Girls, can we chat or more to the point, can I vent and you listen? Thanks.

 I am miffed at God. Don't freak out on me. He knows it. I've had some pretty frank discussions with God lately. You see, I don't pretend with God. I revere Him, and I love Him. And you know what, I know that I know that I know He loves me. He is the omniscient One. So I figure it's kind of foolish to "play church" with God. He is my most trusted friend, but right now, I'm a little irritated.

My husband and I put our house on the market in April of 2008, literally a month before the gloom and doom news started. In eighteen months we have had two couples walk through and three price reductions. I'm pretty sure it's not a good sign when your price reductions outnumber your showings. Ughh!

"Why oh why," you ask, "would someone leave their home on the market in this economy?" Oh, girlfriend, I have asked myself that question a thousand times. Here's how I've rehearsed it in my head.

We live in a city 40 minutes from our church. It made sense when my beloved and I both worked outside the home. We chose to live near jobs and drive to church. That was also before we had children. BC (before children), it wasn't a big deal to drive to church and small group three times a week. Now well, it's a little difficult. We get up at 7 am to be at church by 10 am. We leave for small group two hours before it starts...and we still rarely make it on time.

All of this begs the questions "why oh why, would you not just change churches?" Well, we simply love our church. Our pastor believes you should find a church whose vision captures your heart and soul. Then never, ever leave that church unless the vision changes. Don't leave cause you got mad at somebody. Don't leave cause you don't like the worship. Don't leave cause you don't like how they spend God's money. Don't leave cause it's too far a drive.

We believe wholeheartedly our church's vision will build the Kingdom and glorify God. We trust the leadership with our lives. Our Elder board are the four of the five most godly men I know. (My beloved isn't an elder; he is, however, a Deacon.) The way we see it,  a church where you believe in the vision and implicitly trust the leadership, is a rare jewel.

Secondarily, our best friends are members of our church. We have been doing small group since our church's inception. My beloved and I have built life-changing, world-altering friendships through three different groups. Right now I can name at least six different couples who would be at my house tomorrow if my world fell apart or if I just simply asked them. We love their children, and they love mine. We do life with them. We know they love us for who we are while challenging us to become more like Jesus. How ridiculously blessed are we?  I say these friendships are world-altering because we are absolutely changing our world to be nearer to them. Friendships like these are totally worth the effort. (Sarah, we will get there!)

So it's a pretty persuasive case for moving right? Oh, but that isn't all. Add doing ministry and life with a church full of people we love to the fact that our parents, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews are all in the town where our church is. We love, love, love our families. For this season of our lives, forty-five minutes feels like too far.

Here's the thing. God knows all of this too. We sincerely believe He has confirmed that Crosspointe is the place where we will give our lives in service to Him and the Kingdom. He has led us in leadership. He is ordaining more opportunities to invest, serve and share. He knows where our families are. He has blessed us with a growing family. He has called me to ministry. The only thing He has NOT done is sell our home.

And you know what? God is not constrained by economies. He doesn't have to wait on the Fed. God moves in the lives of men to accomplish His good will. It doesn't matter that Georgia has an inventory of for sale homes to last more than a decade. God is bigger than all of this.

So, I am miffed. My heart has pled my case to my Father. I have been in prayer. I have asked how I can align my will with His. I have searched my heart to see areas where He wants me to grow in Christlikeness. I have promised to sacrifice my will to His own. I am submitting.

Here's the tension. The Word promises that we can bring our requests before Him. The Word teaches that His plans are perfect. The Word pledges that He will not withhold any good thing from His children. My mind concedes. I trust. My emotions, just haven't caught up yet.

Can you relate? Have you been in a situation where you willfully chose to believe God is Who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do? Or, are you still letting your emotions shape what you believe about God?

I've been burned enough to know not to be led by my emotions. Emotions are dangerous. The Word of God is sure. Today I exercise faith. I have made my choice, even if I don't totally feel like it. You?

P.S. If you know anyone looking for a home in Lawrenceville, GA check out this link and put them in touch with us!
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And a friend's a friend forever...(finish it you Michael W. Smith fans)

If you are stopping by my blog from the Encouragement for Today devotions by the P31 team or if Lysa sent you by to say hello, welcome! Stay a while, It would be great to hang out with you.

Do you Facebook or Twitter? Those are some crazy little gadgets, aren't they? I love how it connects me with people I haven't had contact with in years. Just as nifty, it connects me with people I actually saw at church on Sunday, but didn't get to sit down and talk with. When it comes to Facebook in particular, I'm kind of just a Facebook stalker. I don't really post a whole lot; I just sneak a peek inside other people's world. I love looking at pictures of their kids, their trip to Disney or Grandma's 90th Birthday party. In all honesty, though, I rarely engage.

That got me thinking, am I that way in life? Do I really engage with my real-life, not-via-email/Facebook/Twitter/Blogging friends?

Girls need friends. I am a 31-year-old mother of three, and I still desperately need friends.  I need girlfriends to talk to about diaper duty, the best laundry detergents and which farm has the best pumpkin patch this fall. I need to come up for air from the daily-ness of Mommy duty. My girlfriends let me be me.

Maybe I should take it a step further. It's not even that I just need friends. According to Facebook I have like, 347 of those. No, I need relationships-deep, real relationships. I need the kind of relationships that will ask me tough questions, help me deal with sin and keep me accountable to follow through with the lessons God is teaching me. My best friends don't just let me be me, they push me to be more like Jesus. But these kinds of relationships are hard work. They don't just happen overnight or a via a Facebook status update.

These kinds of relationships require that I engage. It's the same word we use to describe a couple's pre-marital status. It connotes a pledge or a vow. I want to be the kind of friend that pledges to help make my others' lives better-more like Jesus. You?

I'm writing a teaching series on the topic of friendship. Leave me a comment on your experience with girlfriends. Love 'em, need 'em or leave 'em? I really would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks friends. And hey, how are you more like Jesus today than yesterday?

Delayed potty training

Before you commit too much time reading this post, let me be up front. It's about poo or stinky or whatever polite euphemism you have for it. Hey, I'm a mommy of little ones. A lot of my day deals with potty issues.

My four year old is potty-trained, but you know because he's four I'm still pretty intimately involved in the process.  I also have an infant who poops all the stinkin' time! So the two and half year old is not training yet. Please don't judge me. I have enough Mommy guilt of my own. His older brother just flipped the switch around three (after a few unsuccessful months of "trying.") So this time I'm avoiding all the accidents and head ache and just biding my time. No, I don't know if that's best, but it is what makes sense for us.

Here's why I know that. You see not long ago I was getting ready to put this same two-year old down for his afternoon nap. Yeah, afternoon nap, as in well after noon. Let's just say like 2:00 pm. Anyway, it was about this time that I realized this sweet, happy, middle child was still wearing his diaper from the night before! (Yes, we are contributing to his therapy fund now.) I am appalled. I am embarrassed, and I am a repeat offender.  You see, it wasn't the first time this had happened. Clearly, I'm not with it enough to add potty training to my list of daily responsibilities.

Now just in case you don't think I'm crazy enough let me let you in on my relationship with God. I talk to God about all kinds of things...even poop. Really, I worry that I'm not being attentive enough to my middle son. So I thought I'd chat it up with God about potty training.

"Should I just make the commitment, make the switch and go for it? Cause that could be a lot of trouble."

He lets me go on and on about it for a few minutes. When I take a rare breather I realize He doesn't really weigh in on the whole potty training issue. Nope. That would have been too easy. Instead He prompted me to apply this potty training philosophy to how I deal with sin in my life. Wait for it.  There really is a correlation.

You see, as it pertains to most of the sin in my life, I'm kind of waiting to flip the switch. It would appear that I think that one day I'll just wake up mature enough to stop having these embarrassing, um, "accidents." No to mention the convenient truth that I like spending a lot of time on the internet. I really do like being right which means some unfortunate arguments with my beloved. And listen, I'm not proud of it, but apparently I really do like to gossip as much as the next gal. I've gotten pretty comfortable with my stuff.

Not to mention that practicing holiness would require work. And I am likely to have a few embarrassing moments along the way. Which sounds good until God reminds me that while I wait to "flip the switch" I am sitting in my own filth. And friends, that's not good for anybody. I've got some growing up to do, and I've been putting it off for too long.

So how about you? Are you sitting in something? Are you waiting to tackle the poop in your spiritual life? Let's do it together. Sure we might mess up, but I don't really want to be a thirty-one year-old toddler. You?

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"ME"ntal Block

Hi, I'm Whitney, and I'm a wanna-be blogger.

I know I probably shouldn't tell you that, but hey you could look at my post frequency and come to the same conclusion on your own. So, I'll save you the trouble. I'm a poser, a wanna-be.

I just have such a hard time getting stuff out of my noggin and onto this screen. It could be because I have a four year-old, a two year-old and an eight month old...oh, and they're all boys. But come on, any Mom knows you really can't use that excuse. Kids are kids. One is hard when you have one. Two is hard when you have two. Three is hard when you have, well you get the picture. I'm betting that gal on TLC birthing her like, 20th kid would say this ain't no
cakewalk, you know?

So my blogging infrequency isn't really about that. It also can't be for a lack of material because, as previously stated, I've given birth to three boys in four years. My house is some kind of crazy. Hilarity happens on a regular basis. Now I will say that it regularly happens that by the time I sit down to actually blog about said hilarity I can't remember it. Even then, however, that's really only a part of my problem.

I have discovered recently that I am a little freaked out by the whole prospect of blogging. I agree with it in principle and in practice. I love the idea of a cyber community. I love sharing life and offering what little encouragement I can. I love seeing inside another person's world. I love seeing Jesus in the little things that happen in your world and mine.

But putting something down that will likely be "out there" (wherever "out there" is) for all eternity is more than a little intimidating. And everything I read about blogging says that whatever you put out there is a part of your branding, your image. What?! That's like more pressure than high school. I didn't love it the first go round so you can get why I'm more than a little worried about what you think about me.

Does anybody else out there struggle with this? I'm afraid if I write too often or tweet too much then you'll think that I think my life is all that. People in high school thought I was stuck up because I was too insecure to inject myself into random conversations and peer groups. I wanted too be friends with everybody. I just couldn't let myself relax enough to hang out. That's only one tiny part of my problem, but let's move on. I think I'm already at novella status!

Okay so you probably know more about me than you wanted to, and in the unlikely event that anyone is STILL reading, hang with me. I do have a point.

I'm working through my issues because, well, Mommy's don't get to have issues. We're too busy obsessing about the issues we're giving our kids...anywho...

I really do want to hang out with you more often than once a quarter. So I'm just going to try and get over myself. Will you still be my friend? Cause right now I'm a little nervous. I don't even know if I can do this, but I want to. I started blogging because I wanted to share what God was doing in my life with people who might see His activity and be challenged or (God willing) changed by it.

Since I started blogging for reasons that had nothing to do with me, I think I shouldn't not do it because of reasons that are all about me. How egotistical would that be?

So here's my point. What are you not doing because of you? Have you built something up in your head to be bigger than it really is? Are you putting off something God has called you to do because you're freaked out by well, you? Are the messages in your head keeping you from moving forward into what's next? Are you more than a little worried about what other people will think of you?

Let's dive in together. I'm sick of me. You?

Oh, and I WILL see you tomorrow.

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