Sunday, February 26, 2012
I did not know Christ when I went to the Home even though it was a Christian place. All the other girls were Christians. I was just there to "use" them. I was going to get clean, sober, and get my life together and then go back and kick life's ass. There was no way I was going to be converted to Christianity. To me, the whole thing seemed like a cult anyway.
At this Home I was given meals, a bed, and a safe, warm, and beautiful place to stay. I was given forgiveness because I was unrefined, rude, and had a bad attitude. I was shown Love because... well, because I was there. I was shown Love and forgiveness over and over again everyday for months. I was still skeptical. I avoided conversations about the Lord or I joined in only to try to prove someone wrong about God being anything other than a judge.
One afternoon after several months of being there I met the Lord. I fell in love with Him so hard that I can't even put it into words. The Walter Hoving Home is on a mountain top in beautiful upstate NY and that mountain belonged to me and Christ. If you have followed the Twilight movie series, me and the Lord's love rival Edward and Bella. There is actually a song in the Breaking Dawn soundtrack that I listen to over and over again because it reminds me of when I first fell in love with Him. (Here are the lyrics by the way because they are too awesome to not share.)
I've waited a hundred years.
But I'd wait a million more for you.
Nothing prepared me for the privilege of being yours.
If I had only felt the warmth within your touch.
If I had only seen how you smile when you blush.
Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough.
I would have known what I was living for.
What I've been living for
Your love is my turning page
Only the sweetest words remain
Every kiss is a cursive line
Every touch is a redefining phrase
I surrender who I've been for who you are
Nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart
If I had only felt how it feels to be yours
I would have known what I've been living for all along
What I've been living for
When I hear this song I remember my mountain top. I remember the people who gave of themselves so that I could one day meet Christ. Some of them were seasoned Christians and some knew the Lord for only a few months. They are the women who gave, and in return I am a mother who loves Christ and I am raising my children to love Christ. All because they loved and served me.
Since then I have tried to take part in ministry here and there. Some of it was forced and some of it was very natural and organic. I have been waiting for the day when I would get to love someone the way I was loved. I have been waiting for the nudge, permission, and privilege to be salt and light to the world.
Last year I went through a detox and I needed some help. I didn't need normal ministry, but I needed Christ's hand to help me and my family. My church served us meals and helped me watch my kids when I felt really sick. Sometimes all I needed was the silent strength I felt as I knew someone was praying for me, fasting for me , and beholding the Lord on my behalf. That month my church was a "drug addict" ministry just to put a name on it. But we didn't really call it anything.
Right now Chris and I are entering into a time of looking out. But what if I'm not ready? I'm not, but I don't need to be. There's no being ready when it comes to giving a thirsty person a glass of water. Christ is always equipped to give Christ. I will periodically give updates as Christ changes us through this season.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This life comes down to a choice... am I willing to lose? Am I willing to die and let my plans go undone so that Christ can have His way, whatever that may look like? When living by Christ's life, He is always going to choose the way of grace. But what if someone is really doing something wrong, and leaning towards yes isn't what's best? It does happen, but it is extremely rare and I have yet to have it happen in my life. Usually the Spirit handles problems like that and human confrontation isn't necessary.
I began the blog with some wisdom that was shared when the Brothers who planted our church left over a year ago. Well, they are back for a visit this week and I would like to end with some additional wisdom from one in particular. "Love is not sentimental. It was costly." I think that sums it up. Living a lean towards yes lifestyle is sacrificial. It requires doing things I don't want to do. It costs the death of my desires and my agenda. It is humbling. It is beyond anything I could ever do in my own power and it takes Christ to do it.
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful week!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
For a few years now I have wished and daydreamed about being good at something. Really good, like an expert. I mull over catalogs and research what it would take to become a master herbalist, holistic practitioner, or live out my dream as a counselor and open a home for girls. I have always felt like I was in some sort of waiting period while I raised my kids. Once they were grown, I could get to my real life. Along the way here and there I was encouraged by others telling me that being a mom is the most important job in the world *rolls eyes*, but it was too politically correct to even stomach. And besides, I know a lot of mothers who are also working or living out other dreams, while still being "mom." They are mom, but they also have something they are good at.
Christ within has been settling me big time lately and I am slowing down to become more aware of the present state of being. In recognizing Him and beholding Him, He has shown me something to be thankful for. I want to share why and how and make it very clear that it's by no strength of my own. Without Him being the Life to me and my family, I fail big.
Christ has given me the gift of homemaking. This is the revelation He's shared with me and I want to pass it along. Developing the best and right lifestyle for our family is important. Just like with everything else, no two homemaker's jobs are the same. I'll use mostly myself as the example.
When I moved out of my parent's home and into my husband's home I was starting from scratch. I knew how to clean my home well(thanks mom!), but everything else I did was pretty generic. I didn't have my own style yet as a wife or a mom. Over the years I have been drawn to read and seek out knowledge on how to keep my family safe in our toxic world. Not germs, germs can be good for us, but actual toxins. They are everywhere, specifically in our health products and food. I used to make boxed dinners and freezer dinners. I used to cook with toxic ingredients(and think they were healthy), but since have completely changed the way we eat. I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen. At least an hour per night just preparing dinner, not including cooking time. I used to give the kids sugar, sugar, and more sugar for breakfast and lunch, but have started making those from scratch as well. Over the years I have developed a system of collecting our recipes for the month, keeping track in a special planner, gathering the organic groceries from stores all over town, and making the time for preparing it all. You may not think that making food for my kids and hubby is an art, but when held up to what it used to look like, I can see that it is, and that the Lord has given meaning to it.
The Lord has been developing in me a desire to protect life on the planet. That passion has led to finding out about ways to live in harmony with the world, to tread lightly, and leave small footprints. A big part of our lives and how we do daily activities comes from this responsibility to the planet. My kids will see that taking the extra steps to hang dry clothes and compost our trash as a normal part of life. It's what works for us and I feel good about it.
Homeschooling, a biggie. This is an area of my "job" that the Lord has graciously given me a ton of passion for. We have discovered that Miss Charlotte Mason's methods work best and we make it our own. I love to write unit studies(small ones and year-long curriculum) and I love to pull existing pieces of studies together to make new ones. I love this part of my life and thank the Lord for that. It is Him who has called me to raise and teach my kids in His ways and He has provided the desire which makes it enjoyable. I love that we can saturate our day with Christ and it doesn't look like cookie cutter Christianity. It has been a process coming into my own as a homeschooling mom. As long as I remain open to teaching myself, the process will continue. I will always grow and mature in this area if I remain humble and continue on for the right reasons. I thank the Lord that He has developed the personal style perfect for our family's homeschooling and we can build upon that.
Another area of my fantastic job that I want to write about is my housekeeping. Boy, has this changed over the years. I have become a pro at multi-tasking, and sometimes I don't think that's a good thing. Most of the time it's helpful to have a lot going on, dishwasher running, whites in the washing machine, hanging clothes to dry on the line upstairs. Check. But other times I need to remember that I am keeping house so we can stay safe and healthy, NOT so we can have a spotlessly clean home. I could get carried away and clean all day long if I had the time. My whole attitude is changing though and I am learning to relax long enough to sit with and enjoy Chris and the kids. I don't want to miss time with them because I was cleaning. I have my daily chores that I fit into my schedule, but rcently I have turned my weekly chores into monthly tasks. It has helped my mindset so much and my house really isn't a whole lot messier! My husband blessed me with a gym membership in order to help me deal with stress and depression, but it only works if I go almost everyday. I have had to give up some things in my day to make room for that and cleaning was the first thing to go. My family doesn't mind me taking that time for my physical and mental health because they are reaping the benefits as well.
That leads to my final point. In all of my homemaking, what's become the most important part of my job is the atmosphere I help create. I have been entrusted with four beautiful hearts. These people love me so much that if I am not happy, neither are they. If I am having a bad day and have a rotten mood, they pick up on it. I take that very seriously. I once read that a mother's voice can instantly lower her child's anxiety level and blood pressure. When I began paying attention to how I spoke to my family, I was shocked. There was a time when I was taking my son to a class and realized I had scolded him(loudly) and nagged him the whole way there. I created anxiety in him and then sent him off into the world. I felt like a horrible person and was shown the ugliness of living in my own strength, again. I want to be the place for my kids and husband to come and receive love and nurturing. I want to build them up with my words and fill them with Christ's love. This is very much the most important part of my job. The art of homemaking is narrowed down to the atmosphere I am creating. More than anything I do, making sure my boys feel safe and secure with me is key.
So for now, I am a homemaker. There may not be degrees handed out, but I feel secure in that the Lord is making me an expert in caring for my family. Most importantly, I have complete faith in Christ, that He is my value. So even if my job remains a homemaker for the rest of my life, I am fulfilled.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
This begins a series of posts by some of my Brothers and Sisters in the church I live with, here in Gainesville.
Follow this link to read the first post... http://msy316.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/what-ive-learned-in-organic-church-the-difference-between-brotherhood-and-buddyhood-this-includes-sisterhood/
Love you guys.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
This morning there was a post on facebook about Mitt Romney obviously funded by his opponent. I don't know much about his guy and if I voted today it would not be for him, but this commercial didn't make him look that bad. One of the main selling points in not voting for him was that he made money shutting down companies, liquidating them, and firing the employees. I wonder if we looked at each company individually if we would find prosperous business and honest hard working men and women? Maybe, but highly unlikely. I wanted to post a rebuttle so bad, but knew the explosive tendencies of one of the supporters, and wanted no part no that. And so this blog came to be...
My husband has a few employees and I am used to him having to go in and cover their shifts because of their horrible, lazy work ethics. His employees are constantly trying of get out of doing work. Because of his experience with "hard-working Americans" I think might want to re-evaluate the term. Most people my age and younger are excuse giving Americans.
If a company was not doing well, I see no reason why liquidating it and making money doing it would be wrong. The hard working folks are free to get a job somewhere that is doing well and the lazy folk are the ones that will struggle and complain.
If hubby's branch was shut down, he could find another job. He would look until he found one. Fortunately he's turned the branch around from when he first got there and it is doing very well now. He has worked very,very hard and there were times he didn't know if he would make it. If he wasn't able to turn it around we would have expected to get demoted or shut down. And we wouldn't have complained or run to the welfare office.
It seems like welfare and food stamps used to be a temporary help for those going through a rough time. It was in place for single mother's, widows, those who got too sick to work, and to hold families over until they could find a job. Instead it has become common for whole neighborhoods to be on welfare because they can't get a job. It's weird because I could walk down to Denny's right now and get a waitressing job in a pinch. And I have a questionable past. Chris and I once went through a financial hardship and I got a job in the evenings to supplement our income. We would have been eligible for welfare, but it just seemed like a very lazy choice.
I know there are a lot of struggling families out there that are using the government help for it's intended purpose... this blog has nothing to do with them. One of my children was on medicaid for the first few years of his life because even though I worked almost 40hours a week, I was in a tough spot and couldn't afford medical insurance.
I have a pretty solid view on the matter from a factual standpoint. I don't claim to be right, it's just how I feel. I know what the Lord has said about the lazy and know what He's said about helping the poor, and most importantly, I know the difference. But I don't feel good about mixing politics with religion any more than that.
Done my little opinionated post, thanks for reading!
p.s. vote for Ron Paul