Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Friday

When It Rains It Pours

I know you've heard that saying, "When it rains, it pours".

It's easy for me to try & get stressed out in these times. I try to rush and grab control of the situation QUICK before things get further out of hand. It's actually quite comical to see me attempting to take control of an uncontrollable situation. I'm stubborn, I'm persistent, and I LOVE feeling like I have control over a situation.

That's just the thing, though. It's just a "feeling". Often when I think I've gained control over a situation I later realized I was completely helpless. I had no control over anything. I may have felt like I did, but I didn't.

This is something I constantly struggle with. If you're not someone who likes to feel like they have control over a situation so they can know what to expect then you won't fully understand how hard faith can be for some people. It is really hard at times to have faith and trust God. Having faith, trusting God...that means surrendering control to someone else. It means handing control completely over to God and acknowledging that I have none...and THAT...is hard. Very hard.

My life has been a testament of faith over the past 1 1/2 years. There was a time when I didn't know what tomorrow held for my marriage. There was time when I didn't know what tomorrow held for my husband's job. We moved to Nevada, and I didn't know where we would live. I've miscarried babies, and not known why...or had doctors willing to find out why. I've known the end was close for our car, yet we didn't have the money to buy another. I've had plans changed at the last minute more times than I can count. I've had to trust God and have faith that He knew what was best. He knew what was going on, and I just needed to follow the new plan we'd been given. I've had to explain to others, who were less than patient (& even very upset) at the changes, that we truly couldn't stop the change. It happened. It is what it is. Please, join us in trusting God. Their lack of support didn't make it any easier.

I finally started dealing with the loss of my babies last week after pushing my feelings down in business for weeks. We knew the answer for Gary's job. We had gotten through the move. We'd made it to Nevada. We'd found a house. We were meeting friends. We had the money to fix our car. Life was getting better, much more manageable, I felt much more in control of the situation.

It's funny that every time I start to feel like I have gained control of a situation, I lose it. We all got sick, one after another. We found out our car had met her end. And we still didn't have the money to buy another, but God promised to provide. We don't know how, but we know God will provide.

I am struggling with having faith right now that He will provide. I KNOW He will, but because I don't know how, I feel like I need to do...something. I don't know what. There's nothing I can do. Yet I know God will provide. And thus the struggle continues. I KNOW God will provide, but I will feel better if I can find a way to control the situation myself. Will I ever learn?

Thursday

Why Do We Fight?

I firmly believe that God will use our current situations, our life, to speak to us many times. Today as I watched my children, I realized how much we, as the body of Christ, are like my children.

I asked my children to do something. They responded with a polite, respectful, “Yes, Mam”, and proceeded to obey. Not 5 minutes later, they were fighting. He didn't do what she thought he should, and she was being mean to him. She thought hers was the only way to do it, and as such both of the others were doing it wrong even though both of them were still obeying.

I stopped and looked at the situation. I had one child who had decided she was in charge. She had worked for a little bit with her brother and sister. At some point, she decided that she was doing it right and they were doing it wrong. After this revelation hit her, she QUIT WORKING to instruct them on how they were doing it wrong and how they should be doing it. The other two (who were still working) looked at her like she was crazy (rightfully so) and continued to work as they had been instructed. The oldest then decided that since they weren't going to listen to her she would continue to NOT WORK and would instead be mean and hateful to her brother and sister. She yelled at them, she hit her brother, and she proceeded to analyze their EVERY step telling them what they were doing wrong and why it was wrong. All the while, THEY are obeying...and she is NOT. Yet she comes to tell us that the others aren't doing it “right” and we need to instruct them. When we pointed out that they were working (even though it wasn't HER way) and she WAS NOT, she got indignant and walked away in a huff mad that we had not seen things her way.

Before I called her back to talk to her, it hit me that we, as the body of Christ, are far too often like my oldest. We start out obeying what God has commanded us to do. Then, somewhere along the way, we decide that our way is the only right way. We then STOP WORKING as God has commanded to instead correct others and tell them how THEY'RE not doing it right...even though the others are still working...and we have stopped.

Is this what God would want? Does He want us all do do it one way? Or does He want us to just obey, even if how I obey is different than how you obey? As long as we're both accomplishing the task which Christ has set forth, does my methodology (though it may be different from yours) really matter?

Monday

THAT Kind of Day

God is still on His throne. My world may be crazy right now, but my God isn't. He's got me. He's never left us nor forsaken us. He's never let us down. We have always received exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ever ask or think.

Today is no different. My God is the same yesterday, today, & tomorrow. His word is the same every day. His mercies renew every morning.

Today might be crazy, but I know that my future is in God's hands. He is able. That's just it. HE is able. Amy isn't able. Gary isn't able. But God IS able. HE is able. We'll be okay. He's got us.

Thank you, God.

Because that's the kind of day I've had. THAT'S why.

Sunday

Where Did I Go?

I guess only time will really tell if I'm back for real this time. Where did I go? Why? The answer to that is a long story that perhaps I will share fully one day.

Here's the bottom line: I am a very open, transparent person. I am who I am. I don't hide who I am. I am very open about who and what I am. I always have been. Love me or hate me, you must take me as I am. The problem is that there comes a time when real life and blog life collide. When that happens, and silence must take over...there's nothing left to say for a period. I thought I could just blog about benign stuff (couponing, politics, etc..yeah...I just called politics benign. HA!). I was wrong. I couldn't. If I couldn't be fully open about my heart and where I was, then I couldn't say anything. So I didn't. That's largely because what was happening was coloring so much of how I felt, what I said, what I thought, and what I did. I knew I couldn't hide it as I should. So I shut my mouth.

I hope you'll understand. I know many bloggers have come to a place where something like this has happened. It can be a welcome or unwelcome result of being open and transparent about your blog. Sometimes I think anonymous bloggers have it so much easier. They don't have to worry about how what they say today will affect their very livelihood tomorrow. (At least not until they're found out...which DOES happen.)

I'll share some about what's been going on soon...when the time is right. Until then, I do believe I am back. I am looking forward to the future. God has things in store for us that we would have never in a million years expected.

I've heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. So we did that. And He laughed. And showed us a new way.

Thursday

I'm Back for Real This Time

Ya'll didn't think that I was serious when I said I'd be back right away, did you? 'Cause I did.

But then life happened. Life like me losing the only crown I had after 15 years. (Apparently this is common. No one bothered to tell me that 15 years ago so that I could save up to replace it. Thanks a LOT!)

Don't worry, I'm not really mad at anyone.

About that.

Oh I kid. But really I'm not.

Did I mention that the crown coming out happened just after we'd almost met our $1100 allotment for the year for dental care? They managed to cement it back in for now, but suspect they'll have to put a new one in come January as the walls of this one are really bad. There's no decay...just a crummy crown...that managed to stay in for 15 years.

Did I also mention that 2 days after my dental financial attack, my daughter decided to fall while at the park and split one of her 2 front ADULT teeth in half horizontally? Sure, hon. We'll spend umpteen dollars fixing your teeth. And then spend double umpteen fixing mine in January.

Because we have a money tree in the backyard.

Basically, I'm saying my excuse for not coming back when I said I'd come back is that I was reeling from the pending financial doom of our future. Okay, maybe not doom compared to the over $40K we owed in medical bills at one time, but you get the idea. It was unexpected. So I took some time to curl up in a fetal position in the corner and cry.

After some phenomenal weeks couponing, I've got some tips for newbies coming up. I'm also talking politics (a favored topic of mine).

Let me know what you'd like to hear and I'll do my best to work it into an upcoming post!

Again, thanks for your patience. Bloggers are humans too. As I've proved all too well these last several weeks.

Tuesday

When God Speaks

Have you ever heard God speaking to you, and just KNEW it was Him, but you didn't respond? (I'm fairly certain that's a run-on sentence, but I'm so tired right now that I really don't care. Anyone who does care can feel free to send me a corrected version of my sentence and I'll edit my blog. Really. I will. I'm fully aware that in the time it took me to write this I could have made sure my sentence was correct. Again. That would take brain power. Which I really don't care to give right now.)

Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Me ignoring God.

I'm reminded of the story of the guy who was stranded on the roof of his house as rising flood waters surrounded him. He prayed for God to save him, but turned down the very people God sent into his life to save him. First a guy in a small boat comes, then a guy in a bigger boat, & then a guy in a helicopter. Each time, he turned down their help saying, "No thanks, God's going to rescue me". As the flood waters nearly overtook him, he cried out to God, "I prayed for you to save me! I thought you were a God of miracles!" God looks down on him from heaven & says, "Look! I sent you 2 boats & a helicopter! What more do you want?"

Sometimes God is so blaringly obvious, that we overlook it thinking it CAN'T be God. I mean, doesn't He part waters & heal the blind & stuff? God doesn't deal in the obvious, common everyday things! Except He does. Everyday. And many times we dismiss Him because it's not big enough or bold enough. God hasn't sent us a personal letter declaring that this word is from Him therefore it can't be.

Except I think He did. It's called the Bible. In there, God promises to provide for all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Needs. Aren't those common? Normal? Everyday? Sometimes might we expect God to provide for those needs in common ways? Like a job? Or a meal from a friend when we're sick? The normal. The common. The everyday.

What is a need? I think a big need for all of us as Christians is fellowshiping with like-minded believers. You know, church. We've been going to a fairly big church in this area. We haven't really made it a point to get involved. The kids go to the kid's church, but beyond that, we're not really involved. And we want to be, but this church is just too big. It's also far away. The 20 minute drive isn't bad on a good day, but add in a Michigan winter day & it's a recipe for us missing church...a LOT...in the winter; especially when some of the worst storms like to come on the weekend. We've been praying for something smaller, something that meets our needs more, something closer to home.

On several different occasions one or the other (or both) of us has had someone recommend a particular church in town. It's a relatively new church (around 2 yrs I'm guessing), but it's got what we're looking for. Up to this point, we've taken recommendations to try that church as just people inviting us to join THEIR church. The problem with that theory is that only 2 of the people who recommended that church actually go to that church. The others have just heard of it & thought it sounded like the right fit for us. Today, a 5th person recommended that church to me. She & her family actually attend that church. But she's the 5th person in about 2 months to recommend that church. Considering that we've only been in town for about 1/2 of those 2 months, that's a fairly high ratio.

I'm thinking we should finally take the boat God's offering us & try this church. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's not God, but what if it is...and we choose not to listen? We're looking for a new church anyway so I think we should give this one a try. I have a sneaking feeling that we're going to really like this church. Maybe it's just me...or maybe it's the fact that God's sent 5 people in as many weeks to tell us about THIS church...and ONLY this church. Did I mention that NO OTHER church has been recommended to us BUT this one. Yeah. We'll be going this next Sunday.

Amy

Sunday

Figure it Out! I Just Want to Drive!

This is an archived blog I wrote on my old site on July 18, 2007; shortly after we moved to Michigan.

Today, I call our "Michigan U-Turns" the 8th wonder of the world! I have also since discovered that there is an apparent logic to the Michigan U-Turn. Despite this "logic", there are still many days when I just shake my head as I waste gas going PAST my destination to make a U-turn and go back around to where I already was in the first place.

And the walk down memory lane begins:

I don't get it! All I want to do here in Michigan is drive in a peaceful manner. Is that too much to ask? Evidently it is. I can't figure out where I can and cannot turn left. Here you can turn left, here you CAN'T turn left, here you will DIE if you even THINK about turning left. Here you MUST make a u-turn, here you can try to make a u-turn, here you will be arrested for even thinking about making a u-turn. HUH? I give up.

I'm just going to sit in my house all day and....I was going to say unpack but I think I'd rather figure out the driving laws of Michigan than I would commit to unpacking every minute of every day. Seriously, though. Who created the driving rules in this state. I truly don't get it. They make no sense.

Obviously, the person in charge of "urban" planning and development for the city of Holland did NOT go to MIT. Had they done so, I feel certain they would have come up with a MUCH better plan than the one currently in place.

I want to know if driving is this way in the entire state of Michigan or if Holland is just a unique place? I have no other compliants. I just can't figure out why I have to turn right to turn left. It just makes no sense. Yahoo maps had enough problems without the city of Holland helping it out. Google maps is telling me to swim across an ocean to get from New York to London. THAT seems more logical than driving in Holland.

Perhaps it's because they're turned around from the start? Maybe they think they should be in the Netherlands and they're trying to get back? I can guarantee this is NOT the way to accomplish that task. I'm not even sure you can get from one end of the city to the other with the way they planned this city. If one does, it is by pure accident...or because you happened upon Lake Michigan and decided to swim the rest of the way there.

I now understand why, when we called AAA upon our first visit to Holland, we were told by them that the street we were on didn't exist. Perhaps on a logical map, it did not. However, on a Hollandish (is that a word?) map-it did.

I've GOT IT!!! I just figured it out! MIT sends their kids here to show them how NOT to design the traffic in a city. They couldn't do it to a huge town or even a town in the middle of somewhere so they chose Holland, a town on the edge of nowhere.

See, now I feel better. It has a purpose. I don't know what I'll do if I find out that the entire state of Michigan is this way...
-Me

Saturday

No Longer Naked at BlogHer

I know it's probably getting old for some of you, but I'm going to talk about BlogHer...yet AGAIN. Please understand, I'm not trying to bore you. It just is my life right now. Fair warning, though, if you're a guy reading, you probably don't care to read furthur. Unless, of course, you'd like to know the pain and struggle your wife goes through EVERY TIME she tries to find clothes in which she will look presentable. (We're not talking model-hot here. We're talking non-stained, decently fit clothes. Our standards aren't too high after having kids spit up on every piece of clothing we own.)

Trying to get ready for a conference where approximately 1500 people will have still or video cameras rolling literally 24 hours a day is a bit daunting. (That's not a typo. I said and meant 24 hours a day. Past pictures are proof that you're not even safe when you're sleeping. Talk about PRESSURE!)

The pressure mounts when one considers that I weigh 3 kids more than I used to. Add to that my serious lack of non-stained clothing, and you've got a problem.

Thankfully, after many trips to practically ever thrift & consignment store in the area, Target, & some friend's houses to raid their closets, I believe I now have sufficient clothes to wear. I will no longer be naked at BlogHer. This is good news; especially for the other attendees...and anyone else in the general vicinity of BlogHer...and the public in general.

I don't yet have anything to hold the "girls" in while wearing a spaghetti-strap dress, but I've not given up yet. I knew my search would be hard, but didn't expect the lady at Victoria's Secret to tell me they don't make strapless bras for women with boobs my size. Folks, I'm not huge, I just weigh 3 kids more than I used to. And I'd like a bra to wear that isn't so small I can't breath for the 2 hours I wear it; like my current strapless...which was from my pre-kid and (most importantly), my pre-NURSING days.

I just have to decide WHICH of those clothes I will be wearing in my sleep. 'Cause my Tweeties are also stained and have holes. And my other "jammies"? Let's just say I'm not wearing THOSE in public! ("Tweeties" are my jammies which have Tweety bird on them and are called my "tweeties" by my children who gave me said jammies.)

I now firmly believe, however, that regardless of WHAT I find to wear, I will be FULLY clothed at BlogHer. You have NO IDEA how much of a relief this is.

Want a sneak peek? I found this dress at Target.

I love this style of dress. It doesn't look completely hideous on me. I'll give you more sneak peeks in the coming days. (Disclaimer: No. That is so totally NOT me in the pic above. It is, most definitely, a woman who has NEVER had children naturally.)
-Me

Friday

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Seems I've heard that phrase somewhere before. If my memory is correct, someone named Alexander experienced a similar day. (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day)

My Thursday was horrible by all accounts. If I hadn't experienced it, I'd have thought the person telling me about it was crazy. That's why I prefer not to talk to myself.

My morning started at 3am. And I don't even have a baby in the house right now! After 2 hours of cramping, I finally was able to go back to sleep at 5am. (Just in time for waking up at 6am!) I felt just as bad when I woke up as I had at 3am. NOT a good start to the day!

After taking hubby to work, I headed to a doctor's appointment. I was supposed to be there at 10:10am. After my doctor's appointment, the kids and I were planning on having lunch at the park. I then needed to do some laundry and pack as we were leaving at 7:30 the next morning to head to Flint for a mini-vacation with Discover Michigan for Gary's job.

It was 9:15am. As I was about to enter the highway, I noticed my car was past hot. It was seriously overheating. Lovely.

I turned around thinking I could make it back to Gary's work. I didn't. After the car started smoking at the next intersection, I pulled the car into the nearest parking lot. Gary was in a meeting and I didn't know when he'd be out. Thankfully, a friend was able to help.

Did I mention that my hormones also started going crazy that morning? I literally woke up on the verge of crying. The car breaking down did NOT help that.

My friend gets there and we try to figure out what to do since her car only has enough room for 5 people total. And there were 4 of us...plus she and her 2 children. Somehow the numbers weren't adding up. And she didn't own a clown car.

We solved our problem by her taking my oldest, our son, and her son to her house. I kept my other daughter, and her 4month old baby. (It was horrible, I tell you. Having to hold a sweet baby for 30 minutes!) While she took them home and came back for the rest of us, I walked over to Gary's work. The baby was passed around, hubby and I talked, I cried...because I was horribly emotional, and my friend came to get us.

Shortly after, I learned that I had not actually completely miscarried yet. Hence the cramps at 3am and when I woke up. UUGH! Let's add something else to my day, please. Did I mention my hormones were also going crazy, and pretty much anything would set off my tear ducts right about then? Like if you looked at me. Or if a cat walked by. Or a bird flew overhead. Or I had a thought. Anything. Literally.

After I watched my children plus her baby at her house while she went to a planned appointment with her son, I finally made it to my doctor's appointment...using her car. I got there at 2pm. (Remember, my appointment was a 10:10?) This was an urgent situation, though, so they had no choice BUT to reschedule me. Thankfully, they were understanding.

At 3pm, her husband, a mechanic, took us over to Gary's work then went to work on our car. Gary's work offers a very nice benefit. They have a company car which anyone in the company can check out and use at any time. I hadn't immediately utilized this option because I'd hoped my car would be fixed by now. With all the appointments and running around, though, that hadn't happened. I also knew that this car was a piece of junk. Literally. It is a 1980 something car that they refused to repair despite many things wrong with it; although it usually at least got you from point A to point B. Not in comfort, but it got you there.

It was now 3:30, and I still had laundry and packing to do plus a meeting at 7pm. I didn't have time to reject a working car. We settled into the car and headed off. ("Settling" being defined as: Ensuring that the car has enough coolant as the "low coolant" light likes to come on and kill the car if all reservoirs aren't full, children climbing through the doors that do open to get to the side of the car where the door doesn't open, putting my purse behind my back because the seat wouldn't move and is stuck as far back as it can possibly be, rolling all of the windows down as the air conditioner doesn't work...and ensuring that the bobby pin is properly in place so we can roll said windows back up when we're at our destination...praying there is actually gas in the vehicle since the gas gauge is broken and I have no idea who last drove it, reminding the kids that they can't touch the radio or anything else as touching one thing can spark an electrical issue in another area of the car, etc.)

My first goal was to get to the gas station to ensure that I knew it had gas. As we were almost to the gas station, the car jumped, sputtered, the "low coolant" light came on, and just as I had it in the median of the road, died completely.

I lost it. Completely. With my children right there.

It was now 4pm, 2 cars had died on me, my laundry still wasn't done, I hadn't even started packing, my kids would want dinner in about an hour, and my friend couldn't come pick me up again because she was gone now. (And her hubby was still working on our car.) Did I mention that we needed our car to leave town at 7:30 am the next morning for hubby's work? Yeah. It was THAT kind of day!

I called a neighbor in tears, and she kindly came to pick us up. She also offered her washer knowing that ours had died, we couldn't drive to the laundromat, and we liked having clean clothes. At least I could pack and do laundry. Didn't know how or when I'd pick my husband up from work, but at least I could pack and do laundry. And feed the children. Home is a good place to be even if you're stuck.

At this point, I also called and told the leader of my bible study that I wouldn't be there. There is only so much I can handle in one day. She was understanding, and assured me they'd pray for my husband and children as they attempted to deal with my hormones. (Did I mention my hormones were going crazy?) And for a quick fix to our car.

I also advised my husband that he had better e-mail the people in Flint and let them know that his wife was crazy that we likely would be a little late tomorrow.

Just as I was wondering if my husband would actually have to walk home, my friend called me to let me know that her husband had finished working on our car. She would come pick me up in our car, we would take her back to her car, and then she would go to our bible study and let everyone know that I was uber hormonal and that they should consider saving my family from me give everyone an update on our situation.

Life from there on out was exactly as planned. Wait. No. That's not right. Let's try that again.

We picked my husband up, and grabbed a quick dinner out because there was no way I was going to walk into my kitchen and touch fire after the day I'd had. He then took us home, and went BACK to work where he stayed until midnight!! I'm not quite sure if he actually had that much work to do or if he just was scared of my uber hormonal state. I'm pretty sure it's the latter. I don't blame him.

Still, throughout this entire day, the one thing I noticed (after the hormones calmed down and I was pseudo-normal again), was that God was with us the entire day. Our car could have broken down when we were on the highway and miles away from an exit on Friday. It could have broken down while we were on our way to Flint or in Flint. It could have broken down anywhere or anytime else than when it did. But it didn't. It happened at probably the best time possible. (If there is a best time for a car to break down.)

The doctor's appointment? It was actually probably better that it got postponed. Had I been on time, then I wouldn't have known yet that I wasn't done miscarrying. As it was, I knew that by the time I actually went to the doctor. So we were able to address that then instead of having to schedule yet another appointment. (I had already had 2 in 2 days.)

We were never alone. In every instance, God provided a friend to help us. Two to pick us up and one to fix our car immediately. Our laundry did get done. We got packed. We made it to our mini-vacation. (And had a great time, I might add!)

It was a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day". (Probably made much worse by my ever-present, bubbling over emotions.) But God was there. Even in the timing of the bad, I see His hand at work.

What more could we ask for; even in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?

-Me

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

If we could play God, I'm sure we'd do things differently. We'd make sure bad things didn't happen to good people.

We can't do that, though.

Because we're not God.

I don't think we'd want the job, anyway.

Bad things do happen.

The good die young.

Sometimes babies are taken from their moms shortly after they breathe life. Some before they even take that first breath.

This week, a friend of mine helped a good friend of hers grieve...after a drunk driver killed her friend's 19yr old son.

This week, I found out that a good, old, dear friend...who was like a brother to me...died young. WAY too young. He was the father of 7 children. His wife (an amazing woman) is now a widow. No one should have to go through that in their 20's, 30's, or 40's. That's too young. But it happens.

This week, I lost a baby. My baby had been growing in my belly. My baby is now in the arms of Jesus. I know I'm not the first woman to have a miscarriage. I know it happens everyday. It happens. Because life happens. And sometimes bad things happen in life.

I want to thank everyone out there who prayed for me. You didn't know what was going on. You just knew I was having a hard time. A bad day. Just that I needed prayer. And I did. Thank you.

I wasn't going to say anything here. I was just going to go on about my life and pretend that this had never happened. Call it trying to figure out a way to cope. I've never been one to hide who I am or how I feel, though. So here I am. I am hurt. Because something bad has happened.

I never want anyone to think that I would ever doubt God because of bad things, though. I wouldn't. I don't. I can't tell you why bad things happen to good people. I just know they do. God doesn't promise us that life will always be perfect. He doesn't promise us that there will never be pain.

He says that He can turn any situation for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I can't see the good in everything yet. I don't know that I will on earth. I still love Jesus with all my heart. I don't doubt for a minute that He knows better than I what tomorrow will bring, and what is best for that tomorrow.

I don't understand why bad things sometimes happen, but I do know that God will see me through. He always has. Through everything. And He will through this. Even though my heart is hurting.

-Me

Wednesday

THAT Kind of Week

Did you know that Sprint caps your voice mail messages at 30? I now know that. I won't say how I know, but I know. You'll just have to trust me on this.

(BTW: If you called and left a message for me in the past week, I don't know when I'll be calling you back. Because I may or may not have 29 messages to go through before I get to yours.)

Yeah. It's been THAT kind of week.

It's been the kind of week that has prompted me to write. Because writing is my outlet. It helps me survive when I have THOSE kinds of weeks.

You know?

How's your week been? Please tell me it's been better than mine.

What do you do when you have THOSE kinds of weeks? Do you write (whether for a blog or not)? Do you talk? Do you just shove it deep down inside so that we need to stay far away from you in case you some day blow? (P.S.-I've seen people blow. It's not pretty. Especially when it's you. That's why I write now.)

Have a better day tomorrow than I had today. Have a better week.

K?

-Me

The Struggle For Nouns

My husband and I have known each other for 14 years now and have been married for 12 of those. It has taken time, but for the most part he now understands my "verbage"...or serious lack thereof.

Here's a common conversation in our house:

Me: Honey, would you please hand me that thingy? (As I nonchantantly point to a nefarious "something" off in the distance "somewhere".)

DH: What "thingy"?

Me: The one over there, by the whatchamacallit...by the blue thing with the white stuff on it. (Again...pointing.)

DH: Where is it?

Me: Over THERE! (As I point quite adamantly in the general direction of where this thing is.)

DH: (Looking around at something in the general direction of where I'm pointing.) This? (As he picks up something random attempting to figure out what it is I am actually talking about.)

Me: Honey! Please? It's the by the blue thing...with the white stuff on it. UUGH! Why do nouns escape me when I have a migraine?

DH: Just when you have a migraine? (As he fakes a duck insinuating that I might throw something at him. Believe me. I'm tempted.) (He continues to randomly pick things up that are by the blue thing with the white stuff on it which he has, by now, identified. If only I could be so descriptive about what I actually am wanting.)

Me: Honey...You're RIGHT by it. To your right. That thingy. The green thing. There! That's it! Thank you! (As he tosses whatever "that" was over to me.)

DH: Sure. Why couldn't you just say WHAT it was?

Me: Why? Because I carried 3 of your children in my belly and the mere act of having them in my belly took away my brain which I have yet to get back.

DH: Laughs at me. (again)

When I say this is common, I'm not kidding. Thankfully, it's now an ongoing joke in our family. I figure as long as the family is laughing about it, then it can't be too bad. Right?

Please. Don't destroy my false perceptions.

I need them.

Just as badly as I need that "thingy" over "there" by that "whatchmacallit" with the "stuff" on it.

-Me

Monday

Wordless?

Yes. Me. I have been wordless. Migraines, sick kids, and life tend to do that sometimes. Hey. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Still, we got a LOT accomplished this week. Our garden is now largely transplanted. That's HUGE! We were doing square foot gardening for the first time ever. I've got pics that I'll show you soon. I learned how to pearl in knitting. (I think that's what it's called.) And I now have my brand-spanking new Blackberry!! (Which I played with while the kids did school this morning.)

I have a couple of blogs in the works. I've been researching, digging, and looking for more info on the couple in California that has been threatened because of their home Bible study. If you have any info that's not readily out there, please forward it to me. I'm also looking into H.R. 1966. I've heard the rumors and I'm working on breaking it apart to confirm which (if any) are valid concerns.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with precious pics of my two youngest holding a friend's new baby.



-Me

Friday

The Age to Be?

What is the "age to be"? I fully recognized that I was the odd-man out in high school. All of my friends wanted to be 21. That was the "age to be" because it was then that you could legally drink. Although we all know that they still drank. But I digress...

Because I had an alcoholic father, I didn't care to drink...ever. And I still don't. However, I couldn't wait until I was 18. At 18, I could vote. I know. I'm a total nerd. As if you haven't figured out by my blog already, I'm kinda interested in politics. Always have been.

Forget 21, though. Forget 18!

Today, my 8yr old declared, "10 year olds get to do EVERYTHING!!!" This, after her sister got to do something because she's 10.

Right, sweetie. Talk to me when you're 14 and your sister is 16. We'll see how much being 10...or even 14...does for you then...

-Me

Sunday

Broken

Ever felt like this?



I have. A lot. Far too many times to count. I had a broken childhood and thought that everything would be different when I got married. In a way, they are. They are now different issues being approached from a different perspective.

I'd like to encourage you. If you are going through anything, or if you have hand are still healing, know that you are NOT alone. I can guarantee you that if I don't understand, then someone else out there does. I'll say it again. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

I kno wthat for me that was so important. I know God is always with us, but I'm not talking about that. I mean there is another human being currently on this earth who understands.

Need to talk? Create an anonymous twitter or blog. I've done both. No, they're not connected to this blog or me in any way. So don't bother trying to look. You won't find me...until and unless I'm ready. When (if) I ever am, I promise you'll be among the first to know. I pray you'll be patient and understanding.

Yes. I have secrets...and that's okay. God has put in my path incredible people to help me. He showed me that I'm not alone when I most needed to know.

There are days still when He's holding me up. There are days when He sends a friend to help hold me up. There are days when I don't stand at all, but still make it through the day, by His grace.

No, also, there are days when I help hold someone else up. Let me tell you, THAT has done more to help ME heal than I could have ever imagined.

Please, just know, if you're broken today...whatever the reason...you are not alone. Trust me. I know. I have been where I never thought I'd be, and I'm here today...to blog about it. And that helps me. That gives me life. It helps me stand.

Thank you for your part...for hearing my heart.

-Me

Tuesday

Still No Computer

I am officially having withdrawals now. We need to get one of our computers back up...and QUICK! We're going to Lansing this coming weekend for a homeschooling conference and can't even finish last-minute planning because I have no computer access!

I will finish, it will just be really inconvenient. I'll have to spend yet MORE time up here at my husband's work after-hours. Unfortunately, by the time you get to 6pm, the kids aren't really up for doing Spelling Time, Dance Mat Typing, or anything else they do online. They don't do their online stuff every day so it's not huge...yet. It will build up, though, if we don't get back online quick!

Thanks for your continued patience and prayers. Also, I'll likely be gone completely this weekend since we will be out of town from Friday morning till Sunday evening. If our current computer situation holds, that means we'll have no computer access again until late Sunday evening...IF we stop by my husband's work.

Don't feel sorry for us, though. We'll be having a blast at the Michigan state homeschool convention sponsored by INCH. For the first time ever, we're taking the kids and letting them do the "kids convention". They're really excited. Although we're not sure if their excitement is from being in the "kids convention" or getting to swim in the indoor pool. You be the judge.

-Me

Saturday

The Skittle

Ever had one of those moments where you felt like you might be going crazy? Like, for example, you can't remember the password to your computer? Or, for example, you start to worry because the check-engine light in your car is no longer on. I actually had several people laugh at me. Thankfully, some kind friends on Facebook reassurred me that they had also had this happen...and also worried.

The thing is, the check-engine light has been on in our car for THREE years!!! It had become the norm. We've been to three different mechanics in three different states in that three year time-period. Two of those three mechanics had cleared the check-engine light for us, but it was back on again a week after they fixed our car. (They hadn't fixed what the light was for...they just turned it off.) We'd been told by all three mechanics that it's not uncommon for cars this old to have the light on almost all the time.

I'm mentioned before how we love our car. It now has almost 252,000 miles on it and we are very blessed that it is still running as well as it is and has needed as little repair as it has. We've come to know the quirks of our car. The passenger-side front windown doesn't roll down; neither does the back window on the opposite side. The driver's side automatic door-lock will unlock all of the doors, but won't lock any of them. We can have either rear heat or rear air, but not both. (At least not without a $300 part.) When we lived in Oklahoma, we choose air. In Michigan, we have chosen heat. Our mechanic has graciously offered to switch it for us for free. We don't do it more often because we don't want to fix what isn't broken...well it is...but you know what I mean. In the winter, we can't open the driver's side door. If we do, it will not shut and we'll be driving on snow, in -25 degree weather while holding the driver's side door closed. These are not bad things. They're quirks. They're what make our car; our car. That, and the fact that it is skittle purple and, therefore, quite unlike most other cars on the road.

One of those quirks is that the check-engine light is one. It just is. Because it is. And has been for 3 years. As a result, when it suddenly went OFF, I became worried. I actually called our mechanic to see if he should check our car to make sure it was okay. You know, because the check-engine light was no longer on. Trying to explain to me that it's not supposed to be on and isn't on in most "normal" cars went right over my head. It IS supposed to be on in THIS car because it has been for 3 years. So would he please take a look at our car. He begrudgingly agreed...while his wife (a good friend) laughed at me in the background. I felt deeply loved. And cried myself to sleep...while worrying about my car...because the check-engine light is no longer on.

-Me

Thursday

To My Bathtub

I’m very worried. It appears from your functioning (or lack thereof) that you have forgotten HOW to function.

You remember that the water comes out of the spout. You remember that one controls hot water and the other controls cold. You have not gotten them mixed up and you are faithfully performing these tasks (finally).

Don’t get me wrong. We are VERY thankful that you are doing these duties properly.

I fear, though, that it’s time we have a little talk. While you ARE performing the duties which I described above VERY well now, there are still some areas in which we feel you could improve.

Actually, it’s really just one major area.

Honestly, we’re afraid that if we talk to you we might not get the results we desire. After all, you DID get a little testy last year and forget where to get the hot water from after we fixed a problem in our SINK! We’re still not quite sure what you were thinking or how we convinced you to fix it. What matters to us, is that you did.

However, we are still not completely pleased. Testy though you may have been in the past, we need you to try to hear us clearly: YOU NEED TO LET GO OF THE WATER AFTER WE SHOWER OR BATHE!!! It’s quite apparent that you enjoy basking in our dirty water. You’ve made that QUITE clear…many, many, MANY times! However, we are NOT pleased when we go to take our next shower and find that you have saved a nice, cold pool of water for us. Again, we’re grateful that you saved the worst of it for when it was at least spring. This would not have been fun in the middle of winter. Still…could you please stop? Or rather…NOT stop…and let the water go down!

You know that little hole at the bottom? It’s in the center, right under the bath faucet. It’s the same one over which we have put a nice drain to collect the hair that falls out in massive clumps as our family showers. This drain is to PREVENT you from having an excuse to hold the water!!!!!

Seriously? You need to just get with the program! Is it that you LIKE the big red bowl on a stick that Mr. Thompson shoves on your drain? Please! Give us a CLUE. ANYTHING!

Look. I don’t know what else to say. We’ve already had this talk. MANY times. We just fed you your favorite food again: baking soda and vinegar followed by boiling water. It is NOT okay for you to drain the water JUST long enough for you to think we’re not looking anymore and then start holding it again. That is NOT acceptable and will NOT be tolerated anymore! We have a neighbor with a SNAKE…and he KNOWS how to use it! I really don’t think you want him to come visit you! If you want this to end…without a visit from the snake, then I expect FULL cooperation (and draining) from this point forward.

Do we have an understanding?

-Me

Friday

Failure

Nearly everyone would tell you they hate failure. The truth, however, is that for most people the FEAR of failure stops them from action more often than failure itself.

Let’s just look at some hypotheticals. Shall we? Let’s say you’re thinking about doing division (hypothetically, of course), or making your bed (which now resides at the top of a bunk bed), or pondering the proposition of cleaning your room (which you messed up) all by yourself. We could even get a little crazy and consider cleaning the car…which your children have eaten in…and which now features several science experiments in various stages. Again, this is all PURELY hypothetical.

Now. One can look at these situations, say that they are completely impossible and just decide that because they are obviously completely unreachable and you will, therefore completely and utterly fail, that you just shouldn’t even attempt to do whatever it is…at all…EVER. This WOULD be logical…if it weren’t impossible.

Seriously. Did you know that it is impossible to fail at something which you have never before tried?

I guess one could look at that and say, “Well, if I will only fail if I try something then I might as well never try anything so that I will never fail.” Well…Yes…and No. If you never try something to prevent failure then you will also prevent success (or in the above, hypothetical, situations have a really dirty car, bed, & room…and never learn how to divide things…which actually could be bad in the long run…hypothetically).

Do you get what I’m saying? Facing FAILURE is actually the ONLY way to achieve success! That doesn’t mean that you’ll fail every time you try to succeed. It just means that the only way to achieve success is to try and risk failure.

Still, is failure bad? Isn’t failure just a learning experience that brings you that much closer to success? That’s my take. You may have failed this time, but you learned what didn’t work which means your THAT much closer to finding what WILL work.

I would contend that anyone in any of the hypothetical situations I outlined above should just do it! Risk the failure, learn if you do fail, and keep trying so that eventually you achieve success.

-Me

Tuesday

Drama, Blogging, & Comments

Something happened last night that disturbed me. It’s not often that I get rattled. I’ve had some interesting comments on my blogs before, but never did I get rattled. I’m just not easily rattled. (I’ll say it one more time: rattled.) I believe in the 1st amendment and the right of every human being to free speech. However, just as I believe in the right to free speech, I also get to dictate what and how people say things in my private residence. In this case, my private residence…is my blog. I have only ever asked that people be polite and respectful. I have countless times encouraged anonymous bloggers to reveal themselves. I find it hard to respect someone who won’t put their name behind their thoughts. Do you really believe those thoughts if you’re not willing to stand behind them? I have never, in 5 years of blogging, ever deleted a comment. Not here, and not on my old blog.

If someone doesn’t agree with me, I will sometimes (usually) respond. I always do so respectfully and tactfully. I don’t believe that calling people names or berating them does anything to further my views or theirs.

Last night, however, I drew a line in the sand. No one can question that line;
especially the person who decided to cross it. I guess I, like a lot of bloggers, had always believed there were certain unwritten rules about blog etiquette. No one really talked about them, but everyone seemed to follow them; with few exceptions. One of those hard and fast rules is, “DON’T MESS WITH THE KIDS!” Sure, you can say the kids are adorable or precious (as they are), you can tell your story, you can give advice if it’s solicited, and you can voice a genuine concern. I find that last one is violated a lot as people who don’t believe in homeschooling bash the socializing skills of the children who do. That’s happened on my own blog, and I didn’t delete those comments. Why? They were not directed square in the face AT my children. Those comments were fairly general &/or it was obvious that the poster was just mad and ranting.

Last night, I had someone post a completely unnecessary…and mean…comment on this post. Of all of my posts to comment, they chose THAT one. Whatever. It became quickly apparent that the post content was really irrelevant to them. They also left a comment on this post which I have not deleted. I think, for some reason, that they were just in the mood to rant. The problem with that?

It doesn’t matter how much you want to rant…you DO NOT RANT DIRECTLY AT A BLOGGER’S CHILD! And on a completely benign, harmless post no less!

Honestly, it floored me. What disturbed me even more was that this person was local. It didn’t take me long to narrow it down to being one of 2 or 3 people. There was no one else it could have been. We suspected based on recent events that perhaps it was probably one of those people. This morning, after looking at things in a fresh light…and seeing this person visit my blog again, I began to realize it wasn’t who we had thought it was. It was worse. It was one of the other people. It wasn’t just someone we knew personally, but someone we still had a relationship with.

My husband was really hurt by this. He wasn’t going to forgive this man until God reminded him that unforgiveness only hurts us. My husband was ready to take action to ensure he’d never have to see this man’s face again…at great expense to our family.

Me? I was shocked. I couldn’t understand how or why this person said what they did. Perhaps they were trying to make a harmless comment. It wasn’t threatening. Still, it was just plain MEAN! And who does that to a 6yr old? Plus, the comment was so wildly inaccurate it’s somewhat humorous.

Like I said in one of my comments, I have absolutely no problems if you post again. However, I will NOT tolerate comments like that about my children; no matter how harmless you may intend them to be.

I probably won’t stop using CAPS to emphasize points. That’s just me. That’s how I write. I’m a passionate person in real life, and when I write. It just comes out. If you aren’t happy with that, then read another blog. If you can deal with it, then I’d welcome you to continue reading.

Because you know who you are just as much as we do, you also know that your relationship with my husband will continue. It will likely never be what it was before. By admitting who you are (even though we already know) and apologizing you will go a long way towards helping to restore that relationship. You have been forgiven, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still apologize if you’d like. I know from experience that just because someone has forgiven another person doesn’t mean that person they’ve forgiven recognizes they were wrong &/or wants to change.

If you’d like to never speak about this again, that’s fine as well. As long as nothing of this manner ever appears on my blog again, then I’ll not speak another word of it. And the pieces? They weren’t hard to put together. Analyzing your blog stats is more than just getting an IP address.

I don’t want someone to get the wrong idea and think I’m stalking my readers. Far from it. If you think that you aren’t being tracked every time you visit a website, you are sorely mistaken. MOST bloggers have trackers on their blogs. Most, like me, usually just use those numbers to see how many have visited their blog and to analyze which blogs are read the most. Those are the 2 features I use daily on my tracker. I have absolutely no need to look at the IP address for anyone visiting my blog unless there is a problem. Plus, I don’t have the time to go into that much detail every day. Still, because of anonymous posters like yourself, that is a necessity. We need to protect ourselves so that if problems persist we CAN go to the appropriate authorities to take action if necessary. I know few bloggers who have ever had to actually utilize their tracker for such a purpose.

In short? Just play nice. You can say pretty much whatever you want about me and I could care less. You can rail all day long about my politics, my beliefs, my thoughts, or my blogs. The worst you’ll get is a lengthy comment response from me; which you may not even read.If you cuss I will alter your post to delete the cuss words. (Again…haven’t ever had to do that.) If you are hateful about or to my children, your post will be deleted. There’s no excuse for that. NONE!

I’m sorry to my other readers for this temporary blog interruption. It’s the first time a blog post has ever rattled me enough to steal some of my time. I probably shouldn’t have let it do that. Now that it’s happened, though, I’ll know better how to handle it should it ever happen again. Honestly, this would have been next to nothing had it been someone we didn’t know. But when it’s someone in your backyard (not literally), then it’s a whole other story.

-Me