Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Best Friend

I'm feeling a little nostalgic tonight. I listened to a song called 7X70 by Chris August, excellent song. It reminds me partly of my hubby and his dad, who died about 10 yrs. ago. There was a lot of hurt there and Doug made peace with him, was able to see his father come to Christ, and spoke at his funeral. Although I was not able to be there with him through that time (this was the year before we started dating) I am so proud of him now. What courage, love, a mountain of other things it took to do that.

Honestly my best friend is pretty darn amazing. I could tell parts of his life story here although he might kill me but it's not really my story to tell. Some might see only the pain he has been through, but I see this amazing man that has overcome some huge hurts and is today the most loving, forgiving, patient man I know. I've watched him transform over the past (almost) 9 yrs and although it hasn't all be pretty it has been amazing. I'm so incredibly proud of him.

He accepts people as they are and with him what you see is what you get. He isn't a different person at home than he is in public. I love that about him. We don't always agree, we sometimes drive each other crazy but man oh man do I love this man.

He is a great dad who loves all the boys exactly the same. He usually knows just what to say to each of them just when they need to hear it. It's amazing to watch him interact with them. I love how our kids each look up to and respect him. That's saying a lot when you have teenagers!

I'm so incredibly blessed to have him as my husband. I'm thankful that he loves me for me (even the side of me that isn't so great!) I hope he knows just how much I love, adore, respect and admire him. I look forward to each day with him and watching our love and relationship grow over time.

He is truly amazing this best friend of mine!

I love the way he looks at me!
My beautiful family!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Little Boys and Lots of Rain

I love love love my boys. I don't post as much about my kids. Other people have hysterical stories about their kids and the crazy things they do, I however don't. Maybe it's not so much that my kids aren't funny and don't do crazy cute things, Of course they do. However, let's face it, I'm stinking old and exhausted I just can't remember what they are later to blog about them. I try, I really do. I think oh man cute I'll blog later, sit down and yep it's gone. Gone like the wind! So my blog is most often whatever ramble I can put together on the days I can sit still and put two or more semi-intelligent thoughts together.

Today I even remembered to take a picture for this blog! Aren't we proud! This is my beautiful, funny, loving, huge hearted baby boy Andy. He will play inside most of the day and run outside late in the afternoon. This child has an it's about to rain meter buried somewhere deep inside. I kid you not 10 mins. after he is out the door it is pouring rain so hard you can't see in front of you. He is wet, outside and totally happy. He will be totally soaked then sit under the porch and watch the rain. It's a miracle he doesn't get sick but he doesn't and he loves it. My daughter Kaitlyn loved the rain too. In her very short time here, if it was raining she would cry until you took her out on the porch and suddenly she was quite. I like to think Andy got his love of the rain from his sister. I don't have the heart to make him come inside. So until the rainy season is over I guess he'll just be out in the rain in the afternoon. So if you drive by my house in the late afternoons expect to see Andy out watching the rain surrounded by a passel of neighbor hood kids that have decided our porch is the place to be. Isn't life grand!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

From Mid-Life Crisis to Clarity

Mid-life crisis is so cliche, I think, but lately that's almost how it felt. I've been seeking God's will more and more, spending more time in His word, searching for the wisdom that I so desperately lack in decision making. Two Sundays ago Pastor Dumas preached and I was completely and totally convicted. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was preaching to me, I also knew I couldn't do anything about it. I was standing in my own way, I knew it, I had known it for a long time. I've felt for a while God saying I want to take you to new heights, to places we've never been before together; but I can't until you do this one thing. Isn't it always that one thing that gets you so torn up inside that you just can't go there. My husband sat next to me watching me knowing that I was struggling. He looked at me and I flat out told him I can't, I'm standing in my own way and I know it and I'm not going to do anything about it because I can't. (talk about stubborn disobedience) Doug in the Holy Spirit's wisdom told me I was telling God that I don't trust him among other things (that are a tad personal for a blog.) We went home and I was miserable. I knew I had to do what God was telling me to do. I knew I couldn't go any farther in my walk with God until I obeyed Him and trusted Him that in the end His way would mean life not death. (we are so short sighted, aren't we.) By that evening I was a mess and I knew it was all coming to head.

You see it's like the old saying you can run but you can't hide. Although God will never force His will on us, never force His love and grace on us if we are TRULY seeking what God wants in our lives then we must make the hard decision. Do we continue to live in misery or do we choose freedom. And let me tell you that freedom is ever so sweet, once we walk into it. During our Beth Moore study she said God can deliver you one of three ways.
1. Deliverance from the fire - this is a faith builder
2. Deliverance through the fire - our faith is refined
3. Deliverance by the fire - our faith is perfected
We all pray to be delivered from the fire. This is our very first prayer please Lord deliver me from this and trust me I prayed that.. Don't make me go through this fire because Lord I will no make it out. This was me not trusting him, I honestly believed I would not make it out. But it was not to be, I was going to have to walk into that fire and I knew it. Let me just say that this was not an easy walk and I had literally been running the other way for years, but the time had come. I was in bondage and I couldn't hobble my way along any longer. I needed to be free, deep down I wanted to be free. So head down I walked into the fire, I felt like I was walking before a firing squad and that this would be the end of life as I knew it. (In a way I was right) But just like with Sadrach, Meschach and Abednego I was not alone in the fire, there was one more. When I walked out the other side I didn't even smell like smoke!! The only thing burned here were the chains that had been holding me captive! (and I was deathly afraid of that fire.) I would walk out of that fire with more freedom than I had ever know. Jesus had stood with me in my fire and set me free! I am here to tell you there is NO other way. I got a lot of perspective that day and a whole lot of clarity. I just didn't know yet how much clarity. Remember I said I knew I couldn't go deeper until I faced that fire. Well today I'm deep sea diving!

This Sunday was incredible also but in totally different ways. The verse read before worship was the same verse Andy has been studying all last week. (these things are never a coincidence) So last night at work I opened up my journal and begin to write and then read. The following is an excerpt of my journal from last night.


I have been totally ungrateful about the things in my life. I want to have a grateful heart about everything that you give us. I want to have a good attitude about all things. I know my attitude is terrible and I really want to be better.
Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a right spirit within me."
Forgive me Father for my lack of commitment to you.
vs. 11-12 & 15 "Do not banish me from your presence and don't take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you."
This is it! This is how I feel right now. Like maybe I've gone from a mid-life crisis to clarity. I just want to have a crazy close relationship with you! I've always felt like there was something missing, something deeper. That's what I want, the deeper uber personal relationship with you. The one where I can't get enough of you, I can't spend enough time in your presence, in your Word. I feel like a new woman, like these bondage chains have finally come off and I am finally free of this person I USED to be! Mold me into that new person you want (and already know) me to be!
 (And if that were not enough he gives me more love and conformation as I continue to read)

Col. 1:9b "we ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom."
Yes Lord Yes!
vs. 10 "Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord and you will continually do good, kind things for othera. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better."
Yes! This is exactly it! A thousand times yes!!! (can I get an amen!)
vs. 14b "And he has forgiven ALL your sins." (emphasis mine)
Not just some but ALL
Col 2:3 "In Him lie hidden all the the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
(bring on the treasure hunt!)
Col 2:7 "Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him.... let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all his has done!
Col 2:11 "When you came to Christ, you were circumcised, but not in a physical procedure - the cutting away of your sinful nature."
(any of this sounding familiar? Verse 20-23 totally blows me away and this is my final thought of the day)

Vs 20-23 "You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as don't handle, don't eat, don't touch. Such rules are mere human teaching about things that are gone as soon as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility and severe bodily discipline. But they have no affect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thought and desires."

There is a whole other "book" I could write just from vs 20-23 but as I promised this is my last thought of the day. Why are we opening up the world's playbook everyday and trying to finish the race according to the world and it's views? Let me assure you the real playbook is far better and the freedom that comes from it passes all of our own understanding. Someday I will get to stand before the King of Heaven and thank Him in person for delivering me, this time, through the fire. Until then I'll thank Him everyday by going deeper and enjoying my uber personal relationship with Him. My sincerest hope is that you find the clarity you're looking for in your life. Don't be afraid to walk into your fire for the freedom on the other side is beyond what you can see or understand right now. He is here, He is with you and you are NOT ALONE!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Learning how to not be so OCD

I never really thought of myself as ocd about some things, but as I am getting older I see that really I am. How do you unlearn ocd? That's a great question, wish I had the answer. Increasingly I'm seeing more and more things that I am ocd and controlling about. Now I realize these are really two separate issues but for this blog (and to make myself feel better) we'll call it one.

I guess in some ways this could be a good trait but apparently not in the ways that I have them. I can't look at my kids dresser drawers without wanting to cry or throw a big fat mommy tantrum. I know they have to learn to do these things on their own, but can't they at least do it my way!! *stomping my foot* Haven't they heard that if momma isn't happy no one is happy? I am not happy when I see those clothes like that. I know I should be happy they are doing their own laundry, and believe me I am, but if they could just attempt to put them away nicely I would feel so much better.

Also, I like my instructions to followed exactly as I have said them with no deviations what so ever.
This is not so great with kids, but it really bothers me if they don't . I just don't like the slightest detail to be missed. How in the world do you stay sane as mother with this crazy trait? I feel like a mutant!

Honestly I really like most things done on my terms, in my time, just the way I imagine it. Doug says I just don't do well if things don't go the way I imagine them. Example: A couple of weeks ago I wanted to go downtown to the garage sale thing they had on the circle. When I saw it on my way home from work I was suddenly energized. It was a Saturday morning and we had no kids and I envisioned us walking hand in hand down through tables, laughing and talking. I get home and Doug was sleeping as it was 7 am. I excitedly begged him to get up and go with me. I go no where, he was out! Begrudgingly I got into bed and proceeded to sleep the day way.

Last Saturday was the car show, same circle downtown. I went to get stuff for pancakes and saw the car show. This time we had a house full of kids, our kids and a neighbor kid who had stayed the night. I rushed home threw some cinnamon rolls in the oven and gave my family no choice. They were going to this car show whether they liked it or not. ( ps car shows get more attention than garage sales.)
We get there and Doug and are holding hands, laughing, talking (sound familiar yet?) when he tries to dart off with the boys for something. I promptly told him oh noooooo this day is going to go exactly as I envisioned it or else! Of course he laughs and shakes his head at me (cause he only laughs when I'm not being funny or I'm mad.)

It seems these days I look in the mirror and see all these things I really don't like about myself. I, of course, have wonderful traits also (please don't tell my family I have faults because I almost have them convinced that I am practically perfect in every way.) Maybe it's just the fine tuning of God, bringing out the things that need changing and helping me to recognize and free up the control in that area of my life, but it really stinks. I was perfectly happy in my own little world being ocd and not realizing it. Now it seems I have to let that go and somehow not be so controlling and well anal I guess. It would be easier if God just fixed everyone else but it seems that is not the case and apparently it's me that needs the fixing this time. Maybe someday I'll look back at this blog and laugh and be happy that I went through this process but for now I'm like the old family comic where the little boy was sent to the corner, as he sat there he announced to his mama; "I may be sittin down on the outside but I'm standing up on the inside."

Friday, September 16, 2011

3 day weekend!

I've officially been up 15 hours and I don't have to be back at work until Monday at 9:30 pm! Praise the Lord! Today I ordered the cage for the new pedigree rabbit, went to the tag office, paid an enormous fine at the library, had lunch with Andy and Doug, went to the laundromat and did some 13 loads of laundry. The was no stinking way I was doing all that laundry on the only weekend I've had off in months! No thank you! Tonight dinner with friends.

Tomorrow the new cage for the rabbit (thanks to amazon's prime shipping overnight for $3.99!!!) Which is a very good thing because I came in under budget and just in time. We make the drive to Lake Wales tomorrow to see Andy's new pedigree show bunny. That phrase still kills me! I mean really a pedigree bunny, but hey there could be worse things, at least he doesn't want a horse!
Tomorrow night curl up and watch movies, which I am totally looking forward too. 

Sunday is church. So we have a long weekend ahead but I am really looking forward to spending some good family time. Andy says to me today that he hasn't got to spend much time with me lately which is funny because he has seen me more than Doug or Alex. I don't ever get to see Doug anymore, just right before he leaves for work and right before I leave for work. Just passing each other in the doorway.

So I met this lady in the laundromat that does other peoples laundry. $10 bucks an hour and she washes, dries, folds and puts it all away. At this point that is sounding mighty awesome!  I took her number not that I can really afford to have someone come do my laundry but it is every moms dream, right?

I have managed to get 95% of Andy's school done this week. With just a few minor assignments unfinished. OHHHH. Andy got his very first library card today! He is so cute with it! He signed the back and everything! He was so proud to show it to Daddy. Super cute! We may even hit the library tomorrow. Alex is home this week so life is almost complete. We are only missing 2 now. I sure do miss them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things I am coming to realize

There are a few things that I am slowing coming to realize in this life of mine. Once again, as in my other useless lists, these are in no particular order.

1. There are not enough hours in the day
2. My husband mostly pretends to hear what I say
3. Life is harder than ever thought it would be
4. My house will never clean itself and the laundry will never wash itself (sadly)
5. I may never see the good things about me
6. I'm more OCD than I want to admit
7. I seriously dislike working nights and totally regret quitting at the church.
 8. I'm a compulsive complainer
9. I'm apparently not as angry as I used to be. (or so my hubby says)

I'm sure there are probably more but honestly I'm just too darn tired to think them up right now.
Here I am working overnights and there are a ton of things still to do during the day. I'm not a single person who can sleep all day and it doesn't really matter. I had no idea how hard this was going to be or how tired I would be. I had no idea  how my house would suffer and bedroom might never be clean again. ACK!

Men have severely selective hearing. Enough said.

I never, ever, ever in a million years thought my life would be like it is now. This is not a neccessarly a bad observation. Sure there are things that I would do differently if I was given the chance to go back and change things but I would also not be where I am now if I did. And I can not imagine my life without Doug and the kids.

I didn't realize growing up how much work it takes to keep a house going and clean. This fact was somehow lost to me in my growing up years. Probably due to my highly selfish nature. This is actually exhausting and I am just horrible at it.

Sadly, I will probably never see the good things about myself. I look in the mirror now and think who is this chunky person with the grey hair? Do I know her? She sorta resembles someone I used to know but not really. I'm older, fatter, with less energy and even less motivation. I tend to see the negative in everything, especially myself. I honestly can't think of anything I really like about myself right now.

My closet is color coated and sorted into sections ( at least it is when Doug is not putting clothes away) and it drives me batty insane that he hangs my clothes in the wrong spot. Although I don't tell him that because he might stop doing what laundry he does do. I can't even look in the boys drawers anymore without freaking out since they started putting their own clothes away. It's just too terrible!

One of my major regrets of the past year is when I walked away from being the sec. at the church. Enough said.

I complain about everything. Not an attractive trait, something I am desperately working on.

Apparently I used to be worse off than I am now. That is truly a frightening thought. This has to be tangible proof that God isn't finished with me yet. That He is changing me and that I am making progress! If it isn't just leave them in that delusion please.  neurotic thoughts

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another School Year Starts

Another school year has started and we are off and running. Full plates this year!
Bryce as a senior in high school (heaven only knows how that is possible)
Tyler is a sophomore. Alex in 4th grade and Andy in 2nd. Of course this family can't do anything easy so we have 2 in Texas going to school, Alex in Heartland Christian and Andy homeschooled.

Alex and Andy are in 4-H this year. With Alex doing an art project and Andy doing a show rabbit project. Alex is running for president of their club and I can't wait to hear his speech and see how the vote goes. Should be interesting. 4-H is a whole lot more involved than I thought it would be but I think it will be good for the kids.

Andy is homeschooled so that means lesson plans for me, which I am not good at at all. We really wanted to go with Bigger Hearts for His Glory this year and were totally excited about it but finances got in the way and we pulled out the one we already had. I was quite proud of myself for getting the whole year all note booked out and lesson plans done through Nov. Even without the lesson plans I have the whole year planned out and ready to go. At the end of the year the notebook will be his portfolio and I won't have to do any extra work for that! Hooray!

One of the many things I really love about homeschool is the fabulous field trips we go on. Public school goes on field trips but the homeschool ones are just awesome! The kids had their first field trip of the year last Thursday (the 1st one I've ever missed and boy it was not one to miss). I'll take an excerpt from our homeschool group pres. blog (Our Beautiful Mess) about what they did on the field trip.

Our homeschool group had an island adventure with the Nature’s Academy on the Gulf Coast. We got to explore God’s creatures through a nature walk  as well as dip netting into a sea grass bed.

We licked the mangrove leaves, saltiness and learned how healthy these trees made the estuary for the sea creatures.  We ate a “salt wart” leaf….salty and lettuce like.  The birds were perched on the boardwalk.  The herrings seemed to be fine with our nature hike with our binoculars exploring as quietly as K-4th graders could!  The fiddler crabs dug perfect circular holes moving quickly in the sand.  We kicked seeds into the water saving those mangroves and continuing the circle of life in the Gulf.

We continued our tour with a shark dissection learning the parts of a shark.  We felt the spine of the shark (hence vertebrates) and discovered how small their hearts really are.
After we got on our water shoes we dug into the seabeds with nets bringing up 20 different sea creatures from the bottom, confirming that indeed this was a healthy place.
Our day was finished as we picked up 45 pounds of trash in about the length of half a football field in less than 15 minutes!  This was disappointing but the kids and adults could not believe how little time it took to clean up God’s Creation.

This was an amazing trip with the Nature’s Academy.  Dana Pounds was such a blessing to our group as she had lost her leg to cancer and has a prosthetic leg.  She explained her relation with Winter the Dolphin as they share the same gel that is used for Winter’s tail.
What a great Homeschool Day!!

This is just a few of our homeschool group kids.

How awesome does that sound. It was a day I'm sure Andy won't forget anytime soon and I'm personally glad he got the chance to delve deep into God's creation for a moment to see just how AWESOME he really is.

I must say that I am extremely grateful for the chance to be a homeschool mom. My life has been so enriched by it. Not only by being able to watch closely as my child is learning and spending precious moments with him, as he is growing up way too fast, but also the privilege of getting to know the other kids, moms and dads that make up our group. These are some fantastic people that I am growing to love more with each passing event and social.