Thursday, March 29, 2012

This, That and the Other....mostly Other

My mind is a little weary tonight. Full of things like quiet, somethingontheirmind Husbands, 3 yr old girlies turning 4 tomorrow, the big idea of extending grace to the people around me...and so forth. Nothing that makes a neat, concise, Thursday blog post. The whole extending grace thing has been on my mind all wk thanks to last week's SS class. God has been relentlessly pointing out places where I'm NOT putting the truth to practice! Another random thought: I think I forgot that my "word" was supposed to be S A V O R. Or does that mean savor the bad stuff too? I've been doing a Jim Dandy job of that!! Hmmm.... Need to look that word up! Ok. This is getting way too "Other". Four years ago I was experiencing the effects of drinking castor oil... Or was it just f.i.n.a.l.l.y time for Jennifer Lynn to appear 2 doses of castor oil and 2 weeks after her "due" date?? At any rate I'm a lot more comfortable tonight then I was then :) Aaaahhh time. Where oh where does it go? And 4 yrs from now?? Who knows!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunshine and Shadows

My morning drive to school involves a road that weaves along mountains and trees. This morning I drove mostly in the shadows but the sun was shining gloriously on the distant hills! Occasionally I would drive through a patch of sunshine, then it was back into the shadows. My life feels so much like that drive right now! I've been frustrated and impatient lately, wallowing in the shadows and longing so much for the distant sunshine, I hardly notice the sunny patches along the way. Saturday I was begging God for a breath of air. I even had some suggestions for Him, like a Sunday dinner invitation for instance! After our supper at McDonalds, Jasmine and I ran some errands alone while the rest went with Daddy. We ended up confiding in each other our impatience with life and how living in was just making us plain grouchy! I suddenly realized God had answered my prayer in the form of my 8 yr old daughter! I'm determined to quit wallowing this week. I just might go out and MAKE some sunny patches if I must!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lessons from Dress Up Day

As a mom, one of my goals is teaching my children to stand up for truth even when it means being different. I am not interested in producing children who look down their noses at everyone who differs and says "they're dumb". Nor am I interested in being mom to children who whine and feel life isn't fair or any fun because they always have to be different. Requiring your children to be different can feel hard and create pangs of pity in a mother's heart! This week's dress up day at school provided an unexpected opportunity for some hands on teaching. And, surprise! I found it was rather simple after all. Children are not dumb. When I discussed the issue with my 2nd and 4th graders, and explained our feelings on creativity vs. spending money and being outlandish, they totally got it and we had fun together! The bottom line? Just saying "no" to stuff teaches my children nothing, but having a reasonable explanation that we can talk about does! Even so, I admit to praying a little extra for their day today :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If Emotions Were Colors

Our trip to AR was painted with every color in the palette. It's hard to describe the sharp contrasting of beautiful and hideously ugly, happy and deeply sad, relaxed and stressed... It was good to see everyone again, to spend time with family. But it was so hard to not have Isaac and Jasmine sharing the fun! We did accomplish our mission of selling our place and bringing all our earthly belongings back here. If I ever move again I think I'll sell it or burn it and start over!! :) I look at all the boxes and misc junk and wonder WHERE it all came from! It's not a very good feeling to go back and feel out of place but have no desire to return to "home" either. My littlest girlie has been all colors too! Can't quite figure out if she's sick or if all the goings on have just been too much for a 2 year old. I'm beginning to think it's a severe case of the latter! I'm tired. Inside and out. But I'm thankful tonight for a never changing Father who uses all the colors of the palette to paint His Masterpieces!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Telling All.........

Here I am in Arkansas! Feels so very strange to be guests from out of state at my parent's place. We drove all night and arrived around 9 this morning. My mom and dad had already planned to go to a funeral, so we're in an empty house, free to look at everything familiar :) Jennifer and Lillian have been busily playing with toys since the minute we stepped in the door! Chris is in bed and I decided to seize the opportunity to write a long post on my dad's computer to bring you up to date on all that's been going on lately.   
Months ago, while living at Marvins, one evening Chris called me into his brother's room.  "This is my song," he said.  So I sat down with him to listen.  The verses talk about the children of Israel being led to the river's edge and the chorus says "Follow me down to the banks of the river and wait on the water to part.  God will come and surely deliver, He'll finish what He starts.  No matter the how deep the trouble you're facing, you need never loose heart.  Follow me down to the banks of the river and wait on the water to part."  Chris shared with me how he really felt this was where we were. He really didn't know what was ahead.  Didn't know if this was a river or a ocean or what.  Knew only that God had spoken, we'd followed as best we knew how and now, here we were at the river, waiting.  We agreed that that was our song for the moment and we clung to the promise.
When we moved to Daniel's trailer, we listened to another song.  "He has said to go over so we'll never go under, Christ in the vessel you can smile at the storm.  Let the sea waters rage and the sky fill with thunder.  He has said to go over so we'll never go under."  That song soothed my heart many a time!  Daniel's came home a little sooner then we expected.  We were disappointed, but hello!  This was their house after all! 
A week before their return, mom called to say that our neighbor in Arkansas, who was initially interested in our place, had come to their house because he was trying to get a hold of us.  Chris called him up and he wondered if we'd still be interested in doing a land contract?  Chris said sure!  He wondered how small a down payment we'd take?  Well, Chris wondered how much he had?  They talked, and we prayed ,and the next day Chris called him back to say we'd be willing to go ahead with it.  Our land is situated between two neighbors with only a right of way for a lane so we had thought from the beginning that it would be nice if one of those neighbors would want to buy it.  There's a story behind this neighbor's need for a place, but I'll just say it felt very much like what God wanted us to do.  To me it felt clearly like God was saying, "I brought this at just the right time, I'm giving you hope and light and parting the waters before you.  BUT, I still want you to need to trust me!"  The down payment would give us money to finish fixing up the shop and the monthly payments would ease our tight budget and give us something to start saving with.  They had already paid their March rent for where they lived so hoped to move before April.  WOW!! So.... time to plan a trip to Arkansas to pick up all our packed away belongings and get the paperwork settled!!
But wait, there was one more wrinkle, and it happened in the same week!  My brother, Mark, has been having some personal struggles the past months and had decided it would be best to get away for awhile.  He needed a place to go with a job and a house that was fairly close to Faith Builders and the men he was in contact with there.  One of Mark's good friends from Antrim had been trying to convince him to move here but didn't have a good job offer.  One night right in the midst of the whole land deal Chris said to me, "Maybe I should offer Mark a job here.  I'm sure that I could get him one."  Chris' boss' son (got that) has a mechanic shop and the man who was doing the alignments, break jobs, etc had moved about 2 weeks before.  James (the mechanic) was left scrambling to keep up with work and trying to decide whether or not to hire someone new.  The next day I suddenly got the urge to just text Mark with the idea.  He responded right back asking when they needed to know!!  Two days later he had a job and a house in Antrim and we were working toward plans to coordinate bringing our belongings with bringing his!
Do you begin to see why I've been exclaiming?!  There's more details about how we should do the trip, another idea to rent a house that Mark could live in the basement and share costs, we're going this week, no, we're going next week and etc. but I think I'll stop with that. At the moment Mark and us have just driven all night, arrived safely in Arkansas and have plans to get our land deal finished up, load up a rented truck Saturday and head out either Sunday afternoon or Monday.  Who knows what all else God will decide to throw in between now and the next day??  You just never can tell with the Lord!
I'm excited to be back on "home" ground.  Part of me is still in Ohio with Isaac and Jasmine who are staying with friends tonight through Sunday and then going home with Grandpas from church.  Another part is a bit apprehensive about all the emotions that are sure to surface with seeing everyone here again and walking back in our house and then out for the last time.  Even Chris said he'd just as soon settle the deal and not have to come back to the house :)  So, pray for us!  And hopefully you feel sufficiently updated :) 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still biding my time....

Life is just absolutely nuts right now! So many things up in the air that I'm not even sure what to write about! As sure as I do a post about something, it'll end up not happening so I'm probably better off just biding my time :) I'll tell you this much: we are selling our place in AR and I found out for sure (I think!) this morning that we're leaving for AR Thursday to bring the rest of our stuff to OH. There's much more to the story and I will tell all one of these days! In other news, it's a LOVELY day out!!! Spring is coming and I love it! The sunshine is glorious and the warm air invigorating. It makes everything come alive with hope and freedom which is rather symbolic for me as my life feels somewhat that way right now too. We have to leave Isaac and Jasmine here this week end, and that makes me sad :( Makes my heart smile tho that they have friends they're clamoring to stay with! Aaaah children and their adaptability! There's so many reason why Jesus wants me to be more like them! I'll be back...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inside the man's mind... (guest post by Christopher)

Well, a certain somebody asked me to do a guest column here so..... I hope she doesn't get more than she bargained for. :) Right at this moment the "burning a hole in our relationship" situation confronting us is: How To Get Our Stuff From Arkansas To Ohio. See, God set it up that the poor husband has to figure out the details. While at the same time putting the poor wife in the position of waiting for him to figure it out. (And could you get on with it!) Hence, the burnt holes. At any rate, I am quite sure that a certain wife doesn't realize the amount of pressure a certain husband feels to "Get on with it" The only problem is, getting on with it! Little things, (like the details): How, for instance. "I know! Let's take our stuff out to the highway and wait for an empty 18 wheeler that is going to Ohio to come by!" She does NOT LIKE that idea. What's a guy to do? It's the only COMPLETE plan I can offer at the moment. She said she didn't really care HOW she just wanted it DECIDED! Oh well, stay tuned...

Crawl in his head for a change...

Do any of the rest of you ladies fail to crawl inside your husband's head the way I do? Any of you have a hard time really getting the immense pressure your man is under to be planner, spiritual leader, provider, disciplinarian, understander, strength, security and unshakeable tower for his family? I, for one, fail big time! I like to think it's because my man doesn't let the pressure show. He never complains about it, stresses about it - how am I supposed to know?! Lame excuse. Really. He is human after all! So when the details of next week still aren't all nailed down like I wish, it really might not be helpful to keep asking-how is this gonna work? What are we gonna do about that? Just maybe he wishes he knew how it's gonna work out just as much as me! The bad part for him? When it's all said and done, it's on his shoulders, not mine. Maybe it's time to be quiet and be patient and only open my mouth to say encouraging words like, "Thank you for taking care of the planning. You're doing a great job!"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Short Months

How can can two short months bring such a tug at one's heart? We moved back to Chris' parent's Saturday and today I went back over to the trailer to tie up loose ends. I walked in the quiet, neat as a pin house and suddenly was overcome with emotion! All the good times we had there flashed before me. The cozy evenings with toys scattered everywhere, the games we played, the food, the dishes the children washed, the tears we cried and the laughter we shared... I actually walked through the house and cried! God gave us an incredible gift those 2 months and I am so thankful! There are some exciting things happening for us that makes moving back easier (stay tuned!) but daily life is still daily life and it's not all easy. Now's my chance to mesh the two - To embrace the emotions: have my cry. And then, look at the facts and live out of the truth that God is good and has been orchestrating things perfectly all along and will continue to do so! I think I've decided that there is a "higher road" ...maybe :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gender / Personality / Spirituality #3

When I received no input on this subject I very nearly deleted my posts and skipped the whole idea! But my non-feeling oriented, right hand man told me "No, you can't do that. Just leave it and write about something else for now, your feelings will change later." Oh thanks! :) Then he added "That's why if you live by principles (truth) instead of feelings you don't mess up as often." That flamed my fire again! I fully believe God made women to be "feelers". I only have to look at my oldest son and daughter to see that we're BORN that way! I also see the truth in Chris' statement. So, what is a woman to do? Say "I'm just made that way"? Stuff the feelings and say "I'm not gonna feel, I'm gonna live by truth"? That has been my frustration the past few months. I have been seeing that it's possible to choose truth and God really does want me to be Joyful all.the.time. I've also found the feelings are still there-I still feel like crying when I find out we only have 2 wks left here! So, how to reconcile the 2?