This is where you called me.

Last spring… Okay, it was February, but in Orange Beach, Spring comes after Christmas…. I felt a huge calling from God to stay at home with Carter and begin homeschooling in the fall. I planned and prepared and planned some more… not just the curriculum, but also my heart and mind to take on this task. I resigned from a job that I loved so much and I began the gruesome journey of life as a stay at home mom.

I’ve documented a few of my hardships on How to Make a Biscuit, but blogging couldn’t even become a glimpse into the challenges of stay-at-home-motherhood from the perspective of someone who has worked for three years as a mom! The transition only became more difficult as we moved across the country to obey God’s calling in Matthew’s heart.

As time went on, I became more and more miserable in my role. I really felt like my life was spiraling into something that I didn’t truly want, but I really wanted to want. I wanted the desire to spend every waking minute with my kids. I wanted the desire to homeschool my extremely “spirited” child. I wanted to desire to do all my laundry. Yes… even laundry. I really wanted to be that mom.

The hard truth is, I felt God telling me, “Audi, sweet love, you don’t have to be miserable…. Don’t you know what I have for you?”

My husband pressed me to look into a job. I continued to reject that “suggestion” because God called me to stay at home, right?

God tugged on my heartstrings and into my soul reminding me of my calling into ministry years ago… of the lives that were changed and the people that left a mark on my life that can never be erased.

No. No, God… you called me to stay at home.

Finally, I applied for a job.

The interview process was an amazing time for me. It’s exactly what I needed to realize that God doesn’t ever call you to just be _________ or just do _________. God calls you ALWAYS to a stepping stone to the next best thing that he calls you to do.

Woah. That’s so insanely amazing that I can’t comprehend it completely.

God called me to stay at home with my boys because Matthew would never have considered applying to LifeChurch.tv if I was wonderfully happy with my job. We wouldn’t have even pursued God’s next purpose for us to be used had I not been called to stay at home with our boys. Had God not called Matthew to Oklahoma, I never would know that I was supposed to do anything other than be content.

I realize now that God is calling me to do something big… bigger than I can even understand… to see lives changed and allow him to work through me to change those lives.

With that, I’m happy to share that I’ve accepted a position as Nextgen Admin at LifeChurch.tv’s South OKC campus. I’m so excited to see how God uses me during this season… as always, there’s more to share, but we’ll save that for after Christmas!

Even though I am SO thrilled to know my current purpose,I know it’s not my “final” calling… and that is even more exciting than the news itself.

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Stretch Momstrong

I realize that I’ve been radio silent for the past few days few weeks two months. It seems that I may have overstretched my abilities.

Does anyone remember those old stretchy dolls that would stretch super far like bubble-gum?

I have so much on my plate that recently, I realized that I kept stretching…. and stretching… and stretching.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not being tricked into doing things I don’t want to do! I don’t have a problem saying no, like LeeAnna at The Gold and the Pearl! Nope, I just love the things that I do SO much and I want to do them all.

That’s great if you’re stretch armstrong, but not if you’re just Biscuit Lover- wife of one, mom of two, committer of everything!!!

It was all going smoothly, really, it was, until we couldn’t find a Lifegroup.

Mr. Biscuit and I searched through the lifegroups like personal ads! Deeply trying to find connection and people to do life with. Though we truly enjoyed our time with all of the couples groups we visited, we didn’t feel like we belonged anywhere. After prayerful consideration, we both felt that God was calling us to start our own lifegroup.

In Arbonne, we say that it will fit into the nooks and crannies of your life.

Which is awesome.

Unless there aren’t any nooks and you don’t know what a cranny is.

Somewhere in the midst of homeschooling, playdates, Arbonne, blogging, and being married, I lost all of my nooks.

Something has to give. Unfortunately it has been my blog. It has been so long since I blogged that someone literally messaged me on our facebook page asking me how to make an actual biscuit.

I don’t even know how it happened! Actually, I didn’t even know it DID happen.

Until I was crying and sad and my husband said, “Honey, what happened to you?”

I stopped writing!

Writing is therapeutic and necessary for some… definitely for me.

Thank you for continuing to support and read my rambles…

And remember that like most everything in life, I’m still learning how to make a biscuit.

Photo on 11-3-13 at 8.33 PM #4

Midnight Song Bird

Recently I have been struggling with a bout of insomnia. Because I’m obviously the only one who doesn’t sleep, I sometimes take walks or go for a drive.

A few nights ago at about midnight, while my entire home was sleeping soundly, i stepped outside hoping to unload some anxiety.

Life can get stressful sometimes and when I feel myself losing it, I just need to get away with God.

While I was walking I saw this tiny little bird. Actually, I heard this tiny little bird “chirp.” When I saw it, I immediately thought it was injured and felt really bad, but obviously I was not going to touch a germy bird (sorry Peta). It didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t injured or hurt, it was just a carefree bird going for a walk just like me.

I wonder if birds have insomnia.

Probably not.

As I made my way around the circle, and away from insomnia bird, it just kept on chirping. Chirping away like a little crazy bird. Probably ranting about what a difficult birdie day he had. I am not exactly sure what birds deal with on a day to day basis. Maybe his bird friends kicked him out of the nest because he chirped so loud.

Or maybe he was rejoicing. Using the beautiful voice God gave him and chirping a beautiful song of praise.

Before I entered my home, the realization occurred to me that during my walk, I unloaded all of my problems on to God. I chirped off a rant about what a difficult mom-day that I had. I totally forgot to use the beautiful voice God gave me and chirp praises to my creator.

Sometimes I forget how awesome my life is.

I get on facebook and look at everyone else’s pretend life and I forget how awesome my life is…. how awesome of a life God gave me. I think about my messy, broken, life. I look at the way my life was “supposed” to be and all of the things I “could” have done if I had chosen a different path.

I forget that God’s path is  the perfect path.

I forget that I have a wonderful, supportive, sometimes obnoxious, extraverted husband who somehow through all of my issues loves to love me.

I forget that I have a smart little boy who hates learning in conventional ways and has made it nearly impossible to complete our traditional homeschooling approach on a daily basis, yet somehow still manages to learn.

And I forget that I have a sweet, sweet little baby boy who loves me so much that he never wants to leave my side.

I’m so thankful for realizations like these.

When I look back at my life, I’m thankful that I chose the “wrong” path, because it led me to the right one. I’m still amazed on a daily basis that God turned my mess into this beautiful life. This beautiful, unbroken, Christ-loving, family… in every way.

Perfection.

 

In other news, this week our How to Make a Biscuit Facebook page hit 40 Likes!! I know this doesn’t seem like much, but it means the world to me that 40 people care about what I have to say… Thank you for your support.

The Brokenhearted

This week I journeyed to Oklahoma City to explore Whole Foods Market. I was so excited all morning.. carefully planning my list, getting the diaper bag packed, situating the Moby. Even Carter was excited! I couldn’t wait to check out this new grocery store where nothing was off limits because of refined sugar or GMOs.

We were jamming out to Taylor Swift and I thought nothing could get me down. And then it did.

Because I am not familiar with OKC, I took the wrong road to get there. Not the wrong road in that it would not lead me to Whole Foods Market… it did…. but we went through what is probably referred to as “the bad part of town.”

As we were passing under a bridge I saw a billboard for Planned Parenthood.

I wish I was joking when I said that I have googled this billboard and I’m unable to find it online, so I’ll just have to explain it in detail.

The billboard was blue. It had a woman on it with a condescending look and in big white letters it said, “You know what you can’t afford as a teenager? A baby.”

My heart instantly broke. I started to cry and I remembered the day that I found out that I was pregnant with Carter. Though I knew that many people would be happy for us, I was terrified. I was only 18 years old and I didn’t have the first clue about being a mom. It was Whitney’s birthday and we drove to Pensacola. On the way there, I saw a billboard. It said, “Pregnant? Scared? There is hope!” Then it listed a Women’s Health Center.

What if I had seen the other billboard instead of the one offering hope? Would we still have my sweet Carter today? I cringe at the thought, but for many young girls, they cringe too late. They end up with emotional and physical damage that is sometimes impossible to repair.

I’m not saying that teenage girls can afford babies, but there are programs in place specifically for them. There are homes where they can go. Nothing is so bad that God can’t get you out.

All day long it broke my heart. Faces of pregnant teens flashed through my mind.. many, like myself, who found redemption through Jesus and live wonderful, Christ-centered lives with husbands and children. Many who don’t have to concern themselves with working as a single mom… But also many who chose a different path. Many who, instead of pouring their heart into the child and serving God, pour their heart into earthly things… And then even others who chose not become a mom in order to do some sort of good for their child and still live with the guilt of their decision.

I think that it is always possible to have normalcy. You choose your life. I worked really hard to be where I am today, but mostly, I relied fully on God to get me here. I trusted that if this is what he wanted for my life, he would make it happen.. and he did. It’s possible for anyone, no matter what the circumstance.

Jesus taught that faith will save you and does so in such a beautiful way in Luke Chapter 7…

“When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

As we all know, Jesus was so much more than a prophet… and he knew exactly who was touching him. Here’s what he said a few verses later….

“Then Jesus told him this story: ‘A man loaned money to two people- 500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?’

Simon answered, ‘I supposed the one for whom he cancelled the larger debt.’

‘That’s right,’ Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins- and they are many- have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven that shows only little love.’ Then Jesus said to the woman, Your sins are forgiven….. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

And they are many….

Those four words overwhelm my soul. My sins are many, but I have been forgiven for all of them. They no longer define me, Jesus defines me.

She was broken and hurting. She fell at the feet of Jesus… literally.

As we are called to love like Jesus loved, shouldn’t we minister to those who are broken and hurting?

I know I am extremely sensitive to teen pregnancy, but this is applicable advice for any area of brokenness.

Maybe it’s just me, but I notice so much more hate than I notice love… In a world that’s full of hate, how can we claim to be any different if we’re really just hating in a different way?

I challenge every Christ lover to be different.. to choose love. Choose to embrace those who are brokenhearted at the feet of Jesus, even if they’re only there because they have no where else to go. Choose to give them hope for a better life… a great life… instead of ending a life.

Be team love because love ALWAYS wins.

When eating healthy doesn’t work.

Several weeks before we moved, I cyber stalked Matthew’s coworker (and very good friend), Kim, whom I had built a fairly awesome internet friendship with.

Through my stalking, I found out that Kim was a beast at the gym and did a weird freak show lifestyle called “Paleo” where you eat like a caveman. (Who even does that? Right?)

Thinking she had always been this way, I looked at her previous posts and found that they dated back almost two years!! In which time she had lost a ton of weight and gained a ton of muscle. Seriously. Beast.

I wanted to know how she got started on this insane lifestyle of never eating bread or cheese. Who does that?

Well, it turns out she started with just switching to basic whole foods. Why not just eat healthy? Of course, I researched (as I always always do) and though it sounded awesome, I wasn’t sold. We didn’t have a farmer’s market and organic stuff is so expensive. I didn’t want to say goodbye to carbonated beverages and tacos.

Once we moved, I started feeling really convicted about what I was putting into my body. I looked at our grocery bill and our budget and realized that we spent so much money on food, but it wasn’t even really food. It was just junk that we consumed to meet a momentary desire.

So, I talked to Matthew (who still is totally skeptical of this) and we agreed to do a challenge for one week to eat nothing processed. Only REAL food.

This WAS NOT a diet. That was the number one rule, because I didn’t care about weight, I was just tired of feeling tired and crappy all the time. We made the switch for our ENTIRE family. That was rule number two.

So, that’s where we started. I shopped at a local grocery store/farmer’s market called Sprouts (Sprouts is awesome) and realized that their produce was SO cheap… even compared to Wal-Mart, which has cheap produce, but it also doesn’t taste very good. I’ll never forget the first watermelon I bought from Sprouts. It was the sweetest, most delicious watermelon I’ve ever consumed… and I bought the whole thing for a whopping $2.99! Amazing right?

Since then, we have made the switch to a mostly real food diet. Matthew still eats out with friends at lunch and I occasionally slip a green tea latte from Starbucks in, but at home, we’re eating real food.

I’m starting to challenge myself more and more with my lifestyle. I started doing a daily workout and even Zumba (which kicked my glutes.) I have been mostly silent about this journey because sometimes it seems like when people know you’re making a change and you fail, you feel like you’re failing other people, too.

I have to say this is the only time I feel defeated… that and when I eat sugary food, but I’m almost certain that I feel worse about it because I now know that my body feels worse, too!

We’ve made healthy changes as a family, but when I stepped on the scale three days ago, I was NOT pleased with what I saw… a five pound weight gain.

WHAT?

Excuse me?

After the initial feeling of total self pity, I realized that working out and all the soreness likely meant I had gained some muscle and that probably accounts for SOME of the gain.

But I thought eating healthy real food would make me lose weight?

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The fact of the matter is, before the human race was a farming society, they were hunter gatherers. I highly doubt they took a bread machine around spending all of their time baking bread over a campfire and eating mammoth sandwiches and they didn’t take around cows to milk so that they could churn butter and make cheese either….

So, I’m willing to give it a shot… if I can give up coke,  I can do this. Honestly, I want to. I want to be an example to my boys and lead them to live a healthy lifestyle as well. I know that it’s going to be difficult, but I think that it will be worth it.

Matthew is still on the fence, but has agreed to go 80/20. I am going to transition going Paleo and then doing the Whole30 Challenge. I feel that this option will help me be the most successful on this wild adventure! Read more about the Whole30 challenge at their website.

Matthew is so supportive of my decision and has agreed to make his 20 OUTSIDE of the house!

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I tried to put his picture on there but I couldn’t figure out how. Whatever.

The kids are still going to be real food, not paleo for now. For me one of the biggest challenges with the kiddos is easy snacks that are real food. So, for all of your moms or non-paleo people out there, I am excited to announce our very first giveaway!

Someone recently introduced me to subscription boxes. They are so much fun! We’ve tried several with discounts and cancelled them, but one that I will probably always keep is Nature Box!! Every month you pay a small fee and they send you a box full of yummy goodies! We especially love the dried fruit (and that’s paleo approved). The very best part of the box is that you can choose to be surprised or even pick what you’d like in your box for the next month! Carter LOVES getting the package and seeing what we get inside! The snacks are truly delicious and I’ve never been dissatisfied with it!

Want to win a one month October subscription for Nature Box?

Enter our giveaway easily by e-maling the word “Win Nature Box” to howtowinabiscuit@gmail.com by 1:00 pm CST on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

(Please note that you must subscribe to our blog to enter the giveaway!)

You can also keep up with exclusive giveaways by Liking us on Facebook!

Want to subscribe to receive your own Nature Box each month? Use this link and you can receive 50% off using the coupon code SHARE10!

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a blog documenting our Paleo Transition!

Embracing God’s Plan for Your Life. A Guest Post from Austin Hanes!

I had the opportunity to work with Austin during my time at CSU. He is such a blessing to so many and a truly spirit-filled follower of Christ! Though he has many talents, he is a very gifted writer and I’m thankful that he agreed to guest blog for me today! Enjoy!

When Audi originally asked me to write for her blog I thought to myself, “what could I possibly have to say as a guest blogger…I am horrible at keeping up my own blog.” And after one of her last posts I thought to myself, “what could I, a 25 year old single guy, have to possibly say to defeated Moms?!?!” But then it came to me: defeat, negative self-talk and the like are not feelings that women feel alone; you might be surprised to know that guys suffer from defeat and negative self-talk too. The devil’s flaming arrows of negativity have no sexual, racial or socioeconomic bounds.

So here goes… At Christmas I bought this pair of red pants to wear to my company Christmas party. They weren’t like a burgundy or merlot color…they were RED. I thought they were the greatest thing on the planet! Well…for some reason I thought that people looked at me strange in them and so for the next 7 months, they lived on a hanger in my closet. A few weeks ago, I decided to pull them out and pair them with a blue gingham shirt (no this isn’t a style blog but stay with me).

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I looked like a hipster at a hipster Fourth of July party. Pretty much the greatest style choice of my life! However, more fiery arrows of self-doubt ensued and I said something in passing to my younger brother. What he said was so poignant and something that I don’t want to forget for a long time. He said something like “why be fearful of what man thinks when it is ultimately what God thinks that matters?”

We lead our lives comparing it with others based upon the Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets and Instagram updates. We are turning into a social media, one-up society. We no longer lead lives that we are satisfied with, but rather want more out of life and create a life that we want on our Pinterest boards. Is it wrong to want a better house or better clothes? I don’t think so; however, at what point are we taking our stylistic ideas and turning them into coveting after what others have? Aren’t we ultimately wanting a better life?

Your life is what God has blessed you with. Let that sink deep down. Your life is a blessing from God! Nobody else will have your life…and you will NEVER have anybody else’s life. It was planned out to be exactly how it is before the foundations of the world were even laid.  Sometimes the life that is in front of us isn’t the life that we would have picked for ourselves. Being cooped up in a house all day with a grumpy toddler, isn’t fun. Being cooped up in a cube while under stress at work, isn’t fun. But guess what: this is the life God has for you right now. Its beautiful once you embrace it and see it as a blessing, and thank God for that blessing. Just because you have (or had) hopes and dreams, doesn’t mean that they won’t come to pass just because of the current state of your life. During this current state, God can use you to speak life and truth into so many people’s life…you just have to be willing to accept where He has you and step out into the unknown of where He is taking you.

One of my favorite authors Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Searching for God Knows What), wrote one of the most profound things in one of His books that I have read in regard to this. He said, “Life is a dance toward God…and the dance is not so graceful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is difficult to dance and learn, because its steps are foreign.” Our minds are unable to fully comprehend the beauty and plan of such an amazing Being. We think that we can take on life in our own strength, but it is at that point that we always will fail. Just like a potter who must mash his pot into a lump time and time again in order to make it exactly what He wants it to be, while we are learning to dance with God, our toes will get hurt and bruised; but this is what it takes to go from dancing like a white kid with absolutely no rhythm (such as myself), to dancing like world champion ballroom dancers with God.

I am my own worst enemy. I will break myself and hurt myself more than anyone else. I speak the negativity to myself because they are not words from God. Instead of saying that I am ugly, God tells me I am beautiful and made in His image; I am the bearer of His fingerprints. Instead of dwelling on all of the things that I have done to blaspheme His name, God tells me that they are forgiven and no longer matter; they are at the bottom of a bottomless well never to be brought up again.

What we wear, what we believe God would have us to do, how we believe He would have us to raise our children is between us and God; He is the only one we should look to for approval. Lets begin living life like we are a free people, purchased with the blood of a perfectly, sinless sacrifice.  Because it is at that point that we begin to truly live and love.

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Follow Austin’s blog at austinsmusings.wordpress.com. You won’t be disappointed!

Living the Dream

Since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be mom.

There was a brief period in high school where I was obsessed with women’s rights and potentially wanted to intern in Washington, DC and become President one day, but (thankfully) it was just a phase.

As soon as I had Carter, I remembered my destiny.

And I ran for my life.

Until Chandler was born, I was a working mom for Carter’s entire life! I worked wherever I could find work and God blessed me tremendously for my efforts! I went from waiting tables at Fish Camp to preaching to youth at Engulf. Then to teaching preschool, then finally, my favorite job at CSU. I truly loved my job there and I was so happy, but during my pregnancy God reminded me that my job was to be at home. I LONGED to be at home with Carter, but I worked really hard and again, God rewarded me for that. As you know, Matthew began working full time and I became a stay at home mom.

This was my dream. This is everything I wanted.

Why was it so hard?

It was hard because it was different. Change is hard. Though I’m thankful that God gave me a few months to adjust before he moved us across the country, those were a few hard months. Our house was always, ALWAYS a mess. I was always behind. I could never get caught up and I was terribly exhausted. Matthew would come home and look at me like, “What did you do all day.”

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I never knew what to say. I was busy ALL day. I was changing diapers, making sandwiches, reading stories, mixing bottles, rocking babies… and I was tired.

When we moved to Oklahoma, I was determined not to fall into that pattern.

Of course the first morning that I woke up with dishes in the sink I felt immediate defeat.

Satan whispered those so convincing things that I hear so often, “Look at this mess. You’re a terrible mom.” and “You’ll never get it together. Your life will always be like this.”

It was like a vicious cycle….

Defeat in the home graph

No matter what, it would lead to defeat. Why should I set myself up for failure?

As much as I wish I could say that I just love living in a crazy mess and that’s how I dealt with this defeat… it’s not, but my house is never perfect.

Guess what? That’s OKAY!

I realized that finding order in our chaos was key. Otherwise, you will always live in the cycle and that’s no way to live.

How can you live the dream if you’re living in defeat? You can’t.

So, here’s what we do. I focus all of my attention on Carter and Chandler. If I have time to load the dishwasher, then I do, but if it’s more important to read The Cat in the Hat for the 100th time, then that’s fine too! Every once and a while, I still do mad woman cleaning rampages (about once a week), but it’s because our home functions a little bit easier when it’s tidy… NOT because I’ll be a good mommy if I do.

I’m already a good Mommy. And I’m living the dream.

YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!

Being a mom is really difficult sometimes, but it can also be a really rewarding experience. I hate to admit it, but way too often I forget all of the rewarding moments that I’ve experienced as soon as difficulty rolls around. I have such a dramatic personality that life is never in between.

Sometimes Carter pours the entire bowl of cereal on the floor. Instead of remembering all of the times Carter has enjoyed picking out his cereal or the times that he says “Thank you Mommy for getting my my favorite cereal,” I immediately ban all cereal from our home and go on a rampage about why pouring your own cereal is never EVER a good idea.

When we go to Sprouts (the most adorable Farmer’s Market in the world), I have to mentally prepare myself for what might happen if all of the kid size carts are gone. Instead of rejoicing in the fun we have when they are available, I go directly to a negative place in my mind.

I’m kind of over that.

I’m over the screaming matches.

I’m over blaming my child (who is only 4) for everything that goes wrong involving him.

I’m over not taking responsibility and making changes in my life to make our family life better.

I’m over that.

So here we go to a new phase in the Day home. A phase where I am earnestly seeking what God wants from me in order to be a wife (and mom) of noble character instead of a wife (and mom) who comes unglued when the slightest thing goes wrong.

 

I recognized that something needed to change about three weeks ago. We went to pick up Carter at LifeKids and got a bad report from Carter’s teacher. Furious, I took Carter to the car and lectured him. I told him I was soooo disappointed in him and he was in sooo much trouble. When we got home, Matthew handed me the keys and said, “Take Chandler to Target. I’m going to hang out with Carter.”

Um, what? I hope by “hang out” you mean drill bible verses about being kind to your friends.

He didn’t. My amazingly gentle husband prayed with Carter and discussed what happened. When I got home, we had a serious conversation about our parenting. Mostly leading by example. I lose my temper way too often and I recognized that it had to change. Change is really hard though. I followed The Orange Rhino in her pursuit to stop yelling. I tried alternative options and Matthew really helped. Things were going great until Wednesday.

On Wednesdays we sometimes go to the Farmer’s Market just down the road. This particular Wednesday there was a young lady with her grandmother selling little friendship bracelets. Carter really wanted one, so I gave in and forked over the cash for this bracelet that was likely about 99% profit and would probably be lost or broken in a few weeks. Carter took about a million hours to pick out his bracelet and finally chose a blue one (they all looked exactly the same, but whatever) and from the moment he got his hands on it, his mouth never shut asking me to tie it on. With two bags and a baby in my hand, this proved to be a little difficult, so I kept chanting right back, “When we get to the car. When we get to the car.”

Well, we got to the car. Immediately (even before I unlocked the door), I heard, “Mommy! Put my bracelet on now!” I chose to ignore it. It continued. I ignored. It continued. I ignored.

I got Chandler buckled into his seat and walked around to help Carter. He threw his bracelet on the ground, stepped on it, and crossed his arms.

Suddenly, things weren’t going so well. I yelled. I screamed. I lectured. “I just spent money on this for you… blah blah….. have patience… blah blah…. you are ungrateful… blah blah blah. YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!”

I picked up the bracelet and pushed it into the cup holder. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the disappointed face of my four year old and my heart broke.

“Carter, do you want your bracelet?”

“No, I just don’t want it anymore.”

I defeated him. Why did I feel horrible about it?

Because it was wrong.

I no longer felt like I defeated. I felt defeated. I took Carter’s little bracelet and I tied it around my wrist.

Though I have slipped up a few times, for the most part, the yelling has come to a screeching halt. When I get so furious and my wrists clench up, I notice the tiny blue string bracelet on my right hand and remember the look of defeat on my baby’s face. Then I remember the feeling of defeat in my own heart and I decide that in that moment, it’s okay to let the cereal go. It’s okay.

And when it’s not okay, it is okay to just talk about it. Yelling is not required.

 

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Even though you want to, just try to never grow up.

I wrote this post the day after Matthew’s parents and sisters left us in Oklahoma. We woke up and the house was quiet. I cried for days. I didn’t share this with most people because I didn’t want to seem weak or vulnerable, but the reality of life is, sometimes it does hurt. Heartache doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t make you vulnerable. It makes you real.

Tomorrow it will be one week since we said goodbye to our home in Foley, Alabama. I have many blogworthy moments from our voyage. I made mental notes of many. I do that all the time. I’ll see something happening in front of me and think to myself, “BLOGWORTHY!” Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes I’ll store it away in my crazy mind for a while before I write about it. That being said, though many of the hilarious memories of the past week are flooding through my mind right now, I’m not going to write about that today. Today, I’m going to write about growing up.

I grew up this week.

You’d think the wedding and two kids would have taken care of that, right?

It took 846 miles for me to grow up. And after that, I’ve decided that I don’t really fancy it. Ive been saying for many weeks that I’m confident that we’re going where God wants us (and after the horrific obstacles we encountereed on the way, I’m positive!), but being a grown up wasn’t something I expected.

Being a grown up is hard. It’s full of heartache. Suddenly your heart doesn’t just ache for your own selfish reason, but it aches for those outside of your body. It aches for your husband who is trying relentlessly to cheer you up while dealing with his own heartache. It aches for your four year old who doesn’t understand that we can’t go by his grandparent’s house today because it’s not in the same town. It aches for your parents who are in a town with no more family. It aches for your in-laws who said goodbye to their first child and their only grandchildren hoping they taught them everything they needed to know so that they could go out and do great things for God’s kingdom… It just aches. 

At the park this week, Carter and I were swinging next to two young girls. They were care-free and enjoying a nice day on the bench fantasizing about future husbands and children they’ll have.

“I’m getting married no later than 19,” said the girl with dark hair, “I want to get married young so that I can start a family.”

“Yes, me too! My limit is 21. Anything after that and I’d feel old.” said the blonde, “I just can’t wait to grow up.”

Why does being a grown up sound so appealing? Even Carter is considering growing up.

Yesterday at the store, out of nowhere, he exclaimed, “Mommy, when I grow up, I’m going to push a buggie like you and I only want boys in it.” Before I could agree or object, he added, “and my wife. I want to push her in it too.”

I don’t want Carter to get married. I don’t want him to grow up.

I realize that I can’t prevent my sweet angels from growing up. I can’t keep their precious innocence forever. I can’t keep their childhood painless. The adulthood slowly chips that away…. A realization here… a learning experience there… and before you know it, adulthood is present. Pain is present. Heartache is present.

The realization that the Day family in Oklahoma consists of four people kind of stung. As a young adult, I swore I would never leave “the south.”

Many people would speculate that Oklahoma is part of “the south,” but trust me, I’ve ordered sweet tea before and gotten some nasty looks…

God does that sometimes. He sees what our flesh wants…. To cling to people and earthly things like monogrammed jon-jons and plantation homes… I’ve accepted that my boys will probably not grow up the way that I did in the south. They probably won’t experience walking down the street without shoes on or picking wild muscadines in the back yard. They probably won’t ever go to Sunday lunch where everyone knows their name or star in a local production of “Come Back to God America.”

When they grow up and have children of their own, they won’t tell them, “I grew up just down the road from my grandparents and I visited every day.”

But do you know what they will say?

I hope it’s something like this…

I grew up in a home where my parents loved me, but they loved God so much more. I grew up watching my parents follow Christ fearlessly and recklessly and raising me to do the same.

Until then, boys, in the words of the great Taylor Swift, just try to never grow up.

“Your little hand’s wrapped around my finger

And it’s so quiet in the world tonight.

Your little eyelids flutter ’cause you’re dreaming

So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light.

To you, everything’s funny. You’ve got nothing to regret.

I’d give all I have honey

If you could stay like that.

Oh, darling, don’t you every grow up

Don’t you every grow up, just stay this little

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up

Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple

I won’t let anybody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart

And no one will desert you

Just try to never grow up.

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room

Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home.

Remember the footsteps, remember the words said

And all your little brother’s favorite songs

I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

So here I am in my new apartment

In a big city, they just dropped me off.

It’s so much different than I thought it would be

So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on.

Oh, I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up.

I could still be little.

Oh, I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up.

It could still be simple.

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little.

Oh, darling don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little.

No one’s ever burned you, nothing’s ever left you scarred…

So even though you want to, just try to never grow up.

And even though you want to, please try to never grow up.”

-“Never Grow Up” Taylor Swift

I can make a biscuit. I can… and I will.

Recently at lifechurch.tv they had a course called “Chazown.” I decided not to sign up because it was on Matthew’s Birthday and I felt that it was important to be here for that since it’s his first birthday away from his extended family (Mom and Dad and 3 siblings) in his entire life. 

Chazown (Hebrew) translates to “Vision.” As someone who has lived my entire life wondering what the heck I’m doing here, I found this very intriguing and began researching the topic more and more. I watched the sermon from Pastor Craig and immediately started looking into the next course. Much to my (delightful) surprise, you can complete the course online. So, of course I did. 

Let me just say, it was life changing. Life. Changing. 

The process takes quite some time, but through it I laughed, I cried and I learned so much about myself and my vision. Instead of telling you what you are supposed to do, the course gives you the tools to discover on your own (with the help of God) what you are supposed to do… what the vision for your life is… your “Chazown.”

In the process you have to write a statement of your Chazown. All by yourself! Before you start this process, there is a video where the Craig says, “Don’t be surprised if God’s vision for you is bigger than you imagined. Don’t be overwhelmed.”

Oh, overwhelmed is an understatement. 

After prayer, God CLEARLY placed a vision on my life in two very important ways.

My chazown is to minister to women (young and old) who have had experiences in their lives where they have felt unloved and unworthy and to help them, through Christ, overcome the feeling of defeat!

Specifically, I feel called to help girls who went through situations similar to mine. Teen pregnancy is an epidemic in the United States, but informing girls after they are pregnant, doesn’t really seem to help. I’d like to give hope to girls. With Christ, life can be anything you want it to be. Even with a baby. I could talk about this for days, but for now, I’ll get off my teen pregnancy soap box and tell you what this has to do with “How to Make a Biscuit.”

Recently, I shared my “Saturday Night Cry-fest” revolution about my blogs with my husband.

Can I pause and insert mushy gushy-ness about how wonderful and supportive he is? 

No? 

Okay…

He didn’t respond automatically, he didn’t have any comments for several days actually. Then, one day he said something like, “Audi, you know, just because they are Saturday Night Cry-Fests doesn’t mean they don’t serve a great purpose.”

“What?” I replied, “You’re life can’t be as crazy or as bad as mine?” 

“No. It shows that in every circumstance, you could deal with defeat.”

Of course, being the most defensive person in the world, I didn’t take this well. 

Um, Defeat? What are you saying? I’m defeated in every aspect of my life? 

That wasn’t at all what Matthew was saying. What he was saying is this: I can’t be alone. People deal with defeat every single day, but rarely do they admit it or address it. The shift of my blog completely changed when I realized this (with the help of my amazing husband). At the end of every cry-fest, there comes triumph. I feel empowered and new. I feel like I can take over the world and bring my kids along in a Moby wrap. 

I ran with the idea as we started compiling thoughts and ideas for the revamp. At that point, I wanted to be geared toward moms who feel defeated. 

Then I completed Chazown.

This blog is not about just moms. It is so much more than that now. 

Defeat isn’t just present in motherhood, it’s present in every faucet of life and something that many women relate to! 

Whether you’re feeling defeated because your real life isn’t as great as someone’s facebook life or you keep exercising and you aren’t loosing weight…. or you’re feeling defeated because your child hates reading and you’re homeschooling (ME)… Even if it’s because you’re living with a secret so big that you don’t think people could handle it…. or you’re trying to make your family eat whole foods and you just caved and ate a whole butterfinger…. You are not defeated. You can be empowered. You can win the fight! And so can I. We can and we will. 

 This blog has been in the works for years. YEARS! I have documents saved on my computer desktop from when Carter was two. I never felt like anyone would want to read what I had to say… Obviously if you’re reading this you do. I’ve had so much encouragement from family and friends. Of course, I’ve also met opposition. 

I’ve found that no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes other people see areas of their life that need improvement just like yours, but when you start improving them, they feel defeated and insecure. Therefore, naturally, they oppose what you are attempting to do.

Don’t let that stop you. 

Here I am… in Oklahoma. My husband is working somewhere he never dreamed he’d be blessed to work. I’m a stay at home mom homeschooling my four year old. 

What? When did this happen? 

When I stood up for myself against opposition (and satan) and said, I won’t be defeated today. We can do this. I can do this. I can make a biscuit. 

If you’re interesting in finding your Chazown, check out this video and then go to www.Chazown.com