Thursday, September 19, 2013

Living on Faith

For as long as I can remember I have always heard the term "Living on Faith" and "Having the faith of a mustard seed"  The most vivid memory of that phrase is of some girls I went to school with's mother. Their father had passed away suddenly leaving her widowed with 2 teenage girls and a life left to live. She wore a necklace with a mustard seed in it and she said it was a daily reminder that as long as she has at least that much faith each day she will make it.

At the time I can't say that I really understood what she meant. But I'm starting to.

Now don't get me wrong. This woman's case was and still is to this day an extreme one. And I have not had to figure out how to make it through life raising my children on my own due to the passing of their father. However, what I have had to do is wonder on a near constant basis how or where we are going to have the finances to get all the bills paid, food on the table, and fuel in our vehicle so that Dusty can get to the job that is providing for our family.

Every two weeks, when payday rolls around I start to sweat. I get nervous and cranky. My temper gets short and I tend to take my frustration out on those closest to me, usually that person being my loving husband who takes it all in stride. And then, on those Friday mornings, when I log in to our bank account I find that not only is there enough money there but there is extra. And I find myself again apologizing to God for doubting and having so little faith in His ability to take care of me and my family.

Each time I am reminded of Matthew 6:25-34.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Do not be anxious about your life. Man, how many time do I catch myself worrying about how we are going to buy groceries or if the food that I do already have is going to stretch to make another meal.  And yet, even in the harshest winter or driest summer the animals are still taken care of.  
Do I really think that myself and my family isn't as important as the animals? Are we less important or less loved than the flowers?

Week after week I find myself realizing a little bit more what it means to live on faith. Some days I think I'm running on less than a mustard seed, but others, well, those are the days I know that with the power of God I can move the mountains. I just hope that I can find myself with more days moving mountains and less with worrying about tomorrow.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation wondering how and if things are going to work out only to see in the end that not only has it worked out but things are better than you could have imagined? Take time to thank God for those occasions.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bubble busted

Today was a great day! I mean it was really good.

I woke up a little late but still had enough time to do everything that I needed to do before I had to leave for class. Walked to campus in the dark BTW since the sun wasn't up yet. Yes, that's how early I go to class. Enjoyed watching the sunrise during my class as I listened to the professor and another student talk in circles saying basically the same thing.

Came home to the kids just waking up and daddy working on getting them dressed. Took over the task of dressing and feeding the kids as Dusty got himself ready for work. Breakfast eaten, hubby to work, kitchen cleaned up, and kiddos playing quietly all done within half an hour. I was ahead of schedule for once in my life. It was awesome.

I took some time to sit and work on my testimony since I had volunteered to share it in class tonight. Gathered things up when it was time and headed back to campus, this time with some friends, for the weekly food line. There the kids behaved, I got several food items we could use this week, and had time to visit with friends from the campus.  As we were finishing up baby girl fell asleep in the stroller so the walk home was pretty easy. Brother even sat in his seat like he was asked to do and didn't complain once.

Once we got home the kids went down for a nap, I finished my testimony and spent a few minutes working on some reading. Kids woke up and play time began. Then time to fix dinner (which was leftovers so that part was quick and easy). Dinner eaten, kids cleaned up and dressed for childcare, kitchen cleaned up, dishwasher ran, and extra food put away. All done with 30 minutes to spare.

Instead of just sitting on my behind staring at the T.V. I decided to be productive. I went ahead and made up the bulk of Dusty's lunch for work tomorrow, set up the coffee maker so all I have to do is switch it on, and had the kids help me clean up the living room. Things were going pretty smoothly. I was starting to feel like I might have found some vague light at the end of the tunnel.

 Then the bubble began to bust. While getting the kids into the day care center, for a brief moment in time, I thought that things might go easy with sister. She was laughing and having a grand time until we turned down the hallway and headed toward her classroom. Then she lost it. Clinging on, screaming, and hiding her face in my shoulder, all clear signs she was not thrilled with this idea. And since both the wonderful ladies in the room were already dealing with crying children the only option was to put her on the floor and run out as fast as humanly possible.  She still beat me to the door. Not a good way to start the evening.

Brother went to his class like a champ because, frankly, Tuesday nights are his favorite nights of the week. He LOVES going to "night school" as he calls it. If I could afford to put him into the "Mother's Day Out" program even for one day a week I absolutely would.  But that's for another time.

Class went good. Sharing of testimony could have gone better but, hey, no one's perfect right?

Fast forward to time to pick up the kiddos. Sister had been taken to another class with a lady that she knows well. And in that class she did a good job...for the most part.  Except that she had the wrong sippy cup taken in there with her. Unfortunately, that made things complicated, especially since the ladies in the new classroom had no idea that one didn't belong to her. When I picked her up I was shocked to see sister holding a cup that didn't belong to her but considering there were several crying children in the original classroom it's not surprising that things got a little messed up.  And all in all no real harm was done...except that we can't find her cup. It must have gone home with someone else tonight. OOPS!

So I'm sure your thinking that none of that sounds so bad. So why the bubble busting happening?

Mostly because it stresses me out. I hate that sister has such a hard time when I leave her for childcare. I hate that she has such a hard time being left in the nursery at church, or with a baby sitter, or sometimes even being left alone with daddy. I hate that she hasn't adjusted as easily as brother has.

And it makes me feel like I have done something wrong.  Now I know that's not really the case. And I know that each child is different.And I know that eventually she will get better. I KNOW ALL THAT. But that doesn't mean that it makes it easy.

Sure I walk out of the room and act as if it's not a big deal but inside I'm screaming just let me have her. I will just take her to class with me (ya that's not happening) So, unfortunately, my incredibly awesome day ended with a great big huge busted bubble!

POP! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Learning

Learning.

I love learning.

I love sitting in a classroom as someone who is generally much smarter than me is explaining things that I really want to know.

I thrive in a classroom setting. I look forward to each and every Tuesday and Thursday morning right now and each and ever Tuesday night. I can't wait to get to class and have the opportunity to have someone pour their knowledge out so that I sop it up.

What I don't like it the homework end of learning.

Actually, I can't stand it.

I used to be good with homework. (well everything except math) I didn't mind sitting down at the kitchen table ans read the text that was assigned and take my own notes from that. Answered assigned questions or writing papers on various subjects.

My senior year of high school, while all my class mates were dreading writing their required English term paper and giving a presentation on it I was excited. I did more research than was required and I even brought in props for the presentation.

In College I would have my papers written weeks in advance most times.

Now, I am struggling to get through a book that is a simple 133 pages long that I have to have a book review written for by the beginning of October. And another book, that originally I was very excited to read, has now just become another text book that I can't get through.

It's not a matter of these books are hard to understand. Its a matter of I just don't know when or how to find the time. (I know I know, how about now instead of complaining about having no time....)

I take time to sit down when the kids are napping and I begin to read. Then my mind wanders to the dishes that need to be washed, the laundry that needs to be folded, and the floors that need to be cleaned. I try to read a bit while the kids are playing nicely together and I wonder if I am neglecting them in this endeavor. I feel like no matter what direction I turn I'm running out of time.

So instead of going to bed at a nice hour I stay up, and then I fall asleep reading or writing only to wake up and find that I have absolutely no idea where I was or what I was writing about.  And in the end I give up because I am just too tired.

Have I bitten off more than I can chew this time?

Some days I think the answer might just be yes. But because I LOVE learning and I want to hopefully instill that love of learning in my kids, and to do that I have to be prepared to teach them new things, I will continue on. Sleep deprived and dirty dishes won't stop me this time.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Living and Active" Fitness Challenge

A few days ago, thanks to a blog that I have been following for about a year now, I was lead to another blog called Peak313. The reason I was curious to check it out was because of a challenge that the author of the blog is doing.

Its called the "Living and Active" Challenge. The challenge is based on the scripture verse found in Hebrews 4:12. For more details on how she came to that name of the challenge as well as the name of her blog  you can look here.

I was inspired by this idea once I read what it was all about because as I have talked about WAY to many times I struggle. I will start on a great work out routine and have a great plan but then next thing you know I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak. I let distractions get in the way or exhaustion set in and then I just quit. I have a fabulous husband who does his best to keep me accountable but when I neglect to tell him that I haven't worked out in 3 days or that I ate an extra serving of ice cream during the kids nap time then its hard for him to hold me accountable.

The problem is I am the same way when it comes to my Bible study and quiet times. And that stresses me out more. How am I supposed to be a) studying and learning about God's word in an educational setting when I don't make myself sit down and do it, b) grow in my walk with God and be able to share that wonderful truth with others in the world if I don't know it, and c) teach and train my children up in the way they should go if I'm not entirely clear on what the path is that I should be taking?  So, the long and short of it is I am failing as a witness for Christ and as the mother He has called me to be if I don't become more diligent about studying His word.

My hope is that this challenge will help to jump start my track to better spiritual and physical health.

So here's the plan:

Spiritual: On the blog Clare has posted a wonderful little devotional along with the first weeks memory verse. The plan is to take that verse (along with the 6 that I am working on for one of my Seminary classes) and commit it 100% to memory. I also have daily devotional that I am hoping to dive back into starting in the morning.

Physical: In February I bought myself the "Biggest Loser Challenge" workout game for the Wii. I was diligent with it for a few weeks and I LOVED IT! So my plan is to go back to that. I like the fact that I can have weekly weigh in's with that and it will remind me to check in on the Peak313 blog as well.

I have asked a few people to get in on this with me and I am still waiting to hear a yes or no so for now this will be my accountability. I am seriously lacking on how much I blog as well so hopefully this will help me to get back on track with that!

So there you have it. My basic plan. I am still debating on before/after pictures but I have to make that decision by tomorrow morning. If I decide to do that then sometime tomorrow I will post a before picture along with my starting weight and measurements.