Last weekend - Palm Sunday - my in-laws, grandparents, sister and her boyfriend had lunch with us. This weekend Kyle's side job called and he and I tried to navigate through a marathon to make deliveries in the hot sun, braved wal-mart for Easter Egg hunt supplies and came away with several convictions of how NOT to do Easter based off what we saw displayed by fellow customers, and stuffed eggs to Lord of the Rings Extended version (now THAT my friends is how to do it!!). Sunday we got up early for Sunrise service, had breakfast with the church and in-laws again, dashed home to get church clothes on, came back and hid Easter Eggs during the Sunday School Hour, expected about 6 kids and instead 22 showed up for Children's Church!!! Which was awesome after Kyle and I got over our 10 seconds of panic and quickly reorganized our color-coded-by-age-group Easter Egg Hunt. Finished church, took some kids home after dad-in-law staged a photoshoot (which the combination of the angle, his camera, the sun shining in our eyes and us melting in the sudden heat and fancy clothes made the photoshoot... well... it didn't do us any favors. Made us all look very hobbit-ish and double-chin-ee. So I didn't post those) taken by one of the kids. Collapsed on the couch for 45 minutes then went to our dear friend's house for Easter Lunch at 2. Got home at 4... felt very zombie-esh. Ran to Kroger and then I had a sugar crash which my husband very graciously surfed on through and calmed me down by putting me to bed and reading Lord of the Rings to me.
This is why people have kids. So they don't run around like chickens with their heads cut off every holiday!!! :-) Go
I just realized this morning I haven't posted for... well a while. The last two weeks have been non-stop, and the internet hasn't been working. I did write a post, but it was very self-reflective, musings on the past and my family, and ... well I need to let it cool in the drafts box for a bit before I re-read it and edit it. Someday you might get to read it, but I'm not sure yet. There's things I'm still healing from that I mention in that post, and if I share it I want to be sure that it is edifying and uplifting and educational. Not just me tooting my own horn and blaming others for being depraved humans. But, so that I don't feel that this blog has become entirely all about temporal, superfluous things, here's a few 'profound' thoughts I've been thinking in my head recently.
The picture you seen is of a little silver doojiggle that my dear dear friend from India gave me a few years back. I recently re-discovered it while cleaning out some boxes of old college crap in my attic, so it is safely dangling from my bedroom fan pull again. The tapestry/wall hanging behind it is from Romania. Right now my life is at an all-time low as far as International friends go - I haven't had this few Internationals involved in my daily life for the last 7 years. But whenever I pray about it (such things really do distress me. Not sure why but I feel life is incomplete without exotic accents surrounding me - either that or I must be part of a Deaf church. Yes I'm weird. Get over it) I am reassured that this is just a season.
I am also in the most restful season that I've been in for a while. Half of me breathes thanks for this on a daily basis, while the other half of me struggles with doubt, fears of laziness, and self degradation as soon as those prayers are done being prayed. Oughtn't I to be working a second job, raking in savings and helping with our future? Oughtn't I to be zipping hither and yon, acquiring some sort of degree in something edifying? Shouldn't I ....
It takes a while before I realize that such arguments aren't from the Voice I should be listening to. I will work again, and I'm always reading or learning something new. But it is also good to REST. Right now God has blessed us with ENOUGH, which is more than I can remember having - ever; unless I was on the mission field. And even then a couple of times I squeaked by on nothing more than Heavenly Grace.
Work is a discipline, and a good one. But rest is a good and godly thing also. Do you know how hard it is to be still and know that He is God? That, my friends, is discipline. Right now my struggle is learning how to be disciplined in rest. Its like learning a new yoga pose and holding it without pulling a muscle. Its a bizarre balance of relaxing your muscles and also squeezing them firmly into place while taking deep cleansing breaths. When done properly it both loosens my tense muscles but also strengthens them - and some days I'm sore after a few hours in a very refreshing way. (yes I talked about listening to the Holy Spirit and doing yoga in the same few minutes - I don't do the religious aspect of yoga and I pray while stretching. If you'd like to know more send me a comment and I'll write a post on it).
The other thing I've really been trying to discipline myself in is gratitude. I've felt gratitude at people for all my life. But expressing that gratitude was... how to put this... not emphasized as much as I now think it ought to have been while growing up. So I'm trying to learn how to do that. The other aspect of gratitude is an antidote for bitterness. There's been a couple of areas that, over the winter I noticed I was growing bitter in, or had become bitter in. Stuff from years back even, towards people I don't even interact with anymore. So I started praying about it. A lot. Not as in hours spent kneeling at my bed - more like I'd catch myself swirling in a mental cesspool of anger and resentment and I'd start frantically begging the Lord to take it away and heal me... and then I'd force myself to think about something else. It was really starting to worry me, as I've seen bitterness ruin a few people's lives who are very close to me, and I've seen it isolate several different parts of my family in really painful ways.
Then I discovered a friend's blog where she wrote about her struggle with bitterness and how she overcame it. Her cure was thankfulness. Every time she caught herself in that bog of anger and bitterness, she'd stop and find something to be thankful for.
So I tried it. And I've been trying it ever since. And you know - it works! Its not a quick-cure. Its a discipline. It takes time and patience and work. With a few people I have to pray and am still praying for God to show me what to be thankful for. Its not a one-time deal. Forgiveness isn't always a solitary action. Rooting out bitterness is like rooting out weeds in your garden. You think you've got it and then it rains really hard and you discover there's a taproot going down - further down than any kind of normal plant and to get to it you have to either transplant a few flowers over or crush them in the process of getting that durn taproot out.
But it is worth it... because eventually you'll get that weed and the others, and you can enjoy the blooms again.
Alright I'm done being profound. Hopefully the internet will continue to work like it ought to in 21st Century America so I can share my lighthearted and playful thoughts as well again.
Well, there was a collective gasp from all adults when the baby opened my gift to him, along with questions of "Is that handmade?" "Who did you get to make that?" "YOU made that?! WOW!"
The boy himself gratefully bit the stegosaurus on the nose, threw him on the ground and... well, that was it as far as his interest in THAT toy went. But his mama assured me that he WILL be interested in it later (poor child. He'll always wonder why mom and dad kept shoving that dorky dinosaur in his face telling him with a nostalgic sigh about some person who made it for him waaay back before he was old enough to remember anything.) It was just all the OTHER toys that flashed and made noise were currently distracting him - and driving mama nuts!
BUT my husband and I have now attended two different birthday parties for one-year-olds, and have both decided that such things are not necessarily for the child's benefit, but for the parents, friends, families etc. to celebrate the fact that the small bundle of joy has survived their first year. (And in this particular little guy's case, it was DEFINITELY a celebration. Poor kid has had way too many health issues, starting from day 3 of his precious little life!) Which is fine, but that being said, if the parents ooh and aaw over my gift more than the munchkin does, its ok. I'm just further fulfilling the purpose of the party!
Springtime in Kentucky = thunderstorms and a tornado here and there. And I ALWAYS forget that each spring!!!
Yesterday I took the kids on a field trip to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Two RSVP'd, and seven more called an hour before we were supposed to leave - AND needed rides from their house to the church. Once I was done figuring all that out, one of the girls who RSVP'd called to say she was on her way. She wanted to be early so we could hang out.
All this probably wouldn't have made it to the Crisis level. However, I weaned myself off of the narcotic pain killer a few days ago, was behind on my Ibuprofin dose AND I'd been up til 3 am the night before due to the barometric pressure from the two massive thunderstorm systems coming through.
It all went well once I figured it out. However, I took my stress out on my hair with a curling iron. Think 80's.
The day redeemed itself when I drove home after carting all the children back to their various abodes and discovered the UPS truck arriving just ahead of me with a HUGE box of plants I'd ordered two months ago.
Spent the next 3 hours happily covering myself with mud, getting dirt under my fingernails, mixing fertilizer with potting soil and the red clay that surrounds my house and praying these plants lived and bloomed.
And then went to bed, where I tossed and turned because of MORE barometric pressure. My husband convinced me to take another narcotic pill, which I did, and then got very loopy telling him all about a blackberry trellis.
And then I dreamed one of my good friends fell in love with a G. I . Joe toy who came to life and was from Terminator.
So today I have done nothing so far besides browse pinterest, youtube, and facebook. The kitchen is a mess, the dining room table needs help, my bedroom does too, and the living room needs tidied.
Lest you think I am just some suzie-homemaker who keeps her house pristine and knits and whistles and has it all together. Hopefully you don't think that with all my posts starting with the time and the fact that I'm still in my pajamas, but a good disclaimer is always healthy.
Off to wash dishes... altho today I think I either need a nap or a 7:30 bedtime.
Well I am back amongst the living! The whole Wisdom Teeth Extraction process has proven once again that my body far prefers snake oil to conventional medicine. The narcotic was making me nauseous, and the high-dosage level of Ibuprofen completely messing with my digestive system. So I gave up the narcotic, which meant giving up the nausea medicine, which led to withdrawal blues and a throbbing headache starting in my jaw. (jaws have headaches? Apparently they do.) A friend suggested tea with plenty of whole cloves in it. I added a ridiculous amount of honey and some sugar (cloves are sour, man!) and the throbbing and blues have gone away! Please wait for an update when I have the massive sugar crash...
That being said, the weather outside has be G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. My flower beds are full of life and color, which is a HUGE improvement from last year when I had some lonely daffodils and Texas Bluebonnets. Now they are joined by hyacinth, tulips, and then the green spikes of the perennials and a few hardy herbs from last summer. The Clematis vine and lupine made it (yay!) and the roses, tho they took a beating, are putting out new leaves. Other green shafts and spikes are peeping out from under the soil. Being the carefree gardener that I am, I of course have labeled nothing. So it will be a delightful surprise figuring out which ones are flowers and which ones are weeds. I already know a few Sunflower and self-seeded next to the hollyhocks, altho the latter has some kind of rust on the leaves which I need to research how to destroy.
Can you tell I LOVE gardening? I am so excited for Spring!!!
In the Knitting world, I wasn't able to do much for three of the four days under drugs, but I was able to knit up this gift for a friend's 1 year old whose party is this next weekend:
The last knitted stuffed animal I attempted making (about 15 years ago) looked NOTHING like the picture on the pattern, and I gave up knitting toys. However, my skill in reading and following patterns, as well as my gauge consistency, have improved greatly since then.... which all helps for the finished product to look like the picture on the pattern! This one isn't finished yet. The baby it is going to will have a new room this summer, whose theme will be 'friendly monsters.' I had thought about rearranging the spikes and making the above my own creation/friendly monster. However, my husband informed me that to do such a thing was completely unacceptable, the thought of friendly monsters was an oxymoron and unacceptable, and anything other than a friendly HERBIVORE dinosaur that could do no harm to an innocent one year old was also unacceptable. He further went to inform me that our future children will have nothing to do with such a preposterous theme. My dear husband, while fearless when battling fires, cool calm and collected in the most dire of medical emergencies,and a former much respected police officer of central Kentucky... does not like monsters. Of any kind. Ever.
So there you have it. My life of the last few... well, hours. Anything before that up to the point of the surgery is a rather foggy memory of drool and cotton swabs, and I'm sure you have no interest in reading anything further on that topic.
In closing, I will brag on myself a little more by giving you a glimpse of my flowers which are making me so happy :-)
A normal woman learning to serve an Extraordinary Lord in Ordinary ways, and watching Him turn it into Amazing Grace!
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