03.07.19 To the mom who keeps going, by Rachel at Finding Joy

While this is about moms who keep going in all phases in life, I hope that all of the young and older mothers at our church read this. You all just keep going and ya’ll amaze me by showing up every week at church with clean clothes on, kids dressed, probably everyone had a bath (!) and you didn’t kill or maim one of them on the way to church or in church.
There are several young children that sit in front of us at Trinity. A couple of Sundays ago when we were getting ready to pray I noticed that everyone of them bowed their heads to pray. That says a lot about you moms and dads bringing your children up to respect and know God.

I have two grown sons who were raised at Trinity so I know how hard it is getting it all together to come to church. Our lives back then weren’t nearly as complicated as young families lives are now. I won’t start naming the young ladies I’m thinking about because I’ll miss someone. You are wonderful Christian motherly examples and I hope others see that in you as well!

This is for you. Yeah, you.

You might think it’s no big deal. You might not even realize the power in your ability to keep going. But I see you. I know that strength. I know the nights of no sleep met with mornings of tired. I understand the give and the take. I know the heartbreak and the love.

And I know that sometimes it’s so easy to dismiss that we keep going.

You keep going.

That family of yours knows that you keep going. That is such a gift. A life gift. A hard thing.

It’s hard to keep going when the cards all crash in. But you keep going.

It’s challenging to keep going when relationships fail. But you keep going.

It’s scary to keep going when you don’t have answers. But you keep going.

It’s lonely to keep going when everyone else seems to have it together. But you keep going.

It’s frustrating to keep going when things keep messing up. But you keep going.

It’s tiring to keep going when you get no sleep. But you keep going.

It’s humbling to keep going when you feel overwhelmed. But you keep going.

It’s simple to dismiss it.

But you keep going.

On good days. You keep going.

On bad days. You keep going.

On great days. You keep going.

On irritating days. You keep going.

On normal days. You keep going.

On throw-in-the-towel days. You keep going.

On exhilarating days. You keep going.

On so-so days. You keep going.

On first time days. You keep going.

On last time days. You keep going.

On vacation days. You keep going.

On work days. You keep going.

On never-get-a-break days. You keep going.

On just-a-mom days. You keep going.

You keep going.

You may get to the end of this day and look at your day and wonder what on earth did I accomplish today? But you are only looking at today. You are missing all the days that got you to this day. All the days where you kept on going. All the days when you didn’t know if you would make it through. All those days. So maybe your to-do list has a hundred things checked off or maybe it has none – but it does have this – you keep going.

Sweet, sweet sister.

The weight of the world will try to tell you that you need to do more, be more, change more, love more, give more, show-up more, but sister, sometimes the world misses the most powerful part of you.

You keep going.

So hold your head high. Be proud of you. Love your days. All of them.

You know what is amazing? This story, this life, this adventure – you are such a beautiful part of it. For so many. For your friends, your children, your family.

Because you keep going.

~Rachel at http://findingjoy.net

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

03.05.19 Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2016 reposted and updated

I love sharing some of what makes New Orleans’s Mardi Gras so unique.  Below you will see how New Orleanians mark their spots on the parade routes; a group of folks parading in Lazy Boy recliners; Endymion (one of the largest parades) ends its parade by going into the Superdome (2 videos of this); a documentary about Mardi Gras and New Orleans.  Last but certainly not least are the actual floats built by Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the major floats are made.  This is New Orleans Mardi Gras. Because of the horrific NO ALL by the blind referees in the Saints vs. Rams playoff game I’ve included a video of a float and paraders keeping that event alive.

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How New Orleanians mark their spots on St. Charles Avenue for parades!

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Lazy Boy parading!

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Endymion Parade ending in the Superdome

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Police motorcycle units entering the Superdome for ‪Endymion‬ parade.

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Mardi Gras & New Orleans – A Documentary

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Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the floats are created.

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We wouldn’t be true loyal Saints fans without showing you the additions to this year’s Mardi Gras because of the horrific NO CALL by the blind referees in the Saint vs. Rams game this year that kept them out of the Super Bowl.

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Happy Mardi Gras Everyone, from our little home in Amite where the Chauvins are watching Mardi Gras on television like we’ve done for the last couple of decades.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!!

mardi gras scriptures

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

02.14.19 Wacky Wonderful Valentine’s Day

2016 10906537_1604347783120091_4539154180240295955_n valentines 1 corinthians 13 valentine_divider_09

LOVE IS A GIFT
valentines love is a gift

When you say I love you, know you are making and building an emotional contract that doesn’t have a witness.

When you say I love you, you must know you are willing to share with someone your inner part.

When you say I love you, be willing to change to someone else’s personality.

When you say I love you, know you are willing to live with two hearts.

When you say I love you, know you are willing to share dreams, happiness, sadness, jokes and your future.

Love is a way to graduate in life characterized by happiness, sadness, pain, dreams and tears.

Love is a gift.

Love is you.

Feelings are not love, because feelings are what grow and things that grow have an end.

The heart is not where love resides, because love comes from conscious being where God intervenes.

Love is not a decision you take alone because love is a decision that includes God.

Imagination is not love because it’s something that doesn’t exist.

Build love, build yourself, be love.

valentine_divider_0910-ways-to-lovevalentine_divider_09WATCH THIS ONE OF A KIND LOVE STORY!
We love because He first loved us 1 John 4:19

The scriptures in this beautiful video are somewhat paraphrased, but I can assure you that the overall message is truly God’s Love Letter to His Children – Christians. It’s called The Bible – God’s Holy Word. If you don’t know him as your Father and want to know more about His amazing love and grace I urge you to open your Bible or ask me for one. Your life will be forever changed!

valentine_divider_09VALENTINES hearts by door valentine_divider_09VALENTINES hug poemvalentine_divider_09THE FORK
Click on the photo below to watch the video!

the forkvalentine_divider_09valentines love never fails

valentine_divider_09valentines pigletvalentine_divider_09 VALENTINES withdrawal and depositARE YOU GIVING FIRST OR TAKING? By Ron Carpenter

The Bible teaches us a lot about the relationships in our home,
about how wives are to submit to husbands and husbands are to love your wives,
children obey your parents,
parents don’t exacerbate your children and provoke wrath.
It goes on to instruct us outside the home as well,
when it says employees and employers should honor each other as unto the Lord…
This entire section (Ephesians 5) is giving us insight and admonishing about what mutual submission, with the right perspective and the right heart, looks like.

It touches on all these relationships, but if you break it down, in essence it‘s talking about mutual submission throughout. In other words, God is not asking or calling for any relationships to be one-sided. God wants equity in your relationships, and a relationship starts breaking down when one person is making more withdrawals than deposits.

Here’s what happens when one person in a relationship starts making more withdrawals than deposits: What happens to your ATM machine if you deposit a thousand dollars in the beginning of the month, and you pull twelve hundred out? By the time you get to the two hundred its got to either kick your overdraft in gear (which you pay a price for), or it’s going to be negative two hundred or when you drained the one thousand. Either way, it’s saying, “this account is empty, you’ve taken too much and not put enough in.” A lot of marriages today are shocked when they find themselves coming up against ‘account empty’ as if it’s unfair to not be able to make a one-time deposit and then withdraw, withdraw, withdraw, take, take, take.

What’s happening? Simply put, you’re trying to withdraw way more than you’re willing to first put into the relationship. That’s not how God began His relationship with you. He loved us so much, He gave (His only begotten son). So God started the relationship with you by loading up your account so high, He put something in you that was so big and so valuable, you could never out give His giving. When I have a lot of good days in a row and a string of successes, I can weather the storm of a bad day, a bad decision, a bad experience, because the good, the successes, outweigh the failures and disappointments.

valentine_divider_09THIS WEEK’S THREE FAVORITE PHOTOS!

LOVING COUPLES – THEN AND NOW PHOTOS!

Then and Now 3THEN AND NOW 2 THEN AND NOW 4
valentine_divider_09thGOD’S BEAUTIFUL WORLD!

valentine lakevalentine white treesvalentines back roads livingVALENTINES leavesvalentines pink flowersvalentines rocksvalentine_divider_09VALENTINES 1 JOHN 4 19 KJV

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

02.10.19 What to do when it all comes crashing down, by Lisa Leonard

When Ann VosKamp invites someone to her farm’s front porch its always an opportunity to learn from someone else’s walk with Christ. I share them here from time to time because they may speak to some need in your life right now.  The one I am sharing to is from Lisa Leonard.  Information on her and her new book is below.

There’s so much pressure to have it all together; pressure from social media, pressure from friends and family, pressure from ourselves. It can be overwhelming, it can be too much. Lisa Leonard has some honest, raw words to share today about her search for perfection and how it all came crashing down. In her new book, Brave Love she tells us about the birth of her boys, one with a disability, the birth of the business she built with her husband and rebirth of their marriage. I’ve known Lisa for years and I’m so glad she’s here today to tell us about some of her journey—the ups and downs. It’s a grace to welcome her to the farm’s front porch today…  by Ann VosKamp

Every marriage goes through difficult times, and about fifteen years into marriage we were in a difficult time.

Steve and I walked through difficult things in our marriage. We walked some rocky roads but now we were facing something new.

We were both making mistakes but we did not know what they were.

We were simply not connecting.

We were both trying but we could not seem to see eye to eye.

We were both hurting but did not know how to help each other.

We were both making mistakes but we did not know what they were.

During this time, we had plans to gather with friends for a celebration. I decided to make Steve’s favorite dessert, berry crumble. This was not going to be just any berry crumble—I was going to make the perfect berry crumble.

I wanted to show Steve how much I loved him.

I wanted to show him he was precious to me.

This berry crumble was going to knock his socks off.

I spent time researching the best recipe online. I gathered all the ingredients and spent a good chunk of the day making the amazing dessert. As the celebration approached, I slowly pulled the hot crumble out of the oven, wrapped it in a heavy towel and we all loaded into the car.

We parked in front of our friends’ home and I carefully get out, maneuvering the hot berry crumble to avoid a spill. I took a few steps and suddenly I lost hold of the wrapped glass dish. I watched in slow motion as my perfect crumble splattered all over the sidewalk. I felt the sting of hot tears behind my eyes.

“Hold it together.” I told myself.

But I couldn’t. The tears overflowed and once they started they wouldn’t stop. I could barely catch my breath between sobs.

This was no ordinary berry crumble; this was the perfect berry crumble. This crumble was going to show Steve how much I cared for him.

This dessert was going to save our marriage. It was going to make Steve fall in love with me again. I looked down at the berry crumble splattered all over the sidewalk and sobbed.

I tried so hard to be good enough. I tried to be the perfect wife. I tried to become less so he could be more.

But it wasn’t working. Instead I was becoming less than whole–and a relationship can’t thrive without two whole people.

I thought being perfect would bring me joy.

But I was so focused on being perfect, I was missing all the joy.

I’d clung to the belief that perfection held joy.

I’d spent most of my life believing if I could be perfect, or at least almost perfect, I would be lovable. So, I worked hard to create the ‘perfect’ life for us.

I tried to create a beautiful, tidy home. I tried to be the perfect mother—patient and fun and consistent. I tried to be happy even when I felt sad. I tried to be needless and wantless and take care of everybody else.

With four people in our family and so many differing opinions, things got complicated. I thought one way to make things less complicated was for me to be what I considered flexible or easy going. Ignoring my needs made me feel agitated and frustrated.

So, I tried to ignore those feelings—and sometimes I seemed to succeed. Other times I would explode with anger. All the things I needed and wanted, all the things I felt but ignored had to find a way out.

My good intentions to ‘take care’ of everybody were a desire to control.

If I could control everything I would be good enough. I was terrified I was not lovable, so I tried to control.

The more I tried to control Steve, our marriage and our family, the more out of control I felt. I had worked tirelessly to try to hold it all together, but we were a mess.

It was falling apart—not just the berry crumble, but our marriage too.

I was finding out, there is no berry crumble so perfect it can hold a marriage together.

Perfection is a lie. It demands more and more, never offering a moment’s rest. Perfect is never satisfied. I kept reaching further and further, thinking I was almost there, but perfection was always just out of reach. No matter how hard I tried, I could not be perfect.

I had a lightbulb moment.

There are four people in our family, and I am one of them.

There are two people in our marriage and I am one of them.

I needed to be a whole person. I needed to show up, let down my walls and be honest.

Honesty looked like me showing up and being my truest self. It looked Steve showing up and being his truest self.

It was going to take a lot more than the perfect berry crumble to fix this marriage. Marriage is two people showing up and being honest.

Honesty is imperfect and messy—but it is real. Sometimes it is more than messy; it is super ugly and dark and scary. I don’t like messy. I had been trying to make my marriage work without actually showing up and being a whole person in my marriage. I thought if I could make Steve happy he would love me, but he already loved me. He loved ME. He wanted me to be ME.

I am learning I cannot control my husband or my kids. I cannot keep my house perfectly clean.

I can’t always be happy. I am not perfect; I am just me.

I’m learning I have to let go of perfection to have joy.

I am learning I have to show up and speak up and be honest—no matter how messy.

I am learning it is the only way for us to have a marriage where we connect and truly know each other.

And I am learning the only way to be give and receive love is to be completely me—nothing more, nothing less.

This article and many more can be found on Ann VosKamp’s blog at https://annvoskamp.com/2019/01/what-to-do-when-it-all-comes-crashing-down/

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

01.25.19 Saying Goodbye to Dora

Image result for when things come to an endFriday, January 25, 2019 – The day has come when Dora pulled out of her driveway for the last time. At 6:30 am, her new daddy Patrick left here with Dora headed to the west coast to her new home where she’ll meet her new mom and family!

Here is a video showing our last look at her.  Bye sweet thing!

Yesterday, Thursday, Chip (our youngest son) drove us to the New Orleans airport where we met up with Patrick who had flown in here from California. We were early and his plane landed early! We liked him from moment one. Chip took us all out to eat at Dot’s Diner on Williams Blvd. in Kenner. I had a delicious philly cheesesteak! It was big I brought some home!

Next, we went to our friend Ron’s home (he’s a notary) to sign our agreement and have it all notarized.  Here we are at the Big Moment! Thanks Ron for always being a great friend!

We made our way across the lake to our home showing Patrick all the swamps along the way!  He then got to meet Dora face to face.  I gave him my short tour of Dora. I look rather worried in the second photo below.  I wasn’t but maybe that’s my serious look! When Roy made it home he and Patrick spent hours going over all of Dora’s functions and systems.

This should be our last blog post under the Dora and the Explorers theme.  In a few days the site will be down while I get the new look and new theme in place.  It will look totally different but the address will always be rosalynandroy.com and if you are currently a follower you will continue to be a follower.

A follower is someone who receives an email whenever a new post is published.  To sign up to follow us, look on the right side of the page below all of the list of months and years.  You’ll see an RVillage graphic and below that you’ll see where you can enter your email address.  Be sure to respond to the email they will send you and you’re set.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

01.21.19 Our Superhero Swooped In!

We are not the superheros. I just remembered we had this photo and it made me smile so I’m sharing!

Monday, January 21, 2019 – You know how sometimes you have a friend that you haven’t seen in forever and you need something from them?  You contact them and being the special person they are they don’t hang up, even though it’s been forever since you talked last, and now you’re calling needing something!

Well, not only do they not hang up but they end up doing way more than you asked for.  Just cause they are that kind of person!

Our friend that just did this is John S. known by most as Chip S.  No, our Chip Chauvin was not named after him but he is the person named Chip that we got the idea from.  Chip is our son’s real name but Chip is John’s nickname.

Long, long ago before we had our sons I worked as a legal secretary for Chip at a law firm in New Orleans.  I’m not really sure how I came to work there but I remember eating a lot of Charles Chips there and him playing the guitar.  I again worked for him at a different law firm a couple of years later.  I believe it was during that time that Chip started writing a novel.  I was blessed to be the one who typed what he wrote during that time. We even went to Oak Alley Plantation one time to gather information for the novel.

We went our separate way but Chip sent us his family’s Christmas photo card each year so I got to watch his two sons grow up that way.  Maybe every five years or so we’d contact each other and then there was Facebook.  He continued to sporadically write his novel and now 40 plus years later he’s finished and it is being published!  The story line changed drastically over the years but the part I typed is still somewhere in there!  I’ve read parts of it and I think it’s great.  When it’s published and I get to read it I will be sharing about it here!

When we began communicating with the family that Dora is going to California to live with they sent us an agreement to consider that they entered into with someone else whose RV notes they took over.  We reached out to Chip to just review it.  We wound up having in depth conversations about various options he pointed out that we had with Dora.  He made important phone calls on our behalf and really helped us see much more than what we were focused on.  He listened to all our thoughts and concerns and explained so many things to us that helped us make our final decision. I’d rather not explain it all here but he once again proved why we will always be friends.  He didn’t lead us to make any specific decision, he just informed us so we could make a good decision.

He just finalized the agreement we will sign with the couple from California.  It is perfect for this unusual situation and I believe protects us and the other couple very well. Through this process I’ve felt so comforted to know that this Superhero attorney was on our side and had our best interest at heart.

Thanks Chip, from the bottom of our heart for your advice, support, guidance.  Anyone looking for an attorney superhero let me know and I’ll give you his contact information.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

01.16.19 Church is Hard, by Arianna Freelen

I sat in a meeting. The discussion was heated. The conversation heavy.

Hearts were burdened. Chests were puffed. Sorrow, pain, arrogance, curiosity, humility, fear, courage, and forgiveness sat together in a single room.

As I looked around the church, I just kept thinking—

Church is hard.

Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.

Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.

Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.

Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.

Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.

Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.

Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.

Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.

Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.

Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.

Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.

Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.

Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.

Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.

Church is hard for the sinners.

Church is hard for me.

It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.

However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.

But, here is the beauty of church—

Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.

Church is a body.

Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.

Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.

Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.

Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.

Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.

Church is a lesson in faith and trust.

Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.

Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.

Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.

So even on the hard days at church—

The days when I am at odds with a friend, When I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.

I’ll remember, He has never failed to meet me there.

Church is a body, a family, a place to love God and love others through our struggles!

I love MY church!!

 

01.17.19 No more Dora and the Explorers

Dora’s departure has been changed since I originally wrote this.  She’ll be taking off for the west coast on Friday, January 25th.

Wednesday, January 17, 2019 – Everyone we know seems to know Dora, our Class A 39 foot Fleetwood Excursion motor home.  She has been an overwhelmingly big part of our lives since 2012 when we decided to sell everything we owned and move into Dora to travel all around our beautiful country.

We traveled with her through all 48 states from 2012 to 2018.

In 2018 we moved out of Dora and into our small house we built in Amite.

We started renting Dora out in May of 2018 and continued doing that until December 2018.

She’s been up for sale since then and we recently got an offer from a wonderful couple in California to take over her notes. The husband is an RV mechanic, they both have been renting out several RVs and have a lot of experience with it.  They will rent her out some and take her on the road with them when they travel.

Our attorney has been involved throughout all of this process.  I can’t say how wonderful he has been. We’ve also consulted with an insurance expert and another attorney.  This is not a transaction we are entering into lightly.

This morning Roy said words I had not thought of before.  “The name of our blog can no longer be Dora and the Explorers”  I almost broke down and cried.  My heart ached. I know, it’s a vehicle, it’s not a person and I know it is an decision we made. Now that we are working out all of the details with the California couple to transfer Dora to them the reality is hitting me.

Her Dora sign on the back has been removed.

The Boots sign on the back of our truck has been removed as well.

I’ve made a couple of trips over to Dora to bring supplies they will need as they drive Dora to California.  Each time I’ve sat down and had a talk with Dora.  Last time I told her she was going to get to live in California with a new family. I told her that was really cool. I know I am doing these silly talks to help me.

From where I usually sit in the living room I see Dora out the window.

Next Wednesday I won’t see her out of that window any longer.  The new folks are flying into New Orleans on Tuesday.  We’ll take care of the paperwork and give them the full training on all things Dora.  They will drive her back to their home on Wednesday.

I’ve written so many blog posts about our adventures and life with Dora. This new phase of our life will be without her and I just felt the need to share this with ya’ll!  God has been with us every step of the way in our RV full-timing adventure.  We live confident that He will continue leading, guiding and directing our lives.

Since our blog can no longer be titled “Dora and the Explorers” we’ve been tossing about some new names.  The one that is kinda sticking is “No Mora Dora and the Explorers.”  Let us know what you think about that one.  We’d love to get suggestions from ya’ll so if you have one please leave it in the comment section below!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

01.14.19 The reality of Christ’s life

A new year is here and Christmas is behind us.  But the reality of Christ’s life should never be put behind us.  It should be in front of us every day of our lives.

The following is an excerpt from the narration of our church’s Christmas musical in 2018.  I’ve heard it before and hearing it again this year awakened a deep longing to share these words with others.

“Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, where He lived in poverty, was reared in obscurity, and worked in a carpentry shop until He was thirty.

Then for three years, He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never had a family… or owned a house… or held public office. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born.

He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. In birth, He startled a king, in boyhood He puzzled the wise, in manhood He ruled the forces of nature.

He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was executed by the State by being nailed to a cross between two thieves.

While He was dying, His executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property He owned on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Great men have come and gone. He lives on. Herod could not kill Him, Satan could not seduce Him, death could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him.

All this happened over twenty centuries ago, yet today He is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. Now, it is no exaggeration to say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.”

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!