10 Things about me that you might want to know…or I’m going to tell you anyway

1. I don’t remember anything. Well most things anyway. This works out well  for you if you have ever hurt my feelings or said something stupid. It’s not so helpful when I’m trying to remember your name. I’m so sorry if I have asked you it 4 times. I’m really working on that. When you see me staring intently at your face I’m really thinking “Sally-brown hair, big smile, dentist. Sally, brown hair, big smile, dentist”

2. My love language is acts of service and encouraging words. There is nothing sexier (oops, can I say that Winking smile ) than coming home and seeing that my guy cleaned the kitchen.

3. I am terrified of submarines. Or any device that might submerge me in water. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. It’s random, because I have never been on one or near one.

4. I’m not a planner. School planner- yes. Life, day to day- not so much. I hate setting up a schedule, filling in a calendar, committing to do something far in the future (see number 10 for an explanation) It’s usually because I am easy going, just tell me when and where and I will work it out. Oh, and remind me, because I probably won’t remember.

5. I’m not the gal I used to be. Or even the one I was yesterday. My past is my past, it’s what made me who I am today. Although I’m not proud of every deed done or word spoken I choose to live in the present, thanking God everyday that I am indeed a new creation and trusting that His grace covers all sins.

6. I used to be in the military. It was another lifetime ago it seems. Even I laugh at the image of me holding a M-16 now. Crazy.

7. I truly believe that I am living my dream, sure there are things that I would like to have or do one day, but if my life never changed from the present I would feel like the luckiest girl ever.

8. I am more sensitive than most people think. My feelings get hurt often, but I have learned to take those feelings to Jesus and move on.

9. I am a get it done kind of gal. A whatever it takes kind of gal. A suck it up and do it kind of gal. I will admit, that those who are not… kind of annoy me. {sorry}

10. I am loyal and dependable. I would rather jump off a cliff than say I’m going to do something and then back out. –If I have ever backed out on you, you can take comfort in that I am probably still drowning in guilt. And I hate to be late. Oh, how I hate to be late. My husband often reminds me that it’s not the end of the world to be late to a social gathering. Oh, but it is. It really is. 

 

 

If you want a peak into a few other great gals lives check out Many Little Blessings

I am fearfully and wonderfully made

birdbath1Photo credit Michael and Diane Porter

I must have been five or six, visiting my nana, I don’t remember much but I know she lived in a small two story house somewhere in the Northeast. I don’t recall going there often or even having been there before that time. It was winter, or maybe spring. I know it was wet. We had been stuck in the house for sometime and so when the sunshine made its appearance I hurried outside to play. I was quickly greeted by a neighbor girl who took no time in becoming my best friend. We laughed and giggled as we chased each other around a large white birdbath.

After a few minutes of us running, we stopped to catch our breath and she turned to me and asked me why my skin was so brown.

I believe it was one of those defining moments in my life. I remember looking down at my tanned colored arms as if looking at them for the first time, and not knowing the answer to this question, I shrugged.

I can’t tell you how the rest of our play time went, or if there was any more discussion of the matter, but my next memory is of my little body pressed up against a white pedestal sink in my nana’s little bathroom with my arms stretched out in the water and a bar of white ivory soap. With childlike faith I believed that if I lathered up enough white soapy foam onto my arms, my skin would turn the same color as this little neighbor girls.

This isn’t a painful memory, although it’s an uncomfortable one. It used to bring many questions about who I am, and I used to wonder if my skin was all anyone ever saw. Did others too have questions?

Often when I look at my oldest daughter, that memory presents itself. I see her beautiful brown eyes and the same tanned skin and I wonder, will she too encounter a little girl that will unknowingly ask her a question that will forever haunt her? Will she too feel imperfect? Suffer from the same insecurities?

 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139

It’s a verse we talk about often. It’s the one, once I knew Christ, that I found comfort in. I love the diversity of God’s creation; I love the rich history that comes from our differences. I love that God knew before we were even formed in our mother’s womb that we would be all that we are. He paid special attention to our every attribute and chose our personalities and the Bible even tells us he took the time to place us exactly where he wants us in history!

I can only pray that these truths would be steeped deep in her heart. And if/when she is asked the question she can say with confidence; I am who I am because this is who God created me to be. And she can know in her heart that God doesn’t make mistakes.

You before me

door

We have a selfishness problem. It has slowly been creeping in and taking over our lives. It’s been left unaddressed for too long. I’m not talking about the overt kind of selfishness. The one where you don’t share your toys, or your snacks. The kind I’m talking about goes deeper. It begins in the heart.

It rears it’s ugly head when we least expect it. During family game time, while eating dinner, at church, while shopping, hanging out with friends, even during prayer. 

It’s often so obscure it can be brushed off as irrelevant. But I know it’s there.

I struggle with it too.

It’s the idea that my needs are more important than yours at any given time. That what I have to say is more important, more interesting and needing your complete attention- right now.  It’s believing that I’m better than you or that I can do something better than you can. It’s wondering what you can do for me. Feeling the need to be first. Worried that there won’t be enough. Excluding others for my benefit. It’s thanklessness.

It’s a heart issue.

We are on a mission to change. To be intentional with our words and actions. We are looking to God’s word for help.

Proverbs 4:11 says I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

James MacDonald in his bible study Lord Change My Attitude shares how having a selfless love is a giving love. He says “To often when people use the word love, what they’re really saying is, “I feel something.” Tragically, what people often mean when they say, I Love you, is not I’ve made a commitment to place your needs above my own, but instead, I love what you do for me. You make me feel good. You are working right now for the person I love most –Me. That isn’t love; that’s selfishness.”

We have taken this to heart. It’s written on our kitchen pantry door.

You before Me

It’s become a place to dialogue for us. A reference point. Right there next to our memory verses.

God’s word changes us. Love changes us. I’m ready.

Angela

Bible in 90 days update

To the Glory of God I managed to get my bible reading done every day this week… that is except for today. But hey! I think that’s pretty good. I will catch back up the next few days. I am loving starting  back at the beginning of the bible and re-reading all those stories that I haven’t read in a while. A few things have popped up in my reading that I thought I would share.

First: It’s been so long since I have read Genesis and Exodus, that I have let my mind be polluted by the children’s movies that re-tell some of the same stories. It’s really amazing how much is elaborated and stretched from the original story. I found this to be true over and over again as I read these popular stories. I’m especially thinking of the Prince of Egypt, but so many others have done the same, for the sake of keeping our interest. I’m not saying this is entirely a bad thing, it was just nice to be reminded of the simple but just as intriguing stories of the Old Testament.

Second: How about that Sarai/Sara? Wow! she must have been one hot momma! Twice she was taken by a king into his harem because of her beauty. TWICE! ok, so the fact that it was twice isn’t such a big deal, but the fact that the first time it happened she was about 65 and the second time almost 90! Now that is a big deal. Of course I’m taking into account that they must not have aged like we do now, but still…

Third: I need to spend more time holding my leaders up in prayer, and also be thankful for the hands that hold me up. I was reminded of this in the story of the Israelites defeating the Amalekites. If you don’t know that story, it’s a good one.  Read a bit of it here.

The drive

I hate driving, If you happen to live more than 10 minutes from me then you have heard me whine about it. What I don’t hate is, driving alone for long stretches of time. There is something about being in my car alone, all my thoughts to myself. I inevitably cry every time. It’s the only time I allow myself to be who I really am and feel how I truly feel. I allow all my hurts and disappointments to reveal themselves, all my fears and anger to come to the surface. I meet God here, when I am at my weakness, most vulnerable. I need this time, the Catharsis is cleansing to my soul.

 I have been living in a state of gloom for the past several weeks. It’s something that I can’t seem to shake.  It’s not really like me to hold on to this state of mind for this long. I very seldom let things bother me for long, I am not easily offended and I really do feel like I live a very blessed life, so where this is coming from I’m not sure.  It could be that I’m just busy, tired and worn out, coupled with disappointments from people that I may or may not have exaggerated in my mind.  Or maybe it’s hormonal? Spiritual warfare? I don’t know. I have been spending good portions of my “free time” seeking change and strength through God’s word. I have to remind myself that people will always disappoint, even people I love and that love me, but God’s promises remain true, and although others as well as myself may fail, he never will.

Untill this has passed, I will continue to use my vehicle as my own personal therapy, so if you happen to pass me while driving and I have that ugly kind of cry, just know…I’m working it out.

Be careful little eyes what you see…

With a firestorm of e-mails that I received today about the new Nicole Kidman film being released in December I thought I would address it here. The movie The Golden Compass is suppose to be the antithesis of the Chronicles of Narnia. Completely anti-God. Unlike the books that the movie is based off of where the author makes it clear that he hates God and all things related, the movie is suppose to be set up with just subtle undertones of the author Phillip Pullmans hatred toward God.  It’s especially sad to me that this film will be marketed as a family film and will have many of the same looks as the Chronicles of Narnia, thus drawing unsuspecting families in. And even sadder that some families will go because they will believe that like any other movie our children will understand that it’s a fiction story not realizing that long after they have left the movie theatre, the images and intentions of Mr. Pullman will remain with their children for the rest of their lives. I understand the outrage of the many, many people I have received e-mails from today. Even if you don’t attend church, or maybe even if you don’t even believe in God, why would you subject your children to someone elses ideology that is so wrapped up in hatred.

Here is a link to snopes with more information about the movie

http://snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

Call me Martha

It has been over a week since I have been able to sit down at the computer long enough to actually blog something. These past few weeks I have found myself being pulled in every direction and with very little time to actually rest. I think I have been busier than even when I was working. Most of the things that have taken up my time have been necessary (running Zack to Dr. Appts., surgery) some of them have been one time commitments (volunteering,dinner with friends) and some ongoing commitments (bible study, dance class etc.) But within the busyness of all these things I have naturally let my house and family suffer.  Even though none of these things alone are bad, and my family never complained, I could hear God whisper Martha Martha on more than one occasion. I have a tendency just to believe that because something is not necessarily bad or wrong it’s ok to do it. God calls us to be keepers at home, and although most weeks are not usually like the past couple, I have to constantly evaluate how I am spending my time. Are the activities that I am choosing to participate in bringing my family closer together? Closer to God? Am I spending too much time in the car? Time that could have been spent reading to my children, talking to Steven, cleaning house. Am I spending too much time with friends? Not making it home in time to make lunch or dinner on time. I have found that even the good things like bible study can actually draw me further away from God and my family. I get so caught up in what has to be done before and after that it becomes something that just needs to be checked off my list, and not a time of actual worship and rest. One of the bible studies I am doing mentioned weeding out the things in our lives that don’t draw us closer to God. I am going to start reevaluating my garden of life so that I can be more of a Mary in this Martha world.