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Archive for October, 2008

Free Stuff

I had a wonderful weekend away with my family. We had lots of time to play together and enjoy each other’s company. We played Uno, we rode the rides at Dollywood together, my daughter and I raced in the pool and rode the water slides together and we all shopped together. It was just a great time.

I didn’t have as much time to pray and seek God as I wanted to, but I did have some time. One thing that really hit me over the weekend was that my life at home is too complicated. I was able to enjoy time with my family because at the hotel, things were simple. I didn’t have a bunch of “stuff” to deal with. I had six plates to wash, six cups to wash, three changes of clothes for everybody and a few simple things for the kids to play with. I had some time to pray on Sunday while the kids were at the pool with Joshua. During that time I felt like God was telling me to simplify my life. I think my family is about to get a whole lot busier and I need to be able to devote my time to the truly important things.

So, step one is that I am getting rid of everything that we don’t need. I probably gave away about 200 pounds of stuff yesterday and I am giving away more today.  Do you need anything? Name it. I might just have it to give away.

Tomorrow my husband is going to the Air National Guard base to turn in his application and to get his physical. We should hear back from them in a few weeks. My husband is very excited about joining up and getting to serve his country.

I’m working on another love dare. This time it involves listening to what my husband has to say. More on that later.

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Another Random Post

My family will soon be heading out for a visit to the Smoky Mountains. I can hardly wait! However, there is much to do before we leave. There is laundry to be washed, folded and put away, floors that I really need to clean (I’ve been talking about cleaning those floors for two days now!), lists to be made and packing to do. An even bigger to do list is waiting for my return from this little getaway. I’m not going to think about that just yet. I am really going to enjoy this time away with my family. I hope we can make some precious memories.

I’m also hoping that this time away will allow for some quiet time with My First Love. I look forward to waking up early and slipping away to be with Him. I specifically need to spend some time being quiet and listening to Him. He’s trying to teach me some things. My own thoughts and ideas are so loud sometimes and I miss the still small voice of God. Please pray that I will hear Him.

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My husband and I have an arrangement as far as household responsibilities. He takes care of everything on the outside of our home and I take care of the inside. I assure you, he has the bigger job. He devotes time every weekend working around the farm and his to do list is much longer than mine. The truth is, I’m kind of picky. I really would like  a new fence around our garden and I am anxious for some of the downed trees to be moved. And, I sure wish he would borrow a bush hog and make some paths through my blackberry bushes. And, we really need to get around to winterizing the flower beds. And, the list goes on. When I mention these things to my husband, he simply writes them down on his list. There’s no whining and no huffing out of the room. He doesn’t say, “Why do make me do everything?”  He’s a good man, and he’s behaved far better than his wife.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not responded so well to my husband adding things to my to do list. “Organize that closet? I just did it six months ago! Why are you so critical anyway? Can’t you just love me for who I am, messy closets and all?” The blaring truth is that I have been quite a brat at times. I have not always been humble or mature.

So, I dare myself to be humble and keep my mouth closed. I am going to take a lesson from my husband and quietly add his suggestions and requests to my to do list without any complaining or feeling sorry for myself.

This post is short and sweet. I have some things to cross off my list today and I need to get busy.

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Just a Random Post

We had a lovely weekend at my house. It started Saturday morning with breakfast with a friend. I then came home to a clean house. (I woke up at 2:30 AM to clean it-that’s a different story for a different day!) Later, Joshua and the kids went and scouted out a nice picnic spot. It was so fun picnicking on our farm. I can’t believe we haven’t done this before. The kids ran around and played while my honey and I relaxed. Later that evening we went to church. Afterwards we went to one of my favorite restaurants of all times, Joe Bolognas.

Sunday was almost just as nice. There was one glitch to Sunday. We had a hen who has been suffering. We decided that the most humane thing would be to “put her out of her misery”. That was terrible! I hope I never have to do that again. My husband conducted a funeral under the black walnut tree, which has become our pet cemetery. I didn’t attend the event, feeling somewhat faint after the ordeal, but my husband told me that all the other chickens came and paid their respects.

Joshua practiced bow shooting with the kids while I organized my desk. Then we went shopping and out to eat again. We did our part to keep the economy afloat this weekend. This coming week will be a very busy one for my husband, so it was good to have a relaxing weekend. It was the calm before the storm.

Sorry I didn’t get a column written this week. I was too busy relaxing with my family.

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What do you do when you have guests coming for dinner? If you are like me. you start scrambling! I clean the bathrooms, sweep the floors, get out the nice tablecloth and cook a nice meal, complete with fresh bread and dessert. Then before the guests arrive, I run to my room to brush my hair and freshen up. I make sure the kids have clean faces and decent clothes on. Then, as I hear the guests driving up our long gravel driveway, I light some candles and put on the finishing touches. Then, I attempt to hide my breathlessness as I greet our guests at the door. Is that what it’s like at your house?

A few months ago my husband was watching me do the pre-guest scramble and he commented that he wished I would make the house look that nice for him. At the time, I confess, I sort of rolled my eyes at him. However, that statement has stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

The truth is, my husband has often come home to dirty faces, a stressed-out wife, and a messy house. My husband works 11 or 12 hour days sometimes. He should be able to be refreshed when he walks through the door of our home. So, as a part of my love dare, I have decided to be more hospitable to my husband.

I’m on week 2 of this challenge. Before my husband comes home, we do a pick up of the house, eliminating the clutter that my husband loathes. I dim some lights and light some nice smelling candles. I am already noticing a big difference in my husband and in our entire household. It is simply more relaxed. Last night we all sat in the living room and talked. I am enjoying the warmness of our home as well. I feel truly able to sit and enjoy my family in the evenings.

As far as evening meals, I am not cooking gourmet meals, but I am trying to cook what I know my husband likes. He loves soups and stews, and i keep that in mind as I plan my weekly menu. Last week I planned a special surprise. My husband really loves Indian food, so I made chicken curry. It turned out pretty good, and my husband enjoyed it. A few times a week the kids and I have been making a special treat. On Wednesday we made an apple cake. Tonight we are having family night, and I am going to let the kids make and decorate some fall cookies. I’m no Betty Crocker and I’m not spending hours in the kitchen. I’m just doing little things, but those little things mean a lot, not just to my husband, but to everyone in our home.

Here’s a funny story. Last weekend the house got a bit messy. I could see my husband tensing up, which right away makes me tense up. He took the kids outside with him while he chopped some wood. I took advantage of those kid free moments to clean up the house. I picked up, I swept the floor. I wiped some fingerprints off the appliances and I mopped. In my mind, the house still needed a good cleaning, but I did what I could with the time I had. My husband had brought me home some beautiful flowers the night before. i decided to accentuate their beauty by pulling out a nice tablecloth and sitting them in the middle of the table. I lit some candles and tried to make the house warm and inviting. My husband and kids all walked in the door and looked around in amazement. There were lots of oohs and aahhs. It was like they had just walked in to a fancy hotel or something. I was amazed at their responses. Later I heard my husband talking to a friend on the phone. He was saying, “The house is so clean, and not just that, it’s so warm and homey.” I realized at that moment that it’s not a perfectly clean home that my husband desires. It’s a warm and hospitable environment that he longs for. I am delighted to provide that for him, because I love him.

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My Love Dare Part 1

I’m doing my own version of the love dare. I want my husband to feel loved and appreciated by me. Over the past week there are two areas that I have been working on.

First, I have been working on taking care of me. The truth is, I put very little time and effort into my appearance. I have four young children that keep me busy all day long. I truly have to make time to fix myself up. Last week I dared myself to make that time, everyday. The Proverbs 31 woman (vs. 22) dressed in fine linen. This was a way of honoring her husband. I want to honor my husband by the way I dress as well.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but there have been a few times when I was walking through the grocery store and I realized I had a big stain on my shirt, or that I hadn’t run a brush through my hair that day. My thought was, “Oh Lord, please don’t let anybody recognize me!” I was embarrassed for my own sake, but also for my husband’s sake. He always takes pride in his appearance, and his wife…well, she doesn’t. I’m turning a new leaf though. I’ve been cleaning out my closet, getting rid of stained and ugly clothes, and I have been taking time to fix my hair and put on some makeup every day.

I’m not doing this just as a representative of my husband, but I think he likes coming home to a wife who looks refreshed. When my husband and I were courting, I always tried to look nice for him. Does he deserve any less now that we are married? Certainly not! If things were reversed, would I want to come home to find him in ratty sweats, a stained shirt and unshaved. No way! It’s the golden rule at work here.

The other area I am working on is being hospitable to my husband. I heard him tell a friend last night that the house was so warm and welcoming. I knew my efforts were paying off and he was starting to notice. I’ll tell you more about that later.

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My Love Dare

I am continuing to think a lot about the movie Fireproof. It really challenged me. Over the past week I have been praying and evaluating the way that I love my husband. There are some things that I want to work on. Over the coming weeks I will be studying the Word of God about these different areas and I will post my notes here for you to read. Stay tuned..

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