Monday, April 26, 2010

Someone prayed for me today.

Prayer is a wonderful thing. I like praying. I don't do it as often as I should, but I feel more connected to God when I pray. I also just like talking to my Father. Often times throughout the day I will just say something to Him, chat about life. I want to be His friend and Him be mine. And the only way I know to be friends with someone is by talking to them. You can't ever get to know someone unless you talk with them. So, even though I don't pray enough, I know what a wonderful thing it is; it is beautiful.

It's also something we are commanded to do. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." And when God tells me to do something, I try my best to obey. I fail, often. But I have to at least try.
We are also commanded to pray for each other. James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We are also told to "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
I try to pray for others as much as I can. I know that this also makes me feel closer to God. Anytime I do anything that He asks me to, I feel closer to Him.
But I also feel closer to the person I am praying for. Whether it be someone I know personally or not, when I pray for someone, I feel a responsibility for them. I think that is part of why we should pray. It connects us.

And today, I felt connected.
I had a hard day today. I have been working on some things in my life that the Lord has shown me needed work. Okay, so I haven't been working on them like I should be, so God decided to kind of, ahem, make me work on them. And I have been struggling.
So last night when Hub told me he wanted to buy a car, and it would wipe out most of our savings, I kinda freaked out (silently). See, God has been showing me that I should be submitting more to Hub. And I have been trying so hard to hold onto the control in our marriage and it's a heavy burden to bear, especially since it's not mine. And God has also been trying to show me that money isn't as important as I keep thinking it is. We have very little, and most of the time it's quite fine by me. I know that our choices are seen as strange to some but because we are doing what God wants us to do, I can deal with it. Of course, we almost always have a safety net financially. Not much, but when we get our tax refund every year, I put it in the bank and save it. When our savings dwindle, I get nervous.
So, when Hub tells me he's buying a car and I realize how that affects our savings, I didn't handle it well. Last night was a rough night. I didn't sleep well. And this morning was a big struggle. I gotta tell you, it was one of the hardest mornings I can remember in quite awhile. I had to force myself to give Hub my blessing. And I wasn't nearly as gracious about it as I should have been. But I did it.

And as the day progressed, my burden got lighter and lighter. I realized that someone was praying, cause I sure wasn't. God was answering someone else's prayers, not mine. And I'm grateful and ashamed. I should have been praying; praying for Hub, who is making huge strides in taking his rightful place as the head of our family, and I should have been praying for strength for myself, and that I can learn to let go of money and rely on God. Okay, I should have been praying for a lot more than that, but you get the idea.

I have no idea who was praying for me today, and that's okay. I still felt it. I actually got to a place where I was completely peaceful about this whole situation. We needed a car. There is no question about that. And the fact that Hub was willing to step out and do it all himself is amazing. He has never done something like this before. And it's awesome that he did something knowing I wasn't completely on board; he's never done that before.
Okay, I know that sounded so strange. I'm proud that he did something that I was against. Wow! See, the praying worked even better than I realized earlier. What Hub did today was the right thing. I didn't want to see it, didn't want to let go of my issues, didn't want to do what I should have done. But he was able to do the right thing anyway. This is huge for us!!

I so totally don't know how to end this post. I'm sitting here stunned over what I just figured out. I'm a compose a post as you go type of blogger so things can end up not where I meant for them to when I started. Sooooo, thank you. Thanks friend for praying. Thank you for obeying God. Today it made a huge difference.
Okay, so praying makes a huge difference every day, today, the difference is in me. Yay!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am not a female: Update

Okay, so in my 100th post a few days ago, we (and yes, I am using the royal "we") discussed the fact that I might not really be a female.
Well, I have decided that in fact, I am indeed a female. I bought something and used it and it convinced me that lurking under my not girly-girl exterior is an honest to goodness girl!
In honor of my upcoming *gasp* 39th birthday, I bought myself something I had been wanting to try for some time. But because I am not a girly-girl, I considered it a frivolous item that would probably collect dust, so I would never indulge myself.
That has all changed now. I bought myself a hair straightener. And it is marvelous!!! I love it!
How much do I love it you ask? Well, I took a picture of myself, you know, the un-beautiful one, the me that I have a hard time seeing the way that God sees me. Yup. I took a picture and while I still don't immediately say "beautiful" when I look at it, I do see that my hair is gorgeous! And even though I have a sunburn from spending time out at the ball field, I can begin to see what God sees in me. Okay, I will even admit to being able to see some beauty here. I am me, wife to a wonderful man, mom to amazing kids, and a daughter of the Most High King. And, well, that makes me a Princess, so I guess I have to at least admit that I am a female. (Ha!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

One of Those Days

No kidding, it's been one of those days.
I went to town and only discovered that I left my wallet at home when I got to the checkout.
After going home and getting my wallet and then going back and re-shopping, I find out that I had forgotten that I was supposed to have Dino at church for his last round of testing an hour earlier.
I make dinner early so I can get Frog to soccer practice on time only to lose track of time and end up late.
I also forgot his shin guards for practice so I just hope he doesn't get kicked. (he didn't)
I fell asleep when putting Monkey to bed and messed up "date" night for me and Hub. (Never fear; it was only postponed a little bit. I woke up soon enough to spend some time with Hub before he went to bed.)

And now I'm sitting on the computer instead of sleeping. Okay, I'm not really sitting on the computer. Just typing on it. Or typing at it? Or sitting beside it, typing on it, staring at the screen? Something.

So, the biggest tidbit about the day that stands out to me is forgetting Dino's test. I am really shocked that I did that. I have been obsessing about that test for weeks. Is he ready? Did I teach the right things? Is he going to score well enough? On and on and on.
I was the kid who liked to get good grades. I never wanted to work all that hard for them, but I enjoyed getting good grades. By the time I went to college in my 20's, I was definitely into getting all A's. I was extremely hard on myself if I did not perform at the level I thought I should. I went to community college and got a two-year degree. I graduated with a 3.94 grade point average. I can still tell you all about the one B I got that kept me from having a 4.0. That is still with me even though it happened over 10 years ago.
I have to work really hard at not projecting that onto the boys. I don't think grades are everything. You can perform well in something but still not get a perfect score. And often, getting a bit less than perfect is more fun anyway.
I am working on it. But I think another part of it is that I don't want to let homeschooling down. I feel this need to make sure the institution of homeschooling is protected. Irrational I know, but what I feel nonetheless. I know the statistics. In fact, I use the statistics quite often to show people that homeschooling is not a bad thing. There are many people in my life who don't agree with my choice to homeschool. And I have been quick to assure them that homeschooled kids outperform public schools kids in standardized tests every time. And the thought that my homeschooled kid might not terrifies me. And I have got to let that go. It is not good to be this way.
I was able to look at Dino's test this week. I had to go behind him and make sure all his answers were bubbled in correctly. So I got to get a feel for how he did. And there are going to be some areas he will have scored better than average, and some areas that he will not have scored as well. And that's okay. Part of the wonderfulness that is homeschooling is the ability to cater to each child. Dino is a phenomenal reader. He loves to read and has a vast vocabulary as a result. So, he did well in his reading comprehension and vocab sections. However, he does not like Language Arts in general. He is not interested in spelling or grammar. He will tell you a detailed story in a heartbeat, but ask him to write it down and it becomes a two sentence, boring mess. He's very good in math but he doesn't think he is, so he tends to not pay attention or concentrate.
These are things I knew about Dino going into his test, so the fact that I was upset when I saw that he had not done as well on some sections of the test is silly.
And for that matter, I don't even know what his score will be. I only know that he didn't get all of the answers right.
And it's an absurd way to look at the whole thing. He doesn't have to be perfect. He doesn't have to have straight A's. He is an intelligent boy and it's my job to teach him to think for himself, not be a miniature me.
And he most certainly does not need to carry the weight of the entire homeschool movement on his shoulders.

Do I believe that homeschooling is a wonderful thing? Yes. Do I believe that in general homeschoolers are getting a better education than their public school counterparts? In general, yes. Do I feel like every parent who would like to should be able to homeschool? Yes. Do I feel like anyone can do it? Yes.

Homeschooling is a wonderful way to educate your children. Anyone can do it. There are so many options out there, that even if a parent doesn't think they have the necessary brains to do it, they can.

But my reason for homeschooling isn't just about the education. It isn't just about helping my children get good grades and go to top colleges. It's about their salvation. I personally believe that public schools now are doing their level best to stamp out Christianity. I cannot willingly send my children into an environment where I feel their faith will be torn up by the roots. I know that God is calling me and Hub to homeschool our children and do our best to instill a saving faith in Jesus Christ in them.
So the test scores shouldn't matter. Nothing else should matter but what God thinks about it. It doesn't matter that people in my life disagree. Even if the boys score way below public school kids, it doesn't matter. What matters is that Hub and I are doing what God wants. Everything else pales in comparison.

So, that is what I am holding on to. Even when I have one of those days.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Completely random and useless

This marks the 100th post. Wow! In honor of that, I am going to make a list of 100 useless random silly irrelevant absolutely brilliant pieces of information!
  1. I am a female.
  2. I like being a female most of the time.
  3. I do not like pantyhose.
  4. I have the whitest legs on the planet.
  5. And yet, I still refuse to wear pantyhose.
  6. Pantyhose itch, chafe, irritate, and just generally annoy.
  7. Plus, they cut off the circulation to my legs.
  8. I do not wear make-up.
  9. I do occasionally wear lip gloss or lipstick. Very rarely.
  10. I do not own any hair care appliances.
  11. Well, I own a hair dryer, but that is all.
  12. I haven't worn a dress or a skirt in well over a year.
  13. I can't actually remember the last time I wore a dress or a skirt.
  14. I don't wear jewelry very often.
  15. My wedding ring does not fit anymore, so I never wear it.
  16. I don't wear a watch.
  17. Once in awhile I wear earrings.
  18. This list is starting to make me think maybe item #1 isn't entirely true.
  19. I'm joking.
  20. But I am not a girly-girl.
  21. I don't particularly like pink.
  22. Or purple.
  23. Oh, wait! I like nail polish!
  24. Does that qualify me for female-hood?
  25. In the summer I will paint my toenails.
  26. Not my fingernails.
  27. I like crazy colors on my toes.
  28. When I was pregnant with Dino, my doctor told me to take off my toenail polish before he was born.
  29. It was a pale blue color that led her to believe I had some problems.
  30. I forgot to remove it until the night my water broke.
  31. You're imagining a 9-month pregnant, laboring woman removing toenail polish, aren't you?
  32. It was comical.
  33. Oh, hey, being pregnant proves I'm a female!! Yay!!
  34. I can prattle on like this for hours.
  35. I'm just getting warmed up.
  36. Aren't you lucky?!?
  37. I have the best friends in the world.
  38. No, seriously, I mean that.
  39. I have friends that will always be there for me.
  40. I have friends who send me random packages in the mail just to cheer me up.
  41. I have friends who will play silly games with me just cause I like them.
  42. I have friends who laugh at my ridiculous jokes.
  43. I have friends that even when it's been awhile since we've talked, we're so close we can just pick up where we left off.
  44. I love that.
  45. Some of the best friends I have ever had in my life I've met online.
  46. Only some of them have I met in person.
  47. I have some friends that I only know online.
  48. They are still some of my very best friends ever.
  49. I love that I can be myself with them and they accept me anyway.
  50. I also love that my friends love me in spite of myself.
  51. They can look past the goof ball and see the vulnerable inside of me.
  52. And love me anyway.
  53. My family loves me too.
  54. But they have to. It's in the contract.
  55. I should really make a contract and make them all sign it.
  56. That would be fun.
  57. I have a crazy family.
  58. I have two moms.
  59. I have two dads.
  60. And I really consider them that way.
  61. I will often say step-parent just to differentiate.
  62. I have one brother who shares the same mother and father biologically.
  63. I have 4 other brothers.
  64. I have no sisters.
  65. Maybe this ties into the whole me not being all that girly.
  66. Between all my brothers, I have 5 nieces and 5 nephews.
  67. And I have 4 sisters-in-law.
  68. And some of them are awesome.
  69. Okay, I'm joking.
  70. All of them are awesome.
  71. Hey, they married into our family so they must be pretty darn fabulous!
  72. One of my brothers is an alcoholic.
  73. I want to save him.
  74. I can't.
  75. He makes me really ticked off sometimes.
  76. But I still love him.
  77. Another one of my brothers is an arrogant jerk.
  78. I usually only see him once a year.
  79. But, again, I still love him.
  80. I would still do anything for him.
  81. Not all of my brothers know Jesus.
  82. I wish they all did.
  83. I breaks my heart to think that they don't want to know the Lord.
  84. Then I think about everyone else who doesn't know the Lord.
  85. And I wish I could save everyone.
  86. But I can't.
  87. I can't save anyone.
  88. It's not my job.
  89. My job is only to live the life God wants me to live.
  90. I can only be a witness for Him.
  91. He's the one who does the actual saving.
  92. And golly bum, He's fantastic at it.
  93. He saved me.
  94. And I am forever grateful.
  95. Not only did He give me the greatest gift ever, my salvation, He also showers me with blessings.
  96. He gave me tons of wonderful friends.
  97. He made me a part of my fabulous family.
  98. He blessed me with the most amazing husband.
  99. He thought enough of me to allow me to raise three of the best boys in the entire world.
  100. He is.

Wow! Easier than I thought. I can talk a lot. But it took me several days to complete this blog. I only had one sentence for days. Some kind of mental block.
But I'm back now. And I already have a great blog planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is risen indeed!

Thank you Jesus, though the words "Thank you" are woefully inadequate.
My life has no meaning apart from you.