Friday, November 30, 2007
I blog everyday even when it is not NABLOPOMO. I can't help it. I am always so eager to share with someone some little morsel of my life/day. I have heard that women have 4000 words a day and men have 1500. I think I may have somehow mistakenly received about twice that many and I think my darling husband may have received only half of his. He does not like to talk and he also is not real keen on listening to the details of my life either. This does not mean we don't talk, we do. About alot of stuff. Important and not. It does mean we do not have long and drawn out soul to soul-tell me all your hopes, dreams and frustrations conversations. EVAH. So I share them with you. And him as he reads sometimes (when the posts are not too long and wordy...heehee).
Today was a wonderful day and I am too exhausted to share anymore. Spent the afternoon with Mia and we talk non-stop so I have already used alot of words up!!
Now, it's going to be one of THOSE weekends and I needed a calm lazy one to nurse this cold. Oh well. Holiday mart chorus function, parade, care group at my house, youth care group...I'm off to take a tylenol for my aching head.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Hey Steph-this IS the story I was telling you about. You could use it to announce the ministry fair!! Come one, come all-be a somebody!
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody
"This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done."
- We get a real tree every year. It takes approximately 6 years to grow a Christmas tree. To be green, we would purchase a balled and burlapped tree and plant it after Christmas. Knowing both my limited income and my lack of skill with growing things-we would be much better off just burning up a $100 dollar bill than buying a balled and burlapped tree! The next best thing would be to get an artificial one(made in a foreign country by children-different guilt trip/post for another day) and reuse it over and over. I have no skill at "arranging" branches and our artificial trees always look pathetic. I have no guilt over getting a real tree every year. It is so much fun and I love the tradition and the memories we make while doing so. We buy from family Christmas tree farms. This year, we may drive quite a way to support a family farm. But we still will-or try anyway! My commitment to local area farmers is stronger than my desire to "be green". We have even thought of how cool it would be to have a tree farm ourselves, then I remember the bolded item above.
- I so wanted to use cloth diapers with my baby number one. I told everyone to buy us those. My family balked-They HAD to use cloth diapers. They filled our home with disposable diapers and wipes. They told everyone who bought us a present to buy us disposable diapers. They thought it was a money thing-it wasn't. However, I got used to the ease of disposable diapers and never looked back. I wish I had grown a backbone and done it. My kids probably would have potty trained before they were three. I usually buy diapers as a baby gift??? I have no shame. Pitiful. Also, I would not even consider a CLOTH reusable maxi pad. UGH. They do exist and true greenies embrace them. Also there are mooncups. I truly lack this kind of commitment!!
- I hate paper plates, napkins and cups. There is something so wasteful about creating something that is made to use one time and then throw it away. I use them all the time though-at church, cookouts, birthday parties. I do not use them on a daily basis though. Even when we host care group. I like real dishes. I reuse alot of things meant to be used only once. I firmly believe in REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. But I am not very zealous in the recycling my trash area. I do recycle useful containers. I consider yard sales to be a form of recycling as well. The one area I am weak in is napkins and paper towels. However, I plan to remedy this by buying some real napkins. Enough for company. I also have a gift wrap addiction. Love it!(There is something so wasteful.....blah blah blah.)
- I don't balk a bit though about throwing away poopy toilet paper. I do try to follow the ten square rule-depending on the TP quality. BTW-I have totally switched to Cottonelle. I bought it a few months ago because it was soooo much cheaper than Charmin and I have remained in the Cottonelle camp ever since.
- I make alot of food from scratch because convenience foods are both unhealthy and have a ridiculous amount of packaging. I don't feel this way about all foods though-I love a cake mix. I make my own biscuits and now also-my own rolls. I buy frozen veggies more than canned-but this is a taste preference more than it is a "green" one. I would love to can my own veggies, bake my own bread, make my own yogurt, have my own chickens, grow my own beef and pork-but I know my limitations here. I am not "that" woman. If we had to live off of our garden, we would surely starve.
- Someone gave me a basket of used clothes as a baby gift when Lilly was born. I loved it. I not only appreciated that she thought enough of me to do so-but that it took much longer to select those purchases that it would have to do retail. I also appreciated how much more she was able to purchase for the same amount of money. It stands out as one of my favorite presents ever. I'm too worried about what others would think to do the same for someone else. WIMP! HYPOCRITE!!!
So, now a quick recap of me being a hypocrite greenie.
- I lamented adding disposable diapers to a landfill somewhere-but not a bit over pads.
- I don't mind wasting gift wrap a bit. (maybe a little)
- I waste an entire tree once a year-we use it and then we burn it up in a bonfire at some point the next spring or fall. (We usually invite friends and waste paper products.)
- I hate using throw away plates, napkins, and cups. I don't mind throwing away toilet paper a bit.
- I reduce, reuse, and recycle-but not anywhere near what I should.
- I try to be conscious of all the packaging we buy and truly seek to keep it as minimal as possible. I don't buy anywhere near the amount of convenience foods that I see others buy. Our trash company still brought us another can because we have so much trash.
- I like getting a thoughtful used gift, but I don't give them because I fear what the recipient might think.
Please make me feel better and share your wasteful ways. OR give me a tip or two on how to be greener. No chastising or lectures though, I don't need any more guilt. I keep a good amount of it around already.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am in a very weird mood. Lots of debris running around in the old noggin that needs to come out. So you, my dear loveys get to read all about the oddness that pollutes my brain.
- I am trying to teach my children the following things: Orderliness (a place for everything and everything in its place), anger/mood control, compromise, time management, living with consequences. I am not teaching any of these things because I want to, rather I am teaching them because their time has come. I am a "teachable moment" mom. I pray that God will give me the moments in life where my children are receptive and I am able to see that and teach accordingly. The above items have all snuck up on me because I struggle with ALL of them. Most people do. The time is NOW on all of these though-they cannot be put off any longer. It is so hard to teach that which we have not mastered-or even gotten a good grasp of. I kept waiting to "get better" before I covered them. Instead, I am admitting what a colossal failure I am at them all(aloud, to the kids who already know) and hoping to learn through teaching. I HATE BEING THE GROWNUP!!!
- Our co-op had a marathon meeting today. It lasted about 5 hours and covered most of what we wanted. It also turned my brain into a pool of pretty green jello. My stomach is all in knots and I have a whole new set of issues I wish to be addressed. Brainstorming always does that to me-storms my brain. I cannot handle multiple choices. I can visualize so many possible outcomes and then I start picturing my ideal-which is seldom anyone else's ideal. I start yearning for my ideal and then I forget it is a co-op(ahem...cooperation!). A critical monster emerges and wants it all my way. Fortunately, I do recognize this and hold very tightly to the leash. Today, I did not hold tight enough long enough. Ideas just keep looping around in my brain, and while some of them are good...cooperation has to be at the forefront. Sometimes you just can't "have it your way". Thanks Burger King for making me think I can. (Sandy, disregard my after meeting babbling. I will "brainstorm" alone so I don't end up all petty and gossipy-I so went there and I apologize!!) It is a control thing. I don't have it. I don't want it. Part of me does. I'm killing her softly.
- My house is pretty clean-still from last weekend. I've been doing sort of all right at maintaining. My dad popped in for a visit yesterday and I was not embarrassed at all. Except that I was still in pajamas-it was well after noon. In my defense, I was right in the middle of cleaning the bathroom. It was a cleaning day-they all are- and that makes me pretty slow to "get ready". After ruining a couple of really nice shirts with bleach, the whole getting dressed to do housework kind of died. Of course, since I clean with vinegar and baking soda now, it is a weak argument. I should get up, shower and get dressed-then take on the day. Instead I get up, make breakfast, get the kids going, check email, blog, do housework and catch a shower around 2 and get dressed. Dr. Phil, it's really NOT working for me-I get caught in my PJ's alot and I get pretty embarrassed by that.
- I still don't have one big bookshelf and I desperately want one. or two. I am so sick of seeing all our homeschool stuff packed into a china cabinet I could scream. Every time I have to look at it, I become immediately disgruntled. It's a good thing there is a small bookshelf right beside it that is a resting place for delicious smelling soaps right now or someone could get hurt. Brandy is a calming spirit, thank goodness.
- TMI WARNING-Walgreens had K-Y products buy one get one free. WAHOOO!! There was no silk, but liquid works well too. Just in case you ever wondered. Don't forget-warming products are of the devil. Just in case you ever wondered.
- NEVER BUY TWO BIG BAGS OF APPLES!!! Even though your family breezes through one bag like nobody's business. Even though one bag is eaten in less than two days and I did not even get one. Buying two bags will make no one really want an apple. I think it is the whole supply and demand rule. A perceived shortage of apples makes everyone want one. A surplus decreases the demand. The same rule does not apply to Hershey's kisses. Even the dark ones the kids swear they hate. A surplus will just make everyone eat more. Only Mom will gain weight from them though. Okay, Dad might gain an ounce, but he will lose it instantly while walking to the kitchen to get some chips.
- I got so many movies at the library, it took three cards to check them all out. And 1 book. I feel like stalker Heather. HAHAHAHAHA. I love you, movie girl!!
- I'm going to snuggle with hubby now and watch Forrest Gump. We love the new hip movies around here.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Don't Drop The Soap!!!
I just gave my daughter a lecture I have been needing for quite sometime. Yes, you read that right. She is often so full of jealosy and comparisons of self versus others that her own talents and virtues go unnoticed. Methinks the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
The forced "in your face" contact of children and spouses force us to deal with so many of our own issues that might go undetected otherwise.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Picture number 1
This is a picture of our day climbing rocks, savoring fall and much hiking.
Picture number 2
This is a picture of a small part of our silkworm farm. We have 10. They are all cocooned now which means we will soon have a farm of moths. Yeah! In the wintertime. They will surely die as soon as they are released and yes, we will release them. Someone did not give this particular project enough thought.
Picture number 3
A VERY happy customer.
Picture number 4
A country Christmas at an 1850's working farm. These are dancing pine needle dolls. They also made paper chains, sewed up gingerbread men with goodies inside, tasted "real" popcorn, saw Santa and had a wonderful, very chilly fun day on the farm. Notice a certain Build-a-bear named Lulu accompanied us along with Kirsten. Molly waited for Kayla in the car so she wouldn't be cold. Besides, it wasn't her time period anyway. Our little neighbor girl also went along and brought her doll too.
Yes there is a point to quoting a Ray Stevens song-but it comes much later in the post. Be patient.
I love blogs. And blogging. I can't exactly explain it, but I shall try. My blogging feels alot like scrapbooking-only better. I am not only recording the daily and mundane, but I am also getting to know myself better, becoming closer to God, giving a real testimony of how powerful God's grace is (some say it is way too real in fact), and just generally sharing my life with others who are interested because: they know me in real life, they relate to me, or they want to understand crazy people a bit better.
The blogs I read are so wide and diverse, it is a bit insane.
I read blogs of people I know. I love those best. I have gotten to know some of my friends so much better from blogging that it is comical. Sandy and I nursed our youngest children together and have been in church together for what seems like forever-but blogging is what helped me know her better. Many of my other friends live far away and our blogs keep us in touch-even though none of them update enough to make me feel truly connected-I'll take what I can get!
I read blogs of Christians I respect and admire(of course there is some overlapping here!). Some of them I read daily because they help me keep on keepin' on. They help me keep my perspective about my life and the mission God has for me. This is a very important thing. Some of those Christian blogs are funny and help me not to take it all so serious that I REPEL the lost with my RIGHTEOUSNESS. If I am so perfect(at least in my own thinking) that I cannot even relate to a fallen world, it won't make me better soldier for the kingdom. IF I have not seen an "R" movie or heard a secular song in 10 years, I am not gonna reach anyone. Of course, if I fill my life with "R" movies, drinking, and all things wordly-I am not gonna reach anyone that way either!
For inspiration on relating to the world, I give you the folowing references: In Acts chapter 10, Peter took great pride in the fact that he had never eaten anything unclean. God spoke to him and told him to eat and through doing so, God allowed him to reach people he would not have reached otherwise.
Romans 12:16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
1 Corinthians 9: 19-23
19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
All those parentheses encourage me, by the way!!
Of course, this does not give us a right to become sinful to win the lost- there is a balance. They certainly did not puff themselves up into "super" Christians to win the lost. That even repels other Christians. I digress.
The last group of blogs I read are others that I really enjoy. They are people with whom I have little in common, many are not Christians. And so what. They are God's children too. I want to relate to others not exactly like me. I want to know them and love them. Maybe God might use me and my silly little blog to reach someone for Him. If not, I will just exchange pleasantries with them and make our stay on this Earth a little brighter. I might change the stereotype of Christian in their head. (Most of them have been hurt really badly by a Christian or two.)(Me too!)(I've also done the hurting a time or two-I hate admitting that!) I definitely have learned how to be a better person from them. I also have gleaned a parenting tip or two.
I guess, I just love to read about people and what makes them tick. I love to read blogs where all the pretense is stripped away and there is real sharing of flaws and shortcomings. In a world full of the superficial "Bertha-better-than-you's", blogging is a breath of fresh air.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It has been raining pretty much all day here. It has been a good rainy day. I have the beginnings of a cold, so pretty weather would be a bit depressing. I almost did not make it to church, but then I did-I'm glad I did not let a cold prevent me, 100 other people had colds as well. It was a good service. We went for lunch at my in-laws, it was wonderful. Shrimp pasta...mmmmmm. Home for resting while all three kiddos played next door...a quiet house...mmmmmm. Snuggling with my honey watching Titanic on a rainy day in a quiet house. Love it.
Sometimes rainy days are the cat's meow.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Hebrews 3:13 is my favorite verse.
13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
And lately, this man is one of my favorite encouragers. I hope you find encouragement there as well.
I am also encouraged by all those comments yesterday. I feel pretty united in the fact that more and more people value PEOPLE over RELIGIOUS TRADITION. So, how do we fix the hurts of the years when that was not the case?
My guess is prayer. Praying for both sides of the coin, so to speak. Praying for the people who feel justified in making sure everyone in a church is "up to code" and also praying for those shoved out and unloved because they were not.
God does have a code, but fortunately Jesus is all we need to be in. Once we clothe ourselves in Christ-we are in. Now that is encouraging!
Friday, November 23, 2007
***edited to add, this was not someone from my church, it was a family member talking about a family I do not know***
I heard a judgement call that broke my heart. From a Christian. Every now and then I hear such hateful utterances, it breaks my heart for God. He must be so disappointed with us. Sometimes they come from my own mouth. Of course, those don't stand out near as much as the words of another-I can't hear exactly how I sound. I just know that I say and do hateful things that cast my saviour in such a negative light to those that don't know him. We all do. I hate that some people judge my Heavenly Father by what I say and do. I am so flawed, selfish, and often-unloving. That is not at all the perfect Son of God.
So back to the comment. This comment was said about a young girl and her boyfriend who had gotten into "trouble". They had a baby together. There were many judgements made against this couple- I just so happen to agree with alot of them. I don't believe young dating couples should spend large hunks of time alone together because it is like waving a lighter at sticks of dynamite. However, most people think this is acceptable and normal. Sooner or later, the inevitible will happen. Then, many times, a child will result. In this case, the tragedy is that all involved are children. The momma, the daddy, and of course, the baby are all children. Children will make mistakes. They will have errors in judgement that sometimes change their young lives forever.
This is where Christians are so quick to condemn. Baby showers should be withheld, lest this sort of behavior be encouraged. This breaks my heart. These children are in such a state of broken spirits and lives that they are vulnerable. A lifetime of kindness won't take away the hurt that the "judgements" of Christians will inflict. They do this in the name of God?? Blaspheme. Jesus accepted people where they were and helped them put the pieces back together again.
It took all I had to not go off on this person in a tirade. Two wrongs don't make a right. Instead I plead that the baby is innocent and it never hurts anything to shower a new baby with love and presents. This statement was agreed with, but the whole "shower nonsense" was again ridiculed. I am praying for this person. Casting such harsh judgement will not end well. Sooner or later, this will be visited to the doors of those who judge in a much more personal way. Funny how sin becomes less black and white when it is your child or grandchild.
As hard as it is sometimes, we are not called to judge the lives of non-believers. We are called to love others more than ourselves. We are called to live a life worthy of the crown. We are called to repent of our sins and surrender our will every day to the will of God. We are called to be iron sharpening iron-very gently and lovingly rebuking the sins of fellow believers IN LOVE. As far as non-believers and the lost? NO JUDGEMENT. Just love- that they might be willing to hear the good news of Christ. To make the decision to not celebrate the birth of a child- a child not aborted- because we don't agree with the circumstances? WWJD?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 4:5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
James 4:11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Now, because turnabout is fair play, after whining all day yesterday, I will list ten things I am thankful for.
10. I am thankful for our home. It isn't anything fancy, but we have made it our own and we love it. It keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many people don't have a home and bounce around from shelter to shelter, live in cars or on the street.
9. I am thankful for blogs and the blogosphere, it keeps me sane. (That is HUGE!)
8. I am thankful for books. They help me, entertain me, inspire me, educate me, and give me quality time with my kids. I am particularly thankful for the Bible, especially my audio Bible which puts it all in a whole new light.
7. I am thankful for all the hardships I have survived. They have made me who I am. I appreciated the grace it takes for God (and others) to forgive me and I thankfully usher in those new mercies every morning.
6. I am thankful for my health. Hubby and I are surrounded with people who are struggling with health issues. It has caused us to wake up and take notice that we are well and hope to stay that way so that we may serve the parts of our family that are not.
5. I am thankful for sisters- my three and Erik's one. They are truly a treasure. All of us have our little quirks, but we love one another and it is a blessing to share life and the workload with others who laugh and love alot. It s also fun to compare the memories with someone who grew up right alongside us!
4. I am thankful for Erik's grandma. She is the last grandparent Erik or I have and she is truly a blessing and a treasure. I hope we have many more Thanksgivings with her. I think it is cool that all 50-11 of us will overfill her house and she will be tickled to have us there.
3. I am thankful for my parents and also my in-laws. Family is so precious. As they get older, I fully appreciate the fact that this world is not our home and these temporary shells called bodies will fail us! To quote Patrick Mead, we all have a 100% mortality rate OR one in one dies.
2. I am thankful for my children. They make me crazy sometimes, but I can't imagine life without them. I know so many who can't or didn't have children, it is very selfish to take them for granted-even a little bit.
1. I am thankful for a husband who loves me and a marriage that is intact. We will never be models for the perfect marriage, but we sure do try to do all the stuff that keeps a marriage together. It helps that we are both stubborn mules determined to make it work. Plus, we really do love each other, at least most of the time.
I am blessed and I know it. You are too. If you are reading this on a computer in the comfort of your own home, you have too many blessings to even count. Try anyway!!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Come join me in a glass of whine!!! Bear with me, I would like to get this all out of my system before a holiday comes along. A certain holiday which requires me to be thankful. Hard to be thankful when you are full of whine...hey, that gives me another idea. No, wait that was Oktober's thing.
Top ten things that are making me whiny.
10. I planned to be done with Christmas shopping by today. I am not.
9. I wanted to make the dressing this year. I am not.
8. I cut bangs for myself a few weeks ago and pardon my language here, they are very curly
and therefore as bangs, they suck.
7. I am not the only member of my family who cut my bangs. Lilly cut a small, albeit very
easily noticed, strand of her hair into bangs as well. All the way to her scalp. Just in time
for the holidays. Rah rah!
6. My normally laid back easy-going husband gets all freaked out and scrooge-like at
Christmas. happy happy joy joy
5. I have lost my temper 187 times in the last two days. No.I.Am.Not.Stressed.Just.Crazy.
4. I went to Sam's today with all three kids and wet hair. I saw 15 people I knew and they
were all happy, dolled up and childless.
3. Tomorrow will be my "heavy flow" day. Happy Thanksgiving!
2. We had craft day yesterday to make an advent calendar. It seemed like so much fun, but
it was not. My children managed to escape with their lives. Felt is strown about the house
and there are likely to be pins and needles in the rug despite the "only at the table" rule.
1. Despite an entire day of crafting and "FUN", we still don't have an advent calendar.
I feel a little better. As always, prayers are coveted.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I fancy that I am a creative person. I have been thinking this for years. So, as I have been unable to find the type of advent calendar that I want, I decided to search "ye olde web" for ideas of how to make my own. I have been perusing internet sewing sites and I am astonished. Mesmerized. So many moms out there are not only sewing things up but they are sewing extra things up and selling them at a little shop called ETSY. This is a huge store of homemade goods that people just like me sew for(not just like me as they actually sew...heehee) and stock with goodies that other people come along and buy. Even kids have etsy shops.
Unfortunately, my crafting is limited to coming up with simple crafts for kids to make that may or may not last longer than a few days. This means I will probably not be a merchant in the virtual town of ETSY, but you should totally go there, look around, be amazed, and if you have an extra $50 laying around, buy yourself something real purty made by a clever and industrious mom.
Or be inspired to make your own sub-par version that no one would buy, but your family might enjoy making together and using. That's what I'm doing. ( ;
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I've been a bad, boring blogger. Mostly complaints about busyness have donned the pages of this blog. For that, I apologize. I have become one of those people that I despise-you know the ones that spend 30 minutes telling you all of their goings on and how busy and important they are(using up valuable minutes of your life that you needed because hey, we are all busy!)?!! I don't want to be those people. Even worse are the ones who spend about 6 blog entries on it(me). Get over yourself Janjanmom-we are all busy. Post a real post already.
So for today I want to muse a bit about popularity. I always longed for popularity in school. I was always on the verge, but never really felt like I could achieve it. In my grade school, it meant being a class officer. I did achieve this most years, because I lowered my standards a bit and went for the uncoveted position of treasurer. I also liked money alot. Did I ever touch any money in my numerous years of being treasurer? Never, not one time. Class officer positions really were just a popularity contest. By the time middle school rolled around, I was fast approaching nerd status. I was on the academic team, the math team and also in the gifted and talented program. Had all of those things not been so fun for me, I might have considered upping my "cool" quotient and given them up. However, I was born to be a nerd, so I remained in the "smartie pants" club. By eighth grade, I had added basketball to my "skills" and became somewhat normalized. It was a good year and I had a boyfriend who was also a good friend. Life was good. It was the most popular I would ever be.
The beginning of my high school career was full of decisions. These decisions would effect all four years. I chose two things that allowed me very fun years with lots of good memories-but made me forever "unpopular". The first one was the pursuit of an "honors" diploma(I was kind of popular in my honors classes.), the second was my membership in a wonderful club-the FFA. If I had to go back to high school tomorrow, after crying my eyes out and vowing to never eat again, I would choose them both again. Lack of popularity meant I was never invited to the "good" parties(the ones where people got arrested). It also meant I could be friends with whomever I wanted. Even at the time, just like in middle school, I realized that popularity always comes with a price, usually snubbing "lesser" people and giving up what you like for what is "cool"-I've never been willing to pay it.
As an adult, there are still "popular" people. I just don't have the stamina to do it. I can't keep up. I see friends who are totally involved in one another's lives and while I am jealous-I can't do it. These same people are cool, hip and trendy-homes, clothes, and vehicles. I am not a social butterfly, some of this comes from having an anti-social(not entirely, but somewhat) husband. He really loves his homelife. Once upon a time, this grated on my nerves and I went without him. I dreamed of hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Now, I see the wisdom. I will never be more popular than I am at home. These people love me. (So far, on non-PMS weeks)
Popular or not, God loves me. He will use me and put people in my path no matter where I am or what I am doing. Also, I seem to recall that Jesus valued relationships more than "being popular". So this time of year, while it saddens me a bit that I don't have tons of girlfriends to go shopping with, that we are not on everyone's(anyones?) VIP guest list, that our family probably won't be featured on the cover of the local mag in full Christmas attire, or any of the other things that would make me feel popular, I have my family. My family at home and my church family-the family of God(my church and all others) are all enough. Brothers and sisters across the world that call me family. Nothing ever sets you up for "popularity" more than coming from the right family, and fortunately, this family welcomes anyone and everyone-even an "uncool" sinner like me.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ha! It never works out.
I never could have told my 25 year old self to enjoy the baby/toddler stage. In fact, I laughed at people who told me those were the easy years-cause they weren't. They were major hard. Fussy babies, unfed self, CAR SEATS!!, touched too much all day long, meeting the needs of everyone in the family all the time, never being able to count on a good nights sleep and I could go on and on with even more ways it was trying. However, entering into the pre-teen years makes me long to smell like spit-up, make do with a 2 minute shower and not leave the house for an entire week. To those babies, you are the world. You spend a good solid day with them and they eat it up. They hold you and play with your hair and they love you as only a baby can love. Pre-teens get the same amount of love and attention and on a good day you will be "not really cool, but somewhat suitable at times". They really wish you were so and so's mom because she is a really cool mom. It doesn't even cross their mind that telling you so might cause your PMS self to break down and cry, in fact, doing so will only annoy them and prove the aforementioned "uncoolness".
I am really struggling with this new dynamic of parenting. To say it is hard would be the understatement of the year. I keep thinking I am just not cut out for this. I failed "being a girl" in middle and high school. I had three older sisters who were nicer to me on their meanest day than some of the girls I called "friend" at school. I was frequently "voted off the middle school island". I made friends with my entire middle school class because I wanted to make sure I always had people who would talk to me when my "homies" decided I was out(roughly once a week). I had many very close guy friends that I loved talking too. We could talk about anything and everything. I even did things like bike riding, playing basketball and three wheeler riding with them. To be fair, I often had middle school girl crushes on them-but this was NEVER admitted or shown in any way.
In high school, I had 4 best friends to get through all the areas of my life, but my bestest one was a guy. Sure, I was totally in love with him and everyone thought we were dating, which worked out well for both of us. Anyway, all of this to say, I cheated on a whole lot of the "girl" crap. I don't know how to deal with it. I see my girls getting hurt-and doing some hurting too-and I don't know how to make it better. I thank my lucky stars they are not in school where they would be getting a much bigger dose of it. I also hate how superficial and mean they often are, despite all my efforts to the contrary. Of course, I can look back and remember times when I did the same type of things-calling people bad names, judging them harshly on important things like HAIR, not being friends with certain "uncool" people and treating my mom very badly at times.
I think I just thought I was a poor unguided soul and that was why I struggled. I never knew that this "becoming" was a rite of passage. I always felt like with the proper instruction and guidance, much middle school and teen angst would be avoided. I was wrong. I repent of my wrongness and will now be utilizing the power of prayer instead of relying on my "knowledge" and "understanding".
Lord, please help me. I need wisdom and patience. I am a very poor example of love and grace. I give you my daughters, again. I fear I was not the best choice to parent them but I know you know what you are doing so I beg you for direction. I pray for them to have soft hearts and an ability to learn valuable lessons from the pain they inflict on others and also the pain they have inflicted by others.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I have acted a fool tis weekend. I not only shopped all day yesterday, but I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning planning and organizing all that was purchased. I also cleared the clutter away to my closet for the middle school care group which was here tonight. I stayed up too late and actually saw my husband perform at the local telethon. He played at an obscene hour (2:50) and I was still awake to see it. (IDIOT!) This on the eve of what has been the busiest day of my life. I'm putting a halt to this foolishness right now. Good night.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Although I think this is a ridiculous saying, it is fitting for me today. I begged my darling honey to please not make me have to wait until the last minute to shop. I did it last year and finished up just a day or two before Christmas. It drove me bananas. Nothing kills the Christmas Spirit more for me than knowing I have 6 more people to buy for or Christmas cards yet to send out. I like to be mostly done by Dec 1 and then I can coast through and enjoy all the holiday stuff.
Hubby not only allowed me to shop with his blessing, he and the kids spent all day playing and doing yard work while I spend untold hours shopping. This on his rare and special Saturday off!! He's off Monday too though for Veteran's Day, so we will have a fun family day then. I then came home for a bit, ate the wonderful food he had cooked and set off again for an old fashioned Tupperware party, again kid-free. My husband loves me. I am so rejuvenated to have a day alone (as alone as you can be among people). I have well over 3/4 of my shopping done and it feels GOOD. I am up late tonight cleaning for houseguests tomorrow, but I don't mind it a bit. The weight lifted off my shoulders will make the cleaning so much easier!!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I know it is supposed to end with an F, but I feel this way on Thursdays. It is a day of rest after Wednesday co-op. We are not behind on the week's work yet. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are hectic, but on Thursday, I can relax a bit-usually through Saturday. Also, we ease into our weekends. While the rest of the world does cool awesome family things (especially Mia!), Saturday is just another day of work for my darling hubby. So it is just a "free" day for us girls. Don't get me wrong, we would all love to have Saturdays with Dad, we just can't. So after a week of school, we get a day to do whatever. Most of the time, that whatever is nothing. Occassionally it is lots of stuff. This Saturday though, it is a big day. Every fifth weekend, we get Dad. We get him on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unless he gets called in or scheduled to work. This is entirely possible.
Whew, what a tangent. So anyway, today has been a good day. My Bible study group celebrated the end of our study with a trip to Cracker Barrel. Yum. Days that start out with hashbrown casserole are always good days. The fellowship was pretty awesome too. I also officially have begun my Christmas shopping. Two names are finished. Goody. My goal this year is to be finished by Dec 1. If that happens, my enjoyment of the holidays increases exponentially. I hate looming deadlines. They stress me.
So anyway, I am enjoying a fine day. Doing laundry in my "play clothes" until chorus time when I must remove my most favorite paint stained tshirt (old cottony soft goodness) and flannel pants(old cottony soft goodness) for go out in public clothing.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
From the blog of Patrick Mead:
"It would be easy to be depressed on these days when winter howls in, the sound of icy rain on the windows keeping us awake at night, and friends are facing funerals and surgery... but I'm not doing too bad with it. I find it helpful to have these days. They remind me that I am a creature, not the Creator. I am not in charge here.I want to save the world, but running it and saving it aren't really my responsibility. My job is to reach out with the message and love of Christ and it is His job to take it from there. I am not in charge of weather or traffic or taxes... I am only in charge of my decisions, my actions. Even then, God is gracious. He knows that we are dust. Even concerning something as important as living in peace with everyone He tells us "IF it is possible, AND as much as it lies in you..." indicating that He understands that sometimes it isn't possible and sometimes it isn't possible for ME when it might be for you. He knows our limitations and loves us anyway.There is great comfort in trusting God. I'm glad I am just a creature and not the Creator. I'm glad I am just a servant and not a master. While I don't understand what God is doing a lot of time -- including why He allows weather wackos to live -- I trust Him. He knows what's He's doing. I just need to make sure we're stocked up on hot chocolate."
Today is the day that I get to go and officially give my opinion on who the best leaders in my neck of the woods. I am always delighted to do so. I take my children with me and they get a long lecture about how important it is that we all do this. I used to let them push the button when I was done but...let's just say one year I don't think I voted for all the elections as my button got pushed a bit premature. By the way, if that ever happens to you, there is no recourse.
So we will head out soon for the booths where the workers there know me. (Probably because I bring my kids and the aforementioned "incident".) I come out for all the elections, even the little ones where there is no line. I feel like today there will be a line. We here in KY are electing a new governor. I have a very strong preference. One of them reminds me of a guy who would sell me a used car with no brakes and a strong assurance of how good it would be for our family. He even talks like a slick dishonest used car salesman. He also assures me his father, a baptist preacher long gone on to glory, would want casinos in our state and would ask for help to learn how to play. Now I personally am not offended by gambling. It ranks right up there with drinking-if you can't stop, don't do it! However, a baptist preacher who preached in the 40s and 50s would NEVER pull the lever on a slot machine. Was this a slanderous commercial where I heard him speak this? No, it was while my hubby played music at the labor day function. He bragged about how much his dad would have loved a casino. HOGWASH!
Sorry, I went off on a little tangent. So anyhoo, even if you don't agree with me on who the best candidates are, please vote!! It is one of our most precious freedoms and many people died to give you the right to vote.
Monday, November 05, 2007
What do you do when everything you know and believe gets turned on its ear?
I am a black and white person who has lived long enough to know everything is NOT black and white. However, in my heart of hearts, I must confess that I do think some things are still black and white. Alot of things. Especially as Christians, the world is mostly black and white, right? The more I read, study, walk and talk with God and live I am discovering that no, it really isn't. This is very challenging to me. I have been taught so many things for so long, it is hard to read the Bible and not read those things I've heard all my life into it. BUT THEY AREN'T there. Here are the biggies I am dealing with:
1. Drinking was as common in Biblical times as breathing. Jesus turned water into wine(really good potent wine, BTW), so the guests could drink even more than they had already been drinking. Everything was celebrated with large amounts of wine. All feasts included large amounts of drinking. Jesus drank alot of wine. Perhaps you have been told that they could not drink the water, so wine was like their water. This is untrue. There are lots of water stories throughout the Bible as well. Drinking was simply not the big deal it is made into nowadays. I would even go out on a limb and say that nothing divides the Christians from the rest of the world so completely as the issue of alcoholic beverages. I am praying for God to show me the balance in this as this is SUCH a HUGE deal to me that I can't even go into detail about how strong my feelings are in this arena OR how bad it will rock my boat if I have been wrong and unfair in this area-both to myself and others.
2. I don't have to be perfect or even striving towards it for God to love me, save me, and even use me to bring about his message and will. God loves me, imperfections and all. Some of my biggest flaws? He created me with them. I think he knew if I wasn't this strong willed, opinionated bag of wind, I would not have made it through the things I have made it through. I have spent 35 years trying to be more palatable to as many people as possible. I have lamented who I am, what my personality is and dreamed of the day I would be calm, quiet and serene in the spirit of God. I have also figured with enough "good" parenting, my kids would change into these different perfect little angels as well. I just figured I was a very "bad" parent and that is why they are not.
There are more things, but right now these two are all I can handle right now. Number one shames me for all the haughty pride and judgement I have felt, spoke about and convicted others with.
Number two, well loving your neighbor as yourself isn't very hard when you have been hating yourself for as long as you can remember. However, loving myself as a child of God and others as my brothers and sisters no matter our station in life, mistakes, addictions, personality, looks, smell, etc. is a much taller order. I don't want to love everyone. I don't even want to love alot of people. In fact, I really truly LIKE very few people. I want them to like me, but that does not mean I like them. My heart is being re-tooled and it is a very tough transition. I thought God would really CHANGE ME-my personality, my habits. The whole "refiner's fire" thing. I did not realize he would accomplish this through changing my thoughts and attitudes toward others. I have been selfish selfish selfish. "Make me a better person, Lord." has been my prayer forever. The prayer I thought I was supposed to pray. Focus all on me. MEMEMEMEME. Me be more Christlike. Help me do better. I did not realize that is NOT where my focus belongs. God has a plan for me. If I focus on him and his will, me becoming a better person will be a by-product. This life is NOT about me finally becoming a good person, it is about God. Helping Him accomplish His will through me is my job, not being "good".
For most of you, this is nothing new. Perhaps you have known all of this all along. I would love to hear about you and your journey.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
- Okay, you know I can and will say more. I always do. However, wow is a beginning to the way I feel about the weekend. Bullets will have to tell all right now.
- The teens in our youth group are awesome and unscary. The other youth groups seemed pretty neat and unscary as well.
- Rooming with a baby that does not sleep will make me really drag and not be alot of fun to be around. Even at a super energized youth rally. It will also make me think and think until I find a solution to get mom with babies her own "room" because two nights without sleep are beyond very dangerous. It worked and today, after a night of sleep, I felt much renewed.
- Viral pink-eye cleared up as soon as antibiotic eyedrops were discontinued. PRAISE THE LORD!
- I think the messages of this weekend were way over the heads of alot of the teens in attendance, but I hope I am wrong. It was definitely over my daughter's head but she still had fun and hopefully a little kernel or two of info made its way into her brain.
- It was not over my head at all and the things we heard were excellent challenges for all Christians. The speaker last night and today was the most impactful to me. He was funny but very very real. He basically boiled his message down to this, as a Christian I should: be fearless 'cause the worst that can happen is I will die and be with Christ, I'm not perfect and I'm not gonna be, other Christians won't be either-stop expecting it, God commands me to share the message of Christ by helping and loving people, I am commanded to do good even if I don't "feel" like it, God is unpredictable in every way-I can't begin to see things from His perspective, the devil will attempt to destroy me and my witness every minute of every day but Christ is right there "counter-moving" on my behalf, I am to be an encourager of Christians- but my focus is on reaching the lost. Tall order-Big challenges.
- Today we celebrated my mom's birthday. It was a fun day. Fish fry at my sister's house. I love my husband for waiting on my mom. He did not make a big deal of it, but he did it and it was awesome. He's never been more attractive to me.
- We are doing "Chinese auction" at Christmas with my side of the family. Each person will bring a $1 gift and I could not be happier!! I have hated the excess of Christmas for a long long time. This is a step in the right direction.
Tomorrow, I will no longer be on the mountaintop of this weekend. My prayer is that God has orchestrated a "heart transplant" in my life and the lives of others who heard the message this weekend. I want make slow permanent changes that help an imperfect person like me grow God's kingdom. Thank you God for being so patient with me.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
...among the democratic candidates. I hate mud-slinging across party lines-but on the same side, I find it hilarious. Especially when it gets narrowed down to one and its all kissy-kissy, I support you even though I ripped you to shreds in earlier debates. Hillary is probably THE most hated woman in America, right behind Rosie. Why is she even a possibility?
I think perhaps Hillary has been coached by another famous lady.
This morning, the eye was worse than ever. I call the opthamologist and begged to be worked in and they gave me a 10 o'clock appointment. He is a doc I trust (note to self, Why don't you always go to him?) and he says it is the much less common and much less contagious VIRAL pink eye. Known for it's lack of oozy goo and usually only happens in grown ups. It is basically the common "cold" in your eye. My prescription is to keep wearing glasses, use the pain relief drops, moistening drops and wash hands before touching eyes and after touching eyes. I have been using antibiotic eye drops which have further irritated the eye. He says I should be over it around day 10-14.
Tonight is a youth rally. I am going with my daughter and since I am not in youth group mode at all, I am afraid. Wimpy afraid. Teenagers in large groups make me nervous. Pray for me. And Erik, who will be missing me so much he may become physically ill. NOT!
Have a great Friday!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
- Today is Nov. 1 and I am in shock. Two months left of this year.
- Christmas is right around the corner. I cannot believe how quickly time flies. I want lazy summer slow time back. That is what I want for Christmas. Which store has that?
- Today is crazy off schedule. YAH! Erik is off today and we started the day downtown getting maintenance done to our van. I missed Bible study thinking I could go tonight because I forgot about chorus and the parents meeting. Grrrrrrr.
- My eye still hurts but seems to be the right color. I guess if it is not much improved on Monday, I will see an opthomologist.
- Lilly is really reading now. We read books at the library today while the other two were on computers and Dad was getting a much needed, long overdue haircut.
- Hubby looks really hot with his new haircut. Look away!! I mean it.
That is all for now. I think it is "nap" time.