Not a very cheery reintroduction to my blog, but this is my honest reality right now. Everyone I know is going through something that is really challenging. For some it is financial strains, some it is their marriage, some it is the unknown future, some it is health problems, and so on and so on. Of course we were never promised an easy life, and darn it, we were never even promised a happy life. Being one who clings to the Lord and still finds this life challenging, I can't wrap my mind around how someone who doesn't know the Lord even makes it one day. Honestly, without Him, I would be a flipping mess. I heard someone say God is less concerned with our happiness and more concerned about accomplishing His will. My heart can say, "Yes, Lord, I am yours....do with me what you will to advance the Kingdom." However, when life throws me a curve ball, I am much more concerned with how it affects MY comfort than how the Lord may be using the current situation. Don't even get me started on my attitude during hard times. UGGHH, i so want to pass this test called life. I want to not think the worst of most people. Did you know I do that? I want to be happy when someone else is is blessed, instead of being jealous. I want to only rely on the Lord, so that when people let me down, I'm not devastated. I want to be an overcomer. I know I have come a long way, but just when I think I've "arrived" here comes another test. Life is hard. I need more of the one who made. I need to be transformed.
I don't know if I'll ever be a really consistent "Blogger." I love lurking over everyone else's blog, occasionally, but to actually put something down, takes more thought and intention than I have to give most days. I miss crafting. I have to make some time for that again. I love being in a creative mode. Lately, though, I can't justify making any more messes. There never seems to be a good time to get out sewing machine, or paints.
One thing that I NEED to do is weekly menu planning.
Monday: Lunch: Pb& J's with chips and blueberries
Dinner: Deep Dish Pizza Quiche with chicken sausage (no pork in this household)
Tuesday: Lunch: Hot Dogs, Corn, & Applesauce
Dinner: Meatloaf with tomatoes and cheese melted on top, Glazed Carrots
Wed: Lunch: Mac N Cheese and strawberries
Dinner: Pizza (I have dinner with Bible Study)
Thurs: Lunch: Turkey Sandwiches, chips, green beans
Friday: Lunch: Sliced Cheese, Apples and Peanut Butter
Dinner: Salsa Chicken, sauteed zucchini, Spanish rice
Well, I might be a day late in getting this out there, but at least I am getting it out. I have had a weekly menu in my head for a few days, but haven't been able to get it in writing. I HAVE to have it in writing.
Another thing I am working on is sticking more to a task oriented schedule each day. I make the schedule the night before. So far, so good. I give myself a few assignments for the next day, along with blocks of time to do the things I need to do like, reading to boys, spending some quality time with each kid even if it is only 10 minutes. I also feel like God is telling me to focus on being "PRESENT" in the moment. If it is a homeschool block of time, I need to be fully in that, and not distracted. Same goes for lunch. This seems like a small thing, but since trying to stick to what is assigned for that day, I realize that I am in the habit of being swayed here and there by random thoughts. Then by the end of the day, I have 5 open projects around the house, and the air is full of confusion and chaos. God is a God of order, and my family and I definitely function better under order than confusion and chaos. Who doesn't?
Happy Week! Enjoy the sunshine and take some time to read with your children. It will bless you both.
I just LOVE Sara Groves. Her new album, "Fireflies and Songs" is great. She is so honest and real in her writing style. I found the following quote in an interview found here discussing the background for her songs on this new CD:
If you could get everybody in America to listen to three of the songs on the new record, which three would you want to make sure that everybody heard?
I’ll start with “Different Kinds of Happy” because that’s part of our sickness: that we’re pursuing this ultimate, personal comfort and happiness until you’ve suffered through something and get on the other side, and you realize that there’s different kinds of happy. There’s the happy of my wedding day, which is sort of what all the movies are about, the sweetness of standing up with my family looking on and all the beauty of that. And then there’s the happy of a day in the counselor’s office where we’ve just ripped our guts out and laid them on the table, and I’ve told him, “This is who I really am. Are you going to stick around?” and he just showed me, “This is who I really am. Are you going to stick around?” And we walked out of there with a joy; I can’t even explain the happy of that day. It’s just unspeakable. Our marriage now is the fruit of that better foundation being laid. That was like at Year Seven. Of all the marriages that I know, the best ones have just gone to hell and back. Not that you have to do that; I know some marriages where that having just disemboweled each other, but pretty much the best marriages I know are just beautiful because they’ve had to work it out. That’s what “Different Kinds of Happy is about.” I just love that mess
Take a listen and enjoy:
go on and ask me anything
what do you need to know
I'm not holding on to anything
I'm not willing to let go of
to be free, to be free
I've got to ask you something
but please don't be afraid
there's a promise here thats heavier
than your answer might weigh
baby it's me, it's me
it's a sweet, sweet thing
standing here with you and nothing to hide
light shining down to our very insides
sharing our secrets, bearing our souls,
helping each other come clean
secrets and cyphers
there's no good way to hide
there's redemption in confession
and freedom in the light
I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid
better than our promises
is the day we got to keep them
I wish those two could see us now
they never would believe how
there are different kinds of happy
different kinds of happy
there are different kinds of happy
different kinds of happy
I've been promising to post this creative project for a while. Its actually been finished for several weeks, but because it was surprise gift for my sister in law, who is expecting the first girl in our family, I didn't want to ruin the surprise. Who knows, maybe she actually reads my blog. I wish I would have had more inspiration when I was expecting my 3 boys. I would love to have something now that I actually made for them, like a blanket, or towel. I don't know about you, but when I was pregnant, the creative juices were non-existent. I have only recently felt them come back to me full force, and my youngest is 3. However, I now get why little old ladies knit blankets for babies. It is so heart warming to know that a baby will have something that you poured your heart and time into. That is the way I felt while making this towel. The baby's name will be "Bliss." Isn't that beautiful? I am sorry that I didn't include any actual photos of the making of the towel. I got in a sewing mode and didn't dare stop to take even a photo, for fear I wouldn't be able to get back into the groove.
I started with a regular size bath towel and a wash cloth of same color. I found some girly pink fabric at Hobby Lobby and decided to add it to the back of the towel. Let me now say that I don't consider myself a sewer at all. I happen to have a sewing machine, and I took a 2 week sewing class at a local fabric store one summer when I was 17. I looked up several different methods for making hooded bath towels. The method I chose made the most sense to me.
I measured out the fabric to cover the towel and wash cloth. Then I sewed the fabric onto towel inside out around 3.5 sides, just like you would a pillow. Then I turned it right side out and finished the rest of the last side by hand. For those of you that don't know how to do this stitch, you must learn. Once you do, you will want to take on more projects. I have wowed my kids by performing "surgery" on their favorite stuffed animals with this stitch. No more sloppy home made looking sewing projects either. To learn this simple stitch go here. I actually have found hand sewing to be really therapeutic. It relaxes me to just sit and sew. It didn't used to, trust me.
So once both pieces were covered, I found the middle of the towel, and the middle of the washcloth, and pinned them together. Then I sewed the two pieces together by hand, because it was too thick to do it with my machine. Then I took the top of the washcloth and folded the two ends together and sewed it shut by hand, as well. This is what makes the "hood." The hooded towel is technically done now, but I wanted to add the baby's name to it. I used iron on letters. Isn't it so cute?
Again, I apologize that my pics are already completed pics (and not very good ones, at that). I will do better at documenting the next project. I still haven't figured out how to get a good picture with my camera. The lighting is never quite right. Would love some tips for that.