Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm a Woman - W-o-m-a-n

Now there are just times, that a fun song takes all the pain out of cleaning house.  My hubby isn't "Mr Mom", even if he is at home, so as I trade one work hat for another, I am also juggling my household chores.  So please call before you come...it might not look too good around here.  Isn't that how it always goes?  The plumber never has his own plumbing fixed and this house cleaner/educator/interior decorator/child care worker....well just guess what you won't see around here right now.

So this song popped into my head and I smiled to myself while I cleaned the pot and mopped the floors and put on the lunch, before heading out the door to another job.  Come on....there are just times it is fun to celebrate our own achievements, even if we are exaggerating a little.

After an appointments with a new clients for decorating, I had a friend treat me to a pedicure.  Now I am not one of those who has the joy of a pedicure on a regular basis...I have had two in my 50-plus-years, but the best part  by far was the foot massage.  When you have been pounding the pavement in prayer, those feet were in need of some relaxation.

Now when I look down at my toes I giggle to myself and think..................wow!!! I even had a pedicure during this season of multiple wearing hats.

Another giggle is that I am now down two jean sizes!!!  I know it seems funny, but being a little smaller puts a bounce in my step and ego.

Have a good week.  I am off to class with my live tadpoles and one baby frog.  Now don't you wish you were a fly on the wall of my classroom?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do We Hear Their Cries?

(my story that explains yesterday's post - Womanhood - The Fine Line)

The challenge in this writing is for my heart to be heard and not just the facts.  I, in no way, want to bring dishonor to anyone or sound judgemental or tell a tale of self-pity.  So to say it is "raw" will probably be an understatement.

I do believe that we all minister out of our trials more than we minister out of our successes.  I have always wanted to be a tool in my Master's hand, and in so desiring that, I believe He has allowed me to walk through valleys that would produce the compassion He desired in my life....one that would hear the cries of others.  To hear someone's unspoken word is a desire of my heart.  To hear their cry before the first tear wells up in their eyes, is what my heart desires.  To not stop at the acknowledgement of their trial...but to hold them, pray for them and then put my hands and feet to work on a solution, is my heart's pounding wish.

Maybe that is why the Lord knew I would need to walk the path I have been stumbling down these last five years.

Five years ago, this July, we walked away from our beautiful home to start the journey of recovering from the loss of our home and business... and lifestyle.  We believed that we were going to be digging out from the failure, yet the hole just continued to grow deeper.  We were a cash-only-basis family, with one small loan on a used car, when we entered into the world we believed would bring financial recovery.  We began to rent and started over at the bottom of the economical salary base.

In the past seven months my husband has experienced four months of unemployment.  To this day he is still unemployed, yet trying to sell a product on 100% commission.  I entered the workforce, taking on different part-time jobs while continuing to home school our last child.  Through the first round of unemployment, God would surprise us through loving friends of decades ago, helping us make our bills.  To walk out to the grocery store on faith and find a check in the mail to pay for the food, was humbling and amazing.

His second round of unemployment began at the end of February.  We had entered February completely caught up with all bills...nothing behind or due.  February brought a cut in his hours and the final month of his contract work.  We started to feel the pressure as he started to look for another job.

March came in with needs.  We began to scramble and go before the Lord. I was offered a two-day job at Benjamin's school and picked up more hours at different jobs.  My small income was all that was going into the bank.  My husband put out his first attempt at "help" from the source we had always learned would help in a time of real need.  He received silence.   Later, money management classes were offered...now don't you have to have money to be able to manage it?  The heart of the matter was....go find some charity to help, our church now outsources these things... a very eye-opening experience.

March brought the reality of needing government assistance to survive.  Bill filled out papers...we were denied due to my small income.  Other papers were filled out....the process was begun...no immediate help. He continued to apply for jobs and tried to sell for the commission job.

April came...........................we were lost!  Every source we knew to go to had denied us.  We stood at the eye-opening realization that without supernatural intervention we would be homeless and without the only car we had in working condition.

Tuesday, April 16th, I fell into deep despair over the thought of being homeless and ripping my children from their lives.  I couldn't handle any of it anymore.  My faith seemed to have evaporated.  I had already broken down in front of a precious young lady...I didn't have anything left.  I grabbed my phone to listen to music while tying on my tennis shoes to go pound the pavement.  I briskly walked, crying out to God in total unbelief and frustration. What if I couldn't do this?  What if I couldn't hold up?  What if????????????

I called my right-hand support and we started to talk and walk it all through.  What could be done? How to do it?  She offered her help...which would later be the ball that started everything rolling.

I returned home determined to do all I could to see us not out on the street. I put our only car up for sell...it was going to be repossessed within days if there wasn't a payment.  This is an 11-year-old-car...180K miles...not something fancy.  I started to grab things to put into a garage sale. I started to plan on selling all I could...I grabbed out the last of my "real" jewelry, gifts from my husband years ago, when things were financially more sound.

I posted our garage sale on the home-school loop that I am a part of, because I teach at the school where Benjamin also attends.  I posted that I was going to be resourceful and it was time to sell!!!!!!!!!!  In my post, I said only that the money from the sale would be applied to rent.

Last Friday I went on to school to teach, leaving Bill to man the garage sale.  This day will always be etched in our memory as the day that God came and parted the sea for us, His undeserving servants.  An altar has been built in our hearts in honor of this life-changing day.

They came to the garage sale.... and they came... and came... and kept coming.  They bought pieces of furniture or art and handed them back to Bill to return to our home.  They bought books...it was time for these to go..and paid double or triple the amount I had asked.  Then one man stayed for over an hour and visited with my husband.  What a joy it was for my husband to visit with him. They shared many interests and passions. Before he left,  he reached into his jacket pocket and handed my husband a envelope saying, "this is for you and your family from an unnamed source. I am only the messenger."  Bill hugged him and thanked him for such an encouraging visit... without looking in the envelope. After he left, my husband opened the envelope and unveiled a thick stack of cash... enough cash to pay our rent...two months rent!!

Meanwhile, I was teaching at school.  As I prepared to leave for the day, women started to stop me.  They handed me envelopes....each was filled with money.  I left crying my eyes out and amazed.

I couldn't wait to show my husband.  He couldn't wait to tell me what God had done.

We stood in amazement, crying and crying.  We walked into our house and both started to pour the cash on the table..................................enough for our family to live for a  month or two!!!

My furniture was there in my home...one of my favorite pictures was standing there on the floor.  Two 50- plus-year old servants of the most high God stood in the den of lions and saw God close the mouth of the lions!!!

My husband later shared his heart.  The vision he had while we were going through this was about a method of execution in the Middle Ages.  Four men would take a man and stretch him out on his back on a table in a X-form, binding his hands and feet at the table's corners. They would lift a heavy a stone and put it on his chest while he was stretched out.  They would then step back and watch the person slowly suffocate to death, due to the torturous pressure  That is what he felt was happening to him.  Different ones were standing back and watching him suffocate, by their lack of compassion ...then God showed up through these amazing, wonderful families and they removed the stone off his chest.  He is now breathing.

I don't know where God is going with us.......................I know where I will be ministering...I just can't wait!!!

Thanks for all of your seeds of prayer.  Please continue as God makes a way for a job for my hubby.  The story is still being written. I am humbled and amazed.  May we be faithful with the lesson our God is teaching my husband and me.  May He use us to take the stone off of someone else so they can breath.

Special thanks to all the women who heard the voice of God and appealed to their husbands to help our family.  Some of you I know...I will thank you personally, and to others, I may never know who you are...but God knows.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Womanhood - The Fine Line

This painting hangs on display in our local library.  The title is "Womanhood - The Fine Line".  It caught my eye and then caught my heart.  Here is where I am at this season of life...as we all are many times in our life.  The balancing act.  I can relate to this picture in more ways than I can express in words.  This painting truly says more than a thousand words can say.

Last Friday my Savior met our family's needs in the most miraculous chain of events.  We went from the total pit of hopelessness, not seeing anyway out of our situation, to breathing life back into our situation.  In a blaze, that only God can orchestra, our lives were forever changed.  I still can't find the words....so I haven't blogged yet...but it will be coming.

My Balancing Act
Fear and Faith
Strength and Gentleness
Courage and Surrender
Independence yet Dependent
Working and yet Resting
Quiet and yet Shouting
Tears of Joy, in the midst of the Pain
Hurt and yet Healed
Disappointed and yet Amazed

I will be back to tell the story.  As one friend said, "it is going to be raw", but it is my story.  My testimony in the middle of one of the largest testing periods of my life.  May all the Glory go to the one, who showed me what a mighty God I serve.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good Things Come in Threes!

I have heard the saying that things come in threes.  This can be good things or give you a warning.  My friend says when it is struggles that she wears her crash helmet.  Well my crash helmet has been on for almost two months, as we struggle through second season of  unemployment in seven months.  The children in the precious class I teaching, have been a welcome blessings of true joy. My small jobs are going well.
  Then there is the next bit of news.  I will let you guess.

This is the newly wed....the one who I posted the "shot me" post note on her forehead the week before her wedding.  Yes, we can say "drama queen".  This was yesterday's text message on the way to work.

I bought a second copy of this out-of-print book.  I used it through my pregnancy with Benjamin and I feel it is the best pregnancy book I ever read during pregnancy.

I was given this....and stood there in shock, no dancing and screaming...shock!

Have you guess?  Yes three grandchildren in 2013!!!   Daughter-in-law is due November 25th and running close in second place, Daughter due December 8th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am off to work, so be by your place soon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday Singings - I'm Changed

This song just gets me in the throat for so many reasons.  I lift my hands and sing at the top of my lungs...proclaiming the truth ....I'm Changed.  I also lift up prayers for those who need to know that He is always there to lift them up, to take off the grave clothes they are wearing....to breath life into every situation.

Benjamin said, "Mom why do you lift your hands?"  "Because Benjamin we serve a mighty God.  I lift my hands to say, you Lord are wonderful!  I am yours Lord. I am thankful!"  "Benjamin it is  like flagging someone down to get their attention.....I am shouting Praise with my mouth and my hands"

Psalm 141:2  - Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
So many scriptures speak of lifting up our hands.  I am lifting my hands!

I came up out of the water
Raise my hands up to the Father
Gave it all to Him that day
Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away, eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was goin'
It didn’t matter where I been
I’m not the same man I was then.

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
And the pain won’t go away
I hit my knees, now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I got a lot of “hey I’m sorry's”
The things I’ve done, man that was not me
I wish that I could take it all back
I just want to tell 'em that
Tell 'em that

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
And the pain won’t go away
I hit my knees, now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I’ve changed for the better
More smiles, less bitter
I even started to forgive myself

I hit my knees, I’m here, I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am, here I am
I'm changed
Yes, I am
I’m changed for the better

Thank God, I'm changed.

Monday, April 8, 2013

When a Fence Isn't a Fence?

Now I have heard it said that fences make good neighbors.  So what do you call it when a fence isn't a fence, but a headboard?

Stretching her mother's decorating desires I submitted to the design of a rough headboard.  What my mind's eye saw was a padded headboard out of drop cloth with two birds painted on each side at the top of the headboard.  The birds would reflect the image of the bird in the accent pillow I had bought for this bedroom ensemble.  I could just see it against the backdrop of the walls I painted...but hey, I am only the labor and daughter had other ideas.

Off to Lowes we went...boards were bought and dropped off in my garage for me to transform these rough boards into a headboard to finish up the newly-wed's bedroom.

Well it isn't what I would put in my room...but again I am 52.  However, it was exactly what the newly-wed couple wanted.  The new hubby like the touch of the bow-tie painted on the bird....all credit for that idea goes to his new wife and the painter, new mother-in-law.

Now if they ever get tired of the headboard it can be turned sideways and be the first section of a fence!  The birds might look a little weird...but it will be re-purposed.
One day maybe I can get a better picture and also show the side table I painted in silver...but for now, well, it is the newly-wed's bedroom.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pushing Forward to Exchange the Ugly

I just don't have words right now.  The words are all jumbled inside me.  The thrills mixed with the challenges have left me speechless. This is probably a very good thing...I even had one week without a physical voice.

The desire to live life even when it isn't fun...and not waiting until the struggles pass to smell the roses, engulfs me everyday...a choice I have to make.

Spring just blooms with joy.  Not even the matter of life's winter circumstances will stop the spring from sprouting.  Spring invites you to skip, fly a kite and dance, while looking with wonder on all she provides. How can you not enter into this season?
As I thumbed through Pinterest, waiting for Benjamin to finish his writing, I came across this quote.

Push past the ugly because that is when the beauty appears.
That is when you are surprised by what can come out of you!
So often we stop in the midst of the ugly and miss the whole point.
We miss everything that makes life worth living.

I was stopped in my thought process.  That is what I want to do...push past the ugly.  I want to stop being anxious over the process the potter is using to form me.  I want the beauty that comes from the ugly. I don't want to stay staring at the ugly and give up hope.  I want that deep seeded hope that comes from things 
I can not see.
"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."  Romans 8:25

How ironic. Our character quality this month, in the 1st grade class I am teaching, is Patience.  God always has a way of teaching me, the teacher, more than the students.  Those 1st graders just thought the lesson was for them.
I will be back...when the pondering of life slows down enough for me to process.  
I promise you don't want to see the ugly!

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