Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last weekend, I attended the Legacy Conference which was a great encouragement to me, to be who God has created me to be. I learned some things there and I am learning more things still. God is revealing things to me. I'm starting to see how He is going to use me. I can barely contain my excitement!
As I watched Rae Ann play soccer a few days ago, I noticed that her shorts were WAY too small. I mentioned to Tony that I think she is actually wearing Kaden's shorts. Then Kaden pipes up to say that she did in fact take his shorts. The next thing we know, Kaden is standing at the sideline YELLING out to her "Rae! Those are MY shorts!" That right there is a good reason not to take clothes from your little brother. Public embarrassment.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Earlier today, we were driving home from the gym. It was raining so hard that we couldn't see, and it felt pretty unsafe driving on Holton Rd like that. So I said a quick prayer for our safety and the safety for everyone on the roads right then. Within seconds, the rain stopped! We got home, and in less than 5 minutes I looked outside, and the down pour was back in progress. Amazing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We splurged and got a brand new microfiber couch and love seat a few months ago. Imagine our horror to find that our 4 year old son had scribbled on 2 cushions with a permanent marker. Eeek! Then the next day, we found that he scribbled on another cushion with an ink pen.

Luckily, it looks like I found a miracle solution to get the couch to look as good as new (which is good, since it IS new). Here it is:

It is one part of Neutrogena facial cleanser (this doesn't leave a soapy residue) to 3 parts of DISTILLED water. It has to be distilled so there are no minerals in it. Squirt it on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then brush the stain with a toothbrush. Next, spray the stain again with plain distilled water and blot it with a clean dry cloth. As it is starting to dry, take a toothbrush and rough the nap of the couch. This keeps the microfiber soft. 

I'm so excited to have saved my couch from this and all future mishaps that are sure to happen. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

No More Crap

We have decided to be healthier. Not just for awhile, but forever. I don't tend to eat sugar anymore and I do not feel deprived (praise the Lord for that one!). I am so excited about all the little changes we have made. We are eating pure foods and trying avoid the chemicals that oppress so many foods in this country.

I will probably never buy margarine again.

I have always loved the flavored coffee creamers- we have always had several bottles of it in the house. But a couple days ago, I read the ingredients. I don't think I will ever buy that again either. It is just so far removed from actually being food. I can't put that in my body. I have learned to make my own now (it became a priority very quickly when I determined that I wouldn't buy it again...LOL). I was hoping I could make it taste as good as the crap at the store. It turns out it actually tastes better.

I have also made butter, and cottage cheese. I still need to perfect the cottage cheese though. We make our own salad dressing too.

As we move away from all the prepackaged crap that most of the population lives on, I am enjoying the foods we were meant to live on. There are so many healthy options to choose from. The nations dependence on prepackaged meals also means that cooking has become a lost art. Cooking means more than just mixing water with the contents of a box of dried food. My kids are growing up learning to cook. Actual Food. They also eat and enjoy actual food. I love sharing this journey with them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

1 Peter 3: 1-4
Cultivate Inner Beauty
The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition." (The Message)

I like this one too. My own marriage reflects this biblical piece of advice. Tony would say that I am a good wife, responsive to his needs. There was a time when he was misled about Truth and the grace of God. But Tony was captivated by something about me. He wanted to know more. He likes my outward appearance. But what he loves is my inner disposition and what he sees as 'holy beauty'. This has helped transform him. It has encouraged him to be a better man.

But let me be clear. I am not a perfect example of what a wife should be. I have had my days or seasons when my inner disposition was not very attractive. Maybe I thought I had a right to act that way because I was hurt, annoyed, overwhelmed, or because Tony wasn't treating me the way I thought I should be treated. It doesn't matter though. It's all sin. Excuses don't excuse it. My bad attitude did nothing to glorify God.

Awhile back, I made a conscious effort to act like a pleasant, content person- even if that isn't exactly the way I felt. Sometimes in life, there are going to be times when I wish things were different. But if I am determined to find good things about life anyway, and decide that I can be content even when things aren't perfect, it will make life better for those around me. I found out that it makes life better for me too. My inner disposition sets the tone for my husband to want be a better man. And this must be why God has instructed this of me.

1 Peter 5:4-5

"When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he'll see that you've done it right and commend you lavishly. And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for—

God has had it with the proud,
But takes delight in just plain people. " (The Message)

I like this. I've noticed that I'm drawn to the more down to earth people. I'm at ease around them. I enjoy their company. I like them.

People who are proud and/or thing they are more important than they are annoy me. I try to avoid them. I feel a little sorry for them.

I guess God kinda feels the same way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In our small group we decided to read the book of James this week and discuss things that stuck out to us. The questions we are answering are: 1.What spoke to you, and 2. what are you going to do about it?

James 1:12 "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. "

This is good and comforting news to me. My family has been through so much. More than I ever thought we could handle. In the hardest times, we clung to Jesus to carry us through. We were forever changed. We are stronger from it. There are reasons, still unknown to me, why it all happened. But God has used it for good and to bring glory to him. When I am hurting, due to the lingering effects of injustice, I will read over this verse in an attempt to find comfort in Him.

James 1:26 "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
James 3:9-12 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water"

I took note of this as well. It's not that I have a major struggle with my mouth. But I have found myself in situations where I may have let my venting to friends turn into a bit of gossipy thing. I don't want any part of that. I want to be a person who says good things about people, in front of them and behind their back. If I need to share my hurts and frustrations with a friend, I want to do it in a way that would not be hurtful to anyone else. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal to everyone, but I want it to be a big deal to me. God has been convicting me on this. I thank Him for making me uncomfortable in situations that aren't pleasing to Him. It's not irony that soon after He started opening my eyes to the 'little things' in this matter, one good friend wrote a blog about this very subject. Then, around the same time, another good friend started feeling convicted about the same thing. I love how God works like that!

Another thing that I started thinking when I read this is about how some people have hurt me by failing to reign in their own tongue. Loved ones who consider themselves Christians have said off base, unacceptable things about me and my family to others. That is something that is between them and God. I don't want to judge them on what they do. But I don't want to be like them. I want God to help me to forgive because I want to move and and no longer give them the power to hurt me.

James 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

This goes along with the other things that stuck out to me. It relates to my previous paragraph because it explains why someone might say stupid things to or about me. It stems from their own problems that they haven't dealt with. It also explains why I sometimes find myself doing the same thing- because I'm messed up in some ways and there are always going to be personal battles that need to be dealt with in order to make me shine in the image of God.

Also, there tends to be quarreling in a home with 4 kids, ranging from ages 13 to 4. We all have some "desires that battle within" us. If you look at the bottom line of most arguments, it really does come down to this. I don't know what I'm going to do about this information, but knowing this and seeing it come straight out of the bible might make it easier to understand some of the quarreling that happens. Maybe we can start looking at the unmet need and battle with in each of the kids when they are having an out-of-control time in their life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If you are calling a business to ask for information on several places for rent, wouldn't it make sense to locate your pen and paper before making the call? It's surprising to me how many people call, completely unprepared too receive information.

It's also surprising to me how many people would like to rent a place that actually costs more than their entire monthly income.

I guess it's just another way to keep life interesting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last week, we had a curbside eviction- meaning that the people were evicted for not paying their rent, they were given plenty of time to get out of the apartment, and then a final notice giving them an additional 24 hours to get out. At that time, since they were STILL there, a court officer came to stand by while some of our staff put all of their belongings on the curb. Usually when that happens, the neighbors will go through all the things left on the curb and leave the tenants with almost nothing. Sometimes it is a sad situation, but usually it isn't. We do everything in our power to stop it from coming to that point. But some people refuse to do anything to help themselves even when there is help our there to get them out of a rough situation.

These particular people thought they had out-smarted us by changing their locks. But we can easily solve that by taking the door apart. Once our maintenance people were inside the apartment, they found a pet bird flying around, and some sort of lizard. A rescue group was called to come get the pets. I thought that was the end of the story on the pets. Until this week...

A new tenant came in and signed a lease for an apartment in the same building. She excitedly took her key and went to her new apartment. As she went in, she was very surprised to find a pet bird flying around the apartment. Not only is she afraid of birds that fly around indoors, but I had just explained our "no pets" policy in that building. I never expected to get a call from someone saying "I love my apartment, but could you have someone come get the pet bird out of there?".

Sometimes I wonder what some of the maintenance people are thinking.

disclaimer: our regular maintenance person was not part of this decision. This is what happens when we let one of the substitute maintenance guys make the decisions....LOL

Monday, January 09, 2012

Bad Day

she refused to go to school because she didn't like her clothes. he spent the morning yelling at me for feeling hurt by something. they didn't complete the work that was supposed to be done. she was not fulfilling her job duties, causing extra work for me. he undervalued my professional worth. i was being pulled in too many directions. she ran towards the road while a car was coming. they were having a fight when I got home from what felt like a long day.

yeah, I've had better days.

It's Not Fair

Several years ago there was an injustice against me. Someone told lies, made accusations and destroyed parts of my life. It has been four and a half years, and it still affects me on a regular basis. My innocence doesn't matter. The lies seem to have won over the truth, over and over.

I thought I knew where God wanted to use me, but He has not opened the door for that. I am needed, yet not accepted. I don't know what else I am supposed to be learning through this.

God, open my eyes to what you want me to gain from this dragging on and on. Heal my wounds and have mercy on those who caused them.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Check out this Woman's Conference that has been created to help us embrace our different seasons of beauty for years to come. October 12-13, 2012.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Last week, on Facebook, I noticed a few people posted the following quote: "I speak my mind because it hurts to bite my tongue"

I know it's meant to be funny. But I think it actually shows weakness and selfishness. If you were stronger, you could hold your tongue. If you weren't being selfish, you wouldn't need to force your opinions and judgments on other people.

Holding your tongue when you would rather speak your mind takes discipline and maturity. Something we could all stand to do more of.