I’ve been waiting to have something to say, and not just words on a post. I’m tired of filling empty spaces on social networks for the sake of saying something; anything, really, just to let you know that I’m still alive. Barely surviving most days I feel, but alive none the less. I want to actually have something to say. And have it be something that’s worth reading. I’m so tired of filling my days with complacency…one moment leading to the next moment, that will lead me to the moment this year and this test is over. I feel so tired-so lifeless. So passionless. I’ve found that when I feel this way, all I have to do is look up, and realize just how far I’ve let myself wander away from my Saviors hand. No wonder I can’t see where I’m going…I’m walking around in circles in the dark. How to I combat this endless war with self? The part of me that just wants to be satiated and sedated and barely squeak by…to get to the ‘easy’ part. How do I let the messiness of life not destroy me, but rather embolden me and enrapture me and encourage me on to a better destiny? I’m finding it starts with one tiny step. One small choice. One morning awakening before the sun, to awaken my soul with my creator. One choice of tuning out the world and tuning into His voice. It starts with every word I speak, choosing the positive over the negative. To bless, rather than curse. To heal, rather than hurt. A choice to love others more, myself less. This, my friends, is the year of choices. Choosing the right things. Making the right choices, even if they are hard choices. Ready or not…
Looking back at 2011; Looking forward to 2012 December 29, 2011
The holidays are over, and 2011 is coming to a close. I was drawn back to my sad, neglected blog to review what my word for 2011 was…Refuge. As I contemplate where I was last year and where I am this year, I don’t see an overwhelming transformation. But I see some small, important changes. In 2011 I became Content. I learned to stop wishing for the next new thing, or the next new place to live..but to just live in this moment, and make the best of it. I relearned how to support my husband, to stand behind him, respect him and love him. I had lost my footing behind him, I had let go of his leading hand; and I had found myself trying to elbow my way ahead of him. With that, came dischord…I was off-key. I’ve always thought of me and Joel’s marriage as a song, with me being the harmony to his melody, and vice-versa. I had to take an honest look at my trust issues, and determine in my heart to trust Joel with everything. I think we are better for it at the close of this year. This year was, ironically enough, the beginning of our first deployment. At a going away party for Joel our friend read aloud Psalm 91…which was the scripture for my year of refuge. I have had to remind myself over and over to take refuge in the Lord, for He knows and sees all things…and is the only place that I can truly be safe. I’ve prayed for my husbands safety daily as he is away…and have prayed for God to be a refuge for him.
Moving into 2012, I am filled with expectation. I have some major changes in the works for myself, and hopefully some major changes for my family and home. I will need more time to truly consider my word for 2012…but I will post when I find it. Here’s a song to leave you with…a song of Refuge.
The House July 8, 2011
So God is trying to show me something. And I can’t fall back asleep until I
write it down.
There is this house. A rundown house in shambles. Its a
mess. The previous owner trashed it. A man sees the house, looks within it, and
sees the beauty underneath all the filth. He sees the potential in this
house. He wants the house. He sacrifices so much for this house and He
buys it. He lovingly restores the house, putting blood, sweat and tears into the
restoration process. He salvages what He can from what He has to work with, but
only salvages the things that are of the most value. He trashes a lot of things
that just don’t belong in this particular house, things that are not original to
this design of the house. He restores the beautiful old wood floors, tears down
the ugly wallpaper, brings in a new bathroom but leaves the old claw foot soaking tub.
The kitchen, the heart of the home, gets an entire overhaul. It is
Do you see where I’m going?
Now this man gives this
house to his kids for them to live in. He gives complete control of the house to
them, but He still owns it. The new tenants are aware of how beautiful this
house is, but aren’t aware of all that was sacrificed in order to make it as beautiful
as it was. They saw the before pictures, and they see the new house now, but
they don’t fully understand what was given in order to make this house beautiful
again. The Dad comes to visit on a regular basis at first, but then the
invitations for Him to come over stop coming. They begin to neglect the house.
It doesn’t happen overnight…they don’t trash the place; they just start to
neglect cleaning it, and fixing it when things break down. They let other things
take up all of their time and they don’t make time for the house. Over the
years, it becomes filthy, run down and broken. The kitchen that was pristine, is
now a dirty mess. Then the owner of the house, their Father, comes for a visit.
What do you think His reaction is? How do you think this makes Him feel? Is He
justified in kicking his kids out for gross neglect of His beautiful
Our lives are like this house. God is longing to take the broken
and make it beautiful. He sacrificed it all, His son Jesus, on the
cross. So we could have a new start at things, so we could live up to our true
potential. And yet time after time we fail to “clean house” in so many areas. We
begin to let the dirt and filth into our “house” a little at a time. After
awhile, we don’t even see it. We are so blind to it. We look at other houses and
say to ourselves, “My house isn’t nearly as bad as their house. At least my lawn
is nicely mowed and I have beautiful landscaping. At least the outside
looks nice.” What about the parts of the house that no one else sees? What about
the furnace, the insulation…are there termites living in your
3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will
give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive
praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient
ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they
have been deserted for many generations. Isaiah 61:3-4 (New Living
God is trying to show me in such a practical
way that I am neglecting my house. I’m neglecting my relationship with Him. I’m
not allowing the broken things to be fixed and restored. I’m not taking the time
to not only keep my house beautiful, but to add new beauty to it. Someday my 3
beautiful children will inherit this house. They are seeing the way I take care
of my house, and they are learning lifelong lessons. Will they learn to clean on
a daily basis, or crisis clean when company comes over. Will they learn to fix
the leaky pipe, or wait until a flood happens in the basement and they have to
call a plumber and cleanup crew.
you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make
you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. Isaiah 60:15 (New
This is how I want to be
remembered. I want my life filled with Beauty and Joy.
Less is More May 9, 2011
Simplifying May 7, 2011
- I’ve given up drinking soda at home. I’ve also given up buying drinks at the store, except apple juice and milk. I now make homemade iced tea for Joel and homemade lemonade for me, and I can adjust the sugar and lemon juice to taste. We are also heading into summer drinking a TON of filtered water. I feel amazing lately because of this switch. (and we are saving money!!)
- I’m still waking up at 6am every morning to make Joel his coffee and lunch, but instead of crawling back into bed, I am staying awake, using the time before the kids are up to focus on my day, pray and read the Word, catch up on blogs (which helps to motivate me) and just waste a little time on the computer. So now by the time 9am rolls around, I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much (and had time to be lazy)
- Joel and I have come up with a menu plan that repeats every week. We will pretty much be having the same meals on the same days every week, with a few variables. When I grocery shop, I buy whats on sale in quantities that will last me 2 weeks to a month so I can make meals ahead, save money and time.
- I’ve incorporated a Family closet. I am blessed in this tiny apartment with a huge bedroom closet that was previously a disaster and used to store totes. I’ve since cleaned it out and put in a dresser for the kids clothes so I can put all their stuff away all at once. Our clothes get hung up and casual wear stays in a dresser in our room. This is going to be a time saver for me, and will hopefully keep the kids from pulling everything out of their drawers because they are bored!
- I’ve gone back to making my own laundry soap. For us as a family, it works out to be about 8 bucks for enough laundry soap for about 3-4 months. It’s passed the poopy PJ’s test on Micahs clothes, so I know its working good, too!
- I’ve made a simple daily and weekly cleaning list to follow, with the repeatable chores and what time of day is most practical to do them. I carve out specific time for myself, too, because I know I need to take breaks throughout my day or I will burn out.
- I have made a list of the Few things I know Joel really needs me to do, so that he can feel loved, cared for and respected by me. Each husband is different, each appreciating different things. Joel in a nutshell: Coffee and Lunch made for him, the living room and bathroom picked up so he can walk into a mostly chaos free zone after work, the house kept in a reasonable clean and clutter free state so we can move around unhindered and not knock things over all the time, having me not complain about my entire day, and making sure his ‘spots’ in the house remain clutter free. He hates clutter, but expects that with children there will be clutter. I’m just aiming to keep it to a minimum and have the toys stay in their rooms.
I’ve come to realize that even though this place is small, and we are hopefully moving into a bigger place around the end of the summer, I need to use this time as practice. Even when we have more space, it would be so easy to overfill it. I want to keep things simplified. I like visual simplicity in homes. I want room for life to happen.
"Stewing" on some things May 2, 2011
I’ve been thinking, praying, thinking some more about some things going on in my head and heart, trying to gain understanding and insight. I’ll write about it soon, when it all comes tumbling out. Prayer would be appreciated as I’m going through all this stuff! Hugs to you, my dear friends.
Refuge January 22, 2011
I can’t put into words what I am feeling. After just having a 10 days with Joel gone for training, I know what it feels like to do this on my own. And the memory of it hurts. Most days I am crying out inside of my head, “I can’t do this anymore!!!” I know I must, but its so hard. Some days I’m just so tired, and I look around at the kids and the house and I feel like I can’t keep up. Overwhelmed.
Then I read the news about a victim of a shooting who is starting her road to recovery. Having survived a gun shot wound to the head, she is fighting for everything. And I want to give up after some days…I feel so muttled. I want to fight with that same intensity for a life filled with Joy. I want to see what is before me through clear eyes…Not as if I’m looking at my life through a fingerprint smeared window. I want to taste and see that the Lord is Good. Oh, the JOYS of those who take refuge in Him! (psalm 34:8, NLT)
Refuge. This is the year of the Refuge. A woman who inspired me talks of naming each new year. I am inspired. And in this taking Refuge, there I will find my Joy.
Psalm 91, NLT
1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”