Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kickapoo Camping

So the Higginbotham crew went camping at a new destination this weekend, about 3 hours west of here.  It is called Kickapoo Caverns State Park ... a great use of our annual state park pass we buy every year.  The other great thing is that we had two families from Church join us, which really made it awesome.  Fabulous fellowship, great weather and an all around good time (except for the puke from James in the car on the way there and my 9 year old's bloody nose on the way home, lol).

One bummer of the trip was that my daughter could not go, she had to work, and it really seems weird to go camping without her!

I really enjoyed hiking a trail up a hill and the view from the top.  One thing that became painfully clear to me, though, is that I definitely need new shoes.  I also realized I should never under-estimate the Texas sun, as I did indeed get sunburned.

I will confess, I did not sleep well in the tent.  Partly because it was very windy and thus noisy, but also because my 5 year old was still kinda recovering from being ill and he kept trying to burrow himself inside my body all night.  But it wasn't too bad.  I think the hubby and I have agreed that an air mattress is now in order.

And there's a bonus.   I managed to lose 2 pounds since last weigh in, so clearly our little camping adventure did not derail me.  That's always a plus.  There were chips, and s'mores and and all kinds of things available for my consumption, but I stuck to what I had planned.  And on the topic of eating, I was quite impressed that my oldest son, William, tried and ate hard boiled eggs.  He has never done that before, and he liked them.  Thomas liked them too, but he is much better at trying new things.  William is more like me, so both me and him are definitely making progress.  YAY!   Now they want hard boiled eggs before school.  I can't complain about that.

So we've made plans for another camping trip with the same family.  We've decided on the weekend, but need to nail down a destination as many of the parks are already full.  So hopefully at the end of April, we'll do this again, somewhere new, and rack up some miles in our adventure logs.  Hopefully by then I'll have new shoes too.   And if I'm really lucky, I'll have a new air mattress as well.

Me in all my natural glory :)

As always, make champion choices,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Are You Present?

Bear with me for a moment, for this is not in the context of gloom... but gratitude. I would love for people to shift whatever may be on their hearts, optimistically, to gratitude! I'm suggesting a way to live... where we are in love with life, and present.

Do you fear death?  Some people do and I get that.  I think some people fear death because they crave life. Often, we fear death because we think there's something to get that we haven't experienced yet. Many people feel that death will take something away from them. A wise person realizes that death is constantly giving them something. Death is giving meaning to our lives. Humans are the ones who throw life away. Too many people waste every second of it. They get in their car, drive from here to there, and they don't SEE anything. It's like they're not even there. They are too busy thinking about what they are going to do next. They are a week ahead of themselves, or even a month or more. They are not living their life; they are simply existing.  Well some people are anyway. So it is humans that throw life away, not the event of death. The prospect of death actually helps us get our life back; by making us pay more attention to the moment. It makes one say, "My gosh,what if I lose this? I could orphan my children.  From now on I'm going to pay more attention to my health, my family, and to all my friends and loved ones. I want to get so much more out of life!"

I do not share these thoughts with you from any other perspective than as someone who adores life, loves others, and lives in the moment I am in!  But I am also a Christian, and I do not fear death because only the Lord God controls life and death, and when I die, greater glory awaits.  But don't worry, I'm not in a hurry. Just know that part of my mission is this: If I can maybe make someone else smile in their own particular situation; with gratitude instead of fear; I am successful. Don't worry ... I am not dying or anything, I am perfectly healthy ... I am just feeling blessed.  Take time to stop and look at the bluebonnets, smile at a stranger, put down your phone sometimes, be PRESENT in your interactions ... and always and tip the server well.   Carry on.

As always, make champion choices,

Photo Credit:  Linda Long Goodman

Monday, March 3, 2014

40 Days of Lent 2014

I will be following this list for the 40 Days of Lent this year.  Ash Wednesday is this week, March 5th.

Lent 2014

Day 1: Pray for your enemies
Day 2: Eliminate all social media for one hour (or more)
Day 3: Perform a random act of kindness
Day 4: Give $10 to a non-profit of your choosing
Day 5: Forgive someone, even if it is yourself
Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before
Day 7: Tell someone what you are thankful for
Day 8: No complaining all day
Day 9: Read John 8:1-11 
Day 10: Call a friend on the phone
Day 11: Check out morning and evening prayer at The Daily Office
Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news)
Day 13: Read Psalm 139
Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments to strangers
Day 15: Do not use your SmartPhone or cell phone while in your vehicle
Day 16: Educate yourself about Spiritual Strongholds (Pray for revelation)  
Day 17: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon
Day 18: Pray for your nation’s leaders and your nation’s enemies
Day 19: Write a hand written thank you note and send to someone who deserves it
Day 20: Do not eat out anywhere today
Day 21: Ask for help
Day 22: Give 5 or more items of clothing to charity
Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor (If no neighbors, then a stranger)
Day 24: Read Psalm 121
Day 25: Pray for God to reveal sin your life that you are unaware about
Day 26: Donate 5 or more items to a food pantry/bank
Day 27: Walk into every room of your home and Pray for God to bless every inch
Day 28: Be mindful of your language; do not curse, swear or speak ill of another; do not gossip
Day 29: Write a thank you note to a Veteran
Day 30: Invest in re-usable shopping bags
Day 31: Pray for peace
Day 32: Donate supplies or books to a local school
Day 33: Do someone else’s chore
Day 34: Walk in nature and look for beauty; pray for God to reveal more beauty in your life
Day 35: Pray for the future or current spouses of your children, if no children, pray for others
Day 36: No added or artificial sugar today – where else is there sweetness in your life?
Day 37: Give someone an unexpected gift
Day 38: Educate yourself about volunteer opportunities in your community
Day 39: Share with someone a lesson that God has taught you

Day 40: Write out 40 ways in which God has blessed you during your lifetime