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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can I borrow your Faith?

Around Halloween, my kids were given 2 kittens as pets. They immediately fell in love with the little furballs. The solid gray one was named Bear because it was so furry & the white & gray one was named Faith because the patterns on her back looked like a cross. After about a month at our house, Faith went missing for a few days. That was ok, we still had Bear. Faith showed back up & Bear took off - I guess they couldn't get along - lol. I thought, "well, we always need FAITH." She only stayed for a few more days & then she took off again too. We kept looking for the kittens, but did not have any luck. Before long, we didn't give them much thought any more.

Flash Forward: Sunday afternoon my mother in law called & said "I really think this is your cat at my house". I stepped out on my front porch & looked down the hill. Sure enough, it looked like Faith. The kids went running down there & happily returned with a grown up version of Faith. I thought it was strange that a kitten could go missing for over 3 months & then come right back home like she had never left.

I'm guessing that someone close has had her put up at their house because she is still tame & lovable. There are no signs of her going hungry or being mistreated. So much for trustworthy neighbors..........I'm didn't get angry, I was just confused.......

But wait.....then God brought that same thought by my mind, "we all could use a little FAITH". I stopped to think about this. Maybe, this represents a time when my faith was strong. Something happened & it waivered just a little. I was able (through God) to strengthen it back, but suddenly it was GONE, seemingly without any warning. Then, just as quickly, it reappeared just as if I had never lost it.

I also thought deeper on this subject....Maybe someone else's FAITH was weak at this time & they needed a little extra boost, so maybe they "borrowed" my FAITH.

I know that some people are probably thinking I have lost my mind (news flash ~ too late!) to read into the reappearance of a cat as God renewing my FAITH, but doesn't God work in wondrous ways?!

Next time you see someone struggling, why don't you let them "borrow your FAITH".

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Parents - WAKE UP!

Some people AMAZE me....baffle me to the point where I'm not sure what to say or what to do....Yeah, loss of words doesn't happen often with me, but I'm trying to bite my tongue so I don't say something I will regret, but the tip of my tongue can only handle so much pressure.

I know that  this world is fully of crazy people with mixed up priorities but PLEASE explain to me how you can walk out on your children. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO KNOW THE ANSWER! We all have our days where we need a break because the kids are driving us crazy or we are craving uninterrupted adult time, but to never want to be part of your children's lives...... I just can't comprehend it!

God has allowed our lives to be richer, fuller, & happier when He blesses us with children. I realize that some people never want children & I'm not talking about that group of people. I am referring to those who make a conscious decision to have children & then decide one day that they no longer want them.

We have heard for years about "dead beat fathers" who walk out on their families & that is still a shame, but as a mother - I get sick to my stomach at the new trend for women to walk out on their families easier than they would a dead end job.

Hopefully, most of these children do have other people in their lives that will step up to the plate & show them that it's not their fault.

Thankfully, most of these children do grow up to be "normal, well rounded" adults. But what about now, when they are still young? Has anyone ever stopped to pay attention to just how mixed up these kids can be?

NO CHILD SHOULD EVER HAVE TO WONDER IF THEIR PARENTS REALLY LOVE THEM!!!

NO CHILD SHOULD EVER HAVE TO WONDER WHAT THEY DID WRONG TO MAKE MOM OR DAD LEAVE!

Parents - GROW UP!!!!! Take responsibility for your actions! I don't really care if you can't get along with your husband or wife! What does that have to do with walking out on your children? It doesn't matter if they are 1 year old or 21 years old - they still NEED you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hey...Somebody Noticed!

Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a wall. I'm sure we have all been there. As a parent, it feels like I have to k e e p r e p e a t i n g myself in order to get my kids to pay attention & then, most of the time it feels like they still arn't listening. It gets a little overwhelming because it makes you wonder, "hey, is it really worth all of this effort?". I mean there are soooo many parents ou there that don't go through all the headache & hassle & it makes me feel like I'm the only one correcting my children (I know different, but I still feel this way at times).

I know that my kids feel I'm too strict on them at times, especially at church. After all, this is God's house & we do not play in God's house. So, after numerous times of telling my kids to be quite during service, and seperating them from a friend, then making sure they were not outside playing in the parking lot in the dark after service, & telling Makenzie to quit running inside, of course I was feeling slightly frazzled...again. As we were leaving, a lady looked at me & said "Thank you". I just looked at her & said "um....what for?". Come to find out, she was actually complementing me on making my kids mind during church. I told her, "well, I try, but it doesn't always work". She was assuring me that it showed & one day it would pay off.

I was just amazed. I couldn't help but thank God, that yet again, He sent me a little encouragement just when I needed it! No, I wasn't anywhere near the pit of dispair that I have slipped into so many times before, but it was so nice to remember that my efforts are not in vain! Somebody noticed. This is just another reminder that people are watching our lives - the good & the bad, so why not give them something good to talk about!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not Now Honey.......

Amidst all the errands, schoolwork, & bills, the laundry, cooking & cleaning, the ballgames, meetings, & adventures - I look around at my life. This isn't exactly where I pictured myself when I was younger, when I had big dreams of "making a difference in some one's life". I never saw myself settled down on a farm, never a stay at home mom, & certainly never married to a preacher. Thankfully, God saw different. He knew just what I needed, when I needed it. Who would have known how close to home my desire to make a difference would be? It has taken me a while to realize that I make a difference in my family's life every day.

Yes, I find myself stressed out because we are always on the go somewhere. I've realized though that so many of our obligations are because we have chosen them. No, it isn't necessary for both of my kids to play baseball & I can just imagine how much time & gas will be spent this year on that alone, but we continue because we enjoy it. Yes, this does add a little more stress to my already tipsy plate, but its ok.

As I try to find a few peaceful minutes to catch up on email or blogs, I remember that the dishes are piling up & the laundry needs folding (again?! - really, how many times do these strange people that live here change clothes?!) But then a little voice says "Mommy, will you play with me?"..............

I find myself entirely too often saying "Not now Honey, maybe later". I try to say "maybe" because I never know whats gonna happen & I don't like lying to them. Then life happens & we get busy again & before you know it, I'm tucking them in at night. Its the end of another day before I realize, I didn't take time to play with them. Did I make time yesterday? Will I find the time tomorrow?

My babies aren't babies anymore. Where has the time gone? I'll never get these moments back, but yet I know that there will be too many times when my response is "Not now Honey, maybe later"........

Hopefully as my children get older & their need for me isn't as much, I won't here those same words "Not now Mom, maybe later".

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Miss Betty Homemaker

You know, we are all creatures of habit & truly a generation of convenience & gratification. What would we do without cell phones, microwaves, credit cards, & drive-thrus? I have always been just as reliant on these as the next person, but recently, I've been wondering...is it all really necessary?  (Just please don't take my laptop, Vin Diesel, or my Twilight movies! LOL)

Our ancestors lived far more simple lives & they survived the times. Justin & I have always commented on how much "easier" it would have been back then. Now don't get me wrong, I know that they had to work HARD, but they were satisfied. Today, no one ever seems to have "enough". They are always working & striving for the next step. What happened to enjoying life where we are? In light of that, it made the wheels start turning...........I don't belong to this world, so why am I trying to compete with it? God wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us.

For a year now, we have been living on 1 income. It hasn't been easy, some bills have been late, we have had to say no to some things we wanted, but we still have our home & no one is going hungry! I have tried to cut back in some areas, but not as much as I needed to. Withing the past few weeks, God has really opened my eyes. Not only do I need to control spending, but I need to be frugal (ie. CHEAP) & I need to be resourceful. So I have been doing lots of homework on this.
  • I use coupons & I usually save about $40 everytime I go shopping. I really want this savings to be more, but its a great start!
  • I have found numerous websites with wealths of information on them. My favorites right now are:
  • http://groceryshrink.com/  tips on how to spend less & save more, recipes for making your own household cleaners - a few I have tried & they actually work
  • http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/  more tips on spending & saving, frugal recipes
  • I have started TRYING to use a budget & stick to it. I have always hated this because our "budget" on paper is UGLY! Trust me, we are always in the red. Its only by God's grace that we make it from month to month & that is just one reason that I KNOW I'm supposed to be at home.
  • I plan a menu for the whole month that way I don't have to keep running to the grocery store (this month has been hard b/c the kids are sick, so I keep forgetting something b/c my mind is preoccupied)
  • I have a cash envelope for groceries (see note above - ugh) & gas
This is just the beginning! We are increasing the size of our garden this year & planting several things that we have never tried before (including potatoes - I am so excited).  I usually can & freeze each year, but this year I have a new found desire for Betty Homemaker. Justin hunts so we usually have an abundance of deer meat. We already have cows & pretty soon one of those lucky(?) gals will be in our freezer. We are going to start raising pigs (we've done this before) & Austin wants chickens (I'm not sure about this, but I'm willing to try anything). Now if only I could sew......