Category Archives: Attitude

Dog Days of Summer

image

 

3 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Family, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life

Cutting Hay with a Weedeater

Welllllllll!  Hello again!!!

Yes, it’s me……the girl who faithfully, unfaithfully always but rarely ever keeps on the planned path!

What happened to the days when I used to write a list, stick by the list, and ever-so-purposefully stay committed to a daily schedule?

What has happened to me?!  All of the sudden, I find myself hardly even making it through my morning cup of coffee?!  I start something but can’t seem to get to the end of it.  I’m failing at my goal of reading through the bible this year.  I hardly ever write on this dusty blog anymore.  I stopped counting carbs.  I. even. almost. paid. the. car. payment. late. last. month! {gasp!}

This is not me!  I am the “i” dotter, the “t” crosser, the list maker, the oh-so-organized one.  I look for things to accomplish and pursue them.  I don’t live spontaneously……at least until now.

Could this be a mid-life crisis?!  Could I actually be turning over a new “leaf”, or rather bending the corner edge of it?

Maybe I’ve just fallen off the proverbial “deep end”.  I’m one stick short of ……. something.  I’ve got a “loose screw”.  Somebody took it to the country, and duct taped it to the front door of our new little “paradise”.

Our “paradise” is truly a “paradise”, too…..with capital QUOTATION MARKS!

We are mooo-vin to the country, y’all.

Since the day we married 26+ years ago, the hubby and I have had a dream of owning land in the country.  We have always wanted our kids to experience the freedom of running through a field, seeing stars at night, smelling fresh air and even, well…..the wonderful scent of cow poop!

We always wanted it, but life didn’t make that happen until now.

Signing the papers this past week, we can now call our own piece of “heaven-on-earth” ours!

It has a huge pond!  Ok, well, it will be huge when it starts raining again.

It has a beautiful hay field!  Ok, well yes, it’s covered in about a million and one grasshoppers at the moment.

It has a barn!  Uh hum…….ok, PARTS of the barn are falling off right now, but we can and will fix that!

It has a house!…..a big, beautiful two story house……..I mean a modest but cute three bedroom, two bath house….ok, I’ll just spit it out as it is……a basically one room/one bathroom cabin.

Yes, we……all FOUR of us, plan to LIVE in that cabin for who knows how long until we can figure out a way to add on.

Lord help us.

Have we lost our MINDS?!

I go from excitement to times needing a time machine to take us back to one day before we signed the papers.  I LOVE the land … not so fond of the house!

We may have to do as I recently read and cut hay with a weedeater.  It was an article about some people who call themselves a bit “off their rocker”.  They went on to explain how having no hay equipment, they proceeded to cut their 10 acre field of hay with a weedeater.  They hand raked the cut hay and then tossed it into a truck bed.  Once at the barn, they loaded it onto a tarp that was raised to the hay loft in the barn for storage.  Admittedly, they called themselves “crazy”! ( …and that may be just what we are too!?)

The “far and future” is full of plans and dreams.  The “here and now” looks a little grim.

Thankfully, our first full weekend of demolition included the help of some great friends.  We also took time to play and enjoy what we could.  Lord help us…..we are determined to be happy in our little “paradise” 🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Family, Friends, God, Humor, Life

Losing Everything to Gain Everything

“Pretend your family has to leave your home quickly.  You may take only one suitcase.  What would you pack?”

This was the question on an assignment my boys had to complete and that I am just now grading.  I chuckled when I read their answers:

  1. Cloths (I believe this should be “clothes” 😉
  2. Toby (the family dog)
  3. Toby’s food
  4. Action figure
  5. bible
  6. toys
  7. pants
  8. underwear (yes, I agree….these are VERY important!)
  9. shirts
  10. books
  11. DS
  12. yogurt covered raisins
  13. charger for DS

LOL!  My how priorities remain different for each of us!  What was on your list? 

I was thinking about pictures, important documents, my purse, etc.  yet to young boys, action figures and video games remain as one of the most important things they own.

Recent tornadic events have swept away what alot of people would consider important.  The residents of Diamond Creek in Forney, Texas  are still picking through what is left of their material possessions.  What may have seemed so important at the beginning of the year is probably very different for most right now. 

Realizing that no one died or was seriously injured surely has caused our community to come back to the importance of life.  Having our families, friends, and neighbors well and healthy brings about a new appreciation for the protection, love, and intervention of God.

Now that the clean up is mostly done and the rebuild is going on, what will we do with this memory?  Will we do what we can to go back to life as it was before the tornado?  Will we build our houses, both physically and spiritually, in such a way that we duplicate what was the “norm”?  Just how long will it take for us to forget the blessings of the past weeks, and start to replace all the “stuff” God allowed to vanish?

I’m not just talking about houses, cars, clothes, and video games.  The “stuff” I’m referring to is our need to gather all those things  — the American dream, the desire toward pridefulness and power and position, and our insistence to keep up with “The Joneses”. 

Stuff like the comfortableness in which we live, or perhaps the wastefulness of our time…the hoarding of treasures and memories.  The stuff we take for granted.  Stuff that pales in comparison to life and relationships.  Stuff comes in lots of forms:  money, position, technology, business, paper, plastic, convenience, procrastination, beautiful colors, memoriable events, books, and ideals.  It can permeate our lives before we even stop to realize that most of it is just “stuff”.

A pastor of the local church we have recently visited took time to speak of such stuff and the effects it can have on our lives.  His thought provoking question was “Is it eternal?” 

The absolute answer to most of our “stuff” is “No, it’s not.”

We often, even unknowingly, use our stuff to set an image to others of what our life is like.  These images are usually false and not at all a real representation.

Years ago, I realized that good friends in my life actually thought I was much more than I am.  They were surprised to hear that my house is not always clean, my children do not always behave, and I, even I, made mistakes.  {gasp!}  I guess because of my quest for perfection at work, they believed my personal life was also that way. 

(And now I just feel the need to break here and laugh out loud!!!  Bwa hahahahaha!)

What my friends had no clue about was that I frequently mess up.  I have baggage.  My house is pretty much always a wreck  (at least until I know someone is coming over, lol).  Try as I may, I cannot clean enough around here.  Try as I might, stuff creeps into my time and thoughts and many times prevents me from being what I know I should be.

Right now in my living room there are mounds of toys, video games,  and a tent set up and encompassing the small amount of space still visible on the floor.  There’s dust on the ceiling fan and furniture, something stuck on the floor under the rocking chair, and toe prints from where the boys and grandchild have endlessly walked on the wooden floor.  I have two sinks full of dirty dishes, things scattered across the kitchen counter, and a whole stack of papers to grade on the table.  Outside, within my current view, is a bag of lawn clippings that need to be thrown out.  There is also bits of fuzz scattered all over the back lawn from where the puppy decided to shred our grill cover…..again. 

This is everyday life around here.  If you called and said you were on the way to our house, I would most assuredly rush to put away all this stuff! 

Still, even though rushing to clean up the house for you, I would hope that our lives represent a real-ness from the Lord.  Even if you came unannounced, I would invite you in, longing to make you feel welcome and be attentive to the purpose for your visit.  I would hope that even surrounded in my stuff, you would enjoy being here and look past my failures as a Domestic Engineer.

I wasn’t always this way.  I used to put only my best foot forward trying to impress and amaze.  During that time, only the best of my stuff was on display.  Nice dishes, perfectly folded towels, trophies, perfectly dressed children pre-scolded about their behavior lined up at the door to greet all who enter… these were part of the stuff I wanted people to see.

What hides behind a perfectly displayed life?  How many times do we greet others masking the events of our personal life with a smile and a nod?  Do we really expect our stuff to effectively shield true lives? 

Our life is messy.  I am definately not perfect.  We have too much non-eternal stuff around here, and what I have figured out is that I don’t have time to lead a non-eternal, stuff-filled life anymore.

Learning to look past stuff, taking moments to address stuff, and talking about how less important alot of stuff is in our lives has led us to alot of decisions.  We have purposefully tried to let go of stuff and look toward only what God would set before us.  These past few years have led us to leave alot behind.  Whether purposefully removed by us or by God, we have found that our lives are becoming more of what they should be. 

This is still transforming even now as we seek our next residence and ministry, but all I can say is “Wow, God really is better than our stuff!”  His stuff is lasting.  His provision is real.  He really does know what it is we should be doing and how we should be doing it.  We just have to lose our stuff to gain His.

There’s still alot of unanswered questions about our immediate future but I honestly believe that wherever He takes us, it will be the right place.  His allowing us to lose stuff in our lives is leading us to a better place.  Although a bit painful at times, the journey is proving more eye-opening every day. 

Sometimes we have to lose everything as we know it, or aspire it to be in order to gain just what He wants, and it is then that the eternal stuff starts to matter a great deal more.

5 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Church, Faith, Family, God, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Humor, Life, money, Obedience, Parenting, Power, Priorities, Sin, Weather

What Was My Day Off

Today was supposed to be my day off.  Yes, I actually had plans to get out of this house, head to town and do a little shopping….for myself. {gasp!}

How often do I shop for myself?  Oh, probably about once in every 4 or 5 years, it seems.

My closet is at its’ lowest point ever in my life.  Not that that’s such a bad thing, I’ve never really been a “fashionista”, but right now, I’m afraid, my family may nominate me for “What Not to Wear” at any given moment.

So…I actually got up today thinking I will take a shower and get ready then head into town to do something about it.

Then, I start to wonder what I can buy that won’t make me feel guilty.  This is part of my closet problem.  When I do shop, I have no problem finding what my kids need, however when it comes to things for me, well, I end up talking myself out of spending the money.  I’m such a penny pincher!  This is good AND bad.

So….back to my day….

I paid the bills, carefully planning my little shopping trip today and looking forward to guilt-free purchases.  Then we woke up this morning.

What was supposed to be our school-free day was already not.  The boys did not complete their assignments yesterday, so they were expected to do so today.  I had some hope that they would simply sit down at the table, check the list, and independently work while I prepared to leave.

That hope soon vanished as they snuck out to the trampoline, played with the grandbaby, turned on the Wii, and pretty much found any excuse they could to keep from doing their work.

So, “to the table”, I demanded, and now my shopping time must be spent watching them, pencils in hand, staying on task.

This is what happens in homeschooling.  It is a blessing and a curse, lol.  I love the lights in their eyes as they learn something new and interesting, but also I realize that it is a commitment by the whole family to stay on task.

We can either excuse the day and head to town, or we can be disciplined and obedient to the call.

This is the way it is.  Homeschooling is a job.  It takes work…and time.

There have been days where we have set the schedule aside for fun.  This day, however, is not one of them.

So I sit here, at the table, conversing and talking with my students as they complete their work.  Hopefully someday they will do it faster and I will be able to do something about my closet.

For now, however, my day off is still a day on.

1 Comment

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Commitment, Family, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Job, Life, Obedience, Parenting, Priorities

As for Me and My House

Book, Chapter & Verse

Some of the last words from Joshua: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.  Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:14-15

If you are reading the Chronological plan, these are the words you will see today.  As I thought about them, it reminded me of how many “things” we let into our house.  Good and bad, these things affect our lives in ways we don’t often stop to…

View original post 344 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Bible Study, Children, Commitment, Faith, Family, God, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life, Obedience, Parenting, Priorities, Resolutions, Sin, Time, Wholly, Wisdom

Rant and Rave

Rant:

The Walmart checker who did not want to comp “Calabicita” for “Zucchini”.

The same Walmart checker who did not want to comp 1lb of broccoli crowns for 1lb of broccoli crowns wrapped in plastic and on a styrofoam platter.

Walmart comp policy period.  Why have the policy if you are going to give people a hard time when they try to do it?

Empty toilet paper roll on the dispenser.  Again.

I bought this cereal……..yesterday!?

Rave: 

A Hubby who would clean the house on his day off.

It’s March and I’m actually on schedule for my bible reading plan.

The granddaughter asking to go to “Mickey Donnells”.

Cooking new things for dinner — I love to cook!

Three seriously the-boys-did-not-have-a-meltdown-nor-even-hardly-complain great school days in a row!

The smile of my grandson while I was singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” via Skype!

1 Comment

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Family, Gifts, God, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Joy, Life, Love, Parenting

I would rather pull my teeth out

I would rather pull my teeth out, one by one, with a set of rusty pliers on a snowy day in the middle of the desert than….

teach my children to write!

There!  Somehow that made this homeschooling day a little bit better 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Attitude, Children, Confession, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Humor, Life, Stress, Trials

Stuff is just Stuff

The above post is from a blog I’ve recently been reading.  Getting rid of “stuff” in our lives feels soooooo good — especially when you can pass it along to others!  With the recent moves we have made, I’ve had the opportunity to cull out the unused and unnecessary.  Passing clothes on to friends who will use them, or making a donation at the local Goodwill is just two ways we can all share the bountiful blessings God has provided.  To keep them when they aren’t even being used is just contrary to the life God has for us.

Look around you!  Is there something sitting in your closet that your neighbor or friend could benefit from?  Are there children you know that are just beneath the clothes and shoe sizes of your own?  Bless their parents with a commitment to pass down clothes each time your children grow out of them!  Help a single mother out with some furniture or unused appliances.  Trade in books, video games, and movies for a little extra cash to pay down your debts.  Host a garage sale and commit to use all the proceeds toward adoption costs for this family, or perhaps for another great cause.

When we take the time to declutter, the focus of our life turns back to God, His mission, and purposes.  Stuff is just stuff; people matter more.

Thinking Kids

Drowning in Stuff - Teaching Stewardship of Belongings - Danika Cooley at ThinkingKidsBlog.org

I’m just going to say it:  I’m a reformed hoarder.  I have owned more things in my lifetime than any woman my age has business owning in her lifetime.  In fact, in my younger years there was a nagging fear in the back of my mind that I might one day be buried somewhere under a pile of paper, old clothes, and strange kitchen appliances.  Thankfully, a few really brave friends stepped in to help before it was too late.  With their help, and some Scriptural perspective, I have overcome.  I no longer serve my stuff… it serves me.  At least, I think so.  There is the danger that I will look back at this post in four years and sadly shake my head, knowing that I had not yet mastered my own stewardship of belongings.  Actually, that’s a likelihood.  Thank God we keep growing!

View original post 623 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Gifts, God, Life, Priorities, Stewardship

A Life-Worth of Loving

Life is so short.

I was recently blessed to spend 20 minutes with a complete stranger…an 81 year old woman who stopped to shop at our garage sale.

 Taking her purchases to her car, she walked slowly, bent over from osteoporosis but still full of life and so much wisdom. We continued talking out in the road by her car for about 20 minutes, and I was honored to be shown pictures of her family!

Proudly and with love she told of her children, their spouses, and grandchildren, all of who have faced varying degrees and difficulties in life. Each obviously held different values, priorities, and goals but were still loved unconditionally by this sweet lady. She was now alone, after being married to her husband for 61 years, but not alone because her family was still family.

I find myself wishing to be her. Hoping that as time goes by, our family will be strong, feel loved, and free of divisive trials.

Time is short.

We are all imperfect….especially me, but I love them all, and hope that love will be returned just as strong when I am 81.

It became obvious to me that this precious lady had committed to live her life, loving

Not just loving life itself, but living to love…each day, each moment, each family member…through trials and adversity, through good times and bad, through hardships and pain.  Making a concentrated effort to let loved ones know she cares.  Purposefully looking for the “little things” that need attention as well as the big things.  She has pushed through all those things and is coming out on the “other side” happy and in receipt of the fruit of her many years. 

To “Live Loving” is what it takes. 

.
To my children, their spouses, my grandchildren, and friends…you are a gift I gratefully receive. I will try not to judge, burden, misunderstand, etc as we proceed through this one life together. Yet when I fail (as I often do), know that your forgiveness and love is appreciated and cherished just as much. Starting over and given the chance to “Live Loving” again will plant a legacy no one can destroy. Thank you for that chance, each time it’s needed.

We are going to “Love Living” through each generation of 81 year old men and women! 

“…but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

3 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Family, Family Relationships, Friends, Gifts, God, Joy, Life, Love, Parenting, Trials, Wisdom

He Knows…

He knows when I am down.  He knows when I need encouragement.  He sends others in my path to straighten me up.  He faithfully points the way.  He silently and patiently waits for me to return to the place near Him.  He understands. 

God knows the desires of my heart.  Jesus, my Savior, loves me beyond what I could hope for.  The Holy Spirit never gives up asking for my response. 

Today I am humbled.  Today I receive three –yes, THREE totally random and unexpected reminders of His divine compassion for me.  Three instances, involving three different people, all unexpected, and all completely related to current situations in my life. 

Today I am loved, once again, for eternity.

I lift my chin a bit…

“From where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1

“…my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  I will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”  Psalm 46:1-3

I try to …be still, and grateful that …He is God and I am not.

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

 

4 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Christ, Gifts, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Trials, Worship