Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pollyanna Game

In my mind a list is always a good thing. Since my aunt had a list on her blog (Rachel's Writings) I decided that I, too, would post a list of things on my blog. I gave mine a little twist, though. Since I am generally a complainer I thought I would give a Pollyanna list. Therefore here are 5 things that I am not thankful for, but also what the not-thankful-for things make me thankful for.

1. I am not thankful for runny noses but I am thankful for: kids that are not suffering from a serious illness; the modern wonder that is Kleenex, and also the wonder-drug of Tylenol.

2. I am not thankful for snow but I am thankful for: automatically heated houses; the promise of spring, and cozy blankets.

3. I am not thankful Joel is in Iraq but I am thankful: the Lord watches over both of us; he has been kept safe, and the greatest invention of recent years: the Internet!

4. I am not thankful for bad vision but I am thankful for: contact lenses; great health insurance, and also that I do still have sight.

5. I am not thankful for distance that separates me from my family but I am thankful for: cell phones; Skype to see each other, and our great blogs!

I really try to find the silver lining but sometimes it is nice to be reminded that I need to be thankful in all circumstances. God truly is good all the time!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Better than Peanuts!

Josie is trying really hard to understand the positions of different people in her family. Yesterday she was trying to explain to me that since my mother, Lisa, is my mommy than she should be her (Josie's) mommy, too. I tried to tell her that no, I was Lisa's baby and since Josie is my baby than my mommy is her Grammy. Well, that of course, sent her off on a tangent. She started talking about babies and how her mommy went to the hospital to have a baby. She said, "My mommy had a baby at the hospital. He is baby Carson. Baby Carson came home from the hospital and he had a nut." Well, I am fairly certain I have never used that word as a slang term around her so I was hoping she was just confused. I asked her to repeat herself. She said, "When Carson was a tiny baby he came home and he had a nut." I was really confused then. I asked to repeat herself one more time and she said in exasperation, "Mommy, Carson had a BELLY nut!" Oh! I get it -you know- everybody has a belly-nut, or as most of us call it a belly button! I guess that is probably the best kind of nut!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Making Crazy Changes, Changes Making Crazy!

Spending two months away from your home requires an incredible amount of stuff. Christmas always involves accumulating more belongings. Josie's birthday brought gifts. Who can resist clearance sales? Clearly, I had brought home a ton of things from my mom's. We have already been feeling the squeeze of too much stuff since Carson had been born. The choice was clear: get rid of some of the stuff and re-arrange, or get rid of Carson!

Since I'm pretty fond of Carson I have worked since yesterday afternoon to try to make things more livable. I am far from done. I think I am losing my mind! I had to position the full bed I moved from Carson's room into Josie's three times before it finally fit. We wanted a twin bed for her so she would have some room to play but that hasn't been a option. I actually think it will be fine now that I have done it. It isn't ideal, but it will work.

It isn't bad enough that I have completely destroyed my kids' rooms. I also felt compelled to move things around in the kitchen, the living room and the laundry room. I feel like it is a big Rubik's cube. Every move affects all the other pieces. I am getting rid of so many things. I hope that it will allow all of us to enjoy our new things and be able to find all the old stuff! Still, it is feeling a bit overwhelming.However, I hope by the time I am done things will be better. Sometimes you have to make a bigger mess before you can get it all cleaned up!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where Credit is Due

I had to take a minute and blog about some of my most recent praises! First, I don't know if any of you remember my blog rant from October about how I had lost my change purse. Well, on Saturday night I cam home to a message on my answering machine. I almost deleted it without even listening to it because the first words I heard were a strange man introducing himself. We get lots of "courtesy" messages so as my hand was reaching towards the delete button I heard him say he was from "On the Border". Why is the Mexican restaurant calling me? Well, he went on to say he had my change purse! The one from three months ago! Fully intact! We serve an amazing God, not really sure why He wanted my change purse to be returned but I sure am glad!

Second, I had bought a DVD player for Josie. We used it a couple of times and it worked fine. Then I went to attach the battery to it. It refused to stay on. I could have rigged it but I was more than a little frustrated that it was defective. I was really frustrated that I had tossed the box (I am religious about saving boxes for expensive items and usually hang onto them for three months or until the warranty expires whichever comes first). I had purchased it at Target and I was more than a little concerned that they were going to refuse to take it back sans box. However, I took it back tonight and the clerk didn't even bat an eyelash. She slapped a defective tag on it and promptly refunded my money. Score!

Probably my most important praise is that a dear friend of my who is having some tough times agreed to come to PWOC (my Fort Carson Bible study). She attended this morning and is planning on coming back! I am so excited to be able to share God's love with her. I am defintely the most thankful of all to be allowed to pass on what is most important to me. Keep both of us in your prayers.

In all, it is just nice to be able to record what the Lord is doing for me. It may seem silly, but it reminds me of how gracious He is to care for even the tiniest details of our lives. I think it would be even more silly to not give Him all the credit!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Josie's Family

So many people have posted such cute pictures of their children's artwork, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. This is one of Josie's first "people" pictures. I could not have been any more proud of her if (as my sister said), "She had painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel." Josie is the best, of course, because she's mine!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pity, Parking Spaces and Prayer

So, as not to waste time on trivial posts like how glad I am to be home I thought I would jump right into my latest gripe. It is a long story, but one that happens to be extremely pertinent to my life right now. Here's the scoop...

I live in a row of "townhouses" to be nice. There are six dwellings that were built altogether in a long structure that, at times, enables me to feel as if not only do I have neighbors but also housemates. Usually it doesn't bother me, as a matter of fact, sometimes it is nice to know that late at night there is other humanity around. However, when it comes to parking I wish I lived in a ghost town. In the wonder that is Army engineering (back when these homes were built in the '40s or '50s) the builders thoughtfully provided parking in a lot to the side of the building. Well, it probably wouldn't be too bad if it was always sunny and 75 degrees, but that is rarely the case here. Also, if I wasn't geographically single it might not be such a strain to haul a toddler, an infant in a carseat, groceries, diaper bag, and whatever sundry miscellaneous toys Josie has dragged along, into the house. So, since it is disagreeable to me to park "all the way" in my assigned space (especially since I am the middle house) it makes since to parallel park in the street no more than 18 ft from my front door. Sounds ideal, huh?

Well, we all know that in this life ideal is rarely occurring in reality. 3 of the 6 houses were empty for about 3 months and parking was wonderful. Now that I have returned home not only are all the houses occuppied, but they are filled with drivers who obviously were not required to parallel park- EVER! Small sedans miraculously increase to take up an area that should fit three SUVs! Also, the occupants of the row of houses across the street think (they are oh-so-wrong) that is closer to park in front of my house than in their own lot (which is closer to their houses than mine is to me). Oh it makes me soo mad! I spend every moment driving to my house plotting about parking. Maybe I should talk to the neighbors? Maybe I should file a complaint? No, it is first-come, first-served. Maybe I should just stay at home. Nope, that won't work, so I start planning my comings and goings for when I know there will be spaces available. Maybe I should pay for driving lessons for my neighbors?

Clearly, obessesed doesn't begin to cover it. Oh, Lord, what have I done? Have I really spent all this time worrying about parking spaces? Was I really ready to confront the neighbors I haven't even met over a spot to put my car? I really am crazy! Then the Lord opened my eyes. If I spent even half as much time praying for my neighbors as I did venting over my parking space (which isn't even mine!) what a world of good I could do! So, now I have decided that every time I think about parking I should pray for my neighbors. That they will be blessed, that they will have parking. That I can be a good witness, better than trivial, inconsequential, earthly troubles like stretches of gravel for vehicles. I was especially convicted that my willingness to be bold enough for a parking spot should be translated into an even stronger desire to confront my neighbors with something that is more than important- it is life-saving- the Gospel. What a tragedy for me to waste my thoughts and energy on something so silly and miss what is really the meaning of my life. Crazy! Thanks Lord for still working with me, even over a parking space.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Out with the Old

It is a well-known fact that I hate winter. I don't like snow, I don't like cold and frankly I think anything resembling winter weather should be strictly confined to the month of December. However, while I detest the icy precipitation that the next few months will bring, January is actually one of my favorite times of the year. I love the newness that comes, it is better than spring for me. I am itching right now to get home and sort through all my stuff. Ditch the clutter of last year and look forward to all of the wonderful treasures I will accumulate (hopefully mostly mental ones!) in the coming days. I adore taking down all my Christmas decor- I love putting up Valentine's things. I love the cleared out look that getting rid of things provides.New Year's Eve is not a time of sadness, the year is complete, it has reached it's fullness. The Lord has a perfect plan for all things, why would I want to stop His clock? 2008 was a wonderful year in so many ways, but I don't want to hold onto it. It makes me sad that my mind is fallible and frail; I won't remember most of those days. However, that doesn't stop me from being excited to create new memories. Some of the most important things are still with me anyway, like my precious Carson and Josie. All an ending really is is the opportunity to start something new, right?


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