time to sit and feed him.

Some days I find my train of thought doing this.  I can be such a martyr.  Poor, poor me getting to stay home and take care of my family.  How dare they actually expect me to do what the Lord has created me to do!!!  I mean, really!

I have been spending a lot of time and reflection with the FlyLady over at flylady.net.  She is a wonderful teacher for those of us that homemaking doesn’t come naturally.  I have learned to take it one step at a time, building small habits that have turned our messy house into a clean, nurturing home.

Of all the lessons the Fly Lady has taught me, letting go of the martyr is the hardest and most rewarding. I’ve driven the previous thought train off of a bridge and decided to conduct another.  It goes more like this:

I am so thankful for a husband that cooks me breakfast after I’ve had a long night with the kids.  God has truly blessed me with such a wonderful man.  I am so glad that Evalyn wants to be near me and help.  And now I get to teach her how to clean up after herself.  What a great life lesson to learn!  Nursing is such a great gift to both David and I…I’m thankful that God has given us a built in time to bond and spend with each other.  Not to mention the awesome weight-loss factor that happens!

Seriously, it may sound overly-cheesy, but I really do replace the negative thoughts with the positive ones and my whole day and outlook on life are so much more joyful.  It’s kind of like Polyanna’s “Glad Game” (a future post).

So instead of being the Negative-Nancy martyr, I am going to strive to be the kind of martyr God intends me to be.  Not necessarily the kind that gets burned at the stake, although if it were to come to that….

Anyway.  I am talking about the kind of martyr that dies to yourself.  Putting others needs before your own and being truly joyful to serve those needs.  That is the kind of martyr we are called to be.

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us that we may be holy warriors of God by putting others needs before our own.  Pray that we have the courage to die to ourselves and let Christ shine bright.  Amen.

 

Eternity

I have a love/hate relationship with being a mother.  It is the best, most wonderful gift God has ever given me.  The fact that it is so wonderful, however, means that there are many difficult things that come with the package.  Nothing wonderful ever comes easy.  One of the hardest parts of it all is to keep focused on the end goal.  What is the end goal?

For my children to love and serve the Lord with all their hearts so that we can all be united for eternity.

This is why parenting is so difficult.  The goal is forgotten quite frequently a midst the daily grind of temper tantrums, runny noses, nap-time battles, and poop.  Lots of poop.  That, and the goal is difficult to fulfill ourselves…there are days that, let’s face it, I don’t even want to be a servant.  I’m too selfish to want to be a servant all the time.

So, God gives us children to help us re-focus ourselves on the ultimate goal, to help us remember what really is important in life, and to sanctify us.  Because, really, even with all this in mind it doesn’t make it any easier, so we must lift up the parts that are really hard and pray they draw us ever closer to the heart of our Savior.

With much prayer and reflection, maybe one day we will attain sainthood along with our children and bring others along with us.  Maybe one day the goal won’t be a back-burner after thought, but a second nature habit we will live by.

Mother Mary, pray for us that we can know your Son’s heart the way you do so we can spread His joy and love throughout the earth.  Pray that we become holy mothers as you are so that we too can be united with our children for eternity.

Ash Wednesday: What’s your call?

Ash Wednesday: it’s approaching at a rapid pace.  And I just realized that Lent is going to kick my butt this year.  Truthfully, I will gladly let it.  I miss being deeply rooted in my faith….it’s seems like my prayer life has up and walked away from me.  The sad thing is that I haven’t fought very hard to keep it alive.  Well, Jesus is calling my name….and I am really resisting what He’s calling me to do for Lent this year.

I have always dreaded contemplating His Passion…it just hurts way too much.  When I truly reflect and enter in to what Jesus did for us, my heart and soul hurt.  So, usually I find excuses to not think about it.  I like to skip over the Sorrowful Mysteries when I pray the Rosary, I like to breeze through Lent without going to the Stations.  Well, this year it is on my heart to attend every single Station of the Cross on Fridays this year.  Plus, I will start Lent by watching the Passion of Christ on Ash Wednesday.

I am not looking forward to this while looking forward to it at the same time.  Hopefully it will draw me closer to my Savior.  I believe it may also draw me closer to the heart of His mother.  I invite all of you, Catholic and non-Catholic to enter this meditation with me as we prepare our hearts for Jesus.  Remember, we can’t have the Resurrection without the Cross.