Apple fritters and a fire

Rest and relaxation…yes just what my friends ordered. I can’t believe I am here. Nearly 8 hours from home, where I have two bathrooms under remodel. Painting that needs to be done. Drywall dust on every item in my home…and here I am in a beautiful cabin in the mountains of northern Georgia eating apple fritters and Easter candy. I think I have completely lost my mind.
You see Sunday morning my hubby left for a three month deployment…and I was at home trying to prepare for a move. Which entails, buying a rental house…moving two oldest sons into that house…getting our home ready to rent and planning a graduation party. Hosting 8 house guests, probably without furniture because the movers will have already packed our items that will be on a ship to our new overseas assignment.
Do I have time to rest…no not really, but I am trying. I have to turn this over to God, because He will give me the rest I need. He promises…

Matthew 11:28-30
English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So…thanks to my wonderful friends who were kind enough to allow me to join them and their family on this much needed retreat, I have been able to rest, relax and regroup. So put another log on that fire please, and pour me one more cup of coffee…I have a little bit more apple fritter to polish off before we head home tomorrow.

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Pork chops and bonding time

This morning I woke up still thinking about what happened in the kitchen last night. You see, it all started, by my giving the boys $15 and told them they had to plan a menu and shop for the groceries AND prepare dinner…for the five of us. So the two older ones headed out the door feeling up to the challenge. After a few texts, to see if we had a couple of items, they came back with pork chops, some bread crumbs and a can of baked beans. Oh…AND some change…lol.
I wanted to give advice and make suggestions…but I held my tongue and left for praise team practice at my church. All the while I prayed that they didn’t burn the house down.
When I returned about an hour and a half later…I opened the door and was greeted by the smell of over heated oil…but not a burned smell…just the odor that something had been fried…probably at a slightly too high a temperature. I must say…they did a pretty good job on the pork chops. Thankfully they were not over cooked, despite the fact they fried it in some extremely hot oil. Nothing like eating a dried out pork chop. So I was very pleased. They also had prepared a box of mac and cheese, which I expected to be pretty good…but just one look and I could tell the macaroni needed to be cooked a few more minutes. And I wouldn’t want to leave out the baked beans. Which I normally doctor up a bit…but I think all they did was open the can and heat them up. Still not a bad dinner…on occasion, I have done much worse myself.
However, the dinner was not what I was thinking about this morning. It was what took place after dinner that I want to relive over and over again. All three of my sons(ages 21,17 and 9) were in the kitchen cleaning up! I didn’t even ask them to. They just started in on their own. Joking around. Talking. BONDING! Yes parents, there is hope, and God does answer prayers. As a parent, I want my boys to be close…I want them to actually like each other when they are adults and have families of their own. I want the cousins to grow up together. Have family reunions. Family is very important to me. I have one sister, so when I get to spend time with her…well, lets just says we have a great time and it’s never long enough. I guess because we are a military family and all the moving we have done over the last 27 years, is why I really wish we could have spent more time with our families. Especially while the boys were growing up. But I do take comfort knowing that this is the life God called us to…and to Him be the glory, because we are blessed.
Families are so different these days. Some are single parents…grandmothers raising their grandchildren. Blended families. Family units are made up of many different combinations. Take the families in the Bible…they were huge, more like a clan. Extended family members living and staying together…traveling and moving as a whole. Mom and Dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins…servants and don’t forget all their livestock. As I try to plan for our upcoming move…reality is hitting me pretty hard. I know that it will just be three of us this time, and I am not okay with that…yet. I love my boys and as much as I hate to think about it…there are some really big changes happening to our family. And quite honestly, I don’t know if I am ready for them. But ready or not, they will take place. I guess I should be grateful that I don’t have to move with any livestock.

(Lord, please help me to remember You are in complete control. Help me to let go when the time comes for the boys, no…these young men, to move on to start a new chapter in their lives. Help me to help them when I need to, but also help me to know when to back off, and let them stand on their own.)

My lists runneth over

Friday, What took you so long? I missed you, but now that you are here…I realize that my week wasn’t as productive as it needed to be. And all week I have been looking forward to seeing you and now its your day and I’m not ready! I mean, I did get the guest bathroom painted (Which by the way, looks fantastic. A fresh coat of paint is always nice).

I did check off various activities that were scheduled throughout this week, but still…there are so many things to get done before we move. And I only have hubby here to help for a few more weekends, because he leaves for a deployment for three months(only to return shortly before boarding the plane that will take us to our new assignment). I really don’t know how I will get it all done. And as much as I would like to dwell on the upcoming adventure, I simply do not have time. (Hint…that photo above is Terceira, Portugal. One of 9 tiny, and when I say tiny, I mean 12x20ish miles small, island in the Atlantic. The Azores. Google it.

I am a planner… I like lists, I love checking items OFF the list. But I am not chained to my lists, and I do like the occasional spontaneous adventures that come up. However, I don’t like having to carryover….and that is what I seem to be doing a lot off these days. How can I avoid the carryovers? And as I go through my day…I seem to get things checked off, only to add twice as many more. Moving out of the country requires a good six months worth of planning, or more…depending on other circumstances. We will not be taking our two older sons with us on this journey, they will be staying behind to go to college. This is the first time for our family to be separated…EVER! That requires another list all of its own. (Stay tuned for a blog on empty nesting in the near future.)

So even though I have a freshly painted bathroom…I still have the dining, kitchen, and master bath, and three bedrooms waiting to get their just rewards for having a family…truly live within their walls. I hear them crying out…Paint me. Paint me next! So getting my list prioritized is key!

My new list for today!
First of all…my goal is to not let my quiet time suffer, because I know I need God for every step I take. I will need His strength to keep going. And I will definitely need to turn to Him for rest!
Second…is to not get sick from all the paint fumes.
Third…I am not going to list a third, as a reminder to myself, to cut back some things on my lists…that I impose upon myself that are unrealistic and unnecessary. Okay…at least it’s a start.

So…what is on your TO DO list today? Maybe you can find some things that will be okay to carryover, but I encourage you to find those things that do not have eternal value and erase them or hit the delete button. There were two sisters in the Bible that had different views on what was important to them.

Luke 10 Martha and Mary

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Let me ask you…are you a Mary…or a Martha? I, for one, would like to choose the good portion.

(Lord, be with us today…showing us the things that are most important to you. As we plan our day, help us discern between the things that have eternal value and the things that…well, if they don’t get done…they are not going to cause the world to come to an end. Amen!)

Waiting on The Lord

Oh Thursday, why can’t you be more like Friday? Better yet, why can’t today just go ahead and BE Friday? I have not had a great week so far, which is why I have not been blogging. I just haven’t felt like it. Having problems with a teenager can turn your whole world upside down. I know I am not the only mother who has issues with her children, but this week, no…this whole month has been extremely challenging for me and my husband in that area.

What do you do, when life is coming at you with hurricane force winds? How do you handle it? How do you handle the storms and trials that seem to come out of nowhere? I am not prepared for this right now, or ever will be really. I simply do not have the time, nor the energy to fight this battle. I have cried out to God more times this week than I can remember doing in such a long time. And I know He hears me, and so I wait. I am waiting for His perfect timing and perfect will to be revealed. But what do I do during the waiting? I have gotten encouragement from friends and I find great comfort in reading scripture, but I want more. I hate to say it, but I want a sign. I want to know that its all going to work out. I guess I am afraid that the working out part(most likely my idea of how I think it should work out)…might not be what God has planned for this situation. And quite honestly…that’s what scares me. But I know He does things for our good and His glory. “Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I do take comfort in that. I love God! And I have been called according to His purpose. I claim that promise!

There is a song from the movie Fireproof, called While I’m Waiting, This song really speaks to me today. Reminding me I am to keep praising Him, for the good and the not so good. While waiting, I am to continue to worship, serve and stay strong. I know God is in control and I know He never gives us more than we can handle, but sometimes I just wish He didn’t trust me with so much.

After reading Romans, and listening to that song…I guess I got my sign after all. I Love that He will speak to me, when I least expect it. I am feeling more hopeful…more peaceful. I am willing to be obedient in letting God do His thing, in His time…and for me, well…I will step back and wait patiently.

Love for more than a day

I was really having a difficult time this morning trying to choose a topic for today…but just logging on to Facebook, fixed that, almost immediately. I mean the LOVE holiday is romantically plastered on everyone’s status’, right? Everyone posting pictures of the red and pink goodies their loved ones gave to them. Don’t get me wrong…I like romance, and flowers and I LOVE chocolate, (I REEEALLY LOVE CHOCOLATE), but I prefer to get that kind of attention on the ordinary days of life. It means so much more to me to get a $5 bunch of flowers out of the blue for no special reason, than to get the expected $50 bouquet of red roses once a year. I especially love for my hubby to set up a dinner date midweek when it’s not even my birthday, he does it just because he wants to spend time with me. He knows how much I love chocolate…and he brings me a bar of that creamy sweetness, whenever he thinks it will give me the greatest joy. He definitely spoils me (but don’t tell him I said that). Shh! LOL..I haven’t even told him I started a blog yet.

I am glad that everybody loves somebody. But do we really need to be reminded, to tell those we love, that we love them? And if we are only doing it on Valentines Day, I think we are missing something. I would hope that at least daily you are telling those in your household, that you love them. How much they mean to you. How much you appreciate them. We are not promised tomorrow, and I know some dear friends that ache to have the chance to tell their loved ones, they love them…just one more time.
We thrive because of love. I googled ‘need love to thrive’, and do you know what I found? Babies need love to thrive! I read it over and over. It’s at the top of the list of things to do for your baby. Babies who are not shown love, nurturing care and meaningful touch, fail to thrive! And we don’t outgrow that! We need love! And the One who started it all…is love Himself. God! He created us to love and be loved.
1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us. What an example of the ultimate Valentine gift. His love never runs out, never fades. It will never break down and it will never die! He loves us 24/7/365…no matter what.

Oh, that we could all love each other like that.
(Lord show me, how to better love others, the way you intended me to.)

Themes, Widgets and Menus…OH MY!

Well, I have really gone and done it this time. I just may be in over my head, with trying to get this blog set up. I had know idea that there were so many settings and choices and clicks for God only knows what. Have I mentioned I have NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING? I don’t want to have to call a professional. I called IT support one time when we lived in Alaska. I was having computer router connecting problems (which by the way, always seem to happen when hubby is TDY or deployed). I mean who wants to sit on the phone pressing number after number only to be put on hold for what seems like an eternity…then to speak with someone I can barely understand. I mean the terminology alone is foreign to me and I mean no disrespect to anyone who doesn’t speak with a southern drawl. But come on! Oh, and by the way, the IT guy said “Ma’am, you sound like you know just enough to be dangerous”…what was that supposed to mean?

This is going to take longer than I thought. So bear with me…as I am still under construction and do not have an estimated date of completion. Reminds me of a king who was building a house for the Lord.

King Solomon did some building of his own…

38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it.
1 Kings 6:38 ESV

…Mercy, I sure hope it doesn’t take me 7 years.

Not finished with me yet…

Okay…yes, I am under construction.

I think I just might keep that status.

We see that all the time on various websites. Don’t you just love it, when you think you find what you are looking for, only to get there and it’s nowhere to be found? Or not finished, still under construction. And then get disappointed because we feel like we were mislead. And so now I will have to miss out seeing the video of the cat hanging from the ceiling fan when the 6 year old twin boys are plotting to turn the fan on (okay I just totally made that up…but I am sure somewhere out there is a video with a very frightened kitty hanging from something with kids in the background).
So what was I saying?…oh yeah…under construction.
I guess I am kind of like that. Under Construction. Continually changing. Growing. Trying(at first I put ‘Letting God’…but i don’t always do that and I am trying to be honest here, so I CHANGED that to trying) to let God mold me into His image, who He wants me to be. Isn’t that part of why we are here? To honor God by striving to be more like Him. He made us in His image, for His pleasure and for His glory.

So…today…what can I do today?
My prayer is that each of us would ask, “Lord, what can I change about myself, today, that would make me more like you? And Lord, would you give me the knowledge and wisdom to be able to do it?” And the question to ask ourselves…”Am I willing to be obedient?”

At the end of the day, I hope to say…you found me, I’m still here and this IS the right place…but just know that I am willingly (well, at least most of the time) under construction.

And for those of you who just really wanted to see a cat video, this is for you.

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