Sunday, January 10, 2016

Never Send a Man to Buy Whiteboard Cleaner ...

So, the cold weather finally hit SC this weekend -- and brought cold, windy days and more rain. (Because we so need more rain. NOT.)

Not that I'm complaining. I think the seasons should be distinct and not just be one big, humid, sticky, bad-hair-inducing, run-on sentence.

On Friday, D-bug got to spend the night with a friend so DH and I took Beebee out to eat (yes, we let him pick, and yes, it was a pizza place), and then to his fave store on the planet, Target, where we let him spend his leftover birthday money on some cool Lego Kylo Ren thing. (Because we so need more Legos and more Star Wars stuff at our house. NOT.)

(WAY TOO) Early Saturday morning, we dropped Bee off at Nana's house so DH and I could go to our first parent's work day at D's school. (Backstory: D-bug goes to a private, Christian school, and to offset costs, they have parents chip in by earning work credits via working in the lunchroom, selling concessions at games, and working their rears off on parent work days. That, or you have to pay extra $$. We will take the work day for $500, Bob.)

As this was our first work day, we promptly showed up at 8:00 a.m. without really knowing what to expect.

DUDE. We know now.

I need to make you aware of something before I continue. This school and campus are HUGE. Like MEGACHURCH huge. And I just finished physical therapy on my back and hip (due to some weird, never-diagnosed-but-felt-like-a-perpetual-charlie-horse-in-my-hip-muscle thing), so I'm still not running on all cylinders.

Back to our regularly scheduled program -- for our first work day, we landscaped the front entrance and main road, picked up trash from the front entrance to the main parking lot (think football field), cleaned ALL doorknobs, push bars, light switches, and stair rails (again ... BIG school), and then cleaned ALL the whiteboards (each classroom had at least one, some had three).

It took us 4 hours. FOUR. HOURS.

I don't even spend four hours cleaning my own house. But, it was the Lord's house, so it was worth it.

Did I mention the hip thing?

On a side note, I did find a broken turtle shell and a Nissan hubcap. I hope those two things weren't connected.

After that, we gathered our progeny from their respective locations and went on a hunt for whiteboard cleaner (since we used up a teacher's personal stash of the stuff to do all of the cleaning). After no less than THREE Google searches and driving to FIVE stores, we finally found some.

I literally could not walk anymore, so I did the driving (because that makes sense) and DH made the trek into each store to search for the cleaner.

Here's the convo once he found it:

Now, for those who may be newly married or thinking about marrying, let me give you a piece of advice: Never tell the Hubs that he can buy however many of an item he wants and that you're fine with it.

And how many did he buy?

Yep. Six.

D's teachers will all be getting whiteboard cleaner come Monday morning. (I feel like Oprah -- "You get whiteboard cleaner! You get whiteboard cleaner! EVERYBODY gets whiteboard cleaner!!")

And, with church today and Awana tonight, I may need to call my physical therapist and set up a consult. Or just a deep tissue massage.

Oh, and I have my new exercise class tomorrow night!

(I may have a muscular mutiny on my hands come Tuesday morning.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take some good drugs Advil and hit the hay. Intercessory prayer for my hip is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Change of plans...

Well, it's been a while ... like three months ... since I wrote.

I could say I've been MIA due to just being busy (October - New Year is my busiest time - birthdays, holidays, work deadlines, etc.), but there's more to it than that.

Honestly, blogging was getting on my nerves.

Not the writing part - that part is fun. But the publishing part, the technical part.

That's no fun.

See, I let my priorities with this here little corner get skewed. I've been focusing on learning how to increase my views and how to optimize my SEO (whatever that means!), figuring out the best time to post on social media, trying to find ways to get my blog "out there" by commenting on other, more popular blogs ... basically anything to get people to visit and stay.

I got bogged down in the techy stuff (which I am not good at), which finally led to boredom with my own blog.

Not a really good place to be when you're trying to increase interest.

I thought about giving it up altogether, but several things have happened over the last few weeks that are telling me I need to give it another shot.

First, my mom (biggest fan - Thanks, Mom!) told me that she enjoyed my Proverbs 31 posts and that I had good insights and that she actually learned a lot from them. (Side note: I plan on finishing those, maybe for next October's 31-Day Challenge.)

Then, a coworker gave me similar encouragement, telling me that I have a gift and I need to share it. (Blushing again just thinking about her praise - Thanks, Missy!)

And then, I read these posts from three different bloggers (Mrs. Gore, Emily P. Freeman, and Tsh Oxenreider) that really made me think. (Go read them ... good stuff! Also, I'm lazy and don't feel like paraphrasing.)

I realized that I've missed the bottom line. The point to all of this. The reason I started this blog almost 4 years ago now.

I started blogging because I want to tell stories. I want to make people laugh and think. I want to be an encourager, especially to other wives and moms who sometimes feel very alone or beat up or judged or whatever.

Most importantly, I want to glorify the One who makes it all possible.

So, I'm going to (attempt to) stop counting how many times I post per week. Or how many hits I get. Or how many FB followers I have. Or how many Instagram likes my pictures get.

Instead, I'm going to (try my darndest to) focus on the words and the stories and the people.

And I'm glad you're one of them!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6: Show mercy

31 Days of Godly Womanhood

Let's jump in to Day 6 (click here to see all of the 31 Days posts.)

Today, I'm breaking out of my mold and combining verses 6 and 7:

"Give beer to those who are perishing, 
wine to those who are in anguish;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more."

Ok ... on first read, this really struck me as weird. Why in the world would you give suffering people the means to get drunk, and therefore, add more misery to their lives (at least when they wake up the next morning)??

But, after some research, I found that alcoholic drinks in Bible times were VERY different than our current wines, beers, etc. For example, wine in Bible times was quite diluted -- even up to 1 part wine to 20 parts water (Source).

Also, alcohol was often used for its medicinal qualities in Bible times. They didn't have antibiotics, astringents, or painkillers back then - alcohol played all of those roles. 

Our alcoholic drinks today have added sugars, yeasts, flavorings and even distilled alcohol to give a bigger kick. Not so with alcohol in ancient times ... it was just plain, fermented grape juice or grain "juice."

These two verses remind me of when Jesus was on the cross. Matthew 27:34 says, "There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall, but after tasting it, he refused to drink it." Some Bible translations say "vinegar" instead of wine. The wine was used as an attempt to dull the pain of crucifixtion ... but Jesus refused it. (That's a blog post for another time.)

Now, today's verses make more sense to me.

Lemuel's mom is telling him to minister to the sick, hurting and dying. Provide medicine and comfort where you can. Tend to their wounds. Help them in their suffering. Show compassion and mercy.

Good words for us today, don't you think?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 5: Real beauty

31 Days of Godly Womanhood

On to Day 5 (click here to see all of the 31 Days posts.)

"...lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights."

Man, Lemuel's mom was one smart cookie!

Going back to yesterday's post, we talked about how we need to be careful about what we crave. 

Don't crave for stuff - crave for God.

For Lemuel, the point of this verse is pretty obvious - don't let alcohol (and other physical pleasures) make you forget your kingly duties and keep you from taking care of your people.

For us, I think it's much the same.

As women, we have people around us and under us that we care for.

Husbands, Children. Parents. Employees. Younger women. Students. Friends. Neighbors. Strangers.

We touch so many lives in a single day. So many eyes are watching what we do ... especially when we declare that God is #1 in our lives.

Let's remember to be aware of those watching eyes ... not to stress ourselves out, thinking we have to be perfect. (That never ends well.)

No. We need to be ourselves, allowing God to work through our mistakes and our slip-ups, showing those watching eyes that it's not us, but it's all God. We are just the lumps of clay; He's the potter.

We need to show others that God works in real people -- people with four-day-old hair, people wearing shirts stained with spit-up, people who totally blew that big work presentation, people who pass out on the couch from the sheer exhaustion of caring for an aging parent ...

Real. Life.

When Jesus came, he didn't float around in a state of ethereal glory on puffy white clouds wearing pristine white robes.

No - he was born in a stable, surrounded by farm animals (and all the smell and mess that comes with them). He was a carpenter by trade, with blisters and calluses and splinters. He walked everywhere he went, through muddy streets and grassy fields. He hung out with sinners and fishermen and "blue-collar" types.

He was REAL.

And in his realness, he was beautiful.

We can be real beautiful, too.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Day 4: What do you crave?

31 Days of Godly Womanhood

On to Day 4 (click here to see all of the 31 Days posts.)

I have a confession to make. I'm struggling with these first few verses of Proverbs 31. Not that I'm struggling with doing what they say, but just the opposite. These verses seem like common sense to me, so I don't have a lot to say about them.

I want to get to the "meat" of Proverbs 31 - verses 10-31.

But then, I need to remember that ALL Scripture is God-breathed. It's all here for us to read, learn from and take to heart.

These verses are just as important as other passages.

And they may be hitting some of you right between the eyes. That's a good thing. That means God is really trying to tell you something. So listen up.

Proverbs 31:4 --

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel -- 
not for kings to drink wine, 
not for rulers to crave beer..."

Before we go any further, I don't think God is saying here that drinking is a sin. I used to think that when I was a teenager (which saved me from some trouble, I'm sure!), but now I don't.

I think the point is not to crave alcohol - don't let it consume you.

And looking ahead to verse 5, Lemuel's mom says kings shouldn't drink "lest they ... forget what the law decrees."

In other words - don't let alcohol muddle your thinking.

This is especially important for the ruler of a nation, a king over the people. He is the one they look to for wisdom, for justice ... an example of how they should live.

Being drunk doesn't set the best example, does it?

As women, we need to remember that we are setting the example for our children, and for others particularly those women who are younger than us. (See Titus 2:3-5. Those verses are a whole 'nother series in themselves.)

What does our example say?

Are we allowing physical desires (verse 3) or food, wine, TV, books, or anything else to take our minds away from God?

Are we putting anything in our lives above God? If so, then we've made that thing an idol.

"You shall have no other gods before me." - Exodus 20:3

I struggle with this daily.

I turn to food for comfort when I'm stressed...

I worry about my kids to the point of distraction...

I scroll through Pinterest wishing my house looked like that ...

Who's with me?

I won't pretend that I have all of the answers (or even some of the answers!), but I know who does.

El Shaddai. The Almighty God.

He stands ready to swoop in and rescue us from ourselves. All we need to do is ask.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 3: Who are your friends?

31 days of Godly Womanhood

Welcome to Day 3! (Go here for a list of all 31 Days posts.)

Let's jump in --

" not spend your strength on women, 
your vigor on those who ruin kings."

In this verse, Lemuel's mom is making a pretty straightforward point. Don't spend all of your time/energy/strength with people who are bad influences.

Don't waste your strength seeking out physical pleasure.

Don't hang out with people who are out to ruin others.

(Some our current world leaders need to hear this verse.)

I'll hit on this more tomorrow, but we need to take a look at what we set our minds on. What things do we allow to influence us?

Do we hang out with people who are interested in tearing others (and probably us) down? Or do we share our lives with those who help build us up?

"Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Be careful who you hang out with -- they affect you more than you realize.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 2: A mother's plea

Welcome back!

Today we'll take a look at Proverbs 31:2 --

"Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! 
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!"


What a beautiful statement of a mother's love for her son. 

"The answer to my prayers!" 

I don't know about your personal situation, but I know that our boys were definitely answers to my prayers. 

I prayed for D-bug for two years ... two long and heart wrenching years. 

I know many of you have been there ... are there ... for even longer than that. 

Lemuel's mom prayed for him to be born, prayed for a "son of her womb." And now, she is pleading with him to listen to her words.

Can you hear the urgency? The almost anguish? The deep longing that he really listen to her and take to heart what she says?

Have you been there? Pleading with someone to hear you? Knowing that you can help them if they would just listen?

You can tell that her next words are important ... life-changing.