Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Joys in Life

Simple joy in the little things make life so worthwhile....

TPJ--- who tells me that my ranting isn't scary---- it's sad. The only thing that's scary is when I throw shoes at the shoe basket and miss because my aim stinks.

TPJ--- bringing me a fruit roll up when I'm mowing the lawn on the riding mower.

Starbuck saying, "I too short" when she is asked to pray.

Starbuck dancing to The Cure.

Aaron leaving me love notes on the bathroom mirror.

Aaron putting the vacuum cleaner away without any prompting.

Aaron brushing Starbuck's teeth so I don't have to fight with her just before bedtime.

Friends calling just to chat because they like chatting with me!

Simple joys. Exquisite life.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I could....

I could vacuum the upstairs and then steam clean the carpets.
I could mop my floors.
I could fold laundry.
I could leaf blow leaves.
I could build legos with the kiddos.
I could take a short nap.
I could fix my ultra cute short hair.
I could watch CSI re runs.
I could sort through Starbuck's clothing.

But. I don't know what I want to do!!!

So. I think I'll say, check out the song, "Heaven is the Face," by Steven Curtis Chapman. A friend told me about it on Monday--- they played it at church on Sunday, and she bawled, thinking about me and our Henry. Aaron and I listened to it last night. We both cried.

But let me tell you about TPJ--- the first time I was listening to the song, TPJ was coming downstairs to tell me that there was something wrong with his bed (it was bedtime). He saw me crying and put his arms around me. He asked, "Are those tears of joy, or sad tears?" I told him that they were a little bit of both. I told him the background of the song, how SCC had written it because of his little girl that was accidentally killed, and because he missed her. TPJ said, "Like you miss Henry?" And I said yes. He then climbed in my lap-- even though he's only about 11 inches shorter than I am at this point, and hugged my neck. He whispered, "It's ok, Mommy. Henry and Grandpa are there together, and someday we will be too."

I love my son. He let me hold him and rock him and cuddle him until my tears were gone.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Shack...

I like sharing books that have made a difference in my life views, and The Shack, by William P. Young, is one such book.

I have always known God, it seems. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church, studied my Bible, did all the right things, you know? I've wandered away from the path of my spiritual walk, come back to it, wandered back, and so on and so forth, through most of my life. I've always known that God provides us with grace, that we are saved by grace.

I have always thought that I've had a decent relationship with God, but somehow, it's never been as deep as I would like it to be. I have tried getting up every morning to spend time in prayer, in study, in mediation. I have tried following all the "rules," to a better spiritual life--- you know the ones I mean-- start each day in prayer, go to church, do a Bible Study, blah blah blah. I've tried praying the prayer of Jabez, praying the Lord's Prayer, and a bunch of other stuff.

But have I ever really had an honest relationship with God? Of course I have-- I don't doubt my salvation or my belief in God. However, this book caused me to examine the depth of my relationship with God, my images of God, my expectations of God.

There are at least three things that I'm holding in my heart right now, pondering them.

1. We were created to be loved and to give love. To live as if we are unloved is to live out of the natural order of how God created us.

2. God will take a verb over a noun, anytime. God is a verb. He is alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. He is a being verb. We associate our spiritual walk with verbs-- confessing, repenting, loving, living, growing, sowing, reaping, dancing, rejoicing. "Humans have a knack for taking a verb that is alive and full of grace and turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something growing and alive dies. Nouns exist because there is a created universe and physical reality, but if the universe is only a mass of nouns, it is dead. Unless 'I am' (God) there are no verbs, and verbs are what make the universe alive. ...For something to move from death to life, you must introduce something living and moving into the mix. TO move from something that is only a noun to something dynamic and unpredictable, to something living and present tense, is to move from law to grace." (The Shack, William P. Young)

3. Emotions are neither good nor bad; they just exist. "Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions." Our emotions are a response to our perceptions. Therefore, we cannot trust our emotions if our perceptions are skewed, if our very beliefs are false. Because our beliefs, our paradigms, influence our perceptions.

Anyhow. My laptop is missing the H and the 8 keys. Other keys are sticky. Popsicles and laptops don't mix well. :)

So, I'm retiring for the night. Lots to think and pray about.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So much, so much

My hair is CHOPPED!!!! Yay!!! For most women, a significant hair change signals a life change as well. I'l like to think that is the case with me! I'm plunging headfirst into my love relationship with God! I'm tired of just sticking my toes into this water--- I'm ready to experience being loved by the Almighty in a real way-- and to love Him in a real way too!

God created us to be loved, and to love! I love that! You can't be unloved--- your Creator loves you, He knows you by name! I am just humbled and awed by this thought!

Sigh. Ok. I don't want to preach in a way that would turn others from Christ--- but seriously--- we are so loved and treasured and cherished by our Creator!!!

Anyhow. Trick or treating tonight. For the third year in a row, I enjoyed hanging with my friend, passing out candy, while our wonderful husbands took the kiddos trick or treating. I love it when I get girl time, with a friend that I don't get to see very often. Life happens so quickly, doesn't it?

Fall seems like it might be here to stay. I'm happy about this, even though it means that I'm shivering right now! :)

Hmmm.... what else? Oh yes-- my husband is quite a great man! He knows how much it has bothered me to have the woodpile just stacked inside the house, with wood just THERE. So his dad made us a woodbox, per Aaron's request. Aaron just finished painting it, and the wood will now go in the woodbox!!! YAY!!!

I've had my hallway taped in preparation for painting it for about a month now. I might get around to doing that soon. Really.

Job situations are interesting around here. Mine is stable and good. Aaron, on the other hand, could use some prayer about direction and where God would have him in the next few months!

Ok. Done rambling. Here's my new hair!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leaving Egypt behind

Published this on FB too....

So I'm sleepless tonight. Sleep for a few, awake for a bit more. Ugh. Classic depression. Fabuuuu!

Our pastor had a sermon on Sunday about leaving Egypt behind. In the Bible, the Israelites are FINALLY able to leave the slavery of Egypt and go to the desert, to travel to the promised land. But because they doubt, because every time things get hard, they look back to Egypt and say, "We shoulda stayed there!" they wander for many years. They had been set free from SLAVERY! They had been given FREEDOM! Yet when things were hard, they wanted to be back in their bondage, because it felt safe.

I wish I could say, "Idiots." But I can't. Because how many times have I wished to be back in my bondage, back in my comfortable sin, because at least I KNEW the sin and the mindset that came with it? Letting go of the bondage is a scary thing. It means trusting, serving, being FREE.

I have to remember, when I get scared, that God truly loves me. He loves me in the way that 1 Corinthians talks about love: " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

My God is patient with my sin. He is kind to me. He is not easily angered, he does not keep a record of my wrongs. He always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. He never fails me. And when I think about stepping backwards, looking back to my Egypt, I have to remember these things. He will fulfill my needs in a way that my sin never can. He will provide comfort and security for me in a way that my sin never can. He will set me free to serve, instead of being bound by lies.

There's a song that some very talented young men at our church wrote a few years ago. I sing that song in my head---Mark and Phil, you really need to record this song.

"Lord I need some peace of mind, I've dropped down to my knees. In this crazy world, I need to unwind... I need your love, I need you grace, I need your strength for me, to get me through these times that I thought I would never see. I cry out to you, on these bended knees, saving grace and your love, that's all I ever really need...."

I am gonna try not to look back to Egypt. I'm gonna attempt to stay free, with His help.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eleven is Steel....

So we made it through eleven years of marriage so far! It seems odd to me. I have now spent about a third of my life with the same person. He hasn't killed me and I haven't driven him insane. Pretty good, doncha think?

Wanna know what he gave me for our anniversary? Let me just say that it tops last years present, which was an amazing present, perfect even! This one--- even better.

Have you seen the movie, "UP," --- you know, with Dug? (Look, a squirrel!!) Well. The beginning of that movie gave my marriage a new life. There's a wonderful montage in the beginning. It goes through Carl and Ellie's life, including some heartbreaking disappointments. They are always saving up for their big adventure, but unfortunately, it never happens--- because life does. Ellie passes away before they can realize their greatest dream together, and Carl is bereft without her. He doesn't realize until later, that the greatest adventure was their life together---including the bumps, the heartbreaks, and the good times.

That montage made me realize at a very crucial time, that I wasn't ready to give up on my adventure quite yet either. I was at a hard spot. Not wanting to stay with Aaron if things didn't change, and I was sure they wouldn't ever change. So did I jump ship or try to bail water? Ugh. After seeing that movie twice in one week, I decided to bail water. We both did. And we've dumped quite a bit of the dirty and unnecessary water out of the boat that is our marriage.

So--- ready to know what he got me? An adventure fund jar, a scrapbook, and a travel guide.

And if you're wondering-- the traditional gift for the 11th anniversary is steel. I think the jar lid is steel. LOL

So Aaron, here's to a few more adventures together!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Just a bit of nostalgia....

I've found a new author that I really like--- Cathy Pickens. She writes funny mysteries set in the mountains of South Carolina. Two reasons right there why I like her! :) The mountains of SC are a part of the Appalachian mountains, just like the mountains in my hometown. I read about her characters and I am brought back home for just a short time. It's good.

Another reason why I like her books so much are because of the relationship that Avery, the main character, had with her late grandfather. Though her grandfather is dead, she still has her memories and love for him in her heart. Reminds me so much of my grandpa. I had to stop reading today when Avery mixed some peanuts in with her bottle of Coke. I can't tell you how many times I'd seen my grandpa do that. And right now, I'm craving it.... :)

I miss Grandpa so strongly today, and I think I have for a few weeks. It's hard to describe. My missing changed last year. At some point last year, I was able to stop aching in such a deep way whenever Gpa came to my heart and mind. My memories were finally a place of deep joy and happiness, instead of sorrow and anger. Not that I hadn't accepted Gpa's death and moved forward before last year--- but in moving forward, I'd had to put the pictures of his last days in my mental box. Now I can take that mental box down and appreciate the man that he was, even in the last painful weeks of his life. But there are still some things, like peanuts and Coke, or hearing a voice that has the same tone as his, that causes me to ache intensely. But I guess that's good, right?

Henry R. Hall, I miss you.