March 31, 2008
Well, I'm studying "A Heart Like His" in Sunday School. You know that Beth Moore...she doesn't mince words.
"The gap between wanting and getting is where we must flex the muscle of self-control to protect ourselves."
"The freedom of Christ is worth the surrender of absolutely anything."
He's trying to tell me something...ya' think?
March 30, 2008
~Starting on a job I'd been putting off for too long
~Dinner at my favorite restaurant in my hometown, with new friends
~Starting the spring cleaning
~Dinner at my favorite restaurant out of town, with dear friends
~Celebrating Easter with worship, lunch with our china & crystal, and a quiet afternoon
~Baking cupcakes and watching "Little House on the Prairie"
~Lunch with my two favorite people in the whole world (R & CJ, of course!)
~Dinner with a group of gals, to enjoy time with a friend who's moved out of state
~Warmer temps (except for the days I could've taken CJ to the amusement park)
~Two nights at home alone with R, while CJ stayed with her grandparents & played with cousins
~Watching CJ try on every stitch of clothing in her closet, to prepare for spring shopping (we don't need much...Praise the Lord!)
~Dinner out with my extended family for birthday celebrations
~A quiet Sunday on the sofa, watching a great movie
~Reading "Little House in the Big Woods" with CJ
Lots of rest. Even more fun. Too much food. Not much structure. Not nearly enough time.
Back to the real world tomorrow. *SIGH*
March 29, 2008
Got this from Joanne:
What time did you get up this morning? 9:00. Can't remember the last time I did that...but it was G.L.O.R.I.O.U.S.
Diamonds or pearls? Pearls
Last movie you saw in the theater? The Game Plan, I think.
What is your favorite TV show? M*A*S*H
What did you eat for Breakfast? Lucky Charms
What is your middle name? Carol
What food do you dislike? Black-eyed peas
What is your favorite CD at the moment? I listen to mixes on my iPod, but in the car, I love Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato
What kind of car do you drive? Ford Explorer
Favorite sandwich? Cuban
What characteristics do you despise? Lies
Favorite item of clothing? Flannel lounging pants and a comfy t-shirt
If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? Switzerland
What color is your bathroom? Light turquoise, with ivory & tan accents
Favorite brand of clothing? don't really have one
Where would you retire? Charlottesville, Virginia
Most memorable birthday? 25th
Favorite sport to watch? Football
When is your birthday? March 15
Are you a morning or a night person? Recovering night owl (this week, I went back to my old habits)
What is your shoe size? 8 1/2
What did you want to be when you were little? Lawyer
What are you today? Wife, mom, paralegal, and Southern Living at Home consultant
What is your favorite candy? Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
Your favorite flower? Tulip
What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? April 11th - beach weekend with a friend
What are you listening to right now? Nothing but the keyboard.
What was the last thing you ate? Lucky Charms
Do you wish on stars? No
If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Periwinkle
What is your pet peeve? People who don't drive the speed limit
Last person you spoke to on the phone? Dena
Favorite soft drink? Pepsi, but I try not to drink it much
Favorite restaurant? In U.S. - Federico's; outside U.S. - a place in Paris that, in English, means "Leo the Lion"...but I don't remember the French name
Hair Color? Light Brown
Favorite day of the year? Christmas
What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies
Summer or winter? Winter
Hugs or kisses? Hugs
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
When was the last time you cried? Watching "Little House on the Prairie" this week
What is under your bed? 2 plastic bins of summer clothing, a bin of Vera Bradley purses, a blanket, and a foot massager (No, Alana, I didn't have to look under the bed to tell you this)
Who is the friend you’ve had the longest? I honestly don't know
What did you do last night? A Southern Living at Home show, blog-surfing, reading
Favorite smell? The ocean
What are you afraid of? Snakes
How many keys on your key ring? 6
Favorite day of the week? Sunday, since we have focused on making it a day of worship & rest
How many states have you lived in? Two
Do you make friends easily? I think so
How many words did spell check have to correct? None
Let me know if you decide to play!
March 28, 2008
I couldn't even detect a speck of sarcasm. See why I love that man of mine?
So you might say I was feeling a little smug. Friends warned me this is a tough book. In my heart, I scoffed. I read the first chapter last week.
I'm still licking my wounds.
God's will for every Christian wife is that her most important ministry be to her husband (Genesis 2:18). After a wife's own personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing else should have greater priority. Her husband should be the primary benefactor of his wife's time and energy, not the recipient of what may be left over at the end of the day.~Page 4
Even though R may think I'm an excellent wife at times, I know there's much room for improvement. Too many times I give him the left-overs. My energy and patience have been zapped by the demands of the job, the home, the girl, and the what-have-yous. I flop on the sofa like a limp dishrag, looking rather disheveled, and my eyes glaze over as he starts to speak. I mumble "mmm" and "uh-huh" at the appropriate intervals, but am I really listening to his heart?
...an excellent wife reflects God's glory by her attitudes and actions.I'm guessing sighing and rolling my eyes don't fall into the category of actions that glorify God. And what about resentment because he didn't do what I asked exactly when I asked? What about jealousy because he has free time alone at home, which I regard as a precious commodity?~Page 4
Then there's the nagging and complaining.
~Judges 16:16 (NIV)
Do everything without complaining or arguing...
Many times I don't express my complaints vocally, but mentally I'm keeping score. It's hard being a wife and mother who works outside of the home. R's swing shift rotation is another obstacle to hurdle as I manage our home (i.e. I can't clean while he's sleeping, and practically being a single parent one week). I feel entitled to gripe.
Because God has so richly provided for a Christian wife in her battle against sin, she is without excuse.~Page 7
Clearly, I'm wrong.
My friend were mistaken. This book is more than tough. It's really, really tough.
~Hebrews 12:6 (AMP)
He must love me to pieces.
Go visit Leslie to see if He's lovin' on some other ladies.
March 27, 2008
I haven't been able to make myself get out of bed early, spend quality time with Jesus, or take care of some pretty minor things that really need tending to. I can't seem to muster the energy or put forth any effort to take care of these things. For some unknown reason, I just don't want to deal with any of it right now.
I am, in a word, discouraged.
I'm trying to remind myself that the Lord has a plan for me. That all this hard work is really worth it. That getting up at 5:30 every morning is worth the sacrifice of sleep. That there's a Promised Land waiting, and it's mine for the taking.
See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
~ Deut. 1:21
The truth is, self is getting in the way.
Trust me, it's not pretty. Not at all.
March 24, 2008
Friday, I took CJ to school and then faced the terror we like to call our attic. I don't think I've mentioned that our attic is nearly 1,300 square feet...much of which has been overtaken by boxes and bins and the junk you see here. I could
This is only part of the monster to be tamed.
I worked alone for several hours before picking CJ up from school. She actually wanted to help me when we got back, and the work went much faster. Here's where we left it Friday afternoon.
(See the sleigh bed...another object that didn't move)
I'm well over halfway with the initial sort. I was ruthless. Here's what R hauled to the dump Saturday morning.
Yep...it took more than one trip!
I don't have a picture of what I'll be taking to consignment in the next week or so, but it's a LARGE pile. I promise to give you details soon.
I hope the weather will cooperate and I can get back up there next weekend, while I have momentum. It will be wonderful to get the junk out, but I must confess I dread sorting and organizing through the paperwork, etc. that we'll be keeping. THAT will be much more difficult and time consuming.
One step at a time...
March 22, 2008
The LORD said to Moses, "Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: 'See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me.' Say to them: 'This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to the LORD: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day...On the first day of every month, present to the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect.
--Numbers 28:1-3, 11
Two lambs a day seems like a meager sacrifice for sin. Even the monthly sacrifice of 10 animals is a small price to pay.
I gossipped, but it's okay because my husband took our lamb to the priest this morning.
I cheated my fellow countryman, but I was the first one at the Tabernacle this morning, so I'm covered.
I coveted my brother's wife. Sure am glad I paid my sacrifice today!
Pretty convenient, isn't it?
And yet, there were 601,730 Israelite men over 20 years old (see Numbers 26:51).
1,203,460 lambs sacrificed every day.
6,017,300 animals slaughtered on the first day of each month to pay for the sins of their masters.
And it wasn't enough.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
May you know Him and the glorious power of His resurrection this Easter weekend.
March 20, 2008
I'm going to try Katrina's Spring Reading Thing again. We'll see how it goes.
~These Three Remain, Novel Three of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan (I'm currently reading)
~A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
~Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
~The Recital by Robert Elmer
~Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock
~The Dead Don't Dance & Maggie by Charles Martin
~The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace (Lux Venit Readers' Club selection)
~Simplify Your Time by Marcia Ramsland (currently reading)
I don't have a picture of my stack, since they will all be on loan from the library. See, I'm still keeping my commitment. I was blessed with a Barnes & Noble gift card today...a belated birthday gift from a friend. Praise the Lord!
March 19, 2008
~More fun than I thought: playing softball in the backyard with R & CJ. I'm not an athlete, but I enjoy helping my girl practice.
~More difficult than I thought: raising a pre-teen. She's recently discovered the word s*x, and has been asking me about it. Also, attitude is in full swing, and discipline is coming in nearly daily doses.
~Quicker than I thought: CJ wearing my shoes. Not all of them, but the sandals/flip flops. On the bright side, we can share cute shoes this summer!
~Easier than I thought: purging the stuff. In fact, I'm more inspired than ever since I went to the consignment store this week to get my first commission...$95!
Which brings me to my next project. I still have some small areas in the house to tackle, but the weather should be ideal for a trek into the attic on Friday. Not too hot and not too cold. I'm going to take advantage of the nice weather and the time alone to begin my assault on the multitude of boxes, plastic bins, and garbage lurking up there. I'll take and share pictures, incriminating though they may be. I'll also make sure to give a progress report on how much junk gets hauled away. It'll be like a bloggy episode of "Clean Sweep"!
Anyone care to join me?
March 18, 2008
~What's nicer than a 3-day weekend? A 4-day weekend! My boss surprised me with Friday AND Monday off! I see spring cleaning in my future. And a ride on this.
~I am blessed to have bloggy friends who hold me accountable, and who help me keep my commitments!
~The Top 11 tonight. I'm loving this season of American Idol.
~I can't even tell you how much I love Down Home with the Neelys!
~This should be in my mailbox when I get home. Robert Redford & Paul Newman together in one movie...be still my heart! They just don't make
~A quote I can't get off my mind..."Home is the nicest word there is." (Laura Ingalls, in the first episode of "Little House on the Prairie"). CJ got the first season on DVD for Christmas. We've really enjoyed watching it. I loved Laura Ingalls when I was growing up. CJ's started reading "Little House in the Big Woods". I think I may have to snag a copy from the library and read along with her. The show is a great reminder of the rewards to be found in hard work, family, and friendship.
I promise I'm going to get off the "~" posts....sometime.
March 17, 2008
~Enjoying fresh air at softball practice twice a week
~Anxiously awaiting Spring Break!
~Looking forward to dinner at my favorite restaurant this weekend
~Praying for much-needed motivation (in many areas)
~Watching Little House on the Prairie: Season One with CJ
~Deciding on this year's major landscaping project
~Adoring Febreze Lavender Vanilla & Comfort (I spray it in my room just before I go to bed, and have sweet dreams!) and Seventh Generation Lavender Floral & Mint dishwashing liquid (for various household cleaning chores)...can you sense a pattern?
~Starting a new book
~Wishing we'd had one good snow this winter.
Spring is in full bloom. Life is lighter...simpler. And God is good.
March 14, 2008
It's probably a combination of the time change and R working 3-11 (which thankfully is over now). Typically during that week, I try to just survive. This time, I worked pretty hard during the weekend, and even during the week. Last night, I decided it was perfectly okay to flop on the sofa and watch "Sense and Sensibility" on DVD. I left the clean laundry in the baskets, and the kitchen went untouched. I needed a break.
This morning, CJ and I both left the house in a cranky mood. Poor R was wondering what was wrong with us. CJ's allergies are in overdrive, so she has an excuse. Mine? I've slept in the last two mornings, and missed out on precious time with Jesus. I've had to rush to get out the door on time. It's been reminiscent of life before peace and simplicity.
As I pulled out of the garage, the morning's scene played over in my mind. I realized how far I've come, even though at times S*tan would have me believe otherwise. I've also committed not to go back. Two days in the past has been enough, and I am determined to move beyond my recent failure.
I've said this over and over...simplicity isn't easy, but it's worth the sacrifice!
March 12, 2008
Until this past year, practically every day I would come home only to feel like 10,000 flaming arrows were being hurled at me. I looked around and felt utterly overwhelmed. When I'm overwhelmed, I shut down. It was a vicious cycle. I justified it all in my mind, giving the excuses of being a full-time working mother, with a part-time job, a husband who works swing shift, and church obligations. People would ask how I did it all, and I liked to make it look like I did. In truth, I was spinning my wheels. It was complete chaos.
There are three types of clutter that demanded my attention.
The first, and most obvious has been the physical clutter. January and February were dedicated to removing all the things that were making it impossible for me to genuinely serve my family and focus on the Lord.
I also sense that I need to work on relational clutter. I've got to assess the relationships in my life and determine which are God's best for me. I must face my need to please others, and commit to pleasing just One.
For now, I've shifted my focus to temporal clutter. Do I use my time wisely? Do I control my calendar, or does it control me? White space on my calendar has become precious real estate, and I'm not giving it up lightly. Empty days are the fullest, because they represent time I can enjoy my home and family, rather than moving from one activity to another without any true sense of purpose.
These days, I come home and breathe a sigh of relief. It's so good to be home. I'm creating a haven of peace and refuge, and there's no place I'd rather be.
Older, but wiser.
March 11, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess (if you know them all, please don't guess every one).
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. That's cheating, and that's no fun!
1. Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much? ("It's a Wonderful Life"...Linda got it right!)
2. When a man is a widower why do we say he was widowed? Why don't we say he was widowered? ("Sleepless in Seattle"...Congrats, Lauren)
3. Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. ("You've Got Mail"...Congrats, Crafty Mama)
4. Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in. ("Second Hand Lions")
5. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on. ("Pride & Prejudice"...Congrats, Lauren)
6. Honey, just cuz I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid. ("Sweet Home Alabama"...Congrats, Queen)
7. I think my mom was tone deaf and you sound more like an injured moose. ("Game Plan")
8. Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from this comes idiot children... and other lawyers. ("Adam's Rib")
9. How much worse can it get than finishing dinner, having him reach over, pull a hair out of my head and start flossing with it at the table? ("When Harry Met Sally")
10. Can you tell I'm wearing underwear? 'Cause I totally am. (13 Going on 30...right, His Girl!)
Leave guesses in the comments, and let me know if you decide to play.
March 10, 2008
Did I mention it was really 4:30 in the morning? (Dreaded daylight savings time!)
I thought the bulb burned out, and grabbed another to replace it. Meanwhile, the ambition's getting cold. The light bulb didn't work. Seems the tumble did more damage than I thought. I put the bulb back in the lamp I
It was a lot of trouble for a little bit of light. At 4:30 in the morning (the government's not fooling me!).
Finally, I found my place in John and started reading. Obviously Jesus loves irony.
Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, "I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life."
Before I came to know Jesus, I was walking in the dark. I'd gotten pretty good at navigating, but I still stumbled. I didn't realize I could leave the darkness, that I didn't have to stay. Then I heard about the Light. My attempts to incorporate Him into my life were futile...much like putting the bulb into the broken lamp. Only surrender and the realization that I could not create my own light brought me to a place of true illumination.
Even after I found the Light, my heart would wander back to darkness. Unaccustomed to it, I fumbled my way through. I was walking with a flashlight in my hand, but never turning it on. I had it, but where was the benefit? Only in following Jesus, in spending time with Him daily, am I able to walk in the light and to clearly see where He wants to take me.
It's a wonderful sight to behold.
March 8, 2008
It's done! Well, not exactly all done. There is the small matter of my clothes & CJ's clothes. But they really need to wait until the weather cooperates (We're expecting a 30° temperature drop tomorrow).
R and I also finished the command center.
It's in my kitchen. The bench is for CJ's backpack, my purse, etc. There's a bin for each of us under the bench. We're using those for transitional items (library books or other things to return, things we're using right now but that don't need to be out in a pile somewhere).
The white bin on the wall is for CJ's papers that I need to read or sign. The containers on the shelf hold chalk, erasers, pencils, notepaper, and other sundries. As you can see, CJ's written notes for me. And she made me a birthday card a week early, so of course I proudly displayed it.
This is not the area for bills or paperwork that needs to be filed. I have a designated area in the office for that. The only paperwork I really want here is CJ's. Keeping up with school, softball & dance will be much easier.
One last organizing trick. I actually put this together a while back, but forgot to share a picture. I have a lot of necklaces, and really no dresser top space to display them. My jewelry box holds 6 necklaces, but I have many more. I decided to use a towel rack instead. R said it makes my necklaces look like art. What do you think?
You can see I've had a productive couple of days. It's been so rainy and windy here that I was glad I was able to stay home and get these projects done. Peace is becoming more of a reality every day.
This is a terribly long post, but I have to say thank you to Lauren and Helen for offering me "The Excellent Wife". In fact, Helen's so sweet...she's giving me hers. God is so good! I certainly didn't expect Him to answer in such a way. He continues to amaze me.
Thanks for sticking it out long enough to read this. Hope you have a wonderful Sabbath. I plan on it!
March 7, 2008
Okay. Back to the point.
Remember I shared one acronym here? Now I have another:
In order to create a simple life, I'm having to make daily sacrifices. Some are easier than others, but I've just encountered a tough spot with my commitment not to buy any books this year.
Leslie is hosting a book club.
She's starting with a book I REALLY want to read. I don't own it, my local library doesn't have it, and neither does my church library. I have a friend who said I could borrow hers. Still, I'd like to highlight and dog-ear my own copy. I've been in a quandry over this one, because I don't want to break my commitment (my friends think I'll never make it). I know I shouldn't break the commitment, even if I want to justify it by telling myself that surely the Lord wants me to be an Excellent Wife and this sacrifice may be a little too much.
But it's not about sacrificing the book. It's about sacrificing my pride and my desires. It's about sacrificing my need to have control in the situation. It's about letting go and trusting Him to provide.
Honestly, I thought I already own this book. I'm still not so sure I didn't purge it at some point. Before even reading it. Which is exactly why I don't need to buy any more books.
If I truly want to have a simple life, I've got to sacrifice. There's no other way. I'm praying, letting go and giving it to God.
This is harder than I thought and I'm not exactly happy about it. But the life I want is worth it. I just know it is.
March 5, 2008
The Powhatan Village has been delivered to school.
The Ladies' Day Tea (and my class) is but a memory.
Everyone is healthy.
Whew! I'm glad to have last week behind me! Now I can get back to normal life...well, I should say our usual life.
I will post portions of my class in the next few days. Right now, I'm taking a breath, trying to catch up on laundry & cleaning, and getting adjusted to CJ's new schedule (swim is out, softball is in). Then there's American Idol.
I haven't forgotten the pursuit of simplicity. I was so inspired by this post of Laura's, that I immediately started "building" my own. It's not quite finished, but I'm already enjoying the fruits of my labor. I'll try to get a picture up soon, so maybe you can get inspired, too.