Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I just want to finish

I have a problem staying organized and keeping up with housework.  I'm not looking for spot free, dust free, dirt free, everything in it's place.  But, I would like a little more order.  My biggest issue is that I can never seem to finish.  Like, I'll start in one room, mess up another and then never finish either.  Then there's the garage.  I finally was getting close to being able to make it usable, but never finished.  Now it's packed again.  Funny thing is, there really was a time nothing was in it except a car.  The not so funny thing is it gets overwhelming and I find myself spinning in circles.  I can SO see how people become hoarders...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Prayer

I am pretty sure this one will offend some, but I really believe it needs to be said.  Time and time again I read comments about how amazing the power of it is.  I realized that pretty much the only time I hear about how amazing prayer is is AFTER prayer has been answered the way we want it to be - Got the job! Healed! Found a new home! Married! Safe travels!  - fill in your "answer" to prayer.  How often do we hear about how great the power of prayer is when the answer isn't what we want?  God's answer to prayer is ALWAYS amazing! No matter how He chooses to answer!

I have prayed for people to be healed only to see them die or continue to suffer.  I have prayed for marriages only to watch them stay the same or crumble in divorce.  I have prayed for finances, organization, families, prosperity, for people to fall in love with Jesus and many other things only for my prayers to be answered, well with a "no" or a "wait."  Does that change the awesomeness of prayer?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!   Does that mean I am saying that when someone we pray for dies is awesome?  NO!  I am simply saying that we need to remember that regardless of how God chooses to answer, prayer is ALWAYS amazing!  God's answer is ALWAYS perfect!  He isn't sitting up in heaven saying "Hmmm, whose prayer should I answer today they way they want it to be and who should I say no to?"

I firmly believe in the power of prayer.  I firmly believe God hears our prayers.  I firmly believe that He CAN do all things and WILL answer prayer.  I also firmly believe He will answer the way He sees best. And I believe that when His answer is not the one we hoped for, He will also pour out His strength, His peace and His comfort as an ANSWER to our continued prayer.  Life has trials of many kinds, but God's promises are true and for that, I am grateful!  The power of prayer IS amazing!  Even better is that God promises He will never leave us nor forsake us.  When God doesn't answer they way you think He should, don't give up on Him.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Where have they gone?

Today's message was led by our youth.  Got me thinking.  A comment made stated that those born in the late 80's to late 90's desire to be a part of something big.  I've taught some of these kids.  I've shared the gospel, taught about the way we should live, spoken to them about planting seeds, shared bible stories, shared stories of martyrs, and so much more.  Yet, right in the middle of today's message, I asked myself "where are they now?"  This led to the following...

Where are they? Did we do enough, did I? How many young people sat through chapel, youth, main service, heard the truth about Jesus, even committed their life to Christ, only to walk away?  I look back and think about all the young adults who have walked through my life.  I think about some of the messages I taught to so many of them.  I remember what some of them said they wanted to do.  I had really great talks with so many, but my heart breaks as I consider where they are today.  I don't mean they've all turned to a life of crime, just that they have chosen to "put God on hold."  And, I have to ask, is it because I shared too much of my past or not enough? Did I not share enough about consequences to my actions? Did I not love unconditionally, or at least show that I did? Was I too hypocritical? Too judgemental? Not consistent enough? Too demanding? Did I give them too much freedom? Not enough? Did I pour Jesus into them enough?  Did I love God enough for them to see?  Was I too critical? Insensitive? Was it that I just didn't give them a chance? Doubted their abilities? Did I not encourage enough?  It is one thing for us to sit back and say "we did our best" "Don't be so hard on yourself" or worse, act like it's "normal" for kids to go through this.  I've even heard people say "All children will rebel" and "kids are going to experiment," as if that makes it OK.  I say we are missing something critical, beyond blame, beyond the truth of fallen man & consequences.  Sure, these things are a factor, so does that mean we just leave it there?  Aren't we supposed to be people of change? Shouldn't we do what we can to overcome our past? Aren't we responsible to raise up the next generation to love God?

Now I find myself wondering what do we do, how are we supposed to respond?  How do we instill a passion for truth in Christ so that everyone will refuse to "put God on hold?"  Maybe it starts with saying I'm sorry, again.  Maybe it starts with deciding to stop placing blame on things, because the truth is, God is bigger then my past, my children's past and our future.  So, I will start here - I'm sorry for not listening when I should have and for lecturing when I shouldn't.  I'm sorry for judging you by what you wear or listen to or by your hair color or body piercings.  I'm sorry for doubting your abilities.  I 'm sorry for being critical and not saying I believe in you.  I'm sorry for the times I jumped to conclusions or accused instead of asking. I'm sorry for sounding as if I have it all figured out, because I don't.  I'm sorry I wasn't consistent in areas I should have been.  I'm sorry for not speaking words of encouragement more often. I'm sorry I wasn't a better example of who Jesus is and I pray you will see Him for who He really is.  I really don't know exactly where to go from here, but I do want you to know I've always cared.  I know I didn't always respond the way I should have and I know my facial expressions often said the opposite of what I spoke.  I truly am sorry.

I write this not just to the children I gave birth to, but to every one of you who came into my life, whether through birth, chapel, Brigades, school, Sunday School, living in my home, hanging out with my kids or in my house, or simply to those I met briefly in hallways. I wish I could say the words to make you believe I care.  I wish I could help you see that just because "man" has failed you doesn't mean that's all there is.  I know life can be hard, just don't give up.

To all of us, I would ask this, where do we go from here? What needs to change?  We can't keep responding with "that's just the way it is" and we can't keep placing blame.

so what do we do?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A blog I read...

So, I read a blog today about limits (you can find it here http://leadingandlovingit.com/ ).  It got me thinking.  There are things I really want to do but just can't seem to find the time to get serious about it (like this blog & photography).  I realize I am a mom (who also happens to homeschool) and I can't just leave my youngest at home by herself, but that's not the point (that's just a good excuse).  What really caught my attention is the simple truth - we all have limits.  And we need limits in order to function at 100% at the things we do.  It's just, how do you figure out what to say no to and what to say yes to?

I have seen people do it.  No, I am not comparing myself, just stating a fact.  I am not looking to be superwoman, just a woman who can run her household efficiently.  I wouldn't mind de-cluttering a bit more too.  And, I want to finish.  Not just start in one room or one corner at a time. I've been there, done that.  All I end up doing is cleaning that spot but creating a bigger mess somewhere else.  Then, when I go clean that mess, I end up putting it back where I just cleaned.  It's a vicious cycle and I want to break it...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just Live

I have come to realize that most of my life has been just doing, just being.  For me, I never had to be told to do my homework, I just did it.  I didn't have to be told to get a job, I just did.  Lots of things, I just do.  Its been this way since I was little.  By the time I first learned how to tie my own shoes, I did it, no help, even if it took 30 minutes to get them tied, I did it (my mom tried to help, but I always said I can do it).  Even when it came to teaching my kids how to do math, I can show them all the ways to solve a problem, but learned that I was just doing it, not really teaching it. 

This comes in to play in several areas of my life.  The problem is that there are times I need to have an answer as to HOW I do it or WHY I do it.  Or, better yet, to show someone else how or why to do something.  But, my words rarely seem to come out right.  When this happens, I watch the response of the one I am trying to explain something to and it's not a good sight.  It often comes with a frustrated result, and, can even cause the person to believe I am disappointed in them.

I made a decision at the beginning of this year that I would process things through the word LIVE.  I don't want to "just be" anymore.  But, how does that work?  Below is the definition I found:

Live - to show the characteristics of life; be alive
Life - the animate existence of an individual, to fill with courage or boldness; 
Animate - encourage, to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to

Its the last word that gets me.  I want to encourage. Because God tells me to and because we all need to be encouraged.  I want my words to bring life to those around me.   So maybe my word needs to be Animate.  Either way, I have found that to live is not as easy as it sounds when you have "just been" for over 30 years.  It's not that I feel I "only" exist. That's not it at all.  I don't really know how to explain it (which has ALWAYS been part of my problem).  All I know is, I don't have all the answers, I'm tired of sounding arrogant, I don't like being hypocritical and sometimes in my passion, I come across really strong and opinionated.  I don't mean to, it's just who I am.


I want to Animate.  I want to live a life that leads others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  He was my answer and continues to be my answer.  AND, I know, without a doubt, 100% guarantee, He is your answer too.  That's how I want to live.  I want to ANIMATE!  Just be warned, sometimes I will animate loudly and boldly and it could come across wrong.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Suicide, please read

So, I read a book. Well, actually, I have read lots. But, this one I just finished, well, something needs to be said more then just what I wrote in my review (which you can find here: http://shine2day2bookreview.blogspot.com/ )

The book is called "Life, in Spite of Me." It is about a young lady who lived after a suicide attempt. The thing that makes me want to share it here too is that her story is the story of MANY of our young adults and youth today, for that matter, even adults. Suicide is huge, almost popular. When I was growing up, if you heard someone had killed themselves it affected you simply because you didn't hear about it very often. Today, suicide seems to be happening all the time. Worse is the amount of people who struggle with depression, who feel there is nothing worth living for or that life is just a bummer. Just the other day I heard about 2 young girls who both struggled with depression and together, ended their lives at what should have been a fun sleepover.

Why do I post this? Because God loves you. You ARE REALLY here for a purpose. God REALLY does have plans for you. I know, the "God" speech. But I'm telling you, there is a hope. Kristen wanted to end her life. But she lived. SEVERAL people approached her saying she should not have survived. One paramedic on the scene ran into her later in life and told her she had lost so much blood that she should not have survived. A train conductor approached her after she spoke and told her he has never met someone who lived after a train ran them over. This conductor said that the she should have been sucked into the train. Kristen will tell you there was a force that kept her from being pulled in and that she now knows that force was God.

I know life can be difficult. I know things WON'T always go well. I know sometimes it seems like nothing is going right. But, I also know that there IS a purpose. We ARE meant for so much more. We WERE made for more than failure and avoiding disaster!

PLEASE, if you feel like life isn't worth living anymore, contact someone. Even if you are just struggling with life, let someone know! It is SO important to reach out. I know what it is like to feel alone, like you don't fit in. But we all fit, somewhere. Kristen has a facebook page and has started an outreach for people struggling. Her outreach is called Reaching You. The website is located at http://www.reachingyouministries.com/. Another great site is called "To Write Love on Her Arms." Their website is http://www.twloha.com/ Or contact me. Or someone close to you. Just let SOMEONE know. There is hope. There is help. People DO LOVE YOU! And, although I might not even know who you are, I really do care about you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Truths about homeschooling...and life

Sometimes I just want to let it all out, you know, tell it like it really is. See, homeschool, parenting, taking care of a house, life, they're all hard. There is not ANYTHING easy. OK, wait, maybe...no, never mind, nothing. See, making the decision to teach your children is time consuming, takes discipline and has it's challenges. At times, I'd much rather be doing other stuff. Then there's the never ending laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning... As a parent, wow, where do I start. Raising kids is a challenge like no other! You WILL question your self over and over.

But then, living single has its ups & downs. Sending your kids to public school has its moments. Not taking care of my home has REAL bad consequences! (sorry, had to throw that in :) )

Then there are those moments where you listen to your child read on their own. And the times they just randomly draw you a picture. And you do get all the housework caught up, even if just until the next meal. And you have green bean wars with your oldest. And your middle child takes you on a date. And your youngest reaches up to hold you, just because. And you feel your grandchild move inside the womb. And you watch your child say "I Do." And you watch your child volunteer in various ways for over 5 years. And you have a flour fight with your youngest. And your children cook dinner for you. And your children get together with other "children" and make you a dinner so they can say thanks. And you watch your first grandchild come into the world. And you realize, over and over and over, you realize you would NEVER change it for anything!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things

You know, sometimes I find myself just asking a lot of questions. Well, recently it's been about our explorer and what to do with it. Oh, a Ford Explorer that is. Back on Thanksgiving, it broke down. While trying to figure out what to do with it, and finding someone to fix it, I felt as though I was supposed to go ahead and take it to a shop vs having "friend" do it. Well, $6200+ later, my husband said no way. So now what. Well, this morning I called the shop to tell them I'll have it towed home. While waiting for the shop to let me know it's ready, I went ahead and placed an ad for sale on the web. Within 5 minutes max, someone called. Long story short, he bought it, as is. Hiss uncle is a mechanic. I loved that truck. It was sad to see it go.

Then, I go and help my daughter look at a place for rent for her and her husband. As much as I don't want them to move out, I know they plan on more children and it's already crowded in our 3 bedroom 1 bath home. With mixed emotions, I told her I liked the house and to consider a few things, but turn in the app.

In my many more questions (to myself of course) at this point, I found myself very pre-occupied as often happens. And then it happened, the sky let some hail fall and then erupted in noise! Thunder, Lightning, Hail, even a rainbow appeared! Some of the claps of thunder were so stinking loud it set off people's car alarms! It rumbled and crackled for at least 2o minutes! I loved it! And the whole time I was thinking "ok, Lord, I hear you. You have everything in your hands and it will be ok. Thanks God :)"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marriage Becoming Obsolete?

Could marriage really become obsolete? A friend of mine sent me a text saying that new surveys show 39% of American's believe so. That's up from 1978 when only 28% felt that way. Really? I told him I disagreed and he asked me why. Well, because I believe that there will always be enough people, especially believers in Christ, that will believe in marriage. BUT, 39% is a LOT of people! That's about 4 out of 10 that believe marriage is becoming obsolete. Could we end up in a place where less than 50% believe in marriage? With living together increasing yearly, up 13% just last year, where will marriage be in 10 years?
So, my questions... Is it that we don't believe in marriage, or that we just don't like the way it looks today? Why do more people believe marriage is on its way out then ever before? What is marriage to you? And lastly, who are these people interviewed?