Planning & Strategizing as an ENFP ~

This blog title is cracking me up right now because if you know anything about ENFPs, we are not planners or strategizers by nature.  However, we do need to step back from life at times and recenter ourselves to make sure we are moving in the right direction.  What does this look like for me?  Well, I am in casual clothes, surrounded by mess, with my planner open. I have resolved not to move from this spot until I have come up with a plan and a focus!

I love being an ENFP.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The only down side is that as an ENFP I have many different interests and ping-pong from one to next; often.  This is unfortunate because I never really feel like I am an achiever.  Remember that phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none?”  That’s how I feel right now.  For some of you making goals and plans comes effortlessly.  You actually thrive making lists and check boxes, but for me, that gives me a headache which makes me want to lie down and go to sleep.

If you saw me right now you would probably think I was being extremely unproductive and lazy. There are so many things to get done around the house, how could I be so selfish with my time.  At least this is what I think you would perceive.  I am feeling the guilt, but this is the only way for me to make any headway when it comes to thriving as an ENFP.

You see, I am a homeschool mom who is with my kids almost 24/7.  I spend a lot of my time with them doing our own thing that I forget to change it up and get out, meeting new people, experiencing new things. My kids are the exact opposite than me.  So they would rather stick with a routine, maybe even stay home.  There are many projects around our house that are on my mental “to do” list that seem to keep me to myself and are endless weekly tasks.   It’s like a rat race in my own home.  I am also a songwriter.  This has the tendency to become an introverted profession since it requires a lot of quiet, focused time to develop and refine a song.

So I have many things in my life where I am not thriving as an ENFP.  I need to balance those things with activities that bring me a lot of fulfillment and joy.   Hence, I will stay here, picketing my cause, until I can come up with a plan that will help me continue to be the person God has created me to be.  I don’t want to apologize for being who I am.  I want to use everything I have to bless others and to feel God’s pleasure.

Psalm139

Lara~

RESET

For the past couple of weeks I have been in a funk.  There are so many things in my life to be thankful for; however, I am finding myself melancholy most of the time.  It amazes me how our emotions can really take control of our minds and paralyze us.  Have you ever felt this way?  Instead of being proactive about my life’s situations, I have wanted to crawl back in bed and sleep.

I know this is not a healthy behavior and so I am wanting to get to the bottom of it!  Here are a few things I have been pondering lately that I wanted to share with you.

  1. I’ve allowed myself to get into unhealthy daily routines.  Instead of working out in the morning and taking a shower, I have instead scratched the working out part completely and waited until the middle of the day to get ready.  I have told myself and my husband that I am too tired in the mornings to work out and that our kids need me in the morning, hence I take care of their needs before my own.  This routined behavior has not been for my benefit or the benefit of my family.
  2. I’ve forgotten how I used to have fun before having kids.  This sounds awful I know, but it’s true.  I am 38 and my life has been consumed with meeting the needs of those around me instead of figuring out what I enjoy doing as well.  There was a day recently when I took my daughter out to have our nails manicured.  I NEVER do this!  It’s too much money. I could be using this money to buy clothes for the kids, etc.  But I have to tell you, it was a really nice experience.  We also took my husband out to go zip-lining for his birthday.  He asked me to go on it with him and the kids, but I chickened out and became the picture taking, items holding momma that watched from the sidelines, wishing I would have said yes.  I need to be more intentional about scheduling fun into my life.
  3. Water & Vitamins!  I didn’t realize how amazing water was until I found myself in the backseat of my car dizzy and dehydrated because I drank a huge cup of coffee and barely any water that day.  That one “little” episode cost my husband to come back to the church to drive me home, which put me in bed lethargic for three days!  That behavior cost me and my family a lot! I also had forgotten the importance of taking vitamins everyday.  Hey, I’m a busy homeschool mom, I don’t have time to remember everything on my “To Do” list!  Not a good enough answer!  When I was younger I didn’t need to think about taking vitamins.  The bouncing back rate was extremely high.  Now, I need to have a reality check. I am getting older.  My body is changing and it needs to be replenished with water and vitamins daily in order to function properly.
  4. Sleep.  Oh sleep, how I’ve longed to be in your arms all night long!  This has been a great struggle for me this past year.  Our sleeping environment is not the greatest right now.  Plus, again I’m not who I once was when I was in my 20s.  The biggest culprit for my sleep deprivation has been my cell phone.  If I can’t sleep, it’s like my phone is whispering into my ear, “Come check me out.  You can listen to podcasts, you can read the Bible, you can go on Facebook. I don’t care what you do as long as you look into my screen and wake up your brain!”  This bad habit has got to stop immediately!
  5. Spending more quality and quiet time with the Lord.  I do have times throughout the day when I am worshipping Him, reading His word, and praying, but I can do more.  I need to schedule alone times with God daily that are not on Periscope 😉  He is my Rock!  He is the manna I need in order to be nourished and refreshed.
  6. Lastly, trusting God COMPLETELY with EVERY detail of my life.  Ever time I do this, I feel His peace that surpasses all understanding.  Fear is a daily struggle for me that loves to come and torment my emotions, but trusting in God dispels ALL fear!

I knew I needed to write a new blog post, but I was stuck until I decided to be completely honest and transparent with where I am finding myself right now.  Today is a new day!  I made myself workout (I hated every minute of it), take a shower, had lots of water, and took my vitamins.  I do have a bag of caramel popcorn right beside me that I have been chomping on (baby steps), but I feel better moving a few steps forward in the right direction.

No matter where we are in life, there are times when we will somehow get into a rut like I have, not knowing how we got there or how to get out.  Thankfully, our lives are made up of seasons and marathons, not snow storms and sprints.  God is so gracious to give us do-overs every 24 hours to start again.  I am committed to moving myself in the right direction. Please hold me accountable.  If you are going through the same thing right now, you are not alone.  Please let me know and I will be praying for you, encouraging you to keep moving forward towards joy, peace, hope and love.

God Bless,

Lara

 

 

Whitman Inspired Poem ~

The kids and I learned about how to write in a Walt Whitman style.  This was my attempt.  I really like how this poem expressed what was on my heart and wanted to share it with you. = )

Our family jumping

The Life I Play

written by Lara Marriott

I play each day with a ball of hope

Excited to bounce it playfully along

Streets of new ideas and new adventures discovered

I play each day with a resilient heart

A jump rope of challenge that moves me up and down

To more health, more knowledge, and more proven successes

I play each day to the beat of a drum

Reminding me I am alive and human

I can excel with each thump, thump, thump

I play each day because I live for as long as God’s ruler measures

My life will be a determined playground

A fun-loving experience where joy, love, and hope abound

I play because playing is fun!

Veteran’s Day – Great Family Lesson

imageThis morning I asked God what I could do with my kids to teach them about Veterans Day.  We found out that there was a memorial service close by.  I was so glad we went!  It is sad to admit that I never intensionally attended one of these events before because I have felt a bit separated since I didn’t have any relatives that served in the military.

When we got there, we saw a large flag flying from a fire truck ladder, the firing squad, the boy scouts, and many of the veterans that have served in wars such as the Korean War.  They lit a fire as a symbol of freedom and had a white cross displayed at the front with an army helmet hanging on the side.  The key note speaker was a distinguished retired army admiral (I probably got his title mixed up) who had served for almost 30 years.  He explained that there were three things we as regular citizens could do to honor our vets.

1) We should always thank them for their service to our country.

2) Enjoy the freedoms we have in this country to the fullest.

3) Keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they continue to protect the United States.

This moved me.  Many of these men and women, if not all, choose to serve in the military.  How honorable is that!!    All of the names of the ones who lost their lives in active duty were read out loud with a little ting of a bell after each name.  At the end of the service, the firing squad fired their rounds as the veterans saluted and the bugle played.

image I learned a huge lesson today about the importance of taking time on Veterans Day to pay our respects to the brave men and women who selflessly put themselves in harms way to keep our country free.  Plus, our kids live in such a “me” centered society, so it is extremely important to teach them that their blessings have come with a price and to always be thankful and courageous when it comes to defending our rights.

God bless our troops.  God bless our government.  God bless America.

Lara~

Psalm 138:1 “I will praise You, Lord with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing Your praise.”

Website & Music

Kids Bible Journal Scripture Verses ~

I had a mom ask me what scripture verses I used for our homeschool Bible journals I put together this year.  So here is a list of them for this quarter.  I mistakenly said we had 40, but now that I am looking at the journal, we’ve written down 20 so far.    Hope this list will be encouraging and helpful.

Bible Journal Scripture Verses

1. Proverbs 22:6

2. 2 Corinthians 13:14

3. 1 John 4:19

4. 1 John 3:18

5. 1 John 3:3

6.  Proverbs 3:5

7.  Psalm 138:1

8. Isaiah 29:13

9. John 3:16

10. Psalm 146:6

11. 2 Peter 1:5-8

12. Ephesians 6:10-11

13. Psalm 46:10

14. Psalm 27:8

15. 1 Thessalonians 5:15

16. John 1:1

17. John 3:30

18. Psalm 23:1 (actually the whole chapter ; ) )

19. Galatians 5:22-23

20. Psalm 27:1

If you are excited about these scripture promises to give to your kids or to just hold dear to your own heart, then join my blog or send me your email address so I can put you on my email list.  I’m going to be working on something to offer you that I think you’ll really enjoy!!

Blessings,

Lara ~

http://www.laramarriott.com & Itunes

“Ignore The Noise” ~

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I have been sick with a chest cold for almost 2 weeks now.  I can’t remember the last time I had to stay in bed, take lots of cold medicine, and rest for such a long period of time.  I am a homeschool mom, worship leader, music teacher, women’s ministry director, singer-songwriter, and part-time receptionist.  I don’t have time to REST!!!

Being in bed, I’ve become lazy, weak, and bored.  I’ve been watching the NFL Live sports channel all week. (I had no idea there was a WHOLE WEEK of football stuff going on before the Superbowl!  It has definitely been an eye opening experience for me, since I have only been a hockey fan, growing up in a Canadian household, until this year; really.  Anyway, Russell Wilson tweeted today to, “Ignore the noise.”  His quote made me start thinking about all of the “noise” I had been hearing lately that was distracting me from my main mission in life.

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Hmmm…let me think…well…there has been noise from my poor children who have been cooped up in this house with me, the constant murmur of tv commentary in the background, the social media updates on my iPhone, the sneaky deceptive thoughts of being overwhelmed, distracted, second-guessing my life’s path, all clouding the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit.

I have loved watching and listening to all of these professional football players talk about their one goal, their mission, their focused preparation, and their resolve.  Even through all of their press obligations that can totally throw a person off course, they are sticking to their plan, come Sunday, they will go out on that football field and play to win!

To be honest, I have not felt that resilience to achieve what God has been calling me to achieve in awhile.  I have had more distractions get in my way.  The minute I start feeling confident in my mission, some sort of thought or situation throws me of course.  These professional football players do not let anything get in their way!

I don’t know about you, but I need this to be my way of life too!!

When I get better, I am itching to get out of this stuffy house and get more exercise with my kids.  I want to be focused on God’s call on my life and not let anything distract me from this.  I want to be the best homeschool coach for my kids for the rest of the school year, so they will complete their subjects with honors!  I want to be the best wife and mom I can be and sacrificially cook and clean with my family in mind (because it doesn’t come naturally), so that they can love the home they have.  Everything else is extra and could possibly be unnecessary.

What kind of “noise” are you allowing into your life?  What are you going to do to be more focused on your life’s mission?

The Superbowl will be exciting and awesome to watch, but it will come and go, leaving each one of us with the choice of how we are going to continue living out our lives.   Are you going to live with a winning mindset?  Or are you going to allow distractions to throw you off course?

I am in it to win it!!!

 

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Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Reflecting Back on 2014 ~

Well today is the last day of 2014! That is Crazy!! Have you been reflecting back on your year? What have been some good things? What have been some difficult things? Has God been faithful? What are your hopes for 2015? Are you excited? Are you fearful? Do you have any prayer requests you’d like to share?

For me:

Good things
– I got to minister with my dear friends, Brenda Yoder (http://www.brendayoder.com) & Krissy Nelson (http://www.notaloneministries.com) in Pensacola, Fl. even with a tornado in Louisiana and having to find a place to stay overnight in Ft. Lauderdale Texas (thank you Diana Thiessen!) God proved himself very faithful!
– We had a wonderful Women’s Retreat at our church and God broke through in so many ways and brought the ladies together and closer to the Lord’s Spirit.
– We had a great time in Boise visiting friends and family! Family is so important.
– The kids and I have survived the first half of our second year homeschooling. It has been quite the adventure full of ups and downs, successes and failures, and I wouldn’t change one thing!
– Our band “Not Just Sunday” had the chance to play out at some fun places together. We love gigging and rocking out! Hope to gig more together in the New Year Joshua Roosa, Brian Marriott, and Lee Lipsker!
– Went to a refreshing songwriter’s bootcamp led by Staci Frenes & Kenon Chen (http://www.kenonchen.com). God ordained that time for me. There were so many God moments that happened to me that I am so thankful for. I am planning to work with Kenon on recording at least one of my songs that I can’t wait to share with you. Looking forward to that in the new year.
– Read an amazing book by Staci Frenes (http://www.stacifrenes.com) called “Flourish.” It was so healing for me to read of another creative soul’s journey to accept her creativity and thrive in it for the glory of God! I am so inspired and determined to shine through the creativity God has given me to use. Each one of us are creative! We ALL can do something to reflect our Creator. I challenge you to not be afraid, but to do something creative. You won’t be disappointed. There is no right or wrong. Only you can express uniquely what you want to express. There is no one like you and there never will be.
– It was so much fun for me to share my music with my homeschool mommy friends this Christmas!! Barely any of them new I was a singer/songwriter. Most days are all about our kids. We sometimes dress up, but usually we are without makeup, wearing comfy clothes, and just surviving the variables of our days. So, it was a treat to share something that was dear to my heart with my dear friends. I will treasure that evening.
– I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas time!! I grew up singing in many Christmas productions and events. So this year I was able to be apart of quite a few and my heart was full!!

– Our church got through a very difficult season by the grace of God.  We are now hopeful for the future.

– My family has been healthy and has brought me much comfort this year.  I adore my husband Brian and our two kids, Hannah and Josh.  My extended family always has a special place in my heart and I pray for them everyday.

– God has helped us financially.

– Oh and one more thing, we were able to raise $1000.00 to send to our sponsored child in Uganda to save her working eye.  We are still waiting to hear how it went, but hopefully she will be able to see.  It amazed me how the people of God can come together to do great things!!

Difficult things:

– I had many times this year when I was challenged by the spirit of fear.  Fear has plagued my side of the family for generations.  I have the fear of flying, fearful dreams and nightmares, visions, and future worries, fear of failure, and it usually happens more and more when I am doing something for the Lord, but God’s Spirit has equipped me with His powerful gifts to fight back!   There is power speaking out the word of God.  There is power praying in the Spirit.  There is power calling on the name of Jesus!

– My grandmother has been suffering with alzheimer’s disease.  This has made me sad because my other grandmother suffered with it as well.  I wish I could see my grandparents, but we just live too far away.

– All of what our church has had to go through this year has weighed heavily on my heart and on our family.

– Homeschooling (enough said)

– Situations in our family’s life

– The pain in my shoulder, neck, and leg.  I haven’t been able to raise my right arm all of the way for over a year now.  I miss dancing like when I was young.

– watching friends and family going through very difficult situations

Has God been faithful?  YES!!!!  Through it all, God has been faithful.   I have learned how to rest in Him.  I have learned to give Him all of my fears and concerns and let go.  I have learned to pray in my Spiritual language given to me by the Holy Spirit that has strengthened my heart and has given me a focus and has revealed to me what to pray for.  When you give your life to Jesus, He gives you His Spirit to help you in all things and to comfort you.  I can tell you that it is completely true!  Now, I am human and still struggle.  God never promised to take us out of our problems.  He promised to help get us through them.  So I am clinging to that this year and for next year.  It also says in His word that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

My hopes for 2015 are to get closer to the heart of God and be more disciplined in spending time with Him and listening for His voice and direction.  I want to write more songs and continue ministering to others through singing and worship leading.  I want to teach my kids to love Jesus with all of their hearts and be little lights for Him wherever they go.  I want them to learn to be avid readers, good writers, get better at spelling and math.  I want to instill in them a love for learning!  I want to spend more time with Brian and invest in our friendship and love for one another.  I want to reach out to my family members more often through letters, emails, phone calls, instead of using Facebook to update them on the latest news.  I want my life to reflect God’s love in all that I say and all that I do through the grace and help of Jesus.  Lastly, that I will be equipped to conquer the fears that come to attack me and that God will surround me with His peace.

I don’t know if I’m excited.  I still face fear regularly.  That is a battle I fight everyday.  But, more often than not, I win.  So I am resting in the Lord’s love, His grace, mercy, and peace.  There is nothing better than to be a child of the Most High God.  He truly is a loving Father.

Prayer request: That our family will hold true to the promises of God and that we will walk daily in His ways.

Thank you friends for reading my posts and sharing your encouragements.  I pray God’s love and His blessing will accompany you into 2015.  If you are reading this and God is stirring your heart to want to have that loving relationship with Him too, all you have to do is believe that He sent Jesus to die for all of your sins, that He conquered the sting of death by raising from the dead, and ask Him to come into your heart to transform you into the person He has created you to be.  When you say that simple confession, You will be adopted into His family and will live eternally with Him, but not only that, He will send His Holy Spirit to live inside your heart and help you with everything life throws your way.  His grace and mercy will cover you daily and you will no longer be weighed down by guilt, shame, pride, lust, addiction, hate, fear, etc.  His love will make your heart whiter than snow.  Please contact me if you said that prayer and I will send you a bible and help you get started on your new journey with Your Creator!! = )

Lots of love to you all!

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

I Learned Something ~

I was so excited to have been asked to lead the Christmas music for my homeschool group this past Weds. at their annual Christmas dinner.  I had wanted to do it last year, but was unable to, so when they asked me I jumped at the chance!  You see, most of the moms I see on a regular weekly basis have (or had) never heard me sing before.   Instead, they have the great privilege of seeing me without any make-up, in my grubs, happy, sad, tired, frustrated, you get the point. Oh yeah, and insert some sarcasm.  lol.  So I was excited to share another side of who God has created me to be.

Now singing other people’s songs is a cinch for me because I only have to own the interpretation of the song and not the words or back story.  But when it comes to singing my original songs, I get very self conscious and nervous.  I sang one of my songs from my “I Will Follow” CD called, “Breathe In The Presence Of God.”  I was excited to sing it over the ladies, but also nervous.  A professional songwriter had told me that it was just a production number, and eluded that it didn’t have very much depth to it.  I thought maybe it would be too simple for them.  Maybe the ladies would just politely smile when I was finished as a courtesy.  I still have a hard time saying that I am a songwriter and not just a singer.  I compare myself to so many other qualified and seasoned songwriters and well in my eyes I am still at an amateur level.

But, I learned something very important that evening.  After I had shared my song and sat down, my friend next to me said she loved it.  Another mom, with tears in her eyes, asked me to follow her to the back of the room.  It was then that I saw how God ministers to someone’s heart through the offerings that we lay at His alter.  That song touched her deeply and she wanted her friend who was going through a very difficult time to read the lyrics so that she too would be comforted.  There were other blessings that happens as well.  All because I had the courage and obedience to get up there, be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and sing what was placed in my heart to write down.  I learned my songs are not meant to be scrutinized and judged or thrown away because they don’t meet the standards that someone else has set.  If I believe in them, then God can use them to minister to others.  I just need to be brave, be obedient to God’s guidance, and surrender all of the offerings I have to bring through singing, writing, crocheting, praying, loving, caring, giving, etc., to Him for His glory and His glory alone.  He is in charge of how they are used or where they decide to go; not me.

Here is a link to a song I have been singing through lately called, “Christmas Offering” by Paul Baloche. http://youtu.be/_iR-wZVlTQw  I don’t know what your offerings are that you can bring to bless and minister to others, but I know you have them.  We all have something to give away.  Let’s be brave, creative, and open to use them as an offering of worship to our King.  We will get to see God work and be a part of it.  That is always such a wonderful blessing.  More wonderful then anything anyone else could ever give.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

The Big Picture ~

I graduated from high school.  I went to college for three years.  But I never pursued a Teaching Degree.  I am convinced that in order to acquire a degree in teaching you have to minor in pyschology!  These past three days of homeschooling my children have been an up and down roller coaster ride.  Tuesday, Josh’s day was the worst day ever.  Wednesday, both kids had their moments.  Today, has started to be Hannah’s worst day ever.  I am on the verge of being an emotional mess!

When they get like this they throw out accusations that I am no fun to be around, their lives are boring, they are stuck in their homes with no one to play with while all of the other kids…on their block, get to go to public school and be with kids their own age and have tons of fun.  Ug!!!  Yes, there are fun times to be had at public school, but not all the time.  They forget very easily the amazing field trips we have taken with many of their friends.  They forget how much they love to cuddle and play with their dog, Molly.  They forget the fun they have at their enrichment schools they go to each week.  They forget all of the hugs and snuggle time they receive from their mommy.  They forget the free time they have with their friends in the afternoon.  They forget how much fun it is for them to cook or bake something.  They forget the Christmas movies we watch together with hot chocolate.  Oh how easily they forget when they have to stay home for a day or two and be with me and not their friends.

This exhausts me.  As a parent, I have the privilege and the difficulty of seeing the bigger picture.  I see how their neighbor friends treat each other.  I see how they have to come home and do homework for an hour or more after school.  I see how my kids treat their friends.  I see the freedom they have to enjoy playing all sorts of different kinds of games without the peer pressure of conforming to what is the latest cool thing to do.  My kids can play and communicate with anyone of any age.  They know about the love of Jesus and they share that love with the people they come in contact with.  I know that there are fun things on the horizon that they hopefully will get to do, but i can’t tell them yet.   I know this little bump in their week will soon pass and their days will be filled with friend time again.  I remember how exhausted they were everyday after I would pick them up from school.  5 mins into our greeting they would whine about not wanting to do their chores when they got home, how non of their other friends had to do chores.  They didn’t want to do their piano practice because they were too tired.  They wanted food and water right away because they were famished, so we would eat junk food on the way to our next location.  I remember fighting through homework time, chore time, piano time, finally counting down the hours to bed time!  This is not the kind of lifestyle I am excited about getting back into.

From my perspective, with the big picture view, I see a balanced environment that my husband and I are blessing our children with.  All I can do is hope and pray that all of these sacrifices and lifestyle choices we are making for our children will pay off in the end and they will one day look back and see the big picture too.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

What! No Technology! What To Do?

Now, I am not going to be talking about the technology that has brought forth enhancements to medicine and other scientific discoveries. I was actually thinking about my tv, the internet, the computer, the iPhone, as I laid in my bed ill and under the weather.  What would I do if I didn’t have these entertaining options at my disposal?  How would I pass the time away?

I did have a few books beside me waiting to be read.  I had a note pad waiting to be written on.  I had the blinds open with nature waiting to be enjoyed.  I had my bored-out-of-his-mind son waiting for attention.  I had the Lord waiting to engage in conversation.  There was nothing wrong with this list now that I step back and look at the  possibilities.  However, what typically happens is I want instant gratification.  My boredom can be pacified  and diffused by checking my emails, my Facebook, the news, youtube.  Why then, would I want or need to take the next step in engagement?  It’s ironic that I am venting my thoughts on a computer; typing away.  Those ideas listed above start looking dull in comparison to the interactive, entertaining drive of the internet.    It’s the next best thing to happen for humanity.  Right?

My daughter is also sick in bed today.  We’ve allowed her to have my computer to watch Netflix and be on a kids game since there is not much she can do, but stay in bed.  It became interesting this afternoon when I took it away and said she needed a break.  There was a pleading in her tone, an anxiety too.  She expressed her dependency on it to keep her calm and happy.  I don’t know about you, but when you were sick, did you remember what you did to pass the time away?  I never had a tv in my room or a computer when I was sick.  I had a window to look out of, books to read, music to listen to, toys to play with, a bed to sleep in, a mind to dream with.  I am living proof that one can survive sickness without watching tv or browsing the web.  But I am starting to sound like an out of touch parent.  Ug!  Is it really being out of touch or just embracing wisdom?

Being a homeschool mom, I find when I am firm with the boundaries of technology, my kids thrive in other more beneficial ways.  They make up games, they play with their toys, they remember they have a dog to love on, they create music, they draw, they cook, they write stories, they play with friends, they read.  It brings me great joy to watch them develop so many of their gifts that they, let’s be honest, they would put aside doing those things if they had the choice between technology and lack their of.

I believe with my whole heart that there is a battle going on for our minds. Who are we going to give our minds over to?  Technology or Creativity?  How do we fight back?  That is the question I’m still trying to figure out.  You see, I am enjoying sitting here writing this blog on a computer.  It is bringing me a lot of fulfillment.  I honestly don’t think writing this blog is the problem.  I think the little things we do on the internet and what we watch on tv are the culprits.  Add all of those little minutes and hours and our day flies by.  Even as I write this blog post, my dog, Molly, is pushing up my arms with her nose gently demanding my attention.  She has been outside all day and hasn’t seen me in a couple of days due to illness.  I have a choice to make.  I can either check my Facebook after I publish this post or I can turn off this computer and let her know I still love her.  Hmmmm….. ; )  I think I know what I need to do.

 

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Just Another Balloon Ride ~

Hot Air Balloon

Since we homeschool, each day is flexibly routine. ; ) I typically start each day with a plan in mind, however every now and then something random comes up and we go down one of those paths for awhile. That is what happened yesterday. Our kids were outside playing at around 8:30 in the morning when they spotted two hot air balloons in the sky. They were so excited to watch them. I could tell the balloons were coasting close to our home, so I had a hair-brained idea to go chase them and see if we could watch them land.

We got into the car and drove to where they were hovering. One of them had already landed and there were three people rolling the balloon up to put into the attached basket. The other one looked like it was heading in that direction, but it was slow in doing so. Then it blew passed the landing, towards a potato field down the road. I started up the car and headed in that direction. It began to land quite quickly in an abnormal manner, but I didn’t want to let the kids know that just yet. I pulled off to the side of the road. It dropped heavily into the potato field with the balloon half filled. The wind picked it up again with the basket on it’s side and headed in our direction at about 30 miles an hour. At that moment I quickly started the car and drove out of it’s path. I made a Uturn and came back as the balloon exhaled to a hault. No one was coming out of it. Was it unmanned? We all anxiously waited in silence, hoping to see someone come out of the basket unscathed. Finally after five minutes a man climbed out and brushed himself off looking a bit dazed. Someone else who parked behind us got out of his car and with great difficulty ran through the potato field to the scene. For a second I thought we should get out of our car and go help, but thankfully my sanity kicked in and I realized running with two kids in a potato landmine would not be very helpful.
Thankfully he was fine and received the help he needed to continue on his way.

I was amazed that after all of that excitement my sweet daughter still wanted to go on a balloon ride for her next birthday; my son did not. I am grateful there are laws protecting our children from making risky decisions when they are young. Maybe Hannah could climb a ladder instead. ha ha.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

I Got Homeschooled About Sugar!

So two days ago I was a room parent at my children’s enrichment school and instead of getting “BOOMED” as my daughter likes to say, I got “HOMESCHOOLED!” I was sitting in the back of the room during their PE class, drinking a Snapple rasberry ice tea, when the teacher started talking about the different kinds of sugar found in everyday products and how much sugar we should be allotted each day.

Kids should only have 16 grams of sugar per day
Teens should only have 20 grams of sugar per day
Adults (dum, dum, dum, dum…..) 30 grams of sugar per day

Remember my Snapple ice tea that I was drinking during the class? Well, I thought it would be interesting to look at the sugar serving size just for kicks. Guess how many grams there were in my yummy, caffinated ice tea? 46 GRAMS OF SUGAR!!!!!!! BOOM!

What!!!!! How could I do that to myself? I had a sugared granola bar and a medium size chai tea in the morning, grapes and strawberries for lunch and this dumb ice tea AND it wasn’t even in the middle of the day. I totally surpassed my daily intake limit.

I had to share this with the teacher and the kids. It was embarrassing, but they needed to see that one drink (that we are so used to drinking in America) can be extremely high in sugar content. They were so funny because the teacher, shook her head at me, told the kids, and we all got up out of our seats and did a sugar coma shake that ended up with us fainting on the floor.

When the kids and I got home, we talked about our sugar limits and how we needed to watch it. You see whatever excess sugar calories that come from sugar turn into fat. So for the past two days we have been eating food from the ground, plants, and meat. I did slip last night and have a Costco Yogurt Swirl. I thought since I was so good at staying under my daily dose, I could treat myself to one. However, I found it to be too sweet for me and didn’t want to finish it. That was not like me. I guess when we stay under our limit our bodies can let us know how much is too much.

What a wake up call!! So whoever is reading this, I hope you will take the same challenge as we are and educate yourself on how much sugar you normally have during a typical day. You will be very surprised with the findings and hopefully you will have the courage to change your eating habits like we are trying to do, so that you and your precious family can be healthy and strong.

On a side note, my daughter thanked me last night for the dinner I prepared for her which was nothing too exciting, just cauliflower, an apple, and half a Costco hot dog (we have so many of them unfortunately). She didn’t complain that she was hungry an hour later. I was impressed.

Let’s all say NO to too much sugar!

Blessings ~

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Coming Back ~

IMG_7702

I tried going back to my old blog account, but it didn’t quite work out. So I am back.

I want this post to represent a fresh start.  This blog is going to incorporate everything that makes me; me.  I am a mom; so I will be blogging about my mommy days.  I homeschool our kids; so I will be posting about that new adventure in our lives.  I am a worship leader (in-training) lol; so I will be posting about my experiences as I continue to lead others in worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am pursuing my relationship with the Holy Spirit, the comforter who Jesus gave to us as a constant companion and friend; so I will be blogging about Him and how amazing He is as He leads me through each day.

Some of you might think those topics are too scattered and I should just blog about one subject, but that is not me.  This blog is to share all that I am journeying through.  I LOVE to encourage others.  I believe that is one of my spiritual gifts!  It is my hope and prayer that what I share glorifies Jesus first and foremost and also encourages others who might be going through similar things.  I had many people throughout my life encourage me and help shape me to be the woman I am becoming.

I am looking forward to being honest and myself.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Day 1 of Posting Frustration ~

I can’t believe it. I thought my blog was set up to be easy for me to post on my different pages and then I would be done. Nope. Of course not. That would be too simple. I have no idea how to post a new entry in my homeschooling page. I wanted to tell you about how my kids did at their new enrichment school, but on the appropriate page. This is ridiculous. Oh well, if there is anyone out there who would like to help me figure this out, I would love the help = )

The kids did great btw. God helped them throughout the day make friends, enjoy their teachers, and learn new things. I was shocked when they couldn’t stop talking about how great their time was. Thank you God! They had drama, language arts, and history classes. They carried their backpacks around with all of their supplies and lunches. They also had assembly, lunch and recess together.

Well, now it is off to bed. I think I am almost done with the cold I have had since Thursday. I prepped for the school day tomorrow. So I better get a good night’s sleep. My kids wake up early.

Good night ~

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Wrong or Right Choice?

Something crazy happened to my children and I yesterday. Josh, really was looking forward to being able to scooter at the skate park he so loved. So we planned our afternoon around that. I made sure we parked right next to the skate park because we were planning to be there for at least an hour. As we were walking towards it, a fight broke out between two teenagers who were among about 15 other teenagers. There was a lot of swearing and punching. One of the kids threw a garbage can at the other one.

I honestly do not know what I was thinking. Maybe it was God, maybe it was stupidity, but I decided to sit at the table next to them, hoping that my presence would stop the fighting and they would get over it. They did stop, but not verbally. I asked them if they would please stop fighting so my kids could play. One of the boys sitting down had his hand in his gym bag and pulled out a silver gun half way saying, ‘I could just use this?’ I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I then motioned for my son that we were leaving. He was very disappointed, but I whispered in his ear that one of the boys had a gun and it was no longer safe to be there.

As we were leaving one of the younger boys came up to me and apologized. He said it wasn’t safe to be there and the best time for my kids to come scooter was before noon. That comment angered me. They had taken over one of the best skate parks. Even the guy who threw the garbage can came over to apologize. I looked him in the eye and said thank you for saying he was sorry. About 6 to 7 of the boys apologized to us as we left towards the kids play area.

When we got there both of my kids were so upset that our plans had changed. I looked around and saw many innocent families there that had no clue what had just taken place. I felt impressed to call the police. Within 10 mins. there were two policeman on foot, two to three police cars, 2 police motorcyclists and a helicopter. It was shocking and cool all at the same time.

I knew we had to get back to my car by following the policemen over. We hurriedly got in our car and drove the back way home. A little while later, I received a phone call from the police deputy that they had arrested the fighter, but the boy with the gun got away. My heart weighed heavy for those boys the rest of the day. My kids wanted to fight those boys if they ever did that again, but I had to tell them what those boys needed most were our prayers.

What I realized yesterday was that anger, hurt and fear take away innocence and freedom. Jesus came to set us free from those things. When we accept Him as our Savior and ruler over our lives, He frees us from those evil chains that bind and burden us, so that we can live in peace, comfort and love. I watched my son scooter around while the boys were still steaming and saw innocence and joy. Those boys had lost that. They were still young enough to get away with having fun, playing and being kids, but they choose to allow darkness to complicate their young lives.

Honestly, I wish I could go back and hug everyone of those kids and tell them they are loved and valued by Jesus, and that it was okay to be young and to enjoy their youth before it faded away.

I wrote what happened to us in my devotion journal and this is what Jesus Calling had to say:

“Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me then in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac…When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand…I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do.”

This comforted me about my decision yesterday. God protected me and my kids and He broke up the fight that could have ended in a devastating way.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

The Rip Current ~

I didn’t realize how I had been pulled under by a rip current of stress, but I think I have. There have been new developments in my life that are all great. However, I think deep down my emotions are stressing out my body, producing heart palpitations and fatigue. It amazes me how our bodies can been so effected by life’s circumstances. I can’t “fool” my body. No matter how I act on the outside, my soul knows what is truly going on and reacts.

My husband prayed for me tonight and asked God to help me release all of my stress, knowing that He was in charge and was going to take care of the future. I am so glad Brian prayed that prayer of peace over me. He is right. I release all of the new changes into God’s hands. They are exciting changes and I know with God’s help I will be able to handle them.

I’m sure whoever is reading this might be wondering what these changes are. Well, I will be homeschooling my kids this fall. I realize that will totally open a can of worms so that is why I am saying it here on my blog and not on Facebook. lol. It is unfamiliar territory, but I am very excited about all of the possibilities. (don’t worry I am aware of the pros and cons to homeschooling). I also am going to be leading the worship for a CBS group in town. Plus, I have taken on the position of Director of Women’s Ministries at my church for the year. Oh yeah, and I am working to move my piano and voice students over to a music studio, hopefully gaining a few more.

With God all things are possible. Plus, I am really looking forward to the space and freedom my kids will have to learn and experience life. I can’t wait! Hopefully, we will get some traveling in and discover new and exciting places together. And if it fails in a year, no harm done. I know my kids will be fine and recoup.

Well, that’s about it. I feel better getting that out in the open. If you have any good advice about homeschooling I am open to hearing it.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes