Saturday, February 27, 2010

Knock..knock...knock, "Kirby threw up", and other things that you don't necessarily want to hear while lying in bed at 7am on a Saturday

We threaten our children with death if they wake us up on Saturday mornings.  I know that sounds extreme, but we've tried other things and that's the only one that seems to work.  There are however a few exceptions that will allow them to wake us up and their lives will be spared.  Someone or something vomitting on the carpet tops the list. 

Such is the reason for my early rising this morning and subsequent blogging at 7:49am.  I can't exactly go back to bed and relax after digging out the shampooer and cleaning up the 1,000th mess that this creature has made:

This is Kirby.  

Yes I know he's cute, but he's also big and along with big dogs comes big gross.  Drooling anytime someone eats around him...big long slobbery drool that looks like he swallowed a tennis shoe and the strings are hanging out.  And he likes to vomit on the carpet about once every three months, which is really fun.  This alone has made purchasing a carpet shampooer one of the best investments we have ever made.  And we won't even talk about doggie diahrea.  Don't need to revisit that, thankyouverymuch.  Let's just say that if it weren't for his wrinkly forehead and the intensity of it's cuteness, he may not be here right now.

So I guess...

because he's so adorable...

we'll keep him.

And we won't kill the children.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Submission is ducking so that God can hit your husband

That's what I got out of the "Focus on Marriage" simulcast that Vince and I attended at our church last year.   Ok, I got alot more out of it that than, but that was definitely my favorite quote of the day!  Don't ya just love Beth Moore?

Since that seminar I have been pondering this whole idea about submission and my call as a wife to submit to my husband. The bible has alot to say about the subject . I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and try not to ramble too much.

I have to admit, if I'm going to be really honest here (and if I'm not going to be really honest, then what's the point, really?), it is not that easy for me to be submissive.  I know, shocker.  Oh sure, it's easy...when he's right, er - I mean when we agree.  The real test comes when he's not doing things my way, not living on my timetable, and when I'm irritated...hypothetically speaking of course.  Mr. Wonderful NEVER irritates me.  Nor do I ever irritate him.  But if it ever were to happen, I can imagine that it may be somewhat difficult for me to lay down my own desires, humble myself, and submit. 

The idea of submitting to a man is not very popular among us women.  Especially for those who do not share a biblical view of marriage (and it's not always easy for those of us who do either.) Our society is very much into man-bashing and belittling and I have to admit, I've done my share of that.

For example, this should not be my favorite t-shirt of all time, and out of respect for my husband I should not find this funny...

My best girlfriends and I used to have a "boys are stupid" club. We were all the presidents, and our meetings convened anytime one of our husbands or boyfriends did something dumb, or more specifically something that irritated or hurt us. That was years ago, and since meeting Vince I have officially resigned from the club (as far as he knows). No really, honestly I have. It is very important to me, and to God, to treat my husband with respect - not only to him, but when I am speaking about him to others. And most importantly, in my own heart.

It's the in my own heart part that can be a challenge. To me, submission is all about respect. I can be respectful on the outside. I can concede what I want to what my husband thinks is best, I can keep my mouth shut when I really want to give him a "what fer" ~ while inside my heart I am seething and rehearsing all kinds of things I'd like to say. Is that true respect? I think not.

It's a heart issue. If my heart is not right, it will show one way or another. Especially with Vince. He is one of the most intuitive and perceptive people I know, and he can read me like a book. With a tilt of his head and a squint of his eye, I know that he's on to me...there's something there that he's detecting and he won't let it go until he finds out what is going on in me. I can't hide anything from that man, and you know what? I'm glad for that. I spent alot of years hiding. Hiding the truth about what I really felt and thought. I don't want to go back to that place, and thankfully with the husband God has blessed me with, I know that I won't.

One night as we were getting ready for bed, I said to Vince, "I started writing a blog about submission. What do you think about that?"

He paused ever so briefly, then replied, "Yes, dear?"

Baaaaa haaaaa haaaaa!

I said, "No really, I want to know what that means to you."

He paused, a little less briefly, then replied, "Is this a trick question?"

Once I assured him that I really did want to know his thoughts, no hidden agenda to worry about, he gave me a very thoughtful, introspective answer...and I wrote down what he said so I wouldn't miss anything.

"The bible says that a wife should submit to her husband in all things. I believe it's the man's responsibility to be in allignment with God. To be the spiritual leader of his family, his wife, and his house. Submission isn't about lording over or controlling, it's about taking responsibility. The idea that a woman submits to her husband in my opinion should be freeing to the woman, not a prison. The man still values & needs his wife's input, but ultimately I think God holds us (husbands) responsible. That's why He's put the ownness on us."

"Ownness? Is that a word? Or do you mean ownership?"

"I said 'ownness' but that's ok. Misquote me if you have to."

Honestly, I don't think I want that responsibility! That is alot to carry and alot to answer to God for. I think I have the far easier role to respect my husband and honor the authority that God has given him in our marriage and in our home is far easier than what he is being called to do. So, rather than getting all bossy and disrespectful on him, I'm more than happy to duck so that God can give my husband a good smack down now and then.

I know I'm not there yet.  I have alot of growing to do, and lucky for me I have a very patient and forgiving husband - and an even more patient and forgiving God.

On the other hand, I might have to rethink this whole submission thing 'cause I still really want that shirt.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This is going to be a ramble, so consider yourself warned, fasten your seatbelt and hold on! 

Vince and I are watching "Undercover Boss".  Have you seen this?  It's a new show (at least I think it is - I don't watch much tv so if this show has been on for decades already, it's new for me so I'm excited!)  It's about CEO's of  companies who go undercover and work in their own stores to see what it's like to be one of their own employees.  This has gotten me to thinking...what if we could change lives with someone for a day?  Whose life would you want to understand better?

Oh, man...Igor the delivery driver for 7-Eleven was just given a free vacation with his wife to a resort!  Awesome!

Here are the people I would want to change lives with for a day:

1)  Each one of our kids.  I want to know what they are thinking, feeling, dreaming...what makes them insecure, what are they hiding from me, what are they afraid to tell me?  Where is their faith really at?  How can I love them better?

2)  Someone from Haiti.  What does it feel like to lose everything?  To be homeless and have no have to rely completely on the charity of people I don't even know to rebuild a future that I can't see right now.  I think it would be very humbling.  We take so much for granted in our lives, don't we?

3)  Beth Moore.  I don't idolize her, or any other celebrity.  I know they are just regular people like us.  But she has an intimacy with the Lord, and a joy that I don't have yet.  I want to know how she prays, how she thinks and lives her life everyday.  How she stays so intimate with God so that she can receive the divine inspiration to write and encourage so many people. 

4)  Someone who has lost 100 lbs and has achieved their ideal weight and maintained it for a while.  I need to get healthy.  Seriously.  I need to lose alot, and I need to know that I can do it!  And how!  And if I lived for a day in a really healthy body, it would be so inspiring.  I think I've gotten used to being uncomfortable and I don't want to stay this way.

Speaking of that, I have made a couple decisions regarding my health.  I have heard some nasty things about "high fructose corn syrup" and the horrible things it does to your body, including contributing to diabetes.  Whether it's true or not, I'm choosing to believe it and cut it out of my diet.  And so consequently is my family, since I do most of the grocery shopping :)  Well, actually Vince and I shop together quite often, but it shouldn't be too hard to put the kibosh on things I don't want put in the cart. :)  I discovered Saturday that it's not that easy to find things without "hfcs".  I had to get an off brand of yogurt because all the name brands have it.  And granola bars?  Nada - those remained on the shelf.  It's ok, my homemade ones are so much better anyday.  One more thing...I'm not going to be consuming aspartame either.  So that means no pop for me!  We are going to focus more on natural foods and less processed foods.  Uh boy.  Change is hard for me!  Prayers are very, very welcome!

That's 'nuff rambling for tonight.  Except for this...Mr. Wonderful made me the most awesome iced coffee today!  I 've been sipping on it since this afternoon.  It sooo beats Starbucks (gasp, did I just say that?)  The caffeine was a welcome addition to my day, now I just really hope I can sleep tonight.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

memories & stuff

I'm finding all sorts of treasures as we continue our decluttering/organizing/purging project at home.  We are literally going through all of our "stuff", limiting things we have in storage to keepsakes and Christmas stuff, and either using or pitching the rest.  Today I actually got through the *last tote* in our storage room!  THE LAST TOTE, PEOPLE!  Woo hoo!  I never thought we'd get there, but we did!  It's been fun.

In going through our aforementioned "stuff", I ran across a box of keepsakes from my childhood.  In there, among other things like my Smurf collection, my little "Odie" doll, and Holly Hobby set (it's a cardboard Holly Hobby where you where you can put different clothes on her with yarn that you lace through the holes - I know you wanted to know that), I found my diaries... 

October 23, 1980 "Today I got a class picture of that cutie Matt.  Ooooh is he a hunk!  I think he likes me, too!  I gave him a class picture of me too!  He wanted one!  I hope he can go skating tomorrow night!  If we can I hope he skates with me on Moonlight-Midnight Skate!" 
He did.  And I see I have been overusing exclamation points since I was eleven!!!

June 22, 1984 "I am so happy!  I found Christ and am starting to live for him right now!" 
And then I went on to talk about the weather....see, my rambling goes way back too.

I've found all kinds of other things that I had forgotten all about.  I actually have an entire dresser full of picture frames, candles, candle holders, and linens, and I think we have enough school supplies to get the kids through the next two years!  I'm a saver. I don't like to throw things away...not in a "Hoarders" kind of way (that show makes me so sad I can't watch it) but I just love saving things that have sentimental value. I think I have saved nearly every card and letter I've ever been given.

I have boxes of things from the kids...notes they have written, drawings and projects, and even some of their worksheets from school. The best ones are the ones where they spell stuff just like it sounds - like Nick's chart of "primary colors and second dairy colors" :) I have two big totes full of their baby stuff that I can't part with.  I have the original "We Are The World" record, and Life Magazine with them on the cover.  I have the newspaper from 9/11.  And like I said, all my diaries since 5th grade. 

My letter jacket (can't part with it - it's the only actual proof of how thin I was in highschool), and a folder full of art projects that my cousins, siblings and I used to make at our grandma's (I especially loved the glitter glue and it has held up surprisingly well for the last 30+ years!) 

Now all this has me singing "Memories...misty water-colored memories..."  Chevy Chase style :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

What? It's not?

I woke up Sunday morning thinking "what is my purpose?"  Not in a depressed kind of way (ok, maybe a little), but mostly I just want to know what on earth I am here for.....really.  It's kind of embarassing to admit that I think that way from time to time.  My faith should be stronger than that, and usually I would tell you that it is.  If you were to ask me what your purpose was, I could give you a really encouraging, God-inspired answer about how Jesus gives us life and purpose, and He is the only source for both on earth.  And Heaven as well.  So, why do I sometimes get stuck in the same rut that I can so easily help others out of? 

Hmmm.  I don't know.  Yes, I do.  My first realization came when I went to grab my bible, which I normally keep on my nightstand.  It wasn't was still in the bag that I take with me to church every week...which means it has sat in that bag all week.  I had not opened my bible for one whole week.  So it's no wonder I was feeling lost and hungry for meaning and purpose.  It's funny, if I had gone a whole week without eating any food, would I be so naive as to wonder why I felt hungry?  It's no different spiritually. 

Some people at church spoke about purpose yesterday as well....just what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.  God is so good at that, isn't He?!  I needed to be reminded that my life is not about me

Let me say that again, to myself.  Loudly.  Feel free to listen in as I scream in my own ear...  My life is not about me! 

And it's not even all about my husband and our children.  The purpose of my life, of all of our lives, is to glorify fulfill the purposes that God has for our lives, as they fit into His greater plan.  I was reminded that there is purpose in all that we do.  God has placed me where I am in life for a reason, and He wants to use me and my life for His glory.  And the same is true for you, too.   As I am beginning to embrace that truth, I am seeing things a bit differently.  Challenges that seem overwhelming are becoming opportunities.  Challenging people provide the opportunity to show grace.  Challenging situations provide opportunities to lean on faith.  Being treated unfairly provides the opportunity to extend forgiveness.  And being faced with a situation that seems hopeless, is ripe soil for hope to grow. 

What value do grace, faith, forgiveness, and hope have if we have no ocassion to use them?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Seriously Sirius!

I'm still driving around the rental car that I've had since crashing my car last Tuesday.  It's a long story, well actually it's not.  The garage where my broken car is sitting has all of the parts available and has just been waiting all this time for the imaginary insurance adjustor to inspect my car and give them the ok.  I played phone tag with the imaginary insurance adjustor for 5 tag, meaning she called me once and I called her back 14 times and got her voicemail.  She finally went to see the car yesterday and gave the least she claims to have looked at it.  When I called the garage this morning, they said they didn't even know she had been there.  So she may or may not have actually gone and looked at it (and this is what I have been waiting a week for?)  Oh well, she approved the repairs and that's all that matters, and in the mean time I have something to drive.

I don't think I mentioned the fact that the rental car they gave me is a brand new Chevy Impala!  Brand new, as in it only had 20 miles and not a scratch on it when I drove it off the lot.  Seriously?  I don't need this pressure!   Why can't they give me a crappy car off the used lot??  It's nice and everything, but on top of the elevated blood pressure I still have from the accident, I now have the added stress of driving around a perfect-just-waiting-for-me-to-get-a-door-ding car. 

Well, it's all worth it because for the past 7 days I have been enjoying, drooling, fawning over, and rocking out to Sirius Radio!!!  Do you have this???  It is the bomb to end all bombs, people!  If you are not in the know (as I wasn't) it is kind of like cable for your radio.  It is satalite radio, meaning you can pull in all the stations no matter where you are, and there are like 240 stations...all with different themes and genres of music, sports, news (yea, like I'd ever listen to news channels.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I have no idea what is going on in the world 87% of the time).  It's all about music for me, and the ocassional talk radio show.  For a week now I've been toggling between the 70's and 80's channels, taking the long route, driving around the block a few extra times and tonight upon getting home from work, I may or may not have sat an extra 4 minutes in the driveway jamming out to "Caught Up In You" by 38 Special really loud.

This is so a trap from satan...just when we decide to start tithing and cutting out unnecessary expenses, he throws Sirius Radio in my face.

Go! Just go!

You just have to go over to Mr. Wonderful's blog RIGHT NOW, and read his post for today and watch the video he put out. It's so amazing, and made me cry....alot!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

...and my brief, insignificant identity crisis

My last post has caused me to take a little stroll down memory lane, and take my husband with me.  I needed to 'splain to him exactly why I was trying to pee like a boy, as it was slightly disturbing for him.  There is a simple explanation really...for a period of time during my childhood, from about kindergarten through third grade I wanted to be a boy. 

Really, I did.  Boys, I thought, had so much more fun!  At that age, I would much rather play race cars than Barbies, and kickball won out over hopscotch on the playground anyday.  I was nearly obsessed with my brother's Star Wars collection.  We would set up elaborate scenarios outside or in the basement with all of his ships and figurines (we, meaning he would be playing with them and I would beg and beg him to let me play too).  I could try and redeem myself here and tell you that I played with Princess Leia and made her make out with Han Solo.  Nope.  I wanted to play with his sweet X-Wing Fighter and  Millenium Falcon.  I used to strap Storm Trooper figurines under our dog's collar and pretend she was a Bantha.  And talk like Yoda, I could.  Besides all that, I also wanted a Big Wheel in the worst way, and I had absolutely no desire to wear a skirt.  Ever. 

It's all true, and well, as long as I'm confessing all this I might as well let it all come out.  Not only did I want to be a boy, but for a couple of days in second grade I told everyone at school that I was a boy.  And that my name was Paul.  I even used the boys bathroom once at school when no one was looking, I did. 

And I wanted boy haircut...see?  This is as short as my mom would let me go with my hair.  

Please don't ask about the shirt.  I have no idea where it came from, but it was mine and was the most boyish shirt I could find for "Paul" to wear on picture day.  And it was 1976.  There was a flower on it tho, does that help?  I didn't think so.

There must be a reason for all of this, right?  Well if there is, I have no idea what, and honestly I don't think I want to treck down that psychological road less traveled to find out.  I'd rather just think it a somewhat cute and only slightly bizzarre phase in my personal history and move along.  Whatever the reason was, it didn't stick and I distinctly remember during the summer between third and fourth grade when I made the conscious decision that I would embrace being a girl.  I got all girly that summer.  I began letting my hair grow out, playing barbies with my girlfriends and making little cakes in my friend Judy's Easy Bake Oven, and talking about having crushes on boys.  I started letting my sister curl my hair and secretly played with her Make-Up Barbie whenever she wasn't home. 

By sixth grade, my walls were plastered with pin ups from Teen Beat Magazine of Eric Estrada and Andy Gibb, and I wanted to marry Willie Aames from "Eight Is Enough".   And, I just happened to have the cutest boy in our class as my boyfriend...see :)

He was the first boy I ever kissed!  (Shhh...don't tell Vince).  Were we cute or what???

Just so you know, I have never, ever since third grade wanted to be a boy again.  I'm sure my parents are thankful for that (and incidently, so is my husband).  I'm not sure about Willie, tho...he never called.  Sigh.

Saturday, February 06, 2010 the time I fell in the toilet

When I was a little girl, probably 7 or 8, I fell feet first into the toilet.  I wanted to see what it was like to pee like a boy, so I decided to stand on the rim in my socks. I think you can figure out what happened. When you don't have the right anatomy to aim with, the pee runs right down your legs.  Just so you know. 

Oh my.

I don't think I have ever in my life told anyone that story.  I shouldn't blog at 4am!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Mom...are you coming?

This is what Nick says, everynight, as he's ready for bed and wants me to come down and pray with him and tuck him in. I've been thinking for sometime now that maybe he's too old for this?  He'll be 13 soon, isn't it ok to just hug him and send him off to bed?  Sometimes I just don't feel like getting up off the couch, or off the computer, or whatever I happen to be doing at the moment and go down and tuck him in. 

Never again. 

Never again will I tell him I'm too busy to spend that time with him.  Never again will I tell Kyle that I'm not going to sit with him in the bathroom while he takes his shower so that we can talk....something he always asks me to do, and I used to do faithfully.  Never again will I wait too long to tuck Hope in, so that when I finally get to her room she is already asleep, and I missed it.  I missed the opportunity to sit on her bed and listen to her tell me about what is on her heart.  Just us.  And never again will I let Vinny saunter off to his room without a bedtime hug. 

I won't anymore let myself be too busy.  Or too lazy.  Or too distracted.  If I do, as the days and years go by, I'll miss what is truly important.  So here I sit after watching this video, with tears streaming down my cheeks, promising to myself - never again.  

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I need to be committed. Seriously.

I have a plethora of things to be freaking out about right now.  So if you don't mind, I may just let them all come spewing out and clean it up later.  Or not.  Maybe it will help?  Maybe it will push me over the edge?  We'll see...

I know, I'll do a "Top 10 List".  That will help me add some humor to the mix and hopefully lower my blood pressure by pretending to think that the following things are funny instead of terrifying.

So here I go....

"Top 10 7 Reasons Why I Am Freaking Out Right Now"

1.  I crashed my car yesterday.

2.  It's going to cost over $2000 to fix, and even though I was working at the time and driving to a client's home, my employer doesn't pay for it.  Is that how it usually goes?  Maybe I'm naive, but I assumed that if you are required to use your own vehicle for work, that they would pay for any damages that happen.  I wouldn't have been on that stupid, snow covered, unmaintained gravel road in the country, sliding into a pickup truck and very nearly missing a head on collision, ending up in the ditch needing to be towed out by "LeRoy" and his skidloader, if I weren't traveling there for my job.  Hmmph. 

3.  I keep replaying the "what if's" in my mind...what if I had slid just inches more to the left and hit that truck head on?  What if I had been trapped in my vehicle, with crushed legs, waiting to be extracted by the jaws of life, all while having a claustrophobic conniption?  What if the driver of the pickup hadn't ended up in the ditch as well, and just kept driving off - leaving me stranded and completely vulnerable on this country road with no cell service - instead of going to get his neighbor "LeRoy with the skidloader" to help me?  And what if I had actually seen the movie "Deliverance"???

4.  See what I do to myself?  Thank God for Vince.  He is my voice of reason.  He's high atop his white horse, cape flowing in the wind with his sword drawn coming to my rescue as he has done a thousand times before.  Wow, do I need that right now.

5.  Even before all this happened, I was freaking out.  Vince and I have recently made the commitment to start tithing.   (Deep breath)  We have always given to our church regularly, but actually tithing - as in a full 10% of our income - we have not been consistent with that.  And I'm ashamed to admit it.  In our hearts, we believe in the principle of tithing.  The church is the voice of God in this world.  The church needs money to operate, to provide ministries to believers, to reach unbelievers, and the bible clearly says in Malachi 3 that God will bless those who tithe. 

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."  Malachi 3:10

The bible also says that those who don't tithe are robbing God.  Ouch.

So why haven't we?  Fear.  Fear that if we give that much to the church, will we be able to pay our bills and our mortgage?  Will we have no money for extras and become prisoners in our home filled with bored, deprived kids?  Will we have money if the furnace breaks down?   Or if I crash my car..........HELLO!!!!!

6.  We should have expected this.  Whenever we take steps of obedience to God, we can expect opposition from the enemy of our souls, who doesn't want us to commit.  Doesn't want us to have faith, and certainly doesn't want us to step out in it.  So when we do, it makes him mad.  Is God using this situation to test our commitment to Him?  To test our faith that He really will provide for us?  Even when it looks impossible and feels scary?

7.  Probably.  I hate that.  I so much prefer to be coddled.  "Come on, God!  Can't you hold us in your arms, keep bad things far far away, and tell us what good, obedient kids we are???"  But instead, He reminds me that He is the God of the impossible.  That He is faithful.  And that He makes a way where there seems to be none. 

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

 Ok, God.  It's time for us to be committed.  Seriously.  To take this big leap of faith and walk with You in this area of obedience.  Even when it looks scary and impossible.  Oh Lord, increase our faith!  And please make people pray for us!!!

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:31-34