Monday, January 25, 2010

Status Update for 1/10

So out of ideas I have resort to the old blog standby:
Sitting-in front of my computer
Eating-nothing because I just had lunch!:) Chicken fries and tater tots-can you guess I have preschoolers?
Listening-to my dryer, waiting for the whites to finish so I can move the darks.
Cleaning-everything, because today is cleaning day...finished 1 out of 6 rooms. I have a loooong way to go!
Praying-for the man from Compassion International who is still missing, as far as I know.
Studying-"The Excellent Wife" and "Motherwise"-until I add one more Bible study in February!
Reading-the rest of the Bible because I was still a month behind when January hit. Almost done...
Thinking-about sending another blog into PWOC. Any body want to recommend a favorite? I was thinking about "Post Housing" but thought that might be a little obvious.
Finishing-the taxes. I still need a little more paperwork. Does anybody know if there is a minimum amount of savings interest you have to have to record it? Because we only get like $10 a year...:)
Planning- a play date with friends, my Trek lesson, and my board report for PWOC!
Going- to finish this because I hear Carson waking up from his nap! Gotta run!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I live on post. We have lived in military housing twice during Joel's career and at least three times (WA, MD and CO) during my childhood my parents' chose on-base living arrangements. So, I feel confident in stating that I know the realities of living in a house owned by the government. I know the pros: maintenance (they just came today to patch my ceiling and fix my roof), security (well, most of the time), the cameraderie of fellow military families, and the convenience of being so close to Joel's work, the hospital and the commissary. However, even though I obviously feel the pros are greater (I do live here after all), there are definitely some negatives. I have NO storage space-why do you think I sell everything? I hate the ugly carpet we have. And, worst of all, we have one lone bathroom-upstairs! I can often hear my neighbors' children crying and our windows are drafty. I have to say honestly, that most of the pros of this house are the things I can find at any post or things I can take with me.

I was thinking about that today. I realized that if I moved I would not really miss this house. I would perhaps miss the memories, or the surrounding area, but I would not miss this physical address. Then I had a thought. What if that is the point? What if they make post housing so bland and slightly unlikeable so that when you get orders somewhere else you don't mind quite so much? They don't want you to get too attached-they know you will already be sad leaving your friends behind or whatnot, so they make it a little uncomfortable so it doesn't compound the goodbyes.
Seriously, I doubt they put that much thought into it. Our house was built in the
'40s-times and housing needs have changed. Also, these houses are built to withstand constantly changing occupants who often don't give a fig about property they don't own. And of course, I am sure the overarching requirement is that they be as profitable as possible. But just maybe, someone, somewhere along the line, realized that if we don't love something, if it isn't quite perfect, then we don't get so attached.

Maybe that is life. Did you ever think that perhaps it isn't perfect because it is just a dim reflection? Maybe it isn't everything we wanted it to be so that we won't want to stay so long. This isn't our home, we are strangers with continual orders to new posts. We are only here for a little while, perhaps it is better if we don't get too attached. The Lord is so gracious to give us continual reasons to remember that this isn't a permanent assignment.If we get too settled, we won't want to leave. Mostly because our retirement will come sooner or later for all of us and the Home we have waiting is the real life that we cannot ever comprehend in this one. Because Home is where my heart is-and my heart is not really here.:)

Just for Today Be Happy

I am really praying that it is going to be a good year. It has been two weeks so far (today) and I have really been feeling very content and peaceful. That is not to say I haven't had my moments. As a matter of fact, I called my mother just the day before yesterday so she could calm me down after finishing Josie's reading lesson. I was a little (okay a lot!) frustrated that Jocelyn cannot "remember" certain sounds that she has been doing for 20 lessons! But other than the occasional hiccup such as that, I feel like I am headed in the right direction.

I know that putting out a post like this might be asking for trouble, but I am really hoping that this feeling that I have is not circumstantial. If it is,then any little thing should cause it to crumble.But I don't think so. I am finally practicing some of what I have been "preaching". I am really trying to "take every thought captive" and trying to channel my energies into things that will have the greatest long-lasting results. I am also trying to be thankful for all the little things and realize that the things that frustrate me the most probably won't even hit the radar in a year or so.

This is not to say that things are perfect-and I certainly am not! But if I am living in the same place I was a year ago, then I am not growing. I don't want to believe that. I believe that "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it". Pretty much the only thing I can control in my life is my attitude, so I want it to be a good one!I guess I also post this to challenge myself-will I still feel this way in a few weeks, a few months? Therefore, by the grace of God, go I...

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Right Line

I seem prone to developing devotional thoughts over the most mundane things in life- construction work while driving in my car, an extra order of fries at Jack in the Box. Or waiting in line. I thought I had already covered everything I could learn about waiting in line here, but clearly the Lord sees that as great place for a teachable moment.

Anyway, I was at Hobby Lobby-they are having 80% off there Christmas stuff and there were some things I "needed". I was kind of in a hurry and only there for the deals so I made quick decisions and got in line. Now, I like Hobby Lobby. Quite a lot, they are closed on Sundays, they sell cool stuff and they are pretty cheap, if they are having a sale (which is all the time).

But they are notorious for their ridiculous lines. I clearly wasn't the only one who knew about the great deal on Christmas stuff so they were longer -and slower- than usual. I had my choice between three lines, and after evaluating the speed of the cashiers and the amount of merchandise each customter had, I made my selection. I was standing patiently when the customer in front of me moved to another register. Well, that made me happy, because she had a TON of stuff. Also, because everyone was kind of crammed together and I am a "three feet of personal space" kind of American.

So, I was waiting my turn, my arms loaded with merchandise (no cart because I was in a hurry, remember?) eyeing the rack behind me. Well, when I turned my head a girl slipped in line in front of me. She was with her mother and sister and they had decided to divide to see who could get through line faster. I know this because they had all been in another line (that was closed but not clearly labeled) together a mere moment before. I am sure my mouth dropped open slightly. What was she thinking? Did she assume I was standing with my arms full of Christmas things daydreaming near the registers? Before I could even really mull it over I heard myself quietly, and of course politely, say,"I'm sorry, I was already in this line." She dipped her head and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I saw you there...I just wasn't thinking." and she ducked quickly behind me. Satisfied, I took my rightful place and finished making my purchase.

Satisfied until I started thinking about it. She had taken my place. I had not done anything impolite by stating my claim. Until I started gloating a little that I had handled that so well. Wouldn't Miss Manners have been proud? I didn't make a scene and I righted a wrong, albeit one done to me. Then I started thinking about Someone else who said that he who is first shall be last. And that the true glory of what I claim to be is to do unto the least of these and turn my other cheek. To give my cloak away, to go the extra mile. None of that says anything about lines in Hobby Lobby...but it does say a lot about me. That is what I think is so much of what is wrong with Christians, my own self-righteous self included. We aren't looking to give up anything-we have "earned" it. Right? We have worked hard for "all we have" and we shouldn't just throw it away to whoever. Right? I didn't know that girl from Adam- maybe she was a regular line cutter. Maybe I had just taught her a valuable lesson. Right?

Why am I always so concerned about being right? That is not a great spiritual gift that I can find. The Fruit is: love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Which ones of those was I displaying? Ummm...that's right-none! Do I think allowing that girl to keep her place in "my" line would have taught her anything? Probably not, but what would it have taught me? Probably a lot. Like maybe to give away what I have, like maybe that patience and a kind deed will make me a better Christian. Maybe doing the last thing every one expects, by giving up what is "mine", letting someone else ahead will make me a little more like the One who traded places in line with me. And isn't that really the right thing to do?


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