The Orange Conference: It’s Just a Phase

Recently, as one of the children’s ministry leaders at my church, I was blessed to be able to go to the Orange Conference in Atlanta for three days.  It’s a small group and student ministry conference put on by the group that writes the Orange Curriculum {which we use at church}.  This year, their theme was “Monday is Coming”….essentially studying how you are using your impact on Sundays to influence the rest of the week for your younger church goers.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But another underlying theme {and the title of their new promoted book}, was “It’s Just a Phase.”  The entire back gallery of the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA was fantastically decorated to represent a child’s journey through childhood….birth through college-age.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Now.  I am not an overly sentimental person.  I throw away most of my kids’ “artwork.” We don’t buy every.single.school.picture. each year.  I can easily hug my kids goodbye and head out for a 4 day trip to Atlanta with my girlfriends without even looking back.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But.  Let me tell you….walking through that gallery was enough to make me a little misty eyed.  I’m sure I was just tired, or had some dirt in my eye.  Allergies, I’m sure.  Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!It all started with a simple display of doors, each labeled with a childhood phase.  A handwritten note encouraged us to write our children’s names on the appropriate doors, which were to be packed up and taken across the country on the “Orange Tour.”  Along the way, the Orange staff and conference attendees would pray for all of the children on the doors.  It’s nice to know that someone else is praying for me and my kids as we conquer this phase of childhood.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Walking past the doors led you down a corridor with displays depicting the phases of childhood.  It was a little overwhelming to me, staring down this loooooong hallway that symbolized 18 years of a child’s life.  On either side of the hallway were clusters of displays…peeks into the different phases of  your kid’s life.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But seeing the individual bedroom displays for each age period, decorated with actual toys and lovies that my kids have {already!} outgrown, put me over the edge.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!And of course the artwork hanging on the walls and leading up to the next display area reminded every parent there that every phase is fleeting.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!They had jars of marbles in each scene….one marble for each week that aged kid had left before he was grown.  The jars nestled amongst teenage clutter and baby toys was subtle….Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But when I found a display that explicitly showed how many weeks I have left with each of my three kids?  Powerful.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!So I’m not sure if it was the four day vacation away from the stress/kids/mess/busyness/sass/fighting/nagging

but I came back feeling more renewed, calm, and patient.  Not that I’m looking forward to all of the challenging phases, but I feel like now I have a mental picture of the time I have left with my kiddos.  Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!And although some phases are tough, I know they are all stepping stones to becoming a loving, responsible and Christ-like adult.  And I’m trying my best to appreciate everything about every phase.

Because I am literally losing my marbles.

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Sunday Scripture: Friendship

Our sermon series this month is about Connections…and last week, Jenn focused on true friendship.  Not situational friendships, that are qualified by your surroundings and only small parts of your life…..but unconditional love for each other.Sunday Scripture: Friendship...what the Bible says is needed to have an intentional and faith filled friendshipToday’s Sunday Scripture is courtesy of Instagram @MicheleCushatt

One of the scriptures that was covered was the story of Job and his three friends, who came to sit and mourn with him for a whole week…without saying a single word.  True friendship doesn’t require the right {or any!} words.

But my favorite Bible story about the loyalty of friendship is the story of Ruth.  Even after Naomi told Ruth that she had nothing of value left to offer her, Ruth replied:

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” -Ruth 1:16

Sunday Scripture: Friendship...what the Bible says is needed to have an intentional and faith filled friendshipI Heart Inspiration and originally Beria Blogs

True friendship has to be intentional.  Even if you aren’t in the same place in life, don’t believe in the same things, or even if you don’t speak to each other on a regular basis…genuine love requires intentionality.  And the qualities of a true friend {listed above} prove that any true friendship is automatically faith-filled.

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Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad from the garden

My kids are usually not picky eaters, but they certainly have their favorites.  And one thing we can all agree on is Pasta Salad.  Not the mayonnaise picnic kind, but literally pasta and salad.  Seriously.  They request this meal at least three times … [Continue reading...]

Sunday Scripture: Birthday

Sunday Scripture for a Birthday Boy!

Today is my baby boy's birthday!  My little one is {already!} two years old and is our pride and joy.It's amazing to me how much he has changed over the last week, let alone over the last two years.  Let me tell you, this boy keeps us in stitches and … [Continue reading...]

Sunday Scripture: Mother’s Day

Although it's not a typical Sunday Scripture Bible verse, this is a great quote perfect for Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!  Today, instead of a Sunday Scripture verse from the Bible, I found a lovely quote from Donna Bell a while back on pinterest...and I think it's just perfect for Mother's Day. I am so greatful for all of the women and mothers in … [Continue reading...]

A Little Free Library Ribbon Cutting

The Little Free Library- An adorable free program for neighborhoods...take a book....leave a book

I LOVE our neighborhood.  Not only do we have fantastic neighbors, sidewalks that go for miles and a resort-relaxing pool, but our community events are to die for.  In a couple of weeks, we'll host the Southern Flame BBQ festival....blue grass music, … [Continue reading...]

Mom Hacks You’ve Never Seen Before

Mom Hacks : A New Collection of Genius Ideas

Parenting isn't easy.  Between tantrums, gum in hair, back talk and lost homework, it can be a downright nightmare.  Luckily, we are all in the same boat, and willing to help each other out!  Here are some of the neatest Mom Hacks that I've seen in … [Continue reading...]

Sunday Scripture: Fruits of the Spirit

Sunday Scripture: Fruits of the Spirit

We've been working through many challenges in our house lately.  Sass, lying, anger, indulgence, greed, meanness.  And some of it is the children!  Today's Sunday Scripture literally jumped out at me when I was perusing Pinterest this week.  Someone … [Continue reading...]

CeraVe Five Minute Face Routine

This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincare

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CeraVeSkincare  #CollectiveBias So, it's not any secret that I have never been one to really fuss about my appearance or go to any great … [Continue reading...]

A Garden Story: Part One

garden logo part one

I'm not sure how well you know me, or how long you've been following my blog, but you may remember that we are wanna-be farmers.  Our dream is to someday own some land, renovate a little farmhouse, grow our own veggies and have a few farm animals. … [Continue reading...]