Saturday, March 4, 2017

I miss writing.

Sometimes you finish off large bags of peanut m&m's because you're so glad a long, tiring, allergy -ridden day of fighting with your preschooler for good behavior is over. Sometimes you wish you had something inspiring to write because you love writing but your friends do it so much more consistently and better than you. Sometimes you don't write much, and you go to bed instead because in your family, being mom means your hands are always full of babies and spatulas and crayons and laundry (and coffee cups), and the words you wish you could write about so many different important things get composed in your head and forgotten before you have two hands to type them.

I wrote this with my thumb.

Right now I'll go sleep and say a prayer of thanks for this season of babies and learning to use my two hands to make my house a home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


In my last post I shared with you how God breaks my heart for the vulnerable.  Well, here's the real story of the hurt ISIS is bringing to women, children, and families in Iraq - but there's something we all can do about it.  

We can pray. 

And we can give.  

Here's the link to a firsthand account of how ISIS is murdering, trafficking, and torturing the families and young girls in Iraq, and at the end of the article, there is a link to an organization that is tangibly helping these families get back on their feet and survive. 

The following verses were pressed into my heart and mind last spring when I was struggling to share myself - my heart, my effort, my time- with my students once I came back from maternity leave.  God showed me then that we are called to give sacrificially out of the comforts He provides, to spread His love and His glory and His comfort. Please join me in loving these broken brothers and sisters in Iraq. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in  Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

2 Corinthians 8:1-5, 8-9

1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 9:8-12

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies a seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When my heart hurts too much.

Our world is terribly, horribly, sadly, broken. When I see pictures of burned and dying tiny children after terror attacks, or hear of babies martyred by ISIS, or kids and teens and young people sold into sexual slavery, or the vulnerable in our world being hurt- beaten, abused, starved, ridiculed, tortured, neglected- by people who should be protecting and loving them- when I hear and see these things, I don't know how to deal with it. It breaks and hurts me so deeply in my tender, young, mother's heart, that I actually struggle to breathe through the pain.  And I'm just thinking about these others' hurt.  I've always been sensitive to others, but after having a baby of my own, every hurting baby, child, youth, and young adult is my own daughter.  And I sob over them.  

For awhile, when I first became overwhelmed with these emotions, I tried to hide from them.  I refused to visit Facebook or news sites when the stories of ISIS murdering children began to circulate. I avoided looking at or clicking on any links related to ISIS. I felt paralyzed by fear and pain and helplessness and hurt. I couldn't stand to read these sad, sad things, when I could do little to nothing to help them.

Then one day, my husband asks, "What would you really ask a genie for, if it was real, and you got one wish?" And I thought for maybe 0.00000001 milliseconds.  If you don't teach 5th grade math, that's a reeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly small fraction of one second.

"I'd ask it to place a magical charm of protection against all children, youth, or vulnerable, weak people, to protect them from physical, sexual, mental, psychological, or spiritual harm." 

Tyler stated that he thought he'd ask the genie not to ever give any more wishes, since if a genie truly existed in our world, it'd be altering reality with a power outside of God's, which would make it demonic in nature.  And that, friends, is not the tip of the iceberg on how analytical Mr. Tyler P. Entrekin can be. 

But it got me thinking, why don't I ask God more fervently to use His power on behalf of these little ones and hurting ones?

So now, I'm trying not to shy away from the stories of the hurting.  I'm trying to be brave, and allow myself to hear, see, and experience the pain of others.  If God gave me the gift of compassion, I should not hide from feeling.  And then, I'm praying. 

I'm praying for God to protect the children who are in abusive homes, the children who are sold into slavery, the children who have no home, the children who are hurt, beaten, starving, and unloved. The children who are struggling, and depressed, and downtrodden, and scared, and helpless. I'm praying for Him to right wrongs that I am nowhere physically near to, but that I itch to fix.  I'm begging Him to stay the hands of those who are so sick and so far gone into the black of sin that they can hurt children.  I'm pleading that He be the Protector, the Father, the Provider, the Safety, the Healing, the Love, the Comfort, for the young and frail ones in this world who need Him.  And I'm clinging to the promises that He hears my prayers, and that He listens when we ask in His name.  

Romans 12: 6, 8, 21
“6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them... the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

John 15:7
“7 If  you abide in me, and my words abide in you,  ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”

Excerpt From: Crossway. “ESV Classic Reference Bible.” Crossway. iBooks. 
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Opening up

Some people feel comfortable sharing their feelings and thoughts with others- they fill up their blog with post after post full of musings and emotions. They write songs about their deepest spiritual encounters and struggles. Not me. As I put it to a friend recently, "I communicate like a dude." (No offense to men. I respect men. Even stereotypical ones.) I'm completely dense and clueless to body language and other context clues. I prefer to keep my feelings close to my chest. And when I do open up, I usually have a hard time finding the right words- stuttering and "ummmm..." -ing,  trying to identify what that feeling is.  I feel awkward with cheesy cutesy lovey dovey stuff, because it's so VERBAL, and I'm so NOT.

I wasn't always this dude-ish; I think somewhere in the past few years, I've let a natural shyness and awkwardness overwhelm me.  I use to overcome my shyness and awkwardness with my creativity.  As life's gotten busier, and friend circles smaller, I feel like I've let my timidity fall over me like a veil, and I've been hiding behind it.  The longer I hide, the harder it is to force my way out. 

So today, I'm peeking out. Lifting the curtain a little. Practicing using words to express myself.  Committing to get on my little blog more often and think out loud.  

For now, that's the biggest thought I want to share. I'm saving all the other good ideas I have on a sticky note, so the next few times I make myself open up blogger, I'll have stuff to talk about. ;) This time, I'll share a few links below of more "wordy" individuals who've inspired me lately.  Enjoy. 

This lady is a courageous fighter for a cause that's heavy on my heart.  We need more people paying attention to and helping fight the sex trade. 

I love how this woman found inspiration and comfort in Christ's servitude.  I've never thought of my role as a woman in that light before. 

This article really got to me. I've been much more conscious of keeping a calm demeanor around my one year old, and trying not to lose it when a situation is frustrating. Of course, today, I had to shriek unintelligibly and stomp my feet because I couldn't get the freaking power drill to work for me. Need. More. Arm. Strength. But at least I'm trying. And Corrie Beth gave me a hug after I screamed, which was really sweet and encouraging! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mommy hands

In honor of my mom, and my own motherhood, and how motherhood makes me so busy I haven't thought about this blog in over a year.

Mommy Hands

     One of my favorite memories of childhood is having my parents tuck me into bed.  They would calm my busy, worried, energetic spirit by singing to me while gently, lightly stroking my face, arms, or hair with their fingertips. When my mom would do this, I loved the tickle of her rough, dry, fingertips along my arms. I know that she lamented her dry, peeling hands- and still does- since she constantly uses hand therapy treatments in attempts to soften them.  But to me, her touch was soothing and perfect, dry hands and all.  As a young girl, I remember wishing that one day, I would have what I thought of as "mommy hands."  I think to me, that would somehow mean I had become like my mom, and managed to emulate one of my biggest heroes in real life.

     This year, God blessed me with a daughter.  She has, predictably, changed my world in so many ways, and opened my eyes to many "secrets" of mommyhood's ups and downs, bringing me closer to my mom than I've been in many years.  And as God has been working in my heart lately, He's shown me how to be a better mom, wife, and homemaker, serving my family with diligence and hard work, trusting God for energy in long, weary days, and developing a humble, servant spirit that does dishes and laundry ceaselessly without complaining (at least not too much). As I go from diaper change to stain treatments to laundry to dishes to cooking to diaper change again, I wash my hands many, many times.  And as I fight to slowly develop these worthy habits of wash and work, my fingertips have slowly chapped and peeled, until one day this past week, I looked down and realized -- I have "mommy hands." And I realize now more than ever just how much work, loads and loads (laundry loads, dish loads, trash loads, sweeping and scrubbing and dusting loads) of work my mom did to earn those hands.  I can never fully thank Mom for the hours of service she has poured out for our family over the years, but I realize now how incredible she is, to work a part time job, keep a (remarkably) immaculate house, homeschool three kids, feed us healthy food, and still have energy to gently, sweetly, stroke my arms until I fell asleep at night.  She never complained about being overworked, but I know she must have been, and yet she always had smiles, hugs, and love for each of us.  

     Mom, you have always inspired me, now more than ever when I am starting my own family and realizing how much you have given to yours.  Thank you for your mommy hands, for everything that made them dry, and for the love that made them gentle. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Updates and blessings

Today I thought I'd write a little update post... It's raining and thundering, and I have a whole day at home. I love rainy days at home. In high school, I would curl up with a blanket, a gothic novel, and a cappuccino, and read by a window in the kitchen. Today I hope to be a little more productive than that, but I still intend to listen to an audio novel (I'm reading Anna Karenina, which is fantastic), and drink lots of coffee, because coffee I feel like coffee warms you up straight to the bones on a wet January day.

God has blessed me with the perfect job recently! After nearly two months of freaking out about finding a job, and about one month of glorying in housewifery and not wanting to go back to work, God gave me a job at the Bailey APAC school in Jackson. It's a fine arts and academics public school, that the kids have to apply for, and I'll be teaching 6th grade language arts. I know this is the perfect mission field for me, and I'm actually excited about going back to work. My principal and assistant principals seem like very dedicated, open, godly ladies, and my co-workers were so kind and welcoming when I met them. I'm so excited! It's only a 20 minute drive down a peaceful (mostly) residential road, which is awesome since I'm not the best driver, and I hate the highway during rush hour. Big trucks are such scary bullies. So, basically, God is way better and His plan is far better than I could have ever imagined. I even get to finish out the year teaching what I was teaching in my student internship!

As a side note, I have been inspired so much by this 30 day challenge on Revive Our Hearts:

It has been a good growing experience for me, and has really helped be be a better wife to Tyler.

And just because he loves me so much, and knows I love flowers, my sweet husband let me pick
out a bunch of spring bulbs as a surprise on our Kroger shopping trip last night. I'm so excited to
have my own crocuses for the first time! I love crocuses. I always imagine them as the fairy spirits that bring the first sign of spring :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

So... I've been wanting to blog again.  I've put off blogging for the past year because I didn't think I had time for it- being young married, in school, working, etc. but I'm kind of wanting a record of life, and I think this will work. 

This summer we moved to a teeny tiny antique-y apartment on the "brick streets" (aka olde town) of Clinton.  I love it, but it's been a crazy adventure.  Some dormant fleas came to life and attacked us when we'd been there for a week, and it took a month before we prayed and God removed them.  Funny how that works, right?  Our landlord is a very sweet, caring older man (every day of 86!) who stubbornly does all the repairs himself as much as he can, so things are a little crooked or patched sometimes.  But he does fix it, and he keeps the rent cheap.  and I can live with crooked. This place feels more like home than any other place I've lived since moving out of my parent's house.  It has adorable glass doorknobs and wooden floors, and somehow the cracked paint of the ceiling is comforting. 

God's been teaching us a lot lately about following His plan.  Moving and dealing with "flea-mageddon" as my husband called it, taught us dependence and humility.  We knew God wanted us here.  and He's provided awesomely.  We also recently had a false alarm where we thought we were pregnant.  I freaked, Tyler rejoiced, then we swapped places, then we were just happy.  Then a blood test and ultrasound at the hospital told us we weren't even pregnant to start with, we just had a false positive on the home test.  But God has been using this roller coaster to wake us up to the fact that we're not in control, and our little crazy couple life is not the end-all-be-all.  So we're asking Him what His plan is, instead of asking Him to bless ours.  Tyler's been the most amazing leader and support to me throughout all of this.  Already, I've loved him more the longer we've been together.  But this past week of pregnant-not-pregnant, and his incredible love and service and faith, have made me love him more than I ever thought I could.  It's just so incredible the way he cares for me, and takes care of me, and is patient with me.  He supports me and is strong when I'm not.  and God uses him to bless and provide for me and teach me every day.  I just plain don't deserve him, but I'm so thankful he's all mine.  Somehow God gave me the best husband ever.  I'll just thank Him.

On a totally un-related note- fall squash is in season and the weather's cold at night, and my yard is filled with pecans.  and dollar tree has pumpkin spice candles. :)  So even though my sinuses are trying to kill me, I'm happy.  because my house smells and tastes like fall.