Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lord why did you make me, me?

I've realized over the past few days just how ugly I can be inside. I gossip, I think bad about people, I have a temper that flares up too fast, and I can spend hours on the computer ignoring my family. I realized all this yesterday when we came home from house hunting. I was so frustrated that I took it out on everyone around me.

This is not the person that I want to be. I strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. So why am I SO far from being her? I feel like most days that I can't get it together.

Now, this isn't just a pity me post. I'm actually grateful for every new day. Because every new day means a new chance at being the woman that I really want to be. I just sometimes see how much work I still have on me and it gets discouraging. I get tired of baby steps and sometimes just want to run!

I've lived the start of my adult life, just surviving. I've been homeless, broken-hearted, and without hope. I've been slowly learning that I don't have to be the hard person who doesn't trust anyone, anymore. I can dream and dream big. I can show love like the love I get from Jesus. It's just a process.

Sometimes I feel like an onion. The outer layers of me are old and rotten and I have to peel them away one by one to get to the inner part that is still beautiful and healthy. It's a lot of work and I can't peel the layers off all at once other wise I won't know how to keep the inner layers healthy. This has been hard for me because I just want to dive head long into this and rip all the unhealthy habits away. But then I get overwhelmed and have to start over again.

I'm so grateful that God doesn't turn his back on me when I stumble or fail or get angry and pray angry prayers. I'm glad that I can be forgiven because if I couldn't I wouldn't be able to go through this process.

I spent a few years struggling with my faith and I couldn't feel God's hand in my life. I've gotten to the point where I can feel God everyday. It's really an amazing feeling when you feel God has you by the hand and is leading you. It's also amazing to know that when you stumble and fall God is right there to pick you back up.

This post is a little rambling. Sorry lol. I just had a lot of thoughts that I wanted to get out. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rain rain go away!

DON'T come again another day lol. It's a rainy dreary day here today. We are currently in between storms right now too. We had a doozy of a storm about an hour ago. I'm hoping that the next round of storms won't be to severe but the radar looks nasty :(

Here's the view outside my house right now

This is from my front porch looking sorta back towards my garage.

This is from my front porch looking towards the street. My poor tree is so waterlogged right now lol.

Makes me think of this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simple Saturday...

I've somehow hurt my knee again. It seems to just come out of nowhere and get worse during the day. I might have to go get it looked at soon. Seeing as though I'm in quite a large amount of pain today, I don't have an insightful post planned out. I don't have the patience today lol. So I figured that I would share a video that I love. This version (and many others) have been floating around the web for a long time so you might have seen it. But I know that I always get something out of it every time I watch it.

So I think I did something wrong trying to load the video on here. So I'll just link it and it will take you to Youtube :) The video is here and it's the Lifehouse "Everything" skit.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Grace, the flipside to my last post...

So now that I've had a night to think about what I wrote yesterday (you can read it here) I realized that there is another side to the anger and frustration, and that is grace.

Dictionary.com has three different definitions for grace but I'm going to talk about the last one which is, 'favor or good will'

As a Christian, I'm given grace by God even when I fail or sin. As a human, I have trouble extending grace to other people, especially when they bad mouth my religion and God. It gets my back up and sometimes I have trouble logically stating an argument.

This is something that I personally need to work on. I'm still hot tempered especially when there is attitude thrown from the other side first. I have trouble stepping back because Jesus is such a huge part of my life that when people talk about my religion in a bad way I feel like they are bad mouthing a family member.

I need to remember though, that Jesus doesn't love me any more than he loves someone who is bad mouthing Christianity or Christians.

It really can sometimes be a fine line between pride in your religion and and being prideful. It's also a fine line between presenting the Gospel in such a way that doesn't alienate people but also doesn't water it down.

I'm trying very hard in my life to actually live the Gospel but online people can't see that so all I have are my words and sometimes it hard to find the right ones.

I learned more last night by thinking and seeing this argument going on and my reactions to it than I have in the past few weeks. Now I have a clearer understanding of grace and mercy.

It's been a really long road for me to get where I am in Christ today. I've stumbled and fallen and turned away from God. I've been lied to by the enemy and told that I will never be the kind of woman that God wants me to be. But this situation and my thoughts about it have shown me that I am more like the woman in Christ that I want to be than I thought.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I admit it, sometimes I get so angry!

Tolerance is the big buzzword these days. Everyone is supposed to be tolerant of everything. Debauchery? Go for it! Adultery? Sure you deserve to be happy! Abandoning your children for a job? Why not! You deserve to be able to find yourself without being shackled to children who will take all of your time! Abortion? That's a-ok. It's your body your choice. Standing up against sin? Sur.... wait what? Dressing modestly? Hey wait a minute.... Proclaiming God to be true? No no no! We can't have that! Proclaim that you want to be a keeper of the home and take care of your husband and children? Never! You can't to that. You will personally set women back and we've all worked so hard to get here. Strive to be chaste and pure and holy? What a freak!

I saw a double standard like this play out today between pagans and Christians. The pagans were upset because the Christian said something about their religion being against God. So they came and attacked in force and accused the Christian of name calling, and being closed minded. Then the insults came flying. Everything they they were saying that the Christian was doing they were doing themselves. But it was ok because Christians are just closed-minded judgemental fools anyway. They also said that they knew the Bible better than Christians. That may be true in some cases. Heck, that may be true in most cases. But I thought sweeping generalizations were no-no's in the spirit of harmony and tolerance.

I've seen this played out multiple times over the internet. Be tolerant, be open-minded, no sweeping generalizations... except when it comes to Christians. Then we can just call them names, disregard how they feel, and tell them they don't matter.

It's really quite sad. I don't know if it's because some of the truths that are said hit to close to home or if they have had run in's with people who claim to be Christian and are just nasty to the bone and now they tar all Christians with the same brush. I don't know. What I do know is that sometimes I just get so fed up with it all.

I know that I am not persecuted like the Christians in other countries and I'm SO grateful for that. I don't have to hide my faith for fear of being killed. But I do get frustrated that open dialogue seems to shut down when a Christian starts talking. Then it's ok to mock their religion, bash them up one side and down the other, and disregard anything they say. But if they Christian does it back, oh watch out! Then come the statements like, 'I thought God said not to judge', and 'Your god commands you to love not yell like this!'. It can get infuriating!

The first few years of my return to Christian life I tried to live and speak in such a way that no one would ever get offended and everyone would love me. Now, I've realized that I can't live that way. I have to live my life for Christ. He loves people, yes. But he also rebukes people that are living in sin. I will not sit idly by anymore and keep silent. I've realized that by doing so I can hurt people even more. A couple years ago I heard this quote from Penn of Penn and Teller (he's an atheist by the way) and he said that he didn't understand religion but if you believed in Christianity and that people would go to hell if they didn't accept Christ, how much would you have to hate someone to not share Christ with them. That has stuck with me since I heard it. It has a lot of truth to it. If we are talking about eternity here, what's a little frustration or nervousness from sharing Christ with people?

And on that note, have a great night! :)

I want to do something!

I know I have a lot on my plate right now... but like always I want to put more on that plate.

I'm hoping that I can find a way to reach out more with this blog and the other things I do online. I think that I really have a lot to think about over the next few weeks. Once we get an idea of where and when we are going to move I think that I might make a Facebook page for this blog.

I feel like there is more that I am supposed to be doing with this blog and I just have to spend some time praying and thinking about what direction I'm going to go in.

So like always, stay tuned because there might be some big changes coming :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Preschool graduation and a mommy's bittersweet feelings...

Last night my oldest son graduated from preschool. It's been a fantastic program for him with dedicated teachers who actually care. We've been SO blessed to have him there.

Here's the graduate being silly...

But now as we face kindergarten in the fall, I'm quite frankly filled with terror. I want to homeschool our son's but my husband wants to send them to school. So we have been looking at buying a house in a better school district so that way I can at least feel like he his learning what he is supposed to. But that process is not going so well right now.

So my husband said that I can homeschool my Monkey for as long as it takes to get us settled in another town then Monkey can go to school. I feel like this is a great opportunity to show my husband that homeschooling is great. So we will see how this all plays out in the next couple of months.

But either way, my heart hurts. I feel like I blinked and my little preemie baby has turned into this handsome big boy. I want to cry out at time for going so fast. I want to cry out at myself for not savoring every single moment. I get sad because time has marched on and I can't remember what Daemon sounded like when he was 1 or 2. I've tried to document and save everything I can but sometimes time marches on too fast.

I feel like my husband and I missed out on time to teach him about Jesus because we weren't Christians until he was 4.

I want this little boy and his little brother to have a heart so filled with Christ that they never have to doubt and falter like I have done. That is one of the most important aspects of parenting to me.

All I can do is pray everyday that I have done what I am supposed to and savor the time I still have while they are little.

So since I'm feeling nostalgic, here's baby pictures from my boys...


and Tristan

This post is linked up at...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why don't I measure up?

Why can't I be like this serene, pretty, put together woman in this picture? This is something that I seem to ask myself too often for comfort. Why can't I is a question that is all to often on my lips and mind these days.

I read blogs from these amazing women and instead of gleaning the lessons that they have on their blogs I think, why can't I sew like these women. Why can't I can/keep a house/have a bigger family/homeschool like these women? Why can't I stay off the computer more? Why can't I write these amazing blog entries? It's pretty much never ending the things that I feel I can't do.

But if I really stop to think about it, I'm pretty much like a toddler in living my life for Christ. I only realized a year (maybe a year and a half now) ago that I wanted to be a keeper of the home, homeschool, and never wanted to go back to work but have my own shop online where I could sell my goods. It was only in that time that everything changed for me and a different life for myself and my family began. We don't expect toddlers to read War and Peace, clean their rooms perfectly, and be able to write their name all at once. So if I really think about it, how can I know how to do all these things when I'm a homemaker toddler? :)

I have to be able to teach myself all these things and that takes time. For example, over the past year I have taught myself how to crochet 3 different stitches, how to make my own laundry detergent (to save money), and I'm in the process of teaching myself to quilt. I don't know any of this. I wasn't taught the art of homemaking growing up so I've had to slowly piece it together myself.

I also didn't grow up in a Christian house. My parents didn't become Christians until I was a teenager. So I've had to get to know Christ on my own.

That's a lot to learn so far and I think that I'm doing pretty good. I just have to remember that my walk is my own. I will learn everything I need to in my own time. I don't have to know how to sew because Jane Doe can. I don't have to be able to quote long passages of scripture because Jane Smith can. I have to do what I have to do because that's what I can do :)

I got to thinking about this because last night I had my best friend and her family over and me and her were talking about faith and the Bible and she said to me, "Jen, you should become a pastor. You talk about the Bible and faith logically, truthfully, and in a way that people can understand it." That really meant a lot to me. It made me see last night just how far I have come in my own faith.

I just wanted to write this today to not only encourage myself, but maybe encourage other women out there who might feel the same way I do. We can throw away our imaginary yardstick because it's not needed. Christ loves us the way we are right now. He will love us even if we never get around to sewing that skirt. He will love us if we have a messy house. He will love us when we get frustrated and yell. He will just love us.

When we cry because we fail, He's there to hold us. When we rejoice because we have succeeded He's there loving us. He's the best friend a girl could have and I know that I need to remember that more. If we keep our eyes on him and follow the narrow path everything will be right in the end.

I hope that everyone has a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another big change!

I'm just full of them lately huh? :)

I finally took the first step yesterday to setting up my own Etsy shop. I know that most of the work will have to be done after we move (hopefully that will be soon!!) but I want to be able to bring in some extra money to the family to save, or use for bills, whatever.

I have some good ideas on what I want to do and I picked out the name of my store... MonkeyPeanut Designs! Monkey is for my oldest son and Peanut is for my youngest :)

It's really very exciting. I've been putting off even thinking about it because it seemed overwhelming but I've realized the past few weeks that I love to be able to create things. This past year I've made 8 crocheted blankets for birthdays and babies and I loved it. Now that I don't have a deadline to make anything I wander around the house not knowing what to do.

So I realize that this is something that really isn't that hard to set up. Plus my oldest will be in school this fall and once my youngest gets just a little older it will be easy for me to work during the day.

I'm really excited about this new adventure. It's another thing that is going to make me grow as a person, and another thing that will make me closer to being like that Proverbs 31 woman. I long to be like her :)

Proverbs 31: 10-31

0 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate

Thursday, May 12, 2011

News and such

So the bank that owns the house we bid on went with another bidder. Our backup house has a bid on it and we are back at square one. We did find a house that was promising on realtor.com so we are going to look at it as soon as we can. Luckily my husband has vacation next week so we have some time to get stuff done.

It's been a learning process for us so far. Now we know that if we like a house we need to put a bid on it asap and don't wait. We also decided that we aren't going to try for anymore long shots with property. We are only going to go for a house we know we can afford at the asking price. We figured in this economy we could probably get a bigger house for less but we don't want to take chances anymore. Asking price is what we are looking at and if we can't afford a house at that price we aren't going to try. We just wasted two weeks going after a house that we didn't get in the end and that normally wouldn't be a bid deal. We would just move on but time is a premium right now. Daemon starts kindergarten in August and we need to be moved in by then.

I'm hoping that this new house we saw will work out. It's beautiful, older, and cheap. It has such beautiful woodworking throughout the house. Beautiful pocket doors and a stunning staircase. Also the room sizes are very generous. It's pretty much everything we said we wanted. My husband and I just had a conversation about this the other day. We basically want a home that has the character of an old home but the space of the newer homes and this house seems to have all of that. I'm not going to get my hopes up until we see it but I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

I'm hoping that wherever we end up that we have enough room to put in a garden. I want to try my hand at canning. I see food prices going up and up and I think it would be a good idea to have some stuff stored. I have no idea how to can but I'm sure that I will eventually figure it out. Right? Hopefully lol. I wonder if there are canning classes anywhere around here. Might be something to look into after we move.

I'm still praying that everything will work out. I must admit though that finding out that both the houses we liked slipped out of our reach yesterday really threw me for a loop. This process has been very easy for us and I guess I just expected that it would keep being easy. Maybe this was God's way of shaking me up and not becoming complacent.

It's really been a growing process for me these past few months. I keep getting thrown out of my comfort zone. In the end it's really good. It's made me grow as a person more than I thought I could grow. I know that I still have lots of growing to do to become the woman that I want to be but I'm getting there with God's grace.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It really irks me...

This post has been brewing for quite a few days now and I've stewed and simmered about it but I've put off writing this blog post until I calmed down and was able to write about it calmly and not fly off the handle like I am prone to do (but am trying to change!).

My husband and I went to a major bank to get a mortgage. They ran our credit and said that I could not be on the mortgage. I figured it was because of my credit. Many moons ago when I was young and stupid I got into some financial trouble and really didn't care at the time. It's really bit me in the behind a few times now but I've been working hard to raise my credit score.

But it turns out that is not the case. Because the bank ran our credit, my husband and I both got paperwork that states our credit scores. There isn't that much difference between my husbands score and my own. The only reason I can't be on the loan is because I don't have employment history these past two years because I decided to stay home with my children. I could have a perfect credit score and I still wouldn't be able to get any line of credit.

It's things like this that make it so hard sometimes to live in the world but not be of it like the Lord wants. I felt a calling to come back home and now if something should happen to my husband it's going to be hard for me to get anything for myself. I follow the Lord because I know that He knows better but there are always things like this that get to me.

Then I can hear the enemy whisper, "If something happens to Doug, you are not going to be able to make it" and I know that's a lie but somehow I always let it take root in my heart and then I have to spend time weeding it out.

Hopefully being self employed will take care of all of this but I don't know.

Well that's my rant for the day lol

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Daybook for 5/3/2011

Outside my window... it's cloudy .
I am thinking... that I am truly blessed!
I am thankful for... hugs from my boys when I feel down.
I am wearing... Black pants and blue shirt
I am creating... a crocheted blanket for my friend who is due in August.
I am going... crazy! :)
I am reading... A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky
I am hoping... that the underwriting for the mortgage is done today.
I am hearing... music from the computer
Around the house... no one is feeling good today
One of my favorite things... a bubble bath
A few plans for the rest of the week: Packing, looking into a game for the forum I am an admin for, cleaning, laundry, maybe getting outside
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
This could be THE house :)

I think....

that we might have found our house yesterday! Just a quick note today but I have a really good feeling about one house. It's way below our budget, is move in ready, and I can see all of the possibilities with it! Waiting for the underwriting for the mortgage to come back, we are going to see a few more houses too just to make sure but I think that we have our house. It's a three minute drive from my friend that lives in the town and it's attached to the best elementary school in town. I think this is is! More to come when I have more details :)