when mama's away…

…the kittens act all GROWN UP and RESPONSIBLE for once. A-ma-zing. My friend Heidi and I were talking about how, when we go away, our girls (hers are 10, 8, and 6) just step it up and do things they simply aren’t “capable” of when Mommy’s home.

Like initiating bath/shower time. Or packing their own lunches. Or cleaning their bedrooms without being asked.

I know.

I left for New Jersey from the bus stop (well, technically the airport) on Thursday morning and got home at 10:30 a.m. Monday. And while there was one disheartening phone call on Saturday afternoon in which my husband told me it was nigh impossible to get website work done while running the house and caring for three “bored” children, everything else went swimmingly.

Yes, they ate out a lot. And no, the laundry didn’t magically do itself. But, my goodness. The man pumped up their bike tires and wrestled with them (one of their all-time favorite Daddy activities) and got them to church on time (after a donut breakfast at Tim Horton’s) and took them to see The Princess and the Frog at the Dollar Theatre. And so on and so forth.

And when I got home, instead of telling me how much they cried because they missed me, they told me how much fun they had with Daddy. Warmed my heart. They each fell just a little bit more in love with their Daddy. And so did I.

Because he gave me a gift really. I knew our babies were in the safest hands possible. I knew they were being loved and cared for and even spoiled. So I was able to relax and enjoy myself and have a blast with two dear old friends and 100+ new ones.

I read this book on the flight over and this one on the way back. I liked the first one okay because it’s about a family that goes on a year-long adventure (to Italy!!), but the second one (I’m not finished with it quite yet) is ROCKING my world because it’s all about story and making your life mean something.

Anyway. I got to spend so much quality time laughing and talking with my friends Heidi and Rachel who flew to NJ from Michigan and Heidi’s mom, Kathy, a pastor’s wife and mastermind behind the women’s retreat. We ate lots of good food and shopped for trinkets for our kiddos (mine, by the way, were not really the huge hit I was hoping for. oh well). Rachel and I shared a king-sized bed at the hotel for 3 nights and had way too much fun laughing way too late.

The women I met were just flat-out amazing. Open and honest, warm and accepting. You could hardly tell they were from New Jersey. (joke! joke!) We laughed and talked, and they were just so great. I’d love to start mentioning them by name right here and now, but I’d hate to leave anyone out. They were just so sweet and above-and-beyond awesome. I miss them already, and I’m thrilled to have so many new facebook friends from the East Coast.

Did I mention that the hotel was on THE BEACH? I’ve never seen the Atlantic Ocean from the shores of New Jersey before (just FL, SC, NC, and VA). I’ve also never been at the beach and seen snow. It was a bit chilly but sunny and gorgeous. There’s just something about the ocean.

It killed me to drive right by the Cape May Zoo and not stop and see the giraffes. But some sweet anonymous new friend bought me a t-shirt! And another sweet group of gals went together and got me a stuffed giraffe in a little cream, fuzzy purse that says “Wild!” on it. Nina has convinced me to “share” it with her, and we named our new friend Ginger.

God gave me the words to say (thank you for praying!), and I know He worked in so many women’s hearts (mine included) all weekend long.

I came home Monday to great news and some really encouraging comments on this post. And my Diapers books are here! (if you ordered some–and paid–I hope to get them all mailed this week) If you’d still like to order some, let me know. Life’s not all peaches and creamer, but that’s another post for another day. God is good, even if (because) His plans are different from mine.

I do have a (not very) hypothetical question for you: Let’s say I had to put the Zoo Book on hold for a bit and write something else. What book would you want me to write?

21 thoughts on “when mama's away…

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  3. amber

    Hey, friend.
    I’m trying to catch up on all the goodies of my buddies.

    So glad that you had a fabo time with the New Joyzee girls. Sounds like the Lord was a’movin’.

    Let’s see:
    I’m in favor of the in-law book.
    Or a book on how it is okay to NOT clean your house.
    Or NOT do laundry.
    Or NOT cook Betty Crocker meals for the family.

    xoxoxox — Thanks for the Prayers! We’ve felt ’em!

  4. Rachel

    I was going to say a sequal to Worlds Apart, too 🙂 I thought it was great — and the format just opens it up for a sequal. It left me wanting more from the story.

    1. Buffy

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  5. Donita

    Isn’t that interesting…I read your question as this:
    If I had to choose between writing THIS book or ANOTHER book which one should I work on.
    And my immediate thought was, “Whichever one God is telling you to write.”
    So, I suspect that, perhaps God has already told you!?!

  6. Jen your cousin

    Devin and I are reading “A Thousand Miles…” right now and it is rocking out world too! We love it so far.

  7. Bethany

    Welcome home girl! So glad to hear that you had a great time and that the Lord worked mightly in your heart and in the hearts of all those ladies! Oh how I love women’s retreat!!!! Can’t wait till ours 🙂
    As for book ideas, I think that you should write someting about singleness although I know that you are not single but you were at one moment in time. Or maybe a fiction book would be great. I’m reading your blushing bride book (even though I’m not married nor close to it) but I love your writing style and what you have to say. So, really anything you write would be wonderful!
    Have a blessed day!

    1. Johnie

      Now all I need is a wet weekend and the strength to say that work will wait till the next day and I definitely shall try to get a &#ea16;cl82n break’ ! I love feta, use it in a dozen ways, so thank you for making the process so easy to follow! This is quite fascinating for a gal who usually buys such at the supermarket!

  8. Sara

    Yay! I’m so glad our Father blessed your time there! AND can I say I’m conflicted because I want my kids to be self sufficient and then again I don’t…I think my bones are just old and tired…SEE…for all you young gals out there having babies now…it’s a GOOD thing :o) It dawned on me last night that I will be in my 50’s when Biscuits finishes high school…I’m going to go cry now :o)

  9. Bethany

    Two ideas:
    -The in-law book
    -Pursuing your passion. Remember all those talks you had with me and Kelly about dreaming big and doing something about it? Probably like that Donald Miller book you’re reading–that’s why you like it so much.

  10. sarah montanye

    welcome home!! the jersey joke made me laugh. i love love love the idea about an in-law book. that would be great! I am soooo thrilled to hear about Gabe’s new job. how exciting!! Congrats!

  11. Gabe Taviano

    Thanks for appreciating me in how I support your ministry (watching the kids). About the next book…..you’ve heard me say it a few times, but that in-law book needs to be written.

  12. Betsy

    God keeps impressing upon me the idea that we are only ONE generation away from losing our families to unbelief. Would love to see a book written on the concept of Deut. 6:7- 9 and ideas for Moms and Dads today.

  13. Holly V.

    The in-law book….with input from your Mom and Janelle on their experiences as daughter in laws AND mother in laws. This would be an amazing read…..

  14. Jill Goding

    Hi! Just happened to check on you today.
    I think the zoo book will happen in time, perhaps just a timing issue?

    Beyond that you are so talented in your writing.
    What is the Holy Spirit telling you about the next writing venture? We all have to go back to the drawing board from time to time to re-evaluate.

    Some ideas from one tired mommy:
    -What about a mother/daughter devotional book?
    -A fiction book?
    -A children’s zoo book?
    -What about you authoring an autobiography on someone else, isn’t there a market for authors like yourself to tell anothers story?
    -Parenting Book?
    -A Book about Trust & Faith & Balance in Life?
    -What about a column in a magazine?
    -A newspaper?
    -Help for Tired Moms?(lol)

    So take my tired ideas with a grain of salt.
    YOU have such a talent. Trust in God.
    God has a path for you, no worries if you can’t see the road, HE will direct you.

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