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Monday, May 16, 2011

Coming of Age

I have a friend who has 2 daughters. When they both turned 12 or 13 they started doing ALL of their own laundry! She told me that she even very rarely moves laundry from the washer to the dryer for them, but reminds them that if they want something specific to wear, etc. then it is THEIR job to get it done!

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I guess I have a few questions about this whole chores, allowance, and what all people do with their kids! I know it has a lot to do with how we are raised and how our parents taught us,,. I mean, I can hear it now… “I HAD TO CLEAN THE BATHROOMS EVERY SATURDAY AND YOU WILL TOO!”

But how do you decide when and which chores? Do you do an allowance? How do you decide what to give and how often?

At our house our 9 (almost 10 year old) makes her bed, puts her dirty clothes in her laundry basket, helps clean off the kitchen table and picks up her things to put them away. She does most of these everyday and I do not give her an allowance. I feel like she needs to learn to be responsible for her things and that her help is more or less what our family does together. (i.e. having our meal and cleaning up)

This past weekend we worked in the yard. The poor kid tried EVERY friend within a mile radius to see if they could play. No one was home. (Poor little lip hung down so low! So disappointed!) Her dad and I gave her some chores to do so that she could participate with us and not just be sitting in the house watching cartoons all day.

When it was all said and done she helped me rinse off some pavers, dragged bags of tree clippings from the back to the front yard and helped “wash” the house. (Well, she had some water and a brush. Not sure how much washing was actually taking place!)

After we finished we were exhausted and my husband decided to run to Chic-fil-a to get our supper, and as a reward, he bought her an ice cream.

SO! My question is… how you do handle such things? Saturday’s yard work was above and beyond what we normally ask of her. Would you have given her an allowance, or was the ice cream “reward” enough?

Growing up we never really got an allowance on a regular basis. I do not really know how people keep up with what kids earn and how they earn it. And in our situation,the grandparents are usually really good about giving little monetary gifts at report card time, holidays and birthdays so she has extra spending money. She is usually not hurting for funds… if you catch my drift!

My husband and I are not at odds over this or anything… as a matter of fact we have not discussed it much. I just wondered how other folk live! Can you help a sista out??

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Might As Well Blawg!

Well, it’s raining. I am happy about it because our weeds yard needs the rain, but my plan WAS to work on said weeds yard and hopefully help it out a little. Oh well! Maybe later… what else could I do? OH! I know! Let’s write a blawg entry! Never mind the laundry, dusting and 457,890,321 other things I need to be doing! I HAVE PRIORITIES!!

So last week was Mother’s Day and with family out of town it is always a trick to figure out who we will see and when. Because of the whole “ON THE DAY” thing in my family it can sometimes get tricky! We figured it out, none the less, and here are a few family shots!

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Note how not ONE mother had her picture taken and who is the random person in red up there? Anyway, a fun time was had by all and it may just have been the best Mother’s Day EVER!

The main reason for such greatness was that we kept it simple. We had a cookout with my sweet man’s family and the kids just played and played. We met my family for lunch after church and just hung out a little.

For Mother’s Day my husband agreed to help get the nasty shutters off of the house…(note the random shades of fadedness that once graced the front of the Guinn Inn! Oh, so lovely.. and classy, too!)

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… and we bought new ones! I AM SO EXCITEDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!! We are using black instead of green (or whatever that lovely color is!) and louvered instead of flat shutters! I can’t wait to get everything cleaned and the new ones up!

Before we throw the old ones out I just may snag a few faded ones, group them together and hang them as a shabby backdrop on our deck! My husband is asking,”How come they were TERRIBLE on the front of the house but suddenly artwork on the back!?!?” Hee hee! Let’s see what happens!

I also went on a little shopping trip with my sister-in-law last week and found some good finds!

We hit the Habitat for Humanity store where I scored these silver Oneida trays:

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The big one was $6 and the small one was $4!! My SIL gave me the one lying down to help balance out the tray number … I LOVE THEM.. now, where to put them?? I have a few ideas!

I also found this beige candlestick that has the colors of my house painted on it and it is really shabby… My SIL had the brown one so I am going to work on a place for those too!

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THEN.. I needed tables and my SIL wanted to get rid of some so…

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I am trying this one out in my den!

And this one needs some TLC, but it will go on my porch!

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I am eager to get some plants and maybe an outdoor rug to bring the look together! It’s all looking a little bland right now, but after I finish blawgin’ (remember! priorities!) I am going to get to work! Once things are together… ok, once I change things because I NEVER feel like I am completely done, I will show you and see what you think! I’d love your help!

It looks like the rain may have stopped. Guess I need to get busy! You have a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ugly Truth

In the last post I shared about how God is really beginning a work m me that I’ve never experienced before. I am NOT KIDDING when I say… LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

The title of this old blawg is “Higher Call” and so many times I have been tempted to change it to something more whimsical and cute. Here’s the thing… while God gives US the ability to be whimsical and cute… and I am so glad HE DOES! I am pretty sure that HE is not all whimsical and cute.. if you catch my drift. I mean… the UGLY truth is that He is down to some serious business in this sin-filled world! I love that He is AMAZINGLY creative and has a sense of humor… BOY does HE!? But at the same time there are some hurting and lost people out there that He is desperately trying to reach.

Just in the past few weeks in my own experience with people I have spoken with several teenaged unwed mothers, a woman whose husband has abused her for years and is living in an EXTREMELY difficult situation and a girl who is addicted to drugs. There have been life threatening situations where families have cried out to the Father in anguish for Him to intervene. I am talking LIFE ALTERING and deeply disturbing situations that are just plain NOT PRETTY! And those are just the people that I have talked to!! Imagine how many lives there are that are just hopeless and hurting due to sin and bad choices and illness and addiction and crime and shame and guilt and just plain hurt! It is really TOO much for any of us to handle and yet… if we are followers of Christ we are called to GO! Make disciples and be obedient! But how!?!? It’s too big!

I started asking God WHY!? Why would He bring these people into my life? I have NEVER been where they are and I do not know how to minister to them. I can pray. I can listen. I can give them scripture. That’s it! I, personally, have NOTHING for them.

His answer? “Exactly!”

HUH!? Oh, I was so confused. Until it hit me like a ton of bricks falling from a 40 story building!

 ALL I HAVE IS HIM TO GIVE THEM AND THAT IS ALL THEY NEED!!!!!!!!

OHHHHHHHHHHH!

The ugly truth is that there IS a Higher Call on my life and I have been too afraid to step out there and see what it was until now. The ugly part is my fear of stepping out, by the way, and not His call.

Ok, so here’s the cool part. I am sensing that because I am whimsical and like fun things and enjoy being with people that He is going to allow me (THIS IS SOO COOL and SOOO GOD!) to use what I have (and it ain’t much, trust me) to use it in the lives of these people. How!?! Well, that’s the part He hasn’t shared with me yet, but I sense that His plan is unfolding.

You know… this little girl?

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Well, she’s mine. And I am telling you that the growth that is taking place in her right now is blowing me away, BUT there was a time that I was completely overwhelmed by her delays. She has some struggles that I have shared about in the past and let me tell you… Time spent on our knees has been vital!!

But we weren’t the only ones praying. God put faithful friends who love Him into our lives who committed to believe and pray for us. He has put family into our lives that have supported us and loved us through every step of the road that we’ve taken. He has provided health care and therapy workers (who love Him!) that came up with plans to help us with her. I mean GOD provided!!

It is still a battle, but it’s getting a little easier. He is at work and He is growing her like we asked Him to! He answers! He hears!!  So… that is what I am suppose to give back! That is His plan!! Give the hope and love and support that I have come to know.

Ok, this is plenty long. If you are still reading by now.. God bless your baby heart! I guess I am just really excited and can’t wait to see the rest of the plan unfold.

What about YOU!?! How is God at work!?!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It is Not by Sword or Spear

 

It’s time to be very honest.

God is working in me anew. It is something to celebrate. It is something to stand in awe of. It is something that I long for with my whole being. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart! I want to honor Him.

I am seeing that, though I asked Jesus into my heart at 10 years old, I have more to learn about being a Christ follower than I can wrap my bleach blonde head around. I have so much to learn about love… sacrifice… honesty. I have so much to learn about truth and laying down my own agenda for the wonderful plans that He has. I want to be obedient and eager to learn from His very alive and active Word! I want to dwell in His tabernacle and know His voice so that I do not miss a word when He speaks.

So much of my walk has been about me. As I look back through my life I see that I have been extremely self-centered and have come to God on MY terms more times than I’d like to admit. Slowly He is chipping away at me and helping me to see that my best laid plans are so trivial and worthless. Only HIS ways have lasting impact and are God honoring.  It is hard to admit, but now that I am beginning to see how others might view those of us who claim to be Christians, I have definitely been a hypocrite… pretending to have things ALL figured out and acting as if I am some super Christian.. oh! Just thinking about it makes me sick. Let’s just say that a humbling process is taking place through the people that He is bringing into my life. They are showing me what REAL life is about and how only HIS grace is sufficient. I have NO answers and can NOT be prideful as if I have all the answers. I CLEARLY and PLAINLY do not!!

Several months ago my daughter was riding in the backseat of the car looking through my well worn and written in Bible. She said, “Wow! Mom! Look at this!” She kept turning and came to some places without writing. She said, “Umm, mom? Why is it that some pages have writing and some don’t?” I said, “Well, I have taken notes where I have heard a sermon or done a Bible study or written a prayer for you!” She quickly replied, “Well, these pages with NO writing? I guess you have to study those! You need to get busy!”

Oh, how right she is!

I realized that I have never done a real in depth study of David’s life- the VERY man that had a heart after God’s own heart. Yes, I grew up in Sunday school so I have read about David and Goliath, Bathsheeba and Jonathan, his friend,  but I have never really studied the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. The opportunity recently presented itself at our church and so I dove in! Wow! I am already being challenged to look at myself differently and see the Lord as The God of Kings! I pray that I have a true heart transplant over the next several weeks! I pray that God will do a work in me like He has never, ever done and that my walk with Him becomes more about Him than me.

This old girl is not ashamed to admit that there is a new spot inside my heart that I have never sensed before. It’s an open spot that is ready to be filled with God’s agenda. I am protecting this spot. It can not be filled with anything that is of me. I want it to be filled to over flowing so that it consumes my ENTIRE heart with EXACTLY what God wants for me. I can not wait to see what He reveals!

 

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter 2011

Well, I am pretty late with my Happy Easter wishes, but here’s the good news! JESUS IS STILL ALIVE! On the way to church this past Sunday our little girly asked us,”So Jesus was alive LAST week at Easter! Is He STILL alive THIS week!?” Oh, PRAISE HIM! Yes! He is alive and at work even today!

We had a whirlwind of an Easter and Spring Break traveling to see family all over the south east! It was a lot of fun, but very tiring, as we shopped with Mimi, made birthday cakes, ate dinner out and played in South Carolina!

april 2011 001The OH SO YUMMY Key Lime Pound Cake!

 

We made a quick trip back to North Carolina, repacked and joined up with my husband’s parents to make the 6 hour trip to Alabama for a wedding and Easter!

First the wedding…

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Everything was so pretty and we enjoyed seeing my husband’s cousin tie the knot!

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I never got a good shot of the bride and groom but here they come in their red convertible!

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Such a beautiful day and my girl was loving time with her Paw Paw and daddy!

My sweet little niece loved the flowers at the reception which was held in a floral shop!

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Our cousin’s little girl was a flower girl and look at how precious she was!

 

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The next day was Easter and we were so excited to attend The Church at Brook Hills there in Alabama. It is a wonderful church pastored by Dr. David Platt. It was such an honor to celebrate our Savior with brothers and sisters in Christ that we’ve never even met! We saw wonderful baptisms and heard wonderful testimonies of the changing power of our Lord and Savior. It was just a wonderful day of worship!

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After church we needed to head home, but knew that we’d better spend a few minutes with family since we don’t get to see them very often. My husband’s aunt had a brunch for all of us… and an EGG HUNT!

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Girlfriend found the first one and instead of continuing to look… it was ALL about the candy!

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Our niece and cousins were hard at work with all of their treasures too!

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We finally made the long trek back to North Carolina! It was such a fun time catching up with family and spending time worshipping our Lord and Savior! We loved every minute of it!

We pray that you had a blessed Easter as well!