Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010 A Glad Update with a Hint of Vent...

I know, I know... I have not been around much. Sorry about that. I do think of lots of things to write but have not had a chance to do much actual writing down. If you want to see some of what I have been up to, feel free to stop by my other blog I have been making lots of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) because I have been going through some unexplainable Crafty Craze. :-) Go see! Here is just one of the ATC papercuts.

So, anyhow...

School is out! I am so glad! I have all of my kids home with me, and I have decided something drastic... The plan is to have a calm, relaxed summer. Meaning, no summer camp, no crazy plans that make me stressed out, etc... Of course, there is always something that pops into life to change that, but that is the point. I don't want to be stressed out before those "things" pop into life. I really want to enjoy my kids and do special things with them. So... I have experiments, books to read together, and other activites lined up. I really want to introduce the kids to things like making mousetrap cars, inventing things, etc... I am so excited. So are they. They are actually glad to be home and to be able to do such fun things. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share them!! I can use ideas!!

The only ones who are not so excited and don't understand... the outside world. Some people in my church and community are making life a bit more difficult with their insistency that I add some things to my life and schedule, but you know what... I have the best and greatest calling ever. I want to be the best mom I can be. I want my kids to remember having a blast together. I want them to like to be home. I want them to love the Lord and to love each other. I am called to "train them in the way they should go". There is NO job outside of maintaining marriage or child raising that anyone can convince me is more important or more worthwhile than those. My job is to minister to my family in this season of life. By doing so I am actualy ministering to others who are watching, observing, and wondering. Who knew?

God knew!! And so, in the simplest ways I can, I am pouring myself into my kids, my marriage, and into relationships around me. My goal... to be a good steward so I can see good fruit grow. If I am not around, or so busy with volunteering, working, etc..., how in the world will that happen? It makes me sad to hear people say that they think I am not using my gifts as I should or to the best of my abilities. Huh? I sing to my kids, and to others when I feel to do so. I read to my kids and make them laugh. I keep my husband happy, and we are more in love than ever. I papercut every chance I get. I am trying to do better with maintaining our home. I email loved ones continually, and frankly, people wonder how I do it all. And then they criticize and think that I am not doing enough. Well, go figure...

Funny thing is... I am more content than I have EVER been. I am at peace with this decision. I finally am "relaxing and enjoying" my family and my home more than I ever have. That is a BIG deal for me! I know Restlesseness and Panic Attacks well. I have dealt with depression and stress. I know that I want to be better. And, I know that I have prayed for confirmation about how and when to eliminate certain activities, and God has made it clear. I think it is interesting when people think I should listen to them more than God Himself. It is laughable.

I keep leaning on this verse from Colossians 3... "Do all things as unto the Lord and not to man." This is all for You, Lord! Take it, grow it, use it, and bless it!!And help me to stay on the path that You have for me, to hear Your voice, and to be sensitive to Your Spirit. Love you, Jesus!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010 A-Budding Love...

There is a song that I remember from childhood called "Abiding Love". While I was creating this papercut, I kept thinking of that song, but inserting "A-budding" in place of "Abiding". So... I suppose it is a pun of sorts. :-)

I have been thinking about youth, love, and that time of growth. I am watching young adults around me pass through what I have already passed through. The struggles to know "what is REALLY right or best for my life?" There are those on the way to marriage, or those just starting relationships and in the middle of deep puddles of doubt. There are those beginning new careers, moving away from families, finding new jobs or new homes, preparing for college, ending one chapter of life to begin another.

Change is not easy. And, for me, it seems that my life really does represent the quote, "Anything worth having is worth fighting for." The best things of my life have not come easily by any means. I mean, NOTHING. I was really discouraged about it yesterday, as I scanned through my life and observed how "struggling, stretching, tottering, bending, trudging" have been constants in my journey.

Today I feel better, but I feel heart sore. I know that all of those challenges have caused me to build endurance, grow in faith, and to lean more on God. I am grateful to see how much I have grown, but... Sometimes I wish I could have some things come easily.

Yesterday I was looking at the photostream of some of a friend's art, and I saw that he had a series of three cards representing a flower bud growing. I sat staring, reflecting. One seemed to be ready to soar into the sky, exciting and ready to just be let go to grow. Another seemed as if inching along gradually, up, up, up, but still reaching and wanting. And the last seemed to be going even more slowly, still piled on top of itself and just beginning to show bravery to lean away from what it has always known.

This papercut card, here, represents the couple, the differences in upbringing, location, thought process, and so many other things; but what I really want to be represented is the SUN. It is big and the bud grows towards it because it wants to soak up the light. That is how we each, individually, should ideally be with Jesus, the SON, so that we can soak up His goodness, blessing, and have His direction, guidance, wisdom, discernment, etc... when making life's many tough decisions.

I can attest, personally, to God's faithfulness to guide me and direct me. I prayed often about most issues in my life. I remember feeling at a loss of what to do, many times. I remember feeling overwhelmed, ready to break, stressed out. I remember lots of different emotions, but through them all God was, and is, always in control. As I leaned on Him, and still do lean on Him, as I sought Him for His perfect will in my life, He has always given me an answer- Yes, No, or Wait. As I have obeyed Him, I have seen His perfect will and perfect way. Yes, I have made mistakes, but... He has also helped me to get back up after I have fallen. What a faithful and loving God He is.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Note: The color of the sun is a little off in the scan. It is more of a light orange... Perhaps other colors are also not exact, but that was the most noticeable.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 5, 2010 Mere Edges Of His Ways...

I do give God standing ovations... Here are just a few reasons why...

Job 26:7-14 (New King James Version)

7 He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.

8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds,
Yet the clouds are not broken under it.

9 He covers the face of His throne,
And spreads His cloud over it.

10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
At the boundary of light and darkness.

11 The pillars of heaven tremble,
And are astonished at His rebuke.

12 He stirs up the sea with His power,
And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.

13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens;
His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways,
And how small a whisper we hear of Him!
But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

Created for Nancy for a trade...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creative Day Over At Jen's Blog...

My friend, Jen, mentioned this really great idea for a preschooler's game. I just had to share, since I think that even my older ones would enjoy it... Click on her link above to see the whole post. Below is the basic gist of the game.

"Here's how you play... :) When it's your turn you have to declare what action you will do. For example: make animal noises, jump, sing, clap, flap your arms, ride a pretend bicycle in the air (Eric and Sam laugh a lot when I choose this one), etc. Then you roll the dice and do that activity that number of times, or number of seconds. :) It turns out to be quite comical. So, if you and your family need something new to do...get out a kleenex box!"

And, if you have any creative ideas to share to make this summer fun and enjoyable, and at least a little bit educational, feel free to share!! Thank you!