Month: November 2007

Showers of blessings…

Hi. It’s me. Yes, I’m still alive. Doing super-duper, thanks so much for asking. Sorry I haven’t been around, but to be totally honest, I have been just ENJOYING life for the last two weeks…without giving so much as a thought to this blog. Horrible, I know. Especially for someone who was trying to develop a following – not good.

So please forgive me for not updating you…everything is fine on the homefront, other than the fact that I seriously need a haircut and oh my word, do I ever need a coloring…I look like a calico cat – tri-color…dark on tips, red in the middle and white at the roots. Verrry attractive. I’m starting a new trend…when people stare, I pretend that it’s on purpose. (Hey, if people can walk around with earrings hanging out of their nose, what’s wrong with my Neopolitan hair???)

I promise to update soon on all that has been happening, but I REALLY wanted to share a HUGE blessing that occurred on November 10th with everyone.

Remember me writing about this day? It was not one of my finer moments…broadcasting my financial woes on the internet…but it was enormously healing for me…and it was yet one more chance for God to show me just how much He cares about the “little” things in our lives…like our children’s birthdays.

The morning after I wrote that, I received an email from a reader who shared the same birthday as my daughter…November 15th! She shared a small piece of her life’s history with me as she described growing up as the daughter of a man who gave up a comfortable salary and going full time into the ministry because he felt the calling of God in his life. She went on to say that there were many times that others had “filled in the gap” for her family and that she wanted the chance to do the same for me by doing something special for Abby’s birthday and possibly Christmas.

I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that flooded over me as I accepted her offer, not knowing what she had in mind, but trusting that this was something God had orchestrated. Romans 8:27-28 came to my mind…”And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I know what you’re thinking…this verse is about salvation, right? But it is also about HOPE…the blessed hope we have of Jesus’ return. It was just a beautiful reminder that He is still on the throne and no matter how bad things get, He’s there.

When I received Abby’s gift in the mail Wednesday, I was speechless. It was far greater than I had ever imagined….and with it was the most beautiful handmade card I have ever seen. I have been asked not to reveal any more than I have, but I am very thankful for this gift…I consider it not only a gift from a new found friend, but I also consider it a gift from God. He knew. He cares. He’s listening to our heart’s cries…even when we can’t say it, He knows.

So thank you. You know who you are. You have been a blessing to me and my family…pictures of the birthday party are to come in a couple of days.

See you all tomorrow…

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Saturday Miscellany

An assorted list of things I need to work on this weekend:

1. There’s Chili’s Holiday Shopping Carnival to get ready for.

2. I overheard my kids talking in the kitchen about some kid things that reminded me of adult things…not sure that one will make it to the blog.

3. My first ever book review – yes, a publisher sent me a brand new children’s book and I’m reviewing it this week, so stay tuned!

4. A Thanksgiving post to beat all Thanksgiving posts.

5. A birthday post with photos of my soon-to-be-three-year-old daughter.

6. Clean this wrecked house of mine!

7. Practice the song I’m singing at my MIL’s church Sunday morning.

8. Enjoy some stress-free time with my family – we got a free rental from Redbox and we rented “Meet the Robinsons”.

Hope you all have a terrific weekend! See you Monday…

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Seasons of my life

Oh my word. Well, that was revealing, wasn’t it? I am seriously trying to resist the urge to pluck it from the world wide web and chuck it into the recycle bin. I think I’ll tell you a story from my childhood to get my mind off of yesterdays unfortunate post.

I grew up on a farm in South Texas. To be more exact, my family was the hired help for the Rich Man who owned the big farm in South Texas. My daddy, though loving, was not exactly the sort of man you depended upon…he couldn’t hold a job for very long because he couldn’t stay sober long enough to do it. Mama never held this against him, but she didn’t let him stay around when he was drinking, so he’d disappear for long periods of time and then, bam, there he was again. Like nothing had ever happened…I was too young not to realize this wasn’t normal, but my brothers all resented him for it.

The rest of us worked twice as hard to make up for what daddy lacked. Besides, the Rich Man was never there and he actually lived on an estate with a brick house and a guitar shaped swimming pool a couple of hours away. This was just a tax write off for him, or maybe it was charity, I don’t know. But it was so much more than that for our family.

We’d get up at 4:30 am every morning during the school year to do our chores. I helped mama milk the cows while the boys fed and watered the cows, horses, chickens, and pigs. Mama and I would carry the big galvanized tin buckets back to the house and start breakfast while the boys finished up. Mama would put the buckets of milk on the counter to separate, and once we left for school, she would ladle off the heavy cream to make butter, pouring the rest of the milk in gallon size glass pickle jars to be sold in town or given away to others in need.

The smell of bacon and eggs frying would waft out through the screen door, calling my brothers to breakfast. We’d eat hurriedly, stacking our dishes by the sink for mama to wash once we caught the schoolbus for our hour long ride to the school. In a flurry, we’d pick up books, bags, and push open the old screened door to meet the bus that was bouncing up our driveway. When you lived way out in the country, you had to ride the short school bus to school. It was a brand new addition to our little school and no one had assigned any jokes to it back then. It smelled of our driver’s pipe smoke and new vinyl. I loved climbing the steps each morning, taking a big whiff of Mr. B’s pipe before finding my seat. It was comforting, somehow. The smoke would make swirling patterns in the air around me as I walked past him, and I can still hear his burly voice around that pipe saying, “Take your seats.”

My children will have memories of their own. It saddens me that they will not grow up on a farm as I did. There are values that I don’t know how to instill in them without having hard work to do. We were so poor, and yet I never knew it. My mama protected my childhood and allowed me to think what we had was normal and everyone lived the same way as we did. I honestly thought that everyone wore hand-me-downs from their sister-in-laws and shopped for their “new” clothes at the Salvation Army. Sometimes people would give mama fabric and I’d get a pretty new dress with frills. How special I felt. Warm, protected, loved. Those are the three words that come to my mind when I remember my early childhood days. How I long to recreate those for my own children. How can I know if I am doing it? Do I have to wait 30 years to find out?

So it’s time to be thankful, time to remember what I came from, but more importantly, where I am going. This is but a season that we are going through, so I am thankful for a sovereign God who has taken care of me and will continue to take care of me, even when I don’t deserve it.

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It snowed today in Texas, didn’t you hear?

Stay at home mom? That’s me. I don’t get too many days off, either. But today, I took one. Katie was out of town with family for the day and since I only had AJ and Abby, I decided to call an early “snow day” and we skipped school. We stayed in our pajamas until 11:30 and we lounged around the house as if we had nothing better to do.

I tried crafting…made some of these flowers from Wisecraft, mod-podged a picture frame for a Christmas present, but I really couldn’t get into the whole crafting thing, as much as I wanted to. I just have too many things on my mind right now, I suppose.

As I mentioned previously, the last couple of weeks have been a tad bit stressful, to say the least. I usually don’t blog about it because of…well, privacy issues – there are people from church that read this blog, as well as extended family members and I don’t want pity, I want prayer.

But, in the interest of full disclosure, I have decided to share my story, because I feel like a hypocrite for pretending everything is okay when it’s not. It is a matter of integrity for me – my words and deeds need to be in alignment, and they aren’t. I feel as if I’m in a race that has no finish line…sometimes I barely have the strength to keep my head up to face the next hurdle.

My husband and I have been self-employed since December 15th , 2006 (well, I don’t technically work…I just do the paperwork end of things) and this has been one of the toughest years of my life. It is one thing to be flat broke when you are single (which we have both been), but it is entirely another when you have three little ones that look to you to keep a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food on the table. I don’t want anyone to think for a minute that God hasn’t taken care of us, because He has. Our home is paid for, as are our vehicles, so that hasn’t been anything we have had to face losing. God has always given us just what we needed in His time and up until now, we have been able to pay our bills, even if late.

But this month is really kicking my rear end for some reason. We have had no real income for two months (other than some equipment my husband sold) and I am really starting to get concerned with the Holidays coming up. This is supposed to be the month to be thankful, and as I read the beautiful posts that others have written, I must admit I’m just a tad bit jealous. And then I’m so ashamed. I have so many things to be thankful for – family, friends, God’s protection…but I can’t seem to shake it.

Our daughter’s 3rd birthday is coming up on November 15th and we don’t have the money to do anything for her. Now, in the long run, is this going to impact her for life? No…of course not. I’m just frustrated that we are still in this situation almost a year after starting our business. It’s painful to face the fact that this Christmas might be like last, after we promised our kids it would be better. It’s the whole integrity thing again…words, deeds…you know…they really do need to both be in alignment.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I’ve gone too far, said too much. So I guess I’ll just hit the “publish” button and go hug my kids…they are worth more than all the money this world has to offer. (but I really could use some of the money this world has to offer right about now, know what I mean, Vern?)

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