Thursday, November 29, 2007

When I Just Don't Get It

I just love those disciples of Jesus. They were so lost sometimes. I can just see them standing there, hearing Jesus' teaching or watching his actions, inwardly scratching their heads and wondering what on earth it meant. Whenever they got him alone, they would ask, "Explain this to us..." They were still figuring things out after he rose from the dead.

If the men who walked so closely with Jesus during his ministry didn't understand things sometimes, it makes me feel just a bit better. Sure, more things have been revealed these days and I do have the entirety of scripture before me....but still.

Matthew 16: 5-12 tells a story about a time when the disicples just didn't get it. Jesus warned them about "the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." They talked among themselves (can't you just see them kind of huddling up?) and decided Jesus was talking about how they had not brought any bread with them.

Bread? Jesus explains things to them, but you can hear the exasperation in his voice..."How is it you don't understand..."

Eek. I should understand WAY more than I do. I grew up in church. We own shelves of Bibles. How is it that I don't understand more?

How is it that I grew up not questioning more things? How is it that I made major decisions (marriage, birth control, jobs, etc.) without really digging into scripture? Heck, without even conslulting it? It isn't that I didn't think something like birth control was's just that I never thought about it. Not once. I did what everyone else did.

I saw a mom rushing in from her medical job (she was wearing scrubs) today to pick up her baby from the daycare at our church. It was 5:00 and you can bet she hadn't seen her son since before breakfast that morning. And I was angry.

Not at her. She probably has to work. I am angry that so many of us just do what is expected and never even think there could be another way. Or that God is powerful enough to provide another way. Don't we think He WANTS us to follow His will? Then won't He make a way? Why do we just blindly follow the path laid out before us, shrug and say, "what can I do?"

Why don't we get it? Why don't I get it? I want to be bolder. I want to question everything. I want to ask God, "what do I do?" I am very tired of the path I have been on. It isn't about making all the right decisions. It's about knowing God. It's about understanding His word.

He promises:

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

I should have asked sooner. But don't you just love that word "generously"? He won't just get me enough for me to get by, or to improve on where I am. He will give it generously! So sometimes when I'm feeling all smug because I understand a section of scripture...then I read an entire paragraph on Pyromaniacs and understand NONE of the words (and they are in English) or an entire section of scripture and then say, "HUH?" And I realize I am not quite where I want to be.

Like I said, I should have maybe asked for this wisdom sooner. But I am no where near where I used to be. God indeed gives generously to all without finding fault. So even if you feel like you are spending most of your time scratching your head...there is hope.

That much I know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't Expect This Too Often

I am going to tell you about a book I am reading. Why can you not expect this too often from me? Because I am not one of those blogs with a sidebar entitled "What's On My Nightstand." True, I do have a book list down there, but I flip back and forth between those books so much that the same ones just might stay there all year.

The thing is, I grew up reading in bed at night. At my childhood home, it was imperative that everyone have a lamp on their nightstand. My parents, sisters, all of us read something before we went to sleep. I continued that in college and thankfully, my roommate read her Bible every night so the light didn't bother her.

And then I got married. S didn't seem to mind at first. Then, while I was reading, I would hear a little noise. It sounded kind of like "phew." What was that? I looked over at my dear husband, whose eyes were closed, and saw that he was pretending to "blow out" the light on my nightstand.

He is just so funny, ya'll. Needless to say, he wanted me to read in the living room but everyone who reads in bed knows that is just no good. The point is to read until you are sleepy and then just roll over and go to sleep. (After blowing out the light!) And, as I have pointed out to him several times, it's dark if you close your eyes. He just doesn't see things my way.

So, it's taking me a while to get through this book. But not just because of not reading at night. It's because I keep having to re-read sections. My mind cannot absorb it all.

The book is Homemaking by J.R. Miller. (There's the pic right off of Amazon for you.) If you have read it, then you already know. If you have not, this post is for you. This book would be a great read for any Christian: husband, wife, older child, etc. It isn't about being a homemaker as we think of today. The title is decieving.

This book is about what a Christian home is all about. There is a chapter for wives, a chapter for husbands, one for children and lots of other topics about the workings of a Christian family. Or at least how the author believes God intended it to be. I have to say I have seen nothing to disagree with yet. In fact, I have spent most of the time thinking two things:

1. Wow. I never even thought about that before! and
2. Man! I wish I read this before I got married!!!!!

My daughters will read through this book with me before they are married, that much I know. I am so in awe of some of the sections, and the writing is so beautiful and rich (I have never read writing like this) that I am reading and re-reading sections over and over to really let my mind absorb what is being said. Every single thing I have read has been completely relevant to my life today. Why is that incredible? Because the book was first published in 1882. How can this book be about MY life if it was written 111 years before I got married?

Because God is unchanging, folks. So don't let the old picture on the cover fool you. I also thought, "Is this going to be one of those books that encourages us all to go back to Victorian times?" It's not. Don't worry. It's not. It will encourage you to go back to God's word and to re-think your own marriage and family and home life.

If that interests you, I strongly encourage you to read this book. There you go...the one and only book review this blog has ever done.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Keepin' It Real: I Am Quite the Chef!

This post from Anna made me reminisce about my early days as a cook. And I use that term VERY loosely. Although her post was serious (and I really enjoyed it) I couldn't help but remember with humor how I got my start.

What was my first clue that I was not a master chef? It was the unfortunate spaghetti incident of 1990.

My roommate and I decided to cook spaghetti for a bunch of friends of ours. We filled the pot with water, dumped the pasta in, and it was only a few minutes later that we smelled something odd coming from the kitchen. Quick, call dad! What? You're supposed to let the water boil before you throw in the pasta?


And then there was the cornbread. My other roommate made the most awesome cornbread with sugar in it. The cornbread I grew up eating was not sweet. I LOVED her cornbread. So, one day while I was mixing up some cornbread batter before supper, I called out to her, "How much sugar do I add?"

She, thinking I was mixing up a pitcher of iced tea, answered back, "1 cup!" And so I added one cup to the cornbread batter.

What I pulled out of the oven a few minutes later can only be described as caramelized corn-blobs. They were truly something to behold. My roommate took my picture with them and oh how I wish I could post it. However, pictures from college are safely up in the attic and I don't do attics. I believe after a few minutes of chiseling the decision was made to toss the entire muffin pan as the two had become one for all time.

Those were my humble beginnings. But tonight? Tonight I got three compliments from my family on my "wonderful supper." And what did I serve?

Why bacon, scrambled eggs, and canned biscuits.

I know you are in awe of my culinary skills. And now it's your turn. Help us keep it real in the blogosphere: what is your best (or worst) cooking disaster? Do share!

***Edited to add: ACTUALLY, I am an award-winning cook. My casserole won first place at a church event and don't think I didn't display that little certificate on my refrigerator for at least 3 years because I did. And referred to it often. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Might Regret This Later

I haven't been Little Bit's Bible class teacher since she was in the babies class at church. So, she doesn't remember me ever teaching her. I taught Sweetheart when she was 2, 4, and for her whole 1st grade year. So, I feel that it is Little Bit's turn to have Mommy for a teacher. The kids who are Little Bit's age at church are just so different from Sweetheart's peers. And, the class is a mixture of 3 and 4 year olds. Very young 3 and 4 year olds. With a lot of boys.

I just might regret this decision.

It's just that I feel there is room for improvement in her Bible class. I don't think the expectations are high enough. So, instead of complaining...I'm teaching.

I feel responsible for my daughters' spiritual development. I cannot trust others to do it for me. I truly wish I could be in both daughters' Bible classes, but I haven't figured out how to be in 2 places at once. All I can do is make sure we do what we need to at home and treat Bible class as a bonus. And ask a lot of questions when class is over.

I will be resurrecting Squirmy the Worm for this class. I got the idea for Squirmy from one of my favorite sites, Danielle's Place. Squirmy was part of the Fruit of the Spirit lessons I taught Sweetheart's class her 4 year old year. He is made from a striped sock. I stood in our kitchen hot gluing him together one day while then 4 year old Sweetheart watched. That night in Bible class as I "talked" to Squirmy in front of an extremely attentive audience, Sweetheart looked up at me with eyes of wonder and asked, "Mommy, is he REAL?"

Puppets are magical!

I have to rearrange the classroom and redecorate it this week. It's been exactly the same for a little over a year. I'd like to get everything ready this week and send the message to my little friends that things are going to be different now.

Re-reading an old post about all this made me wonder if I'm crazy for volunteering for this, though.

But here I go anyway. Because I love my daughter.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Did You Feel the Earth Shift?

Yep. That was because I, ME, I actually bought and wrapped Christmas presents today. IN NOVEMBER.

Folks, this has never happened.

I will be just as curious as the girls come Christmas morning to find out what's in all those packages.

'Cause there is no way I will remember by then.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cooking Progression

When we were first married, I was asked to bring a dessert to my husband's family holiday get together. S's cousin got married the same summer we did and his wife was also asked to bring a dessert. We were 22 and 19, respectively. I guess it could have been worse--they could have asked us to bring bread.

As I recall, his aunt's words were, "You can just pick up something sweet from the store if you like, honey."

And yes. I WAS insulted. I was no Rachael Ray, but I could fix a dessert for heaven's sake!!! As I recall, I spent hours searching for just the right recipe. There was no way I was going to show up with lame slice and bake sugar cookies on a plate or something. I made a jello poke cake (white cake w/red and green jello). It was splendid.

Each year I whipped myself into frenzy fixing more and more complicated desserts to impress the family. I even tackled these babies one year (not mine pictured). I was loads of fun the morning before that party, let me tell you.
A few years later, cousin's wife and I were asked to bring a vegetable. I told S, "OOOH! Guess who has been asked to bring a vegetable!" His blank stare told me he just didn't get it. There is a progression of holiday dinner expectations for a new wife. You start off bringing dessert (or heaven forbid, rolls) and as you age you are responsible for more and more and more until one day you wake up and realize are in charge of the turkey!
Thankfully, that day has not come for me yet. I know some ladies who live far away from their families take this on at a much younger age. For now, my aunts' and parent's generation still take care of the big meat dishes and the dressing. We younger ones all bring vegetables, desserts, and yes, rolls.
I'm pretty happy where I am, to tell you the truth. And even though I'm in no hurry to get there, I still look forward to the day when all the younger family members will gather at our house and I will dole out the food bringing responsibilities to the new wives. Just thinking about S. and I being a PawPaw and Granny cracks me up to no end.
Whether you are on the dessert-bringing or turkey-cooking end of the family progression... enjoy the blessing of Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
See you in a few days!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Kids Can't Handle It?

Several years ago, I watched a special on TV called "The Making of Sesame Street" or "Behind the Scenes of Sesame Street" or something to that effect. I thought it was absolutely fascinating. There aren't too many things that my children and I both grew up with. This is one of them.

I used to tape Sesame Street for Sweetheart because we left the house too early for her to watch it at home in the mornings back when I was working. When Little Bit was small and Sweetheart was getting ready for Kindergarten each morning, we also watched it. I was glad she didn't feel "too big" to watch such a show. And, after all, it was good for her little sister.

Now I don't think there is any magic to the show. I think it is good. I understand that at the time it was created, it was way ahead of the game. Innovative. Fresh. I really enjoy finding out more about the beginnings of Sesame Street.

So this article was a hoot to me! It seems the original episodes are being released on DVD--for ADULTS ONLY!!! Seriously, they contain warnings for children. It seems that preschoolers in the year 2007 cannot handle Sesame Street as it orginally aired. Now I really, really want to see them!
Is this the same thing as fairy tales having happy endings? You know in the orginal version, the wolf ATE the pigs at each house, right? And that hunter who happened by Red Riding Hood's grandma's house? He SHOT the wolf. Dead. I just think it's ironic--when the world was supposedly a "safer" place to be, children knew harsh truths. Now that we cannot even let our children run out to the car to get something by themselves, we have protected them from all things mean, harsh, and even grouchy.

Very ironic, isn't it?

Monday, November 19, 2007

This Is About As Far Back As I Can Go

Thirty years ago? (This meme has been fun, by the way. You can also read about 10 years ago or 20 Years Ago if you like.)

Thirty years ago I was in first grade. My teacher's name was Miss Manuel and she had braces on her teeth. I remember her being nice. I went to Mrs. Fuller's class for reading and language arts. Our elementary school was all trendy back then and "open concept." I remember liking that as a child, but I don't think it was all that cool for the teachers. I went back to my elementary school my senior year of high school for an observation day. (I was in the future teacher's club and we could go observe one day in lieu of school.) I didn't even recognize the place because they had put walls up everywhere.

Our library was called the I.M.C. I believe that stood for "Instructional Media Center." I LOVED LOVED LOVED library day. We had whistle chairs we could sit in and I remember feeling so cramped that I could only check out one book. Later, when I was a teacher our students weren't even allowed to take books home! I remember catching a girl slipping her book in her backpack one day at dismissal time. Her eyes got huge when she knew I had seen her but I just winked. How can you say, "You may not read at home." Especially knowing that most of my students didn't really have books at their houses?

Anyway...the one thing I really, really remember about first grade was we made a 3-D map of our neighborhood for open house. Everyone saved their milk carton and covered it with constuction paper to make their house. Mine was yellow. Then we had to go over to the map on the floor and find our street to place the house in the right spot. Our school was made out of a shoebox. I totally did that activity with my 3rd graders. We invited the mayor of the little town I taught in to come see our work and he informed us we had city hall in the wrong place. Oops.

I had two big sisters, learned to roller skate that year, and loved school. But, first grade is not what it once was! The things I did in first grade my daughter pretty well covered in preschool and kindergarten. Also, every day on the playground was "boys chase girls day." I hated that!

Well, I have found it frightening that I can recall anything from 30 years ago--because that sounds like a really long time ago. My next posts will have to be more uplifting and youthful because now I feel just a bit old.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Nostalgia--Twenty Years Ago

If I thought ten years ago sounded like a long time should see me trying to remember 1987! I was a junior in high school. That was the same year that I started dating my husband, S. We had gone out one time our sophomore year of high school but it was totally a trick. He kind of said something along the lines of, "I was just wondering if you would be interested in going to see Christmas lights with some friends next weekend." To me, it sounded like a group of people were going to do something fun. We had known each other our whole lives--I probably figured the "friends" would be people we both knew. Then on Wednesday of that week he called me to confirm. As I hung up I think I said something like, "Uh oh. I think this is a date."

My mom was amused as I recall. My sisters were up in arms. We were not allowed to date in our house until we were 16. At the time of that first date, I was 2 weeks away from my 16th birthday. All week they kept referring to my "group outing." Since it couldn't possibly be a date.

"What are you going to wear to your group outing?" "What time is this group outing supposed to take place?" Sisters. And, as it turned out, it was a double date with his best friend and fiance'!!!!! He totally tricked me.

But that was in 1986. Soon S. and I would be dating full time. And we have been together ever since.

I also decided what I was going to major in and which college I would attend during the course of that year. I don't remember if I prayed about any of that. Or considered any alternatives. Or studied my Bible. I just did what I was supposed to do...finish high school, decide on a college, get a degree, and then a job. And THEN, I could get married. Yep. That was the plan., public high school, going away to college, getting a degree, deciding on a career, and delaying marriage until a "reasonable" age. All things I have been seriously thinking about my daughters NOT doing. Hmmm.

Life is ironic, isn't it?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ah, Nostalgia--Ten Years Ago

Katherine at Raising Five tagged me for this very fun meme. You can read hers here. She was all fancy-like and included pictures along with her post. While I would like to offer you the same high level of technology, our version of cut and paste around here literally involves scissors and glue. I'm kidding. I just don't have a scanner.

And because I have a short attention span on weekends, I am breaking this one up.

So, what was I doing 10 years ago???

Let's see. That was the year that I moved from teaching 3rd and 4th grade to teaching 1st grade. I was scared to death! But, I ended up LOVING 1st graders. I was also going through training for Reading Recovery. The classes lasted until 7:00 or 8:00 pm, but what did I have to do?

We lived in our first house. It was built in the 1950's and I really liked it. I just didn't like waking up to new graffiti on the business that our house was behind. Oh, and the Gang Task Force car parked outside of our house. Other than that, it was really nice. Lots of nice, retired people on our block.

If I remember correctly, that was the year that those sweet little retired people were NO HELP AT ALL! I came home from summer school at noon one day to find our gate was open. Great! Someone let our dog out! I was so relieved to see her waiting at the front door for me. When we got inside I noticed the back door was wide open and realized our house had been robbed. Where was our security of having all these people home during the day who went out and picked up sticks out of their yard several times a day watching our house? Later our across-the-street neighbor, the one who always brought us vegetables from his garden, told us he saw our dog running around the front of the house barking and trying to get in all the windows.

Um, do you usually see our dog doing that? Could we maybe call the police next time?

We were also trying to have children that year after being married for 4 years. In just one year we would be pregnant with Sweetheart. So I guess 1997 was just about our last year of being childless. I had no idea the joys before us! No idea. Why didn't we start sooner?

I spent every Thursday night that year parked in front of the television. I watched Friends, Seinfeld, ER, what else? The whole time I graded papers too. Every Thursday night. I think I pretty much only got up for restroom breaks.

Man, my life 10 years ago seems like a lifetime away!

Next time, just for my friend Kathy who loves it when I do "to be continued" posts, I will tell you about "20 Years Ago." Isn't nostalgia wonderful?

Friday, November 16, 2007

All's Well That Ends Well...

Through a series of unfortunate events, our girls are getting a play room. It's a good thing, I just wish it had come about in a different way. It seems a family member was in need and we cleaned out a room for them. And now they aren't coming. It's um, happened before so we knew better than to move the girls' rooms around this time. BOY am I glad we didn't.

The first room when you walk in our house is off to the right. At first it was a home office/junk room. Then, I made it into a classroom. Now it's completely cleaned out. (We homeschool at the kitchen table anyway, so no loss.) So we sound like this, "Mom, where's the tape?" "It's in the offii...classroo...the FRONT ROOM!" We had purchased louvered doors because there is no door on this extra-wide doorway. We are still going to install them because I don't expect a play room to stay all that nice and it IS the first room you see when you walk in our house.

I'm looking forward to gettting the big things out of their rooms. Little Bit has an entire "home center" set up in her room! Through gifts and give aways, we own a small table and chairs, a baby highchair, a play kitchen, an ironing board, and a crib. Whew!!!! And Sweetheart, who has handed most of that down to her sister, has a big dollhouse. Getting those things out of their rooms will make a big difference in how clean their rooms stay.

I hope.

So this weekend finds us rearranging our house. Again.

But it's going to be really great when we finally get done. And, I find that when the toys are in a more central location there is much less "that's mine!" and a whole lot more sharing.

And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Learning As I Go

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, I didn't know there were only 8 planets in our solar system these days! Man, where have I been? Did you know Pluto has been kicked out? Yeah, you probably did. I guess this is what they mean by learning alongside your children.

Sweetheart wanted to study space this week (well, actually last week but that was the week Mommy stayed in bed every day). Talk about winging it! If it weren't for the internet what would I do? The space knowledge left over in my head is very sketchy and wouldn't have added much to her concepts, I'm afraid.

I'm also winging it through Thanksgiving. Little Bit has almost no concept of what Thanksgiving is all about (whether you mean the historical first one, or the concept of being thankful) so with her I'm starting from scratch. Sweetheart surely heard the historical part of Thanksgiving during her 3 years in school, but she doesn't really act like it. Yeah, they probably skipped over that like everything else. It was time for worksheet #34, probably.

I just love homeschooling. I suppose if our public school experience had been different, we would have never ended up where we are. I realize that not all schools are evil and horrible. And maybe if her private school was still open, she would still be there. But I do believe that the Lord directs our paths. It's especially obvious when you find yourself in a place you never dreamed of, doing things you never even wanted to do--and loving it!

I wonder what else God has planned for us to do that I now consider myself unqualified for? Hmmm.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Looking For The Right Hook

I read a great line last night in a book. I'm not going to quote it directly, but it basically said, "He had no hook to hang that thought on."

I love that!!! No hook to hang that thought on. I've been there, have you? The first time I heard someone wonder out loud if the church should be running a food pantry and clothing ministry I felt this way.

What do you mean? Of COURSE the church should feed the hungry and clothe the naked, etc. Haven't you read this passage?

But then my friend wondered aloud if that passage meant the church (as an organization) should coordinate and fund those efforts, or if the members of the church (in their personal lives) should do that. Oh. Hmm. Never thought about it.

After that, I had a new hook. It was called "Things the Church Should Do vs. Things I Should Do." I didn't have many thoughts to hang on that hook at first, but over the years I have hung other thoughts there. More topics have come to my attention than just the food pantry debate.

If I were discussing this subject with someone who had never thought about these things, they probably wouldn't have much to contribute to the conversation except knee-jerk thoughts (like I did) or confusion. Because, after all, they have nowhere to hang the thought. Other folks, who had themselves thought through such topics, would have more to share and probably new stuff for me to think about. Or at least hang up until I could get to it.

This is my concern with adult Bible classes that don't study the Bible. I've been to them in several different churches. Perhaps they are studying a book. Or perhaps they are studying a topic but the participants don't know exactly what part of the Bible they will be talking about that day. If you come to class that unprepared, what can you possibly contribute to the discussion?

Two things: a knee-jerk reaction to the question or a thought-out answer from one of your many hooks. Oh, you can also add in emotions and personal experiences. None of these are bad in and of themselves (well, except maybe that first one), but they don't lend themselves to much study of God's word.

So someone brought up the topic of why men aren't in church these days in our class this last Sunday. It was met with a bunch of blank stares (no hook--they had no hook!) and some emotional knee-jerk reactions ("That's not true!!!!") But there was no discussion. No one else in the room had anything to add to that topic, because it had never been thought about. Plus, hard topics are not really popular.

Isn't it just easier to say, "We are going to be studying this passage next Sunday. Please read and study it this week."? At least that way everyone in class would be on more level ground when they begin the discussion.

Sigh. Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Better Than a Post About Germs... Elle's post at A Complete Thought. (Did you see how I copied her? I'm so clever.) Seriously, go read it now. It's good. Click here.

I'm Returning To My Former Ways

When I was a new mom I was hilarious. I see other new moms and I just have to smile. One of my friends at church recently dropped her newborn's pacifier and reached into her diaper bag, deftly grabbing a snack sized baggie with a sterile pacifier inside. I was like that.

At the hospital when Sweetheart was born my college roommate came to visit along with her husband (also a friend from college) and their 2 year old. Their little girl saw Sweetheart's pacifier and wanted hers. As we talked, her father pulled it out of his pocket, picked a piece of fuzz off of it, and handed it to her. They must have seen our horrified looks. We all cracked up laughing. Then they told us the progression we would soon follow when baby's pacifier was dropped.

Stage 1: Run to retrieve a sterile one.

Stage 2: Run it under REALLY hot water.

Stage 3: Run it under water.

Stage 4: Swish it around in your ice tea glass.

Stage 5: Pick off the fuzz and let them have it.

Oh I'm kidding. I would never contaminate my ice tea like that. It's just that we DO relax as we go.

But I'm returning to my former ways. Well, at least some of them. After 2 days of stomach bug, I got to thinking "Where could I have picked this up?" And then the disgusting VERY FUN pizza place we visited on Saturday came to mind. Why we didn't leave is beyond me. The place is huge and makes Chuck E. Cheese look like a local hardware store. This pizza place was converted from an old super WalMart. It's BIG. And it's only been open for 6 months! But it was so nasty on Saturday. If only I had been carrying a baggie of Clorox wipes like I used to have in the diaper bag.

We now have paper towels in the bathrooms instead of handtowels and I will be packing some Clorox products in my purse. No more relaxing about germs.

We have a birthday party this weekend people!!!! My baby is going to be 4 years old!

Gotta go detox the rest of the house.

Monday, November 5, 2007

In Praise of the Husband

My husband, to be exact. I am so thankful for him.

I had the opportunity to tell someone this weekend that we don't fight at our house. Have we never had a disagreement or made each other mad? Of course we have, but we don't just fight around here. In some homes there is a lot of yelling, cussing, storming off, slamming doors, and worse. I am thankful for a husband who does not fight. Our home is peaceful.

I am thankful for a husband who comes home and takes the little one into the other room for a talk about her behavior that day (when I called him at the end of my rope!) and she listened. Because Daddy doesn't yell and means every word he says. It is so nice to be on a team when it comes to parenting!

I am thankful for a husband who asks me before he makes big decisions. It's his call, but he asks and wants to know what I think. That's nice.

I am thankful for a husband who works hard. I've told you before, he has worked up to 3 jobs at a time! I know there are times at past jobs he wanted to tell someone off and walk away. He said if he had been single he would have. But he thought of us and kept working. He is a good provider and I am thankful for that. We can rely on him.

I am thankful for a husband who I can ask questions about the Bible to. And he'll study and answer them and discuss them with me. I truly believe some women would be farther along in their spiritual walk if they had a husband to ask when they got home. So, I am thankful for his spiritual leadership.

I can trust him. He takes care of us. He is loving. Hmmm. Sounds a whole lot like someone else I know.

I just know a lot of women who don't have this protection of a man who follows the Lord. And I know one whose wonderful, godly husband recently died. And I am just very, very thankful for the husband I have been blessed with.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lookin' For Success in All The Wrong Places

When I first became a teacher around 14 years ago I was determined to be good at my job. I was fresh out of college and had all kinds of ideas for my classroom. I know KNOW I was not a perfect teacher (even years later), but I really enjoyed it and put a lot of energy and time into teaching. When I won the "Rookie of the Year" award for our school I was understandably proud.

What do you suppose things would be like today if I had put that much time and energy into my home? I'm not just talking about housework here either. (Seeing as how we had a tiny one bedroom apartment that if I got really serious took me all of 30 minutes to clean!) We did have sort of an odd start to our marriage with S. being stationed in California and me being in Texas for the first 6 months. I wanted to go to California with him so much but there was a real possibility his ship would leave for up to 6 months I would have been left alone in a state where I knew no one and more than likely would not have had a job either. Come to think of it, I kind of wish I had gone now. I can't believe we decided on being apart. It did give sort of a strange start to our marriage. So, 6 months later he came home and I was overjoyed. But was being "successful" at being his wife one of my goals?

Um, no. I spent more time than I care to recall at school working on stuff. I was career-minded, let me tell you. I was just a dedicated teacher and I had two other teacher friends who were newly married with no kids and we all just stayed late working on things for our classrooms. I was always home before S. was, but still---didn't I have anything to do at home?

Apparently not. At least I couldn't think of anything. My concept of being a wife was so non-existent. I didn't become a "wife" we had become a "married couple." So, I expected us to cook dinner together, do the shopping together, do everything together and enjoy it! I had no idea that men and women had different roles! No idea.

I remember reading about a friend of the author's in this book who said something about how she intended to be succesful at being her husband's wife! What if I had been determined to be a great wife for my husband from the beginning? I think things would be very different today.

I was so ingrained with lies in my thinking that it wasn't even funny. And we went to church every single Sunday and I heard nothing to counter what I was believing either. We have to teach our children the truth of God's word in ALL areas...or the world will teach it's truth instead. And the effects can go on for years.

We are fine now. I am finally understanding how this whole marriage and family and Christian household thing is supposed to work. I highly recommend reading the book Homemaking. It's not about keeping house, by the way, but about the Christian household in general. I have been completely amazed as I read that it is all applicable today even though it was written over 100 years ago. It's freaky. I guess the truths of God don't change?

I wish I could go back in time about 14 years and start over with my new understanding. (I wouldn't mind having my old figure back either!!!) But since that's not possible, I will just have to start where I am. I think this is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, by the way! And it's very good.