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Well-Worded Advice

God has seen fit to bless me with a five-year-strong marriage and three beautiful children.

Along with these areas of great blessing, I have had moments of great need — for support, prayer, help, and advice.  Over time, I have found the more incredible words from friends and my heavenly Father building up into beautiful inner dialogues, sometimes battling or encroaching upon my more negative dialogues, even eradicating them, but always consistently energizing me and keeping me going.  Praise God.  These words are as refreshing as a Texas water canal, filled to the brim, gushing into a vivid-green rice field in the middle of our dry, reddish-brown countryside.

Let me share with you some of these reverberating cheers of my soul.

My Mother-in-law: “Leave the crumbs where they are.”  She said this right after my toddler son dumped something all over the floor.  We were all having to walk all over it while trying to serve dinner.  I loved her for that grace, that kindness, and that relaxed attitude about the mess.  I try to extend it to myself when I have chunks of food on the floor, etc. and have so many other things to do…

Our marriage mentors: “Intimacy is not the icing on the cake, but rather the yeast.  And intimacy is not so much about a goal, but about being together.”  How much effort and stress that has saved me in the past few years!  I could say the idea of being together applies to any activity I am doing with my husband, or my kids!  The goal is being together, not just to do whatever activity I have planned.  It helps me to keep that in mind!

My sister in Christ: “One thing I wish someone had told me when I was a new mom… take 5 minutes every so often, and stop, and rest, and breathe.  It’s okay, and the kids will be fine.  I flew around everywhere trying to take care of everything.”  Enough said, right?

The Lord (direct tap): “Trust me.  And ask me first when you don’t know what to do.  I will help you.”  More recently, he also told me “It IS good enough, and so are you.”  I have this posted above my sink now.  Thanks God, for taking my inabilities and making things happen supernaturally.

The Lord (through Scripture): “You are blessed beyond the curse!”  In frustrating, hormonal, or tired moments as a parent, spouse, or woman (pregnant or not), this speaks to me deeply!  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 — “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Blessings, Friends.  Thanks for reading!

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Rehearsing the Good

Being content with what you have is a very tricky thing.  All too often, I try to “beat myself into submission” by saying: Darn it, won’t you ever be happy? or  Hey you selfish whining $@#%!*, just take what you’ve got.  or You got what you wanted, now you aren’t happy?  Be thankful!  What’s it going to take?!?  You’ll never be satisfied, will you!

There is a possible chance of needing an attitude adjustment.    But more and more, I choose to look to God about it all.  He is much fairer than I am.  (I actually told my whole “inner dialogue” above to “Shut up!” the other day and it was nice.)

Anyway, when I find myself in the mindset of complaining, I am learning to stop trying to discipline myself, and turn to God for “disciplining” me as he sees fit.  He promises to do the work in me to change me, right?  After all, I am unable to attain perfection.  But amazingly enough, he is so quick to respond with love and not impatience.  So unlike many of my earthly authorities, so unlike myself… but then, that’s what makes him so amazing.  How much more perfect could he get?

So… when I turned to him about my messy house and my frustration (still) with the “new normal” and wanting things “better,” I found my Daddy-God ready to sit me on his knee and… well, confirm my frustration: “Poor Baby,” he says… and then he shows me how to have a contented heart anyway.  Here’s what came out of it.

1) What I think I have: A very messy house.

What I really have: 1) Two really big projects going on that will help my family.  2) Two beautiful children. 

  

2 ) What I think I have: Dark circles around my eyes, hair not done, no energy or time to do makeup.

What I really have: Children that know I love them and love playing with me (and taking pictures together).

 

3) What I think I have: Trash and clutter all over the place.

What I really have: Tokens of God’s provision (including receipts for gas and bags from fast-food meals we were able to buy during a trip to the country) and our family’s love (belated Christmas gifts), as well as the blessing of enough energy to clean out the car.

4) What I think I have: A cluttered desk after I worked so hard last week to organize it.

What I really have: A reminder of my husband treating me with Starbucks, after I did his chores so he could go to bed early.

5) What I think I have: An unmade bed.

What I really have: A comfy mattress my husband bought in our first year of marriage, and a reminder of a good snuggle this morning.  

6) What I think I have: Messy changing station.

What I really have: DISPOSABLE DIAPERS!  What a gift!

7) What I think I have: A big pile of mess needing attention after our trip to the country. SIGH…

What I really have: Treasured tools my husband used to take down a giant wild boar that will fill our freezer with enough meat for months.

8) What I think I have: Filthy dishes piled up beyond reason.

What I really have: Filthy dishes piled up for a perfect reason: family needing us.

9) What I think I have: An unexciting meal.

What I really have: The pot that Grandmother Moore gave me at my wedding shower, making a very healthy chicken soup that we need due to cold and flu season.

10) What I think I have: A neglected, overgrown yard that needs our attention.

What I really have: A (neglected-for-a-darn-good-reason) yard which is overgrown due to all the RAIN!  Thanks God, for the RAIN, after months of drought!

  

So…. dear readers, I guess you might see where I am going with this.  I think I feel like all these things define how well I am doing as a wife and mom.  It’s as though all I see when I look around me, is failure, failure, failure.

But I am slowly learning, on my Daddy-God’s knee, how to rehearse the good things and not the bad things.  (This is something I’ve learned about lately at my women’s Bible study).  This is not a pushing down of my sorrows or hurts, though.  God merely helps me to address them appropriately, all with a good sort of snuggle with that ever-present Spirit of His.  The result is a favorable and uplifting slant of the “Truth” rather than a discouraging, downcast and condemning one.

Thoughts?  …and thanks for reading, Friends.

Marco Pollo

We have had a new family member since December… his name is Marco.

Marco was a rescue rooster.  He needed a place to stay where he wouldn’t be pecked at, and more importantly (in my opinion) a safe place to learn to use his voice.  Not to personify a rooster, ‘cuz frankly — if it didn’t work out the plan was to put him in the broiler… but the poor thing didn’t even know how to crow.  Now, for some people that would be a marvel.  A beautiful bird like that which won’t wake me up at dawn?  Where do I sign up?

I personally felt a kindred spirit with Marco about this whole voice thing.  Poor, sweet bird.  I am learning how to use my voice too.  It’s been something of a spiritual awakening for me, stepping out and being myself more and more as I learn to trust God in the midst of things that overwhelm me or scare me to death.  So…. as Marco began to slowly work on his crowing, I silently cheered him on, and rejoiced when he not only mastered the crow, but I heard my little kids begin to mimic it.  Isn’t imitation the finest flattery — especially when it’s something we’ve only just figured out?

So, yes…. my kids love him (he’s very friendly… when he’s not hungry).

We’re lucky; our neighbors on one side already have a rooster and our neighbors on the other side were raised with them (when Marco got out the first week he was with us, they fed him and took care of him until we came for him).  So I suppose you could say our neighborhood is already set up for urban chickens (the rapidly-forming online community support for this is astounding).

Why a rooster?  I don’t know.  Less to lose if we don’t get it right — after all,  he was free to us.  Now — the coop wasn’t, but I did get this one for a great bargain (put it together myself with screws and carpenter’s glue, even getting a bit of a refund for badly-done predrilled holes which I had to remedy myself).

My favorite things so far:  I love Marco’s little happy bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk when I put down leftover cereal, popcorn, you name it.  Also, my son (pictured above) has started singing

This little piggy went to Marco, this little piggy stayed home.

Another thing I like: Now I know how to tuck his head down and put him to sleep, and give him a nice luxurious petting.  It’s quite soothing (to me, too).  Who needs dogs or cats?  Marco, and hopefully (when we can get them) his soon-to-be harem, will be not only playful, but productive, with eggs and chicks (when we need them).

So, yes, on to the reason I really want chickens: I love “yard eggs,” as they’re called in my family.  Eggs which have basked in the sun after days of pecking fresh yummy seeds and scratching in the meadow of the back-yard — I’m drooling about this already — are firm and solid, buttery to the taste, with darker yolks and savory finishes on the palate once done over-easy, scrambled, or omelet-style.  YUM.  Every time I visit our family/friends with “yard eggs” in the fridge I walk away a happier woman, feeling like dancing and singing (I’m not kidding):

To life, to life, L’chai-im!

So…. Thanks for reading, Friends!