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October 1, 2014

Fall Color


" All the color and the beauty were a result of the slow death of each leaf.... I started thinking about how much that phenomenon reflects the Christian life.We are most beautiful, most attractive, most stunning on the outside when we are dying - to ourselves, our wants, our desires, our lusts, and our very natures that on the inside that say "Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!"

 ... Twenty Something.

Forgiveness

Hi all,

   So yeah there's that whole thing about trying to write more, trust me I'm still working on that! But my apologies -again - for not doing so so far. Transformation is tough stuff!

One of the areas God's been talking to me about is Forgiveness... in various ways, but one way was that I was privileged to be part of the Launch Team for Sara Horn's new book which releases TODAY!

I was able to meet Sara at a previous PWOC conference and chat with her briefly, as well as lead an online study for her book "Tour of Duty". I love all of her books - if you've not read God Strong and are a military wife, you really should! At first glance I admit it, I thought what can a part-time/reservist Seabee wife have to say to me as a full time/active duty Army wife with several deployments and years under her belt?! I mean the Navy generally doesn't even deploy as long or into as dangerous as places ...."The arrogance of some people"... sorry we just watched Robots recently, anyhow it's a great book but back to the subject...

Forgiveness is easy to talk about, hey we all KNOW we should whether you are a Christian or not. I mean there's study after study out there talking about how it's good for us, etc; but it sure can be awfully hard to do! Especially if it's an ongoing hurt from the same person, something you've tried to address repeatedly or traumatic.  Sara does a great job in the book of breaking down why we should, tips on how to do so and is very real with her own struggles on the subject. I was in tears for much of the book and I'm sure I will be revisiting it frequently.

You can find a free chapter sneak peek here...http://www.sarahorn.com/books/how-can-i-possibly-forgive/

January 10, 2014

A New Year ....Transformation

Hi all,

Oh do please forgive my lapse in blogging. I know I've never been the best at keeping up with this blog -- I could tell you we've sold a house, moved,etc this year ---but instead I'll just say I hope to do better this year!

Many of you and others I know choose one word at the beginning of the year, either that you feel the Lord has laid on your heart or that you want to focus on for a particular reason for the coming year ..

My word this year is:
Transformation.
I really feel this year is going to be transformative for me, my family and our home on so many levels (physical, financial, spiritual, marital, and more)!

Can't wait to see what God is going to do! 

           Hope you'll stick around for the ride even if it stops and starts!


June 23, 2013

Tiny Laundry Spaces

So one of the blogs I follow was talking about how to make a laundry room nice even if it's small! (Remodelaholic.com) oh how I wish I would have taken pictures of all our funky laundry rooms over the years!

We've done them all I think from coin ops to washer and dryer side by side in the kitchen (no hiding them!), hiking down 4 flights of stairs to shared machines in the basement, an actual decent laundry room with storage space, side by side by the back door, to a laundry "room" where you couldn't open the dryer and stand in front of the washer at the same time and the kids had to sit on top of the machines for tornado warnings, back to hiking down stairs to shared machines (2 flights this time), to a nice laundry room right off the garage that I actually was able to make into a craft room as well (tight but it worked), living in a tent for a bit and now this house where the washer and dryer is in the kitchen again but semi- hidden in an alcove.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat!

So the discussion was on how there's no good ideas on Pinterest for itty bitty living spaces -- but I beg to differ, I think you can find tons of ideas and adapt them to your situation. I also highly advocate praying and asking the Lord for a vision for that space! It works every time .... sometimes you just have to live with it for a bit too while you wait for inspiration to strike or rearrange the whole space, it's worth it if it makes you happy doing a chore!  In that vein I thought I'd share mine:

So here tis:

    
        Yes that's literally the whole width, the brown strip to the right is the hallway door. So when we moved in it was dingy white, had wooden shelves,etc. I originally fronted those shelves with fabric I liked, hung up curtains and we had a file cabinet by the machines. It was never exactly what I wanted but it worked and it was accessible.  Because we are selling our home to move to the next duty station I decided to revamp it and have gotten to enjoy it for the last 6 months. Painted it a lovely Hawthorne Yellow (Benjamin Moore), hung up the white wire shelves. Gathered matching baskets I already had and glued clothespins on the front with labels (ala Pinterest!) ...
                      Because I wanted it to still be a pretty space I added a couple framed sayings I liked (also found on Pinterest) and kept my sad iron and tailors ironing board in plain view.
 The other side has the ironing board and a dog food container now, plus my clothespins holder which is also decorative and says "a tisket a tasket, clothes pins and clothes basket"
      And another inspiring saying for the times when laundry seems ridiculous -- or smelly like yesterday when son came home from Boy Scout camp!! :D  (sorry for the blur)

And there you have it, so much better, goes with the Kitchen (Kitchen walls are Macadamia color by Martha Stewart. You can see our kitchen redo HERE)! Took me less than two hours (paint has to dry) and I love it!

Don't let a small or funky space keep you from loving your home .... take it as a challenge and you just might wind up with it being one of your favorite spots!

June 12, 2013

The Number of our Days ....


I was thinking this morning about Euthanasia.  I know a lovely morning musing .... this at 5:30 am too when our dogs demanded to be let out! We have a 17yo rat terrier who it's easier to carry up and down the stairs then try not to fall over her at that wee hour.... then she has to slowly traipse out the deck down the stairs and contemplate whether she wants to do her business or not. Sheesh, so yes there have been moments I've thought maybe we should just put her to sleep .... BUT the vet assures us she is in perfect her health for her age and really doesn't have any issues other than being slow, yippy, mild cataracts and just generally being underfoot at times.


Recently a sweet friend posted a link on Facebook about physician assisted suicide and how she understood the need for relief from chronic pain. Admittedly my issues are not as severe as hers but I can understand how one could get to that place. How  you just want the pain to stop, how there's no words to tell people how truly tired, bone weary you are ... and how others would not want to have to watch a loved one suffer. The pain of watching someone you love not want to be here anymore, struggle with why God has "left" them here, or deal with excruciating physical pain that you can't touch or stop.... I get it truly I do ...

and yet ....


As I watched our poor old pooch navigate the steps this morning it struck me that I was being selfish, it's not that I want to put her to sleep because she's in pain or suffering or anything I'm just tired of getting up with her and waiting on her .... but she's a dear part of our family as well and has traveled many roads and adventures with us! Is it right for me to want to put her to sleep just for my convenience? 

Yes I know, before anyone has a stroke -- it's a big leap from a tired rat terrier to a human being. Again,  I get it. But I also know if we who name the name of Christ profess a love for all life and say we beleive God is the same God  yesterday today and tomorrow, if we say we belive His word and not just bits and pieces then we must also believe this along with King David:

Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.  Psalm 139:16

and that means ALL the days from Birth to Death. Trusting His timing is perfect even as you are sick of being preggers or hubby will be deployed when baby comes or the Dr wants to induce because you are "late" --  to the day of death whether it's sudden, lingering, suffering or peaceful. Hard stuff but do we believe God has numbered our days and has them held in the palm of his hand or do we just say we do?

Is our perspective what's skewed instead? A perspective that says it's to hard, to much, to everything instead of a perspective that views even the hard days as a gift somehow knowing that it is meant to be to much so we will lean on, and hopefully bring, Glory to Him?

Oh please don't hear me judging anyone I'm not, I understand the desire to just not have to deal with feeling icky all the time when you look fine, frustration of searching for the right word, of your body not working the way it used to or is "supposed" to, aching when it shouldn't .... I have several friends dealing with chronic issues (so no this is NOT directed towards any one person), friends who've watched sweet children slip away "before their time" the world would say and deal with the questions of that,  cried with sweet friends who have dealt with the pain of suicide and mental illness and prayed agonizing prayers for my own family, and I know that not all those who face death slip gracefully into that good night.  I do not believe that it is God's will for anyone's life to be cut short or not fulfill the days appointed to them (Genesis says God appointed 120 years for us but we don't see that to often) but it happens because we live in a fallen world and only God can take that and still use it for good.

But it seems the question is one of how do we view life?
         Do we as Christian's allow a little of the culture -that say it's so much better for our loved ones not to live in pain, that surely God is ok with it if we assist them in their homegoing to - slip in?
        Do we say with Job "though He slay me yet will I trust Him" ? 

Tough questions my friends indeed.

I do not have all the answers that's for sure .... but I think even this morning in the cool before sunrise as I watched our old dog use weak legs to navigate instead of run like she used to that it is still a beautiful life even in pain and age and I hope that I can remember that in days to come.


Teach us to number our days carefully
                                               so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts ...
                                                                Psalms 90:12





When what He gives doesn't look like enough...

I am not the world's best gardener, that's for sure. I love flowers and think well tended vegetable and flower gardens are glorious! I always start out with good intentions but my follow through is a bit lacking and I get distracted with the rest of life going on which frustrates my poor daughter no end....

This morning I was reading in a devotional by Ann Voskamp  ( One-Thousand-Gifts-Devotional-Reflections on finding everyday Graces) and she talks about seeds...

How we often miss the small things in life:

"But to look at seeds and believe He will feed us? When what He gives doesn't look like near enough. When it looks like less than a handful instead of a plateful, a year full, a life full. When it looks inedible.... it looks like a bit of a joke. To hand someone seeds for his swelling, panging starvaton, and ask him to believe in a feast -- is this what everyday faith is??
   The promise of feast is within the moments."

And it struck me as well that often not only am I asked to have faith in a few small "seeds" of prayer, hope and God's Word but also to remember

  -when my life seems fallow and empty, nothing seems to be growing or it only seems to be growing weeds,
             -when all I've planted seems dead and I'm just waiting for a small leaf
                   -or God has asked me not to plant just yet to wait, to remember

         that THIS too has purpose and that just as fallowness in farming is not useless but brings healing, growth and a richer fuller harvest later on

                                      ...so too it may be what He is after in my life. 


(photo from "My Indiana Home")

January 30, 2013

No Fear ....

Chances are you've seen these posts, photos or "pins" on fear and how many times it's stated in the Bible. And while it's apparently debatable as far as accuracy it seems comforting to think so ...

However it can also be discouraging or even downright annoying when you are "Living in the Gap" between faith and fear, in the midst of hard circumstances or just plain tired ....

I have started a Chronological reading the Bible program this year and it struck me when God tells Jacob in Gen 46: “I am the God of your father. Don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt. I’m going to make you a great nation there. I’ll go with you down to Egypt; I’ll also bring you back here. And when you die, Joseph will be with you; with his own hand he’ll close your eyes.” .. that God wasn't telling Joseph not to be afraid because he wasn't but very likely because he WAS!

Not because we are never to be afraid or because it's somehow failing Him when we are but because we are human and He knows we ARE afraid/struggle with fear.

But just as with Jacob ...It is in the very places we are afraid that He does great things if we trust Him and that He has a plan even when we can't see it. 



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Thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)