Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Thankfulness." Wow, such a hard word to live out sometimes. I know this is such a God-glorifying word, but man is it hard to have it be a part of my thinking. But, God has totally been changing my heart lately. I have, since Robbie and I got married, felt like we were just struggling so bad financially, and were just in a really hard spot. And it hasn't been until here recently with things getting tougher and the economy getting worse that God has really changed me, every day I get up even when I am struggling, and sometimes wondering how we will pay the bills, and just think "thank you Lord that I have bills, bills mean I have a house to live in, a car to drive, electricity to live with, and an education." The thought that I never imagined I would have "Thank you Lord for my bills", but WOW, think about it, if you are priveledged enough to have bills, whether you think you can pay them or not, you are blessed, MUCH more blessed than most people in the world.

It is definitely time for our generation to step up and move past all our crazy selfishness and indulgences that swallow up our entire being. We must move past ourselves and on to the well-being of others.

This is why I feel so blessed to be a part of a church like Next Level, and feel so thankful that we have other churches in our city like Ridge that desire to team up and change the landscape of Charlotte, and our world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fragile Happiness

One of my best friends,(I love you Courtney!) sent me such a blessing this morning in the form of an e-mail, and in the e-mail was a Blog posted by Beth Moore's daughter, Melissa. It was talking about her son getting this red balloon at a restaurant and how he loved it so much and it made him so happy, but she kind of cringed when he got it and was playing with it because she knew that happiness would be so temporary and would soon end with sadness because she knew that the balloon would soon pop or get a leak and be gone just like that. She then went on to say how it reminded her of what God is probably always thinking when he looks down on her saying this, Oh, baby girl, that is so temporary. It's already got a leak in it - you just can't see it yet. Find your joy in me! I'm everlasting! My unfailing love it what your heart truly seeks. Man that just BROKE me when I read that! It is sooo true, so many things that we try to find happiness or fulfillment in are soo temporary and will soon "pop" or "get a leak" and will turn into sadness, or emptiness. It makes me think of the terrible week I had last week, and how things go wrong and I just feel so defeated, but I have to remind myself that no money, no job, no things will ever fulfill me, and even when I feel like I won’t even have money for the necessities of life I just have to remember that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he WILL provide! So many times I let my happiness rest on whether or not we have a little extra money, or I can buy this outfit for Caleb, or my marriage is going well, or my business, or whatever it may be at the time, and all of those things are so fragile as she said and NONE of them will EVER fulfill me! So I must remember that no matter what circumstances I face at the time in my life, good or bad, that God holds me up and showers me with his unfailing love and WANTS to do it!

"God you are so merciful, and never cease to amaze me! Thank you for your unfailing love!"

Here is the scripture that Melissa had in her blog post, it is so fitting, and beautiful! May we rest in God's words of truth!

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in
the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
(Psalm 130:5-7)

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose
hope is in his unfailing love.
(Psalm 33:18)

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as
we put our hope in you.
(Psalm 33:21-22)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sick week! =(

Man, it has been way too long since I have posted a blog and I figured it was about time to start again! Well, the whole family has been VERY sick this week, no fun at all. I always knew that being sick was terrible, but that misery multiplies times a gazillion when you have to see your baby sick, take care of him, and take care of yourself all at the same time! It started off with Robbie, then Caleb last weekend, and then my body finally decided to get it around Tuesday, ugg. But, last Saturday we did get to do something fun, we went to the pumpkin patch. It is Caleb's first Haloween and he got to get his first pumpkin and see a WHOLE BUNCH of them. We also got to go on a hayride, see animals, and watch Daddy and Tio go through a corn maze. I say all of that stuff, knowing full well that I just wanted to go for the photo op! lol. I took a gazillion pictures as always, and actually made Robbie hold the camera for the majority of the time, so it wouldn't seem like 10 years from now that I was just a ghost in this time, lol. But, it saying all of that it was a lot of fun! Caleb is at such a cute age right now, because instead of saying what he is thinking, everything comes out in an expression! So the faces are priceless! I try to catch all of them in a picture, but that definitely doesn't happen! Today is Halloween, and we are not dressing Caleb up, going Trick or Treating, or handing out candy at our door. We are going to the Opening Night for the Charlotte Checkers! Definitely a McLaughlin thing! We love our sports, so much fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh my goodness! CRAWLING!!

I would have to say this is probably the first milestone in my son's life that I wasn't all that excited about when it happened! Well, maybe the first couple of "crawling steps", but it was all downhill from there! The house we are in right now is really hard to put up boundaries in, especially down stairs because there are not really any narrow doorways where I would be able to put gates up in. So, my day consists of a lot of chasing Caleb around and taking things out of his hands, or MOUTH! BUT, in saying all of that, it is VERY cute to see him squeal and laugh because he is able to move from one end of the room to the other to get something he wants. And let me tell you, when he gets his "eye on the prize" there is no stopping him. Although, he hasn't quite figured out yet why his head hits the coffee table every time he tries to go under it. (he's usually trying to get to our chiuaua, abby, who weighs like 3 lbs!) He will be 8 months this week! I can't believe it, time is flying so fast and before I know it he will be walking and talking too!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You have done great things!

Man, God is so amazing and has truly done great things! It seems like no matter what he does for me, I always doubt him, and then he just proves me wrong over and over again. Well, we didn't get the house we were looking at in Crismark that we wanted to rent, BUT we found out that we actually qualify to buy a house! This is something that we thought wouldn't even be possible for us right now, but my dad and stepmom spoke some wisdom into our lives and told us to at least just find out if we would qualify, because you never know until you try, right? So, we took their advice and they were oh so right! We are now in the market to buy a house! One of the most exciting and scariest things we have ever done. We might even be able to build a house which we would really love to do. Sooo, we are now looking to maybe build in Crismark! Life is good, and God blesses even when I am not faithful to trust him. GOD ROCKS!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

One of the most dreaded words EVER: Moving!

Ahh moving, such a dreaded thing. Robbie and I have done it already 5 times since we have been married.(and we have only been married 3 years!) We are currently renting a house in Matthews, we love the house and love the location, but definitely couldn't buy this house and stay here long term because its too small to grow a family in. Our landlord just let us know that she is putting the house up for sale, SOOO, we have to move! UGH!!! Not only does moving totally suck, we have to somehow come up with a security deposit for a new house, which we definitely do not have right now. We found a house in a neighborhood called Crismark in Indian Trail that would be perfect for us, its got 2 more bedrooms than this house, more square feet, bigger girage, in UNION COUNTY (I have wanted to be back in UC for awhile, lower taxes, better schools, etc.), just all around a great house. So we will be putting in an application for the house today and just praying that God works some kind of miracle for the security deposit. So all of you reading this out there, get in touch with me and book a Pampered Chef show! haha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Lost Identity of a Mother

Wow, can I just say that I am no longer Samantha McLaughlin, young, vibrant, spontaneous, crazy 21 year old. I am now MAMA! It's crazy how different points in our lives totally change our identity, especially becoming a Mommy. I can no longer, eat, sleep, play, PEE, work, or anything else for that matter, when I want to. My life is no longer about Samantha its about Caleb. I only fulfill my needs once his have been totally met. It's crazy to me how much life has changed since I had Caleb now 7 1/2 months ago, WOW! My identity of Samantha McLaughlin has totally been lost somewhere and I now hold the identity of Caleb's Mommy, truly one of the most beautiful yet trying identities in the world. SO, in saying all of that, I am creating this blog to keep my sanity, to somewhere within myself keep the Samantha McLaughlin side and not just the Mommy side. (Although the majority of this blog will probably consist of me telling stories about my adventures as MAMA) I thought, "You know what, if I want to stay sane while raising Caleb, and eventually probably many more children, then I have to release my thoughts somewhere." So, out of that thought, this Blogspot is born! Coming soon: Many more blogs on "A Look into the McLaughlin Life."