Posted in Random Ramblings

What would you miss?

A few years ago I read this quote and it struck me to my core. (I love finding reasons to use that phrase-haha).

At that time my kids were younger (like 2 years younger-ha) and I decided it was important to “teach” them this quote instead of just “telling” them this quote as they grew up.

So, every night during bedtime, as we close out our prayer, I say “what do we want to thank Jesus for?”

Now with a 6, 4, and 2 year old, these answers can be all over the place. And I love it–it’s my favorite part of bedtime! Somedays the answers are as simple as our house and food, other days it’s for an event that happened, or a toy.

My 6 year old struggles with this right now. Some days he’s quite moody (like his momma) and wants to tell me…”I’m not thankful for anything”…so those are the days we go back to the basics, like… “well let’s just be thankful for our clothes or our blanket.” After that, he can usually agree to find SOMETHING to be thankful for.

The baby. Well right now, he’s in a stage where he LOVES lawn mowers. So every night he is thankful for our lawn mower and his lawn mower and his new toy lawn mower. It’s a whole lawn mower thing…or as he says it: “lawn mow”

And lastly, my girl. She is genuinely thankful for something Every. Single. Night. And I love it! So today, she went shopping with her YaYa (our family name for grandma) and they bought some school supplies. At bedtime, as I’m trying to tuck her in and she’s literally climbing off the side of the bed, away from me, I ask the famous question…”Renlee, What are you thankful for?” She says…her backpack and lunch box and vacation, because then she gets to go to school.

Melt my heart.

So folks be thankful. For a backpack (or purse). Or maybe your lawn mower. Or maybe you’re just having a terrible day…and I totally get that! However, if you look around your home/life/people and something that’s there today went missing tomorrow, what would make you most upset? That is what you’re thankful for!

Me–well I’m thankful for Mountain Dew (yep. You read that right! For “Dew”…I’m on a break from coke! #whoami

Posted in Jesus Jabbers

While we were yet Sinners…Christ died for us

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

All have sinned.

Or in the singular version…we all have Sin.

Defined, Sin is the wrongdoing against the divine law of God.

Wikipedia notes, sin can be viewed as any thought or action that endangers the ideal relationship between an individual and God.

So to sum up…We are all sinners.

No one is perfect. And likely, even on our best of days, we have still sinned.

Last night, as I listened to an Easter message, I heard the pastor say “The one who had no sin was crucified for our sins”. Now, I’ve heard this for years…But…as I listened last night and know that daily I “fall short” I was amazed at my Jesus. He walked this earth and was subjected to all the same things that I am faced with daily and yet He had no sin. Then…

He took my place. He took your place. He took our place.

And as one of my favorite songs says…

With all I am

In your grace I stand

the greatest of all romance (*favorite line*)

Love of God, my Saviour

*Link to song: Love on the line

Truly it was the greatest of all romance. No person would go through that for ALL humanity. Just think, in your small circle of people you know on this earth, you might be willing to die for 1, maybe 10 depending on the size of your family. But to be brutally beaten, whipped, hung on a cross for ALL humanity…

ALL meaning…that family member that you may not see eye-to-eye with, the friend that quit being your friend years ago and the grudge still lingers, that co-worker that knows exactly how to push your buttons, those FaceBook drama starters that are always willing to debate on your post or any post, government officials in any country/city/town (including President Trump and Hilary Clinton)…

But God…

God sent his only son, to die for ALL. Literally every person on this earth, and He took All our sins with Him. We need to do as 1 John 1:9 says…confess our sins and he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins (and make sure He’s living in your heart of this isn’t the case)

So, while we all have sinned and still fall short…Jesus took it all to the cross for us…took our place, as the greatest of all romance 😊

Posted in Travel

Do you know where you’re going?

Apparently Not!

About 2 weeks ago I left for my first business trip of 2018! However, I threw myself for a loop.

Normally, it’s everyone else who is interrupting your schedule or challenging you or throwing you off balance. But not this time. This time, I did it to myself.

Self punishment. Unplanned, no less.

First interference: I left on a Tuesday. Typically 95% of my travel starts on Monday.

Second, self-inflicted interference: I planned my first flight departure for 10am.  Normally, I am a “let’s get there and get started” kind of girl who leaves at 7am but AA (American Airlines) changed some of their flight paths for New Bern, so I opted for Delta.  Some of you are probably wondering why this is an interruption. “Come on, you get to sleep in, leave later, less stressful work day, blah blah blah.” However…for this creature of habit…I started the day fine but it threw my routine of “sneaking off while everyone is asleep” to “let’s say goodbyes on the actual day mom leaves instead of the night before” (which always makes it harder). Plus, I was naive and didn’t factor in driving through 8am rush hour traffic.

Third interference: As I traveled along the interstate, instead of heading towards the airport, well I decided to go a completely different direction. (Those of you in the Knoxville area will likely laugh out loud at my lack of direction…or lack of paying attention). I literally sat in traffic for 15 minutes to get off at 640 W and headed to West Knox!

From all of this…I have 3 pieces of advice:

1. Don’t mess with your normal travel schedule or routines! Just don’t.

2. Don’t pray and drive.

I was in some pretty deep prayer thought and before I could catch myself, I was taking the wrong exit ramp.

3. *Maybe…No, it IS the most important: Don’t drive (anywhere) without first having caffeine. (I didn’t have a Coke until I got to the airport. Big mistake!)

C’est la vie

Posted in New Year

So what’s the plan?

Ever hear or say that?

Me too!

So I thought I’d share mine (which includes plans for HERE!)

*in no particular order:

  • Devotional Time. This year I got serious and said I need to pour into myself everyday, not just certain days a week, which was previously based on emailed devotionals (and how they run their posts) or “when I feel like it.” So I bought this devotional by Christine Caine and I’m loving it!
  • Fitness. And not this kind: But “working out” fitness. So far I’ve started slow. Its all about starting and forming the habit anyway, right?!? So for now I’m walking on the treadmill each morning. 12 days straight-that’s a record! #dontjudgeme
  • Keeping “Get to” in my mind. If you missed my previous post, see here for insight into “Get to
  • Blog- write once a week! I know. I know. That’s a tall task considering last year I didn’t even hit 1/month! Anyway…this is my 2nd post of the year…so I’m hitting my BP2018 (all you business folks will get that!)
  • #reneeeverday2018 challenge. My own challenge to post a picture on Instagram everyday, which will be “raw-n-real” insight to my world, keeping up with life in general, and sometimes link into blog posts here. So hop over and follow me there: jenniferrbusby

And that about wraps it up!

What are your plans?

Posted in New Year

Best Year Yet

2018.

Two thousand and eighteen.

MMXVIII

Dos mil dieciocho.

Many ways to say it or write it. But what will we do with/in it?

I always love a new year! Something about a fresh start re-energizes me. Plus, come on, it follows my Favorite Holiday–CHRISTMAS!

I used to always make resolutions.

I can actually remember fulfilling 1! Maybe…

Then one year a Pastor challenged his staff to complete a goals evaluation sheet! Ya’ll know that was right up my alley! I love excel sheets, and tables and forms…so I loved a questionnaire that made me reflect and think.

Then another year, I simply jumped onboard with our entire church and focused on the same verse that full year, while reading the Bible through-as a church! That was cool!

But for the last 3 (this being our 3rd) Years, alongside my hubby, we have been selecting a “word” for the year to keep us engaged.

I’ve had words like:

Focus

Intentional

And to be honest, last year during my year of “intention”, I was about 6 months in, and had literally lost sight of my word. Clearly no intention happening at that point.

So this year, I approached everything about “my word” differently.

I started a doodle page to brainstorm any and all ideas:

Once I decided my word (short phrase) , I also decided I needed a daily reminder of it. Someway I see it each day. I didn’t want to just put it in my car or on the bathroom mirror, I literally felt compelled to carry it with me…visually.

So I began thinking how to do this…

If you know me, you know I LOVE jewelry. Not the fancy, diamonds, $$ stuff…I love the flashy, costume, cheap stuff! So, I asked for it to be put on a bracelet!

Oh the agony my husband faced trying to get this poor Etsy lady, who likely only gets “Name” requests for bracelets, to understand in about 5 emails, going back-and-forth, that this was a specialized gift with a phrase. …It’s not just one word. No, Not a name. Yes, both words need capitalized. No, they don’t all run together, you need to put a space between them. Yes, I want 3 identical bracelets-name wise, but in different colors because my wife is a fashionista (or at this point he wrote “spoiled”).

**He did so good! I love them (the others are a black one and a red one)!

And finally…as a surprise, he put it in our stairwell. Now, in our home, this is a stairwell down to our basement/garage…not like the “main” stairwell. (All of your perfectionists can sigh a breathe of relief-ha!) However, I leave for work through this stairwell each and every day and it’s another great way to remember my hope and goal for 2018.

And now that you’ve heard all about the selection and reminder process, let me tell you why “Get To” is my 2018 focus. I didn’t just hear this phrase for the first time in 2017; I think I’ve heard it for at least the last 4-6! And it’s no elaborate phrase (as you can see…my girlfriends even like to tell me the bracelet looks like a jacked up version of “ghetto”). It’s not cutting edge or “swag” to be trendy this year. But it’s perfect for me. It reminds me to be thankful…

I “get to” wake up early and spend time with Jesus (even if it’s just starting with 10 minutes!-I love sleep–a lot!)

I “get to” workout, because my arms and legs and body are physically able.

I “get to” eat healthier because I am smart enough to make better choices for myself.

I “get to” go to work each day, because I’m blessed with a job I love! (For some of you it may just be saying “I’m blessed with a job…no love in there” and that’s good too).

I “get to”…well I think you get the point.

And in life, we often approach things as I “have to”. I have to go to work. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to plan this birthday party, or I have to go to this birthday party. I have to clean the house. I have to do (do I dare say it…I will! It’s a new year, we’re trying to be positive here folks) laundry.

Instead…In 2018, I want to go from a place of “have to” to I “get to”.

So here’s to 2018…I “get to” keep drinking Coke (I wouldn’t give that up! The whole Blog would be ruined!)

Posted in Family Forever

A day late and a dollar short…

On America’s Birthday, or labor day or Veteran’s Day (a day late at this point), I always think of my dad.

Growing up there were times it was just mom, my brother, and me at home in the evening, for a road trip to see family, or on weekends because dad was somewhere, doing something…what I thought at the time was “at work.”

You see in my younger years, his career was serving the United States Army, reaching the rank of LTC (Lieutenant Colonel). Yet as a child, this rank meant a hill of beans to me, as I would wonder why he was sleeping during the day after having to pull an all-nighter or even a week-long shift, or why he missed things because of “work.”

In my teenage years, he retired from the U.S. Army and worked at our local high school, where he started and built up the (highly esteemed…my words, ha!) JROTC program. However, even then he would spend an infinite level of hours at school or competitions or after-school practices, etc…for “work.” SIDE NOTE: Now I wonder how my mom was able to manage two kids daily or while traveling (by car or sometimes in an airport), because truth be known I can barely keep me and my three alive on the weekends if my husband has to go out of town (Thank the Lord for iPads).

The question that I kept coming back to over the years was…“Why was work so important to him?”

Now I’m in my… Oh come on, you didn’t really think I was going to tell you my age did you? Anyway, now I’m an adult, married, with a career and 3 kids of my own (I know, it still shocks me that I have 3 kids). I experience the privilege to vote, and unfortunately now have the maturity to understand how cruel our world can be. I have learned that what my dad was actually “working” on all those year, what he was “doing,” was…

Serving our Country

Fighting for our freedoms that men and women have fought to protect for the ages.  Braving what others might not, for our country. Protecting the people of the USA. Practicing what he was taught when he first entered the Army as a young lad, which was “Country first.” My dad has a true heart for this country proven by 20 years of service plus continued years of honoring his country.

I could likely end this post with a few closing statements, however I really want to give you some insight into how much this man, my dad, truly Loves this country…because that also helps explain why he was always “working”…

So as you can imagine some women couldn’t deal with a man like this. I wouldn’t be able to. Now this could partly be due to the fact that I am just like this man, however that’s another blog post… But my mom could and I make this point, because of a significant story of when they married.

You see, it happened pretty quickly. I’m talking ‘shotgun wedding.’ No, I’m kidding about that, but it is still a secret to my brother and I how long they were together before engaged to the wedding day… And to say my grandfather was none too happy about it, would probably be an understatement (so I hear, I don’t speak from firsthand knowledge).

Since he wasn’t quite ready to walk her down the aisle to this “hairy-legged boy” (as my husband would say), my grandpa had the preacher (oddly enough, a family friend) talk with both of them, separately, with my dad going first. Sounds more like a secret background check if you ask me. When it came to be mom’s turn, this pastor, a family friend, the one that was to marry them, told her this statement, which is probably why they are still married today…”You have to know that if you marry him, You will never be first in his life. If he has to choose you or his country, he will choose his country.”

Clearly she was okay with it, they had 2 kids and after 37 years, are still married…

And…That’s why we have freedom folks.

Because there are men and women who love and live for our country. And to each and every Veteran…Thank You!

Posted in Christmas Crazy, Random Ramblings

These are a few of my favorite things…

I opened up my laptop with intentions to simply sit down and focus on getting caught up at work (is that even a plausible thought these days?). Anyway, instead I opened up a blank email and started this blog post. So here I sit, really doing several of my favorite things…

  1. The Christmas Tree light are on…(YES!! My Christmas Tree is UP and decorated. I typically wait until October 31 or November 1, but this year I just couldn’t wait.)
  2. Watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie! YAY! I’ve been waiting for these to start, like all year long!
  3. While being the only one awake in my house of 5! I LOVE solitary me time, where I can do whatever I want! I mean I love family time, but I do treasure time by myself…pretty certain that trait will never leave me.
  4. Eating. I really have to stop letting this be my favorite thing to do… I’ve been gaining weight since our vaca in August…I feel Terrible.
  5. Blogging! I still haven’t achieved a monthly post, much less weekly like I set out to do this year…but when I get the need to write (which is what happened as I sat down tonight), I do act!
  6. Being Productive. Well…I may not be doing my actual work, however I am checking something off my natural “to do” list.

You know there is just something about doing your favorite things when life feels…like Life. Lately life has felt and has actually been a bit messy for me. I think this is why I put my tree up just a tad bit early. Truth be known, I would have put it up a week ago when my husband pulled out the “tree box” when we were cleaning out the garage over fall break. However, he was not in favor and I did hold off…1 week. Having up my Christmas stuff and being able to watch Christmas movies brings a certain calm in my world. Maybe because it brings me back to my childhood days and loving the wonder and excitement of Christmas, or it’s the change of atmosphere it brings to my home for a short 2-month season. Whatever it is, it’s comfort. It’s calming. And it’s come just in time.