Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is it really almost November?

I really can't believe how time flies. I know that it is sort of cliche and people always talk about it (much like the weather), but I really can't believe it's the end of October. I don't know why I've been thinking so much about time lately. Maybe because I feel like I don't have much of it.

God has really been speaking to me lately about making time. I do spend time with him, but I often don't make enough time for others. It's hard to balance things that have to be done with things that we would like to do. I have always desired balance. I want to balance work with home life, I want to balance quiet time with spending time with others. But I realized (thanks in part to Jean Stockdale.....a little shout out) that balance should not be my goal. My lifes breath should be about God and what is pleasing to him. The funny part is, I know this. Intellectually I know that my life should be pleasing to him. My heart desires for my life to be pleasing to him. But my view has been so skewed. I have been working to be pleasing to him. I have been trying to find balance because I think that is what a "good Christian woman, wife, friend" should do. And I thought that if I could just find balance, then I would be on my way to living a good Christian life.

I was wanting balance to make my life easier. It had little to do with God and a lot to do with me.

And I tell you, that this new idea has really just blown me away. It's ok to not have balance....what? Who ever knew?

It's ok that I don't have any clean towels because I spent 2 hours writing a friend a letter during some free time. It's ok that my floors are dirty because I have spent extra time visiting with friends.

And here's the big kicker.....I don't feel one bit of anxiety or guilt over those things. I don't feel like I have let my husband down because when he came home there wasn't a clean towel in the house. I don't. Before, I would have thought that I was just a terrible wife for allowing all the towels to get dirty. I was putting too much emphasis on my abilities. I was being so prideful. My priorities were way off and I didn't even know it. I thought I was being pleasing to the Lord, when in fact I was more worried about pleasing myself by checking things off my to do list.

I know the mundane tasks of life still have to be done. I really do need to wash my towels. They are a little bit out of control (but to my defense our washer is broken). But how much have I missed because my focus has not been on the eternal? My eyes have not been fixed solely on Jesus. And I didn't even realize it!

I confessed to a friend the other day that "I just don't have it together". And I don't. Outwardly. But God has been doing a mighty work inside. He is teaching me to see things from an eternal perspective. He is teaching me to see the things that I need to do and to see the things that I don't. He is teaching me to think through things from a completely different perspective and most of all, I am learning how to seek him in every area of my life.

It really is almost November, and time is flying. I don't want to miss another minute by being bogged down with things I deem important. I want to be guided, in all things, by the One who gave me this life and is the very source of life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Accept....seems simple enough

For those of you who know me, know that Jamie has been gone for five weeks working on a baseball field in northwest Arkansas (6 hours away). He got to come home to visit this past weekend. But he returned yesterday to Arkansas and is now beginning his 6th week away from home.

Sometimes, I can find myself getting discouraged. I miss him so much and just get tired of being by myself. Well, I have Menne....but after a while of her not talking back to me, it just seems weird to continue talking to her. Anyway-I feel like I have been handeling the whole situation farely well. I have moments where I give into my emotions and get mad at his job for taking him away. But for the most part I am dealing.

I knew that this weekend would be a challenge though. I have seen him (I have traveled to AR twice), but it was the first time to have him home in five weeks. It was how it is supposed to be. It really feels like there is a piece missing when he is not here. It feels less like a home. So this weekend, the pieces were made whole again. But then he had to go back. I was fine when he left. It wasn't until I was pulling in the driveway after SaLT group that I really began to get upset. Our house was back to being incomplete again. And well, that just makes me sad.

As I was thinking about all of these things this morning, I began to give into self pity. She is an old friend of mine. I can find much comfort in residing there. I began thinking to myself that I wish things could just be easy for us for once. I started thinking about all the things that have been difficult. About how the week Jamie left my car broke down. About how our washing machine doesn't work properly and now, as of last week, the dryer is not working either. About how we have been trying to have a baby for three years and that hasn't happened. About how my husband is in a job that takes him away from home for weeks at a time and how hard that is. I was thinking that I just wanted a break already.

And then God revealed a little nugget of truth to me...

"You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you..." (1 Corinthians 7:17).

Just accept it. Our situation is what it is. I do not need to over dramatize it, I don't need to feel sorry for myself. God is in complete control of our lives. He has us in each situation for a purpose. His purpose is far greater than anything I could ever imagine for myself. So in acceptance is peace and that leads to joy. Joy in God's sovereignty no matter what circumstances I find myself in.

I know this truth. I regularly have to remind myself of it. But it is just what I needed to read on this Monday morning as I'm starting a new week without Jamie here. And I think it's just what he needs to read as he starts his Monday morning away from home.

It is easy for us to accept good things from the Lord, but it is much more difficult to accept tough situations. We want to figure out how to fix them. Acceptance in our culture is not "acceptable". We are taught to always strive for a better life situation. Work harder, have more, seek the latest medical treatments, don't sit still, don't accept anything less than the best. But is this the message of Christ?

I know that there is a lot of suffering all over the world and that what I'm going through may sound trivial to some, but I am convinced that no matter the scale of our trials, we are called to the same thing. Acceptance. Denying ourselves and our desires and wants (no matter if those desires are good....babies, health, etc..) and resting in our situation that the Lord has us in. Relying on Him to show up and reveal his truths to us. That's what it's about. By accepting and not "bucking" our situation, we are bringing much glory to God. Outsiders can look to us and have no other explanation for how we handle things than Christ himself.

God, please remind me of this everyday, in every situation. I want to accept whatever flows from your hand.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I have searched high and low and now I have my prize!

I have been in search for something for several years now. It is what I like to call the "perfect transitional shoes". What the perfect transitional shoes are to me are shoes that I can wear in the fall and spring that are:
1. Not boots
2. Not flip flops
3. closed toe, but not dressy
4. something I can wear with jeans or capris
5. not expensive

So you see, I'm not really picky at all. I have no idea why it has taken me years to find that perfect shoe.

Well, I am pleased to announce to the world that I found them. It was a scenario that was quit like something out of an old western movie. Somewhat of a showdown one might say. I was gracefully walking down the shoe aisle at T.J. Maxx when I spotted this cute little blonde girl carrying "the perfect transitional shoes". I watched out of the corner of my eye as she carried them down the aisle and to the full length mirror. Oh, I tried to look like I was looking at other shoes, but I was honed in on the ones she had in her hand.

I watched as she tried them on with her jeans. They were perfect. Casual and comfy, sporty and cute. Fall or Spring appropriate. They were the perfect transitional shoes. If only I had seen them first.

I hung on to a nuggett of hope that maybe, just maybe, she would walk over and set them back down on the shelf. I watched her as she walked up and down the aisles carrying MY shoes in her hands. I followed her (from a distance of course) and I noticed her stop. She picked up another pair of shoes to go try on. Well, when she did this, she sat the perfect transitional shoes down. I, being ever so graceful and full of humility, walked over and picked them up. She glanced at me slightly and I smiled and then I turned and made my way to the big mirror. I could feel her staring at me as I walked down the aisle of victory. I was giving myself an imaginary high five in my head.

I headed to the mirror and slipped on the perfect pair of transitional shoes. Just as I had imagined all these years. They were indeed perfect. And they were the perfect fit. And they were only $16.99!!!! I held on to these treasures and I wasn't letting go. I carried them in my arms throughout the rest of my T.J. Maxx journey. I wouldn't make the same mistake as blonde girl.

Sorry cute, little blonde girl. Once you sit something back on the shelf, it is fair game for anyone.

I feel certain that God sent me these little gifts of shoe delight because of the loss of my flip flops earlier this year. Rest their soles.

Behold the perect transitional shoes....

These are so me! I love them and I would be lying just a little if I said it didn't make my whole trip to Arkansas worth it (other than seeing my loving husband of course).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Maybe I told a little lie...

So, I was going to start a new segment on the blog. I had thought about it for two weeks after talking to my friend Angie. I was going to do a "Manageable Meals on Monday" sort of thing where I would write out easy meals that the average person could make. Because really, if I'm making it....it can't be hard. It came about after a conversation we had about her needing some simple recipes that she is not intimidated by. And well, I have lots of those because I don't make anything that requires a lot of effort or ingredients that I've never heard of and can't buy at "the wal-marts".

That was the plan. And I was going to start it today. But here it is 9:15 and I just don't have the energy. So once again, I apologize for my lack of bloggingness (I could have just made up that word.)

In all seriousness, I am having a hard time right now keeping the once a week commitment. I have lots of things I want to write about (important things like my NEW shoes!), but can't seem to find the time to sit down and do it. Jamie has been gone for going on four weeks now. He is working on a big job in northwest Arksansas. So my time has been spent traveling back and forth from here to there and trying to keep up with Loop De Lou. It's been a little trying, so the blog has fallen to probably number 97 on the priority list. Because I'm a little bit dramatic and want to make you think I have 100 things to do. (When in reality it's more like seven.)

So there it is. My failure to follow through on Manageable Meals on Monday. Really, it's better to bail out now before you even knew what you were missing. And I assure you, you would have been missing some mighty fine mediocre meals.