Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lesson Learned

Is there something you've thought you would never do, but faced with possibly having to do it? I had one of those moments recently. I was mortified! 

I had taken off my wedding rings to put lotion on my hands. I carefully put them on the arm of the sofa*.  Well, time got away from me and I just forgot they were there. Bedtime rolled around and I walked away to run through the bedtime routine. After brushing my teeth I remembered that my rings were on the arm of the sofa. 

Or so I thought. They weren't there. I didn't think too much of it at first. I just thought I knocked them off onto the floor. They weren't anywhere around. I panicked! My mind automatically thinks that the Goober dog that resides in this house has found them and eaten them**. Oh Crap***!  I walked away to tell Hubby I might have to be sorting through some steaming piles of dog poo soon. With a puzzled look on his face he asks, "Why?" 

I told him what happened and he said, we're not going to be digging through poop to look for your rings.  Here I am faced with my wedding rings possibly in Goober's system and I am contemplating mashing up dog poop in the next few days to get my rings. I never thought I would have to do that. But, I was at that crossroads. Thinking that I will. 

I like my wedding rings. The new mounting that I got for my thirteenth wedding anniversary sure doesn't hurt either! In my head I could justify sorting through poop and disinfecting it many times over before going out and finding another. It wouldn't be the same and it's not in the budget at the moment. 

I went back to the living room and gave it another try. I stuck my hand through every nook and cranny of the couch and dug up all sorts of stuff. Including my wedding rings****. Relief quickly set in! 

I faced a decision that I wouldn't wish on anybody. And thank God I didn't have to go through with it*****!

Is there anything you would sort through dog poop for? 

*Yeah, right
**He's eaten and passed socks and underwear before, so why not?
****Not to self: never put rings on arm of couch. EVER. AGAIN. 
*****Yes, it's a material object. I'm not placing the value of it over anything, but poop can be washed away. I've seen some of the rings out there. I bet others might be doing the same thing! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What is My Life?

For the past several weeks I've been doing  a bible study with one old* friend and a couple of new friends. We've been going through Kelly Minter's No Other Gods. It's been more than fascinating! Then recently Hubby and I have been reading through Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life**. Technically it's not really A LOT of reading. Each book takes maybe 30 minutes each out of my day.

After reading chapter five of Purpose Driven Life I was curious.  The title is "Seeing Life from God's View". As Rick puts it we can see our lives as a circus, a minefield, a roller coaster, a puzzle, etc. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down and sometimes you go round and round. What's my life metaphor?

Am I the rabbit racing through life just to get to the finish line? Or to rush through motherhood? Am I the tortoise taking my time while life speeds past? Warren says that we need to challenge conventional wisdom and replace it with the biblical metaphors of life.

Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will". Warren mentions two biblical metaphors that teaches God's view of life.

Life on earth is a Test. He tests our character, faith, obedience, love, integrity and loyalty.  Adam and Eve failed their test, as well as David on several occasions. But there have been many who have faced and passed their challenges such as Joseph, Ruth, Esther and Daniel.

God is constantly watching my response to people, problems, success, and conflict. I have to admit that I've felt like God has drawn back and let me have control. I don't like it. I joke with Hubby that God isn't speaking to me right now. I'm not even sure if He ever has.

When life is a test nothing is insignificant for character development.  And I'm feeling like I'm failing that test miserably.

The second biblical metaphor that Warren mentions is Life is a Trust.  God has entrusted to our care opportunities, relationships and resources. We are stewards of what God gives us. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him." Warren says that it was God's property before I arrived and God will loan it to someone else after I die. I only get to enjoy it for a little while.

At the end of my life I will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well I handled what God entrusted to me. Uh oh! Some days I feel like I am failing that test miserably, as we have struggled with debt, giving God our first fruits, spending on what the needs of the day are as opposed to the wants. I hear over and again that I should not lust after the things of this world, even when I just want to have fun talking about nice things with friends or family. But then I look at all that we have been able to do on one salary that most friends do on two: we are raising two beautiful girls who have everything they need and a mother who has been at home raising them for the past ten years;  we have a decent-sized house that is not too big for a family of four; we take nice vacations every 3-4 years; we have been through a round of house remodeling. It's not as much as many of our friends have done, those who go on vacations every year AND have twice the amount of house with a pool. But we are happy and healthy, and we are all friends. Drama is kept to a minimum, and we live in the shadow of God's loving, divine will.

God moments don't feel as dramatic in our household as they might in the lives of others, but our moments with the Devil are few and far between. Tests have been present, and I think we need to do better with what God has entrusted us with (still working on that 10% tithe). But God has been quietly faithful to us all through our lives, giving us what we need and enabling us to follow Him. He has just been there, and in the end that's what friendship and relationship are really about. *Being* there.

 And isn't that something?

*I mean we've been friends for a long time, not that she's ancient!
**Very rarely will you ever find me reading through more than one book at a time. One usually ends up being put aside til later or I have no interest in it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Fun

My cousin recently introduced me to the world of Pinterest. It's basically a web site that acts like an electronic type of bulletin board. At first I couldn't figure it out. But the hardest part was getting the "Pin It" button to attach to my Google task bar. It has replaced my file folders full of magazine clippings, recipes, types of hairstyles I might want to try one day and decor for any season.

Recently a friend posted on facebook a picture of a pumpkin topiary that she had made for fall. It was simply fantastic! She has great taste. She's very much a Do-It-Yourself type of person. Here's a picture of her topiary:
I was in awe! It was fun and creative. It drove me to go to one of my favorite garden centers and pick up a few small pumpkins and get to painting! We're saving the carving for Hubby for next weekend. He wants to do it anyway.

Clearly I wasn't going for the topiary look because this was my first time at the pumpkin painting rodeo. I wanted to ease into it.  I got a pumpkin for me and one for each of my kids. I just wanted to see how mine would turn out with just painting first.

Well, it's not THAT bad. I just stuck with an all over metallic color and a black fleur-de-lis and some other embellishments. Hold your laughter:
The metallic color doesn't show up that well in this picture, but it's the best I've got. Yes, I know I could have done the fleur-de-lis straighter. Some people could probably nit-pick this to death. But, it doesn't matter, because I kind of like it!

  You'll notice the other two pumpkins are blank. Well. The girls decided that they didn't like how theirs turned out so they washed the paint off and they said they wanted to try again next weekend. I'm thinking glitter may be in their future! We had fun in the process:

I'm enjoying Pinterest a lot these days! It's taking over my time that I used to spend on facebook.  It's some of the good parts of facebook, but better. With none of the crappy stuff of facebook. Pinterest is just a place full of inspirational ideas, projects and style. Here's to more projects!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Have to Get This Off My Chest

There are just some things that have been eating at me for a long time. I need to get them off my chest or I might just have to start slapping people. Or saying some things that I might later regret. Here goes.

*I'm really tired of people being a$$holes.  Why can't people just be nice? I understand that people have an occasional bad day, but some have had a lifetime of bad days and it's exhausting.

*I have learned that it's not my job to be the chain of communication. I am no longer going to assume that you want so-and-so at your get together. If you want someone there, ask them yourself please. I have had times when I was selective about who I wanted at my gathering and therefore didn't ask them. I let each person know individually.  Plus, if I was the chain of communication the other person gets all huffy and  says, "Why didn't they ask me themselves?"You know how those people can be.

*Please don't call me in for a 15 minute meeting and then 45 minutes later we still haven't covered what we really need to talk about. At dinnertime.

*Please don't come in to my home and complain about the dust or the smell in the backyard when you don't even clean up your own home/work place without the help of your mother. When you have outside help to clean, your opinion is just about null and void.

*Snobby people are driving me nuts at the moment. Seriously, you have nothing to be snobby about. You are no better than the rest of us.

*Why are college educated people still misspelling the simplest of words?

*Hubby left you TWO voicemails. You can't say he didn't try to find out what was wrong. I think he at least deserved an email back if you were too chicken to call him. So just be wrong. Sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.

*Stop coming up with excuses. Just admit you can't do it anymore. You can't do everything on your own. You need help. AND IT'S OKAY!

I'm not whining. I'm just tired of certain behaviors. I'm not saying I'm perfect by any means. But couldn't we all try a little harder to be aware of the ripple effect we have on others?