Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hubby is getting an F

My hubby has been in a better mood the last couple of days. So today he made it known that he felt bad that he had not been helping me more. (He didn't use the words, I think in his mind "I'm sorry" is a curse word). So I joked along with him and told him that I thought the reason that some of my friends were brought into my life were because my friends' husband's make him look good. So he asked who and why.

Well *I'm not using real names* Martha's husband is a lot more demanding than you. Anna's hubby gives the the royal creeps and he's very lazy.

So hubby says "I'm better than 2?" I told him that those were just the 2 worst. So he has now called about 3 more times today to tell me other hubbies that he thought he was better than. For example Jayla's hubby not fixing their car for 3 months and they have 4 kids, Emma's hubby is addicted to porn, what about my dad?! there's another one." So when he called just now, he said "OK, I have 1 more that puts my up over 7 other guys! How many friends do you have?"

I said "why don't we round it off to an even hundred. Which still puts in you the F grade range score!" lol.

So bless his heart, I'm sure his mind is still going trying to compare himself to the other husbands. I will have to add into his love bank account this week to make sure he knows there is no better fit for me.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Baby Shower Day

I am excited this morning. A dear friend is having a baby shower for me at 11:00am. We are having a brunch. My mom and sisters will be here shortly. My tummy is churning just like when I was a little girl. In fact, some of our family trips, my mom did not even tell me ahead of time the plans as I would get so excited and worked up in anticipation I would be sick the morning we were suppose to leave.

I am giddy and nervous for several reasons. 1st it is such an honor that someone would do this for me when we are on our 4th baby. 2nd it is such an honor that other ladies are planning to attend. There have been 23 ladies RSVP, which I didn't know I even had that many friends. I doubt there will actually be that many show up, as plans change, kids get sick, people forget and it is snowing today. But even that they thought they wanted to come, I just feel so blessed.

I am also excited to have my mom and sisters meet some of my friends, as when they are here, they are usually just around me and do not see any other extension of my life besides my house and kids and of course Allen. I often feel that they see only the struggles that we have been facing with getting our business going. I feel like a kid again today. Like I'm standing here saying, "Mom, watch this!, Watch what I can do!" I am hoping that they will see me today as a woman after God's own heart. A woman that loves others and that has been a positive influence in the lives of other women. A woman that they can be proud of.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Simon Says

This morning during out preschool lesson, Brian and I played Simon Says. I gave him instructions first and he loved it. Then he wanted to give them to me. Ok. So the first 5 or 6 were pretty much the exact same ones I gave him...Raise your arms, touch your nose, give me a kiss, jump up and down (I didn't do this one!)

Then he sees his opportunity. He tells me, "throw this piece of paper away." Ok. "Pick up my shirt and put it back in my drawer!" The little turkey figured out a way to get me to do his chores!

Fire Station Visit

We took the kids to tour the Fire Station last night with a group of other preschool parents. They had a great time. The tour started at 5:30 and I had another engagement at 6:30. We were doing great on time. We even got to hear a call come in and see one of the trucks leave. We walked through the living quarters and sat in the trucks and ambulances.

Then headed back to the training room at 6:10. They showed the kids what a fireman looks like in all his garb so they wouldn't think he was a monster in the event of a fire in their home. Then opened up the room for questions. There were several cute questions by the kids. Makensie even asked if they skipped church when they had to work on Sunday. I thought that was great that she was so concerned about church since we have been searching for a new church home ourselves.

However, there is always that one person in every group that is a troublemaker. Last night there was one adult who just kept asking questions. As the time was getting closer and closer to 6:30 I was getting more annoyed and all the kids were getting more restless. The 1st question or two I smiled at him to let him know that was a good question. Then over time with the questioning my smiles turned to just looks, then I gave him that, "Shut Up" look. You would have thought he knew the look, as Allen has seen it many times before.

So after hubby got all his questions answered we took off running a little late. He was excited about the night, maybe more excited than the kids. They all got plastic fire helmets and coloring books and even snacks afterward. I think I see hubby taking on a second job here shortly as a fire was relit in his dream book.

That's Life

I have fallen behind lately with keeping in touch with everyone and keeping up with everything.

A friend came over and helped me move furniture around trying to get ready for this little man. We are in the final 30 days! My friend is also skilled in the art of GET RID OF THAT! So with help I was able to release a lot of junk to be free to cross over into junk heaven.

Our mom's group met and we talked about the pleasure of the marriage bed, it was an interesting topic to start the weekend with. I'm sure it made for a lot of happy hubbies. I';ll post the questions next.

Attended a baby shower for a friend on Sunday, her 1st girl, so it looked like someone had gotten sick on Pepto, there was pink everywhere. I gave her a little bikini for the summer, baby's daddy was not too excited, but you can only enjoy their little tummies for so long.

We are trying to get ahead on home-school so that I can take a couple weeks hiatus after the baby. Looks like that might not be happening.

My hubby has been getting slightly grumpier with the condition of the house, but at this point, if something is on the floor, it just isn't worth me bending over to pick it up. I often wish he would have had a sister so that he had a little understanding of a woman. After the nursery is ready, I'll be going full force trying to coax this show on a little quicker.

So Monday I had planned to stay home and work on the house most of the day, however hubby, remember he has the RCD (Romantically Challenged Disorder) called and wanted me to run by lunch for him and two temp helpers he had for the day. The workers were just there to help clean up his shop and get things organized. This sounds simple enough, however that requires everyone finding shoes and socks and in Brian's case, finding the shoestrings that are suppose to be in the shoes! Then the coat and mittens process. So from start of getting dressed to going by his shop to get orders and cash, getting the food, cleaning up then back home it was almost a 2 hour ordeal.

I of course gave him a hard time as to why he could hire help to clean up and it was just him that made the mess and why I couldn't hire some help when I've got 3 little ones, 8 months prego, homeschooling and his secretary! However from the time he hits the door threshhold each night his job is complete. He leaves his laundry, on the floor, dishes on the floor, doesn't seem to relize that kids need baths. The house and kids are 100% by responsibility.

He did make great strides in trying to compensate by bringing home all kinds of convenience items from the grocery store and then doing some laundry and even folding it and putting it away...mind you he only did his laundry and although he didn't separate anything and who knows if there was even soap in there, he was happy with himself...I didn't even know he knew where the laundry room was! He also filled the dishwasher....he thought the gel packets were pretty cool, he had never seen them before.

We are in the midst of a conflict right now, he has an annual fishing trip that he goes on and they are leaving Feb 18th. He said he won't go if I haven't had the baby but if I have he's going to go. And yes, he is serious. Once again, don't judge, it is only because of the RCD syndrome that he makes some of his decisions that he does...bless his heart. The day I came home from the hospital with Brian, he helped me in the house with all the loot and then left for the trip, I don't think he ever turned the truck off. My mom was there to help for the week, so he thought I was well enough taken care of. I told him to go ahead this time, that if I did go into labor when he was gone, that I'm sure I could handle the 2 hours by myself that he really isn't that helpful anyway. But I think he knows that if he did go, he would owe me for years for how much I could milk quilt out of that. And yes my mom is more help. With our other 3 kids he has only gotton up once in the night when I had a migraine and was vomitting and even then I had to beg for his help and he was quite irratated. I think I better quit talking about him this morning because it is making me irratated! lol.

We've settled on Wyatt Cole. I appreciate everyone's input, that was fun. It just dawned on us yesterday that we might want to have a girls name picked out just in case!

The girls are writing their first books, and we got the materials and the kick off meeting on Monday, there will be an unveiling in April with the home-school program, I'm so excited for them.

Yesterday was our weekly errand day. I schedule as much as I can on Tuesdays and then that way we have a light week the other days. We started the day with Makensie getting a filling...her 4th time of having teeth worked on. She gets a little more nervous each time. She was pretty sure she was leaving when she turned around and spotted the needle ahead of time. I was sure this was the last time we will be using this dentist. I'm not sure kids, patience or kindness are some of his best qualities.

We then went and picked up Brian, daddy took him to work with him during the dentist appt, yeah! Headed to the grocery store for a quick milk run. Came home, made some phone calls, answered some email, made lunch, headed to the post office, then to sell some girl scouts cookies. Went to the grocery store for our big trip it was painful, there was a lot of misc household purchases this time and I used 2 weeks of our budget...ouch. So we are having Mexican week...bean burritos, bean tacos, bean enchiladas...lol.

Forgot to get a pair of scissors for girl scouts that were needed last night. Ran into the Dollar General. Met an very friendly cashier, she was trying to find someway to connect with each person checking out. However, the lady in front of my was buying a pregnancy test and the cashier asked if she was hoping for a positive or negative?! What?! My eyes about popped out of my sockets when she said it. The poor lady in front of me, obviously living a hard life, almost brought to tears said she would leave it in God's hands. It almost made me wish I was buying preparation H just to see what she would ask me...but I just had kiddie scissors and when I told her to have a blessed day, she found her opening to be able to tell me how long she had been there and how much longer she would be, and that it would be a blessing to go home. She must have been in debate or forensics in high school to watch for each point.

We then headed to Sonic for their 1/2 price burger night, however no one wants hamburgers when there are corn dogs available. I had a hamburger and inspite of 3 Tums I am still burping it up this morning.

Then took Makensie to girl scouts. Her goal at the beginning of cookie sales was to sell 6 boxes. Yes, I'm a great mom, I often try to encourage my kids to set their goals extremely low so that they dont' have to try as hard to reach them, it's good for the self esteem. jk lol. However, she did sell a total of 100 boxes. I was so proud of her and how she handled herself on the phone and when asking for the orders. The funniest part was when people would order more than one box she would always say..."But they are $4 a box!" afterall $4 is a lot of money to her.
Allen's shop is just across the street from girl scouts so we went over to have supper with him while he was wrapping up the day and while Makensie was in her troop meeting.

Picked her up, dropped the kids off at home with dad and I headed to my Mothering Matters (the equivalent of MOPS) leadership meeting. It is that time of year to turn in resignations or intent to continue. I was the events coordinator this last year which was a lot of fun, I planned a fun event each month out side our regular meetings for the moms and some for the kids & moms together. I also got the privilege of organizing the Christmas Home Tour here in town. That was a close to being overwhelming, but it exciting non the less. So I did open my position last night if there is any new person that would like to take over for next year, if not, I think I will do it one more year. We have a craft night and slumber party and group picnic coming up over the next couple of months yet.

So today, it should be a relaxing day at home just filling with laundry, dishes, housework, school, starting our taxes, stocking the nursery....maybe I should go back to bed!

I am trying to get the house looking really nice as my mom and my sisters are coming to town for my baby shower on Saturday. I was a little embarrassed to be getting a shower since this is our 4th baby and 2nd boy, but I'm so blessed to have such wonderful women in my life that are doing this for me. I'm so excited, not for the gifts, but just to get together with everyone and enjoy brunch and time laughing together. The selfish side of me is a little disappointed as my mom and said her plans were to come down for a week to help me get ready for baby and I could really use her help as my hips and back are quite uncomfortable and there are just things I don't feel I want to ask of my friends or my 6 year old. Then last night when she called has decided to just come down for the shower and head home that day. I know. I should be thankful she is coming down at all, and I am.

So that is my life this week. Not too exciting and If you actually read all of this, I hope you have a blessed day and recoup your time I just took!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You have to know your history to know your future.

One of my worst subjects in school was history. I found it difficult to remember dates, names, places and yet I know who Abe Lincoln is, I know who Paul Revere is. I never met these men, but I had plenty of opportunities to learn about them in school. If I hadn't read their stories, I might know their names, but not their character, values or beliefs. That same is true of our Lord. He get to know Him by reading about Him. Are what are just some of the things we know about Him? His mercy, faithfulness and lovingkindness are unmeasurable. They are deeper and wider and greater than we can even begin to imagine.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Here's To A Vomit Free Day

A couple of weeks ago I threw up after supper, I was not feeling sick, just a pregnancy thing. All the kids come running in to "help" me. Makensie was getting a cold cloth, Gabby wanted to try to hold my hair back, and Brian gagged and threw up on me.

I'm guessing Brian got his dad's gag flex. Two of my best laughs are from this condition he has.

The first was brought on by watching Allen vomit repeatedlyafter one of our kids threw up.
We were at his grandparents house for Thanksgiving so the entire family watched from inside the large picture window, laughing with sympathy only of course.

And the second was watching Allen vomit repeatedly on the side of the road after one of our kids got car sick. The added bonus was getting to watch him hang his head out the window like a giant dog with drool flying off his chin, as we drove 20 minutes to the next gas station so we could hose out the inside of the suburban. And being the loving wife I am I could not quit giggling at the thought and hopeful thinking that a big fat juicy bug would smack him in the forehead.

Hope you all have a vomit free day!

Let it All Out

Scream, rant, let it out...to the Lord. Just because we are Christians doesn't mean that we do not have feelings of anger and hurt and bitterness when someone does us wrong. It does mean that we do not act on them or hold onto those feelings. King David took his troubles to the Lord and let them pour out. He prayed for the Lord to destroy all his enemies, to bring them disgrace and shame. He says, "then I will rejoice". I'm sure David was angry and hurt when he wrote this, and just yelling his thoughts and feelings out to the Lord gave him some relief. God can handle it, He asks us to cast ALL our cares on Him.

I can remember being so mad at a girl for stealing my boyfriend in high school that I wanted to take lindburger cheese and rub in up inside her air conditioning vents of her car. I even went to the store to look for it. Of course in our little town it was no where to be found. But by the time I went through the motions, I was just drained. I was so upset and mad and told anyone that would listen. I'm sure I was a bitter and ugly person and everyone probably thought it was no wonder I lost my high school sweetheart.

Years later, I was faced with not losing my sweetheart, but by being deceived, ridiculed and betrayed by my best friend. I cried many tears. I felt the same betrayal as if I was going through a divorce. Two days after she let it all out, all the things she felt I did wrong with my kids, my home, my time, my personality, I sat crying to the Lord about my woes. I felt so safe in her friendship and it was gone, I felt naked, alone and vulnerable. After all, if someone who knew me so well thought that way about me, who was I really? Was I the terrible mom because I let my kids drink chocolate milk? Was I really so bad? That day, God ever so quietly told me to send her a card. "no" was my answer. "Send her a card." the Lord pressed again. "no" was still my answer only a little more stubborn this time. Then there was silence. I recalled His Word that we shall pray and bless our enemies. So I said, "fine Lord, I'll send her a card, but I'm only signing my name, I'm not writing anything else." So I looked through my cards and found rather quickly just a small card insert, not even a full card, that had the verse Jer 29:11 on it. One of my all time favorites and currently a motto for my life. "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I signed my name and mailed it.

A couple of days passed and I received an email thanking me for the card that it was perfect timing, that her husband had been fired after being on the job almost 7 years. I did pity them as that was their only income. I had prayed that God would bless them yet open her eyes to the hurt she had caused. I am not claiming that God had her husband fired to teach them not to mess with me, our Lord is a loving God, but he does say that if we will allow Him to fight our battles that He will bring justice.

At that time there was only a couple of close friends who knew that I was carrying this burden. I was very hesitant to share my struggle out of fear that everyone in my life would side with her and everything she had said about me would have even more weight of truth. I also did not want to make the situation worse. What if I said something cruel about her out of anger and it got back to her? There were words getting back to me. In years past, I would have been the first to try to build up on army against her and told every dirty secret I could think of about her and even embellished it to make me look better. But who really ends up looking bad in the end? It was usually me. It was usually me that had to eat the crow pie and apologize. I look back now and wish that I had not spilled out my frustrations to even my close friends. I do not want them to think I would talk about them behind their back if we had a falling out. I wish I had only taken my burdens to the Lord. He after all is the only one who truly understood me, truly knew how to help me, and truly knew every detail of my friend's life and the conflicts she was currently facing. I could trust 100% that He loves me and her and knew what was in both of our best interests.

It was a long struggle with finding my value in the Lord rather than in the lies of the enemy. I had to repeatedly go to Him in prayer and for approval. I withdrew from a lot of people and only trusted my husband to be my friend for a long time. One early morning around 4am, I woke up and as if He was speaking to me, heard in my head, "Let it go. One day you will both be in Heaven and she will know the hurt she caused, and at that time you will not remember the hurt or carry it with you. Your worth is in me alone." I sobbed myself back to sleep thanking Him for His care for me. I am not someone of power, of influence, of worth in our society. I am a stay home mom that does dishes, cooks meals, cleans messes and does laundry. I am invisible most of the day long. Yet He cares for me. He collects every tear drop in a bottle and aches for me just as we ache for our own children when they have their hearts broken. Thank you Lord for being a true friend to me, for loving me, for standing in front, beside and behind me in each battle we face. You alone are my security.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Toad by Any Other Name is Still a Toad

I was surprised this week to read a blog by a young gal that says she was raised to believe in God but had given up on Him and was instead turning to tarrot cards and other ways to find the answers to her questions. She believes that if she can see the future she can change it.

It really made me have to stop and think. No it isn't my job to judge, but if I believe the Word of God, and I do, then I also know that she is not just sinning but welcoming satan right into her life and glorifing him in doing so. I know there is power in the physics and tarrot cards, but they are not the power I want to be playing around with. And no matter what we want to call it...fun, exciting, entertainment...it is still witchcraft in its basic form.

The Bible tells us that these sorts of things along with plenty of other warnings will become rampant in the last days. There were 10 comments in response to her blog, 8 of which commended her on her beliefs and also tabbeled in some form of witchcraft, and other 2 voiced their belief against it but also said they wouldn't judge because everyone has a right to believe what they want. True. But have we become such a tolorant society that even when we know someone is entertaining the devil in their home that we don't feel it our place to say something? I didn't respond because I'm in the same boat. I don't want to offend her and hundreds of others that read her blog but I don't want to offend God even more. Is it up to us to call people on their sins if we do not have a relationship with them?

I do enjoy getting to take in some tv time and am not out and out against tv. But it seems that our media does glamourize sin. Everytime I flip past Montel I see a clairvoyant woman as his guest. People standing in line just to ask questions of her. Wanting answers so badly. God does not expect us to know His reasons for everything that happens, but He does expect us to know Him.

His word tells us that any involvment in occult practices is an abomnanation to Him. It was such a sever act that it was punishable by death in the Old Testament and said that it was even grounds for God to reject fo soul for participating in it. It breaks the 1st commandment and brings a curse to 4 generations after us. People are either calling on God or calling on Satan. Do the tarrot cards call on the power of God? Anyone who does fall into occult practices will defineatly be lured in by the excitment and apparent quick answers and advise. But as always once satan has you hook line and sinker he will put you under his opression. Satan does not have compassion on anyone. He only appears to be our friend to betray us.

She questioned why if there was a God that bad things happen to good people. So if we are not getting the results WE desire from prayer; if we are not getting answers QUICK enough; if we see the innocent suffer does all this mean that God is unjust? Or is it He knows what is ultimately best for us and is trying to draw us nearer to Him and head us in the right direction? Or maybe it is because of the sins of our fathers that we are being punished for. We use discipline with our own children and if we make false empty threats it doesn't take long for our kids to not fear our words. I feel like people want to believe the good promises of the Bible but throw a fit when the promises for discipline come into their lives.

I do believe that this young lady, as most probably are, is a great person, friendly, compassionate, a wonderful mom and her practices do not change this. That practice is however opening a door for destruction to enter her home, her life and her children's future legacy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oh How She Mocks Me.

There are days that I wish I could claim that the Bible just is not relevant in this day and age. Days I wish I could claim ignorance of the law. Days I wish God really was not Omnipotent and did not know the lifestyle of the 21st century from the beginning. But the fact is, He did. Yet He still felt compelled to inspire a writing about the Proverbs woman.

I would have loved to have seen this woman. However, she was not really one in particular woman. She was the kind of woman that was being recommended to King Lemuel by his mother. His mom was guiding him as to what qualities to look for when he was considering a bride to be His Queen. So why I have I let this woman taunt me each time I walk in the front room too tired to pick up another toy? Because I want to be like her so bad!

I want to have my to do list completed at the end of each day, she didn't have a Outlook Calendar. I want to have all my laundry caught up, she didn't have a super capcity washer and dryer. I want to have all the business paperwork completed and filed away neatly, she didn't even have Excel, Quicken or Turbotax. I want to feed my kids and take fresh homemade bread and cookies to the neighbors, she didn't have a bread machine or an Easy Bake oven to let her little one help. I want to be so creative at Home school and Devotions that the kids praise me at the park, she didn't have Sonlight, Abekka or Konos. I want to be able to go grocery shopping and not lose the rest of the day, she didn't have a Supercenter and a freezer to bring items home in stock.

I don't even remember how to thread my sewing machine anymore. And the garden and yard? I don't have to worry about the flowers as my kids seem to love to pick them all, and I'm considering getting a goat to take care of the weeds. We usually do have a garden each summer, but not a big one that requires meticulous care and attention and then provides us with extra to allow me to can for the winter.

She on top of all of that was involved in charities for the poor, does it count if I drop coins in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas? She made real estate deals. Does it count that we've been remodeling for almost 3 years? She was so wise and kind with her words, yet I sometimes relate more with the woman who invented Prozac. She got up early, stayed up late and kept busy all day long, I do do that. In fact, the last two nights of watching American Idol, I used as snuggle time with the kids and they loved it, so I was multi-tasking then. Not really busy though, uh?

Her husband was so proud of her and she even built him up to his business associates. I didn't even get Christmas cards out this year for them. And I wonder how proud my husband is when he unexpectedly brings home an employee for lunch and I'm still in my sweats and hair in a ponytail. The only thing that I can say in my defense is, "Where are MY servant girls?!"

So it is my goal starting each new day to strive to get through my task list. However, if there is a cry for help on a project, I will place my priority with my hubby. If there is a rug burned knee, I'll place my priority on the child in pain, if there is a friend with a hurting heart, I'll place my priority to be in prayer for them, if there is child in need of snuggling and love, I'll place my priority on time with them. So while we have an open door policy at our home for friends and family to find a place of love and comfort, you will not probably find Better Homes and Gardens, you will not find a beautiful model or even someone remotely as organized as June Cleaver in pantihose and heals, you will not find the smoothest running and organized home office. But you then you'll know you have found me.

Kicking tush and takin names.

So my victories today? First I got a collection call from Sprint over a $24 bill. Which I have refused to pay as we never authorized a switch, we have unlimited long distance on our cell phones and on our home phones and business phone. I have sent letters, called and after filing a slam complaint last May (I had 3 months with them before they finally canceled my account after several calls) I thought it was finished. I was wrong. I called Sprint today and asked to speak directly with the slamming department and the lady basically as politely as possible said she didnt' believe me that I had to have authorized the switch otherwise it wouldn't have happened. She asked if I wanted her to call our current carrier...YES. She did and was slightly surprised that CenturyTel told her that they had never showed me to have switched services in the past 3 years. So Sprint apologized and credited back the money!
After Christmas we came home to a letter from some guy who had bought our home and wanted possession after Christmas. This was news to us as we thought we had just refinanced our home, late November. Come to find out, when we wired the money, only our names and addresses and phone numbers and business name and business phone number and the bank name and info was on the wire, however the account number was not. So even though the mortgage company accepted the money, they never posted it to our account or processed the paperwork and never called (I had called and confirmed 2 days in a row that all the paperwork was finalized and the payment received) They say they couldn't figure out where to post it and I guess they also couldn't figure out how to pick up the phone and call one of the 4 numbers they had for us or call the bank or run a search to see who lives in our town with our last name and is doing a refinance? My guess would be...us! Since we are the only business with our name in the entire state! Everytime I call in I have to listen to a 2 minute spill about their excellent customer service. I guess that is only the case if they don't have to do 1 minute of extra work by using some common sense. Ugh. So they sell our house for $19,000 less than the loan and almost $70,000 less than we had planned to list it to sell this summer and want us to pay the remainer of the loan. Said it was because they assumed we didnt' want to go ahead with the refinance because they didn't have a wire to our account. After we retained a lawyer and he gave them a little call, the very next day the mortgage company called back and said they were buying our house back from the 3rd party and would be giving it back to us and set us back up on the original agreement with a little better interest rate and pay for the expense of closings and legal fees. We signed the papers to buy back our home again today. Insane! I do feel sorry for the poor chap that got my initial phone call, I'm sure he probably put my on mute at some point to tell his co-workers that he had a crazy lady on the phone!
Now just to stay on top of the credit report in the next couple of months to make sure everything is cleared off. I'm not sure that customer service these days is what it used to be.
Sorry if this sounds like a venting session. I am so truely happy that these are solved issues. While we did have faith that God knew what was best, we were also faced with such a intense confusion as to why this was happening and of course some fear as to whether we'd be setting up camp somewhere. The first day before I could calm myself and find time to come to His feet and listen is the day I had my OB appt and my blood pressure was high enough to cause some concern. I told him it just hadn't been a good day at the Griffin house. We took time to think through what the worst thing that was going to happen, said ok, we might have to move, we might be 7 1/2 months pregnant, we might have lost every dime we invested, our credit might be scarred for years to come, but if that is the worst, we can make it, we will not look at this but look to Him through this. What could have taken months to resolve took Him just days.
I told my hubby to watch out that God is on our side and taking out our enemies one my one! I am so thankful for Him strength!

I'm in labor, I'm in labor not.

So I'd have to say the last couple of days of aches and pains has made me a little cranky. On top of that I wet my pants...twice in one day from sneezing thinking my water had broke, then the spontaneous vomitting and the terrible pain in my lower back and the Braxtons, made me reason that I truely was heading toward the labor. We didn't go to the hospital because I wanted to make 100% sure. Afterall I can humiliate myself just fine by myself without going to the hospital and paying someone else to tell me how ridicious I can be. Who doesn't know if they are in labor on the 4th baby? Today I feel much better besides the migraine I developed which could have been brought on from our trip to Wal-Mart this morning.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Witnessing

Last year our chuch went through a witnessing "how-to" book of sorts. There was 7 easy questions on how to lead any conversation to the topic of being saved my Christ. I have to admit I wasn't too thrilled about it. I let the guilt monster creep in during the time we studied this book, thinking of all those witnessing opportunity I had let pass me by. I am one of those people that just doesn't like a confrontation so rather than interject I often times just shut up and pray. Pray that someone will witness to them. I'm sure those are the times when God just shook His head and felt like flicking my on the forehead and asking, "why do you think I put you here!?" I'm working on it, but also know that if I offended someone and they got heated that my natural ability to start perspiring and then pass out probably wouldn't be so impressive either. I would much rather stay in the safety net of my little circle of Christian friends, chatting about how wonderful God has been to us, sharing our tales of His grace, letting our kids play together with their little Christian buddies and go to their Christian activities. This has to be the way to stay clean and fresh in Him. My mom always said that the white gloves don't rub off on the dirt, the dirt will soil my gloves.

In college I made my way through by being one of those pushy telemarkers that call during supper time and won't take no for an answer. After awhile, I grew calloused to all the rude remarks and it was was just all about the sale, the final reward. I wasn't face to face with anyone and they didn't know me or I them, so it really didn't have any personal effect on me. And to me that is what it felt like with this random door to door, walking up to people in the store witnessing. It felt like it was only for the goal of doing something. The book mentioned that most nonbelievers here the message an average of 7 times before accepting Christ. So not to worry abou the results just try to be one of those 7.

But when I look at the life of Jesus he was a social man. He was amongst the sinners. Even with the Samaritan woman at the well. The well was a common place for people to gather and these were people that most Jews would have done everything in their ability to avoid. They were socially, racially and religiously beneath them. And a woman? They had little value in that time. Jesus was a rabbi, and she was (in polite terms) immoral. He however did not discriminate, but lovingly talked with her, accepting her right where she was. How much power is there just in praising? There is a lot. How much more power is there when even 1 sinner comes home to Christ, the Bible says the Angels rejoice. Does this mean that I need to head out to the local bar and start preaching? No, but it does mean for us as Christians to make our selves appealing and available to non Christians. How can they want what we have if they don't know what it is we have?

I also feel that there is a time for explaining God as our savior to people. I feel like it needs to be relavant, loving and timely. I have always been impressed with the Jehovah Witnesses and their desire and perseverance to reach the lost. But I also know that most people while are nice at the door reject them and make fun of them when the door shuts. I don't want my seeds to fall on the hard soil, I want them to fall on the fertile ground and know that it has taken root and growing a healthy life. Jesus already knew everything about this woman at the well and knew the unquenchable thirst of her heart. He knew what to say to be able to reach her because He knew her.

So how do we start? A simple hello, smile, wave. Maybe having a lady new to the neighborhood into our home for coffee. That would be much easier for a non Christian than for them to come to church with us. Just because the activities we are involved in are not specifically religious ones, our time is not wasted in building friendships as unto the Lord. The Holy Spirit can work in our hearts and in theirs to let us know the timing and to allow the opportunity to come up at the right time.

I really get a kick out of watching Wife Swap at times. I never know when it is on so if I actually do get to catch it, it's like an extra surprise. They always have 2 extremely different families on the show. And of course they have to live by their rules and then get to impose their own views and beliefs and behaviors on the family for the 2nd half. That is fine, everyone signing up to do the show knew it was going to happen and everyone always thinks their way is the best way to do things. It doesn't quite work like that in the real world though. If I invite the neighbor over to build a friendship with her then start nagging and imposing my Christian behaviors on her I seriously doubt she'll come back or have a good view of any other Christian women in the near future. Is it going to destroy our witnessing if someone comes over and cusses and we choose to keep our language clean? As long as we don't try to make ourselves better because we are Christians, it will speak stronger.

We can find a common ground of interest on someone else's part and build from that. The old saying of "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Is so true. I am so passionate about our local moms group that I have stopped ladies in Wal-Mart, the park and the library with young kids and chatted with them and invited them to come and join us for fun. I have yet to meet another young mom (not that I'm probably considered in the young group anymore) who wasn't craving to spend time with other ladies and have some fun, uplifting time together.

Just being a Christian makes us different and that is fine with me. I am guessing that my husband as well as anyone who sees me in public with my kids think that I'm walking a fine line of sanity most days anyway. I am a "Jesus Freak" in my heart, but I doubt that if I invested in a large banner and put it up on the fence that people would stop to inquire how they can be a freak too. The parents across the street would probably request that their kids not walk directly in front of the crazy ladies house. No one would probably come to my next yard sale or the kids lemonade stand as they would fear being preached to or might even be associated with me.

As we build our relationship with others, our secret to our peace, that quenchable thirst filled by His Holy Spirit, our values will reveal themselves naturally at their own time. There will come a time in some of those relationships that we must sever them for either they are pulling up into the dirt or they are the hardened soil and the seed is falling on deaf ears and hearts. Let us try to remember that as we think about witnessing that the life we live will speak louder than the words we say. "Lord enlarge my territory".

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Why Do I Even Leave The House?

So God thought he was pretty funny today. I posted on praying for your enemies this morning and come to find out, today my enemies consisted of my husband and the spawn of his loins!

Allen called this morning at 5:15, which I'm up because I get up when he does to make sure he has a fresh pressed shirt, all his clothes laid out on the bed so when he gets out of the shower, he's set, and make his lunch, get his morning drug in the form of Dr. Pepper and be ready to hug and kiss him goodday. As he called, my cell phone died because I had forgotten to plug it in, he calls on the home phone and starts in with me about forgetting to plug it in and why I needed to do it at night and...and I interrupted and asked "What do you want Allen?" he hung up. Which yes, did irritate me and yes I was a little curt with him and yes I'ld say my hormones are a little on the irritable side the last couple of days. My first instinct was to wait awhile and then text him that I had gone into labor to meet me at the hospital since he was on a job an hour away, jk...kinda. I didn't, but I'm beginning to question my submission skills.

Took the kids to Daylight Donuts for donut holes to keep them occupied during the first couple of errands. I didn't eat one but the baby had a marshmallow cream filled piece of heaven. I'm beginning to question my future dieting skills.

Stopped at the copy shop, sold some Girl Scout cookies.

Dropped off paperwork at my OBGYN's to do a cord blood donation. (Which I highly encourage any of you ladies expecting to consider this.)

Headed to the post office, and was sitting at a stop light and the light had just turned green and the lady behind me honked. I'm in a mini van, I know it often gets mistaken for a Maserati and she probably just wanted to see me peel out. My first instinct was to throw it in reverse and ram into her, JK...kinda. Luckily she pulled into the post office behind me so I had planned to give her the sweetest hello and find something genuine to compliment her on just so she would be uplifted and maybe pass on some kindness. However when I pulled into the post office I remembered a pillowcase I was suppose to mail to my mom, went back home to acquire that. Which is only a block away but still inconvenient. (40isfun, I did get your stuff mailed!) I'm beginning to question my driving skills. (Since someone just told me in so many fingers 2 nights ago that that thought I was number one!)

As I pull up I see a stray pit bull walking around, my 1st instinct was to run over him, jk... kinda, those dogs just scare me. By this time all the kids have to go potty, everyone out. Found the pillowcase, buckled everyone back in then went looking for the dog...not to run over him....to just call the animal control, they know us, we're tight. I called the cops on them a couple of years back because I saw a guy running down the street with a pistol in his hand looking all sneaky, I didn't notice his shirt said Animal Control. They were still really nice when they came to get the crazy possum out of our garage and just as nice when they had to come back for his friend. We had to call them a couple months ago to come get a skunk that had adopted us as his new family, unfortunately the poor guy that came over that time got sprayed.

We head back to the post office and see the lady that honked at me at the convenience store on the corner, so she must be one of my neighbors. Maybe she honked because she has seen me out in the yard and wants to be my friend or something. LOL. Start to walk inside and slacked off a little as an elderly man, with a cane was coming in so that he could go ahead of me. And you won't believe this, but a grown man runs, yes runs, in to cut in front of the old guy. My first instinct was to trip him, jk...kinda.

Then we go over to a friends house to return some stamps and project examples I had borrowed from her. That was about the time my kids lost interest. They were tapping on the windows, got out of their car-seats and were wrestling around, yelling just to see if I really could hear through the windows. Overall just making a great impression. This of course is a lady that I admire, her husband is a well known Dr. they have 5 kids, they home-school, she coordinates Angel Food in town, heads the women's ministry at church and is on the board for the pregnancy center and has her own stamping up business. And here are my kids, now blowing on the glass and making goofy faces because after-all it is tinted glass. Have you seen the movie Parenthood when the kid put the bucket over his head and was running into walls? I can sympathize with his parents. I'm beginning to question my own parenting skills.

As I chatted with her, a huge alarm went off that I had forgotten to put on deodorant, probably because I was started to perspire a little with the frustration and embarrassment of my kids. I leave, have a little chat about what I expect, again, and let them know they have all lost 1 privilege as I'm racing back home. Run in and wash my pits and put on some deodorant. I think I have an obsession about it. I'm beginning to question my memory skills.

Head out again this time to the pediatrics office to get a copy of the updated shot record and sell some more cookies. Thank goodness I put on deodorant, it was at least 72 degrees in there! And at this point in the pregnancy 55 is good. Everybody had to go potty, again.

Decide to go out to eat vs going back home and making something out of fear I wouldn't leave the house again. We go to Chinese as this is the kids' favorite restaurant and since hubby thinks it's gross it was a good day for it. But now after we6tees comment on the ladles, it all looked different. lol. The kids did really good and several people complimented us as to how sweet, how cute, how well behaved they were. So that was nice, however I also thought it a good idea to get out of there as quick as possible so as to leave them all with a good impression before the kids became kids again.

We head to Wal-Mart to get some groceries, As soon as we get there, everyone has to go potty, again. As we left the bathroom Brian thoughtfully turned out the lights on everyone else. It was very busy as there is a storm coming in. Everyone was stocking up and I had to wonder if the retirement village had brought a bus of their residents as we attempted to miss getting ran over by all the scooters. I even saw 2 shopping cart head on collisions with some elderly folks not watching were they were going, it was scary. Shortly after we get there, Makensie starts in with her antagonizing and trying to wrestle with the two younger kids. She lost a total of 5 days worth of TV before we left. As I was checking out, I just knew the lady in front of my was going to say something as she couldn't quick staring and shaking her head as Brian stood squeezing all the dog toys. Then she asks if I'm having #4. yes. Then she shakes her head at me and turns back around. My first instinct was to ram her with the cart, jk...kinda. But I just stood preparing myself that if she did say something I would simply say thank you for her input and go on. She didn't. I'm beginning to question a future vascetomy.

We leave and go to the bank to make a deposit, was able to pull right up to a cashier, Yes! Then couldn't find the check, pulled out of line to look through my purse then pulled back in line to find now 3 other people in front of me. NO!

Head to the library not for a treat so much as the fact that I needed to go and get books for next week. As soon as we get there everyone has to go potty, again. I don't like using the bathroom there as the walls and doors are so thin, you can hear someone going. Brian goes in first and after a bit I hear, "MAAAAMAAAA, come wipe me!" I had barely taken 3 steps to the door when he decided I must not have heard him the 1st time so yells at the top of his lungs again, "MAAAAMAAAA, COME WIPE ME!" I laughed as several of the adults sitting around looked up. Then Gabby and makensie went in together. That was when I start hearing some ruckus and Kensie yelling "I have to go worse than you" and Gabby screaming at her, "I was in here first get out! GET OUT MAKENSIE!" I race over and open the door and in my most threatening look and whisper say, "that's enough, hush." I tell Makensie to wait that Gabby was there 1st and shut the door, I hear the door lock behind me. They locked me out then continued their "discussion". I was so embarrassed. My first instinct was to just leave them there, jk...kinda. So I put back all their books and movies, quietly snuck out and put everyone back in the van. I'm beginning to question my sanity.

I'm home now and after some "training" and unloading groceries, everyone is enjoying some quiet time and I'm making margaritas, JK.

Tab thank you for letting me borrow the blood pressure cuff.

Heart rung, Psalms sung.

If David's heart had not been rung, then David's Psalms would not have been sung. I like that. I saw that in an old article this morning but cannot make out who the author is.

I get somewhat concerned with the preachers that preach all uplifting and happy sermons filled with prosperity, health and happiness. While these are things that God wants for us, it doesn't mean that we are always at that conjucture in life where He can trust us with them or if He can trust us, that the timing is right for us to have them.

God does tell us that if we love Him, that we can be sure that those who do not love Him will not love us. He says that for those who live godly lives will be faced with suffering from those who hate Him. That is the spiritual warfare we are faced with, doomed to face as long as we confess our love for Him. This is Satan's role in our life. God calls it warfare because we have to continually fight back. Satan is not defeated once and for all to never bother us again the day we ask Christ into our hearts. God is stronger, and He allows us to grow stronger and richer in Him by allow these battles into our lives.

We are to have an attitude of love for our enemies and pray for them with absolute sincerity. Because the prayer will be either bless our enemy or it will bless one saying the prayer. So today, perceive the best for your life, expect great blessing for your life, have compassion and love for your enemies, but watch your back, because by all means, your enemy is.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm Number One!

Tonight on the way home from Girl Scouts I noticed a car pull out behind me. I didn't pay much attention as I was pretty caught up trying to talk with Gabby and find out if she would like me to stop and get some egg drop soup on the way home since she is sick. I was also distracted by the fact I couldn't hear her answer because of Makensie's incessant chatting. We were on a back street and so I honestly wasn't driving very fast, probably just at 25mph. From the time the car started to follow me until they had a chance to turn onto the 4 line road and pass was a total of maybe 6 blocks. I turned right and they followed and honked and told me in so many fingers that I was number one.

I waved and said, thank you. This was just yet another reminder to me to keep my patience with other drivers. Today has been a little draining. My iron is low so I feel very sluggish and extremely tired. I have two little ones with fevers and one that was throwing up. I still had to attend the Girl Scouts cookie kickoff tonight so that Makensie would qualify for her cookie badge. Gabby slept in her sleeping bag back in a corner. I already tired today as my precious hubby works a lot of hours and with no family in town I feel like a single parent most of the time. Not that I expected them to pull over and say, sweetie do you need a hug today or can I go to the store for you? I wasn't driving carelessly and wasn't putting anyone in danger, after all it wasn't even a main street. I was just tired and trying to talk to my little ones. Was there really anything so life threatening to the people in the car that was worth being so rude to me about. I guess if I had been going the legal speed of 30 that would have saved them 2 mintues. Maybe there was. I always try to envision other drivers that are disstracted in similar situations as me and this helps me keep my cool. I also try to remember that God is always trying to care for us. What if God placed me in front of the going 5 mph under the speed limit to protect them from being in a terrible accident had they been in the wrong place just a couple of seconds sooner.

It reminded me of the story of the man who was on the subway with his five young children. They were jumping around, wrestling with each other, bumped into several people and crumbled someone's newpaper. The whole time he just sat there staring at the floor never saying a word. All those on the subway with them were getting rather annoyed. Finally a women quite filled with herself, scolded him, "How can you just let your kids act like that and not say a word to them? Can't you see they need discipline and are being disruptive?!" The man looked up at her with tears in his eyes and said, "I'm sorry, their mother passed away this morning and none of us really know how to handle it at this point."

Let us be quick to share a kind word and ask a simple question and slow to judge another.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Findley Family Vacation

was reading a wonderful Childhood memory of a vacation from a friend and I just can't help to be reminded of the worst vacation our family ever took. It scarred me for life and has since limited my desire to vacation farther than 3 hours away.

One summer my parents had a business event in Albuquerque New Mexico. Well from SE Kansas it is a long drive. It felt like weeks.

There were 3 other families following us out, actually just couples as they didn't tote their kids along and tag it as a family vacation. However, I had proved myself untrustworthy of staying home alone. I was still in high school and my sisters were in Middle school so while we did have fun together, the age difference and the fact that I was a "high-schooler" led me to sleep or have on ear phones, most of the trip.

Now my dad is a constant visionary. His big invention for this trip was he rigged up a rack under the hood so that we could throw some potatoes in there and after a hundred miles, they would be cooked and we could have a baked potato with our Peanut Butter and Jellies. MMMMMM. I figured if the trip there didn't kill us, then the potatoes surely would.

At one point in the night we had stopped somewhere in Oklahoma to stretch and use the restroom. We got back on the road, however, it was just a frontage road and we could still see the highway, however there was a field in between. We drove about 2 miles and there apparently wasn't going to be an on ramp so rather than just turn around and go back, my dad took off through the field, in the dark of night, in our old 1971 Suburban. My first thought as it's bucking and kicking through all the holes and ruts was, "this thing is going to fall apart." It was only being held together by the rust spots and the two huge "turtle" looking things on top of the beast that carried all our luggage. Why would we need them when we have a suburban? Who knows! This thing looked bad! It was the vehicle that for punishment I had to drive when I was grounded rather than my cool little Chevette.

So we make it to the highway and move right along. Then we hit something and I could have swore I heard a scream. But there was nothing in the road and upon inspection didn't seem to have been anything wrong. Us kids all slept through most the remaining way there.
When we pulled up to the hotel we were staying at, The Ralph Lauren Polo Hotel. They had a valet parking cars. I thought, "man is he in for a treat getting to drive this old jalopy!" As he is walking up to the car he is starring at something and says, I think you've hit something with your luggage rack. Sure enough. The scream I thought I heard was from non other than that of an owl, a rather large one at that. And it was still careened around the luggage rack. I'm guessing the massive turtles on top probably confused the poor guy. Well, there was splatter of every kind every where.

So us hillbillies check in to our 1 room. Which was fine, they brought in an extra cot for us. Mom and dad attended their meeting that evening, we watched TV and enjoyed the pool. That night we all got settled in and the bed felt so good versus leaning against the window to sleep while all the passerbyer's saw me drooling all over myself. I had no sooner feel asleep when my dad started snoring. I'm not talking just the raspy snore, I am talking hurt your head, bear sounding snore. I pinched his nose, it didn't help. I tickled him so he would roll over, he didn't miss a beat. My bed was only 2 feet from my mom and dads, there was no escape! Needless to say, night one I barely slept, I just lay there starring at him visioning putting marshmallows or something in his mouth.

The next day there were more events for them and more TV and pool for us. I did manage to find a pair of earplugs in the gift shop....hallelujah! However, that night I discovered they only slightly muffled the sound. I couldn't take it! I pick up my bedding and went to the bathroom, stuffed towels under the door and slept in the tub.

In the morning my mom was frantic looking for me all the while I snoozed in the tub. It caused a little uproar but all was soon smoothed out.

We loaded our luggage and got ready to head home. However, decided it would be nice to tour the hotel and get a bite before we got on the road.

When we headed back out to leave, we discover that someone had broken in the Beast and stolen my carry on bag. Probably because it looked like a camera case. However, it was all my makeup, contacts, hair dryer etc. All which had to be replaced before I could return to school!
On the way out of town we see a big sign that says Adult Bookstore. All of us were very naive at this point thought it was probably something like the Barnes and Noble we've heard about. They have them in the big cities. So we pull up and go in. Only to quickly discover what "Adult" meant.

We drove on another 5 minutes when one of the couples following up had smoke billowing from their car. It is Sunday so getting parts wasn't going to be as easy. However, my dad's trade is mechanics so he quickly got to work. Now New Mexico is stinking hot in the summer. And working on an over heating car is hotter. So the guy's car who broke down takes his shirt off. And he is no small man but not huge either, however, he has a set of breasts that made me envious. I felt embarrassed for him and embarrassed for me as I turned and walked away to go looking inside some of the shops for a man bra!

About 2 hours later we're up and going again, potatoes in the cooker and we are all happy to be heading home.

We drive for about 2 hours and stop for a stretch. It is dark by now, everyone is tired and getting a little cranky. We get back in our cars and head out again. We drive another hour and a half to see a sign that says, Albuquerque 30 miles. We had somehow all managed to get turned around and head right back to where we just came from. Ugh! So once again my dad attempts his cross country driving to drive through the middle median of the two highways to get on the East bound lanes inspite of signs posted everywhere not to do this. We make it, the first couple behind us makes hit, then as the 3rd car attempts, red lights come storming at us. So after tickets for everyone, we once again head toward the yellow brick road.

We made it home in one piece, stolen luggage, tired to the point that no one said a word hardly on the way home, a bloody smashed up luggage rack and the knowledge that we took out a protected species. I am guessing this is exactly why I can relate to the National Lampoons Vacation movies so well.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I am forgiven

I am so thankful for such beautiful and simple words as I am forgiven. Recently a large church in our small little town came to the crossroads of a split. The pastor admitted to having a marital affair. I am sure while this was a horrible situation for this well loved pastor to have to confess to, his heart had to be lifted from the quilt that has been eating away at his life. This was such a scandal and of course hurt many feelings, left a distasste in the mouths of new believers and non believers alike and torn a church in half. A man of God, having an affair? How is that possible? How is it possible that Aaron had an affair and then committed murder? How is it possible that David committed murder? Yet David was given the title "man after God's own heart." When I read the Hall of Fall of God's all time favorite men and women in Hebrews 11 I don't know that in our human minds, we would have chosen those same individuals. I do find it encouraging however as I continue on the path of striving to be a woman after God's own heart. I understand the disspointment in the situation and am just so thankful that most of my life I'm invisible to the public world. If I were to be put on a pedestal with expectations of being a woman of God 100% of the time, I would be pushed off the first week. I won't go into my personal thoughts as to what the pastor or the church should have or should not have done. It doesn't really make a difference at this point and I am by far not an expert or should I be throwing stones. Yet even in our Christian circles sometimes we say we belive we are forgiven and still carry the quilt of our own sins or we believe OUR sins are forgivable but still pass judgment on others for their sins. I heard a pastor say one time that we are guilty of looking at ourselves with a mirror held at arms length yet the sins of others with a microscope.

I am thankful for a beautiful passage in the Bible, Psalms 32. I do know from first hand experience how blessed I feel to know that my sins are forgiven, my sins are covered by His blood. That my sins are not being held against me. How am I forgiven? Because I ask Him to forgive me. I know I am a sinner, far from perfect. I know that because of my choices in my past that because I'm forgiven I'm grateful for his mercies. I get sick in my stomach and just spiral downward when I don't repent and beg for his forgivness. Just as our own children will shoot off and say, "I'm sorry" and we know they dont' mean it, I have found myself saying the words and not fully meaning them yet I fully expect to be forgiven. How does it make me feel? "Heavy, sapped as in the heat of summer." vs4. And as I am instructed to do, when I put down my pride and admit my sins and ask Him to refresh me, it lightens my heart, He surrounds me with his unfailing love. Thank you Lord.

It is important for us to come before the Lord and admit our sins, ask forgiveness and then lay them down at his feet and walk away, in fact run away from those ugly masses of sins we just laid down. We need to envision them as cancerous, after all isn't carrying around the quilt of them just as damaging? How do I know? For after I had my falling out with my friend, while I was spending time trying to rebuild my identiy in the Lord, I withdraw. I no longer wrote, I used to sign my name, "A woman after God's own heart", not because I was perfect but because I was striving to please him. I turned down opporutnities to teach. Why? Lack of belief in myself and for every slip I had, I held onto it with a tight fist. Telling myself. "See, she was right. I am a terrible mom, what kind of mom lets their kids go to bed with dirty feet? I am lazy. What kind of wife has popcorn on the floor in the frontroom? I am neglectful. What kind of mom lets her kids have popcorn in the frontroom in the first place? I am uncaring. What kind of person yells at a 5 year old child? I'm have anger issues. I shouldn't have ate that extra cookie, I'm a glutton. I started to expect my kids to be perfect because after all this would reflect that I really was a good parent. So here are my 3 babies, the oldest only 5 at the time being expected to act as if they were just vertically challenged adults. With each of their failures I also failed. With each of my failures, I gained bitterness towards myself and my lack of being able to do anything right. Why had God given me Children if I'm so bad at this mothing thing!? Guilt. It is hard to recognize the lies until we know the truth. And the truth? Satan is the master of quilt, God is the master of forgivness. Thank you Lord for your unfailing love and for loving me through your grace when I don't deserve it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Getting Old

The other night I was having coffee with some friends and the discussion eventually turned to how old and saggy our bodies are getting. One of the ladies joked that her boobs had gotten long and there was now work involved in putting on a bra. I related somewhat, but didn't think I really had enough up top be considered "long".

I was wrong. When I had just gotten out of the shower last night Gabby starts in singing, "Boobies, boobies, boobies." Makensie, always quick to side with the underdog, yells at her "Gabby, stop it! How would you like it if you had really long boobies and some one was making fun of you?" Guess now that I've crossed over to the droopy side, I will be looking into joining the saggy baggy boobie tribe and hopefully show up on the cover of the first porn magazine I ever heard of...aka The National Geographic. I think it is only appropriate since I was in denial for so long, that "denial" will be the river we'll be washing our long boobies in while we're in Africa on our photo shoot.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sovereignty

What does it mean that God is sovereign? What response does he ask of us in light of His sovereign control over things? Were the questions I read in an article from Jean Fleming. I know I have said He is sovereign and that I trust Him and yet my stomach still churns and my heart races with thoughts of the what if's at times. There are moments when I'm in sitting in the boat looking out over the raging waters looking for Him to calm my storm or get on the ship with me and tell me everything will be OK. I sometimes grow impatient and that is when the devil attacks. He sees me in my weakness and brings little passing thoughts and lies. And if I'm not careful to catch them, and throw them out, they will stay in my mind and fester and that is all I need to start my doubt. The men in the boat that were caught in the storm feared for their lives for 10 long hours before they saw Jesus on the water. Jesus spoke to them "Do not be afraid." They probably thought they were seeing things, a ghost. The sea was often referred to as an Abyss, evil, something to be feared and now hear they were in the middle of one of their greatest fears. They had to be exhausted at this point. They had to be empty to the point of wanting to give up and let the sea take them. I have been to that point a couple of times in my life. And each time He has came when I didn't think I could make it another minute. When I thought He had forgotten all about me.

The kids and I usually have a devotional time early in the morning. That never happened yesterday. Allen was home early which is unusual and I called the kids to the front room to do our devotions rather than heading upstairs to do them before reading stories. I thought it would be nice since daddy was home to do them together. We have a small kids devotional book that we are going through and it has sections of the Bible to read out loud 1st. Last night the passage of scripture we read was Hebrews 11. God's Hall of fame for those who had faith, the mighty men of the Bible. It says that without faith it is impossible to please God. I don't know that there could have been a better scripture choice for us as a family to share together after an exhausting day in the storm. To sum it up according to the kids language...Walk by faith, not by sight. The water may be raging under your feet but concentrate on the SON peeking through the clouds.

Knowing that God is sovereign gives me peace knowing that even when my plans, my desires, my dreams are redirected down a different road that He is ultimately in control and His plans will prevail. My mistakes from my past, places I've lived, who I am were all part of his plan. Each of the storms were part of His plan to bring me closer to His Will for my life. God's sovereignty can be trusted because of who He is and how He loves us. We can trust God's sovereign control because He does bring sufficient grace. Often times, it is not the fear of the storm that bothers me the most. It is my fear of if I will have what it takes to make it through the storm. Am I strong enough? Will I cave? Will I be able to glorify God through this? How long will we have to fight this storm? Yet each storm has been calmed, sometimes only seconds before, but they have been calmed before the grace He provides runs out. Because God is sovereign we can trust that He isn't just moving our lives one step at a time, but that He has a wonderful plan in mind and each step along the way is specifically chosen so that we can be who He needs us to be when we make it there. It's like when we are watching a parade. Usually it is so crowded we can only see the float that just passed, the band in front of us and sometimes those men in funny little hats racing around in their little go carts coming up next. But God has the aerial view of the entire parade all at one time.

If you are not facing a life and death situation, a serious illness, financial devastation, a broken marriage, a severed relationship, we know that they could be just a breath away. We can use our everyday trials and burdens as training ground to build faith and strengthen our relationship with Him so that when those trials do show up at our door we will be ready because we have that faith in Him. We may not know at the end of the storm, we may not ever know the reason we were asked to go through circumstances or trials, But because of God's sovereignty we can rest in the knowledge that we are headed towards His ultimate plan and that He had his reasons for letting us tarry there.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No King is saved by the Size of His Army

Psalms 33 - The plans of the Lord stand firm forever...No king is saved by the size of his army: no warrior escapes by his great strength....But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them...We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his Holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O lord, even as we put our hope in you.

These are the words that spoke to my heart this morning. No king is saved by the size of his army. So many times it was the underdog, the army with the smaller numbers, that won the battle. We are at a much more somber place in our home this morning then we have been the last week. We are in the middle of a spiritual battle that we are girding up to head out and face full force this morning. This day will be the day we find out whether we will win the battle, come home injured refuel and then battle again tomorrow, or lose the battle we see in front of us, so that later we win the war that God only foresees.

I ask for you to stand with us in prayer today. Prayer for God's divine light to guide our path, for His hand of peace to calm me for mine and the baby's health, for wisdom for Allen and that the Lord will provide the words to him this day. I pray that His will be done and that what ever the outcome we will be here to glorify Him and praise His name.

Yet another word from Gabby

We dropped by Toys R Us to use a gift card from Christmas, all seemed to go well. I was even to the point of strapping Gabby in the carseat, when her eyes caught her first victim of the day. A really tale, broad man, with long wavy hair, wearing dark sunglasses, a black tshirt and a do rag. Gabby points and yells as he is walking beside our van, "Look it's a pirate! Look Brian and Kensie he's a pirate." He heard and actually chuckled at it. I wanted to request an "ARRR" out of him, but thought best not to push my luck. We had a little chat when he left.

At wal-mart we met the neatest old man on one of those riding carts. He was a spitfire and immediately started harassing my kiddos when he saw them arguing. I felt like I was getting to enjoy time with my grandpa all over again...until I saw his hand. He was missing 2 fingers and a thumb and had a bandaid on a wound. Seconds after I noticed, so does Gabby, "why do you have a bandaid on?" as she POKED the bandaid, quite hard. Then she notices his hand. Up scrunches her nose and upper lip then squirting of her eyes in her typical fashion "What happened to your fingers?!" He explained that he cut them off on a saw when he was a little boy. She tells him, "I'd do something about that." After a bit he starts to cruise off and pats them all on the head, except Gabby, and she backs away and tells him, "no, not with that hand". We had a little chat when he left.

Then we were in the Wal-Mart bathroom. There were 4 stalls and my kids were in 3 of them while I waited in line with 3 other ladies behind me. Someone passed gassed. I just bowed my head. I knew I was about to be embarrassed yet again. Gabby yells in a singsong, "Uh-oh, someone tooted! Momma, did you hear that? Someone just tooted. Gross!" We had a another little chat when we left.

It still wasn't as bad as the time we saw a (I have to word this very carefully as not to offend anyone, please forgive me if I do, I'll try to be as politically correct as possible) topless, african american, little person, dressed like a ganster. I saw him coming down the isle, but it was too late to turn around for he had already been spotted. Now my kids have not ever had an issue with race, they've inquired, and we explained that it is the same as all the different colors of the flowers. God made people all different to make our world a more beautiful place. (not to mention in a perfect world and in my husband perfect fantasy world, I would have been born of color) I was just praying that Gabby would remember that since he didn't have a shirt on. Her jaw dropped, giving her most dramatic shocked looked I've ever had to witness and she literally circled around him, the whole time pulling away from me, saying, "momma, look how short he is. What is wrong with him? You can see his underwear. Why is he almost naked? What is on your head? He's as short as me." Mind you, that even when this child is talking it sounds like she is yelling. All of her questions and comments were topices, we had not thought to talk about. I apologized almost wishing he WOULD pull out a gun and put me out of my humiliation at this point and dragged her away. We had a little chat when we left.

What is so wrong about putting a shock collar with low voltage on a child for training purposes?!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Spouse Survey-Answered by Allen

Today is our 8th anniversary. I wish I could upload some pictures. We eloped and got married in a beautiful 1900's bed and breakfast mansion. I had my dress already and he rented a tux and it was perfect. So for those of you who don't know my hubby too well and feel sorry for him for me picking on him at times. I thought I would open up the gates to the bowels of hell and let him answer some questions this morning...what was I thinking! I think I've shared, already, but one of the reasons we get along so well is because we both know we are both goofballs and we are both open to laugh at each other....often.

So here are my questions to him and his answers(in blue):

Happy Anniverysary! If you'll answer my survey questions, I'll leave you alone and let you sleep another hour. Why do I have to answer the questions when it's your website?

(I explained to him this is his opportunity to share his side.) SWEET.

What did you think when you 1st saw me? (he made a gagging sound), I hit him. I told the guy next to me that I was going to date that girl.

Where you impressed that I stood you up for our 1st date? Oh yeah.

Then why did you ask me out again? I always get what I want.

What was our best date? The weekend we went to Branson and stayed at the resort and went and saw all the sights and shows.

What was our worst date? I don't think I've had a bad date with you.

How long did we date before you knew you wanted to marry me? Where we married when we got pregnant? I hit him. About 3 months.

I knew by the end of the 1st date. So, you scared me a little.

Have I ever embarrassed you in public? When haven't you?!

When?! At the waffle house when you wanted me to answer a questions and I wouldn't so you started cleaning yourself like a cat. In the cave when they turned the lights off and you farted really loud and then pointed at the kids when the lights came back on. In Wal-Mart when you flinched when I tried to touch your face and then acted like you couldn't hear me and then told the cashier that you needed some ice that I had hit you and you think your eardrum was broken, In Olive Garden when you yelled across the table that you hoped I didn't think that this relationship was going any where that you were just using me for sex, just so you could get a reaction out of everyone around you.

Ok that's enough. I'm not done, this is my survey

Next question. Oh no. How about the time when that guy said we looked so in love and you told him we just met that mornning and he kept following me around the store asking if you had any sisters.

Fine, how about the fact that everytime we go to Wal-Mart you chase me to the car acting like a huge wild gorilla? That's for the benefit of the kids.

Ok, next question. How about the time you wrote A** on my forehead in marker and on all my socks and on all my cups that I take to work.

Sorry.

How about you putting an entire bottle of blue food coloring in my pop and me not knowing until I look in the rear view mirror half way through the day and find my teeth and lips look like I've been dead for months. How about you opening the blinds to our bedroom which faces the street and then screaming there is an emergency so I jump out of the shower to run out naked? How about when you picked all the pecans off the top of my moms pecan pie at Thanksgiving and then told her I did it and she slapped me with the spatula? How about when you tell my dad you'll smell him later when we leave?

Why do you love me? Who knows!

Do you ever wish you had married someone else? everytime you embarrass me.

What is your favorite thing about me? And you can give as many answers on this one as you want. You personality, quick wit, that fact that you take care of me so well, you take care of our kids, and before cafemom you used to take care of the house. I also like your boobs.

What is your least favorie thing about me? And you can only give one answer. Your silver tongue.

That's part of my personality. hmmmm

Why do you flinch when I get close to you sometimes? I dont' trust you!

Are you afraid I might poison you or harm you in any way? Yes. Daily!

There you have it. The greatest love of all. I just have to say that after his very 1st answer when he started gaggin, I acted like I was scratching his back but I was really using my pen and wrote on him. But it will wash off this time

Spouse Survey - Answered by Suzanne

1. How did you meet your spouse? We met at Dick Clark's American Bandstand in KC. I was waitressing. He asked me out in front of all his friends. I said yes, so as not to embarrasses him. He gave me his business card and hotel room number and we made plans for the next night. I stood him up. I figured, being on business he would be out of town by Wedn. not so. He came back in the next two nights and finally after making calls to his office and talking with his secretary and running a background check (oh yes, I really did). I went out with him on a Friday night.

2. Was it love at first sight? I don't know if love at first sight, but I'll never forget that first time our eyes met.

3. Did you know right away that you wanted to marry this person? By the end of our 1st date, I knew he was special and that I wanted to spend my life with him.

4. How long did you and your spouse date? We dated 1 year, got engaged, then eloped 3 months later.

5. What was your best date with your spouse before you were married? Our 1st Christmas together. We lived 3 hours apart and he had sent a care package filled with 12 gifts, 12 cards and a CD of love songs for me to open. Then he came up to KC and went to a Christmas tree farm, picked out a cute tree, went and bought decorations, decorated the tree, went to the plaza and walked around and did our shopping, then to Crown Center to eat out. It was just an entire day of fun. My face hurt from smiling so much.

6. How long have you been married? 8 years New Years Day

7. Where did you go on your honeymoon? We didn't really take a honeymoon. We were wanting to buy a house and that was why we ended up eloping to avoid all the expense of a wedding and put it towards a home. We got married in a beautiful 1900's mansion that also was a bed and breakfast. We had 1 night there.

8. Was it as good as you anticipated it would be? It was perfect. I love old homes. I think he worries more about that we never had a honeymoon than I do. He has taken me on several weekends away and I'm good with just him.

9. Are you happy with your marriage? Yes. I'm very blessed.

10. Do you secretly wish you had married someone else? No. He is what most men hope to someday become. (most days anyway)

11. Does your spouse wish they had married someone else? I hope no, but I'm sure there at times he understands why my dad told him at the wedding that he doesn't want me back :)

12. How long were you married before you had kids? 1 year and 4 months, I sometimes wish we would have had more time with just the 2 of us, but we were not the youngest when we married and he had always wanted kids, they have now grown on me too.

13. Do you want more children? crazy, but yes.

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