Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ah...It's Been So Long

It's been a busy couple of months...well really...life is just busy, no matter how you look at it. But in the last couple of months, since I've written...well let's just say that busy doesn't always mean extremely significant. Although, things are going really well with the hubby :) I think a little less stress is the ticket there and we seem to be communicating well and relating well...we have our moments, don't get me wrong, marriage is no bowl of pitless cherries...but for the most part, we're doing great. I am happy :)
Being a mom has always been one of the greatest joys of my life, with a few whinces of immense pain here and there, but I wouldn't trade one whince. And whoever said that "parenting a teen is like trying to hold onto jell-o" was so right! The harder you try the harder it gets. I'm trying so hard to just trust in the LORD, so that I don't squeeze too hard. There's nothing I'd like more than to go back in time and just have her jump up on my lap and hug me so tight like she used to...maybe tell me how pretty I am (she used to do that too)...sing together, play together, read together, do anything together...but alas...she is a teen for sure. I'm half tempted to ground her sometimes just to keep her off the phone, computer, ipod-less and home...although she does give me reasons sometimes to do that anyway...I refrain from doing it out of vain and selfish ambition. But she throws me a bone once in a while and will just hug on me out of nowhere (not out of want or selfish ambition either) and just want to hang out and talk.
Now Sammy on the other hand, is approaching my absolute favorite age...4 :) So lovey dovey and eager to be helpful. He loves to be read to, always wants me to play choo choo trains with him, sits on my lap and snuggles intermittenly throughout the day (especially first thing upon waking...can't always say that's morning). He loves to go on "dates" and so do I...his favorite is IHOP and a movie (yesterday was Tangled - super cute flick...and he climbed into my lap halfway through to snuggle mama). He has his sassy moments still, but overall super sweet, just like sissy was at that age. I love it!
Now...the house that has been a thorn in my side, since the day we moved in...that's a tale to be told. I am falling in love with it. We took up the carpet and discovered wood floors...downsized the furniture and opened up more floor space and it's not so crowded...it's kinda cozy. Although it is small (560 sqft), it forces us to not avoid eachother and work things out quickly...now if I could just finish the basement for an actual bedroom...now that would be lovely. Any drywallers out there? :) Just kidding...sort of.
I am blessed and very happy...though I still struggle through depression, I'm trying to write more songs as an outlet...or find other methods of creative expression (tearing up floors, painting walls, re-organizing cupboards...etc.) and artistic endeavors (painting, drawing, writing, singing, beading, sewing, quilting, crocheting...my next venture...basket weaving, rug braiding and tamale making). That's of course after and in between spending time in the WORD, praying, schooling the kids, and laundry...no wonder I haven't blogged in a while ;)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Power of Prayer...? Or Power of GOD!

So often you here the saying "there's power in prayer"...but really the power is in GOD, not our prayers. Prayer is powerful, not because of what we say or feel while doing it, it's powerful because the One answering (be it yes or no) is powerful. Prayer is simply a tool, a means of communicating with the Creator of heaven and earth.
How often do we go by what we "feel" as humans...but GOD is more than a "feeling"...even love is more than just a "feeling". What we feel is irrelevant really... In order to really understand this I look to Scripture...as the LORD prayed in the garden, HE did not feel like dying on that cross, HE asked that it not have to happen at first...but then HE sought out the will of the Father instead. How often we ask for things out of our own selfish, fleshly desire and ambition...instead of seeking GOD's will for our lives. I want what I want...but ultimately I want the will of the ONE who created me, who knows me...better than I know myself, the ONE who's plans for me are to prosper me, not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future...I will seek HIM with all my heart and I will know HIM more and gain a better perspective of what HIS will is for my life. I pray that my words will be HIS words, my thoughts will be HIS thoughts, my actions be HIS acts...all in worship...all in love...all in total devotion to HIM, the Holiest of Holies. Praise and Glory be to the KING of Kings!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

WOW! the book of James is AWESOME! It is amazing how small, yet how powerful things can be. Like the rudder of a massive ship is what guides & directs it...so too does the tongue guide & direct your next thoughts & how you treat people & how people can or can't respect you.
James 3:9 - With the tongue we praise our LORD and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in GOD"s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
I have in the past had somewhat of a foul mouth...behind closed doors. I started to realize that at church it was all "Praise the LORD!" "GOD is good" "Holy is HE!" and at home...well let's just say...NOT SO PRETTY or glorifying to the LORD. James compares this behavior with being like a spring that produce both fresh water and salt water...which is impossible...without GOD...and I know GOD isn't behind my tongue or my double sidedness.
James also compares our tongues to a fire set to a great forest...
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."
WOW! that's convicting!
I recently started wearing a rubberband to snap myself for cussing, but now that it's not so much an issue, I've decided to snap myself for saying anything negative against others...be it a stranger or my hubby, or really anyone...next will be to control my thoughts too...any negative thoughts, about myself or anyone else...SNAP!
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him." - Words of the LORD! I am going to start storing only good...purging the old evil within...
It never ceases to amaze me...how much wisdom can come from just one little paragraph in GOD's Word.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Backin up your faith

I love the Bible! I love the wisdom and guidance it provides. It's funny how some find it contradictory, when really it is so complimentary to itself. Where in some places it speaks of the importance of a faith by CHRIST's actions alone...other's speak about faith by our works... But if you really look at what is being said you'll see that two different people were being addressed with two totally different issues. Where on one side the people were trying to achieve salvation only by ritualistic behavior; on the other side they were talking the talk, but not living the life...they said all the spiritually "right" things, but no follow through on those things... In both situations the thing that was lacking was the right heart...it was all mind...all self, not motivated by CHRIST, the love that HE poured out, only the human perception of what was "right". They were really missing the point, the beauty of what it truly means to be a believer. We are redeemed from the absolute worst...worse than any human mind can comprehend & given the absolue BEST, most precious gift...better than any human mind can comprehend. For that I am eternally grateful, humbled, amazed, and though we are completely unworthy, we are so worth it to HIM to subject Himself to the abuse, torment and torturous, shameful death of a criminal. How can we not want to live our lives soully for HIM, to project that love that we do not deserve onto others who don't deserve it either. I recognize that I am filthy and wretched, but I am washed clean and dearly loved by the Creator and KING of all things created. HALLELUJAH! PRAISE the LORD JESUS!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spinach in Your Teeth

I need to blog more often...I miss it when I'm not doing it, it's my way of reflecting on what the LORD is doing in my life and heart...
I've been reading in James these last couple of weeks and though I've read it before...I'm really studying it and paying attention to it this time... Today I read about being a hearer and a doer of the WORD...he compares a person who hears the WORD and doesn't apply it to their lives as one who looks in the mirror and walks away, forgetting what they look like...it's more like if you look in the mirror and see that you have spinach in your teeth...leave it/ignore it and walk away, spending the rest of the day smiling at people, talking to people...with spinach still in your teeth...well really it's more like you have dog doo all over your face and you try to ignore that! The WORD is the "mirror"...only the reflection we should be looking at should look like CHRIST and when we see ourselves...our flaws, iniquities, sins, shortcomings, struggles...we turn away and ignore what we saw. Why would we want to do that?! I personally want the doo OFF!
My pastor taught about the dangers of falling into "religiosity"...something I'd been very guilty of doing for the majority of my life. But that way of living is exhausting...it's so much better to live my life for CHRIST just because I love HIM and I'm grateful for His grace...rather than trying to "earn" His love and forgiveness. This concept is so overwhelming! to the point that I cannot stop crying. My heart breaks that people can't or won't accept this or don't understand the concept, because it is sooooo beautiful and I am so grateful! How wonderful is our GOD! "Faith in His grace is about trusting...not doing...it is unearned and undeserved." No matter how filthy, vile & disgusting I am...what I've done, said, thought, felt...etc, HE still receives, forgives, accepts and loves me...HE washes me clean. That does not however mean that I can or will live however I want just because I know that HE will forgive me, I will live for HIM...because how I live matters! It matters to me...to my family...to my church...to my community...to my GOD! I will be getting rid of the "spinach" in my teeth...no more doo on this girl!

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Love Language Discoveries

In reading and applying these "Love Languages" upon my family (which has been so much fun to see them feel so loved), I've really started to understand myself...
I've always been a server...to my friends, my family, my church, my community, at work, to strangers...whoever, whatever, and wherever I'm needed. I love to serve people...I used to think that I couldn't say 'no', but it's not that really, I just don't want to say 'no'...I like to serve (it's my love language...oooooh). Ya, what a discovery! All these years I couldn't figure out why I struggled so much with feeling like no one truly loved me...I mean I know my family and friends 'love' me, but I struggled with feeling it. I pour myself out on people, doing whatever they need me to do...trying to find the needs before anyone can even ask, that's how I communicate my love to them...doesn't necessarily mean they feel loved by my actions, but I feel like I'm loving my heart out. Now other's don't all communicate that they love me in that way, so they communicate it in the way that they communicate love...touch, gifts, words, time...it's like they're saying "I love you!" in Polish, but I only understand English, so it means nothing...well not nothing, but it sure didn't come across as "I love you"...more like "i luv ya"...just not the same, it's a dialect thing I guess. But now that I've learned some new languages I may not always catch it completely, but I can at least interpret what people are trying to communicate and appreciate what they're saying, allowing myself to feel it.
This realization has opened my eyes to the deep dark past of my exsistence...as a child, my mom hugged me a lot, we did a lot together (can you guess what her love languages are?), but I never felt like we were really that close...I'm super close to her now (not geographically, but in relationship). This is likely a big reason I was so depressed for so long...begging for death, just so I could be with the only one who truly loved and understood me...so the pain would cease...never feeling strong enough (or really...weak enough, fortunately) to 'pull the trigger' myself.
What a difference this discovery has made, in just a few short weeks, in how I deal with situations...I no longer beg for death, but for more understanding, wisdom and insight into myself and others and how we work...
What wonderful healing in books...I'm so grateful for the blessing of being able to read :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love Language Over-Flow

After reading the 5 Love Languages and working so hard to discover & fill my hubby's language and tank...I stumbled on a wonderful discovery. My 3 yr. old son is a little obsessed with choo choo trains, on Friday I had a little time on my hands as I entered his room. He promptly inquired if I'd like to play choo choo trains..."Absolutely I do...that just happens to be exactly why I came in here!" Oh the joy and excitement on that boy's face! I've never seen him light up so much...as we played and his little love tank was filled up (quality time...who'd'a thunk it), it started to over-flow into his secondary love language (words of affirmation). He just started spewing "Oh mama...you're the prettiest in all da world! I love you in all da time! You're such a good girl mama! I so proud of you!" He was dancing that little dance of joy! I had tears streaming down my face as I realized how this poor little man's love tank had been so close to empty up to this point. I was able to keep it from being completely empty by affirming him with words in the past, but when I tapped into the most important thing to him...I hit that boy's jackpot! It was one of the most precious moments in my life.
The next day, I took him on a date...dressed up in my prettiest black dress w/my red high heeled shoes and red lipstick...and we went to IHOP to get pancakes for dinner.
Needless to say, he's been asking for another date ever since...and I've been trying to make at least time to play choo choo trains with him for a few minutes each day...he's quick to shut that door so I can't escape.
I highly recommend this book...you will so bless your family and be blessed by it as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 4 of the Love Language Experiment

Not so much into the physical touch, I grabbed his hand as we walked, and he found a way to need that hand for something and then didn't return it to mine...that's okay. I used to need that more when we first got married, but have kind of gotten over that one...I get enough of the lovey touchy stuff from my daughter (lots) and son (sometimes). Last day will be Friday...gifts. I have no gift to give him until Friday, so he'll just have to wait. Til then we'll have some more quality time and I'll take another stab at the words of affirmation...maybe another stab at holding his hand too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Turning over a new leaf...

I have the best pastor in the world...sorry guys, but he is the best. Although he would say..."No, it's not me, cuz I'm not, it's that GOD is good and HE is faithful and HE speaks to you when and where you need." Or something like that...right Dave?
I have long struggled with and am completely aware of the fact that I struggle with the bad habit of...grumbling and complaining. I am just never satisfied. I don't know why I struggle with it...I've prayed for help and read several books. I don't mean to be ungrateful or unappreciative, but I am a grumbler. I really hate that about me...: ) See there I go again...
In Sunday's message, he talked about the Israelites that grumbled and complained about the manna that the LORD had graciously provided for them...I grumble and complain about this slow computer and my small house mostly, but both were graciously provided for me and my family. And though I've read this book in the Bible and learned this example numerous times and I've heard him teach about this subject before...something he said this time really made it sink in and convict me HARD CORE! He said and GOD expanded in my head and heart..."The Israelites would rather have taken slavery in Egypt than the provision of GOD in the desert. We are the same...we'd take the slavery of drugs, sex, power...(my notes- anger, pornography, complacency, complaining) than live my life for CHRIST in the way HE wants. Instead of being thankful for the manna & asking for something else...in prayer and humility, they complained about what GOD had provided."
GUILTY! So I vow and I have asked my husband, daughter and friends to hold me acountable about this...no habit, good or bad, is easy to change...that instead of complaining and grumbling, if & when my computer is moving slow, I will simply pray for the LORD to provide the utilities to move it faster...I will pray for a bigger house and stop complaining how small this one is...and if HE says "no"...? I will trust and rely on CHRIST to empower me to obey and accept HIS will and command. I follow and adore HIM because of who HE is, not for what I can get.
I also have a bad habit of getting frustrated about everything...big and small. Through reading my Beth Moore study yesterday...more conviction...realized that getting frustrated doesn't change the situation, doesn't make it better, and doesn't make anyone around me very comfortable, so I will stop myself mid-fluster and breathe and tell myself..."it doesn't matter"...I will need serious prayer for this one.
I truly am blessed and highly favored...I recognize how much the LORD has blessed me...it breaks my heart that the things that I prayed for and received are the very things I complain about. I am also only responsible for my own actions, reactions, responses and decisions...I can not control, nor am I responsible for the actions, reactions, responses or decisions of others. I can only do my part and their part is up to them and GOD's is up to HIM...I will accept and appreciate all that I have been blessed with and will pray for those that I cannot control myself...and my desire to only be HIS will.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 3 of the Love Language Experiment

Words of Affirmation - this was really easy, he wore a suit and looked very handsome. But though I showered him with positive thoughts and compliments, he didn't respond that much...I think I'm sticking to my theory: quality time and gifts (since day 2 was more of a gift than an act of service...well a little of both).
I laughed at all his jokes (well I really tried not to roll my eyes anyway), I told him how smart he is, how hot he is, & how much I love him, the kids & I are going to make a banner for him, when he gets home from work the first thing he will see is a banner that reads "Daddy is our HERO!" with a knight in shining armor slaying the dragon...I meant to do that yesterday, but ran out of time.
Tomorrow will be physical touch, I will hug and kiss him lots and lots and hold his hand...like my daughter does to me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 2 of the Love Language Experiment

I got rid of the kids, made a special dinner and borrowed his favorite kind of movies from a friend...zombie movie w a comedic twist for my benefit. We had a good time... :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 1 of the Love Language Experiment

In yesterday's blog I talked about the 5 Love Languages and how I couldn't figure out my hubby's language...(he likes to sleep a lot, it's a defense mechanism to avoid confrontation, stress, me, life...)
In the morning, the kids and I left for a friend's hockey game at 11 a.m. Bren needed to go to work for a couple of hours, so the night before I had suggested that he go while we were gone so we could all end up back home around the same time. We needed to go shopping for a suit for him. I made sure that as we were leaving, I woke him up and let him know that we'd be back home no later than 2. I communicated with him once during the day to find out when he'd be home, so I could plan dinner around our shopping trip. He told me he'd be there til 3 and would come straight home...in the past this has been more suggestive than concrete, but I was trusting in his word, without too much hope or expectation. He got home around 4 (pretty good, I was impressed), I set the kids up with something easy for dinner so Riv could fix something for them quickly and we were off. When we left, he said he thought we could go to the all you can eat sushi bar we'd been talking about going to for a couple of weeks. We ended up going to 5 different stores and ended up back at the first one to find this suit (he's in an informal ceremonial vow renewal on Monday). We had a blast! If I got annoyed by anything he said or did, I kept it to myself, I allowed myself to enjoy his quirky humor and even laughed when he joked about farts and poop (usually I roll my eyes and sigh). I really did enjoy myself so much more than I have in a long time. We went to the sushi bar (I gorged myself a little too much, but it was worth it). I even bought me a couple of cute things and some books for schooling without a begrudging growl. We went to the local Blockbuster and rented a movie I'd recently seen that I thought he'd enjoy and went home to watch...I fell asleep 2 seconds in, but I think he enjoyed it.
Tonight's plan: both kids will be gone and I'm making a special dinner in a special outfit and a few other acts of service...I'll spare the details on that blog...
...and Monday's plan...words of affirmation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Love Language

There are 5 basic love languages, according to Dr. Gary Chapman. They are, in no particular order: 1. Words of Affirmation, 2. Quality Time, 3. Receiving Gifts 4. Acts of Service, and 5. Physical touch.
I have a hard time pinning down what my hubby's love language is...my kids are easy.
My 13 yr. old girl - touch and affirmation for sure, she still loves to hold my had and she gushes when I pay her a compliment and my 3 yr. old boy - quality time and gifts for sure; he just wants someone to be in his room while he plays choochoo trains and give him a little rock and he's a happy little man...but what about my honey...he is such a hard book to read, he's so cryptic and mysterious. Just when I think I've got him pegged, he clams up and does a 180 on me, more like a 90 and then a 45 then 180, keeps me guessing...I guess...
I just want to love him the best way I can, but how can I if I can't figure him out completely. I've been trying to figure it out by seeing what he does for me and I think it is receiving gifts also and I'm not sure about another one if there is one...I'm going to start with affirmation, I don't know if he ever heard any of that as a child and may not even be aware of what he needs, himself. But I will not rest until I figure it out, so for the next 5 days I'm going to try a different one each day and see what he responds to the most. So I'll be blogging the results and we'll see. Today is hopefully going to be quality time and I'm planning a special dinner for an act of service tomorrow. I know how he responds to gifts...usually pretty well, that's why I'm thinking that's his primary language, but we'll see.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kids say the darndest things...

The innocence of a beginner's speech is so precious. I called my mom to wish her a Happy Valentine's Day and Anniversary...when my precious little 3 year old came to me and asked to talk to "Gram". He promptly said "Happy Valenday Times Gram!" with a huge smile and melted both our hearts. I love the specific way he says words that he hears others say...we had a Valentine Party at church and he probably heard me and many others say it, so he took a stab at it and came up with "Valenday Times".
Just makes you appreciate the precious sweetness of their innocence. GOD has truly blessed me with the most awesome precious little ones to care for...I am humbled and amazed!
In the morning we always snuggle and I ask him if he slept well and had good dreams. I asked him this morning what he dreamed of..."Jesus" was his reply...my heart melted.
Last night as I dressed for Brendan and I to go out, I put on a skirt...he (Sammy) walked in and asked...

Sammy: "You puttin on that dress mama?"
Me: "Yep"
Sammy: "You gettin pretty? ...so Daddy will kiss you?"
Me: "Oh...if I 'get pretty' Daddy will kiss me?"
Sammy: "Uh huh"
Me: "Be sure to give Daddy that tip...K?"
Sammy: "Ok"

Sammy has a friend at church that he is just in love with...a 6 year old little girl named Bella. Later at dinner I asked him...
Me: "When Bella gets pretty, do you want to kiss her?"
Sammy:(with sheepish grin) "Uh huh"
Me: "Don't you be kissing any girls except Mama and Sissy until you're married young man"
I could barely mutter the words through my laughter...oh boy do I have my hands full with this little Casanova. At least she's the only one he has eyes for...wouldn't that be something if they got married in 20 years?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Un-crippling the Fear

I love how GOD's timing works...and when HE chooses to address our struggles and issues in HIS infinitely wise time. Last night's video for the Beth Moore study on Esther was dedicated to fear...well overcoming fear, by trusting completely, not conditionally, in the LORD. So often we tell ourselves, "If this happens..., then ....", when really we need to say, "If anything happens..., then GOD ...(will take care of me, will sustain me, will protect me, etc.)" She gave several blanks to be filled in and mine looked like this..."If no one likes me and turns their backs on me leaving me all alone on earth, then GOD's going to demonstrate HIS sufficiency in me"; "If everyone abandons me, then GOD is still with me...HE will never leave me or forsake me"; "If the burden is too much to cary, then GOD will hoist it onto HIS majestic shoulders & bare it for me"; "If I fail, then GOD has a plan"; "If I am widowed, then GOD will take care of me"; and "If I perish, then GOD has me in HIS hands & I am still HIS."
Though Esther was terrified for her life to go before the king (legitimate fear of the law), she fasted and prayed and then got dressed not as a beggar to plead for her life and the lives of her people, not as a wife to seduce her hubby or manipulate him with her physical appearance (which probably would've worked, she was gorgeous), but as Queen in her royal robes. She dug deep and mustered not only courage, but she put that courage on the foundation of her position as Queen and Princess to the Ultimate KING...she had dignity, strength, courage, and she was regal. Though trembling underneath all that garb, she stood firm as the "Queen of the vast Persian Empire." She did not let her fears paralyze her any longer...she stood up and walked into that throne room with her head held high and conquered that fear with action.
What a heroine...! Talk about your Wonder Woman! I used to dress up in my UnderRoos and put foil around my wrists and dance around in circles when I was a little girl...in that outfit, I was strong, I was bold,I was confident...I could deflect bullets with my foil wrist bands. Maybe I should start wearing some foil wrist bands under my clothes and I would remember that confidence and courage...only maybe I'll arm my wrists with the armour of GOD and deflect those nasty little arrows of negative thoughts from penetrating my mind, body, heart and soul. Maybe I could write scripture verses on some foil and wrap that around my whole body...
Oh well for now, I'll stick with prayer and reading the scripture & posting it on notecards on my walls.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Wifey Pooh"

All my life I looked forward to being a wife...starting when I was 3 years old dressing up in Mommy's dress up clothes and high heels, with baby doll in tow, I walked out the door to "find me my man!" As I grew into a young woman, I peeked around every corner, hopeful to find the man of my dreams...what I thought I'd do with him when I was 12, I do not know. I encourage my daughter now to not waste time looking for someone you can't start your life with for another 10 years, just enjoy your youth, your friends and your education...and of course your family.
Being a single mom for 8 years proved to be lonely and difficult, but my role as Mommy kept me quite busy. Although, still peeking around the corners and glancing at every doorway, I avoided dating through those years...or rather dating avoided me. There were some brothers that turned my head, but my friendship with each of them prevented me from pursuing anything further...not to mention the busy life of serving the church, friends, family and my baby girl.
Until one day...Duh da da dah!...when I least expected it, I started a Bible study/small group at a trusted friend's house, and after what I thought was the worst day of my life, (I'd been battling an upper respiratory infection for months and had just lost my job earlier that day...I looked lovely with my swollen, red, puffy eyes, runny nose and hacking cough) there he was! Brendan...? I'd seen him at church for the past 3 years, (had not been in the least bit interested...at all!) we avoided eachother...him not interested in EVER having children and me...well, he loves comic books and super heros...and I was a hippy. But after study, we sat and talked for 2 hours...he actually listened...my daughter (8 at the time), just jumped up into his lap and started playing with his hair, and...lalalalala...lalalalala.
..lalalalala...I saw him in a whole different light...sigh... Brendan looked pretty good with my baby girl on his lap (there's nothing more attractive to a woman than a man being sweet with her kid).
Well anyway, something must've happened for him too, because we're married now...sorry for the fast forward...but the rest of our courtship is for another day's blog, maybe tomorrow.
Since we've been married I've read several books on marriage, being a godly wife, a better homemaker, mother, leader, encourager, uplifter/edifier...you name it I've read it or it's on my shelf waiting to be read. No matter how many books I read or how hard I pray, I will never play my part perfectly...that really does not sit well with a Melancholy (see blog post: Who am I really?).
I just don't understand how something that I longed for, for so long, could be such a struggle to do well, I mean I prayed for GOD to give me a man whose socks and underwear I could pick up after...and now I grumble as I bend over to scoop up those sweaty stinky socks...fortunately GOD spared me the underwear bit. What is wrong with me that I should scorn the one thing that I yearned for, even as a child? Am I really so discontented with life in general that I cannot find happiness or contentment in the answered prayers of my youth? Am I really bi-polar (my daughter's dad used to tell me that all the time...still does)? Or am I like many other women, who just want to be valued and cherished...after all I am a princess...right? I've even made notes on 3x5 cards to pray, not grumble...(don't grumble at the broken faucet...pray for a new one, etc.)
But for now I will read another chapter in Finding the Hero in Your Husband and pray that GOD change me...not him...and work harder at finding the joy in the mundane duties of my role as "wifey pooh". After all it is what I asked for, for 33 years...how silly am I?

BTW...My hubby IS awesome! I do love him, I don't want anything in this to come across the wrong way...I'm the one with the problem...I guess I'm just fickle and wishy washy...and that is what I'm working on...I love him dearly and appreciate all that he does and provides. He IS my Hero.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Who Knows?

Esther 4:14b-"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Joel 2:14 - "Who knows? HE may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing..."
I've been studying the book of Esther and it is so facsinating...the book does not have the name of GOD in it anywhere, but HIS hand is at work throughout. Esther was a Jewish orphan, and still she was taken to the palace, she won the favor of everyone she met there and was chosen above probably hundreds of other girls. When the edict had been made of the annihilation of the Jews, she heard nothing of it until her maid-servants and eunuchs came to tell her that Mordecai, her male cousin who raised her after her parents died, was in sackcloth and ashes, wailing at the kings gate. The Jewish people of that region had become very comfortable with their environment and the culture of the Persian people. They had forgotten most of their traditions and customs, thus forgetting the LORD's requirements and commands, maybe even HIS promises. They remembered and returned to the LORD when the edict had been made...they fasted, wailed and tore their clothes putting on the sack cloth and ashes of the custom. When Mordecai sent news to Esther and asked her to go to the king, she understandably was fearful for her life...anyone who went before the king without being summoned was put to death...Mordecai had faith and knew that the LORD would deliver them from this edict one way or another, whether by way of Esther's position or by way of someone else. "Who knows?" GOD knew. Esther sent Mordecai to gather all the Jews to fast and pray for her. She mustered up the courage to go before the king and...well the rest I'll learn in the upcoming weeks, although I've read this book a few times and already done other studies on it, I always appreciate a fresh new perspective on it...especially Beth Moore's perspective.
What position have you been put in and for what reason? I am convicted by this question myself...what to do with this conviction...run and hide or...do something about it?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crippling Fear

There comes a time in everyone's life that they have to push past the fear that cripples them from making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. How do you do it though? There is a common saying in the community of leaders that we chose to associate with..."Action conquers fear." So I guess Nike was on to something when they said "Just Do It". It just depends on the "it" you're talking about I guess. Obviously you don't want to "Just do it" if you're talking about something illegal, immoral or unethical, but if the thing you are avoiding could benefit the lives of many, including your own family then why not "just do it"? What really does hold us back? The fear of rejection? The fear of the unknown? The fear of succeeding at something that doesn't matter? There is a great quote I use in many areas of life...
"Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that does not really matter." - D.L. Moody
How profound is that?
I think about that fear that holds me back, the fear of the unknown...Esther had that same fear. Would her husband allow the guards to take her head if she went to him before being called on? Or would he have mercy on her and extend that gold scepter? She didn't know what would happen, but she knew what would happen if she didn't...imminent death for her and her people. So she mustered up the courage...well she fasted and prayed and leaned on the LORD's strength (appropriately so, I might add)...and went to the king. To her relief she found her husband to be merciful and was able to request another audience with him the next day in a more intimate, less life-threatening atmosphere, where she could serve him and "butter him up".
Leaning on the LORD for HIS divine strength...what a novel idea...why don't I think to do that more often? It seems the most logical and sensible thing to do, yet I still find myself, crippled with fear, wondering why I can't get anything accomplished in my life that I know I need to. Then I am reminded...I love those reminders...lean on HIS perfect strength...rely on HIS mercy to extend the golden scepter.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, February 1, 2010

Search for Significance

I read this book (The Search for Significance) a little over a year ago and it's funny how things escape you if you don't continuously apply them. But in the book I'm reading now (Finding the Hero in Your Husband) she quotes this book...reminding me that "I have great value based solely on my status as GOD's creation & HIS love for me." Amazing, I read it a year ago and I already forgot that simple concept, which was the whole premise of the book.
Why is this such a constant struggle for me and I'm sure countless others? I mean, we have a natural tendency to worship...we worship HIM at church and during devotions; HE shows HIMSELF daily and generously...yet still I forget that very basic truth. It's so frustrating! If I remind myself to think deeply on it then I'm fine...for that moment, but then something distracts me (a typical sanguine trait) and I'm back in the struggle to remember it. And depending on how long I allow myself to be distracted it gets harder and harder to remember, I could go days, weeks and even months without remembering...and then something brings me back to that truth once more and I am healed...again. I hate the fact that I just can't seem to get it through this thick skull once and for all.
But for now I'm grateful for the new day and I am grateful for the reminder...I wrote it on my wall. Maybe it'll stick now...well for now anyway.

Who am I really?

If I've ever been consistent with anything it is in my inconsistency...
I took a personality test...3 times, and each time turned up with a different result. Twice I was predominantly Sanguine (inspiring, inconsistent...duh, impulsive, influential, influenced, illogical), with strong 2nd and 3rd traits in Phlegmatic (sensitive, slow, sweet, stable & shy), then Melancholy (calculated, scheduled, consistent...huh?, controlled, cautious, careful).
The 2nd time the Plegmatic and Melancholy were switched, but both times they were very close.
But the 3rd time the predominant trait was Melancholy and the other 2 were Sanguine and Phlegmatic...which were pretty close still...but whoa! what an eye opener. For my personality to be so conflicted all the time...no wonder I'm exhausted all the time...and sometimes extremely depressed...I don't know who the heck I am or who I will be from one day to the next. None of the results ended with a high score in the 4th type (Choleric- domineering, dominant, decisive, driven...I'd probably drive myself truly crazy), so I guess that's good
I'd probably say the 3rd result is probably the most accurate...I mean come on, I took the test 3 times, just to be sure...sounds pretty cautious & calculated to me, plus that would explain the consistency in my inconsistency, huh? It's a wonder how I've made it this far in life without ending up in a padded room. I keep telling my family that they're driving me crazy, but the reality is they really don't have far to drive.
I'm glad to know what I'm up against...I took the test a couple of years ago from a book, but I lost my results and there wasn't a little graph like on the website, so I couldn't ever remember what the final result was...it's really as I suspected all along...
I like to have fun, but it has to be organized or it's no fun at all. I need my quiet time, in a quiet environment (I'm really sensitive to loud noise, but not loud music...if I'm in the right frame of mind for the loud music, otherwise it's just noise). I can be spontaneous when I feel like it, I do like to surprise my loved ones, but don't really like to be surprised, unless it's something simple like a little unexpected affection or gift (flowers, token of appreciation, etc...not a big gift, then I just feel guilty). I like to serve other's needs, but feel bad or uncomfortable having other people serve me, unless I just really need it, then I just really need it and hope someone just recognizes it, I'd never tell anyone I need it...and if I don't get it, I get depressed and feel like no one really loves me...ridiculous I know, but I'm illogical remember. I love to love people and when other's are hurting, I hurt too..."Please don't cry or I will too. I have a strict policy, no one cries alone in my presence." If you know this quote, then you understand why this is one of my all time favorite movies...I identify with all these women's personalities.
And now you know me as well as I know myself...are you as confused as I am?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lessons learned from a choo choo train...yes I said choo choo train

My son is obsessed with trains, so whenever we find anything to do with trains, particularly Thomas (of course) we have indulged...ok overindulged. So now I refuse to buy anything to do with Thomas or anything overly cartoony, but I found some actual reference books on the effect trains have had in history...just as excited and yet informative. I don't mind the passion, just have to curb the obsession.
I also found a copy of the Little Engine That Could...WOW! what determination that Little Engine had. I love the lesson that this will teach him as he grows up...what a great tool for me to be able to use as we face obstacles together..."What would the Little Engine say if he had this problem Sammy?"..."How would the Little Engine feel about this situation Sammy?"...if it doesn't help him face the obstacles and problems of life, at least maybe he'll get so sick of hearing about the Little Engine himself and drop the obsession... Is that wrong of me? I mean sometimes it's really cute, but sometimes, it's like COME ON! Can we just go down a street and not have to hear "Look at the choo choo train lights! Look at the choo choo train tracks! Look it! Look it Mommy!" until I respond emphatically "Oh wow, yes look at that!" even though I'm lost, trying to read directions, make sure I don't get hit by a train and not miss my next turn.
Although, I know if it ceased at this very moment to ever happen again, I'd miss it terribly...how sick am I?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Books!

Went to the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift store and bought 4 books for my son, 4 for my daughter and 4 for me...$8. Can't beat the price, but what's even more priceless is the reaction of my kids. Neither of them could wait to get home and start reading. We've been reading the classics; 1 out loud to both (we just finished Peter Pan and are onto Alice in Wonderland), 1 to just my son (he's 3 and can't read just yet, but he likes to repeat every word I read), and my daughter reads 1 to herself. River is reading through the Bible in a year and I read it to Sammy every night before bed, and I read in the morning. I've already noticed improvements in the way we speak, the words we use, the way we use them and the way they flow (sometimes we speak in a fake British accent which I think helps a bit & it's fun).
We also read 1 historical biography each (George Washington is our focus right now), last week it was Revolutionary War books, River read My Brother Sam is Dead (I know a little morbid) & Sammy and I read Sam the Minuteman.
I love that my children are both in love with reading as much as I am and our favorite day is library day (Sammy does a little dance...it's really cute). I'm amazed at how River plows through them, she learned speed reading techniques before she left school...I'll have to figure out how to teach Sammy too.
We have cut our TV time by so much, we'd all prefer to read instead. We turned off cable 2 years ago and opted out of getting "the box", so we rent movies and at most we watch 1 per day and a lot of days we don't.
Anyway, it just did my heart good to see their excitement over something so wonderful...in my opinion. It put a smile on my face.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's just YOU and me here!

Even among the masses, YOU draw me in to that quiet time alone. It's just YOU & me here, only YOU & me here! I forget all that has happened in the past couple of months and all that is around me...time stands still and I have YOU all to myself. You are my one true focus, the love of my life. YOU give my measly life purpose, meaning, sustenance and reason. YOU are the reason that I live, the reason that I breathe, the reason that I sing, the reason I do anything...everything, with all I have and am.
How do I get so lost all the time? Why do I allow myself to forget these moments and to feel so alone and worthless? How can I be so simple minded and easily swayed?
I stay in YOUR WORD and try to stay focused and yet it never fails, I drop my eyes to myself rather than keeping them on YOU and then the battle begins...they stay on me longer and longer; on YOU less and less, until I've fallen right back into the same old mess. You would think after 11 years of this battle, that it wouldn't happen anymore, but the fact of the matter is that one thing remains true...I'm human, and I will fall...YOU are not and YOU never will. YOU are faithful and so YOU will pull me up and in every time.
PRAISE YOU for YOUR infinite mercy and grace and compassion and truly unconditional love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm such a follower

So I guess this is the new trend, blogging, so I guess now that I'm joining in the trend it makes me more of a follower than ever. I've actually been blogging on another site since November, but I won't bore you with those. I've actually really enjoyed blogging so far and have gotten a pretty good response on the other site...it's kind of like a journal...although no one else reads my journal, maybe no one will read this either.

This has been probably the most crazy couple of months I've been through as a believer. Full of celebration, turmoil, depression, healing, growth, death, life, excitement, disappointment...you name it, it's happened either to me or those close to me...close enough to truly affect me, probably for life.

For now I am alone and surrounded, hated and well loved, if that makes any sense at all. But I have CHRIST and that is all that matters. PRAISE to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY