Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Year Older

Today I turned 38. I have not feared getting older, but I am shocked to think about the fact that I am so close to 40 yet I do not feel as wise and mature as I thought I would at this age. I still feel like the 20 something most days until I walk in front of a mirror and don't recognize the reflection of myself. While I am not jumping for joy at the loss of my younger figure, I am thankful that the lifestyle of the 20 year old is long gone.

This year is already proving to be a much better birthday than last year. Allen remembered and had a nice gift card for me to pick out something of my choice. Gabby is making blueberry pancakes, Wyatt slept with me last night (I know, not a good thing usually...but this child will rarely snuggle, let alone give a kiss and I got to kiss and snuggle him all night without resistance.)

At this time of year, I know there are a lot of goals being made as New Year's approaches. I am right there with ya. I don't have any huge, life changing, world saving goals. We just go thru every possible area and do a double check. What's working? What can we do better? Where do we hope to be at this time next year? I love it. Allen pacifies me by just listening and adding the occasional "sounds good" in between bites. If we go out to eat I take my little journal of goals and chat while he is entertained with some good food and no kids interrupting.

I have found myself asking several times this past year, "Lord, what is my purpose?" I had such grand plans of wealth and success and celebritism at one point in my life. I truly thought that by now my name would be in lights as the next Martha Stewart. However, over time, year by year, rather than having become famous, I have drifted into that invisible little world that engulfs many of us moms. That laying down our lives to have the time to invest in those little people. Running to ballet lessons, co-op, friends houses, the library. Most of my day is spent teaching them to be equipped with knowledge and wisdom and refereeing fights and cleaning up messes. I have laid down my life for my husband to pursue his dream of his business and take on the office work that he did not enjoy or have time to do.

Very little of my life reflects Martha's in any way. In fact, if she saw my skills she would probably send me a charity gift subscription. I am thankful to just get the floor swept, let alone have the time to cut a fresh lemon, which I wouldn't have because I didn't plant a lemon tree in the hand made terracotta pot, that I covered in moss seed, in half to help bleach the grout. We don't have a beautifully set table, and are just happy if everyone gets glass not paper plates and that I don't find something warming in the microwave after supper has been finished.

We have many plans and goals for our lives. And Proverbs tells us to commit our actions to the Lord and our plans will succeed. And just a few verses later we are told that even though we plan our way, God directs our steps. Most plans for my life didn't change overnight, but as God directed my steps along the path, my plans have changed, my mind has changed, my heart has changed. To no longer want success for myself based on what the world deems successful. My heart wants my life to be deemed good by the One who matters most. For my family to feel loved and cared for. For friends and relationships in my life to be uplifted from knowing me.

I pray that I am filled enough daily with Him that I can continue to pour out to those I love. Someday if I'm signing books at Borders, that will be exciting. But if my life continues to be me hoping that I could just get a shower and leave the house just to stand in the back of the line waiting for a signature from Sarah Palin, than that is the role I'll fill. Lord direct my steps, bless our goals as we commit this year to you and protect us from anything that is not in our best interest.

Friday, December 11, 2009

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

I can still remember sitting in the back yard and plucking the petals off the Black-Eyed Susan playing this Russian Roulette with love over a childhood crush. I cannot recall how many flowers fell victim that day to my hopes of winning the answer I longed for. I was so young and so innocent to believe that love was held in the number of petals and my ability to start with the correct one.

As I aged I no longer played the game with the flower petals, but I still played the game in my head. With each heart break I faced, either letting my parents down, a friend that betrayed, or a relationship that ended badly or I had lost their affection; it grew harder to deeply trust and know whether the relationships I were in were safe for the long run. Did they love me, did they love me not?

And now as I can almost touch being 40 years old I see that I play this same game with my Lord. It is hard not too. The style of love that most of us have experienced is based on performance. Most of our parents, while certainly not all, have loved us unconditionally. But even with my own children, I may love, but my approval or lack of often shows because of their actions. This is life in this life.

I teach a Bible study, He loves me. I fail and yell at the kids, He loves me not. We give a gift to someone in need, He loves me. I gossip, He loves me not. You can't foster a deep trusting relationship with someone who is always checking your performance to make sure it adequate enough to merit their friendship.

What I didn't realize is that I was reading The Scriptures starting with the same view point of God only having the same capabilities in relationships as the ones I was accustomed to. From the very beginning it has been about His love for us. In the Garden with Adam and Eve, God could have hidden the trees of life and knowledge in some remote corner of the world. He could have stepped in and stopped Eve from that 1st bite. But He didn't. God allows us to choose and fail because it allows us to see the lack of our own wisdom and and seek to put our trust in Him. Only then do our greatest failures make it worth the pain when it turns us back to
Him.

G0d raised the bar so high that I'm not capable of jumping it on my own. The purpose of the cross was not to fill some need in God at the expense of His son, but to satisfy a need in us at His expense. This is where I come to the end of me. And as a wise lady said, it is a great place to be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Betty Crocker Style

I know I've posted a lot today, however, while the kids are working so nicely I'm getting in just one more.



A dear friend was chosen for a Betty Crocker House Party and if you haven't registered with House Party you can here.



We had 5 stations and worked in teams to make 5 different yummy cookies, had cake and punch.




And of course Mrs. Crafty had therapy in the way of making little beautiful gift boxes while waiting for the goodies to cool. What a lovely evening. Thank you!

Christmas Parade

I have never put together a Christmas Float before and for some reason thought it a grand idea to suggest doing so for our homeschool group. Of course it was the day after the Christmas Workshop, so I was a little busy last week. We didn't do anything extravagant, but thankfully there were other ladies with ideas and common sense thinking to lead the way. We went with a theme of Children are a gift from the Lord. By Saturday morning, the float wasn't decorated, we didn't have hay bales for sitting and we didn't have a banner or even the paint in hand to make the banner. It was getting a little uncomfortable and quite honestly with the freezing wind, this was the 1st time I considered calling it off.

But it all came together, hay and paint was found, someone generously painted the sign so I didn't have to bend over....

However, at @5:00 was the 2nd time I considered calling it off. There were only 3 of us families at the float and since the idea was to hopefully share with the community how many of us there are....3 families didn't seem impressive.

But once again, it all suddenly came together as people started showing up from every direction. I believe with parents and kiddos, we had close to 70 people. Everyone seemed to have a great time in spite of the bitter cold.














Christmas Workshop

Homeschool Elementary Christmas Gift Workshop. We had 50 kids signed up to complete 10 projects each in 2 hours. It was so much fun. I am so thankful to all the ladies to helped make this happen. And my hubby.
Table #1: Sugar Scrubs Table #2: CD Sleeves decorated for holding large cookies
Table #3: Individual packets of Hot Cocoa. You can see Tables #4 & 5 in the background, but I must have gotten distracted because I don't have pictures of them. #4 was fire starters. #5 was individual cakes in a cup.



#6: Marshmallow Shooters
#7 Wagon Train Rag Dolls




#8 Recipe Cards

#9 Gak/Slime



#10 Sock Babies














Birthing a Butterfly

1st we found this little guy a while back:
We put him in a jar with some leaves and he formed his little chrysalis. Then last week we heard some rustling in the leaves of the jar and this is what we found:After about 15 minutes:






















Mmmm.....Chocolate




Allen's Birthday Cake

Gabby choose the "target" design and decorated the cake herself. I have no idea why she choose her crazy face for the picture.





Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This and That

It's been a long time since I sat down to write. It's been a long time since I had time to sit and write. Our homeschool Co-op classes are finished for this semester which is bitter sweet. I'll miss the girls, but have a little more time and freedom in the week. My vacuum broke, but we were able to get a great deal on ebay in a Hila System. Yeah!

I hurt my back over Thanksgiving vacation and have no idea what is wrong, although my kids are getting really good at picking things up off the floor for me.

We just finished a Christmas Workshop for the Elementary aged kids in our homeschool group. I had 10 projects, 50 kids, 2 hours and $110. It went rather smooth and I was so pleased with the outcome that I'm sure we'll do it again next year.

We had our Christmas parade which also came together in the end. At 10am we had no idea where to get hay, had no banner made, no paint to make the banner...it was looking rather hopeless, but God is good and it all worked out and with kids and parents all together I think we had close to 70 walking/riding in the parade to represent our little homeschool group.

Allen called me yesterday afternoon and said to have the kids ready to go to the sitters and myself gussied up in 1 1/2 hours that he was taking me out for the night. We dropped the kids off at a blessed friends house and then headed to Eureka Springs, albeit for a measure on a job, we did get to drive around and look at the lights and then enjoyed supper at Red Lobster on the way home. It was nice to have some quiet time with just my hubby and celebrate our 11 year Anniversary a little early.

I know of several friends that have recently or are currently facing a spiritual attack from the enemy thru words. Our words are powerful. A house divided cannot stand and he knows that by dividing the house of The Lord that he wins. We have to be on guard to not let satan use us as his personal vessel to spill venom. I'm reading a book called, "He Loves Me!" And came across this passage this morning that is just very real to me for the very reason it stated.

"A lie Expertly Placed"
"All it took for the enemy to wreak such havoc in God's innocent creation was to use a well-placed lie to drive a wedge between Eve and her Creator. If you've ever been the victim of such a lie, you know how devastating it can be."
"Nothing is more dangerous than taking that which is clearly true to prove a point that is not. Mixing a little lie with a lot of truth is like hiding cyanide in Kool-Aid. You cannot tell it's there until you drink it, but by then it is too late."

Praying that you all are enjoying this busy season and remembering why we are celebrating. Many blessing to each of you this day!

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