Sponsored Post: ScoreBig.com

I love to go see baseball games. Anyone that follows me on Instagram, knows that recently I drove up the East Coast to see the Orioles, Phillies, and Yankees at their beautiful ballparks. It was fun, cheap, and due to my current life circumstances…easily scheduled. The problem has always been how to affordably take my family of 5 to the same fun sporting events. Enter a new website I discovered recently. ScoreBig.com.

ScoreBig

There are tons of different ways to purchase event tickets online, but ScoreBig.com combines the bidding, deal-catching, low price grabbing fun of all you’ve ever seen in one fun website. For example: I just bought 5 tickets for my family to attend an Atlanta Braves game in a few weeks. Face Value on all of these tickets were $35 each. For my family, that’s a ton of money just to buy tickets to the game, and doesn’t even include parking or concessions. With ScoreBig.com, I was able to put in a bid of $20 each for the same tickets and won my bid! Saved me over $75 from what MLB would have me pay online.

Just wanted to share some of what I’ve found online in regards to making fun family memories without making regrettable financial decisions at the same time.  Here are a few quick facts about ScoreBig.com:

  • You are guaranteed to save on each and every ticket on ScoreBig.com
  • Tickets for sports, concerts, theater, Broadway, family shows, and attractions
  • No fees – free delivery
  • Choose Your Seating Area – all seats ordered together will be next to each other
  • Tell us what you want to pay – you have all the control, it’s thrilling!
  • Get an instant answer – you find out right away if your offer has been accepted

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In Summer || Starr Cliff

Homemade ice cream.

Mornings on the porch with coffee and the dawn song of birds singing.

Visits from family and friends; highly anticipated,  and always better than hoped for.

Floating the river.

Baseball games.

The pool.

Bright nail polish.

Big beach hats.

Georgia awash in green.

Fireflies temping us outside…mosquitoes driving us back in.

Sweet tea in mason jars.

Loud music with the windows down.

Fresh, sweet tomatoes and fragrant basil from the garden,  devoured with slices of  mozzarella.

My gorgeous kids with tanned legs and golden hair.

Skinned knees and bug bites.

A slower pace,  a lighter heart.

SummerCollage

From the time I was a little girl and waited all spring for it to be warm enough to water-ski again, summer has always, always been my favorite. I could go on and on with things big and little that fill my heart in the summer months. These last few months have been hard ones for us (hard is relative of course,  and we are acutely and keenly aware that we have much to be thankful for).  I’m so truly grateful for the timing: that this figurative hard “season” of life has coincided with my literal favorite one. Seeking God and finding Him faithful just comes a littler easier to me with the sun warming my face.

As summer threatens to turn to fall, I’m admittedly a little anxious about what our future holds. But I trust He will be there in the turning and changing of the leaves just as He’s there in the easy,  natural comfort of summertime.

Finding Common Ground

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/publications/hks-magazine/archives/winter-2010/finding-common-ground/

We tend to identify ourselves by what are differences are. Unless we are isolated, and then we begin to find people who are similar. Play at game with me and imagine you are at a big party, with tons of different personalities in the room. There are a few outliers that will either work the room and campaign for mayor or find an isolated spot to do serious people watching, but most of us look for what’s familiar and stick with those people. We go into search mode for what we may have in common with the strangers around us, then when we find it we settle in with them.

We find those people that fit our understanding of how we see the world, then we begin picking at the differences amongst everyone else (church denominations, cliques in high school, or political parties.) For many this is where the common ground game ends. For for a few of us this is where something changes for us.

The “common ground” isn’t as common as you once thought. You’ve picked at the differences in others, and realize that those differences are suddenly more attractive than the common ground you once held so dear. Or maybe that not’s exactly true, but you find that even though you have huge differences; you also have huge agreements in other values. We’re not talking huge changes or even 180-degree turn arounds, but just enough to make you want to find common ground with those you disagree with.

I believe this is what common ground was always intended to mean; not gathering with those we agree with, but finding agreement in the opinions, thoughts, and ideas of others. If we can find common ground in the scatterings, then we’ve really achieved something. So whether it’s the first day of school, attending a new small group at church, talking to strangers in a coffee shop, or trying to get along with family members; we can all learn to find the common ground. It’s not about eliminating the differences, they are still there and for some will always be there. It’s just that now the differences take a back seat for the moment.

And if you’re a person that’s never had a ‘change of heart’ toward those you should love, maybe you should.

 

 

Letting My Kids Amaze Me

KidsBeach

I want to be surprised by my kids. Not the “Is that a snake in your hands?” kind of surprise, but something a little more meaningful. I spend a large amount of my time with these children of mine, and there is a tendency that I have to not see the amazingness that comes from them on a daily basis. It’s my prayer that I never stop being amazed by them.

Let me be amazed at how quick they learn. Seriously, if I can be patient enough to invest the time teaching them something new, they have a tendency to master it quickly. Even if it takes them weeks to learn to ride their bike, that’s still pretty remarkable.

Let me be amazed at how quickly they recover from pain. I’m a parent, but also someone that has worked with kids for over a decade. It’s often times taken advantage of, but it’s crazy how fast our kids can move past painful moments. All three of my kids process things differently, but they all process much faster than I do.

Let me be amazed at how easy they forgive. One of my best parenting gifts, is the ability to ask my kids to forgive me. And they do. Every single time. They live with a willingness to forgive those that hurt them, and that’s amazing. I’m going to need this ability in my children to parent them through the dark times of their lives, and I’m thankful for what I’ve seen thus far.

Let me be amazed by their laughs. My kids don’t always laugh at my jokes, but when they do it blows me away. I love the things that make my kids laugh. I love to hear them laugh when they makes themselves laugh. Their laughter will be missed in my house when their gone, I can’t even imagine not having the laughter.

Let me be amazed by their faith. Like all of us, they want to believe in something greater than themselves. The ability of children to quickly come to faith in the supernatural, is even something Jesus talked about. It’s amazing to watch them grow as people of faith. My oldest has started journaling, and it makes my heart joyful to see him write his prayers to a father that loves him more than I could ever hope to.

We are Again Circling

changing-directions

Sometimes you think you know,  believe,  and embrace a Biblical principle…but then you bump up against that principle in a way you didn’t control, plan, or imagine.

This family has circled for most of the time this family has been “this family”,  looking for a place to land. We thought we found it, came in hard for the landing, and put the plane in the hangar. We slammed the door on the hangar and locked it up, thinking we were finished with the circling; didn’t need the plane. We had landed. We were home.

“You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14

In our hearts, in spite of the warnings of Scripture, we thought we knew what our tomorrows looked like. We read “You don’t know what your life tomorrow will be” and nodded our heads in affirmation, but in our hearts thought “of course we do.” But what we’ve experienced regarding our “landing”, is that the Lord was not willing. The life here in Athens, GA that we were planning on,  was not what He had in mind for us.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

And so, we are again circling. God has allowed some sadness and confusion in the changing of our course and in the dissolving of our well laid plans, but we are confident we are in His hands. We have been uprooted, but the master gardener uproots and prunes with tender care, and He will plant us where He wants us.

We are no longer on staff at the church that brought us to Georgia. Resignation from the church did not come easily, but we know that an easy life is not we are promised, or even want. We are waiting on the Lord to see what He has in mind for us. We are prayerful that He will make his plans for us clear, and hopeful that we will bear well the weight of the waiting: waiting for His plans for us to take shape in a way we can see and take firm hold of. We will see what the Lord has in mind,  and we are confident it is for our good. He goes before us.

“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you… ” Isaiah 52:12

While we are waiting in this in between, we have fixed our eyes on Jesus, and found that He is good. He never disappoints.

I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”  Jeremiah 32:39-41