A Key To Not Stressin’

Well, since September / October ’09, we’ve started on a journey that took us from me not working, to working part-time as a Gymboree Teacher – and Ricky working for SCBN & the Todds, to working for himself, from his home office {or anywhere that has Wifi}.  We’ve had to adjust to making less income overall, but the adjustment hasn’t been all that difficult. At first we made too much income to be elig. for healthcare insurance for the kiddos, but I waited to apply, and after discovering a clerical error they made, they (Children’s Health Ins. Program) got their ducks in a row. Now both our lil ones are insured for medical and dental needs, which is pretty great.

It’s definitely been a step of faith, but as we have been lead in our spirits to be more generous with our giving, we’ve seen over and over again God’s provision…from the status of our health to our vehicle (s)  to our home (not having to pay rent since we discovered the owners are short-selling the place & not paying their mortgage). They may end up offering us “cash for keys”  to have us vacate the property sometime after our initial lease ends (May 1st)…but who knows. We’ve even had people just stop by & give us cash, several times.  Bottom line, is that we don’t know our future, but the cool thing about that is – we don’t care much…I mean, we care, but we have never been so stress-free. Continue reading

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24 ~ in three different lights

I love “24”. Jack can save the world – save “millions” of lives in just 24 hours.

My last 24 hours wasn’t as exciting. Yesterday was long. Work went well, but kind of stressful. I was feeling stuffy trying to fight off a chest-cold with air-borne, and neither my little girl nor myself could take a nap, because she had just learned how to escape her ‘sleeping quarters’ . It’s finally time to graduate to her big-girl bed. I couldn’t find my wallet or my phone – it’s goin’ on a week now. And I found out I need a crown and my son has no enamel on his teeth due to a high fever he had when he was 2, so he has many cavities, and we have no insurance.

But it all seems a little insignificant in light of what I recently read happens in the span of 24 hours elsewhere:

  • Over 13,000 children age 5 & younger will die of hunger
  • About 3,000 children will die of diseases caused by unclean water & poor sanitation
  • Nearly 3,000 children will die from malaria

These stats blow my mind. Nearly 20k kids dead, in 24 hours. It seems so senseless! But in one day, we can help turn these numbers around. We really, really can.

Ricky & I have been able to make a dent in the numbers by reaching out to even one 6-yr. old child, Jhonatan. It doesn’t seem like a big impact (just one child), but I know that our $32., the letters from his American friend, Braylon, & our prayers really do make a big impact on Jhonatan and his family. Would you join us? Those who have a little bit extra are called to give to those who do not. But ya know, those who do not have a little extra are also called to give to those who are suffering from poverty. When you answer, God will more than step up to your level of faith and provide for you. Faith can do wonders. He’ll reward every effort. It is his very nature, as our Provider & Father…and we will know in our hearts that we obeyed.

I’m no Jack Bauer, but I can help save one life, and I can’t think of a better feeling.

jack

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For more info, or if you want to choose a child to impact as well, just click over to C.I. (Compassion International) & start your search.

Peace and Quiet at Walgreens

Our house is not that peaceful. Well, that’s not true – it’s peaceful… but quiet? That’s another story.

1 small home + zero carpet + 1 six-yr.old & 1 two- yr.old good insulation = l o u d , most of the time.

A few weeks ago i tried to nap my sickies away only to awake 10 minutes later to my son singing Daughtry like he was auditioning for AI, “and then I crashed into you, like a runaway train…“,  followed by angel pulling a heavy peice of decor down onto her shoulder and scream-crying. I’m just grabbing all pillows and covering my head with them. Oh, to get out of the house…by myself.  I love that! I need that.  Another day, I had the opp & I grabed it. Do you know what I did?  Drove to Walgreens, parked the car and… didn’t go in. I was sowalgreens exhausted from the day, that instead of shopping, it was more appealing to me to turn the car off, put the seat all the way down, grab angel’s soft little blankie from the backseat (& wrap it around my head and eyes like a turban), and go to sleep. I actually slept there, in the parking lot. Woke up feelin’ good too…good enough to trot on in to take advantage of some screaming make up deals. This is me with a thought bubble: “What are you starin’ at? Yeah, that was me in the white ScionXB; can’t a momma get some sleep!?!?”

It wasn’t a king size tempur pedic, but it was comfortable.

It wasn’t private, but it was dark.

It wasn’t home, but it was quiet…

…and some days, that’s all I need.

not too good to be true

Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary & carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.

***

when i am weary and carry a heavy burden, i pray and i sing. talking to God does something inside of me that takes the focus off of me, even when i’m talking about me. and doing the very thing he’s gifted me to do, sing, brings me joy. it can be anything, but when i sing something that gives Him glory, He stays true to His word…and shows up. He inhabits the praises of His people. Knowing He is there takes a certain load off of me – like, i’m really not trying to do it all alone…something so easy for me to forget. 

i can count on Him to show up & give me strength when i do what He’s gifted me to do, in His honor. if i have sin not dealt with, i ask him to make me clean and do my best to do a 180 in that area. it’s refreshing to know that He doesn’t hold grudges. He’s not angry with me (or you), disappointed or surprised when i’ve done wrong. All he asks is that i accept his Son’s sacrifice for it…and go on with my life. sounds easy, but it can be tough to do in an achievement-based, ‘if you work hard enough at something, you can get it done’ world-view.

but that’s one thing i love about the Gospel. it’s just too good…but not too good to be true.

what a morning

it’s only 9a.m. and here are a few things that have happened so far ~

Ξ   i woke up to realize that instead of my husband taking my son to school, he had to go to a dentist so I had 15 minutes to get dressed, get him ready & fed and lil angel in the car so he’d be on time. (he was on time)

Ξ   i drive 18 minutes to my bank to deposit 3 checks. i only found one in my purse. the other two i had left in another purse

Ξ   after returning home, angel looked down and pointed to her shoe saying, “eewww”. upon investigating, i find out that since i did’t have time to change her diaper when i got her up, it was leaking down her leg and into her shoe. thank God it wasn’t runny poop.

Ξ   after changing her, i went to check my mail and heard a strange sound from the kitchen. it took me 2 seconds to figure it out – the sound of salt and pepper being poured out all over the kitchen table…and plates…and floor.  ran in and realized my voice – too high and my tolerance – too low

Ξ   as i sweep and dustbust, angel at this point is feeding coins into the puppy crate. i go to empty it into the trash. i guess i was holding it at a wrong angle, cuz the filter fell out right next to the trash…along with all the nasty stuff inside. round two…

Ξ   now off to clean the dog’s diahrreah that’s now crusted onto braylon’s rug

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there’s still 3 more hrs of this morning to go. PRAISE THE LORD! I’m gettin’ some patience today.

hit refresh

sometimes even though i try & convince myself that i’m not nearly as busy as others, it still doesn’t take the stress away. when the house is a mess, the baby’s temp keeps pushing 102 probably due to an ear infection, when i have self-image issues because of my worse than usual skin (& weight), it can all just feel …heavy. but the bulk of it comes from feeling anxious about starting a new job sept. 2nd without much experience or training as well as packing & moving into a new place all next week.

i was just wishing i could ‘hit refresh’ somewhere on my brain so i can clear out all the junk & start over with a ‘i can do all things’ perspective, when i opened my gmail to find a note from my mom. she shared with me something her pastor spoke on last night ~ the image of the yoke. i’ll share this part with you:

Church was so good… I can’t believe what a gift Kip has of pointing out all the things we need to be reminded of!… the character of God, & how he wants to (& is able to) help us with every little thing we need.  I tend to stress over stuff, but he reminded me that God has a yoke, & if I just surrender the issues I’m worrying about to him, and get along-side of him in that yoke, it’s now resting on him!  He is carrying the weight of the load, & he is responsible for the direction to go in, since he knows where he wants me to go!”

thanks, mom. you were the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit today. i just love you.

1 peter 5:6,7,10

humble yourselves…that he may lift you up in due time.

cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

and the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.