Loving family

Today’s devotional from the NLT (New Living Translation) site quoted Romans 12:10

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Heart Hug by Morang on flickr

Heart Hug by Morang on flickr

I can’t stand my family sometimes…that’s the honest truth.  There are times when one of them might say something that makes me want to put duct tape over their mouth.  Other times, they’ll do something so outrageously obnoxious that all I can do is look up and pray for divine intervention.  But, regardless of their actions, I love them dearly.  I know that if they weren’t present in my life, it would feel incomplete.

The immediate family is easy to love though.  What about the church family?  That’s a little more difficult – at least for me – and I’m one who seeks the positive and the beauty in everything and everyone!  Don’t get me wrong, there are some that I genuinely adore.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to every one of them.  So, I have to ask myself why my heart is selective.  It’s probably because it remembers the way a person has made me feel in the past.  After all, it has a memory.  There, issues raise up a wall and don’t allow those connections with others to strengthen.  But, is it easy to re-record the memories of the heart so that the negative feelings don’t interfere?  I don’t know, but I am praying for God to work it out.  He’s in the business of construction and renovation and the only one that can knock down walls and renew our strength and spirit.  Thank you, Lord…

Today, my Daysies calendar says:

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Amen!  I guess that’s where I’ll focus – the inner me…

Another year

Wow!  2008 is almost over and what a year it turned out to be.   Challenge after challenge,  there were many times when it didn’t feel like we would make it!  But, like the saying goes, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.”  Amen to that!

I’m looking at the list of resolutions I made around this time last year.  Amazingly, I accomplished a large portion of it.

Stick to my schedule.  This is definitely an ongoing process.  However, the (free!) Blackberry I recently acquired has proven to be most helpful in this area.

The little device that keeps me together!

The little device that keeps me together!


Procrastinate less.
This bad habit has gotten a lot better.  But, I’ve been reading a book that just might have the answer to my problem!  I’m 3/4 through it and strongly recommend it!

To Do, Doing, Done ~by G. Lynne Snead & Joyce Wycoff

To Do, Doing, Done! (by G. Lynne Snead & Joyce Wycoff)

Recycle more. Check!  I used to only worry about newspaper, water bottles and cans, but I’ve added several other items to the list of recyclables – magazines, batteries, paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes (i.e., cereal, pasta, crackers), plastic bags, and the wrapping from paper towels and toilet tissue.  Also started reusing glass containers…

Soap, water, a new label and...voila!

In addition, I uploaded FREE software from GreenPrint so I only print what’s absolutely necessary, plus I get PDF conversion capabilities (BONUS!)…

Check it out!!!

Check it out!!!

Set aside time to work on creative projects. Yes indeed.  From (finally!) painting my daughter’s room to making beaded jewelry to sewing pillows and sacks to making my own Thanksgiving Day cards for the very first time…

Blessed and thankful, I was inspired and got creative!

Blessed and thankful, I was inspired and got creative!

Be more consistent. This one is a general goal and always ongoing!

Be more patient with my kids. Yes.  The Lord is helping me out with this one!

Attend church regularly. For sure!  I don’t miss a Sunday or a Bible Study.  It’s like a car and gas – I need my weekly filling to keep going!

Manage money better. Oh yes!  My honey and I took a Crown Financial Ministries class early this year and loved it!  Despite the difficulties we’ve had with income, we make better choices now as a result of what we’ve learned.

Learning to view finances Gods way...you cant go wrong!

Learning to view finances God's way...you can't go wrong!

Eat out less. This is still a little bit of a challenge, but we’re doing A LOT better in this area!

Cook at home more. Yes – my honey more than me, but we’re saving money and love spending more time at the table together as a family!

Quick, easy and yummy!

Quick, easy and yummy!

Pay bills on time. Most of the time.  It all depends on whether or not the funds are available.  But it’s awesome how God is providing!

Watch less TV. For sure!  These days I only put it on as background noise or flip through channels only to find that nothing of value is on!  We even removed the TVs in each of the kids’ rooms and are down to only 2 sets!

Read more books. Always!  Definitely much more into reading now than I’ve ever been before!

Volunteer at school more. Working on this one.  I haven’t volunteered this year as much as I did last year, but I’m still chaperoning field trips as finances permit.  I’m working on doing more within the community and think that’s where the majority of my focus will be next year…

Shoebox project for the elderly at Christmastime.

Shoebox project for the elderly at Christmastime.

All in all, it’s been a very blessed year.  I’m looking forward to an awesome 2009!!!

Today’s Daysie says…

“EVERY LIFE HAS ITS DARK AND CHEERFUL HOURS.  HAPPINESS COMES FROM CHOOSING WHICH TO REMEMBER.”

…so thankful for those choices!

It wasn’t over…

The last time I blogged was exactly one month ago.  It feels like just yesterday.  Well, that lovely September day brought more surprises than I knew what to do with…

Power Off by jamesmuckia on flickr

'Power Off' by jamesmuckian on flickr

Just as I was leaving to pick up the kids, the power got turned off.  GREAT.  I did what every helpless person does and took a deep breath, nodded my head, and – oh yeah, I bawled my little heart out!!!  That lasted about 15 minutes and with no cash to turn the power back on, I felt hopeless.  I came close to throwing something through the window (as if THAT was going to solve my problem, sheesh).  Instead, I got this bright idea to look in my jewelry box – still owning a small collection of gold pieces, nothing extravagant – they were something of value that could produce some much needed cash.  Back in the day, I used to wear a ring on every finger along with several bracelets and necklaces – can you say, Mrs. T?!  LOL  (If that wasn’t funny you’re probably too young to remember the A*Team.)  Anyway, once I made up my mind about which pieces had less sentimental significance, off on a field trip to the pawn shop I went.  This is where the fun began.

The power bill was $215.86.  Somehow I had to come up with it…SOON!  Well, I picked up my kids from school and headed straight to the gas station.  The cashier insisted I enter the pin # to my checkcard so the transaction would ring up as a debit, but I knew I had nothing in my account to draw from so I insisted he process my purchase as a credit.  After a couple of tries, it went through and I was able to fill the tank halfway and get a phone card to reload my cell phone (nevermind the $35 in nsf fees I’ll pay later).  I wasn’t happy at all that I had to resort to that, but I really had no other choice.  Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul, yikes!!!

I arrived more hopeful to the pawn shop.  For some reason, I wasn’t surprised to see that the place was busy.  Not a lot of people were buying; most were in line waiting to be told how little their items would be worth.  When it was my turn, the nice young man (he couldn’t have been older than 21) inspected my items and asked the most peculiar question.  “Are you Catholic?”, he said.  I responded, “No, I’m Christian, but not Catholic – why?”  “All your gold is 14k and Catholics only get 14.”  That was a new one to me!  I used to be Catholic, but I never picked up on that one.  I guess you notice those things working in the pawn shop business.  Who knew? He offered me $185 for everything.  Before he could open the drawer, I dared to ask, “can you make it an even $200?”  I had no idea what I was saying, but I was a little desperate, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.  He gave it to me.  I was grateful.  Then, I sat in the car brainstorming.  $200 down, $15.86 to go.

I got home and went through the books on my bookshelf.  Again, deciding which books I wouldn’t miss or could get me more than 50 cents.  I filled a box and headed to the book store from where I left only $10 richer.  So close, yet not quite there…uughhh!!!

By this time, my husband had gotten home and after I filled him on on the exciting details of the day, he made a phone call to a buddy who lent him the rest.  Finally, around 6 in the evening, I was able to make the full payment and call in my receipt number to get service restored.  It didn’t happen right away.

sad rain by yu+ichiro on flickr

"sad rain" by yu+ichiro on flickr

It poured down rain that entire evening, which might be why it took forever for the serviceman to come.  We snacked on what we could for dinner and lit candles for some light.  We waited patiently.  I laid in bed for a  while, feeling upset about the whole situation.  But, I refused to let it keep me down so I sprung out of bed and invited everyone to go out in the rain to play!  Crazy, huh?  Yeah, that’s what they thought too!  PARTY POOPERS!  Only one taker – my daughter.  We slipped off our shoes and stood outside letting the water drench us.  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves!  Later, we each took showers and although most of us were already asleep, our power came back by midnight.

Whew!  What a day!  Everything seems to work out in the end.  Like Mary Hunt shared today in her Everyday Cheapskate newsletter:

“TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO.”

Please God, help us to be tough!

Off to a great start

Not really – that’s just me being sarcastic to mask my disappointment.

So far, I put toothpaste on the wrong toothbrush and put my shirt on backwards!  LOL  I’m laughing now, but inside it’s not looking so pretty.

Warning: Venting (aka whining) session forthcoming.

I’m the Queen of Optimism so don’t expect this often.  However, every now and then I have to let it out.  I have zero minutes on my cell phone, my gas tank is on E, we’re out of body wash so I showered with shampoo.  I’m tempted to return some shorts to the store that my mom gave me just so I can get cash.  Of course, I’d probably just get store credit because I don’t have a receipt…and I would probably run out of gas before making it to the gas station…and without any minutes left on my cell phone, I would end up walking home in the scorching heat – getting nothing accomplished!  Geez!!!

Have I mentioned how THIS ECONOMY SUCKS!  Sorry, I don’t usually use that word.  But it does! I know I’m not the only one struggling – just look at today’s big story: “Wall Street Meltdown.” No, I don’t follow financial news, nor do I know exactly what that means.  I just know it’s bad all over the place!

We might just be having ourselves a meltdown any day now if something doesn’t come through soon…and now I’m wondering why on earth I’m wanting to blog about this!  Do I really want to remember this 5 or 10 years from now?!

GOD, I KNOW you have something amazing in store for us!  No, we haven’t been as obedient as we should be and I know that there are millions of others out there that deserve it more than we do, but lately we’re really feeling the pressure.  We’re coming to you, seeking your guidance, anticipating, expecting, hopeful that you’re working things out and that this bump in the road is necessary.  I understand that without this, we couldn’t appreciate that future blessing.

Enough of the whining.

  • I’m grateful that I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and running water to brush my teeth.
    by waihey on flickr

    by waihey on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I have a clean shirt to wear and that the shirt I chose to wear today came from someone I admire.

    by Vaguely Artistic on flickr

    by Vaguely Artistic on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I could take a warm shower.

    by petervanallen on flickr

    by petervanallen on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I own a cell phone and that although I can’t purchase a phone card at this time to refill it, at least I still have the use of my home phone.

    by Unkoine on flickr

    by Unkoine on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I have a car that got my kids to school this morning and that if I don’t have enough gas left in the tank to pick them up, my parents are just down the road so I can call them (grateful for them too!).

    by theres no way home on flickr

    by theres no way home on flickr

  • I’m grateful that you allow me stay home and be a mom.

    by Super*Junk on flickr

    by Super*Junk on flickr

  • I’m grateful that although I have what feels like a million things on my TO-DO list, I can pick and choose what to do next.

    by shaderlab on flickr

    by shaderlab on flickr

  • I’m grateful that although my hubby works hard during the week and carries the heavier load of providing for our family – financially, he still loves and honors us with Saturday dinners and Sunday breakfasts.

    by Rick Rack Attack! on flickr

    by Rick Rack Attack! on flickr

  • I’m grateful that even though you’ll probably come through at that 11th hour, we’ll glorify Your name and add it to our testimony that will help others get through their “bump in the road.”

    by sgs 1019 on flickr

    by sgs 1019 on flickr

There are many more other things for which I’m grateful.  Right now, I think I’m feeling better.  My hubby’s pancakes (leftover from yesterday’s breakfast) are in the microwave.  Today’s first load of laundry is waiting to be hung outside.  The bathroom door doesn’t know it yet, but it’s about to get a message painted on it.

It could be worse – A LOT WORSE.  Let’s see what today’s Daysie page says…

“WE SEE THE POSSIBILITIES IN OTHERS, BUT DO WE EVER DREAM OF THE POSSIBILITIES WITHIN OURSELVES?”

Hmmm…

Shiny Penny

penny shadow - by ladymohan on Flickr

penny shadow - by ladymohan on Flickr

If you have kids, you’ve probably had one of those moments with your little one that just made you want to squeeze her cheeks and give her a big hug when she does or says something really beautiful that brings a warm and fuzzy feeling to your heart?!  I had one of those moments earlier today.

My daughter found a shiny new penny on the ground.  This is the conversation that followed:

HER: “Mama, did you know this penny says, ‘In God We Trust’?”

ME: “Yes, all money says that to remind us that we should trust in Him and not in money.”

HER: “Even the dollar says that.”

ME: “That’s right, God is everywhere.  Even money wants us to remember that it comes and goes, but God is forever.”

HER: “Yeah, and when He gets really old, he just gets young again.”

That just made my heart melt!  Kids aren’t complicated, they just know what they know!  What’s OUR problem?!  We over analyze and always need answers – answers we probably wouldn’t comprehend even if we actually used 100% of our brains!

God’s gentle reminder today could not have come at a better time.  As I’m sure many out there are struggling financially, my family is also getting through some challenging times.  We’re taking it day by day.

Thankfully, I had just enough cash from hubby’s paycheck this week to cover:

  1. the overdue telephone bill (service is restored!!!)
  2. last month’s water bill (this way service goes uninterrupted – we need our daily showers!!!)
  3. get a money order for a very old debt that must be paid or we end up in court
  4. charitable donation to a guy on a street corner
  5. leftover cash for a little bit of gas.

So there’s hope.  When we put our trust in God, He makes everything work out.  Regardless of our circumstances, He comes through.

Today’s Daysie says:

THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT – THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.  John 15:12

AMEN!  I had a funny feeling He would show up in my Daysies calendar too!  That’s definitely a message we should all remember!  =)

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.